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The Ultimate Animal-Friendly Wedding

Americans and Canadians are reportedly gaga over pets. In fact, 65% of households in the USA have a pet. More than half of dogs and cats are allowed to sleep in their owners’ beds. The majority of pet owners tend to actively look for pet-friendly holiday destinations and hotels – for dog owners; most cat owners look for a professional cattery instead of taking their cats on a trip.

So it can seem surprising that, for a nation of people who try to spend as much time as possible with our beloved pets, the idea of creating an animal-friendly wedding has not reached a high level of popularity. In fact, many brides are told that they shouldn’t try to invite their pets to the wedding. In reality, an animal-friendly wedding party is just as achievable as leading an animal-friendly lifestyle. If you’re ready to make the right sacrifices, you can make a great deal of difference – and celebrate your big day with Fido!

Pet Friendly Wedding

Make your dog the hero of your wedding day

 

Pick your menu carefully

Can you really call yourself an animal lover if you put meat on the menu? The debate is open, and it’s fair to say that a lot of couples opt in this instance for a vegetarian menu. Indeed, you can find that meat-free recipes can make sure that your menu fully supports your values. A simple plate of avocado and pomegranate crostini can bring a fresh taste to your champagne toast. Veg-only pizza is also a fantastic addition to your buffet – who doesn’t love pizza? Similarly, you can also choose to bring meat recipes from a Halal source, with a caterer such as Stamford Catering, for instance. You can, if you’re unsure how to proceed, run an open survey with your guests to figure out which alternative is preferred.

 

Invite your best friend too

More and more venues are open to welcoming well-behaved animals – dogs especially, but you can find places that are happy to invite a variety of emotional support pets too. Therefore, if you’re considering inviting your dog to the wedding, you will be able to find the right site. However, you need to consider the personality of your pet. If your dog is not used to being around many people, the wedding ceremony might be stressful. Additionally, you need to think of the needs of your pets – and maybe the other pets that are allowed to join the party: Plan for dog-friendly treats to distribute after the ceremony.

 

Wedding present with a difference

Last, but not least, more and more couples have chosen to live together before they get married. As a result, you might already have everything you need, which makes it difficult to prepare your wedding list. But you can ask your guests to donate and support a charity for the protection of animals – Just Giving provides a handy tutorial on how to set up a fundraising page – instead of buying a present you may not need. You can also get in touch with your local shelter to figure out which items would be helpful if you don’t want to ask for money.

 

Finally, there’s only one question you need to ask yourself when it comes to animals: How far are you ready to go to make animals the heroes of your wedding day?

 

A Man’s Guide to Wedding Attire

Alrighty ladies, here we go! It’s finally time to toss your mans ill-fitting, hole ridden, cargo shorts in the g-a-r-b-a-g-e because it’s wedding time, baby! What does this mean?  Proper attire for the men at your wedding! Let’s be honest, sometimes men need a little push in the right direction, especially when your fiance is taking charge of the attire on his part. So if your fiance and his groomsmen need some fashion blueprints, then this article is perfect for them! Now if your man is like me, he’d fancy himself not too shabby of a dresser. However, when presented with a specific dress code, menswear can become somewhat of a foreign language, and today I’m going to impart upon you all the skills you need to not only learn this language but become fluent in the art of menswear. Well, sort of. Obviously we can’t jump into the nitty-gritty of it all because nobody wants to, nor has the time to read a five-hundred page article, so we’re gonna keep it simple and stick to some fundamental principles of attire. So grab your man and pull up a chair, because here is a man’s guide to wedding attire. 

The Dress Code

Arguably one of the most anxiety-inducing parts of any social function is the dress code. Why? Because how YOU interpret that incredibly simple-worded thesis for clothing can be the difference between a dynamite first impression and social suicide. The best weapon you have against gross misinterpretation is, well, knowledge! So, without further adieu, our men’s dress code breakdown!

White Tie

Even uttering the words “White Tie” should make you sit a little straighter and push those shoulders pack a tad, as this is the highest level of dress code you’ll ever encounter. “Oh yeah bro, I’ve got this sweet button down and some cool new, bright yellow pant-” STOP! Absolutely not! This tier of attire is the opposite of normal dressing. What does this mean? For starters you’ll need a tailcoat. Yes, you read that right, you’ll be expected to sport a crisp, black, well-fitted tailcoat. Beneath this outer layer you’ll need a white dress shirt ( with, of course, paired studs and cufflinks), a lovely white bowtie, clean white gloves, a white waistcoat OR cummerbund (I must say I’m rather partial to the cummerbund), freshly pressed black dress pants, and of course shined-and-scuffless black, leather dress shoes. When going to a white tie event, no expense may be spared, as this is the epitome of social class and formal fashion.

Black Tie

While less terrifyingly strict than white tie, black tie is just a step behind; think more along the lines of a James Bond-esque tuxedo. You’ll encounter this code in formal social events or perhaps a high-class evening of drinks and artificial laughter. What does black tie entail? Well,

first and foremost a tuxedo coat – in black, which should match your, again, freshly-pressed, tailored black dress pants. Underneath your coat will be a white dress shirt, also complete with accompanying studs and cufflinks. And to finish off the look, a black bowtie and some mirror-like black, leather shoes. See? Much less intimidating than the penguin-like costume from above. And look at yourself! Not even four paragraphs in and you’re already a certified expert in two of the most important genres of dress codes according to men!

Woo Hoo, we’re almost finished! Now it’s time for some themes that you and I are a little more familiar with!

Semi-Formal

Think of semi-formal wear like that regular customer at the hypothetical coffee shop you work at (unless, like me, you really DO work at a coffee shop, then this is a very real analogy) who you’re comfortable around, yet who’s name you just can’t quite get right. What does that strangely specific, hypothetical situation have to do with menswear? Well, like that loyal coffee shop patron, semi-formal dress is something you’re probably accustomed to, just not completely perfect at, and that’s perfectly fine! In fact, it’s what gives your formal style that little twang that makes you you! However as I’ve come here to educate you on proper style, I’m going to go ahead and break this bad boy down. First of all, let’s start with the coat. A well-fitting, neutral toned suit jacket is all we ask. Underneath that all you’ll need is nicely-pairing dress shirt and accompanying necktie (please tell me you at least know how to tie a tie…). All you’ll really need to complete this look are some nice dress shoes and pants to match the coat. That’s it! You’re now well prepared to handle any business meeting that makes its way into your future.

Business Casual

Now THIS is where a clean-cut man will really hit his stride! Talk about comfort and style, business casual is a man’s best friend (well, at least top ten?). To lead your top-tier business casual ensemble will be your favorite sport-coat, beneath which will be a spiffy dress shirt. Oh! And leave that top button unbuttoned because the dreaded throat-belt we know and love from semi-formal is no longer! At the waist will sit some trustee trousers, and on your feet you can spice it up with anything from horsebit loafers to some double-monks!

Casual

Congratulations, you’ve made it all the way to our final stop on this tour of your theoretically flawless wardrobe! *deep breath* Now let’s finish this sucker! All you’re gonna need to pull off this iconic fashion moment is an immaculately fitting polo, some fresh, deep blue jeans, and of course a pair of classy and clean shoes (boat shoes work fine, otherwise, again, you can’t go wrong with some Salvatore Ferragamo loafers!). If you’re feeling frisky, perhaps a slick timepiece and you are set! Now you’re ready to go meet your buds for some much needed adult-beverages and hearty conversation!

Clothing, while seemingly insignificant, plays an immense role in the light other’s see you, and in today’s world, image is crucial! So when you send that gold bedazzled invite to your friend hoping he’ll join you as you “tie the knot,” you and him will know exactly what to pack, and can focus on dumbfounding the crowds with your absolutely *sensational* dance moves, instead of some gnarly fashion faux pas. Not only that, but you will also woo away the love of your life with your fancy new fashion sense! 

Love, is Breaking Stability

Whether we know it or not, what we all desire and crave in life is stability. Think about it: We want love, food on the table, a job with benefits, a nice house and a family to share it all with. Its like an organized mental list that we all wish to check off one day. I know that I’ve mentioned this is another article, but it all refers to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. There are 5 basic levels to his theory: Physiological Needs (eat, sleep, air, shelter, etc),  Safety, Love, Self Esteem & Self Actualization (fulfillment). These needs are the basic tools in life that we all wish to check off of our mental check list. But after everything has been checked off, whats next?

One of my favorite wedding quotes is from the movie “Bride Wars”.  Said by Marion St Claire, “A wedding marks the first day of the rest of your life. You have been dead until now. Were you aware of that?” In a sense, she’s right. When you get married, your life opens up a new chapter and your story takes a turn for the better or worse. So which will it be? Getting married almost feels like your coming out of a dream, and for the first time in your life your seeing with open eyes. Why is this? It’s because you’ve more than likely reached the top of the pyramid in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

For a little while everything is going to be amazing. You’ll have everything you’ve every wanted, and life will be stable. But were all human, and sooner or later you’re going to want more in life. Is this selfish? No, it’s not. It’s actually normal to feel this way, especially if you’ve reached the top of the pyramid. Stereotypical, if you were older in age people would call this a midlife crisis. But to be honest, you don’t have to be middle aged to feel this way. People have this experience when nearing the end of high school, when staying at a job to long, when talking to friends or even when thinking in-depth about life. It can happen at any age, at anytime time. What matters is, where will you let this thought process lead you?

We all want stability in life. We want a stable job, stable cash flow, a stable routine and well, stability in general. But eventually, stability turns into boredom, leading to a yearning for more in life. Your life is like a priceless artifact, so precious in value that it’s price cannot be determined. But price varies within the history behind each object. You have the power to decide: Will your life be consistent with the same routine and safe outline, or will you guide the course with change and memorable value?

There’s a reason why you married the man that you did. Is it because he motivates you to be better? Because he encourages you to do more and embrace the person that he fell in love with? Right now, life is different. You have a husband at your side that will be there for you for better or worse. If you need a change in your life, you need to take a risk and get out of your everyday routine. Don’t look at life as stability, look at it as an adventure. Love is an amazing motivator. Take advantage of the opportunity and live life lovingly and with the best intentions at heart.

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

The possibility of doing more is easier than one may think. Helping a stranger and not thinking twice about it, taking a walk around town rather than driving through it. Saying hello to the person standing in line next to you or doing what makes you happy rather than fearing the outcomes that”could be”. It’s the little things that create bigger outcomes. The random acts of kindness that trigger the ripple effect.

My tip of advice to you is don’t let the little things in life set you back. Don’t let stability rule your happiness. Allow love to motivate you and drive you to bigger things and remember that it only takes a small risk to differentiate the value of your life from affordable to priceless.

Thanks for reading, and remember that love is just one step of the pyramid, and grows with the risks that you take in life.

 

 

Music is Key

Love, Plus A Musically High

Every Thursday night, there is an Open Mic at the coffee shop I frequently visit on Chestnut and Pine street. I never really used to come here. It was more where I wanted to come, but I was either too shy to come in or never found the time to. But then one day I decided to walked in here to get a coffee and took a seat. It had only taken 5 minutes for someone to walk up to me and say “Hey, I’ve never seen you around here before, do you sing?” His name is Rick, he is an older man. A grandfather and he is the sweetest man I have ever met. In fact, because of him I am now considered a regular here.

He always tried to get me to perform, and it was aggravating to him that I would always write music, but never want to perform it. But then one night I decided to just take a risk. I sang a song I wrote about love, and performed it A cappella. A cappella is when a vocalist sings a song without instrumental accompaniment.

When I finished performing, I sat down and he told me that it sounded amazing, and told me there was no better feeling than the feeling of love and a musically high. And honestly, I couldn’t agree more with him.

If you are a musician and are in love, then I’m sure you can agree that love alone is the greatest motivator for writing music. Show your loved one how much you appreciate them by incorporating your own music in the wedding.

Ceremony

“Here Comes the Bride” has always been a traditional trademark during the wedding ceremony. But don’t let tradition hold you back! Even if you don’t write a song for the beginning of the ceremony, it is just as heartwarming walking down the aisle to a song that takes you and your fiances breathe away.

Vows

During the exchanging of vows, you and your fiance claim your love for each other and announce the promises you wish to keep. Why not take this time to surprise your fiance with a beautiful song you wrote for them. Another thing you can do is if you are BOTH musicians, then write a song together and show your guests how much you both love and cherish each other.

Reception

The reception is all about celebration and the excitement of becoming husband and wife. Rock the night away with a song or two, because their is nothing better than the feeling of love and a musical high. Another thing you can do if you don’t want to perform, is hire a live band to perform the love songs you wrote. This is a great personal touch to add to your wedding since it shows off your personality, talent and love all in one.

Why is Music Key?

A lot of musicians would agree that music is the key that unlocks many hearts, but why is that? Music isn’t just a bunch of random sounds playing in unison, hoping to pass or fail as a tune. No, music is more than that. Real music can’t be faked. You figure that out real fast when your at an open mic. You see, it doesn’t matter if a person has a beautiful voice or not, because you can hear the passion and soul behind it. And when there is passion and soul behind a voice, it becomes beautiful, just like that. Music is a language that speaks truth. A language that moves you without a physical grasp. Music can start a war or move a movement. It can trigger sadness and create joy. It can motivate, inspire, and even make two people fall in love. All of these emotions, locked away with only 1 key to unlock them. And that is music.

Love is Patient

Approximately five days out of the week, I come to this little coffee shop on Chestnut and Pine street to write blog articles. Normally it’s moderately busy, the place filled with older women spending time with friends, college students studying and business men and women working online. This morning, however, the place was busy! It was so busy that you couldn’t even tell where the line was to order a drink. After getting my Pumpkin Patch latte, I set up my work space at a table in the front of the shop. Where light streams in through the glass windows and I can write while watching the cars pass.

Something started to bother me though. I started to notice that people were looking through the glass windows and noticing how busy it was this morning. Others would walk in, see the line and then walk back out not giving it a second thought. Not many people have patience anymore. You see a long line and tell yourself that you can go somewhere else. That it’s not worth it to wait in line. But in reality, why do you think the place is busy? It’s busy because it’s worth being busy. Because there’s good coffee here, good people, good music and a good atmosphere.

It’s psychologically proven that humans look at the negatives before seeking out the positives. Yes, you can go anywhere to get your coffee. But by the time you go somewhere else, you probably would have already had your coffee right now if you would have stayed and follow through.

The moral in this lesson is that love does not happen right away. Love is patient. You can’t just walk in, see that there’s a lot going on and decide to go somewhere else. You see, like a coffee shop, you need to get in line wait. There’s no skipping, no easy way because in life there will always be lines.

She can be the most amazing person in the world. She can be the one to hold you up when your feeling down. The one to help you get through the cracks in the road and make you smile when smiling seems like the hardest task you can ever accomplish. But ask yourself: How will you ever know that unless you get in line, keep on taking a few steps forward until finally it is your turn to order a happily ever after with the girl that could be the one?

And finally, sure, you can walk out because “their will always be another coffee shop.” But by the time you finally find another place to go to, the one that was worth while could have already of been yours.

Ladies, this doesn’t only apply to men. We all have grown victim to negativity, hopelessness and thoughts of giving up. But the greatest things in life never come easily. It will always be an uphill battle, and there will always be tears to shed. But in the end, hurt is only temporary. And when you see it through with the one that makes you happy, then that is permanent.

In order to love, one must be patient. And when one is patient, then there will be love.

Now, look at the man/women you married. Aren’t you happy that you were patient?

Cold Weather Approaches!

Do you absolutely love the outdoors? Well then I can relate. I’ve always admired the fresh air, the sweet fall aromas, the soft breeze and the gorgeous scenery’s. However, with the dropping temperatures coming into play, I’m sure that your guests will not be sharing the same vision as you do on your wedding day. So how are you going to be able to get your dream outdoor wedding while also keeping your guests happy? By being considerate and finding the perfect balance between the two!

 

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Ceremony

Consider only having an outdoor ceremony. The temperature drops as the sun starts to set. So consider having your ceremony during the beautiful sunset, and then move the party inside for the reception. The sunset will illuminate you and your husband perfectly, creating the perfect lighting for your wedding photos for you and your husband to look back on. To help ease your guests worries, offer blankets and warm refreshments as the guests walk into the ceremony area. This will make them feel warm and toasty during the ceremony, easing negative thoughts and replacing them with passionate and loving feelings towards the love you and your fiance share. Your guests are there to celebrate the love between you and your fiance, and would rather give their full attention to you rather than their cold hands.

Say No To Cold Hands

Why not offer your wedding favors early? An easy and creative way to make your wedding favors perfectly handy would be to offer gloves and hand warmers as people walk into the ceremony space. Gloves and hand warmers are fairly cheap, and getting gloves matching your wedding colors would fall perfectly with the theme you are going for.

Set a Reminder

Remind your guests in the wedding invitations, social media and in any other way of communication that you have chosen to have an outdoor ceremony. This gives them a heads up for whats happening during the wedding and gives them plenty of time to decide what to bring with them and time to check the weather for the night.

Warm & Toasty Beverages

Offer warm and toasty beverages before and after the ceremony. Some simple and classic beverages that would be perfect for this season is warm apple cider, coffee, hot cocoa, tea and eggnog.

Something fun that I have commonly heard of is having your table placement cards be small liquor bottles in perfect shot quantities. One couple I know of did this for their wedding as a joke to say “Thanks for freezing your butt off, you deserve a shot, it’s on us!”A lot of guests found this to be amusing, and almost immediately forgot that they were just outside in cold temperatures watching a forty minute ceremony.

Though you love the outdoors and can bear the temperatures for your perfect day, your guests may not be able too. So take their thoughts into consideration so their can be a balance between the two.

Dog Friendly Wedding Ideas

Are you an animal lover and can’t imagine celebrating your magically day without your furry friend at your side? Who ever said that your best man and/or maid of honor had to be human? Our dogs aren’t just pets, but family. They comfort us in times of need, are protectors, loving, and always have our back. So I understand why you wouldn’t want to celebrate your wedding day without your best friend.

Now a days, weddings can be however you choose for them to be. Sure, having dogs at your wedding is considered non traditional; however, styles are constantly changing and overall, this is you and your fiances wedding.  If the both of you love your dog with all your heart and can’t bear to have your wedding without him, then by all means let your dog be at the wedding! There are lot’s of couples that decide to do this risky move, but there has never been a time where I have heard it going south. Sometimes older guests have a harder time of accepting the idea, but once they see your dog in a cute bow tie and ready for the days celebration, your dogs cuteness clouds previous judgment from others.

One Dog or Two?

Something to think about when considering having your dog in the wedding is whether or not you want your guests to bring their dogs as well. It’s always cute to have your dog be present during the ceremony, however, what’s next? I used to have a pup named Prince. He was very loyal, a good listen and craved attention. I loved him to death, but I have to admit that it was bothersome when I had to get things done and he was always in the way. Not only that, but he loved to wander off. Normally I didn’t mind because he would always come when I called his name. But whenever we were in a crowd, it worried me because he wasn’t used to being around many people. Consider your dogs personality when deciding what to do with him and the wedding. Would you only want him during the ceremony and pictures, or would you like him to be with you all night? Another thing to consider is would your dog be okay the whole night, or would he need friends to play with?

Allowing Dogs at The Wedding

Having your guests bring their dogs to the wedding can be a fun little experience. Not only would you be marrying the love of your life and having a blast, but your dog would also have fun making new friends. Before making this decision, think about where your wedding is going to be held. If you’re planning on having an elegant wedding in an indoor location, then maybe pets aren’t the best choice. But if you decide to have a lay back, outdoor wedding with lots of space, then it may be a better idea.

Fun Ideas For Cocktail Hour!

After the ceremony, normally guests move on to cocktail hour where they start to get drinks and finger foods before the dinner. Something cute you can do is offer dog friendly treats during this time. One idea would be to have personalized dog treats with you and your husbands name on them.

Wedding Favor Ideas

One of the easiest and most usable ideas for a dog wedding is a Frisbee! You can easily have you and your husbands name and wedding date printed onto the frisbee and it would perfectly represent the theme you were going for.

Need Help Deciding?

A family friend of mine actually had a dog accepted wedding not to long ago. It was located at a park with an enclosed dog park nearby. Many guests brought their dogs to the wedding, and it was cute because she asked for guests to bring their dogs in their “best clothes.” People brought their dogs in bow ties, studded collars, ribbons and even hats! Once arriving at the wedding, guests dropped their dogs off at the dog park area, where they were greeted by a hired dog sitter for the day. At the end of the wedding when guests went back to retrieve their dogs, there was a basket full of wedding favors for the dogs! She had toys and bows in the colors of her wedding, personalized dog treat bags and frisbees with her and her husbands name and wedding date printed onto them.

There are many ways as to how to approach handling dogs at your wedding, but this was an example of how our family friend successfully pulled off a dog friendly wedding! So what did you decide? Is your wedding going to be something to bark about?

What to Do With Your Wedding Bouquet?

Toss it or Savor it?

 

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Whether the flowers you choose to use are real or fake, your wedding bouquet will definitely be exquisite. Carrying a bridal bouquet down the aisle has many different symbolic meanings to it’s background. In ancient Greece, it was believed that carrying a bridal bouquet symbolized new beginnings, fidelity and hope of fertility. However in the Middle Ages, bridal bouquets consisted of strong smelling herbs, in which was intended to ward off evil spirits, bad health and bad luck.

Carrying a bouquet didn’t become popular until the Victorian era, when Queen Victoria herself carried a beautiful bridal bouquet down the aisle with her to marry Prince Albert. During this time, each flower started to develop it’s own meaning, and the exchange of flowers symbolized different things depending upon the flowers chosen. But over all, the carrying of a bridal bouquet became the symbol for love and passion, and this tradition has carried on over the years into present time.

This exquisite arrangement is like an accent to your beauty, so why toss it out when you can savor the precious moments that illuminate from your bouquet?

Ideas For Fake Flowers

If you’ve decided to use fake flowers at your wedding, then here are a few ideas for you to use. For one, you can take the flowers apart and use them for a creative project. You can consider turning them into a string of flowers for a child’s room, making a DIY floral headband, or even gluing them to the boarder of a frame holding one of your wedding photos. The projects you can come up with are limitless! A couple of other small projects you can do with fake flowers is tape them to pens, make a floral garland and chandelier! Another thing is the floral centerpieces made for the wedding can be reused as a centerpiece in your own home! This beautiful arrangement can be centered on the kitchen counter, kitchen table, atop a shelf or even in the bathroom as decor.

Fake flowers can last a lifetime, so why not save them for when your daughter also begins her journey of wedding planning. If she decides to use your bouquet, then it will count as her “something old and something borrowed”.

Ideas For Real Flowers

 

There are a few creative ways that people preserve their wedding bouquets. One way that is most common for people to do is tightly sealing the flowers either in the original bouquet or in random order within a photo frame. Another thing people do is place the flowers in plastic or glass ornaments, glass mason jars or in glass figures so they can be incorporated into the homes decor.

There are so many tricks to preserving your wedding flowers and bouquet. Whether your flowers were real or fake, the love behind them share a story worth telling. So good luck finding creative ways on how to savor your bouquet, and hopefully you have fun during the process!

Say “I Do” to a Furry Friend!

Look at how far you have come! Working hard, planning a wedding, making all of these important decisions in which finally resulted in marrying the man of your dreams! How does it feel being called someones wife? This is an important mile stone in life. You’ve finally found a man to share your life with, and in reality your life has only just begun! There are so many adventures that await for you and your husband, but let me ask: Do you still feel like something is  missing?

Sometimes I like to refer to psychology. Today we’re going to talk about Abraham Maslow’s  theory of the “Hierarchy of Needs”.  Abraham Maslow was an American Psychologist whom in 1943 wrote a paper called : Theory of Human Motivation. To clarify, it’s a pyramid with 5 levels, the steps to reaching full satisfaction. It starts with basic needs, to safety, love, accomplishment, and then finally, self actualization. Self Actualization is basically when you realize what an amazing person you are. When you realize that you are a success and want to do more for the world and in your life. During this step, couples make life changing decisions like having kids, taking business risks, and adding new additions to their life. Some additions are major, others small, but either way an addition is an addition. Not many people are able to reach the top of Maslow’s pyramid. If you have any spare time, I highly suggest looking into his theory more. But anyways, lets get back to why this theory relates to the feeling that something is missing. What else is there to accomplish not that you have met all of your needs? Maybe it’s time to add a new addition? And what better addition to add to a growing family than a pet?

Steps of the Pyramid

Like Maslow’s pyramid for the Hierarchy of Needs, there is also a pyramid for when deciding on the right pet for your household. There are many things to consider when getting a pet, but for right now we’re going to focus on your home and backyard size, animal type, size capability, grooming, care, net income, work schedule and noise.

Animal Type

The first thing you and your husband should do is make a list of animals you wouldn’t mind having as a pet. Once you have your list down, then continue with the article to start the process of elimination.

Home & Backyard

Analyze your home and backyard size. Also, consider your homes location. If you live in an apartment with no backyard space, then maybe the perfect pet for you is something aquatic, a cat, bird, or maybe even a reptile. Your home and backyard space determines the type of animal you get, so make sure to talk with your husband and see which animals fit your living situation.

Size Capability

How much room do you have for your pet? Can you afford to have an animal wander around the home, or would you rather have it condensed to one area? Another thing to keep in mind is what kind of animal person are you? The best way to give an example is by relating size to dogs. Dogs come in many different sizes. Some people love big dogs and embrace them with open arms. Other people would refer smaller dogs because they feel less overwhelmed by the size.

Grooming & Care

Do you have time every week to groom and care for your pet? Are you willing to consistently clean a liter box, cage, and/or brush and bathe your pet? Also, shedding! Personally, I don’t mind a little shedding. But my mother absolutely can’t stand it! Make sure to do your research because even if you get a dog or a cat, not all breeds shed like crazy.

Net Income

Some animals come with a lot of care. For example: For a rabbit, you need a cage, bedding, water bottle, pellets, hay, toys, brush, clippers, etc. It’s a lot, even for a little pet such as a rabbit. Take your income into consider, and think about how much you are willing to spend on your pet monthly.

Work Schedule

Are you constantly working and never home? Then maybe get a pet that can be left alone for hours at a time. Take a look at your work schedule and approximate how often someone will be home to look after your pet.

Noise

Last but not least, noise! Lots of people overlook this step because they don’t even consider it until it’s too late. Can you handle a little noise? Every pet comes with its own package. Whether it’s a hamsters squeaking wheel at night, a fish tanks motor, a noisy dogs barking or a squawking bird, think about your noise capacity and how much you are able to handle.

Now that it’s all said and done, have you determined what pet is the right addition for your growing family?

Words of Advice for Military Brides

Home Sweet Home

Photo by Michelle E

Photo by Michelle E

Being a military bride is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Constantly worrying, wondering, and hoping for a safe return. I am currently going through the same experience that some of you may be going through as well. A Marine veteran told me that pain is weakness leaving the body. That every day will get better, love will get stronger and to remember that even though things get tough, you are each others strength. Not only that, but you are each others home. His home sweet home.

Previously, I had written an article about “How to Prepare When Your Fiance is Serving.” One of the best things to do when someone you love is away is to keep busy. It keeps your mind off things and helps the time fly by. If you’re looking for ideas on how to stay busy, then click here and check out one of our other helpful articles! Otherwise, this article is going to be about helping you mentally on this wild adventure.

Getting Through the Dark Times

There are going to be moments when he can’t talk to you for a long period of time. And believe me, it sucks. You might even have thoughts about your relationship and reconsider if maybe the military life isn’t right for you. I never thought that one day I would be head over heels for a Marine. I thought that after high school I would move out him, struggle through life and figure out how to adult together. We used to stay up all night and talk about our dreams. About finances, college and how we would study together in this coffee shop I always visit in my hometown. But things change, plans shift, and life keeps on moving whether you like it or not. It’s scary at times, realizing that while I’m figuring out life, he’s sacrificing his own to mold my future. During this journey, I have seen many couples break up because they have this mind set that they were abandoned. That they can’t handle being alone and don’t like the lack of communication. I’ll be honestly, at one point I had the same mindset. However, one thing that turned everything around was by taking a step into the past.

From Past to Present

Look back at all of your old photos, love letters, movie tickets and memories. Remember that the man who created all of those memories, loves you with all his heart. He didn’t leave to abandon you, or to make you feel alone. But to protect you and open up more opportunities to your future together. Before he left, him and I stood outside by my car and said our goodbyes. The sun was beaming and I could see the sadness in his eyes. During the time leading up, he never wanted to talk about the Marines. He wanted me to stay strong and know that he loves me. At first I was upset that he never wanted to talk. But then I realized that he was scared to. In that moment, the act went away. It was his passion to serve. But to live a dream means giving up something you love, but only for a little while. You see, you are his motivation, and what gets him through each and every day. Remember that him leaving wasn’t easy. It was probably the hardest thing he had ever had to do.

What to Think

The key to getting through this wild journey is keeping a positive mindset and attitude. For one, your fiance is a real life super hero. Sure, there are many fish in the sea, but doesn’t it feel good saying that your engaged to a man serving in the military? Another thing to think about is family. Every parent wants their child to date someone that can protect them, and you can’t get any higher up in the chain than an active military fiance.

Also, look at yourself. For you to be going through this is a huge step in life. Not only does is make your love stronger, but it makes you stronger as a women. You should be proud of your fiance, but also proud of yourself for staying so strong.

Family & Friends

There are going to be times when you feel lonely and depressed, so make sure to stay busy and surround yourself with family and friends. During the first week he left, I felt completely alone. I stayed at home, stayed up late and slept in when normally I am a early riser. But then I started to think about him, and realized that I wasn’t being strong. If I couldn’t be strong, then how could I make him proud? So I turned everything around. I started dressing up and going to the coffee house in town to work online every morning, made plans with his family and hung out with his niece and nephews. I started to clean every day and helped my mother out while she worked 3rd shift. I also started writing him lots of letters, taking pictures to send him and looking forward to the day he returns home.

Key to Success

The key to handling him being gone is you. You are the one that determines where the relationship goes and how it will end up. If you truly do love him and want this fairy tale to have a happy ending, then stay positive and know that this isn’t the end of the world. You’re going to get through this and no matter what, no matter how long it takes, his love for you isn’t going anywhere. As long as you keep showing him that there is a love to fight for, and a love to return home to.

“A Marine veteran told me that pain is weakness leaving the body. That every day will get better, love will get stronger and to remember that even though things get tough, you are each others strength. Not only that, but you are each others home. His home sweet home. ” Thank you for reading, and I am proud of you for being strong!

 

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