Tag Archives: marriage advice

Book Review – For Women Only and For Men Only

26 Jan

It has taken me so long to get this review up but they are definitely worth the wait. My brain has just not been able to function well enough to properly write synopsis’ and reviews.  I think I’m going to reward myself for finally writing this with a big mug of tea and some crocheting this afternoon.





For Women Only – Discover the truths that he wants you to know, only doesn’t know how to tell you and some he might not be aware of himself – what he’s really thinking when he ‘checks out’, why respect is so very important and much more.

For Men Only – this book will open your eyes to the truth that women really can be understood. And that you, as her protector, lover and friend, can radically improve your relationship with the woman you love with some  simple acts.


These books really should be mandatory reading for any to- be marrieds, or newly-weds. This was my second time reading them and I got so much out of them again. I took notes while I read them and learned so much about myself in the process.

Your wife is the person who knows you better than anyone, and if she doesn’t respect you, how can you expect another man to?” 

If a man’s wife believes in him, he can conquer the world – or at least his little corner of it.”

Most of us want our men to be able to relax and truly open up to us. But in many ways, it is up to us to create the intimate, safe environment that makes that possible.”

“In reality, for most men the drive to provide is so deeply rooted that almost nothing can relieve them of their sense of duty.. . the knowledge of their responsibility is always there, pressing down on them.”

One of their greatest emotional needs is to feel competent and successful at what they do, especially in front of others. . . .but feel that they are one mess up away from being found out as an imposter.”

How we take care of ourselves shows our guys how much we care for them.”


Her ‘I do’ will always mean ‘do you’?  – the subconscious question women have ‘Would he choose me all over again?”

“Men’s memory circuitry -> visual. Women’s memory circuitry -> language and emotions”

“The things men say to us are in mental tape archives and are as real today as they were the moment they were spoken.”

“She can’t just ‘not think about it’ ” 

“Good reasons exist for her actions that men can discover and act on those reasons.”

Just being able to share what’s going on actually fixes something for a woman.”

Women still silently ask the little girl question, ‘Do you think I’m beautiful?'” 


I wrote so many ‘WHOA’s ‘ in my notes! Light bulb moments. Moments where I realized that, as is common I’m sure, my OH and I have traded places in many of these revelations. (He tends to be the more emotional thinker while I’m the more logical/cut and dry thinker , for one example).

Suffice it to say, READ THESE BOOKS! And if you can, read them together. You won’t regret it and you’ll come away with more understanding of the confusing opposite sex.


Have you read these? Do you have any marriage books that you re-read and recommend? Do share!




Book Review -Happy Wives Club

8 Jun

I have finished reading the “Happy Wives Club’ by Fawn Weaver as part of the Meaningful Marriage group on facebook. We read two chapters a week as a group and then had weekly discussions on it. It was a fun way to go through the book, but I can see, if you’re reading it on your own, just whizzing through it! It is a very light read.


This is not a ‘self-help’ book. It is the story of Fawn’s journey across the world ( six continents and more than eighteen cities), seeking the answer to this question, “what is the secret of a great marriage?”  The standard she had was that the couple had to be married 25 years or more, although she broke that rule a few times in talking with some. It was fun to read about each place she visited, the places you must go and the places you musn’t (!). But it was interesting to read how so many people from different cultures, backgrounds and faiths – stated a lot of the same elements as the foundation to great marriages.

I will say though that there was a small section that I did not agree with. I don’t want to give any spoilers …. so i’m going to pause in writing this post to try and decide if I want to share exactly what it was or not… =)

Well, this post has sat in the ‘drafts’ section for weeks now waiting for me to decide. So, I guess I won’t share it and perhaps increase your curiosity enough that you’ll decide to read it! ha.

I will add, in the interest of full honesty, that while you ‘meet’ so many couples that are all very different, there seemed to be something….lacking almost in their accounts. Yes, they went through hard times and came out stronger but, I don’t know. I’d read how one says/does this and put it into my life and it didn’t fit. Now, I’m obviously not talking about the basic tenets – respect, love, selflessness – but of the other, ‘lesser’ things that were talked about. Maybe it’s because they’d all been married so long, while my OH and I are just over two years. Shrug. I never could put my finger quite on it, but it almost seemed too ‘happy wives’.  I would give a higher recommendation to For Women Only which was a wedding gift along with its counterpart, For Men Only – I had my notebook and pen out when I read these!

If you’re interested in giving it a try, it’s right here on amazon!

Thanks for stopping by,


Book Review – January ’15

29 Jan


Welcome to the first book review of 2015!!! How exciting!! On goodreads, I have a goal of reading 50 books this year. Seems quite reasonable to me, that’s only 4 books a month, right? Easy peasy. I mean, I’m currently reading 4 right now, with another one on the bottom of the stack to start whenever. My fellow book-lovers, that made perfect sense to you, I know it did.

Well, I’ll get right to the reviews!

  • Torah Rediscovered -by Ariel and D’vorah Berkowitz –  This book shows how Jews and non-Jewish believers can honor the Torah. And also how years of neglect and abuse have muddled the difficult issues in the Torah, and clarifies them.  You might recognize this title as I started reading it mid last year, but as I never finished it, I am starting it all over again and will finish it this time! It is such a well-written book, and written so that I can understand!
  • Happy Wives Club – by Fawn Weaver – One night, Fawn started a club to get women who love being married together and speak positively about marriage. Very quickly it spread like wildfire across the world – and Fawn traveled around it to speak with some of these women/couples in order to find the secrets of a great marriage. I have enjoyed reading this so far. I am reading it as a part of the Meaningful Marriage Study group that I am a part of on facebook. It is a light read and getting to ‘meet’ these couples has been a joy and through each couple something new stands out to me and makes me pause in contemplation. I very much recommend it!                                                    bookreviewjan2015
  • Wildwood Dancing -by Juliet Marillier – Jenica and her sisters and father live in the Transylvania woods, in Piscul Draculi – a castle that hides a portal to the Other Kingdom. Every month, with her sisters and pet frog, on the Full Moon, they go through the portal and dance the night away. But at home, in their world, everything is changing, and soon, events will bring their two worlds together and change everything. Forbidden love – Unswerving anger over an act of betrayal – an enchanted frog – and the ultimate test of trust. I mean, really, can you get any better than that in a story?? Sigh of contentment. A friend suggested this book to me years ago and I now read it a few (or several) times a year. I am pretty sure I’ve talked about it here on SGL before too. If you like a bit of magic and fantasy, this book is for you. (for those of you that are not sure, let me also say that I don’t read very much magic/fantasy but still love this one) Plus, my OH surprised me recently with a copy of my very own!


  • Mrs. Mike – by Benedict and Nancy Freedman – A love story between a young Irish girl, Katherine Mary O’Fallon, new to the Canadian wild, and Sergeant Mike Flannigan of the Canadian Mounted police.  I am only a quarter of the way in, in this book so cannot give it a full recommendation yet. I can say that the opening is fantastic – it sucked me in quickly. It did lose me a little bit as it went on though, with a drunken right-hand man and some other random scenes that I can’t quite recall. But, i give it a tentative review so far. Check back next month for a full review! ( this was a Christmas gift from a friend, and you can see the packaging in the back of the photo, I didn’t waste any time starting it!)
  • Lousia May Alcott : Her Life, Letters and Journals – Edited by Ednah Dow Cheney – This book gives an intimate look at one of America’s most beloved authors.  It was originally published in 1889 (!!), just one year after her death. Combining her letters and journal entries with comments from a family friend (Cheney), shows how ‘faithfully and fully she performed whatever duties circumstances laid upon her’.  I really enjoyed this book, even though it took me over a month to complete it. I talked about it here and still recommend it for any young/older woman to read as motivation to keep at our tasks of loving and taking care of our families.

And for the book that’s on my list to start in the near-future – Heal Your Headache by David Buchholzm M.D. – this book has the “1-2-3 program for taking charge of your health”.  With answers to questions that nearly all headache sufferer asks, this book is a treasure-trove of information, based on ‘the breakthrough understanding that virtually all headaches are forms of migraine.’   “Step 1 – Avoid the Quick-Fix. Step 2 – Reduce Your Triggers. Step 3 – Raise Your Threshold” – I have owned this book for a few years now, after having been recommended to it for years by several doctors. While I have read bits and pieces of it, I haven’t ever read all of it. I highly recommend it to fellow headache/migraine sufferers from the bits I’ve read though.

Two boards for you to check out on my pinterest page – SGL (that way you’ll never miss a post if you don’t want an email!) and my quotes and books board!

Happy reading friends!

~Laura Starr

A New Series Starts Monday!!!

10 Jan

this post is really just to remind you of a new series that starts on monday! I’m writing it right now and am so excited for it. Enjoy your weekend, dears, and come back Monday!!!

A new series starts Monday!

Here’s some past posts if you want to stick around a little longer today though 😉

DIY Garbage Bag Organization

A little bit of Whining and Migraine remedies

DIY Infinity Scarf from pajama pants

Saving Money Feels Fantastic  – there is a series of these, i might do it again this year!

Marriage Advice Collaboration – this is also a series!

Pretzel Rolls to Die For!

Delicious Gluten free Cookies

The Yes-it’s-actually-working-for-me-skin-treatment

Our Jewish Wedding

Happy Saturday, Shabbat Shalom and I’ll see you on Monday!

~Laura Starr

Boundaries in Marriage tidbits

6 Aug

i am back! did ya miss me? hehe. i had a great time on my trip – and then turned and re-packed my bag the next day to join my hubby for the week. I decided that seeing him for one day out of about two weeks wasn’t all right with me! 

As I said, I had a wonderful time visiting my friend and her little girl (if you follow me on facebook, you’ve seen a loooot of photos of the little one!). While I was out, I stayed mostly off ‘social media’ as I had planned. I even refrained from approving and replying to comments here on my blog! that part was rather hard, I will admit. But because of being off everything, and traveling, I stopped writing the last week of nanowrimo. I am bummed that i only made it to 5,000 odd words, but I learned a lot and plan on picking up the proverbial pen again soon and getting back into my story! 

I also cut about six inches off my hair a few weeks ago. Yikes. It was fun and something I didn’t plan on doing but while I am glad I did it, I have decided it is too short for me. I love long hair. long – as in halfway (or more) down my back. Part of the reasoning for cutting it though, was that my OH and I are planning on moving to Portland, OR in the near future and I knew it would be easier to manage the transition from dry desert air to humid valley air. 

I am enjoying being a part of the Meaningful Marriage Study – Amberly over at Life with Amberly and Joe started the group. I love love love her blog – marriage is a passion of hers and she shares and spreads that through her blog (and now the marriage study!) I feel that if we were in the same town and were able to meet up over tea (or coffee hehe), i would come away feeling so uplifted and inspired! Check her blog out, I know you will love it.  

We are reading Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. Here are some of the notes that I’ve taken through my reading so far. (just to whet your appetite)

Boundary – ownership where one person ends and the other begins.  – — to me, this means that just because you are married, you are still you and they are still them. You know, how in high school, you’d hear about a couple that did everything together and seemed to become as if they were one person instead of ,well, two? yeah. unhealthy, that. 

“Boundaries help us determine who is responsible for what .If we can see that the problem is our problem and that we are responsible for it, then we are in the drivers seat of change.”  — if we are willing to let go of our pride and see that our actions/attitude/whatnot are part of the problem, then we are able to work to fix it. we are not left sitting and waiting and wondering why nothing is changing.

“Responsibility takes action. ” —- ditto to what i said above. 

“Marriage is based on a love relationship deeply rooted in freedom” — i love the last four words ‘deeply rooted in freedom’ . you must feel free in the relationship, free to state your opinion, your wants, your desires. Love exists only where there is freedom.

photo courtesy of unsplash

photo courtesy of unsplash

“The Triangle of boundaries — Freedom – Responsibility – Love” – — each must be free to not react to each other, each must take responsibility of their own problems/issues/stuff and they love the other person no matter what. once again, love exists only where there is freedom.

Some quick examples of boundaries: 

  • Words
  • Truth (Eph. 4:25)
  • Consequences
  • Emotional Distance (Prov. 4:23 -only with a pure heart)
  • Physical Distance (Prov. 27:12)
  • Other People

I hope you have picked up a few things to mull over through these notes. I do have more but don’t want to overwhelm you… =) I am a big note taker (but let me know if you would like more highlights of the book and I’d be glad to share them!) I highly recommend this book and look forward to finishing reading it. 

Marriage Advice Collaboration – part 3

11 Apr

Today was a gorgeous spring day here  in Central Oregon. I was able to get out in the sunshine for a while and take the dog to the dog park! Which means she was a smiling-panting-ball-of-pent-up-energy when we got there. She loves being able to run free and smell all the smells and ‘meet’ all the other dogs and people there. Of course, when we got back, we both took long naps! ha. Just had too much excitement I guess. 

The advice today comes from my dear friend Viktorija in North Carolina. We met years ago through a pen-pal exchange set up by a magazine we both received (does anyone remember the Brio mag from Focus on the Family?) and through the years we have grown to be close, even visiting each other on opposite coasts! Viktorija is a photographer, piano teacher, babysitter, etc… go getter! She has been helping put her husband through college for several years.  She looks at life as an adventure and I’ve always been slightly jealous of that fact! ( now you know, i guess Viktorija…) Enjoy her pieces of advice, I certainly did. 

“This piece of advice is thrown around a  lot, but it’s seriously a good one: don’t go to bed angry (duh, i know). As difficult as it sometimes is, make up before the lights go out. Don’t start a brand new day with yesterdays’ fight clouding the air. I’ve done it and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Remember to put each other first. Not in a selfish way, but in a hey-we’re-married-and-should-discuss-things-with-each-other-first. If you air your problems to your mom or sister all the time, and he’s constantly dishing to a friend, it’s easy to come to the table with a self righteous, see-I’m-definitely-right sort of attitude. Rely on each other. Turn to your other half when you need a shoulder to cry on. Talk to each other.

Take photos – LOTS of them. Marriage is an adventure between you and your very best friend: document it. The good, the bad, and the fugly all deserve a place in the photo albums. Yes, I’m talking about the startling baby blue eye shadow I wore every single day eight years ago, convinced it looked amazing (it didn’t). Drew kindly waited until years later to tell me how bad it was. Or the Cheeto red, washable hair dye, applied so I’d be properly turned out for my friend’s graduation from marine boot camp (his platoon’s color was…you guessed it…red). A photo of me, my honey, and my obnoxiously red hair now sits next to my computer desk, reminding me of our early days together. There’s nothing better than looking back at memories you’ve made as a couple.

Stop and listen (or open up and talk, if you’re the introvert of the twosome). I’m good at talking. Drew’s good at listening. Sometimes I forget to listen and he doesn’t talk enough. So we pause, remind ourselves that a good relationship doesn’t work unless you do a little of both.

Give. Everybody’s heard the line ‘give and take’ when it comes to marriage. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to drop the ‘take’ and just think about giving. Two people who truly love each other are going to want to give ; to make the other person’s life happier and better . If that’s the case, you’ll never find yourself alone: giving and giving and giving and receiving nothing. By dropping the ‘take’ and just focusing on ‘give’ , you’ll be a truly selfless (and oh so happy!) person. 

Wake up with a kiss. Come home + kiss. And don’t forget a kiss before you go to sleep 😉

marriage advice collaboration- 3

bowling in matchy shirts!





Marriage Advice – Collaboration – #2

8 Apr

Here we are again for installment 2! I am still so excited about this series! And since it’s later in the evening and I can feel a whopper of a migraine coming on, I’m going to jump right in to the words from my mom :

“I have found that when I am unhappy in my marriage, it is because my walk with Christ

is not where it should be. Getting back on track with God seems to ‘fix’ everything else.

I’ve learned to let the ‘little things’ go. Life is too short to dwell on them. Focus on the good and happy times.

When upset with my better half I’ve learned to pray for the situation –

not try to change him (that never works anyway).

marriage advice collaboration - #2

aren’t they just the cutest? love this wedding photo!

Mom (Darlene) and Dad have been married 281/2 years now – full of trials (blending two families and all!) and wonderful times. She is able to stay at home and spend all the time she wants with her many grandkids, talking to her chickens, sewing and trying new things. She is always upbeat and willing to give without expecting anything in return. Love you mom.

Marriage Advice Collaboration

3 Apr

Today starts a series that I have been excited for! I asked some of the women in my life to send me tidbits of what they have learned in the time they have been married. Whether it be 20 plus years or just a few – I was interested in learning what they have picked up – through the good times and bad – and to be able to learn from them and to pass it on to you! 

Mine and my OH’s first anniversary is coming up in 10 days (the day before Passover starts!) so I thought that it would be fitting to lead up to that with those who are much wiser than me. 


Today’s post is from my sister in law Michaela, whom I love dearly and count as a sister. Her and my brother have two boys and a little girl on the way (I am SO excited!!!).  She is an accomplished photographer (any engagement/wedding photos i put up are hers!), talented decorator and her home is always welcoming and relaxing. 

“Isn’t time a funny thing sometimes? Like how after almost 12 years of marriage I can barely remember what it felt like to be single and on the other hand it still seems as though we are so young that we are just newlyweds! What I can say absolutely is that being married to Jerod is the BEST thing about my life here on earth! We’ve been overwhelmingly blessed by the Lord in our marriage and as I reflect on what has made it so great I realized it’s not any secret, just a lot of practical advice and examples we’ve had throughout our years from family, friends, authors and speakers. The foundation for us has been making our marriage (and anything important) the priority by being intentional (that has actually become our life goal). The older I get I realize more and more that everything, especially our relationships, flow out of my daily/hourly relationship with Jesus. the more I am growing in Him through daily studying the Bible and prayer the better my other precious relationships thrive! And along with the personal aspect of my faith is the community aspect of being involved in a local congregation where I am involved in some kind of small group where I am being mentored and held accountable by others, often older women/wives. Being humble and teachable, always realizing there is room for improvement in my marriage makes mentoring work! I try to always be reading Biblical books on marriage and attending/listening to marriage conferences (like with Family Life Today ministry hosts). Another way to show the priority of marriage is to schedule regular times for us to play, relax and have fun as a couple! But also remembering that as much as I hate the hard times, it’s then that we grow even closer and our love grows even sweeter! I remember as a newlywed being told “Oh it only gets better” and thinking “how could it?” Now I know it does… there is always more to look forward to when we are daily investing in our most important human relationship.”



here is a link to the marriage resource she mentions: http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/marriage#.Uz3Zf_ldWYg

Join us again next week for our next installment in this series! 



Your husband cannot be your Everything

27 Jan

Your husband cannot be your Everything

hello friends, I woke up thinking about this article that i read earlier this month. It is so easy to fall into the trap of wanting your husband to be your everything and to be everything and a bit more to your husband. We can’t be. It’s not how G-d created us to be! HE is our life, our salvation and our hope. As a newlywed, this can be hard to remember but right now I am all too aware that we each need more than just each other. I hope you enjoy reading this well-written article! 

Here are a few more great articles on marriage that I’ve run across :





Thanks for stopping by



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