Having recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary I have been thinking about posting a ‘love’ themed post for a while. But love is something which is extremely personal and difficult to put into words, so until now I couldn’t put my finger on what I wanted to write about. A few weeks ago we had a magical and romantic ‘couple shoot’ in Hyde Park, shot by the amazingly talented Rebecca Carpenter, and the stunning photography that came out of it inspired me to create this post. The images she captured seem to encapsulate how happy we are and how, a year on, we are feeling stronger and more in love than ever. Being in love is the most wonderful thing, here is some of my best advice for maintaining a strong and healthy relationship.

Say I love you everyday. I know it sounds cliché, but even after four years we still make sure we say those three little words every single day. It becomes habit after a while, but a little text after you’ve left in the morning just to tell your partner how much you love them will really make them smile. Of course, it’s easy to say ‘I love you’. But the fact that you make a point of saying it every day means that you really feel it too, and they’ll know that.

Decide that you don’t argue, and then don’t. Let’s face it, most of us hate arguments right?! Especially with the one we love the most. It’s so upsetting and hurtful things can be said that are not easily forgotten. Paul and I don’t argue, and some of our friends can’t fathom this. When they ask me, ‘How can you possibly live together, be married and not have fights?’ I always answer the same. Because we have made a commitment not to. The very action of declaring that we don’t argue prevents us from doing so. Sure, there are occasions when we could easily have a flaming row; one of us is snappy or tired, disagreements over chores, all the usual, but whenever we find ourselves on the brink of an argument one of us says, ‘Hang on a minute, we don’t argue – let’s sort this out.’ The situation is diffused and the prospect of argument has disappeared. If you agree to commit to a no argument policy then you will sort issues quickly and have much more time in each others company for happiness and laughter!

Make real time for each other. Sometimes, with our busy lives and trying to squeeze social lives around work I think we can forget to pencil some time into the diary for our other halves. Occasionally I feel like I haven’t seen Paul for ages, sure – I see him every day, but I don’t really feel like a work night evening spent in front on Eastenders is really quality time together. By making sure we make time for proper date nights and time for each other in our weekends/days off we can keep our relationships strong and happy.

Be grateful. We can all get on each others nerves sometimes but, at the end of the day, if you’re lucky enough to have found your soulmate then you should be super grateful for every moment! It’s the little things that matter, and I cherish every day. Life always gets in the way sometimes, but just taking a step back and thinking ‘wow, I am so GRATEFUL to have this special person in my life’ can really help put things into perspective, and ultimately will increase happiness levels and sense of contentment.

 

Compromise. I know, this one is so annoying because sometimes we just don’t wanna compromise godammit! We want our own way! But learning to compromise is so key to a happy relationship. It’s easier to do when you imagine that your compromise is genuinely going to make the love in your life happy. If ordering a Chinese instead of the curry you want is going to fill them with joy then it’s worth it – right?!!

So there you go. I’m not by any means saying that my marriage is perfect, but it’s perfect for me.

Wishing you love and happiness in your current and future relationships.

 

Present wise, men can be a challenge. I’m sure many of you will have the same problem as me. Your husband/ boyfriend/ partner already has a watch, a belt, wallet, nice leather man bag. Over the last few years I have resorted to personalised iPad cases, diaries and even a pocket watch. Short of playstation games (which I refuse to buy) and socks I’m out of ideas.

So I thought I’d put together some of my favourite gift ideas for my husband who truly has everything in case any of you guys have a man in your life like this! I think these gifts are all things which my husband would really like and genuinely use as well.

Personalised Bottle Opener £10- notonthehighstreet.com

Brilliant for the beer lovers and socialisers, and also a really cute personalised gift. You can put names, messages or things they like on it for that real personal touch.

Virtual Reality Headset £17.99 – Iwantoneofthose.com

My hubby tried one of these out a few weeks back that belonged to a friend and he raves about it! And I don’t think you need to be a total techy to appreciate these either. Simply link up to your smart phone and get totally emersed in movies/games and the like.

Modern Gents Shaving Kit £20 – The Body Shop

I’m a big fan of The Body Shop’s men’s ranges and I love the smell of the modern gent line. This shaving kit is classy and comes with a traditional brush and wash bag which are both practical and will look suave on your bathroom shelf. Win win.

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Personalised Scrabble Print £29.99 from Getting Personal

A bit soppy yes, but if your guy is a bit of an old romantic, or indeed obsessed with Scrabble (as mine is) this is a really cute gift idea. It may not be something they would buy for themselves, sure, but it will definitely make them go ‘awhh’.

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Bow Tie £20-£40 from Mrs Bow Tie

What man wouldn’t want a groovy bow tie for his collection?! And even if he doesn’t wear it it’s still a lovely, classy thing to own. Mrs Bow Tie are an amazing online supplier who stock every single bow tie you can imagine from plain, rainbow, floral, animal print, union jack and even a Dr Who bow tie collection. My other half bought his wedding bow tie from Mrs Bow Tie and it’s fantastic quality.

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Saint Christopher Leather Bracelet £32.99 from Cherish Us (Etsy Shop)

I actually bought this for my own hubby last year and he really loves it. Saint Christopher is the patron saint of travel and essentially his symbol is supposed to bring safe travel and protection to those who possess it. It’s a lovely sentiment and makes a really nice (but still manly) piece of jewellery.

Gin Explorer Club Monthly Subscription £24.99 per month or £279.99 annually

If your man is a gin fan, or indeed if you are a gin fan, then this really is a fantastic idea. And I can almost guarentee he won’t have thought of it himself! Sign up to the Gin Explorer Club and every month you will have a gorgeously presented gift box delivered each month, containing 4 differently bottles of gin (double measures) from around the world, some mixers and information  about where is the world your gins have come from. It’s a really creative gift for the gent in your life.

Hangry Art Print £8.22 from Etsy

A bit of a joke gift – but if your other half is anything like mine then this will ring true with him! Something to put in the kitchen as a bit of a laugh and a talking point!

A meal at Hawksmoor London from £35 for a meal

I know, I know; a bit of a stereotype. MAN LOVE STEAK. But if it’s the case then this place needs to be tried out by you and your cave man. The best steak in London is a bold claim and I’m determined to find out if it’s true very soon! I haven’t been myself yet, but I’ve heard the food is wonderful and well worth the price tag.

Christmas Indulgence Hamper £80 from Interflora

And finally, if you really want to push the boat out with your Christmas spirit then how about this luxurious hamper for the special person in your life. Packed full of biscuits, snacks, mince pies and wine – there’s no way he could finish it on his own, so you’ll get a look in too! 

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I hope some people will find this helpful, I know how difficult it can be sometimes trying to come up with a creative and cute idea for a gift for my husband, sometimes you’ve just got to think outside the box! 

Happy shopping!

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