Relationship Wednesday: Getting All Of The Hugs

Physical touch: some people hate it!

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Some people love it!

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Others can be very ‘meh’ about it.

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I used to fall in the last group. When I was younger, I was very ‘meh’ about physical touch, hugs, and hand holding. I grew up in a family where we never expressed our love through physical touch; I can rarely recall my mother giving me hugs or kisses when I was growing up. Now don’t get all judgy on my mama! She raised me unbelievably well. Hugs and kisses were not part of the formula, and I still turned out A okay 😉 Because I grew accustomed to that, I never needed any physical touch from another human. However, whenever I received some it felt good!

I remained very ‘meh’ about touch, even into adulthood. Then I met Alexis, professional hugger and physical touch extraordinaire. She playfully teased me when we first began dating that I was bad at giving hugs, but the more touchy-feely I was, the more I liked it and the better I became at it.

Now I have become one of the biggest fans of physical touch. I love any second that Alexis and I get to cuddle or hold hands, and I love to shower her with little pecks. Not to mention, her falling asleep on my chest is one of my favorite things in the world and allows us bond on an even deeper level. Increasing the level of physical touch has certainly improved our relationship.

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I highly recommend getting out of your comfort zone if you are not the biggest fan of hugs, kisses, or hand holding. Physical touch is like a drug; once you start getting that dopamine from physical contact it’s tough to stop! The great thing is that the beauty of touch can really add another layer to an already great relationship and you can bond physically as well as emotionally.

So take it from the guy who used to give the worst hugs in the world: you can get better and you will love them!

Hug away, people. The world could use more love. 

BS

Target Tuesday: Tank Tops and Board Shorts

Tank Tops and Swim Trunks! Sounds like a fresh new PitBull song that’ll be blasting out of your car speakers all summer long 😉 But seriously: I’m all about my tank top and swim trunk game this year. I’ve shunned tank tops in the past in lieu of graphic tees but this year Target has caught my attention with some really cool tank tops. I love birds of flight, but pink birds of flight? Well hot damn that has me more excited than a small child hearing the chimes of that ice cream truck. There are plenty more awesome designs from Target that’ll have your underwear in a bit of a jiffy. The comfort of this tank top is unrivaled and it’ll be an absolute fan favorite in the park or on the beach.

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I haven’t even touched on the swim trunks! That’s right, those are freaking swim trunks, even though they look like a proper pair of preppy shorts. These are perfect for heading to the beach for a few hours then stopping by a restaurant and movie afterwards and you’ll still be comfortable and stylish. (Although hopefully you’ll have gotten all the sand outta your shorts 😉 )

Check them out and you will not leave Target disappointed. Target even refers to them as “hybrid board shorts,” touching on the versatility of these swim trunks that don’t look like swim trunks. In fact, when Alexis and I were in the store, we thought they were an ordinary pair of shorts at first glance!

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Tank Top // Board Shorts (You can score both pieces for $20 total!)

This summer make sure you stop by Target to pick up some of these comfy tank tops and these stylish swim trunks that bear no resemblance to any of those trunks that are basic AF.

(Alexis here: isn’t Bob’s tank top super cool? I keep thinking of ways to style it for myself 😉 )

BS

Must Have Monday: Hammock Vibes

Hammocks! The undeniably quintessential beach or pool side item that everyone has come into some contact in over their years floating around this big beautiful blue crystal of ours. I think everyone needs a hammock in their life; they are so comfortable and fun.

But a word to the wise: if you’re considering opting for this summertime staple, don’t get spreader bar hammocks! Spreader bar hammocks are the type with the wooden beam at the top, and they are the absolute worst hammocks that you could purchase. (At least, that’s my humble opinion as a hammock enthusiast.) The spreader bar hammocks are nearly impossible to get into let along stay in for an extended period of time. Exhibit A:

Just climbing into a spreader beam hammock can be a huge difficulty and that’s a first world problem that I just can’t get with. I always struggle to stay balanced for the entire time that I am in a hammock if it has a spreader bar, and trying to fit 2 people inside of it can be nearly impossible.

If you’re wondering why my hammock obsession is worthy of this week must have Monday post, wonder no more. Not only are hammocks relaxing and calming, but sleeping in hammocks is great for you!  It can help cure your insomnia and come on — who doesn’t enjoy a nice little gentle rocking to fall asleep just like a newborn baby? People all around the world have been using hammocks to wander into that gentle sleep for centuries and science is starting to embrace all of the benefits.

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Classic Double Hammock

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Cotton Hammock – Only $16!

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How perfect would this One Kings Lane hammock be for July 4th?!

I’m just trying to do my part and encourage people to learn more about their hammocks before buying a dreaded spreader beam hammock.

Check out this guide on how to set up your hammock to maximize comfort! Even if you’re a side sleeper it’s not a problem at all if you set up your hammock correctly 😉

The Hammock Angle: How To Relax (And Sleep) Comfortably In A Hammock, Even If You’re A Side Sleeper

Do you and your family a favor and get yourself a hammock that you will not fall on your face in!

In the meantime, I’ll be napping in mine…

BS

Fitbit Blaze Review

If you asked me just two short months ago if I would have a Fitbit, much less be obsessed with one, I would probably shoot you a quizzical glance. I’ve played sports, I exercise, and I’ve even successfully run a half marathon — why would I need an activity tracker that is geared towards inactive people?

Note: this is what I thought. I now know that activity trackers are great for everyone, not just people who may be out of shape. My mom purchased a Fibit a few weeks before me, and she became nuts about getting steps. If she didn’t get to 10,000 steps by dinner, she’d go for a walk around the neighborhood or pace around her bedroom while watching TV. She linked up with some colleagues and family friends who use Fitbit, and she became competitive about winning the challenges and getting badges. She made something that I thought would be mundane look fun!

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So I took the leap. I purchased the Fitbit Blaze because my mom had originally the Fitbit Alta, but upgraded to the Blaze because of the increased functionality. Given that I like to run, bike, and stay active in other ways besides walking, I echoed her decision and opted for the Blaze as well. The fact that it has sleep tracking was another perk; I have trouble sleeping sometimes, and I figured that monitoring sleeping patterns could help me improve that aspect of my health as well.

I’ve had the Blaze for about a month now, and boy do I love it. Before getting my Fitbit, I didn’t realize how little I was moving around each day. I work a desk job so I don’t get to move around a lot, but seeing that I could easily get through the work day without even hitting 1,000 steps shocked me! It has been a great motivator to get up and take breaks throughout the day to get my blood flowing and increase my overall health. Its sleep tracking also seems to be accurate, and I love that it tracks my heart rate too! The heart rate monitor clearly isn’t perfect, but I wouldn’t expect flawless accuracy from a consumer activity tracker. When synced to my phone for GPS, it does an efficient job at measuring my distance and pace when I’m running, so that’s great! I also love that it has workouts programmed inside of it that it can guide you through on-screen!

When it comes to appearance, I was nervous I wouldn’t like that look of the Fitbit Blaze and that it would be very masculine. But it actually looks really nice and I get so many comments from people asking what type of watch it is. (People often mistake it for an Apple Watch.)

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All in all, my Fitbit Blaze has been a solid purchase. The only thing I wish I could change would be the battery life. I have to charge the battery every 2 or 3 days, and it’s a pain because sometimes I forget and it dies on me, or my only chance to charge it is at the same time I want to work out or something. (I don’t charge it while I’m sleeping because although that would be convenient, the sleeping data is one of the most useful features for me.) So that is kind of a bummer, but beyond that my Fitbit Blaze has been amazing and I’d recommend it to anyone, no matter how often or rarely you work out.

P.S. Did you know walking is actually a really good exercise? Running is hard on our bodies and I’ve definitely been a fan of going on long walks and hikes lately instead. Bobby purchased a Fitbit shortly after I did, although he has the Fitbit One because he hates wearing things on his wrist. We both love ours and linked up to various versions of the Fitbit below. Between both of our families we know someone with each version, and they’re all great for different reasons — depending on your lifestyle and needs.

And no, this post isn’t sponsored. (Although we wish it was.) 😉

AS

All Pink Everything

Gentlemen, don’t be afraid to rock an all-pink outfit and show that feminine side of your wardrobe. Summer is the perfect time to wear a pink outfit since tan skin is a perfect complement to the pink overtones. I love putting on some really bold colors to show off bright my personality! I’m very comfortable with my sexuality, so I don’t care one bit if people are wondering why a guy is donning an exclusively pink outfit. Get out of your comfort zone, folks! Life’s more fun that way.
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These Vineyard Vines shorts are too comfortable to handle. They breathe incredibly well during those hot summer days when you’re enjoying the nice weather, and they are also relaxed enough to take a nice afternoon nap in the comfort of your air conditioning when you’re all tuckered out.

This gingham shirt is a perfect complement to the shorts and I have even rocked it with some white shorts or jeans before and it looks awesome! You will get a lot of use out of this shirt as it can be used for many different occasions. Anywhere from Sunday Mass, hitting the bars or clubs, or just chilling and having some drinks out on the patio. The price is incredibly reasonable and you will be hard-pressed to find a shirt that is any less expensive.

We found these pieces at our local Nordstrom Rack, but we’ve also linked them here online! In fact, all three items are on sale right now, so talk about a steal!

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Pink Gingham Button Up // Twill Shorts // Sanuk Flip Flops

Anyone else love to rock vibrant colors like we do?

BS

Relationship Wednesday: To Be BFFs Or Not To Be…

In honor of National Best Friends Day, I’m going to dive into my feelings on being best friends with your partner. I know there are mixed feelings on this topic, and rightfully so! Some people firmly believe that you and your partner should have very distinct lives from one another, while other people believe that your lives inherently become intertwined, and still others think the beauty is still somewhere in the middle.

No matter where you fall on that spectrum, I want you to think of something. Go back to the days where your only worry in the world was whether your best friend could come over your house for dinner, or if they could sleep over that weekend. Weren’t those the good old days? I fondly remember the pep in my step every Friday when I was picked up from grade school and heading home for the weekend. Sleepovers with my best friend were basically expected, and my parents would order pizza, rent us Mary Kate & Ashley movies, and we’d make up dances to record on my family’s camcorder.

I think back to those times and how simple life was. I spent quality time with someone I loved (and still love to this day!), and created memories I’ll cherish forever. Shouldn’t romantic love be that way too?

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One of the (many, many, many) things I love about Bobby is that he is my best friend. In fact, we became best friends before we started dating! Now that doesn’t mean that I subscribe to the mentality that you have to be friends first, but I do believe that it’s important to get to the point in your relationship where your partner is not only the person you’re dating, but also your best friend. Bobby is the friend I tell all my secrets to, no matter how embarrassing. He’s the friend I love to travel with. And he is the friend who I would gladly rush home after work to watch Mary Kate & Ashley movies with. (Even though we are entirely too old for that and I don’t even own a VCR anymore.) But the moral of the story is that you should be with someone who provides not only romance and love, but companionship, camaraderie, and solidarity. Growing old with your BFF isn’t just a story line in the Golden Girls; it can be your reality. And I think that’s pretty darn special.

I read a quote once somewhere that said something to the effect of, “If you have to invite your best friend to your wedding, you’re marrying the wrong person.” Since that day, it’s been a quiet reminder in the back of my head that if you’re going to build a life with someone, it should be your very best friend.

xoxo

AS

Introducing Target Tuesday!

Let’s be honest for a second here. I think a lot of bloggers get caught up in trying to be #lifegoals for people and forget what it’s like to live in reality. So instead of acting like I’m too good for a deal or don’t have a budget, I thought it’d be a great idea for Bobby and I to start a Target Tuesday column here on the blog!

And yes, Target Tuesday is exactly what you think. Each Tuesday we’ll highlight looks that we’ve created from Target pieces, because who doesn’t love a banging outfit on a budget? (Blogger secret: Yes, everyone has a budget. Even your fave blogger who is #lifegoals AF. 😉 )

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I’m kicking things off this week with a boho-inspired outfit that would be appropriate for all the remaining festivals coming up this summer season. Or ya know, if you’re just a free spirit who loves the bohemian aesthetic, this outfit is perfect for you and each piece is super versatile believe it or not. I thought of a couple different ways to style each piece before I even walked out of the store!

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Shop this look: Cold Shoulder Top // Denim Skirt // Crochet Fringe Cardigan // Strappy Heels (The only item not from Target but still pretty affordable!)

Anyone else a Target freak? I swear I can’t walk in there without picking up 7 things I don’t actually need…

AS

Must Have Monday: Lots of Luggage

My luggage game is in need of a major timeout. And by time out, I mean it deserves to be ejected. Don’t get me wrong, I have a soft spot for my tried and true Vera Bradley duffle bag, but it’s time for me to step it up.  I love my trusty duffle bag; I’m not the biggest Vera fan, but I received it in high school and it’s held up ever since! The fact that it has lasted so long and still looks sharp has secured the duffle a little place in my heart. But the trips we’ve taken so far this year alone have made it quite clear that I need to upgrade, especially with more trips around the corner!

The main reason why I’m looking to replace my duffle bag is because it’s a pain. Literally and figuratively. It takes a lot of effort to lug around a duffle bag that’s packed to the brim; I have legitimately gotten a bruise on my shoulder from the strain of carrying it through an airport. Not to mention, it’s downright annoying to deal with such a nuisance when you’re dealing with the post-vacation feels and simply wishing you could teleport to your bed back home.

I’ve decided that not only do I need new luggage, but specifically luggage that rolls!  I’m not a fan of checking bags; I will stuff and roll to make everything fit into my handy dandy carry-on duffle, but I realize that’s impractical sometimes — especially with some of the trips we have coming up soon. So a durable material (to protect my belongings from getting beat up in baggage claim) and great features are also product specifications that I’m keeping in mind before leaping into this purchase.

Here are some of the options that are in the running:

Anyone else hate that luggage is so expensive? Have any opinions on which option I should purchase?

AS

 

Summer Shoe Staples

Summer footwear is my absolute favorite. That is in large part because we have brutal winters here, so it’s nice to stash away the snow boots and wool socks in favor of espadrilles, strappy pumps, and sandals.

Here are some summer shoes I have already added to my wardrobe for the upcoming summer.



Although I am off to a good start, there are still a few things I want to snatch up. When it comes to footwear, I think summer shoes are the season’s footwear I love the most but spend the least on. Unlike the colder seasons which require high quality riding boots, rain boots, snow boots, etc., the footwear I wear each summer doesn’t usually last me to the next. That is partially because I’ll opt for slightly trendier options in the summer, but also because my shoes take a beating from being on-the-go all the time. So while I won’t typically spend over $100 for warm weather footwear and I’ll consider $200 a real splurge, there are plenty of options that are both affordable and adorable. Here are some summer shoes that I have my eye on:



Do you like my current summer shoe staples? Which options do you think I should add to my summer wardrobe?

AS

Relationship Wednesday: Conflict Resolution

I’ll share some of the things that I’ve learned throughout the course of our relationship since conflict resolution is a major key to long term success. Conflicts can cause the end of relationships if you are not diligent enough and willing to work hard to solve any problem that comes up. Many people take the easy way out at the slightest sign of tough times and will run away with their tails tucked between their legs, but that’s no good. Relationships are hard work and the most meaningful ones come from putting in days, weeks, months, and years, building and enforcing a healthy relationship. If you love someone you will work hard for them and come up with a solution since there is always one.

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Alexis and I have been through several conflicts during the course of our relationship. Yes, even though we may appear to have the most perfect relationship on this blog, we still have our conflicts and battles that we have to fight just like any other couple in the history of mankind. I will not dive into the specifics but there were a couple of times that we thought we weren’t going to be able to overcome our issues. (We have always known we were a perfect fit, but sometimes differing opinions or actions have caused a strain that made us question if we were just being naive twenty-somethings.) However, we always found a way to come to a solution or compromise because we love each other sooooo freaking much. You always have to work hard and keep on fighting and searching for the resolution to your conflict.

Seriously guys, don’t give up! If you really love someone right down to the bone then no conflict is too big to tackle; there is always a solution at the end of each problem even when it seems like nothing can be done. Ask your parents and people who have been through this before! We cannot count the number of times that our parents have offered us priceless advice about our relationship and how to overcome something. They’ve been through everything together and they know how to tackle all of the hard problems and any issues that they’ve come through. Even doing some reading online can be helpful — but remember that every situation is unique and that advice should be taken with a grain of salt. (Random Internet forums do not know the intricacies of your individual relationship.)

Sometimes we can be blind to the solution right in front of us, so an outside perspective is key every now and then. Basically, relationships are work. But they are a great kind of work, since the reward of love is so fulfilling.

The biggest things I’ve learned about conflict resolution?

  1. It’s worth any fight if you know the person is “the one.”
  2. Even during a fight make sure you still take time to love each other. (Show it and say it.)
  3. Don’t let fights ruin any big moments. 
  4. Not every problem can be solved in one day, and that’s okay. Keep sorting it out and working together.
  5.  Ask for advice from people who are well-versed in relationships. Bonus points if they are very familiar with you and your partner.
  6. Be calm and patient.
  7. Love conquers all!
  8. Kiss and make up! Both figuratively and literally. 🙂


    I know I sound like a hopeless romantic, but I mean it when I say you should never stop fighting for the one you love! Love is too precious to come by to just give up. Remember that, even when your significant other is doing that thing you can’t stand for the 177th time.

What is your advice for handling conflicts? Share it with us!

BS