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Improve Your Marriage With Small Acts of Kindness

I’m a huge proponent of being nice to your spouse. It seems like such a simple thing, but in reality, it is everything. We can easily stop showing our spouse those little courtesies that we naturally do for others. I think it is a familiarity type of thing.

I invited Jessica Burnell on today to share with us a few of her ideas of small acts of kindness you can do for your spouse. She had outlined some great things-

It’s time to break your bad habits and start showing one another how much you really care. Here are a few different ways that wearing your heart on your sleeve can prove beneficial for your marriage.

Tell Your Partner You Love Them

Sometimes we become so used to feeling a certain way about someone that we forget to tell them exactly how we feel in words. Remember to tell your partner that you love them frequently, but don’t force it. Whenever you feel particularly tender towards them, let them know with those three little words. It helps them to feel appreciated and know that you are still just as enamored with them as you were at the start of your relationship.

Make Sentimental Gifts

You don’t have to wait for birthdays or other celebrations to roll around to make a gift to your spouse. You can make sentimental gifts at any time to show your appreciation and affection. This shows that you’re thinking of them even when you’re not expected to.

A present handed over on a specific calendar date or following a particular achievement is often expected. But a present out of the blue makes much more impact. Remember that the best kinds of sentimental gifts are often handmade.

Here’s one idea to get the ball rolling:

Make a scrapbook containing titbits and memories from your relationship’s beginnings to the present day. Stock up on scrapbook supplies. You’ll need a scrapbook itself as well as picture corners, glue, and tape. This is your creation so it can turn out exactly how you want it to.

Whether you want an assorted collage of pictures or fancy taking a more neat and chronological approach, the final piece will come to fruition relatively easily.

You can also add things like saved tickets from movie dates, tickets to events, or notes and letters you’ve exchanged for an extra special and personalized touch. Remember to write a message in the front for them to read every time they look through it.

Arrange Date Nights

When you are married, it’s easy to slip into the same old routine. But dating is just as important now as it was when you first met. However, rather than getting to know one another, the focus will now probably be on keeping up with how each other are feeling amidst the rush of everyday living.

It is important that you and your spouse have quality time together doing things that you enjoy. Otherwise, things can quickly become dull. You may end up arguing purely to provide yourselves with something to do.

Here’s a few things you can do-

  • Go to the movies
  • Check out a new restaurant
  • Take a walk in the neighborhood
  • Find a picnic spot

You will both be so much happier when you get to do enjoyable things in one another’s company, rather than focusing on chores, appointments and other responsibilities. Distraction-free time as a couple is extremely important!

Always Say Goodnight and Good Morning

If you and your partner are away from one another for a period time, you should always make the effort to say goodnight and good morning to one another. Why? Well, it shows that this person is the first thing on your mind when you wake up. Also, that they are the last thing on their mind before they go to sleep.

It opens up the conversation for the day and then closes it off for the night without your partner worrying and wondering why you stopped replying without warning. It’s a simple sentiment but will make a huge difference.

Do Your Fair Share

help each other out with chores in the home

By the time people are married, they have often fallen into a routine when it comes to the distribution of chores. More often than not, one partner ends up doing more than the other. This might be completely fine and not cause any tension or problems. However, you should try as hard as possible to do your fair share of the chores.

If your partner cooks, offer to clean up and vice versa. This can also apply to other responsibilities. Take socializing as an example. If you are visiting your friends or family more than you are spending with their friends and family, propose a visit or meet up.

Don’t be selfish with your time. Especially if your partner is going to be involved in your plans. You should make an equal effort in all aspects of your lives. This can be from cleaning to socializing and various other areas that you may not have even previously considered.

Even if your marriage has no noticeable problems, it’s always productive and positive to make more of an effort with your loved one. So make sure that they are always aware of how much you care for them. Do this through both actions and words. After all, there’s always room for improvement.

Sexy truth or dare for couples

4 Tips For A Perfect Date Night In The Kitchen

You know how much of a date night advocate I am. So, I invited Rose from Gimmy Tasty on to share with us her top tips on how to have a perfect date night in the kitchen. She’s got some great ideas.

Couples should always dedicate a special time for bonding. Despite the erratic tides of schedules and the presence of other mundane activities in life, creating a space for you and your beloved is still necessary. But there is no need for you to make these romantic dates to be extravagant. Even a fine dinner in your own kitchen can become a moment worth cherishing for. Of course, it will take some simple preparations to make this wonderful night to happen. Don't worry if you are still clueless about what to do. I am going to teach you the ropes of how to have a magical date night in the kitchen!

Here’s what she has to say-

Couples should always dedicate a special time for bonding. Despite the erratic tides of schedules and the presence of other mundane activities in life, creating a space for you and your beloved is still necessary.

But there is no need for you to make these romantic dates to be extravagant. Even a fine dinner in your own kitchen can become a moment worth cherishing for. Of course, it will take some simple preparations to make this wonderful night to happen. Don’t worry if you are still clueless about what to do. I am going to teach you the ropes of how to have a magical date night in the kitchen!

Choosing the Right Recipe

If you are a pretty skilled cook, making any recipes should be a piece of cake for you. But this time, you should not just instantly dive into any cuisine that comes into your mind. You always have to mind your partner. Does he/ she have any allergies? Is he/ she a vegetarian? These are some of the necessary questions that you must answer. Otherwise, you might end up making a food that your partner might detest. And that could ruin the perfect date night!

The element of surprise can be a good thing. But if you are pretty unsure of the flavor preferences of your better half, then just communicate. In this way, you can prevent disasters from happening.

Preparing the Recipe

Now that you know what to cook, it is time to head in the market. Strictly pick the fresh ingredients only. This would allow your cuisine to exhibit the finest appearance and taste. Of course, your partner would be happy to dine in such kind of lavish. The mood would really get better if you can satisfy your beloved’s tummy.

Easy date night recipes

If you lack some cooking wares and equipment, then you should invest in them, too. There is no point on borrowing tools in your neighbors because that is quite embarrassing and taxing at the same time. Better get those amenities for yourself. These investments can serve you the next time you will plan for another date in the kitchen. Get those personal blenders, skillets, and juicers right away!

Cleaning the Kitchen

If you are finished in cooking, then it is time to prepare your kitchen. Clean all the dishes and all the materials you used in food preparation. Arrange them properly in their respective storage so that your kitchen will look good and tidy. Don’t forget to clean your counter tops and tables as well.

If you want a foolproof and tidy appearance, make sure that you vacuum the flooring of your kitchen. Just remove any blemishes that could become an eyesore to your date. If possible, just do a general home cleaning. This would certainly leave your partner dumbfounded and impressed! After all, a squeaky clean abode is a rare sight for busy couples!

Wrapping It Up

If the two of you are sitting on the dining table already, it is time to start your date. It would be great if you have prepared finger foods like crackers or fries because they can easily stir up conversations.

I am sure that the two of you know each other very well. Therefore, if you are running out things to talk, then you could just explain why you have chosen the recipes that you made. Are there any special memories lurk behind these foods? These things could really make the night light and lovely!

Of course, don’t forget to shower some words of affection. They could make your partner remember why he/ she fell in love with you in the first place!

Hello! Rose here! I am a full-pledge mother and a kitchen warrior at the same time. I created the blog so that I can share my cooking knowledge to each interested individuals out there. If you want to catch up with my culinary adventures, just visit and subscribe to my site! I am excited to see you there!


Are You a 5-Star Spouse?

During our four years in marketing, Keelie and I have learned that people are leaning more and more on personal ratings to determine purchases. Now, a 5-star review on an Amazon product is helpful, but a big thumbs up from a friend will basically seal the deal. That’s because people trust the opinions of their friends, family, and others they respect more than they do an anonymous reviewer.

What does this have to do with marriage?

If we want honest input about a product or service, we go to the people we love and trust. Do we do this in our marriages? Do you ever seek out the feedback of your spouse?

Don’t neglect the person actually getting the “service or product.” They’re the best source of real information if they’re brave enough to give it. If you’re considering this, here are some ideas for you to keep in mind.

Solicit a review

It’s important in business to ask for honest feedback. “Rate us on Yelp!” “Review us on Google!” You want to know what you’re doing well and what you need to improve.

The same is true of marriage. Every now and then, we have to be vulnerable enough to ask our spouse how things are going. Now obviously I’m not saying that you need to ask your spouse to give you a rating out of 5 possible stars. But you can ask questions asking for honest input.

Be general:

  • How do you think things are between us?
  • Are you happy with our marriage?

You can also be specific:

  • Do we talk enough?
  • Are you happy with our sex life?
  • What’s your favorite part of our date nights?

The important thing is to get a conversation started. It may be awkward at first, and that’s ok. If you make this a regular part of your marriage, it will become more and more natural. It can also head off problems before they get too big.

Believe the review

If your spouse gives you negative feedback, you have to listen to it and accept it. Their feelings are valid. If you deny them and just say, “You’re wrong!” then they’ll be less likely to be truthful in the future.

The flip-side of this is that you have to believe the good feedback too. If your spouse says you’re beautiful, believe them! If they say you’re good at this or that, say thank you! Don’t ever downplay a compliment, especially from your spouse.

Whether it’s good or bad feedback, be ready to accept it graciously.

Make changes according to the review

You not only have to believe what your spouse says, you need to act on it. Asking their opinion and then doing nothing about it is pointless. Follow through is key. If the feedback is negative, address it. If it’s good, celebrate! Oh, and make sure to keep doing whatever it is they complimented you on.

Not everything your spouse says is going to be 100% accurate. Their comments may be completely off base. If so, you can gently show them what they’re missing. If they’re right, then you have to make the change. Either way, acknowledge the feedback as valid. You have to start by asking yourself honestly, “Is this criticism accurate? How do I need to change?”

Advice to the reviewing spouse

If your spouse comes to you looking for your input, rejoice! Be glad they are that interested in a healthy marriage. But also, remember they are really putting themselves in a vulnerable position. Respond accordingly.

Be gentle and kind. If you have something negative to so, do it gently. Don’t take the opportunity to chew them out. They’ve come to you in good faith. Reciprocate that.

Be truthful, in love. If they want honesty, give it to them! Don’t hold back to spare their feelings or avoid a fight. This is your chance to broach a hard topic. Take it! However, do it with love. Remember, be gentle and kind.

Be willing to change your review if you’re wrong about it. If you point something out and then realize that you were wrong, let it be known. You may discover during the conversation that your facts were wrong. Maybe you misjudged their motives. Whatever it is that makes you see that you were wrong, fess up to it.

One of our big themes here at LHA is communication. If we aren’t talking, we aren’t growing. Be courageous and proactive enough to get vulnerable with your spouse. Seek an honest review of the relationship. Make improvements where necessary.

The Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts Couples Costume Idea

If you didn’t know, Austin and I love to dress up in costumes. We spent 14 years in youth ministry, which gave us plenty of chances to do this. From camps, to costume Christmas parties, to Halloween, we have been a lot of things over the years.

Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts couples Costume

Last year, we dressed up as the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts. It was a really fun couples costume to put together.

The Mad Hatter Costume

Austin went as the Mad Hatter. Here’s what we used to make his costume-

  • A dark colored dress shirt
  • A suit jacket and mismatched suit pants
  • Colorful piece of material for the tie
  • Homemade Mad Hatter hat
  • Homemade half a cup of tea

How We Made the Mad Hatter Hat

mad hatter costume and half a cup of tea DIY Mad Hatter Hat Pins

The hat was the key to pulling off this costume. In order to make it, I used an old leprechaun hat that I bought a few years ago. We wrapped a piece of material around it, and then I hot glued yarn around the edges to make it look like the Mad Hatter’s hair.

I used a yarn that was similar to this one. It had two thick braids that twisted around itself. To get the curly hair look, I just cut the strings short and I separated the two pieces. Then, I cut the yarn all the same length and hot glued it around the edge ot the hat.

Alice’s Half a Cup of Tea

half a cup of tea alice in wonderland

To make the half a cup of tea that the Mad Hatter served to Alice, we used a cardboard oatmeal container. Austin cut it in half to shorten it, and then cut it in half again.

I cut a piece of plastic wrap and hot glued it over the edges to create a clear wall. You can skip this step if you like. To hide the plastic, we slid the other half of the oatmeal container around it.

For the saucer, I used a round container lid from a large thing of ice cream. You can glue this part together if you like.

The handle was made out of the plastic ridge that was on top of the oatmeal container. If you don’t have this plastic ridge, you can always use a plastic lid and cut it out. Austin spray painted the entire outside with white paint.

Queen of Hearts Costume

Here’s what I used for the Queen of Hearts costume-

How I Made the Top

I just happened to own this Vampire Corset. I bought a deck of cards and took out all of the hearts and diamonds. There weren’t quite enough heart cards to do the entire vampire wings, so I had to add in some of the diamonds. I just made sure that the hearts were most prominent.

All I did was use hot glue to attach the cards to the vampire wing. Since the cards left sharp edges, I glued a strip of black material around the bottom of the cards to keep from hurting my neck.

How I Made the Skirt

Mad hatter and queen of hearts costume ideas

For the skirt, I took a red cape I owned and pinned it to sheer material. I didn’t sew anything together, because I didn’t want to mess up my red cape. Then, I taped a few red paper doily hearts to the center of the white material.

I wore checkered socks and black shoes. However, my skirt was so long, you couldn’t really see the socks.

Queen of Hearts Makeup Tutorial

I watched a few Queen of Hearts make-up tutorials to figure out how to do my makeup. I didn’t like the really huge blue makeup in the Tim Burton rendition, but I did do a blue look.

For my hair, I pulled it up and sprayed red hairspray paint all over. I topped it off with a red crown and stuck the Queen of Hearts card in it.

Other Couples Costume Ideas

Here’s a few of the other couples costume ideas we have done in the past.

Mary Poppins and Bert

Marty McFly and Loraine Costume

Starbucks Drink and Barista Costume

Punk Costume

Reindeer and Elf Costume

Bug Catcher and Lady Bug

Winter Storm and Black Friday

Scarecrow and Blackbird

Robin Hood and Maid Marian

Shaggy and Thelma

Thelma and Shaggy Costume

We Were Created For Community

Yesterday, I had a parent/teacher meeting. The teacher was floored that my son was performing above average in some areas and on target in others. She told me I had done a really great job teaching my son and she’s truly impressed.

I’ve felt like a failure.

Homeschooling the kids has been an area where I’ve felt like I’ve failed them over and over. When I think of the number of days we’ve had knock-down, drag-outs over re-doing misspelled words and incorrect math answers….or days where we spent the entire day working on one concept….or the copious amounts of tears shed over writing assignments, or how many times I’ve been accused of being a kill joy….I don’t really think to myself, “I’ve done a good job”.

I know we made the right choice in sending them to school this year…but there’s a nagging voice in the back of my head that says, “you failed them again”.

I couldn’t do it all.

My natural response to not being able to do it all is to think, “I’m a failure”….but I’m learning that failure comes when you’re too stubborn and arrogant to ask for help.

Stop hoarding everything that needs to be done and start giving it out generously to those that are capable and willing.

When we stop trying to do it all and rely on others, that’s when real relationships form. Until then, we are on our own and not in community with others like we should be. We were created for community.

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3 Gadgets That Can Make Your Life Easier

There are a lot of gadgets on the market that can help make your life easier. I invited Cheryl McCoy on to share a few of her favorite gadgets.

Here’s what she has to say-

When we come home from a long day at work we want to make sure that we can relax at home and worry about as few things as possible! There are a lot of things in our homes that can serve to annoy and take up our well earned time, so what can we do to make life that extra bit easier as home? 

1. Ceramic Cookware

Ceramics have been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years, and for a good reason! If you’re  not sure what ceramic is, it’s usually what vases and ornaments are made out of; quite a fragile substance as it’s incredibly brittle, however it has a high heat resistance which is why it’s amazing for cooking!

There aren’t many ceramic pans available, but what you can buy is dishes, plates and big casserole trays for you to be cooking things in, you can find a load of these and more at Ceramics are good because not only can they withstand heat and keep their shape unlike plastic alternatives, they’re actually incredibly easy to clean.

Ceramic surfaces are often glazed so they don’t feel like a chalkboard. That means that they are incredibly easy to clean! This is the beauty of them. It takes not even 10 seconds to clean a ceramic plate.

Smart Meters

A lot of us are going to remember the days where you were forced to guess how much your gas, electricity and water bill was going to cost on that month! Bills are one of the biggest concerns when it comes to budgeting out for the next month.

In years gone by, they have been incredibly hard to predict. It’s hard to know how much you have used while you are in the middle of a cycle. That’s why the smart meter helps, because you can track your usage and cut back if need be.

Using the knowledge of the cost-per-unit, and the amount you’ve used, it displays how much our bill is going to cost! They have little units you can sit where you like. Now you’ll easily read and know exactly how much you’ve spent so far!

This takes out all of the guess work of paying bills. You can properly plan for the month ahead. You know exactly how much money you’re going to have instead of being surprised with a big nasty bill at the end of the month!

Robot Vacuums

The future is now; robot vacuums are here to make our lives much easier when it comes to cleaning! Unfortunately they’re not the humanoid versions yet. They are still able to put a massive dent in the cleaning up work that you have to do around the house!

Vacuuming takes quite a while to do and therefore takes a chunk out of  your day, so you’re going to want to do as little as possible, which is where the robot vacuums come in. they’re quite literally a hoover attached to mobile wheels! These wheels will move dependent upon how you’ve programmed it, usually done via phone.

Robot vacuums cannot get everywhere in your house. Their wheels do not yet let them traverse stairs and carpets, so you’re going to have to do a bit of it yourself but it’s going to take out a substantial amount of work!

All of these gadgets are going to make your life much easier at home. One thing we haven’t covered here is food, it can be one of the more stressful things to buy as it costs a lot of money, but if you read this you’re going to learn about a viable alternative that does require effort but will save you lots of money!

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How a Bedroom Game Changed My Life

I am freaking excited to introduce to you Daniel and Emily, the creators of Ultimate Intimacy, to you today. These guys have been following along here on Love Hope Adventure for a while and just released a new bedroom game. Of course I have to have them come on and share their story! You guys know how much I love sexy bedroom games.

Daniel is going to tell us how one divine meeting with another couple completely rocked his marriage…in a transformational way!

Here’s what Daniel has to say-

I married my best friend, Emily, nearly 14 years ago. There’s never dull moment in our home — we have six busy children, and are still shrugging our shoulders as to how that happened!

We’ve always had a great relationship. We’ve been through a lot together, and have been very blessed. But we never realized what we were missing.

One Day A Work Project Changed My Life

I run a web and mobile development company, and as an entrepreneur and tech guy, I meet with people often who share their ideas and hire my team for custom development. A sweet couple came into my office last December asking if we program mobile games. They didn’t go in depth about their game concept at that time. We thought we were going to get to work on a video game (which is every nerd’s dream project, of course). We met again after the new year.

The wife started by sharing her story in discussing her idea about a bedroom game to strengthen marriages and add spice and fun to the bedroom. They talked about how their own marriage benefited tremendously since they found a game that made it feel safe to share and connect intimately. They wanted to create something Christian-friendly that would help strengthen marriages by through greater sexual fulfillment in marriage.

A Moral Dilemma

I didn’t know there were such things as “bedroom games!” I’ve never felt safe searching online for sex-related topics, feeling like it was a field of landmines. Was it right in the sight of God for us to seek for information about sexuality in marriage? Was it right for me to take on this project?

God answered our prayers in many ways. We gained a conviction that God did indeed ordain sex for marriage, that it was very good in his sight, and wants his children to enjoy it to the fullest. We were also led to excellent sources of information through books, marriage counseling professionals, and a Christian community online (such as Love Hope Adventure)..

How One Bedroom Game Completely Changed Our Marriage

Our marriage was transformed! With our intimacy now at a whole new level, everything else in our lives seemed to improve — our children were happier, there was more peace in the home, and even the dishes were getting done (which is an accomplishment with six kids!), and my wife and I were feeling more whole.

To me, my wife had never seemed more beautiful than ever. Our hearts never felt so closely knit together. All those lovely, giddy, twitterpated feelings from early in our marriage were back and stronger than ever! ….and I want to be with her for all eternity.

We Wanted Every Couple To Experience This

Now that we tasted the fruits (and found it was sweet and good), we felt a strong desire to share it with others. We partnered with that awesome couple that came up with the app concept. As part of our research, we consulted with over a dozen marriage therapists and professionals. We wanted to make sure the information in the app was accurate and founded on evidence-based, correct principles.

Nine Months Later, Ultimate Intimacy Was Born 

…and like having a baby, nine months after our initial meeting our app was released! The Ultimate Intimacy app is for married couples that want to spice things up in the bedroom, finish date night with fireworks, and enjoy deeper intimacy in their marriage. The app consists of:

  • A bedroom game that progresses from romance, to foreplay, all the way to hot & heavy, with over 150 actons!
  • Over 200 conversation starters to enable those deep conversations that build trust and emotional intimacy
  • Resources on anatomy, technique, date ideas, sexy dares, and ideas to build emotional, physical, and spiritual intimacy in marriage
  • Recommended Products because variety adds vitality to the marriage!

Want to see the inside the app? Check out this youtube video-

Here’s Where You Get it

Go to or download it through the pictures below:




Daniel Purcell is a proponent of marriage and families, and co-founder of the Organization for Adding Strength to Marriages, the creators of the Ultimate Intimacy app.  He’s also the founder and CEO of Velocity, a web and mobile app development company based in St George, Utah. He’s an outgoing introvert, likes to run, and most of all enjoys spending time with his amazing wife and six wonderful children. You can get in touch with him on LinkedIn.


Yes, Couple’s DIY Is Romantic!

When you think about romance, is home renovation the first thing that comes to mind? No? Me neither. However, Julie Winston is here today to share how couple’s DIY renovating can actually be more romantic than you’d think.

The old pioneer homestead is what eventually led to the great cities and suburbs that exist now. Part of the American Dream is home ownership, and the early settlers not only built their own homes, but they also had to acquire the raw materials to do it. That same do-it-yourself spirit is alive and well in homeowners today, driving a desire to make homes what they want them to be.

However, home centers and power tools exist now to make it much easier to DIY. Just as spouses worked together to build their homes in the pioneer days, you can renovate yours together now. You may be surprised to find out just how romantic this kind of side-by-side work can really be.

Share Your Dream Home Ideas

Talk about what you want your home to look like. Imagine the grand, but adapt to your budget. Sharing your individual thoughts about what you want your home to look like with all of its amenities and features is emotionally revealing, and romance begins with discovery. Though your individual tastes for color, texture, and style are likely to vary, it is an opportunity to learn compromise.

Acquire the Skills You Need

While your friends may be going to a concert or a movie, you two should be checking the class schedule at your local home supply centers. Here is where you can learn some useful skills such as how to prepare a wall surface for painting, how to lay a ceramic tile floor, or understanding kitchen renovation tips together. What could be more romantic than working side by side and hand in hand to turn your house into your dream home?

Renovation Shopping

Here is where it can get dicey. If one spouse has a vibrant colorful flair while the other prefers muted earth tones, it can cause issues. If you are more rustic and your partner is more metropolitan, this is where you can definitely work on the skill of compromise. Nothing contributes to relationship harmony like a little give and take.

This is why women often end up with designer kitchens and bathrooms while the men get a man cave. Keep in mind that just as your relationship cannot be compared to that of your friends or family, neither can the design theme of your home.

You do not have to follow the recommendations of TV or magazine designers as to how your home should look. Shop for the cabinets, carpeting, paint, wall covering and more that makes you both feel good about being home.

Share the Work and the Upkeep

Men, your wives can wield a nail gun and use a tape measure just as good as you can. Sometimes, maybe even better. Women, your husbands can cook up a delicious meal even if propane and wood smokers are not involved.

All of the work of renovations and the daily chores should equally be shared. If you have a skill your partner does not, be a patient teacher rather than taking an it’s-quicker-if-I-do-it-myself attitude.

This goes whether the tools involved have sharp edges or not. At the end of the day, you both will be satisfied that the work is done and you completed it together.

Couple’s DIY Tools

couples diy tools

When you go together to buy anything from new power tools to a new vacuum cleaner, make sure the tools you use in and around your home are compatible for both of you. If you want to be really romantic, present your partner with a new tool that fits them like a glove. In fact, some good-fitting working gloves in his and her sizes are a good idea.

It is all about making your home what you want it to be together. Whether it is a cottage near a lake or an old Victorian nestled among some sleepy oaks and weeping willows, it is your home together.

Both of you need to be invested in making it what it needs to be for your family. Each of you should have favorite spaces and design features inside and outside your home. Together they will play a harmony that enhances the romance of your relationship.