WEDDINGS & RELATIONSHIPS

DATE NIGHT IN

01/14/2016

DNI_Fondue

This Date Night In is all about getting intimate, lighting a candle, listening to some mood music, and enjoying fondue with your special someone. Disclaimer: I absolutely love fondue, and if I could eat it every night for dinner, I probably would! It’s a fun, simple, and delicious alternative to the average meal, and even better shared with someone else. (Don’t forget the golden rule: if your piece falls in, you have to kiss your date!)

What to do and wear in no particular order… Pull out your fondue set and prep your bread, veggies, and cheese. Pick out your favorite bottle of wine and crack it open. Light a nice candle to set the mood. Throw on your favorite tee and a pair of pants with an elastic waistband for comfort. Slip on a pair of cozy socks and your favorite boots. Create a playlist of your favorite songs to play. And lastly, don’t forget to keep some lip balm nearby to keep your lips extra smooth for all of those kisses!

For more date night ideas click here.

THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED

11/30/2015

sexandthecity

Advice is something that people love to give, whether we ask for it or not. Over our lifetimes, we will receive an awful lot of other people’s opinions—some good and some not-so-good. I have received a lot of both, and therefore learned how to decipher between what is helpful and what is not. There are two pieces of advice that I have been given over the years that I would consider to be some of the best. The first is, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” As common sense as this may seem, I think that it has gotten me through some really tough scenarios in life and in business. I have learned to let little things go and to really pick my battles when it comes to conflict. The other piece of advice that I consider one of the best has to do with parenting. A wise woman once told me, “Speak to your children as you would like to be spoken to.” I adopted this wisdom into my own parenting methods by speaking to my kids like equals. And so far, it’s worked in raising confident, self-sufficient children.

I, personally, don’t like to dish out advice unless someone asks for it. I’m happy to share my thoughts and opinions when solicited, but I’ve learned that telling someone how to live their life does not work. In other words, people seldom change their ways to accommodate another person’s suggestions. This is not to say I haven’t appreciated advice and suggestions from friends and loved ones over the years, but I’ve learned to trust my own instincts along the way, too.

I’d love to hear your opinion on advice giving and receiving. Also, please feel free to share the best piece of advice you’ve ever received in the comments below.

Photo above via HBO.

ARE YOU COMFORTABLE NAKED?

11/10/2015

Nude-charity-rowing-calendar-2015_20141018191323

There are some people who are completely comfortable baring it all—hello Lena Dunham, Helen Mirren, and Miley Cyrus. I am definitely not one of those people. I am extremely self-conscious of my naked body. I have stretch marks, cellulite, and what many mother’s refer to as “mom boobs.” As women, we can all be our own worst enemy when it comes to body image. I think that every single female that I know has something they don’t like about their body. It’s so easy (and also natural) to focus on the negatives when looking at ourselves in the mirror.

I have several girlfriends who will strip down in front of each other without thinking twice, which I admire, but I’m too embarrassed to do it unabashedly and too concerned with how others will perceive my body. Various studies state that women tend to feel more body confident in their mid 30’s compared to their 20’s. I even feel body conscious around my husband—a man who has seen me push out two children, naturally! I definitely felt my best in my mid to late twenties.

Some experts suggest sleeping naked as a way to improve positive body image and become more comfortable in the nude. With four kids, and a three-year-old who loves to sneak into our bed in the middle of the night, I don’t feel comfortable sleeping au naturel. Others suggest working out in the nude (lol!) or taking more showers and baths with your partner. I am on a quest to deliberately teach myself to accept my body and learn to love it. Here is a great article on why we should be naked more often.

How about you? Are you comfortable being naked?

Image above via The Warwick Rowers.

WHAT DO YOU AND YOUR PARTNER ARGUE ABOUT?

11/03/2015

CBS

Whether it be a couple of friends or an old married couple, we all have our moments where heads collide. Studies show that 70% of married couples argue about money more than sex, household chores, the kids, togetherness, snoring, and more.

The one thing Aubrey and I argue about most is what’s for dinner—or breakfast or lunch. He describes himself as a “steak and potatoes” guy, with a side of fried food or tacos. Conversely, I love to eat out, try new cuisines, and experiment with different recipes filled with vegetables, new flavors, and spices. It may sound petty, but this difference in preference has caused a lot of arguments over the years. And on top of Aubrey’s eating habits, I have the pickiest 3-year-old on the planet! Sailor will only eat a handful of foods (including frozen waffles, white rice, Ramen Noodles, and cherry-flavored yogurt), so it’s safe to say that I’ve gone a bit of a cooking hiatus for the time being because half of my family won’t eat what I prepare.

In order to keep the peace, Aubrey and I developed a system where we can go out to eat as long as there is steak (or tacos) on the menu. And if not, I go out with my girlfriends who adore food as much as I do. This way, we can still have our necessary date nights without the unnecessary drama. As far as the big kids go, Julian and Plum have an appetite similar to mine, so they are (for the most part) easier to please and also enjoy trying new foods. The three of us go to our favorite hole-in-the-wall Korean restaurant once a week and dine on chicken bulgogi.

All relationships have their issues, whether romantic or platonic. What I’ve learned from our on-going food fiasco, however, is that compromise is key. Aubrey gets his steak-and-potatoes, and I get my sushi, gnocchi, or moules frites one way or another. It isn’t always easy, in fact, we still argue about what’s for dinner about half of the time, but having somewhat of a system in place has definitely helped cut down on the bickering.

What do and your partner argue about? Have you found out a way to compromise? Feel free to share in the comments below.

P.S. Here’s a fun read on the top 10 reasons why couples argue.

DATE NIGHT IN

10/21/2015

DateNightIn_Bleubird_CouplesBookClub

Aubrey and I have been wanting to read the same book before bed for some time now. We thought it could become a nice nightly routine, followed by our own version of a book club where we would discuss our own interpretations of what we each read. So, this Date Night In is inspired by cuddling up, making cocktails, enjoying a charcuterie spread, and delving into a good book together.

What to do and wear in no particular order… Decide on a book with your loved one and buy two copies. (We suggest Station Eleven.) Head to your local market and pick out a variety of meats, cheeses, and pickled accoutrements to create a beautiful charcuterie board. Make a delicious cocktail. Throw on some worn-in jeans and a soft, cozy sweater. Freshen up with your favorite perfume. Slip on your favorite house shoes. Burn some palo santo to set the ambiance. Settle onto a the couch or floor with a comfortable pillow, and enjoy your quiet night in.

For more Date Night In ideas, click here.

Do you date night in? Share your ideas in the comments below. One of them may be included in a future post.

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