5 Little Ways to Say “I Love You” [for her]

5 Little Ways to Say "I Love You" [for her]

Happy Friday!!

I am so PUMPED for the weekend – it’s gonna be low key and chill and I am ready to embrace that. Quite literally – it’s chilly outside! I love marriage, I love my husband, and I love to show him my love. When yous study the ways women and men love each other, you see a lot of similarities, but a lot of stark differences. Of course every single person is different, so there is never going to be a one and done formula on how to love. Rather, you study your person, get to know who they are, what makes them tick, and what makes them swoon.

A couple weeks ago, I shared a few tips for the guys to woo their girl, but this time I’ve got 5 inexpensive ways to say “I love you” to your man.

5 Little Ways to Say "I Love You" [for her]

Give Him a Guy’s Night

I love spending every moment I can with my husband, but I know there are moments when we both need to spend time with other people. Especially when you’re married, it’s easy to be cooped up at home in the evenings. When you think about how much time you spend at work and how much time you actually spend with your significant other, it’s enough to make you want to quit your jobs and try to get paid to travel. Despite how much time you want to spend with your lovah, he needs his dudes. Kick him out of the house every now and then for wings and video game night.

Cook His Favorite Meal 

I adhere to the good old Southern saying that says “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Interestingly enough, Mr. M grew up not admiring food as much as we Americans do. I would ask him, “What do you want for dinner?” and he would always say whatever. Luckily, his favorite American meals are also my favorite American meals (chili and potato soup), so on the cold fall and winter days, he comes home a happy man when there’s chili with lots of meat stewing in the crockpot.

We like to take turns on date nights, so when it’s a special occasion, I’ll whip up a fancier meal than normal, kick him into the living room for some quality FIFA time, and I’ll prepare a candlelit dinner and dress up in something nice.

5 Little Ways to Say "I Love You" [for her]

Let Him Play His Video Games

Speaking of FIFA, you can absolutely love your man by letting him play his video games. I won major points last year for Christmas when I got Mr. M the only thing he wanted off the wedding registry (that I knew he definitely wasn’t going to get) – a playstation 4. We spent the winter months of marriage cuddled up on the couch under blankets – he played FIFA and I read my book. I didn’t always understand it before, but video games can be a necessary part of unwinding for millennial guys. When your man works hard all day and helps around the house in the afternoon, he deserves a solid hour or two to zone out with some online competition.

Be Respectful 

Husband’s love to be praised and respected, especially in public. I have to take a page out of my own book some days. While I love to consciously uplift and honor my husband, I don’t always keep control of my tongue on the bad days. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I’m a bit sassy. While the sass chills out the older I get, sometimes my sweet husband still gets the brunt of it. There are still many times when we are “discussing” something and I let my emotions take control. When I’m in my rational mind (aka I’m fed), I look back and think “Oh no!” It’s something I’m still working on in every moment of conflict. The longer we’re married, the less I want to have those “oh no!” moments, and the more I want to be respectful and honor my husband in every situation – even when I’m hungry.

Say Yes Even When You Don’t Want To

In the past 9 months of marriage I have learned how selfish I am. There are many times I would rather read my book or do my own thing than do whatever it is Mr. M wants to do. It’s so easy to say “Not right now” or “Later” when your husband wants to go work out, talk, be intimate – whatever it is he wants to do that interferes with your schedule. Remembering that time is precious and we don’t have a lot of it keeps things in perspective. I’m learning to say “yes” even when I have things I want to do. The neat thing is, when I am willing to sacrifice whatever it is on my schedule in the moment, I find that saying yes brings a blessing into that moment.

5 Little Ways to Say "I Love You" [for her]

What are some things you like to do to say “I love you” to your man?


August Adventures

August Adventures

August felt like the longest month of my life. With a lot of things going down at work and personally, I was ready to see the calendar turn over into September.

During August I participated in The New Wifestyle’s 31 Days of Kindness. While I unwittingly tapered off at the end, the intentionality of doing something kind every day of the month was such a great reminder to not only see good in the world, but be good in the world.

august adventures

Mr. M’s birthday was at the beginning of August, so I spent a Saturday afternoon baking a homemade cheesecake. I’ve tried twice before to make a homemade cheesecake and it never turned out. This month, the Good Lord must have been smiling upon me because 3 hours of baking and two hours of setting later and voila, the perfect cheesecake appeared on our plates. And we ate cheeescake every day for the next week. Yumm.

august adventures

Perhaps the coolest event of August was of course, the solar eclipse. Mr. M and I took our little much needed  mini vacation the week of the eclipse and we visited friends and family in North Carolina before we ended up on Wrightsville Beach. I was so obsessed with the solar eclipse and I didn’t think I would be. Naturally, I dedicated a whole post to that experience. Mr. M and I spent the few days at the beach unplugged, enjoying our books and each other. It was like a little mini moon, which I highly encourage every married couple to go on if they can. 🙂

august adventures

This month’s book of the month book club was One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which was quite the experience. We picked book titles based on the book Tequila Mockingbird so we could have the literary cocktail book club of our dreams, but One Flew Over the *Cosmo’s* Nest maybe was a bit of a stretch for all of us.  Either way, we ate lots of good snacks, watched Jack Nicholson’s stellar performance (because if you read the book, you have to watch the movie, right?) and had a great time discussing mental health.

august adventures

August Favorites:

This post from the New Wifestyle concerning white privilege and the Charlottesville Riots. (note: there is some strong language.)

Some seriously girl boss inspo from Apron Strings & Sticky Fingers.

When Taylor Swift drops a dope(y) new single, When Life Gives You Rubi brings it to millennial perspective.

This Instagram Hashtag Hack from The Confused Millennial because I’ve been doing it all wrong.

And speaking of Instagram, I discovered In Search of Sheila this month and her blog has been MAJOR insight into the blogging world. I love her post on authentic strategies to grow your engagement on Instagram.

What was the highlight of your August?

Finding Your Place of Rest

Finding Your Place of Rest

Hello! Got some Monday motivation comin’ at you on a Tuesday because after a Labor Day Weekend, Tuesdays are Mondays. Mr. M and I spent 18 hours in a car this weekend which meant we got in some major quality time. I only snapped once towards the end when I was tired, grumpy, and craving some flamin’ hot cheetos. It was great, though, because I got to listen to the entire album of Hamitlon, Wicked, and Something Rotten and he only complained once. . . about Hamilton because it’s 48,000 tracks long. We also got to ask each other some roadtrip questions and learned some new things about each other! My personal favorite question was “What song could you listen to on repeat for 8 hours straight?”

After spending an amazing weekend with Erica and her husband Jamie, exploring Philly and eating the best food, I’m gearing up for a full week. Even 3 day weekends still require some recovery time, so I’m pushing for a 4 day weekend. Who’s with me?

Finding Your Place of Rest

When I get really stressed out and overwhelmed, I find myself saying anytime I break down, “I’m just so tired. I’m so exhausted.”

It’s not exactly that I need a nap, but I am mentally and emotionally exhausted. What I need is rest.

Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m not the best at rest. I’m the type of person who struggles to relax when there are things that need to be done. Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m sure this sounds a lot different from the girl who you grounded because I spent my time reading instead of doing my chores. Look! You raised me well!

The caveat to this “not being able to rest” thing is Netflix. I can Netflix binge surrounded by mountains of laundry, not because I’m resting but because I’m pacifying myself and avoiding my responsibilities.

The busier I get, the more I realize how vital rest is.

I’m entering into my busiest work season where I will be on the go and traveling quite a bit. At the end of October I usually crumble onto the couch in tears with a pint of ice cream. It’s during this season where I most need rest but I don’t always get the type of rest that I need. So I have to find rest on the go.

Resting on the go is a matter of finding the mental space to rest and reset. While  I would much rather have time to actually rest, we don’t always get what we want, so we have to work with what we got.

Finding Your Place of Rest

Surround Yourself with Encouragement

On my desk at work I have a sticky note that I put up 2 years ago. It’s a Scripture note that says “My Presence will go with you and I will give you REST.” (Exodus 33:14) It’s the perfect reminder that first of all, I am not alone. Secondly, I don’t have to strive by myself. When I find myself dependent and resting on God, I find that I can carry rest with  me throughout my day.

Finding  Your Place of Rest

Make the Most of Your Morning

Since I got back from our amazing mini vacation last month, I’ve made some lifestyle changes. I don’t wait until the last minute to get up anymore. On a good day, I wake up early, sit on the couch in my robe with my coffee and read my Bible and journal. On a late day, I wake up earlier than I used to and spend time getting ready for the day. I can’t believe it’s taken me 2 years in the working world to realize what a precious commodity slow mornings are.

Stay Blue

OK don’t actually stay blue in your mood, but surround yourself with blue things. As an adult, my favorite color has switched from purple to blue. I love the blue walls in our house, my blue planner, my blue pens – you get the picture. I found out a couple months ago that blue is a relaxing color. It all makes sense. I used to keep a picture of Santorini, Greece that I found on Pinterest as my desktop background in college because it was so soothing. Go figure, it’s blue.

Take Care of Your Body

When we hear “take care of your body,” we often think, “eat right and work out.” We need to do both, but we also need to take care of our skin. As soon as I got home last night, I loaded the bathtub with bubbles, lit my candle, carried with me a bowl of watermelon, and enjoyed a nice soak with my good friend, Jane the Virgin. (You guys, the screenwriting for this show. . . but that’s a tale for another day.) After my bubble bath, I lit candles in our bedroom, put on a face mask, and proceeded to put away laundry. Even though I was doing a chore, I felt completely relaxed because I had taken care of my body for the evening. New rule for myself? Once a week bubble bath and face mask.

Take a Nap

I am SO bad at this one. If I take a nap, it’s usually accidental and it’s because I am truly exhausted. But you should do as I say and not as I do. There are studies that show napping is actually pretty good for you, as long as you stay within the 30-40 minute range. When I was in college I would take deep naps and wake up with a nap hangover, proving myself to be completely unproductive and useless the rest of the day.

Do Something for YOU

We women are so bad at doing things for ourselves, especially those of us who are married and those of you who have kids. Our minds are constantly running with to-do lists and errands and everyone else’s problems. At the end of the day, we realize we haven’t taken one moment for ourselves.

Things to Do for YOU:

Work out
Read a book
Go on a walk
Take a bubble bath
Sign up for a Zumba class

Do whatever it is that makes YOU happy – even for just 20-30 minutes a day. When you find that you’ve taken time to be still and rest even when your life is running in circles around you, you will find that you are a lot happier and nicer of a person. I know that I am.

What are some things you like to do to find rest on the go?


4 Ways to Upgrade Your Week

4 Ways to Upgrade Your Week

I don’t have all the answers. I don’t have all the skills, the knowledge, or the know how. I don’t want all the answers. Because if I did, then I wouldn’t need anyone else.

I have said it before, and I will say it again: the COMMUNITY is one of the best things about blogging. We’re all reading each other’s how-tos, online diaries, and learning more about each other and ourselves as we do so. There are so many amazing women out there who are killin’ the game, and today I wanted to highlight some amazing ladies writing some powerful things.

The amazing thing about perspective is that even though we have our own, we get to learn from each other. You see the world differently than I do, and that is why we need to highlight, encourage, and listen to what each other has to say.

Below you will find some oldies and some more recent posts from 4 bloggers with wonderful and full of life-giving sentiments that you can carry throughout your day and throughout your week.

4 Ways to Upgrade Your Week

Perceive Your Opportunities

Erica from Coming Up Roses is all about positivity, style, and coffee (and her cats) and I always appreciate it when she serves some straight truth.

“It’s an opportunity to grow, or an obstacle to keep you from growing.” 

How many times do we feel like we triumph over one thing and are faced with a big old rock in the way? I had a friend who recently completed a Spartan race on the hardest course in the country. I listen with awe as she talks about the obstacles and challenges she faced and overcame. It is so easy for us to see a bump in the road and want to sit down or turn around. But that’s not why the obstacle is in front of us. The obstacle is in front of us to give us an opportunity to make us stronger. As Mandisa says, “You’re an overcomer.” Read more from Erica’s perspective here.

Unsubscribe from that Negativity

We had our book study earlier tonight. It’s always funny to see the glances or side-eyes people give me when they see the title of the book I’m reading. “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.” Part of me wants to place a label on my head that says, “NO. MY MARRIAGE IS NOT IN JEOPARDY.” But part of me is also slightly entertained by the funny looks people send my way (especially when the look is coming from my husband himself!). . . One of the 4th year spouses started a book study because she’s seen firsthand how medical school can break apart some of the strongest marriages. We’re only on Week 2 and Chapter 5 in the book. But, I’ve been loving the discussions I’ve been having with these wonderful people. . . Before we moved here, I was given a lot of advice and warnings from family and friends who have been through similar experiences. They said I would never see Ankur. And that I would be sacrificing so much. And that I should suppress my feelings and never share my problems or concerns with him for fear that it would distract him from his studies. It took me some time to tune out the well-intentioned advice. Because our marriage doesn’t operate like that. I think the reason we ARE so successful is because we are able to put our pride aside and successfully communicate what we need without feeling guilt or shame. . . But another big reason we are able to make it through medical school is because of this amazing support system of spouses. Checking in with one another during an exam weekend or hanging out with one another while our husbands and wives are buried in the books has been a LIFE. SAVER. It’s like therapy. But with people who ACTUALLY get what you’re going through. Because they’re doing it right there with you. By your side. Every step of the way. . . Feeling especially grateful for these friendships and our book study today. ❤️

A post shared by Divya Budhraja (@eatteachblog) on

If you’re like me, you may be a little bit of a clutter bug. We stayed at our friend’s house this weekend and I looked around with amazement (and slight jealousy) of how clean everything was. Where were the drunk drawers?! Someone needs to teach me minimalism, because I have so much STUFF.

But stuff doesn’t have to be physical, it can also be mental. Clutter can be what we listen to, the relationships we have, the job that is bringing us more pain than joy, etc.

I know minimalism is a thing for the millennials right now, but we could all deal with some clearing of that negative energy. I love how Divya from Eat, Teach, Blog removes the clutter from her life specifically by hitting that “Unsubscribe” button. How many of us need to unsubscribe from the things that leave us joyless? Need more encouragement? Check out Divya’s post.

Treat Your Marriage with Honor

I’m pointing you back to another old post today… my 30-by-30 list! Search for it on the blog and see how far I’ve come ?

A post shared by Joy Lynn | Lifestyle Blog (@joylynnlifestyle) on

You may not be married yet, but this is still a great read from Joy at Joy Lynn. I’ve been following this lifestyle and minimalist blogger for a couple of years, and I have learned so much from her posts!

Earlier this summer, Pai and I were at a Longhorn Steakhouse and talking with someone about how wonderful marriage had been in the first four months. A man overheard us at the bar and said, “Well just wait, it gets worse. I’m on my second marriage.” To which I thought, “Well duh. You seem like a Rumplestiltskin.” With that kind of negative attitude, of course you’re on your second marriage.

It’s important to me that we treat marriage and our spouses with honor. I love how Joy brings the house down with this truth bomb: We have to stop treating marriage like damaged goods. 

Even if you are not married yet, you can treat your friendships and relationships with those around you with honor. Without honor,  we do not value and respect the goodness that we have in each other.

Stop Those Insecurities and Love Yourself 

Megan from Apron Strings and Sticky Fingers is seriously a little corner of sunshine in this dark world. I have so much respect for her bravery, vulnerability, and I freakin’ love her New Zealand accent. (That’s an added plus.)

Have you ever met someone with so much confidence that you wonder what/where their flaws are? I have. It’s those type of people that you are gravitated towards, but then go home feeling one of two ways. 1) I can be like them and change the world. 2) I wish I were like them, but I have too many flaws. No matter how the person treats you, you sometimes feel that way.

I am just as insecure as the next girl, but I want to stop. I want to fight my insecurities and walk out in confidence and bravery like Megan does. So here is a great life lesson and exercise you can learn from her.

There are thousands more bloggers I could and would love to highlight. If you have a particular blogger friend with an inspiring post (or if you have a great post you wrote yourself!) leave it in a comment below so we can meet more amazing people!

5Little Ways to Say “I Love You” [for him]

5 little ways to say i love you

Lately I’ve been reflecting on how AWESOME my husband is. I’m sure people get tired of me saying it, and chalk it up to the honeymoon season, but my husband is seriously great. The way he works with integrity, makes sacrifices for his family and the way he is so intentional in the little things makes me swoon all over again.

I say it often, but I like to be wooed. I don’t think I’m the only lady in the room who feels that way, too. Feminism aside, it is nice to have my husband open the car door for me, bring me flowers, etc. But it’s not like he can bring me flowers all the time. Maybe one day when we become millionaires. . . but as of right now, it is important to be wooed in the little ways that don’t cost any money.

Today I’ll share 5 little ways your man can say “I love you,” so casually share and drop blatant, obvious, major hints if you want your man to do any of these things that would woo you.

Full disclosure: none of these are hints I’m dropping to my husband today. I gathered this list from things that he does.

The major, blatant, obvious hint I’m dropping for him is to take me to get Mexican food ASAP.

5 Little Ways to Say -I Love You- (1)

Do the Dishes Without Being Asked

At church the other day, a visiting pastor shared an anecdote where he did the dishes before he flew out of town. He walked into the room where his wife was and said, “Honey! I did the dishes!” expecting an overwhelming thank you, applause, and a little something extra. His wife looked up and said, “And?”

The entire time this story is being shared, Mr. M is saying, “Don’t look at me. Don’t look at me.” We are stifling giggles because the day before, I came home from work, walked in, saw a clean kitchen, gave my husband a hug, and told him how tired I was. The next thing on my list to say was, “Thank you for doing the dishes!” but before I could get to that, Mr. M said, “Didn’t you see that I did the dishes?!”

Normally, I do make a big deal and a big thank you when Mr. M does the dishes because positive reinforcement. He helps out around the house a lot, but dishes are his least favorite chore, and the chore that always needs to be done.

I imagine many couples are in the same boat. So guys, if your girl is always doing the dishes, help a sister out and wash them for her. You may get an extravagant thank you and a little something extra, too. 😉

Make Her Coffee

I have said it before and I will say it again – aside from doing the dishes – there is no bigger turn on than a husband who gets out of bed first and makes his girl some coffee. My husband does this regularly, and I know this act of service comes from the bottom of his heart.

It makes my day to wake up and know there is coffee downstairs waiting for me that I didn’t have to brew. In fact, I’ve become so accustomed to Mr. M’s coffee brewing skills that I don’t even make coffee anymore. His is way better.

5 little ways to say i love you

Be Affectionate

There are sexual touches and non-sexual touches. Each are awesome and appropriate in their own time. But seriously, fellas, if you’re only trying to get her in the mood all the time, she’s not going to be in the mood all the time.

When you’re on the couch watching Netflix, intentionally sit together sometimes. Play with her hair, rub her back. Be physically affectionate in a way that doesn’t say, “Let’s get it on.”

Praise Her in Public

I’ve always heard older women say that their men need to be praised in public, respected, and so on. This is great – men do need to be praised, but your girlfriend/SO/wife also enjoys public recognition. We may blush and say “Oh stop” or shyly give a thank you, but when we ladies are lifted up by the words of our man, it makes our hearts swell.

Mention something she does well, support her verbally in front of her friends and family, post a picture of her on Instagram bragging on her. It’ll give her heart eye emojis everywhere.

Spend Time with the People She Loves

During the engagement season, I had a hard time reconciling changing my last name, and “belonging” to my husband’s family. I still very much felt like I “belonged” to my own family. And while Mr. M and I separated ourselves from our families and made our own family, I still very much wanted to be intentional in both of us spending time with the people we love.

If your lady has a great relationship with her parents, be intentional in creating a deeper relationship with her parents. If she spends all her time with her sister, get on her sister’s good side forever. (Because if you don’t, then good luck.) You get the gist. Make sure that you and your girl spends adequate time with the people she loves. And don’t always have her initiate getting together, suggest every now and then that you guys go visit/ask out to dinner/etc.

5 little ways to say i love you

(even if sometimes those people you love are grossed out by you. . . like teenage sisters.)

What are some things your man does for you that just screams “I love you?”