A Letter To My Son

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I wrote this a couple of years back but I thought I would share it with all of you since today is such a special day in our family.

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First of all I’m like to say Happy Birthday to you!!

Right now I know you’re going through a roller coaster of new emotions. you’re obsessing about friends, videos games, and having fun. You may be realizing that your parents are flawed and have crappy tastes in music. you want a different haircut, different interests, have a different behavior than those we approve of or expect from you. You need to question every value we have taught you, every truth you believe in so as to shatter your psychological balance, and make the transition from the adolescent to the man. We know it’s a hard time for you, but we understand that it may be the only way you’re going to figure out who you are and who you want to be.

My Dear Son. I’ve seen so many things. things I hope you will never see. I’ve seen people killing people in the name of ideology, religion and race. I’ve seen the earth raging, I’ve seen children starving. I’ve seen horror, I’ve seen evil. but I’ve also seen beauty so glorious that I could almost choke. I’ve seen Love. I’ve seen bravery. I’ve witnessed miracles. these I hope for you to see. for they will make you a better person. life is difficult but there is not a difficulty that can’t be overcome. enjoy the moment, learn from the past and focus on the future. pray every day. be open to all kinds of music. music will enrich your spirit and uplift your soul. follow your instinct but listen to others. I know you probably don’t want to talk to your mother so hopefully throughout the years you have built a network of reliable and trustworthy elders to guide you in your life. your Granddaddy. Maybe your Uncle. Talk to them. Always hope for the best. Recycle. Volunteer. Remember that all people deserve your respect no matter their color, social status, religion, culture and personal beliefs. Watch good movies. Be a loyal friend, and be a good brother. Always be grateful for what you have, and know that you never give too much. If you’re lost ask for direction. Learn how to forgive. Treat women with respect. Please don’t smoke. Never, ever drink and drive. Read as much as you can. Widen your horizon. Love unconditionally.

I know that I am not a perfect mother, and I realize that I can’t protect you from everything. Know that I’m doing the best that I can, and I have nothing but faith in you. So remember that I love you. Your father loves you. We’ve always have, and always will. NEVER, EVER doubt or question this.

So, my son, go. Go and embrace your journey. Be the best YOU that you can be.

God bless you always,

Forever I Love you

Your Mom aka Your biggest fan!

son love letter

 


Pregnant at 17

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One cold morning I was getting dressed to hang out with my mom and her friend. I was a little under the weather, but didn’t think nothing of it. I got myself together, we went out, and we grabbed some breakfast at the near by Mcdanlads. When I walked into the restaurant, I didn’t pay attention to the fact that the smell inside of the restaurant was making me nssueated. I proceeded to order my food anyway to see if I could fight back the nausea feeling that I had. Within 30 minutes of me eating my breakfast, I threw up. None of what I ate was able to stay down. My mom’s friend has mentioned, jokingly, that I could be pregnant. Both my mom and I denied it. She didn’t what I had done with my husband when she wasn’t looking, and I certainly didn’t think I was because we were careful when we were together.

Me being paranoid like I am, I decided to go to planned parenthood just to make sure that I wasn’t. I didn’t really believe that I was. I had a bit of anxiety but didn’t think twice about it because I figured, we used protection so I had nothing to worry about, right?

Boy was I wrong! I took the test and, Surprise!! I was told that I was going to be a mother….. at 17.

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I was in shock! I didn’t expect a positive test at all. I didn’t know what to do at that moment. After the doctor gave me my results, I went out to the bus stop waiting for the bus to come back around. Once I got past the shock I became confused.

I thought to myself, “How could this be? We were careful, or at least I thought we were.”

After the confusion settled I became scared and worried. Before even thinking about the next step, I had to figure out how I was going to tell my husband (boyfriend at the time). You see, our odds weren’t in our favor. Two weeks before I found out I was pregnant, Hubby had to move to Georgia (3000 miles away) with his family. The timing couldn’t have been any worse.

I had many worries going on in my head.

  1. How is he going to take the news?
  2. Is he going to be let other ‘typical’ guys and say it’s not his?
  3. What is his family going to think? Will they think that I am trying to trap him?
  4. Is he going to ask me to get an abortion? 
  5. What is he going to say?!!

My mind was racing, and I started to cry on my way home. I was disappointed in myself and the choices that I had made. I was embarrassed and felt ashamed. The last thing I wanted to do was let anyone down.

Once I got home, I was able to calm down enough to get my courage up to call my hubby. My hands were sweating as I was dialing his number. My voice shaky as I try to find the right words to say. My heart pounding out of my chest as if I was about to have a heart attack. Something like this was serious. It was BIG news, and I didn’t want to fumble over my tongue. I was in fear of what was to come, but I knew I had to be ready with whatever response I had coming my way.

“Hello,” I said.

He replied with, “Hey Babe! Man, I miss you.”

“I miss you too, so much.”

“Whatcha doing,” he asked.

“Nothing, just got back from the doctor’s office.”

“Oh no, you doing ok? What’s wrong?”

I became silent at this moment.

“Hello,” he said.

“Yeah, I’m here,” I replied.

He asked, “What’s going on? Why did you need to go see a doctor?”

“Well…. I just found out that I’m pregnant.”

“Really,” he asked.

“Yes. Really”

He responded with, “Well…. I love you, and I promise to take care of you and our baby. I guess this means it is time for me for me to get a job.”

“Really? That’s it”, I asked, not believing what I had just heard through the phone.

“Yes really, what more were you looking for,” he asked.

“Um, you tell me that it’s not yours. You saying you don’t have to take care of it because you are long gone. Anything other than what you just said”

He replied with, “You should stop watching tv. (as he laughs at me like I just said a joke) I would never do something like that. We are a family now and I love you until the end.”

“Wow, I didn’t expect that. Thank you and I love you too.”

Can you believe what he said? His reaction was completely different from what I was expecting. I was totally in shock. I was at a lost for words, trying to figure out if it was a dream or not.

Over the next 8 months I worked hard to get my diploma before my son was born. I took independent studies thorough the public school system. Going to school one day a week while I worked 4 other days out of the week as a hostess and a waitress at a local resturant. I had unconditional support from my Mom and her friends. My Dad was gone due to being in the military so he was busy with work. Times were tough, but I was determine to stay on track and finish.

Even though hubby was so far away, he made sure to call me and check up on me daily. He couldn’t come back to stay with me  because my father inlaw wanted him to finish as much of his Senior year before our son came along. We both were mad that we couldn’t be together during my pregnancy. He missed everything, and I felt alone. But we understood our parents reasons. They were only looking out for us. His father had finally bought him a ticket to come out 2 weeks before my due date.

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I had ample support of my hubby, my family, and his family. It was tough for us, but we managed to stay on track and keep things moving. We moved out of our parents home at 19 and haven’t looked back. Only moving forward, closer and closer to the clouds. People say teen parents can’t become responsible parents. They say that they can’t have a long last marriage. A stable environment for a growing family. The odds were stacked against us every step of the way. However, we fought through them, and made it our common goal to fight the statistics and the labels that were set on us the day I found out I was pregnant. It is important to us to be good role models for our kids. Teaching them that even thorough adversity, you can overcome it all and find your way.

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People have asked us, if we had the chance to do it all over again would we. Our answer is, Yes! Yes, we would. Why, do you ask? Because we are happy with the way our lives have turned out. Sure our son wasn’t planned, but he was no accident either. He was the beginning of something wonderful. The starting piece that got this game of life rolling. 



Makeup, Self Esteem, Growing Up Girl.

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This morning, once the girls were ready, I told the them to get their coats on and meet me in the car. I get into the car and start driving out of the driveway when I noticed something different about Mini me’s face. I couldn’t put my finger on it at first, but within moments I was in shock.

Why did my child attempt to go to school with PINK EYE SHADOW on Lord! You can barely see it, but I could tell it was there. I could see it, and I couldn’t believe it. I let her to play with makeup in the house. But it’s not like she does it often. Mainly when she has her friends over. We see it as dramatic play. Just like playing dress up or playing with her play kitchen. That’s as far as makeup play goes around these here parts. People who know me, know that I don’t wear makeup. I’m all about natural beauty. If I were to put makeup on it would be for special occasions like going to hubby’s Company parties. However, even in that situation I still don’t put much of anything on. Lipstick, eyeliner, and maybe some mascara, maybe.

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You may be wondering, where did she get the makeup if I don’t wear it myself. Well, It was a gift on her 10th birthday from one of her friends. I don’t know who but I certainly would not have bought her makeup myself. I have gotten her lipgloss instead of chapstick. I told her she could wear that out, but that was pretty much it.

After I dropped baby girl off at school, mini me and I went back home, I politely cleaned off her face while having a talk with her about make up at this age. She is only 11. Definitely not old enough to wear makeup. I asked her where did she get the idea to wear makeup at school. She informed me that her friend, who is a 7th grader, wears makeup to school sometimes and she told her she could try it as well.  I told her that she did not need to go to school with anything on her face. She is there to learn, not to have a fashion show. I let her know that I understand that she is going to be curious about makeup and want to try it out but that it is not need to look pretty. I explained to her that makeup covers up what naturally shows through, and that’s her beautiful from the inside out. I’ve always been taught growing up that makeup was bad for our family’s skin. With allergies and sensitive skin, makeup just would have made matters worse. I learned that makeup can cause acne, which can lead to putting more on to cover up that damage that was done until it becomes a viscous cycle. Then, for some women, they can become dependent on it, needing to wear it on a regularly. Hubby has always called it false advertisment. He is not the only guy I have talked to that has said the same thing. Once you pull of the mask, who are you really?

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After having a nice, open discussion on the importance of loving herself just the way she is I Told her that she was beautiful, and that I loved the face that God gave her. I kissed her cheek, gave her a hug, and sent her off to school. She told me that she loved me back, and that she was beautiful because God made her like me :) brought tears to my eyes.

I feel I got my point across today. She listened, understood, and went to school with a smile. Some may not understand why I do what I do, and that’s ok. Every parent raises their children differently. I just want to lead her into the right direction as much as I can. We live in a world where people are not real with themselves let alone others. Where everyone’s facees are photoshopped, and people aren’t looking at the real beauty within themselves.

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Why not teach her to love herself naturally. To see that the face she sees in the mirror is her true self. Her God-Given self.

What are some ways that help your daughter to have a love for herself? 


Go Go Squeez Playdate

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GoGo squeeZ applesauce on-the-go, the leader in fruit-based pouches. They are made with 100% natural fruits, with no GMO or high fructose corn syrup. It’s Gluten Free, vegan friendly, and kosher certified.

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My girls love them in their lunchbox.

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GoGo Squeez has announced that they are on a mission to help U.S. families be more playful. A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to participate in The National Day of Play Event for Go Go Squeez. Everyone around the US from Los Angeles to New York City participated in this event.

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I had a playdate with my girls and some of their friends. They loved playing some of my old favorites. Mother May I, Red Light Green Light, and Hide & Go Seek. They all had a blast! Awesomesauce!!

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This post wouldn’t be complete without me experimenting with GoGo Squeez in my kitchen.  I incorporated them into some of my recipes.

Applesauce Donuts

  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 Teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 Cup Go Go Squeez Applesauce (about 1&1/2 pouches)
  • 1 Egg, beaten

*A Donut Pan is needed for the recipe.

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients
  3. In another bowl, mash the bananas
  4. Add the egg and the applesauce, mix until well combined
  5. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients.
  6. fill your donut pan about 3/4 full. I scooped with a small spoon but you can also scoop the batter into a sandwich bag, cut a small hole in the corner, and squeeze the batter out to fill your pan
  7. baked for 10-12 minutes or until your toothpick comes out clean.
  8. When done, remove the donuts from the pan and allow them to cool before you eat them. If you want you could also dust some powered sugar on to your donuts. Yum!

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Applesauce Cake

  •  3 & 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 Teapsoon ground cloves
  • 3 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 Cup butter
  • 2 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 Cups (10 Go Go Squeez pouches) applesauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees, and grease or use liners in your cupcake pan
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and baking soda.
  3. In another bowl, cream together the butter and the brown sugar, until light and fluffy
  4. Next, mix in the eggs.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and the applesauce to the brown sugar mixture, alternating between the two. beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
  6. Pour into your cupcake pan, filling half way.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until your toothpick inserted into one of you cupcakes comes out clean. You can also bake this recipe in a bundt pan, however, that will take close to an 1 & 1/2 to be done.

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Two simple, yummy recipes that I’m sure your kids will enjoy. 

When you are out and about at your local grocery store, check out the different Go Go Squeez flavors that are available for your little ones. 


Wordless Wednesday: Cool Off Bottles

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James 1:19-20 was the verse that was taught a couple of weeks ago in Sunday School.

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I had the kids make Cool Off Bottles to help them calm down when that are stressed or angry.

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The lesson was to stop and think before we speak. They are to shake their bottle, be still, and watch it until the glitter has settled. Depending on how much glitter they put in their bottle determines the time that they have to sit. A great way to teach patience. Could also be used for your Time Out situtations.

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The instructions are Here


Eating Right, Feeling Good

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Anyone who knows me, knows that I have an obsession food! As long as the food I come across taste good, it’s getting into my belly.  I remember being a teenager and being proud that I could finish a whole large pizza in one setting. I was the fastest and gulping my Strawberry Kiwi Snapple down in under 1 minute. I would eat whole cans of biscuits with butter, and be the happiest girl on earth.

I decided, a few years ago, to become more mindful of what I was putting into my body. I stopped waking up in the middle of the night to eat bowls of cereal or  candy and go right back to sleep. I cut back on eating out by myself. I was eating out regularly. While everyone was in school and at work, I would be at someone’s restaurant for lunch grubbing whatever my stomach craved. Giving myself a food coma in the middle of the day. Not only was it costing me money, I could see that my body was showing the effects of what I was putting into my body.  I made the choice to cut back on my favorite sugary snacks. Candy, ice creams, chocolates, cakes, donuts, and cookies. I cook a lot of desserts but I rarely eat them. I taste my creations to make sure that all is well. I let the family to have some before I share with others. I remember when I was pregnant with my first son I had a growing appetite for candy. If it’s something I liked, you better believe that I would be eating a whole pack of whatever candy it was before my day was done. Something else I have changed is the amount of vegetables that I eat. I eat more vegetables now daily now than I have done in the last 10 years.  I never had a problem eating vegetables before. Not even when I was a kid. I just didn’t eat very much of it over the years. I went from just eating it at dinner time to eating it at breakfast, lunch, snack as well. I eat more of a variety of vegetables now, and I eat mainly raw vegetables.

I noticed that when I made these changes in my diet, I started to feel better physically. Not to say that I wasn’t feeling better beforehand. I’m just say that my body felt good. I didn’t have the heavy the feeling I had before when I wasn’t eating right. Being full from a plate of kale, tomatoes, and garbanzo beans is different from the feeling of being full from a greasy burger. I noticed my energy level changing. I have more energy than I had before.

I love trying new healthy recipes to eat. Wanting to stay on track with my health and my stomach happy, I have been able to come up with different salads and other healthy meals to satisfy my taste buds.

Avacado, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Tomato
  • 3 slices of Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup Salad of your choice (mines was the Power Greens from Trader Joes)
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Slice up your veggies
  2. place food onto your plate
  3. eat the food from your plate

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Portobello Mushroom Stuffed with Couscous

  • 2 portobello mushroom, (cleaned and gills removed)
  • 1 1/3 cups of Couscous
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 3/4 cups of vegetable broth (warmed up)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 Cup diced onions.
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic

Directions:

  1. Warm up 1 Tablespoon of oil in a saucepan.
  2. Saute the couscous over medium heat until it is lightly browned.
  3. After about 5 minutes, pour in the vegetable broth.
  4. Bring to a boil. Reduced heat, cover and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes
  5. While your couscous is cooking, sauté the bell peppers and onions in a small pan with 1/2 Tablespoon of oil. Cook until onions are transparent.
  6. When the couscous is ready, add the onions and bell pepper mixture to it.
  7. Prepare you mushrooms by seasoning them with salt and pepper.
  8. Spoon the couscous mixture onto the mushroom.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes

*Top with cheese if you’d like.

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 Spinach Patties

  • 1 bag of thawed and well drained chopped spinach
  • 2 egg whites 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 Cup diced onion
  • 1/2 Cup shredded cheese
  • 1/2 Cup bread crumbs
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

  1. mix all of the ingredents
  2. form into patties
  3. cook on medium in pan
  4. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  5. Shape into patties
  6. cook over medium high heat in a skillet with a small amount of cooking spray.
  7. Patties are done when they are golden and firm. (about 5 minutes)

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 Lox, Avocado, Open Face Sandwich

Directions:

  1. Toast your english muffin
  2. Spread the avocado across your toasted muffin
  3. place the Lox on top of the avocado

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Simple Salad

  • 2 Cups of Kale
  • 2 beets, sliced
  • 1 persian cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2  Cup mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Tuna

Directions:

Cut an mix how ever you would like. Drizzle with the vinegar.

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Don’t have time to make a salad everyday? Why not try a Salad In A Jar? I have a few recipes listed on this post here.

I have noticed that my energy level has sky rocketed ever since I changed my eat habits. I don’t feel heavy after eating. I’m not as irritable, and I just feel better all around.

Changing my eating habits is not just a diet fad, it’s a lifestyle. My way of life. What are you eating habits like? Do you have a favorite vegetable? 



Our Secret To A Happy Marriage?

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This post is part of the Happy Wives Club Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with hundreds of inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, Click Here!

It’s a question we get asked often. Our answer is always the same. For us, there is no secret. No potion #9 or special exercise that we do. It’s as simple as loving, respecting, and caring for each other everyday. Putting 150% into keep our marriage healthy and strong.

We started out as kids. Only 16 with no plans or thoughts of our future other than us being together until the end. Even at that age, we knew that we wanted to get married, and love out our days together. We wanted to make our love a top priority. As a couple, we have gone through everything you could have imagined. However, our love for each other, and our passion to be together has kept us on top even in our darkest days.

We’ve had to grow up as individuals considering the age of when we started dating. Trying to find ourselves, and figure out what we wanted to do with our lives. It was not easy for us to come into our own as independent human beings while trying to raise a family so young.

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We’ve had to learn to grow together as a unit.
How to communicate.
How to come together as one.
How to set healthy boundaries with each other.

We respect each other as individuals. We don’t talk down towards each other. Instead we work to lift each other up.

We love to spend time together. We enjoy each other’s company more than anything else really. We can sit around for hours together laughing, joking, and being playful. Having fun with each other. A couple that has fun together, are stronger together.

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I feel that in a marriage there should be such sharing, and oneness in every aspect (physical, emotional, intellectual, financial, social) that the resulting unity can be best described as “one flesh”.

You cannot avoid conflict because marriage is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person. The key is to know how to handle loving that person perfectly.

I have learned to love my husband, regardless of the fact that he leaves his socks on the floor. Why? Because it’s just NOT that serious. I pick and choose my battles, and some things just aren’t worth the war.

As his Wife I feel it is my duty to:

Support my husband

Stand alongside him when I should

Help him when he needs it

Encourage him because WE are a TEAM

Flatter him because he needs it

I love doing all of those things for him. And he loves doing all of those same things for me.

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Happy Wife Happy Life is said often by my hubby.

I have a husband who not only loves me as much as I love him, but also works hard to provide for me and our kids. He believes in the old way of living where the man works and the wife stays home with the kids. I just so happen to believe in the same thing so there was no problem there. However, he also believes in MY happiness. As I believe in HIS. It’s a priority in our relationship. He wants me to be able to have the freedom to be me. Supportive and loving until the end. That’s one of the things that make him so great. He is head of household and I respect that. But he respects me for what I do with his children and believes in everything I do. That’s LOVE! Sure we have our disagreements as any human being does. But we handle it and move on. He is the love of my life. I am just amazed sometimes at the unconditional love and support that he gives me in EVERYTHING that I do.

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We laid our foundation before we even got married. We both agreed that this marriage is a lifetime commitment. Divorce is never an option.

I adore my marriage. It’s a lot of work to keep things going. But then again, the best things in life are never easy. It’s all worth it for the one I love.

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Fawn Weaver, the founder of the Happy Wives Club wrote a book about the best marriage secrets the world has to offer. They say the book is like “Eat, Pray, Love meets The 5 Love Languages.” I say the book is inspiring. You can grab a copy HERE.


Why I Love My Husband!

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This post is part of the Happy Wives Club Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with hundreds of inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, Click Here!

In honor of The Happy Wives Club Blog Tour I have decided to share with you, the 40 reasons why I love my husband :)

  1. He is my PapaBear
  2. He is my Best friend/ Soul mate
  3. He is a wonderful provider which allows me to stay at home
  4. He is a Great and Proud Father
  5. He knows when I need a break and comes to the rescue
  6. He compliments me like no other, and makes me feel like a great woman.
  7. He treats me like his Queen
  8. He loves me Unconditionally
  9. He listens to my rantings and complaints, then ask me how he can help.
  10. He can cook
  11. He make me laugh like no one else can
  12. He ALWAYS find the brighter side of things
  13. He has great integrity
  14. He doesn’t give up
  15. He is patient (way more than me!)
  16. He’s sexy ;)
  17. He is my walking Encyclopedia :D
  18. He knows how to listen
  19. He works hard to give us what we need and want.
  20. He is always so laid back
  21. He is a strong man and he’s helped me grow.
  22. He actually puts the lid down on the toilet ;)
  23. During my pregnancies he always told me that I was the most beautiful pregnant woman ever
  24. He always makes me smile. ALWAYS.
  25. I love his inner strength
  26. He loves the woman I am, not who others want me to be.
  27. He always puts his family first.
  28. He respects and supports me and my desires
  29. He makes me feel like the center of his universe
  30. He makes me feel safe
  31. He encourages me and is my number one fan
  32. He sends me loves messages ALL day. Telling me he loves me, misses me, I’m beautiful, a great wife, and a great mother.
  33. He stands up for what he believes in
  34. He isn’t afraid to hold my hand, and kiss me where everyone can see it
  35. His happiness is my happiness and vice versa
  36. He has a great relationship with his family
  37. He is trustworthy
  38. He is loving
  39. He has a great personality
  40. He has a good heart

I love everything about him. We started out with puppy love and have grown to become faithful lovers and partners.

We have made each other’s happiness important to our own, we made our marriage a priority, and we made our love built to last. 

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Fawn Weaver, the founder of the Happy Wives Club wrote a book about the best marriage secrets the world has to offer. They say the book is like “Eat, Pray, Love meets The 5 Love Languages.” I say the book is inspiring. You can grab a copy HERE.