Category Archives for "Romance"

4 Gift Ideas Your Sweetheart Will Love

By Dustin | Romance

Having a special person in your life can make you feel happier and more content.

Going through life alone is less than ideal and having another individual to share your hopes and dreams with is fantastic.

Taking the time to do things for one another is sure to help keep the love alive and well.

There are many occasions that may pop up throughout the year that range from Valentine’s Day to a special anniversary.

In fact, studies show that $19.7 billion was spent on Valentine’s Day in 2016.  Being aware of some ideas that may help you show your appreciation for this individual is important for a flourishing romantic union.

Idea #1: Photo blankets

One thing you may want to consider looking into is custom photo blankets. These are not your everyday gift and are sure to be exactly what you need to show your loved one just how much you care.

The good news is this one of a kind gift can be made the exact way you want it and this is what makes it so attractive and fun. Customizing photos and putting these on a usable blanket is sure to be something your partner will love.

Idea #2: Professional photo session

Can you imagine how nice it would be to have pictures of you and your significant other holding hands, giving hugs or kissing each other on the cheek?

This is sure to be one thing you will want to add to your list of things you have as a couple and can be an ideal way to have a lasting memory of your times spent together.

Simply set up an appointment date for both of you to have a photo shoot and this can enable you to make the most of your time together. The good news is this can be a lasting memory that may well stand the test of time and provide you with happy thoughts each time you view the photos.

Idea #3: Mountain retreat

Is there anything more romantic than simply taking the time to get away together? One of the best ways for you to reconnect with the love of your life may rest in taking some time and going on a little vacation.

You don’t have to miss a great deal of work or get too overwhelmed with the packing. Simply plan a weekend getaway and take a few essentials to help make your trip as special as the love you feel for each other.

The chances are high that this little gift idea can render huge dividends for your relationship and may even rekindle the spark that is necessary for a lasting union.

Idea # 4: Specialty gift baskets

One of the most endearing gifts to give is sure to be a custom made one. Taking the time to put together a few things that your partner enjoys is sure to bring a great deal of happiness to this person.

One way to reach this goal is to create a specialty gift basket that shows just how much you care. Add some items that may be representative of a particular hobby and this is sure to be a hit. The more you can customize this gift the better you’re sure to make it for the person in your life.

The key to making love last is sure to rest in the little things you do each day. This can be how to keep your relationship on the upside and prevent it from heading downward at all times.

All you need to do is to pay a little extra attention to the person you love today!

Great Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Her That Last Forever

By Dustin | Romance

Bouquets are gorgeous, but how long do they last?

These great Valentine’s Day gift ideas for her are all about longevity – just like your love. Check them out!

This Valentine’s Day, we recommend you attempt to do something different.

You’ve likely given gifts of flowers before, and maybe candy. But those are soon gone, and it can be a little sad seeing wilted flowers.

Instead, try to give a gift that can go the distance.

Great Valentine’s Day gifts for her can go beyond the classic chocolate and flowers, but where did those even come from?

Where did the tradition of flowers start as a Valentine’s Day gift?

There have been many cultures that have used flowers during mid-winter rites. Specifically, they were often used to symbolize fertility and love.

The origins of Valentine’s Day are a bit murkier.

In one legend, a young Roman priest named Valentine was put to death on February 14. His alleged crime? Secretly marrying couples after the Emperor decreed single men made better soldiers.

While in jail, as the story goes, he fell in the love with his jailor’s daughter. His final letter to her may have been signed “From Your Valentine”.

One confirmed fact is that Valentine was granted sainthood in the 5th century, and he eventually becomes one of Europe’s most popular saints.

(St.) Valentine’s Day is still an incredibly popular, but sometimes stressful, holiday. So if you’re looking for great Valentine’s Day gift ideas for her that will go the distance but aren’t stressful to obtain or make, here’s your list.

Great Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her Can be Special and Easy

No matter what the lady in your life is into, these great Valentine’s Day gifts for her will make this year one to remember.

We definitely like Eternity Roses as a romantic gift that will go the distance….

While a bouquet of roses will fade quickly after Valentine’s Day, you can actually give her one that won’t.

This preserved 24 karat gold-dipped real rose will be beautiful forever, just like she will. They look impressive and are made from a natural single rose. The manufacturer also has glazed red single roses in which look quite stunning in a nice leather presentation box.

Plan it out

A romantic date or trip can be fun, but it takes a little planning, though all the fun goes out the window if you struggle with planning.

Whether it’s a trip around the world, or just across town, it should be enjoyable for both of you.

Here are some tips from The Eternity Rose  that will help you to plan and enjoy Valentine’s Day.

Frame it

Think of all the reasons you love her.

Pick your favorite, and create an 8×10 print. Grab a pretty frame, and you’re almost done. She can hang it on the wall, so she’ll see it every day.

Make it a frame with a stand, so she has the option to put it on her desk at work, too.

Sometimes great Valentine’s Day gift ideas for her are the simplest.

Grab your Scrabble board

If you’re less artistic, but still want a custom message, grab your Scrabble board.

Pick tiles out to arrange your partner’s name, crossed with yours.

A deeper frame will allow room for the tiles and makes a fun 3D and romantic gift.

Light up the night

Candles are pretty, romantic, and come in a range of colors and scents.

Take it to the next level and carve your sweetie’s initials into it.

It’s easier than carving up a tree and better for the environment.

Follow this simple tutorial to make a unique gift for her.

Set it on music

Knowing the things your loved one loves is part of being in a relationship.

What’s the song she sings most often? The one you hear her humming under her breath when she’s happy?

Write down the lyrics of that tune and make her a personalized lyrics plate.

She can enjoy her favorite meal and her favorite song at the same time (it’s even dishwasher safe).

Twelve months, twelve reasons

If your spouse prefers a physical calendar to the one on her phone, make her one she’ll love.

Grab her favorite photos and create a wall calendar.

Match each photo to the month it was taken. Add a caption that shares your favorite thing about the photo or memory.

Now it’s not just a calendar, it’s a romantic gift she’ll see year-round.

Grow your love, and some plants, too

If your partner has a green thumb, why not give her something she’d enjoy all year?

Grab a pretty basket and fill it with packets of her favorite kinds of flower seeds.

If you don’t have a flower bed, throw in a few cute pots she can use.

Every time the flowers bloom she’ll think of your thoughtful gift.

In the garden

If you do have a yard or garden, make a few unique stepping stones to guide her way.

Use items like shells from a trip you took to the beach, or glass stones in her favorite colors.

This will take a little extra prep time to allow them to set, but these instructions make it a snap.

Map your love

Think of three places that you’ve been together that have been romantic and fun.

This is an especially good gift if it happens to be around your first anniversary, too, which is paper.

Grab a map and a red marker. Draw a heart around each place.

Depending on how well-traveled you’ve been, you may have to trim your map down a bit.

Find a frame that fits (your local craft store can help with a custom one, too).

She can look at this unique gift, a map of your love, every day of the year.

For the handyman

If you’re good with tools, consider making the frames for the ideas above instead.

Or, has her book collection overflowed the shelf and onto the floor? Build her a new bookcase.

Does she have kitchen gadgets or spices that don’t have a permanent home? Build a small rack that matches her kitchen.

If you’re good at more intricate design, a jewelry box or necklace tree might be just the perfect romantic gift.

Get your paintbrush out

Is there a room that you know needs a fresh coat of paint? It’s probably the same one she thinks needs it, too.

If you know she’ll be out of town, surprise her by doing the chore you both likely hate.

Or, if a surprise doesn’t work, give her a certificate that says you’ll paint a room of her choice.

For the aspiring writer

If writing is your thing, why not write your love story?

Use some parchment paper, and a calligraphy pen or marker. Describe how you met and how things have grown between you.

Leave a few blank pages at the end and mark the first one, “The future”.

Punch two holes (top corner, bottom corner) and bind it with a pretty ribbon.

Next year, you can go back and fill in another page.


Give her a romantic gift that will be hers all year long, not just for a few days.

Like these great Valentine’s Day ideas for her or have other ideas we should include? Share your thoughts!

Dr. Carissa Coulston is a Clinical Psychologist with over 30 research publications in high standard medical and psychiatric peer-reviewed journals. She has experience in managing a wide range of problems within the Psychology spectrum from common everyday issues such as stress and anxiety, to more chronic and severe mental health conditions.

Carissa writes a regular blog on relationship management and helps people deal with various problems they face in relationships, offering advice on how to resolve difficult situations, strategies to cope with and move past painful and disappointing experiences, and tips on how to improve the overall quality of relationships to achieve happiness and fulfillment.

Seven Bedtime Routines to Get Your Marriage Glowing

By Dustin | Romance


Some people believe that the day actually starts with the evening before, and this is not a bad way of looking at life.

Having a good night’s rest is essential if you want to be on top of the word when the sun comes up. And the best way to have a good night is to pay attention to your bedtime routine.

Yes, bedtime routines are not only for kids, but each and every one of us can benefit from a healthy routine, and especially if we are married.

In fact, the quality of the bedtime routine of a married couple may indeed be an accurate indicator of the quality of their marriage relationship.

If you have been married a few years and you feel the sparkle has somewhat evaporated, then have a look at these seven bedtime routines and see how you can bring back a healthy glow to your marriage.

1. Get to bed together at a decent hour

Many people who are now divorced will tell you that they very seldom went to bed at the same time as their spouse.

One would stay up late watching TV, or catching up with work, while the other went to bed.

Bedtime is one of the most important and special times of the day, so if you aren’t together then it probably means you aren’t together much at other times either.

Going to bed together, and not too late, is a conscious decision you can make to show each other that you choose togetherness rather than the slow drift of living separate lives which can happen so subtly.

2. Get rid of the gizmos and gadgets

Once you’ve made it into the bedroom, see it as a ‘sanctuary’ for the two of you.

If you have a TV in your bedroom, decide on a time when it goes off and stays off. And the same goes for your cell phones, ipads, tablets and any other electronics you might have.

If you need an alarm to wake up in the morning, make sure that is in place, but all the rest can go.

Surely you don’t want all those other people on the TV / Facebook/ Whatsapp or whatever invading your own private space with the one you love?

Do your marriage a favor and switch off all the gizmos and gadgets as part of your healthy bedtime routine.

3. Get caught up on your day

While you and your beloved are getting undressed, taking off your makeup, having a shower, and putting on your pj’s, it’s the perfect time to get caught up on your day.

Tell each other about your highlights and lowlights, your concerns and joys.

Keep this time for sharing how you really are, rather than the quick snatches of conversation you may have been able to have at dinnertime.

Conversation, or rather communication is one of the primary factors which keep a marriage relationship strong and close. No wonder lack of communication is also a major reason for the breakdown of relationships.

So talk, talk, talk, and more importantly, listen carefully to each other.

4. Get ready all day

Once you start enjoying this bedtime routine you may actually find yourself looking forward to it all day long. After all, the best foreplay is what happens before you get into the bedroom.

In fact, you can get ready throughout day by sending a loving little text message out of the blue, or perhaps a little note tucked into your beloved’s pocket or lunch bag when they’re not looking.

Then of course there are all the practical things that you can do to show how much you care, like loading the dishwasher, folding the laundry, or making a relaxing cup of tea for your spouse.

If you make a point of doing intimately loving and thoughtful things for each other every day, by the time you get into the bedroom in the evening, you will both know for sure that you are loved, wanted and desired.

5. Get in touch and stay connected

As one thing leads to another, don’t be afraid to try new ways of touching – with your partner’s consent of course.

There’s nothing like a massage to make you both feel relaxed, especially after a long stressful day. Help each other to unwind and enjoy the safe space that you have with one another where you can just be yourself and be refreshed to face the world again tomorrow.

Enjoy the privilege and blessing of intimacy and sex as much as possible in your marriage relationship.

Even when you drop off to sleep later, regardless of your preferred sleeping positions, try to stay connected throughout the night with at least one part of your bodies touching each other.

6. Get spiritually connected

But before you sail off to dreamland, don’t forget to say a prayer together or perhaps read a short portion of your favorite devotional book together.

A wise person once said that the couple who prays together stays together.

As human beings we are more than just a physical body – there is also the soul and spirit.

In this most intimate relationship of marriage it is vitally important that all levels of our being are connected and nourished on a daily basis. So make it a priority to get spiritually connected with your spouse as part of your healthy bedtime routine.

7. Get a good goodnight kiss

One last thing: instead of a mumbled ‘nite nite’ make sure you give your beloved a good goodnight kiss.

Even if you don’t say it in so many words, that kiss will convey the message that you enjoyed being with them today, that you wish them a peaceful night’s sleep, that you will be there throughout the night, and that whatever the day may hold in the morning, you will be there to face it with them.


Author Bio: Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage.

She is a featured writer for, a reliable resource to support healthy, happy marriages. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Google+ and Pinterest.

Tending Your Marriage Garden: 3 Things You Need To Do Now

By Dustin | Romance


Have you ever seen a plant sitting on a shelf in someone’s office… droopy, sad, leaves scattered all on the floor?

You probably looked at that fading little plant and wondered who was supposed to take care of it.

Maybe they forgot? Maybe they don’t know how? Or maybe they just don’t care?

When the person got the plant, they were probably happy, watered it and made sure it had ample sunlight.

Over time, other things took priority… and the plant, waiting for attention and left on it’s own, began to wither away.

You’re probably wondering what this little plant has to do with a healthy marriage.

The short answer is: EVERYTHING.

When your marriage is shiny and new, we spend lots of time growing it. We nurture it, protect it and work hard at planting the seeds of our future.

Inevitably, challenges and distractions occur…

We get comfortable and complacent.

Left unattended, those tender seedlings of love wither, leaving a barren emotional landscape and leaving the one you love wondering what happened.

So, much like the little plant, marriages need regular loving care and feeding. They need tending to by their owners (you and your spouse).

The happiest couples know that tending to their marriage is the best way to create a healthy, sustainable and fulfilling relationship. They make tending their marriage a priority.

Tending your marriage is much more than going on dates and sharing intimate moments.

It’s more than having sex.

Tending your marriage means doing those things that heal, nurture and strengthen your marriage… doing the things that will keep your relationship thriving season after season.

Pull the Weeds

Nothing will choke a garden quicker than weeds. Every garden has them and there’s only one way to deal with them: pull them and pull them often.

If you wait, they’ll overrun your garden.

Old wounds, unresolved problems, neglected intimacy… even those little aggravations are the weeds in your marital garden.

Avoid dealing with them and they’ll invade every emotional space of your relationship.

But weed gently… ripping a weed out by the roots leaves nothing but a big hole to fill.

Take time to talk with your partner about problems. Check in with each other often. The important thing is to communicate in meaningful ways.

Communication is like water for relationships. Without it, they wither away.

Above all, be genuine in your conversations.

  • Speak from the heart… and from a place of love.
  • Find resolution to old wounds.
  • Forgive each other’s little imperfections.
  • Apologize with sincerity if you need to.

And find that place of healing and reconciliation.

Feed Your Marriage Well

Just like a garden needs to be fed regularly to stay healthy… your marriage needs to be fed emotionally to remain vibrant and strong.

You probably fed it well early on… now you just need to remember how.

Everyday kindness is fertilizer for a thriving marriage.

Speak kindly to each other. Say “thank you” when your spouse does something nice for you.

Do the little things that please each other. Cook his favorite dish. Bring her a flower from the garden.

Sincerely compliment each other.

Focusing on the positives and all that is right in your marriage lays the foundations for a marriage that will thrive.

Kindness, forgiveness and gratitude put down deep emotional roots and keep your marriage growing strong. 

Hire a Landscaper

Sometimes no matter how hard you work at tending your garden, it just won’t grow. You can scratch your head and wonder what to do and give up or you can call in a professional landscaper.

There is no shame in asking for support. Every marriage has challenges.

An expert can help you address the weed problem and help you find the care and plan that works best for your marriage. 

Having people to reach out to can be a comforting, healing resource.

A safe space to “talk it out” can make you more confident for even the most difficult conversations and be a great place to share successes!

A well-tended marriage will grow strong and yield a bountiful harvest. Its beauty will draw you in and become your refuge from the world outside.

Ready to learn more practical tips, tools and resources for a vibrant and thriving marriage?

Learn more about our brand new community designed to let you live your best life together. 

Don’t go at it alone… join The Engaged Marriage Movement today for the best training, support and marriage-building community in the word:


5 Things Happy Couples Do Together That You Should Start Doing Now

By Dustin | Romance

5-things-happy-couples-do-together-that-you-should-start-doing-nowWe all know that spending time with your spouse is important.

In fact, along with communication, spending time together is one of the most consistent indicators of a happy marriage.

Happy couples know this and they do it…consistently.

But how?

With kids, jobs, appointments, soccer practice and more, time flies by…

And spending time with our spouse seems to fall way, way down the list.

Sometimes we don’t even realize how far down.

If this sounds like you, then let me give you the cold, hard truth.

The fact is, we all have the same number of hours in a day. It’s what we do with our time that makes the difference in the quality of our life including our marriage.

Happy couples don’t just spend time together. They spend quality time together.

For couples, it’s the quality of the time spent together that makes all the difference.

So what is this thing called quality time?

Quality time is giving your partner your full and undivided attention. It’s being together and focusing on the experience of being together as opposed to just logging time.

Simply put, couples engaging in quality time are intentionally doing something together for the sake of enjoying each other’s company. They enjoy doing things, no matter how small, with each other.

They make time for each other.

If you’re scratching your head wondering if you’re spending quality time with your spouse or just spending time, take a look at how happy couples create quality time.

If you are all about the QT, great! Keep doing what you’re doing!

If you’re not, then here are five ways you can start getting that QT in right now…

1. Snuggle Up

Whether you’re watching a movie, walking in the park or just having dinner, get close.

Sit close to each other, make eye contact, hold hands, kiss.

Being physically close promotes feelings of emotional closeness, security and a sense of being cared for. And it’s just kind of fun!

2. Make Time For Grown Up Time

When was the last time you had a real date with your spouse?

Not sure? Then it’s been too long.

If you’re missing those special times, it’s a sure bet your spouse is too.

Work and family can make doing things as a couple hard. You have to plan and prioritize.

It sounds so unsexy but the act of planning some adult time can be very provocative.

Get a babysitter. Have regular date nights.

Take a vacation day and spend it together. Take a weekend getaway. Your sex life will thank you!

3. Break A Sweat

Who knew working out could be good for your marriage?

Doing enjoyable things together enhances emotional closeness.

Find a sport or activity that you can enjoy together. It might be playing tennis, shooting hoops or running. Even walking together can be fun and a great way to just enjoy each other’s company.

And here’s a bonus: exercise has been found to enhance your sex life too 😉

4. Do The Unexpected

Instead of running errands while you’re waiting to pick the kids up from soccer practice, why not plan a secret rendezvous with your love?

Leave sweet notes prior to the day. Send a cute text.

The unexpected time together sends the message that “You are important to me and I want to spend time with you.”

Your meeting might be simply getting coffee between appointments or you might sneak away for a whole afternoon.

It’s not the amount of time but the act of making time that makes the difference.

5. Talk To Me

When it comes to couples, there’s talking and then there’s talking…the real deal, face-to-face, from the heart talking, that feeds the soul of the relationship.

Talking sounds easy but it can be hard with kids, jobs and a million distractions.

Set aside some time each day to talk to each other uninterrupted…no TV, no phones, no kids.

Talk about your day. Talk about what’s on your mind. If all is good, talk about that and express your gratitude.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Spend some quiet time together before dinner or after the kids go to bed.

The laundry or that text from the office can wait 15 minutes.

Want to learn more ways to create and enjoy more free time to spend with your loved ones?

Don’t miss our Get More Quality Time Workshop where you’ll learn how to take control of your time and how you want to spend it.

How to Multiply Your Productivity and Enjoy More Quality Time With Your Family (1)

Remember, we all have the same number of hours in the day. You plan and schedule.

Why shouldn’t the most important person in your life, the one you’re building a life with, be at the top of the list?

If you want to be a happy couple, you have to do what happy couples do.

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