Who would have thought that a holiday that began as the commemoration of an ancient saint would become one of the biggest spending days of the year? According to the National Retail Federation, the average person will spend $130.97 on… Full Story,Aside from the temperamental weather, scarcity of holidays and pervasive universal cranky moods, one of the worst parts of winter is the feeling of being trapped indoors for months at a time. While bears are too busy hibernating to take… Full Story,I recently joked to friends that late last year most of the updates on my social networks involved mass food consumption (and accompanying pictures.) For the first week of the New Year, most of the updates involved or included exercise… Full Story,We are three days into the New Year and you may already be having a hard time following through with your resolutions. Financial resolutions are always popular choices but sticking to a budget and tackling your financial goals is an… Full Story,My inbox is full of questions about how to usher in the New Year while getting the most bang for your buck. As with most of my Q&A columns, the following are composites of several similar questions. At Home Celebration… Full Story,You’ve made your list and you’ve checked it twice. You’ve even added it to your Google calendar and synced with your extended family members. You are probably so efficient that every gift on your holiday list is not only accounted… Full Story,It’s December and you know what that means: The frenzy of the gift-giving season has begun again. I’m a fan of gifts of experience and “two-part” gifts. The gift of an experience can harbor memories that last a lifetime. For… Full Story,One of the more interesting facts to emerge from the Black Friday shopping weekend is that a majority of us splurged on ourselves instead of others. Since many of us still face daunting gift lists, I’ve enlisted the help of… Full Story,If you’re reading this, chances are good that as much as you love the turkey, trimmings and time with family, you’re already secretly plotting the best holiday shopping plan of attack. To save you time crowded against thousands of other… Full Story,If there is one wardrobe staple that gets a lot of play every winter, it’s your coat. It doesn’t matter how well cut your pants are or how striking your sweater is, and even if you live someplace only a… Full Story
Actions speak louder than words, of course, but we can’t diminish the weight that some words may carry. If you’re involved in a new relationship or are still on the dating scene, heed these five phrases your potential life partner should never utter.“Stop being so dramatic”If he makes a big deal about you making a “big deal” out of everything, kick him to the curb. Someone who values you should be a bit more receptive to your needs and concerns, and try to alleviate them in any way he can. Automatically dismissing what you say or not taking your opinions seriously is a red flag that is sure to cause turbulence in your relationship.“You always/never…”These are fighting words that are sure to spark the heat in any argument. It puts the blame entirely on you while they take no responsibility for any conflicts. Not only is it hurtful (and most likely untrue) but it doesn’t encourage you to evaluate your behavior or try to see things from their perspective. In fact, it will almost always put you on the defensive. Even if it’s an exaggeration, it shouldn’t be used. Period.“If you loved me, you would…”This phrase more or less indicates bribery, which could very well snowball into manipulation if it hasn’t already. No partner should ever make you feel guilty about anything, let alone use love as a weapon to do so. If they have concerns about the relationship, it’s important to simply communicate them (not pin them on you).“You’re just like/nothing like my ex”Although there are rare moments where we may compare our exes to our current partners, it should never be something we express with the other. That’s not to say that they should hide their feelings, but some things are better left unsaid. No good will ever come from voicing these comparisons – even if it’s a benign one. Either scenario may indicate that your partner may still have lingering thoughts about their former partners, showing that they haven’t fully gained closure or moved on from that relationship.“Shut up”We all say things we don’t mean sometimes in the heat of the moment, but this is just plain rude and condescending. Any partner who is quick to say these words is not someone you want to keep around. It’s a clear message that they don’t want to hear what you have to say, or that your thoughts don’t matter to them. A good partner should open you up not shut you out.