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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?

How to Paint on Jeans With Nail Polish

A few months back, I decided to try out an idea I had. I wanted to make a jean jacket I had look a bit more exciting. After taking some time to search around, I read something that said you could paint on jean material with nail polish. I thought that was a great idea, so I tried it out. My jean jacket did look pretty awesome afterwards.

Just to let you know, I am not sure how well the paint will hold up over the long run with washing. It might eventually start picking off. I would just use your best judgement when deciding what to paint on.

Check out my video tutorial to show you the project I worked on.

 

Hope you try it out. I plan to do this with some of my jeans pretty soon.

DIY Valentine’s Gifts For Your Children

Are you looking for some great ideas that you can do yourself for your kids? Check out some of these cute ideas.

Duct Tape Heart

Make a fun and fluffy duct tape heart to make his Valentine’s Day exciting. By cutting strips of duct tape in the color of your choice, you can make a heart he is sure to enjoy. Once two heart forms have been created, you can stuff the inside with pillow stuffing or scrap fabric to make a squishy heart.

Robot Valentine

This quirky little robot valentine will have him smiling and laughing as he bounces him around the room and make him talk like a droid. The body of this robot is made from a snack sized candy bar covered in scrapbooking paper. The head, legs and arms are made from complimenting colored paper and all glued to card stock. You can see how to make this robot with pictures.

Love Bugs

Tell him he is your little love bug with creepy crawlies attached to cut out paper hearts. Choose a heavy cardstock in a vibrant color, and cut out heart. In the center of the heart, attach a plastic bug of your choice. Write a special message to your son on the cardstock and add the phrase, my little love bug. Here you can see instructions with pictures. 

Fish Valentine

For a non-candy Valentine’s Day option, give him gold fish. He is sure to be happy with a bag full of fish for a snack. Attach the message, “Will you o”fish”ally by mine?” on the outside of the bag or box. Pack this in his lunch for a Valentine’s Day surprise. See full instruction here.

Dino Love

This dinosaur will bring Valentine’s Day in with a roar. Use a plastic dinosaur of your choice. You can enhance the dinosaur by spray painting it a vibrant color. Cut out small, red hearts to place in the dinosaurs mouth. Attach a Valentine’s Day greeting to a card and tie it around the dinosaur’s neck. Take a look at this fun dinosaur valentine.

The Force

Give him the force for Valentine’s Day with this printable Star Wars card. Follow the link below and print out this card that features Obi-wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. Use two different colored pixie sticks and tape them down across the character’s hands to be used as light sabers. Your son will have fun re-enacting Start Wars with this great valentine.


Make Valentine’s Day special for your children with one of these projects. Homemade gifts are fun to make and extra special to receive. Do you have any great ideas? Tell me about them in the comments. I would love to hear.

Valentine’s Day Decoration Ideas

Valentines day decorations

I love Valentine’s Day! It really is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate with the world around me. Every year I add to the heart decor in the house. Here is a look into what I have around the house for Valentine’s Day decorations.

Mantel Decorations

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Every holiday, I always decorate the mantel. My den is a rustic look, so the mason jar works out well. This is a mason jar with a heart sticker. There are painted red, white and pink, pinto beans in the bottom. Around the jar is a Valentine’s ribbon. I have a strand of lights across my mantel, and I put a few down into the jar. The red ribbon is one I picked up on a Christmas clearance.

Fireplace Decorations For Valentine’s Day

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At the bottom of my mantel, I have some other decorations for the holiday. This was a simple look I created with a basket, white lights, and a red ribbon. A few white petals have finished off the look.

Valentine’s Bouquet For the Kitchen

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Out on my kitchen counter, I have this simple vase. It is a plastic heart vase with a bit of paper and a few flowers. I like these flowers because it has a group of hearts.

Valentine’s Day Decorations For the Piano

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I always end up with a poinsettia from Christmas. I think the coloring makes for a great Valentine’s addition. In my living room, there is a piano that I always decorate. Here is a close up of the vase on the end.

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Dining Room Ideas

 

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In my dining room, there is a window that I have a set of lights around the window. I draped the cord around a potted plant that I keep on the table. I just put a few petals and a red ribbon around the plant.

Bedroom Valentine’s Day Ideas

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In the bedroom, I love to decorate the candle holder on the wall. I usually add something seasonal on the candle holder. The blanket and pillow are gifts from my husband last year. You can read about The Week of Love where he gave it to me.

This is a look into my decorations for the season. What are you doing to decorate in your home this year?

Week of Love Valentine’s Day Idea

My husband knows I love Valentine’s Day and creative gifts. Over the years, he has come up with some really sweet ideas. Last Valentine’s, he put together a Week of Love leading up to the holiday. I was so blessed by his creativity, I wanted to share the idea with you. Be sure to take advantage of our printable to make your own tags.

Get these printables here- Valentine’s Jumpstart Pack We’ve also compiled an Amazon list featuring the gifts. You can purchase right from Amazon. We included several versions of some of the gifts so you can decide how much you want to spend on each item. You can find the idea list here.

Day 1: Sweet Treat

Day 1 week of love valentines day gift

 

On the first day of the week of love, I was given Sweet Treats. Austin took each day to write something he loved about me and tied it into the gift. This card reads: Today, you get a sweet treat that’s dark, smooth, and luscious…. Just like you.

Day 2: Hotness to Go

Day 2 week of love valentine's day gift

 

One of Austin’s and my favorite past times is drinking coffee. He picked out a red mug to stick with the Valentine’s look. This tag says: Keep your hands and tummy warm and your taste buds happy with today’s gift.

Week 3: Warm & Cozy

Day 3 week of love valentines day gift

 

What is a more fun than getting warm, fuzzy socks with hearts on it? I love these socks because they have hearts and because they were aloe infused. The card reads: Thank you for being warm & comforting, and for bringing me healing when I need it.

Day 4: Smooth Tunes

Day 4 week of love valentines day gift

 

Romantic instrumental jazz music is one of my favorite things to listen to. In fact, I listen to this kind of music almost every day. Austin got me this CD with some love focused songs. The card says, “A little something to groove to on those special nights.”

Day 5: Fuzzy Snuggly

Day 3 week of love valentine's day gift

 

Cuddling up under a blanket next to my honey on the couch is something I love to do. This fleece blanket is warm and cute. The card says: Here’s something to snuggle with and keep warm. Thank you for snuggling with me on cold wintry nights.

Putting the Week of Love Together

Austin put all of these gifts with their cards together ahead of time. He set all five of the bags out for me to gaze at all week long. That kind of thing does not tease me quite like it does for him. You can use your own creativity when it comes to executing the plan.

Download these printables and use your creativity to give your spouse their own Week of Love.  The first pdf is ready to use, and the second set is blank so you can come up with your own gifts ideas.

Valentine’s Day Jumpstart Pack

Don’t forget to check out the Amazon idea list here for quick access to the gifts you’ll need.

I hope you enjoy this DIY Valentine’s day gift idea. Good luck with putting together a week of love for your sweetie.