Couples Night In: 5 Romantic Valentine’s Dates at Home

Couples Night In: 5 Romantic Valentines Dates at Home

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and just 5 short days after that is our wedding anniversary, so generally we celebrate them together.  As you can imagine, this time of year is VERY important to me and romance is what I always want.  I am not the kind of person that can be wooed with chocolates and flowers, I want something practical that I can really use but I also want his undivided attention and to NOT have to cook or hell, clean up after.

In past years ALL I have gotten is exactly what I don’t want, flowers that die (they are beautiful but still) and a box of assorted chocolates that maybe has 1-2 that I actually like, the rest go to the kids.  THIS year, I want the romance so I am giving hubby the opportunity to choose 1 or more of the following date night ideas for us to celebrate.

Is it bad that I am hoping for all 5 in the following order??

First, we will ship the kids off to Grandma and Grandpas!!

Dinner & a Movie

Hubby is an amazing cook, so I want a nice steak dinner, and I’ll make a lovely dessert, more than likely cheesecake since it is his favorite.  We will sit at the table together and have an actual conversation.  The TV will NOT be on!  Then we will pop some popcorn, turn down the lights and cuddle together to watch a movie!

 

Backyard Stargazing

After the movie, we can grab a blanket, head to the backyard and stare up at the stars, cuddle and reminisce about our 17 years together.  I feel that stargazing is very relaxing and romantic and just can be so surreal!

 

Bubble Bath for 2

Now it is time for a nice relaxing bubble bath together, to rekindle the passion.  Something that hubby and I both enjoy is him brushing my hair.  It relaxes me and for some reason it is something he loves to do.  Here, he can do that and just enjoy each others company!

 

Couples Spa

Now that our bath is over, we can continue with a couples spa.  All you need is some candles, oils or lotion, soft music and of course turn the lights down or off!  Nice relaxing massages are in order here.

 

Your Own Personal Bed and Breakfast

Who needs to leave home to experience a B&B or even a hotel experience?  Not this gal, I will have spent the day turning our bedroom into a relaxing, romantic and inviting suite.  Complete with a bottle of champagne, roses, strawberries, chocolate, the works!!  Perfect end to a perfect evening!!

Now to see if I can get hubby on board with this.

What are you doing this Valentines Day?

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5 Christmas Decoration Ideas Even If You Have a Shoestring Budget

English: An artificial Christmas tree.

English: An artificial Christmas tree. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The holiday season is fast approaching. In this season of joy, households across the globe are trying to balance budgets and the festive atmosphere. With the fragile economic conditions prevailing, saving money has become paramount. So the question is: can you make your house look “Christmassy” while hiding your money problems?

Today, we will share with you five Christmas decoration ideas that will help you manage this with ease.

1. Use common household items for decorations

When we think of Christmas decorations, we look at glamorous items. Hence, we often deviate towards items like wreaths, exotic lighting arrangements etc. However, we ignore items in our house that can be used to add a Christmas atmosphere to our house. Items like candles, pinecones (which can be obtained for free) and serving trays can be used to make beautiful and exotic designs around your house. You can easily browse the internet for pictures of designs which can be easily replicated.

2. Ignore plastic and go natural

Over the years, Christmas decorations have been associated with plastic items. Step out into the market and you will see a huge deluge of items made from plastic. However, the fact remains that most of these items that can be easily found in nature. For example, if you want to make a wreath, you can follow these few steps. Collect a number of strong twigs. Arrange them in a circle. Take a roll of twine and tie the twigs together. Next, collect fallen leaves and stick them with glue on the twigs, covering the wreath entirely. Let it dry overnight and hang it on your door.

3. Use thermocol/Polystyrene foam and paint to replicate decorations

One of the cheapest ways to replicate various ideas for Christmas decorations is to use sheets of thermocol/Polystyrene foam. Now most of us do not live near nature. We are stuck in apartment complexes surrounded by a concrete jungle. However, we use these sheets as a base for our children’s projects. These very same sheets can be used to make decorations that are usually purchased. In fact, your children will enjoy creating these decorations and painting them with their own hands.

4. Grow the Christmas tree at home

The biggest symbol of Christmas is the Christmas tree. No house can be complete without the Christmas tree. However, the biggest cost attached to the holidays is the cost of buying the tree from people who plant them beforehand. What most people do not realize is that these trees can be grown at home. You can purchase the sapling once the holidays are over, and then grow it over the year for the holiday. For apartment dwellers, you can purchase the tree and then ask friends or relatives with a backyard to grow it for you.

5. Ditch the expensive Christmas lights

Next to the tree, another item synonymous with Christmas decorations is the Christmas lights. Now we all know that they are difficult to maintain and expensive to replace. So what are the alternatives? To start with, you should use LED lights. These are easy to use and maintain. Inexpensive items like painted egg shells, paper cups, and leftover cupcake shells can then be combined with these LED lights. You will be able to achieve the holiday feel at a much lower cost.

Richard Carter works as a writer for one of the largest websites in Denmark. For more cool ideas for Christmas decorations from Femina (in Danish Femina julepynt) make sure you visit their website.

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The Importance Of Teaching Children The True Spirit Of Christmas

In the run up to the 25th of December, there’s so much to do it can be hard to focus on what Christmas is really about. In between the food, the wrapping, extended gift wish lists, calendar scheduling, decoration, excitement and mad excess, the true spirit of Christmas – the base message we want to teach our kids at this traditional time – can easily be lost.

From Charles Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Tale’ to the Nativity, traditional stories remind us that yuletide should be a time of giving and compassion, of sharing what you have with those you love, and helping those less fortunate than yourself.

So if you can show kids the true meaning of Christmas, and help them understand its compassionate themes, the festive time can be much more rewarding in the long term!

Christmas confusion

When the shops are piled high with things to buy at least three months in advance, kids are regularly exposed to the commercialised side of Christmas. Because of this, convincing them that there’s more to the holiday season than ‘I want’ can be confusing!

For many kids, being told, “It’s not just about presents,” is easy enough to understand… until the big day itself – when presents play a central part! And while that’s not a bad thing – it’s important to highlight the importance of the gift giving process so kids learn to show appreciation and consideration for other people – it’s not good for children to expect to be given or receive everything they want in life.

Knowing that there’s more to the spirit of Christmas than our own selfish needs can make the holidays much more enjoyable for kids, help them rationalise important life lessons, and become much closer to their relatives as a result!

The Religious Aspect

The confusion doesn’t end with gifts either! Modern Christmases must combine personal family traditions, the pagan history and origins of ‘Father Christmas’, the contemporary commercial side we all know, and include space to explain the religious origins of Nativity. For Christian children this is enough to understand! And for children of other, or no faith households can be incredibly complex!

But the diverse origins of winter celebrations can help children learn much more about other people’s beliefs, and help them focus more on the key themes that Christmas offers. Whatever your background and belief (and whether you celebrate the day itself or not), the time of year should be used to focus on family, the spirit of giving, togetherness, compassion and peace.

Have a traditional Christmas to get back to your festive roots

So what can you do to take the confusion out of the season, and get back to the key roots of the meaning of Christmas?

Many people find that taking a more traditional approach can help reinforce a family message and giving atmosphere. Making gifts for one another rather than buying can highlight the importance of giving compassionately and thoughtfully, while removing the expense and selfish commercialism. Making decorations together or doing other activities as a family helps children experience the value of quality time and helps them make lifelong festive memories. Tell stories, jokes, and play games! Take the time to cook together, eat together and share the fun.

Whatever your background, belief system and faith, Christmas time is designed to bring people together and bring happiness to the dark winter months. So take a break from work and the distractions of everyday life, turn off your phone, and you may have the chance to teach your kids some important life lessons, while building your relationships and relaxing together.

This article was written by Suzanne Gibbard a mother to two who is looking forward to a traditional family Christmas this year. She runs a business called Bundles of Joy which sells various personalised Christening gifts.

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