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4 Things you Think you Know about Long Distance Relationships

Long Distance Limbo, Pt. 1 – Your Relationship Isn’t Real! Myths and Misconceptions

– Sempronia Hobgood GiftBasketsOverseas.com

Long Distance Relationship – the “blind date” of the modern age: no other relationship “phrase” has the potential to make people react like you’ve recited the chant to summon Cthulu, except perhaps, “We need to talk.” If you can get past the funny cats and even more questionable content on the internet, you’ll find virtual oceans of questions about the legitimacy of long distance relationships. We’ve seen everything ranging from “It’s not a real relationship,” to “How do you make it work?”  We’re wondering where all the confusion is coming from.

Has the media hyped up the idea that relationships must be tactile and clingy or they are nothing at all? Worse yet, have we bought in?

To help get some answers, here are 4 things you need to know about long distance relationships before you pass judgement:

1. You Can’t Handle The Truth!
You’ve heard this one: people have long distance relationships because they can’t handle “real ones.” We’re here to tell you that some towns are so abysmally out of candidates for real companionship, that looking elsewhere is actually the better option. We don’t have to name names, you know if you live in one of these.

Seriously, even if your town if is full of look-alikes of your idols, why limit yourself? In this day and age of instant connections, easily obtained webcams, free international communication, and even ridiculously fast international delivery services, chances are better than ever that you’ll find someone who fits you. Someone who piques your interests, shares your values, and expands your horizons if you increase your pool of potential friends and love interests to include connections you can make on the web – responsibly and safely.

The fact is, long distance relationships of any sort (and there are many) can be just as complex, fulfilling, rewarding, and even fun as the types of relationships society is more ready to accept.

2. You Can’t Possibly Know Each Other
Not living next to one another means you have tons more to talk about. You don’t have the same friends, you likely don’t run across the same things, maybe you’re countries apart and have different cultures. In this way, distance can be a perk. Distance gives couples the opportunity to explore every tiny detail of a partner’s life, and, in turn, to come up with fun ways to spill theirs.

While “normal” couples often spend time turning into vegetables watching their show of choice cuddled next to each other in silence, those who live apart learn to fill the distances with discussions, meaningful messages, heartfelt romantic gifts, creativity, and honesty.  It can mean admitting the dark things you’d rather hide, learning to take the time to treasure each moment you can connect, and finding creative ways to remain a part of each other’s lives, even far away.  If we’re brutally honest, cuddles would be great, but they aren’t everything, and living without them is doable.

3. It Can’t Be Real…(you’re not doing ‘it’)
Another misconception is that long distance relationships are sexless, depressing things for those who can otherwise not “get any.” Wrong! Suffice it to say there are ways around such things, and, believe it or not, despite our severe lack of teleporters, it is not impossible to visit one’s far off love.

Plus, while love-making for many traditional couples can become routine, couples that are separated have to become inventive to keep the fires of romance burning. They get flirty, they learn the art of intellectual foreplay. If you didn’t know, pictures are fun, presents don’t have to be mundane, and phone calls don’t have to be about talking.

For the record, when separated loves do come together, they have drawn up ideas nearly as complex as battle plans for what they’ll do when they’re together. The moments apart make the ones together sweeter. And despite the myth, after months of only talking, long distance couples certainly have more tactile things to do.

4. Long Distance Relationships are all Romantic  
Here is the grand-daddy of Long Distance Relationship myths. You don’t need Cupid to be involved in a long distance relationship. If you’re interacting with someone on a regular basis, you’re in a relationship with them. Whether it’s a business relationship, a family relationship, a friendship, or something else. Keeping up with your school buddies from home on Facebook? Or enjoying weekly raids with your WoW guild? These modern activities have sparked awesome, long-lasting, healthy, relationships that were at one point in time long distance only.

But it’s not just computer and video game enthusiasts, even businesses are jumping onto the long distance relationship bandwagon.  Are you Skyping or emailing with team-members from departments in other states, or working on international issues with co-workers or customers across time zones? You’re in a long-distance relationship.

And don’t forget about the circumstances that can bring distance to families – both joyful and sad. Sending your overachiever for a semester overseas? You’ll be doing the long distance dance. Or maybe your family homes a hero who’s deployed overseas. Yep, that’s a long distance relationship too.

And of course, there’s one of the most common kinds of long distance relationship – the ones where family members or friends have simply moved to other cities, states, or countries. In fact, there are so many types of long distance relationships, we’d be surprised if you aren’t in at least one.

Long distance relationships are nothing new. Ever since civilization started people have developed ways to connect with each other from afar. Messengers on foot, packages and gifts in ships, carrier pigeons, smoke signals, telegraphs, telephone, even Twitter. Why? Because there have always been long distance relationships, and we’re just getting better at them.

Image #1 by Dvortygirl

Image #2, #3, #4 by Brightdrops.com

Three Delicious Recipes to Celebrate Eid al-Fitr!

It’s the final day of Ramadan. Ramadan Kareem! And tomorrow is a delicious celebration of Eid al-Fitr. If you’re looking for some last minute recipes to sweeten up your Eid al-Fitr meal, or you want to try something new and scrumptious for your next celebration, there are some easy, mouthwatering recipes below.

Start your celebration with a refreshing drink that’s family friendly, and that will definitely leave your family and friends asking for another pitcher. Here’s our recipe for Mint Lemonade (or Lime-ade).

You’ll need:

3 Cups of Sugar

1 2/3 Cups of fresh lemons (or limes) quartered and de-seeded, but leave the skin on

1/8 Cup of fresh mint leaves

4 ¼ Cups of Water

Ice cubes to serve

Add the water and sugar to your food processor, process on high until the sugar is dissolved completely. Then add the mint and lemons – almost whole. Pulse until everything is chopped as small as possible and the flavors are infused into the liquid. Strain the liquid well, and chill. Serve over ice.

For the next recipe, you can really get creative. Mahshi is a great favorite across the Middle Eastern world, especially in Egypt. These will take a little time, but your friends and family are going to love the succulent vegetables stuffed with rice and herbs; you can even add your favorite meat to the mix to make them heartier. You can mix and match your favorite veggies for stuffing, and play with the spice profile, but the recipe below is traditional Egyptian version of Mahshi.

You’ll need:

1 Cup white, short grain rice

1 Large onion, diced

1 Large onion cut into thick rings

½ Cup of tomato sauce

A half-bunch of parsley, cilantro, and dill (you don’t have to use all of these, and can substitute your favorite herbs here)

½ Cup chicken or vegetable broth

1 ½ teaspoons of olive oil

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of allspice

Salt and pepper to taste

A serving of any of these vegetables: 8 zucchini (particularly short, fat ones); 8 eggplants (again look for small, finger length ones); 20 cabbage leaves (parboiled and with the middle rib removed); OR 20 grape leaves, parboiled

Start by sautéing the diced onions (NOT the onion rings) in oil until they’re wilted. Combine the pepper, salt, tomato sauce, cinnamon, and allspice. Simmer for three minutes. While the onion mixture is simmering, rinse the rice, finely chop the herbs, and add the rice and herbs to the onion and tomato sauce mixture.

Core the vegetables (or prepare the leaves for stuffing); when coring be careful to keep them as whole as possible. When you’re using eggplant, make sure to put it in a bowl of water after coring, but before you get to stuffing it.

Carefully stuff your vegetables with the rice mixture, but leave the top ½ an inch empty because the rice will grow as you steam it.

Add a ½ teaspoon of oil to a non-stick pot, cover the bottom with your onion slices – these will make a tasty barrier so your vegetables steam without touching the bottom. Place your veggies on top so that they’re standing up (and your rice stuffing doesn’t escape). Add ½ Cup of broth, and simmer on low until the rice is tender (usually about 15-20 minutes, but be patient and check each one for doneness). When they’re done, serve the stuffed mahshi and discard the onion slices.

And finally, a recipe that tops off the celebration with something sweet, of course. Your whole crew is going to love this decadent treat that looks a lot more complicated than it is. Impress them this Eid al-Fitr with a luscious Kunafa.

You’ll need:

1 Cup of water

1 Cup of sugar

1 can of sweetened, condensed milk

2 Cups of heavy cream

7 Tablespoons of powdered sugar

1 Cup of butter

1 package Kunafa Dough

First, boil the water and add the sugar. Dissolve the sugar thoroughly and boil for 3 – 4 minutes, until you have a simple syrup. Turn off the heat and set it aside. Whip the cream until it’s foamy, and set it aside as well. In a big mixing bowl, start working with the kunafa dough by pulling it gently apart. Slowly add melted butter and pull the strands apart, moistening them. Sprinkle the dough with the rest of the powdered sugar, mix thoroughly, then separate the dough into two halves.

Press the first half into an oven tray, press it into the edges, and pour the foamy cream over it evenly. Press the second dough half on the top, and flatten it gently. Bake this in the oven at 360 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes, or until it’s golden brown on top. Pour the sweetened, condensed milk over it, then add the sugar syrup. Cut whatever sized chunk you want and serve while it’s warm, creamy and delicious!

Images

Lemonade: Rob Bertholf

Mahshi: Gozamos

Kunafa: stu_spivack

We Turned A Long Distance Relationship Into A Wedding

“Once in awhile, right in the middle of ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.” J. B. Jeffrey

Summertime means beautiful weather, sunny skies and, the most popular wedding season of the year. With elegant sunsets, and tantalizing views bursting with stunning plants it’s no wonder so many couples want to tie the knot this time of year. With love in the air, we just had to share one of our favorite romantic stories with you.  Take a moment and let it inspire you to be more romantic, a little spontaneous, and encourage you to show your nearest and dearest (and maybe far away) sweetheart how much you love and cherish them!

Picture a couple: 5 years ago and oceans apart. He was from the US, She was from St. Petersburg, and their love just didn’t care. He was desperate to make the 6-month anniversary of their first meeting special, and wanted to send gifts to Russia, but the distance was proving to be something made to ruin surprises. Long nights of browsing the internet for the perfect way to show his love and devotion ended in nothing but frustration. He was constantly warned away: gifts would be shipped internationally, and the delivery date something that could only be guessed at. As you know, for anniversaries the day after just doesn’t cut it.

But his persistence paid off, though he couldn’t have known at the time. Uncertain and frustrated he placed a call to the GBO customer service team. Touched by his determination and love, this order quickly became personal not only for him, but our employees. His first order was simple: a delicate long-stemmed red rose with mouthwatering chocolates, something sweet and elegant for the woman who captured his heart. By the time he called it was already Sunday morning for his love, and the surprise had to arrive Monday, or not at all. With a little luck, a lot of hard work, and a devoted GBO team, his gift made it to his love on time and absolutely overwhelmed her with joy.

Barely a month passed before he decided he had to surprise her again, and then again, and again. Each and every time he came back to the company that had made the impossible not only possible, but easy. The gifts he chose were personal and thoughtful. Sometimes he sent sweet fruit baskets to Russia, just to make her smile. Another time, a handmade shawl to keep her warm while she was away from his arms. He spared no effort working with GBO to track down custom and unique gifts that were near (but not quite) impossible to find in Russia. Truly their love was a fairy tale. He showered her with designer clothes, rare books, a Blackberry, and even an iPhone 5 to help them keep in touch.

Other times the gifts were more interactive. He treated her to days at the spa, her favorite restaurants, even the opera, and even made sure a limousine was there to pick her up and drop her off each and every time.  Each gift came with his unique signature, a bouquet of red roses with a stunning white rose in the middle, a symbol of hope that theirs was a love that could stand up to any test.

He didn’t stop there! He knew that if he was to be lucky enough to marry this woman, he had to win over not only her, but also her family. Her mother (in Armavir) and her grandmother (in Tolyatti) were also spoiled by his generosity. Like a true gentleman, he spared no expense sending them both flowers for all occasions, and sometimes simply as a reminder of his affection. Finally, years later, the time was right, and he was ready to ask them if he could marry the wonderful woman they had both raised. He set the mood by treating them to a fancy dinner at the best local restaurant, again complete with a limousine to take the women to and from. He also wrote a beautiful letter to ask them both if they would give their permission to let him make the woman of his dreams his wife.

Of course, they said yes!

Five years of a fairy tale romance, the distance almost forgotten, and hundreds of gifts later, his one-time sweetheart became his fiancé, and then finally his happy wife who made a home with him in the US.  Even though he no longer needs GBO to send his wife surprises across the ocean (now he gets to do that in person), he still keeps surprising his mother-in-law in Russia with beautiful gifts and bouquets on all major occasions.

We’re happy to say, they truly have their happily ever after.  Thank you for inspiring us to give a little more often, to love a little harder, and to never forget that even the smallest of gifts can go the distance and bring us all just a little bit closer.

Wedding Image by: [Rich Bowen]

Where Mother’s Day celebrated on May 8, 2011 Around the World

International Mother's Day gifts
The Mother’s Day is celebrated on a second Sunday of May not only in the United States but also in the following countries:
Anguilla,  Aruba,  Australia,  Austria,  Bahamas,  Bangladesh,  Barbados,  Belgium,  Belize,  Bermuda,  Bonaire,  Botswana,  Brazil,  Brunei,  Bulgaria,  Canada,  Chile,  China,  Colombia,  Croatia,  Curaçao,  Cyprus,  Czech Republic,  Denmark,  Dominica,  Ecuador,  Estonia,  Ethiopia,  Fiji,  Finland,  Germany,  Ghana,  Greece,  Grenada,  Honduras,  Hong Kong,  Iceland,  India,  Italy,  Jamaica,  Japan,  Latvia,  Liechtenstein,  Macao,  Malaysia,  Malta,  Myanmar,  Netherlands,  New Zealand,  Pakistan,  Papua New Guinea,  Peru,  Philippines,  Puerto Rico,  Saint Kitts and Nevis,  Saint Lucia,  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,  Singapore,  Sint Maarten,  Slovakia,  South Africa,  Sri Lanka,  Switzerland,  Taiwan,  Trinidad and Tobago,  Turkey,  Ukraine,  Uruguay,  Vietnam,  Venezuela,  Zambia.
Additionally it’s always on May 8th in South Korea and Albania.