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Anniversary Weekend (Turned Week) | One Year Anniversary Ideas

What a whirlwind the last week has been! We were supposed to celebrate our first year wedding anniversary the weekend before our anniversary, but something came up and we had to reschedule. Our actual anniversary wasn’t until Monday/Tuesday (depending if you want to count US time – where we got married – or NZ time – where we live but it’s a day ahead).

You can read all about our San Diego wedding and our New Zealand wedding reception. If you’re a current bride or bride-to-be and would like wedding inspiration, check out our FREE wedding Facebook group.

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I had been planning my surprise for several weeks though and I couldn’t hold out much longer so I followed through with my plans on the Friday before our wedding anniversary. It was a combination of a few people helping me pull off the ultimate surprise! Thank you to my in-laws for secretly sneaking my wedding dress into our apartment (there’s a funny story about that) and to Suzanne from Stellar Backdrops for the INCREDIBLE wood prints.

I put on my wedding dress, laid out Robbie’s wedding outfit (even his bowtie) for him to put on then I set up the living room with my Stellar prints and a platter board and surprised Robbie! I had our wedding video playing in the background and we re-watched it and listened to our wedding speeches over again (while in tears). You can watch our wedding video here.

When I received my Stellar Backdrops order, I was absolutely speechless at how gorgeous they were. I was worried that like other wood prints I have purchased in the past, that the images would look blown out (too bright) and would lack the detail and color in the original image but they turned out perfectly! We love the 3D wood lettering on the wall hanging image and the shape, size, and stand for the hexagon print. We can’t wait to show these off in our home! You can find Stellar Backdrops on Instagram, Facebook, and even on their website! To receive a 10% discount towards your first purchase of their wooden print range – use code THANKYOU10. Valid until 30 September 2020. If you have anything from Stellar Backdrops already or use purchase from them after seeing this blog, take a photo and tag me on Instagram and/or Facebook, I would love to see what you got!

If you’re looking for anniversary gift ideas, prints are a great way to remember your wedding day and have beautiful home artwork! We’re even going to put the wall hanging print as the centerpiece for an entire photo wall in our hallway (if you want to see more about our home building process and home inspiration blogs, you can find me on Instagram @its.mary.taylor and read home-related blogs here).

On our actual anniversary, a few days later, we weren’t going to do anything but Robbie (my husband) convinced me to get off work and head to dinner! He didn’t need to do much convincing because I love exploring new restaurants. We had been wanting to go to a restaurant in the harbour for years so when he told me we were going there, I was even more excited!

The rest of the week included eating out almost every night, hanging out with friends, and relaxing at home. When the weekend came, it was finally Robbie’s day to plan! Saturday morning I slept in and was greeted with a list of activities for the day. I didn’t realize until later that evening why he had chosen all of these activities in the order that he did. Can you figure it out?

Photos, art, picnic, earrings (or errands – to go buy earrings), restaurant. I’ll give you a hint. Do you know what the traditional one year anniversary gift is?

It’s paper! We weren’t going to do gifts this year so he spelled out paper with the first letter of each activity! Although we didn’t actually do everything on the list (it was way too cold for a picnic so we got lunch with his parents instead – which was just as good), we had so much fun with each of the things we did!

I loved that he thought about me and really put effort into our day of celebration. I had been wanting photos for a while but we kept putting it off. It was actually so much more fun than I thought it would be! We walked all around looking for amazing street art and murals in Mount Maunganui. If you come here or you live around here and want to see some street art for yourself, check out this amazing map with locations of street art and murals in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui! Here are some of my favorite images!

Love a good (funny) outtake!

To finish off the day, we went to my favorite Italian restaurant in the Mount. They always spoil us and even set up an adorable candle for us at our booth right by the fireplace. We always get the sharing platter – value for money 100/10.

On Sunday, we got to have another relaxing, go with the flow day. We went to the local farmers market, had massages (best of our lives – and again, another local Mount Maunganui place we often go to), and even sat in the sun at our community pool. For dinner I made the most incredible pulled chicken tacos!

If you’re looking for one year wedding anniversary gift ideas (paper related gift ideas), here are some fun options:

💌 Tickets somewhere (a show, amusement park, plane tickets, etc)

💌 Printed pictures, artwork, or a wedding album (technically made out of paper and if you get a Stellar Backdrop wood print, wood makes paper 😉)

💌 Lottery tickets

💌 A new journal or book (here are some really cool marriage journals that could be fun)

💌 DIY coupons

💌 Magazine subscription

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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Love Languages

What are Love Languages & Why Love Languages are Important

Did you know that there are five love languages?! When Robbie and I first met, Robbie didn’t know what love languages were. When I explained it to him, he immediately could identify with what his love languages were. The five love languages are: quality time, gifts, physical touch, acts of service and words of affirmations.

I quickly realized that we had very similar views when it came to quality time and physical touch! One thing that we differ in is gifts. Robbie is not a gifts guy so giving him gifts wasn’t going to show him that I love him. However, on the other hand, I love gifts! I can honestly identify with all of these love languages although quality time and physical touch are my number one’s.

So, why is your love language important to know about? And why should you know (and remember) other people’s love languages too?

Because not everyone values the same things with love languages, it’s important to know what people in your life identify with which love language. The love languages that you prefer to receive might not be the ones that you like to give or might not be the ones that you tend to give. This could be true for your partner, family members, or friends too. This leaves room for a lot of miscommunication. You think that you’re showing love (or how much you care) to these important people in your life but they might not be identifying with that love language and therefore, can’t see or feel how much you care. We need to learn how to love people in the way that they prefer to be loved. This means that sometimes it might not be the most natural thing for us to do. But, if that person is important in your life, do you want to make sure that they feel loved. 

“I’m not sure what love languages I prefer or what I give. How do I know which love languages I identify with?”

This is a great question! Especially if you’ve never heard about love languages before, you might be a little bit confused as to which you identify with most. The best way to think about it is to rate the five love languages from most important to least important. You might love and appreciate all of them but you’ll most likely have a top one or two. If you’re still unsure, you can take a quiz which will help you identify which love languages you resonate most with. You can take the quiz here.

Love languages are important in everyday relationships (everyone from your spouse to your parents, siblings, and friends) because it can be a huge source of confusion, frustration, and miscommunication if you’re showing someone you love them in a way that you like to receive love but they don’t like to receive love. Next time you’re giving someone a gift, think about which love language resonates most with them. Maybe next time instead of gifting someone a physical gift, you’ll gift them a homemade coupon for an act of service like cleaning their home or making dinner. Maybe you’ll gift them a one-on-one experience they have been wanting or you’ll even write them a card telling them how much you love and appreciate everything they do for you.

I would love to hear about which love language you resonate most with! Let me know on Instagram and send me your gift ideas for your love language!

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!


Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3


10 Cheap Date Ideas

Robbie and I love having date night! Whether it’s going out for a movie, finding a new happy hour spot, or eating at a sit down restaurant, it’s always fun! But, since we are saving for our new home, we often want to go on dates without the added expenses. We have learned to turn almost every night into a date night (even if that means watching trashy reality TV in bed)!

Here are some of the cheap (or free) date nights we recommend:

  1. A DIY art project! We went to a dollar store (you can also shop online at the Dollar Tree and have things delivered) and picked out a bunch of things to create a sign with our last name! We don’t often get creative with crafts so this was a new and fun way to connect. We brainstormed where it would go and what colors to use before we sat down to execute it together.
  2. A walk through the neighborhood. This is a great way to get exercise and connect with your partner. Whether you want to walk through your neighborhood or go somewhere else for a hike this is a perfect date night/day activity! You can even find a new place to watch the sunset.
  3. Window shopping! We like to get out as much as we can so even when we don’t have to buy anything, we like to walk around the mall and window shop. Even if we don’t leave with anything, we still get to talk, explore, and get some easy exercise. This is a great winter date night activity for when it’s raining or snowing (as long as the mall is indoors)! 
  4. Happy hour – but just go for one drink! We love trying new places and new drinks but sometimes don’t have the funds to go for a full dinner. Find a place during the week that has daily specials or happy hour. Super easy, super fun, and way cheaper than a full priced date night.
  5. Game night! We love playing games and if you already own them, it’s free to play! 
  6. Gardening! For some this might be a chore but we had fun going shopping for and planting our own garden. It was not only cheap but it also provides us food for more date nights.
  7. Beer or wine tasting at home. Go to your local grocery store and pick out a few wines or beers to try at home. You can cover the labels or put the bottles in brown bottle bags and guess which one was the most/least expensive, the oldest, or the best!
  8. Go on a picnic. You need to eat dinner anyways so why not pack it up and take it to a park you’ve never been to before? This is super fun and really easy! 
  9. YouTube dance lessons. We did this when we were practicing for our wedding dance and it was a blast! We laughed the whole time! We also found a local restaurant that offered free dance lessons once a week. If you look you might something similar in your area! 
  10. Read a book together. Find a book that both of you have never read and read it outloud together. Robbie and I are currently reading The Power of Now and it’s super fascinating! Neither of us are big readers but it’s been fun to read together.

BONUS: If you have an animal shelter close by, see if you can volunteer! You can even go in just to pet and play with the animals. This is a great way to help the community, serve others, and spend time with your partner.

If this blog helped you to learn something new or get inspiration and you want to stay up to date with what we are doing, follow me on Instagram or Facebook! I’d love to hear about what you do for date nights too! 

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3