Get Your Massage On!

Let's put your new Massager and Plant Life Oil to use!

Here is a short video on the use of a 4-point massager.

If either of you have sore muscles in your back, neck, shoulders, calves or feet, trigger point techniques can really help release the tension. There are hundreds of trigger points throughout the body, and everyone can develop them in different locations. We have selected the most common location for this video (upper back and neck area) but you can find videos on any location if desired. While this video does not use a tool, hands get tired! So use your massager in the same way!

Baking Clay Ideas

We hope you are enjoying your date! Need some ideas about what to make? Check out these! How about starting with how to make a pinch pot.

What about some cool coasters? You can use cookie cutters or even lids to shape your ornament. A knife or toothpicks are good for carving shapes or words.

Some ornaments would be fun. Use anything with texture to add a pattern to your creation. Use a screwdriver to poke a hole for hanging. If you have a hot glue gun or super glue, use your magnets and put 'em on the fridge!

Rolling your clay and making a round pot is a fun challenge. You can share colors on this one as well.

We hope you make something cool! Share your creations using #unboxlove. Or maybe write about it in your Together Journal!  Thanks for being awesome!

Together Puzzles!

We hope you are enjoying your Ghiradelli Hot Chocolate & Rocky Mountain made pretzel sticks!

So how frustrating are those silly puzzles anyway? Check out these videos for some help. We will start with the easiest puzzle and an Unbox Love family member: 9 year old Cami!

Next are 3 silent films arranged from (easier to hardest) that show you how to solve the last 3 puzzles. Work together and good luck! And if you created an awesome crossword with your game of xoomcubes, post it using #unboxlove! Be sure to remember to share your Love Cards with each other throughout this week! From all of us at Unbox Love, Happy New Year!

Top 10 Ways To Impress Your Partner: Part 2

Continued from part 1- The top 5 ways to impress your partner!

#5- Pick them up a gift card and then leave them trail of sticky notes to find it, scavenger hunt style!

#4- Tonight in bed (or while watching TV) grab their hand and give them a 10 minute forearm/hand/finger massage! Then switch arms. They will love it!

#3- Create 3 Coupons for your love on to use. Ideas: Free neck massage/ Do all the dishes/ Clean the room of your choice/ Weekend sleep-in/ Kid free time. Then place them in their work bag or somewhere they will secretly find them.

#2- Secretly set a reminder on their phone that you love them and that you are counting the minutes until you can see them again!

#1- When you are with them, be with them. Look them in the eye. Listen. Love them for who they are and for all they are! If you do, they'll do the same for you!

Timesaving Tips!

Hello! Hope you enjoyed the time saving tips and recipe card from this month's date. Below are the links to the documents that will help make your life easier!

The Excel Grocery List has 2 tabs - a full page and a 4-page. Edit as you wish.

Print and place the fridge planner in a magnetic frame with a glass front and stick it on the fridge. A dry erase marker makes it easy to create/adjust a menu each week. 

Here are three additional tips that save time in the kitchen.

-Have a designated area on the counter for "cups in use." If a cup is in that area, someone is still planning on using it.

-While preparing a meal, keep a big bowl on the counter. Put all your chopping, cutting and peeling discards into it. Then make one trip to the garbage instead of 10.

-Keep an expired credit card or gift card at the sink to scrape baked food from pans and glassware.

If you have any time-saving tips, please add them to the comments below!

Next Month's Tips: How To Reduce Holiday Stress!

 

 

Top 10 FUN Ways To Impress Your Partner! Part 1

Looking for fun new ways to let your partner know you love them. Check these out!

#10- When your partner gets in the shower, sneak in the bathroom and write a short love note on the mirror in dry erase marker!

#9- Secretly quick clean the interior of their vehicle! Pick up the trash, wipe the dashboard, clean the windows, etc. Then leave them a piece of candy on the seat!

#8- Place a note inside their pillowcase before bedtime! Perhaps something like: Thanks for being awesome and for all the extra things you do to make our lives better! Love U! xoxo

#7- Whisper in their ear how your heart skipped a beat the first time you met. Share some small detail about that day that they may not remember.

#6- Collect some leaves and spell out I (HEART) You! on the front lawn! Indoor option: Spell it out in candies on the kitchen table or on the bed!

To check out the top 5 ways, come back next week!

Over... Next!

It’s Over, What’s Next?

 

Have you ever had a big event in your life that was awesome, but left you feeling depressed because it was over?

 

Conversely, have you ever had something happen between you and your partner that left you feeling angry, unappreciated or resentful?

 

Although very different, both of these scenarios can have a negative impact on you and those around you. So what’s one to do? I suggest taking the advice of 94 year-old Norman Lear, famed producer of shows such as All in the Family, Good Times and The Jeffersons.

 

During his recent appearance on NPR’s, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me!, Norman shared advice centered around 2 simple words: Over and Next.  “When something is over, it is over. And we are on to next.” he stated. What great advice that can make a huge impact on your mindset and on the quality of your everyday life!

 

Without going into detail, I once carelessly ruined a new outfit my wife bought to wear that afternoon at a friends wedding. Although disappointed for a moment, my wife considered it over and we went on to have a great time at the wedding. How awesome on her part!

 

When we returned from our grand family vacation to Florida, we were all sad that it was Over. But we decided to enjoy today and anticipate all the great things that were coming Next!

 

Mr. Lear went on to say that “If there were to be a hammock in the middle between Over and Next, that would be what is meant by living in the moment.”

 

Consider this next time you are holding a grudge, or are a bit sad of something being over. Look to Next and enjoy this moment!

 

Making Life's Hard Decisions Simple

WHAT’S MORE IMPORTANT?

What’s more important to you?

Kindness or Generosity

Faith or Patience

Determination or Courage

Compassion or Gratitude

Honesty or Forgiveness

Hard to pick, right?

The reality is that regardless of how great and important you think all these values are, you choose to prioritize some values over others every single day… often without even thinking about it.

The values you choose determine how you make important decisions in your life.

It influences whether you give money to a homeless person (generosity) vs. whether you don’t (self-reliance).

It influences whether you spend your money on cool experiences with people you love (loyalty), on things you really want (affluence), or you give it to charity (compassion).

It influences whether you are quick to apologize (forgiveness) or whether you occasionally hold a grudge (justice).

None of these values are inherently good or bad. And none of the above examples are right or wrong choices.

Each of these values is important to create the diverse, beautiful, and fascinating world we live in.

These values also shape your character, your beliefs, your choices, and your destiny.

Our shared values are what bind us to the people we love most… so much so that when our values change, often times our social circles change as well.

Ever notice when a single friend gets married, they often stop spending time with their single friends? It’s not because they don’t care about their friends anymore… it’s because they’ve had a change of values. Suddenly family, love and commitment take a priority over freedom, play and opportunity.

DO YOU KNOW YOUR CORE VALUES?

I’m amazed at how many people — especially couples — go throughout life without knowing what their core values are… they don’t even talk about it!

The very thing that binds people together goes completely unacknowledged.

When you know your values, you make more informed and inspired decisions in your life… especially hard decisions.

Your core values make it simple to decide whether or not to take the promotion. Whether or not to have kids. Whether or not to move to a new city. Whether or not to get married. Whether or not to buy a house, or continue renting.

Plus…

When you know your partner’s values, you get a window into their soul.

It’s like having a cheat sheet for their heart.

Knowing their values helps you understand the motivations behind their words, actions, and the things they get passionate and emotional about.

If they highly value equality, they may get really angry when they witness a social injustice.

If they value faith, they may be really hurt when they hear someone curse God, or speak unkindly of their religion.

If they value gratitude, they may become disenchanted and worn out if they don’t receive words of appreciation regularly.

Knowing your partner’s values will make you an incredible companion… the kind that understands, lifts, and inspires their partner to be their best self.

YOUR VALUES ARE CONTAGIOUS!

My favorite thing about values is that they are contagious.

A few weeks ago I worked out at the gym next to a friend of mine who is a complete workhorse. He attacked the workout like a bat out of hell.

His drive and ferocity inspired me to work harder, move faster, and take shorter rests.

His value of work ethic elevated my game.

Here’s another example…

Have you ever been in a situation where you were watching someone get bullied or publicly embarrassed? Maybe some people in the crowd were chuckling or outright laughing at the person being targeted. Maybe you even caught yourself laughing along.

Then somebody stands up and says, “Stop! This isn’t ok. Leave them alone.”

Other people start to speak up and defend the victim, break up the fight, or stop the bullying.

One person standing up for the value of kindness or equality will elevate the values of those around them.

When you live your values fully, you cause other people to rise to the occasion.

I invite you to spend some time this week and think about your core values. What are they? Why are they important to you? What experiences have fostered these values and shaped you into the person you are today? What are the values you share with the people/person you love most? How have those values impacted your relationship?

I’d love your responses in the comments.

If you want help identifying your values, check out the Rivets Card Game designed by David York. I’ve played it and it was an amazing experience that taught me a lot about myself and my relationship.

>>> CLICK HERE TO BUY THE GAME

A 75-Year-Old Study Give Away The True Secret to Happiness

For the last 75 years, a group of scientists have been following the lives of hundreds of men who come from the slums of Boston and the chambers of Harvard University.

The goal of the study has been to figure out what makes people happy.

The men being studied have seen it all.

War. Riches. Sickness. Love. Poverty. Health. Bankruptcy. Leadership. Addiction. And so much more.

Once the participants got to their 80's, the scientists went back to the data to see if they could find the data points that were most likely to predict who was going to grow into a happy, healthy 80-year-old and who was not.

The findings were surprising. Are you ready?

It wasn't money.

It wasn't status.

It wasn't cholesterol levels.

It wasn't living location, education level, or number of kids.

The people who were the most satisfied with their relationships in their 50's were the healthiest at age 80.

The relationships you cultivate now - with your spouse, your friends, your coworkers, and your children - are the gateway  to happiness now, and in your old age.

I can't speak for you, but sitting in a small home surrounded by people I love as I breathe my last breath sounds far more attractive than sitting in a large home surrounded by a pile of money and a lawyer.

The best insurance you can have for your long-term happiness is to invest in creating quality, meaningful, deeply-connected relationships.

So, plan a vacation, play some games, go for a walk together, turn off the computer, pick up the phone and make a call to say hello, plan a date night.

Where you invest your time and attention will determine where you see the return. If you want high returns in happiness and health, invest in relationships.

How A Simple Game Can Transform Your Relationship

If you're a fan of Unbox Love, you know we love finding activities that bring couples together.

Well, we've found a real winner this week! (And it makes a PERFECT last minute Christmas gift. *wink*)

It's called KEEP TALKING AND NOBODY EXPLODES!

The objective is to work together as a team to defuse a bomb before it blows up. One person looks at the bomb and relays information to the other person (or people) who happens to have a bomb defusing manual. The person with the manual then tells the person looking at the bomb which buttons to push, and which wires to cut to defuse the bomb.

This game is a blast to play. It can be really intense, and you never get the same bomb twice.

But here's the deal... the reason I recommend this game isn't solely because it's fun. It's also a phenomenal tool to learn about you, your partner, and your relationship.

You will learn that sometimes you're not as good at communicating as you think you are.

Sometimes what you're saying is SO clear to you, but what your partner is hearing is not even remotely close to what you're trying to communicate. It makes you realize how conflicts can arise outside the game because of a simple miscommunication.

You'll learn how you and your partner both react when placed in high-pressure situations.

Do you get hyper-focused or do you freak out and shut down when the last few seconds on the bomb are ticking away and you're at the final stages of a puzzle?

You'll learn how you and your partner respond to failure.

It's inevitable when you play this game that you'll make a mistake that will cause your bomb to explode. How do you react? Do you want to stop playing? Do you try to avoid the series of wires or buttons that caused you failure in the past? Do you dive in and try to master your weakness?

You'll learn whether you're a leader or a follower.

Are you the kind of person who likes to take control, assign out the puzzles, defuse the bomb, and control the communication? Or are you the kind of person who likes to sit around and wait to be told what to do? This might give you a chance to ask yourself why you choose to be the leader or the follower... Do you hate it when other people don't do things the way you do? Do you prefer to avoid taking risks and looking bad? Do you like to be the center of attention, or do you prefer to be as invisible as possible?

You'll learn whether or not you're good at paying attention to the little things.

Each puzzle on the bomb has its own nuances and tricks. If you don't pay attention, moving too fast or misreading one little word can ruin the game for everyone. Are you the kind of person who doesn't pay attention to the little things at the expense of everyone else's efforts? Or are you a person who fixates on getting every little thing right thereby jeopardizing the game because you're so worried about doing something imperfectly that by the time you take action, it's too late?

There's so much you can learn about yourself in this game... I think EVERYONE should have to play it - first because it's fun - but more importantly, because it's an amazing opportunity to expose yourself to your real life weaknesses and flaws and ask yourself some important questions that can make you a better human being.

Click here to download the bomb defusing manual, click here to download the game, and click here to follow me (Nate) on Blab... a video streaming website where I occasionally get together to play with whoever is interested... or you can just watch.

Have an amazing holiday, enjoy the people you love most, and keep talking so nobody explodes!

And don't forget to sign up for Unbox Love if you haven't already!

A Recipe for the Perfect Apology

If you want to have healthy relationships that last, there is one skill you must absolutely master.

The apology.

The funny thing is, you were probably never taught the most effective way to apologize.

Lucky for you, I have a lot of practice with apologies... maybe even the requisite 10k hours worth that would qualify me as an expert.

So buckle up. I'm about to take you on a wild ride through Apologytown!


It's About More Than Being Sorry

Take a moment and think... what's the purpose of an apology?

Is it to absolve yourself of blame? Is it to avoid the consequences of your actions or to escape punishment? Is it so you can stop feeling guilty?

If these are the motivating factors behind your apology, your'e doing it wrong!

The purpose of an apology is to heal, repair and restore a relationship that has been damaged.

As a kid you're taught that an apology is saying, "I'm sorry."

Over time, those two words became the backbone of every apology. They were supposed to magically remove any harm, hurt feelings, or damage that you caused through your actions and words.

You say those words then act shocked when the people you've hurt continue to suffer.

"I said I'm sorry! What more do you want from me!?"

Here's the deal. I want you to forget that those two words exist.

They don't mean anything anymore.

"I'm sorry" doesn't magically make emotional or physical pain evaporate into thin air.

"I'm sorry" isn't the analog version of CTRL+Z that can undo our mistakes.

"I'm sorry" doesn't help us accomplish our goal of healing, repairing or restoring a relationship.

Often the words "I'm sorry" do more damage than good. We treat them like a magic healing potion (like the Grandpa uses Windex on My Big Fat Greek Wedding), but magic like this doesn't exist. There simply isn't a magic word that makes pain go away... and when we assume there is, it leaves our partner feeling hurt and invalidated and alone.

3 Steps to a REAL Apology

Now that you've ditched the ineffective, meaningless, and often hurtful "I'm sorry" strategy, I'm going to give you a strategy to apologize in a way that heals, uplifts, and connects you to the people you love.

Step 1 - Take Responsibility For Your Actions

When you hurt someone, it's typically a result of something you said or did... or something you didn't say or didn't do that you said you would.

Instinct would have you avoid the blame, and make up all sorts of excuses for your behavior, or even become defensive and try to shift the blame back on your partner.

"Sorry I'm late... traffic."

"I know I said I'd pick up the laundry, but my boss called me on the way home, and I just forgot."

"Yeah, I said some mean stuff, but I was really angry... and you were being a big jerk and you deserved it!"

Remember, your traffic didn't make the promise to show up on time. Your boss didn't make the promise to pick up the laundry. And your anger didn't make the promise to be kind.

You did.

Be responsible.

Avoiding accountability for your own actions is just bad form.

Instead say, "I screwed up. I made a promise and I broke it. It's my fault."

Then...

Step 2 - Feel Their Pain

When you do something (or don't do something) and an apology is warranted, you rarely take the time to understand the real consequences of your actions. You make the assumption that the sadness, anger, or upset is a direct result of the thing you did wrong.

Most of the time this assumption is way off base. Here's an example.

Let's say I tell my wife, "Hey babe! I'm going to be home from work to pick you up for our date at 5:30 tonight."

Then, for whatever reason -- I get stuck in traffic, or I get a last minute phone call, or I just lose track of time -- I show up late.

My wife is pissed.

Logically I make the assumption, "Oh, she's upset because I'm late," so my first instinct is to say, "Hey honey, I'm sorry I was late..."  followed by an explanation and excuse for my behavior. (Remember how this is a big no-no from the section above?)

In my brain, this tactic is supposed to free me of all responsibility and erase all harm.

But I avoid that instinct which most likely would just have makes things worse. (VICTORY!)

Instead, I take responsibility then seek some understanding. "Babe, I screwed up. I'm sorry. I know I'm late. And I see that you're upset. I didn't mean to hurt you, but I know I did. Tell me what you're experiencing or thinking or feeling. I want to understand the effect my choices had on you."

I know it sounds a little cheesy, but it's actually a beautiful offering to your partner.

This simple act of seeking understanding will open up a door and demonstrate that the simple act of breaking a promise and showing up late can have a much more profound and negative impact on your relationship than you thought.

You'll hear things like:

"I have been really looking forward to spending time with you, and when you showed up late I just felt like I wasn't important. Your work just seems like it means more to you than our relationship. I feel really lonely. I really miss you."

or

"I felt like I couldn't trust you. I want to know that my husband will always be there for me. Lately you've dropped the ball on a lot of little things... I sometimes ask myself if I can't rely on you for the little things, can I really rely on you for the big things? I want to be able to trust you, but when you break your promises, I get scared that I won't be able trust you at all in the future."

or

"When you didn't show up on time and I didn't hear from you, I was scared that you were hurt or that something had happened. I can't imagine my life without you. I love you so much and I worried that I had lost you."

When you take a minute to really listen to the impact your actions and words have, it gives you an opportunity to be feel your partner's pain. You're act of empathy and understanding act as two of the key ingredients to creating connection and intimacy and trust... something that you lost when you screwed up.

See how we're restoring the relationship!? Isn't this cool?

Step 3 - Make A New Commitment

Now that you've taken responsibility for your actions, and really taken time to understand the consequences of those actions, it's time to make a plan to move forward with more trust and connection.

Have a conversation with your partner about what you can do to rebuild trust and help them feel more loved and respected.

Tell them what you plan to do to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

Create a new set of commitments, agreements, and promises that will leave your relationship fortified and protected... then keep them!

Practice Makes Perfect

Honestly, it's really hard to resist the decades of instincts and conditioning that come up when you screw up. I get it.

I still catch myself saying, "I'm sorry," in the hopes that it will fix everything, or making excuses for my behavior.

The best way to really master this new form of apology is to use it all the time, with all sorts of people in all sorts of situations.

Practicing these 3 steps will make your relationships work so much better!

Take ownership... be responsible for your actions.

Listen to your partner tell you about the pain you caused. Feel their pain.

Make a new commitment to be better, to change, and to improve.

There will be less resentment, grudges, anger, and disappointment. Even when you screw up, you'll be reinforcing how important your partner is to you, and resolving any doubts, insecurities, or worries they may have.

Use the recipe! Make it your own! Create something awesome with it.

Let me know what you think about it in the comments!

Celebrate Love Note Day With A Free Gift!

Saturday is my favorite holiday of the year... it's NATIONAL LOVE NOTE DAY!

Love notes are one of my favorite things in life. They are fun to write, because you get to really think about what you want to say before you say it.

Then you get to see someone’s reaction as they read all the lovely things you feel about them.

And then they get to save your words to read later if they are every feeling blue, or missing you! It’s like wrapping up a memory and having it available for instant replay at any time…

I even love to write love notes for strangers and hide them in places like airports, parks, restaurants or shopping malls.

It’s amazing what one little note of encouragement and love can do for someone.

So, here’s the deal… I want you to celebrate Love Note Day with me!

Here’s how you can do that...

Step 1:

Write a love note. It can be to someone you love, or to a complete stranger… or even better, it could be both. You can even print off this sexy note that I had designed for you by the lovely Ashley Isenhour, designer over at Ike Studio.

It’s our gift to you!

Step 2:

Take a picture of your love letter and post it to Instagram or Facebook. Invite your friends to write love notes of their own.

Don’t forget to tag your photo with the hashtag #lovenoteday.

Step 3:

Bask in the awesome feelings of love that you’ve created in the world and in your life.

Thanks for helping me celebrate this amazing day!

Let’s go flood the world with some love!

If you want to share this post to invite your friends to participate, you can click one of these links to share on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest

Love you!

-Nate “Spread the Love” Bagley

 

How to make a Paracord Bracelet

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

The easiest way to make your paracord bracelet (and not screw up, or miss a step) is to follow the step-by-step instructions in this video.

DON'T LIKE VIDEO?

But if videos aren't your thing, here are some great instructions with pictures to help you create your rad wrist strap. Big thanks to Instructables for the images that we borrowed.

Step 1: Measure Your Wrist

Actual amount of cord used for the bracelet is about 1 foot of cord for every 1 inch of knotted bracelet length. So if your wrist is 8 inches you'd use approximately 8 feet of cord.

Wrap the paracord around you wrist and make a note of where the cord meets. Hold this point next to your ruler or tape measure and that's your wrist size.

Step 2: Find the center of the cord

old the ends of the cord together and find the center of the loop. Take the center of the cord and pull it thru one end of the buckle (either side of the buckle, it doesn't matter). Now pull the cord ends thru the loop until it's tightened up and attached to the buckle.

Step 3: Finding the bracelet length

Take buckle apart and and pull the free ends of the cord thru the other part of the buckle, sliding it up towards the attached part.  Now you're going to measure the distance between the two buckle ends for the bracelet size for your wrist.

Add about 1 inch to your measured wrist length, this will make the finished bracelet a comfortable fit. You're measuring from the end of the female part of the buckle to the flat part of the male end of the buckle (the part with the prongs, they don't count for the measurement because the fit inside the female part of the buckle when the bracelet is closed).

Step 4: Start making the knots

Take the cord on the left side and place it under the center strands running between the buckle ends.

Now take the cord on the right side under the left side cord, over the center strands, and thru the loop of the left side cord.

Tighten up the cords so the half knot you just formed is next to the buckle.

Now take the right side cord under the center strands. The left side cord goes under the right side cord, over the center strands and thru the loop of the right side cord.

Tighten up the cords (not too tight, just until they meet the resistance of the knot) and now you have a completed knot.

You will continue doing this alternating the left and right sides as you go. If you don't alternate, you'll quickly see a twisting of the knots, just undo the last knot and alternate it to correct.

Step 5: Continue knotting

Keep tying the knots until you have filled the space between the buckle ends. The knots should be uniform from one end to the other. Tie each knot with the same tension to keep the them all the same size.

Step 6: Trim the excess cord and melt the ends

You can now use your scissors to trim off the extra cord close to the last knot that you tied. I trim one at a time and use my lighter to quickly melt the end I cut.

Wait a second for the melted cord to cool just a bit and then use my thumb to press the melted end onto the surrounding cord so it hardens as it attaches.

You must be careful with this step. The melted cord is extremely hot, and it's possible to get burned. You might also try using a soldering iron or wood burning tool for the melting step if you wish. Or even use something like a butter knife, the side of your lighter, or the knurled section of a tool to flatten out the melted end of the cord to finish it.

An alternative to melting the ends, is to tuck/pull the ends under the last couple of knots (I have used hemostats to do this on the inside of the bracelet) then trim them to finish. It does work, and is just barely noticeable as the cords add a slight bulge at that end of the bracelet.

Step 8: You're finished

If you did everything correctly, it should look something like this finished one. Once you know what you're doing you can vary the amount of cord used by making the knots tighter or looser and pushing the knots closer together as you go.

We hope you enjoy your new bracelets... and more, we hope you enjoy the entire Prepare for Adventure date!

Incorporating adventure into your relationship stimulates the brain, releases bonding chemicals, and creates that awesome "in love" feeling. Take advantage of the amazing weather and go play together, or as Miss Frizzle said... "Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!"

Creative Ways to Use a Mason Jar

This month's date includes some really cool mason jars for couples.

I don't know if you've heard, but mason jars can be used in countless cool ways. So I scoured the internet to find a bunch of things you can do to make use of your new love jars:

52 DATES IN A JAR

Write down over 50 date ideas on colored popsicle sticks. Each color represents a different type of date (ie: white = stay at home, pink = cheap date, red = splurge). 

Every date night, just pick a stick out of the jar and do what it says.

It's a fun way to solve the "What do you want to do?" "I dunno, what do you want to do?" problem when date night rolls around.

Sometimes the best thing you can do to make the best of your date nights is just plan ahead a little bit.

Here's a link to the detailed instructions.

"I'M BORED" JAR

Got kids?

Here's a perfect idea to help them from getting bored this summer. 

The idea is super similar to the 52 Dates In A Jar concept... here's a link to the instructions.

MASON JAR LUNCH BOX

Did you know you can use your mason jar as a lunchbox?

Well you can!

Here's a list of 27 amazing recipes you can cook or store in a mason jar. Some of these sound amazing! They've got breakfast ideas, pastas, salads, soups, and a bunch of other delicious-looking stuff.

Plus, you get bonus points for using an eco-friendly container!

FLAVORED WATER

It's summer time... the time of year I get 99.9% parched!

Nothing beats the heat like some delicious flavored water... which you can brew (is that right? Do you brew flavored water? I feel like a witch or a craft-beer hobbyist saying that...) right in your mason jars!

Plus, if you freeze your water in the mason jar, you can use it to keep your cooler cold when you go on a hike, or on a picnic... then enjoy a glass of deliciousness when you're ready for a tall glass of goodness.

Here are some great flavored water instructions and recipes you can check out!

MASON JAR DESSERTS

You can thank me later for these Mason Jar Dessert Recipes.

SUMMERTIME SMOOTHIES

I love smoothies... so much. They are one of my favorite things in the world.

Here is a list of 20 healthy smoothie recipes that I'll be trying out over the next few weeks... and here's another list of 20 different smoothie recipes which also look incredible.

If you ask me, the best thing about mason jars is that they are perfect for holding smoothies for you to drink.

CRAFTS AND MORE!

The amazing DIY Ready website has about a bajillion other ideas for things you can do with mason jars including more recipes, gift ideas, lighting, and crafts.

The list is really mind-blowing. No joke. I couldn't even sort through the whole list.

You might come over some awesome stuff here... including a terrarium!

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU DO WITH YOUR MASON JAR!

We want to hear what you guys end up doing with your jars. Send us pictures! Tag us on Instagram or Facebook! Tweet us!

We'll even send out prizes to a few of you who show off your awesomeness.

Until next month, may your relationship be full of love and happiness and summertime fun!

-Nate

The Most Clear Indicator That Your Relationship Will Fail... And How To Avoid It

https://www.flickr.com/photos/linneberg/8613637035/

Here at Unbox Love, we are dedicated to helping couples create remarkable, lasting, passionate love.

It's hard for us to hear about customers who cancel their subscriptions because of a breakup or divorce. And that's not because we are losing them as a customer (though we're always sad to see people go). It's because we really are committed to doing whatever we can to help people love being in love.

Unfortunately, the stark reality is that the divorce rate for first marriages hovers around 40%-50%... and that doesn't even account for people who stay together and aren't really happy.

But we know this doesn't have to be reality. We know we can do better! And we invite you to join us in our crusade to strengthen marriages everywhere... starting with yours.

The Biggest Threat to Marriage

A recent national survey found that the most common reasons given for divorce are:

  • Lack of commitment (73% said this was a major reason).  
  • Too much arguing (56%)
  • Infidelity (55%)
  • Marrying too young (46%)
  • Unrealistic expectations (45%)
  • Lack of equality in the relationship (44%)
  • Lack of preparation for marriage (41%)
  • Abuse (29%).

(People often give more than one reason, so the percentages add up to more than 100%.)

Although these reasons can all be valid grounds for ending a relationship, we believe they are not telling the whole story. There is a piece of the puzzle missing.

Researcher, Dr. John Gottman has the answer.

Dr. Gottman is most famous for being able to predict with a 94% accuracy whether or not a couple will get divorced by watching them argue for 3 minutes.

Here's how he does it:

Dr. Gottman learned that HOW a couple fights (not WHAT they fight about) is the loudest indicator of whether or not they will stay together.

In other words, the source of your conflict (whether it's infidelity, lack of commitment, feeling neglected, or even how to hang the toilet paper) is not nearly as important as HOW you deal with the conflict.

The Best Way To Approach Conflict

Just because the way you deal with conflict is a blatant indicator of whether or not your relationship will be successful doesn't mean you need to shy away from it.

If you deal with conflict the right way, it can actually bring you closer together!

Even more importantly, you can change the way you deal with conflict. It's not engrained in your DNA. It's a learned skill.

So, let's get to the chase, what's the most important thing you can learn right now about conflict?

It's all about the start-up.

The strongest indicator of a couple that a couple will not be successful (reach a peaceful resolution) in conflict is how they start up the conversation.

Dr. Gottman teaches that there are 2 ways to start an argument... there's the Soft Start-Up and the Harsh Start-Up. (Guess which one is worse.)

The Soft Start-Up

Couples who use a Soft Start-Up are a bajillion times more likely to find a resolution to their conflict. They use things like humor, manners, appreciation, and specific, non-blaming complaints to engage each other.

The Harsh Start-Up

Couples who use a Harsh Start-Up method are typically always going nowhere fast. A Harsh Start-Up will almost always trigger the fight-or-flight mechanism in both partners. The brains ability to have a logical, reasonable discussion goes down the toilet.

Rather than finding a peaceful resolution to the issue at hand, each partner spends their energy attacking and defending themselves until either one person gets exhausted and gives up, or worse, is emotionally, mentally, or physically wounded to the point that they cannot continue.

The folks over at the #StayMarried blog have created this awesome graphic that shows some of the attributes of Harsh Start-Ups vs. Soft Start-Ups.

Take a look and see which you are more prone to!

There's More To It Than That

Obviously there's more to having successful conflict than just knowing how your Start-Up effects the outcome.

Don't worry! We'll be coming back to you with more information about how to create a Soft Start-Up, and then how to handle the rest of a conflict conversation in the coming weeks.

If you can master the art of conflict, you will experience the kind of relationship most people only dream of.

Please don't take this lightly. Develop the skills. And more importantly, share them with others! Their love depends on it.


If you haven't signed up for Unbox Love now's your chance! Get awesome, curated dates delivered to your door for you and your lover for less than the cost of dinner and a movie:

Will You Be My Valentine?

V-Day Is Upon Us!

Valentines day is coming, and we're partnering with The Gottman Institute to bring you an amazingly awesome box!

If you are the kid of person who constantly puts things off till the last minute, or who has a hard time being creative, or who just likes to get things crossed off your to-do list, or who likes doing fun, unique things that nobody else does... well... we've got you covered.

Just click the button to order you V-day box and we'll get it sent your way before the big day:

January's Box

For those of you who are curious, January's box has been shipped.

If you want a little extra goodness from your date, click here... but if you don't want a spoiler, don't click until you've opened the box!

We hope you enjoy it, and that it hopes you kick your new year off on the right foot!

How One Man Made His Girlfriend Cry Tears of Joy

A few weeks ago I was talking to my good friend, Bob about his love life. He raved about the girl he's been dating for the last few months, and how wonderful she is, and how great the relationship has been.

He told me he wanted to dedicate his week to loving her better and strengthening their relationship.

I asked him, "When was the last time you asked her out on a date?"

"It's been a while." he replied.

"Ask her out for this weekend. But don't half-ass it. Ask her a few days in advance if you can take her out on a date this weekend. Have it planned out. Put some thought into it. See what happens."

"Alright," said Bob. "I'll do it."

I got a call the next week, and Bob was happy. "Nate. She was so excited and happy that I asked her out that she cried."

I just smiled.

Sometimes all it takes to experience amazing connection with the people we love most is a reminder that they are the most important thing in the world to us.

Take the time to make your special someone feel special this week. Do something kind for them. Ask them out on a date. Write them a love note.

You'll be surprised what a big difference the little things make.

4 Tips To Have The Most Epic Date Night - With The Dating Divas!

This week I had the chance to sit down with two awesome ladies from The Dating Divas, Caroline and Catharine. We talked about the importance and benefits of dating after marriage, how to be an awesome dater, and they gave tons of resources for activities and creating fun memories and conversations.

Follow these steps, and you'll have amazing date nights with your lover. Don't forget to watch the video, and try some of this stuff out!

The beautiful thing about marriage is that there's always room for growth.

Do Your Homework

When you've been married for a few years, or even a few decades, it's easy to just assume you know everything about your spouse. The cool thing about humans is that we're always changing.

It's very possible - and frankly, quite likely - that you've stopped studying your partner like you did when you were first dating... and the result has been a bit of boredom, lack of passion, and in extreme cases maybe even a dead bedroom. It's time to pick up the habit of being interested again.

Start studying what your partner likes and dislikes. What is the first thing they do when they come home from work? What do they like to do when they are stressed out? What are things you used to do together but haven't done in a long time? What things do they talk about regularly that you may not be paying full attention to?

Remember, people are most interesting when you are interested in them.

Plan a date around something new you think your significant other will like. Be thoughtful. Be intentional. And make sure it's about them, not you.

If you want to up the ante in the passion, connection, or intimacy department, it pays to do your homework! (It's ok to keep notes.)

Leave the Stress At Home

It is really easy to turn date night into a gripe session. There's a lot to complain about in life! Your boss, the kids, the housecleaning, your annoying coworker, the house project that is unfinished, the nosey neighbor, there's not enough time, money, space, energy... the list goes on.

Leave that crap behind on date night!

Maybe that means you set a timer for complaining and get it all out at the beginning of the date so you can feel heard and validated. Maybe it means you just save the griping for another day.

Regardless of what you choose to do, don't allow your entire conversation at date night revolve around what's not working. Turning date night into a complaintfest will only make you resent and avoid spending time together in the future.

Instead, focus on victories, celebrations, hopes and dreams you've got. Play a game of "Would You Rather" to get yourself in a more playful mood.

Make date night a positive experience!

Make a Fuss

When was the last time you got all gussied up for each other? When you get out of the yoga pants and put some serious thought into your appearance it creates a mindset for you and your partner that "this is important."

Put on some cologne or eyeliner. Wear a nice collared shirt, or put on a skirt. Shower and brush your teeth. You can even pick your date up (leave the house and knock on the door).

Everyone likes to feel important... so make yourself and your spouse feel important by putting in a bit of effort to look good, and feel good, so your evening will also be good.

Be Consistent

Date night is one of the best habits you can develop as a couple. It has the greatest positive effect on your relationship when it's happening regularly. Put it on your calendar. Make it a priority.

Your priorities (or how you spend your time) reflects what's really important to you. So, can you put off that yard work one more day to spend time together, or are the weeds in the garden more important than the weeds in your marriage?

Remember what Gandhi said...

Your beliefs become your thoughts, 
Your thoughts become your words, 
Your words become your actions, 
Your actions become your habits, 
Your habits become your values, 
Your values become your destiny.

Building good habits will ultimately transform your destiny as a person, as a couple, and as a family.

Now, here are some awesome resources to help make you a better dater:

Give Unbox Love as a Gift - And Other Important Announcements!

It’s been a while since we sent you an update, but we figured it’s time to share some awesome news with you! Brace yourself, this is going to be even better than the news coverage on election day.

Give The Gift of Love!

You can finally give Unbox Love as a gift!

A lot of you have mentioned that Unbox Love would make a great wedding, anniversary, birthday, holiday, or get-out-of-the-dog-house gift. We agree completely.

I mean, what better way to say, “I love you.” than with a box full of love?

So, you can either purchase past date boxes here, or you can give the gift of next month’s box, or even a subscription by clicking here.

Save Money with New Subscriptions!

While we were setting up the option to buy gifts, we got a little wild and crazy and set up 3 and 6 month subscriptions! If you love Unbox Love and want to save some cash, you can sign up for a 3 month or 6 month subscription at a discounted rate!

It’s our little way of saying thank you for being such awesome customers.

Jump on the subscriptions and gifts fast! We only have a limited supply each month. If you move slow, you miss out…

Learn About Past Dates

If you want to learn about what we’ve done for past dates, you can click here. And if you want to buy one of our past dates, you can click here.

And here’s what some of our customers are saying about us, in case you are on the fence:

“We're on our second box and so far we are loving them! Thanks for all of the hard work you guys do for these boxes. They are amazing!”

“We loved the last box and are looking forward to this month's! Thanks to all of you for providing such a creative service!”

My guy and I opened our box last night and we are SO PUMPED for this date!! What awesome ideas! Thank you so much :)

Tapping In To The Experts

Last, but definitely not least, we have some awesome webinars coming up with experts in the marriage and relationship industry. They’ll be sharing with us some of their best dating and relationship tips, and we couldn’t be more excited about it!

If you want to watch them live, the best way to find out about them is to follow us on Facebook or Google+.

We hope you have an amazing weekend, and that you find a chance to spend some meaningful time with the person you love.

We love you! Thanks for being awesome.

-Nate and Steve