Category Archives: Parenting

Why I decided to leave my 3rd son intact, after choosing circumcision for the first two.

I have been pretty vocal on my personal page about circumcision over the past year and I don’t think a lot of people truly understand WHY it is that I made this decision.  This also seems to be the biggest question I get when people are why I left my son intact, especially since his brothers are circumcised.

First… my response is this, you live and you learn.  Yes- I LEARNED what a circumcision actually is, I LEARNED the true functions of the foreskin (the “flap” of skin that is removed– Oh yes it serves very important functions for a man- all of which are taken away from him at birth or shortly after with Routine Infant Circumcision), and I LEARNED WHY we do it in the United States.

I only wish that someone would have given me all this information when I was 21 and my first born was brought into this world.  Unfortunately, I had no idea.  With my second son- I really started to question it.  I really didn’t feel right about it, but I felt pressure to make him “normal” so I had it done… and I regretted it pretty much instantly and I still do.

I knew when I found out I was expecting another boy that I would leave him intact.  I knew that I really regretted allowing that to happen to my son’s and that I would break the cycle now.  I also want to inform other parents-to-be that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CHOOSE TO CIRCUMCISE your son.  It is not necessary, it is not normal, you ARE taking something away from him, and most of all- truly– it is not your body and not your decision to remove body parts from your child because in some way, you feel this is how a man’s penis is supposed to look.

I am not going to harp and preach on circumcision in this post.  I will leave you with a link to video that I feel every person should watch Elephant in the Hospital.  I hope you will take the time to watch the video because it does have really great information in it.

What made me change my stance?

Well first… I was not exactly “pro cut” I feel like I was a sheep- just doing what I thought I had to do.  And for that, my sons suffered.  After my second son was born, I feel like something immediately clicked and I knew what I did was wrong.  I also met a friend that was a huge intactivist and she shared some info with me to help solidify the feelings that I was already having.  Once I realized everything- did some of my own research… I knew where I stood.

1. It is NOT a sin NOT to circumcise your sons.  This is one thing that I hear- about how the bible says you should or you are “unclean” or you are sinning.  This is not true.  Not only this, but the circumcision that is performed today is not at all like the circumcision that was performed by Abraham in the Bible.
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2. The foreskin has functions!!  We are led to believe the forskin is just a flap of skin that has no purpose and will cause infection if we leave it attached.

This is NOT TRUE.  The foreskin has 16 functions, all of which are lost with circumcision, and most of which can not be regained with restoration.

16 functions of the foreskin

 

3. It is NOT my body.  I think this is the biggest one parents need to remember.  How do you know that your son wants to be circumcised?  You don’t!  An infant can not express if he wants to have this elective cosmetic surgery done, why should you be the one to decide this for him?

4.  It is cruel.  Think about what actually happens during circumcision… YOU ARE ALLOWING THIS HARM AND PAIN TO HAPPEN TO YOUR NEWBORN BABY!  We are so desensitized and are so concerned with what is “normal” that we don’t care that we are intentionally causing pain to our children.  Pain that can have life long negative effects!  (And a circumcised penis is not “normal”!!)

5.  It is not important for my sons to “match”… If you are choosing to circumcise because your husband is… Why?  Do you think they are going to “compare”… no and if they somehow notice… you can explain how you did better for your son because you had all the information.

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I really hope this helps to answer the questions most people have asked me about my choice to leave my son intact (after choosing to circumcise the first two).  The one thing I can urge every parent to be is– do your research!  Don’t just do it because you think you have to… you don’t!  You can break the cycle and your son will thank you for it when he older.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments.  :-)

Get Your New Kitchen Cooking As Soon As Possible To Save Stress During Your Move

Moving house is fun, but it can be unsettling. For the first few days in your new home, you won’t know what to do with yourself. Living out of boxes isn’t fun, and being in a new place can be disorienting. The sooner you get settled, the better. That’s when you can start enjoying the home you dreamt of! The whole house will need your attention, but some rooms can’t wait. The kitchen is the one place you need functional from the go. None of us can go without food. When the kitchen is out of order, it causes immense amounts of disruption. That’s why you should set your sights on getting the kitchen sorted as soon as you can! Here are a few tips on how to get your kitchen functional in no time at all!

KEEP ESSENTIALS TO HAND

Consider keeping your kitchen up and running, even before you’ve moved in. Think, during the packing process, what you need to keep available. Pack a small box that you don’t tape up, and keep it on hand throughout your moving day. Put some snacks in there, and maybe some sandwiches! Remember, too, to include a kettle, mugs, and tea supplies. Your movers are sure to appreciate a cup of tea once you get to the other end! Having these pieces on hand will help you resume a running a kitchen as soon as you reach your destination. They’ll also ensure that you don’t go hungry.

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DO A FOOD SHOP

A food shop may be the last thing on your mind, but the sooner you do one, the better! Any food you brought with you will be in boxes and will be minimal anyway. It isn’t practical to transfer perishable food! With your cupboards empty, you’ll find life hard. Give yourself the first night off by treating yourself to a takeout. Then, go shopping first thing the next morning. Doing such a regular activity will help to make you feel normal again. Not to mention that you’ll feel much better once your cupboards are stocked again. Make a big event of the first meal you cook in your new home. It may take you awhile to get used to your new kitchen so the sooner you start using it, the better! It’s doing regular activities like this in your new house that will make it feel like home.

UNPACK AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

Decluttering your house of all those boxes is important. Decluttering the kitchen even more so. Unpacking as soon as you can will free up space you need to cook. It’ll also ensure you know where everything is again! Make sure the kitchen is the first room you get to work on by marking what’s in each of the boxes you pack. Have the boxes marked ‘kitchen’ put straight into the room, so you don’t have to hunt for them when the time comes. You’ve already sorted the food, so focus on boxes containing cutlery and cooking equipment!

Feeling More Frumpy Mummy Than Yummy Mummy?

It’s easy to get into a rut with your appearance and end up being more of a frumpy mummy than a yummy mummy. The truth is that when you’ve got little ones to take care of, you have a tendency to put your appearance on the back burner, to concentrate on your little ones.

While there’s nothing wrong with dressing in clothing that’s comfortable and easy to pull on, like sweatpants and jumpers, for instance, you can end up feeling frumpy and lacking self-esteem because of it.

The key to feeling more like a yummy mummy is to put time and thought into what you wear, as well as into your hair and makeup. There’s nothing wrong with going bare-faced every so often, but if you want to feel good about yourself, you need to make time to style your hair and apply your makeup each day – you’ll feel better for it.

To become more yummy and less frumpy, here are the steps to take:

Treat yourself to some new clothes

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The first step to feeling more confident in your appearance and less frumpy is to treat yourself to new clothes. If the clothes that you usually wear are a little on the frumpy side, now is the time to update your wardrobe. Start off by having a look online to get an idea of what’s in fashion, and then do some shopping.

You can either shop online or head to your local shopping centre and shop there, depending on your personal preference, of course. If you are going to shop online, make sure to take advantage of deals and discount sites, such as www.plusvouchercode.co.uk. When you’re a parent, every penny counts.

As for what to buy, leggings can work well as they’re comfortable and when teamed with a dress, stylish jumper or tunic, can look stylish. Or, how about buying a nice pair of jeans, to team with tops and jumpers? Skirts and tops can also look lovely, teamed with a pair of thick woolen tights.

Get a new haircut

To prevent having to scrape your hair into a bun or ponytail each morning, have your hair cut into a new, easy-to-style do. That way you can ensure that doing your hair in the mornings doesn’t have to be time-consuming or stressful. Opting for an easy-to-do style means that you can wake up, brush it, and be ready to go, and feel good about how your hair looks.

Practice minimal makeup looks

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To get your everyday makeup look right, minimal makeup is a must. You don’t want to look overdone up. You want to wear enough makeup so that you feel good about yourself. Spend a couple of evenings practicing applying your makeup quickly so that in the mornings you can get your face on before the kids wake up. It might only be a little bit of makeup, but it will give your self-esteem that boost it needs.

So there you have it, everything that you need to know to look and feel better. Take note of the tips above, and you can wave goodbye to being a frumpy mummy.

Helping Your Elderly Parent Stay Happy, Healthy And Independent

Watching a parent grow old is tough to say the least. For most of your life, they were one of the few people you always, always felt you could turn to for help when things got bad. When their physical and mental abilities start to wane little by little, it’s obviously not the most pleasant thing to witness. While watching one or both of your parents move into old age is hard, it’s a fact of life, and marks a time when we need to start paying them back for all their great work! Here are a few ways you can help your parent to live independently in their old age.

Grandma

Image: Free Stock Photos

Getting the Essentials to Them

A healthy diet, as well as access to various essentials, is essential to anyone’s physical and emotional wellbeing, no matter how old they are. Because driving can be a very strenuous activity for someone in old age, it may be a good idea to organize food and medicine deliveries right to your parent’s door. If your parent is tech-savvy enough, consider introducing them to an online grocery shopping service, or coming up with a system where they give you a shopping list and you take care of it for them. Medicine deliveries can be a little harder to organize, but certainly not impossible.

Preparing the Home

When you find yourself having to care for an aging parent, one of the most challenging things is knowing how to prepare the home for them in the best way possible. After all, the home should be a safe haven for them where they can feel relaxed and live with relative ease and convenience. Every residence is different, so a good first step will be paying your parent a visit and having a look around their place. Put yourself in their shoes, and look for any potential hazards or difficulties they might encounter. The key places to check out here are the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Changes might include installing rails so that there’s less risk of your parent falling, lowering shelves that could be hard to reach, and installing better lighting. If you want to go all-out, it may be worth looking into the young niche of smart home technology. If you weren’t already aware, smart home tech can allow an infirm (or simply lazy, if you’re interested!) person to control their lights, appliances, heating and media from a single interface on their smartphone or tablet. You can even get added security features. Check out these Alarm Reviews doorbell cameras, for example.

Maintaining Their Health

You may have gone looking for this post in the first place because your parent has had a bout of illness which has now made day-to-day life a challenge. Obviously, this is something that needs to be considered for the future. A lot of hospital discharge regimens will require a schedule of daily medicine taking, the checking of blood sugar levels, and so on. This can seem pretty trivial when there’s a medical professional around to remind you of it, but keeping on top of these things can be an extremely important part of keeping an elderly person healthy and independent for as long as possible. Make sure you can stay in contact with their doctor, nurse, pharmacist or so on at all times to discuss healthcare, new developments in their condition and so on. You can also help things along by encouraging your parent to be more proactive with maintaining their health. Obviously, the exact healthcare needs are going to vary greatly from person to person, and you may need to apply different methods for keeping on top of different medicine cycles, checks etc. the most important thing is to stay organized!

Be Sensitive

Yes, being the adult offspring of an elderly person is emotionally strenuous, but being an elderly person yourself is no walk in the park either! Aside from the more practical steps of getting the home suitable and delivering food, it’s also very important to take care of your parent’s emotional wellbeing. A lot of elderly people will hate the fact that they’re getting old, and will be reluctant or even resentful when accepting help from someone whose diapers they used to change! The most important thing here is to make sure you’re taking things slow, and not overstepping your mark. Unless it would put your parent in serious danger, let them maintain control over as much as possible. When changes do start happening, make sure you’re being more helpful than patronizing!

Dealing With Those Worst Case Scenarios At Home

We’ve all had a disaster at home haven’t we? You’re lying if you say no. Come on. Spill the beans. We’re all friends here! Whether it be a fire, a flood, bugs and beasts or the shattering of your Mum’s favourite plate, we’ve all had that ‘oh dear’ moment that lives for too long in the memory. So how do we react in the aftermath?

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Fire is a scary thing isn’t it? That’s why we have all the adverts on TV as well as the essential protection that we have to wear in case one does decide to erupt. So what happens if the hob is left on too long or the plug in your bedroom decides to spark out of control? Well, the obvious thing to do is to call the fire brigade immediately. They will come as soon as possible but what are you supposed to do in the meantime? You could try and spray a fire extinguisher on the flames if you’re a responsible adult in a safe place and away from harm but the most important thing is to get you and your family out. You can lose your expensive rolex. You can’t lose your loved ones.

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Floods are also a worry for a lot of us. We could be affected by the coast outside and those who live in these threatened areas are constantly on alert. Inland, we are at risk too, although to a much lesser extent. What if the bath upstairs overflows, gushes down the hallway or goes through the ceiling? What if the sink overfills and makes the kitchen like a lake? These are everyday occurrences that could always go wrong. Yes, Mum’s mop and bucket could do the job in a relatively small case but what happens if it’s a larger job? What happens if it’s a threat to your family and to all your valuables? Well, then you may have to call specialist companies in this area for example those with basement flood clean up.

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And what about those creepy crawlies that could start residing in your home? Spiders, flies, daddy long legs. The mind starts to shudder. However these are mostly expected and there’s not a lot we can do about it. However, cockroaches and rats. Well that’s another story. No matter how boring and monotonous it may be, we need to take out the rubbish every day and for those garden doors that access our entry to the house to be shut firmly at night. No one likes a scavenger do they? If cases worsen and the screaming begins to wake up the whole neighbourhood, waste no time in calling a professional. They will be quick and efficient in eradicating this problem. But this isn’t a one way thing. You must start to get on top of your household chores or your outlay will start to increase further. Don’t make your house a haven for animals! Save your garden for that.

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Embracing Outdoor Living: Easy Ways You Can Spend More Time In The Fresh Air

It’s no secret that breathing in fresh air and venturing into the great outdoors can do you a world of good. If you’re guilty of spending too much time indoors, maybe it’s time to embrace outdoor living. Here are some easy ways you and your kids can get out more.

Switch up the school run

Do you drive to the school gates or drop your kids off at daycare in the car? Is it only a short drive away? If so, why not ditch your wheels and walk instead? You’ll save yourself money on gas, and you’ll be doing your bit for the environment. You can also enjoy the scenery and get your body moving. You may also be able to walk instead of using public transport or your car to get to the shops or visit friends and family.

Try outdoor pursuits

If you have kids, you may think that outdoor pursuits aren’t the best idea. But there are lots of activities that are suitable for toddlers. You can go on a family bike ride, or go for a walk in the park or by the lake. If you have older kids, you could also give kayaking or climbing a go.

Family Bike Ride

Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/s_mestdagh/3657847661

Maximize your time in the garden

Most of us associate spending time in the garden with the spring and summer months. But just because it drops cooler, this doesn’t mean you have to retreat indoors. Wrap up and play out in the snow or collect the colorful fall leaves. Snuggle up in a hammock with a blanket or research outdoor fireplaces. This will enable you to enjoy being out in the open without getting cold.

Give outdoor sports a go

When you hear people talk about exercising, you may immediately think of going to the gym. But there are lots of sports and activities you can do outside. Take a yoga mat to the beach or sign up for a running club. If you’re keen for the kids to exercise more, you could look into local soccer teams, or join a tennis club.

Girl playing soccer
Image source:
https://pixabay.com/en/photos/kid/?cat=sports

Take lessons outside

Are your kids learning about trees or insects at school? If so, why not treat them to some fun, educational lessons in the outdoors? You can follow a nature trail or take some books with you and try and spot birds and bugs. Children often learn better when they find things fun and interesting.

Try camping

Camping is one of the best types of vacation if you want to escape it all on a budget. When you go camping, you get unrivaled access to amazing beauty spots, and you can try all kinds of fun activities. Go hiking or cycling if you have older kids, or enjoy a day at the beach with younger kids. You may miss out on creature comforts for a day or two. But you can spend quality time together in some of the most spectacular settings out there.

Do you spend nearly all your time indoors? Being out in the open can do you a power of good. If you’d like to get out more, take these simple suggestions on board. You’ll be amazed at the difference some fresh air can make.

How to Support Your Spouse When They Go Back to College

mother studyingLife is a lot easier when both partners work full-time. You have two incomes and therefore twice as much disposable income to spend, which means extra money to spend on vacations and all the nice things in life. So what happens if your spouse decides to go back to college for an online social work masters?

It can be hard for both partners when one of you takes the decision to go back to college. There are many reasons why this might happen. Perhaps your spouse hates their job and wants to study for a masters in social work so they can have a more fulfilling career, or maybe they need a further qualification to improve their earning potential. Either way, your job is to be as supportive as possible and help them every step of the way, because that’s what you signed up for when you got married.

When your spouse goes back into education, their decision will have far-reaching consequences. Your income is halved and you become the primary breadwinner. It will also decrease the amount of quality time you spend together, as every spare moment for them will be spent studying and for you taking care of family and home. However, you are a team, so here are some strategies to help you get through this difficult time.

Work Out a Budget

Since money is going to be tight for a while, you need to work out a budget – and stick to it. Write down all of your expenses and figure out how much money you have left at the end of the month. If there isn’t any, see if there are any ways you can supplement the family income, perhaps with a second job. It’s going to be tough for a while, so be prepared to live as frugally as possible until your spouse finishes studying. The good news is that once they have earned their qualification, they can start earning again.

Be Organized

You are going to have to be super organized if you are taking care of the home, doing the childcare, and holding down a job. It won’t be easy, but the more organized you are, the smoother things will run at home.

Make Time for Fun Family Time

It is important that you make time for date nights and family time. All work and no play makes everyone depressed. Allocate one night a week for family time. You don’t need to spend much money. Take it in turns to choose a movie, make some popcorn and sit down on the sofa to watch the action. As for date night, cook a nice meal, light a candle, and enjoy some uninterrupted snuggle time once the kids are in bed.

Keep Talking

Keep the lines of communication open at all times. You will both feel like ships passing in the night for a while, so it is important to stay in touch. Use text messaging, leave cute notes around the house, and if something upsets you, talk about it.

Going back to school is stressful for everyone, but this difficult period won’t last forever, so keep smiling!

The Secrets You Need To Know For An Amicable Divorce

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Not every divorce ends amicably. If your partner has cheated on your or you are simply sick of all the bitter arguments, the divorce can become very messy indeed! But it is in everyone’s best interests that you try and stay on amicable terms with your partner. Not sure you can handle that? It’s actually very easy to remain friendly with your partner as long as you know these useful secrets.

Choose A Lawyer Who Cares

You will be surprised just how many lawyers don’t care about your family’s situation. They simply see your case as another paycheck. So it is imperative that you try and find a family who really understands how stressful this whole process is for you. This can help to limit the amount of arguments you have over custody. The lawyer will try and come to an agreement that suits both you and your partner. The best way to find a caring attorney, such as quality divorce lawyer Barbara May is through word of mouth. If some of your friends and relatives have been divorced, ask them who they used.

Understand That There Will Be No Winners

The best possible end to any divorce is one where you can live with the outcome. You and your partner might not be happy with the agreed settlement. But you are both able to live with it without continued bickering and arguments. This means there is no winner. You shouldn’t see a divorce as being a way to get one over on your partner. If you do, things can get heated and complicated very quickly, and you shouldn’t be too hopeful about getting a quick divorce.

Keep Your Emotions In Check

One thing that the legal aspect of a divorce won’t be able to deal with is the emotional side of it. You need to come to terms with your feelings and emotions as soon as possible so that you can deal with the rest of your divorce much better. If you keep your emotions in check, you will find it much easier to make practical decisions that benefit you and your kids.

Think Of Your Children

It is super important to try and make the whole divorce process easy on your kids. They will have probably had to deal with continued arguments between their parents for some time now, and this will only make things worse. First of all, explain what is happening to them in language that is simple enough for them to understand. You should try not to argue with your partner in front of them, as this will only stress them out even more. Decide on custody early on in the divorce proceedings. Are you are unable to come to an agreement with your partner? Then you need to make sure your kids aren’t exposed to too much stress once the matter is taken to court.

It is always possible to end your relationship in an amicable divorce. Hopefully, this blog post has shown you how.

4 Surefire Ways to Keep Your Kiddo Happy on an Airplane

After months of saving and planning, you finally made your airline reservations to go see your parents who live several states away. Although you cannot wait to see your family, you are understandably nervous about the upcoming 3-hour plane ride with your young child.

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Fortunately, with some pre-planning, it is more than possible to keep your kiddo happy and occupied on an airplane. Check out the following suggestions:

Stock up on New Goodies

Before your trip, head to the dollar store and stock up on $5 – $10 worth of small toys. If you have time, wrap each one in colorful paper or the Sunday funnies. Present your kiddo with a new goody every 45 minutes or so on the plane. He or she will love unwrapping it and playing with the new toy. If you spend $10, you should have enough for both airplane trips.

Buy Gel Window Clings

There is something about those colorful gel window clings that make them irresistible to most kids. You can probably find them during your dollar store run, but most party supply stores have them, too. Check out the adorable tropical fish gel cling decals that you can pick up at Party City for $1.49.

When you are making your reservations, be sure you book a window seat for your child and let him or her decorate the window all he or she wants. You can also do some experiments and see if the clings will adhere to the tray table or seat belt. Once you land, don’t forget to take a minute to peel off the clings.

Use a Smartphone for Entertainment

Even if you normally don’t want your child to get a lot of screen time, a long plane ride is a good time to be lenient with this rule. Your smartphone will provide your kiddo with hours of things to do. Before you leave, download some kid-friendly apps on your smartphone. You can also download some of your child’s favorite shows and buy her a new pair of comfy headphones to wear on the plane.

To prevent your child from leaving the app or movie and start accessing things on your phone that she shouldn’t, adjust the settings to put the smartphone into a kid-safe mode. If you have an iPhone 6s, follow the instructions on OSX Daily to put it in Guided Access mode, which will lock the iOS device into a particular app. Basically, open “Settings,” tap on “General” and go to “Accessibility.” Under the Learning section, tap on “Guided Access.” Flip the switch to “On” and tap “Set Passcode” to choose a password to get out of the mode. Practice doing this a few times from home so you can easily set it up while you are on the plane.

Pack Favorite Snacks

To keep your child happily occupied on the plane, provide snacks that are not only yummy, but also take awhile to eat. Small boxes of raisins and string cheese are kid-friendly goodies perfect for the plane because they take longer than the average cracker to consume.

Depending on how your kiddo does with sugary snacks, you might want to keep those to a minimum. Instead of candy and cookies that might rev up your sweetie, stick with Goldfish crackers, pretzels and pouches of applesauce.

7 Ways to Liven Up a Stale Relationship

No matter the amount of time that you’ve spent in a relationship, things can easily grow stale. Whether it’s due to job related stress, financial duress or the comfort of being with a partner for a long period of time, there are unique ways to break out of your rut.

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Make Your Partner a Priority

Having a family, work and everyday stresses in life can drain your energy and focus. Before either party feels neglected, you want to put your relationship on top of the priority list. In between helping children with homework and tackling chores around the home, make time to reconnect. Plan a weekly date night where you go out for dinner or a movie. After supper, go for a walk and discuss what happened during the day. You can also plan something new such as going to a different restaurant or incorporating a new activity into your life.

Make Over Your Bathroom

An updated bathroom may not sound exciting, but the renovation can liven up your relationship. A plumber would help make it an oasis by adding a walk-in shower with room for two, Jacuzzi and double sink vanity. Instead of heading to a local hotel for special alone time, just add candles and essential oils and you have the ideal romantic retreat.

Break Out of Your Normal Routine

You can breathe new life into your relationship by switching up your normal routine. If you typically come home from work, eat dinner and sit in front of the T.V., deviate from the usual. Plan a drive, take the dog for a walk together or eat out during the week. On the weekends, plan a weekend getaway for just the two of you. Whether you travel via plane to some exotic area or you take a trip by car, spending quality time can boost your relationship.

Early Morning Love Making

Most marriages grow stale because they lack sex. If you’re exhausted after a long day, wake up earlier and make love. Having sex first thing in the morning is an excellent way to start your day. It’s also a great way to stay connected with your partner.

Go Back to Class

If you’re looking to stimulate your relationship, you may want to go back to class. Select a topic of interest to both partners such as a Mediterranean cooking class, yoga or photography. Connecting through an activity outside the home can add zest to your relationship. You’ll also be learning a new skill.

Play Games

Board games aren’t just for children. You can add some fun and excitement to your relationship by breaking out the game of Monopoly or Scrabble. Have a special prize for the winner. Whether they get to opt out of chores for the week, enjoy a lazy Sunday or get rewarded with a special massage, playing games can add spice to your marriage.

Hit the Gym

If you’re out of shape and looking for a way to get fit, hit the gym together with your partner. You’re more likely to adopt good exercise habits and stay with a program when you work out in pairs. Start out small with weight training and walking exercises. As you increase your fitness level, incorporate other exercises into your regimen. Other activities that can connect a partner include golf, jogging and biking.

If you’re relationship has entered the predictable territory, you may be wondering what you can do to ignite the burnt out flame. Every relationship is in need of a spark to turn the embers into a raging fire. With the above ideas, you can find ways to reconnect and work your way out of the relationship doldrums.