5 Tips for a Successful Relationship by Lesley Malik, M.A. MFT

see more by

Before kids, I never used to get when people said “marriage takes work” because my husband and I were so compatible our relationship used to feel effortless.

But those were the days when, just for an example, we would sleep in on Saturday morning, have breakfast together, read the paper, maybe go for a bike ride or go grocery shopping together, hit a movie, go to a home store to buy stuff to work on our house, make dinner together or maybe go out for dinner and drinks, you get the idea.

Every weekend, all weekend it was just the two of us.  And what that meant was we had a lot of TIME to focus on each other, talk and connect. No wonder it felt so easy!

Now after kids, I can absolutely see how marriage does take work. Anyone else feel the same?

There are stretches of time when I feel like we are both just totally immersed in “Operation Scheumann Household.” We are a cooperative team focused on everything we need to do to take care of the kids and our household.  Kids, activities, cleaning, shopping, birthday parties, organizing, work, bills, etc. etc. And unfortunately “Operation Scheumann Marriage” is often a neglected mission!

It started to bum me out last year because I really love being with my husband, a lot. But with two young children, the time we had with just the two of us started to become far and few between.  At one point, there was a four month stretch between date nights. Not good!

So, this past year we really have tried to make a conscious effort to do more regular “date nights” and it has made a big difference. Just an hour and a half to put on a cute outfit and get away someplace is all it takes to feel more connected again. But even this hour and a half takes effort, planning, babysitting, etc.  It’s not easy, but it is worth it.

I got to thinking that we can’t be the only ones that have to work to fit in time to devote to our marriage in parenthood, so I asked Lesley Malik, an Orange County individual and couples therapist, if she could write some helpful tips on how to work on strengthening your relationship.

I love what she wrote because they are all things that are easy to do. Here is what she wrote…

5 Tips for a Successful Relationship
by Lesley Malik, M.A. MFT

1. Be curious about your partner’s world – people who have successful relationships stay curious about their partners. Think about whether you could answer questions like:


You Might Also Like

COVERGIRL NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara

see more by

I am the type of gal that is fiercely loyal to my regular make-up brands.  In fact, I have worn the same mascara for the past 15 years.  If it weren’t for receiving a free sample of the new COVERGIRL NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara from the nice folks at Procter & Gamble, I can safely say I probably would never have tried it.  But now I am SO glad I did because, by golly, I have found a new favorite mascara!

This new innovative formula takes out some synthetic polymers and replaces them with natural beeswax and a touch of honey.  When I read that on the package, I said, “Hmmm?! Beeswax and honey?!”

Then I tried it. And believe me when I say, this mascara IS SWEET!

It goes on smooth and silky and does NOT CLUMP! It makes your lashes look long, separated and naturally beautiful.


You Might Also Like

Simply Family In-Home Family Consultants

see more by

How many times have you WISHED you had your own Supernanny to tell you what to do in certain situations with your children? Or, been at a loss because your child is acting out big time and nothing you do seems to work? Please tell me, it’s not just me!

Tom and Kisha Maher are the owners of newly launched Simply Family, an Orange County based in-home family consulting service that offers coaching and advice for parents who need help setting up boundaries or modifying challenging behaviors in their children.

As Tom explained it to me, “The goal isn’t to teach people how to be a parent.  We teach parents ways they can modify their child’s behavior.”

Citing what he says is a natural gift and talent for understanding children, along with ten years of experience working with emotionally disturbed foster children and at-risk teenagers, their experience and passion for helping families was the genesis of Simply Family.

Based on a system of rewards and consequences, their hands-on, realistic approach to behavior modification doesn’t come from a textbook, but rather real-life experience working with children.

They offer 30 minute phone consultations as well as in-home one-on-one coaching.  Click here to read about their services.

Would you love to win a visit from this OC Supernanny team? Simply Family is running a special contest now on their website where one family can enter to win a personal in-home consultation.  The contest runs through November 1st, 2011 and the winner will receive a two-day in-home consultation ($400 value.)

Click HERE to read about how to enter.

You can also follow Simply Family on Facebook (<– click to see their great parenting tidbits!) and for every person that “Likes” their page between now and October 31st, 2011 will receive a FREE 30-minute phone consultation!  Click HERE to follow the instructions online on how to set up your phone consult after “liking” their page.

If you are also looking for some great tips on how to choose the right daycare or nanny for your child, check out Tom’s recent article in the September 2011 issue of  OC Family found on page 30.  He provides a great checklist on 10 key questions to consider.

[Disclosure: This is a Sponsored Post and one that I am happy to share because if you are like me, I can use all the parenting advice I can get!]

You Might Also Like

Paradise Point Review Part II plus a GIVEAWAY!

see more by

Last month my family took a little three night SoCalCation to the beautiful Paradise Point Resort & Spa in San Diego. This is Part II of our amazing experience at this incredibly family-friendly resort.

I am also VERY excited because because Paradise Point has so generously offered to give away a stay so one of you have the chance to win a SoCalCation too! Make sure to read all the way to the end of the post to see how to enter!

There was so much that we loved about staying at this resort it was hard to know where to start. To make it easier, I jotted down a list of our favorite things. When I did, it was obvious I needed to break the review into two posts. Here was the list…

* our beautiful room * the expansive lush grounds * the convenient location * the five pools *
* the tranquil bay * all the different activities available for kids and families

So welcome today to Part II and click here to read Part I about our amazing Bayside Bungalow Room, the expansive grounds and awesome location which were favorites # 1 – #3. Now I will continue with favorites #4 – #6…

[Photo credit: Paradise Point]

My five year old Emma learned to swim this summer and turned into a little fish. To go to a resort that had four different pools to explore was a dream for her!  Paradise Point actually has five pools, but one is reserved for adults only (smart for couples traveling without kids!)

The tropical Main Pool, located by the lobby, was the largest and had an expansive pool to swim and play. Best part about this pool was one area actually had a real sandy beach with a gradual wading entry. You could park right there on the “beach” in a chaise. My two-year-old LOVED the sandy beach at the pool!

The Main Pool also has a poolside Tropics Bar & Grill where my husband and I split the best steak tacos and Mommy enjoyed a little vacation margarita.

The other three pools were much smaller and tucked in between clusters of rooms. They were more quaint and quiet. One of the things my daughter loved was picking which pool she wanted to go to.

Paradise Point Tip:  If traveling with kids five and under, make sure to bring a stroller.  The pools are all walking distance, but some are sort of a trek after hours of swimming for little legs.

All the little pools also had the same wading entry, so my two year old could do this (see picture below.) I could sit in the wading area with her as she splashed around. She was in heaven!

Make sure to check out our room in my Part I post here because having a room right on the sand on the beautiful bay was one of the top highlights of the trip.

With two children under five, the tranquil bay with zero waves to play in was an absolute dream.  My husband and I could actually RELAX and just watch them, unlike when we take our littlest to the ocean and have to continually chase her to keep her from running into the waves.

We brought a bag of sand toys and they spent hours playing in the water. It was hard for me to get good picture of them on the sand because they were both so enthralled with their play!

Paradise Point Tip: Wait to bathe your kids until you are ready to place them SMACK into bed if staying in a room on the sand!

This is what happens when you attempt to take a bath after dinner but still allow them to cruise around.  It was impossible to keep them away from the water.  Here are my newly bathed girls in their pajamas.  But how can you say “no” on vacation?!

To make staying on the bay even better, Paradise Point has twelve fire pits scattered along the one mile stretch of sandy beach that surrounds the property.  You know what that means – s’mores! Yippee!

The Island Market on property sells s’mores kits and firewood, so they have all you need to make your own fire and roast away. It was the first time my girls had a s’more.  Think they liked them?

Paradise Point Tip #2:  Keep the marshmallows out of view from a two-year-old, otherwise, they will be the requested breakfast item the next morning. Marshmallow mommy!  Marshmallow mommy! Over and over again. And since it was vacation, guess what my girls had to accompany their cereal?  You guessed it, a marshmallow.

Our family loved that there was so much to do on this island that in four days we didn’t ever leave except once for breakfast.

We brought our girls scooters and bikes and they loved being able to ride around.   They also loved “playing golf” on the mini 18-hole putting green. Clubs and golf balls available at the Island Market.

Paradise Point also has tennis, basketball, horse shoes, croquet and  ping pong, which we didn’t personally experience, but we saw a lot of families enjoying through the course of our stay. These activities are included free of charge.

Near the Island Market there was a bike rental shop where you could rent surrey bikes, boogie boards, beach cruisers, etc. One morning we rented a surrey and cruised around the property.  It was fun to go around and see all the different beaches.  It also gave my oldest a chance to choose her pool of choice for the day after evaluating the choices.

And I haven’t even gotten to all the activities in the marina yet! Located off a pier adjacent to the Barefoot Bar & Grill, there is a rental shop for pretty much any water activity you could think of.

We saw a lot of families out on kayaks, paddle boards and jet skis.  There are also sailboat and speedboat rentals along with waterskiing and wakeboarding. Even year round surf lessons! You name it!

I love that this property had so much to offer our young children, but there is also a gazillion fun things to entertain older children as well. I think we are going to make Paradise Point a family tradition.  I love the thought of having a special vacation spot to return to each year.

I also learned that the property will be celebrating it’s 50th anniversary next year on 10-11-12 and even more exciting renovations and anniversary plans are in store to celebrate. I can’t imagine this property actually getting better (but I am told it will!)

Thank you Paradise Point for your hospitality and for giving my family vacation memories we will never forget!

One lucky winner will receive a one-night stay in one of the Paradise Point Lanai Garden rooms! Prize will include taxes, complimentary Passport to Paradise (which includes free wifi, use of the fitness center, etc.) and a s’mores kit.

Fine print: Parking not included ($28 per car/night). And any food, beverage, spa treatments or any other fee-based activities are winner’s responsibility. Room is subject to availability and blackout dates may apply. Prize expiration date 10/11/12.


Please leave a SEPARATE comment for each entry option. Contest runs through Tuesday, 10/11/11 at 5pm PST. Winner will be selected at random and contacted via email so please leave your email address in the field (won’t be published.) Winner will have 48-hours to respond and claim prize before a new winner is selected.

1. Simply comment below and tell me what you think your family would love most about Paradise Point – 1 ENTRY

2. [Like] Paradise Point on Facebook – 1 ENTRY

3. Follow @ParadisePointSD on Twitter – 1 ENTRY

4. [Like] Tiny Oranges on Facebook – 1 ENTRY

5. Follow @TinyOrangesOC on Twitter – 1 ENTRY

6. Tweet: “Enter to win a stay at @ParadisePointSD now on @TinyOrangesOC! http://wp.me/p1MmcT-2g2” and comment with a link to your tweet. – 1 ENTRY

7. Subscribe to Tiny Oranges email updates – 1 ENTRY


[Disclosure: We received a portion of our stay complimentary and a portion with a discounted media rate.  This is not a compensated post and all the opinions are my honest ones.  We LOVED staying here and I think you will too!]

You Might Also Like

Spooky Science – Bug Invasion 2 Giveaway

see more by

Bugs and insects of all shapes and sizes are creeping their way in, on and around Discovery Science Center starting Saturday, October 1 and I have a giveaway today for 4 tickets to take your family so make sure to enter below!

I went last year to this fabulous exhibit and it is one creepy crawly good time for the family! Everyday during this exhibit you will able to experience hands-on exhibits and learning stations, venture through a Spooky Science 4-D maze and embark on an interactive Bug Invasion scavenger hunt.

Kids will be amazed to see horned beetles, a walking stick bug, praying mantis and deadly locust towering over them at 1,000 times their actual size and can check out the bug kiosk featuring real centipedes, millipedes, Madagascar cockroaches and more, along with a world renowned pinned specimen collection from the Natural History Museum, Los Angeles.  Very cool!

As a special treat, on weekends during the month of October guests are invited to decorate your own pumpkin to take home, check out a Special Grasshopper Identification learning station and kids can wear their costumes for a kids’ costume parade!

On weekends, you can also see Dr. Sue’s Traveling Insect Zoo and her praying mantis, tarantulas and glowing scorpions along with Thor’s Reptile Stage Show starring a Yellow Monitor Lizard, Boa Constrictor and Rhinoceros Iguana!

Click here for the program schedule and weekend times for the above activities.

Tickets are $17.95 for adults (online special price of $12.95) and $12.95 for children ages 3 -14.  Click here to buy tickets.

Hooray! It’s a Tiny Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a family 4-pack of general admission tickets to Discovery Science Center!

Contest runs through Monday, 10/03/11 at 5pm PST.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry option and make sure to enter your email address (won’t be published) so I have a way to contact you if you are the winner.

1. Simply comment below and tell me what bug your kids love! – 1 ENTRY

2. {Like} Discovery Science Center on Facebook – 1 ENTRY

3. {Like} Tiny Oranges on Facebook – 1 ENTRY

4. Follow @DiscoveryCube on Twitter – 1 ENTRY

5. Follow @TinyOrangesOC on Twitter – 1 ENTRY

6. Subscribe to my email updates – 1 ENTRY


[Disclosure: Discovery Science Center is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor]

You Might Also Like
Show Mobile Version