Thursday, August 30, 2012 not so weekly: Give and Take

Hello blogging world! I have been feeling blogging-guilt about my recent hiatus. With starting to work full-time, (i.e. being a big girl) I have been busy and exhausted. Switching from full-time student to full-time therapist has been quite the transition, and although I have been tired, I feel extremely blessed about this new change in my life. With that being said, I have been paying close attention to the transformation that has taken place in my relationship of late.

When Derek and I first moved in together, it took us some time to get used to being around each other 24/7! Even though we spent a lot of time together before we moved in, there is just something very different about not being able to retreat to your own home whenever you’d like. I quickly realized that when you live with your significant other, there is nowhere to retreat to!

It took some time for us to get into a living “rhythm.” However I have noticed that like any other major life change, people learn to adapt and change to suit their needs. There is a major give and take rhythm happening in my marriage right now, which makes me really happy. We are getting really good at anticipating each other’s needs and fulfilling them. For example: Derek knows that my morning ritual consists of a cup of tea, peanut butter toast, and email/facebook check. So each Saturday morning he wakes up before me and makes my tea and toast while he makes his own breakfast. It’s such a sweet gesture and just one example of what it means to “serve” your spouse.

I try to give or serve him whenever I can also (cough…taking my mother in law to a doctor’s appointment on my day off… cough) haha, I love my MIL and my husband, which makes me happy to do anything I can to help. He is so selfless when it comes to making me happy that it makes me want to give all I can. I am finally starting to understand what my mother always told me about relationships being “give and take.” It’s not always about me, and I’m okay with that. Making my husband comfortable and happy makes me happy, and in turn our relationship has never been stronger.

A recent picture of the Hubby an I on my Bday

I challenge anyone who reads this and is in a relationship to try and "serve" your partner every once in a while! Giving more of yourself is sure to promote a happy and healthy relationship. :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Love: Weekly- Honesty is the Best Policy

How many of you have had the fantasy that your significant other would magically guess what you would like for your next Birthday, Christmas, Anniversary present?

We've all done it right? Taken him to the mall to see that gorgeous camel colored fall collection Coach bag; Clipped out a Coach coupon and put it on the kitchen counter; Mention (on many occasions) that you would really love a new camel colored fall collection Coach bag to be your perfect accessory for the next season; Not-so-discretely peruse the Coach website and zoom in on that beautiful bag while in his line of sight...

Then comes your anniversary and he hands you a gift that is in the EXACT shape of a Coach box. Oh it's definitely the Coach bag that you have been wanting for months- What a great guy I have! You tear open the wrapping paper, and oh no...the box doesn't say Coach, it says... Macy's? What? Didn't he know that I wanted a new Coach bag? Out pops the mediocre sweater, and on pops your fake plastered smile.

Okay, can you tell that I loved story telling as a child? Haha. But seriously, this has happened to every woman at one point or another right? We drop hints for months about a gift that we want for an upcoming holiday, etc. and once in a blue moon he may get it right, but typically we just end up disappointed! This is such a silly game that we play in our relationships, when it would be so much easier to just be honest.

Yes, it's true, being honest about what you are really wanting for may take some of the surprise out of gift-giving, but I have found that I would gladly swap the surprise for the gift that I really want. Derek and I implemented this "honesty policy" into our relationship a few years ago, and exchanging gifts has been so much simpler and satisfying ever since. We both get what we really want, and there is no uncomfortable "Um, thanks honey but I'm just not sure this sweater is me...would you mind if I exchanged it?" Or worse, "Oh yeah, I guess I could wear that sweater to dinner tonight, I've just been waiting for a special occasion..."

My Birthday was just last week, and I put my own advice into effect and told Derek what I really wanted for my Birthday...and like magic, I got exactly what I wanted!

It's a new Buffet table for our dining room! We really needed a pretty piece of furniture for this spot and  some extra storage for all of the serving ware, etc. that we got for the wedding. I told him weeks in advance that this is what I wanted, so the weekend of my bday we went shopping and found this beauty! Now I'm happy because I got what I really wanted, and my hubby is happy because I am....and because he didn't have to do laps around the mall trying to figure out what to get me! :)

Here are some final gift giving tips that I've learned along the way:

1. Set a budget with your partner beforehand: I.e. We will only spend $300 on each other for Christmas this year. This keeps things fair, and prevents any possibility of gift giving resentment!

2. If you really don't like the idea of spoiling a surprise by telling your partner what you really want, consider being honest about the big gift that you want (buffet table) but also doing small surprise gifts (fresh flowers and a card- this was my surprise on my bday!) This Christmas we are planning on being "honest" about what we would like for our main gifts to each other but will keep our stocking stuffers as complete surprises! ;)

Anyone else out there think that honesty is the best policy when it comes to gift giving in your relationship?

What's for Dinner

Spinach Lasagna

Each week I try to incorporate one or two new recipes into our weekly dinner routine. Last week, I decided to try a spinach lasagna. I wanted to do a yummy lasagna but without meat (I've noticed that using meat in every dinner really hikes up the grocery bill!) but I wanted it to have some substance. So, I replaced the meat with spinach, and it was delicious! 

Here it is straight from the oven..yum!


1 Egg, beaten
1 Package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
15 oz. Ricotta cheese
3 Cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 Cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Jar spaghetti sauce
9 Uncooked noodles
1/2 Cup water

1. Heat oven to 350 Degrees
2.In a bowl mix the egg, spinach, ricotta cheese, 2 cups mozzarella, and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.
3. Layer 9x13 pan with sauce, 3 uncooked noodles, and a third of the cottage cheese mixture; Repeat twice more.
4. Top the lasagna with the remaining sauce and cheeses.
5. Pour water around the sides of the lasagna in pan (this will help to cook the noodles)
5. Cover and bake for 45 minutes or until heated through. 
Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

*You can adjust the amount of the ricotta cheese and/or spinach to your liking. I like both so I used the full amount for both.

I served this lasagna with a side salad and garlic bread! 

This meal is super easy, and we had plenty of left-overs which is great for a night off of cooking! This is definitely going into the "dinner rotation." Try it out, and let me know what you think!