Showing posts with label marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marriage. Show all posts

How to Plan the Perfect Date Night at Home


Image Pixabay CC0 License

Spending quality time with your partner may be something you do not get to do often. Relationship experts recommend that couples spend 70 percent of their time together and 30 percent apart. But, when you are constantly busy, achieving this balance can take time and effort. Many people find that juggling parenting, working, and all the chores mean they have very little spare time to enjoy time alone with their other halves. So, on those rare occasions when you get to spend some time together, it is a great idea to make the most of this opportunity. 

Planning a date night is the perfect way to enjoy some together time with your significant other, but making restaurant bookings in advance and deciding where to go can be a hassle. If you want to avoid trying to make arrangements and would prefer to save some cash, then planning a date night at home is the perfect solution. Read on to discover how you can plan the perfect date night at home:

Choose the Perfect Meal

It wouldn’t be date night without a delicious meal to enjoy. Preparing tasty food for you to eat is a great way to make your date night extra special and one of the most important elements of your evening. But deciding what to cook can be tricky. You do not want to choose a recipe that will require you to spend most of the evening stuck in the kitchen trying to prepare a complicated meal. However, you do not want to make something so simple that it does not feel special. If you are in doubt about what to cook, pasta is always a great choice. Preparing an extra-special pasta meal, such as this salmon pasta recipe, will enable you to create something delicious without spending too much time in the kitchen.

Prepare the Room

Setting the scene is vital when you plan to stay home but want to make the evening extra special. Tidying up the space is a great place to start. It is impossible to relax in a messy space, so having a quick tidy around the room will make a big difference. Next, you may want to create some atmosphere. Lowering the lights and using candles is a great way to make the room feel ready for the occasion. Lighting some candles will instantly help you to feel more relaxed. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a candlelit meal?

Plan Some Conversation

If you and your partner rarely spend time alone together, you want to make sure that the occasion is enjoyable. Thinking of some conversation starters ahead of time will help to ensure you don’t wind up talking about the kids all evening or arguing about chores. Or, even worse, you each spend your evening gazing at your phones. To avoid this situation, you could start by reminiscing over good times gone by or discuss exciting plans for the future to ensure the conversation keeps flowing and you have a great night.

6 Romantic Date Ideas To Surprise Your Loved One

Romance is the cornerstone of any relationship. Whether you’re just starting out or have been married
for a long time, surprising your beloved with a romantic date can make them feel appreciated and make
sparks fly. It can be a challenge to always keep them guessing. If you want to make some fun,
romantic, and surprising date night plans, check out these 6 out-of-the-box ideas.

Be A Tourist in Your Own City

You could spend thousands of dollars traveling to another destination or you could stay right at home
and enjoy your own city the way tourists do. Look on travel sites to find out the must-see spots in your
home town. If you can, get a hotel downtown so it feels like a real vacation.

Experience the town as though you’ve never been there before. Go to an amazing restaurant for a
decadent meal. Check out a local bar or coffee shop. Try out places you never thought of before.


If you and your date are both civic minded and want to give back to your community, plan a date to
volunteer. Choose a local organization that matches your personal values and interests and call them
up to find out how you can help.

Nonprofits are almost always looking for volunteers to help with events or other needs. Volunteering
has more to offer including positive benefits for physical and mental health. It’s also a great way for you
and your date to bond over a shared cause.

Take a Class Together

Maybe you both want to learn something new. You can try anything from a cooking class to painting
lessons. If you’re feeling ambitious, take a language class in your local adult education program. This
can provide you with weeks of shared date experiences as well as a new skill.

Talk about what it is you both want to learn and decide how to make it happen. Classes can be through
programs, private lessons, or at a local event.

Build Something

If both of you like to get your hands dirty and build something together, go for it! It doesn’t have to be a
massive project, like a house, but you can learn a lot about one another and the building process by
trying out something small.

Building something by hand doesn’t sound romantic, but it can be an amazing shared experience. You
also learn how to work well together under pressure, which can be a skill that will last a lifetime and
lasts far longer than romance.

Plan a Scavenger Hunt

For something with a little more romance, plan a fun scavenger hunt. There are many ways to do this.
Hide small items around the house if you want to stay at home. If you’re interested in an outdoor
adventure, challenge your date to find certain clues around your town and take photos.

A scavenger hunt is a great way to present a diamond promise or engagement ring. The last clue could
lead your loved one to the gift, a spectacular diamond that glows with the fluorescence of the moonlit
night. The romantic gesture will be sure to impress.

Get Fancy

Think back to the romantic and fun filled days of the past and the couples that kicked up their heels.
When you imagine F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald dancing the night away in jazz clubs, you always
imagine them dressed to the nines. You can embrace that feeling by planning a fancy night out.

Encourage your date to wear their formal attire and head out on the town. You don’t even have to eat at
the most expensive restaurant to enjoy yourself once you’re dressed up. It will give you a chance to
show each other off and enjoy the pomp and circumstance.

A romantic date doesn’t just have to be flowers, dinner, and a movie. When you think a little outside of
the box you can surprise your loved one with a one-of-a-kind romantic date.

Make sure to end the romantic date with a surprise gift. You can give your loved one a diamond ring of their choice- the one that suits their tastes and preferences. To make the best decision, you can get in touch with Dallas custom jewelers or other professionals. Know that this can be a once-in-a-lifetime gift that your loved one will cherish always!

Marital Bliss: If the Shoe Fits

Thanks to Lugz for sending a cool pair of shoes to inspire this post.

Marriages have good moments, bad moments and cringe inducing moments. My husband Adam makes me laugh until I cry, he makes me smile, groan in frustration, and debate how to update his wardrobe.

Adam is well dressed, don't get me wrong. During working hours he wears slacks and great shirts, but off the clock... laughter gets me by on some days. He has about 10 super hero t shirts, he wears one of these shirts every weekend. I tell him {rude? yes...} "I hate your shirt..." every weekend. He replies with "Everyone else likes them."  It never fails, some random stranger will approach my husband and tell him they love his t shirt. We both laugh about it. He keeps wearing them, I keep telling him the washing machine might accidentally start eating them.

My dear, Super Hero t shirt loving husband also has not the most stylish sense in footwear. He has great hiking boots, he wears Crocs at home... but his sneakers? Oh my gosh. Words will never do justice to what an image will convey.

When Lugz offered to send a pair of mens shoes that judgy wife in me felt victorious! Finally, one battle down without even saying a word.

Let me tell you a little bit about the Burke Linen sneaker for men.

The Burke Linen is a casual street sneaker with a laid back street style that’s easy to pull together when you’re on the go.

The Burke Linen features:

Linen Upper

Moc toe design
Waxy laces
Cushioned insole
Rubber outsole

I really love the olive color, it looks great on my husband. He liked it too. He usually opts for black or brown so olive was a step in a new direction for Adam. I liked that they look stylish, he can wear these with his t shirts on the weekend, or he can match them with an outfit for work on Friday.

Adam liked them all around, he said they are comfortable, he loves the style and the color. The shoes are durable and easy to keep clean, after trips to the mall, t ball games, and treks in the woods they still look great.

Now that the shoes are taken care of... on to those t shirts.

Give Dad the gift of style this year for Father's Day. Lugz has a great assortment of fashionable footwear for the entire family.

Dear Weary Mom: Biore Strip Bonding Experience

A few weeks ago my husband came out of the bathroom holding a box of Biore Strips I had in the medicine cabinet, he asked "Can you use one of these on me?" I was feeding Harper, taping a page in a book that has ripped while Roo said "Uh Oh. Oh no. Help!!Oh no!" in his most panicky voice, the dog was barking at the door because he had scratched to come in about 5 minutes earlier. I looked up and said "They are easy, wash your face, don't dry it. Peel the clear plastic off, stick it on, press it down, then wait..." I handed the book to my son, rushed to the door to let the dog inside and continued on to get pajamas for Harper, who was still having a bottle on the go style. Let's be honest. I don't have time to put a Biore Strip on me, let alone Adam.

Later on that evening I asked him if he had a blast removing black heads from his nose. He said "Oh, I didn't use one..." in that way that could become a pout at any moment.  He wanted me to do it for him.

I had mixed emotions. A part of me is flattered that he wants me to help him with such a simple task, but then again the other part of me said Pal, I spend darn near every minute of my life helping others. From the second my eyes open in the morning and usually until my eyes close at night, I am busy. Helping others. I am caring for the baby. I am caring for Rolf, I care for both cats and both dogs. I take care of every detail and chore in our home. I spend every moment I can get working to help other people rock their blogs. Are you really borderline pouting because I didn't drop the baby, let the dog bark and let Roo have a meltdown over his book so I could do this simple thing for you?

That flattered helpful part of me wanted to jump up and meet his expectations, but I had just got the kids to bed, gave the living room a final cleaning of the day, fed the cats and loaded the dishwasher. I was tired. After 14 hours of parenting, cooking, cleaning and oh yeah, I had actually worked that day and was due to get back to it in 8 minutes, I felt selfish. I felt like that 8 minutes was mine. I earned it. I deserved it. I had spent an entire day working. I was paid with good night hugs and kisses. At night I tuck my kids in and trade in my mommy hat for my working woman hat. I work until I fall asleep at my computer. A few nights I have been so tired that when I drift off I wonder if I might be dying because I feel dramatic and seriously exhausted.

So yeah, that 8 minutes I had to sit down, flip thru the paper or sit with my eyes closed, or text a friend was something I needed desperately and that I wasn't giving up. Not even for marital bliss. My husband then said something like "I don't know how to do them. I need help. I might mess it up..." He went for his gloomy and helpless attempt. I wanted to tell him to read the box. There are instructions. You can do it.

But I didn't. I nodded and said "I see." I picked up the paper and scanned it, knowing how few of my 8 minutes were left. I went about my normal evening schedule. I worked until I was nodding off at the computer. I gave my husband a goodnight kiss and headed off to bed.

A few days later while I was working he came into the room and had the Biore Strips in his hand again, with a smile he said "Wanna put one of these on me?" I said "I will make a deal with you. If you can give me 15 minutes I will use one with you." He nodded and went about his business.

When 15 minutes had passed I went to the bathroom to find him there waiting. He sat down and expected me to wash his face for him then apply the strip. I smiled and said "Wash your face please." I got the strips out of their packaging. I handed him one that was half peeled off and said "There you go. Sticky side down. Smooth it out." He looked a little annoyed but he did it himself. I put one on my nose after washing my face and I went back to work for a few minutes.

When my strip felt dry I went to find my husband. We peeled them off and said "Eww!" "Yuck!" "Gross..." together. To me, at the time it was ... normal, ordinary, just a moment in skin care. To my husband it was like a bonding experience. He laughed until he almost cried, he had a little out of his normal skin care pampering and he had my attention if only for a few minutes. He was happy.

Aren't guys funny? Boire Strips=Bonding.

Dear Weary Mom, I guess the point of this story is that sometimes I am greedy with my time. I give my time to others, to my kids freely, but then when it comes to time for my husband or myself I am greedy. Getting me to do something as easy as a Biore Strip with my husband took days. How long does that take to do? 15 minutes? I want to remind myself to slow down, not to take for granted the time I have but to spend some of that time without an agenda.

How do you balance work, kids, the house and your marriage?

Dear Weary Mom: Marriage

Dear Weary Mom,
Parenting is hard work. Mom is on call all of the time. Our days begin early, they are packed with work, chores, cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring  and parenting. Sometimes it is hard to fit it all in 24 hours. In between the flurry of activity and the dream of being able to use the restroom alone, with the door shut, a woman has to find time to be a wife. Marriage is hard work too.

There are days that I don't really speak to my husband other than yes, no and I have no idea type of responses. There are days when I don't really look at him. Truth be told there are nights when one of us is so exhausted that we don't even kiss each other goodnight. Does this bother me? Yes and no. Yes, because I can recall being young and in love. 10 years ago we wouldn't have dreamed of letting that happen. We would wait up on each other to say our good-nights.  No because it becomes a matter of survival with a new baby. Sometimes the day has been so long that I nod off on the sofa and sleep the sleep of the dead. My husband wouldn't wake me up, he knows what a woman that is getting on average 3 hours of sleep a night is like (because he lives with me and that is the situation right now). Similarly I know he needs his rest as well. If he drifts off early I don't hold it against him. I just quietly crash too.

There are times when the day has been so long and emotionally taxing that I am not good company. After the kids are tucked in for the night, I just want to sit silently somewhere and let the quiet soothe my weary soul. I don't want to talk, I don't want to hug. I don't want to watch tv. I want to chill. There are days when I am so desperate for adult interaction that I barely let him in the door- I pounce on him and chat him up to the point of being borderline annoying. Do I run hot and cold? Yes, I do.

It took me a while to realize this, but even before the new baby came things were a mess with my husband. We allowed ourselves to be comfortable with each other, to stop trying. We have taken for granted that love between man and wife is not guaranteed forever. Unconditional love doesn't exist in marriage. You have to work at it to keep it going.

But, when your life is busy and you can barely find the time or energy to speak to each other how do you work on keeping your marriage healthy and strong?

We have tried a variety of things. We have scheduled time together. We have tried the kiss for 12 seconds technique. We have tried holding hands more, hugging and making notes for each other when there isn't time to talk for more than a minute. While all of those things are great and they do help reinforce a bond, they don't make it all better.

What does help a marriage stay strong and healthy? In my case busting out a board game once a week and having a friendly competition has helped immensely. We are able to relax and enjoy each other for a few minutes, this leads to conversation that is not about the kids, work or finances. Our bond is strengthened over a game of Bananagrams. Last weekend I stepped outside of my  normal bounds and shared a 6 pack with my husband (who told me how sexy it was to see me drink beer).

Drinking beer and playing bananagrams makes marriage better? Yes, it does. It is all about the little things. It is about stepping outside of your normal boundaries and keeping your spouse interested in you. In days past I had been wound so tightly, felt the weight of so much responsibility and been so overextended in my life that I had a routine, normal behaviors and a sense of predictability. When I started making time for a board game or a beer my husband was caught off guard. He couldn't read me like a book all of the time. I hadn't taken the time for play in years. He would have never expected me to drink a few beers with him on the weekend. He got to see me in a new dimension, a new element of me that reminded him of the girl I was before I became a wife and a mother. Realizing she is still there was good for me too.

Dear Weary Mom, how do you keep your marriage strong? How do you find time to be the amazing Mom that you are and be an awesome wife too? Don't you roll your eyes and discount yourself from the Amazing Mom/Wife title, (we all have those days where we feel discouraged!) because you are awesome. While women fulfill the role of wife and mother everyday, it doesn't mean it is easy work. It isn't. Mom is the glue that holds a family together.

If you had to give another Weary Mom one tip on how to have a great marriage what would you share? I say make time to play together! People seem to laugh a lot when they are having fun, and people that are laughing and smiling at each other tend to enjoy one another's company. I can't wait to hear your tips!