“Whosis, Whatsis and Whatchamacallit”

I had to share this great post from https://www.srbottch.com
I have been following Steve’s blog for quite some time now and he never ceases to amuse! This post was just too good not to share. Hands up – who’s reached this level of telepathy in your relationship?

S'amusing

ALERT: this story isn’t for everyone, just those in long term relationships, say 30, 40 or 50 years. However, you’re still welcome to read it…

“Honey, I’m home from, ah, whatchamacallits. Whosis was there, she’ll see us at, you know, whatsis place Saturday.”

“Okay!”

And with that exchange, we affirm our relationship is stronger than ever…again!

Do you recognize it? Sound familiar? I expect those of you in long term relationships are nodding in the affirmative.  You know each other so well that substitute words suffice in place of real words, the ones that escape us momentarily. Gibberish fills the void and, strangely enough, we understand each other. How does that work?

This behavior confirms my belief that as we grow older with our life partner, our spirits, habits and language meld, allowing us to behave almost as one. There must be a term for it?

With a certain…

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I have to ask…

Is it just me, or has anyone else gotten a front row seat to witness an otherwise almost normal functioning ex’s degrading mental health after the engagement was announced? If so, please share your story. Seriously!

-Mliae

*Photo from Pinterest

When your couples workout fantasy doesn’t go as planned.

Yes, I gave it a go and found myself looking like a wimp.

My fiancé is a beast. The man works out and works out hard. Since we enjoy doing basically everything together, we had discussed how nice it would be to do a couples workout together every now and then.

I’ve really wanted to do this, but have been a bit shy to exhibit my lack of extreme workout skills in front of him. Now, please understand; It’s not like I’m incapable of exercise. I spent a large portion of this Spring/Summer working with David at Chape Personal Trainer, and he forced me to get used to some uncomfortable workouts. Luckily, I have managed a bit of stamina due to these sessions. However, I have gotten a bit comfy in my own skin recently, and my private workouts are more of a girl routine. I am not used to jumping, bending and sweating like a man.

Ok, so that’s where we were. Last night, I worked up the guts to tell my guy that I’m still interested in the couple workouts. Today, he started to workout and I watched. When I asked to join, I quickly realized that the skill level is a bit (OK, A LOT) over my ability. OK…

We started talking and I found myself exhibiting the exercises I do on my own. And then being coached. And having more weight added. By the time we got through, he was timing me, and forcing me to continue with a kettle bell 50% heavier than the one I’ve been using – and going full-on drill sergeant on me while I was doing my reps. I felt like such-a-girl…

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I must admit though, that even though our ‘couples workout’ really was him coaching and me begging to stop, I enjoyed doing it together. I also feel a twisted sense of accomplishment. To be continued tomorrow…or maybe Tuesday ;P

Walking like John Wayne tomorrow

-Mliae

 

 

A Little Christmas Surprise

Merry Christmas eve to those who celebrate! Apparently I’m doing a bit of a different post this year. Hope its not too personal.

As most of you know (how could you not, I’m posting about it constantly..hah), I’m engaged to be married. I’ve always loved lacy, silky secret things for myself. But I realized recently that we’ve been so busy with planning, family, work, etc. that I haven’t really put the thought and consideration into lacy, silky, pretty things for him. Partly because life got in the way, partly because it’s been such a long time since I felt really confident in my own body. Thanks to the super push to the finish line this past year, that is no longer an issue 😉

So I thought to myself whilst standing and drooling over all the lust-worthy items in the lingerie department – ‘It’s about time. Why not? Just try it on and if you look like a pile of jelly in the mirror, just don’t buy it. But if you look good, you’re doing this.’ Turns out, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

So, check out I did. And now I sit here with a mixture of excitement and fear, over his possible reaction. I think he’ll love it. And it’s a fun Christmas gift to unwrap on this Cold and dark Christmas eve.

Merry Christmas!

Santa’s little elf, Mliae

 

Taboos

I was recently reading an article on taboos. It was quite interesting and really got me thinking…  Taboos, certainly, are culture specific. For example; nudity is borderline taboo in the States whereas being perfectly socially acceptable in much of Europe.

I would really love to discuss this topic, so I’m bringing it to you:

What are some of the things you consider taboo? What are some of the things other cultures might consider taboo which you think are a perfectly normal and acceptable occurrence?

Oh, please, just for the fun of it, add any ‘out-there’ stories. I love those!

Thanks!

-Mliae

People Tree: A glimpse into the sustainable fashion web store

Hi everyone and thanks for stopping in! Todays article kicks off my happily anticipated series on sustainable fashion. I have been on the hunt… high and low, searching for the best, coolest and friendliest homes of sustainable fashion.

Here’s how it went down: I think I spent at least 30 hours doing internet search on top of internet search for sustainable fashion businesses. I then compiled a list and went through each site that I had found (another several days of solid researching). Many were sadly no longer active. Another large group was those that specialized in like…socks. And then, THEN we have the massive conglomerates that marketed sustainable and ethical fashion, but in all honesty, it was just for marketing. I’ve worked in business; I know a marketing ploy when I see one. So once I was able to categorize these business even further, it left me with only a handful of genuine fair trade practicing, sustainable processing, natural fiber using fashion companies who have some really nice modern day designs. Works for me! I’ve been on the search for the best and now it seems like I’ve found a tiny group of them.

Now I must tell you, that these people at People Tree are some of the most co-operative people I have spoken to. I understand, of course, that when a blogger contacts a company the immediate thought is ‘freebie request’. Now, I love freebies, it’s like Christmas when something that you really love arrives! That said, I merely wrote to request information. They not only understood my request for information and permission, they made sure I was well stocked in all the information I could possibly need and were at hand for any questions I might have. How awesome is that for this humble blogger??!

Now, a large part of the reason I developed a clothing crush on this company is because their designs are nice. They are comfortable and beautiful; suitable for office, home and a night out. Two of their featured designers this collection are Peter Jensen and Zandra Rhodes. They have worked with Thakoon, Laura Ashley, and Vivienne Westwood (to name a few). Having designer options at a reasonable price, in natural fabrics all the while incorporating Fair Trade and sustainable business practices, is what really made me find myself going ga-ga.

Some of this information is in the form of a social review, which is conducted every other year in order to ensure that The People Tree is maintaining or exceeding their fair trade practices. This was fascinating reading, as so many companies do not truly practice any form of transparency in their sourcing and business practices.

People Tree utilizes fair trade practices in every step of their production process. From Cradle to Cradle. Most of their cotton is certified organic and fair trade. They use safe, azo-free dyes for their clothing, they source locally and use recycled where they can. Even down to their natural buttons which use either shell, coconut, corozo ( a natural grain which resembles resin), horn or wood. All of the woven items are hand woven, and in many cases, People Tree uses recycled material so as not to create or contribute to any additional waste. Logistically speaking, they are brilliant – utilizing sea transport as opposed to air. They even take sustainability so far as to use solar panels in as many possible places as they can.

Safia Minney founded People Tree in 1990. People Tree is said to be the ‘first international clothing company to be awarded the World Fair Trade Organisation Fair Trade product label’. In the past 25 years, they have been able to perfect a supply chain, which positively affects in excess of 3,700 farmers, tailors, weavers, dyers and management due to Fair Trade practices. They employ some of the persons from castes which truly struggle and need a fair opportunity. Including as stated ‘Indigenous, disabled, refugees and people living in poverty’ from the Countries India, Bangladesh and Nepal. In total, they work with  34 Fair Trade producers who employ approximately 15,000 people. The numbers I was able to get my hands on states that there are approx 4,500 artisans & farmers in 13 countries (India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Laos & The Philippines). That’s a lot of Fair Trade going around!

Some of their Fair Trade practices include training, the possibility of advance pay without interest for business development, fair wages (which is why you won’t find a €5 garment here), good working conditions and market exposure. Ladies, you will love this; HALF of the leadership positions throughout People Tree’s production chain are filled by Women! Yeah, Baby! Yeah!

People Tree has two seasonal collections per annum, and these are some of the stand out items from the Autumn/Winter collection. I could not do a business feature without displaying some of my favourite lust-worthy products, of course!

Some of the items I love at People Tree:

people-tree-lara-pencil-skirt-in-red-48-e65-www-peopletree-co-uk

The Lara Pencil Skirt

95% organic cotton, 5% elastin

€65

people-tree-imara-top-in-black-42-e59-www-peopletree-co-uk

The Imara Top

95% organic cotton, 5% elastin

Formerly priced at €65, now €33,04

people-tree-hesper-stripe-skirt-75-e99-may-turtleneck-top-in-black-25-e35-www-peopletree-co-uk

Hesper Striped Skirt in Black

100% Organic Cotton

€99

&

May Turtleneck

95% Organic Cotton, 5% Elastin

€35

people-tree-cable-jumper-185-e250-lara-pencil-skirt-48-e65-www-peopletree-co-uk

Fisherman’s Jumper in Unbleached

100% Wool

€250

people-tree-swallows-print-tee-in-pink-30-e39-www-peopletree-co-uk

Swallows Tee

100% Organic Cotton

€39

people-tree-peter-jensen-jewel-tie-waist-dress-78-e99-www-peopletree-co-uk

Peter Jensen Jewel Tie Waist Dress in Multicolour

100% Organic Certified Cotton

Now €55.44

Another cool little thing they do on the website is that under the photo of the particular item you are looking at, there is a statement which informs you where the item was sourced and the Fair Trade aspects of it. Nice 🙂

Now here’s the icing on the cake: FREE delivery in UK on all orders, and an INTERNATIONAL delivery fee of only 5 British Pounds for ALL orders over 70 British Pounds. THAT is SUPER! You know me, I’m a sucker for affordable international postage! J

They have loads of fashionable items to choose from in both Women’s and Men’s. If you are interested in sustainable fashion, this is a great place to check out!

http://www.peopletree.co.uk

After so much time reading up on this company, the mantra that will remain ringing in my head is ‘slow fashion, not fast fashion.’ From here forth, every time I see a clothing shop which turns over their trends on a bi-weekly or monthly basis and are selling man-made fabric must-have’s on me for the price of €5-€7, I will mentally equate it to McFashion – the pre-processed, rubbery burger that you can get for €1 and regret for much longer.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this business, please share!

-Mliae

*Photos & permission provided by People Tree

Networking Party: Come on in!

This is only the second blog party I have hosted. However, I thought that due to my upcoming bloggaversary of my first year blogging, that it’s the perfect time to host a Par-tay!!

Everyone here has made it possible for me to continue blogging and I would like to give you a sincere ‘Thank You!’ for being awesome!

The gig is pretty simple:

  • Say hello and drop your link in the comments below
  • Don’t be a wall flower, meet some people! Eat, chat, drop some rhymes or funny anecdotes and enjoy yourself!

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  • Reblog this post on your site, the more, the merrier!
  • Grab some hors d’oeuvres & a glass of bubbly, then check out some of the other sites 🙂

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  • Enjoy yourself!

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I’ll be hosting this party for the next few days, so don’t be shy!

So here we are, let’s party!

-Mliae

Senseless ramblings about love

Oh yea, here we go…A rambling, somewhat indecipherable post about love, chemicals, insanity and the like.

I guess we can start by asking ourselves: What IS love? (apparently the most searched phrase on google in 2012…some senseless trivia knowledge for you) Is it chemistry? Is it Hollywood? Is it a natural drive to reproduce and rear our young? Is it an Edwardian concept, poeticized and fantasized until it became our ‘reality’?  Infatuation in sheep’s clothing? A survival instinct? Or getting to know and appreciate those who surround you for most of your life?

Without fail, every single time I subscribe myself to a theory regarding love…just around the bend an exception to my new rule presents itself.

ROMANTIC LOVE v. ARRANGED LOVE

Take for instance romantic love. (Thank you Hollywood for setting mainstream standards that no human could possibly live up to…) I got on this bender in my early 20’s. Girl meets boy, boy falls head over heels in love with perfect girl, does everything in and beyond his power to get noticed, spoil her, respect her, be perfect to her family, makes (insert monthly paycheck here) amount of money, is willing to pay all the bills, pick his socks off the floor and indulge his girl in the occasional shopping spree. All the while, refusing to get upset when girl comes in at 4 am, drunk as a skunk with girlfriends in tow. Yea…right. Then, start thinking to yourself; if this is really love, then what about arranged marriages? With a higher than 50% rate of divorce in Western countries, how is it couples, for the most part, who are in arranged marriages (Just FYI- the divorce rate for arranged marriages is stated to be a whopping 4%) have, for the most part, managed to figure out a way to ‘love’, respect and co-exist together for the remnant of a lifetime. Of course, the statistics related to arranged marriage divorces are debatable since its culturally embedded that you wed, and stay that way. Divorce, although possible in many cases, is frowned upon and there are always other societal factors at work. But I digress. The question here is; When you see a couple who met just before approaching the altar, and they are happy together 50 years later…how does this happen? There was no romancing. Certainly no physical contact to blur up one’s brain with chemicals. Is it that both bride and groom (though nervous as knots) have been waiting for this pivotal moment all of their young lives and are determined to make it work no matter what? Is it a ‘love the one your with’ situation? Are these 2 people so utterly open-minded and accepting that fighting tooth and nail over trivial aspects of life together …just doesn’t happen? Or that there just exists enough self control to only go to bed grumbling under your breath about the things that annoy, but having enough respect for the life partner to not air grievances?

BIOLOGY

Drugs? Love drugs?? YES, PLEASE! Who says nature doesn’t have a sense of humor? Seriously! Our brains get so doped up from a rush of neuro-chemicals that we find ourselves bouncing around like a bunch of drunk college students doing really doofy shit.

There’s 2 stages to this. The ‘honeymoon’ stage (usually lasts about 3-6 months). Enjoy it, because it’s the only time in your relationship where you can do NO wrong…even if you accidentally take out his mailbox on your way out the drive. These are the GOOD chemicals. The morphine drip of love, if you will. This nifty little cocktail consists of phenylethylamine, norepinephrine (or noradrenaline),serotonin and dopamine. According to scientists, there is also another Love dose later in long term relationships which consist of oxytocin and vasopressin.

This is a continuing cycle. Dopamine starts this whole mess. The love based adrenaline rush cannot happen until there is a sufficient amount of dopamine. This chemical triggers the pleasure receptors in the brain. Resulting in a WHEEEEEE, Happy Happy Joy Joy- I want more of that, please. Seratonin levels drop in reaction to increased dopamine, and this is said to be responsible for the anxiety, nervousness and overall dating OCD that occurs. Norepinephrine comes into play. This chemical kicks off a chain reaction in the brain, to the nervous system which stimulates the receiver into feelings of joy and a suppressed appetite. (Just a side note: When this hits us ladies, the result is a slightly skinnier, happy, confident person! We think we’re completed by our lover which makes us feel so ….AWESOME! Truth is, we are. But could there be other ways to stimulate this reaction in our bodies so that we could always be so AWESOME?) Last but not least is phenylethylamine. This is good stuff. It creates our spinny – can do – happier than a puppy with a biscuit – must have more, moments. It also kicks off another round of dopamine and the whole process starts all over again. Hence, being ‘addicted to love’. Literally. This is usually the stage when we’re texting instead of working, friends get put out to pasture, house plants die, and we suddenly find ourselves with an over-run of lingerie and pancake breakfasts. Oh yea, and everything our partner does is cute. Even the horribly irritating disgusting habits, are adorable…or worse, fixable. (NEWS FLASH: Fixable doesn’t happen)

Oxytocin and vasopressin are said to create feelings of security and well-being which explains why this usually kicks in during a long term relationship. New question: Does this chemical reaction cause us to feel secure enough in our relationships to continue happily along, or does our happiness in the relationship cause this chemical reaction which encourages us that we’ve made the right move and carry on? (Which came first, the chicken or the egg?)

SURVIVAL

Okei, so survival and brains go hand and hand…sort of…not really. In order to serve my purposes here, I’m loosely defining the survival genre as our body’s involuntary drive to ensure its survival. Mate presence; here we go! Men recognize women’s hips and youthful appearance as a clue to how capable she is to procreate. Women recognize either facial/bone structure and agility (physically) – Someone must protect the cave and bring us dinner! OR The clothes, car, job and house – Societal ability to afford the same protection and welfare, but only from a modern day standpoint. This falls in line with Darwins theory on sexual selection; meaning that people will evolve traits that attract members of the opposite sex. Don’t knock it – it’s real. I’ve also heard of the mirroring phenomenon, where individuals subconsciously choose mates which resemble themselves in order to better insure reproduction or status. If you don’t believe in the collective conscious, here’s a little factoid for you: Did you know that stocks will always gain profit in the cosmetics and women’s clothing industries right before a recession hits? It’s true! Lipstick and mini-skirts. Years of micro economic research has shown that lipstick and mini-skirts drastically increase in purchases made proceeding a recession. The explanation for this? Women’s collective conscious somehow mysteriously know that hard times are ahead and invest in the 2 items which make us appear more attractive to potential mates. Shocker, huh?!

OUR BRAINS

Enter the three brain system theory. This is a fun one… I’ve been reading up on student research papers on this and it might explain a few things.  This theory is constructed based on an evolutionary form of animalistic behaviour. According to Dr. Helen Fisher (cited) there are 3 ‘brains’ or sections of the brain regarding love working together, or separately. These sections are “sexual arousal, romantic attraction and emotional bonding”. It is said that because all 3 of these are able to work independently of each other, it would explain why you can be in an intimate relationship with one person, have a huge crush on another and be emotionally bonded to yet another. If that’s how you choose to roll, then there you go. Apparently, the oxytocin and vasopressin which trigger feelings of security during long term relationships is the situation in which all 3 of the ‘brains’ work together as they are all needed.

SOCIETY and CULTURAL NORMS

Many societies, especially the west, subscribe to the theory of marrying for love. If you love them, give them something that you’ve given to none other  (or few others) – marriage. But to bring us back to the beginning…what is love anyway? What sets one person apart from the other? I do also think that the view of ‘he’s single, whats wrong with him’ comes into play unwittingly.

In some cultures, singles are seen to be outcasts. Somehow unfit, inappropriate, or otherwise unable to reach the social construct of acceptability. In Japan, boys are groomed for marriage. No mother wants her son to be a ‘bare branch’.

In some cultures, marriage and family is the lifetime goal. Take Russia, for example, where  new births are greeted with a financial benefit from the state. Another factor which comes into play is demographics, where the ratio of males to females is 86 to 100. Talk about competition! This is exactly opposite of Alaska, where there are approximately 10 males per every 1 female. Talk about choices! Or in China, where the ratio is approximately 106 males to every 100 females.

To wrap up this extra long read (sorry about that, I got carried away). Regardless of culture, nationality, chemistry, survival, or a simple desire not to be alone…love exists. For all of us. My advice is to take a deep breath, try to keep your wits about you and in 7 months, if you are still swooning, laughing, playing…and aren’t ready to kill each other over the dishes, then stick with it. If after a few months, you begin to realize your needs aren’t being met, you’re being ignored for the tv, used, cheated on or the like – move on. We all want to be loved and everything in us and the world is working in our favour to achieve this lovely goal.

What does LOVE mean to you?

Thanks for reading!

-mliae