Category: Featured Articles

White Venus Giveaway Winners

wild-at-heart captivating

Thank you all for supporting our first giveaway! We’re happy to have the support of so many awesome people.

But what you really want to know is who the winners are. So here you are!

Our grand prize winner is… Lindsey Bensing!

And our two runner ups are Taline Bedelian and Amanda Hackett!

Congrats to our winners! We will be contacting you shortly to get you your prizes!

Thanks to everyone else who entered. We look forward to spending the next year with you all!

Things You Give Up After “I Do”

rings2The transition from single to married is not an easy one.  There are adjustments to make – including giving a few things up.

#1– Spending Time Alone With the Opposite Sex
It’s not about your level of self-control or whether or not you find the person attractive. Spending time alone with anyone of the opposite sex is dangerous. Any step towards adultery has to be recognized and avoided, such as dinner alone with a coworker, inviting someone over when your spouse isn’t home, or even carpooling alone together. It’s not about whether or not you’re actually having an affair, it’s about preventing an affair from ever occurring.

#2– Putting Yourself First
Marriage isn’t built to simply fulfill one person’s needs. It is designed to be a team of two people supporting each other, being each other’s strength in weak times, and working together to create a home and strong bond. As a single person, life tends to revolve around yourself, but when you get married you are willingly putting someone else first. Your life is no longer about your needs and wants, but making sure your spouse is getting their needs met first. This doesn’t mean to enable your spouse or to become a slave of their needs, but to be a loving helper.

#3– Flirting With the Opposite Sex
Don’t be tempted to see if you “still got it.” There are three parties that are hurt by mindless flirting: your spouse, the person you’re flirting with, and your marriage. Flirting outside of marriage is driven by selfish desires. As gratifying as the short term results may be, it’s the long term results that need to be taken into account. If you want to be flirtatious, turn to your spouse. Chances are they’ve been waiting for you to flirt with them all along!

#4– The Phrase “My Money”
How each married couple handles money successfully is different, but it is important that you discuss money as a couple. A lot of marriages are damaged because of financial conflict. Make sure to be considerate of your spouse’s opinion when it comes to your spending habits, despite who makes more or who’s better with money. Your life is now a combined account, and your bank account should be as well.

Date Idea: Musical Dates

musical datesAll of us are moved by music. There’s something about expressing yourself in poetry and melody that makes you feel alive. Naturally, we want to share our musical finds with others, and connect on that deep level. But what are some fun ways to explore music on a date?

See a Musical
Whether you go to Broadway or a local theater, a musical can be an exciting way to dig into some original music that is sure to get stuck in your head whether you like it or not. Pick a familiar story you both enjoy that has been turned into a musical extravaganza, or look into going to the latest hit show. Once you decide on what musical to go to, plan extra events around the theme or setting of the show.

If you feel really ambitious after seeing a high quality musical, see if you can write your own. Make it romantic or silly, full-length or incredibly short. You don’t have to write the musical scores if it’s above your talents, but writing the lyrics is a fun challenge. Write a two-person musical you can act out together, or make it a full-cast production and try to sell it to a local theater.

Go Out Dancing
Dancing is wonderfully romantic – the man sweeps a lady off her feet, while the woman gets to rest in his arms! Many local dance studios have dance nights that include a lesson or two and a couple hours of dancing. It’s a great way to dance together without any experience or skill. A lot of other places offer dancing for beginners as well, such as community colleges, lounges, and even some restaurants. Dancing is a social activity; it helps you get to know your date better, and you will meet new people who you may potentially double date with later on!

Karaoke
This will prove how comfortable you are with one another. Go out and sing karaoke together, playing one another’s favorite songs. If you aren’t brave enough to face the public, hook up a karaoke machine at home, or play a karaoke game such as Singstar or Rock Band (yet another way to play instruments together). Make sure to dedicate your songs to your date!

Write Songs Together
If you both like to play an instrument or write lyrics, try writing a song together. It doesn’t have to be the best song written in the history of the universe – it could be one verse if you wanted. If you do write a full song, make it a duet or a love song about your story.

Learn an Instrument Together
trumpet
Does your date know how to play an instrument you’d like to try? Is there an instrument you’d both like to learn? Why not teach each other music or take lessons together? Don’t worry about how much better your date is at playing an instrument, just have fun learning and playing together. Encourage and applaud one another.

Do both of you all ready know how to play an instrument? Have a jam session. Pull out some sheet music you both love and play together. Try to create an instrumental duet, or freestyle if you have the talent.

Go to a Festival
Festivals normally includes cultural or periodical music and dance. Strengthen your cultural knowledge by watching for musical events, usually mentioned at the information booth. Take a look at the foreign instruments, the combination of styles, and the dancing techniques. Try to recreate any of the dances you see on stage. Is the festival historical in nature? Research the dances of the time and try to copy them.

See a Concert
Nothing scores you some mega points like buying tickets to your date’s favorite band. Spoil your sweetheart with some surprise tickets to a concert, and throw in a CD that they can have signed at the function. (For those really special occasions, grab some VIP tickets!) Remember to look for bands your date would like, not just bands or style of music you like!

You can also support smaller, cheaper bands in your local area. Many coffee shops and some restaurants have bands on weekends or evenings. It is more than likely that neither of you will know the bands playing, which will result in some fun conversation afterward. Cities may also have concerts in the park on special days or holidays.

How is Your Speech?

speech2We could all take mental note of how we speak to our spouses. When you have gotten to a place in your relationship where you are comfortable enough to say anything on your mind, you forget to take caution to what you are saying. Before you speak, test to see which category your remarks belong to.

Encouraging Verses Discouraging
Some people feel the need to be “reality police.” They do not encourage big dreams and they do not welcome change. There are enough people in the world crushing your spouse with reality. Encourage your spouse in their interests and desires, even if it is not in your own best interest. You can be honest with someone about the situation without dragging down their enthusiasm. Your job is not to tell your spouse what will or will not succeed. Your job is to stand by your spouse whether they succeed or fail.

Hopeful Verses Hopeless
The last thing a person needs when things go wrong is someone saying how hopeless the situation is. A lot of hopeless statements include pessimistic elements such as, “We’ll never get back on our feet again after this set back” or “Now our kids will never get a good education.” Not only do these statements hurt the person you are saying them to, but they are also false. No one knows the future. What your spouse needs is someone who encourages them to work through what has happened. No situation is hopeless. Be the voice that says so.

Honest Verses Dishonest
Is your husband really the most selfish human being on the planet? Is your wife really the most agitating person you know? Probably not, so why say it in the heat of an argument? It is in the midst of intense emotions that people make false accusations against someone’s character. For example, you might call your husband lazy for not mowing the lawn all weekend, but in reality you know it is not true because works 50 hours a week. It is not fair to accuse someone of a character flaw they do not have simply because you are not getting your way. And if you do honestly think they are lazy or selfish or agitating, do not speak of it out of anger or heightened emotion. Say something such as, “I know the economy is hard, but I do not feel like you are doing all you can to support the family financially.” Bring it back to how you feel, not to what you think the other person lacks. Let them reflect on their own character and make a decision about it. You are not around to fix your spouse’s flaws.

Loving Verses Manipulative
Love includes freedom. Love has nothing to do with trying to control someone or rigging an event to lean in your favor. Guilt trips and false accusations are forms of manipulation. We want someone to react to us or a situation a certain way, so we throw out things like, “You don’t really care about my needs”or “A good wife wouldn’t do that.” The more you try to manipulate someone, the more they are going to resent you for it.

Beach Date

Your date on the beach doesn’t have to be a sunset in Hawaii for it to be romantic and adventurous. No matter what coast you’re close to, you can have a fantastic date in the sun and sand.

Beach Sports

There’s a lot of water at the beach – so play in it! Anything from snorkeling to sailing is available. Is your sweetie an awesome surfer? Ask them for lessons! Have you both wanted to try parasailing but never got around to trying it? Sign up for instruction! Check out beaches near you to see what rentals and classes are available. If you don’t want to get in the water, practically any beach you go to has a volleyball net or basketball court. A little competitiveness might be just what your date night needs. For a more casual sand sport, take a football or flying discs with you.

Citylife

One of the great things about beaches is that each one has shops and restaurants that you’d never find in your own city. Beach cities can be just as fun as the sand. Keep an eye out for beach city events, such as art walks, concerts, or pirate reenactments. Explore local shops and restaurants for one-of-a-kind products and dishes.

Stroll Down Boardwalks and Piers

Beach boardwalks and piers usually hold some sort of entertainment or shopping. Anything from arcades to museum exhibits to ice cream parlors to amusement parks are available for you and your date to explore. Piers are the best places to view the ocean, and are also good places to go fishing if you don’t have a boat. Boardwalks and piers are also the best places to stroll while holding hands… so keep that in mind!

Child’s Play

Why should kids have all the real fun? All those fun things you did at the beach as a kid are still permitted while you’re an adult. The beach is perfect for flying kites, digging holes, or make s’mores at the fire pits. Build a sand castle, with or without tools. Build a sand dragon and village to go with it. Don’t know anything about castles? Build a sand mansion with a 2 car garage.

Scavenger Hunt

Make a list of things to find on the beach. Use the list provided or create your own!

If You Don’t Live Close to a Beach

There are other ways to enjoy the thrills of the beach, even if you don’t live near the coast.

Outdoor Beach Party

Lay out an oversized beach blanket or a few beach towels in the backyard. Make daiquiris or lemonade and set up a picnic basket with seafood, or fresh-off-the-grill hamburgers. Set up a volleyball net or– if your yard is big enough– play flying discs. If you really want to do something memorable, pick up a couple of grass skirts from a local party store and try your hips at the hula. Fill up a kiddie pool or large storage container with sand. Dig your toes in it, try making a sand castle, or hide gifts for your sweetheart to find. Now you have a fantastic “beach picnic” even though you’re not anywhere close to the ocean. Indoor

Beach Dinner

Fill your kitchen with beach scented candles. If you want, you can even turn the heater up so it feels like beach temperatures. Decorate the table with seashells and mini umbrellas that you put in drinks. (Available at all party stores.) Look on the web for restaurants near the beach and then make your own meal inspired by the menu. Fill a couple of storage containers with sand and put them at you and your sweetheart’s feet. Now you can dig your toes in the sand while you eat!

The beach is wonderful inspiration for romance, no matter where you’re physically located. Let the beauty of the sea and sand spark your creative juices for your next date night.