Don’t Loose Hope….Other People Don’t Determine Your Future

I feel like I have been posting a lot of quotes lately, but when something speaks to my heart I get really excited and want to share it.
That said, I came across these two quotes recently that I found very encouraging and thus, they are making their way on this site. (What’s a couple more inspirational quotes right?!?!)

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”
-President Obama


Monologue Monday: Thank You :)

I decided that instead of posting a Monologue Monday post in the form of a story or subject that has been sent in, requested, or that was written by me, that I would take this day to acknowledge all of the new followers that have recently subscribed to the site.

It’s so cool to watch something that you care about grow and prosper, and it only encourages me to keep at it and to strive to give more, be more, and believe more than what I have already accomplished!

Ya'll really did make my week J, so thank each and every one of you for your support!!!

Hope you all have a great week and I’ll be back soon with more posts.


Celebrate Their Success- Giveaway! (Closed)

I have been meeting a ton of new bloggers and readers lately, and it has been fun getting to meet all of the different personalities. Through our meetings, they have introduced me to sponsorships and giveaways, and I believe that this is the perfect way to not only support some of the blogs that I enjoy, but it also helps to inform new readers about this site. (I’m thinking that I’ll only do 2-3 giveaways per year, and focus more of my attention on sponsoring other blogs with great content, but it’s good to be informed of the options and to be able to support others along the way). So today I will be joining with several other bloggers to celebrate the recent successes of SimplyClarke and Carolinafireflies, as they both just reached over 1,000 subscribers! Success is better when shared with others, so let’s help support their exciting milestones!
****Giveaway Info*****
A few days ago, Marquis @ Simply Clarke  and Kristyn @ Carolina Fireflies reached 1000 followers on their blogs!

To celebrate reaching 1000 followers, they have teamed up with some of their favorite bloggers to throw a huge giveaway in order to say thank you to their readers. Take a few minutes and show each of them some love.

ONE lucky reader will win over $400 + of goodies from these 24 lovely bloggers!
Check out each blogger below to see what they are giving away and show them some LOVE!

1. Simply Clarke - Ad Space & $15 design credit to Clarke Creative
2. Carolina Fireflies - Ad Space & $25 Etsy GC
3. Passion, Pink and Pearls - Pretty In Pink Interior Design Package
4. The Dwelling Tree - 1 Month In-Post Ad Space
5. Gratefully Inspired - Ad Space & Floral Journal from Joules
6. Mikaela Rae - Large Ad Space
7. Love, Laughter, Happily Ever After - 1 Month In-Post Ad Space
8. My Name Is Madeline - 1 Month Large Ad Space
9. My Beautiful Crazy Life - 1 Month Medium Ad Space
10. This Little Blonde - 2 Months "Sleeping Beauty" Ad Space
11. Caravan Sonnet -$10 Starbucks GC
12. The Life of a Not So Ordinary Wife - 1 Month Medium Ad Space
13. Hooah and Hiccups - 1 Month Large Ad Space
14. Walking in Memphis in High Heels - 1 Month Large Ad Space
15. Simply Free - 1 Month Ad Space
16. Back Home Again - 3 Months Large Ad Space
17. Faith Love & Babies - 2 Months Ad Space
18. XO, Allison - $20 GC
19. Wifessionals - 1 Month Small Ad Space
20. Life by Rikki - $10 Target GC
21. Chaos, Commotion, and Emotion - 1 Month Platinum In Post Ad Space
22. Classy Living - 1 Month Large Ad Space
23. Simply Southern. Simply Lauren. - Choice of any shirt from my etsy shop.
24. Virgin Monologuez - $10 Paypal Cash

1// Giveaway is open to US RESIDENTS
2// Winner will be notified via email on Wednesday 3/27/13 or Thursday 3/28/13.
You will have 48 hours from the timestamp on the email to respond, or a new winner will be chosen.
4// View the Terms & Conditions listed on the Rafflecopter below


Monologue Monday: Sarah K

Happy Monday everyone!

Today’s Monologue Monday post is coming from one of my favorite bloggers, Sarah K. I love checking out her posts throughout the week, as she usually has a variety of different topics that are relevant to almost anyone.
I only found her blog a few months ago, and I’m amazed that it took me so long to stumble upon her site! You should definitely check it out when you get a chance.
Today she’s going to be talking about how she new her husband was the one. I read her post right after she sent it to me, and all I could do was smile. Love happens for different people in different ways, but in the words of Sarah, ‘when you know, you just know’.
So here is how she knew that her husband was the one:

Monologue Monday: Sarah K

Hello Virgin Monologuez readers!

I'm Sarah and I blog over at Love, Sarah K.

Today I'm going to share my story on how I knew my husband was the right guy for me. I don't really believe that anyone can really be the one, but more like a better match. :) (If that makes sense)

I've had many failed relationships prior to meeting my husband. And I was done with guys. You'll realize when you're not searching anymore, a great guy usually appears. It's crazy how that happens.

I moved to a new suburb area a week before Labor Day weekend and was invited by a friend to come out for lunch and just hang out.

That's where I met H. H and I didn't talk much to each other in the beginning until we got to the coffee shop and ended up sitting in front of each other. I found out he was not from Texas either and was here for his job.

After our first encounter, we started talking more as friends and hung out more in group settings. That was really interesting because there really was no pressure when we hung out and it was very relaxed. In the beginning I didn't think much of H, just thought he would make a really great friend, but after a couple of weeks, I realized this was the type of guy I should end up with. He was different than all the other relationships I had. I could totally be myself (this is key girls) and even if I did something embarrassing he was very sweet about it. Also, in my past relationships the guys would always flake out on outings and stuff, leaving me super disappointed, but H was different. He never flaked out on me and when he said yes to something, he delivered!

About a month later, we finally became official as boyfriend and girlfriend.

Six months later we were engaged. Four months later we were married!!

So we met, dated, got engaged, and got married all in one year.

You might be thinking, wow that is so fast, but seriously, when you know you just know. I know single girls hate this statement, but you'll feel it. I used to have a certain list of traits I wanted in a man that I'd pray about, but after all my heartbreaks, I gave up on that and just asked that God would send a man that just liked me for who I was... Simple right? And I knew H accepted me for who I was because I was completely myself when I was around him. That's how I knew.


Monologue Monday: Single But Occupied

Oc.cu.py :  To take up a space or an amount of time. To engage the attention or energies of.

-Webster’s Dictionary
I have a confession to make….
As easy, (but very deceiving) as it would be to make it seem like I have it altogether, I DON’T. (But that’s not the confession part…I’m getting to that in a second).
I mean I feel like I’m definitely getting the hang of things the more that I grow and learn, but I haven’t always had a handle on things.
 In fact, I used to be one of those girls, (and this is where the confession comes in), who sat around wondering ‘when’s it going to be my time?!?!’ (I even began wondering was something wrong with me that everyone else knew about but kept me out of the loop on…like seriously, why was I single?!?!?).
My precious brothers and mom were so supportive of me during that “phase” and always tried to encourage me and remind me of how special I was, but that only got me so far.
In spite of all of their support, and my knowing that things would happen when and as they should, I still felt like feeling sorry for myself.
At some point I got fed up with the self-pity though and realized that I had a life to live. I had dreams to fulfill and goals to achieve, and the longer I sat around focusing on what I didn’t have, the more I was missing out on LIVING!!!
That didn’t sit well with me.
I have too much ambition and passion to sit back idly as life passes me by.
So the most interesting thing happened. As I changed my mindset and started seeing being single as a blessing (instead of the curse that many people want you to believe that it is!), I started making moves and developing my strengths.
I started seeing being single as a time to refine myself, to go after some of the goals that I had, and most importantly to focus on me. (That’s not to say that I want to be single forever…let’s not get carried away with it J, but I AM saying that being single is just as much of a gift as being in a relationship).
I truly believe that once you get in a relationship it’s not just about you anymore, but at that point it’s about the both of you (as it should be).
Focusing on me meant doing the things that I’ve always wanted to do, pondering what I wanted to be and how I wanted to go about it, taking really crazy and exotic trips and not worrying about who I was leaving behind, devoting my time to volunteerism, and doing anything else that my heart (and creative mind) could come up with.
The more I have learned to love and appreciate where I am right now in life, and have turned my energy and attention into doing something positive, the less I have thought about what I don’t have. After doing things for others, putting in the time to achieve my goals, and setting aside the time to take care of my mind, body and soul, I am too exhausted (but fulfilled J), to think about what I don’t have!
So at this point in my life  I’m just grateful that I have a life and that I understand that it's worth living, and I am going to do just that each and every day that I’m given…whether I’m single or in a relationship.
What about you? What’s your take on the single life?


The Male’s Perspective: Mr. Congeniality (Part 2)

Many of you seemed to really enjoy the Male’s Perspective interview that I posted last week. Thanks so much for your emails and messages; the feedback was much appreciated and it gave me great ideas for subsequent interviews, so thanks again!

Today will be Part 2 of Mr. Congeniality’s interview. (If you are curious about how we choose this name, or want to check out the first part of the interview, click here).
Hope you all have a safe and pleasant weekend J
***P.S. If you have a question that you would like for me to ask in one of my upcoming interviews please feel free to leave a message below or email me. I love hearing from you! ****

The Male’s Perspective: Mr. Congeniality (Part 2)
6. Low self-esteem and low confidence seem to be prevalent issues affecting our generation. What do you think is the cause of this and how can it be combated?

I think it’s because of comparing oneself to others. I believe it is the most difficult for women though because of the extreme prevalence of the "perfect body/face/hair/clothes" in magazines, TV, movies and other sources of public media.
First off, those women you see on the billboards are being paid big bucks to maintain that appearance and they can dedicate entire days in the gym or hours upon hours in the salon. And, who says that is "perfection"?
Referencing question #5, girls with confidence and pride radiate a unique, non-descriptive type of attractiveness that quality guys love.
7. If a woman wanted to wait or practice abstinence, would you be willing to do so?

Yes, I would. And if you are in pursuit of a long-term relationship, a simple way to determine if he is “right for you” would be to tell him you want to wait. If he sticks around, you scored. If he leaves, you know he is not for you.
8.Some of the younger readers here have stated that they don’t know how to tell a guy no when propositioned about sex. What would be your advice for those individuals?

First off, please inform him as early as possible.
Basically, as soon as you realize he is interested in sex. (During the first coffee at Starbucks? Maybe not, but sooner rather than later.) If you wait until you and he are literally in a sexual situation, it will be most awkward for both of you and most emotionally, physically frustrating for the guy.
And specifically on how to tell him- be direct. Keep it simple. If you want to wait until marriage, "I want to wait until marriage before having sex.” If you want to wait until a later point in the relationship, "I am not ready for sex at this point in the relationship.” (A disclaimer for this statement: Because of how ambiguous this statement is, some guys may become frustrated if the "point in time" takes a long time to come. Maybe being more specific would help.)

9.What dating tips would you give to the guys reading this?

Be the best listener that you can be. If you place all of your attention on a girl when in conversation with her, you can give her the feeling that she is the only person in the world that you care about at that moment. It's a special feeling, as girls have told me. Also, don't forget what she says!
10.Is there anything else that you would like to add that I didn’t ask you?

Compromises are necessary in any relationship. However, when it comes to sex, it's your way or the highway for the guy.


Monologue Monday: Comparing Yourself to Others

I talk a lot about comparing one’s self and being envious of others here on this site. I personally believe that there is a direct correlation between comparing yourself to others and having low self-esteem.
Once you begin feeling bad about yourself, not only does this affect your confidence and self-worth, but this kind of thinking can roll over into your relationships, can have an effect on your dreams and aspirations, and can determine whether or not you apply yourself in life or you sit back and watch as others go after their dreams while you unrightfully feel insecure or as though you don’t measure up.
Before I go any further, I want to say that you do measure up and you are more than enough.
Once you start believing things about yourself, they become your truth and you live your life accordingly. (Which is why it is so important to speak positive things. Even if you don’t feel positive, I dare you to start speaking positively anyway and watch the difference that it makes in your life).
The more that you think about all of the things that are wrong with you, the worse you feel about yourself. Likewise, the more you start thinking about and speaking aloud the things that you admire and appreciate about yourself, the sooner you see yourself as the jewel that you really are.
This may mean taking drastic measures such as cutting back on social media or not reading some of your favorite magazines, but the reality is that sometimes these things are a distraction. You get so caught up in someone else’s life (that they are editing for the sake of only showing you the best or most envious parts), that you start resenting or hating your own life.
Don’t compare yourselves to others. In the media, things are seriously rarely ever as they appear. Even those “glamorous girls” that you wish you could be more like are not necessarily the exact way that they are being portrayed publicly.
You don’t go home with people privately, so you have no idea how they are really living their personal lives.
I used to get so caught up in this. I was one of those girls who would look at my friends facebook pages and feel like I was so far behind, or I would look in a magazine and think about all of the things that could be better about my own body, but at some point enough became enough.
If you live your entire life wishing that it was composed of elements of someone else’s life whose life have you actually lived?
Aren’t you more important than illusions or the editing of some producer or editor-in-chief whose sole purpose is to make you feel as though you are missing out on something so that you can covet the lifestyle that they are trying to sell you?
Don’t get caught up in the hype!
I’m grateful to say that this phase of my life, where I thought that I wasn’t enough or wanted to be like someone else, only lasted a little while. But I’m writing about it today because every once in a while it does try to come back and make me loose focus, but that’s when I fight back.
I refuse to be a carbon copy of anyone when I can be an original who sets her own trends and standards.
Live your life for you because it’s that precious. Even if everyone else in the world is doing something drastically different, you don’t fit in, or other people just don’t get you, do it anyway because you could be the catalyst for change that so many need to see.
Never stop being you and do it with style and conviction! Being you is MORE THAN ENOUGH J.


The Male’s Perspective: Mr. Congeniality

You know that awkward moment where you have to contact a guy and ask him if he would be willing to do an interview with you and share his thoughts about relationships, turnoffs, confidence and women (on a site geared towards young adults and women), and hope that he doesn’t look at you with a side eye or question your aptitude?!?!?

Well maybe you don’t know, but it’s kind of terrifying. To be honest, every time that I have asked a guy to interview with me, even though I know that there’s a good purpose behind it all, I get really nervous.
I mean not only am I asking them really personal questions that they probably only talk about with their friends, (and on rare occasions maybe their acquaintances), but then I take it another step by placing that information on the internet (with their permission of course!).
I’m always so excited, and GRATEFUL, each time that one of them says yes because I could imagine that it could be slightly stressful being interviewed on your private thoughts about such personal topics (knowing that your answers could potentially be read by tons of people).
That said, I have been very fortunate to work with some really kindhearted, compassionate guys who believe in what I’m doing and are more than willing to offer their opinions on the various subject matters that are affecting both women and men in our generation.
So today I am going to introduce you to a guy who is one of the nicest southern gentlemen that I have ever met. (And I’m from the south so I have met my fair share, but this guy is towards the top of the list!)
When I called him up and told him about what I was doing and asked if he would be willing to be interviewed, he agreed without hesitation and was very real with his answers. (You know how sometimes you can tell if someone is just telling you what you want to hear??? Well there was none of that…he was just very down to earth and matter of fact about it all).
After finishing the interview I told him that his identity would remain anonymous, because I care more about sharing the different male perspectives and less about revealing their identities, so I told him I would just call him Mr. Congeniality. My brother laughed at this, but this guy is secure in his manhood and just said ‘if that works for you than I’m ok with it’….I think friendly and sociable describe him perfectly!
Here are his answers in his own words…. (P.S. I decided to turn this into a Part 2 so check back next week for the end).

The Male’s Perspective: Mr. Congeniality
1.     Why did you agree to be interviewed for this site? What are some things that you think that teens and young women can gain from hearing more of a variety of different males’ perspectives?

Because I trust and respect you and I know that your efforts are true, valuable, and full of love. Therefore, I chose to support your efforts.

Also, a large variety of male opinions and perspectives heard by teenage and young women will provide them with a more balanced view of men. In addition, if a young woman has a specific question or struggle in a relationship with a man, a larger pool of male interviews gives her the best chance of possibly receiving her specific answer.

2.       Why didn’t your last relationship work out?

Two reasons:
First, was because I was leaving the country to do some international development work for 27 months. I have over 12 months experience with long-distance (international) relationships and have learned that those types of relationships do not work for me. My past long-distance relationships eventually became strained and never regained their original strength.
Second (and possibly more important), our post-college paths were quickly heading in drastically different directions: she wanted to immediately begin a career in a field that she did not love for more money and security. I wanted to spend the next handful of years exploring cultures far different from what I knew, and to absolutely love earning a living.

3.     There are some great guys out there, why do you think some women have such a hard time getting into the relationship that’s right for her?

One thought that I have is that some women make initial choices based on trivial attributes. For example, beginning a serious relationship with a guy because he is handsome and fit, or he is really funny. (I believe a physical attraction is important, and who doesn't like a good laugh, but much, much more is needed for a healthy relationship.) If that guy turns out to be immoral, selfish, or overly prideful, a woman will run into trouble.

Solution: think long and hard (or imagine) about the best experiences you have had with a guy. What qualities made those experiences so wonderful? Was it his generous heart, his dedication etc...

Another idea: don't enter a relationship with overly-high expectations (we guys are full of problems, far from "the perfect guy"). Think simply, so that when we do something incredible, it will blow you away!
4.      What are a few behaviors that you observe some women doing in their relationship that probably turn a guy off?

·         Self-deprecation, "putting oneself down". I have witnessed dozens of women doing this before and during relationships. "Your middle toe is longer than your big toe, so what?!" It makes guys think women value small problems too much. Plus, there's a good chance the guy you are with would have never noticed your extra long toe.

·        Some guys TELL you how they feel. Some guys SHOW you how they feel. Please pay attention and notice how your guy shows his love/appreciation for you. If he doesn't say "I love you" everyday, think about how much time he spends on you before you become upset.

·        If you are truly mad at us, please tell us why. The silent treatment does not produce any fruit in the relationship. For the repairing and prevention of future problems, we need to know what went wrong.

5.       Is it ok for a girl to approach a guy?

Heck yeah! As a naturally shy guy, I find confident girls very attractive. Plus it helps jump start that first conversation.

****Check back next week for Part 2 ****


My Wardrobe Essentials

So I’m going shopping soon and was trying to compose a list of the absolute essentials that I need to have in my wardrobe which can both, take me from day to evening, as well as remain staple pieces throughout the various seasons.
I’m sure that there are tons of articles and posts about “what every woman should have in her wardrobe” commentaries throughout the internet, so I’m just going to share with you all some of the things that have made my list (and that may or may not be popular choices!).
If you have any tips or suggestions please feel free to leave a comment below letting me know what your favorite place to shop is. (I’m always looking for a new place online or a trendy boutique to check out!)
My Essential Pieces

Blazer –You can throw a blazer on just about anything and instantly glam it up!

Nice Pair of Fitted Trousers –A tailor can do wonders for your wardrobe. Even if your budget for clothing is small, if you can spare a few dollars on tailoring and get the item fitted for your body, it can make all the difference.

Crisp White Shirt- Just like a blazer, I think that you can pair a crisp white shirt with almost anything and make it feel more fabulous.

Pencil Skirt- To me pencil skirts just scream sophistication.

Artsy/Creative Skirt- I like stepping outside of the box and having fun with my clothes. Every once in a while I’ll find a really great skirt that is my “go-to” piece for those days that I just don’t have anything to wear. (Which after living in a developing country for a while these types of days should be few and far between, but I still have those moments where I can’t find anything in my closet that suits my cravings for that particular day).

Pair of Jeans- I’m not really a jean person but I do wear them and think that they are essential for those days where you just want to be comfortable and casual. I usually reach for a darker wash or even a black jean when I’m searching for the right pair.

Red Dress - Red is my favorite color…for me it’s the new black. (Who says that you have to have a “little black dress in your closet right?!?!... Actually a lot of people say that, and I agree too, but I say wear what makes you feel fabulous and red just makes me feel fearless and glamorous).

Nice Pair of Pumps or Heels- Black for me is essential, but anything else changes with the seasons and trends. I love having fun with shoes, bags, and accessories if I’m keeping everything else classic.

Comfy Pair of Flats - As much as I would like to walk around in heels 24/7, it’s not going to happen. I have no idea how some women can wear platform shoes ALL DAY…it’s amazing really!

Nice Warm Coat- I love pea coats, but I may be on the look out for a new style come fall. (I have a pea coat that I bought in London back in 05’ and I’ve been wearing it every winter so it might be a little hard for me to separate from it this year…we’ll have to revisit this then).

Classic Watch- Honestly, I have NEVER worn a watch in the past, (I’m one of those “I’m not late, I’ fashionably late” people), but I like the way they look….and I’m tired of being late to things!

An Eye Catching Scarf- Have fun…Be as bright or as muted as you like. I think that scarves add extra jazz to an outfit.

A Smile -Ok….you can’t buy this at a store, but it’s free and it makes ANY outfit look better J

P.S. My motto is to try not to get caught up in the hype of the latest trends and fads. Wear what makes you feel good and you’ll be setting your own trends. Dare to be original!