Simplify your life with seven simple shortcuts

Life can be hectic, and doing chores isn’t always fun. What if I told you there were some ways you could make those boring household tasks more entertaining and go a little faster? It’s true! We found some helpful shortcuts from that you can do today! You can even get your kids involved and do chores as a family.

You can make a meal prep assembly line, create chore zones around the house for some quick cleaning, make a laundry pile that will make you smile, create a family calendar of events, cooking during your kid’s naptime, shopping online, and cleaning your car every time you’re in it.

Click HERE for all the details from

Date your spouse – It’s good for you and your relationship!


Are you married? Good! Take a few minutes to read this blog. Today, The Morning Thing talked about the benefits of dating your spouse.

Dr. Greg Smalley is Vice President of Marriage and Family Formation at Focus on the Family and the author or co-author of several books, including Take the Date Night Challenge.

Dr. Smalley shares that when a couple spends time alone each week, their levels of happiness, positive communication and sexual satisfaction are more than three times higher than those who don’t spend that time together. That means you might be able to dramatically increase these important areas of your marriage by simply dating your wife!
The Morning Thing shared some insight from his article, “The Hidden Benefits of Dating your Wife” from

Click HERE to read the entire article.

Dr. Smalley says that Date night is a fantastic way to make sure you and your wife are connecting positively and enjoying each other’s company on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate. But it’s going to take time, effort and planning.

The key to a great date is to make sure you don’t administrate your marriage when you go out — don’t have conversations about finances, household responsibilities, problems with the kids or sensitive issues. You need to talk about these things, but not during a date. Date night is about enjoying each other.

Are you willing to take the Date Night Challenge? Go out on three dates in three weeks and watch how this will strengthen your marriage!

Dating takes some planning. Click HERE to read more about the heart and soul of Date Night!he best dates need to have the following characteristics:

  • Regularity—You need to make time on a regular and consistent basis to enjoy one another’s company.
  • Variety—Doing the same thing over and over can become monotonous. Spice up your couple time with a wide range of interesting pursuits.
  • Adventure—You don’t have to plan something elaborate or expensive. Maintaining a sense of adventure simply means including an element of the new, the unusual, or the unexpected.
  • Fun—This might seem obvious, but it’s more important than you think. Research shows that couples who engage in fun activities together enjoy deeper intimacy. So whatever you do during your Date Nights—and during other moments when you’re enjoying leisure time as a couple—make sure it’s FUN!

Sometimes in marriage, we forget that we need to pursue and “woo” our spouse.
Here are some more tips from Dr. Greg Smalley from Focus on the Family.
– Dress up
– Be polite and open doors
– Compliment one another
– Be affectionate – hold hands, cuddle and steal kisses

Other steps for a great date night:

Step 1: Go someplace different for dinner.

Instead of visiting the same familiar locations and eating the same old food, pick somewhere new or try a different type of cuisine.

Step 2: Enjoy your time together!

Your assignment for this Date Night is simple: do something that you both enjoy! If possible, select an activity that that has the elements of adventurevariety, and fun in it, as described above. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Play a round of miniature golf or Frisbee golf
  • Take a cooking class together
  • Attend a sporting event (but remember, this needs to be something you both enjoy!)
  • Go ballroom dancing
  • Go shopping at thrift stores and find some new treasures
  • Visit an amusement park and enjoy the Ferris wheel—or tempt fate on the roller coaster!

Step 3: Relax and unwind.

After your activity, relax and emotionally connect by talking.  Answer the following questions. Be sure to keep your responses positive, uplifting and encouraging.
– What was your favorite part of the evening?
– What is the one thing you learned tonight that you didn’t know about me before?
– What are some of the things we enjoy doing together?
– What memories do these activities evoke?
– What are some new activities that we’d like to consider for a future date?
– How can we make sure that  we make spending enjoyable time together a regular part of our marriage?

Step 4: Home and Sweet Home

As you drive home, spend time planning your next date. Also, think about additional ways you can foster fun times together.  Once you get home, however, it’s up to you what happens next. Have a great final adventure!

The Focus on the Family Marriage Assessment is designed to evaluate the strength of 12 essential traits of your marriage. Do you know your marriage’s strengths and weaknesses? Click HERE to find out more and to take the FREE test!

We also shared 6 things that keep an emotional connection in marriage. Susan Merrill writes an insightful article for Click HERE to read the full article.

These 6 things will help you stay connected to your husband.

1. Be courteous and kind to each other.

2. Talk about issues before they get out of hand.

3. Support each other.

4. Date regularly.

5. Live in a “we” world.

6. Be physically intimate.

(Picture from

It’s Single Parents Day! Today, we honor you!



Single Parents’ Day celebrates those brave people that do it on their own, and in many cases without a safety net.

Most single parents didn’t intend to be single parents when they started. Single parenthood usually comes about due to unfortunate and stressful events. Raising children even with two parents can be hard work, so take a moment to applaud those people who, usually through no fault of their own, are having to fly solo.

Today, The Morning Thing shared encouragement for both single Dads and Moms.

Here are 5 Encouragements for Single Dads from

1. Too little time.

For a single dad, time is at a very high premium. Work eats up most of it, so task overload can easily swallow what remains. Mouths to feed, dishes to clean, clothes to wash, and all the chores and charms of home that need your attention. As a generalization, try not to feel guilty if you leave the dishes in the sink overnight. Place the emphasis and importance on being with your children to play, read, or just simply talk.

2. Financial difficulties.

A great many single parents find themselves in financial distress. Keep in mind that the thing your kids need most from you is your love and attention. After that, separate the true needs from the pile and place top priority on them—things such as food, shelter, and clothing. Children don’t always understand why they can’t have everything they desire, but one day they will.

3. Feeling overwhelmed.

It is difficult and challenging being the only adult in the room long term. Loneliness, stress, and depression are common for single parents. Know that you are not alone. There are 1.7 million others in your same boat who are experiencing the same things. Be sure to take time for yourself to recharge and strengthen your mind.

4. Relationships old and new.

With divorce, the ex-spouse is still a very big part of family life and always will be. How that relationship is handled and functions is extremely important, not only to the children but also to your overall mental state. In dating and new relationships, extreme care must be taken when introducing new people into the life of the family. Resentment or early attachments are just two of the standard pitfalls. Keep the hope of love in your heart always, but be mindful of far-reaching, unintended consequences.

5. Building a support system.

Family, friends, babysitters, teachers, mentors, and all sorts of people take a role in your family life. However, divorce can take a big toll on family support; judgment and bitter feelings can split friends. Try to display humility and understanding towards those in your life. In most cases, they won’t understand the entire picture and will see only what they want to see. Only time and a new stable reality will change those perceptions. Be patient.

Hey Single Moms, we have encouragement for you too from
Here are ideas from author, Lisa Appelo

1. Be a listener.

Your single mom friend needs someone she can trust. She may need to talk about a hard day, wrestle through an issue or talk about how she’s feeling. Be a safe friend who your single mom friend can confide in. Listening well is a huge gift you can give her.

2. Be a trusted adviser.

One of the hardest things about single parenting is the sheer number of decisions that have to be made alone. The single mom makes hundreds of decisions by herself every day. I cannot begin to describe how helpful it is to have a friend I trust for advice. As a friend, you can ask questions to help the single mom work through a big decision or bring an objective perspective to her decision-making.

3. Be understanding.

Going from married to single meant that my workload doubled. Between work, house, yard, finances and parenting, most single moms have way too much to do. Be understanding if your single mom friend can no longer do the things you used to together. If she can’t get out for coffee, bring it over to her house one night after the kids are in bed. Instead of the annual birthday shopping trip, offer to take her kids shopping for her birthday presents.

4. Be another driver.

This is a place where you can be a huge help. While my husband and I used to divide and conquer the parent meetings, practices, and lessons, nowadays I often have to be two places at once. You can always set up carpooling ahead of time but look for a spontaneous need as well.  If you see her child at practice, text her and offer to drive her child home.

5. Be a supporter.

Married parents can lean on each other when making decisions or encourage on the hard days, but single parents are going it alone. This is where a good atta-girl goes a long way. Be specific. A good report on character shown by one of her kids or affirmation of how your friend handled something will give her a huge boost to dig down and keep parenting well.

6. Be loyal.

When my husband died and I was suddenly single, I worried my friendships would change. Most single moms have already gone through a painful loss and the last thing they need with all the change and upheaval is to lose a good friend. It might look different, but find a way to include your single mom friend and make sure she knows that her singleness doesn’t affect your friendship.


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