Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Expressions of Love

So cute! 

What expressions of love do you share in with your spouse? What expressions do they share with you?

Friday, August 30, 2013

10 Ways to Keep Your Husband Happy

A while back I wrote a post on a statistic that I had come across that 80 percent of divorces are filed by women. I took this as a sign that I needed to help husbands better understand, or at least remember, what they need to do to keep their wives happy.

Photo courtesy of Fotolia
One of the commenters, Jaimie Ramsey, suggested that a list be created for wives of 10 things that they can do to keep their husbands happy. Thank you to Jaimie for that suggestion. Here is that list.

10 Ways to Keep Your Husband Happy:
  1. Wear revealing clothing. This was Cami's suggestion.
  2. Give him a massage. Men often carry a lot of tension and stress in their shoulders and necks. Give your hubby a quick shoulder massage to help him relax. It doesn't have to be long (though if your husband is like me he would prefer it to last forever) because every minute, and the action itself, makes a huge difference.
  3. Help with yard work. My beautiful wife will sometimes mow part of the lawn for me when I'm having a particularly busy week at work. It is so nice when I get home to see it done and know that she loved me enough that day to put aside some of what she needed to accomplish to help make my life a little easier. I will usually reciprocate by doing something to help her too. It's a win-win.
  4. Watch an action movie. Chick flicks are great (my brother-in-law calls them cuddle-butt movies) but sometimes they get a little redundant. The occasional action movie breaks up the routine for us.
  5. Photo courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art
  6. Show him you're proud of him. Brag about him (in a way that won't irritate others, of course). Tell him you are proud of him. Remind him of the things he's done and who he is. Thank him for it. He should know that if not to anyone else to you he is AWESOME!
  7. Make a big deal of his accomplishments. For things like promotions or prestigious assignments he receives at work, special training or courses he completes, or good he does in the neighborhood or community let him know that you love him and support him 100 percent (see also #6).
  8. Give your husband a chance to talk. Most men don't typically say much. But when we have something to say sometimes we can't say it because the women around us are too busy talking. Learn your husband's "tell" and when you see it be quiet and listen. I think you'll be surprised by what you will hear.
  9. Vacuum naked. Another one of Cami's suggestions.
  10. Buy him sweets and snacks. For me it's Doritos. I also like Snickers and ice cream. The old adage remains true today: the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.
  11. Tell him that you love him. Guys may not be considered "emotional" but we still need to hear that our wives love us. I love it when Cami reminds me that she loves me. Tell him often and tell him emphatically. Never let him forget it.
Keeping we husbands happy can be daunting at times but if you remember that you love us and make sure that we hear it, see it, and know it you'll be successful. 

Good luck wives!

Let me know what you would add to my list by leaving a comment. I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

7 Ways to Make Her Feel Like a Princess

I remember when I was a young teenager I remember sitting around the campfire with my friends discussing the Disney princesses. Our purpose was two-fold: first, to identify which ones were the most attractive, and second, to rank them in order of their beauty and then argue as to who was right about the most attractive princess.

Photo courtesy of Vial Photography

Those were fun times. It was always a hearty discussion and each of us almost always had a different number one princess. Part of this debate was defending your opinion which meant you needed to be very familiar with the physical aspects and personality of the princess that you were championing.

I'm not sure why we did this but as I've gotten older and reflected on those teenage discussions I have also realized that, while inadvertent, I was being prepared to recognize the princess I wanted to marry someday. She had to be very attractive, smart, funny, sweet and kind, strong, and courageous. When I met her many years later, I recognized her instantly.

I believe that most men when they are engaged or newly wed would agree that they recognize the princess in their fiancee/spouse and she would say that he treats her like a princess. But how many women would say that they still feel like their husband's princess (or queen) after a few years of marriage? I suspect not nearly as many.

Husbands, let me remind you how to make your wife feel like a princess.
  1. Save her from dragons. Whether it is the children, her own nerves, or pressures from life save her from them. Take her away on a date or maybe a get away. You might not be able to slay the dragons but you can help her escape them even if it's only temporary.
  2. Be her prince. Be a gentleman and shower her with jewels. They can be real jewels like ear rings or necklaces. Or they can be metaphorical jewels like opening the door for her, giving her your coat, or saying kind things.
  3. Shower her with treasures. They can be real treasures like ear rings or necklaces. Or they can be metaphorical treasures like opening the door for her, giving her your coat, or saying kind things. The small and simple things like kind words and deeds are the greatest treasures.
  4. Build her a castle. If you can do it, actually build her a real castle. However, most of us aren't going to be able to do that. Instead make your home, wherever it is, a sanctuary and somewhere that she feels safe. Her castle should be a place where she is protected from criticism and unkind words. In her castle she should feel confident and secure in who she is. Make your home her castle.
  5. Buy her shoes and clothes. Whether or not they are glass slippers girls love shoes. Need I say more?
  6. Make her feel pretty and outstanding. According to one definition of princess is "any very attractive or outstanding woman." Tell her she's pretty and amazing. Share with her why you're attracted to her and tell her the things you admire about her. Remind her that she is a princess because she is very attractive and outstanding.
  7. Treat her like the prize. This last one is the most important and encapsulates all of the others. I found this description of a princess in literature and it is perfect. "In terms of epic story structure, the Princess is the sought after person, the prize, the Holy Grail." Does your wife feel this way?
Men, I challenge you to make sure your wife remembers the princess that she is. Women, I challenge you to be the princesses that your husbands believe you are.

What do you do (or what does your husband do) to make your wife feel like a princess?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What a Generous Husband!

A hilarious commercial from Europe. Enjoy!

Monday, August 26, 2013

"Show" Your Love

What do you and your spouse do together in your spare time?

Do you exercise together? Maybe go running?

What about going to the movies or reading? Perhaps cooking together, talking, working in the yard?

My guess is, that if you're like most of us, you spend at least some of your free time (if not A LOT of your free time) watching television.

Television, as is true with anything, in excess can be harmful. However, watching a TV show together can actually be a good thing for your marriage. There are two reasons for this: first, you are spending time together doing something that is relaxing and you both enjoy; second, it creates shared memories, inside jokes, and adds additional context to your marriage.

What do I mean by "additional context"? Let me explain. Have you ever referred to a date that you and your spouse went on during a later conversation, something that only the two of you would know about? It's not really an inside joke because it doesn't have to be funny but something like "remember how red that tablecloth was at Bruno's Pizza? That was the color of his shirt." This is shared context.

The more you do together, including watching television, the more shared context you create in your marriage.

Cami and I enjoy watching television. However, lest you think we are addicted to TV, we also enjoy reading books (see post about reading together). In our seven years together we have probably watched too much TV but what's done is done. :)

Here is a list of some of our favorite TV shows, both ones that we are currently watching and ones that we've watched in the past (I think for most of them it will be pretty obvious which ones I chose and which ones Cami chose).
  • Wings
  • Lost
  • Boy Meets World
  • Home Improvement
  • Star Trek: TNG
  • Psych
  • White Collar
  • The Glades
  • Everybody Loves Raymond
  • Monk
  • Hart of Dixie
  • The Bachelorette and The Bachelor (I don't know which ones, Cami could tell you)
  • Drop Dead Diva
  • Merlin
  • Castle
Watching television shows, as well as reading, going on dates, and simply spending time together, strengthens our marriage because of the shared context it creates. I cannot tell you how many times we have been somewhere or we were talking about something and we refer to some part of a show we have watched and we laugh together and/or it helps us to better understand what the other is thinking.

What shows do you and your spouse watch and recommend?

(please note that there are affiliate links on this page and should you purchase one of these products I will receive a commission...and you will receive my gratitude)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Men's vs Women's Brains

Another truth from Mark Gungor. :)

He does such a good job explaining the different way that men's and women's brains work. And a bonus: he's funny!

What do you think? Did he get it right?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Holograms & Teddy Grahams

I came home from work the other day and was lying down on the floor. My oldest son had been in the back room and didn't know that I was home.

So I'm lying there on the floor when he walks into the room.

He sees me and asks: "Dad, are you home?"
I responded: "No, I am a hologram."

He looks at me a bit confused trying to figure out what a hologram is and then gets a sly smile on his face.

"No, you're a teddy gram!"

Good comeback son. Good comeback. :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Sixth Love Language

I've mentioned before that I enjoy receiving Dr. Gary Chapman's newsletter each week. He is the author of the well known book The 5 Love Languages and has a website of the same name (

The five love languages, as defined and described by Dr. Chapman, are:
  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Acts of Service
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Quality Time
  5. Physical Touch
If you have questions about any (or all) of them check out his website or read his book. It's very insightful stuff.

The other day Cami and I were talking about this and discussing what we think the other's primary "love language" is. We agreed that mine was physical touch. I love massages, back scratches, the kids and Cami "playing" with my hair, hugs, holding hands, etc. 

As we debated what Cami's primary love language was we kept bouncing between them. She loves gifts, especially when it's chocolate. She really enjoys spending time with others, particularly when it involves eating out or snacks. Doing kind things for her, like making dinner or treating her to a special dessert, just make her day. Suddenly we noticed a pattern.

Everything that she really enjoys and appreciates has something in common.

Then we realized it: Cami's love language wasn't one of Dr. Chapman's five. 

We had discovered a new love language! It is the love language of FOOD!

That's right. The way to Cami's heart is through her stomach. Now, typically that is true of most men, but apparently it is true of my wife as well. As we reflected further we came to the additional realization that while food was good, chocolate was better.

I am thankful for this further understanding I now have of my wife and how to make her happy and show her that I love her. I feed her chocolate. I can't believe it took me so long to realize it.

However, I now have a dilemma. Do I tell Dr. Chapman that he's missing a language? :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Just turn it off, seriously

How many "devices" do you have? We went from being a one laptop household in December to a fully digital, electronic family in six months time. 

For Christmas I bought my wife a laptop for her to use to write her children's stories (that way I could use the other laptop to work on this blog and other projects). My brother was REALLY kind and gave us a Kindle Fire as a Christmas gift to our family (on a side note, somehow he always gets the perfect gifts for everyone, it's uncanny). We were thrilled! We now had two laptops and a Kindle Fire. What more could one ask for?

At the end of May it was time for us to get new phones. Our old ones were just getting old (we'd had them for three and a half years and they were the basic phones that just made phone calls, took bad pictures, and allowed for text messaging) so we went to the cell phone store. I decided to splurge and get a smart phone, the Samsung Galaxy SIII. It's pretty cool and I'm in love. Could it get any better?


The next week I attended a conference and won a prize. Guess what it was? An iPad mini. What?!?! Yeah, I've never won anything in my life and here I am receiving an iPad mini! I was stoked. At that point Cami and I decided we were done with electronic devices and didn't need any more.

A month went by. We were happy with what we had: two laptops, a Kindle Fire, an iPad mini, and a smart phone. We struggled along to learn how to use them, with the kids teaching us a lot, and just enjoyed being part of the "in" crowd.

Then Microsoft sent an email to the University's IT office announcing that they were running a promotion on the Surface RT: 60% off. I couldn't pass that up. I told Cami I would be buying it and then selling it to make some money. And that's what I intended to do. Now that it's here I've changed my mind.

So now we struggle with a new dilemma that millions of other couples face: how to spend time together, really together.

It’s important to spend time with your spouse but how do we find the time? Here’s a suggestion, turn it off. What is “it” that I am referring to? Anything that comes in between you or interrupts, or has the potential to interrupt, your time together. If you are in the car, even for a few minutes, turn off the radio. Don’t force a conversation but sincerely ask your spouse what they are thinking about or how they are feeling. If they don’t feel like just opening up immediately (which may often be the case) that’s okay. Leave the radio off and wait. Most likely nine times out of ten they’ll open up and begin talking. And WHAMMO! you have a conversation.

Another suggestion is to turn off your cell phones or take the land line off the hook. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been out to dinner with my wife or simply at home watching a movie and snuggling and the phone will ring. Sometimes I suspect that the world is conspiring against us because we’ll be in the middle of a great conversation or just got comfortable in front of the television and RING! So turn it off.

Close your laptop or put away your iPad or smartphone. How many times I have seen couples together that are miles apart. Each of them surfing the internet looking at different things every few minutes saying “huh” and the other goes “what?” and then they share and both go back to being apart. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this but if the goal is to spend time together this isn’t the way.

The next time you and your spouse are trying to spend time together, consider turning “it” off, whatever “it” is. You’ll actually get to spend time with each other, mentally as well as physically.

How do you and your spouse handle your devices? Let me know in the comments.

(please note that there are affiliate links on this page and should you purchase one of these products I will receive a commission...and you will receive my gratitude)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Insights into Marriage

I've mentioned before how much my wife and I love to laugh; we especially love to laugh together. Tim Hawkins is one of our favorite comedians and he always gets us laughing.

Speaking of laughter, you look like you need a good laugh right now. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Rooster Diaper Bag Giveaway!

Here's a neat giveaway. It's a diaper bag that looks pretty slick. My wife would probably enjoy the different pockets and things. It's also stylish. Functional and stylish. Can't be that. Enter to win now!

2 Red Hens Studio was founded by Lori Holliday, the 'Mama Hen', whom grew up on a 1,000 acre farm in rural Arizona in a huge family. Lori grew up with out a lot of money, but she quickly realized that you didn't need fancy possessions or a lot of money to make something look pretty. She incorporates this same philosophy into her designs today. 2 Red Hens offers beautiful things for Mom and Baby including, but not limited to beautiful diaper bags made of fabric designed by Lori as well as one-of-a-kind Limited Edition bags made from reclaimed leather and innovative products that help solve problems such as the Toy Nanny and the Bibby Mat.

Rooster Diaper Bag

The Rooster Diaper Bag from 2 Red Hens is a great diaper bag for a mom who likes to have a little style. This diaper bag's outer layer is water - resistant, making it quick and easy to wipe it down in a pinch. It has a large zippered inside pocket, a bottle holder and two pockets with elastic. The straps on this diaper bag are removable for your convenience. Don't take up room in the under basket of your stroller, just unhook both of the straps (leaving one end attached) and reattach your straps around the stroller handle. Magnetic snaps, at both ends of the diaper bag, help allow a busy mom to effortlessly close the diaper bag so contents don't fall out, there is a magnetic button as well that helps for added security as so many of us moms use our diaper bag as a purse as well. Tired of having to go digging for gold your keys in the diaper bag, your purse, etc? The Rooster Diaper Bag has an attached key fob! PERFECT!   

You can view more detailed photos and read Mami's 3 Little Monkeys full review here.

One lucky reader will win a Rooster Diaper Bag ($50ARV) from 2 Red Hens in the print of their choice! This giveaway is open to US & CAN, entrants must be at least 18 years of age. Giveaway will run until August 31st at 11:59p.m. CST. Enter through the Giveaway Tools form below, there are 2 mandatory entries, you may do one or both, if you do both more entries will open. The more entries you have into the form, the better your odds of winning. 
Good luck!   

Disclosure: Uplifting Love and all other participating blogs  are not responsible for the fulfillment of this prize. I received no compensation for this publication. If you are a brand or company and would like to see your product(s) in an event similar to this one please contact Sarh at mamis3littlemonkeys(at)yahoo(dot)com .

Friday, August 16, 2013

80 Percent of Divorces Are Filed By Women

According to the National Center for Health Statistics 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce. Of the marriages that end in divorce, 80 percent of the divorces are initiated (filed) by women.

This is an interesting, albeit sad, statistic.

First of all, it is disheartening to think that 50 percent of marriages fail.

Second, it is illuminating that 80 percent of the divorces are filed by the wife.

Husbands, I believe this says something about the problems in marriage and where many of them stem from. I want to be very clear that I do NOT believe that all problems in marriage are caused by men. Both husband and wife bring their own set of issues and concerns and together they should work through them.

What I do believe this statistic demonstrates is that there are more women unsatisfied with their marriages, at least to the point of ending them, than there are men. There are certainly many reasons for the dissatisfaction that exists but I posit that the husband and his actions (or lack of actions) plays a significant role in causing and sustaining the dissatisfaction.

I've reflected on this. I've done some more reading and research on marriage and divorce rates. I've discussed this with my wife. I've prayed about it. I've talked to and observed couples who have been married for a long time. Why?

To help us husbands do a better job keeping our wives happy.

Here's what I've come up:

Photo courtesy of Vial Photography
  1. Tell your wife that you love her. Tell her often. Tell her why you love her. Never let her forget.
  2. Show your wife that you love her. Hold her hand. Kiss her on the cheek. Put your arm around her. Gaze at her lovingly. And don't be afraid to do these things in public as well as in private.
  3. Listen to your wife. She has important things to say. Counsel with her on issues that involve the family. She is an equal partner in your marriage and make sure that she feels that way. Ask her about her day and then pay attention (especially to the little things). This reminds her that you value her.
  4. Talk to your wife. Share with her your struggles, achievements, thoughts, and dreams. Share your opinions and beliefs (in a gentle and kind way; often men can be too forceful about their opinions and beliefs). What you think is who you are and she should know you better than anyone else.
  5. Physically acknowledge her (in a non-sexual way). When you walk by her gently squeeze her arm. Quickly run your hand across her back. Tuck her hair behind her ear. This shows her that you enjoy being near her and that she is important to you; that you're not just two people cohabitating.
  6. Anticipate her needs. What can you do to make her life a little bit easier? Maybe you could load the dishwasher? Wipe off the table? Fill up her car's gas tank? Make her lunch the night before?
  7. Remember that your wife is the most beautiful woman in the world. And make sure that she knows that you know it.
  8. Let her recharge her battery. We all have things that bring us down and wear us out and sometimes in order to overcome them we just have to get away. Let your wife have an evening off to spend with her friends or take a day off of work to go shopping or simply sleep (that's what my wife would love!). Let her get away from it all.
  9. Help her soar. Encourage her in her dreams and throw your full support behind her in her endeavors. Cami's adventures/endeavors over the last few years have included direct selling for Dove Chocolate Discoveries, starting her own Etsy chocolate shop, and writing a few children's books. To show her that I believe in her (and I sincerely do) I paid for her to take a series of courses from the Institute of Children's Literature, helped her make her chocolates for Etsy, and even let her host a few chocolate parties for Dove at our home. I believe in my wife. So do you. Let her know.
  10. Mind the small and simple. Cami loves Crunch bars. The other day I brought her one. A friend offered it to me at work and I saved it so that I could give it to Cami. Never underestimate the effect that one seemingly small act can have on your wife's happiness. In the candy bar example it wasn't the chocolate that made Cami so happy (although that helped) it was the fact that I know that Cami loves Crunch bars and I made the effort to not eat it and give it to her. That's what women are really after.
Keeping our wives happy can be daunting at times but if we remember that we love them and make sure that they hear it, see it, and know it we'll be successful. 

Good luck men!

Let me know what you would add to my list by leaving a comment. I would love to hear from you!

UPDATE: This post has received significant attention over the last little while. As you will note from the comments that have been left there is a great misunderstanding about my 10 suggestions above. I am NOT saying that divorce is a man's fault. I am saying that husbands can try harder. That does NOT mean that wives cannot or should not try harder. Of course they should. We all should. Here is a post I wrote in response to a comment that hopefully better explains what I am saying, Happy Marriages Show Some Respect

This post continues to receive considerable attention. Recently I wrote another post elaborating on this topic. It is Divorce: Whose Fault Is It? Hopefully this further clarifies my position.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mortal Marital Wounds

Most of what I write I try to keep positive and uplifting. Topics like how to treat your spouse better, make your marriage happier, kind things I've done for my wife or she's done for me.

But sometimes I feel the need to speak out against a particular practice or warn against a threat to happiness. Today is one of those days.

Recently I was looking at some posts in a forum that I participate in hoping to find someone with whom I could share some advice/suggestions that would bless their life and marriage.

As I searched I came across a post by a man who shared that his wife was addicted to pornography and was having a "virtual affair" via email and video chat with some guy she had met online.

As I read his story and the accompanying advice that had been provided I felt sadness for him and for his wife. The happiness and love that they had once shared was evidently fading rapidly if not gone entirely already. The "advice" that others had shared was completely inappropriate and inadequate.

I also reflected on how this happened to them. I asked myself "what could they have done together to prevent this tragedy from occurring in the first place?"

I came up with six things that they could have done and that we can all do to insulate and protect our marriages and ourselves from the evils of pornography and the devastating effect it has on marriage.
  1. Go to bed at the same time. For some reason the temptation to view pornography at night is generally greater than at any other time of the day. It may be because the energy we have to resist the temptation is at its lowest because we're tired, but whatever the reason I encourage you to go to bed with your spouse. Doing this not only protects against pornography it builds unity and closeness because you are able to pray together, read a few scriptures together, and talk about your day as you slowly slip into slumber.
  2. Put the computer/use the laptop in a public place in our home. Having the computer in a public place makes it easier for others to see what you are doing and thereby increases the likelihood that you would "get caught" looking at something you shouldn't. That potential embarrassment is almost always enough to keep anyone from starting to look at pornography. Thankfully I've never chosen to look at pornography but just to be safe at work I actually moved my desk so that anyone who walks into my office can see what's on my monitor.
  3. Share all of your social media and email passwords with our spouse. You're married, right? You should already trust your spouse completely so this shouldn't be a problem. My wife knows all of my passwords (except for those I use for work as that would be inappropriate for her to have access to that information) to all of my email and social media accounts and I am friends with her on Facebook, we follow each other on Pinterest, etc. We can see everything the other is doing. I have nothing to hide from my wife.
  4. Talk to each other. If you ever feel tempted tell your spouse about it and counsel with him/her about what to do to remove or avoid the temptation. There have been times when I've told her that I don't think we should watch a certain television show anymore because it has been too racy. She's shared with me concerns about passages of books or gut feelings she has about a movie so that we can avoid any issues. No movie, book, website, or television show is so "good" that we would risk our marriage.
  5. Mind the small and simple things. I mention this often but the small and simple things are absolutely fundamental and critical to a happy marriage. Hold hands, kiss, cuddle, talk, go on dates regularly, read scriptures together, express your love in word and deed, play and have fun, laugh together, work together, throw pillows at each other.
  6. Pray together. Ask God for strength to resist, for the wisdom to avoid temptation, and for ever-increasing love for your spouse. And do this together. Even get on your knees. If you are already struggling with pornography implore God for help. He will help you. I know of no better way to gain the strength and resilience needed to combat and resist pornography's evil and destructive influence.
Pornography is a horrible evil and one that we need to be wary of and willing to not only resist but actively fight against. Be satisfied with your marriage and run from the temptation. The six suggestions above, when practiced, will help insulate and protect your marriage from the corrosive, demeaning, and evil influences of pornography.

What are your thoughts and reactions? Share them with me by leaving a comment.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Marriage Coaching Play by Play

Found this on YouTube and I had to share it. So funny!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Baby Boy #4 Has Arrived!

On Saturday, August 3rd at 9:03am the Cooper family welcomed a new child. He was 8 pounds and 8 ounces and 20 inches long. He is our fourth son and we are so happy he is with us. He and Cami are doing well and we're all adjusting to having him around. His older brothers are thrilled to have him and won't leave him alone. Here are some pictures (in no particular order).

Cami is holding up well and thankfully I have been able to take last week and this week off of work to stay home with my family and help out. It's been fun. Our little one is getting the hang of life: eating, sleeping, and pooping with some crying thrown in at various times for good measure. We love him so very much already.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Happy Brazilian Father's Day

In Brazil Father's Day is celebrated in August. On the second Sunday in August to be exact. In honor of my Brazilian friends (yes I actually do have them. I lived in Brazil for two years) here's a tribute to fathers everywhere. Be prepared. You'll probably cry.

Did it make you cry too? :)

Also, I want to remind you that if you haven't signed up for my newsletter you should. In fact, I think you should right now.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I'm Guest Food Blogging!

Okay, I'm not really a true food blogger. This is my first post having to do with food so I am calling myself a guest food blogger on my own blog. Weird? Yes. But cool.

Cami's birthday was a month ago (my how time flies!). For her birthday I was determined to make her a special cake. This is the chronicle of my attempt.

Going into this I knew two things: first, Cami loves chocolate so the cake needed to be a chocolate cake; second, it needed to be pretty simple as I am still honing my culinary skills. Therefore, the plan was to make a round chocolate cake. I started the night before her birthday.

I used a regular old chocolate cake mix, a package of vanilla pudding, two eggs, and vegetable oil.

I mixed them together (the pudding makes the cake more moist) and threw them in the oven. Cami helped me clean up the remaining batter, which is her favorite part anyway, and we waited.

When the cakes were done I took them out and put them on paper grocery bags to cool (I learned this from my mom).

Then I moved them to the fridge for the night. It's easier to frost the cakes when they are cool/cold as well.

The next day, Cami's birthday, I took the cakes out of the fridge and cut them in half. That way I would have four layers. I put a little bit of frosting on the cake stand to hold the first layer in place (I don't like it sliding around when I'm trying to frost it) then I frosted in between each layer. I also included sliced strawberries in between each layer because Cami loves strawberries.

Then I frosted the entire thing with homemade frosting (I think it's my mom's German chocolate cake frosting recipe). I was pretty impressed with myself.

The last step was to add chocolate covered strawberries. To save money, and because I had never done it before, I decided to make them myself.

I melted some chocolate in a double boiler on the stove, dipped the strawberries in it, and put them in the fridge to set up.

After an hour or two I took them back out of the fridge, chose the best three, and put them on the top of the cake and...viola! The cake was finished and ready to consume.

Suffice it to say, it was a complete success. Mission accomplished.

What kind things have you done for your spouse on their birthdays? Please share with me to give me ideas for the future. :)

All photos courtesy of myself. That's right, I can take some pretty decent pictures.

50 Shades of the M.O.O.N. Giveaway!

A Lucky Ladybug
Hosted by
Make Our Own Network
People every where are different!  We all have our likes/dislikes; We have our favorite hobbies and interests;  We look different and dress different;  We are parents, children, siblings, and friends.  This is what makes up the Make Our Own Network team of bloggers!  We are the "Strange Kids on the Block" because we do things differently than any one out there.

For our first birthday, we want to celebrate individuality and independence from following the norms.  This giveaway event will be all about exactly that!  Anything goes - prizes vary from adult products to childrens' toys to travel gear to entertaining gadgets and more.

This is a HUGE Event with 12 possible "Personality" Packages to choose from!
(Please be patient if this one takes a while to load...there is a lot here to see)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Marriage Counseling...from a kid's perspective

Our family has a new set of favorite YouTube videos to watch. They are called "Kid Snippets". What happens is that these adults get two or three little kids together (they seem to be between the ages of 3 and 6 or so) and ask them to act out a scenario. They videotape the entire dialogue and then, using the audio, reenact it (the adults are doing the acting). Hilarious!

There are a bunch of them but we found this one just yesterday and it's so funny I had to share.

My favorite part is when the "counselor" asks the "counseled" what he thinks the secret of marriage is. He responds "maybe it's love". I agree 100%. It is love.

Children really are smarter than we think they are. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Maggie Bags Campus Tote Giveaway

Welcome to Maggie Bags Campus Tote Giveaway!

Hosted By: Mami's 3 Little Monkeys
Co-Hosted By: Java John Z's & A Bird And A Bean

Maggie Bags are made with automotive seat belt webbing that is built to meet government safety standards to protect us in our cars. With the governments high standards, millions of yards of seat belt material are rejected each year by automakers. So Maggie Bags uses as much of these rejected material as possible to create their durable seat belt purses and handbags.

Read Mami's 3 Little Monkeys full review here

This is a cool bag and a neat opportunity. Cami and I would probably use it for picnics or maybe for carrying towels when we go swimming as a family. The possibilities are endless!

One lucky reader will win a Maggie Bags Campus Tote which has a value of $84.
This giveaway is open to US residents whom are at least 18 years of age at time of entrance.
Dates: August 1st through August 17th. For your chance to win, enter through the entry form below.
Good luck!

Disclosure: Uplifting Love and other participating blogs are not responsible for shipment/fulfillment of prize. I received no compensation for this publication. Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest are in no way associated with this giveaway. Would you like to have your products featured in a similar giveaway event? Contact to see what Mami's 3 Little Monkeys can do for your company!
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