Posts Tagged ‘valentines day’
As James Daivd is getting older I’m really enjoying coming up with creative crafts he can be a part of. Since Cale and I’s design work is mostly on the computer it’s always fun making stuff from scratch using tape, crayons, and old school construction paper!
About half of our close family and friends live in other states so it’s important to us to keep in contact–even in small ways. Coming up with little notes showing them how much we love and miss them is one of our favorite things to do! Last year we designed a Valentine using James’ handprint and it was a huge hit. This year we wanted to continue that tradition, but with a new card design.
- Construction Paper
- Scissors/Paper Cutter (Preferably NOT your fabric scissors!) :/
- White Washable Kid-Friendly Paint
- Paper Plate (An easy throw-away prop to load the kids’ hands with paint)
- Kid Size Smock (Something to cover the wee ones up just in case things get crazy!)
- #10 Envelopes
- Take It One Hand At A Time: Before I assembled the actual cards I cut and organized the strips of paper into 10 left hand & 10 right hand stacks for a total of 20 4×6 strips. Like an assembly line we went through one stack of papers at a time so that only one hand had paint on it at all times.
- Don’t Be A Clean Freak: Even with the smock on things are gonna get messy! Take a breath and let your kids enjoy the craft! As long as it’s washable paint it will be easy to wipe off surfaces and get out of clothes.
- Leave Room For Errors: Cut extra strips of each color for both the left and right handprints. We needed 6 total cards so I cut enough for 10 (20 4×6 colored strips) and was able to pick the best prints out of the batch to make the final cards.
- Make It Yours: Decorative Washi Tape and even mini confetti hearts are just a few additional ideas that can add even more Valentines Day Flare!
My favorite part about this craft is that it’s messy! At first I was a little hesitant, but watching James get at it with the paint and teaching him to work with us to “squish” each print was a blast. This craft was super easy and something we did as a family on a weeknight between supper and bath time. It’s just a little reminder that you don’t need hours to create and send a little snail mail hug for Valentines Day or “just because”!
What’s Your Favorite Handmade Valentine Design?
From The Farm
Let’s face it, Valentines Day is nice on the years you remember to make it special, but it can be even more meaningful when you randomly do something nice for your spouse on the other 364 days in the year. Life gets busy and we change. Our appetites change, our bodies change, and our moods change. There are seasons where “love” flows out nice and easy, and then there are seasons where it’s like checking something off your to-do list. Either way, no matter how easy or hard it might feel, it’s important to pursue your spouse’s heart everyday–not JUST on Valentines Day.
Below are a few practical tips I’ve personally been working on to show Cale why he’s still my best friend, that I still know his heart and love him, and that ultimately I still wanna jump his bones.
1. A Few of His Favorite Things: If your household is anything like ours, the woman is typically the one pushing for the more “healthy” eating habits. Most of the time the man cruses along to the beat of her drum, but every once in a while it’s really fun to surprise him with one of his favorite treats. For Cale that could be chocolate chips for cookies, beef jerky (I know seriously?!), or picking up a six pack of the original A&W Root Beer (not the cheap diet kind!). I promise, your man will be a lot more willing to go along with your new lifestyle changes knowing you haven’t totally forgotten about his old favorite treats.
2. Be His #1 Fan: There have been seasons where Cale is working really late hours for weeks, sometimes even months at a time. It can be hard on our family and our relationship. I used to get onto him about being late, adding another stress factor to an already stressful season at work. I’ve learned that if I focus on applauding the hard work he’s putting in and ask for ways I can help encourage him in reaching his goals, then the problem becomes something we can approach as a team instead of it feeling like it’s him vs. me. Our relationship is a lot more enjoyable when he knows I’m for him and not against him.
3. Initiate intimacy: No really! So many women get offended because their husbands don’t initiate sex as much as they “used to”. Well, do you?! Sometimes the guy is just tired of always being the one to turn up the heat. Men are like women in the sense that they too need to feel sexy and pursued. Regardless of if your man is buff or has a gut, he still needs to know he’s the only man for you. Don’t forget to remind him that he’s still got it!
4. Household Splurges: Now ladies, I’m not talking about that honey do project YOU’VE been waiting for him to get on! This is something he has been wanting for the house, his shop, or even the car? I tend to put Cale’s requests for things off because they are not always top priority, but they mean something to him. Even if we set a budget and allocate an amount every paycheck until we can afford that special purchase, it let’s him know that I notice and appreciate all the hard work he’s putting into financially supporting our family.
Speaking of… I really need to look into buying that wall mount for our new flat screen! :/
5. Warm the Heart: They say the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and I’ve found this especially to be true in our relationship! I’m always looking for ways to make meals healthier, but it’s fun to surprise Cale with one of his favorite hearty meals on a random weeknight. Usually if I stop and actually listen he’ll drop hints and mini requests throughout the week. For example, on a cold night I might hear him say; “Potato soup and homemade bread sound so good right now!” Making the meal the way HE likes it–NOT the healthier version–shows that I notice his opinions, however big or small, and that means a lot!
6. Encourage the Small Things: As women we tend to be naggers (WHAT?!). We try our best, but man it is hard sometimes. When you find yourself focusing on all the things he’s doing wrong try and look for ONE thing that he is doing right and encourage him in that area. If he helps with the dishes, puts the kids to bed, changes a diaper, takes out the trash, says “I love you”, or even shares his feelings without being asked, all those things are tiny examples that mean A LOT! When I take the time to acknowledge and thank him for helping me I’ve found it reinforces that particular behavior and naturally produces more of it!
After being married for almost six years we’ve learned that a little bit of planning and intentional pursuit really does go a long ways. It’s not always about the big fancy trips or a night on the town–although those are all wonderful when they DO happen! Capturing your spouses heart is really about the daily nods that say; “I still love you and haven’t forgotten about you–amongst all the work deadlines, errands to run, dishes to clean, and kids to be shuffled around.”
What is your favorite way to love your man outside of Valentines Day?
Let’s make it last all year long! Happy Valentines Day everyone.
From The Farm
It’s that time of year again boys. The day when we are expected to woo and wow our ladies, with our amazing romanticism and sensitivity…
But the reality is that the wooing and wowing should go on all year around. For Meg and I it’s more about the moments you live everyday than one big event in the year. Don’t get me wrong I’m still planning a V-day moment to match all the others, it just might not be the moment we talk about 2 or 3 years from now. So today I’m going to share a few moments that Meg and I still talk about today. Hopefully they wow and woo your inspiration.
1. Seize the Day: Spontaneity is such a powerful element in Meg and I’s relationship. The willingness to take a moment, to grab it and run with it is something that has made our life a never-ending adventure. One night we had to go to a big awards ceremony for Meg’s work. She actually ended up accepting one of the top awards of the night. But the best part of the evening was when the event was over we decided on a whim to run home pack a bag and come back to the hotel that hosted the event. We stayed a night and just enjoyed the moment, drank deep of the celebration, and took full advantage of the evening.
2. Getting Lucky: So we all know those days when you just need a little boost, a little push to keep going. That’s how I picture flowers at the door just because. On those days when I’m feeling extra happy, I finished a big report or I got a promotion, or heck just a day when all hell didn’t break loose at 8:15am. Those days I like to invite Meg into the celebration that I’m feeling by bringing home flowers or candy, something she loves but doesn’t always have.
3. Mister Home Maker: OK every guy has one of these stories, at least every married guy. But it works… what am I talking about, I’m talking about doing the dishes, folding the laundry, those stories. The phrase “it’s the thought that counts” was coined around these stories. When I do the dishes, Meg doesn’t always find the pots and pans until the next week. I tend to organize the flat ware a little differently. But Meg loves it just the same, the idea that I acknowledge what she does so many times to keep our house clean and our little guy happy, and that I step into that place and take that moment to give her the break means a lot!
4. Open letter: Something we guys don’t often think about when it comes to romance is sharing our hearts. Sometimes we get so caught up in doing something for our ladies that we forget to just invite them into our lives. One of the ways I do this is through little letters. I’ll leave the letters on the bathroom mirror, on her pillow, or on the bar where she’ll find it when she gets up. These notes tell her how much she means to me, or what I’ve been battling through that week and how she’s helped me without even knowing it. These letters connect Meg to me during those busy weeks when long walks aren’t an option and long talks are hard to come by.
5. The Warm Up: In Oklahoma it can get cold, this winter was particularly chilly. So when it’s minus 9 degrees outside and she’s trying to get ready to go to a meeting, or meet a friend, I’ll slip out the door and start the car, clean off the windshield and make sure the heater is turned up nice and hot. It’s not a big deal but in that moment Meg knows I’m thinking about her.
6. A Good Book: This is one that we’ve just started, but I really enjoy it. Pick a good book, one that she’s wanted to read. I started with ‘Anthem’ by Ayn Rand, a great classic with lots of great discussion points. I would read a chapter each night aloud to Meg and then we would talk about what we liked, or didn’t about the story. This is much better and more involved than sharing a favorite TV show.
So this week as you plan your Valentines moment, remember that its the other 364 days that bring the spice to that moment!
Look for Meg’s top 6 post later this week, and feel free to share your ideas for daily romance in the comments.
Here is the 2nd desktop we designed with some of our favorite sayings about love. We say these to each other throughout the year and thought it would be fun to make wallpapers out of them.
Our version of a digital valentine, surprise your loved ones desktop, iPhone, or iPad as a unique way to say “I Love You”.
Cale and I love, love. We love hearing stories about how other couples met along with romantic dates, kisses, and the kind of cute annoying stuff that makes you want to throw up a little. After being married for nearly five years we’ve learned a thing or two about celebrating love. Sometimes it’s not about the BIG date night or how much money you can spend, sometimes it truly is the thought that counts.
This year for Valentines Day we decided instead of talking about ourselves we would share some love advice from the real “experts”. We’ve been following Lauren Fleishman’s Kickstarter Project called Love Ever After and we are completely smitten! Sharing stories of couples who have been married for 50+ years Lauren is capturing these couples through photographs and collecting fun quotes about how they met and their “secret” to finding and maintaining love.
Get ready to fall in love with some really adorable old people…
“Sometimes we think we love when we don’t love. A lot of people say they are in love but really we were young and we really didn’t know what love was all about. But afterward we found out what love was! Love is sharing with one another. Don’t care what you have you share what you have. And be willing to give. Another thing I tell people now is that you have to be able to bend a little bit. Yes, love is a powerful thing. If you know what it means.” – Theauther and Annie Love
“We’ve been married for 66 years. We met in high school when I was 16 years old and my wife was 15 years old. And we’ve gone through life together. The love we feel now is a different type of love. It is a mature love. In the beginning, of course, there was a sexual attraction but right now sex has very little to do with it.”- Moe and Tessie Rubenstein
“What is the secret to love? A secret is a secret and I don’t reveal my secrets!” - Ykov Shapirshteyn and Mariya Gostsinnaya
Sometimes in your marriage you have to think back and remember what it was like when you we’re dating. What were the things that you just did to say “I love you” and how can you apply those things to your relationship now? They may not come as natural as they once did but after a little soul searching you’ll remember the simple things you once did to make that special someone feel all warm and gooey inside.
I remember a time when I was really good at at this. I would send Cale cards and make cute “I love you” books. Yes, I know… cheesy but hey it’s what I loved to do! In my opinion there is nothing better than a handmade Valentine’s Day gift. I think it has something to do with my childhood memories of cutting hearts out of construction paper, decorating an old shoe box with glitter, and adding as much red, white, and pink as possible! Handmade gifts, although simple, take time and thought and that fellas can go a lot farther than a box of chocolates!
This year let that special someone know all the weird, cute and funny things you love about them by making a handmade gift.
To help you get you started think of the things about that person that made you fall in love with them… and then onto the weird, quirky and even serious things that you cherish about them today.
At Green Couch Design we have a sweet spot for love and ALL the sappy and gooey moments that come along with it. We’ve been working the last two years with concrete and just so happen to come across this fun little design just in time for Valentines Day. Enjoy!
I think it’s safe to say that Cale and I are pretty much hopeless romantics. We love, love. True love. The kind that is not easy, the kind you wait for, and fight for. The kind that proves fairy tales can come true.
It was Valentines Day, 2006.