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Never Let Your Guard Down

 

Never Let Your Guard Down

If I had a nickle for the number of times my mom told me to never let my guard down- well, I’d have a lot of money. She said that about any and all sins. She told me that the moment you feel like you are exempt from sin, you are the prime candidate for messing up big time.

Never Say Never

Outside of marriage and inside of marriage, I can’t let my guard down when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex. I can’t say-

I’ll never cheat on my spouse.

I’ll never lust after another person.

I’ll never have a porn problem.

Those things could happen if I’m not actively working against those situations that would cause me to give in to temptations.

Always Be On The Lookout

Always be on the lookout for situations that could lead to something. This might mean avoiding certain relationships, environments, or activities. It is a good idea to really think through how a situation could go the wrong way.

Don’t Compromise on Your Standards

Another thing my mom would tell me is that you don’t just wake up fat one day. (obviously in relation to gaining weight, but the principle applies). She said that the changes happen gradually.

Likely, you won’t get up tomorrow and say, “I think I’ll break my vows today”. What will happen is you will compromise on something in your life. Once you start crossing lines, it makes it easier and easier to keep going.

Let Your Spouse Help Hold You Accountable

be accountable

I hear all of the time that your spouse shouldn’t be your accountability partner- hogwash is all I  have to say. Your spouse knows you better than just about anyone. They can see when you are getting in bad territory.

If your partner cautions you against a situation, you should avoid it if you can. At the very least, you need to raise your guard about the issue. Maybe you don’t see what they are seeing, but you should at least be on the lookout for trouble ahead.

Related article: Why you need to establish boundaries in marriage

 

Essential Oils That Boost Libido

Essential Oils to Boost Libido

If you didn’t know, I have am a freelance writer for many great clients. I write for a Holistic Practitioner that is currently based in Australia. By writing for her, I’ve learned so much about holistic health and how to use natural methods to handle health concerns.

While I wouldn’t consider myself a crunchy momma, I try to reach for natural methods as often as I can.

The lovely lady I write for shared a lot of great information with me about herbs and essential oils. I had no idea that there were essential oils that could be used to boost libido.

Essential Oils That Boost Libido

There are several essential oils that you can use to help increase your libido. These oils include:

Simply diffusing these aromas can help you. Women tend to respond better to aromatherapy than men do. If you are trying to boost libido for a man using aromatherapy, it is always best to stick with more musty scents, like the ginger.

Applying Essential Oils To The Skin

It is important that you never place undiluted oils on your body. All oils should be mixed 50/50 with a carrier oil such as as olive, sunflower, or sweet almond to name a few. Another way that you can dilute the oils is to put a few drops in your bathwater.

Ginger oil works best when it comes to bringing blood flow to your body. You can place a little on the back of your ears, feet and hands.

You can rub the oils on erogenous zones, but if you may feel irritation doing this.

Warnings About Essential Oils

Please note that when it comes to the use of essential oils on your body and digesting them, there are pre-cautions. Erin at The Humbled Homemaker talks about how she was rubbing undiluted oils on her leg and developed a chemical burn. Her practitioner warned her to never use the oils undiluted.

While oils are natural, they can still have adverse reactions if not used properly.

If you would like to learn more about essential oils and herbs, you might want to check out this bundle of eBooks. You can purchase the bundle for $30 through the end of Monday night.

Boost Libido With Essential Oils

5 Things I Actually Spend Money On

*I use affiliate links

5 Things I Actually Spend Money On

By nature, I’m a pretty frugal person. It’s been said that I’m so tight that I squeak when I walk. (It’s ok to laugh.)

Those frugal tendencies have certainly helped us through some very tough financial times. However, even in those tight times as well as now, there are things that I will actually spend money on. Some of these may surprise you for a person that is no-nonsense when it comes to spending.

1. Good Coffee

Alright…I might be a coffee snob, I’ll admit it. I want my coffee to taste a certain way straight up. I can’t stand coffee that has been sitting in the pot for hours on warm either. Bleh.

Surprisingly enough, I’m not a huge fan of the Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts coffee, but I do really like Barissimo and Millstone.

I’ve learned to drink my coffee black for the most part as long as it is the right coffee. If not, I just use half and half these days. However, Austin really likes flavored creamer, so I make sure that is in the house a few times a month.

2. Ice Cream

ice-cream-246161_1920

Ice cream isn’t my favorite thing, but Austin really loves it. Even in our hardest times, I’ve done what I can to make sure it is generally in the house. Depending on the budget will determine how special the ice cream is. Sometimes, we just end up with those big containers.

3. Store Bought Pizza

I need pizza about two times a month. I’ve tried to make my own pizza and it has been ok. However, I just have to eat store bought pizza sometimes. Normally, I just save enough money in the grocery budget so we can get it a few times.

4. Materials For Home Repairs

There is no end to the number of shotty repair materials on the market. We have made so many purchases to fix an issue in our home and then the repair hasn’t lasted. We’ve learned that it is best to spend more on well made parts, hardware, and fixtures.

5. Kid’s Shoes

Kids shoes

For a number of years, the shoes my boys wore were given to them. That was ok until their feet grew to a size that no one can pass down shoes. There comes a point when kids are going to wear out shoes before they outgrow them.

Over the last two years, the number of shoes I’ve had to buy my kids is insane. I feel like they tear them up every 3 months. The last few times I have bought them shoes, I decided to find high quality brands on sale.

A lot of the things we have are items that have been given to us or we get at the thrift store. I like used things and getting deals. However, some things, I will just put out for if need be.

Do You “Really” Want it or ACTUALLY Want it?

I hear people tell me they “really” want it all of the time. What’s it? That thing that they think they really want.

I really want to get a handle on my budget.
I really want a cleaner house.
I really want to be a better parent.
I really want things to change in my marriage…

It’s an endless sea of “really” wants…but not ACTUALLY wants.

What I find is that when it is time for a person to put in the amount of effort that it takes to achieve what they really want- they pull back instead of moving forward.

A lot of times, what we “really” want is for the problem to be solved with minimal effort.

Here’s the truth- anything that is worth it, takes relentless effort and an obscene amount of time.

Anything that is worth it requires relentless effort and an obscene amount of time quote

When you ACTUALLY want something, you will slog it out through the hard stuff. You will work hard day after day, week after week, year after year. You’ll fall down…get back up…only to fall down again…but you won’t care, because you ACTUALLY want it.

I know that internet is covered with titles like:

  • 3 simple ways to____
  • Tricks to make _____ easier
  • Quick ways to _____
  • The secrets to _____

Headlines like that receive a lot of views, but lead you to believe that there is an easy button in life. All of those tips, tricks, and secrets still require work…work that has to be done by you.

If you want your house to be cleaned up…you have to clean it.
If you want to have a home cooked dinner…you have to cook it.
If you want to start a business…you have to do a million things.
If you want you marriage to change…you have to change.

At the end of the day, you must be willing to put in the work needed to have the changes that you want. You might find that what you really want isn’t what you ACTUALLY want after all.

Guys, I’ll always give you the straight up truth here at Love Hope Adventure. I will not sugar coat things or make things seem easy when they aren’t.

When it comes to relationships, it is complicated.

Relationship status its complicated

There isn’t a cut and dry formula you can follow to fix your problems. It is going to require more time, energy, patience and effort than what you think you can stand.

There are going to be days when you want to give up and walk away from your marriage. Then there will be days when you realize how much you care for your spouse and things will be great between you.

My question to you is this, do you ACTUALLY want it? Or do you “really” want it?

How I Started My Freelance Writing Business On Fiverr

How I Started My Freelance Writing Business on Fiverr

Many of my Periscope viewers have asked me to share with them how I started my freelance writing business. I thought I’d share how I was able to get started.

In November of 2013, I took a step that changed the direction of my life- I opened a writing gig on Fiverr.com. After reading a post here about how to earn extra cash before Christmas, I decided to try it out.

The biggest question I receive is, “How do you find clients?”. For me, the answer is Fiverr. I’ve only had 4 clients come to me outside of this platform, so I would say I’ve been very successful here.

Fill Out The Profile Information

fiverr profile page

Fill out your profile as best as you can. It will ask you to upload your portfolio, but if you don’t have anything to showcase, that is ok. I still don’t have examples of my work on my gigs. Also, use a real picture of yourself and upload a video if you can.

Determine What You Will Offer

Fiverr packages

Theoretically, you can offer just about any service you like on this platform. I’ve even seen people sell small crafts, but that doesn’t meant those gigs were purchased.

Check the number of reviews a gig has to determine if it has been popular.  Also, look at what is being featured by the Fiverr team.

This is the perfect marketplace for small business owners to get what they need done. That includes website helps, social media marketing, graphic design, writing, and so on.

Create a Gig With Targeted Services

Fiverr gigs

Put together a different gig for every service you offer. I have a few gigs; one targeting blog posts and one targeting website content. Go with specific words that a buyer may put in the search box.

Offer Something Worth Having for $5

Make your basic gig something worthwhile to the buyer. My basic gig gives the buyer 300 words for $5. That gives them a decent article that they can actually use. Once people know what kind of work you provide, they will be willing to spend more.

You can put together different levels of packages so you can showcase more of your services to potential buyers. Look at what other sellers are offering in their packages to get a good idea of what you can do.

Switch Up What You Offer

If you put together a gig that doesn’t work for you, then switch up what you are offering. Don’t be afraid to change your services, how long you will take to deliver, and what keywords you use. Eventually you will find a sweet spot of what gets you noticed.

Deliver High Quality Work

The biggest complaint I hear about this platform is the small amount you make for what you provide. Agreed. Making $4 after Fiverr takes cut is small, but you can use it to your advantage.  

Many people are skeptical of the services they can purchase on this platform. It seems to good to be true. In fact, many buyers on this platform have received poorly done work and are looking for a better outcome when they buy your gig.

This is where you need to wow them. Put in real time and effort into what you produce. Having a satisfied buyer should be the top of your priority list, because that leads to a long term buyer.

Refer Potential Buyers to Your Website

One of the best decisions I made was to create a website for my services. This website doesn’t get much traffic, but it is a way for me to share samples with buyers. It shows that I’m legitimate.

This is a way someone has access to your contact information without violating your agreements with Fiverr. As a seller, you are not supposed to initiate contact outside of the platform.

Suggest More Services to Long Term Buyers

Take the time to ask your buyer about their project. Find out what they plan to do with your work and really listen to their needs. Once you have a good understanding of what they do, you can offer more services to them.

Come up with specific tasks you can complete for them and ask if they would like to add that on to their order. For example, I will offer to upload the content I write to a buyer’s website for them. I can also offer to find a royalty free image for their post.

Check in After Submitting Completed Orders

If you don’t hear back from your buyer after you’ve submitted your completed order, then check in with them. Ask if they liked what you produced or if there is anything else you can do for them. This is a great way to get a repeat customer.

Keep Gigs in Good Standing

Keep your gigs in good standing by answering correspondence within 24 hours and delivering your work on time.  If you don’t do those two things, it will hurt your ratings.

There is a vacation mode that you can set your account on. If you plan to use this mode, don’t use it for more than a week- two at the most. You are better off changing the turn around time on your gigs than using this feature. Fiverr wants active sellers and will give preference to them.

I’ve been very successful in my freelance writing business on this platform. This has been the best decision I made for myself, my marriage, and my family.

The key to success on this platform is to provide high quality work, regardless of pay. People will come back to you if you do a good job.

Be Bold When Initiating

Be Bold When You Initiate

Earlier this morning, I was reading an article about initiation only counts if your spouse recognizes that you did. Jay Dee made some really great points in here. He’s not the only one that has received emails from readers that talk about how they initiate, but their spouse doesn’t respond.

I am with Jay on this one, I think that one person feels they have initiated, but their spouse doesn’t see it that way. Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of miscommunication between the two and may wind up in hurt feelings.

Why You Need to Initiate

Actually, I talked a lot about this concept on the Delight Your Marriage Podcast with Belah Rose. I shared on that podcast that initiating is very important in your sex life. Also, I gave many tips on how to initiate more. 

For one thing, how horrible would it be for you if your spouse never initiated a conversation with you? You would feel that they are not interested in you, right? If the only time they ever talked to you was when you started a conversation, you would feel they didn’t really want to be with you.

If only one person is initiating physical intimacy, it will give them the impression that their spouse is really not interested in them. By not initiating with your spouse, you can give them the idea that you do not love having sex with them, even if you do enjoy it.

Subtlety Leads To Missed Opportunities

I talked about this on Periscope a while back. You can see the replay here on YouTube.

In this scope, I shared about how I had someone leave a comment on the blog about how they were trying to initiate with their spouse and they were rejected. Later on, they had a conversation where they realized they had both been trying to initiate, but sex didn’t happen, because of their subtly.

Like Jay said in his article today, you need to be bold with your initiating. Come right out and say it! Don’t beat around the bush, rather, voice your desires.

Be Bold With Your Initiating

Whisper the words I love to hear

When I decided I would start initiating more, I tried the subtle route. I’ll be honest, I’m not a subtle person, so all of my advances went right over Austin’s head. I’d put on sexy clothes, light candles, spray sex fragrances, or stand between him and the television to get his attention. 

The big problem was, my idea of initiating was simply making myself available to him.

Since I had a history of saying, “can we do this tomorrow instead?”, he didn’t see my actions as advances on him. He might have thought I was interested, but tempered that, because he didn’t want to ask me for sex and get hurt again.

I had to get really bold with my initiating. It took time for me to be comfortable with that, but eventually, it became much easier for me. The more you do hard things, the easier they become.

Need some tips initiating sex? Check out this post I wrote with some ideas:

Be a Better Lover- Initiate More

Intiate sex more

Sausage Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

*I use affiliate links

Sausage and Meatball recipe

I have never been a big fan of ground sausage, but I was given several pounds of it by a friend. Since I don’t like to waste, I’ve been experimenting with different dishes to use the sausage in. One night, I decided to replace ground beef with ground sausage in my meatball recipe, and I’m so glad I did.

Sausage Meatball Recipe

Meatball recipe

For a few years, I have been putting cream cheese in my meatballs as well as meatloaf, because it keeps it really moist. We’ve all loved the flavor of the cream cheese.

Ingredients:

8 oz block or container of cream cheese

2 pounds sausage

1 cup ground flaxseed

4 eggs

Mix up all of these ingredients into a bowl and then pinch off meat and shape into balls. Place the balls on a double broiler or in a pan that has sides. A flat pan will cause grease to drip into your oven and start a fire.

Bake the meatballs at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

How to Make Meatballs

Marinara Sauce Recipe

Pizza Sauce

 

I use this marinara sauce recipe on homemade pizzas and for meatballs. This is a different recipe than what I use for spaghetti. I like it, because it is a little bit sweet and compliments the flavors of meatballs or pepperoni.

Ingredients:

3 16 0z cans of tomato sauce

½ can of water

4 tablespoons garlic powder (I use this brand)

5 tablespoons basil

2 tablespoons oregano

1 teaspoon sugar

Put all of these ingredients in a pot and bring to a slow boil. Then reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer while the meatballs are cooking.

Once the meatballs are done, put in the sauce for about 10 minutes before serving. You can cook them for longer if you would like to, but 10 minutes is all that is needed.

We have all really loved this recipe and my kids keep asking for it. You can always use ground beef or turkey if you don’t have sausage. I just thought I would write about how we have used up the sausage we’ve been blessed with. This ideas is a keeper!

Anniversary Date Ideas

 Anniversary Date Ideas
As you know, Austin and I recently celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. We had a great time together tromping around Raleigh, NC. 
It can be hard to think of a great anniversary date idea, so I invited Taylor Poppmeier on to share with us a really fun way to pick out your next date. These ideas could be used for your anniversary or for your next date night.

Anniversary Date Idea

Taylor writes-

I don’t know about you, but I love finding any reason to celebrate. Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, name days, National Donut Day, you name it. I got the cake, brought the present and ate the donuts. With wedding season in full swing, anniversaries are on my mind. 
 
After so many anniversary dates, I know it can be a struggle to find something fun and tailored to you and your loved one. To save you some stress, I wanted to share this fun anniversary date ideas visual. Just answer some fun questions and voila! You have a unique date you are sure to enjoy. If you want more than one idea, check out the full post by ProFlowers to see a list of 52 ideas broken up by categories like cultural, adventurous and budget-friendly.
Check out the flow chart through the link below.
 What to do for your anniversary date
I hope you enjoy your anniversary!
Taylor enjoys writing on a variety of topics including travel, flowers and anything romantic. When she’s not writing, she can be found trying the latest workout trend or exploring new restaurants.