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The opportunity behind rejection

Today I’m sharing a TED Talk that literally blew me away. The speaker is Jia Jiang – entrepreneur, blogger, and author of Rejection Proof. I won’t spoil it for you, but the premise is this: After Jiang received a crushing rejection from a potential investor, he decided to channel his fear of rejection by facing […]

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Gifts from our daughter

Preface: I originally started writing this post a couple of weeks ago, when in processing the grief over the recent loss of our baby daughter, I turned to gratitude to find some light. I was having a good day…feeling so much love from my amazing friends, grateful for all the things I am lucky to […]

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Jennifer - 12/14/2016 - 9:36 pm

This was beautiful. I hope many others can find solace in your words, even if it’s terrible that you had to experience this in the first place.

Melanie - 12/15/2016 - 7:29 pm

Thanks Jen. It’s hard to write, even harder to post, and gives me anxiety to know that it’s out there for the world to see. But knowing it could possibly help a single person is worth it, so I appreciate your words. 🙂

Coming out of the dark

(Does anyone else think of the similarly-titled 1991 Gloria Estefan hit when seeing the title of this post?)  There are two things I did not expect about my first post since announcing a hiatus from writing. First, I didn’t think it would take me six months to come back. I thought I would be inspired to […]

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Ally - 11/19/2016 - 1:13 pm

My heart breaks for you two. I am so deeply sorry. I know there can’t possibly be any right words to say right now but thank you for your bravery & sharing your story. With love, Ally

Alicia Swedenborg - 11/19/2016 - 11:17 pm

I’m so happy I was able to capture these special memories for you. Tons and tons of love. <3

Erin - 11/30/2016 - 1:34 pm

Beautifully said. You two truly are an incredibly inspiring couple. Love you both tons!

Melanie - 12/01/2016 - 3:15 am

Thank you ladies, so grateful for your love. Love you, too <3

I can’t do it all: Part 2

I’ve been putting this post off for at least a month, finding reasons to procrastinate. I hate giving up and admitting I can’t do all the things I want to do simultaneously. I tried to give myself a break when I wrote this post the last time I was feeling overwhelmed, but this is an […]

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Leigh - 05/19/2016 - 4:12 pm

Good luck with whatever it is!

Jen - 05/22/2016 - 10:01 pm

XXXOOO
Looking forward to whatever gems you may share throughout your life adventures, but in the meantime, enjoy being present in them!

Will your marriage end in divorce? (Statistically speaking)

Life has been insanely chaotic lately, and unfortunately my blog writing frequency has suffered as a result. I could not go more than two weeks in a row without posting anything though…I’m trying really hard to keep the few routines I’ve managed to stick to! Now, I’m travelling for work, with little time and lacking […]

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Ally - 04/15/2016 - 6:02 am

Hardcore nerding out over this post, Melanie! 🙂

Melanie - 04/20/2016 - 8:33 pm

Haha! Glad you enjoyed it Ally! 🙂

12th Annual Honeybears in Love Day

I’m about to reveal two things Sven and I said we would never publicly admit: 1. We have our own secret holiday called Honeybears in Love Day. It’s the anniversary of the day we first met, because we recall that moment more than when we decided to make it “official.” It’s on March 24, and […]

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Maria - 03/31/2016 - 10:43 pm

Happy Honey Bears in Love Day you two! These photos are beautiful!

The hardest thing to admit about (not) wanting to have kids

I want to start off by saying that I’m writing this because I’ve committed to writing honestly about my marriage, even during the hardest times, or about topics I’m not comfortable being fully honest about. Like this one. I know it’s my blog, and I can write (or not write) about anything I want to, […]

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Carm - 03/23/2016 - 5:08 pm

Don’t feel ashamed, it’s a life altering decision and if you’re not ready right now that’s ok, be kind to yourself!

Melanie - 03/23/2016 - 7:31 pm

Thank you, Carm! Your kind words do make me feel a lot less freaked out about the fact I published this post 🙂

Maia - 03/23/2016 - 8:49 pm

Hey I don’t comment often (or if at all) but I just wanted to tell you that it never makes you less of a person to tell the truth of how you feel. People that know and love you will still do the same

Melanie - 03/24/2016 - 6:20 pm

Maia, I really appreciate your comments, you don’t even know. The amount of support I’ve gotten from friends and strangers on emails/texts has been amazing as well. Love you!

Jen - 03/29/2016 - 4:19 pm

Sounds to me that you know what you want (and don’t want) right now. There is absolutely nothing wrong and everything right with this! That’s way better than all the people out there who make these major life decisions based on what they “should” do because they are a certain age or gender or at a certain point in their careers or lives, etc. Individuals should decide their own path, not follow along with some arbitrary path of the perceived majority. It’s awesome that you have the awareness and strength of character to DO YOU (and Sven).

Melanie - 03/29/2016 - 9:44 pm

Thank you thank you thank you! You get me, you really get me. It’s not always easy to go against the grain, even if I’ve always been that way.

5 Reasons I’m not a good wife

Following last week’s post about how my dad shaped me into the (good) wife that I am, I received a backlash from Sven who said that it wasn’t really my place to say I was a good wife since only he is my husband and only he can opine on whether I’m a good wife […]

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Maria - 03/31/2016 - 10:44 pm

I like to spend my money, too, lol. You deserve it girl!

How my dad taught me to be a good wife

Yesterday, my dad would have turned 76 years old. He passed away 10 years ago, and although I don’t talk about him often, I think about him every day. My dad raised me from when I was 7 years old, while my mom worked and was the primary breadwinner in the household. I’ve often attributed […]

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Jen - 03/09/2016 - 4:24 pm

LOVE this post! (And I feel privileged for knowing the Spacemobile!)

Melanie - 03/09/2016 - 6:46 pm

Thank you! 🙂

Leigh - 03/14/2016 - 8:11 pm

Such a sweet tribute 💕

Melanie - 03/31/2016 - 10:37 pm

Thanks Leigh!!

Is it his?

On a recent visit to Restoration Hardware, I purchased a few lighting fixtures that weren’t on display in the store and had them shipped to my apartment so I could see them in person before making a selection. I was very clear in my intent to return the ones I didn’t like, which is not […]

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Leigh - 03/02/2016 - 8:11 pm

Ha- something very similar just happened to me today! I had a flat tire I needed to get fixed- turns out the tire was shot. The guy asked me if I wanted to talk to my husband about what to do and get back to them. Secretly I really did- he is the ultimate car guy, afterall- but I was a little insulted! I think they assumed it was his car. Girls can drive cool, manual cars, too!

Melanie - 03/03/2016 - 12:11 am

Yes! It’s the presumption that’s insulting, whether or not it’s true is irrelevant! What did you say?!

Jen - 03/07/2016 - 4:56 pm

This is seriously so funny and ridiculous at the same time! If it helps, most people assume that my husband runs my company with me. Either that, or they think I work for my dad. It’s like, guys come on, we’re about to (HOPEFULLY) have a female President, are we still really doing this? But I guess that argument doesn’t work in light of the fact that we have a black President now and many sad examples of racism in our country. 🙁

Melanie - 03/07/2016 - 10:42 pm

It’s unbelievable!!!

The ENTP + INTJ Relationship

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’m following up on my recent post on how different Myers-Briggs personality types handle relationships by sharing my own experiences as an ENTP married to an INTJ. NTs just “get” each other. There are four basic temperaments that determine how you fundamentally process information, and how you make decisions based on […]

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Eat to live or live to eat?

Sven and I are back to reality after our wonderful week in Kauai. It really is one of the most gorgeous places we’ve ever visited, and highly recommend it (seriously, send me a message if you want to know more)! We loved the active lifestyle and shared so many fun adventures like hiking an 8 […]

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Jen - 02/10/2016 - 3:03 pm

I’m definitely more like you. While I wouldn’t say that I live to eat, I do consider food one of life’s many pleasures! If I eat the same thing repeatedly, it’s because it genuinely gives me so much joy to do so. Luckily, my husband and I share the same passion for food, and we are both very healthy eaters. We are also instilling the same belief in our 2-year old, which means we eat both breakfast and dinner together as a family every single day. That being said, we don’t always eat the same exact thing. She eats what we cook for her, but I may have a side of salad instead of a side of pasta, while she and her dad tend to be heartier eaters at night. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with different preferences, provided you both respect each other’s priorities. Personally, I’d take an amazing culinary experience over a day of deep sea fishing any day!

Melanie - 02/11/2016 - 9:46 pm

I do love deep sea fishing, and eating our fresh catch afterwards! Whenever we catch something, I’ll ask Sven, “can we eat that?” He, of course, prefers catch and release.

Winter break!

Sven and I are on a weeklong break on the beautiful island of Kauai, Hawaii. Not only is it our first time in Hawaii, but it’s also the first vacation we’ve taken in three years – since our honeymoon – where we’ve actually chosen the dates, and to an extent, the destination. That might sound […]

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I want to be a Swedish baby

So far, I’ve started 2016 with a week of the flu, followed by a week of pneumonia, which I’m still currently nursing. This means I’ve been in the office exactly 1.75 days this year and inside my 500 square foot apartment for about 8.25…and counting. It’s freezing outside, and I barely have the energy to […]

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Melanie - 01/13/2016 - 10:59 am

Amazing, I want!!!

Jen - 01/13/2016 - 1:51 pm

Though not Swedish, we are big proponents of this too. Our daughter would sleep so much better in her stroller outside during naps than if we brought her inside, and it’s nicer for the parents too since then they won’t have to be cooped up in the house. Even more of a bonus is when we would be at a party or BBQ, we would just wheel her stroller over to a corner of the yard and leave her be while we enjoyed ourselves. Win-win!

2016 Goals

Happy New Year! Another year, another set of new goals to fail following through on. I’m saying this because I just read my post from last year – my 2015 New Year’s Goals – and I failed to achieve most of them. In the interest of making you feel better for your failed goals, I’ll […]

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Leigh - 01/05/2016 - 9:08 pm

Going to bed earlier is also on my list- Tom and I have to get up early, but I keep us up a little too late most of the time! My second goal is to clean for 1/2 hour each day when I’m home alone- turn on the radio, set the timer on my phone, and just pick a room and go!

Alicia - 01/06/2016 - 2:47 pm

#3!!!! muhahahahaha!!!! you crack me up!! i love your TMI! <3 <3 <3 my goals are more yoga/stop prioritizing work when it's time to work out. and eat the same amount of chocolate. or less, as long as it's not more! 😉

xoxo

Jen - 01/11/2016 - 10:21 pm

Ooh Leigh, I like your cleaning one! Especially with our transition from apartment to house, it is easy to feel overwhelmed when the cleaning tasks pile up! Melanie, be warned that when we stopped trying not to have kids, I found myself staring at a positive pregnancy test a couple of weeks later. One of the best scary moments of my life. My goal this year is to gain weight because I’m such a rebel who likes to go against the grain. Or because I’m pregnant, and it’s inevitable. As is giving birth. Low hanging fruit, but I have a newborn phase and a get-back-into-my-bikini phase in store for me this year, so I’ll take the easy wins where I can!

Melanie - 01/12/2016 - 5:07 pm

Thanks for sharing ladies!! I like the cleaning one, too. It’s fun to purge, especially when living in a small NYC apartment. I also like to light candles and play music while cleaning…the smell and the sound is energizing. I’m starting to realize one of the down sides of “stopping trying not to have kids” is “having less sex/giving more blow jobs” – the latter not reeealllyy being that much of a down side for Sven. Baby steps…

2015 Roundup!

They say that the days are long, but the years are short, and it never seems more true than when the year comes to a close. I’m really proud of the progress I’ve made in my blog’s fourth (!!!!) year, which may be modest to most, but I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve […]

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Not feeling the Christmas spirit

Every few years or so, it hits. El Niño.  Actually, I was going to say, “a year where we can’t find our Christmas spirit,” but perhaps El Niño is to blame! Last year, thanks to our excessive Christmas spirit, we bought a perfect tree that was larger than we had planned to buy, hosted a holiday party […]

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Role Reversal

This past summer, I documented our temporary DIY beach house “renovation.” Now, winter is almost upon us, and we are right in the thick of the permanent renovation. It looks like this:               This is our first time renovating anything, and countless people have joked it is a true […]

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Jen - 12/15/2015 - 9:04 pm

It’s nice to know that there’s someone else out there feeling our pain right now! Although, I envy that you guys don’t have to actually live in it. The pictures of your house above look remarkably like our kitchen/powder room/mud room/bedroom/dressing room/master bath. BUT it will all be worth it in the end (right?)!

Melanie - 12/15/2015 - 9:46 pm

Definitely glad we don’t have to live in it, though it has been sucking ALL of our weekends since the demo to either go down and check on it or spend the entire day visiting all the different vendors to choose floors, tile, plumbing, etc…none of which I particularly find fun!!! I miss just living and being in NYC!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I probably say this every year, but I can’t believe the holiday season is already here! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays – it’s all about food, family, friends, and football – what’s better than that? In the spirit of giving thanks, I’m sharing a few of the things I’m most thankful for this […]

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Swedish vs. American (and Filipino!) foods

Being in an intercultural relationship certainly has its pros (world travel, learning new perspectives) and its cons (culture clashes, language barriers), and I think that cuisine serves as a fun microcosm for that. In the eleven years since Sven and I first met, we’ve introduced new delicious foods into each others’ diets, yet there are […]

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nisha - 11/11/2015 - 12:34 pm

thanks for the shout out! 🙂

Jen - 11/16/2015 - 11:35 pm

From my husband’s Jewish roots: I adore charoset (chopped up apples, walnuts and cinnamon soaked in wine). I have tried noodle kugel, but the Italian in me balks at the concept of putting cinnamon on pasta. I’ll eat matzoh ball soup but only the broth, not the actual matzoh ball. And I like stuffed cabbage as long as it doesn’t have sugar added to it, but my husband is not a fan himself. I will NEVER try gefilte fish.
I’ll have to see what he won’t eat from my culture, but I think he lucked out with my Italian roots. He does think it’s gross, however, that I adore ham sandwiches with Dijon and butter (it’s the butter that gets him) à la France-style. I keep reminding him that he is 1/8 Parisian! Le sigh.

Melanie - 11/23/2015 - 9:33 pm

Jen – I have never heard of charoset or noodle kugel, but charoset sounds delicious (I am with you on cinnamon on pasta – weird). Here’s one that will get your Italian roots, too – Sven makes spaghetti sauce with ketchup, and then puts ketchup on top of it when it’s done. GROSS!

Attention young, ambitious women: Marriage is a career decision

Last month, I was asked to be on a career panel at an event for undergraduate women at NYU, my alma mater. The theme of the event was “Projecting Your Authentic Self,” and the panel consisted of six professional women across various industries and levels of experience. One of the questions we were asked was: […]

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Leigh - 11/10/2015 - 11:56 am

I think this mostly comes down to choosing a spouse based on shared values. You may not know from the beginning whether you plan on staying home to raise a family (eventually) or choose to balance working and family, but it is so important to have a husband who will support what you want & what will ultimately be best for the family. It’s definitely a topic that should be run up the flagpole before marriage. Unfortunately finances will inevitably play a role, too, but that’s another story!

Melanie - 11/10/2015 - 10:36 pm

Leigh, definitely! I know many women who always thought they would keep working, but once the cute little bugger was born they felt too guilty not to stay home. And who can blame them? Humans are definitely more important than jobs! On the flip side, I am sure there are several moms (and dads!) who would love to stay home, but as you say, finances dictate that they must continue to work. A supportive spouse who can roll with life’s punches will make it through the long haul. While it’s difficult to predict before you marry someone how they may turn out long-term, it is not a bad idea to filter out any red flags early on and not hope they will just go away!

The best fourth birthday present

Today is my blog’s fourth birthday! On October 24th, 2011, I wrote my very first blog post and began an adventure that I had no idea where it would take me (much like when I first met Sven in Thailand!). Four years later, my first article for The Huffington Post has been published! The timing is […]

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Beth - 10/24/2015 - 11:54 am

This is AWESOME!!!!!!!! Congrats Mel – well deserved

Melanie - 10/25/2015 - 2:10 am

Thank you Beth!!! xoxo

Jen - 10/25/2015 - 8:55 pm

Congratulations Melanie!!! You ROCK!!!

Melanie - 10/25/2015 - 9:26 pm

Thanks Jen!!! 🙂

michelle beemer - 10/26/2015 - 1:26 am

mel!!! this is so fabulous! congratulations, love!!

Melanie - 10/26/2015 - 10:20 pm

Thank you Michelle! Miss you!

What would you complain about to a sex therapist? 

The Huffington Post recently published an article called “10 Complaints Sex Therapists Hear All the Time,” which included the advice they give couples in their offices. Intrigued by the headline, I read it. After all, I love hearing about other people’s problems so I can feel better about my own. (Who doesn’t?) While Sven and […]

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Shhh - 11/02/2015 - 9:42 pm

I would complain that my significant other’s equipment is too large to try certain things, but that would be like complaining that my diamond shoes are too tight.

Melanie - 11/02/2015 - 11:18 pm

Hahaha! Well, it’s a valid concern. Sven and I keep it relatively traditional in the bedroom and I still find some positions too painful or uncomfortable…so diamond shoes do have their flaws, even if they are pretty 😉

29 vs. 31 – A young woman’s story

As a follow-up to my last post about whether or not women should settle if they want to have kids, today I’m sharing this video from comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates. They play the same woman – one at age 29 and the other at age 31. It’s not directly related to “settling,” but it […]

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Anonymous - 10/16/2015 - 11:53 pm

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

Should you settle if you want to have kids?

I was having a conversation with an old friend recently about how women start to settle as they get older. At 25, the world is your oyster. You are a young, hot piece of ass, and there are so many men to choose from. You’re not so concerned with whether or not they’re marriage material, […]

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Jules - 10/09/2015 - 6:41 pm

As someone who is actually 35 and single (and female), this post really hit home for me. I have always wanted to be a mother, but I also refuse to settle. However, lately I’ve been secretly wondering if I should lower my standards. It sounds awful, but I think I’d be more devastated if I never experienced motherhood, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t want to do it alone. As for age, I would definitely consider adoption (in fact, I always dreamed of having a mixed family al Brangelina) but it’s less the ability to have kids that is an issue for me than it is not wanting to be the oldest parents at the preschool by 15 years! All that said, I’m warming up to the idea of lowering my standards – after all, they are very high! And hopefully I still meet the right man and it doesn’t feel like settling.

Melanie - 10/12/2015 - 6:56 pm

First of all, thanks for your comment and reading my blog Jules! I think settling sounds awful, too, but I guess if you have super high/unrealistic standards, then maybe that’s not a bad thing. As long as you just don’t put up with crap or lose who you are. Hopefully you can meet a great guy very soon and get cracking on that Brangelina family! 😉

Jen - 10/13/2015 - 8:52 pm

Jules, if it helps at all, I’m 31 (well, 32 in a few days); I have a 2 year old, and my husband and I are one of if not the youngest couple at our daughter’s daycare. For even more perspective, we had her in daycare in the city and have recently moved to the suburbs, and we are still the youngest. I have seen maybe one or two mothers who seem like they might be close to my age in the suburban daycare. Never at the city daycare. The disparity in age is even greater for my husband. I think more and more women are having babies older, and while I completely understand wanting the energy to work and parent, I think living a healthy lifestyle goes a long way with that.

Melanie, I do think sometimes people need to adjust (not necessarily lower) their standards as they get older. So many friends (male and female) of mine have these unfair standards that they themselves would not meet, and I believe it often comes down to a defense mechanism. Those people don’t want to get hurt by ether opening themselves up to new opportunities or putting themselves out there. As we get older, we (hopefully) get more comfortable with who we are and are therefore, able to be open minded with other people.

Melanie - 10/19/2015 - 10:34 pm

Well said, Jen! I’m actually really surprised you are the youngest even at your suburban daycare!

I can’t do it all

Call it a post-vacation hangover, or a case of the Mondays, but reality has set back in. Summer is over, it’s “back-to-school” mode – even at work, and I’m feeling sluggish to get back into the grind. When I think of all the things I want to do to get back in it, I realize […]

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Kris - 09/27/2015 - 11:24 am

You seem like the person that does do it all! You deserve to give yourself a break!

Melanie - 10/12/2015 - 6:58 pm

Thanks K! This post was me trying to give myself a break. I try to do it all, then beat myself up for either not doing anything well or not being able to follow through on it all. Priorities! 🙂

Paris Top Five

Sven and I have just returned from our first visit to Paris, but it certainly won’t be our last! We already want to go back! There are just so many things to see, do, and experience, that five days was simply not enough. Five visits probably wouldn’t even be enough to experience everything the city […]

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Gerard - 10/01/2015 - 12:13 pm

canal ste martin is lovely, flies under the radar for most tourists but it is a gem. glad to see it recognized but also want to keep it a secret from the crowds, the charm is in the local crowd. hai kai is one of my favorite restaurants in Paris – i think not so far from the Le Citizen.

Melanie - 10/12/2015 - 7:01 pm

It is a lovely secret gem of a neighborhood! Don’t think you have to worry about tourists finding out about it via my blog ;). We actually ate at Hai Kai our last night in Paris, it was AWESOME! It was just a couple doors down from our hotel. The head chef was there and she looked like such a badass. Sven and I actually looked her up afterwards because she looked so young – only 25! http://www.lexpress.fr/styles/saveurs/restaurant/les-femmes-chefs-de-paris-amelie-darvas-chez-hai-kai_1552343.html

Who keeps you up talking all night long?

A couple of weeks ago, I had two college girlfriends over at our beach house for the weekend. Both nights, we stayed up until nearly the crack of dawn, slumber-party style (minus the truth-or-dare), girl talking and catching up on life. Sven was at the house as well, but doing his own thing and went […]

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Jessica - 09/12/2015 - 3:50 pm

This is hilarous! I cannot picture “SVEN” staying up all night talking to anyone! I think I need to meet his parents. Like you, I have a few girls I can talk about nothing and everything to all night long, but definitely NOT my parents!

Melanie - 10/12/2015 - 7:02 pm

I don’t even know what they’re talking about 90% of the time….

Sven plans a vacation…sort of

The beginning of September usually marks the end of summer, but for us, it’s the beginning of our two-week vacation. Now, we’re in Sweden staying with Sven’s parents on the beautiful island of Skaftö. This weekend, we’re headed to Arvika, Sweden’s only inland fjord (thanks, Wikipedia!) for a wedding. Next week, we’re off to Paris for […]

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First textual experience with Aziz Ansari

I wish this post was about my first textual experience with comedian Aziz Ansari, because I adore him and really want to be his friend. And if we were friends, we would text each other food porn and food-related emojis ALL THE TIME. Alas, this post is about Aziz’s book Modern Romance (yes, we’re on a first […]

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Leigh - 08/26/2015 - 9:01 am

Sounds like a good book- I’m in need of a new read & I’m on a nonfiction kick! I’m also curious about the buenos aires part!

Helen - 09/01/2015 - 12:09 pm

That video is hilarious. I think this will be my end of summer read.

My husband is mean to me in public

You know that saying, “You never know what happens behind closed doors…”? Well, I can tell you what happens behind closed doors in my household. Sven is the sweetest, cutest, most affectionate husband ever. He loves to cuddle and draws hearts on me (with his finger, not a pen), tickles my feet (I’m weird and […]

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Jen - 08/28/2015 - 9:21 am

I would be pretty hurt and upset if this were happening to me too! I think I actually used to be the Sven in this scenario until my husband helped me to unlearn some bad habits I had acquired from a previous relationship where my ex and I would constantly put each other down in a “jokey” manner. My husband helped me to learn that it’s not really funny and in fact, it’s actually disrespectful. I didn’t ever mean to be disrespectful to my husband, ever, as I’m sure Sven doesn’t mean to be to you, but maybe if you tell him that’s how you feel, it will resonate.

Melanie - 09/01/2015 - 1:13 am

Yes, he’s actually been doing this for a while, and we’ve argued about it before. I guess when it’s just the two of us, it doesn’t bother me, because he’s always super affectionate as well. In public, it’s not like he’s necessarily different, it’s just that he only shows the “Mean Sven” side without showing the sweet side because he isn’t into PDA and also doesn’t like appearing “pussywhipped.” And yes, it’s totally his issue that he equates showing affection with being whipped, but this is one of those things we just keep working through!

Maria & Jani’s So-Called Perfect “Marriage”

This month’s so-called perfect couple is not actually married, but by Swedish standards, they basically are. It’s the norm (not just common, but actually the norm) to not get married in Sweden and raise a family just as if you are. Imagine a country full of Goldie Hawns and Kurt Russells with their ridiculously good-looking babies. Americans are […]

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Jen - 08/28/2015 - 9:15 am

This was another great insight to a very real couple. My only concern is that (and this could be a translation issue), but the sarcasm is coming off as a passive aggressive way of her saying what she really does wish for…and frankly, a proposal, a wedding and a marriage doesn’t have to be an economic burden once people shake off the ridiculous American notion of what those things need to be.

Melanie - 09/01/2015 - 12:59 am

I’ve actually had this discussion at length with Sven several times, as I can’t get around my perception that the majority of Swedish girls I know do want an American-style proposal/wedding (if even on a smaller scale), yet they don’t. Which is what I’m guessing is what you’re sensing as coming across as passive-aggressive.

Here is Sven’s take: 1) Swedish people are EXTREMELY frugal (I can attest to this for sure – to the point where now Americanized Sven simply feels they are often cheap!) A Swedish woman’s sense of frugality will trump her desire for a wedding, even if she really wants one. 2) To the point of weddings not needing to be an economic burden: There is no concept of needing to get married in Sweden. The only reason women who do want to get married do is to have the large party for friends and family. And that’s expensive. The small percentage of people who just want to be married go to city hall and do it. 3) Which goes back to the frugality point. Swedes are socialists and pay over 50% to taxes. There is not a lot of disposable income for the average Swede, so every extra dollar is PRECIOUS. For perspective, we know a couple who threw an $8000 wedding and this was viewed as rare and extravagant. From a practicality/frugality perspective, even the most fairy-tale-wedding-keen Swedish woman would rather choose to spend that kind of money on a two-week vacation to Thailand. 4) Swedish parents never pay for weddings – it’s all the couple’s cost.

I understand Sven’s explanation because it makes sense in light of the Swedes I know. He conveys our cultural differences around weddings in a way I know it truly is the way it is, meaning he’s not just being argumentative. But I have to admit, it’s still hard for me to get my head around why more Swedes don’t just get married if they want to, even after all these years!

Five things I learned at #BlogHer15

I had the pleasure and honor of attending the BlogHer’15: Experts Among Us Conference, the world’s largest gathering of women content creators hosted right here in NYC. In two days, I experienced a wealth of inspiration and had more FUN than I ever expected! Here are five of the most exciting things I learned at […]

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Noelle Kirchner - 07/29/2015 - 1:58 pm

Melanie – This is a hilarious but also right-on take away from such a powerful conference. Thanks for the shout out too! Meeting YOU was definitely a highlight for me! (Oh, and I’m now following you on Twitter, so I’m expecting some sarcasm LOL!)…

Jennifer Gabel - 07/30/2015 - 2:54 pm

You have no idea how much I admire both GP and CT, and I was SO bummed to miss out on the day with you most of all! Thank you for sharing this so that I could get some insight into actually being there.

Melanie - 08/04/2015 - 10:44 pm

Noelle, I will try not to disappoint you! Jen, you have no idea how much I missed you there!

Life’s a beach

Life is great. It’s summer, Sven and I have been enjoying our beach house on the weekends, and we’re happy. What more can we ask for? We also celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary last week, and when I say “celebrated,” I mean we texted each other “Happy Anniversary!” while at work (filled with emojis, of […]

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Noelle Kirchner - 07/18/2015 - 9:05 am

Okay, I want to buy one!!

It’s a pleasure to meet you yesterday at BlogHer15 and learn about your special story!!

Melanie - 07/20/2015 - 6:19 pm

Noelle! So great to meet you, too! Look out for my post about BlogHer15, which may or may not contain some glamour shots from the conference! 😉

Happy Pride!

June 26, 2015 marked a day in American history that many of those who believe in love will never forget when the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. For those of you who may not have read it yet (I realize I’m slow in posting this), I wanted to share the moving, perfect final paragraph […]

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Swedish vs. American strawberries

Summer is finally here! I love the fresh produce of summer, especially juicy, ripe watermelon on a hot summer day. And fresh watermelon juice is my favorite…I actually get sad when the stores stop selling it in the fall! Another one of my favorite summer fruits are strawberries. But Sven doesn’t care for American strawberries […]

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#BlogHer15 – You can find me there!

I’m excited to be attending BlogHer ’15, an annual mega-conference of female bloggers from throughout the globe, right here in New York City from July 16-18! It’s the world’s largest conference for women content-creators, and this year is being keynoted by Gwyneth Paltrow, Christy Turlington Burns, Soledad O’Brien, and even more awesome ladies! I’m looking […]

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You’ll never forget a Gemini

Today is my birthday! And yes, that makes me a Gemini, and proud of it. I recently read this ode to the Gemini from elitedaily.com, and it pretty much spot-on exactly describes me. While I realize it’s largely inaccurate to make broad, sweeping generalizations of all folk born in the same thirty-day time span, I’ve actually […]

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Jen - 06/22/2015 - 9:41 pm

I tried to calculate my moon sign via the link you provided, but it said my moon sign was a Pisces, and it didn’t sound like me at all. I cross checked with another site, and it was all like, oh no, you’re totally an Aries. The description was totally spot on, but I’m off to try a third to try to get some confirmation here!

Melanie - 06/24/2015 - 8:05 pm

Definitely an Aries!

The DIY Beach Kitchen Reveal!

[This is the third post in a series of DIY projects Sven and I have been up to as we got our new beach house ready for the summer. Originally the plan had been to gut renovate it before the summer, but life happens, and now we have to live with it until the fall. […]

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Jen - 06/03/2015 - 5:02 pm

I’m so inspired! Can’t wait to check out those tutorials!

Melanie - 06/09/2015 - 6:32 pm

Never say never with the power of the Internet!

DIY Beach House: Dining room

Up next on the Operation: Lipstick on a Pig project is our dining room. Last week, I said it would be the kitchen, which was actually the first room we started DIY-ing, but unfortunately we didn’t finish painting the floors last weekend, so the reveal will have to wait another week. Yes, I said painting […]

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Linnea - 10/04/2015 - 12:22 am

This is lovely! We just painted our bedroom winters cape blue, and it was nice to see it in action somewhere else first. 🙂

Melanie - 10/12/2015 - 7:03 pm

We’ve actually gotten lots of compliments on it. It’s the perfect color for a beach house, both fun and serene!

Sven and I go DIY

Last October, Sven and I bought a beach house on the Jersey Shore [insert fist pump here]. We bought a fixer-upper that we thought we’d renovate over the winter and have ready in time for summer. Well, Memorial Day weekend is upon us (finally!), and we still haven’t knocked down a single wall. Long story […]

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Jen - 05/19/2015 - 7:43 pm

Ahhh! Can’t wait to see it as it unfolds!

Melanie - 05/19/2015 - 8:33 pm

Can’t wait to have you over when it’s done!

11 “Right” Reasons to Get Married

I recently discovered BlogHer.com, a community of female bloggers that write about pretty much every topic under the sun. Not only do I love the supportive sense of community amongst fellow female bloggers, but I also enjoy the unique insights and perspectives of the contributors – many of whom are women just like me! Today, […]

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