7 Cheap Dates for Newlyweds

interracial couple embracing, couple hugging, S.C. Rhyne

If your date night budget has shrunk after marriage, don’t fret — there are plenty of ways to get some quality time with your honey, even on a tight budget. Here are a few low-cost or free date ideas for newlyweds:

Rent Bikes and Ride Around The City

Many cities offer bikeshare programs that give locals and out-of-towners access to bicycles as a way to “green up” transportation. Take advantage of the low-cost rental and take a ride around the city. You can go in the morning to get some fresh air or take a romantic ride at sunset.

Bike share programs like Seattle’s Pronto or Washington D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare offer city dwellers access to shared bikes for just $85 annually. Other programs like Phoenix, Arizona’s Grid Bikes cost just $79 per year, or you could opt to pay an hourly fee for a one-time ride. Check out what your city offers online.

Go to a Sports Game

We’re not talking about seeing a professional sports game, instead, go see a minor league team, or even a high school team play ball. At the game, buy a bag of popcorn or a hotdog and test your luck by purchasing a raffle ticket–you might leave with a big prize. Admission is generally cheap, if not free, which makes this date idea a winner.

Turn Your Backyard Into a Playground

You don’t have to leave your house to have a good time, just transform your backyard into a poolside playground and lounge the day away. Inflate a few floating pool lounges and toss them into the pool, mix up some margaritas and slather on the sunscreen and you’re all set to enjoy this low-cost date.

Go Thrift Shopping

Visit the local flea market or thrift shop to find vintage furnishings and decorations for your new home together. Make a date out of it and work together to haggle with the vendors. Couples can take this time to learn about your spouse’s design preferences and style. And by purchasing something that could use a little refurbishing, like a chair that needs to be reupholstered, for example, the two of you could get your hands dirty and work together to bring it back to life.

Take a Hike

Adventurous couples looking to test their limits and explore new places can take a hike together. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, choose a trail with beautiful views and take the time on the trail to talk. The peaceful setting provides a wonderful opportunity to not only get in touch with nature but your partner as well.

Support Your Favorite Cause and Volunteer Together

If helping others is second nature to both you and your partner, give back to your community by volunteering together. Use a website like VolunteerMatch.com to find a cause and opportunities nearby. From working with animals to lending your skills to a non-profit, Volunteer Match offers hundreds of unique volunteer opportunities that can help to strengthen the community and your bond with your partner.

See a Movie In the Park

Many neighborhoods host a movie night in the local park during the summer months. Bring a blanket and some traditional movie munchies like Junior Mints or M&Ms and cozy up to your hubby. This date is free and it’s a great way to meet your neighbors if you’re new to the community.

Do you have any ideas for a great but yet inexpensive way to spend time together? Tell me about it on Facebook, twitter, or Google!

Split Up Chores, Keep Marriage Together

splitting up chores, married couple, doing dishes together

What’s your least favorite household chore? Cleaning the toilet? Folding the laundry? Who does the house cleaning in your relationship? Studies show that couples who share household chores equally are happier, especially if both partners carry their fair share of the work agreeably. PsychCentral says divvying up household chores equitably and agreeably can be difficult for two-career couples, but it’s important to discuss and agree how to get the housework done.

All Things Equal

A University of Illinois study found that equal sharing of housework means a better chance for marital happiness. The study examined 220 heterosexual newly married couples and their beliefs, behaviors and marital quality. University of Illinois professor of human development and family studies Brian G. Ogolsky says it’s important for couples to work out their expectations for sharing chores in the first few years of their marriage because the patterns that get established persist and affect the quality of the marriage over time.

A Pew Research report supports these findings. Out of a list of nine things associated with successful marriages, sharing household chores ranked third in importance in a survey of American adults. This belief is consistent for men and women, young and older adults, and married and single survey participants.

Chores for Fun and Bonding

No one likes to get stuck cleaning up after everyone else. Turn chores into a positive instead of a negative by using them for fun and bonding. Doing chores together in a fun way gets them done faster, and time spent working toward a mutual goal means time to chat and enjoy each other’s company. Chat about your day while doing the dishes as one dries and one puts dishes away in the cabinet. Get a little exercise together while walking the dog. View bigger chores as a bonding experience. Cleaning out the garage or doing pool maintenance can be fun if you work as a team. Treat each other to an ice cream date after a long job well done.

Who Does What

Hartwell-Walker recommends thoroughly discussing different household chores, how both partners feel about them, and making a sincere effort to come to genuine agreement about who will do which chores. She advises couples to list out house cleaning chores, outside chores like cutting the grass and cleaning the gutters, child care responsibilities, and extended relationship chores like writing letters, sending cards, buying gifts and arranging social activities. Discuss each area and the items in them. Couples should explore how they feel about doing different types of chores, which chores they disagree about most, and what they both think is the fairest way to handle them.

Sheila Wray Gregoire, author of “To Love, Honor and Vacuum,” says chores can be used to bring couples closer together, rather than as a point of disagreement and discord. She recommends honoring each partner’s preferences and specialties in the areas of household chores, and revisiting work divisions when changes occur such as different work schedules, illness or injury or a new baby. Gregoire also reminds couples to be honest with each other about their real feelings about cleanliness and clutter because holding your partner to a higher or unrealistic standard of housekeeping perfection is a recipe for disaster.

Guest: Surviving Wedding Season: A Simple Guide For Friends Of The Bride

Apparently, summer is the season of love. According to The Knot, June, August, September and October are the most popular months for weddings. With all the upcoming nuptials, it can be tough on friends of the bride. Navigating bridal showers, bachelorette parties, bridesmaid duties and even wedding guest planning can feel like a juggling act. Before you tear your hair out, take a deep breath and follow this simple guide to get you through wedding season.

Calendar Carefully

If you think a wedding is just one day of celebration, you’re dreaming. As soon as you hear your friend is engaged, it’s time to flip out the calendar and clear your schedule. Depending on your role in the wedding and how close you are to the bride, you’ll have to plan for the engagement party, dress shopping, bridal shower, bachelorette party, all those bridal shows she wants to drag you to, brunch dates to pour over wedding magazines and, oh yeah, the actual wedding day. All of this can get especially dicey when you have more than one friend getting married.

Gather dates and obligations as soon as you can to add them to your calendar. Be flexible, but also let your engaged friend know of any prior commitments you have on your schedule as early as possible so she can keep them in mind while planning. It can be helpful to print out a wedding checklist or scheduling template from The Knot, Real Simple or Pinterest. These are designed for brides, but can be handy for bridesmaids organizing their calendars.

Apps Are Your Best Friend

Keep your smartphone or tablet with you at all times (like you don’t already). It can be your best friend through the wedding anxiety. Some of the best wedding apps are for bridesmaids and groomsmen. Mashable compiled some of the most helpful apps:

  • InTheMo is a personal concierge for planning a bachelorette party or night out in any city
  • WedPics is a great way to share your professional wedding photos and invite other guests to view and share their own
  • WeddingSpeechBuilder can help you conquer your stage fright with a database of quirky jokes and one-liners that are perfect for your reception toast

Search your app store for other helpful apps to handle everything from searching the wedding registry to a mirror app that lets you check your face before the photo shoot starts.

Finances and Frugality

According to a survey by the XO group, it costs approximately $1,695 to be a bridesmaid. Your budget may not necessarily match the extravagance level of the wedding, but there are ways to save money while fully participating in the matrimonial activities. Glamour recommends voicing any financial concerns to your fellow bridesmaids up front. For decorations, accessories and bridal showers, work together to find bridal sales or take the DIY route with inspiration from Pinterest or Etsy. Skipping the professional hair, makeup and spa days can save a couple hundred dollars as well. Remember you don’t have to buy the most expensive gift on the bride’s registry either. A thoughtful or personal gift will be memorable and appreciated, or you can go in on a more extravagant gift with friends or other bridesmaids.

Offer To Help

While being a bridesmaid can be stressful, remember it’s your friends special day—and she is probably freaking out twice as much as you are. The Knot recommends being specific when you volunteer to help instead of simply asking “What can I do?” Offer to stuff invitations, pick up dry cleaning, help with decorations or chauffeuring relatives. No matter what role you play in your friend’s wedding, keep it simple and you’ll have a great time.

Man Sues wife (successfully) for UGLY Children

Man Sues wife (successfully) for UGLY Children

From Intentious.com by Jason Sutherland

(Gotta click on the Title)

plastic surgery, asian plastic surgery, lawsuit, ugly children, interracial blog, s.c. rhyne, jon and sabrien, the reporter and the girl, asian family, family picture

And I thought I had man problems, not only is the story absurd, but so if this blogger’s take on the situation.

Expect many more of these lawsuits in the future.  It has always bugged me the way women commoditise their bodies: slathering on cosmetics, changing their hair colour, getting boob jobs, injecting botox into their faces and the list goes on and on…

Guest Post: A Very British Divorce

There is often a perception amongst Americans that the British are a reserved lot; that we’re polite and resolve any problems over a nice cup of tea.  This may be the case in some respects, but when it comes to the breakdown of a marriage we still have a fault based divorce and couples are forced to point the finger of blame at their former partner.

There is only one ground for divorce in England and Wales (Scotland has its own set of laws) and that is “the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.”  In short, this means that the parties have no chance of reconciling.  If one party believes that this is the case then they can petition for a divorce and the likelihood is the divorce will be granted whether the other party wants it or not.  Over here, it takes two to make a marriage, but only one to break it.

Whilst there is only one ground for a divorce, the petitioner must show one of 5 facts as to why their marriage has irretrievably broken down.  The facts are as follows:

1.Unreasonable behaviour – in short, the respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with them.  This covers a multitude of sins and can range from being reckless with money, to being too tight with the family finances, not going out enough, going out too much etc…

2.Adultery – there is no point issuing a petition citing adultery unless you have a signed confession statement from the respondent; because proving adultery involves a hearing before a judge, is expensive and difficult to prove. Quite simply, you wouldn’t waste your money without a confession, you would just cite Unreasonable Behaviour instead.

3.Desertion – the respondent would have to have deserted the petitioner at least 2 years before a petition was issued.  This is not a terribly common petition in England & Wales, as most would cite 1 or 2 above.

4.Two years separation with consent – the nicest way to get divorced and the only way to avoid pointing the finger of blame, is to cite the fact that you have been separated from your spouse for a period in excess of 2 years prior to the issuing of the divorce petition.  It is prudent to have the respondent sign a Form of Consent prior to you issuing your petition, because if the other party won’t consent, then don’t bother citing this fact; cite their unreasonable behaviour instead.

5.Five years separation without consent – this would only be done for parties to a marriage who have been separated for at least 5 years prior to the issuing of the petition, so is not a fact we see cited in petitions very often.

There has been talk about having a “no fault” divorce in England and Wales, but nothing has come of it as yet.  So in the meantime, the reserved British must put down their cups of tea and point the finger of blame.

Author Bio
Sarah Thompson is a principal family lawyer for Slater and Gordon lawyers

Tweet the girl at @ReporterandGirl for your thoughts and opinions
Or visit my page on Facebook for a discussion at TheReporterandTheGirl

And Forever Hold Your Peace

How long have you’ve been waiting to hear those words?

Well Edie Windsor has waited over 40 years with her romantic partner in order to say those words in Toronto in 2007. They both lived in New York, which before legalizing same-sex marriage last year, did recognize such unions to be legal if they were performed out of state.

However, the federal government does not recognize those same-sex partners as legally wed; and when Windsor’s partner died in 2009, she was required to pay inheritance taxes of over $300,000.

On the other hand, Britney Spears married childhood friend Jason Alexander in 2004 and annuled it in 55 hours (which is still the shortest marriage in history, I believe?); barely 10 years later, she has separated twice and has been engaged maybe 3 or 4 times.

So the Supreme Court (#SCOTUS) is supposed to be considering the arguments for same sex marriage; and the twitter feeds has been loaded with breaking tweets regarding Justice Scalia’s views about legislating from the courthouse or Justice Kennedy being the wild card in the mix.

DOMA or Defense of Marriage Act was passed under the liberal Clinton administration and restricts federal benefits (including taxes) to heterosexual married couples, despite the states’ individual laws. Prop 8 was passed in California, by a ballot referendum invalidating same-sex marriages in the state.

It’s interesting how this case is being argued in front of #SCOTUS — Equality vs. Tradition.

The Traditional arguments that Charles Cooper argued

Marriage is for Procreation (Thus, having sex within the marriage is only to have babies, not for intimacy or pleasure)

It is harmful for children to be raised by same-sex couples

Government should not interfere in defining a sanctimonious ritual (this for some reason was not argued in front of SCOTUS). Everyone, for legal reasons should have their civil union registered (inheritance, divorce, etc…) and have your church or faith describe your union.

Equality Arguments said by Ted Olson:

Marriage is a private right, in which all things–procreation is not required to get married. Prohibiting marriage violates constitutional liberties and one’s fundamental pursuit of happiness

Justice Scalia asked, “When did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexuals from marriage?” Olson replied, “When did it become unconstitutional to exclude interracial marriage?” Thus, bringing us to the 14th amendment and what I like to call the Thurgood Marshall approach.

For those of you who remember your history (Brown v. Board and Loving Case) both civil rights case were tried as unconstitional per the 14th amendment.

The idea being that even for states that have “civil unions” and “domestic partnerships”, these titles will never be equal to the way society views marriage.

Do you celebrate a domestic-versary?

I now pronounce you partner and partner etc…..

Say Yes to The Dress

Having a separate title for something that is supposed to give you the same benefits is not equal to the real thing. People don’t dream about their union day where they enter a civil agreement. They dream about weddings and marital bliss.

Or as Thurgood Marshall argued in ’56: Separate can never be Equal.

So how do you think #SCOTUS will decide this case: Tradition or Equality?

You can view/listen to the entire oral arguments here

Comment or Tweet me your thoughts! Enjoy the long weekend.


© 2012 -2013 S. C Rhyne