Thursday, January 31, 2008

Marriage, Marriage, Marriage ...

What do we know about Marriage in 2008? We - meaning researchers and census takers - know quite a bit. For instance, check out the following (compiled and summarized by Dr. Stephanie Coontz, Council on Contemporary Families):

- In 2004, most people in the United States had married only once, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau (Marriage and Divorce: 2004); 58 percent of women and 54 percent of men 15 and older had made only one trip down the aisle.

- The Census Bureau also reported first marriages for women during the peak of the baby boom lasted longer than recent marriages. Of the first marriages for women from 1955 to 1959, about 79 percent marked their 15th anniversary, compared with only 57 percent for women who married for the first time from 1985 to 1989.

- People born in the leading edge of the baby boom experienced high divorce rates in the 1970s and 1980s. About 38 percent of men born from 1945 to 1954 and 41 percent of women in the same age group had been divorced by 2004.

Other highlights:

- On average, first marriages that end in divorce last about eight years.

- The median time between divorce and a second marriage was about three and a half years.

- In 2004, 12 percent of men and 13 percent of women had married twice, and 3 percent each had married three or more times.

- Among adults 25 and older who had ever divorced, 52 percent of men and 44 percent of women were currently married.

- Just over half of currently married women in 2004 had been married for at least 15 years, and 6 percent had been married at least 50 years.

The data for the civilian, noninstitutionalized U.S. population are from the 2004 panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation, which interviewed residents of about 43,700 housing units and other dwellings. Statistics from sample surveys are subject to sampling and nonsampling error.

The information can be accessed at

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ever Have One of Those Days ...

... when almost nothing goes quite right. That was today. We thought we'd write about it here since -- we know -- we usually only blog about caramel corn, media news, and big "deals"! But, like everyone, we all have those days ... the one's we wish would just go away. Quickly. The one's when the world seems to care about too much of the wrong thing, too little of the best things, and there is just too much to do (which, we all know, we do to ourselves).

But ... tomorrow is another magical day! Right? (we're reminding ourselves).

And today, actually, had so many good parts (we're reminding ourselves):
-Smartwool socks
-The Janesville Gazette
-a kids book fair
-lip gloss
-Students who say "you're brilliant"
-colleagues who listen
-heated seats
-electric blankets
-soft lighting
-Aveda hand relief
-voicemail from grandma
-7:45 bedtime for a 7 year old.

Now ... time for that electric blanket. On "10" please.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Media Madness ...

Below is a list of where you might find little (or large) glimpses of What Happy Couples Do and its authors (that's us -- oh my) on the radio, TV, or in newspapers and magazines. We'll keep you updated as the schedule emerges:

National Magazines
Cosmopolitan, February 2008

National Radio
"Jeanne Chatzky Show", Oprah and Friends, XM Satellite Radio, 02/14/2008
"Jack Roberts Show", Cable Radio Networks*
"Insider Magazine", KPRO-AM, syndicated*

Regional Cable
"Art Fennel Show", cable show syndicated to New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Hartford, Providence, Harrisburg, & Springfield markets. 02/11/2008.

Local Television
WCCO-TV, Minneapolis, 01/24/2008, 10 p.m. "Good Question" segment
KARE11-TV, Minneapolis, 02/13/2008, "Showcase Minnesota" show
KRQE-TV, Albuquerque, 02/11/2008 "News 12 This Morning"
WCCB-TV, Charlotte, 02/11/2008, "News Rising"
KVEW-TV, Yakima, WA, 02/11/2008 "Good Morning Northwest"
WNEM-TV, Saginaw/Flint, "TV 5 Wake-Up"*
KWTX-TV, Waco, TX, "News 10 This Morning"*
KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh, PA, 02/11/2008 "Pittsburgh Today Live"
WJXT-TV, Jacksonville, 02/11/2008 "Eyewitness News AM"
KMPH-TV, Fresno, 02/11/2008 "Great Day"
KHGI-TV, Kearney, Nebraska, 02/11/2008 "Good Morning Nebraska"*
WGHP-TV, Greensboro, 02/11/2008 "Fox 8 Morning News"*
KMAX-TV, Sacramento, 02/11/2008 "Good Day Sacramento"
KIMT-TV, Mason City, IA, 02/11/2008 "News Daybreak"
WEAU-TV, Eau Claire, WI, 02/11/2008 "Newscenter 13 Sunrise"
KTVE-TV, W. Monroe, LA, 02/11/2008 "Region 10 Today"*
WCJB-TV, Gainesville, FL, 02/11/2008 "Morning Edition"
WACH-TV, Columbia, SC, 02/11/2008 "Good Day"*
WPTY-TV, Memphis, TN, 02/11/2008 "Eyewitness News Midday"*
WTVR-TV, Richmond, VA 02/11/2008 "Virginia This Morning"*

Local Newspapers
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/03/2008
Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/15/2008
New Jersey Herald News, 1/18/2008
Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, 1/14/2008
Wichita Eagle, 1/18/2008
Wisconsin State Journal, 1/20/2008
St. Paul Pioneer Press, 02/14/2008
Janesville Gazette (WI), on or around Valentine's Day.
The Buffalo News (NY), 02/01/2008
Florida Times Union, on or around Valentine's Day.
Springfield Journal Register (OH), 2/10/2008
Newark Star-Ledger (NJ), 01/30/2008
Villager, (St. Paul, MN), 02/05/2008
Chicago Tribune, 02/10/2008

Local Radio
Minneapolis, MN, WCCO-AM, "Fairview OnCall", 02/03/2008
Minneapolis, MN, WCCO-AM, ”Mondale and Jones”, 02/07/2008
Minneapolis, MN, FM-107, "The Lori and Julia Show", 02/14/2008
Baltimore, MD, WLIF-FM, “The Lite FM Morning Show Baltimore”*
Tulsa, OK, KBEZ-FM, Show: “Steve Smith and Carly Rush”*
Grand Rapids, MI, WOOD-AM,“West Michigan’s Morning News”, 02/07/2008
Gainesville/Ocala, FL, WOCA-AM, “AM Ocala Live with Larry Whitler”, 02/07/2008
Colorado Springs, CO, KCMN-FM, “Tron Simpson Show”, 02/07/2008
Roanoke, VA, WAMV-AM, “Bob Langstaff”, 02/07/2008
Norfolk, VAWAFX-FM, “WAFX Morning Show”*
St. Louis, MO, KLOU-FM, "Smash Morning Show”, 02/07/2008
Providence, RI, WFHN-FM, "JR and Sharon in the Morning”, 02/07/2008
Nashville, TN, WLAC-AM, “Dan Eidem Show”, ”, 02/07/2008
Sarasota, FL, WSRQ-AM, “Health Beat of America”, 02/07/2008
Salisbury, MD, WICO-AM, “Bill Reddish Show”*
Chicago, IL, WSBC-AM, “The Morning Break”, 02/07/2008
Milwaukee, WI, WBEV-AM, “Idea Exchange”, 02/07/2008
New Orleans, LA, KMEZ-FM, “Hometeam Morning Show”, 02/07/2008
Parkersburg, WV, WLTP-AM, “Doug Hess Show”*
Columbia, MO, KWIX-AM, “Stephanie Ross Show”*
Burlington, IA, KBUR-AM, “Steve Hexem Show”, 02/07/2008
Cincinnati, OH, WLW-AM, "Jim Scott Show"*
Santa Fe, NM, KSFR-FM, Santa Fe Public Radio, “The Journey Home”*
Fresno, CA, KTIP-AM, “Hopper”, 02/09/2008
New York, NY, WAWZ-FM, "Johnny Stone in the Morning”, 02/14/2008
Johnstown, PA: WKYE-FM, WFGI-FM, WRKW-FM, WJHT-FM, WNTJ-AM, WNTW-AM, "The Helen Mall Show", 2/07/08

Friday, January 25, 2008

Write an Amazon Review ...

... if you've read the book and you don't mind sharing your opinion with the world! We, personally, would also love to know what you think. And, with our upcoming media tour, our editor thinks will get a ton of traffic, and great reviews from readers surely can't hurt. Thanks thanks!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Barnes and Noble ...

... is yet another place where you can find What Happy Couples Do!

Exciting news, just in, that we had to share.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Lovely Long Weekend

Ah, the weekend. Ahhhhhhhh, long weekends! My husband and I (Anna) just spent our long weekend at a gorgeous cabin in Grand Marais, Minnesota (way north) with some of our favorite friends (i.e., three more sets of happy couples!)

Yes, it was below zero the whole weekend (except Sunday, when we all cheered as the thermometer inched up to 1 degree above zero!) Snow-shoeing, skiing, and hot-tubbing filled our days. Eating feasts filled our nights AND days. We most enjoyed Laura's Egg Kaka (a tasty Swedish tradition in her family). Ever heard of it? We hadn't either, but believe me, it's delicious. Thanks, Moench family! I'm thinking of introducing this delightful breakfast to my own family next Christmas.

As a bonus, one of the couples on the trip revealed an adorable little ritual, one I just have to share: Each night, before bed, husband and wife read a page or two out loud from What Happy Couples Do.

Okay, is that dreamy or what?!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Moose Munch

Caramel corn: The perfect food. Cover it with dark chocolate: Even more so. And in case you haven't already discovered such a delight, I (Carol) am here to introduce it to you: Moose Munch (by Harry and David). I bought and consumed at least 2 containers this week alone. And am in the greatest mood! There simply must be more to these little bites of moosey heaven than just the dark chocolate, caramel covering, and crispy popcorn. Is it science? Or just magic? Whatever it is, I frankly don't really care, so long as I can keep eating some, finding some, and sharing some with only my closest friends and (if they find out I have it) my kids.

Buy it.

Enjoy it.

Share it with me.


... is one of our favorite local (St. Paul/Minneapolis) stores. funky. vintage. contemporary. simple. complex. cool. hot. 5 locations. 2 in our neighborhood!

Check them and their Valentine's day gift list out (yes ... What Happy Couples Do made the list!) Don't wake us from this dream, okay?>

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Beautiful Proposition: The Future of Marriage

Marriage. Something you, since you have found your way to this blog, might be at least mildly interested in learning more about?! If true, read on.

One of our favorite authors and family studies scholars -- Dr. Stephanie Coontz, author of Marriage: A History -- How love conquered marriage -- just published a brief and intriguing article that encouraged us to pause and reflect on the state of this thing we call "marriage." The article also, of course, highlights the challenges (contemporary and age-old) that make this fascinating partnership one that continues to baffle many of us, intrigue most of us, and be the greatest challenge in life to the majority of us (yes, we mean us too!). The topic also calls for all of us to seek out the volumes of credible and reliable research (yes, it's out there) on how we each can make our own modern marriages and families as successful, happy, and joyful as they can be. Long-term happiness ... what a beautiful proposition.

Take a moment to consider this complex, contemporary and wonderful thing we call marriage:

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Revving the Engine of Love

This loving little ritual -- just submitted by a couple to our website -- is too good not to share:

The ritual my husband and I have revolves around our vehicles. We call it revving the engine of love. Without fail whenever my husband drops me off at any destination, the second before I am about to enter a building he pushes down on the gas and "revs" the engine. At this point I will turn to look at him and will always find him with a big goofy grin on his face. After that we are both lost and can do nothing but smile at each other like two little kids. I love it more than anything else he does and it reminds us of why we fell in love in the first place - our ability to bring happiness and joy into each others lives.

Okay, is that just plain old "awwww" (so sweet) or what?!

Share your stories so we can awww at them too!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cute, Little Squirts

Okay, so this feels a bit anti-climactic after our Oprah post moments ago, but I (Carol) have been dying to tell you about one of my "Favorite Things" (yes, I know I'm not Oprah). But must share what my dear and super-smart friend Molly (one of my favorite people!) found. It's called "Clean Well" and it's an all-natural-alcohol-free hand sanitizer. Yes, I'm this excited about it! It sprays on in cute, light little squirts. Proven to kill 99.99% of germs (that's what the bottle says anyway). Naturally. Instantly. Made with "Ingenium" (whatever that is). And it smells like a lemon Altoid (vs. gel vodka). Try it! You can buy it at Target (one of our favorite stores, of course).

I introduced this product to my eager and bright-eyed group of first-year college students taking my public speaking class this morning. I don't think they, based on their facial expressions of disbelief and confusion as I walked about and sprayed all their finger tips, thought it was nearly as cool as I did. But I'm sure I killed at least 2,589 germs. Amen for that.

Yep, Oprah Called!!!!!!

... well, not Oprah herself. But someone from Oprah & Friends Radio (XM) to schedule an interview on valentine's day on the Jean Chatsky show!!! WHAT?!?!?! Yes, we're going to be on. 12-12:45 Eastern Time. Talking about what happy couples do to stay lovingly connected and happy for life. WHAT?!??! Whew. What a day. More on this as we find out more ....

As our friend Maryanne O'Brien (co-founder of Live Dynamite) always says: Expect Great Things! We have. We are. And enjoying every second.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Lovely Friends, Naughty Relatives, iPhones, and TV Tours ...

Happy New Year, everyone! We're finally back from a little yet much-needed break from teaching, students, classes, grading papers, and, well, more students. After a bit of R&R in Wisconsin, central Minnesota, and just hanging around our lovely cities, we're heading into '08 with our usual optimism and expectations of great things!

As we do so, we're taking a moment here to share a few thoughts on, highlights of, and reflections about the past few weeks since our last post (the good, the bad, the ugly, and .... ta da ... the iphones!):

1. We had our first book-signing event at the University of St. Thomas and tons o' people came (and bought books for themselves, their loved ones, their husbands and wives, and their family and friends)! How fun was that? It felt like a party. The funniest was a young, scruffy looking, finals-exhausted, sort-of-stinky college guy who's girlfriend reportedly had gotten him "the coolest" Christmas present ever. How in the world could he match something "so outrageously cool" ? Ah ... a book about relationships ... "How can I go wrong with this?" he pondered aloud. Smart man.

2. We made our lists and checked them twice ... then gave the gift of a book to each and every one of our family members (even those who have been naughty and, well, not so nice). If you're reading this and have to ask "is she talking about me?" the answer is probably "yep." It's bad karma, you know, if you sell a gift book on ebay. Bad gift-karma, as in you'll never get a really great gift again! From anyone. Really. They've done studies on this stuff. Empirical studies. It's true.

3. "Lovely, just, lovely." A quote from a dear friend who read WHCD and gushed with joy and praise. And it's been that X1000 from all of our dear friends ... far and wide, close and near, in touch and out. To all of you -- dear, generous, loving, giving, and priceless companions -- you have supported us, sang our praises, and been silly and wonderful cheerleaders from beginning to end. Thank you. Truly, thank you. You are the most lovely, just lovely, people. We are nourished, day in and out, by you. Wow.

4. Can you say i got an iphone for christmas?! Yep. Actually, we both did. Necessary business expenses, you know. Can you say "i am so cool?!" That's what we've been saying (although no one is answering). Call us. You'll hear the coolness in our voices, no doubt. Because if an iPhone can help your coolness, what can?

5. If you've been reading our blog, you know that I (Carol) am a caramel corn fanatic. It would be the single food of choice if I were left on a deserted island (a scary thought in an of itself, as anyone who knows me would agree). Anyway, if you've been reading this blog, you also know that Anna totally snuffed me out of my favorite caramel corn in the whole world (Garretts of Chicago) during a recent visit to Michigan Ave. The good news: 2008 is starting out sweet with the arrival, at my front door, of a gallon of hot (really) gooey (totally) buttery (beautifully) Garrett's caramel corn. From Anna. The greatest co-author and business partner anyone could dream of. Thanks, doll. I (kid you not) ate pretty much all of it in 2 days (and shared very little with my little ones ... because I was feeling a bit thin after the holidays and wanted to be sure to beef up before the cold, cold days of January arrive here in MN). I think I succeeded. Thanks a LOT, Anna.

6. What's next? ... preparing for a Valentine's day media tour about our book (including a trip to NYC in February where we'll be doing approximately 20 satellite TV interviews all over the country!) Stay tuned. We'll be sure to share all of the juicy details. We are also getting ourselves and voices prepped for about 2 dozen talk radio interviews scheduled for around Valentine's day too. Whew. Can you say Cliff Bar? Good thing we have iphones so we can write blog entries where ever we are. Because we'd hate to leave our blog-fans a hangin'.

That's all for now.