Online Dating Advantages

Many people are against online dating and of course you do hear the horror stories. If you are careful and safe, online dating can be a way to lead you to many amazing people. I know many couples that have been together quite sometime that met online…I happened to be of them and celebrated my 4 year anniversary just yesterday. For those of you already doing the online dating thing, good luck and hope you find what you’re looking for! Of course you can debate the advantages and disadvantages of online dating endlessly, but let’s look at the advantages of online dating websites and be positive about this new way of meeting people.

1. Because online dating is more about interacting by email and other electronic means than it is about admiring each other’s looks, who you are plays a greater part from the beginning than it does in an offline relationship.

2. Anonymity is also an advantage of online dating websites because it allows people to speak more freely.

3. You can rule people out based on their profile while selecting others who look interesting based on their profile information – definitely a big advantage of online dating over offline.

4. The factor in 3 above means that you save a lot of time in finding the right person.

5. If you are rejected by someone online it affects you less than if you were dating face-to-face: that has to be another amongst the big advantages of online dating websites.

6. Online dating is generally safer than offline dating. You don’t share your contact details with someone until you are really sure you want to, someone you have been talking to for a while and with whom you feel comfortable.

7. It’s very exciting! Offline dating is very exciting too of course, but the power and functionality you have in looking at lots of people’s profiles and contacting lots of people who sound nice is a very stimulating thing in itself!

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Cilantro Lime Chicken & Broccoli Casserole Recipes

We all have those evening where we are tired from our long day at work but don’t want to eat take out and rather have a home cooked meal. This is one of my husband’s favorite dishes (pictured) that takes about 30 minutes.

First thing I do is get the Broccoli casserole going; while you have set it to forget it (for a little while anyway) you can cook your chicken and veggies.

Easy Crock-Pot Broccoli & Cheese Casserole

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 package (16 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli (be sure to have it thawed out)
1/3 cup milk
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’ s Condensed Cream of Chicken & Herb Soup
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’ s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’ s Condensed Cream of Broccoli Soup
1 jar (8 ounces) pasteurized process cheese sauce (like Cheez Whiz)
2 cups minute white rice
1 cup of warm water
Large Crock-Pot

Directions:

Heat the butter in your crock-pot high on heat.
Stir the broccoli, milk, soups, and rice.
Bake at high heat for about 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5 or 10 minutes until the mixture is hot and bubbling. Then add cheese. After its ready, set your crock pot on warm. Then serve.

limeCilantro Lime Chicken:

Ingredients:

4 boneless chicken breasts (skinned)
1 lime (I like it tangy!)
1 bottle of Paul Newman’s lime dressing
1 small bundle of cilantro (chopped fine or minced)
dash1 tablespoon of Ms. Dash Salt-free seasoning
Pam Olive Oil Cooking Spray

Directions:

The night before I take plain skinned chicken breasts and place them in a big Ziploc freezer bag.  I cut and squeeze the entire lime in the bag over the chicken and spoon out the pulp. After that, pour the dressing making sure all the breasts are covered. I add my seasoning and minced cilantro, then shake up the bag to oilmix everything up and put it in the refrigerator so it can marinate overnight. When you are ready to cook the chicken, spray down your stick free pan with Pam olive oil cooking spray and it takes about 5-10 minutes to cook (depending on how thick the breasts are) at a medium heat.

 

 

Veggies: (pictured brussel sprouts & baby carrots)

 I halved my Brussels as you can see in the picture. In a stick free pan, I spray it down with a bit of Pam olive oil cooking spray; at a medium heat add in my veggies. I sprinkle a little bit of Ms. Dash seasoning also. The veggies cook in about 10 minutes and it’s easy to do so as you’re cooking your chicken. Hope you enjoy!

foodie

 

April M. Monterrosa is a Proud Latina from San Antonio, Texas, a Military wife, the mama of a dachshund, a beauty writer, lifestyle blogger, a licensed Cosmetologist of 18 years, Owner of The Lil Spa Room, & a Nuskin Skin Care Distributor. With beauty & blogging being such passions, Shine Beautifully was born. Shine Beautifully will feature beauty tips, home remedies, quotes, poetry, recipes, personal stories, travel adventures, bullshit, & randomness. Don’t forget to subscribe!

 

Simple…Yet Romantic

For those of you into the zodiac, I am an Aries…if you’re familiar with the characteristics of that sign, then you know getting bored easily is one of them. I have to be on the go constantly to not get bored. Luckily I married someone that is very go with the flow and up for anything. If your like me in YOUR relationship, then you are the one always planning everything. Sometimes its nice to be able to sit back and relax while someone plans something for you…even though its fun being the spontaneous one, sometimes its nice to take a break. When your in a relationship for a long time, routine may start to fade the romance away a bit. It’s up to both partners to keep that fun, passion, and all those little things that made you fall in love…ALIVE. Creating magical moments in your relationship is something everyone thinks about, but few people do. Perhaps it’s because they actually can’t think of exactly what to do. Here are some “acts of love” that you can do with and for your partner to bring a little more romance into your relationship. Plus with Valentine’s Day around the corner, why not try some of these ideas now.

  • Make your morning time special by bringing your partner a cup of coffee or some OJ while he or she is still in bed. If you’re willing and able you can also serve them breakfast in bed. It will make your partner feel cherished and the kindness will be returned.
  • Make the time at the end of the work-day when you first see one another extra special by giving each other a 10 second hug and kiss. You will both feel more deeply connected throughout the evening. Also remember to touch your partner affectionately throughout the day, not just when you want to be romantic.
  • Make time to make-time. Plan a romantic rendezvous during the week. You can get a room at a local hotel or plan to have the house all to yourselves. Just the anticipation of being together in this way will add spark to your romantic life.
  • Whenever you can, take the time to give your partner 100% of your attention when they want to talk to you. Put down the remote control, whatever you’re reading or your phone, face your partner and say “What would you like to talk about?” It will make your partner feel loved and important to you. And they may have some news they would like to share with you anyway.
  • Take the time to tell your partner that they look wonderful, beautiful, sexy or great. We all have doubts about our looks and hearing that we are attractive to our partners is a very important part of creating a romantic relationship.
  • Before you leave in the morning tell your partner that you are looking forward to seeing them when you return. Never leave the house without acknowledging your partner or saying, “I love you.”
  • Next time you are shopping alone, get a couple of little “surprise gifts” for your partner. The next time he or she is feeling down, give them one of the gifts. This is a wonderful and uplifting act of love and it will be remembered for a very long time.
  • If your partner is having a rough day offer to take them out or make dinner for them. If they are the one usually doing the cooking this will be a welcome change and a sign of your appreciation. If they are experiencing stress at work, it will be a great way for them to unwind from a tough day.
  • Be spontaneous and kidnap your partner for a drive up the coast for lunch or dinner. This is a wonderfully romantic and very simple thing to do. If you want to be a little more extravagant, you can choose to spend the night at a Bed & Breakfast and drive home the next day.
  • This one is terribly romantic, so don’t try it unless you’re ready for a passionate evening. Get your partner two or more roses. Take one of them and pull off the petals. Drop the petals on the floor leading to the bedroom and place several petals on the bed. Put the other roses in a vase on the nightstand. Your partner will never forget your thoughtfulness.

Don’t try to do everything on this list in the same weekend, one a month is plenty. These ideas are just a little help to get you started. Once you get going, more ideas will come to you on their own. Taking the time to create romance in your relationship is paramount to creating a fulfilling love life. Even if you think your ideas are silly, your partner will be thrilled that you took the time to do something loving for them. Remember, it’s the thought that counts. And it will spice up your sex life, no doubt!

love

What I’ve Learned about Marriage in 2013

2013 I hit 3 years of being married. Having been very public about my separation on social media, I can honestly say it’s been very therapeutic for me and inspirational for others. I am nothing special, I’m just a woman that wants to be loved and adored like any other. Love hit me like a ton of bricks, hard and unexpected. But like anything else, it can’t always be fun and games. I can’t even remember when and how things got to where they are now between my husband and I. All I know is both sides aren’t perfect and have made mistakes.
This year, as a married woman, I’ve learned that when you love someone it can feel like you’re invincible one second and like you’re losing your mind the next. We as people make bad choices sometimes and fail to realize that we are only cheating ourselves and scaring those we truly love.
We were all taught how to love differently growing up. All we can do is love our spouses the best we can, appreciate them for all that they are, be patient, forgive as much as we can, but continue to love ourselves too.
As individuals we all have our weaknesses and strengths; but together, we have to figure out how they all mesh well enough to make things work.
I grew up with parents that have been married over 40 years, they’ve been an amazing example of what to do and not do in a marriage, no matter how angry you are your spouse still comes first, and just because vows were broken doesn’t mean you have to throw your vows out the window. In marriage, every couple makes their own rules and handles things differently.
The both of us have inner demons and struggles we need to overcome, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any love between us. With the new year approaching I know what I have to do on my end of the marriage for my husband, the both of us, and especially for myself. Only a higher power knows the future so all I can do is work with what I have in the present and leave the past behind.

To others going through martial struggles: It doesn’t matter what differences your spouse and you have, how much therapy you go through, what advice is given to you, & what your mind tells you…you can’t help who your heart loves. Do what makes you happy, take things day by day, and if you feel it in your gut not to quit, then don’t.
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Thanksgiving Family Drama

Thanksgiving is the time of year that we’re all gather together with our families. We all sit at the table as one big happy family, say a prayer before someone carves the turkey, and spend the day feasting and enjoying each other’s company. All week long at work, clients have all asked me the same thing. Do you go to your grandparent’s house? Do you spend Thanksgiving with ALL your family? Are you closer t your mom’s family or your dad’s family? I guess with the holidays around, they feel more comfortable to ask me such personal questions; maybe they are just trying to get to know me a little more. So here are my answers; no, we don’t go to any grandparent’s homes. No, we don’t spend it with all of our family & no, we aren’t close to either side of the family. Sad to say, yes, but has it worked for my immediate family, yes. Being the oldest grandchild from both sides of the family and never being naive  I was very observant of all the favoritism my grandparents had (on both sides of the family). Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, may be your family yes, unfortunately the world is full of liars, vindictive, and shady people…and yeah, you may even be related to them.

People try so hard to get the acceptance of their families, I mean, that’s who you are suppose to love and be supported by, right? Sometimes, jealousy, envy, and greed get the best of people and they ruin the bond they are supposed to have with their families. Many of us have these kinds of people in our families, some may try their hardest to fix things and are never met halfway, and others may keep on holding the same grudge or having the same meaningless argument and never resolve anything. And then they are people like my parents. Both so strong in their own individual ways, but yet complement each other well. My parents got tired of the gossip, the lies, the grudges, the bullshit, and the wishy washy-ness that was all for nothing. Being that they eloped at a very young age I am sure the family each had their own opinions about them lasting together. But come on, it’s been over 35 years, they are obviously happily married and have a great life to show for all  their hard work…so if the family can’t get over that…then I guess that’s just too damn bad, right?

This Thanksgiving season, I have realized so much. Even though I didn’t understand at the time why my parents kept to themselves and kept us away from all the family drama, I totally get it now. For those of you that are trying to fix unhealthy relationships with your families and in-laws. Really take a look at the bigger picture. Are they meeting you halfway? Is it really worth it? Are you just wasting your time? Are you hurting your family or putting your marriage in jeopardy? I like to think my parents got together and asked themselves and each other these same questions, because our childhood was so drama free and good by keeping away from the rest of the family. Sure, we are close to a few cousins, aunts, and uncles, but only because there wasn’t ever any drama with them. If you have children and do not have a great relationship with your family or in-laws, focus on making things even better for your children. I know it’s hard when your children do not have that relationship with their grandparents, aunts, or uncles, but why try with people that just don’t care to?

This thanksgiving I have so much to be thankful for. My life isn’t perfect, but incredible, I can’t even explain how wonderful things have gone for me, despite all I’ve been through. All of my family will be at the table this year; my husband, my baby brother & sister in law, my nephews, & my little brother , & even my mother in law. I’m especially thankful for my parents; they are both here, healthy, and together after 40 years. No matter what their families have put them through, how many times they have caused drama or try to ruin their happiness, the both of them stood strong and together. They made sure we had fun holidays always. For this, I am not only blessed, but lucky. I don’t know any other way then to be happy and to stay away from people that want to ruin that. It’s because of them, we all have always sat together at the table for every holiday making wonderful family memories…and can now pass all those traditions to my nephews. Thank you mom and dad, for making me the women I am today, and making our family bond so strong.  Every joyous holiday memory we all have is because of you. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
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Keep Busy During Deployments

Being a Military spouse is a tough job; no one knows how hard it is to keep your mind off thinking the worst. During a deployment there will be days, weeks, and sometimes months before you get to hear from your spouse. In the meantime, you are always on edge, waiting by your home phone, have your cellphone near you at all times, checking the mail and your email always…it’s crazy how your life changes at this time. Other military wives ask me how I survived during my husband’s (6) deployments… here are some of the things I did to keep busy.

deploy

List of Things to Do During a Deployment:

STOP CRYING!

Mediate

Hang out with old friends

Make new friends

Strengthen family bonds

Get better at your job

Take classes

Tend to the hobbies & passions you normally don’t have time for

Road trips

Visit museums, art galleries, or historical sites

Plan a girls picnic

Take fitness classes

Go Wine tasting

Go for walks at a near by track or park

Pamper yourself at home with a bubble bath

Catch up on the latest books

Try new foods

Start writing to let your emotions out

Keep a journal of your daily thoughts

Book a spa day

Go on vacation

Never turn down an invitation to do something fun

Go to local events

Volunteer in your community

Start a business

Buy a house, renovate and/or rearrange your home

Save money

Get to know yourself

The trick is to KEEP BUSY!!! Get out of bed, throw the box of tissues away, pick yourself up, get dolled up, and do things. Before you know it, time flies by and you’re love is home and back from deployment. These are just the things I can remember off the top of my head. Don’t spend to much time on driving yourself crazy…it’s stressful, wears you out, and not healthy.

About the Author:

Beauty Writer & Lifestyle Blogger April M. Monterrosa is a Proud Latina from San Antonio, Texas, a Military wife, the mama of a dachshund, a licensed Cosmetologist of 18 years, Owner of The Lil Spa Room, & a Nuskin Skin Care Distributor. With beauty & blogging being such passions, Shine Beautifully was born. Shine Beautifully will feature beauty tips, home remedies, quotes, poetry, recipes, personal stories, travel adventures, & an array of other topics. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Chase Your Dreams, Ignore the Bullshit

tumblr_m0gm28q9jk1qm94r5o1_500As women, we are always put to the test to see how much we can take, how far we can go, how tough we are till we break.  Many women have dreams and goals that are influenced by others. They want and need attention while looking good to their peers. That’s the wrong kind of dream to chase. Go after what’s really in your heart; if its finishing school, building something, getting that high paying job, traveling around the world, being on the cover of vogue…whatever it is, chase your dreams and do all you can for them to come true.

If family puts you down and makes fun of you, thinking your goals and dreams are stupid or a waste of time, ignore them. People like that have no balls to go out there with blood, sweat, & tears to do what they really want to do. They’re usually lazy, have no ambition, and the only thing that moves fast is their mouth talking shit about others when they should be looking at how they can improve themselves. Show them that no matter how many bad things they say to you or about you, you will succeed, to give in 7156943497_d50d4b0c36_zto their negative shit.

If you’re in a relationship and your spouse pays no attention to your ambitions, it’s because they simply do not care. As sad as this is, people like that usually have no goals themselves. If they tell you you’re not going to be successful, you’re not capable of making it to the top, it’s only because they are jealous of the drive that you have, they know that you will be, and they don’t want you to do things better than them…pure selfishness! You deserve better.

Pay no attention to negative people that do not believe you. As much as you think you need them, you don’t. Negativity slows you down, makes you doubt yourself, and gets you nowhere. Believe in yourself, if you have family and a spouse that doesn’t support you, then YOU support you. Wake up every morning and go to bed every night with good thoughts, ideas how to make your dreams a reality, and put forth the effort to do so every chance you get. We only have one life, count on yourself to fulfill it as much as you can, what are you waiting for? Dream it….do it…live it! ❤

chase-your-dreamsAbout the Author:

Beauty Writer & Lifestyle Blogger April M. Monterrosa is a Proud Latina from San Antonio, Texas, a Military wife, the mama of a dachshund, a licensed Cosmetologist of 18 years, Owner of The Lil Spa Room, & a Nuskin Skin Care Distributor. With beauty & blogging being such passions, Shine Beautifully was born. Shine Beautifully will feature beauty tips, home remedies, quotes, poetry, recipes, personal stories, travel adventures, & an array of other topics. Don’t forget to subscribe!