6 articles Tag couples

Greece – The Ideal Destination for Families and Couples

Before Husband and I met and had a family, we both did a little bit of travelling, mine more Europe focused, his in both Europe at the US, but we always wanted to travel farther and wider as a couple and later as a family. Obviously we were lucky enough to get married in the Maldives and have always said that we’d find it hard to top that experience, but we’ve been doing a lot of research in recent months and think that a holiday to Greece could be an amazing experience, both for us as a couple and the whole family unit.

Greece and the surrounding islands have so much to offer, from incredible historical sights to stunning beaches, not to mention the food! I thought I’d ask my friends if they’d been to Greece or if anyone had stayed in one of the many glorious homes for rent in Greece and the fact that I got such a big response proves how wonderful the country is!

My friend Pippa said “I would say you have to visit Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon at sunset. We took a bus from where we were staying in Athens when we were on our Honeymoon (back in 2001) and arrived around three hours before sunset. We explored and sat on the beach, watching little fishes swim around our feet as we paddled.

It was an amazing afternoon, not even made less special with the rush to get to the bus a few minutes after the sun had set!

Oh and don’t eat the Cheese Pie. Yes I know it’s traditional, but it was also horrid! Oh and do buy Prayer beads, they are a great fiddle toy, much better than a fidget spinner!!!”

My friend Sara actually got married in Greece and said “Santorini is beautiful; I got married there last year. Kamari was reasonable for food and drink and to stay, Thira was more expensive but great to visit and see the caldera (volcanic crater)”

My friend Joanne wrote her own post about Greece and has some excellent tips about visiting the Acropolis “Well you’ve got to, haven’t you? This is the site that everybody visiting Athens has to visit, and so it’s one of those places that’s constantly busy. Get there as early in the day as you can, and buy the combined ticket that gives you access to other museums too. Allow most of the day for a trip here, because you will want to visit the Acropolis Museum too. Though be careful if you have mobility issues, since there is a lot of walking over stony ground.”

My friend Jen also wrote a post about her holiday to Paros and says “Paros is nice for a relaxing break, but really don’t expect too much excitement. The weather is fairly consistently warm (around 27 degrees during August) though it can get very blustery, as we found on a few days; the sunsets are pretty, the water is clear, and there are no shortage of eateries. In general, people are friendly, and we were pleased to find that it was not too jammed with tourists, despite being high season. The nightlife is family-friendly and, while the sun sets fairly quickly and quite early (around 8:15), it is still warm enough to enjoy a lingering meal or a few extra drinks into the late evening.”

My friend Nickie visited Roda in Corfu and couldn’t speak highly enough about it, especially the food: “Every single restaurant in Roda deserves your custom. The quality of food is unbelievable and the hospitality is second to none.  All food and drink is reasonably priced and you are given very generous portions. It’s not unusual to eat late and eat slowly so sit back and enjoy the view whilst you sample local delicacies.  Our two most favourite restaurants were Roxannes (you can find this on the beach road in town) and Thalasea (on the main road in Roda).”

Something that Husband and I like to do is go to lesser-known places, which aren’t purely touristy, so we’ve been doing a lot of research into the more unusual places to visit in Greece and we’ve come up with a list of our top three (although I’m thinking this may require more than one holiday to get it all done!)

Necromanteion of Ephyra

Lots of people visit the Oracle of Delphi, but fewer go to the Necromanteion of Ephyra, which was built as a temple for Hades and Persephone. It’s basically a series of underground chambers and is thought to be intended as an entrance to the underworld – I get the feeling it will appeal to Sausage’s recent gothic leanings!

Ghost town of Gavros

We’ve got a bit of an obsession with ghost towns (have you seen the images of the island off of the coast of Japan which was abandoned, or the drome images of Chernobyl?) and the one at Gavros looks like a fascinating place to visit. It’s not actually known why the locals abandoned it, but I’d love to take a look around and try to get my head around the mystery.

Volcanic crater, Nisyros

As we mentioned above Santorini also has a volcanic crater but the one at Nisyros is lesser known and also open to the public. The very bottom of the crater is closed off, but if you go as close to the edge as you can and you’re wearing flip-flops or thin soled shoes, you can actually feel the extreme heat coming up through the ground!

Have you been to Greece or one of it’s surrounding islands? Please leave me a comment below.

Husband and I Take a #CouplesQuiz for Bed Guru @bedguru

This weekend is my 33rd birthday and I realised that this means that Husband and I have been together for a third of my life, which is pretty damn significant in this day and age. We don’t claim to have a “perfect” relationship (is there even such a thing?) but the fact that we’ve lasted this long is pretty damn impressive when you consider how common divorce is these days (and how difficult I am to live with!).

Just recently, Bed Guru got in touch to ask us to collaborate with them and take a Couples Quiz as part of their campaign to show that couples who sleep in the same bed don’t always have the same needs in terms of sleep comfort. Bed Guru is an online bed retailer who are sleep specialists, they understand that no two people share the same sleeping requirements and see it not just as a belief but an obligation to ensure that everybody gets a great night’s sleep!

They sent us a list of questions to answer, which we did independently of each other and here’s what the outcome was! (Husband’s answers are RED, mine are TURQUOISE)

1)      How did you meet?

We met through mutual friends although it turned out we’d been drinking in the same places for years and our paths had never crossed.

Through friends

2)      How long have you known each other?

4139 days, to be precise! 11  years and 4 months – we got married after knowing each other just 6 months.

11 and a bit years.

3)      What do you do to keep the love alive?

When you’ve got kids, it can be hard to find time as a couple but we make sure we do things together as regularly as we can, even if that means going for a walk or watching the boxing together.

We don’t need to do anything to ‘keep it alive’. 

4)      What are your partners pet peeves?

He hates dishonesty more than anything else.

Loud chewing, impoliteness (especially on the road), poor time-keeping, Tories.

5)      What do you love the most about each other?

We have a really similar sense of humour and makes jokes with one another than no-one else would ever get! We like a lot of the same things but also learn a lot from each other. We make a good team and he’s always got my back. 

Kindness. 

6)      What is the most memorable gift you have received from your partner?

That is a hard one for me to answer because he’s RIDICULOUSLY good at buying me gifts! I’m literally typing this out on on the laptop he bought be for my birthday whilst wearing the Pandora bracelet I’ve wanted for months that he also surprised me with. The best gift of all though was the vintage working Teddy Ruxpin that he sourced from America and had shipped over. He knew it was a toy I’d wanted as a child and never got so he went to all that effort to get it for me, which meant so, so much to me.

Not strictly a ‘gift’ but the best thing I’ve ever received is my children.

7)      What is your favourite memory as a couple?

Oh gosh, that’s difficult too! Looking out of the window of the seaplane that took us to the Maldives and seeing the islands dotted through the Indian Ocean…adopting Chuck…having our babies…seeing some of our favourite bands and comedians together, as well as watching Liverpool play at Anfield.

The births of our children. The day we adopted our dog. Our wedding and honeymoon…(the 4-1 drubbing of West Brom we took our eldest to at Anfield, it was her first game).

8)      What is the most key component of your relationship? e.g. trust, loyalty etc

Trust. Nothing lasts without trust.

Honesty, caring nature, trustworthiness.

9)      Where is your dream destination for a couple’s holiday?

Back to the Maldives, maybe?! Or anywhere Scandinavian.

Iceland.

10)   What are your favourite things to do as a couple?

Going to Ikea 😉

Go out to eat, go to the cinema, talk.

I think our answers show that we’re pretty compatible actually, and I laughed out loud when I read Husband’s assesment of my pet peeves because they are SO spot on! The irony is, Husband and I have often said that we’re totally incompatible in terms of sleep because he likes a memory foam mattress and I find them uncomfortable, so we’ve often joked about getting two totally different single mattresses and pushing them together so that we an each be comfortable on our own sides – but with Bed Guru’s couples mattresses we wouldn’t need to do this as their mattresses can be separately zoned.

Are you and your partner sleep compatible? Leave me a comment below.

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In collaboration with Bed Guru

Creative Date Ideas You’re Underestimating

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Any sort of date should be a fun date, but why not consider something a bit unconventional? Here’s a quick list of creative date ideas that you and your partner shouldn’t underestimate. The less well-worn the path of your date is, the more memorable it will be!

Try a new recipe

Find a recipe that you’ve never tried before and cook it together. The results may not be perfect, but working together on something like this will definitely create interesting memories! Besides, it could be argued that a recipe that doesn’t come out perfectly can actually make the whole thing a bit more fun. Try looking for recipes in diets that you don’t follow – for example, if you eat meat, then be adventurous and try a vegan dish.

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Watch a strange film

A lot of couples go out and watch the latest blockbusters or romantic comedies. But why not find an independent cinema in a less obvious location and watching some arthouse flick or documentary film? You may discover new areas of cinematic interest for the both of you. These sorts of films are also more likely to produce engaging conversation afterwards. As fun as I’m sure Thor 3 will be, how likely is it that you’ll both have anything much to say afterwards other than “that was awesome!”?

Go to a jazz bar

Most cities these days have a jazz bar hidden away somewhere, even though many people think that jazz bars are long-forgotten relics that are nowhere to be found these days. A jazz night is a classic date night idea, but it’s in no way antiquated. Some bars will play old-time stuff, but many will feature musicians playing new and original material – and modern jazz still continues to be as fun and adventurous as it always was. Get some formal wear ready – find a nice suit or a long evening dress online – and search for a nearby jazz bar for a truly different evening.

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Have a games night

People are always underestimating the power of board games. Of course, it could be argued that board games are best played in a group. But there are actually a bunch of board games out there that are perfectly fun with two people. Try out the best board games for couples – or, if you’re really not into the board game scene, consider taking turns with a video game.

Have a picnic

Sure, you could have a nice lunch indoors. Or you could go to a restaurant, which is where most couples will go if they want to have a date that features food. But why not save a bunch of money (those restaurants are not kind to your wallet, after all) and have a picnic? The season is right for it, after all. (Or, at least, it’s getting there.) Be careful about your wine selection, though – you don’t want to end up drinking too much in a public field! If you really feel like having a wine-heavy picnic, then even a back garden picnic can be amazing.

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Walk the dog

A lot of dog owners tend to see walking the dog as a pretty banal daily duty. Sure, when you first get the dog it can be pretty exciting, but over time it tends to be something just one person in the household does, with people often taking it in turns just like any other chore. But consider actually going on a long walk together with your dog. And if you don’t have a dog, offer to walk your friend’s dog, or consider searching for people online who need the occasional dog walker.

Go for a hot air balloon ride

Not for those afraid of heights! This is another ‘classic’ date idea that seems to be grossly underused these days. As long as there’s a big enough field nearby, you can probably find a business nearby that offers hot air balloon rides for couples. Remember that there will probably be someone else in the basket with you, though, unless one of you happens to be a licensed air balloon pilot!

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Recreate your first date

Assuming that you’ve been with your partner for some time, it may be a good idea to try recreating your first date. Go to the same restaurant or watch the film you first saw together. You can recreate this at home, too – cook the same meals you ate that night and rent the same film you saw, or see if you can find it on Netflix. A trip down memory lane can really bring back some sparks.

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.

Shopping For Weddings, Anniversaries or Christmas? Gorgeous Gift Ideas For Your Favourite Couples

Buying gifts can be tricky enough, but when you’re looking for a couple, it can be particularly challenging. You’ve got two people to please, and you probably want to avoid the cliches. Are you shopping for weddings, anniversaries or even tackling your Christmas list early? If so, here are some gorgeous gift ideas to consider.

Wedding gifts

Some couples send a wedding list or a polite request for donations towards a honeymoon. In this case, you should find shopping relatively straightforward. If there is no list, or you’re eager to buy something more sentimental or exciting than China plates or towels, there are other options. One idea is to buy vouchers. Vouchers may not seem all that original. But they give you a chance to spend money on things you want, rather than those that you need. You don’t have to choose a department or home store. You could buy vouchers for a restaurant, for example, and treat them to a slap-up meal. Home decorations always go down well. You can make your gift stand out by adding a personal touch. You could order a personalised cushion or print with the couple’s names and their wedding date, for example. Or you could indulge a passion for food with personalised mugs, glasses or a cheese board. If your friends are art lovers, a framed print is a thoughtful and unique idea. Likewise, if they love to travel, a scratch map is a great idea for brightening up dull walls and bringing back memories.

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Image by https://www.flickr.com/photos/gareth1953/5919140418

Anniversary presents

Many couples complain that they don’t spend enough time together. If you’re shopping for an anniversary gift for somebody special, why not treat them to an experience or a night away? You could book a spa weekend, afternoon tea or even an animal encounter or a track day. There are all kinds of options available for couples with varied interests and hobbies. Alternatively, trees and bushes make for unique anniversary gifts. If you know a green-fingered couple, this is a present that will keep on giving for years to come.

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Image via https://pixabay.com/en/door-input-front-door-223399/

Christmas gifts

Christmas is a time for giving, and there are some fantastic options out there for couples. If you’re keen to think outside the box, swerve candles, vases, and matching bathrobes. Instead, put some thought into designing a bespoke hamper with all their favourite foods and drinks. Or go one step further, and organise a series of dates for them. Stuff some miniature envelopes with cash and a printed note outlining what they’re doing. You don’t have to spend a lot. You can treat the to a takeaway or a movie night at home. Print out a cinema voucher, or plan a trip to the zoo, a meal out, or a day at the beach.  

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Image taken from https://www.flickr.com/photos/whiper/22345074622

Shopping for couples can be tricky. But if you put some thought into it, you can come up with incredible unique ideas. The perennial crowd-pleasers are fantastic, but it’s always good to be original. Tailor your ideas to suit the couple’s interests, and don’t be afraid to go for something a little different.

Dating in 2014

love-online-datingOkay, so I’m probably not the best person to comment on the dating scene in 2014 – I was lucky enough to meet Husband when I was 21, get married at 22 and have been happily with him ever since (8 years last Saturday, in case you’re interested!). However, Husband and I have had the “what-if” conversation plenty of times, and the thought of getting back onto the dating scene as it was when I was in my early 20’s fills me with dread.

When I met Husband, I may have been a bit of a social butterfly, but these days, bars and clubs are SO not my scene, not to mention the fact that I’m probably 10 years too old to be going to the places I used to frequent. The thought of doing the “eye contact over the bar, is he looking at me, is he smiling or does he have wind?” thing all over again is not appealing in the slightest, so I totally understand why internet dating has become so popular.

There are some great sites around, such as iwantu.com which allow you to meet people, engage in free adult chat, and make a connection without having to drag yourself to places in which you don’t feel comfortable. The other good thing about free adult sites is that everyone knows why everyone else is there. You won’t approach someone in a bar, only to find they’re married or taken, and feel completely embarrassed – if someone is on one of these sites, like upforit.com, they’re there because they’re available and looking for love, which will remove the potential for awkwardness.

Of course, because we’re all grown ups here, you might be looking for something a little less commitment heavy and a little more fleeting, so a site like shagaholic.com might be more appropriate for you. Everyone needs a little…companionship…from time to time and seeking out other people with the same intentions can be really fun and empowering, if done safely.

Several of my single friends have tried internet dating, some with more success than others, but I think it all very much depends on your expectations. If you keep things light and fun, there’s a lot of potential for a good time to be had by all and it can mean that you can engage with people without having to even leave your living room – what’s not to love about that?!

Have you had any dating successes by using an online site? I’d love to hear from you.