3 Reasons to Volunteer With Your Partner

Have you ever considered volunteering with your partner? Perhaps at a local animal shelter, working with kids, or perhaps building houses? If you haven’t, it’s high time that you give it some thought. Not only is volunteering helpful to those around you, it’s also helpful to your relationship! Take a look at 3 reasons why volunteering with your partner is an excellent idea:

1. Giving back feels good!

We’ll start with the most obvious reason – giving back to the community is a great way to get that warm and fuzzy feeling we all love. Doing it with your partner? Even better! Volunteering with your partner is a great way to raise your mood and make some really fun memories together,

2. See one another in a new way.

Volunteering puts you and your partner into a context you’re probably not used to – a context where you’re working together, outside of doing chores around the home. Whether you’re building houses for the homeless or walking dogs at a shelter, it can be fun and interesting to see each other tackle whatever challenges come your way Plus, there’s a great opportunity to build your teamwork and communication skills.

3. It’s a recurring commitment to each other!

Yes, there are tons of one-off volunteering opportunities out there, but many organizations are looking for a 6-12 month commitment when you sign up. It may feel a little daunting to commit to that much time, but it has a ton of benefits, like having a recurring few hours away from home with your partner. If you think you’ve been spending a little too much time on the couch watching Netflix, this is a great way to commit to changing that habit. When a non-profit is depending on you, it’s a lot easier to convince yourself to get off the couch!


Book Club: Hold Me Tight, Final Section, Part 1

We have been reading the book Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Dr. Sue Johnson, the developer of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy. Want to go back to the beginning of the series? Just click here.

We’re coming to the end of Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson! It’s been a great read, with tons of tips and tricks for having tough relationships and working through problems – and the final section is no different! It’s so full of great content, we decided to tackle it in 2 parts, which is how it’s divided in the book as well.

The first section is called Healing Traumatic Wounds – The Power of Love. This is a very powerful section. It discusses how the conversations throughout the book apply when one or both partners have been through a very traumatic experience. Though many of the conversations are applied similarly, seeing them discussed in context of one partner experiencing a trauma is very useful.

Dr. Sue Johnson states that “trauma is always a couples issue” – when one partner has trauma in their past, it almost always impacts the other partner in one way or another. The best thing to do is for the partner who experienced trauma to be open and honest about what they experienced, and how it’s currently impacting their lives. She mentioned that this is the opposite of how many people handle trauma – they prefer to keep it buried inside and not burden their partner. However, she cites a few studies showing that a willingness to discuss what the traumatized person is dealing with tends to lead to both stronger relationships and a stronger mental state for the traumatized.

The chapter is filled with scenarios and examples of couples facing all sorts of trauma, from assault to working in a dangerous job. We would definitely recommend taking a look if you or your partner has been through trauma, even if it doesn’t seem like it’s impacting your relationship now. It’s always worth having these coping skills in your back pocket!

Next week, we’ll be discussing part two of the final section of Hold Me Tight: The Power of Hold Me Tight. Stay tuned!

Our 3 Favorite Date Night Finds – July 6th, 2018

Our concierges spend tons of time researching the perfect date night activities. We figured, why not share some of our favorites? Of course, we’re always here to give you and your partner a custom date night recommendation!

  1. Nature at Night – A Magical Evening of Fireflies
    July 12, 2018 – New York City, NY
    Does anything define summer more than fireflies twinkling in a field? This delightful date night is a celebration of all things firefly – it starts with a talk by Sara Lewis, author of Silent Sparks: The Wondrous World of Fireflies, and continues with a happy hour, artistic performances, and a guided firefly tour.
  2. Murder at the Conservatory
    July 27th – San Francisco, CA
    Have you ever wanted to investigate a crime or solve a mystery? This is a great opportunity! With the beautiful Conservatory of Flowers as your backdrop, enjoy some light food, sip a glass of beer or wine, and try to solve the mystery of a mysterious manuscript that has surfaced.
  3. Culinary Competition for the Made In America Music Festival
    July 29th, 2018 – Philadelphia, PA
    This is an awesome idea for a culinary event. Vendors will be competing for spots to sell their food at the Made in America music festival. Who wouldn’t want to be able to sample tons of food, all made by vendors performing their best?

7 Post-It Love Note Prompts

Pretty much everyone agrees that love letters are romantic – but who has time to write them? And who even keeps nice stationary around the house anymore?

Never fear, post-it love notes are here! Post-it love notes are the perfect way to express yourself to your partner, while still hearkening back to the days of longer love letters. Write a few thoughts on a post-it note, and sprinkle them around the house before they get up or get home from work. Leave them on their mirror, wherever they keep their keys, etc.

Need some inspiration for what to write? Try these topics and examples!

  1. What physical trait of your partner do you love the most? – “I love the way your eyes shine when you laugh.”
  2. What personality trait or quirk of your partner do you love the most? – “I love the compassion you have for animals.”
  3. Reminisce a little about your favorite adventure together. – “Remember when we got lost in New York City and ended up at that little hole in the wall restaurant?”
  4. Talk about future plans – “I can’t wait until we go to the beach next weekend – just the two of us.”
  5. Suggest a date – “You, me, a fancy Italian restaurant, this Friday?” We can help you find some perfect date ideas, of course!
  6. Share your feelings – “Lately, I’ve been really anxious, and I’m so happy that you’re there to support me.”
  7. Share a dream for the future – “I can’t wait to celebrate our 10th anniversary!”

8 Food Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss (July 2018)

Summer is peak food festival season! Whether you’re craving key lime pie or watermelon, or would prefer something more savory like bacon, you’ll be sure to find a food festival for you! Check out some of our top picks of July food festivals below.

Key Lime Festival – Key West, Florida
June 30th – July 4th

Is there anything more quintessentially Floridian than Key Lime Pie? Early this July, you can experience all the Key Lime Pie you’ve ever wanted at the Key Lime Festival in Florida. It has all the typical festival activities, plus some creative extras, like the Key Lime Pie drop. Ever wanted to see people try to drop a Key Lime Pie from the top of a lighthouse… without damaging the pie? Then you won’t want to miss this!

National Cherry Festival – Traverse City, Michigan
June 30th – July 7th

Celebrate all things cherry at this delicious festival! Whether you’d prefer to sample some cherry pancakes or watch an air show, this festival has a little something for everyone!

Grand Bay Watermelon Festival – Grand Bay, Alabama
July 3rd & 4th

We dare you to try to find a fruit that better represents summer than watermelon! It’s the perfect subject for a July food festival. Come on July 4th to get all of the free, ice cold watermelon you can eat!

McLoud Blackberry Festival – McLoud, Oklahoma
July 6th & 7th

This blackberry themed festival features a ton of classic activities like a carnival and a car show – but there are also baking competitions throughout the day on the 7th. Don’t miss out!

Taste of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
July 11th-15th

Experience one of the largest food festivals in the world at Taste of Chicago! There will be tons of vendors to sample from, plus live music and other typical festival activities. If you’re going to go to one food festival in your life, this is a great choice!

Bacon, Bourbon and Brew Festival – Newport, Kentucky
July 12th-15th

This festival features a ton of great ways to experience great tasting bacon and bourbon – whether you want to do a bourbon 101 class, sample some limited edition bourbons, or chow down on all the bacon themed food you can eat, you’ll love this festival!

CRAVE! Taste the Northwest – Spokane, Wisconsin
July 12th-15th

Celebrate the foods of the Pacific Northwest with this fantastic festival! There are tons of delightful culinary events throughout the weekend, including a Global Street Foods Carnivale, a Seafood Bash and more. You won’t want to miss out on this delicious festival!

42nd Annual J.M. Tawes Crab & Clam Bake – Crisfield, Maryland
July 18th

Who can say no to an all you can eat crab and clam bake? This annual festival features crabs, clams, fish, corn on the cob, watermelon and more! It promises to be a great – and delicious – time!