Relationships require a lot of work and so much more. In this article and through our social media series #FoodieLovein3, we hope to take you behind the scenes to talk about how we balance our marriage with managing a growing small business. For this series, we have partnered with McCain UK to celebrate their latest campaign ‘Here’s to Love’ and #WeareFamily.


Instagram paints a pretty picture. However, real life can often reveal a few shades of grey. For every perfect image, there are many others that did not make the cut. That analogy sums up the reality of our relationship.

When we first met back in 2012, we did not have a crystal ball with which we could project into the future to show us building a family, travelling the world and running a business together. Although early signals indicated that we had synergy, the extent to which we could seamlessly blend our creative visions into something coherent was impossible to predict.


Finding our relationship stride

One thing that has helped us bond quicker and grow in our understanding of each other is travel. It was author Mark Twain who said,

“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”

Fortunately in our case, not only have we enjoyed travelling together, travel has also given us several opportunities to be more aware and be sensitive to each other’s needs.

Cooking is another thing that has provided several learning opportunities. In the early days of our relationship, Eulanda was on a gluten, dairy and meat free diet while I had no obvious food boundaries or dietary restrictions. A series of culinary adventures and mishaps eventually contributed to us starting this blog in 2015.

That journey of discovery encouraged us to become more adventurous with our cooking as we began to create recipes which appealed to both of us. Not all of those early experiments worked. However, what we discovered was a willingness to learn, compromise and accommodate the other person’s needs.

Whether travel or cooking, spending quality time with each other is something we constantly strive for. However, growing a small business and a busy travel lifestyle both combine to put pressure on our family time. To be honest, this can sometimes put a strain on our relationship.


Three Ingredients that Make Us Work

We’ve been asked several times, “So, how do you make your marriage work with all these other commitments?” To answer that question, we have identified three things – we prefer to call them ingredients, in keeping with our food theme – which help us stay connected with one another.


Simplifying things

We’re trying to get better at simplifying our schedules and planning downtime in advance. By using a shared diary, we’re able to agree which commitments to prioritise so that we can create space for us.

However, during said downtime, there is the temptation to reach for our devices. Recent research conducted by McCain indicated that:

36% of British couples say that their partner is likely to spend time on their phone when spending time together.

We’re trying to be more disciplined about putting away our devices and doing simple things together; like cooking a meal rather than going out. Some of our most candid conversations happen while hanging out in the kitchen.

To further simplify our lives at home, we opt for meals that are quick and easy to make – like McCain Sweet Potato Fries garnished with simple Mediterranean ingredients which add flavour and extra nutrition.

For the Mediterranean street fries above, add tahini sauce, spring onion, parsley and chopped tomatoes to your McCain Sweet Potato Fries a minute after removing from the oven. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.

Simplifying our lives is one ingredient that certainly helps us stay connected.


Maximising our time together

In addition to HDYTI, I also have a career in IT Risk Management while Eulanda also works as a freelance photographer. Between all of these commitments, it can be hard to find time to connect with each other.

It turns out that I am a night owl and often stay up late to finish up work. Eulanda, on the other hand, is a morning person whose most productive hours are earlier in the day.

This difference in schedules actually works in our favour because it means that collectively, we get more done. This often creates free time during the day for us to do things we both enjoy – like binge-watching the latest Netflix series or attending a cultural event in London.

Maximising our time together means that we strive for quality over quantity and try to get the best out of whatever time we can carve out of the week.


Exploring our silly sides

We love to have fun with one another!

Many times, our affinity for fun comes through when cooking vibrant and hearty food, like this adventurous take on the classic British Fish & Chips, using McCain Triple Cooked Gastro Chips.

Although this dish only kept us in the kitchen for thirty minutes, we had fun deliberating on ingredients and combining them to achieve this result.

At other times, making up songs with silly words, retelling a joke from earlier in the day or spontaneously challenging each other to dance battles (which Eulanda usually wins) whilst keeping an eye on food in the oven are other examples fun things we like to do. In our kitchen, utensils and ingredients often become props in our shenanigans.

In our relationship, we try to encourage each other to loosen up. The freedom to explore our silly sides means we don’t stay mad at each other for very long. It is hard to stay angry at someone when you can’t stop the edges of your mouth from curling up into a smile because of something they said or did.

This is why we embrace those moments that help us tap into our fun selves and tune into each other.


We are still work in progress

There are no formulas for a successful relationship and it is not our intention to prescribe any.

Like many others, our relationship is still a ‘work in progress’ and every day, month, year, we grow and evolve. Just from looking at experienced couples, we know that many more tests and seasons (for example raising a family) lie ahead. 

[clickToTweet tweet=”Life comes in seasons and stages and we realise that we must be ready to change with it.” quote=”Life comes in seasons and stages and we realise that we must be ready to change with it.”]

For every win we have enjoyed as a married couple working together, there have been many disappointments. This year, we want to let you our readers into our lives a bit and be more transparent about our love, our life and what we hope will be our legacy.

We hope that by sharing stories of our triumphs and challenges both in marriage and business, we can inspire more people to give their relationships a chance to work.

Here’s to keeping it real…but more importantly, here’s to love!


Disclaimer: This post and the #FoodieLovein3 and #WeAreFamily campaigns are sponsored by @McCainuk in partnership with HDYTI. However, all opinions are our own.


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Co-Founders & Curators at HDYTI

Eulanda & Omo Osagiede are London-based freelance writers and award-winning social influencers who run the popular travel, food, and lifestyle blog HDYTI (Hey! Dip your toes in).