Author Archives: Fawn Weaver

About Fawn Weaver

Fawn Weaver is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of Happy Wives Club: One Woman's Worldwide Search for the Secrets of a Great Marriage, adopting the same name as the Club she founded in 2010. The Happy Wives Club community has grown to include more than 1 million women in over 110 countries around the world. She’s an investor in real estate, tech sector and lifestyle brands. When she’s not writing or working, she's happily doting over her husband of twelve years, Keith (and sometimes manages to do all three simultaneously).

Top 5 Regrets from the Dying

Top 5 Regrets From the Dying: An Inspirational Article For Us All

Top 5 Regrets from the Dying

My husband, Keith, received an email from a colleague several years ago containing an article.  He immediately sent it to me and suggested I give it a read because it touched his soul.

From the moment I began reading the words of Australian author and songwriter, Bronnie Ware, I knew I wanted to share them with you.

I reached out to Bronnie with hope in my heart and she graciously agreed to allow me to post this article originally written on her site which was the basis for her best-selling book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departed.

After Bronnie released her book in Germany, it remained on its best sellers list every single week for well over a year.  I’ve not read the book but based on how touched I have been by the article, I imagine the book would do just as much.

Without further ado, the article that widened the smile on Keith and my face and reminded us that one of the best ways to live without regret is to not allow others to overly influence your family’s hopes, dreams or pursuit of happiness and to follow your own personal destiny.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learned never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

Bronnie Ware is a writer and songwriter from Australia who spent several years caring for dying people in their homes. Her full-length memoir, titled ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing‘, shares even more wisdom from dying people and how Bronnie’s own life was transformed through this learning. It is available worldwide, with translations in 27 languages. www.bronnieware.com

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Happy Wives Club Book

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES® BEST-SELLING BOOK: It’s been described as, “Like Eat, Pray, Love but not down on marriage.” Make sure to check out the Happy Wives Club book.  I had the great honor of traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, interviewing couples happily married 25 years or more, with 1 mission only: to find out what makes marriages happy…and keeps them that way.  It’s a marriage book line none other.  Guaranteed.

How to Protect Your Marriage During Challenging Times - Happy Wives Club

How to Protect Your Marriage During Challenging Times

How to Protect Your Marriage During Challenging Times - Happy Wives Club

“What is the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your marriage and how did you do it?”  This is the question posed to Keith and me every time we give an interview together (which is rare…not his favorite thing, for sure).

Easy question to answer, right?  Well, not for us. It usually causes an uncomfortable laughter because we know what the interviewer is looking for – and we don’t have it to give.  

The truth is (and please know that I don’t say this to boast, but rather, for transparency), we’ve never had a challenge in our marriage that has felt… well…that major.

Granted, infertility to many would be considered a major challenge.  Going in for five rounds of fertility treatments might seem like a major drag to some. And no, sticking all of those needles in my stomach is not how we originally envisioned our journey to family expansion. But we’ve never spent time dwelling on all of that. We’ve even made a bit of a game out of it that makes us laugh.

When it’s time to give myself hormone injections, my cell phone alarm starts playing Beyonce’s Countdown. Then I quickly lay out all of my needles and Keith and I start singing a song that used to be popular among millennials (it may still be but we’re not too hip on popular trends) and the chorus simply goes, “Shots. Shots. Shots. Shots. Shots. Shots. Everybody!” Now, mind you, the song isn’t talking about the same kind of shots… :)

We laugh about it. I inject my shots. And the next day, I do it again.

For us, we focus on what is good. We’re filled with gratitude that our insurance covers these procedures and look at our first childless years together -13 to be exact- as an opportunity to grow closer as husband and wife.  

And yes, there was that time when we ate chili for an entire month (yep, every day) and did other extreme things (Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, baby!) until we were able to pull ourselves out of a massive debt we’d created.  

But just like the fertility issue, that never felt like a real obstacle.

It wasn’t until a similar question was posed during a talk I was giving to a group of financial advisors who recognized strong marriages as something that is a huge benefit in building wealth. As soon as the question was asked in that setting, I had an aha moment.  ”We hear a lot that money problems are one of the top reasons for divorce.  Can you explain why this adversely impacts some marriages and not others?” a financial advisor in the back of the room asked.

In answering that question, I finally realized why Keith and I have such a hard time answering that “obstacle” question:

Have you ever been on an airplane going through major turbulence?  The kind that feels like the plane is dropping several hundred feet at a time?  I remember being on this flight, the plane dropping at such steep rates that with each drop, almost every passenger on the flight gasped.  

A young man, no older than thirty, sitting next to me was sweating so profusely he could have been mistaken for having just finished a Spinning class.  With every drop, you could almost see his heart popping out of chest.  I’m telling you, that young man thought he was about to die.  

But then I turned around and looked at the flight attendants and it was as if they were on a completely different plane.  “Trash anyone?” was their call down the middle of the aisle.  ”Can I take that cup from you, sir?” was the flight attendant’s question to a man who was likely clutching his cup for dear life.

These flight attendants were utterly unfazed.  Going through the exact same turbulences as the rest of us, and yet, it was as if they were flying through clear sunny skies.  There, of course, is a simple reason for that.  They knew the odds of a fatality happening on that plane was 1 in 10 million.  

This is the difference between the couples that allow finances, infertility and other similar challenges to adversely impact their marriage and the ones that don’t.  Those who look ahead to the future, team up and work to overcome life’s challenges -together- are like the flight attendants on that plane. They’re going through the same tumultuous air space as everyone else, but they remain focused on what they know to be true: They will make it through.

Every person on this planet goes through turbulent skies at some point.  But if your union has love, respect, faith and trust, you can protect your marriage from the turbulence of life.  By coming together and supporting one another, remembering those rocky skies are just for a moment, you can draw closer rather than be pushed apart.  

Your love, just like that plane, is far more powerful than any turbulence you might endure.  

It may not happen immediately, but eventually the wheels will touch down, passengers on the plane will erupt into applause, the pilot will come on the loudspeaker letting you know you’ve safely arrived, and the flight attendant will continue collecting the trash.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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Happy Wives Club Book

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES® BEST-SELLING BOOK: It’s been described as, “Like Eat, Pray, Love but not down on marriage.” Make sure to check out the Happy Wives Club book.  I had the great honor of traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, interviewing couples happily married 25 years or more, with 1 mission only: to find out what makes marriages happy…and keeps them that way.  It’s a marriage book line none other.  Guaranteed.

5 Unique Ways to Make Your Man Feel Special in 5 Minutes or Less

5 Unique Ways to Make Your Man Feel Special in 5 Minutes or Less

5 Unique Ways to Make Your Man Feel Special in 5 Minutes or Less

If there is anything we, as women, seem to need more of each day it’s time.  

More minutes, more hours, more days to get everything done.

As the wife to one heck of a man, I want him to know every moment of every day how much I love and adore him.  I don’t want him to ever feel as though he’s playing second fiddle to my work or various passions in life.

So how do I do this, while ensuring everything important on my to-do list for the day gets checked off?  Incrementally.

Little things throughout the day.  Pauses where there’s nothing else on my mind but that fabulous man of mine.  

These ideas aren’t earth shattering or life altering, but they are five things I do in my own marriage that can also be a great way to let your hubby know how much he means to you, no matter how busy your day may become. 

5 Unique Ways to Make Your Man Feel Special in 5 Minutes or Less

Walk Away From the Computer, Pick Up the Phone (but not to check social media…).  Whether you work from home, an office or are a stay-at-home mom, I don’t know of one woman who doesn’t spend hours on the computer each day.  

Be intentional about walking away from the computer, closing your laptop, and pick up the phone to check in and ask how his day is going.  The important thing about this phone call is for your attention to be 100-percent on him.  Attentive and interested.  You’d be surprised how your voice in the middle of the day can give him an immediate boost.

Pocket Gratitude Note.  What area of his clothes is he bound to check at least once throughout his day?  His back pant pocket, wallet, shirt pocket?  Spend a few minutes thinking about something he recently did that caused you to feel grateful, and then write it in a small note and pack it in one of his pockets.  Let him know how much he is appreciated.

Pick Up His Favorite Treat.  The next time you are at the store, don’t just pick up what is on your list.  What is his “guilty pleasure” you can find in the grocery store aisle?  Sweet or savory?  Whatever it is, pick it up and then have it waiting for him when he arrives home (or when you walk through the door).

Reach Out to His Family to Say Hello.  If you’re not already close to his family, this will mean even more (and you may want to check out this post on building a better relationship with your in-laws).  

If you’re like most, you rarely see or talk to your in-laws unless your spouse is around.  But there is something about reaching out to them and then casually mentioning it to your husband later.  ”Hey Babe, guess what your Mom did today?  She took her first yoga class.”  Well, maybe that won’t be what she did but you get the point.  Showing interest in his family signals that they mean as much to you as they do to him.

Give Him a Quickie.  Hmmmm…where is your mind with this one?!  Go online and watch a quick tutorial on giving the perfect neck or foot massage (YouTube has tons of tutorials) and then practice what you learn on your husband.  The key to this is the tutorial because he’ll feel like he has his own personal masseuse (and really, what masseuse will ever be as good as you!).

QUESTION: What other suggestions do you have that can be added to this list? Join the conversation on our Facebook community where over a million women come together and share ideas.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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JOIN THE 1,000,000 MEMBER CHALLENGE: We’ve already surpassed this number…but let’s just keep going! If you haven’t already done it, what are you waiting for? Join the club! It takes only a few seconds and, of course, is free.

Happy Wives Club Book

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES® BEST-SELLING BOOK: It’s been described as, “Like Eat, Pray, Love but not down on marriage.” Make sure to check out the Happy Wives Club book.  I had the great honor of traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, interviewing couples happily married 25 years or more, with 1 mission only: to find out what makes marriages happy…and keeps them that way.  It’s a marriage book line none other.  Guaranteed.

The One Thing to Remember About Your Husband

The One Thing to Remember About Your Husband

The One Thing to Remember About Your Husband

On a flight to Dallas a few years ago, I sat on the plane next to a lovely woman, married twenty-three years.

We immediately struck up a conversation and at the forefront, of course, was the Happy Wives Club.

I told her about my book and how I traveled to 12 countries and 6 continents, interviewing couples married at least as long as she and her husband, to deduce the common denominator among the happiest ones.

As you can imagine, she then had a ton of questions.

She wanted to know as much as possible about what I’d discovered during my travels.

She then posed a marriage-related scenario and wanted to know my thoughts based on what I’d learned.  ”When major stresses happen, how did the couples you interviewed handle that?  What did they do differently?”

Teaming up and becoming a formidable foe of the challenge rather than allowing the problem to turn them against one another was the answer.  

But it wasn’t just that.  It was also a particular outlook.

So if you remember nothing else, here is the one thing to remember about your husband: 

“The best time to love with your whole heart is always now, in this moment, because no breath beyond the current is promised.”

I shared with her how my husband and I, in all our years of marriage (thirteen now), have always concluded our phone calls with “I love you” and never walk out of the house without telling the other how much they are loved.

Yes, we’re corny and incredibly mushy but we also recognize the present moment is all we have.  

In a post I wrote around the same time as that flight to Dallas, I posed the question: “What positive thing do you ‘know for sure’ about marriage?”  This was the heartfelt response from a reader, Kristen:

“I lost my husband to cancer almost 2 years ago. We had a great marriage with all the ups and downs but with lots of love, laughter and hope for the future. I can say that you have to truly cherish your life together because there may be a day that comes when you are apart and you will want to be proud of your marriage and how you treated your spouse. I meet fellow widows/widowers that are haunted by their regrets and it is very difficult for them to recover and live life again.

“Wake up every morning, take an inventory of your life and be thankful for what you have. And tell your spouse that. Tell your spouse frequently that you love him/her. Tell him/her how much you love your life together. Tell your spouse how much you appreciate them. I think sometimes we forget that part and get caught up in life. One of the most basic human needs is to know that we are appreciated, special and loved- who better than to reaffirm that than your spouse?”

The best time to love with your whole heart is always now, in this moment, because no breath beyond the current is promised.

You can weather every one of life’s storms…as long as you stick together and love fully each moment of every day.  I’m striving to have a regret-free marriage.  What about you?

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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JOIN THE 1,000,000 MEMBER CHALLENGE: We’ve already surpassed this number…but let’s just keep going! If you haven’t already done it, what are you waiting for? Join the club! It takes only a few seconds and, of course, is free.

Happy Wives Club Book

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES® BEST-SELLING BOOK: It’s been described as, “Like Eat, Pray, Love but not down on marriage.” Make sure to check out the Happy Wives Club book.  I had the great honor of traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, interviewing couples happily married 25 years or more, with 1 mission only: to find out what makes marriages happy…and keeps them that way.  It’s a marriage book line none other.  Guaranteed.

The Fun Dare 12 Dates in 12 Days

The Fun Dare: 12 Dates in 12 Days

The Fun Dare 12 Dates in 12 Days

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’d love to have a date night but just don’t have the time”?  If you’ve uttered those words over the past four weeks I want to challenge you to The Fun Dare!

You can make up for all those date nights you haven’t had -in less than two weeks.  The dates don’t have to be complicated and can all be at home.  The important thing is you set aside the time to do it.

Don’t worry, we’ll supply the date ideas.

Think of this as The Twelve Days of Christmas with your fabulous spouse (minus the drummers drumming, pipers piping and the maids-a-milking) and open up a fabulous new date daily for 12 days.

The important thing with The Fun Dare is to block 12 consecutive days off your calendar (or one day a week for 12 weeks if the consecutive days just aren’t possible) and treat your spouse to the time of their life.

Are you ready to take on the challenge?

Here we go.  Ready.  Set.  Date!

Day 1: Take Dance Lessons.  Yes, you! Don’t go expecting to be on next season’s So You Think You Can Dance, but use this as a great kick off to your Fun Dare.  It’s the perfect way to get up close and personal while burning some calories together!  

Sign up at a local community center for free, find a nearby dance school, or my favorite: Type in “Learn to Dance” on YouTube and pick a video.  From ballroom to hip hop to salsa, you can learn it all for free in the comfort of your own home.

Day 2: Create a Homemade Spa. The simplest, most relaxing date ever.  And after your night of dancing, you might need it!  Pick up some lightly scented candles (lavender is a good choice), a CD with tranquil music and a bit of oil for your couple massages.  Fill the bathtub with warm water and bubbles and treat one another to a nice soak followed by a relaxing massage.  If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try giving each other facials or scrubs.  And if you’re really feeling generous, give each other manicures and pedicures.

Day 3: Play Librarian.  It’s not Halloween so don’t go pulling out your “sexy librarian” costume.  Drive to your local library and once inside, walk up and down the aisles looking for books that remind you of your school years.  Bring as many back to the table and share with each other your various stories of why each book made an impression on you.  Books, like music, have a funny way of sending us down memory lane.  And your spouse will love learning even more about you.

Day 4: Exchange New Marriage Vows. There is something incredibly sacred about vowing to love one another til’ death do you part. And the many commitments between your first words and that final line are something worth celebrating.  Sit across from each other and set the timer for 60 minutes.  You can use a dictionary, the computer, and anything else that will inspire you to write the best vows.  After they’re done, spend time reading it to one another and then toast with a glass of champagne (or apple cider).

Day 5: Build a Campfire in Your Backyard.  One of my dear friends rented a home for more than 10 years and I’m convinced the reason she loved it there so much was the fire pit she built in the backyard.  Don’t worry, the grass will grow back!  But even more likely, you won’t want it to.  Camille and her hubby built their own and I also found this great tutorial online by Debbie Graney.

Once you’re done, grab a couple chocolate bars, some graham crackers and marshmallows and celebrate all your hard work with freshly made S’mores.  And if you happen to do this at night, don’t forget to look up.  Stargazing together is about as romantic as romantic gets.

Day 6: Game Night Circa 1990.  What board games were you playing 23 years ago?  If you or your spouse are too young to remember, change the “circa” to any year you’d like.  We know those board games exist somewhere.  In the attic, maybe the closet or basement.  Wherever they are, break them out and enjoy game night like you’re kids again.  And if you’re up for it, try a sexy game night (definitely put the kids to bed for this one :) ).

Day 7: Get Fancy!  Host a Wine and Cheese Night for Two.  You would be amazed at the great wines being sold these days for less than $10 per bottle.  Couple that with some delicious cheeses sold in the deli section of your local grocery store and you’re ready for an awesome date night at home.  Don’t worry about buying one of the fancy trays to display the cheese, your chopping block will do do the trick.

Day 8: Become a Connoisseur.  Pick something.  Anything that interest you.  And become a connoisseur.  For Keith’s 39th birthday, we became of connoisseurs of…tamales!  I looked up reviews for every place in the Los Angeles area that served tamales and then went to the eight with the best reviews.  We even invited family to join us at a few of the stops. For 8 hours, we drove from north to south and east to west in search of the best tamales in town (and this is a big town).   

Day 9: Don’t Stop Til’ You Drop.  Find a coupon online (Living Social, Groupon, Amazon Local, etc) for a trendy new workout and jump right in.  Spinning and power yoga combined (mine and hubby’s favorite), Crunch Fitness, indoor surfing, CrossFit – there’s never a shortage of the workout studios cropping up all over town.  And if, by chance, you can’t find one with a discount coupon (or even better, a “try your first class free” offer), or if the kiddos make it tough to leave the house, find a workout video or instructional online that will make you sweat.  

There’s nothing like panting with your partner after a good workout and barely mustering the energy to give each other a high five.  Good times!

Day 10: Start a Home Improvement Project.  What one thing in your home would you and your spouse both enjoy fixing up?  Maybe paint a room a new color, build a bird house, create a couple’s collage, or stain the hardwood floors.  Whatever you do, just remember the operative phrase here is “both enjoy.”  

Day 11: Enjoy a Movie in the Open Air.  Did you know there are still hundreds of drive-in theaters all around the US?  Thank goodness, this style of movie watching didn’t die with Grease.  Park your car, lean your seat back and enjoy a movie with you honey (popcorn fight and all).  Need a stay-at-home version of this date?  Pitch a tent in your living room, bring the television inside, and then snuggle under a blanket while watching your favorite movie on DVD.

Day 12: Check Something Off Your Bucket List.  You and your spouse both have bucket lists, don’t you?  Well, find something on there that’s doable for you both to do and help cross one thing off each of your bucket lists…together.  I can’t think of a better way to end your Fun Dare than with helping one another fill one of your lifelong goals.

(MOMS: Have no fear, parent-friendly modifications can easily be made. And if you have young ones at home and need more ideas that allow you stay close to your little ones, try our Top 20 Stay-At-Home Date Night Ideas.  Also, check out the this post with tips from Annett Davis who gives a great tip on how you and your husband can take this challenge (it’s called “kids swap“).

QUESTION: So tell us, are you going to take the challenge?  What do you think will be your first date? (Share your response on our community Facebook page with over 1 million members.)

P.S. If you have an anniversary coming up, this is a FANTASTIC gift to give your husband.  Begin your anniversary twelve days early and save your best date for last.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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JOIN THE 1,000,000 MEMBER CHALLENGE: If you haven’t already done it, what are you waiting for? Join the club! It takes only a few seconds and, of course, is free.

Happy Wives Club Book

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES® BEST-SELLING BOOK: It’s been described as, “Like Eat, Pray, Love but not down on marriage.” Make sure to check out the Happy Wives Club book.  I had the great honor of traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, interviewing couples happily married 25 years or more, with 1 mission only: to find out what makes marriages happy…and keeps them that way.  It’s a marriage book like none other.  Guaranteed.

Transform Your Sex Life in One Easy Step

Transform Your Sex Life in One Easy Step (yes, even you!)

Transform Your Sex Life in One Easy Step

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I rarely write about sex. Unlike fabulous sex expert, Sheila Wray Gregoire, I generally stay away from this particular topic.  

Sheila loves giving advice on topics like increasing your libido and the benefits of making love for women.  So I’m more than happy to defer to her expertise.  

And although I’m by no means an expert (I just happen to really enjoy making love to my husband), I am happy to share with you the one thing that personally helped transform my sex life.

Something so simple you may not even realize the profound impact it can have on your sex life.

I got in shape.

I know…sounds too simple.  It may even sound like something more beneficial to my husband than it is for me.  But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

My hubby loves my body in all its shapes and sizes.  He reminds me of a quote I once read from Trisha Yearwood regarding her husband, Garth Brooks’, reaction to her major weight loss:  

“He said, (I’m paraphrasing here) ‘It’s my favorite size on you.  And the only size I like just as much is whatever size you just were.’”

That’s my husband.  He’ll never mention to me that I’m picking up weight (not even the time I was so busy at work I had the chef bake me chocolate chip cookies throughout the day and every time I’d pass through the kitchen I’d grab a few) nor suggest I lose any.

But I’ll let you in on a personal secret.  Whether he notices or not, when I’m out of shape, I am fully aware that some of the noises my body makes while having sex are most certainly not of the erotic kind. And they are distracting, if not to him, most certainly to me.

I never expected for one of the greatest benefits of me getting in shape to be added confidence in the bedroom.  Maybe it’s the cerebral part of my brain but if my mind drifts while we’re making love (even for a second to think about my muffin top or jiggly backside), it’s hard to reel it back in.

As women, one of the most challenging things to do at the start of making love is to remain in the moment; not allowing our minds to wander to items left undone, our to-do lists, or what the kids might be doing.  This particular challenge, I may not be able to help you with; that’s a matter of training your mind to fully enjoy the present. But I can at least help you with the part that involves your body.

The next time you’re making love, if a thought about your size or tone causes your mind to wander a bit, this one I can help you with.  Try what worked for me to quickly amp up your sex life.  And for great tips on toning any problem areas, try this super simple advice from a fellow happy wife, Olympian, and mother of two.  

If getting toned isn’t an issue for you, but you’re looking for something to kick your sex life up a few notches, I highly recommend Sheet Music by Dr. Kevin Leman.

Years ago, I read Dr. Leman’s book in hopes of finding suggestions for a friend struggling in this area but instead found myself ripping Keith’s clothes off by the end of the book. Now, whenever a friend confides in me their struggles in the bedroom, within days they receive a gift in the mail from me…this book.

I should also add this. My husband also realized the same thing. When he’s making love to me and isn’t in shape, it doesn’t feel as good because he’s self conscious about what’s going on in the mid-section. So he does the same thing when he’s feeling a bit unattractive in that area. And I should also say this: I love him in all shapes and sizes. He makes my toes curl no matter what. But I do love that he makes he effort, just as I do, to be in the best shape -mind, body and soul- as me so we can live as long as possible…and make love for as long as we’re given the ability.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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JOIN THE 1,000,000 MEMBER CHALLENGE: If you haven’t already done it, what are you waiting for? Join the club! It takes only a few seconds and, of course, is free.

the argument free marriage book

 

THE BOOK: Read the book that inspired the powerful TED talk and prompted author of The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman, PhD., to write the book’s foreword. Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott, bestselling authors of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts said, “We’ve been counseling couples and writing marriage books for a long time, and we can say with absolute certainty, there has never been a book quite like The Argument-Free Marriage. If you think no such union exists, or if you’ve come to the conclusion that arguments are necessary in marriage, allow Fawn to challenge that notion and set you on a path to creating the greatest partnership in life: your marriage.”

Top 20 Springtime Dates on the Web

Top 20 Springtime Dates on the Web

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’”         -Robin Williams

It’s that time again. Spring is officially around the corner. If you have allergies that flair like I do, that’s your first indication. For others, maybe you woke up this morning and realized that you lost an hour of sleep when daylight savings time officially began.  

The ice has melted in the coldest cities in the country and the torrential downpours that plagued many states in the winter have begun to make way for fresh flowers beginning to bloom.

For every season, there are fun and creative ways to enjoy a little “us time” and I always have a blast putting these sorts of lists together. 

So without further ado, here are the Top 20 Springtime Dates on the Web:

1. Tour Your City I don’t know about you but my city looks a lot different in the winter than it does in the summer. On our ranch, our peach tree has just begun to bloom and it’s one of the favorite things to wake up to in the morning. The orange, lemon and kumquat trees are starting to get full (and Keith and I have to get out there and pull the fruit before all the fabulous squirrels devour them).

It’s not just the area immediately around you that’s changing…it’s every place where there’s a little plant life. Get out there and enjoy the changing season.

2. Fruit Tasting. Enjoy fruits…actually in season. I must admit, if I could eat honeycrisp apples year-round, I most certainly would. But I also know it’s unlikely they are naturally growing all year long without a little…ahem…help. How do you know what fruits are actually in season? Almost every Saturday and Sunday, around the country, thousands of farmer’s markets pop up to satiate every one of our taste buds (including a handful of them within a few miles of our home). My husband and I love strolling through the aisles and discovering new tasty treats. 

3. Exercise alfresco (via Shape). Have you been inside most of the winter? Maybe even hiding under a few layers of clothing. Grab your honey and head outside. Here are 8 great date ideas for getting active outside…and none of them require a lot of sweat. Need help getting motivated?  Here’s a few simple ways

4. Have a breakfast picnic.  So romantic!  I’d never even thought about this but it makes so much sense.  Hardly anyone is out early at the local parks and you’ll enjoy the lovely light of morning as you sip your steamy lattes, munch on some fruit, take a stroll or just sit around and smooch.  (“One thing to remember,” Kris “Kroll” Woods who submitted this idea when asked about favorite spingtime date ideas on our community Facebook page, “The ground is dewy, so plan ahead for shoes, towel for the table, etc.)

5. Join the worldwide hunt for treasure. (via The Nest)  Geocaching is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache anywhere in the world (think: the middle of the forest or top of the Empire State Building) and pinpoint its location using GPS technology, and then share the geocache’s location online. All you need to get started are a GPS device and the whereabouts of a “treasure” listed on the website.

6. Got a pickup truck?  Make some good use out of it! Load it up with tons of hay (if you have some available), sleeping bags, some snacks and a bottle of wine.  Lay down the tailgate and just enjoy looking up at the stars and talking. And if there is a spring concert series nearby, why not pull your truck right up to that?

7. Spring break for adults (via Care2.com)  It’s not just for college students anymore—bust out of the winter doldrums by hitting a beach destination for some much-needed relaxation (and romance). If you don’t have the time or funds to go anywhere exotic, look up long weekend trips an hour or two away from home. You don’t have to travel far to get the benefits of getting away from it all.

8. Enjoy nature’s real confetti.  Sit beneath a full bloom sakura tree and enjoy simply being.  When one of our Japanese HWC members submitted this idea, I must admit, I had to look up what sakuras were and if we also have them in the States.  And alas, they are cherry blossom trees.  Yes, we have plenty of those.  But if you aren’t in a city where you can find some, choose any tree newly bloomed and enjoy it’s amazing wonder.  Speaking of which…

9. Visit to the Gardens (via About.com)  Spring is the perfect time to stop by your local botanical gardens or any gardens or parks that are open to the public to observe and appreciate the flowers and plants that are coming back to life after the winter. Be sure to actually smell the roses together and hold hands while you walk or stroll. Take in the scene and take pictures to boot. After all, nature makes for a beautiful backdrop. 

10. Go Ape!  Who knew there was zip lines and treetop adventures all over the US.  Christina Paul, who submitted this idea, said she and her husband did it though GoApe.com and had a blast!  If you’re not in any one of the cities where they’re located, here are another 10 great zip lines across the US.

11. Build a Campfire in Your Backyard (via Happy Wives Club)  I know I recently recommended this one from my Fun Dare: 12 Dates in 12 Days post but I couldn’t leave it off this Top 20 Springtime Dates list.

12. Get in on the March Madness!  Start a couples pool for spring’s biggest basketball challenge.  Maybe because I love sports but I wanted to do it the moment I read this suggestion by Joy Turner Washburn, “It’s so fun picking teams and keeping track of the games (Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four).  We have a personal party on the night of the championship game.”  And what’s a better way to celebrate a huge win than…sex…or chocolate…or champagne.  Better yet, how about all three?!

13. Become a wine connoisseur in four easy steps (via LearnVest).  Ever wonder what people are doing when they’re sniffing or swirling their wine around in the glass, looking to see if it’s got “legs”?  Well, wonder no more.  Make this a fun hobby to pick up for the Spring and well before the summer you’ll be sniffing, swirling, swishing and tasting like a pro.

14. Pick a book of the season.  How often do you and your spouse read a book together?  Do you like fiction?  Does he like nonfiction?  Does he like sci-fi while you like romance?  What about finding a book you both will love?  Of course, I’d recommend the Happy Wives Club, but I’m pretty biased.  And don’t let the name fool you.  Men love this book just as much as women.

15. Get Dirty (via HuffPost). Cleaning your house doesn’t exactly sound sexy, but hear us out. In the middle of scrubbing down walls, dusting cobwebs out of corners, and moving furniture, there’s a lot of silence in which to bring up unspoken issues between you two. You can also share intimate details about each other you might not have otherwise organically brought up and goals for the relationship. Doesn’t every relationship need some spring cleaning of its own too? Think of the ways you can reward each other for an afternoon’s hard work: “If we can clean up now, we can get a little dirty later.” (Wink-wink.)

16. Kick back in your own homemade hammock.  Seriously, what’s more relaxing than laying next to your favorite person in the world as the net beneath you keeps you closer than close?  Do you have a porch or trees close enough to hang a hammock?  If so, spend a couple hours making one together, then grab some freshly brewed iced tea, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

17. In with the new. (via Care2.com)  Pick an activity that’s new to both of you, and spend the season working on it together. Take rock-climbing classes, train for a half-marathon together, or sign up for a dance class. You’ll bond over being beginners and push each other to get better. Plus, a recent study even showers that adding an element of surprise into a relationship can trigger the same emotional state you were both in when you first met, getting back all those lovey-dovey feelings.

18. Easter egg hunt comes early – or late.  This fabulous idea submitted by Shelly Massie will take a little bit of creativity and planning.  Set up the picnic ahead of time and have eggs hidden all over the backyard (park or any other place with plenty of trees).  But these aren’t just any kind of eggs, they’re love note eggs (via Dating Divas).  As your husband finds they hidden eggs, they will open them to a sweet surprise: Your love, appreciate and acknowledgment that he’s the best.   

19. Let Your Hearts Be All A-Flutter (via HuffPost).  He gives you butterflies in your stomach and you’d like to show just how he makes you feel without being too cheesy — so why not visit a butterfly conservatory? These sanctuaries are indoor living environments specially designed for butterflies to flourish. Just imagine strolling hand-in-hand along meandering paths in the greenhouse, admiring the beds of lush greenery and blossoms, with hundreds of colorful butterflies fluttering freely in the air around you. It’s the perfect picture of springtime romance.

20. Serenity by the water.  No matter where you live, there’s a body of water somewhere: ocean, marina, lake, stream – find it.  Enjoy it.  Create your very own still point in a turning world.  Lake with fish nearby?  Grab some fishing wire and a hook (or if you have no idea what you’re doing, like me, just buy a fishing pole).  Some of the best fish come out at spring so just drop a line, he’ll skin, you cook (or in my case, the Hubs would rather skin and cook), and you’ve just wrapped up a perfect spring day.

QUESTION: What’s your favorite springtime date ideas?  (Share them on our community Facebook page and let’s make sure we keep love in the air all spring long.)

Until Monday…make it a great weekend!

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Happy Wives Club Book

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES® BEST-SELLING BOOK: It’s been described as, “Like Eat, Pray, Love but not down on marriage.” Make sure to check out the Happy Wives Club book.  I had the great honor of traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, interviewing couples happily married 25 years or more, with 1 mission only: to find out what makes marriages happy…and keeps them that way.  It’s a marriage book like none other.  Guaranteed.

5 Creative Ideas for National Husband’s Day

National Husband's Day

UPDATE (1/21/16): I LOVED the idea of National Husband’s Day and was working overtime to get it done. But I got so many emails and notes from members of this club saying, “Why sponsor a new holiday when one already exists?” that I did some digging and realized, Husband Appreciation Day, already exists and has for quite some time. It’s just not been promoted very well over the years (well, in all fairness, there wasn’t a Happy Wives Club before). So….rather than working to get a congressman to sponsor a new holiday, we’re just going to go bonkers in promoting the one that already exists.

So mark your calendar for the next one! It’s celebrated worldwide on the 3rd Saturday in April every year (this year it’s April 16, 2016). Expect to see lots on it here about it and some other great ideas on how to celebrate it and make your main feel his best.

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Earlier this week, I let the cat out of the bag in our weekly newsletter that Happy Wives Club has gotten behind something really BIG that is about to happen!

We are exactly two months away from National Husband’s Day.  Never heard of that holiday?  Well, keep reading…  

Earlier this year, I came across an article about Love Your Wife Day in Japan.  Annually, men line up in a town square, flanked by bouquets of flowers for their wives.

One-by-one, they walk onto a stage and begin professing love for their wives – at the top of their lungs.  Literally.

Initially, when I saw a video on it, I thought, “Why are they yelling like that?  Don’t they know the microphone will project their voice?” 

Whatever the reason, it seemed like each husband had been waiting all year for that one special day to put the love they have for their wife on full display for all of Japan to see.

“We need a national holiday like this for our husbands!” I thought.  ”Minus the time square and yelling thing.”  

So I began investigating.  How can Happy Wives Club sponsor a national holiday?  

I knew there were days like National Peanut Butter Day (January 24th) and National Kissing Day (July 6th), so there had to be a way to create one to publicly shower our husbands with love.

A wonderful friend, who is a former Congressional staffer, began researching what it would take to sponsor a national holiday.  She discovered, there are two ways (one pretty simple, one quite difficult) so we decided to pursue both.

The result: Beginning in 2014, National Husband’s Day will become a reality.  So mark your calendars now!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Of course, this doesn’t mean we love on our husbands any less every day of the week.  This is just one day a year to go all out – to do something for him you might not usually do.  And that, my friends, is the reason I sent out the announcement in our newsletter (**you can sign up for it too, by the way**) two months in advance and why I’m now mentioning it here.

After sharing this news with our newsletter subscribers, I received hundreds of emails filled with excitement.  And yes, I read and responded to each one (still responding, actually).  From many of these emails emerged some fantastic ideas for things other women have begun planning to do for their husbands on January 22nd.

Based on those responses, I’ve pulled together 5 creative ideas to help you begin planning for that special day with your man:

1. Give him this free printable (how cool is this?!) that shows you were one of the original sponsors of this holiday.  As a member or supporter of the Happy Wives Club (over 400,000 and counting), you are the only reason this holiday has materialized.  Take pride in that and let him know his love inspired you to be a part of making sure this holiday was created…just for him. (**You only need to join the Club, if you haven’t already, to be one of the original sponsors.)

2. Choose from any of these cheap and creative ‘just because’ gift ideas for him.  Some of these take time and planning but you have two full months before National Love Your Husband Day so you should be in good shape.

3. Call your husband’s job and request the day off.  Now, only do this one if it will not embarrass or upset him.  The husband of a friend of mine did this recently and she was overjoyed.  She was running around planning to get to a meeting with her boss and coworkers and they all told her, “Sorry, you’re not coming.  Go home.  Darryl has plans for you.”  It was such an amazing surprise (it wasn’t her birthday or their anniversary) and from that moment on, her entire office knew exactly how much her husband was in love.

4.Turn your Husband Gratitude List into a beautiful handmade card or have one of your creative friends (or you, if you’re a creative, Etsy, DIY soul) turn it into a beautiful printable that you can frame.

5. If you’re parents, arrange for a babysitter or family to come and take care of the kids. One woman who responded said she began planning the day based on a carpool schedule.  She was arranging a carpool with another mom in advance and as soon as she gets the kids out of the house, this special day with her husband will begin (and, of course, he has no idea).

Rest assured, I’ll be posting tons of ideas for National Love Your Husband Day between now and January 22, 2014.  But make sure you mark your calendar now and let the planning of this special day in our household begin.

Until Monday…make it a great weekend!

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8 Great Ways to Connect With Your Spouse Today

8 Great Ways to Connect With Your Spouse Today

8 Great Ways to Connect With Your Spouse Today

Connection.  For every one of us, it reveals itself in many different ways.  

For my twenty-something niece and nephew, the phone is a bit of a nuisance for anything other than taking pictures and interacting on social media or through text.  

Rather than enjoying the moment, they are busy creating the perfect picture to send out.

But for them, that is connection.  That is how they stay in touch; the way they reveal their greatest passions.

In marriage, there are so many ways to connect with your spouse.  

Really, this list could go on for days.  But there are a few that I love to use in my own relationship, and as far as connections go, if the hubby and I were any more connected, we’d be joined at the hip.

Feel free to add to this list on our community Facebook page.  Would love to hear how you and your husband connect best.  Here are 8 of my favorites:

1. Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About.  Although the great Bonnie Raitt was singing about giving other folks something to talk about in this song, I’m referring to giving your spouse something to talk about?  

What is something your spouse loves to do; something he loves to talk about.  Engage him in that subject and then take joy in hearing his excitement in that particular thing. Especially, if it’s a topic you could ordinarily care less to hear about. Showing your interest builds connection.

2. Give Your Marriage a Healthy Dose of Vitamin F2.  When the fabulous Maggie Reyes at ModernMarried.com introduced us to this new vitamin for the first time, I literally started clapping when reading her post, “Yes, yes, yes!”  Just like our bodies need vitamin A, B, C, D and a ton of others, our marriage needs a daily dose of F2.  What is Vitamin F2 you ask?  It stands for Flirt and fun and there are may, many ways to achieve that. 

3. Disconnect the Cable.  Okay, well maybe you don’t have to turn it off completely but I can’t tell you how much the connection between my husband and I increased after we decided to disconnect the cable box.  For more than two years, we were without television (with the exception of DVDs and Netflix) and it was one of the greatest experiments in connection ever.  Now, we also connect through a show we love on Netflix (we’re still several seasons behind the current one). We call it “Reagan Family Dinner,” but the rest of the world calls it Blue Bloods. We snuggle on the couch and connect with each while enjoying their Sunday family dinner ritual that happens during every episode. Even when I travel, we’ll watch an episode together remotely and then talk about it. Watching a loving family play out on TV reminds us how blessed we are to have such a loving family in real life.

4. Surprise Your Spouse for No Reason.  Have you noticed how the smallest thing becomes that much more significant once you offer it as a surprise?  For instance, if I call my husband on my way home and ask him if he’d like me to pick up his favorite dessert, he’s always extremely grateful for my thoughtfulness and will express his pleasure in that.  But if I pick up his favorite dessert and surprise him with it, he’s like a 7-year old on Christmas eve all over again.  There’s just something about those small, sweet surprises.

5. Take a Walk…Even If Only in Your Backyard.  When was the last time you grabbed your spouse by the hand and held it thereon for 30 minutes?  I haven’t researched why holding hands increases connection at such a staggering rate but it’s something about having your palm over another’s that is like having two hearts beat against one another.  There is a lifeblood there that cannot be explained; only felt.

6. Ummmm…Sex, Well Duh.  We don’t talk about sex very much on Happy Wives Club but when we do, those posts gets shared like crazy!  I think there’s a reason for that.  The connection that comes when the two…literally…become one is unlike any other bond.  The key is in enjoying it and if you’re not there yet, stick with us (and read posts like this) because once you truly begin to enjoy it, it’s really like nothing else.

7. Exercise Together.  You might be thinking, “Really, with what time?  I barely have a moment to do 5 sit-ups.”  I hear you!  Been there, experienced that.  Here are a few quick and easy workouts you can do.  But if you can go for a run together, do push-ups together, whatever – just have fun with it.  The great thing about exercising (even if for only 15 minutes) is you will both release endorphins at the same time and those fabulous “happy hormones,” are pretty fantastic to enjoy with your best friend.

8. Read a book together.  Keith and I just finished reading two books together: Slowing Down to the Speed of Life and Tyranny of the Urgent. And I have to say, I’m so glad we spent a portion of our holiday vacation reading these books because they’ve given us such perspective to begin in 2016. The first book reminded us why slowing down is the most wise thing we can do for our health, business and our marriage. And the second book, a tiny pamphlet really, gave us quick tools to immediately put what we’d just read into practice. These books may be for you, maybe not, but either way, finding one you can both love will give you something great to talk about.

QUESTION: So what other things do you do to connect with your spouse? Join hundreds of thousands of members of this club on our Facebook page and let us know your thoughts.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day! 

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the argument free marriage book

 

THE BOOK: Read the book that inspired the powerful TED talk and prompted author of The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman, PhD., to write the book’s foreword. Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott, bestselling authors of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts said, “We’ve been counseling couples and writing marriage books for a long time, and we can say with absolute certainty, there has never been a book quite like The Argument-Free Marriage. If you think no such union exists, or if you’ve come to the conclusion that arguments are necessary in marriage, allow Fawn to challenge that notion and set you on a path to creating the greatest partnership in life: your marriage.”

100+ Great Date Night Ideas

100+ Great Date Night Ideas

Planning a fun date night isn’t always as easy as it sounds–especially when you feel like you’ve been there, done that for just about every outing in your town. The Nest has started you off with 6 dates under $15. Follow the link at the end of the post for even more ideas!

1. Fiesta Night

Pretend you’re south of the border and create your own happy hour.

Margarita mix: $2
Tequila: $8
Chips and salsa: $5
Total: $15

 

 

2. Roman Holiday
Sometimes the best dates are the most relaxed ones. Mangia!
2 slices of pizza: $5
1 bottle of Three-Buck Chuck: $3
Ice cream for 2: $6
Total: $14

3. Fashion Show
She loves Project Runway, he loves Heidi Klum. Combine your passion for fashion — then take it all off at home.
Trying on ridiculous outfits at a vintage store: free

Disposable camera: $6
Total: $6

4. Movie Mania
Have the gang over for a BYOB movie night — but save the make out session for later.

Renting Old School: $5
Booze brought by friends: free
Going streaking through the quad: optional
Popcorn for 20: $10
Total: $15

5. People-Watching
Pick a beautiful day to chill at the park and take in the beauty (and freaks!) of nature.

2 grande lattes: $7
2 croissants: $4
Bench: free
Total: $11

6. Bubbles and Bubbly
Hot tubs are overrated! There’s fun to be had in your very own bathroom.

Bath salts: $5
Bottle of prosecco: $10
Getting clean and being dirty at the same time: priceless
Total: $15

For more ideas, including 20 dates under $20, 10 ways to surprise your spouse, 10 hot, hot, hot date ideas plus much more, check out more great date night ideas here.

The No. 1 Financial Tip for Couples on a Budget

The #1 Financial Tip For Couples on a Budget

The No. 1 Financial Tip for Couples on a Budget

I’ve heard many opinions on this topic and I’ve also heard arguments against why my #1 recommended financial tip doesn’t matter as long as a couple is “responsible.”

Well, for all those who aren’t as responsible with money as you’d like to one day become, here’s something my husband and I began doing in the early years of our marriage when we paid off our debt and we continue to this day.  

It has easily become our top financial tip for couples who ask our advice on this topic (well, this and doing your best to spend less than you make :) ).

Allowances.

My husband and I both have a monthly allowance.  Yes, I realize this is something most teenagers have when they’re young and grow out of after graduation.

However, for those who find themselves short on cash month-after-month (maybe even year-after-year), I highly recommend giving this a try. 

Here’s how it works in our household:

First, we place all of our income into a joint household account.  Household necessities, tithes, charitable contributions, etcetera, all come from this main account.

Secondly, on the first of each month, we write two separate allowance checks; one for Keith and one for me.  Years ago, we both determined the amount of funds we’d need monthly for all of our necessities and a bit of “play” money.  Of course, when we were working to pull ourselves out of debt, our allowances included very little discretionary funds. 

Thirdly, we each take our checks and deposit them into our separate “allowance” bank accounts.  These checking accounts have debit cards attached so our individual spending each month comes solely from these accounts.  

(NOTE: We determined allowance amounts based on who usually pays for what.  For instance, I do the grocery shopping, so that amount is included in my allowance.  Keith pays for all date nights, so that amount is included in his allowance.)

Lastly, and possibly most importantly, whatever amount you agree to, stick to it.  This ensures a cap on your spending and will help you predetermine the amount of money that will be spent each month.  

There were times when we first began sticking to this that I’d spend all but the last dime of my allowance several days early and canned chicken became our dinner (not kidding).  Do that enough times and you’ll learn how to better control your spending throughout the month.  I certainly did.

For decades, money woes have destroyed marriages.  In mine, it made us stronger.  We looked at debt as a financial challenger (rather than a challenge) and joined forces to defeat it rather than allowing such a vincible foe to weaken our relationship.  If finances have ever been a challenge in your marriage, team up and fight against it.  What force can defeat your united front?  Not a one. 

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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the argument free marriage book

 

THE BOOK: Read the book that inspired the powerful TED talk and prompted author of The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman, PhD., to write the book’s foreword. Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott, bestselling authors of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts said, “We’ve been counseling couples and writing marriage books for a long time, and we can say with absolute certainty, there has never been a book quite like The Argument-Free Marriage. If you think no such union exists, or if you’ve come to the conclusion that arguments are necessary in marriage, allow Fawn to challenge that notion and set you on a path to creating the greatest partnership in life: your marriage.”

Frugal or Free Date Ideas

25 Frugal or Free Date Ideas for You & Your Husband

Frugal or Free Date Ideas

I will be the first to admit that I am pretty bad at planning any sort of date. Mainly because I work such long hours that an amazing date for me involves staying home, not getting dressed and simply snuggling on the couch not doing much of anything.

I know, I know…just lost major romantic points here.

The great thing is Keith is very similar in his sensibilities. Sometimes he wants to go out. Most of the time he wants to stay in.

Many years ago, however, we did a competition for who could create the best dates for $50 or less. We swapped off weekends and each week, one of us would be responsible for planning our next great adventure. It was some of the most fun we’ve ever had.

One of his dates involved taking me to a Patti LaBelle with Frankie Beverly and Maze concert. But for less than $50, you can imagine where we were seated, right? At the very top row of the auditorium. And I mean the absolute last row. Let’s not talk about the group of guys seated below us who missed the memo that marijuana wasn’t legal in California.

Our date quickly went up in smoke…literally and figuratively…and we got out of there pretty quickly.

Over the years, we’ve gotten much better with our frugal dates. Some of these ideas are home grown, and many are as a result of scouring the web for some of the best inexpensive date nights out there.

So without further ado, here are: 

25 Frugal or Free Date Ideas

1. Take a Free Fitness Class.  Have you noticed that nearly every new fitness studio has a “first class free” special?  Many of them even have 2 week free passes.  Take them up on their offer! 

You’re never committed to buy anything and they just gave you at least one free date with your honey.  Workout together and then come home and get washed off together (I’ll let you decide what that means).  And if you want to stay in, while still getting in a great workout, have fun with a little Sexercise.

2. Kid-Free Slumber Party: Make a cozy pallet for you and your spouse on the living room floor [with] lots of blankets, pillows, snacks, and movies. We call it a ‘slumber party.‘  It’s a little silly, but super fun and makes us enjoy the little things in life.

3. Fill the Bucket (list, that is). Last week, I met a man in his mid-70s who put on his bucket list 40+ years ago to travel to more than 200 non-US cities in his lifetime. He was at #182 and was hitting the road this summer to travel to another 10 more. Talk about inspiration! Grab a couple notebooks and write down all the dreams you hope to accomplish before you ‘kick the bucket’ and decide together which ones you will tackle first (and which ones you can do for free).

4. Fake Vacation. Virtual vacation, anyone? Short on time, short on money, can’t get away? Love this idea HWC contributor Paula Rollo came up with when she and her hubby were in a similar predicament last year.

5. Make Love Under the Full Moon.  Now, if you have neighbors who can see into your backyard or if you’re in an apartment, it may be best to just open the window in your bedroom.  But for those lucky enough to have a private backyard, pull the comforter off your bed, grab a bottle of wine and two glasses, and take your date outside.  You have just a few more times to catch a full moon before the year ends so take advantage now.

6. A Moment in Time  Seal your time together by constructing and burying a time capsule. Gather memorabilia that symbolizes your love for one another. A wedding invitation, saved wine cork, concert/plane ticket, copy of children’s birth records, meaningful photos, love letters and anything else that is unique to the story of your love.  Do one of the other date ideas here and take pictures to remind you of this summer.  Be sure to include a note to the capsule’s future retrievers.

7. Got a pickup truck?  Make some good use out of it! Load it up with tons of hay (if you have some available), sleeping bags, some snacks and a bottle of wine.  Lay down the tailgate and just enjoy looking up at the stars and talking. And if there is a concert series or sporting event nearby, why not pull your truck right up to that?

8. Create a DIY Photoshoot:  When’s the last time the two of you were in the same photo? Using your tripod or Apple photo booth, snap pics together in various rooms of your home for memories you’ll never forget.

9. Become Cook-Off Champions! Have you ever been to a restaurant proudly displaying a plaque that read, “Winner of the (So and So) Cook-Off” and thought, “I could make this better!” Well, here’s your chance!

Scour the web for award-winning recipes for chili, cheesecake, carrot cake and anything else you think you and your spouse could make well, and spend the night perfecting that award-winning recipes (think Bobby Flay’sThrowdown).

10. At Home County Fair. When was the last time you attended the country fair? My favorite part: candy apples! So while you might not cover the ground of your backyard with peanut shells or sit on haystacks, you can do almost everything else (use this at-home county fair date night checklist idea list) – including make homemade caramel apples!

11. Have a breakfast picnic.  So romantic!  I’d never even thought about this but it makes so much sense.  Hardly anyone is out early at the local parks and you’ll enjoy the lovely light of morning as you sip your steamy lattes, munch on some fruit, take a stroll or just sit around and smooch.  (“One thing to remember,” Kris “Kroll” Woods who submitted this idea reminds us, “The ground is dewy, so plan ahead for shoes, towel for the table, etc.)

12. Good Ole’ Fashioned Fish Fry. Bet you never thought about this one! This is especially fun if you don’t live in the south and have only seen a fish fry on television. In the south, when you tell folks you’re having a fish fry, everyone you know shows up! But there’s nothing better than a fish fry for two.  

Fried catfish, hushpuppies, everything your heart desires.  You can even go all out and purchase one of those red and white checkered table clothes and a “fish fry apron.”  There’s no limit to your fish fry night of fun and if you’re feeling fully southern, try this ‘smack your mamma good’ peach cobbler to cap off your evening of fun.  I’ve been craving some good ole’ fashioned southern food (yams, mac & cheese, greens, cornbread), so if you’re in Southern California and decide to do this, please invite my husband and me for a double date ;) .

13. Play Librarian.  Drive to your local library and once inside, walk up and down the aisles looking for books that remind you of your school years.  Bring as many back to the table and share with each other your various stories of why each book made an impression on you.  Books, like music, have a funny way of sending us down memory lane.  And your spouse will love learning even more about you.

14. Rediscover the Newlywed Game! See how well you really know one another. If you can, have homemade or really inexpensive prizes for every correct answer.  You can check out some fun questions here.

15. Create a Homemade Spa. The simplest, most relaxing date ever.  Pick up some lightly scented candles (lavender is a good choice), a CD with tranquil music and a bit of oil for your couple massages.  Fill the bathtub with warm water and bubbles and treat one another to a nice soak followed by a relaxing massage.  If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try giving each other facials or scrubs.  And if you’re really feeling generous, give each other manicures and pedicures.

16. Write out the story of how you met (and fell in love): Better yet- video tape it! Your kids and future posterity will be so grateful and it is so fun to go back and read (or watch) years down the road. It’s amazing how much we all later forget!

17. Trilogy Movie Marathon. Who knew there were so many trilogies out there?! The Lord of the Rings. Raiders of the Lost Ark. Mission Impossible 1, 2, and 3. The Mighty Ducks (not kidding, there really was three). Get out a huge bowl, pop some of your favorite popcorn, stream or rent the movies, make your own movie theater Icees (oh yeah, these can be made at home!) and enjoy the best date night at the movies ever!

18. Service For Two  Sometimes when things aren’t going the way we want them to in life, we get SO involved with worrying about ourselves that we forget the very thing that we can do to help us feel better: serve others!  If you want to feel closer to your spouse, do something for others with your spouse.  Sounds a little crazy, but IT WORKS.  Even small acts of kindness performed side by side with your spouse can bring you closer together and help your marriage be more fulfilling.  Don’t believe it?  Seriously.  Try it.

19. Take a Walk on the Beach, Lake or Riverwalk.  If you live near a beach, lake, stream or riverwalk, this is perfect for you – the stereotypical “walk on the beach” isn’t actually cliche at all.  Some of the greatest memories I have with my husband are holding hands walking along the water somewhere in the world.

20. Create Your Own National Holiday. Did you know there is a Married to a Scorpio Support Day? Yep, it’s November 18th. What about No Socks Day. Uh huh…May 8th.  Last night, we were at a Pan-Asian restaurant and they were promoting the upcoming National Noodle Day (October 6th for all you noodle lovers).  So why not create your own national holiday, mark it on your calendar and celebrate it each and every year?  It’s not too late to declare tomorrow National Lazy Day?

21. Exchange New Marriage Vows. There is something incredibly sacred about vowing to love one another til’ death do you part. And the many commitments between your first words and that final line are something worth celebrating.  Sit across from each other and set the timer for 60 minutes.  You can use a dictionary, the computer, and anything else that will inspire you to write the best vows.  After they’re done, spend time reading it to one another and then toast with a glass of champagne (or apple cider).  My husband and I renewed our vows in front of friends and family for our 10th anniversary and it was simply the best.

22. Strip Scrabble. SO happy my Scrabble-loving mother didn’t discover this while we were kids! The rules are simple: The spouse who cannot score higher than the other must remove an article of clothing. If a spouse ‘challenges’ a word and wins, s/he can put an article of clothing back on; if s/he loses, s/he must remove an article of clothing. Winner may make any one request of the losing spouse (make it a good one :) ).

23. Take a Nature Hike.  My husband and I lived just a couple blocks away from one of the most picturesque hiking trails in California for years before we actually laced up our shoes and decided to ascend the rugged terrain.  One of our best dates ever.  We walked for hours.  Ever since then, we’ve been finding hiking trails all over the world and take the opportunity to climb one as often as we can.  You can discover more than 50,000 trails here with some undoubtedly in your neck of the woods.

24. Sunrise, Sunset.  This date will get your spouse excited first thing in the morning and ensure you end the day that exact same way.  Pre-pack a bag with your morning coffee or tea, bagels (or whatever you and your spouse enjoy for breakfast) and have it ready to go. Check SunriseSunset.com to find out exactly what time to set your alarm for (or you can just pretend you’re still a teenager and stay up through the night).  Set the alarm before sunrise but don’t let your spouse know what you’re doing.  Then when the alarm goes off, help him get dressed (sleep still in the eyes and all), grab his hand and the pre-packed bag and head to your nearest park.  Watch the sunrise together while enjoying your coffee and pastries.  Then do it again…this time that night…and fill the thermos with hot cocoa or red wine this time around.

25. Game Night Circa 1990.  What board games were you playing 24 years ago?  If you or your spouse are too young to remember, change the “circa” to any year you’d like.  We know those board games exist somewhere.  In the attic, maybe the closet or basement.  Wherever they are, break them out and enjoy game night like you’re kids again.  And if you’re up for it, try a sexy game night (definitely put the kids to bed for this one).

If you find that once the bills are paid, there’s never enough money to set aside for dates with your spouse, here’s another great resource for you: 5 Great Ways to Start and Replenish a Date Night Fund.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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