Start HereNew to Love Hope Adventure? Start Here!

Latest

A Date Night at Home

When you have been married for years, sometimes the things you used to do when you were dating falls by the wayside. The daily grind just gets in the way of being romantic and flirting with the one you love. I know that for myself, I’m three kids down the road and have been married for 11 years.

By the end of the night, I just want to sit on the couch in exhaustion and watch something on tv. My husband feels the same way after putting in a hard day of work, and then coming home to help out around the house and spend time with our children.

That is why I thought that a snuggling date night idea was really a fun. It gives my husband and I a chance to connect, but relax at the same time.

How to Have a Successful Date Night at Home

living-room-1019053-m

I think the key to having a successful date night at home is to put some effort into it so that it seems special. One of the biggest challenges to at-home date nights is making the event different than normal. I have a very hard time unplugging from all the work I have to do, since I work from home in every aspect.

I’m always mom, which brings a wealth of responsibilities. Then you add in that I make a paycheck while I sit on my couch and write. For me to feel like we are having a date night in our home, I have to make a conscious effort to do something special and out of the ordinary.

What You Need to Build a Snuggling Date Night

invite-your-spouse-to-a-night-of-snuggling

 

This is where you can be creative for your own personal dating relationship. Whatever kinds of things you enjoy having to snuggle can be placed in a basket. If you don’t have a basket, then you can use something else to hold the items.

For me, I really like having a blanket and pillows. Throwing in a hot drink for the winter or something cold for the summer is another essential. Lighting candles and bringing down the lights in the room allow me to relax.

When you build your date night basket, add in the things that make snuggling fun for you. A movie that you both would enjoy might be a nice idea. If you would rather talk while cuddling, I suggest bringing out some old photos of you and your loved one.

The thing that can ruin an at home date night the fastest is to talk about work, kids, or responsibilities. If you want to be successful dating in relationship with your spouse, you have to figure out other things to talk about that will put you in the mood. It gets your brain fired up to talk about responsibilities and you have a hard time unwinding from it.

Picture Source

Why is Dating Your Significant Other Important

romantic-couple-1145614-m

Dating in relationship with your spouse, or a significant other shouldn’t go away once you get married or build a home together. My mom always told me that one day all of her kids would be out of the house and it would be just her and dad. For that reason, she and my dad have continued to date each other.

She told me the saddest thing that could happen is that after building a life with someone for many years would be to get to the golden years of life and realize you didn’t do what it took to still  like each other. She is certainly correct in that.

 

Hopefully you are able to find some inspiration for a date night at home. Even if you don’t like cuddling, then you can build a different idea that will meet your needs. Relationships and dating can both be a challenge.

Homemade Gifts Are the Best

I love making homemade crafts and gifts to give people. For me, making something to give someone else is like giving them part of your creativity. Not many people craft or make things from scratch anymore, so I think I’m a bit of a dying breed. My children have seen me make crafts and gifts to no end for years. They honestly believe I can make anything, including motorized toys.

A New Perspective on Homemade Gifts

the-seed-of-an-idea-1351988-m

This year, I asked my oldest child, Corbin what he wanted to do to buy Christmas presents for his family. He told me he thought about making some things since, “Homemade gifts are the best.”

I was actually a little choked up that gifts homemade made him feel that way. Sometimes I feel really burdened that I am always making thank you gifts homemade, romantic gifts homemade, and any gift homemade. I do this because I can’t afford to buy anything nice for anyone.

Without my ideas and creative gift projects, I wouldn’t be able to bless people with anything during Christmas or special events.

Homemade Gifts From the One I Love

987436192_1388768848
In the spirit of crafting, my darling husband, Austin, made me this beautiful necklace for Christmas. I am showcasing it in my picture. Let’s just be clear, Austin is NOT a crafter.

This necklace means the world to me, because my husband spent the time it took to buy multiple bags of beads and figure out how to turn them into a presentable DIY necklace.

I was very blessed this past year by my husband making a gift for me with his hands. Not only that, my children have shown me that all of my passions are not in vain. They do understand what makes me tick and they appreciate it as well.

How to Put Out a Grease Fire in the Kitchen

Last night I was cooking roasted chicken. When I went to pull the chicken out of the oven, the pan was too full of chicken drippings and spilled in the back of my oven. Immediately, huge flames took over the inside of the oven. If this has ever happened to you, then you know how scary it can be to see fire in your oven or on a burner. If you have fire alarms that are set off, then it makes for even more frustrations. Here are three things you can do to put out the flames without loosing your mind.  

1. DON’T PANIC

 break-glass-329759-m

This is a very important thing to remember and much easier said than done. When you panic, generally you don’t make good decision. Take a second and find your center before you evaluate the situation. For me, this is pretty easily done, as I am not one to panic in general. For some, I know it takes a lot more concentration to slow down and not panic. It is a life skill though that can be very important.  

2. CUT OFF THE HEAT SOURCE

 ceran-glass-ceramic-cook-top-1341513-m

Immediately cut off the stove or burner. You want to make sure that you are not fueling the fire. This may be enough to put the fire out on its own. If your fire is in the oven, shut the door and it will normally put itself out due to lack of oxygen. It is funny how in a situation like this you can forget to do the most simplest of things. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left on the burner or oven while it was burning.  

3. BAKING SODA TO THE RESCUE

 1665732499_1388251865

For all the great things baking soda is good for, it quickly and effectively puts out grease fires. Most often, fires in the stove or on a burner is created by grease splatter. Water will not put out a grease fire, but can act as an accelerant. The best thing to use is baking soda as it will effectively put out the fire.   Hopefully these few tips will save you next time you have a fire while cooking. If you cook often, you are likely to experience a time or two where a fire happens on your burners or in the stove. Even the best of us deal with this every now and then, no matter how careful we try to be.

Establishing Goals in Dating Relationships and Marriages

A few months back I spent the night counseling a couple that have decided that they want to honor God and their future marriage by waiting until they get married to have sex. For them, they have struggled with keeping their commitment and decided to reach out for help. Any time you are in a romantic relationship with someone, you should certainly have clearly defined goals, boundaries and expectations.

Create Clearly Defined Goals

note-and-pen-1429039-m (1)

1. Come to an agreement about what your goals are. It is important in relationships and dating that you and your significant other agree about the goals. If you don’t agree, you will not be able to succeed. You will find that a lot of compromise is necessary in determining goals you make as a couple. The way you handle creating goals will lay the foundation of how you work the process of succeeding at these goals.

2. Decide how you plan to accomplish your goals. Being specific in the goals in dating and relationships is the key to success. Don’t just create the goals without an action plan. Make easy to follow guidelines that will help you be successful.

3. Hold each other accountable and ask others to help as well. Be sure that you don’t isolate yourself in any dating to relationships transition. So often we have this mindset that we are the only ones that need to know our business. Your relationship should be open enough that you confide in other close friends. Of course you should be cautious as to not violate your partner’s desires, but there shouldn’t be anything going on between you and your loved one that you can’t tell anyone else.

4. Know that you might fail, and forgive each other when you do. None of us are perfect and it is very hard to keep your commitments when you are the only one in the equation. When you are working toward a goal with someone else, it can be just as difficult. They may not keep up with their end of the commitment, or you may waiver on yours. Either way, expect it to happen and be prepared for when it does.

5. Work together as a team. If you do not work together as a team in your relationships and marriage, you will end up fighting against one another. It is important to remember that you are working your relationship with one another, not in spite of each other.

6. Most importantly, love each other. Don’t forget that in all of this, to love each other. It is very important that at all times you remember the person comes first, even if that means your goals have to be put on hold.

Carry Out the Goals

hands-1434811-2-m

Establishing goals and making commitments in romantic relationships will help any couple to have healthy relationships marriage, regardless of what the goals and commitments are. Building stamina in a relationship by making commitments and keeping them, will help a relationship be stronger, healthier, and withstand time.

 

Rainbows- A Sign From God Stretched Across the Sky

Rainbows Are a Sign of Promise

IMG_20140608_194536No matter where I am or what I’m doing, when I see a rainbow, there is always a bit of peace that comes over me. Immediately, I am reminded of God and His promise to the earth. We can certainly see God in many aspects of the world around us, but when a bow is painted across the sky, we can know exactly what He is saying to us.

God told Noah to build an arc, which was a large boat, because He was going to destroy everyone on earth with a massive flood. Noah was obedient and he built the arc just as God directed him to. He pleaded with the people to repent of their sins and join him on the arc. No one other than Noah’s family and the animals God sent to him decided to be get on the boat.

After the flood was over and the waters receded, God opened the doors of the arc and Noah and his family were able to get out. It was then that God stretched a rainbow across the sky and told Noah that this was a sign of God’s promise that He would never flood the earth to that extent again.

 

 

The Sight of Rainbows Bring Hope

 

I’m always humbled when I see a rainbow in the sky. It reminds me that even though I serve a just God, He is also very patient with me. Rainbows show me that God is a God of His word and that He has not broken that promise He made to Noah. With this incredible sign stretched across the sky, I can know God will be faithful.

What an amazing thing to know, that the God of the universe cares for all of us. What He tells us in His Word, the Bible, we can believe and know that He will do what He said. I take comfort in the sight of rainbows, and am forever thankful for those glimpses my God gives me.

 

Virgin Bourbon Chicken Recipe

IMG_20140605_180704 (1)

 

This is my favorite recipe for virgin bourbon chicken. I make it all the time for my family and we have really enjoyed eating it.

 

Ingredients:

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs

2 teaspoons garlic

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1 cup apple juice

1 cup ketchup

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 & 1/2 cup of water

3 tablespoons apple cider

3/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons cornstarch (dissolved in water)

How to Make it:

Grill the boneless skinless chicken thighs until they are cooked fully. Personally, we prefer chicken thighs for this recipe. White meat seems to be a little bit too dry in my opinion. Dark meat seems to do well with the grilling and stays more moist in the sauce. When the chicken is done being cooked, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Mix the apple juice, water, soy sauce, and apple cider in a pot on the stove. Turn the heat on to medium. Add in garlic and ginger. Mix cornstarch into cold water and dissolve completely. Then add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil and allow to thicken. Once it has become as thick as you would like it to be, then add in the chicken. Turn the sauce down to low until you are ready to serve it.

What to Serve it With:

We really enjoy eating our bourbon chicken over fried rice. I also really like to steam vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and sugar snaps.

This makes for a really good sandwich as well. You can put the bourbon chicken on a roll and add cheese and tomatoes.

 

This is one of my favorite ways to make chicken. It is a sweet dish; one that I actually like. I do not generally enjoy sweet dishes, but bourbon chicken is a great thing to add to your cuisine.

 

 

 

 

Bad Day Box For Your Loved One

encourage-your-loved-one-on-a-bad-day

 

Source: LifeTricks

This is one of those great ideas I have found while searching around online for ways to encourage my husband. I’ve always been the one to come up with fun and creative gifts to give for every occasion. Not everyone out there feels they can make fun and creative gifts for the one’s they love. Personally, these days I’m most interested in gifts that can be put together very quickly.

What You Will Need For the Bad Day Box

This bad day box that I found is really simple to make. Any box would do for this project, but if you want to make it more special, then you’ll need to decorate the outside. You could easily decorate it with scrapbooking paper. If you are like me, you own a ton of scrapbook stuff, but not a single scrapbook has ever been put together. Then you just need to choose some of your loved one’s favorite things to put inside. Think about their favorite candy, fun music, a movie they might enjoy, whatever it is that would make them feel happier on a bad day.

Who Do You Give The Bad Day Box To

You could easily take this concept and turn it into a gift for a friend or any person you care about, not just a spouse. I’ve had friends in my life that I wanted to cheer up when they were feeling down. It is also a fun idea to attach small notes to each item to share why you included the gift in the box. For one friend I was trying to encourage, I put a bag of bacon bits in the box. I attached a note that said, “Bacon Makes Everything Better”.

Whoever you decide to make this box for, they are sure to enjoy it. You can have a lot of fun figuring out what to include. I find that when I am doing something nice like this for someone else, I always end up walking away feeling very rewarded. Encouraging others has boosted my spirit on a number of occasions.

 

DIY Rustic Decor For the Living Room

Ever since I went to a rustic theme wedding, I fell in love with the style. For the last several months, I’ve been stashing away anything and everything that I thought could be used to create a rustic theme living room. There are so many reasons that I love this style. Probably the biggest thing that I like is that this look can be turned country, elegant, casual, or whatever style you want it to be. Personally, I enjoy the elegant rustic style the most, which is the style at the wedding I attended.IMG_20140611_223232

 

What is a Rustic Style Living Room:

I think the definition of what this look entails really depends on the individual. That could be why I enjoy it so much. You can add your own personal flair to make the style your own. I’ve yet to see the rustic look have a true defined set of items you need to make the theme. The thought behind this style is to incorporate items found in a barn or country setting with other styles to create the look you are going for.

What do I Need to Create a Rustic Style:

Generally, this theme includes country decor type of items such as: mason jars, wicker baskets, straw,  and wooden picture frames to name a few. Then you take another style element to create the type of rustic style you want to make. For an elegant look, adding in strands of white lights and paper lanterns is very popular. For a more country look to the rustic style, you can add in barnyard animals or American flag themes. One of the neatest things about this look is that you can incorporate things you already own or have lying around in the shed.

How I Created My Look:

I started stashing away all kinds of things I found for my rustic home decor look. One day, while out in the shed, I found a cut 2×4 piece of wood that was about a foot and half in length. I planned to write a word on that board when it was time for me to make the look. At Christmas, I found a few boxes of white lights that I already had run across the top of my fireplace. At the end of fall, I found fake burgundy colored Hydrangea flowers on clearance. Hydrangeas are very popular in the rustic look. During a clothing and junk swap, I found a box of orange colored potpourri that was full of pieces of chipped wood and dried nuts and flowers. Those are just a few of the things that I was putting aside to make this look. The thing that caused me to springboard into feeling I had enough to decorate was when I read this trick on LifeTricks.com.

diy-wine-bottle-lights

When I saw this idea, I knew I had enough to make my rustic look. My husband collects old glass soda bottles. He recently brought these bottles home from his office, and we had not found anything to do with them yet. One night, we dug through all of his bottles and found several that would work to create the look I wanted to make.

 

 

 

 

Source: LifeTricks.com

Simple DIY Bottle Lights

IMG_20140531_153529

I took the bottles and started pushing the lights one at a time through the neck. I did wonder if they were going to fit, but it managed to work out just fine.

 

 

 

 

Then I decided to put them in a basket. Mainly I was afraid of them falling over on the fire  place an being broken. I put some of the potpourri in the basket with the bottles to add a little of my own flair to the mix. Under the bottles is a lot of wadded up newspaper and a piece of yellow material on top to cover the paper.

IMG_20140531_162008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought it all turned out very nicely. The rustic theme living room was a success. Here you can see how I decorated the fireplace in full.

IMG_20140611_223556