Making Love a Priority in Your Marriage

If you are like millions of people struggling to keep your marriage afloat and are trying to beat the odds and remain married, you need to take relationship advice which tells you how to keep love a priority in your relationship. Many people insist they do not need relationship advice and can handle this area of their life just fine, and yet find the love in their marriage growing dimmer by the day.

Don’t wait another day to take some healthy and wise relationship advice which can help to stimulate your marriage, increase intimacy between you and your spouse, and to reestablish trust and love between the two of you. This is a journey which will be on-going and one you will refine over the years. Learning to take your marriage seriously means putting it at the top of your priority list. It must come first even before work, household duties, monetary issues, extended family, and other things that seem to gain priority over many marriages.

Extended family, careers, and money issues seem to take priority in most marriages. None of these things will help to stimulate love and trust and intimacy in your marriage. Though all of these areas are important areas of life, you must first develop and strengthen the bond of love between you and your spouse so you can take care of the other issues together as a couple and not as a single individuals. This relationship advice will provide you with a solid footing on which to gain a good foundation for the rest of your marriage.

To make love a priority in your marriage, go back to the basics of your habits when you were first dating and review the romance demonstrated there. Remember the way you use to listen to your partner when he or she spoke, recall the times when you went shopping together and held hands, and when you made plans to go on dates together. The relationship advice which centers on regaining your focus of spending more intimate time together should be heeded if you are desperately trying to restore the love in your marriage.

Revisiting old places which will inspire romantic memories is something that each married couple can do to encourage the growth of love and fondness and romance in their relationship. Many times, it simply takes taking a deep breath, slowing down and assessing what has become important in your life and what takes up the most time in your life. It is natural that careers will take up the majority of your time, but each morning, or each evening should be spent together as a couple.

If work and children make this impossible to occur every day, then do your best to see to it that you set time aside for one another at least a few times a week and then a full day on the weekend. Following relationship advice which promotes you spending more time with your spouse will help you to reconnect and to increase the love between you.

How to Make the Most of Your Outfits’ Shopping Trips?

Whenever I head to the malls, I look at my overflowing wardrobe to remind myself, though usually fruitlessly, that I must exercise restraint. I do the same, when I browse my favorite websites online. The online stores offer irresistible deals, so this personal resolve weakens there considerably. And, when it’s about sales and discounts – whether online or in the real shops – even the constant reminders fail to work.

I am sure that’s the case with most people, these days. After all, who would say no to the wonders of a nice shopping trip! However, what is important is that this ‘happy’ and ‘adrenaline-pumped, relaxed, de-stressed’ feeling remains (and escalates), even after credit/ debit card swipes.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case – always. Once the colorful stuffed bags are in hands, the ‘happy’ feeling fades, getting replaced by guilt or remorse – for many. There have been instances, when I have instantly regretted a purchase. I have seen women cursing themselves for buying something ‘useless’, as they were influenced by a fellow shopper or coaxed by a pushy shop assistant.

Some just cannot say no! Others decide to cancel, or worse, refuse Cash On Delivery orders. Cancellations and refund requests are a routine affair in the online shopping domain, and most ecommerce portals reel under the pressure created by incessant ‘returns’. Many of us just cannot seem to get the most out of our shopping escapades. And, a wrong shopping decision is not just about wasting the money – it’s also a great burden on our time strapped lives.

Well, here we bring you some tips that will help you make the most out of the time, effort and money spent on every shopping trip you take – in the real or the virtual world.

1. Think of Your Vital Expenses – for the month

This is one thing that I have always seen working for my husband, who always mentally cruises through the current expenses list, before he clicks on the ‘Buy’ button. Start with the expenditures that are waiting payment or processing.

Okay, it may sound like a depressing thing to do at the beginning of a, probably, uplifting shopping cruise, but it does make a lot of sense. You will be reminded of the priorities, so you will end up shopping only for the priority stuff.

2. Don’t Go Shopping (even online) – when in a hurry (or just before a meeting)

The feeling of ‘running around’ makes us stressed and anxious. We may not realize, but any frenetic, frenzied run-through is bound to leave you on your nerves.

Purchases made in such a frame of mind are quite unlikely to fit in the ‘great’ category. Also, we tend not to be our resourceful best, in such a state of mind. Plus, hurrying doesn’t let us look for options. Buying whatever we encounter first, irrespective of quality – especially when it’s something essential (at the moment) – is quite likely in a maniac rush.

That is precisely why planning ahead works well. If you have to make some purchases for some event, occasion, wedding or anything – even a gift – do so in advance, as you are unlikely to get something you ‘really admire’ in a hurried shopping trip. For the same reason, I now even avoid buying groceries and veggies in my lunch hour ‘free-time’. Doesn’t really work well, I realized!

3. Don’t Go Shopping – when angry or hungry (or thirsty)!

Cranky is bad, when shopping. If you are hungry, again you will be in a hurry to wind up the shopping, so you can eat (and drink). So, all we talked about in point 2 – applies here too.

Most women decide to go shopping to beat stress or a bad mood, alright. But, ask these ladies, if they love their purchases made on those ‘seriously-need-a-mood-lift’ trips. The majority of answers will put you off doing this in future. Instead, go for a run, or to a park to play with kids, or simply take a stroll with your favorite music in your ears – to uplift sodden spirits. Shopping is best done, when you are in a balanced state of mind!

4. Make a List

As old-fashioned and clich├ęd as it sounds, preparing lists really helps in prioritizing and cutting out unnecessary buys.

Contrary to the popular belief, making lists ahead of a shopping trip is not restrictive. Instead, it leans a direction and flow to your trip down the mall or street. And, at the end of it all, who is asking you to ‘not’ buy anything apart from what the list lists. Just start with the most important stuff, or something that you actually need, and then go to the peripheries and extras.

It will also reduce your effort too. I recently needed a new Anarkali, which I forgot, as I entered the mall. I shopped for 2 pairs of shoes, which I don’t regret at all. But, on my way back, I realized I ‘really’ needed the dress for my dance class. Since I was already out, I did not go back to level 4 in the mall – to my favorite store. I bought one from a shop near my home, and I rarely wear that suit now. Get the point?

5. Keep a Time-Limit

Okay, I know it sounds quite contra-indicative to points 2 and 3, but ironically it still makes sense. So, you shouldn’t be hurrying while shopping, but you must also know that you don’t have all the time in the world. Your trip or virtual crawling need not be bound by strict time deadlines, making it impossible for you to ‘breathe’. But, you still must set a stipulated time, when you would need to finish you stroll through the mall.

This will help you prioritize and avoid endless comparisons. It will also save time and efforts, as you will not dilly dally! Still not convinced? Try first and tell us later!

6. Visit your Favorite Stores First

Again it’s about prioritizing. When you start your shopping stroll, you are freshest, perkiest and most sorted. Most of us know, what we want and what we need. So, things are clearer. And thus, it makes sense to head to stores that are your favorites, or where you know the fitting, quality, prices etc. are most suitable for you.

So, instead of mindlessly drifting to the spots nearest to parking area or entrance (like my husband does), or getting enamored by biggest discounts and most vibrant hoardings – first head to your trusted labels. Devote the best part of your shopping trip to the places that are sure to fit your personal bill! Everything can come later.

7. Pay by Cash – whenever, wherever you can…

You know how it works. When we count notes to make payments, we better register – how much we have paid. Plastic money doesn’t let it seep in our mind – unless we see those humongous bills.

8. Don’t Go with a ‘Friend’ – who is too haute, too self-immersed, too cranky, too critical, too rich, too careless – basically ‘too’ anything.

We don’t need such influences, when we are trying to make the most of a coveted shopping trip. That’s the reason, shopping online, when at work, surrounded by colleagues with hundreds of divergent opinions doesn’t work well.

Ask for opinions, suggestions, feedback – but not from someone, you know, would always disagree, or has extremely different likes that your own preferences.

9. Dress up well, wear well-fitting lingerie and good shoes

You will, invariably, end up trying your clothes, so you must know how they will actually look on you, when you are ready to ‘go out’. So, don’t make the mistake of going shopping in flip-flops and shabby undergarments, especially with a shopping agenda to buy something special.

Dressing up well also invites good attention from shop assistants, besides giving you confidence to say ‘NO’ when you want to. Look great, feel sprightly and shop right!

Priority Mail Open and Distribute For Drop-Shipping

Are you familiar with USPS Priority Mail Open and Distribute? For some mailers, Priority Mail Drop Shipping is a well kept secret that they are not aware of, and as a result they are missing out on some great opportunities to improve delivery and reduce costs.

For those of you not familiar with this service, it is technically termed Priority Mail Open and Distribute (PMOD) by the United States Postal Service (R) (USPS). It is a method of drop shipping mail to additional postal entry points using Priority Mail as the shipping method rather than more traditional methods such as truckload, less-than-load (LTL) or air freight. The same service is available using Express Mail Open and Distribute (EMOD), although it is more expensive due to the quicker delivery time (next day service).

Regardless of which level of service is used, Open and Distribute is a pretty smart way to drop ship to entry points with smaller volumes of mail which make the more traditional shipping methods cost prohibitive. It works by entering the mailpieces at their normal postage prices (e.g. Periodicals, Standard, etc.) and then placing those trays or sacks of mail into Priority Mail sacks for delivery to the postal entry point.

By using special sack tags, these Priority Mail sacks are identified to the USPS as containing drop shipped mail, which the USPS then opens and distributes the sacks inside as they would normally be routed. The Priority Mail postage is paid on the weight of the mail inside the PM sack (and tare weight of the sacks/trays inside the PM sack), and essentially replaces the shipping charges that would have been charged by freight carriers if the more traditional shipping methods had been used.

Automate PMOD

In the past, this process was very tedious because this mail had to be manually separated, manually tagged with the PMOD tags, and postage statements were manually generated. Now, however, there are software solutions that allow these functions to be automated to the point that it is much more time and cost effective to use PMOD.

How can mailers take advantage of PMOD? There are three major benefits to using PMOD:

1) If you are experiencing delivery delays to remote or distant locations (e.g. Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico), or any location for that matter, PMOD can be a great way to shorten the delivery time. Priority Mail has delivery standards of 2-3 days, so the mail gets entered into the postal entry points much more quickly than if the mail was locally entered at the printing plant or letter shop.

2) You can take advantage of drop ship discounts even for entry points with low mailing densities, such as Butte, MT or Fargo, ND.

3) You can mail at the less expensive Standard rates, but get very close to First-Class delivery standards if you use PMOD to drop ship to additional entry points.

Your mailings can be easily analyzed to determine whether PMOD will be beneficial for you to use. Using a Mail.dat file, you can process this file through post-presort Mail.dat management software in a “quick plan” mode. This will allow you to see all the possible drop ship entry points for which your mailing would qualify. You can then go a step further by applying freight charges to the entry points with significant mail volumes. Any entry points with small volumes can then be exported into PMOD software to determine the estimated cost of PMOD shipping.

If you do not have post-presort mail.dat management software, you can ask your printer/mailer to perform these analyses for you, or you can contact a provider of this type of software to request a demo or trial of the software. If you have been hesitant to use PMOD in the past due to implementation concerns, or if you are completely new to PMOD, you owe it to yourself and your company to check out the possibilities of this great USPS program.