Friday, December 30, 2016

AMPed Life Women: Mallory B. Richardson: Plus Model, Fashionista, Entrepreneur and Mogul in the Making

Mallory, Tell us about yourself.
I am from Rocky Mount, NC and reside in Raleigh, NC.  I'm a native of the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe from Halifax and Warren Counties in North Carolina. I moved to Raleigh to attend NC State University where I earned two bachelor's degrees; one in English, Communication-Media is my second, and a minor in entrepreneurship.  I knew early on that developing my own career path was what my life long goal was. I am the eldest sister. I have an 18 month old niece that I adore and I am in a very loving relationship. I am a homeowner and I am very driven by fashion.  I am a plus size advocate as well as plus size traveling model, so I am experienced. I am a clothing stylist.  People pay me to consult with them about their wardrobe. It can be revamping for major life changes whether it be weight loss, a certain age they feel like is a milestone worth a change in lifestyle for them, or career change, you name it.  People who want to revamp their wardrobe contact me. I also coordinate fashion shows and work with models to do casting calls, coordinate routines as needed, and get the facilities set up for the coordinators' overall vision for their show.

Why did you start Beaucoup? 
I started Beaucoup because I was in the Ms. Full-Figured North Carolina Pageant in 2015; the first of its kind in North Carolina.  I have experience in pageantry.  I enjoy it and as an adult, I thought this is an awesome opportunity.  I'm fully loving the skin I'm in.  Why not do something to empower other plus women?  After being a part of the pageant, I began to realize that it's a larger calling for women that may not be pageant girls or they don't have that venue or the passion in that way to display their love for being plus size or contribute to the community or develop in their fashion and brand awareness. I decided to start a non profit also something that I went back to NC State for a non profit management degree as a graduate student.  I decided to apply and start something that I always wanted to do.  I knew I wanted to be a non profit, but earlier in life I thought children and educational were going to be my area of interest. But after this pageant I, decided there was a different calling and not to say the only calling, but the one at this time that presented itself available to me.  I started Beaucoup with a small group of the girls from the pageant that I became very close with and we took it from there with trying to get the philanthropic views of the pageant, but also merge that with fashion, health and wellness which is also a major thrust in our system for operation in the organization.  That's what really inspired me to start Beaucoup; to get women together that may not be so into pageants but they want to be a part of something bigger and they want and they want to support their communities and they want bond with one another without having a sorority tie.  It was a way for me to create something for the local area and stretching across  North Carolina. I actually have girls in different counties across the state

Did you always aspire to be a model?
You know I never thought I would be. I would have thoughts in my mind of what I would dream of being and being a pageant queen, a model, and a fashionista was a part of it.  Now being 30 years old and looking back to when I was 15 years old and seeing the vision for what I visioned was my reality, I don't think I quite committed to believing in myself at the time. I think that I was a big dreamer and I thought it was far-fetched.  I didn't think it was possible until now. I didn't always know.  I didn't always think I was a model.  I think people gave me a lot of credit for my clothing style for me being a heavier girl and being able to dress well regardless of my size. I was always very positive, but I had my own demons that I had to face.  I mean I did that throughout college as I gained weight and was probably at my heaviest time in life and now at 30, and nearly at my smallest point next to when I was 18, it's been a huge hurdle and still advocate for being plus size even though I am on the smaller end of the spectrum or a petite plus size, even segmenting more.

Have you always had a positive body image of yourself ? If not, how did you obtain that positive image?
I have not always had a positive body image, and as a young girl I was chubby.  I was always petite and short.  I went from friends that made comments, to the looks I would get for being the only plus size girl in my girl group, or from my family. Family can be very harsh and very instrumental to you loving yourself really early or despising yourself or not knowing where you fall in the spectrum.  I encourage people to really think it through when addressing people because the scars it leaves are lifelong and sometimes people decide to cut their lives short because of the way they feel about themselves.  A way I overcame is, it sounds cliché, but that whole concept of, "Her face is pretty."  I always felt pretty.  One thing I felt about me is that my face was a beautiful face. I was always told I look like my mom and she is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen, but I knew that I just had to work towards my weight and stop viewing it as losing weight and as becoming more healthy.  I come from a family that has MS(multiple sclerosis) , cancer, heart disease, and hypertension and I want to be around as long as I possibly can as long as God will allow me to be here.  Meeting other plus women, understanding what they went through, and knowing that they look to me as a role model than me trying to be one, it made me learn to accept and love myself even a little more.  So I'm thinking I'm helping them but they really did not know how much they were helping me.

Did you ever doubt yourself once your put your plans into motion?
I did doubt myself.  I think we all do at some point in time. "Is my idea good enough?"  "Is my idea big enough?" or "Should I scale back some because this is my first shot at it?" "Do I want to embarrass myself?"  "Who do I talk to?"  Those were some of the biggest questions I asked myself.  My personality is very giving, very understanding, and very loyal. I had to understand that not all people are quite that way.  When coming up with ideas to pursue, going into a public figure space, doing things that impact other people, and working together with other people, it can be a challenge.  When you are pursuing something as I am, that's bigger than myself, then it can't solely involve myself.  That's one of the things I had to get through to myself.  I have to be able to lean and trust somebody because we are in a society where unfortunately, entrepreneurs feel that we have to compete against one another.  Where they have to be the first one with the idea or have the biggest idea that produces the most volume and revenue.  I found myself trying to figure out who can I really trust.

"Am I giving myself enough time?" "Am I as known as I should be to produce what I want, and get the most support?"  Those were a lot of questions I had and then I had to think to myself. I am college educated from a top tier university.  I think things through and I know the right people and I have great networks.  I had to trust that all the things I have obtained as far as skills and knowledge.  Being crafty, being fashionable, and being the person that I want people be which is loyal, friendly, and kind to somebody is in turn going to return on its investment. I just want to build until I find my niche.  I feel like between what I do for my fashion consultation business the
Doll House and what I do for Beaucoup, I'm getting everything I want out of life. So many things are being thrown my way.  It's becoming a struggle to work that nine to five and come home and work all night at something that really drives you.  I thought to myself the other night. My nine to five may keep my bills paid for now, but my dreams keep me up at night. That's what keeps my wheels spinning.


What has this journey taught you about yourself
That if you don't risk something for it, then it doesn't mean enough to you.  This year has been so pivotal and trivial all at the same time.  It really made me wonder, "Are you going nuts? Is this the best thing for you to do right now? You haven't worked in months."  I took a period in between jobs and I really pushed to do some things which was awesome because it made me stretch my head to the other side of where I see myself. But then I also had to realize that I didn't work so hard to obtain the home I own, the car that I own, and the material things that I have to keep to keep myself afloat. I can't lose sight of maintaining those while trying to pursue the ambition.  That's what got me to working back at a job so that I could get myself suitable for a transition over time versus a hard stop. Nobody could really tell me anything. I was just going for what knew. I was working on 30 and tired of working for other people knowing that I had a blessing and a gift from God that I really needed to explore. I know for myself and probably many other entrepreneurs whether local, national or international, they will probably vouch for saying they gave something up along the way, and if they didn't do it, then they probably wouldn't be where they are at this point in their career. I'm not saying that I regret it one bit because I learned about myself within the last year.  People I think see the social media and get caught up in the hype and think that people are just posting pictures or saying the right things to get the right attention. But truly it's people that are working hard and believing in themselves and are trying to share that with the next person that may be able to be helped by what they do.  There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes.

Have you incorporated your Native American culture into your style?
I do! I am a very proud American Indian woman.  There are eight tribes in North Carolina.  When I told you I had prior history in pageants.  I ran for Miss Indian North Carolina where I received first runner up in 2010. I am a strong advocate for Indian people not only of this state, but of this world.  I was the only Native American in the Ms. Full-Figured North Carolina which was predominantly African American women.  In many platforms, I am the one and the only. Luckily I do share the forefront with a couple popular plus size models from North Carolina that are native American.  We are getting the word out that even though our population is small, or that people don't know that we exist anymore, that we are present and we are here to stay.  I do incorporate it into my clothing. I actually did a photoshoot not too long ago because the American Indian Heritage month is in November each and every year and it's honored by the state of North Carolina and has been implemented for several years now.  I did a shoot that was totally dedicated to traditional garments.

What advice do you have for someone about going after their dreams?
I would tell them to take a moment and pray about it and make sure it is the right path and that it is God led and not person led.  People talk about how their gut talks to them and I was talking about mine earlier today and that it is really and truly not the gut.  It is the instinct that the Lord instilled in each of us.  I would say take a moment and pray and really let him guide the path.  Once that happens and you have clear direction, reach out to people that support you. You know its not a bad thing to tie people in that love you because they can give you the real of the real.  Maybe all amazing news and some maybe critical feedback, or things that you should think about.

You always want to try and plan your steps. sometimes things happen spontaneously which are amazing. I love spontaneity, but I'm a big planner.  I've been planning for an upcoming event titled Crusade for Curves that I'm having March 30 -April 1, 2017 for at least a year now. Trust yourself.  Allow yourself freedom to brainstorm and collaborate, to partner, and to know the right resources.  Resources are instrumental in success.  No one can do it alone.  If you don't know how to do something, there is a how to tool just about everywhere and if its not written down somewhere, I'm sure a peer that's in that industry or interest group knows how to do what you are looking for. 

It is very important to keep a positive and professional rapport publicly.  Off the scene away from social media you can be a little more free forming, but you know you want to make sure that you are portraying the proper image in most accounts.  People let their guard down too easily and speak too freely and it can be received poorly.  So when you are talking business or thinking about what direction you're headed or you're brand new to an industry, you want to take all you can in.  Have some voice and thought about yourself, but take more in than you say is a good way to go about it.

There is just so much to learn.  People want to know that you're genuine . They want to see your zeal for your passion.  They want to see your authenticity. I would say that has helped me along the way.  People will see my pictures and hear about what I am doing, but if I was a bitter mean person nobody would care enough to reach out.  You have to be able to relate to people no matter their color, upbringing, or socioeconomic background.

How can you be contacted?

My website www.malloryb.com launches Sunday 1//1/17 at midnight.
Facebook: Mallory B. Richardson
Instagram: @malthemodel

The Doll House on Instagram: @largerthanlifestyling 

The Beaucoup non profit on Instagram @beaucoup919

Mallory would like to thank her family, faith, and significant other for their continuous support.








Friday, December 23, 2016

Holiday Tradition

Tis the season to be jolly!  I love this time of year! Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite holidays because it brings families together.  What Thanksgiving and Christmas means to me has evolved over the years since I left my parents' home.  Now  I am blessed to spend the holidays with my husband, and we are learning to make our own traditions on top of bringing things along that we did growing up. 

Picking out a Christmas tree with my family shortly after Thanksgiving was one of the things I looked forward to growing up.  I enjoyed decorating our tree and our house with ornaments and lights.   My husband Nygel and I decorated our first tree together a few years ago before Christmas.  It was so much fun because it was his first time getting a live tree.

We now plan getting our tree around the time we get our son Jeremiah during or after the Thanksgiving holiday.  We alternate the holidays with his mom, but we want him to be able to take part in our family activities as well.  This year was the first year we had Jeremiah out hunting for the perfect tree and I think he preferred being in a warm cozy building instead of the outdoors.  He really got into the tree decorating part.  It was such a joy watching him meticulously deciding where each ornament would be placed.  Hubby and I decorated the top part of the tree while we let him work on the bottom.

This year Nygel suggested starting the tradition of each of us picking out our own ornaments each year.  We each took our ornament and decided where we would hang it on the tree.  As we add children to our household, I know in no time we will have a tree full of our personal ornaments.  I can only imagine how special it will be for us to look back at the ornaments as our children grow older and begin to start families of their own.

This time of year can also be tough for me because of the many family members I have lost during this time over the years.  I know this time of year is also tough for others for many reasons. My advice to anyone having a hard time is to look at the good times and do your best to find the positive in what you have right now.  When I look at my family and where we are now, it brings a peace to my soul for which I am thankful. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

AMPed Life Women: Ticora Davis. Tenacious Lawyer and Momprenuer

Ticora being sworn in as an attorney with her
husband Tyrone holding the bible.
Ticora, tell us about yourself.  
I am an attorney in Charlotte, NC and have been married for two and a half years to my husband Tyrone Davis. My son, Miles Ellington, is six months old and the epitome of joy. Currently, I work as a contract attorney for various firms in town; however, I am preparing to launch my own firm in the spring that caters to the intellectual property and business needs of online entrepreneurs and small business owners.  
  
I want people to know that I am a multi-passionate mompreneur who loves her God and her family dearly. I loathe injustice. I’m a junk food fanatic (much to my husband’s chagrin). I’m obsessed with business podcasts and passionate about economic development and intellectual property law.  
  
What is the toughest thing about being a working mom? 
Hands down, the toughest thing about being a working mom is balancing your hustle with your heart. The two ideals are certainly entwined, because I certainly love being an attorney and running my own business; however, I am committed to my husband and son above everything else. My men are my first priority, for sure, but it’s so easy to become consumed by something you want to succeed. I tell myself often to take a break, close my laptop, and be intentional about playing and laughing with our son or unplug from social media and give my husband my full attention. My son will never be this little again so it’s important I am purposeful about enjoying family moments.  
  
What are the 3 things you value most in your life? How have they shaped you as a person? 
The three things I value most that have shaped my life are: my relationship with Christ, the power of my words, especially “no,” and my family. My faith has shaped my resolve and resilience. It is the constant of my life and, like a magnet, always pulls me back to my center. This life and it’s problems are temporary. Knowing this helps me keep things in perspective when things are not within my control.   
  
As I’ve matured, I’ve learned to say and own my “no’s.” I used to say “yes” to everything and run myself ragged. I had this false notion that I had to say “yes” because I feared losing some so-called once in a lifetime opportunities and, quite frankly, had too much pride. I’m so happy to be free from that bondage. A “no” is just as good as a “yes.” Furthermore, I value the power of my words. We can manifest a positive or negative life with the “power of our tongues.” It doesn’t matter whether you believe this is biblical or the law of attraction.  It works. We cannot curse ourselves daily and expect to have a successful life, a successful marriage, or a successful business. I strive my best to always speak positively! 
  
Ticora, a glowing mom to be.
Finally, my family is so dear to me. There is something that happens when you birth a child that sobers you up. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but for me, it humbled me immensely and brought the tangible things that I used to hold high, low.  
  
What is Pumps & A Bump Maternity? What services do you provide? 
Pumps & A Bump is a maternity boutique offering a collection of styles curated with you and your BUMP in mind. We specialize in offering comfortable looks that celebrate our culture and our unique journey as mothers. We hope to be your "go-to" destination for gifts for the mamas in your life, as well as daily doses of inspiration for mompreneurs and fashionistas. Very soon, we'll be adding apparel for your little ones, as well as men’s wear.    
  
Why did you decide to start Pumps and a Bump? 
God breathed life into this idea while pregnant with my son Miles. I realized how inconvenient it was for me to purchase maternity clothes that were funny, stylish, and comfortable. As a black woman, I, personally, did not see much imagery or advertising featuring women of color. Identifying this as a problem, which is very personal to me, I thought that I could do something about it.  
Pumps and a Bump merchandise
  
I began to do some research and brainstorming, but initially didn’t pursue the business with intensity. After having my son, the company I was working for didn’t invite me to come back. In part, they cited my being a new mom as a concern as they felt I would not be as committed to the success of the firm. Hearing this really hurt, because mothers are the most hardworking people that I know! I couldn’t believe that someone would bypass my talent due to ignorance.  
  
Nonetheless, I’m thankful, because their doubting me was enough motivation to pursue this business venture with reckless abandon, and the tenacity to eventually open my own firm.   
  
What advice would you have for women who would like to pursue their dream or passion? 
Be confident and wild with your ideas. Smother your fear with faith. If you’re 85% there, you’re likely ready to launch. No one has it all figured out, no matter how beautifully polished their social media highlight reel looks. Trust your gut. Know your stuff. Don’t let anyone treat you poorly, ever. Embody grace. Know the business of your business (i.e. your books, monthly expenses, etc.). Tune out the noise and take the leap into entrepreneurship.  
  
Finally, know that the gifts you have brewing inside you were planted there for a purpose. The world is waiting on YOU to do what only YOU can do. Get busy. The world is ready, but it won’t wait on you for too long.  
  
How can anyone contact you about your services or buy merchandise?

Website for Pumps and a Bump Maternity:
www.pbmaternity.com

Ticora@pbmaternity.com 
My contact information concerning Pumps & A Bump Maternity. 
  
My contact information concerning business consulting and legal issues. For now, I’ll put interested parties on my newsletter so they’ll be the first to know when my firm launches.  
  
  

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

AMPed Life Women : Leah McPherson. The Engineer and Yogi

Tell us a little about yourself Leah. Where are you from? What's your Occupation?
I was born in Boston raised in Greensboro, NC.  I graduated from Johnson C. Smith University in 2005 and I've been living in Charlotte, NC ever since.  Occupation, I always say by day I'm a Data Cleansing Engineer, but by passion I teach yoga.

 You run marathons correct? What is the most difficult part about preparing for the race?
I have actually never run a full marathon, I have done a few half marathons.  The most difficult part about preparing for race is getting mentally focused.  Four years ago I lost over 100 pounds. One strategy I used to get me through my weight loss journey is I would tell myself, "I'm so proud of you!"  "We are doing something great for our body!"  "I'm so happy I'm further today than I was yesterday!" I still use some of those things. Often I tell myself, "I'm so grateful for my body," or "I am so grateful to be able to move like I wasn't able to before."  I try to stay in the present moment and be appreciative of every step.  It's not always easy, but I love the challenge.

Why did you decide to become a vegan? What changes have you noticed since becoming vegan?
About a year into my weight loss journey, my dad suggested I read a book called "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Furhman.  My dad has lead a healthy life style my whole life, so anything he suggest on health, I took to heart.  I was so desperate to get the information that I bought the paper back and audio book. I would listen to the audio book and cook the meals in the paperback book.  I found the things he had to say convincing.  I first started cutting meat and dairy out of my breakfast, then lunch, then dinner. Since I've been vegan, I think I've noticed that physically I have endurance, and feel like I'm doing something good for my body.  Mentally and socially I've discovered how strong I am, it's not easy being vegan especially a black vegan.  My friends, family, and people I meet will pick on me sometimes, but I don't take it personally I laugh along with them, so it taught me not to take myself to seriously.  Also I've been vegan for four years, and by seeing my transformation some of my friends have even tried it for a while or they like what I cook.  I've never been one to go along to get along and the people close to me know that so even though they pick on me, I know they respect me.
Leah teaches classes at her clubhouse.

Why did you get involved in yoga?
I first practiced yoga in high school, I bought a VHS tape and I loved it.  From there, I would practice with my VHS tape or along with this lady that used to come on PBS.  As I got older, I will always find myself coming back to yoga hopping from studios here and there.  This year I decided to get more dedicated to it.  Plus I wanted to help others to see how beneficial yoga is, so I decided to get certified.

Why is yoga beneficial?
Yoga is beneficial in many ways.  I teach kids and teenagers. For them, it helps with mental focus, flexibility, and I truly believe it just makes them kinder.  I often tell yogis, adults or otherwise, this is the only form of exercise where the instructor is not going to tell you to push.  Your yoga practice is your own, I'm only there to guide and help facilitate.  I think you can learn so many things about your body. I tell people to notice pain or that you're able to do a pose you weren't able to do before and it's just really a time to get in tune with your body.  In a modern world, we don't get to many opportunities to do that, so it great to take an 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or an hour just for yourself. What a gift.

To whom do you teach yoga and why is it beneficial for those groups?
Leah facilitates a Yoga class for a high school's football team.
I mainly teach teenagers and children.  I kind of fell into this age group. I was offered an opportunity to teach at a summer camp, then a high school football team and I really love it.  For the children it calms them, it teaches them mindfulness, and I do a lot of partner work, so it teaches them how to get along with others.  For the football players, it's beneficial to them because becoming more flexible helps to prevent injury.  Also, doing it as a team is just another way to bond them and help them to be better young men in society.  Very proud of my athletes.

What's your favorite thing(s) about yoga?
I am addicted to the look on people's faces after a yoga session.  I can literally see how a weight has been lifted in that moment in time. I can see that they are happy that they took this time out of their day to do something for themselves.  Another thing I love about yoga is that anyone can do it, young/old, athletic/mostly sedentary, beginner/super yogi.

What advice would you give to someone interested in starting yoga?
Yoga for the children.
I would say go to beginner's class at your gym, a local studio, or your local YMCA.  If you go into a power yoga or hot yoga class as your first class, you may be turned off from yoga because the instructor is going to assume most people in the class have a regular practice and therefore may not give you the attention you need especially if it's a full class of about 30.  Don't count yourself out before you even start.  I often hear, "I would like to try yoga but I'm not flexible or I might fall."  Yoga is to make you more flexible and to find balance.  Like anything else you get better with practice.

How are you able to balance your engineering career along with your yoga lessons?
My apartment complex is great that they let me use their space, so I basically schedule my sessions around my full time work schedule.  Also my job is really flexible, if I have to teach my kids, I'll take an extended lunch break and I'm allowed to make up my time by staying a little later.  If you're passionate about something, you find a way to work it out.

What advice would you give to women with regards to chasing their dreams and living their life to the fullest?
I would say start small. Everyday do at least one thing that's going to get you closer to the life you desire.  Focus on yourself and the things you can control.  Your emotions are the biggest indicator or what you're focusing on.  I once heard something like if you're feeling feelings of depression you're focusing to much on the past and if you feel feelings of anxiety you're focusing too much on the future.  Try to stay in the present moment where you are right now and what you and only you have control over.  There's always going to be things that happen that's going not feel good or not go the way you want, but just trust that God is working things out for you to have the best life.  Most of all, laugh!  Don't take yourself too seriously, I believe we are here to enjoy this life.

How can people get in touch with you to find about your classes or for yoga guidance?
If they want to get in contact with me they can follow me on IG(Instagram): @le_naturally. The link to sign up for classes is on my profile or if they have any special projects they need me for, they can email me at lenaturally@gmail.com

Sunday, November 13, 2016

We Need to do a Better Job Celebrating Fathers

The Friday before Father's Day. I took off work to make the drive to pick up our son from his Mom's home a few hours away. I spent most my day on the road, but I was able to get back in time to surprise my hubby as he left his office. It was a long journey, but to see these two smile...it was well worth it and made it an amazing start to our Father's Day weekend.

I sometimes feel Father's Day gets tainted by a lot negativity in comparison to Mother's Day. Not every mother is a good mother but we don't hear about that as often. I'm not saying that we should either, but we need to give our men credit when it's due. Father's Day is supposed to be a day to uplift men who are doing what they are supposed to do as fathers or as father figures. It is not time to bash the men who aren't handling their responsibility. Publicly berating the man will not always encourage the man to step up to the plate and and in some cases make him development resentment and push him further away.

The honest truth is he may never step up or it maybe years before he returns. We need to use our words to encourage these men to step up and do what they are supposed to do. Words have power to speak life or death.  We need to be our brother's keeper.  If you know a friend isn't doing his job as a father, talk to him about it. Find out what's going on, and encourage him to do the right thing.  This world is in such turmoil and a we need to do our part to make it a better place.

Fathers are just as important as mothers.  They just have a different value they add to the dynamic of raising a child. A woman cannot be both a mother and a father; nor should she try.  There are great fathers out there and they should be celebrated as such.  They need to know they are appreciated and they truly matter. 

Keep the Love Fire Burning Bright in Your Relationship

I was speaking with my mom about relationships the other day and she told me that she and my dad have been together for almost 50 years (dating and married). One thing I can truly say is I have seen them love on each other and I think it's beautiful. I have my view on how to keep things going over time, but I did ask her to see if my views aligned with hers and I am happy to say they do.  I have been using these skills and learning as I go because my relationship changes daily.

Communicate with your partner. I think a lot of times we tend to stop talking and listening to our spouse after so many years of dating and marriage because we are used to them.  The communication should not stop. You're always learning about each other. You change constantly. Likes can become dislikes and vice versa. Check in with each other regularly to stay connected.  It does not mean anything is wrong, but it can save you and prevent situations from bubbling over.  This is also a time to connect with your spouse on a level other than the physical.

Do things you've never done before.  
Try a new activity. For example, my husband took me on a photography date. He took into account that I love the outdoors and I love pictures. We took a train and took pictures of anything from flowers to graffiti throughout the city. This gave us an opportunity to explore the city in which we are new residents.  It was an inexpensive date but it gave quality time to talk and enjoy each other.  Next time it's my turn to plan something different for us to experience.
  • Try a different restaurant.
  • Book a hotel room for the night.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Go on a picnic.
  • Cook a meal at home together.
  • Take a dance class.
  • Give you're spouse a massage.
Connecting sexually with your spouse.
You can talk with your spouse about what they would like to try with you. It can be anything from different positions, role-playing, or lingerie. Sex is something that is intimate and another way to connect with your spouse.  If you're lacking in other areas of intimacy, it can impact your connection in the bedroom. Explore each other mind, body, and soul. Just touch each other, caress every curve, but do not go to the next level to increase the anticipation.  Flirt with each other and show your interest and attraction. The right foreplay can make all the difference in increasing your pleasure.

Your relationship is about your mindset and perspective. 
Do you still find your spouse attractive?  Attraction isn't just about the physical, because looks fade over time. You have to make a conscious choice to love the person you chose to spend the rest of your life with.  Keep doing what you were doing when you first started dating and build on that foundation over time. We get so caught up in the day to day grind, we forget about talking care of ourselves and each other.  Your spouse should be your peace.  If they are not your peace, you should take a step back and make a game plan to reconnect.