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How to Teach Your Children to Be Less Materialistic

how to teach your children to be less materialistic

Everywhere you look, someone wants you to buy their product or service. It is the job of marketers to make sure they put the idea in your mind that you have a need. Once you understand you have a need, then they can sell you their product.

Marketers Want You To Believe You Need Their Products

We are led to believe that we need a lot more stuff than what is actually necessary. It doesn’t just affect adults, but it affects children as well. They are exposed to marketing tactics the second they watch a commercial.

Kids are Affected By What They See

If your kids never watched television, you wouldn’t even be able to escape the fact that they are indeed still being influenced to want more. Look at the billboards on the side of the road. Think of the radio commercials that come on.

What about all of the ad placements in stores? You know they didn’t put the toy section in front of the back bathrooms at Wal-mart without a reason. Or how about the cheap candy and toys at the checkout line?

Teach Children the Difference Between Wants and Needs

No matter what you do, you can’t keep your kids from being exposed to marketing tactics that cause them to believe they need stuff. What you can do is work with them to understand when they have enough. Help them distinguish between needs and wants.

You can check me out over at Shape Mind Soul today where I address the issue of

Teaching Our Children to Be Less Materialistic

I give you some practical suggestions of how you can instill a good work ethic in your kids and teach them how to be happier with what they have.

Fun and Romantic Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

 

Romantic DIY valentine's day gifts

I just love love love Valentine’s Day. It is one of my favorite times of year. You can tell that I’m already in the spirit with the decorations I have put out. If you are looking for a few DIY gift ideas for Valentine’s Day, then check out this list I put together.

Week of Love Printables

Day 4 week of love valentines day gift

My husband did this idea for me last year. He even made some cute printables for each day he gave me a gift. You can check out the post and snag your free printables for Valentine’s.

Valentine’s Love Scratchers

Print off a blank Valentine’s scratcher. In the blanks, write something you will do for your sweetheart. You can get as creative as you like with your message. Color over the message with a white crayon. Paint over top of the crayon with grey colored craft paint. The paint will easily scratch off with the use of a coin.

I did this project for a friend a few years ago. It worked out perfectly and the friend loved it.

At Home Date Night

sexy truth or dare for couples in the bedroom love hope adventure

Can’t make it out this Valentine’s? No sweat. Just have a fun and exciting at home date night. You can play a game of Couples truth or dare. It is a fun bedroom game that is sure to spice up the night.

Fortune Cookies With Intimate Messages

Use felt or paper to cut out these simple fortune cookie designs. Write your personal message on the inside for your loved one to open. You can make predictions of fun and romantic gifts your spouse will receive for Valentine’s.

ABC’s of Love

The Dating Divas are a huge inspiration to me. I love their website and commitment to helping couples find fun and exciting things to do together. Print out these ABC cards. Use each card to write about a time you remember from your relationship. Or you can write something on each card that you love about your partner.

Text a Flirty Picture

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Write I love you on a piece of paper and hold it while you take a selfie. Text it to your spouse on Valentine’s Day. I have done this for my husband a few times. It is always fun and simple. You can make that sign say whatever you like for it to say to get your spouse in the mood.

Massage Your Spouse

Give your darling a coupon for a massage whenever they are ready. Put together a massage basket. Include a small towel, massage oil, candle, relaxing cd, and massage coupons. You can make your own massage coupons.

I hope that you find a way to show your spouse just how much you love them this Valentine’s Day. These simple gift ideas will get your ideas flowing.

What Will You do For Valentine’s Day?

Will You Go See Fifty Shades of Grey?

Will you go see fifty shades of grey

This coming weekend, Fifty Shades of Grey is opening in the theaters. Many couples have decided that this movie will be what they do together to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Sure, why wouldn’t a man want to take his wife or girlfriend to a fun and romantic movie? Seems like the cat is in the bag for many.

Should you go see Fifty Shades of Grey?

For some, it is not a question of whether or not they will go, it is what time they can go. For others, there is a serious question being posed. Should you go to see a movie that explores the concept of being tied up, dominance, and other forms of this type of intimate pleasure?

I can’t personally speak to the content of the book because I haven’t read it. I know…I will lose half of you right now for saying that. However, it doesn’t take an avid reader of romance novels to get a good idea of what is going on in the book.

I can’t and won’t tell you what to do….but I will ask you to think…

is it ok to watch fifty shades of grey

 

Maybe you have definite plans to go see the movie and have a time set up. In that case, these questions likely won’t sway you to cancel your plans. If you are trying to decide if it is a movie you want to see, then take a few minutes to ask yourself some of these questions.

 

1. How do you feel like about the kind of intimate encounters that are being portrayed?

Do you have any hesitancy about the kinds of role playing that takes place with bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism? If you haven’t read the book, you do need to know that this movie explores this type of sexual encounters. In case you are wondering, the main characters are barely dating before they start shacking up.

You can check out what Jay Dee has to say in the post Should Christians Read Erotic Literature? I agree with all the points of the article.

2. What are your thoughts about pornography?

Are you ok if your spouse looks at porn? In your mind, what constitutes as porn? I can’t say for sure how much nudity and sex will be in the flick, but that is what the book is about. You can pretty much guarantee that there will be a whole lot more than innuendo. At what point do you consider a movie to be pornographic?

3. Will you be willing to role play with your significant other after watching this movie?

If you are taking your spouse or partner to this movie, are you ready to experiment with this type of play? It will be hard to convince your significant other that you didn’t take them to the movie if you weren’t willing to experiment later on.

4. Are you willing to accept that watching this movie could negatively impact you?

Anytime you put yourself in a position where you watch sexual fantasies portrayed, you are putting yourself at risk of being negatively impacted. You plant an idea in your mind of how sex is supposed to be, but will likely never be in real life.

5. Are You Truly Ok With How Christian Treats Anastasia?

In all seriousness, are you ok with the abusive language and attitude that Christian uses toward Anastasia? Is this the kind of fantasy in which you hope your loved one treats you? Maybe she has some radical sex in which she says she enjoys. I don’t really know.

Can I just make an observation? You can have mind blowing sex without being treated like this. Emotional and physical abuse are very real in relationships. Are you putting your stamp of approval on this type of behavior in a relationship?

These are just a few questions that you can ponder before you decide whether or not you want to go see that movie. Maybe you have read the books, and have had no problems with it. Maybe you are ready to go see the movie because it is a blockbuster.

Why I Am Not Going to See Fifty Shades of Grey

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For me, choosing to not see this movie has nothing to do with the forms of play that is being explored. I am not for this type of intimacy per say, but it has more to do with my unwillingness to read the book or watch the movie.

I believe that watching people being sexually intimate is wrong. I also think that it is wrong to read fantasy that portrays sensual writing and explicit words.

There are many movies I have chosen to skip out on, even though I really thought the concept might be good. In my opinion, it is damaging to your mind and relationships to read or watch sexual fantasies.

Trying New Things in the Bedroom is ok

I’m all for trying out new things in the bedroom, don’t get me wrong. I don’t really need someone else to paint a unrealistic picture for me. Instead, my husband and I work with one another to create the experiences we have with one another.

In my opinion, if you want to take your physical intimacy to the next level, there are plenty of ways to do that in a God honoring way. You do not have to watch porn or fantasies to learn to explore your spouse.

Abuse is Rampant in the Movie

Another major reason I’m not for this book series, is the abusive language that Christian uses toward Anastasia. Ok, some say she is the hero at the end of the book because she changes him and liberates him. Again, ladies, that is complete fiction.

Real women that are treated like that have horrible lives and rarely see their husbands or partners change. Furthermore, even if you play into the fantasy aspect of it, no person on the planet should stay in a relationship like that. I don’t care if it will end in a good thing.

Do abuse victims love their abusers? Sure. Does that mean they need to stay with them and be treated like garbage? No. The only real way to be the hero in this type of relationship is to walk away, draw boundaries, and pray that God will change that person.

What About You? Will You Watch Fifty Shades of Grey?

Onion Chicken With Cheese Sauce and Sauteed Vegetable Recipe

One of my favorite things to do is to get creative in the kitchen. I must admit that I haven’t had the chance to do that much lately. The other night, I was in heaven when I had a few minutes to come up with a new recipe. It just kind of unfolded as I was cooking. Check out what I came up with.

Onion chicen cheese sauce and vegetables

 

Onion Chicken Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 packet of Onion Soup Mix

Olive oil

How to Cook the Chicken

Spray the chicken with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle an entire pack of onion soup mix across all of the breasts.

I love using an electric skillet. You can check out the best electric skillet if you don’t have one. I think it makes cooking chicken so fast. If you don’t have one, then you will need to cook the chicken on a skillet or bake it in the oven. Do it however you like cooking chicken the best.

Cheese Sauce Ingredients

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

5 slices of swiss cheese

1 tablespoon garlic powder

How to Cook the Cheese Sauce

Heat up the can of cream of mushroom soup and break up the sliced cheese into the pot. Add the garlic powder and cook until the cheese is completely melted. I had processed swiss cheese this particular day, so it melted pretty quickly.

Sauteed Cheesy Vegetables

4 small red, yellow, or orange bell peppers or a large one

1 onion

5 fresh mushrooms

1/2-1 cup Dubliner cheese or fresh grated Parmesan cheese

olive oil

How to Cook the Cheesy Vegetables

Cut onion, peppers, and mushrooms into strips. Saute’ in olive oil until the onions are translucent and the peppers are tender. Cover with the cheese you prefer most. I enjoy Dubliner cheese, but I think it is similar enough in flavor that you can use fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Don’t go with the already shredded Parmesan, or it will not melt.

You could also use mozzarella cheese for a less bold flavor.

Serving the Meal

Once your chicken is cooked, sauce is hot, and vegetables are done, it is time to serve the meal. Pour a few tablespoons of the cheese sauce over the chicken. Top with cheesy vegetables.

I served this with a hashbrown and corn. If you have ever had chicken casserole, this is a spin off of that idea. I think the chicken would be complimented by a variety of side items.

What Would You Serve This Chicken With?

Check Me Out Today at The Humbled Homemaker

I have had the special privilege of guest posting over at The Humbled Homemaker today. Erin Odom writes about natural, grace-filled living. Every day she posts about natural recipes, encouraging stories and topics that will make you think.

It is such an honor to have the chance to talk about something near and dear to my heart. She asked me to write about a topic regarding marriage. I decided to talk about the importance of communication and how it leads to greater intimacy in the marriage.

If you want to find out how communication and emotional and physical intimacy are related, please check out my post at The Humbled Homemaker.

intimacy in marriage

Good Communication Leads to Greater Intimacy in Marriage

Thanks so much for taking the time to join me as I talk about important issues in marriage.

What do you think? Is communication linked to intimacy? 

How to Feel Comfortable Undressed With Your Spouse

Getting Comfortable While Undressed With Your Spouse

 

Most of us are not ok to be undressed in front of other people. That is entirely understandable. Memories of middle school gym class come back to my mind, or the countless youth trips I’ve taken. Even as an adult, I don’t want to bear too much skin.

Being Modest in Public v. Being Modest in the Bedroom

I think we can all agree that modesty is best when it comes to being around others. When it comes to your marriage, that is a completely different story. You should feel comfortable being completely undressed around your spouse without feeling shame or shyness.

Now, I know that we can all feel timid when disrobing, especially early on in marriage. As time goes on, that timidity should disappear as you grow in closer union with your spouse. If you have been married for a while and still don’t feel comfortable naked in front of your lover, it is time you change that. Here are some things you can do to spend time exposed with your spouse.

Spend Time Without Clothes on When No One is Around

I know this might sound weird, but you have to get comfortable being undressed around yourself before you can feel ok around your spouse. Sure, we have children that barge in on us and make it hard to have any privacy. If that is you, then it is time to start setting some boundaries for them. There is nothing wrong with teaching your kids or spouse to knock before they come into the bathroom.

After you step out of the shower in the morning, do other parts of your morning routine before you get dressed. In the winter, this might be a bit more difficult since your bathroom is cold. Turn up the heat before you get in the shower.

If the time after your shower isn’t the best time, then find a time that works for you. There are times in the day in which you will take off clothing before putting on your other clothes. Take your time before getting dressed.

Look At Yourself in the Mirror With Nothing On

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Gasp! I just said the unthinkable didn’t I? If you want to get comfortable with your body, you must stop ignoring it. Don’t avoid mirrors at all cost, embrace them. It is not weird to look at yourself in the mirror while you are without clothing or in seductive clothing. It is no different than making sure you look ok in the outfit you just put on.

When you look at yourself in the mirror, don’t be overly critical of yourself. Just try to see yourself through your spouse’s eyes for a minute. What features do they tell you that they love about your body? Look at those features and try to understand why they feel that way.

Stop Believing What the Media Says is Beautiful

Seriously, stop believing what the marketing companies and media says is beautiful. We are no longer in the dark when it comes to photoshop. You will NEVER see an unedited picture of a person on a billboard, website, magazine cover, or anywhere. NEVER!

Do you know why we photoshop the mess out of people? Because no one looks like that…well, maybe some do. In general though, most people do not have perfect bodies. Even if they do, there is something that even the most attractive people feel self conscious about.

Instead of trying to shove your body into the picture perfect world of marketing campaigns that tell you all people look a certain way, be who you are. When you redefine what you believe to be beautiful, you will see yourself in a different light.

Believe Your Partner Instead

Your spouse loves your body. I know we all want to say that looks do no matter, but the really do when it comes to a romantic relationship. Your partner wouldn’t have married you if they thought you were ugly.

None of us look the same today as we did when we were first married. I understand the hesitation that some people feel about their aging body. However, you are more than just one thing to your spouse. You are an entire person, not just a figure or shape.

It is time you start believing your spouse when they tell you how attractive they think you are. Let them define what true beauty is.

Wear Something That Boosts Your Self Esteem

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Pick out clothing or lingerie that will boost your self confidence. Start by wearing outfits that will help you feel good about yourself. I’m particularly talking about lingerie or other special outfits just for your spouse.

Find something that is revealing and sexy, but makes you feel comfortable. As you and your spouse spend time together while you wear sensual clothing, it will help you feel more at ease with your body. Try to make it a point to wear something revealing a few nights a week after your kids go to bed.

Lay Under the Covers With Nothing On

Ready to graduate out of sensual clothes and into your birthday suit? A great way to make that transition is to get fully undressed and lay under the covers with your spouse. This will give them the opportunity to touch you without clothes on.

At the same time, you will feel more relaxed and comfortable being exposed around them. As time moves on, you can start feeling more comfortable pulling the covers back. The more time you spend undressed around your spouse, the easier it will become.

Undressed and Unashamed

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Being fully exposed with your spouse is a bonding experience that brings you closer together. It is important that you embrace this time with your loved one. We read in Genesis that Adam and Eve were fully exposed and unashamed. It wasn’t until sin entered the world that they felt the shame of their unclothed bodies.

We see that when they were in perfect relationship, they were undressed and unashamed. While we are no longer perfect, being undressed and unashamed in a marriage relationship is important.

What do You Think? Is it Important to Spend Time Undressed With Your Spouse?

 

 

Conversation Starters For Dates

free printable conversation starters for couples

Austin and I have made a commitment to turn our conversation to something other than work, kids, and responsibilities when we go on a date. For that reason, we a big advocates of conversation starters. I’m not saying we can’t ever come up with something to talk about without a conversation start. What I am saying, is that it is hard for us as couple to take a break from life and re-connect as lovers.

For those that are looking for something to talk about out of the ordinary, here are a list of things you can talk about with your significant other. My dear husband has put together a free printable for you. You can see a list of all the questions in this post.

Sign up for my email newsletter through my link below for your free printable for conversation starters. I’ll email them straight to you.

Want a copy of my free conversation starters

 

General Conversation Starters

  1. If we could go to dinner tomorrow night, where would you take me?
  2. If we could give a large amount of money to a charitable organization, where would you want to give it?
  3. Have you read anything interesting lately?
  4. What would you consider to be your guilty pleasure?
  5. What do you think I do when you are not around?
  6. If you could change your career tomorrow, what would you change it to?
  7. If I could change my career tomorrow, what do you wish I would do?
  8. If you were to open a restaurant tomorrow, what type of restaurant would it be?
  9. Where do you see us in 10 years?
  10. If we could buy our dream house, what would it be like?
  11. What’s your idea of a great vacation? Would it be possible for us to make it happen?
  12. What legacy do you hope we pass on to our children and grandchildren?
  13. What do you want to do in our retirement years?
  14. Is there a business concept you wish we could pursue together?
  15. Would you rather go to the beach or head to the mountains?
  16. Where would you want to retire one day?
  17. If we could spend an hour doing something extravagant, what would you want it to be?
  18. If you could build a roller coaster, what types of twists and turns would you put in it?
  19. If someone was to make a movie about our love story, which actor would you cast for your role?
  20. What sport do you wish you could play?
  21. Is there an activity that you are interested in, but never tried?
  22. Would your rather sky dive or deep sea dive? Why?
  23. How many times do you try to do something before you give up?
  24. In your mind, what makes a house a home?
  25. What do you hope our kids will remember most about their childhood?
  26. What is your idea of the perfect day off?
  27. Do you think raising a boy would be easier than raising a girl? Or do you think it would be easier raising a girl over a boy?
  28. What do you hope our children learn from our relationship?
  29. Give me your best dating advice as if I was your teenage child.
  30. What is the best part about our relationship?
  31. What do we have in our relationship that you wish all people could experience in their relationships?
  32. Tell me one characteristic about me that you wish everyone in the world had.
  33. If you could make something with your hands, what would it be?

Conversation Starters About Our Dating Years

  1. What is your favorite memory from our dating years?
  2. What do you remember about our first date?
  3. What attracted you to me when we first met?
  4. What were you thinking the first time we kissed?
  5. What were your first thoughts when you met my family?
  6. When did you know you wanted to marry me?
  7. Is there a date you wish we could relive?
  8. What do you miss from our dating years?
  9. When we were dating, did you think we would end up here?
  10. Tell me our love story like you are telling it to one of our children.

Conversations Starters About The Proposal

  1. What preparations were made for the proposal?
  2. What went through your mind during the proposal?
  3. How did you feel after we first got engaged?
  4. What was the best part of our engagement months/years?
  5. What advice were you given about marriage?
  6. What did you enjoy most about planning the wedding?
  7. What was on your mind the most during our engagement?
  8. What excited you most about getting married to me?
  9. What parts of our engagement were difficult?
  10. Is there anything you wish we could relive from our time of engagement?
  11. What was your favorite part of planning the wedding?
  12. What do you wish we had done differently when planning for the wedding?
  13. If you could go back to the moment you proposed to me, what would you see in your mind?
  14. Describe to me the feeling you had when we set the wedding date?
  15. What was it like to try on your wedding day attire? Fun? Stressful?

Conversation Starters About Our Wedding Day

  1. Tell me your fondest memory of our wedding day.
  2. What was going through your mind in the hours leading up to the ceremony?
  3. What did you think when you saw me on our wedding day?
  4. Did you like how things turned out for the ceremony and reception?
  5. Do you remember the toast and what was said?
  6. Who caught the bouquet and garter?
  7. Do you remember any of the songs that were played at the reception?
  8. What do you wish we could relive from that day?
  9. What advice would you give other people about their wedding day?
  10. If we were planning a wedding today, what would you change about the decor and theme?
  11. Is there anything that happened that day that surprised you?
  12. Tell me about a conversation you remember having on our wedding day? Who was it with?
  13. What was your favorite part of the ceremony?
  14. Do you remember what our minister said during the ceremony?
  15. Do you remember what song was sung?

Conversation Starters About Our Honeymoon

  1. What was your favorite part of our honeymoon?
  2. If we could relive a moment from that week, which moment would it be?
  3. If we could take a second honeymoon, where would you like to go?
  4. Is there something that you wish was different about that week?
  5. What surprised you most about that time together?
  6. What is your favorite picture from that trip?
  7. Do you remember where we went to eat while we were there?
  8. Was the honeymoon what you expected?

Here are some great questions to get you started. What would you add to the list?

Negotiating Finances in Your Marriage

Money is such a big issue for most of us. When we get married, it only complicates things. We have to take our finances and combine them in such a way that all the needs are met. Adjoining the two accounts is hard enough. The other big challenge is agreeing on how the money is to be spent. Arguing over finances is a big problem for couples. Many marriages hit rocky roads because of money problems.

negotiating finances in your marriage

Check me out over at Shape Mind Soul today where I talk about:

Effectively Communicating With Your Spouse About Money

What about you? Are finances a huge issue in your marriage?