Check This Out Archives - Engaged Marriage

Category Archives for "Check This Out"

Meet the New Engaged Marriage Writing Team!

By Dustin | Check This Out

It’s a proud day in Engaged Marriage history!

Since the fall of 2009, I’ve been writing most of the content here on the blog, to the tune of over 350 posts.  I love writing for you and will continue to do so.

But as our community has grown, I’ve felt the need to add some fresh perspective to the site.  I decided it was time to seek out help to make the quality of your experience with Engaged Marriage better than ever.

After sending a single email to our newsletter subscribers and then sorting through nearly 100 amazing applicants (it’s truly humbling to see the number of people with a passion and talent for writing about marriage and family), I was fortunate enough to assemble a team of eight amazing columnists.

These very talented folks have become friends as we organized our new publishing schedule, and I know you’re going to LOVE their contributions.  They each offer unique perspectives, yet they believe deeply in the core mission and theme of Engaged Marriage.  And I need to give a special shout out to Amy Latta who will also be our new Editor.

To start, they’ll each be contributing a new post once per month (they started this week), so look for their insights every Monday and Wednesday with me filling in the gaps in between.  There’s going to be a LOT more actionable content for you to enjoy, so be sure to check back often.

I’m also going to expand our free newsletter to provide a summary of the new posts every other Saturday.  Be sure to sign up here so you don’t miss a thing.

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce your new writing team.  Please take a few minutes to reach out to them on their sites or social media profiles and say hello.



Kim Hall – Money & Career

Kim Hall

Kim Hall created Too Darn Happy to help you build stronger and more joyful relationships through offerings of fresh perspectives and practical advice. Having been a wife for thirty years and a mom for almost as long to two daughters, she also shares occasional cautionary tales of her own character building life experiences. Kim recently authored her first ebook, Practicing Gratitude and Discovering Joy-Thirty Days to a Happier You. You can connect with Kim on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, too!

Dawn Van Ness – Sex & Intimacy

Dawn Van Ness

Dawn Van Ness is a married 38-year-old with one child and is managing her own small marketing company, Shy Light Media, and a art and writing career, A Dawn Everyday. She writes for others more than for herself, but is passionate in everything that she does.

Patrick Kansa – Parenting

Patrick Kansa

I’m just a guy, married to a great woman, learning as I go how to best lead our little family of four.  I’m also a bit of a watch guy, as you can see by my articles over on WristWatchReview and ABlogToWatch.

Amy Latta – Family Fun & Crafts

Amy Latta

Amy Latta is the author of One Artsy Mama, where she shares a variety of project types including home decor, kids’ crafts, sewing, jewelry, and more. Recently, she published her first e-book, Crochet 101, to help beginners learn basic crochet stitches and techniques. She is happiest when creating something and enjoys making all kinds of projects with her 4 year old “Little Crafter.” In her spare time, Amy is a professional ballroom, latin, and swing dancer. When not on the dance floor or crafting, you can probably find her at Starbucks.

Julie Sibert – Sex & Intimacy

Julie Sibert

Julie Sibert writes and speaks about sexual intimacy in marriage. You can follow her blog at She lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband and their two boys.

Debi Walter – Romance & Date Nights

Debi Walter

Tom and Debi Walter have been cultivating their romantic vineyard for most of their 34 years of marriage. It has been their conviction from the start. Now they are passionate about helping other couples discover the rich harvest of romance available to them no matter the current season. Through their marriage blog, The Romantic Vineyard established in 2008, they provide regular posts about growing your marriage for God’s glory.

E.J. Smith – Help for Troubled Marriages

EJ Smith

E.J. Smith is the face (and mouth) behind Born in New Jersey, and transplanted to Texas, this self-professed holistic health nut is currently completing her Masters in Mental Health Counseling. Raised Catholic and the wife of an active duty Marine, E.J. uses introspection and pragmatism to help readers create loving, fulfilling relationships from the inside out.

Mary Beth Foster – Family Fun & Crafts with an emphasis on DIY home projects for couples!

Mary Beth Foster

Mary Beth Foster is a full-time high school English teacher who lives in Mint Hill, NC, with her husband of two years and their two cats. She tackles craft projects, home renovations, and culinary adventures in her free time. Read more about her creative endeavors on her blog:

The Story Behind Engaged Marriage

By Dustin | Check This Out

I had the pleasure recently of being interviewed on the Coach Radio podcast, and I had an awesome time.

As I was listening to the show for the first time in the car last week, it occurred to me that several questions that I’ve been asked by readers are answered during the interview.  For example, here are some of the topics we cover:

  • How and why I created Engaged Marriage
  • My background in marriage ministry and how I took it online
  • How we’ve built such a great community using our newsletter, Twitter, Facebook and other tools
  • Why the Love Everyday project was so successful
  • What’s going on with the new Fit Marriage site and why it’s so important
  • Lots of fun conversation!

If you’re interested in learning more about Engaged Marriage and these related topics, please visit Coach Radio and go listen to the interview now.  While you’re there, you might consider subscribing to Justin’s blog and/or podcast so you can check out the variety of great interviews and posts he shares regularly.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below…

It’s Alive! Check Out the New Fit Marriage!

By Dustin | Check This Out

I am really excited to let our Engaged Marriage community know that a project I’ve been working on for several months with Tony DiLorenzo has hit a milestone this week.  Please take a few minutes to click over and check out Fit Marriage for yourself!

Are you still here?  Well, okay, let me tell you a bit about the site so you’ll be convinced to head over and become part of a new and very important community aimed at helping you improve your physical fitness as well as your relationship.

From the Fit Marriage About page, here are some questions that will let you know if this new project should interest you:

  • Are you a busy married person who struggles to find time for quality fitness?

  • Are you looking for real fitness solutions that allow you to workout and feel great about yourself without taking precious time away from your spouse and family?

  • Are you ready to support your spouse in living a healthy, thriving lifestyle?

If so, you’ll love what we’re doing at Fit Marriage!

Fit Marriage is here to empower you with the knowledge, tools and motivation to get fit and improve your relationship in the process.  We invite you to join our community as we work together to meet our fitness goals and achieve new levels of success in our health and well-being.

What Makes Fit Marriage Different?

There are literally thousands of sites and products out there related to fitness.  However, Fit Marriage is different because it’s here for you.

  • Our sole focus is on helping busy couples achieve their goals together.
  • Our workouts are designed to get you killer results without wasting any of your precious time.
  • Our nutrition plans are created to work with your crazy schedule and not in spite of it.
  • Our approach to training does not require you to be a gym rat or to plan your life around your workouts.  In fact, if you follow our plans, you’ll stay out of the gym and spend less than 30 minutes per day exercising!
  • Fit Marriage is committed to getting you awesome results using a proven system that enhances your family life instead of competing with it!

In short, Fit Marriage wants to become the trusted source for real fitness solutions for real busy couples.

If you’re still here, I’ll give you a few examples of the posts we’ve added in our first week:

Now, I’m sure you’re ready to go learn more about our approach to Couples Fitness that works with your busy lifestyle.  Be sure to check out the homepage video of yours truly and grab your free copy of our killer audio program called “7 Secrets to Look & Feel Awesome Without Wasting Your Precious Time…Together!

Let us know your thoughts either below or on any of the posts over at Fit Marriage.  Thanks for your support!

Check This Out: Project Happily Ever After

By Dustin | Check This Out

Project Happily Ever After - The Book!This post is the fourth in a series called “Check This Out.” The purpose of these posts is to introduce you to other great blogs and online resources that can help you achieve the extraordinary in your marriage and family life. Enjoy!

In this edition of “Check This Out,” I’m excited to introduce you to one of my favorite marriage blogs: Project: Happily Ever After.  The site’s creator, Alisa Bowman, gives raw, helpful and oftentimes hilarious advice on the struggles we all face in marriage.

Alisa’s particular focus with Project: Happily Ever After is helping those that have experienced the “dark side” of marriage and are seeking some guidance in getting back to a relationship that they love and enjoy.

Why does she care so much about this topic, and what makes her an expert?  Well, she’s lived it.  Here’s a bit of Alisa’s story in her own words:

I started this site because I once regularly fantasized about my husband dropping dead. I spent so much time thinking and hoping for that car accident or heart attack that I had his entire funeral planned out—down to the food and beer I would serve the mourners.

I knew my husband would frustrate me if we tried marital counseling, so I instead started a project, one that involved reading every marital improvement book I could find. During the next year, I changed, and so did he. He did more around the house. He paid more attention to our daughter. He asked me about me, and he actually seemed interested as I answered. I fell back in love, and so did he.

I started Project Happily Ever After to help others. It’s my hope that my advice and stories on this site can provide you with a sense of hope that happiness is not only your right, but that it’s also within your grasp.

Now, that is a story, huh?  Well, if you can’t exactly relate to Alisa’s experience and macabre thoughts, don’t be afraid. 🙂

The site is not just about the reconciliation process or planning funerals.  It’s actually one of the funnier sites I read on a regular basis.  Alisa does not mince words and she’s quite open, so you will find a wide variety of topics covered!

Here are a few examples to get you started:

Alisa is currently promoting her upcoming book, also called Project: Happily Ever After and pictured above, so she’s blogging like mad and posting everyday as part of a challenge.  Check it out!

You can also find Alisa (@AlisaBowman) on Twitter, and Facebook!

Let Us Know What You Think!

After you’ve had a chance to check it out, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Project: Happily Ever After and all of the great work that Alisa is doing for marriages!

Please give a shout out in the comments!

Check This Out: Past Due Radio

By Dustin | Check This Out

Past Due RadioThis post is the third in a series called “Check This Out.” The purpose of these posts is to introduce you to other great blogs and online resources that can help you achieve the extraordinary in your marriage and family life. Enjoy!

In this edition of “Check This Out,” I’m genuinely thrilled to introduce you to my favorite new podcast and an excellent source of wise advice on finances and many other aspects of life.  If you haven’t checked out Past Due Radio, you really owe it to yourself to give host Derek Sisterhen a listen and a look.

You may recognize Derek’s name because he is one of the most regular and insightful commenters here on Engaged Marriage.  He really “gets it” and shares many of my thoughts and convictions on the subjects of marriage, family, money and communication.

So, why did Derek leave a corporate gig to become a financial coach and start an online radio show?  Here are his own words from his About page:

If you told me ten years ago that I’d be a radio show host, author, and helping others turn dreams into reality, I would’ve laughed pretty hard.  And yet, here I am: the host Past Due Radio and author of Get Naked: Stripping Down to Money & Marriage.

Ever since I climbed down the corporate ladder, I find myself going home to my wife Elisa with a positive attitude at the end of each work day.  God blessed me with an opportunity to do what I love and I’m having a blast.

If you’ve read Engaged Marriage for very long, you’ll know that I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey and his radio show (and podcast).  However, after listening to several of Derek’s shows, I honestly have to say that I prefer his genuine, deeper approach to all of the issues that surround personal finance.  Yes, I like listening to Derek better than Dave Ramsey, and that’s really saying something!

Like I said, Past Due Radio also includes blog posts for your reading pleasure.  I’d encourage you to check out these recent posts and podcast episodes for starters:

Podcast Edisode 102: Of Contentment and Credit Scores

Video Post: Save Your Marriage, Spend Some Money

One Roast Beef Sandwich, Hold the Kids, Hold the Parents

You can also find Derek (@DJSisterhen) on Twitter, and his company Lukas Coaching on Facebook.

Engaged Marriage Interview at Past Due Radio!

In support of our community, Derek graciously invited me for an interview on Episode 104 at Past Due Radio!

We spent nearly an hour talking about making the best use of time in our marriages, the importance of being proactive in life and a lot of other fun stuff, including the story behind Engaged Marriage.  Please head over now to listen to or download our interview, and I’d encourage you to subscribe to the Past Due Radio podcast while you’re there.

You’ll find it all right here: Episode 104: Don’t Waste Your Marriage