January 2007 Newsletter
We hope you'll take some time to snuggle up and enjoy the newsletter about love, life and marriage! We are excited to offer you this newsletter designed to help newlyweds with useful resources and advice and of course, we encourage you to keep dancing and romancing! We wish you a happily ever after! Sincerely, Mrs. Deborah Joy and Mr. Brian Block, Founders of The Wedding Dance Specialists
Marriage Maintenance: Sensitivity Training
A marriage completely depends on how well the marriage couple communicates. Whether or not a marriage is happy and a success depends on how well each partners needs are met. More often then not, people are marrying before they acquire the skills it takes to meet their partner’s needs emotionally, mentally and physically. Some men don’t realize how important intimate conversation is or that things he might consider trivial are huge issues for his wife. Most women don’t realize how much their man needs to feel admired or that the man tends to relay on reasoning rather then intuitive sensitivity.
If your marriage could benefit from more gentle communication, be the one to start working on those changes…you might be surprised at your partner’s willingness to make things better as well. In Gary Smalley’s book For Better or for Best, Smalley mentions ways to encourage you and your spouse to be better listeners. Here is a quick list of methods that he suggests for improved communication.
- Warmth: Showing your spouse they are worth the time and effort to share their concerns, not because they earned it, but because they are human.
- Empathy: The ability to understand and identify with a person’s feelings. Being able to put yourself in their shoes.
- Sincerity: Showing genuine concern for a person without changing your attitude toward them when circumstances change.
- Share your feelings when angry or irritated WITHOUT using “you “statements. When you have cooled off, replace “you” statements with “I feel” messages.
- Wait until your anger or feelings of irritability have subsided before you begin to discuss a sensitive issue.
- Abandon the “I told you” statements.
- Repeat your spouses concerns so that he/she knows you heard and understand them.
- Do not interrupt the other person.
Be patient and continue to work on the skills listed above and it will help your marriage. The changes in your partner may not happen over night, but if you are patient and continue to work on it, the changes will happen, even if it is slow. Nearly everything of value takes time to perfect.
Filling the Nest: Creating Traditions
Now that we have entered into a new year, why not plan to make this year different? Instead of living life everyday without some plan, sit down and plan what traditions you may want to instill in your family. Your traditions can be simple or as complex as you would like.
Creating traditions assists in creating great memories. What do you remember most about your childhood? Do you have specific traditions that your family did year after year? Did you go on the same vacation to Grandma and Grandpa’s house? What did you look forward to when you were growing up?
With more and more families having both parents working, doing simple activities with the whole family not only helps create a tradition, but also will help your family become closer. The Power of a Positive Mom author Karol Ladd provides suggestions on traditions from the everyday to the holidays. Here is a list of a few of her ideas:
- Birthdays: Allow the birthday child to decide the birthday menu. Go the extra mile when preparing their requested food, everyone could donate their time toward a special project that would make your loved ones lives easier.
- New Years: Create a “Here’s Hoping” list. Ask each member to contribute one or two ideas that they would like to do during the coming year. Try to set dates when these ideas could be carried out.
- Valentines Day: Cut out heart shapes from red or pink paper and ask your family to write kind, appreciative notes to each of the other people in the family. Read the notes at the dinner table. Create a scrap book and add to it each year.
- St. Patrick’s Day: Serve green food all day. A little bit of food coloring can go along way!
- Easter: Hard boil and decorate Easter eggs together. Have an Easter egg hunt every year.
- Fourth of July: Hold a BBQ or pool party for your friends, family or neighborhood.
- Thanksgiving: Allow each child to pick a favorite recipe for the Thanksgiving meal and have the child assist in making it.
- Christmas or Chanukkah: Have everyone participate in decorating the home, makehot chocolate or traditional holiday foods together, play your favorite holiday music and encourage family sing alongs.
Consider the other activities that you participate in and see how you can create something special for your family. Do you like taking walks? Do you love renting movies and eating popcorn or going to the park? Think about all the opportunities you have to create some special traditions and memories for your children to remember always.
On the Town: MADjam 2007 Competition
Dancing is symbolic of love and unity and a celebration of life. That is why watching world renound dancers are so inspiring and romantic. We encourage you to take advantage of the limitless opportunities and venues to appreciate the art of dance at it's finest! The D.C. metro area dance world is your oyster! With Valentine's Day around the corner, why not escape from everyday stress and enjoy a romantic date night with your sweetie while exploring the exciting world of dance! It's time to hit the town!
Event: MADjam 2007 Dance Competition
When: March 1-4, 2007
Where: Sheraton Premiere Hotel, Tyson’s Corner, VA
Details: come and watch exciting Swing, Hand Dance, Hustle, Cabaret dancing exibitions and competitions
Event: Washington Ballet's "Noche Latina"
When: January 31-February 4, 2007
Where: Kennedy Center, Eisenhower Theatre
Details: features live Brazilian, Cuban, Mexican and Argentine music and dance styles such as Tango, Salsa, Bossa Nova, Samba and folk dancing.
Tickets: 202.467.4600, kennedy-center.org
Event: DC Flamenco Festival
When: February 9, Feb15-17
Where: Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC
Details: Colorful, flouncy costumes, staccato footwork and clicking
castanets are hallmarks of the DC Flamenco Festival, celebrating music
and dance of southern Spain.
Cost: $30 - $75
Tickets: ticketmaster.com, 800.551.7328, lisner.org
Event: Alvin Ailey Modern Dance Company
When: February 6-11, 2007
Where: Kennedy Center
Cost: $30 - $79
Tickets: 202.477.4600, kennedy-center.org
Reviews: Washington Post staff writer, Sarah Kaufman, "The famously well-rounded members of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater can be many things -- hard-bodied athletes, exquisite technicians, emotional geysers. Tuesday night, the opening of the company's engagement at the Kennedy Center Opera House, was a luminous showcase for a rarer aspect: the softer side."
Weekend Getaway: Deep Creek, MD
Deep Creek Maryland is a great way to take that mini vacation you might desperately need. For those of you who are looking to take off for a long weekend get-a-way, Deep Creek might be the place for you.
Being a small resort community, Deep Creek surrounds a beautiful lake while being surrounded by mountains. It is easy to feel much further from Washington D.C. then the 3 ½ hours your really are. It is a quiet and small community with a laid back atmosphere, that makes your body immediately relax upon arrival.
The Deep Creek community has wonderful shops and restaurants such as the Inn at Point View, Deep Creek Brewing Company and Trader’s Coffee House. If you are looking for a place to wear out your little ones, spend a few hours eating and playing at Smiley’s Fun Zone and Pizzeria or Funland Family Center. Either of these places is sure to out rank your local McDonalds or Chucky Cheese’s.
Want a day of shopping? Don’t plan on shopping at any Anne Taylor, Gap or Maci stores here. These local stores are small but contribute to the over all “homey” feeling of the community. There are a variety of shops, from art and antiques to clothing, sports and recreational equipment. The tourist type gifts and craft stores most people look for are in abundance here.
If shopping isn’t what you are looking for, look into the outdoor activities that are offered. In the winter season, you can count on great skiing, snow mobeling, tubing or a relaxing spa. In the summer season, play a game of golf, take lunch out on a boat or go hiking or biking at Swallow Falls (we typically go skeet shooting or horse back riding). You may also want to visit the stone bridge or nearby Cumberland. The list of activities is long regardless of the season you are planning your vacation on.
If you plan on taking a trip up to Deep Creek, try renting a vacation home verses staying at a hotel or bed and breakfast. My friends and family rent vacation homes from Railey Mountain Lake Vacation Homes every year and have yet to be disappointed with a home we have rented. Using their website allows you to pre-screen each home prior to rental. Railey’s website provides criteria charts that allow you to decide which amenities you would like to have, such as a hot tub, indoor swimming pool or pool table. It also allows for you to choose whether you want a home with lake access or not or how far you want to drive to get to the lake.
Visiting Deep Creek and renting one of the vacation homes is a great way to allow you and your family to relax on your terms, your schedule and your budget. If eating out isn’t cost effective for you because your two year old can’t sit still, stay at the house and have BBQ. Put your child to bed and relax with your hubbie in the hot tub and try it again another night!
Vendor Special Offers
We have done market research, pre-screened and personally used these vendors and negotiated these savings on your behalf to save you time, money and energy so you can focus on enjoying newlywed bliss! Click on the banners below to view their websites.
Brian Block - RE/MAX Allegiance - licensed in DC and Virginia
Now that you are about to merge your life with your fiance, you may be looking to sell or purchase real estate. Click the banner below to leisurely view DC Metro Area homes from the comfort of your home. Brian Block is a Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Attorney. 703-626-0715. Present this coupon to receive:
1.Information about upcoming, local FREE Home buyer's Seminar with expert advice from a real estate professional and a mortgage lender. (value priceless)
2. A FREE HOME APPRAISAL (value $350)
3. 2 FREE private ballroom dance lessons when you use his services for purchasing your home. (value $170)
The Wedding Dance Specialists - Valentine's Day Sale and FREE passes to bridal shows!
SAVE 15% on our posted rates at select location on any wedding or hobbyist dance lessons! This sale rate applies to private lesson packages. You can schedule your lessons anytime within one year from date of purchase. Sale expires February 15, 2007. Gift certificates available! Contact us for FREE passes to the Baltimore, Bethesda and Fairfax Bridal shows!
Dollars and Sense :D.C. & Northern Virginia – A Great Place to Live and Own a Home!
by Brian Block, Esq., REALTOR / Attorney, Block Real Estate Group, LLC, RE/MAX Allegiance
According to Northern Virginia Association of Realtors' "Realtor Update" Magazine, recent statistics show that the D.C. Region is the "Place to Live, Learn, Thrive"
The report points to the 2006 Regional Report by the Greater Washington Initiative which states that the Washington Metro area was among the best in the nation in 2005 in terms of job creation, economic growth and quality school systems. Greater Washington is now the fourth most populous metropolitan region in the nation, trailing only New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago!
The article details that "unlike those areas, the Washington D.C. metro population is expected to increase 8.5 percent by 2010"
Greater Washington generated 270,800 jobs during the past five years, more than any other major metro area, with an unemployment rate of 3.4% in 2005, far below the national average of 5.1%. Thirteen of the area's high schools are in Newsweek's Top 100 ranking. Greater Washington has a higher percentage of PhDs than any other metro area.
Ours is also a region of great diversity. Fairfax County has a higher density of foreign-born residents than Chicago, New York, or San Francisco. Minorities will comprise 46 percent of the population in Greater Washington by 2010. Twenty percent of area residents speak a language at home besides English.
Greater Washington's 2005 median household income was $72,799 -- the wealthiest of any large metro area.
All those statistics confirm what many of us already knew – D.C. & Northern Virginia are great place to live. That's why owning a home here is a great investment!
To get started today on your search for your next home, contact Brian Block at RE/MAX Allegiance, 703-626-0715 and visit his website at www.BrianBlock.com, 5100 Leesburg Pike, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22302. Get daily updates of homes for sale at www.SearchHomesbyEmail.com
Whatcha Cooking Good Looking? Olive Crostini
1 (4 ¼- ounce) can chopped black olives, drained
½ cup pimiento-stuffed olives, chopped
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
¾ cup shredded Monterey cheese
¼ cup fresh parsley
1 (8-ounce) French baguette sliced ¼ -inch-thick slices
Combine chopped black olives and next 6 ingredients. Top each bread slice evenly with olive mixture and arrange on baking sheets. Broil with oven door partially open, 3 to 4 minutes or until topping is bubbly and golden.
With the holiday season now past us, you may have a lot of thank you cards to still write. The most important thing to remember when you are writing your thank you notes is to be sincere. Use expressions that you are comfortable with and write with the same energy you would have as if you were thanking them in person.
Remember, thank you notes are in order not just when you recieve a gift over the holidays but if you were an overnight guest in someone's home or if you were invited to a dinner party or holiday party. Your hosts will appreciate your thoughtfulness and you're more likely to get invited back!
If I could have just one wish,
I would wish to wake up everyday
to the sound of your breath on my neck,
the warmth of your lips on my cheek,
the touch of your fingers on my skin,
and the feel of your heart beating with mine...
Knowing that I could never find that feeling
with anyone other than you.
- Courtney Kuchta –