Valentine’s Day Heart Nails Tutorial

If somehow you just realized it’s Valentine’s Day, here is a quick and affordable way to add spice to your nails on this amorous day. In only 5 steps, I take you from dull blank nails to red/white valentine heart nails. Take a peek below and check out Educated Latina’s venture into tutorials!

Spread the Love. It’s Valentine’s Day!!

“There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart...pursue those.”~Michael Nolan 

Photo Credit: Kate Ter Haar

The Day of Love has arrived! Let’s celebrate love in all its forms today. Here are some ways to spread the love:

1) Connect with all of your loved ones. Let them know how much you love  and appreciate them.

2) Smile- There are people walking among you that feel alone and unloved. Flash them a sincere smile to make them feel special. 

3) Give Hugs- On my campus, there was a girl who would stand outside of the cafeteria with a sign that said, “Free Hugs.”  I became deeply touched, as I watched students receive their hugs. This young woman, with her generous heart, took time out of her day to physically embrace strangers for the sole purpose of lifting their spirits. That’s love! 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

 

Do you have an special Valentine Day traditions with family and friends? Share them below. 

Operation Communication

Listen

Photo Credit: Ky Olsen

Relationships. While most of us have the inherent desire to be in them, many of us have trouble maintaining them once we are in them. One of the common reasons for failing relationships is communication. Whether men are from mars and women are from Venus, I cannot say for certain. But what I can say is that communicating between one another sometimes is less than a piece of cake. Miscommunication or failure to communicate stems from both internal and external factors. Meaning, things may occur inside and outside of the relationship that cause friction in the communication department for couples.

In order to truly understand how this happens and how to avoid or improve it, you must understand communication. When you hear the word communication do you think of speaking? Many people do not consider the communicative exchanges that happen outside of the verbal. According to a UCLA study, 93 percent of effective communication is contingent upon nonverbal cues. This means that nearly all of your communicative efforts are dictated  or conveyed outside of your words.

Statistics revealed that 80 percent of communication that is interpreted falls under the nonverbal category (ehow.com). Such nonverbal forms includes body language, facial expressions and other nonverbal exchanges. Consider what a great percentage this is. Most of the talking (or lack of) that you believe is the issue behind your communication, really is a fraction of what is really being said. The messages you and your partner exchange begin with the attitude, gestures, sounds, smirks, etc., that are seen before words even leave lips.

A couple may start arguing because one person believe that the other person is cheating. These cues come from one partners actions, the lack of interest, expression, etc. Before the issue is even raised, the nonverbal cues are present. The words serve as the mediator between what is being felt from the cues and the message they convey and expressing it aloud.

Often-times people do not recognize that they are even giving off particular messages through these silent cues. There are even instances where body language conveys a message that does not validate or reflect what they are really feeling. Lack of understanding and capacity to effectively communicate can give way to serious relationship issues.

To counteract the damages that communication failure does, you must recognize that there is a deficiency to begin with. Once you have done this you are able to start seeking resolutions for the inefficiencies. Mhealthy.com provides tips to improving emotional communication to get back on track http://hr.umich.edu/mhealthy/programs/mental_emotional/understandingu/tools/comm_skills.html

  • Recognize that a change in communication has occurred
  • Talk and Talk again
  • Write out characteristics or qualities that you appreciate about one another past and present
  • Risk-taking-communicate about a subject that is uncomfortable or difficult to
  • Ask questions: ask your partners questions to clear-up doubts, activities, emotions, experiences, etc.
  • Begin with questions or invites to the discussion
  • Schedule alone-time: set aside time for uninterrupted quality time where you can strengthen bonds and communication

Most communication breakdowns occur because one or both people feel a specific way about the other persons perception of them. Some feelings that a person may feel are:

  • Ignoring- Lack of listening or being ignored
  • Argumentative- Excessive argument that leave negative feelings about the person
  • Cutting-off or talking over- the person may feel as if what they have to say is not important or they are being over-shadowed
  • Sarcasm- may make a person feel as if they are being mocked or not taken seriously.
  • Belittlement- A person may feel that their partner is belittling them or downplaying their feelings or thoughts
  • Chastising- A person may feel their partner is treating them like a child or undermining their position in the relationship.

Try to avoid falling into these relationship traps. Think before speaking, listen and take into account the circumstances. Try hard not to communicate when you are in an irrational or extreme state. Communication works better when both parties have willingly entered into the discussion. Also, if each person feels they have the platform to openly and uninterruptedly speak, they will be less apprehensive to share.

Remember that not every discussion in a relationship is easy or convenient to have. But if you value and want to salvage that relationship you will take the necessary steps to preserve the quality of your interactions.

Valentine’s Day Pressure

Valentine's Day Shopping

Photo Credit: Doug Miller Today I went Valentine's Day shopping for my lovely wife, Elaine. She was at home. As I progessed through the mall I documented my travels by cellphone camera, and sent each one to her as I visited. She sent back text replies to each. Her TXT reply to #1: "Oh, you are such a doll. I love you so much" Her TXT reply to #2:"Chocolate is just as good as jewery. I love you so, dear." Her TXT reply to #3: "Well it is the thought that counts. I really do love Starbuck's" Her TXT reply to #4: "Don't bother coming home !"

It is that time already? Valentines? V-day or whatever other cutesie names you have come up with to describe February the 14th. It’s the one day that has been spotlighted for expressing your deepest desires or disdain for a love interest (or love in general). You weigh in on this impending day of romantic recognition somewhere near the end of December. Stores look like shiny pepto bismol factories adorned with hearts, bears, candy and all trinkets and foofiness that commercially epitomizes love.

If you’re in the dating game or a relationship you may start deciding on whether or not to invest to make this day for your special person. What to do, what to do for your Valentine? Candy—dinner—jewelry—socks (for warm winters). Others are more indulgent and expectant. You may await a special call, text or delivery expressing in 140 characters or less how you make someone feel. Possibly a singing card that makes you feel giddy? The vavoom of it all has sure been amplified and built up that some individuals may feel entitled to an elaborate showering of love. But the underlying issue that may arise here is, what are we really celebrating—our feelings or the day? Much like the what came first the chicken or the egg—are we waiting to shower our loved-ones on one day out of the year versus every chance we can?

It’s no surprise that you have folks on different sides of the spectrum (and even some in the middle). Some are all for the la la la love  fest and others absolutely discourage it. This holiday has been scrutinized and the validity of it questioned altogether. However, have you considered the strain it may put on a relationship?

The commercialization of Valentine’s Day has thrust emotional expression into the financial spotlight. If you have chosen to participate in V-day activities then you may have contemplated what the financial investment may be. The financial investment that many people make is quite alarming for Valentine’s Day. According to the International Communications Research, 7 of 10 consumers who plan to participate in the holiday will make purchases. That is 70% of celebrating individuals who will make some sort of monetary investment for their holiday activities. Considering this large percentage, take into account what that amount would be on a grand-scale. The National Retail Federation (NRF) anticipated that Valentine’s Day will generate more than 14 billion in retail sales in the United States this  year. I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to equate how many Tiffany necklaces, steak dinners, wrist-watches, wallets, flowers, and teddy bears that is.

The question we have to ask ourselves is are we placing the emphasis too much on the grandeur or the materials that it may take away from the relationship? Think about our economy and the condition is has been in for some time. The unspoken obligation and expectation of gift exchange or steep dinner bills may leave one or both people in a financial damper. Financial disparity may also put strain on a relationship as stress may result from it.

Is it a competition? Are some of the gestures and showering of gifts part of some social challenge? Growing up, I remember it started with candy grams that were sent to your class. You were either extremely happy to receive one or watched as they walked up the aisles right passed you. Sad to say, I was both of those people at some point in my life. Then it increased to valentine’s day cards, valentines dance dates, balloons and flowers to romantic getaways and engagement rings. Do you have turned up noses and envious eyes when your sweetie has a dozen long-stem roses delivered to your job? So what does this mean? Could individuals be sucked into the game of trying to outdo one another? The most elaborate of Valentine’s plans is given recognition as it is verbalize or witnessed publicly. Everyone is not in the position to go above and beyond to adorn their sweethearts or compete with the next couple for love kudos. So why must equate the level of adoration by material PDA?

This silent competition takes away from the underlying principal of relationships in general; and that is the way we feel. If we delve into the commercialization then we take away from the genuineness of expression. One or both of the people in the relationship may start to feel that they aren’t worthy if their love doesn’t do for them as their closest friends or confidants have been. Making these comparisons can devalue the relationship or undermine one another’s feelings.

In an ideal world, we would remind those we care about how we feel every day. We can see more varying ways to celebrate V-day. From anti-valentine’s parties, single-awareness mottos and traditional lovey-dovey rendezvous. But love also takes into consideration the factors that make sharing love with one-another work. So consider channeling your celebrations in a manner that will preserve the peace and quality of it. Here are some alternative Valentine’s Day activities or things to do that do not require massive investment or money:

Home-cooked candlelight dinner

Movie night

Night picnic

Game Night

Exchange of personal favors (cooking, cleaning, massage, royal treatment)

However you decide to celebrate, make sure to communicate it with your partner and show them how you feel. Start today!