Tuesday, February 14, 2017

6 Common Questions About Your Divorce: What to Expect

When it comes time to announce your divorce, you probably know what to generally expect from others. If people were aware of your difficulties, then the news might not come as a surprise. Either way, you’ll still have to field questions from them, whether in person, over the phone, or semi-publicly on social media sites like Facebook. This really adds to the stress of a divorce. When I announced my divorce from my ex, I noticed people kept asking the same questions.

“What are you going to do with your wedding gifts?”

While this might seem like a rude question for someone to ask, it’s a pretty common one. Guests care about you, and those who consider themselves ‘on your side’ invested time and money into coming to your wedding and picking out a gift. If your divorce happens within years of your wedding, they want to make sure that you get to keep the gift.

When I left my ex-husband, I kept all of the gifts that my family gave me, in addition to the gifts that friends gave me if they were my coworkers, much closer to me, or friends with me long before I met my ex. Similarly, he kept the items given to him by his family and long-time friends. I made sure to mention this and I told my close friends and relatives about it so they could help field this question.

“Who gets custody of the children and pets?”

Most people are immediately concerned about the wellbeing of your children and pets – as they should be. If a friend is concerned about you, he or she also wants to ensure that you have the right to see your children or pets as frequently as possible, making this a common question.

I did not have any children or pets with my ex, so I didn’t have to worry about this when I got divorced. However, this is something I would have discussed with him prior to formally announcing our divorce. It’s best for the kids to know what’s going on before you start answering questions for other people, and if the matter is up for legal debate, you need to be honest about that.

“Where are you going to live?”

When divorce happens, most couples no longer wish to share a residence with one another. Friends want to stay in touch and they’re also worried about you, which leads to this question. If you’re not sure about where you’ll be staying, it can also help to let a friend or family member know, as he or she may offer you a place to stay temporarily.

When I announced my divorce, I had already looked at my options. I chose to live with my mother and stepfather for a while and was able to easily answer this question.

“Why are you getting a divorce?”

This is one of the more complicated questions you can receive in many instances. Regardless of what happened, you’re still sorting through a lot of feelings when you announce the divorce. It’s natural to feel guilt, shame, and confusion – not to mention a healthy amount of vulnerability.

If possible, have a discussion with your ex about why the relationship is ending and how you would like to explain it for others. My first marriage ended for several reasons, but most of them were connected to money and my ex’s lack of interest in finding or maintaining employment. For that reason, I generally told people that it did not work out for financial reasons.

“Don’t you think it’s time to admit I was right about your relationship?”

Your naysayers will come back to haunt you. Anyone who was jealous of your relationship or had a reason to doubt you might take this opportunity to come back and point out the fact that they were right.

If you’re anything like me, this will only make you feel worse. I just told these people that I really needed support rather than ‘I told you so,’ and then proceeded to distance myself from these individuals. Coming out of a bad marriage, I didn’t need more emotional turmoil and I’m glad I cleared those people out of my life.

“Is there anything I can do to help you?”

This is the best question to get when you’re going through any sort of rough time, but it’s still hard to know how to answer. Your answer will of course depend on your needs.

When I was going through a divorce, I really needed company. I just wanted to be around friends and move on with my life. When my friend Joann asked me this question, I told her I just wanted to spend some time with her. A few days later she was traveling through two states to visit me and I’ll never forget this sincere act of friendship.

Some of the questions are tasteful – some are downright tacky. Many people also wonder about these things but don’t ask. After I figured out what people wanted to know, I made sure my close friends and family knew the answers to these questions so they could diplomatically spread the information.

Overall, talking about a recent or impending divorce feels inevitably awkward, but being prepared with answers to common questions can certainly minimize the strangeness.

More from Tara M. Clapper:

Life after divorce: Moving to another state

Divorce Affects All Relationships

How to Cope with Friendships During a Divorce in Your Twenties

Labels: 6 Common Questions About Your Divorce: What to Expect

A Taste of Spain in Atlanta: Ibiza Restaurant & Lounge

My first experience wth Ibiza was through music. College radio and a bunch of cd’s that compiled beats and tempos that are regularly enjoyed in the city of the same name. After graduation Atlanta began to continue its blossoming and one day opened up many tapas bars; Ibiza amongst them.

Everytime I passed by the lounge I watch people hanging out on the patio, smoking hookahs and flirting with each other. Fun times. I love trying new things so I finally pulled over into the valet, (with a friend of course), and strolled inside to the sounds of Arabian music and warm mediterranian colors. Gold, shiny red, purples, dark browns made up the decor; the hostess greeted us with a smile and led us to our table.

The room is lined with booths with curtains made for privacy (oh my). These booths are available by reservation and are great for couples on a date. The bar was plenty crowded, with people dipping into Ibiza lounge specialty drinks such as the Ibiza Orgy and Sangria. But the most important thing: the food. I order a shrimp tapa which I thought would only be 3 sad pieces of shrimp on a plate with garnish. My thoughts were wrong, I was handed 5 succulent pieces of shrimp with a dipping sauce. I also tried a nice cheese plate and a glass of Riesling to wash it all down.

My company enjoyed little succulent lamb pops and a glass of Riesling as well. Just as we delve into our smal plates the tingling sound of chimes filled the air. A belly dancer came out the back and swayed her hips up and down the dance floor. She made it to our table where I participated in a short belly dancing lesson and partied at my table. I tipped her $1 and she was off to the next table.

I completely enjoyed myself that night and was anxious to visit again on another day. The weekly lineup consists of a theme for each night; Wednesday thru Sunday. Wednesday’s and Thursday’s are Arabian Nights, Friday brings out the Salsa crowd, Saturday is Flamenco & Sundays have made the switch from Reggae ($10 sangria pitchers) to Samba!

There’s a night for everyone at Ibiza Restaurant and Lounge. This restaurant only makes me yearn more for the Mediterranean coast of Spain. Check it out sometime and enjoy the orgy!

Labels: A Taste of Spain in Atlanta: Ibiza Restaurant & Lounge

401(k) or Foreclosure?

Are you trying to decide whether to save your home by using your 401(k) or other retirement fund to stay out of foreclosure?

I bought my home as a investment towards my retirement, thinking that property values always go up, when the stock market fluctuates daily. A safe secure investment right? Wrong!!!

Eight years ago I purchased a home for $50,000. dollars less than it appraised value, at a payment that I could afford, by putting less into my 401K, and more into my home. Then overnight things changed. The housing market declined rapidly, as did my pay, and my ability to to keep my mortgage current. But I had to much pride to consider a foreclosure, so I put a plan together.

Let my home mortgage payments get behind, and use my 401(k) retirement to keep it from actually foreclosing. I even sent a letter to my mortgage company letting them know what I was going to do. So I let the proceeding start, and then I make a “hardship withdrawal” to save my home. I tell them to take out the 20% early withdrawal fee, and to gross it up to 30% to cover the taxes. What I didn’t understand is the 10% penalty for early withdrawal, is considered income, so it is now taxed as income and you pay taxes on it again.

And the housing market continued to decline, and I found myself back in the same condition. I tried to sell my house, but I didn;t get any offers. Once again I withdrew from my retirement and kept my house, now deciding to rent it out, and let someone else make the payments for me.

And 3 years later the price of houses continues to decline, and I continue to lose each day. You see I still have to pay the property tax, around $3000.00 dollars a year.

So what would have been a wiser decision? Easy to see now the answer is obvious. You see I ruined my credit rating anyway by getting behind, I didn’t qualify for all the available mortgage plans, and the government bailed out the banks, and mortgage company’s to help bail me out, although the bail out money never made it to me.

So my advise to anyone in a similar situation is to walk away. Let the mortgage company have it back, our government has already paid them to take it, and save your retirement money for retirement.

Besides, you may even be able to stay in you residence for 6 to 18 months house payment fee. Use that money to pay off any of your debt, and start over again.

Labels: 401(k) or Foreclosure?

4 Meaningful Ways to Connect with Your Partner

How do you make sure your marriage or relationship stays healthy and continues to grow? How can you keep from coasting or checking out? Here are four meaningful ways to stay focused and connected to the one you love.

1. Talk

Simple, right? But when life’s demands crowd out conversation, distance grows. Every day, make it a priority to talk, to find out about each other’s day and how you’re both doing. If you don’t carve out this time every day, you’ll only talk about dinner and kids and what needs to get done. That’s the perfect way to end up with a roommate rather than a partner in life.

Block out time to talk away from children, and let them know what you are doing and why. Children need to see parents spending time alone together. Even if they fuss about it, they’ll get over it. We’re not talking hours. Even 20 minutes of alone time to connect will make a huge difference. When my kids were little, my husband and I would have “couch time.” The kids knew they could be in the room, just not on the couch with us. According to the American Psychological Association (APA) even a few minutes of daily discussion that goes beyond family maintenance is enough to keep you connected to your partner.

2. Listen

Irene Hansen Savarese, LMFT, says, “Listening is a relationship skill that most of us haven’t learned. Active listening is, if practiced and mastered, the best gift you can give your partner.” You don’t always need to do all the talking. You need to listen as well. Make sure you are a giver and a taker. Don’t interrupt, and put your phone down. Let there be a time in the day when you are both completely focused on each other.

When you truly hear one another, so much of the little nonsense that piles up goes right out the window. If you know your partner is stressed about something at work, or your partner knows you’re overwhelmed by a friend’s illness, you’ll both be kinder and more understanding. So many times we jump to conclusions and assume negative feelings are directed toward us when they may have nothing to do with us at all. Listen actively, so you know exactly where you’re both at.

3. Ask

According to Will Meek, Ph.D., taking interest is a key component of any healthy relationship. He stresses the importance of moving beyond small talk to really find out what makes your partner tick. Ask questions that have nothing to do with you. There are still things to learn about each other. Ask questions about what matters to your partner. Ask about hobbies you don’t share, about dreams not fulfilled, about family you’ve never met. Ask questions, and don’t forget to pay attention to the answers.

4. Change

Look at your partner through a different lens every now and then. It’s easy to let familiarity breed contempt. But don’t fall for this relationship trap. As Dr. John M. Grohol says, “A big part of ‘being happy’ is all about the choices we make in our everyday lives and in our everyday interactions with those around us.”

Remember how you looked at your partner when you first met, how you couldn’t wait to see him or her again, how your eyes lit up when you saw each other. Remember the past, and bring it into the present. Don’t take each other for granted. Remember why you love, and celebrate all the good you fell in love with — that you’re still falling in love with as you grow and change together.

Relationships become the most complicated and unsteady when we stop trying. It’s all about paying attention and focusing. It’s not about perfection. It’s about intention. So take some time today to connect with the one you love.

More About Relationships From Lori:

5 Ways to Make the One You Love Smile Today

Date Night: Necessary or Nonsense

How We Fight Fair: The Only Three Rules We Need

Labels: 4 Meaningful Ways to Connect with Your Partner

Aries and Capricorn Love Compatibility

Oh dear, are you going to like what I say? Aries, there are some people who can only be described as chalk and cheese, and this partnership is one of them!

Yes you’re both ambitious and in this respect it might seem as if you can work together harmoniously. Sharing the same goals will be fun for a while. But you are faster, more impatient and more likely to take a risk whereas Capricorn is a cautious soul. So when you want to get ahead, your Capricorn partner will hold you back.

He or she just won’t understand your impetuous ways. Likewise, you won’t be able to see how anyone can live his or her life following the same sort of routine day in and day out without ever getting bored. But, that’s a Capricorn for you. The more stable and ‘predictable’ their life, the happier they will be. But you on the other hand need something a little more exciting. It’s doubtful your Capricorn partner will ever give you this.

Aries and Capricorn Sexual Compatibility

And then there’s the physical side of your relationship. What physical side? you may well ask! For you probably feel your Capricorn doesn’t really deserve a medal when it comes to demonstrating their affections. But let’s stop being so negative, shall we. For although Capricorn is an Earth sign and you were born under a Fire sign, you do have SOME things in common.

The Capricorn Mountain Goat is clever and ambitious. You, too, have high ideals and when you both find yourselves aiming towards the same goals, you can do a lot to help each other along. There’s a lot you will respect about your Capricorn lover but don’t be surprised if you sometimes wonder whether your romance could do with a bit spicing-up.

Aries with Capricorn as Friends and Lovers

I think I have to disappoint you but you are unlikely to find your Capricorn partner is the dream-lover you always wanted to be with. Your personalities may clash too strongly and you will both grow irritated and annoyed by what you class as each other’s negative traits. Capricorn will think that you are too frank, impetuous and outspoken. While you think Capricorn is a bit too ambitious, practical and moody.

Capricorn is ruled by the cautious planet Saturn. This makes your partner careful, cautious and precise in most everything he or she happens to do. Capricorns just aren’t the type of people who feel comfortable about taking risks. How then, will your partner take to your tendency to act first and think about it later? How are you going to cope with methodical Capricorn when you can get quite impatient if things don’t go your way? On top of this, Capricorn could be shocked by your candid approach to the physical side of your relationship.

Aries/Capricorn Relationship Summary

Capricorns are good companions and they have an excellent sense of humour – as you’ve probably already noticed. – But they do like to take their time about doing things. Capricorns prefer routine and method and they hate to be rushed. You like to do things on the spur of the moment and you get bored very easily. Capricorn is looking for a stable, predictable romance because he or she needs to feel comfortable and secure. You may be in need of a little more excitement and stimulation.

Yes, an Arien needs a bit more love and affection but it might take a long while before your Capricorn really understands how wonderful loving can be.

© CaroleSomerville. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

Labels: Aries and Capricorn Love Compatibility

A Taste of Sustainable Summer in a Bottle

Some time after breast cancer and subsequent menopause, I found I could not drink alcoholic beverages any longer. A few sips of a wine, beer or a mixed drink and I went into a full body sweat, and a mind crushing headache. Unattractive and debilitating, I sought a tasty beverage to drink when normally a wine or beer or mixed drink would do. This search led me to HOTLIPS Soda. I want a drink that can thrill me like wine, delight my senses like a mixed drink concoction, and refresh me like a cold beer. HOTLIPS Soda is all that and more because they are admirably sustainable. Me, you and every one else can feel good on several levels from buying their soda. www.hotlipssoda.com

Jeana Edelman, Aesthetic Engineer and co-owner of HOTLIPS Pizzerias for 20 years was “disgusted with selling Coke or Pepsi and the whole family of gross corn syrup beverages”, at their restaurants. Her partner Dave decided on the idea to make soda from the bounty of local berries and other fruits. They bought some 1960 era bottling machinery and started the process of capturing the essence and flavor of fresh berries in a bottle. Finally 4 years after their first attempt, the bottling and berries worlds aligned and Hot Lips Real Fruit Soda was born. No corn syrup, artificial flavors or ingredients you can’t pronounce. It is like drinking fruit. The color, the smell, the love that goes into this product is a testament to the HOTLIPS Company.

The soda, since it is actual fruit, has pulp. This means it has fiber. How many other sodas have fiber? The availability like wines is based on the local crop of the berries. Hot Lips Soda, with Jeana and Dave, are entrepreneurs who know their way around sustainable business practices and we all benefit from their efforts.

Labels: A Taste of Sustainable Summer in a Bottle

A Taste of RoM in the New Eastside

As our neighborhood grows, New Eastside residents welcome an array of new businesses that add to the local climate. Since the early fall Caffe RoM (pronounced Rome) has joined the New Eastside family. Located next to the Shoreham, you can’t miss it if you just follow the fabulous smell of Italian coffee in the air.

I have passed by Caffe RoM many times, peering in the windows at the goodies, watching the patrons on their laptops (yes, it is also a “cyber cafe”), catching a glimpse of neighbors running in to grab a quick cup of java (our doorman Deone lives on RoM coffee while at work).

Today, I took a stroll over to see what all the excitement was about. As a coffee aficionado, I had to sample their brew for myself. You can hardly walk around the park without seeing a RoM coffee cup, tall ones at that, warming up walkers as they travel by foot to their various destinations, stroll with their dogs, or play with their kids in the park.

Needless to say, RoM exudes an authentic feel of Italy. From the wonderful selection of gelatos, real Italian espresso, deli meats and sandwiches, to the delicious Italian pastries, oh so sweet! (Who can resist?) And the ambiance? Delightful! It’s a great place to meet friends to chat, unwind after work or school, or just sit back, eat, and enjoy the magnificent view of the Lakeshore East Park.

Kourtney Vahle is the Chicago Director of Operations located at 71 S. Wacker, a few blocks over in the Hyatt Center. I was met by a smiling Vilma Smith, employed with the company for 5 years, and with this Caffe RoM at Lakeshore East since it’s recent opening.

First off, she likes the neighborhood, the residents, and her job. It makes things nice when you are surrounded by good food, tasty beverages, and friendly faces. She points out that if you are not into coffee, they offer smoothies and tea, with or without the caffeine.

Vilma says most of the patrons are from “the hood,” but workers in the area drop by, as well as tourists and people coming into the neighborhood to visit family, friends, and loved ones. The fact that residents can just pop out of their doors for tasty treats and that all essential morning companion — a hot cup of brew is a new dynamic here. Winter days just got toastier with Caffe RoM in the New Eastside.

Labels: A Taste of RoM in the New Eastside

A Quick Explanation on Fast Flyer Printing

Cannot print flyers fast enough? Well let me give you just the tips you need to make flyer printing really quick and fast. You just need to streamline your development and processes so that everything works perfectly and of course quickly.

Thus, just follow the following tips given below in order for you to know how you could have fast flyer printing services, especially if you really need it.

• Use an industry standard template – To help make your design process fast for color flyer creation, the best thing you can do is to use an industry standard template. Using specific templates accomplishes two good things for you that make the process faster. First, by using a template, you can design faster since a lot of the major options and guidelines are already set in the template.

Second, by using an industry standard template, your printing company will not have to adjust your draft or their equipment for printing. They only need to load up your design made from the template and let the printing begin. Therefore, it also quickens the pace of the printing process to a good degree. That is why it is good to use industry standard flyer templates.

• Keep things simple – Another way to help you design faster is to basically keep things simple. The fact is, flyers should not actually be complicated. They should be very straightforward and direct with their design and message. So do not over think the layout or message. Just say what you need to say in simple words and images. People will get it, and you will not have to spend a lot of time thinking about it. You will be cranking out those outputs faster this way.

• Have several people check your design – Now, when it comes to checking and proofreading, you can do it faster and better by having several people check your design. Not only will this make the checking faster since lots of people are in it, but it also helps spot errors more accurately since plenty of different objective eyes will be checking. One error that may be missed by one person has a good chance of being spotted by another. So, if you want your checking process to be fast, let others proofread your custom designs.

• Use online printers – For truly fast flyer printing, I recommend that you go online. There are online printing companies that can offer overnight printing services at reasonable costs. These online firms are of course open all day and all night with their website, so you can order your flyers up quickly at anytime. If you did your design phase right, the printing would come off without a hitch and give you outputs pretty fast within a day. Most online printers should deliver them to you right at your home or office.

These are the factors to print flyers quickly. By streamlining the design process and going for online printing, your printing output should arrive pretty fast, almost within a day. They will be in time for whatever use you want them for.

Kaye Z. Marks is an avid writer and follower of developments in the print flyers or flyer printing industry that help businesses in their marketing and advertising campaigns.

Labels: A Quick Explanation on Fast Flyer Printing

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