Author: Stacey

10 ways to have a great relationship with your mother-in-law

How to Have a Great Relationship with Your Mother-In-Law

Mother-in-laws. A combination of words that can strike fear, anxiety or even anger in a marriage. In the average household, the mother-in-law can be seen as the equivalent to a Disney princess stepmother. Why Disney never capitalized on mother-in-law villains beats me. But while we all smirk at the stereotypical mother-in-law figure that has been painted by culture and media, we also need to be the change to restore those stereotypes, the family unit and even our marriage. My mother-in-law and I have a great relationship. We even call each other just to talk. Gasp! I know. This is almost unheard of but at the same time, she and I have worked very hard to develop a healthy relationship. That’s why I want to share with you what I’ve learned interacting with my mother-in-law as well as watching my mother and mother-in-law deal with their mother-in-laws. Even if you’re in a situation where you don’t think your mother-in-law will want to reciprocate the work in restoring the relationship, the change has to start somewhere. Might …

Summer Cocktail Recipe: Summer Sage and Ginger Fizz

Summer Cocktail Recipe: Summer Sage and Ginger Fizz

We’re so thrilled to have the opportunity to receive complimentary his and her glasses from Painted by the Shore, a local artist located in Connecticut. We’re including a link to her beautiful Esty shop if you want to see more. Also, Kristina the shop owner has kindly given all of our readers 25% off any purchase. Just enter BETTERTOGETHER25 at check out.     Summer will be here before we know it, which means there will be lots of time to kick back, taking in the summer breeze and lazily chit chatting about life. Living here in Rhode Island has given me a whole new perspective of summer. Coming from the land of endless summer (California) but now embracing the land of seasons (which includes freezing temperatures), I have had to learn not to take the seasons for granted and enjoy every single second. It only lasts for so long before fall comes quickly chasing it’s heals. What is our favorite place to soak it in you ask? On our cute New England porch with …

Attitude of gratitude marriage challenge

The Attitude of Gratitude Marriage Challenge

What Is Gratitude? I love that the word gratitude has part of the word attitude in it. It’s so fitting. Merriam Webster dictionary technically defines gratitude as “a state of being grateful”. Being in a state of gratefulness can really change your perspective and even be contagious. When applied to your marriage, having gratitude for each other can bring joy and positivity into your marriage. I was really inspired to make this conscious effort to be more thankful because I personally lost sight of gratitude. I got so caught up in the busyness and stress of life, that my unthankfulness made me irritable and even changed my perspective of how my husband interacted with me. I lost my creativity, my ability to laugh at small things and find joy in tasks that I once enjoyed. As soon as I shifted my mind into that state of gratefulness, my perspective changed. The depression and anxiety lifted. I had more energy and excitement to do the things I enjoy and my husband noticed my change of outlook. …

10 Ways to Cope with Busy Schedules in Marriage

10 Ways to Cope with Busy Schedules in Marriage

We know from experience how hectic and busy schedules can not only put a strain on your physical and emotional state, but it can also stress your marriage and your partner. My husband is a full time MBA student who also works part time in varying internships. I have a full time job. On top of that, we are bloggers (obviously!) and volunteer regularly at our local church. We’ve learned a lot about how to organize our days to better optimize our time spent together. Here’s how we do it: 1. Make Time for Each Other Being intentional with each other on a busy schedule is the key to a healthy relationship during time of extreme stress and busy schedules. Being intentional with your actual time is part of that as well. As weird and Type A as it sounds, looking at your schedules and finding gaps of free time can open the doors to quality time spent together. Remember, you’re not roommates, you’re married! For example, my husband goes to school at night. I …

Fun Date Night In: "Chopped" at Home

Fun Date Night In: “Chopped” at Home

There are some nights that you just want to do something completely out of the box and have a lot of creative fun. We recently got on a cooking kick and along with some cooking documentaries, we also started watching “Chopped”. For those who have never seen the show, it’s an intense competition between chefs of all kinds of backgrounds given odd ingredient combinations and a time limit. We thought, how much fun would it be to actually have a “Chopped” date night? We set off to the store, got our ingredients and cooked up something that definitely would have never even crossed our minds. After judging our cooked results, we decided that if we were on the show, we would have been “Chopped”! After a fun night of creativity, tons of laughs and a couple of faux pas, we came to the conclusion that this was one of our favorite date nights and had to share the idea with you! Instructions: To start, you can either 1) download and print our shopping list for …

Date night in: sushi kit and homemade sushi

Fun Date Night In: Sushi Kit & Homemade Sushi

We love sushi. We love the colors, the creativity and the artful combinations of flavors. So we decided to bring the creativity home by purchasing a sushi kit and had a fun date night making mostly sushi Frankenstein’s and sometimes works of art. We stuck to maki sushi (rice on the inside and seaweed on the outside) for simplicity and by the end of it, created two really delicious rolls we had to share with you! Other than the prep, maki is surprisingly simple. It’s fun to cut up all sorts of veggies, fruits (avocado or mango anyone?), protein if that’s your thing and combine all of the flavors and colors in every which way. We made futomaki for this date night, which actually conveniently translates to date-maki. Perfect, right? Futomaki is the larger sushi roll we love to order here in America, with the seaweed on the outside and 2 or more inches in diameter of rice and a whole lot of delicious ingredients. Keep in mind that while we found an amazing combination …

50 Questions to Really Get to Know Your Spouse

50 Questions to Really Get to Know Your Spouse

Maybe you’ve been married for a while and the conversation has run dry. Maybe you’re newly married or engaged and want to know your partner at a deeper level. Or maybe you two are so busy and want to have deep conversations but don’t know where to start or have the time to think up thought provoking questions. Whatever stage your marriage is in, we have come up with 50 fun and thought provoking questions to ask each other on date night. Find a quite place, get comfy, light some candles, follow the instructions below and let the conversation begin! For a sampling of some of the questions look further down the post. To download a date night ready printable PDF of all 50 question with instructions included, purchase below. Take this date night wherever your hearts’ desire! Questions: What is your biggest pet peeve? What’s your favorite childhood memory? If you had to choose one superpower, which would you choose and why? What is your biggest fear? What was the last book you read? …

Grapefruit aperol spritz

Winter Date Ideas: Game Night with Specialty Cocktails

One of our favorite parts of blogging is meeting the amazing, supportive, talented people of the blogosphere and Sofia Clara is nothing short of that. We met Sofia on Instagram of all places and our blogging relationship grew from there. Sofia is based out of Switzerland and has a beautiful blog on all things DIY, recipes, fashion and everyday life tips. My personal favorite posts are her Ikea hacks – nothing short of clever and beautiful. We hope you enjoy today’s guest blogger and definitely go check out her blog.     I don’t know about you, but the short days and grey weather during the wintertime have a big impact on me. I’m a big homebody and even more so during the winter months, but this month I really started missing those more spontaneous summer dates where you can just throw on a summer dress and head out for a drink or a walk by the lake (I live in Lausanne, right by one of Europe’s biggest lakes). I thought it would be fun …

Valentine’s Day for him // Breakfast in bed plus the perfect eggs benedict recipe

Valentine’s Day for Him: Breakfast in Bed

It’s a known fact that Valentine’s Day is a holiday for women. Turn on the TV and there are a million commercials of men buying women flowers, chocolates and diamonds. Even single women celebrate the day with a girl’s night out or purchasing gifts for their close single lady friends. Most men feel indifferent about the holiday and brush it off as just another day on the calendar. Although I must admit this is a sweet deal for us ladies, it’s not actually the right way for going about Valentine’s Day. I wanted to get a good perspective of what Valentine’s Day is really like for men so I went straight to my most reliable source, my husband. Most of what he reflected on, I could have guessed. For men, the days leading up to February 14th turn into stressful days of planning. There is also a monetary value that’s placed on the holiday. There is an unanimous agreement in American culture that the more money that’s spent on Valentine’s Day, the better the day …

Dangers of Expectation and How to Enjoy Your Valentines Day

Dangers of Expectation: 8 Ways to Actually Enjoy Your Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is an interesting holiday. It’s a holiday that doesn’t have a consistent fan base like Christmas or Halloween. You either hate it or love it. You can fear and loathe it or have a great expectation from past experiences or future dreams. You have an exact idea for how the night is going to go and so does your spouse or date. Due to different brains and weird circumstances that happen, your V Day can turn into D Day. Here’s how expectations work: you believe someone will act in a certain behavior. They are unaware. They do something different. You are disappointed, resentful or have regret towards your significant other. When putting it in the simplest terms, expectations become something silly, but we all have them anyway. Me and Valentine’s Day go way back. There have been times where I was a Valentine’s nut and other periods of time that I completely rebuked the day as a holiday. One guy I dated always made a grand and over-the-top effort while another guy took …

Free date night ideas: how to plan the perfect night in

Free Date Night Ideas: How to Plan a Perfect Night In

Sometimes finding time for a date night can be harder than planning one. With kids, on top of career, on top of daily tasks, date night can grow further and further away from the reality of actually happening. If you don’t have kids, the financial strain can bring fun nights out to a screeching halt. Even living in New England can put a damper on going out. Last year, we got snowed in 5 times on scheduled date nights. To make it even funnier, we’ve had this article on the schedule for a year now to be released this Sunday, and what would you know, there was a snow storm last night. To say the least, we’ve had to learn how to get creative with date nights. In general, having a special night out with your spouse can become stressful. Who has time to get dressed up and find a babysitter anyway? But the beauty of kids is that they have a bed time. And with the comfort of home, you have everything you need for …

Holiday Lighted Boat Parade - Mystic Connecticut

Christmas Date Ideas: Holiday Lighted Boat Parade in Mystic, CT

We are really excited that we’re just three weeks away from my favorite holiday: Christmas. Ok, I should rephrase that. I am really, really excited. I tend to go a little overboard and my poor husband is caught in the wake. We made a deal that there would be no mention of Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. So naturally, the day after Thanksgiving, my husband woke up to a fully decorated house and two days after the turkey day, we were headed to a double date with some friends in Mystic, Connecticut to kick of Christmas festivities watching boats covered in bright little lights float down Mystic River. This is our second time heading to Mystic and as usual, we were enchanted by its charm and beautiful water fronts. Don’t be fooled by its small town feel though. When it comes time to celebrate fall and winter, they know how to do it right. From Clyde’s Cider Mill and corn mazes in the fall to their Holiday Boat Parade and Christmas tree lighting, there’s …

The Butcher Shop Restaurant Review, Boston MA

Date Night at the Butcher Shop?

We did it again. We’ve headed back into Boston for another date night. This time was a little more low key than the last but after a long week, those are always welcome. For this date night, we headed to The Butcher Shop. No, we didn’t go to an actual butcher shop to purchase meat for a date night. 1) I definitely did not feel like cooking (did you not catch my mention of a long week?) and 2) staring at dead animals is not my idea of romantic. The Butcher Shop is actually a highly rated restaurant in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. The food is a combo of French (my favorite) and Italian (my husbands favorite) so it was a perfect match for us. With the name The Butcher Shop, you can expect a lot of well cured, perfectly cut and cooked meat. It is not only a wine bar but also a fully functioning butcher shop. Have no fear though, the restaurant is artfully decorated with a slate wine bar and …

La Voile French Restaurant - Newbury Street, Boston

Date Night on Newbury Street, Boston

We finally spread our wings and made our way to the beautiful city of Boston for a date night. Although we love our little city of Providence, we wanted to do something with a different scene. We headed to Newbury Street for a night of exploring, roaming, sight seeing and ending the night with dinner and dessert at La Voile. One of the things that we don’t like about Boston is that parking is always a hassle: it costs too much, there’s never any street parking, or if there is street parking, there is a chance of getting a ticket. We know from experience unfortunately, as we’ve gotten many tickets in Boston. With this date we decided to try to centralize it into one area so we wouldn’t have to deal with the insanity of parking in Boston. Also, because we made such a long trek, we wanted to do something that was not just going to a restaurant but also seeing the sights and taking our time. Enter Newbury Street. Part of the Back Bay neighborhood, this …

Perfect Date Night Dinner: Filet Mignon with Bearnaise Sauce, Portabella Mushrooms and Vegetable Gratin

Special Date Night Recipe: Filet Mignon with Bearnaise Sauce, Portobella Mushrooms and Vegetable Gratin

Some nights call for dressing up, making reservations and going out for a movie. Others call for a quiet night together with no distractions, candlelight dinner and fun talking in the kitchen. Food always has a special way of bringing people together and creating conversation. As usual, we made our usual Saturday morning trek to the Lippett Park farmers market in Providence. First stop coffee to function like a normal human being, second stop Humble Pie for their mini pies to get rid of the hangry then off to mix and mingle, hem and ha over veggies and finally leave with a heavy bag of fresh produce loot. We grabbed the last of the summer squash as fall is finally here and we knew it wouldn’t be long until the root veggies make their 6 month appearance. I’m usually a fan of steak and potatoes, but this time we did something a little lighter and cough, cough healthier.  And like I said, who can turn down the last of the local summer vegetables? Easy Vegetable …