Treat Your Spouse Like A Stranger

Photo Credit: JBYLER Photography renamed Imagery Elixir

It is an unfortunate fact that we often treat complete strangers with more politeness and respect than our spouse.  As we become comfortable in the relationship, we tend to overlook the basic rules of etiquette.  We speak to them harshly and let out our frustrations on them.  We stop truly listening when they speak to us.  We slowly begin to take them granted and assume will understand and forgive our unpleasant behavior.  However, this often leaves our loved one feeling insignificant and wondering why we save our best conduct for others.

Strangers and acquaintances truly receive our best treatment.  We say “thank you” and “please” when we interact with them.  We take great care not to offend them.  We generally do not snap at them for small mistakes or criticize their shortcomings.  What if we were as careful in our interactions with the ones we love?   There was probably a time when most of us treated our significant other with such politeness.  When we began perusing the relationship we were on our best behavior.  We were mannerly, kind, and respectful.  As relationships continues, we often feel safe and assume it is acceptable to behave in ways that are unattractive or downright rude.

Perhaps it is time we begin treating the one we love like a stranger again.   

thredUP: Refresh Your Closet

What is thredUP?

ThredUP is a website that pays you real money for the clothing taking up valuable space in your closet that you aren't wearing, and covers 100% of the cost to send them your clothes!  They accept women and children's clothes and accessories.

How it works

1. Order a thredUP Clean Out Bag, and fill it with like-new quality women's, juniors, and/or kids clothing. The website has a payout calculator that can help you estimate your payout amount in advance.

2. Give the Clean Out Bag to your USPS carrier or drop it off at your local FedEx Kinkos. Your bag comes with a pre-paid, pre-addressed shipping label to ship back to thredUP for FREE.

3. The fashion resale professionals review your clothing and pays up to 40% of the resale value. You can earn thredUP shopping credit, or simply cash out with PayPal.

4. Items that they don't accept go to charitable partners or textile recycling companies. They can be mailed back to you as part of their Return Assurance program for a $12.99 shipping fee.

Why I love thredUP

If you are like me, you  often find your closet full of unwanted items.  This is a fabulous way to clean out your closet and make a little extra cash.  Of course, my favorite thing to do with the money I have earned is buy more clothes!  

The BEST part…. you get $10 credit towards your first order by clicking here.  There are hundreds of items for under $10 that you can get FREE with this offer.

(The discount will show up in your shopping cart!)


Stop Competing & Start Succeeding

Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others.  
Unsuccessful people are always asking, 'What's in it for me?' 
-Brian Tracy

We have all experienced those moments when a friend comes to us to enthusiastically share the details of their newest accomplishment.  We smile politely and perhaps even tell them we are happy for them.  But are we really? 

Alternatively, we have all watched a friend attempt to start a business, get a degree, or strive to obtain a goal in which they have failed miserably.  We tell them we are sorry that things did not go as they had hoped and that we wish the best for them.  But do we really?

Humans are competitive by nature.  We tend to have the misguided notion that the success of others somehow limits the opportunity of our own success.  We cringe inside when we hear of a friend obtaining a goal that we had hopes of reaching.  We eagerly await their fiascos and secretly delight in their misfortune.  The majority of this completion is masked behind smiles and well-wishes.  At times, we may not even be fully aware of our intentions until we suddenly wonder why we feel animosity when we come into contact with or read about a certain successful individual that started out in the same place as us.  We begin to wonder what we are doing so wrong and what they are doing so right.  This obsession with constantly comparing our own accomplishments with those around us causes us to actually begin losing focus on our goals.

While competition is a basic characteristic of human nature, we ultimately have the ability to decide how we will react to situations that cause us to feel inadequate.  When we consciously choose to be genuinely happy and supportive of those we come into contact with we suddenly find ourselves surrounded with a prosperous, accomplished support group.  This is a fundamental aspect of reaching success in our own lives.  There is no shortage of good fortune or triumph.  You can reach your goals while supporting those around you in their own endeavors.  There are going to inevitably be moments when someone “out-succeeds” you.  This is not a failure on your part.  It is an opportunity to learn from a friend, to cheer on a colleague, and to grow as an individual. 

I choose to let go of the resentment I am tempted to hold towards those who obtain greater (or merely different) levels of success.  I choose to be sincere when praising the accomplishments of others.  I choose to provide genuine support without self-serving motives to friends who fail in their endeavors.  I choose to stop comparing my achievements with those of others.  I choose to focus on my goals and surround myself with likeminded individuals.

Blessings to you all!


Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. 
But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another,
 they are without understanding.
2 Corinthians 10:12

Why I Don't Spank My Child

Photo Credit: Erica J Photography

I was on occasion spanked as a child (maybe twice in my entire life). 
I was not in any way abused or mistreated.
I certainly have not suffered any lasting psychological damage from the couple swats I received on the bum.

Regardless of these facts, my dear hubby and I have chosen not to utilize spanking as a means of punishment in our household.  I fully respect the right of each parent to make their own educated decision on how they choose to discipline their children.  I have no intention of casting judgment on those whose choices are different than my own.  This is merely a list of reasons why spanking is not the right option for us. 

 I would never hit an adult.  Why would I hit a child?  Hitting another adult is not only frowned upon by society, but it is against the law.  Regardless of whether I agree with an adult's point of view or want to teach them a lesson, hitting is simply not allowed.  It is assault. If hitting an adult who is capable of defending themself is a crime, how can I justify hitting a defenseless child?  Before I gave birth to my sweet little Cupcake I spent a great deal of time contemplating this question.  The answer I came up with is… I can’t. 

Research. As a lover of psychology, I have spent a substantial amount of time reviewing research.  What studies have found is that while spanking may correct short-term behavioral problems, it can cause more harm than good in the long-term.  Obviously, not every child who has been spanked will be aggressive or suffer from psychological damage.  However, meta-analysis indicates that risks of physical punishment include depression, unhappiness, anxiety, feelings of hopeless, and general psychological maladjustment.  Perhaps the research was a bit broad and should have specified the level and intensity of the physical punishment that resulted in these consequences.  There are certainly many adults who were spanked as a child who have grown into responsible, well-adjusted adults.  However, there are also many adults who were spanked who suffer from depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.  While I hardly believe an occasional spanking will doom a child to a future of psychological issues, I do believe frequent spanking utilized as the primary means of discipline is potentially harmful. 

Personality. Cupcake thrives on affection and praise.  She is greatly motivated by positive reinforcement.  At this point in our lives, rewarding her for good behavior works well for us.  While I do not anticipate that this will be a fix-all forever, we presently have little reason for punishment of any kind.  The times in the past when I have utilized punishment (never spanking), I have found that the situation became more intense and stressful for all involved.  Every child is unique, but my little love simply responds better to rewards than to punishment.  If I were to have another child, my methods of disciple would likely need adjustment to meet the needs of their unique personality.

It has the potential to go very, very wrong. As a parent, I am far from perfect.  Sometimes I have a bad day.  Sometimes I lose my temper.  Most proponents of spanking agree that it must be done immediately.  The moment a toddler does something especially naughty or defiant it is nearly impossible not to feel frustrated or impatient.  If a parent utilizes physical punishment while they are angry or emotional they are very likely to overreact.  It may be easy to say this would never happen, but it does happen to many well-intending parents.

I am raising a child to face the real world.  My goal as a parent is to teach my child about consequences in the real world and how to make positive decisions.  In the real world, hitting other people does not solve problems and is not a behavior that adults should tolerate.  Spanking is not a consequence that they will experience in the real adult world.  Obeying out of fear does not give a child the opportunity to develop intrinsic motivation for behaving in an acceptable manner.  Decision making skills and self-regulation are valuable skills that are best learned when modeled by a calm, loving adult.