4 Relationship Issues You Can Overcome

two person holding papercut heart

No matter how much you adore your partner, no relationship will be sunshine and rainbows forever. However, rather than give up when the going gets tough, two people who love and care about one another will do everything they can to maintain their relationship and come out the other side stronger than ever before. But what are the most common relationship issues you might face? 

Stress at Work

Whether it’s normal stress or something more serious, such as sexual harassment in the workplace, stress at work can have a huge impact on a relationship. As much as it might seem tricky, it’s important to make sure you leave your stress at the door when you get home or you may find yourself taking it out on your partner.

A Lost Connection

Couples that have been together for years will sometimes find that the spark is gone. Somewhere along the way, the magic petered out, and the passion just isn’t what it used to be.

This needn’t be a cause for concern, at least not yet, and it’s something that happens to most couples. If you are concerned about a lost connection, there are ideas to consider to rekindle the magic. 

Treating each other as a new partner is a great place to start. You can think of ways to make date night special instead of doing the same thing and going to the same place every month. Couples can also work hard to spend more time together, and get back to speaking because being friends is just as important as being in love. 

Money Troubles

Everyone will encounter money troubles in their relationship, but it’s how you deal with these troubles that can set the tone for you and your partner.

There are many expenses you’ll need to account for, including a wedding, saving for a house, and kids. This is why budgeting as a couple is so important. A couples’ budget is not the same as your personal budget, and if there are any wage differences, you’ll need to take this into account. 

Long-Distance Drama

No one enjoys a long-distance relationship. You would much rather be right there with your partner. However, long-distance relationships are sometimes unavoidable. 

Despite this, there are options you can consider to make the situation more manageable. Regular phone calls or video chats are a good place the start. But, this won’t work forever. If you want to put an end to long-distance for good, moving closer to one another or researching a UK fiance visa can put an end to your drama and reunite you. 

No Alone Time

As much as you love your partner, spending all of your time together is not suitable for any relationship. Couples must allow each other to decompress and recharge after a stressful day at work. Everyone needs their alone time, and this can stop you from becoming exhausted with one another. 

Don’t look at this as one trying to avoid the other. Instead, consider it a demonstration of independence. Being able to do what you want to do sometimes without your partner will help make your relationship stronger. 


Overcoming a range of relationship issues that are often out of your control will help you and your partner become a unified force that is certain to stand the test of time. While some people just aren’t compatible and perhaps shouldn’t be together, most will find that working together to overcome relationship issues is the best way to succeed as a couple.

Happiness · Love

Cute Valentine’s Day Ideas To Show You Care

51% of women believe the main purpose of Valentine’s Day is to show you care according to a recent survey and quite right to. There’s enough hate and disruption in the world around us, why not take any excuse to show the love? Perhaps you always celebrate 14th February, perhaps you and your partner let it breeze by without so much as a card. Whatever your Valentine’s Day style, these cute Valentine’s Day ideas are sure to shake up your Valentine’s Day traditions and have you smiling about your memory of Valentine’s Day 2017 for years to come.

Spoil Him

Did you know that in some Asian countries Valentine’s Day is focused on the man in the relationship, and the woman has to buy the man presents. According to the same survey, only 41% of men believe Valentine’s Day has a point, but you can convince any man of its purpose with the right approach. Sure a snuggle in the morning might get him a touch more excited about things, but why not spoil him rotten all day? What would he most love to do on Valentine’s Day? Maybe you can set up a gaming den and play his favourite computer games with him for a couple of hours. What about an activity he loves you have always refused to try – surprise him and book both of you in to do it. Maybe he is a big foodie – plan a food tour of your local city, accounting for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You might even want to go Big Bang Theory AKA the Valentine’s episode in season 6, where Amy plans a completely no pressure, no romance evening for Sheldon because she knows he hates Valentine’s Day. Only you know what would tickle his fancy, but he will probably be very surprised to find the focus on him this  February the 14th.

He’s got all of the Valentine’s Days for the rest of your life to spoil you, so why not this year, make it all about him?

Who Doesn’t Love Holidays?

A holiday is the most popular valentine’s day gift or, at least, the most wanted gift anyway. Clinking coconut cocktails on a sunny beach somewhere tropical, sharing a bag of hot chips and a cold can of pop on a blustery UK coastal town, stargazing from a hot tub in a remote lodge as it starts to snow – sigh – even we want a holiday for Valentine’s Day now! Escapism is always a romantic prospect, whatever the occasion, the only problem is, it can be extremely costly to go away for Valentine’s Day because everyone else is.

The solution? Give a holiday for Valentine’s Day. Don’t start remortgaging your house just yet, it doesn’t have to cost the earth. This could be one night in a hotel somewhere a couple of hours drive away, or two weeks somewhere tropical. There is a trip to level out against the amount you usually spend on perfume, flowers and a meal out. This prolongs the joy of Valentine’s Day because it gives you both something to look forward to.

Food Is The Food Of Love

Food, relates all of us because we need it to live and to thrive and everybody has certain dishes they get excited about. Food also brings people together, creates a shared experience and it adds to the occasion and atmosphere of any event. Cooking for your partner, is an age old Valentine’s Day tradition, but, that doesn’t make it irrelevant or dated. If anything, with all the amazing ingredients we have access to, the social media sharing of recipes and presentation and the embracing of taking our diets into our own hands, it is the best time to be cooking and sharing that experience with a loved one. There are endless ways you can share the foodie love with your significant other, here are just a few great ideas:-

  • Make homemade truffles and gift them in a pretty chocolate box. Try out this easy chocolate truffles 4 ways tutorial.
  • Make breakfast in bed complete with naked apron attire, rose and an incredible breakfast spread. This ultimate pancake recipe guide should come in handy.
  • DIY sushi rolls – lay out all the ingredients and then make the rolls together. There’s a lot of fun to be had with chopsticks, sticky rice and a shared experience. This how to make sushi guide is a great starting place.

Why go out for food, when you can have so much more fun at home?

Give Love To Others

On Valentine’s Day we focus on our love in our relationships. This is a wonderful thing to do, but when you think about all the different places where love is lacking, you might feel inclined to take this day and spread your love a little further. A lot of people volunteer at Christmas, but Valentine’s Day is just as fitting and you will both feel so good about yourselves sharing the experience of giving. Some ways you could spread the love could be:-

  • Spending the money you would spend on gifts for each other on food for a local food bank, on blankets for a local dogs home, or as a donation to your favorite charity
  • Spending an afternoon volunteering at your local dogs home
  • Spending the morning chatting to local elderly people who may have lost their significant other/s
  • Gifting a hot breakfast to a homeless person
  • Buying a Big Issue
  • Spending some time with a single friend you know gets down in the dumps during this holiday
  • Cheering up somebody you know who is spending this Valentine’s Day alone for the first time in a long time
  • Volunteering at a charity shop for the day

In a world that seems to be so full of hate, why not share the love? Use this charity database to find a charity near you.

Hopefully, these Valentine’s Day ideas have given you some inspiration so that you can have the most incredible 14th February this year. Whether you’re feeding each other, walking dogs without a home or excitedly planning your next adventure together, just remember to enjoy yourself, as there is never a bad reason to celebrate and share the gift of love.

Gift Ideas

Putting Together The Perfect Birthday For The Daddy Of The House

If you’re a parent, then every birthday should be a particularly big day. It’s like mother’s day or father’s day. It’s your opportunity to let go of the reins (almost) entirely for a day. So when daddy’s birthday comes around, you want to make it special. There are a lot of ways to do that, too. Taking the time to celebrate someone is part of a stronger marriage and a strong family. If you’re lucky, you also get to set the precedent for you to get the return treatment in future.


The gift

Let’s start with the choice that will have most women painfully deliberating for the longest time. The kind of gift you’re going to get him. I find that the best answer is to get him two (at least). Not only to spoil him as much as you can justifiably afford. But to avoid some of the common traps. The most common being that you might sometimes only go for the style or practical gifts. A man might love a pair of cufflinks or a pair of BBQ tongs. But you should aim to surprise him with something that shows a little more passion. Even if it’s not tremendously valuable. Simple, fun gifts like a funny mug can add just a bit of silliness that a celebratory day needs.

Show him you care

Physical gifts aren’t the only way to make a man’s day really special, either. Try giving the gift of your appreciation as well. Put your feelings in written form. Make him breakfast in bed and attach a love letter of your own. Take time writing it so you have enough space to mull it over before delivering it. Make it warm. Make it romantic, if you like. Add some points of why you’re grateful to have him. You can get your kids to write letters for him as to why they love their dad so much, too. Even the gruffest bear of a man can have his heart cracked open by those.

Get all his friends around for a party

A surprise party is a more traditional idea, but it can still be a great way to make his birthday special. It gives him the opportunity to take a load off and enjoy the company of those he cares about. He gets the bonus of not having to help you plan. Make it festive and family friendly so your kids can enjoy it, too. Just make sure the kids have their space for food so they’re not jostling with hungry adults. Throw up some personalised banners with a funny message for him or a heartfelt declaration. This idea will keep you busy for quite some time, but it’s worth it for him.


Take him out for lunch

Perhaps you want a bit of festivity but a bit less fuss? It’s entirely possible that your man isn’t the kind of person for a big birthday party. If that’s the case, give it a miss. There’s no worse birthday present than having to be somewhere you don’t want to be. Instead, how about you all go out for a nice family lunch? It can be somewhere fancy or somewhere fun like TGI Fridays. Make it one your kids can join you for (fighting desperately to keep them on their best behaviour). This way, it takes away a lot of the effort of organisation and gives you more energy to spend on the family.

Make some alone time

You might want to make the family meal a lunch because you could just as easily keep the evening for yourself. Hire a babysitter for one night or ask a member of the family help out. Be the one to set up the perfect date night. Don’t go for the usual candlelit dinner, however. Think outside the box. It can be as simple as taking an evening stroll down the beach and stopping off for a hot dog after. Take him to a movie of his choice. Take a boat out onto the nearby lake and have a drink on it. You can even get competitive and take him to the arcade. Add a bit of spontaneity to the date and his birthday. There are plenty of man-approved dates out there for inspiration.

Make your own gift

If you really want to surprise him, why not go the extra mile and make him a gift of your own? Like a scrapbook, collecting all your favourite photos and memorabilia from throughout the years. Or something that he could really use like, for example, you. A bit of a rising trend and a really fun idea is the creation of DIY Love coupons you can give to your partner. You can give him a coupon book that’s full of all kinds of favours he can redeem at any time. It can be sweet and romantic like giving him a leg massage. It can be purely helpful like giving him half-a-day off from taking care of the kids. We’ll let you think of those examples yourself.


Hit the road

Your ideas for a birthday celebration don’t have to be so pedestrian either. Particularly if his birthday falls on a weekend, it can be a great idea to take that weekend and just run with it. Take him on a road trip and have an adventure with the kids. Plan an itinerary beforehand and put together all the stuff he will need to have packed in advance. You can surprise him with it if it’s clear he has no plans. There are a lot of routes to explore. Hit up some strange, funny little museums. See some gorgeous landscapes. If you’re in the south of England, for example, try hitting up Bath. A gorgeous old fashioned town and a really romantic spot.

Get out in the wilderness

If spending two-thirds of the day on the road isn’t his idea of fun, however, you can just as easily set up camp and enjoy a bit of peace in one location. A lot of guys love camping trips. They get to set up the tent and create fire, eat as much barbecue as they like and have a beer under the stars. For a really great family trip, you want to hit up some of the more varied national parks like the Lake District. You can go hiking, fishing, have a fun little wildlife spotting game. The wilderness has a certain ability to give you the kind of relaxing experience you wish most family holidays would be. Fishing is a hobby that a lot of men enjoy, and to make his birthday extra special on your trip, consider purchasing a fishing rod from Total Fishing Tackle for an extra element of surprise; it will keep him quiet for hours!


Get the kids out of the house

You don’t have to go anywhere at all, either. But for this idea, you don’t want the kids around to spoil it. We’re talking about having a romantic night in. About having little else to focus on than each other’s company. Sometimes all you need is a break. Sitting down with him, a bowl of popcorn and a movie is a great way to have one. Just make sure you have the kind of romantic film that men actually like. Sure, you may be using his birthday to have a small break from being a mum. But he’s having a break from being the dad, too, so it’s fair. Family life doesn’t give you enough opportunities to simply enjoy the company of the person you fell in love with. So make the opportunity yourself. 

Let him go wild for the night

There’s another way to let him enjoy his birthday, as well. Take a hands-off approach. Giving him the night to go crazy with his guy friends isn’t putting distance between you or being a bad birthday planner. You can still find plenty of ways to have family time in the day. The truth is, however, that sometimes guys just like to cut loose with their friends. To shake off the conservative role of husband and father for a night. The role of the family is constraining on everyone sometimes. Both he and you need nights off from it. So give him a night to get in touch with his inner caveman and sit around a fire with his mates or whatever it is they do.

Get out of your comfort zone

If you two absolutely want to spend some time together, then why not do it by shaking off those conservative roles together? It might be you going to a sports match with him or indulging in his hobby. Or trying out a new hobby together. Neither of you have been fishing? Go for it! Break the mould and try something new together. If he enjoys it, you’ve done a good job. If neither of you enjoy it, at least you can make fun of it together. The point is to just add a bit of a new experience and some excitement to the day.

The above ideas have hopefully planted some inspiration in your head for a great birthday for the daddy of the house. You can stick to one or mix and match. Keep coming back to this list every year. Each new birthday can have a lovely new surprise for the daddy of the house.


Gift Ideas

6 Gifts For Sporty Men

sporty menChoosing gifts for men can become increasingly difficult for us women. We finally choose the perfect present and then, before we know it, another gift-giving event comes around and we need to try and find another present that we think they will love.

Before you let the situation stress you out and spend countless hours running around the shops, take a few minutes to think about what the man you are buying for really loves – because then you can’t go far wrong. Is he sporty, for example? There are a wide variety of gift ideas for men with a sporting passion. Here are six ideas that they are guaranteed to love almost as much as they love their team.

1. A subscription to a sporty magazine

Whether the man in your life is a fan of golf, a lover of football or he is more in to cycling – there are magazines to cover them all. Plus, keeping on top of their game is important so a subscription means that they can catch up of the news and events surrounding their sport each month, when it lands on their doorstep.

2. A stadium tour

Your sporty man has probably been to see his team play a number of times but, has he ever been behind the scenes of the stadium? Whether he is cheering for Chelsea, mad for Man Utd or loving Liverpool, a tour will enable him to walk in the footsteps of his idols as he see the stadium from a different view.

3. Sporting essentials

Sports teams update their kit all the time. If the shirt he is wearing is ‘so last season’ then make his day with his team’s most up-to-date shirt! Likewise, he might spend much of his free time playing his sport, but does he have all the items that he needs to do so? Perhaps a new bag for his football boots, wet weather gear for a rainy day on the golf course, or a slogan t-shirt that expresses his love for the sport?

4. Personalised memorabilia

A personalised present is always thoughtful and unique, couple this with memorabilia from their favourite sport and you are on to a winner. How about a personalised dressing room mug, an image that puts them in the frame alongside their favourite players, or the ball of their sport with their name engraved on it.

5. A sporty day out

A day out is the perfect way to spend quality time with the man in your life…plan this around a sporty event – and you have the ideal present. This could be anything from a day playing Zorb Football, a round of golf or something a bit out of the ordinary – such as surfing, archery or coasteering.

6. A novelty sports gift

If you are just looking for a token gift for an acquaintance then you might want to consider a novelty sports gift. There are plenty of quirky presents for sports fans, which blend their love of sport with everyday gifts – chocolate footballs, sport cufflinks, or a sporty print for the home, perhaps.

You definitely won’t receive a red card for these gifts!

Opinion · Parenting · Personal

Boyfriends and Girlfriends

first-girlfriendSausage is now in year one of primary school and she’s settled back into things brilliantly. She’s responding really well to the more structured aspect of year one, compared with the ever-so-slight ‘free for all’ feel that reception class had and she seems to get on well with 99% of the kids in her class, as well as having some close friends that she spends time with. She only turned 5 a month before starting back at school and some of her friends are already 6, as she’s the second youngest in the whole class.

One thing that I wasn’t quite ready for was talk of boyfriends.

A few of the kids in her class have kind of paired off  and refer to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend – their relationships are well-know throughout the class and everyone knows who is ‘in a relationship’ with who. Let me just stop here and say that this FREAKS ME THE HECK OUT. I am soooo not ready for the prospect of boyfriends and if I’m honest I thought I’d have about another 10 years before it became a serious consideration.

As it turns out, I needn’t have worried. Sausage informs me that she doesn’t have a boyfriend, nor is she interested in having one, although she did tell that there’s a boy in her class who she likes. Her reason? Because he’s brave and has a deep voice! I’m sure there’s something evolutionary anthropological about that…!

At 5 and 6, I realise that a heck of a lot of learning is done through the type of role-playing games that kids of that age engage in and its really important to their emotional and social development, but the thought of pairing off at such a young age opens a WHOLE can of worms. It’s not long before many girls start to measure their worth by how boys view them and that’s not something that I want for Sausage EVER, let alone when she’s not even old enough to tie her own shoelaces.

I remember how much the pressure of other people’s pairings can put on a kid. When I was younger (although still a lot older than Sausage), I wasn’t the sort of girl who turned boys’ heads (save for having them stare at my ridiculously over-developed chest) and I remember looking at other girls of my age who had boyfriends and wonder what was wrong with me that meant I didn’t have one. Yes, this is hopefully all something that’s very distant in our family’s future, but the speed at which the past five years has gone means that it’s actually not that long until we have to start worrying about things like this, and current pairings are making that even more apparent.

I guess all I can hope is that we imbue Sausage with enough confidence and self-worth that she won’t have to measure herself by someone else’s yardstick, though I do worry that it doesn’t matter how much we do to forearm her, the pressure of life and teen-dom will mean that these problems befall her just as much as anyone else.

So, I guess what I’m asking is this – I can put her in a box and not let her out until she’s 25, right?! That wouldn’t be cruel and torturous, would it? I’d just be protecting her from the world…!


Damn it.