Be Bare Be Brave featuring Kink Expert Veronica Yanhs

Veronica Yanhs is on a mission to empower women to unapologetically live their lives through kink and BDSM.To her, kink and BDSM are vessels that take people on a transformative journey to become their most confident, empowered and enlightened self. We sat down with her to answer questions on how to enter the Kink lifestyle.

 

1. How did you get into the BDSM lifestyle?

It was something that I’ve always felt a calling to do (explore BDSM), but couldn’t do so until I was 23. I knew I was kinky since I was 4, and have both consciously and subconsciously desired to explore it. It wasn’t until 2013 shortly after my 23rd birthday did I get into the lifestyle. I joined this kinky social website called FetLife and went to my first Munch where I met fellow kinksters in a “normal” setting. I met some of my very best friends there.

2. What top requests most people ask you about kink?
Easily Dominance/submission and bondage how to’s! I think because of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, people are being exposed to it and are finding that it’s actually okay to explore D/s without being considered weird. And then there’s bondage! Blindfolds, handcuffs, rope (and more!) are the common ways to tie people down and restrict some aspect of their person to enhance their experiences.
3. What’s love to you?
Love, either relationship love or self-love is totally about honesty, trust, acceptance, and respect. Experiencing love with another person (or persons) or yourself allows you to be all of you, no matter how vulnerable, because you’ve got those fundamentals in place. To me, that’s love…that sacred bond.

 

Tech meets Love: Introducing expert Lucie Ebnerova of ‎Luvidya Inc

San Francisco the city by the ocean, by the bay, and the city of love. San Francisco is one of the most romantic cities in the country. While many of us view it as a tech hub where mega tech startups launch and take over the world. It is a city with perfect ocean views, great restaurants, and wonderful history. One of our experts is from San Francisco Lucie Ebnerova of Luvidya.

Lucie Ebnerova
‎Luvidya Inc was created by two friends who were frustrated with modern online dating and decided to make it more fun and have people connect offline and create more meaningful relationships that last. It brought the male and female point of view to the table to create a dating system that makes you feel connected in real life and disconnected from your phone. The company brings offline dating to the digital age.

We had the great pleasure to interview Lucie of Luvidya.

Question 1: What are some great ideas for a first date?

Today, I actually see the second dates more interesting because people meet online a lot and they want to get to know each other – coffee shop or ice cream shop will do the magic. If you met someone randomly at party or through friends you already had a chance to know each other, so the first date can be more creative. However, whatever you choose, make sure you feel comfortable and you two can talk 🙂

Question 2: How can we cope with heartbreak?

Allow yourself to cry and get the sadness out of your body. Focus on what is important – YOU! Find new hobbies, tell friends to take you out, exercise, start slowly enjoying life.

Question 3. What are great romantic date ideas?

Everyone has a different vision of what is romantic. But some fun ideas: long walks, picnic, dinners, horseback riding, jazz club, fireplace, paddle boarding, car drive.

Question 4. How do you handle cohabitation and splitting up household chores?

Communication!! Always communicate what you expect and what he/she is expecting. It might not be a big deal now but in few years.

Question 5. How do you deal with betrayal?

Betrayal can have many faces from low to high I’m guessing this is the question about the high, such as you can’t trust him/her anymore. You need to ask yourself what is there for me if I stay?

Question 6. What is Love?

Taking care of each other, respect each other and be very honest with yourself.

Question 7. How do you keep love alive?

You work for it! You are not afraid to give and not afraid to receive. You keep balance and enjoy every minute of it.

I Texted My Ex, Ugh! by Expert : Ilene Kastel, M.A., LCPC

We know that day, the day we break and “accidentally” text our ex because we’re feeling lonely or sad. We don’t think it through; we just want to be in touch. There’s a void we’re trying to fill. And then we wait… and wait… the anxiety increases and we consistently check our phones because we swear it buzzed. Then the sinking feeling comes and we’re sad and angry as we “know” we shouldn’t have texted. In enters feelings of being rejected. We start to wonder, “Maybe they didn’t get it?”, “Are they with someone else?”, and “Did they ever really care?”

 

Okay, so we committed the cardinal sin of “texting the ex”, now what? The key is to create a plan for the next time. Fact: Often times the urge to be in touch with your ex doesn’t stem from missing them but comes from other contributing factors. First, consider what was going on internally and emotionally in the moments or hours before you texted.

  • What triggered the “need” to text your ex?
  • Were you feeling lonely, bored, uncared about, left out, or nervous about your future?
  • Maybe something went wrong at work or we have no plans that evening.

Here is a list of possibilities contributing or causing “missing” feelings. Instead of missing our ex, could we possibly be missing:  

  1. physical touch
  2. having someone one with shared values, hobbies or ideas
  3. the idea of being a couple or having a partner; the dislike of being alone
  4. feeling different from friends/peers
  5. identity as a couple aka the “we” the “us”
  6. your old routine
  7. someone needing you
  8. fear of the future and the unknown
  9. feeling behind in life or not where you “expected” to be
  10. or that indescribable/special connection

These categories are extremely important to identify for coping and relapse prevention.  The great news, if it’s numbers 1 through 9 we’re in luck!  These have less to do directly with our ex and more to do with a need we’re yearning for or fearing.  If we had someone else there to fill this void, it probably would not feel so bad.  So, fill this void in healthy ways other than texting the ex. Find ways to supplement the things we are missing.  It may not be a perfect substitution but it will decrease our pain and increase our coping.  If we’re missing physical touch, get a massage or hug a friend. This releases Oxytocin and reduces stress.  Spend time with someone that shares similar values or hobbies, join a new club or group, remind ourselves that everyone faces being alone at some point. If at the end of your day you used to talk to your ex, for example, pick a friend to fill that void for the time being.  Again, it’s not a perfect substitute but it does help.

Now, if we are feeling #10 – missing that indescribable special connection, unfortunately, this is part of the loss that we need to keep grieving.  There is no rule of thumb for how long this will take. Be extremely careful about turning to the ex to make this part feel better because that relationship and connection has evolved and they can’t offer us what they once could.  So grieve and cry for as long as you need to.  Crying has many physiological benefits for your body and releases stress hormones.

We all have vulnerable, open and hard moments. Learning what you’re missing, other than the ex can keep you in control and invite self-refection and healthy coping.

 

Poor Dating History? How to Date Smarter & Pick Better By: Ilene Kastel, M.A., LCPC

“I’m looking for another unsuccessful relationship”, said no one ever. We all plan on finding a healthier more successful relationship the next time around.  No one purposely tries to repeat the same mistakes. So how do we know as we’re falling in “like” with someone that we are picking better and wiser?

Think of the courting process as a condensed sample of what the longer term relationship will look like. It’s important to examine if our needs are getting met early on in the relationship. If, after clearly and nicely communicating your needs, allowing a window for adjustment/work, your partner isn’t able to meet your needs it is crucial to avoid hoping, expecting, or seeing the “potential” in our partner as we wish for them to change.

Rule number 1: Only date the person for who they are and as they are as they are at this exact moment. There is great risk when we date someone for their potential as opposed to who they are at this current time because they may never reach their “potential”. While communication plays a large role, if your potential partner cannot adjust after a conversation or two then it may be time to move on.

Rule number 2: The secret is: Consistency and Reliability. These are the two most important factors when getting to know someone as well as throughout the relationship. How do I know if someone is reliable or consistent? Early on we have to access small pieces of information.  Do they call when they say they will call? Do they actually schedule dates and follow through on them?  Do they show up to scheduled outings when they say they will or notify you in a timely manner if they’re running late? Are they attentive when you’re stressed or anxious? Do they take interest in what you converse about? These beginning and small moments are indicators about whether you partner is reliable, consistent and perhaps trustworthy.

Naturally, there are other factors that play into whether we are “picking right” or dating smarter. But, these foundational rules are a solid and dependable place to start. If you’re wanting to learn more about yourself and how to date smarter beyond these rules, speaking with a counselor may be a worthwhile avenue for self-exploration.

Surviving the Holiday Loneliness by expert Molly Hillig Rodriguez

Molly Hillig
“Where you go to create RADIANT relationships. Your love life, your choice.”

What do you notice about yourself during the Holiday season?

 

Do you ever feel alone?

 

This time of year our feelings are amplified and on high alert. It can be easy to notice what we do not have in place of what we do have. Is there an absence in your life?

 

When it comes to the world of love, a sense of aloneness can be chilling. The media, social media, and Christmas cards represent that humans are collectively more joyful and loved this time of year. For you is this true or is this a false representation of what folks are really feeling? There is also a reality for many of us that we have not found our special someone or our relationship is not functioning at its best.

 

If you are feeling a sense of aloneness (in a relationship or singlehood) here are some tips to enrich your holiday experience.

 

 

  1. Try a new activity that involves new people. It is easy to come home from work and sit on the couch or our smart phones. Think of one activity you would like to try and sign yourself up. Maybe it is a Swing dance class, a crafting class or Christmas caroling! Whatever your heart desires to try let it be something new. It will provide the opportunity for you to meet new people and learn something, this is a powerful combination of joy. Yes, it can be uncomfortable doing something different, but the human soul desires novelty.
  2. Write a letter of forgiveness. You do not need to send it BUT writing about forgiveness creates a space of love in your soul. Every human is imperfect including yourself so forgive. Harboring feelings of resentment will bring you suffering and aloneness. Expressing your feelings and forgiving will bring you freedom.
  3. Perform a random act of kindness. Hearts will glow around you when you perform a random act of kindness. Buy a random stranger coffee in line, say Hello to a homeless person or give a cashier a complement. People are hungry for kindness in the world and the more you give it the more you will receive it!
  4. Know that you are never truly alone. Each one of us is loved for the simple fact that we are human. You were put on this earth because you have a gift that no other person in the world has. Discover your gift and share it with the world this Holiday season! Your life will change when you share your gift.

 

Try these four exercises in the world and see what happens in your life. Let me know how it goes. If you know of someone feeling alone forward this article to them it may change their season.

 

 

Speaking from the heart,

 

 

Molly Hillig Rodriguez

 

Surviving Holiday Breakups by Expert Divorce Attorney Brian Thompson

Divorce and Finance – Brian Thompson
“I’m on your side!”

The holiday season can be a difficult time for those in relationships that are teetering on the edge and especially difficult for those whose relationship ends just prior to the holidays.  What can you do to get over the sadness, depression or other feelings that frequently go along with the end of a relationship?

 

  1. Spend time with friends and family – The end of a relationship is simply a reflection of how you feel about and interact with that partner. It does not have to be taken as a reflection of your personal worth.  No matter what went down between you and your partner, chances are your friends and family (even the prying ones) still love you.  Remember that and enjoy some time with friends and family.

 

  1. Attend holiday parties – Continue to enjoy your favorite holiday traditions and parties. If you like to dress up, drink and/or dance at holiday parties, go ahead and do so.  Who knows?  You may just meet your next boyfriend or girlfriend at the bar, on the dance floor or under the mistletoe.  Just don’t throw yourself into a rebound relationship before you have processed your feelings from the prior relationship.

 

  1. Avoid your ex-partner – Try to avoid places where you might encounter your ex, such as parties thrown by mutual friends.  Delete him or her from your phone to avoid the temptation to drunk dial your ex.  Also, lay low on social media – don’t post photos of yourself with some new person you met just to piss off your ex.  This kind of passive-aggressive behavior is childish and just keeps your mind occupied with the ex-partner.  Consider “unfriending” or “unfollowing” your ex on social media so that you don’t see pictures of him or her that cause you to dwell on the relationship.

 

  1. Volunteer and/or donate – Volunteering to help others can take your focus off your problems, both real and perceived, and help create connection to your fellow man and community in which you live. Consider volunteering to serve meals to the needy in a soup kitchen, deliver meals to the elderly, or spend time with the elderly in a retirement community.  Consider donating to a toy drive the money you would have spent on your partner’s gift . . . he won’t miss the socks or tie you would have given him, but the child who receives your toy will be thankful.

 

Whatever approach or approaches you take to survive a holiday break, be thankful that a new year and new beginning is right around the corner.

When Does Finances Come to Play in Romance? By Expert Deitra Laniece

Deitra Laniece has been mentoring millennials  to have finical freedom with her company Money Noggin. Here are tips on talking money with your romantic partner.

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He’s your dream guy. Tall, Dark, and Fine.

You had a few amazing dates where he showered you with flowers, was a complete gentleman, but something is off.

Not sure what it is but you blow it off anyway.

After a few months dating you realize what’s been nagging you. You noticed some red flags.

He’s hung up on phone calls from what sounds like bill collectors and now he just wants stay in and watch TV every weekend.

You can see a future with him but can he even afford to buy a ring, if it comes to that point?

Finance is the last conversation that happens when you are madly in love, but it’s one of the biggest causes for divorce.

So let’s take a little close look at when to introduce the finance conversation into the relationship.

Before Talking Look for Signs of Financial Troubles

When you first start dating, you are just feeling out if he’s a match and maybe if he makes you smile a lot.

In this time frame, just notice how he acts when it comes to money.

Does he flash his money everywhere? Does he make negative side remarks when it comes to the restaurant tab? Maybe you notice he uses his credit card quite a bit.

All of these might be signs for you, but continue to enjoy your time and just keep them in mind if the relationship gets serious later on.

Don’t fret yet, just enjoy the attention and the conversation, but take note.

Gradually Bring Up Future Financial Goals

After a few dates, you start getting to know each other more.

Mention your future financial goals, like eventually owning your own home, paying for college in cash, or saving for a dream vacation.

When you mention these, see how he reacts. Does he seem scared or intimidated? Does he get excited with you?

These will help you get a good idea if he values the same things financially as you do.

Which is super important if you can see a future with him.

Now, do not talk about your dream of having a $20k wedding right off the bat.

That will scare a majority of guys even if they are financially secure.

Bring up wedding goals later on in the relationship, when you’re talking about more serious stuff like engagement.

After Getting Serious, Then Get Serious about Where Each of You Stand Financially

By this time, you’ve talked about moving in together or possibly getting engaged.

This is prime time to get into the nitty gritty of finances.

When you are getting as serious as living together or marriage, it’s time to understand exactly where each other stands.

Because whatever debt is brought into this relationship now, will affect you if you decide to purchase large ticket items together in the future, like a house, car, or renting an apartment.

Keep your debts prior to the marriage separate and keep focused on paying those debts off before getting any new debt together.

If your engaged, this is time frame you can sit down go over your finances and plan a wedding budget that will reflect both of your financial goals.

If one person is struggling financially, consider a financial coach to help you build a plan that will get you both on board towards building a financially secure future together.

Just like if your morals and ethics don’t match, your relationship will not work, so will your financial values.

If you value nice things, but your future spouse is super thrifty, you will for sure hit some major road blocks in your relationship.

These issues need to be ironed out with a financial coach before the relationship gets further along.

So bring up the financial conversation little by little. By the time you get serious, the money talk will be much easier to handle.

And if he’s not a financial match, at least you saved yourself from some potential future money headaches.

3 Beauty Hacks for Fall by Bailey

3 Beauty hacks for fall

1.BB cream

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Put down you 50 dollar liquid foundation and replace it with a BB cream this fall. Drug store brands like Maybelline and Rimmel range from 8-15 dollars. These BB creams also come with SPF 20-30, so you are saving money and you have a daily protection against the sun. BB creams are much lighter compared to liquid foundation they give your face a natural softness. Get the best result by pairing it with a light foundation.

 2. Signature lip colors

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Research posted in The Scientific Journal PLos ONE, claims professionals who wear makeup are perceived more intelligent. It all started with the study of luminance in the facial features of women. Makeup especially on the lips adds luminance to the face. Therefore, you are perceived more attractive due to the light the makeup brings out features.

Here are three shades that will really spice up your work look, give you more confidence and brighten up your features.

                                                            3. Fabulous Fall finds

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“A woman is never sexier than when she is comfortable in her clothes. Vera Wang”

They say bad things happen in threes, but that doesn’t mean good things can’t come in threes. These styles are affordable, chic and suitable for work. Here are three fashion finds from three different stores to diversify your fall fashion.

  

Fall in Love with your home: Introducing Expert Ri Prasad

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With 14 years of experience in marketing, real estate, contract negotiations, sales, and design; Ri Prasad is the expert you want in your corner- fighting for your dream. Her arsenal includes cutting edge marketing practices, state of the art tools and resources, and the support of one of the leading brokerages in the Chicagoland area.

Here are Ri Prasad’s top 10 tips for finding your perfect home to match your love life!

 

1. How does finding the right home similar to finding the right partner?

 

Both a home and relationship have so much in common: time, energy and money invested. We all hope for longevity and happiness when it comes to both of these things. The process to find them requires patience, an understanding of what you want, prioritizing your list as well as knowing when and where to compromise.

 

2. What places are couples looking for when buying their first home together?

I think it is essential to have separate bathrooms as well as space away from the other to ensure time together is fully enjoyed. My new couples tend to love the lively areas such as River North, Streeterville, West Loop and Wicker Park. This lets them choose a new neighborhood and explore it together. What more can you ask for in life than a partner who is willing to explore and go on everyday adventures with you?

 

3. What places are singles looking for to purchase?

I think as a single person, we tend to get into our routines. I don’t know about you but I love time alone. It is always nice to live in a neighborhood where everything is accessible and easy to get to. When you find amazing neighborhood places that you enjoy, you are willing to out more and explore. This may be the perfect way to find your next match.

4. How can we make our home filled with our own style and our sanctuary?

I always tell people to keep mass appeal in mind when decorating because when we go to sell, buyers tend to get distracted with excess. Buy classic pieces of furniture that will never go out of style then add your flair with pillows, rugs, etc. These small items allow you to express yourself and as you evolve, as we all do, so can your sanctuary.

5. When’s the best time to rent vs. buy?

This is Chicago. It is always better to buy because the prices are cheaper than what you would spend on rent. If you are looking for a specific time of the year, I recommend during the winter time, no one else is looking and the prices tend to be lower as a result. If you are going to start looking, don’t cheat on me, give me a call!

6. When a couple isn’t married what’s the best route to purchase a home?

Always protect yourself. There is a reason Kanye wrote an entire song about Prenups. I honestly believe that one person should buy the house (they provide the down payment, pay for everything associated with the purchase) then to be fair, you split all costs going forward. This way, everyone is protected and it is fair. You don’t ever want to get into a situation where you are fighting over them home.

7. How is selling real estate similar to dating?

How is it not? So many personalities, choices (as far as agents go) and you are always finding something out about the other person. it is a process but just like dating, if you find the right person, it doesn’t feel like work. It can actually be fun and exciting.

8. What’s the number one thing we all should have in our homes?

I recommend an UV Sanitizer and Odor Reducer. It will change your life! Whether you love to cook, have pets or a bit behind cleaning, this product is life changing.

9. What is love?

I think love is the understanding and acceptance of a person. Not an inch taller, 10 lbs lighter or anything else. I think the beautiful thing about love is, when someone truly cares about you and sees that you want or need something, they make that change themselves. People believe love is what you see on tv, the exaggerated moments, the over-sized gestures. I disagree. I think it is the smallest of things, the purest of moments. When someone remembers that I love hazelnut chocolate and picks it up for me when they are at the grocery store. When they give me the last bite of dessert. That is love.

10. What are your tips for keeping love?

Saying thank you even when you don’t have to. Walking away before you say anything hurtful or unnecessarily mean. Being thoughtful by doing the smallest of things. Keeping life exciting and random, my favorite moments are when you play hooky and go to the zoo for absolutely no reason. Those small adventures and experiences keep you together because you remember why you fell in love in the first place.

 

The Single Girl’s Guide to Home Buying!

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The credo for many single women who are committing to a mortgage of their own has always been, buy now, and marry later. There are many factors behind this motivation. While a single girl nay does not need a guy to guide them, it is no offense for them to be guided in home buying. Several guidelines will take you through the process of home buying.

It is prudent to consider getting a mortgage that will leave your budget flexible enough to mend other issues in the house. It’s important to do the math (to ensure you have the means) before making any (steps?) ahead. A single girl needs to be out there looking and shopping around for a mortgage. She needs to be comparing the prices and the terms attached.

It is important, as a single girl to pick someone as a guide in the process of home buying. The guide could be a mortgage broker, a financial advisor or a real estate agent. You will also need a real estate agent in your endeavor.

You may go a step further to reach out to pest and mold inspectors, insurance representatives and contractors. Saving a thousand repairs in the latter years is important.

Additionally, you will need to be patient. Sometimes the search can extend up to months. An average person will see over 30 apartments to reach the point of buying one. You will not afford to buy the first thing you land sight on. Take your time and be patient. Your appearance will suggest a lot to the agent whether you’re a serious homebuyer.

A single girl will face many challenges when buying a home alone, Stay strong despite the issues you meet. Always know what you want and ask relevant questions. You will need to present yourself in a manner that will let everyone know that you have enough cash for buying that home.

Lastly, consider all closing procedures. There is a lot that is involved in transferring ownership. Check whether everything is okay before signing the deal.