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What I do Instead of Making New Year’s Resolutions

It’s almost New Year’s Eve and many are turning their thoughts to the year to come. Making resolutions has certainly gotten a bad rap over the years. I think a lot of people don’t even bother making them anymore, because it is almost impossible to stick with it. Instead of making resolutions on New Year’s, I do something else instead.

Reflect on the Year That Has Passed

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This is the time of year when I take a look back at the year. For the first time in a year, you can see the big picture. Austin and I spend time the last week of December talking about the year we are leaving behind. Some years, we are kicking the year to the curb. We have had quite a few years that we kicked to the curb.

Make Goals For the Year to Come

If all we did to wrap up the year was say sayonara to the year we ended and stopped there, we would miss out on a major part of being married. It is important to make goals in life. Whether it is in your marriage, family, education, job, or some combination of all three.

We take time on New Year’s Eve to think of what we want to accomplish in the coming year. At the end of the year, we can look back and see if we made it the way we hoped to. Even at the end of bad years, we still accomplished our goals set up the year before.

Goals Are Different Than New Year’s Resolutions

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There is a difference between a goal and a New Year’s Resolution. Probably the biggest difference between the two is the PR each has been given. New Year’s Resolutions have been turned into a list of Do’s and Don’t’s. Of course people aren’t going to follow a list like that. You can read about Why You Fail When You Make New Year’s Resolutions.

Goals have been pushed in a different light. These are dream that you feel motivated to work toward.

My Personal Goals For the Year

goals for 2015

I have a few personal goals that I’m working toward this year. Some are similar to what I accomplished last year.

First off, I plan to continue expanding this blog. My goal is to post more often. I am also working on more topics to discuss that pertain to marriage. I’m really excited about seeing this project grow.

In my writing business, I plan to pick up more clients and earn more income. As my children grow older, it is important that we make a bit more than we used to. The needs of children increase with age.

For my marriage, I am planning to grow even closer to Austin. With every passing year, we have grown deeper in love and intimacy.

With my children, I plan to work harder at building relationships. Since my oldest son will hit the double digits this summer, I need to do more intentional conversations. They are in school now, versus being homeschooled. It is important that I talk with them about subjects before their friends do.

Those are my goals for the year. What are your goals? I would love to hear about them. Feel free to leave me a message in the comment section below.

Top New Years Resolutions 2015 and What it Will Take to Keep It

Top New Year’s Resolutions 2015

New Year’s is days away and I’m sure your thoughts have already turned to what your resolutions will be. Most people make plans and goals for the coming year, even though they know they will break them. Here’s to the top 10 New Year’s resolutions and ways you can have a fighting chance of keeping them.

1. Stop Eating Out As Much

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Picking up carry out doesn’t count does it? As long as you don’t eat it at the restaurant, then it isn’t technically eating out, right? If that is the case, you might have a fighting chance at this one.

2. Lose 10 Pounds

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Let’s just hope you get the flu to help you out with this one. As long as you see that scale dip down 10 pounds for a day, I’d say goal met. Time to organize a flu party.

3. Save More Money

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Does this mean actual money in the bank? Cuz if not, I am pretty sure you can catch some great after Christmas sales. You’d likely be able to save up to 70% on all kinds of items.

4. Stop Yelling at the Kids as Much

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I’m envisioning you sending your kids on more overnights to Grandma’s to make this one happen.

5. Drink Less (Insert drink of choice)

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Again, I think sending the kids on overnights to Grandma’s is the key to this one as well. That goes for alcohol and coffee.

6. Stop Bad Habits

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Picking your nose is a bad habit. If you haven’t done that since 3rd grade, then I’d say you will probably keep this resolution.

7. Get More Exercise

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Walking from your desk to the coffee pot for a re-fill is absolutely exercise. I recommend you do that several times a day.

8. Learn How to do Something New

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With Youtube, you don’t even have to get off your couch to learn how to do something new. All you need to do is carve out some serious time to watch video tutorials.

9. Take a Trip to Someplace New

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Make sure you are standing in line at the new restaurant they are opening up down the street. That way you can scratch this one off your list pretty quick.

10. Get More Rest at Night

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I’m sticking with more overnights for the kids at Grandma’s house.

 

These are some of the top New Year’s Resolutions people love to make. Thanks to me, you now have some real ideas of how to scratch each one off your list. You’re welcome.

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Later on this week I’ll post why Austin and I do not make New Year’s Resolutions. I will also tell you what we do instead.

I Wish You A Merry Christmas

It is almost Christmas! I’m so very excited that we have the chance to celebrate the birth of our Savior. My wish for everyone is that you will find joy and peace during this season. Here are a few thoughts I want to leave with you as we approach the birth of Christ.

May You Experience God’s Love

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This is the time of year where we are reminded of God’s immense love for us. I hope that you see His love in your life through your family, friends or strangers.

Maybe Christmas Means a Little Bit More

maybe christmas doesn't come from a store the grinch

One of my favorite movies to watch during this time of year is The Grinch. The Grinch finds a different meaning for Christmas than the presents. Once he snatched all of the gifts from the town, Christmas came anyways. What a thought provoking line from a kid’s movie.

Christmas is the True Expression of Love

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Not only does God express His love to us, but Christmas is the perfect time for us to show love to others. It is a time when we can give to those that are less fortunate. Also, it is a time for us to show love to those that mean most to us.

It is Better to Give Than Get

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It is a bit counter cultural to say that it is better to give a present than to receive one. We see commercials all the time that talk about buying presents for everyone, including yourself. Paul tells us in Acts 20:35 to remember the words Jesus spoke, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.

Merry Christmas to You and Your Family

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I hope that you all have a wonderful day with your family. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years.

 

Last Minute Gift Ideas That Are Cheap

Christmas is mere days away and it is time for last minute gift ideas to come out. I put together a few ideas that will not take long for you to put together. Check out the list I have going.

Simple Snowman Snack Craft

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This is a very simple snowman craft that wraps around a pack of popcorn or hot chocolate. If you want to see the full instructions of how I made this, go HERE. It took me about an hour to make 35 of these. All you need is the snack, a piece of white and black paper, markers, and ribbon.

Bad Day Box For a Friend or Family Member

bad day box

You can take my bad day box idea and create a fun gift for a friend or your spouse. Either you can go with the theme of it being a bad day box, or you can call it a day after Christmas survival kit. Put the individual’s favorite snacks and other items to help them relax after the holiday. To find out ideas of what I put in the bad day box, go HERE.

Paper Flower As a Pen Top or Other Decoration

diy paper flower

I learned to make fun paper flowers when I worked at a children’s camp. This is a great idea for girls of all ages. You can make a small flower as a pen top, or a larger one as decoration. To see the full tutorial on how to make this DIY craft, go HERE.

Give a Night of Romance For Your Spouse

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Not sure what to do for your spouse this Christmas? He or she is sure to love a special night that is dedicated to romance. This gift does not have to cost any money. All you need to do is take some time to plan it out. Go HERE to read some of my ideas to create a romantic night.

A Basket Full of Items to Snuggle Together

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Again, this is another gift that doesn’t require you to purchase anything. You can gather supplies and put them in a basket. This could be a fun gift for your spouse, or children. I put a blanket, pillow, movie, and hot chocolate in my basket. Depending on your budget, you can use items you own. Sometimes, it is the time together that is the real gift.

Homemade Muddy Buddy Chex Mix

how to make muddy buddy chex mix

On the back of every box of chexmex you will find different recipes. I bought a box the other day to make some last minute treats for friends. I needed a gluten-free dessert for some of my relatives. I did a simple search for a muddy buddy recipe and put together this mix in a few minutes. It took peanut butter, butter, chocolate, chex, and powdered sugar.

White Chocolate Candy Cane Chex Mix

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I also found a recipe for a white chocolate, candy cane chex recipe on the back of the box. All I need for this recipe was a bag of white chocolate chips, 4 cups of chex, and 4 large crushed candy canes. Melt the chocolate in a microwave, mix in the candy cane and pour over chex. Spread out the mix onto wax paper and allow to cool.

 

These are a few last minute gift ideas that you can do this Christmas.

Simple Snowman Gift Idea

Last week I needed a last minute gift for the volunteers at the food pantry. I decided to give each volunteer a package of hot chocolate. To make the presentation a bit more fun, I made a simple snowman wrap.

How to Make a Snowman Wrap For Snacks

This project requires a piece of white paper, orange and black markers, black construction paper, and ribbon. You can wrap this paper around a pack of unpopped popcorn, hot chocolate, or anything flat.

Last Minute Gifts

snowman snack wrapping

Start by placing the snack in the center of the paper. Then pull both sides to the center and place a piece of tape to hold the pieces together. Put another piece of tape at the bottom to keep the snack from falling out.

snowman face

 

Once you flip over the package, make an orange nose, two black eyes, and a dotted mouth. I made a small black hat for my snowmen. You can make something much larger than that if you choose. I had to make so many, I went with a smaller hat.

I tied a ribbon around the top to close it up. My ribbon had Christmas tags on the end that I used to write who the gift was from.

This is a great last minute gift idea. If you need something for teachers, classmates, or office staff, this would be a quick idea. I was able to make up 35 of these in about an hour. It didn’t take that long to accomplish.

Good luck if you choose to make this.

Couples Truth Or Dare Bedroom Game

Sexy truth or dare bedroom game for couples. Sexy dares for couples. Sexy dares for wife. Sexy dares for husbands.

Couples bedroom games are a great way to enhance your intimacy. That is why we have put together several games that you can play with your spouse.

Many of the games come with printables and others are in digital format.

What is Couples Truth or Dare for the Bedroom?

Do you remember Truth or Dare Party Game from your childhood? I do! It was a staple game at every sleep over I went to growing up.

This year I decided to take it up a notch and turn the concept into a sexy bedroom game.

Print The Cards

 

Want my free printable? Just sign up for the newsletter and I’ll email them directly to you.

When you print this off, be sure to select front and back printing. This will print truth or dare on one side of the card and the options on the other side. I suggest you use card stock if you can. Be sure to cut the cards apart.

This game is a perfect compliment to having an at home date night. I know it can be hard to get out with your spouse on a regular basis. I find spending time with your loved one in the comfort of your own home is a bonding experience.

Use The Game For an At Home Date Night

If you go with an at home date night, consider using Creative Conversation Starters. This will get your mind in the right mood for the night.

Women in particular need to be mentally ready and feel romanced ahead of time. When a woman is really ready, she has a better chance of achieving amazing physical pleasure.

If you are not able to print out the cards, here is a list of all the information you need to make your own.

What the Truth Cards Say

I put together a list of questions that will get you thinking and talking about sex. It is important that you talk about this intimate act you have with your spouse.

This is a game that is intended to get you in the mood. If you come across a question that might cause you to fight, skip it.

Use index cards or cut pieces of scrapbook paper to write the questions or dares on.

  • What’s your favorite sex position? (resource- Sex positions you can try)
  • What do you want me to say while we are having sex?
  • What is your idea of sexy bedroom language? Give me an example of what you mean.
  • What are is going through your mind while we have sex?
  • What did you think the first time you saw me naked?
  • Tell me what it is like to have sex with me.
  • If we could have sex anywhere in public and not get caught, tell me where it would be.
  • What do I do that really turns you on?
  • What are your favorite foreplay moves? (Great resource: Intended for Pleasure)
  • Would you rather have morning sex or night sex?
  • What movie couple has the love story most like ours? Explain.
  • Ask me anything you want to know.
  • Do you like for me to be loud when we are having sex or keep quiet?
  • How long would your ideal quickie last? Describe every detail to me.
  • Describe to me in detail the oral technique you like to use on me.
  • Do you want to try dirty talking? (resource: a full guide to Dirty Talk)

Please feel free to add to this list or subtract things you aren’t comfortable with. I encourage you to talk about things that make you uncomfortable.

What the Dare Cards Say

I spent quite a bit of time coming up with steamy actions that will get you and your spouse going.

  • Do your best twerking moves for 20 seconds.
  • Kiss me upside down like Mary Jane kissed Spiderman.
  • Use your tongue to write a word that describes me on my back.
  • Use your finger to write your name on your favorite part of my body.
  • Use my finger or hand and show me how you like to receive oral sex.
  • Kiss me anywhere you want.
  • Give me a  30 second lap dance.
  • Use your fingers to trace over your favorite parts of my body.
  • Hold my hand while you kiss me for 20 seconds.
  • Kiss your way down my back or stomach.
  • Massage me with oil any way you choose for 30 seconds.
  • Snuggle me how you like for 20 seconds.
  • Stimulate two parts of my body at once. Use your hands on one part and lips on the other.
  • Take a sexy selfie and text it to me right now.
  • Show me the part of your body that you think I find the sexiest.
  • Kiss me with your eyes open for 30 seconds.

How to Play Truth or Dare

Player 1 asks Player 2 to pick TRUTH or DARE.

Player 2 picks.

Player 1 pulls the top card from that pile.

Player 1 asks Player 2 the question or gives them the dare.

Player 2 answers question or performs dare.

Once Player 2 has done what is on the card, players switch.

The game is over when you say it is. I’d encourage you to play a few rounds to build up anticipation and excitement. One of the goals of this game is to make you stop and invest time in foreplay before you are intimate.

I hope you enjoy this game with your spouse and you both feel closer to one another. It is so important to invest in one another on a physical level.

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*I use affiliate links

 

How to Make Gingerbread House From Graham Crackers

Several years ago, my Aunt Sue got in the habit of giving us a gingerbread house kit the first week of December. You know if you do anything one time, it automatically becomes a tradition! So, the tradition of making a gingerbread house each year was born. After she stopped sending the kits, we started buying one during the Christmas season.

 

Gingerbread House Tradition Lives On

This year, we were walking through Walmart, and a gingerbread house was the last thing on my mind. We have had limited funds this year, so I’m trying to purchase as few things as possible to stick within our budget. My oldest son picked out a kit with Austin, and they brought it to me. Unfortunately, I had to tell him that there wasn’t enough money left in the budget for us to get one this year.

If you can imagine, the thought of not carrying on with this tradition wrecked my son. It is not as a big of a deal to me to make the house. For one thing, I don’t like cookies and another, I don’t like candy. I had no idea this would be such a difficult thing for him to take.

As we left the store, I told him I would figure out something else we could use to make a house. We had an abundance of candy left from Halloween after all. I had the stuff to make icing. The house part is all I was lacking.

How to Make a Gingerbread House From Graham Crackers

I will not pretend to tell you I was creative enough to think of using graham crackers on my own. A few afternoons a week, I work at an after school program. A few kids got on the van with gingerbread houses made out of graham crackers. They had stuck the crackers to the side of a milk carton. That is where the idea was born.

I’ll give credit where credit is due, when my Austin came to get the boys from the childcare center, I told him he had to figure out how to construct a house out of graham crackers. We wanted to be able to eat the house, so using a milk carton wasn’t a good idea.

Here are the pictures of what he and the boys came up with. I provided the graham crackers, icing, and picked through the candy bucket. Austin and my boys came up with the rest.

To see the icing recipe we used, go HERE. We made up a half recipe, and it was plenty for this project.

gingerbread house start

Here is the start of the house. You can see that he took one graham cracker and cut angles at the top. I don’t know how he did that without breaking it. I have no real advice for you here, because I demolished several crackers trying to make a tree.

He did the angles on two graham crackers, one for each side of the house. Then he made the opposing walls out of half pieces.

gingerbread house completed

 

I’m sorry to go straight to the finished product, but I didn’t capture the pictures as it went along. Once he made the main house, he built a square section off to each side of it. This helped extend the house and make it better to work with.

He used half pieces of crackers for the roof. There was a bit of a gap between the roof and the other sections of the houses. He filled in those gaps with tootsie rolls. You could leave those gaps open if you didn’t have anything to shove in there.

The door is made from an airhead. You can also use a laffy taffy. We used nerds for the sprinkles on the house. Smarties, tootsie rolls, gummy lifesaver, candy canes, and everlasting gobstoppers to name a few.

gingerbread house back

 

Here is a view from the back. We have a sucker tree…or light post, I’m not sure what they went with. I do not know what those brown things are leading up to the backdoor. It was supposed to be a snowman…looks like it didn’t work out.

 

gingerbread house sideview

 

This side view shows you the tootsie rolls that bridged the gap between the roof and the house.

Good luck on making your house if you haven’t had a chance to do one this year. Let me know how it turns out!

 

 

4th Week of Advent

4th Week of Advent 2014

Are time of Advent 2014 is drawing to a close. Christmas morning is almost here, and we will celebrate the birth of Christ. This week I will share with you scripture reflections to light the 4th candle on the Advent wreath. To read the previous weeks worth of Advent posts, go HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Light the Purple Love Candle

You will light the fourth candle of Advent, the Love candle. We reflect on the experience the love God showed us by sending His one and only son Jesus.

God put His beloved son in a vulnerable and helpless position by placing His seed in Mary, a mere human. God knew when He sent Jesus to earth He would endure ridicule, temptations, and brutal death; but He sent Him anyways.

1 John 4:9-12

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God sent his one and only Son to the world so that He could cover our sins with His blood. God did this because of His love for us. Jesus willingly came to earth because of His love. We did not deserve this favor or love from God. He did this for us in spite of who we are.

We are challenged that if God loved us in such an amazing way, while we were still sinners, then how much more should we love one another?

Jesus’ Love For us is Great

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Jesus’ love for us is just as great as the Father’s love. He came to earth willingly, completely aware of the suffering that awaited Him. He allowed Himself to be taken away from the Father for a short period of time, knowing that the results would be everlasting.

Ezekiel 34:23

We are told that because of the immense love of God, He would appoint one Shepherd over His people; a shepherd that would care for them as much as He does. How appropriate it was that God sent the Angels to reveal the birth of the Good Shepherd to shepherds who were tending sheep in the fields.

Immediately, the shepherds went to Bethlehem to find the child whom was lying in the feeding trough. From there they began to share with everyone they met along the way what they had seen. God used the shepherds to be the first people to spread the good news of Jesus’ birth.

While the candle burns, be reminded of the immense love of that the Father and the Son have for us.