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4 Uses For Leftover Coffee

If you are anything like me, you have left over coffee every day. I didn’t always have coffee left, but now that Austin has been drinking it at work, it seems to be a bit of a problem. Many people have chosen to purchase a Keurig for this very reason. Call me crazy, but I don’t think I can get over the expense of brewing one cup at a time. Even though I have about 1 cup or so left at the end of each day, it is not worth it to me to go to a single brew pot. Not to mention, there are some days when I have company with me that also drinks coffee. Since I am having a hard time brewing the right amount each day, I’ve been determined to figure out some things I can use the left over coffee for. This is the list I have so far.

1. Make Iced Coffee

coffee lovehopeadventure


I poured some left over coffee in an ice cube tray and saved the rest in the refrigerator. Later on, when Austin got home, I asked him to make us some amazing iced coffee. The recipe he used turned out very much like a light frappucino. It was very enjoyable and we had a mini date with each other. You can read his post about that HERE.

2. Use it As a Dark Hair Booster


My hair is naturally dark brown, but I like to put highlights in my hair. In the past few months, I decided to color my hair all over with dark brown and try to take it back to a more natural color. The sun has stripped away the hair dye quite a bit and let a lot of the color I tried to cover up show through. I read where you can use coffee to give dark hair a boost, so I tried it out. I will admit, I only attempted this one time, and I am not sure if it made a difference. Maybe you have to do it every day in the shower to see a change. Either way, it is worth a shot for anyone with dark hair and a leftover pot of coffee.

3. Turn it Into Ice Cream


Have you ever heard of coffee ice cream? Well, I certainly have, and using left over coffee in a homemade ice cream recipe is a great idea. We own a small electric ice cream maker. When I have done this in the past, I take a vanilla ice cream recipe and substitute 1 cup of coffee for one of the cups of half and half or cream. This makes the mixture a bit more icy, but well worth the taste. I also like to add in chocolate syrup when I do this for added flavor.

4. Water Plants


Some plants really love the acid in coffee such as: blueberries, azaleas, and rhododendrons. You can use your left over brew to water these types of plants about once every two weeks. Be sure you only do this plants that respond well to high acid, otherwise you’ll damage the plants. You can certainly pour left over tea on most of your plants, but coffee needs to be monitored.


What are some ways you enjoy using leftover coffee? I would love to hear about it in the comments section.

3 Ways to Encourage Your Spouse

All of us need encouragement in our lives at some time or another. I think we often forget that our spouses need to be told thank you for what they do. Sure, you both are in this together and have responsibilities to the family. While it is both of your jobs to help out around the house, raise the children, and bring in a paycheck; giving encouragement is important. What an honoring thing you can do for your spouse to surprise them with a bit of encouragement on a day they do not expect it. Here are some great ways you can say thank you and show support to your loved one.

1. Make a Bad Day Box

bad day box



Picture Credit

Whether you loved one has had a bad day or not, a box full of their favorite things is sure to be an encouragement to them. You can read my post HERE where I explain exactly what I put in my box. Also, I give some other fun suggestions as well. Be as creative as you like with this idea.

2. Write Notes on a Shower Curtain

shower notes


Picture Credit

This ideas is super fun if you have a plastic shower curtain. I actually have glass doors in my bathroom, so I did this concept on the plastic shower curtain in my kid’s bathroom. All you need is a plastic shower curtain and a black marker. This can be done for any member of your family, not just your spouse. One quick note, this is a permanent thing and it will not scrub or wash off. If you plan to write messages you don’t want your kiddos seeing, then I suggest don’t do this in a shared bathroom. It would be a good idea to have a new plastic shower curtain to replace the other one after the surprise as well.

3. Make a Branch of Love

branch of love


Picture Credit

This is an encouragement idea I have used in many different ways. I’ve done this for Austin a few times using different themes. Once, I did a fall theme in the bedroom and cut out fall colored leaves to write on. This one pictured is a spring looking branch. What you will need is a branch from outside that is empty of actual leaves. Then you can cut out leaf shapes and on each leaf, write a sentence of encouragement. Consider writing attributes that you love about your spouse or say thank you for things they have done. After you have filled out all of your leaves, tape them onto the branches and hang on the wall.


These are just a few simple ways to encourage your loved one. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or energy to tell your husband or wife how much you care.

I originally saw all of these fun ideas over at The Dating Divas, and made them into my own style. That is one of my favorite blogs for married couple dating ideas. They are just simply amazing.


DIY Frappucino Recipe

For a few years, we hosted a youth coffee house at our previous church. Each week, we would invite the teenagers out for a fun night of games and music. Making iced coffees, frappucinos, and cappucinos became a regular staple as part of our event. In fact, we created a quarterly event called “Mochas for Missions” out of this theme. My husband, Austin, became quite familiar with DIY coffee recipes on account of those nights. Recently, I saved some left over coffee and asked him to pull out one of his old recipes for us. Like a sweetheart, he took to the challenge immediately. You can go HERE and read his guest post that came about from that night.

DIY Frappucino Recipe

coffee lovehopeadventure

2 cups frozen coffee
1 cup cold coffee
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
3 tablespoons caramel
3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
3 tablespoons raw sugar

Topping Optional:

chocolate syrup

cool whip


How to Make the Coffee

cappucino cafe

You can freeze some of your leftover coffee in ice cube trays ahead of time. This keeps the coffee from becoming watered down. Also, if you want to brew double strength coffee and put in the refrigerator, it will make your drink taste stronger. To brew double strength, reduce the amount of water you would normally use per scoop by half.

Simply place all of these ingredients in a blender and run until it reaches the consistency you are looking for. Top with whipped cream and chocolate syrup if you would like.
This simple coffee recipe only takes a few minutes to make. You can always consider sitting down with your spouse for a coffee date. 🙂


The Married Kissing Challenge

Recently, I have read several articles that laid out different kissing challenges. One suggested you kiss for at least a minute and the other said to make this the year of locking lips. I am a huge proponent of intimacy in marriage and I believe that kissing is a big part of that. When you are in your dating years, you likely spent a lot of time making out with your boyfriend or girlfriend; that is of course, unless you were part of those that kissed dating goodbye. Regardless of whether you spent your days of dating or the early years of marriage locking lips with your loved one, what about now?


Why is it Important to Kiss Your Spouse


There are so many reasons why kissing your spouse is important for your marriage. Here are just a few of those reason:


Affection- a simple peck can show someone how much you care for them. Showing your spouse affection on a daily basis is crucial to a healthy marriage. It is easier to be affectionate when you are used to doing it often.

Acceptance- when you put your lips on your loved one, you are communicating acceptance of them.

Intimacy- being face to face with your spouse brings immediate intimacy. Intimate encounters are not the only way to bring closeness in a marriage.


What Keeps Couples From Kissing


If you have gotten to a place in your marriage where this act of love is no longer happening, then I am erging you to figure out why you no longer kiss. Maybe you have a time issue and feel like you must choose between having an intimate encounter or making out, so you choose the passionate time together without kissing.


Or perhaps there are other reasons that keep you from tasting your loved one’s mouth. For a long time, I avoided prolonged smooching  if I didn’t have the desire to take things further. You know what I’m talking about. I think women are more inclined to this way of thinking than men. In fact, my lack of desire kept me from many forms of flirting with my husband. After several years, I addressed this problem within myself, and decided that I would flirt and kiss freely, even if I didn’t have the desire in that moment to be intimate later.


You will have to figure out for yourself what keeps you from making out with your spouse. I encourage you to address any issues you have with this act, because it is affecting your sex life.


How to Make Kissing a Priority


I hate to say it this way, but sometimes, you just have to get in the habit of being passionate with your significant other. It almost sounds as if it is some sort of duty to your spouse, which can seem like a complete turn off. However, I think that making intimacy and making out a priority by doing it habitually, will lead to a more natural passion.


Here are a few ideas that will help you make kissing a priority. 


Plan a Makeout Session- I know that initially this doesn’t sound very romantic, but that is not to say it won’t lead to something exciting. Making a plan and putting it on the calendar is a great way to build anticipation. Not only that, you will have cleared your schedule and you know you have time to do this. Go ahead and make up in your mind that this session is going to lead to an intimate encounter. That is the best way to feel free to makeout.

Kiss Goodbye- you can check out my full article about why kissing goodbye is beneficial in marriage.

Say Thank You By Locking Lips- instead of just using the words thank you to convey that message, consider planting one on your loved one.

There is no doubt that intimacy in marriage is built by many different actions, and making out is one of the top things that lead to closeness.

8 DIY Couples Costume Ideas

With October being right around the corner, I thought giving some great Halloween costume ideas for couples in 2014. Austin and I dress up every chance we get. In fact, we spear headed a Christmas costume party for our youth group a few years in a row so that we had more opportunities to get into costume.

Growing up, we made our costumes out of clothing we already owned. I remember there was a clown suit that was passed around more than one time between my brothers and myself. I think the most exciting part of Halloween is creating your own outfit. Sometimes, I buy what is necessary to complete an idea, most of the time we use what we have.

While I wasn’t able to rustle up every single couples costumes we have ever dressed up in, I managed to get some of the best ones.

1. Robin Hood and Maid Marian  

gueneviere and robin


This was a fun idea to put together and turned out to be a beautiful renaissance dress. We had been watching a Robin Hood series and I fell in love with the character of Maid Marian. I made this dress from a house dress pattern and embellished it to look like an outfit from that time period. I also made the hat, shirt, and green covering for the Robin Hood look.

2. Punk Costume Idea


just a couple of punks


Complete confession time here….I LOVE the punk look. It took some doing, but Austin and I figured out the perfect punk styles for our personalities. We made these punk looks ourselves with the clothes we already own. One of the beauties of the punk culture is the individual creativity that goes into the clothing they wear.

3. Reindeer and Elf 

reindeer and elf


This was one of our Christmas costume ideas one year. Austin dressed as Santa’s elf and dressed up like a reindeer. One of my favorite parts of this costume is that Austin was able to combine a few let over pieces from other costumes to create this look. I used a makeup tutorial on youtube to figure out how to paint my face. I love youtube videos and all the amazing people who create them.

4. Bug Catcher and Ladybug Costume

lady bug and bug catcher


I enjoyed putting together this ladybug costume. It was really simple, because I used clothing I already owned; a trip to the dollar tree for the wings and I was done. Austin used a light colored polo shirt and made a big bug net. Again, I watched a youtube video to figure out how to make my face look like a ladybug.

5. Winter Storm and Black Friday 

winter storm and black friday


This was actually a Christmas costume idea for our youth party. Believe it or not, this couples idea was not a joint effort. Both Austin and I made our own decision regarding what we would wear. Normally, we would talk to each other ahead of time, but we never talked about this.

I had decided to dress as a winter snow storm, so I put on all white clothing and sprayed my hair with white spray color left over from Halloween. Austin pulled out all black clothing and put a name tag on that said, “My name is Friday”. It was really fun the way it came together unintentionally, but it really does describe us. We are like day and night in almost every way.

6. Black Bird, Pumpkin, and Scarecrow Costume

scare crow, crow, pumpkin


Sometimes, just sometimes, we try to incorporate our kids into our ideas. This is one of those years where we were able to do just that with our youngest son. I just so happened to have a pumpkin outfit that was given to us by someone that would actually fit him.

When I was trying to figure out what to dress my older boys in, I ran across a cute DIY scarecrow costume idea. Immediately, I knew what needed to be done. I worked with Austin to create a scarecrow look for him and I made a black crow for myself out of some items I already owned.

7. Bert and Mary Poppins Costume

bert and mary poppins


This is likely Austins and my favorite DIY couples costume. We decided to dress up like Bert and Mary Poppins. I borrowed a few things for him to put his outfit together, and I used items I already owned for my Mary Poppins costume. The only thing I had to buy was the hat, which I spray painted and decorated myself. There is one thing for sure, people just love Mary Poppins.

8. Starbucks Drink and Barista

starbucks coffee and barista from starbucks


This idea was so funny. I ran across it and Austin fell in love with the look. It was a lot of fun to put together and people just loved it. I have a full post on how we made it that you can check out.

How to dress like a Starbucks Barista and a Cup of Coffee. This is one of those ideas that you can use what you have to create your own unique look.

Austin and I enjoy dressing up together for Halloween and any other opportunity we get. These pictures of us reminds me of the kind of couple we are.

5 Unique Gift Ideas For Your Significant Other

It can be so difficult to come up with meaningful gifts for every holiday, special occasion or just because. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like I’m just giving the same thing again and again to Austin. I am always in the market for finding cute ideas that will communicate to him exactly how much I love him. Here are some unique gift ideas that I have found. Hopefully, these ideas will spark your creativity so that you can create fun gifts for the special someone in your life.


1. Make a Video


Put some of your favorite pictures together in a slide show and set them to music. Upload the video to facebook and tag them in the post. Or you can make a video with a special message of all the reasons you love them. You might choose to text your significant other the message privately. I actually made a video for some friends of mine that were having an anniversary. I tagged them in it on Facebook. They really loved it. For other video ideas, check out this link:




2. Give Checks of Love


Print off a stack of blank checks for your loved one to cash in. You can write a check for 20 kisses or check for 10 hugs. Whatever you know they will like, write a check for it. You can also leave a few blank for them to come up with his own ideas. The link below gives you blank check templates.




3.  Breakfast in Bed


Your loved one is sure to enjoy sleeping in while you slip out to make their favorite breakfast. Write a note that has a special message to attach and sit it by the bed. For even more fun, crack the eggs into a heart shaped form on the griddle, or make heart shaped pancakes. Check out the link below for some other cute breakfast ideas.




4. I Love You Underwear


Make your significant other a pair of underwear that tells of your undying love. Use fabric markers to write special messages on white underwear. Whether you are making this for a man or woman, they are sure to love it. The link below will take you to underwear that is covered in messages. Everytime they wear these boxers, they are sure to think  of your love.




5. Dress Up and Take Them Out


Get really dressed up and take your loved one out to dinner to their favorite restaurant. Show them that they are worth the time it takes for you to look really nice. While out to dinner, come up with things to talk about that you normally don’t entertain. If you need some ideas, look at the book below for great dinner conversation starters. It is always more fun to talk about something other than your normal responsibilities.



Your loved one is sure to know how much you care because of the time and energy you put into making these gift ideas. Any of these unique gift ideas would be a great way to show them how much you love them. Don’t let a day pass by without showing your love.

Simple Pleasures for Your Wife (Guest Post)

I would like to invite my husband, Austin, to talk to husbands about bringing their wives simple pleasures. He has always struggled with what to do when planning a date. Here is what he has to say to men and women:


If we’re honest, guys, we usually don’t know what our wives need.  Or maybe sometimes we know what they need, but convince ourselves it can’t be that simple.

Are you like me?


If you are, you think that doing something nice for your wife has to be a big deal if it’s going to make an impact with her.  This was one of my biggest mistakes up till last week during the first several years of our marriage.  I wouldn’t take her on a date because I hadn’t thought of the perfect plans, including showing up with roses, whisking her away to a romantic dinner at her favorite spot, followed up by a homemade dessert picnic under the stars on a handmade blanket… or maybe it’s just me.

Simpler Pleasures


I finally learned one of the secrets of meeting my wife’s needs: just be there.  Usually, my wife doesn’t care where we go so long as we go together, preferably without the kids.  Simple dinner at the same restaurant we always go to? Fine.  Long cup of coffee at the bookstore?  Great.  Sitting on the porch at sunset? Perfect.

The Simple Key


The key in all of this is usually simplicity.  Our lives are so busy and full of noise that it’s nice to just be together and remind each other why we are so crazy about each other.  It’s a simple opportunity to have some quiet conversation. Grown up conversation.  It doesn’t even have to be deep, it just has to be void of interruptions from people who can’t poop by themselves.

Date Excuses

coffee lovehopeadventure

Tonight was a great example of meeting a simple need for my wife.  She had some leftover coffee and was jonesing for a frappe.  I made her a simple homemade version of a caramel mocha frappe (thanks, Google!) and she was over the moon.  Total cost involved: $0.  Total time investment: 8 minutes, 9 if you count the googling.  Payoff: that smile I love to see, plus I got a pretty good frappe too!  It gave us a good excuse to call a timeout from the evening schedule, and make something together.  We shared a few laughs with each other and the kids too.  Right there in the middle of our kitchen, we had a 15 minute date.

Simple as that.

If you want to see the recipe I used, go HERE.


5 DIY Gifts to Say I Love You

There are so many ways to show your spouse how much you love him. Whether it is a special day or an ordinary day, you can make up some fun gifts to show him how much you care for him. Time is too precious to let the days go by without sharing your feelings with the ones that are special to you. For some great ways to show your loved one how special they are, take a look at some of these unique gift ideas. 

1. “Open When” Letters

Open When Letters

Create envelopes that are designated to be opened when he needs to hear a special message. For example, you could create an envelope to be opened when he needs encouragement, when he needs to know how much your love him, and so on. Write letters for the occasions that the envelope addresses. Use the link below for more ideas on Open When Letters. 

2. Commission a Song

Love Song

If you have musical talents, then writing a song can be a fun way to express your love for him. For those that do not posses the music abilities to write and play their own song, there are other ways to accomplish this. Andrew is a talented artist who writes songs about whatever you ask him to. A specially written song is sure to surprise him whether you or someone else wrote it 

3. Stick It Up


Use sticky notes to plaster your love for him all over the house, his car, in his briefcase, or wherever he will see it. Write a different reason you love him on each note. You should also include fun memories or romantic quotes. Use as many sticky notes as you can to help him feel loved. 

4. I Love My Husband T-Shirt

Wearing a t-shirt sharing the world of your undying love for him will make him feel special. You can buy a t-shirt and use fabric markers to write your own message or use a t-shirt site to build your own design. To buy a pre-made t-shirt that tells the world you love your husband, you can check out this link.


5. Write Out Your Love Story


You have a beautiful love story to tell. Make a book that tells of some of the highlights of your life together. Work together and create this book of memories. Include pictures or other keepsakes from your relationship that might be stashed away in a box. This will not only provide you with a great book to peruse later on, but it will be fun to make the book together.

These are some great gift ideas for him and her. Let me know in the comments some of the unique gift ideas that you have.

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