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Love & Relationships

    Focusing On Love

    This post is sponsored by James Avery.  Thoughts and opinions are my own.

    At the end of last year I read an article that said 2017 was a transitional year for me (which it was) and 2018 was the year for me to focus on my romantic love. I couldn’t be happier because being a wife is one of my favorite roles that I have in my adult life. Outside of it being an amazing role, I REALLY love my husband so focusing on love with him is something that I’m really looking forward to.

    Life Can Be Hard On Love

    My husband and I are technically still newly weds. We were married in 2014 and still have yet to have a honeymoon since I was pregnant with abc when we got married and then left the corporate world shortly after having her. These past years have been one transition after another. While for some this could take a toll on their marriage, it’s made ours stronger and really shown us sides of love we normally wouldn’t have seen. But growing from a family of 3 to a family of 5 in 4 years has made it tough to nurture our marriage.

    Bouncing Back From Transitions

    Our marriage is strong but lacks the romance that we both really deserve. The last date that we went on I was super pregnant and uncomfortable. While it would be nice for things to naturally bounce back, that’s not how life is. So we’re having to be more intentional about focusing on OUR love. What does that look like, right?

    • Committing to monthly dates.
    • Having intentional conversations with each other.
    • Going out individually.
    • Having family play dates.
    • Increasing our intimacy–not necessarily the sex but just being intimate with each other.

    Everyday Reminders with James Avery

    I’m one of those people where out of sight is out of mind. I get so hyper focused on what’s in front of me that sometimes I forget all of the other goals that I have that may not be directly in front of me in that moment. I had the opportunity to shop in store with James Avery and I knew just what I wanted–a ring that reminded me of my commitment to focusing on love with my husband. And I found it with the help of the James Avery saleswoman. I told her my goals and what I was looking for and she suggested getting the Lovers’ Knot Ring.

    From their website:

    A timeless expression of two becoming one, this sterling silver ring is symbolic of romantic love.

    How perfect is this, right?!?! I also got a set of 3 Delicate Forged Rings to represent my 3 children because it seemed like the stars aligned perfectly for me to get these as well.

    I’m excited to see where our marriage is at the end of a year that was spent focusing on love.

    Are you married? What ways do you remind yourself to make sure you’re putting the time and attention into your marriage?

     

     

    3 No-Fail Ways To Reconnect With Your Spouse After Baby

    I’m excited to be partnering with TiffinTalk to bring you tips to spice up your marriage!

    Let me ask you a question: When was the last time you talked to your spouse since you’ve had your baby? If you have to think about it, it’s been too long. When was the last time you got dressed up in something sexy to make his/her jaw drop–along with yours too? I’m not here to judge but I am here to give some tips on how to reconnect with your spouse after baby.

    But I Love My Spouse

    Yep, we all love our spouses (hopefully). But when we have babies, we tend to get caught up in them. We smell their little heads, want to snuggle them all the time, and just wallow in their cute fat rolls and baby giggles. These little people that we’ve created are mystifying and all sorts of amazing. But so is your spouse and simply saying “I love you” is not enough to keep that marriage strong for the long haul. Sure, you love your spouse. When was the last time you showed them that?

    You Said No-Fail Ways to Reconnect?

    I did. Assuming that you want your marriage to succeed, these tips will work. Ok. So maybe not a guarantee of no-fail BUT these tips have a pretty high success rate in getting you to where you want to be with your spouse. 

    Marriage can encounter many changes and transitions that can make you feel disconnected. Here are 3 practical tips to reconnect with your spouse right now.

    Ok, Give Me The Goods–How Do You Reconnect With Your Spouse After Baby?

    These tips are simple, painless, and pleasurable–in that order.

    1. Communicate with each other.

    Sure. This seems rather obvious but you know what’s surprising? How sometimes we forget how to talk to each other. Yes, this has happened to me with my husband after we had abc. On our first date post baby, we sat there like “hmmm… what do I say now?” It was so weird to not know what to say to my favorite person in the world!!! After that, I googled things like “How to talk to husband”, “What questions to ask husband”, “How to date my husband” and I was almost embarrassed that I had to consult Google.

    My solution now? Conversation cards. TiffinTalk has created a Heart2Heart conversation card set that has 69 (good number, right? ha!!!) cards that are solely dedicated to you and your spouse sitting down sans electronics and getting some good face time together. Do you know how important this is to look your spouse in the eye and chat? Something so simple has the power to be so life changing!

    2. Learn each other’s love language.

    And then love them that way. People make it seem like it’s so hard to love others that it makes the other person feel unlovable and that’s not true! The 5 Love Languages makes it super easy to figure out how you feel love. It takes the think work out of your relationship for you. All you have to do is show up and love up on your spouse!

    In marriage, if we focus on our spouse’s happiness while they focus on ours, everyone’s needs are being met. It’s a win-win situation. Get the book or take the test online and rock out loving your spouse in the most painless way possible!

    3. Have lots of sex.

    Yeah, I said it.

    There was an older couple in some Facebook video that had been circulating some time ago and when they were asked what makes for a happy marriage, sex was one of their top reasons. Some say that sex doesn’t matter and I say that those some are wrong. It does matter. You are being physically one with your spouse in an act that is so intimate.

    I’m not one of those people that thinks ALL sex is intimate. But sex with your spouse, the person who you are most naked with mentally, spiritually, emotionally, is an act of intimacy. We need to connect with others. You need to be connected with your spouse. Plus it’s fun and it feels good. Have fun with your marriage!

    With Valentine’s Day being around the corner, surprise your spouse with applying these 3 tips. Grab your TiffinTalk 69 (giggle) cards here, learn about the love languages here, and get some sexy lingerie to show them it’s real!!!

    So, who’s excited for Valentine’s Day and using these tools to reconnect with your spouse after baby?

    Keeping Your Marriage Alive After Having A Baby

    Keeping your marriage alive after having a baby is a hot topic for any couple who's just added a baby to their family. Here are some tips and tricks!

    As I write this I’m rocking our newborn son to sleep while he puts abc down. Keeping your marriage alive after having a baby isn’t always the easiest but this is our second time doing it. We aren’t pros but we are still very happily married.

    Once baby comes paying attention to your marriage can be hard. Balancing recovery, baby, other children, work and redefining yourself is a full time job and then adding your marriage? Yeah, it can be overwhelming but I have some tips and tricks to help in keeping your marriage alive after having a baby.

    Tips & Tricks To Keeping Your Marriage Alive After Having A Baby

    1. Remember that your spouse still needs you.

    This seems really obvious, right? But it isn’t. I’ve heard so many men talk about how after women have given birth they no longer exist to them. I’m going to be captain obvious here again, but, without them, there would be no baby! Remember that and remember them.

    2. Put your spouse first.

    This is super hard. You just created this little person who is incredibly cute and smells amazing and all you want to do is snuggle them. The only person you want to pay attention to is the one that you made. As hard as this is, here is your reminder: Put your spouse first. Well, after God or whatever higher power you believe in. Seriously. In a marriage where your spouse is your priority they are more fulfilled and together you can make children a priority. Trust me, parenting is a team sport. You want to be on the same page tackling things in unison.

    3. Have sex. Lots of it.

    Ohhhhhhhhhh!!! She said S-E-X!!! Yep, I did. Give up the goodies. Have a great time. Remember what it feels like to be your spouse’s lover. It’s amazing. If you’re a co-sleeping, crunchy mom like myself, this can be hard but it’s not impossible. Get creative but love on each other. It’s healthy.

    4. Over communicate.

    Seriously. Talk. A lot. Every month I have some pretty standard questions for my husband. I ask him how I’m doing as his wife, what I could be doing differently, and if there’s anything I could do to make being my husband easier. Normally he has no feedback because I’m just that awesome but I like to keep that door open just in case there is something that he does need to share.

    5. Take care of yourself.

    You should really be taking care of yourself for you but let’s be honest, being with someone who take care of themselves is way more fun than being with someone who doesn’t. It sounds shallow but it isn’t. It’s reality. I’m not saying that you need to be dressed up donning a face full of make up and 5-in stiletto’s everyday but I am saying that you should do the things that make you feel good about yourself. I love to do facials and my nails. It makes me feel like I’ve treated myself and I’m worth it. But it also just makes me feel better about myself and when I feel good, I want everyone else around me feeling good too–especially my husband.

    Keeping your marriage alive after having a baby is a hot topic for any couple who's just added a baby to their family. Here are some tips and tricks!


    Having a baby is wonderful. They are cute and amazing and it’s so cool that they came from your body! And they’re a lot of work. But don’t let that work take away from the very thing that they were created with–the love of your spouse.

    What ways do you keep your marriage alive?

    My Marriage Is My Home

    Today marks the beginning of the 4th year of marriage for my husband and I. I woke up to the sounds of both my husband and toddler breathing heavily (to be read as snoring) and felt flooded with feelings of comfort. The first thing that I see when I wake up is our gold wall decal that says “You Are My Home” and these words couldn’t be more true of how I feel both about my husband and my marriage.

    My Marriage Is My Home

    This isn’t my first go at this marriage thing. In fact, as my cousins tried to comfort me going through my divorce, they said that our first marriages in our family don’t work out. That didn’t make me feel better nor did it make me feel like I wanted it again. I was heartbroken and confused as to why (what I thought was) love didn’t make my marriage work out. That one was filled with resentment, misery, and immaturity. I swore off getting married again until I met my husband. It’s almost as if our love healed the heartbreak, broken expectations and wounds that were left behind.

    A very pregnant me the day after our wedding.

    My marriage to my husband is my home now. It doesn’t matter where we live as long as we’re together, I feel at home. See, we’ve built a marriage that has a solid foundation that started with truth and honesty. It’s a strong one. Like super strong. He knows both the proudest and most embarrassing moments I’ve lived through and he’s loved me harder with everything he’s learned. And the same is true for him. Every day we’ve been together we’ve been building, laying bricks, deciding how we wanted our marriage to be to fit us and our longevity.

    Marriage is everything that it's out to be. Well, it's everything that you make of it and mine? My marriage is my home amidst the craziness of life.

    And it’s working for us. There are things that he’s told me that didn’t feel good in the moment but they were his truth and I knew that he was coming out of a place of love. I’ve never felt more at home and more in “my place” as I do since being with him. We lift each other up. Challenge each others thoughts. Chase each others dreams and we do it together with love.

    I can still remember when I saw him for the first time. The kindness in his eyes melted my frozen demeanor. And it feels like yesterday that we were at our wedding and I saw him telling people what to do so that the day was perfect for me. It already was because it was him that I was uniting my life with for forever.

    Yes, this is a mushy post. I share a lot about myself as a mother and my children but this is the person and very thing that gives me sanity. He is my rock. He is the person I trust with everything that is me. He is the one that showed me that perfect love does exist.

    He is my husband.

    “Insecure” Made Me Appreciate My Husband More

    After binge watching "Insecure" by Issa Rae on HBO, I managed to fall deeper in love and appreciation with my husband. There are spoilers here!

    I binge watched Issa Rae’s “Insecure” in four hours today when I was supposed to be writing a post about some divine cookies. Instead, I was rapping along as she talked about a broken pu$$y, laughed at her relatable awkward moments, felt nostalgia at the relationship with her bestie, and felt the devastation along with the world during the last episode. Let me stop right here and put in a PSA: there will be spoilers here and possibly tears as I write this. I became so emotionally attached to Issa and Lawrence’s relationship that I was emotionally distraught towards the end. The only thing I wanted was to be in my husband’s arms.

    via GIPHY

    #TeamIssa

    I’m not going to lie, I’m 100% #TeamIssa all the way. I mean, we women have to stick together, right? Mistakes happen. Sometimes we slip, fall and end up on someone else’s nether regions—no judgement, right? Ok, maybe a little judgement. But in the beginning of “Insecure” I could totally relate to how she was feeling in her relationship with Lawrence. I’m pretty sure that most of us have been in that complacent place in a relationship but you’re legit in love with the person so you don’t want to leave but you also don’t want to stay—it’s a hard place to be in.

    via GIPHY

    When I was in my relationship in college this is how I felt. He was such an amazing person and he knew me so well. Our family’s knew each other. I was certain he was the one. But then things just got complacent. I was still in college and he was still figuring out life and I was tired a la Issa. Mistakes happen… blah blah blah blah blah.

    After binge watching "Insecure" by Issa Rae on HBO, I managed to fall deeper in love and appreciation with my husband. There are spoilers here!

    Photo credit Bustle.com

    #TeamLawrence

    But I’m also for a good guy. I believe in the good guys winning at life. I don’t believe they finish last. Which is why I married one. I thought that the attention to Lawrence when he wasn’t on screen with Issa was so important. They did a phenomenal job in developing his character. This guy was really trying and putting that work in. Issa identified a problem with their relationship and he worked hard to fix it. Date nights, cooking, getting a job, etc. showed that his choice was her through and through.

    via GIPHY

    Any man who is willing make the needed changes to make his woman happy is a keeper. The emotion that he showed in finding out about her cheating on him was heartbreaking. Like watching this I just wanted to hug him and give him the mama pat on the back. And then he did what was expected: ended up between the legs (or behind to be more accurate) of the woman who recognized the potential and the present. All I could do was shake my head as the tears poured out of my eyes.

    I Love My Husband But More Importantly I Appreciate Him

    After I took a step back and removed myself from all the feelings that this show gave me, the only thing I could do was text my husband that I loved him. If you’re a long-time reader here, you already know I’m not traveling without him with our two minions. My husband is not perfect. He leaves his dirty clothes on the floor, doesn’t always clean the kitchen despite our agreement, fusses at the kids, and isn’t the most romantic guy in the world but you know what? He’s pretty damn awesome.

    He comes home every.single.day and listens to me go on and on about my dreams and goals for my business while tackling our children. He’s the only source of testosterone in our strongly estrogenated house (yes, I made that word up). And this man loves me so much that he’s constantly improving himself to make sure that we’re beyond good. He tries his hardest to make sure that I’m happy.

    I love my husband so much. Our marriage is the icing on the cake of life and our friendship is like crushed Oreo’s on top—so delicious. Not that I would ever cheat on him but seeing the pain and the reaction to Issa’s actions really took a lot out of me because I would never want my husband to feel that way about anything that I did. I always want him to know that I love and appreciate him for the man is today as well as who he’s growing into.

    And I share this with you guys because I don’t want any of you to be Issa crying on the couch while your Lawrence is stroking the woman who’s been stroking his ego waiting for her chance. Ladies, love your significant other. Like really love them and allow yourselves to be loved by them as well. There’s nothing perfect in the world but that doesn’t mean you don’t give your best and your all.

    Don’t be Issa on the couch.

     

    Dear Husbands: Please SHOW Us Appreciation

    We love our husbands and we know that we're loved. But there's more than love in marriage. There's also romance, appreciation, and more...

    Let me preface this open letter by saying that I absolutely love my husband. This was prompted by the many conversations had between wives as we both appreciate our husbands and wish upon stars for things they would do that are just.for.us. My husband is hands down the best father in the world and that’s saying a lot because I was raised by one.

    Dear Husbands,

    We, yes we, are tired. This is a blanket statement that I’ve heard on my mommy boards, wife boards, and private messages with friends.

    We. Are. Exhausted. 

    Overwhelmed. 

    Tired.

    <insert an additional synonymn that goes with the flow since I’m just too tired to look one up>

    via GIPHY

    I realized just how tired and overwhelmed I was when I promised my cousin last Friday that on my day off we would hang out. But then that didn’t happen. On Friday I went shopping for Halloween costumes to make for the girls and a client, rushed home to do something that I’ve now forgotten, do some more client work, before taking mini to the bone doctor for her follow up. This included dragging not only her, but her sister, and my bonus child. After getting a cast on, we sat in traffic for an hour as every ounce of my patience flew out the window.

    Then it dawned on me that I hadn’t put dinner on. #momfail

    Rehashing my last Friday wears me out as well. Because even after all this, I went to the store after the kids went to bed and I cancelled any iota of a date night I really wanted to have with my husband so that we could have a picnic basket of snacks ready for us in the morning for mini’s track meet. I did this because at our last track meet, my husband fussed at me about not being properly prepared for an all day event. But not this time. This time I was ready with apple sauces, PB&J’s, fruit, breakfast bars and other healthy snacks. And do you know that he didn’t even notice?

    Tired guys. Ti-Red. 

    Here’s the thing about my friends and I–we never for one second thing that our husbands don’t love us. If there’s nothing else in the world that we know, it’s that you guys love us. We see it in the way you go to work. The way you love on our children. The way you snore in our ears as we spoon. But most days, we just don’t feel appreciated.

    pin drops

    via GIPHY

    I know. I said it. And I heard the pin drop as the room got silent. But let’s not ignore the elephant in the room. After reading article after article naming everything that we women do wrong for our mate’s and why we’re single and all the other malarkey, I’m going to address 2 things here: 1. how awesome and amazing we are; and, 2. ways to show you appreciate the awesome and amazing we are.

    We love our husbands and we know that we're loved. But there's more than love in marriage. There's also romance, appreciation, and more...

    See Our Amazing

    I have a friend who is a mom of 2 who is married but handles a lot of the parenthood thing because her loving spouse travels for work. This woman has handled 1 tiresome three year old and 1 non-sleeping 1 year old by herself on many a nights. I’d also like to mention that she’s an entrepreneur. So not only is she out here rocking the hell out of motherhood but she’s doing it while being an amazing business woman. But do you know what she sees? She sees that she forgot to make dinner–not that she picked her daughter up on time from school and managed to work and run errands and countless other things. She’s holding her household down. And is tired because on average she sleeps a couple hours a night.

    But it’s not just her. Most of us moms are out here working–whether in the home or out–while cleaning, cooking, checking on the finances, making sure that everyone has matching socks, hair is done, belly’s are full, teachers are spoken to, and more. We. Are. Amazing. But you know what? You guys are too since you made the wise choice in marrying us.

    But Please Show Us You Appreciate Us

    Please. Like pretty please. At the end of the day, most of us are motivated to be our best because of the love that we have for you and our children. On days that I don’t think I can do anymore after working a 12 hour day, cooking, running to track practice and during, feeding and fighting with kids all while beating myself up I keep going because I want to be more. Not just for me, but for you. But you know what hurts us?

    Not feeling appreciated. 

    I remember the first time that mini said “Thank you” to me. I asked her what she was thanking me for. Her response? “Everything mommy”. I swear to God I knew I would keep her for forever after that. But seriously, just her simple acknowledgment of everything that I was doing meant the world to me and motivated me to do more.

    via GIPHY

    Just saying the words “Thank you” matter. But so does doing things that speak her love language. Don’t know it? Do things that speak all of the love languages. You know that masquerade ball she really wants to get dressed up for and go to because she just wants to see herself as beautiful again while out with the love of her life? Go. Make it a priority. You know how she seems a little cranky? Bring home some flowers or a little treat for her. Leave her a note just saying how much you appreciate her. Set up a date night where the only thing she’s responsible for is showering and dressing.

    via GIPHY

    Make her a priority. 

    Now if you don’t care about her and you don’t really like being married, disregard this. But if you do care and you love your wife, please, show her that you appreciate her.

    xoxo,

    Aaronica

    52 Romantic Ways To Show Your Love

    Once you get married, life can sometimes catch up with you and cause you to be a little too comfortable. Re-light the fire with these romantic gestures.

    Every day I wake up, I’m excited that I’m married to my husband. I know, cheesy right? But it’s the truth. I love being married to him and I really love my role as wife. As much as I do, there are MANY days that I wish we were both more romantic with each other. We have a pretty easy marriage and I have no complaints. I’m one of those women who believe that my husband and marriage come before my children. I love being a mom and that role is life-long but so is my role as wife.

    I wouldn’t say that I’m failing as role of wife, but I do feel like I could be doing better. As a mom of 2 that’s building an empire from scratch, time is limited to nurturing one of my favorite roles. One of my goals for the end of the year is to put my marriage at the forefront of my focus. My husband is my biggest supporter, best friend, and more and I want him to know how much I honor our love. I know that I’m not alone in this so I’m sharing some of the ideas that I have to show my husband just how much I love him (with any luck he’ll read this and reciprocate—not the goal but a bonus!).

    Once you get married, life can sometimes catch up with you and cause you to be a little too comfortable. Re-light the fire with these romantic gestures.

    52 Romantic Gestures To Show Your Love

    -1. Mail a card or letter to your SO expressing your feelings. Follow this up by sending them another note asking them out on a date.-
    -2. Learn what your SO thinks is romantic instead of doing what you think is romantic. Ask them question, look for clues, listen to things they say or aren’t saying.-
    -3. Get up early and watch the sunrise together.-
    -4. Do they write you love notes? Frame your favorite and display it on your nightstand.-
    -5. **For Him: When the two of you go shopping together, treat her to something she would love to have but is too practical to purchase. Splurge.-
    -6. Did you know the longest night of the year is December 21st? Spend that night together on a super romantic date.-
    -7. Compliment her in front of her friends and family.-
    -8. When your SO is too busy to go out or cook, bring home dinner no questions asked.-
    -9. Plan little surprises for each other throughout the year. Don’t just be romantic around Valentine’s Day.-
    -10. Work harder on your love life than you do your career. Yes, I said it. Your entire life will improve when your love life improves.-Once you get married, life can sometimes catch up with you and cause you to be a little too comfortable. Re-light the fire with these romantic gestures.
    -11. Seal all your love letters with a kiss—literally. Kiss the paper and then spray it with your scent.-
    -12. Spend the weekend taking candid pictures of each other and then have the framed.-
    -13. Set your alarm clock for 15 minutes earlier than you need to get up. Wake them up with snuggles or more…
    -14. Buy a fire pit and use it. Light up a fire outside and watch the stars, talk, snuggle, make s’mores (my favorite).-
    -15. Don’t only be romantic on the weekends. This is an every day of the week type of deal.-
    -16. Compliment each other often.-
    -17. Send a little romantic memento after a special date. Make sure that you reference something special that happened on the date.-
    -18. Fill up their tank with gas and leave a treat in the car.-
    -19. Touch each other often throughout the day.-
    -20. Always be happy to see your SO even after a hard day at work or with the kids.-
    -21. Learn to love yourself so that you can truly be lovable to your SO.-
    -22. Surprise them with a lunch date or bring them lunch.-Once you get married, life can sometimes catch up with you and cause you to be a little too comfortable. Re-light the fire with these romantic gestures.
    -23. Give them books about their hobbies and interests to show that you support their other loves.-
    -24. Kiss them awake in the morning. There’s nothing like locking lips with your love first thing!-
    -25. Don’t be shy—give your SO hints on what’s important to you in the romance department.-
    -26. Help them with something that they feel is important. There’s nothing more romantic than feeling like your SO cares about what’s important to you.-
    -27. Talk to each other about how they define and receive love. Familiar with the 5 Love Languages? Get familiar with it!-
    -28. Write down 2 good things about your SO every week for an entire year then give it to them.-
    -29. Schedule your romantic time. The busier you are, the more you’ll need to maximize on planning.-
    -30. Act on romantic whims. Be cheesy.-
    -31. Bring home a warm box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and surprise your SO with them.-
    -32. Tell your SO that you love them randomly and often. We all need to hear those words often.-
    -33. Kiss tenderly and slowly. Use a little tongue wink wink.-
    -34. Leave work early and arrange a clandestine meeting with your honey.-
    -35. Keep your family and friends from meddling in your relationship.-
    -36. PDA! Keep it appropriate but show some love in public!-
    -37. Celebrate Sweetest Day in October—October 15.-
    -38. Ask your SO to name their favorite movie love scene and try to re-create it.-
    -39. Spoil them silly for an entire week/month/day.-
    -40. Be outrageous in the romance department from time to time. Surprises really do work wonders!-
    -41. Exercise together. Not only does it make things more enjoyable but you get healthy together.-

    -43. *For Her: Write a little message on the bathroom mirror in lipstick.-
    -44. Place a menu from a restaurant you want to try out on their windshield with a note to meet you there for dinner.-
    -45. Play an adult version of hide and go seek or tag.-
    -46. Have a dance off with “Just Dance”.-
    -47. Just kiss for a whole night.-
    -48. This is going to sound obvious but so many of us forget this when we get caught up adulting: Have fun together. Laugh often. Plan activities you both enjoy.-Once you get married, life can sometimes catch up with you and cause you to be a little too comfortable. Re-light the fire with these romantic gestures.
    -49. Take over for them at home with the chores and children.-
    -50. Call or text during the day just to say, “Hi.”-
    -51. Be each other’s best friends. Note that I didn’t say only friends.-
    -52. Strive to keep your relationship as tear-free as possible. Love should make you feel good, not sad.-

    As I share these with you all, I’m pretty excited to get started on infusing some more romance in our marriage.

    Would you add any romantic acts here? Have you tried one and want to share some of your results? Comment below!

    I’d Kiss A Million Frogs To Get To Him

    I met my husband at an unlikely place but I kissed a lot of frogs to get to him and I would do it all over again. Check out the story and $100 giveaway.

    I’ve Kissed A Lot Of Frogs…

    And then I met my love.

    By the age of 30, I had been engaged 3 times, married and divorced once, and a single mother. I was jaded and had given up on the idea that I would ever find the one that I would actually want to spend the rest of my life with. In fact, by the time that I met my husband, I had settled with the idea that if I could just find someone I could tolerate even as a friend for forever, I would be happy.

    I met my husband at an unlikely place but I kissed a lot of frogs to get to him and I would do it all over again. Check out the story and $100 giveaway.

    But then our eyes locked.

    It was my first day at my new job and my new manager was walking my other new co-worker around introducing us. We met Alicia, then Ebony and then Denvor. Our eyes connected and there was a spark but both of us just shyly said hello and looked away quickly. I was fresh out of a relationship and not ready for anything serious so I disregarded the feelings determined to just be friends.

    I met my husband at an unlikely place but I kissed a lot of frogs to get to him and I would do it all over again. Check out the story and $100 giveaway.

    And friends we became. We talked about everything–our love of books, our birthday’s being in the same month, work, and even my daughter. In August I came to him crying after a conversation I’d had with mini that was truly heartbreaking. His level of compassion, understanding, and regard for my heart left me more smitten than I was before. After I invited myself to lunch with him and we talked about books, I knew he was it but I wasn’t sure about how he’d felt about me.

    My Love Story

    I asked him out.

    Over and over and over again. He’ll say that’s not how it happened but it is. We would work later hours together and we really talked. I got butterflies every time he was close and all I wanted was to be swept up in his arms. And then we finally went out–as friends. We saw the movie “Looper” (terrible movie) and as the night ended, he hugged me and I didn’t want it to end. Then we went to go hear my friend Henry play the drums with his group. We’re both jazz lovers so it was a perfect night out. And then we went to a masquerade party where we finally discussed our feelings. Up until this point it had just been “understood” but we worked together and had developed a really solid friendship by this point so this was big. Dating a co-worker can be risky but it was worth it to us. And that night we had our first kiss–our very last first kiss.

    I met my husband at an unlikely place but I kissed a lot of frogs to get to him and I would do it all over again. Check out the story and $100 giveaway.

    We dated with intention.

    By the time that we agreed to date, we both knew that this was it. Neither one of us were playing mind games. We knew we wanted marriage and that was our intent upon dating. We’d done a lot of the getting to know you during our friendship (including the most embarrassing time I pooted in front of him and then didn’t talk to him for a week) and since we were both acting as adults, it was easy to get to the meat and potatoes of each other. But even while dating, our favorite thing was always watching movies. He’s a homebody and I am by nature too so movie watching was never just a cheap date with us.

    I met my husband at an unlikely place but I kissed a lot of frogs to get to him and I would do it all over again. Check out the story and $100 giveaway.

    He asked for permission.

    I met my husband at an unlikely place but I kissed a lot of frogs to get to him and I would do it all over again. Check out the story and $100 giveaway.Yep. The old fashion way. But not in the “my daddy owns me so only he can give me away” but in the “I respect the love you have for your daughter and granddaughter and I would like to join your family” way. Then on October 20, he asked me for permission. And it was perfect. We sat watching mini play at the playground after church. He said some lovely romantic words and then whipped out the ring it seemed like I’d been waiting for forever to get–a beautiful cushion cut lavender amethyst set in rose gold surrounded by diamonds. I’m not a big jewelry person but I fell in love with this ring when I saw it. Mini’s birthstone is an amethyst and it was important to both of us that she be part of our union in some way. He loves her as if he made her himself.

    I met my husband at an unlikely place but I kissed a lot of frogs to get to him and I would do it all over again. Check out the story and $100 giveaway.

    I would marry him everyday.

    I love my husband more each day. Every morning I wake up to him is the best day I’ve ever lived. He’s the most caring, understanding, hard-working, incredible man that I’ve ever met. He’s taught me so much about life, myself, motherhood, faith, and love. I never thought that during my time kissing frogs I would finally get my prince but I did and I happily made him my King with me his Queen.

    I met my husband at an unlikely place but I kissed a lot of frogs to get to him and I would do it all over again. Check out the story and $100 giveaway.

    Now with 2 young children and no one breastfeeding or co-sleeping, mama wants date nights with her hubby back!!! As we work on rekindling our dating life, I want you to rekindle yours as well with a giveaway!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Setting Goals for Your Marriage

    Marriage is like a muscle and needs constant exercise. In addition to goals in money, fitness, and career, add your marriage to the list! Read more at www.thecrunchymommy.com

    *sings* Love and marriage, love and marriage… Go together like a horse and carriage… 

    I love being married. Well, now I do. My first failed marriage taught me a lot about the things to do if I didn’t want to be married–which was a lot. Now in a QUITE happy marriage, things are different and I love that. But marriage is like a muscle, without consistent exercise it becomes weak–which is the last thing that I want in my life. Like annual fitness goals, married people need to set some goals for their marriage.

    How To Set Goals for Marriage

    It seems like setting goals in all other aspects of our lives comes with ease. We all want to either lose weight, get stronger, prepare for a zombie apocalypse (I know it isn’t just me!) so setting fitness goals is easy. Just like setting monetary goals for savings is easy. These things are tangible. You can set a numerical goal to achieve here that’s measurable. Marriage goals are very similar to this. They shouldn’t be esoteric like “show my spouse I love them”. Nope. That’s not going to cut it. Your marriage goals need to be just as S.M.A.R.T. as any other goal.

    What Are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?

    Honestly speaking, I hate S.M.A.R.T. goals. Why? It requires a commitment and this is something that I still struggle with.

    S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Marriage. Read more at www.thecrunchymommy.com

    When setting S.M.A.R.T. goals it’s important to be as specific as possible and this can be hard–especially if you’re new to this method of goal setting. How do you get SUPER specific? Ask yourself the following questions when identifying the goal:

    • Who is involved?
    • What is the point of the goal/What do you want to accomplish?
    • Does this happen at a specific location?
    • What is your time frame for this to be completed?
    • Identify any potential requirements, constraints or foreseeable obstacles.
    • Why is this goal important?
    • How will you know when the goal is accomplished?

    Examples:

    I will plan a date for my spouse and I one time a month every month this year without our children including arranging childcare. This goal has specifics, time, etc. and any spouse would love this.

    I will spend 30 minutes per day having uninterrupted time with my spouse daily. 

    I will initiate sex with my spouse 3 times a week. 

    Yes, I included sex here. People sleep on the importance of sex in marriage. Need some more ideas? Check out this template for goal setting.

    Marriage is like a muscle and needs constant exercise. In addition to goals in money, fitness, and career, add your marriage to the list! Read more at www.thecrunchymommy.com

    The Why

    Marriage is supposed to be life long but now seeing couples that are growing old together are few and far between. Divorce rates are on the rise. Yes, I’m included in this statistic and it’s because of that why I bring up this post. I remember watching the movie “Failure to Launch” with Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey. At the end of the movie when McConaughey’s character finally moved out, his parents didn’t know each other. I can’t speak for men, but I know as women we often put our children in front of our spouses which is problematic. Sometimes it’s not the children that have come before our spouses. Sometimes it’s our careers or friends or holding on to a life we no longer have. Whatever it is, it needs to stop if you want a lasting relationship with your spouse.

    If you’re Christian, the priority is normally God first then your spouse and all else. If you’re not Christian, whatever higher power you believe in I think comes first (not sure of this) but then the spouse and kids. Either way, your spouse needs to be up there. Why? This is the person that you committed to be with for the forever years. This is the one that has committed to loving you through the good, the bad, and the ugly. But who wants to do that for someone they aren’t a priority to?

    Now I’m no expert on marriage or love or anything but I know two things:

    1. How to make a marriage fail
    2. How to make a marriage thrive

    If you want your marriage to not just work, but to thrive, make loving your spouse a priority.

    Marriage is like a muscle and needs constant exercise. In addition to goals in money, fitness, and career, add your marriage to the list! Read more at www.thecrunchymommy.com

    What goals do you have for your marriage this year? If you’re not married, what goals do you have for yourself?

    Let’s Talk About Sex

    Let’s talk about you and me… Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be. Let’s talk abooooooout it. Let’s talk about sex!

    Now, all my 90s hip hop lovers will remember this song by the good ole Salt N’ Peppa (and Spinderalla–she always got so much shade!!!). Growing up, this was one of my favorite songs. Why? I don’t know. I wasn’t having sex then but I think I just liked how they wanted to talk about it and no longer making it taboo. But you know, it still is. Or rather, sex and the married woman is what’s taboo. When I was single, there were more articles talking about sex and the single woman that I felt more prepared for what that lifestyle entailed. But now? As a married woman with 2 children I’m over here searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack!

    So let’s talk about it.

    Let's Talk About

    You Got Married–Now What?

    Prior to marriage, I’m not going to lie, our sex life was FIYAH!!! Now that’s not to say that it isn’t now. But prior to marriage things were a little different–we didn’t have to worry about a little one sleeping through the night, there was no little one waking us up at whatever hour they felt, well, hell, there was no little one! Everyone isn’t like us though, sometimes they wait a little bit longer to end up with child than we did but that’s besides the point. You’re married now and so often men joke about how now things in the bedroom change. Unfortunately and sadly I’ve heard that they’re right. Here’s the thing, sex SHOULD change after marriage! But it should be changing for the better. You’ve committed your life to this person and that’s THE most intimate thing that you could do. This means that the heat in the bedroom needs to turn up on a new level as well.

    Why?

    So here’s the thing, I’ve been reading these Cosmo tips on “how to please your man” and “10 things to blow his mind” and blah blah blah but why waste that on someone who you aren’t sharing your forever with? I’m a huge supporter of sex in marriage and the reason why is because this is the person that I’m loving with all of me–including her. After marriage, you should be blowing each other’s socks off.

    Oh Mama! Now there’s a baby!

    Babies happen. They do. And they change everything. And by everything I do mean every.single.thing. Quick and useful tips on how NOT to let the baby tear your girl up:

    1. Kegels
    2. Squats (Kegels are useless without these)
    3. The Elevator (I’ll go into more detail down below *giggle*)

    While you’re pregnant and after baby comes, keep doing these things. Your lady part is a muscle and needs to be toned post baby. Doing these 3 things will get/keep things right and tight as well as help out with any bladder issues that happen as a result of creating the most beautiful little person that you’ve set your eyes on. Do these often.

    Sadly, I often here that once my sistren have had their little bundles, sex is out the window. NO NO NO NO NO. I have more NO’s but I didn’t want there to be overkill. Ladies, we cannot stop having sex with our spouses after having baby! Yes, I know that we are sooooo enamored with this little person (to be read as exhausted) but we are more than just mothers! We are women! We have needs (whether you want to acknowledge them or not)!! And honestly speaking, so do our spouses. Many times one person in the marriage has the love language of physical affection. It might be you or it might be them either way, someone’s love language is NOT being spoken. This is going to lead to discourse in the marriage which no one wants.

    How Do You “Keep In Touch”?

    I totally chuckled at that lol. But that’s the thing–you have to keep touching. I don’t mean this in the sexual way but I do mean that constant physical touch is really important. It tends to lead to sex and this is a good thing. After we had abc and my 6 weeks were up, I didn’t get my groove back right away. In fact, although I was cleared for the nookie, between feeling like a cow and bouts of exhaustion, sex was the last thing on my mind……until I had it. Connecting with my man, my love, my husband reminded me that I was more than just the mom sitting in an enclosed space feeling like I was about to start moo-ing at any point in time as I was being double pumped. It was hard for us in the beginning because abc co-slept with us. But you know what, as much as I looooooooove my baby, I love my husband more and I value our intimacy.

    Sex isn’t as important to others as it is to me. I would be remiss if I were to make pretend to subscribe to the notion that “sex isn’t everything/sex doesn’t really matter”. It does. And it matters a lot to me and I think it’s ok to admit that. It’s natural for women to want to feel desired and wanted and lusted for. Why not have that feeling with your husband/spouse? Why not have fun with this person that has committed to loving you through the good and the bad? I say go for it.

    Quick Tips In Getting It In

    Again, I chuckled here, ha!

    • Leave the bed – Have sex in the bathroom, closet, floor, couch (let me know so I know where not to sit ha!), anywhere but leave the bed and see how much fun that is
    • Wear lingerie – If you’re anything like me, you see every imperfection glaring at you when you put it on. But that’s not what they see. They love us for who we are and what we look like NOW. Flaunt it.
    • Dance for them – Yes, dance. Sway your hips, show your curves, be sexy. I’m not the best dancer in the world but when it comes to my hubs, I am his private dancer *body roll*.
    • Red Lipstick – Red is such a sexy and powerful color. It’s bold and flirty and that’s what you want to be. Get dolled up–for them.
    • Elevator Move – This will drive them CRAZY as well as tone your lady bits! It’s very similar to that of a kegel but instead of just tightening and releasing, you want to slowly tighten up and then slowly release it down. It should take you about 3 seconds up and back down. Doing this on him is mind-blowing but also adds an element of added sensation for you!
    • Have Fun – Yes, laugh, smile, be flirty. Have a good time. It doesn’t have to last 3 hours (I mean, who can do that anyway right?). But really commit to being fully present with your mate and giving them yourself.
    • Do it often – You had to know this was coming. Sex is good for us. Take care of yourself! And sex is good for them! In order to prevent prostate cancer, a man should be ejaculating at least 21 times very 30 days soooooo let’s help keep them healthy ha!
    • Don’t hold out on oral – I hate hearing that women wait until special occasions for sex or oral sex. Why? Prior to marriage you didn’t! There is NOTHING sexier than having control over a man’s pleasure. Enjoy it. Add some food elements. Have fun with it. But don’t hold out!

    I’m not going to say anything like “but the Bible says…” regarding sex with our mates. Here’s the thing, sex is fun and it’s more fun when you’re doing it with someone who matters so have at it!

    How important is sex in your relationship? What tips do you have to keep the physical intimacy alive?