Homemade Pancakes Sunday

This morning Mr. Man woke up and requested pancakes. I felt terrible because he always asks for pancakes and I just never buy any mix at the store. We aren’t big breakfast people. We enjoy a breakfast out or Papa-made breakfasts but on a daily basis we usually eat toast, bagels, waffles or cereal with fruit. Nothing fancy.

After apologizing to him for awhile and telling him I would add it to my grocery list I decided to just google “Homemade Pancake Recipe”. That’s when I stumbled upon this Martha Stewart Basic Pancake Recipe. After realizing I had all the ingredients I told him we could make our own. He was SO EXCITED. I ran into the kitchen to whip up his brunch as fast as I could.

I am making a declaration right now: I will NEVER buy boxed pancake or waffle mix {unless I’m in a hurry} again! It was so easy! As long as I stay stocked up on my baking supplies I think this could be a very frequent occurrence.

Once I saw that the recipe yielded 12-15 pancakes I decided to stock up and freeze the uneaten ones. As I was going I realized it wasn’t very hard to do so I decided to use up our last egg and our last cup of milk and double the batch. I ended up getting 30 small to medium sized pancakes all together! The kids had 5 between them during the process. That means I was able to pack up and store away 25 pancakes for quick breakfasts in the days to come. I am seriously thinking of making this a monthly occurrence!

Any other suggestions on things I can make ahead of time and freeze for later to make my life easier? I don’t have a ton of space in our freezer but I’m looking for more ideas. Please send them my way {along with your best estimate of how long they will keep}. I can not wait to have our own home someday soon so we can have an extra upright freezer for storage! Our current freezer contents are pork chops, chicken, roast, cookie dough, ice cream, whipped cream and ice cubes. I need more space–especially for those times I find a good deal on our meats at the grocery store!

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Put your Love Glasses on!

Today is a busy day for me according to my calendar. I was mapping out all my driving and time frames in my head as I slept last night. All night long I tossed and turned as I had dream after dream about my day. Babysitting, Mom2Mom meet-ups, an afternoon meeting, lunch for my children. It all played out in my dreams.

Mornings in our home can be quite frustrating with little ones who don’t want to wake up, all of a sudden can’t remember how to put clothes on or the case of the missing coat. I knew that I had too much going on today to live the day out in stress. As we walked out the door and I flashed my husband a rolled eyes look I knew my attitude had to change.

I was driving down Dixie headed to my first meet-up of the day and the sunlight was so blaring I was reaching over to my purse to find my sunglasses. As the sun hit the sweatshirt I was wearing I was doubly blinded by the sparkle and shine of the sequence sewn in the shape of a heart on it. All of a sudden I remembered the lyrics to the Beckah Shae song “Put your love glasses on”. My first meet up was awesome. The lady was really sweet and friendly. I went back on Facebook and gave a shout out to her on the Mom2Mom site. Little did I know that so many people would “like” that. A little kind word can go a long way. I was wearing my love glasses.

My second meet-up was a few minutes after that. She was so sweet as well and even brought extra clothes in case I wanted to buy those too. I had only brought the exact amount we had agreed on for the four shirts I was buying but I thought it was so sweet that she would think to do that. I gave her a shout out on that Mom2Mom page and she commented back. Again I had my love glasses on.

Now we are in the home of two sweet little girls to babysit for the morning while their momma works for a few hours. I will be encouraging the kids to have their love glasses on as they play together. Mr. Man especially needs his love glasses on toward the dogs. No fear, buddy!

Who knows how the rest of my day will play out according to my calendar. All I know is that I will approach each situation with love and a smile.

How are you going to wear your love glasses today? I would absolutely LOVE to hear some stories about how wearing your glasses changed the course of your day or situation!

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Small Business Monday: ILUVMYSKIN

As I get older, I recognize the need to take care of myself and my skin better than I ever had.  I’m also learning the importance of natural and homeopathic remedies and products.  A few months ago, my man and I were out to dinner for my birthday in downtown Novi and spent some time afterward strolling around and window shopping.  We found a health market and spent some time dreaming over all the natural products we would want in our home and daily routine.  We ended up leaving there with a few bars of homemade soap because we fell in love with the tea tree oil scented ones.  He blew through those two bars quickly!  I started to love the smell of them in our bathroom daily and was wondering how I could keep up with that and not break the bank.

Flash forward a few months to the end of summer and I’m sitting at a table at the Woodshop in Clarkston with a great group of ladies who love Jesus and life and one girl that I didn’t know shows up with her basket of homemade soaps!  We sat next to each other and chatted all night about life, love, God, and business.  It was then that I decided she was my go-to soap girl and I am so thankful for her.  Her knowledge about natural living is immense and she’s one of the sweetest, funniest and most beautiful girls that I have ever met.  I am so happy to share her and her shop with you.  She is having an Open House this Friday, October 4th in Clarkston if anyone would like to go with me or have me place an order for you.  I am so excited to spend the evening with her and support her!

1.) Tell us a little about yourself.

{Danielle Whaley; owner and operator of ILUVMYSKIN}

Well, I’m a Capricorn who enjoys misty morning runs and large lattes. I believe in ghosts but I think unicorns are a stretch and I’m not quite sure any of this is real life. Like what if we are all just in the matrix and…I’m totally kidding. I’m actually a thirty-five year old stuck inside a eighteen year old’s body with the mentality of an eighty year old with the spirit of a seven year old. Add and subtract all those numbers together and you get my real age-twenty four. My age explanation can only point out the glaring fact that I am a different individual. And I think this is what drew my husband and I together and what makes him my best friend. We are celebrating one year of marriage this month and we have a beautiful, kind-hearted chocolate lab named Zoe, who is and will always be considered our first born child. I was raised here in Michigan to some of the best looking and most loving parents I have ever met. I have two younger brothers who are growing up to be awesome men right before my eyes. I consider myself a runner but I’m not the greatest and I love all things that are outdoorsy and nothing that is pink.

2.) When did you start your business?

I technically started my business in January of 2012 when I moved back home after a crushing attempt at living on my own in the Boston area near my alma mater. I was working in an office and I was already bored after two weeks of work and I started to wonder what are some other things I could pursue with my extra free time and extra cash now that I’m living at home (thanks mom and dad!) I started talking with my mom about the soap she used to make when I was growing up and the more I looked into it and researched the benefits, the more I knew I had a thing for soap. I began ordering supplies and making it at home, all with the help of my mom, and selling it to people at church and friends. I will say that finding the right combination in suds and lather along with hardness and a lasting bar only came from the brilliant mind of my mom. My mom actually started making this soap when I was about ten years old. She and I went to a soap making demonstration and she then tweaked the formula that she was given until she came up with what I use today. It sounds a lot easier than it really is. Because this soap is made from scratch, you have to have the perfect balance of oils and butters to have a nice firm bar while it still being moisturizing and sudsy. I’m not bragging but this is the best natural bar I’ve tried. And let me tell you, there has been a lot! I was all excited about my new venture and my ideas for marketing this already awesome product when, BOOM! I fell in love with this cutie (my husband, in case you got worried for a second) and he lived two hours north of me. Needless to say, I chose love and a DIY wedding over the soap passion for a bit. But around January of this year I actually got serious about the soap business and it’s been growing steadily ever since.

3.) What drives you to want to make homemade soaps?

I had terrible eczema when I was a kid and nothing helped it. It was all over my face and upper arms. It wasn’t until I used my mom’s soap that it went away. I also struggled with acne in high school. I gave into the temptation of these acne commercials for “clear skin”, but all I got was a super dry face with painful acne. It wasn’t until I put down the chemical filled face washes and stuck with my mom’s wondrous balance of cleanliness and moisture that I felt good in my own skin. My mom and I are also very sensitive to lotions and fragrance oils, since this soap doesn’t contain any of that, we fell head over heals for it’s natural essential oil smell. I personally make it to make a difference. I believe my homemade, natural soap is better for the environment, better for your health, and a more holistic way of thinking.

4.) What are the benefits or features of your homemade soaps?

Where to begin! Fragrance oil soap (any commercially made soap out there today) have carcinogens in them, THAT CAUSES CANCER. They have all these chemicals in them to keep the bar from breaking down when used so it has a longer shelf life. So if you are using something on your face that doesn’t have a normal life cycle and an expiration date, how good for you can it be? Not too mention the chemicals that are used in lotions to give you that “soft” feel. It’s basically just an additive to make your hands addicted to it so you will use it more so you will buy more. A smart move on the big soap business’s end but it’s not what I’m going for. Any soap out there today strips your skin of it’s own natural oils that help you defend against sickness and dryness. My soap puts that oil back into your skin. Now, I know all we ever hear is “oil-free” this and “oil-free” that. The oils I used are meant for your body to absorb so it won’t clog your pores like you’re thinking. It’s all plant based oils, so your body can easily absorb them and use them to stay moisturized. And don’t even get me started on the effect other soaps have on our planet. Those products are not made with plant material, they are made with chemicals, so they can’t coexist peacefully when they get washed down the drain. All of my ingredients are made of nature, so it’s great to wash down the drain!

5.) What is your process when making the soaps?

There are many different processes out there for making soap but it’s important to know what’s what. I couldn’t tell you how the heck commercially made soap is made. Frankly, I don’t know if I want to know. It’s kind of like McDonald’s chicken nuggets, they say it’s chicken but is it really? As far as natural soap goes, there is hot-process and cold-process. And true home-made soap is done through a process of saponification, which is a chemical reaction between and acid (oils i.e. oil oil, vegetable oil) and a base (sodium hydroxide). With hot-processed soap the “cook” can watch the reaction right in front of them, making sure it is fully reacted and safe for use before it is poured into it’s respected mold. Cold-processed soap is essentially all the same ingredients mixed together and put into a mold and then it “cures” for weeks at a time. I actually have no experience making cold-processed soap and therefore can’t even begin to know how it’s managed. I use hot-processed. It’s a hot and dangerous hour long process done on my stove with a double-boiler and a hand mixer. I have my secret formula that i melt down, add in the sodium hydroxide (or lye as some might know it as) and mix it, for an hour. Yep. Then I add my scent and any little add in for that given scent (i.e. lavender flowers in lavender, coffee grinds in my vanilla latte soap). I then pour it into a mold where I let it cool for at least 18 hours and then cut it into bar sizes.

6.) How did you come up with your name and adorable packaging?

I was brainstorming with my mom last year for a name for my new and upcoming soap company. We had some crazy and silly names, some that sounded a little racy too. But then it dawned on me, what does this soap do for me? It makes me love my skin! I love my skin! Yeah! My dear friend Kevin from Boston actually designed the logo for me (thanks Kev!) and the packaging is a combination of my mom’s original idea and my need for a bigger label surface to put my stamp or my logo. I’m big into burlap and if I could I would wrap it in that but simple brown paper will have to do for now.

7.) How should the soap be stored after use?

It’s best to let the soap dry in between uses on a slotted soap dish. Basically don’t let it sit in water. But you can let it sit out in your house until you use it. The essential oils are great aromatherapy.

8.) Where can we find your soaps?

Well, I live in the Clarkston area and I am having an open house on October 4th. It’s open to anyone and can be found on my Facebook page. It’s just a nice way to share my joy of soap making and for anyone to try out some samples and to dialog about this great product as well as some other things I make like face scrubs and masks:)

9.) Where can we find you online?

I can be reached through email at iluvmyskin.naturalsoap@gmail.com or you can find my shop on etsy.  I also sell my soaps in a store called Scandia Home in Birmingham and I’m looking for other stores to sell to as well. I also choose about one craft show every other month and I think the next one will be the Clarkston Craft Show this fall.

10.) Do you ship out of state?

I do ship out of state! All of those options are listed in my etsy store or by emailing me for prices.

11.) Do you have any advice for any other small business owners or those who want to make something/start a business?

The only advice I can give at this stage of my humble little business is start today. I kept putting it off and putting it off. I know the timing will all work out in the end but procrastination is not a good habit to get into when you want to start your own business. That and plan on making sacrifices to make your dream happen. There will be late nights, messy kitchens, frustration, but if you really believe in your product and yourself then it’s worth it.

Fresh Lavender Essential Oil Vegan Moisturizing Bar Soap

 

Mommy Tips: Back to School Part 3

Another aspect of the back to school days is one dreaded by many:

Packing lunches or snacks.

With so many peanut allergies around these days, that limits a lot of “quick and easy” meals or snacks in most people’s minds but I’m here to tell you that I have found some great alternatives! There once was a day when Mr. Man would eat anything we put in front of him. His sister is now the fabulous eater of the family and he’s taken a huge regression. I won’t say that he’s picky…he’s selective. He knows what he likes, he thinks he knows what he doesn’t like and he freaks out about the smallest dash of spice on his piece of chicken or noodle! This makes for some difficult decisions when it comes to meals. I’ve noticed that he isn’t necessarily in a full meal phase these days, but more in a multi-option snack phase.

 

Here are some ideas that I came up with to take to school as a snack. Many of these can also be used as lunch options:

Graham Crackers
Grapes
Cheese sticks/slices/cubes
Turkey/Ham/Bologna
Cucumbers and Ranch
Watermelon
Strawberries
Blueberries
Mini tortilla roll-up sandwiches or croissant’s
Pudding
Applesauce
Alphabet crackers
Goldfish
Teddy Grahams
Dry cereal
Popcorn
Clementine/Orange
Cheez-its
Pretzels
Fruit snacks
Oatmeal Cream Pie
Dinner roll/Corn Bread/Muffin
Pasta salad
Taco Salad
Any Leftovers
Mini corn dog poppers and ketchup
Cherry Tomatoes
Pickles
Potato Chips
Chips and salsa
Raisins
Buttered noodles

 

A mom from our preschool last year came up with these ideas for class snacks. Thanks Erin Bennett!

String cheese and fruit skewers
Mini Muffins (banana, zucchini, etc.) and fruit
Mini sandwiches with milk
Yogurt and pretzels
Fruit skewers and a yogurt dip
Veggies and dip
Wraps (meat and cheese, Hummus and veggies, cream cheese and veggies, etc.)
Healthy snack mix (popcorn, dried fruit, etc.)
Dried fruit (cranberries, mango, raisins, cherries, etc.) and cheese or whole grain cereal
Whole grain flat bread with cream cheese and jam or fruit
Oatmeal cookies or another “healthier” cookie choice
Granola bars
Rice cakes with cream cheese or jam
Pretzels and cheese
Baked pita chips with hummus or another dip
Graham crackers with apple sauce

 

If you’ve never heard of the Plant Box lunch boxes you will want to go research them right now! Just so you know, I am not getting paid to advertise them. We don’t even own one yet. I’ve just seen them from a photographer I follow, Oh So Posh, and she gracefully makes her daughters lunches in these boxes and makes me droll every time she posts a picture to Instagram or Facebook! The lunch boxes are more costly than one you can run to Target or Walmart to buy but after seeing the durability and versatility of them I personally think the value will outlast the cost in the long run. Here are a few pictures of what Lidia over at Oh So Posh has created. You may go ahead and drool now….

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This last picture was too cute not to post. It is from Another Lunch and I think any little boy would love it!

 

 

***Now…to research where to get all these super cute tools and food holders! I will be on a mission, my friends!

 

Mommy Tips: Back to School Part 2

Now that some of us have come to the realization that school starts back up NEXT WEEK you are all probably wondering what getting back into the routine will look like.  I know I’ve been thinking about it a lot.  Our kids have never taken to a bedtime schedule well so I think this is going to be our biggest battle to come.  I was excited to have Mr. Man in school every afternoon because 1.) MOMMA NEEDS THE BREAK and 2.) We are SO not morning people!  Well, the school schedule is changing a little and that changes things for us too so now we will be doing school Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings {for the time being}.  This REALLY changes things for me mentally.  I was so excited about packing him a snack every day, finding the alphabet letter of the day item from around the house five days a week rather than three, and having every afternoon with my girl.  Now I’m thinking about bedtime routines, morning routines, quick and easy breakfasts and what to do with myself and Little Miss while he’s at school.

Last year we used this flashcard system to help Mr. Man understand what was expected of him every morning.

Free Printable Morning Flash Cards for Kids by LivingLocurto.com{http://www.livinglocurto.com/2009/08/school-morning-routine-free-printable-cards/}

This was awesome for us at the time because he was 3 for most of the school year only turning 4 a month and a half before the end of the year. This was so simple and easy for him because it was broken down into 4 quick steps that he could visualize.  After we moved in the winter and things didn’t make it back on the new walls this system broke down for us and every school morning was a struggle.  A. STRUGGLE.

This year, he’s a little bit older and I know can be challenged a lot more so we are stepping up our game and doing this.  {And, I am in LOVE with the chevron and super cute wording}  All I need is a frame from the dollar store, a nail, a hammer and a perfect spot to hang it!  {http://www.itsoverflowing.com/2012/08/morning-checkoff-list-for-school/}

I remember a family friend, Missy, had things like this posted in her house for her 4 children except that she was a schoolteacher and hers were all handwritten on large poster board with pictures of the kids doing each activity listed.  I’m a visual learner and I think Mr. Man slightly is too.  I have always remembered those posters from her house almost 8 years later and can’t wait to replicate it someday soon.  I may be a teacher, but I am not an artist.  For now, these cute printable’s will have to work–but watch out hubs…you may be seeing something pop up in our home soon!  {Hi, babe…do you actually read my blogs?}

What are your mommy secrets for routines?  I’m seriously interested in ideas specifically for bedtime.  Even when putting the kids in their room by 8:00pm, on a full tummy, after a bath and a few stories read they both can stay awake for hours and fall asleep even after we’ve gone to bed.  I’d love to have cheerful waker-uper’s every morning.  Any ideas?

Mommy Tips: Back To School Part 1

The new school year is just around the corner for most of us here in Michigan, but some of you have already been in school for a week or more.  As we are getting ready in our household for Mr. Man to go to Pre-K five afternoons a week {plus handling all the behind the scenes work at the school myself}, I thought it was an opportune time to talk about getting back into the school routine.

As I pondered which approach I wanted to take in my posts I thought about my old co-worker, Jill Sadler.  When we worked together we were a dynamic team.  I could always look to her for advice, finishing a task I couldn’t complete, taking the initiative in something that I didn’t have the creative juices for, or even just making sure that I stopped to eat or drink during the day.  Jill is one of those friends that I haven’t seen in a few years because our schedules just don’t match up well, but she is also one of those friends that we can start right back up where we left off and it isn’t weird or anything.  It just works.

Please enjoy our collaborated effort over the next few days with some Back to School advice and tips:

First, meet Jill:

How and why do I know what I do, enough to assure you that what I say is true?

Because I said so. Sound familiar?

I have an early childhood development from Oakland Community College. I used to teach Pre-School with Miss Amy for a few years. Currently I am a household manager for a busy family- and this is where I experience the in’s and out’s of parenting and child development beyond the early years. It may feel like longer, but I am only a couple short years away from finalizing my elementary education degree with a double major in Social Studies and Language Arts.

So I’ve nannied, taught, tutored and mentored kids from the ages of birth to sixteen, and truly believe in the family unit first and foremost. As a teacher in the future I plan to lend my support to families as much as possible, and in the mean time I am grateful to serve the family that adds more to my life than I could ever verbalize.

Now is that time of year that we know we’re scheduled to implement new routines, new rules, and we’re worried about our kids reaction to those new routines and whether or not we can keep them up throughout the year.

Well, let me assure you of two things I know.

1) Kids thrive on routine–they will not resent you for it.

2) If you’re diligent about the routine in the first few months of the year, the rest of the months will follow easier even if some minor tweaks occur.

Whenever you do deviate from the plan, it’ll be easier to pick it up the next day if you’ve truly established your expectations. What do we mean by routine? Well, bedtimes, bath times, study time, lunch making (who does it, who helps, when you do it, etc), rules about tv and computer time, the rules about friend time in regard to homework, and all of these things are even more important when you take into account extracurricular activities.

If there’s been a new healthy idea you’ve been wanting to try with your family, now is the time to do it. Its like Christmas time for the organization and resolution fairy. The good news is; whatever does unwind a little by the middle of the year gives you the opportunity to make family goals when the new year starts, goals about finishing up your year successfully!

Talk about your individual and collective goals at a family meeting. If you have kids that are too small to vote on this, the good news is you can choose for them. It may even be especially helpful to have these goals in a visual format for the family to see and recall upon, sort of like a vision board. Your thoughts become your reality.

So since you have a whole lot of planning to do and a whole bunch to implement, its best if you don’t wait until the day school starts to try. Have a family meeting, and get your bath and bedtime schedules going a week or two before school starts to ensure the best success rate.

Good luck to you all- and another thriving school year!!

Marriage Tips and Advice

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Upon celebrating our 7 year wedding anniversary we were blessed with winning a photography contest to have our wedding pictures redone.  This was a HUGE blessing to us since we only have one wedding day photo displayed in our home.  A family friend was supposed to gift us with her photography skills for our special day but decided the day before our rehearsal that she wanted to go Up North for the 4th of July weekend.  That left us with no options—until our friends Randy and Marli Brown http://www.randyandmarli.com reached out to a friend who took their picture for one of their album covers.  Thankfully she was available the day of our wedding but only for a few hours.  There was no money budgeted for photography at this point so we used a little of what we had from our paychecks plus some out of our wedding cards {that we had to open early} and we received a few good pictures on a CD.

Fast forward 7 years later and this amazing photographer offers a contest on her Facebook page to do a wedding re-do session for couples who never had wedding pictures or had a bad experience.  I had been following her for awhile already because she had taken pictures of some friends family/children and I thought they were beautiful.  Somehow I didn’t even see her post about the contest in my own feed but I did when a friend shared it to her page.  I knew immediately that we were destined to at least apply.  Little did I know that God had bigger plans to bless my socks off!

MarieMassePhotography has been a HUGE blessing to us!  We had a great experience with her during our session, she captured beautiful images that are already on display in our home and we formed a friendship that includes messages to each other and play dates at the park.  Thank you Marie for going after your gift.  You are a true talent!  If you are in the Metro Detroit area, check out her work and blog at http://www.mariemassphotography.net

Before sharing a blog post regarding our session with her, she asked us to come up with some marriage tips and advice to go along with it.  While I still keep coming up with things to add to this list, here is what we came up with for her:

1.) Always stand up for your spouse whether you believe their view is correct or not.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and everyone has their own unique feelings.  Showing that you support them and their stance will go further than making them feel like their view doesn’t matter.

2.) Remember your spouse.  Think about things he/she likes and remember them when you stop at the store on the way home.  Don’t buy yourself a beer to bring home for dinner and come home empty handed for her.  Sometimes a favorite drink, ice cream or Taco Bell is much more meaningful than jewelry or flowers.

3.) Dance in the kitchen.  Always.  Turn on some music and whisk her around the kitchen.  Not only are you setting a great example for your children and having a little bit of fun but you never know where it might lead when they go to bed : )

4.) Always show your children how you respect their mother or father.  Demonstrating love and respect in front of them will help them know how they are expected to treat them when you aren’t around.

5.) Work together.  Many hands make work light.  Even after a long day in the office or a difficult day at home with the kids, when the dishes or laundry needs to be done do it together.  It will get done a lot faster if you each take a task rather than doing it alone and angry.

6.) Husbands–here is a BIG key of advice that no one has probably ever told you: When the house is a mess, her brain is too.  When the dishes are done and things are picked up her mind is free and her body relaxed to rock your world in the bedroom!

7.) Make sex a priority not a chore.

8.) Be humble.  Apologize.  It’s okay to be wrong and vulnerable in front of your spouse.  Nobody wins unless you both win.

9.) Never ever, ever, ever throw a frying pan across the room toward your spouse (not us–-a couple we once knew).  It’s better to take a time out, leave the room and collect your thoughts before you say or do something you know you will regret later.  Walking away isn’t a sign of weakness or a step toward isolation.  It is showing maturity and respect and knowing that you care enough about the other person to tread cautiously all in the name of love.

10.) Set aside time for date nights even if you don’t have a lot of funds.  Put some ideas on Popsicle sticks and draw one each date night.  They could range from dinner at a fancy restaurant to coffee only, movie, bowling, etc.  Be purposeful to take time together–especially after children join the family.

11.) Husbands–call a cousin, a niece, or a neighbor and line up a babysitter.  Sometimes women have too much on their plate that even finding a babysitter can be too much.  Taking this stress off her shoulders will help her be a more enjoyable date for you.

12.) Wives–Sometimes it’s okay to let your man go out for a drink with the guys after work.  If you’ve had a long day and just want him home–tell him.  If you can stand waiting a few more hours for his arrival–let him go.  He’ll feel so refreshed to be able to go somewhere that isn’t work or home.  It will help him be more present and appreciative with you and at his job.

13.) Stay up late to binge watch your favorite series on Netflix.  Eat lots of sherbet, drink craft Root Beers and enjoy each others laughter.  You might sleep all the next day since you’re not as young as you used to be but do it anyway.  You won’t regret it later when you say, “Remember that one night we stayed up late watching How I Met Your Mother until 5am?”

14.) Don’t talk down about your spouse to your friends.  It could affect your friends’ view of them and isn’t respectful toward your spouse.  Keep your gabbing under control.  Don’t say anything about them behind their back that you wouldn’t want them to find out five years down the road.

15.) The word “divorce” is never in your vocabulary.  Period.  Be in it to win it!