A Good Mattress Can Help Your Sex Life

 

This post was brought to you by ChooseMattress.com. Thanks for supporting the posts that support Skinny Dip.

I found a sex related topic I haven’t written about yet: mattresses! I never considered the impact mattress comfort had on my sex life until I moved in with my ex-partner. I went from sleeping on a reasonably comfortable spring mattress to spending my nights atop of an Ikea foam mattress that I’m pretty sure was designed by Satan himself. Every morning I’d wake up with a sore back and achy muscles. I have a back injury and when my back doesn’t feel good, my libido suffers. When we finally made the switch and invested in a super comfy mattress, it had a positive impact on our sex life. (It’s amazing how much sexier you feel when you’re no longer living in a real-life version of the sofa bed episode of Seinfeld.)

So, without further adieu, here are a few pointers on how to choose the right mattress so your sex life never has to suffer.

Comfort

When choosing a mattress for sex, comfort is one of the things you don’t want to mess around with. Anyone who’s ever had the unfortunate experience of having sex on a futon only to wake up the next day feeling like their body was put through a trash compactor, knows exactly what I’m talking about. The last thing you want is to strain your body while making love (this is especially true if you already have an injury like I do.) Some mattresses will strain your knees, buttocks, or hands, and other areas of your body that offer support during sex. When these are strained, you will get tired out more quickly and may even wake up to body pain. Look for a mattress that’s comfortable and supportive so that sex can be as pleasurable as possiblesomething that’s more difficult to achieve when you’re worried about your mattress giving you shin splints.

Noise

While most people have differing preferences when it comes to noise during sex, I think most of us can agree that there’s nothing sexy about a creaky, squeaky mattress. This is especially true if you live with other people and want to keep things, um, discreet. Instead, aim to create an environment that allows you to focus on your partner with minimal distractions. By providing comfort and discretion, a quiet mattress will help increase performance and pleasure for both of you.

Bounce effect

To maintain rhythm and endurance you’ll want to make sure your mattress offers sufficient bounce. A rigid base may not offer this. When you don’t have enough bounce, your partner will feel like they’re being pressed into the mattress — and not in a good way. So, make sure you find a mattress with sufficient bounce for maximum pleasure.

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Edge support

When choosing a mattress to bolster your sex life, you also need to think about edge support — the encasement around the frame that spring mattresses require to support the springs. A good mattress will offer sufficient edge support to ensure safety and comfort, and will be designed to accommodate weight and pressure, without collapsing (I’m not sure what that would look like, but it doesn’t sound fun). Instead of worrying about stuff, a  good mattress allows you to focus on what’s important: great sleep and satisfaction from sex.

So, there you have it. If you’re shopping for a mattress with sex in mind, these tips should help. Think about it: the average person sleeps for one third of their life (if you sleep approx 8 hours a night and live for 75 years, that’s 25 years or 9,125 days that you spend asleep). You owe it to yourself to create the perfect refuge and playground for you and your partner(s) with a good mattress.

Tips For When You’re Literally Living in Your Mom’s Basement

 

We’ve heard the stats. There’s now more adults living at home than ever before.

(As I mentioned in a piece I wrote for the Huffington Post last year, a Pew Research study found that as of 2014, for the first time in more than 130 years, adults ages 18 to 34 are more likely to be living in their parents’ home than with a spouse or partner in their own household. According to their research, this turn of events is fueled primarily by the dramatic drop in millennials who are choosing to settle down romantically before age 35, but also by larger economic issues.)

I am one of those adults.

A few years ago, my Mom helped me turn a ground level storage room into a bedroom and work area. I’ve since learned a little bit about subterranean living.

(Technically, my living space is “garden level.” My Mom always likes to remind me of this. However, I think a  lot of these tips apply to anyone who is living in a small and/or less than desirable living situation.)

Whether you’re living in Vancouver, Barrie or somewhere else in basement-living-land, these lessons and tips are for you.

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1. Surround yourself with things you love. Just don’t go overboard.

For me this means books, books, books and more books, plus a few carefully chosen tchotkes that I’ve collected over the years. If I’m having a bad day – and even when I’m not – it’s nice to look around and see things that bring me joy. With that said, I’ve learned that it’s important to reel in the collecting, unless you actually want to feel like you’re living in a literal bookshelf (hey, maybe that’s your thing though! No judgement!) Personally, I prefer a more minimal space so I’ve had to learn how to balance the desire for “things” with keeping the space as open as possible.

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2. Color is your friend.

I used to think that the only way to do small space living was by being as neutral and monochromatic as possible. I’ve discovered that I really enjoy a nice pop of color here and there. Experiment and find what makes you happy. (FYI these Mexican pompoms (above) give me life and are perfect for brightening up a room – whether that’s room is in Cambridge, Ontario or Tulum, Mexico)

3. Warm bedding is key.

Winters on the west coast are damp. Heck, summers can feel pretty damp too. This innate chilliness is intensified when you’re sleeping in a basement or ground level space. But it’s nothing that a warm duvet can’t fix. I prefer natural duck down, but there’s lots of synthetic options that are great too. PS. Sheepskin throws are also great for adding a cozy vibe to your space.

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4. Indulge in a few luxury touches.

Sure, you’re likely living with your family to save money but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge in a little luxury. No, I’m not suggesting that you go out and drop your last five grand on a Cartier serving tray. I’m just saying that adding a few touches that make your space feel special (whatever that looks like to you) is good for your mental health. I’m a big fan of art that brings back good memories (like my Jaguar print by Emma Ruben that I brought back from Tulum) and the gold & mirrored accessories I found at Target.

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5. Edit your possessions ruthlessly.

My space is small — especially my closet — so I’ve had to adopt a “one in, one out policy” when it comes to new possessions. Just because you love something doesn’t mean it has to be in your space. If you have access to storage, pack away everything that’s not essential. Yup, that’s my actual messy closet and yes, I do buy striped t-shirts in bulk. Thanks for asking!

6. Never go to bed angry.

I don’t know what your situation is, but if you interact with your family on a daily basis this rule is golden. Living with other people isn’t easy. If you can let it go (sometimes it’s just not worth the argument), do it. Otherwise, talk it out and apologize if necessary.

7. There ain’t no shame in your game.

Okay, that’s only partly true. I’m super self-conscious about the fact that I live at home (especially after spending so many years living on my own) but most people are really supportive when I tell them. Sure, dating while living at home can be a bit awkward at times, but it’s not that big a deal. This is just temporary. If anyone you’re dating has a problem with your living situation, they’re not right for you anyways.

What are some of your favorite tips for living in a basement or small space?

Making DIY Art Dreams Come True with Bestcanvas.ca

It seems like just yesterday I was fantasizing about turning one of Joe the Intern’s photos into a piece of wall art. Well my friends, dreams really do come true. Almost a year later, the folks over at BestCanvas.ca approached me about turning one of favorite photos into a canvas print. I knew exactly which one I would choose.

IMG_0084The  process was ridiculously simple. After consulting the minimum resolution requirements, I chose a large 40’’x30’’ portrait shaped canvas for Joe’s mug and uploaded my photo (the system lets you play around with different formats to see which works best). It was exactly what I had in mind, so I ordered it.

That’s the beauty of BestCanvas.ca — you can literally take any high resolution photo — a favorite vacation shot, a photo of your pet or even a stock image that you really love and turn it into gorgeous, personalized art. Goodbye, generic home decor. Hello, conversation starting DIY statement piece.

About two weeks later, my print arrived on my doorstep and I ripped open the packaging like a kid on Christmas morning totally normal thirty-something anxiously awaiting a large scale print of their favorite man doll.

You guys, I’m smitten. I had no idea what to expect, so I was totally floored when I saw how vivid the colors are.  It’s so bright and happy and perfect.

IMG_0081I love how large, bold art can add an instant pop to an otherwise blank space. When I move, I envision hanging this piece in my breakfast/eating area because I like the idea of looking up from my smoothie every morning and remembering that sunny day wandering around Beverly Hills. However, since I’m currently without said wall space/breakfast nook, I’ve had fun experimenting with the print in various areas of my current home. Behold the proof that a life-size print of a half-naked G.I Joe is surprisingly versatile!

ACS_0029If I’m feeling lazy or don’t have a lot of wall space to hang art, I’m fond of leaning it against walls. I love how my Joe print looks propped up on my dresser.

Although I still think a large landscape oriented (lengthwise) print would better suit the space above my bed, Joe the Intern insisted I try it in the bedroom anyways — you know, because nothing sets potential lovers at ease like a large scale photo of a plastic man with rock hard nipples the size of quarters.

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It doesn’t look terrible, but I think that I’ll stick to hanging this piece in less intimate areas. Sorry, Joe.

All in all, I really enjoyed my Bestcanvas.ca experience. The only thing I wish I’d known beforehand is that these prints are very high resolution (a good thing!) I wish I’d done a better job photo-shopping Joe before I uploaded the image because the small blemishes (ie. marks on Joe’s face) that were visible on the original showed up on the print. Just something to consider for next time.

Joe on the other hand, has no complaints.

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So, there you have it. Art dreams turned real. What photo would you like to turn into a print?

This post was brought to you by Bestcanvas.ca. I received this print free of charge in exchange for my honest assessment of the product. Thanks for supporting the branded posts that support this blog.

My Bummer-Proof Guide to Getting The Most out of 2017

 

The world may be going to hell in a knock-off handbag, but I’m determined to make the most out of 2017 no matter what.

In December I participated in Molly Mahar’s Stratejoy Holiday Council for the 4th year in a row. I love the Holiday Council – it’s  a great way to wrap up the past year and plan for the one ahead. The course encourages everyone to pick a theme word for the year and five “ways of being” that embody your theme.

The theme I chose for 2017 is shift While there’s lots of things I love about my life, there’s certain pivots I want to make in both my personal and professional life for 2017. I want to expand my career, save money & finally move back into an apartment/home of my own.

To make my goals happen I’ve chosen these five ways of being in 2017:

BE PERSISTENT

Stop letting myself off the hook. Give fear the middle finger & persistently pursue my goals. Embrace positive forward progress over perfection.

BE BAD-ASS

Wear more red lipstick. Tell brave stories. Show confidence. Remind myself regularly that I’ve ‘totally got this.’

BE FRUGAL

Both in time and money. Use the library & public transit more. Spend mindfully. Save for a rainy day. Use what I’ve got at my disposal instead of giving in to instant gratification.

BE CONNECTED

Use social media to connect instead of distract. Do activities that get me out of my comfort zone and allow me to connect with my community, both online & in person. Write about things that will be helpful to other people.

BE LIMITLESS

Go big. Do the thing. Shift forward into fulfilling my goals. Know that there’s no cap on what I can do.

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Speaking of bad-ass, if you haven’t checked out my friend Casey Palmer‘s blog you should. Not only is Casey a top-notch Dad & all around human, I’m continually impressed with how much he does while juggling a career/fatherhood/marriage & blogging. Case and point: every year he posts a list of 100 things he wants to accomplish in the 12 months ahead.

As a naturally anxious person, just the idea of a 100 item to-do list is enough to give me heart palpitations, so I decided to be uber realistic and make a list of 12 things I’d like to do in 2017. One for every month.

1. Wear the lipstick and earrings.

When you work from home it’s so easy to fall into a fashion rut. But I’ve noticed that my friend Kate (who also works at home) is always posting photos where she looks super cute in fun jewelry & gorgeous lipstick. I have fun jewelry and lots of lipstick…I could do this too! So, my intention is to actually make it happen: wear my nice clothes, accessories and a bold lip even though I mostly just work out of coffee shops.

2. Get to Wardrobe Zero.

What exactly is wardrobe zero? Good question. For most of my adult life I’ve always had a large rubbermaid bin of clothes that are either off season (i.e. sweaters, bikinis) or need to be sold or donated. This bin sits in storage and takes up space. While I like the idea of creating a capsule wardrobe, it’s not realistic for me. Instead, I’d like to get to the point where everything I own fits in one smallish closet – in other words, a closet without waste aka “wardrobe zero.” If I can see everything I have in one place, I’m hoping this will discourage me from accumulating items I don’t need. I have one more bag full of items to consign in May and then I’ll officially be at wardrobe zero. Wahoo!

3. Get to Beauty Zero.

I did this about 5 years ago and it was so rewarding. Basically this just means using through all the products I have (including samples!) so I can get a better handle on what I actually use and like, so I can get away from buying products that I just end up abandoning in favour of more new products. Who needs 8 different kinds of shampoo in my shower? Not me.

4. Get to Bookshelf Zero.

I have a bad habit of stockpiling books. In an effort to embrace frugality this year I’m working towards bookshelf zero. This means reading everything in my to-read pile before buying more books. If I’m feeling particularly motivated, I might even start to tackle the 30+ books on my e-reader! If I manage to stick to this goal I’m treating myself to a hard copy of Roxane Gay’s Difficult Women.

5. Learn to cook something new every month.

[2/12 COMPLETE] Every year I say I’m going to cook more and every year this goal falls to the wayside. I decided to be super realistic this year. If I can learn one new dish per month, I’ll be happy. So far I’ve taught myself to make KimChi fried rice and Cajun Dirty Rice. Yes, things are still pretty rice-y around here, but it’s a start.

6. Take pole dance classes.

[IN PROGRESS!] I’ve wanted to take pole classes forever – because, who doesn’t want to spin and hang upside down while Rihanna plays in the background? I took an intro class in January and fell in love. It’s now been about six weeks of classes and I have the inner thigh bruises to prove it.

7. Take ballet classes again.

 This is next on the docket after I finish up the next round of pole classes.

8. Get my drivers license.

Jeebus, it’s time. I keep saying this, but let 2017 be the year I finally cross this off my list.

9. Publish at least 3-5 articles in American outlets.

After taking the Pitch Like a Honey Badger course, I finally found the courage to pitch some of my dream publications. If you’re a freelance writer and want to expand into new markets I highly recommend this course!

10. My own apartment.

 This is one of my top goals for the year (along with some big professional ones.) Real estate prices are insane here and rents are on the rise, but I’m hoping that with the help of this Pinterest board that I obsessively update, I can manifest the hell out of this goal and find the perfect place.

11. Get my Barre certification.

[MAY 2017] Over the past few years I’ve become addicted to barre fitness to the point where I’ve toyed with the idea of getting my certification to teach. There’s a course happening in May. Depending on my work schedule, I’d really like to take it. This is kind of a stretch goal: if it happens, it happens but if it doesn’t, I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

12. Get crafty.

This is another stretch goal, but I’d really like to follow through on turning Joe’s handsome mug into some large scale art prints like I mentioned in this post. I’d also like to create an album(s) of my favourite Instagrams from my two California trips. It wasn’t until I saw this post on A Beautiful Mess that I remembered how much I miss having actual photo albums to look through. Phones are great, but it would be nice to have hard copies of all of these photos.

What do you have on deck for 2017? Share one of your goals for this year in the comments!

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