Category: Sep/Oct 2010

Gift Idea: Treasure Hunt

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEveryone loves a good find. Try this fun little gift presentation for your next great gift!

Grab a little treasure box from your local craft store and decorate the box with paint, gems, or markers.

Now hide your treasure box. There is the traditional method of burying it in the backyard, or you can try a slightly less traditional approach like hiding it in your microwave or dryer. Hide it in a dresser drawer, under the bed, behind a book in the bookshelf, under the kitchen sink, in the refrigerator, or in a filing cabinet – There are many possibilities no matter where you live.

Now to create the clues to find it. Draw a treasure map, create a riddle, write a message in a secret code. The more lavish the gift, the harder the clue!

Treasure Ideas:

  • Tickets to a play or game
  • Jewelry
  • Perfume/cologne
  • Promise ring
  • Hand written note
  • Gift card to their favorite store
  • Hard candy
  • MP3 player
  • Movie tickets
  • A flash drive with pictures of the two of you on it
  • A poem you wrote about them
  • A card from the place you made dinner reservations
  • Membership card to a club you signed them up for
  • Romantic coupons
  • Something antique with a story behind it

Potential

cageRepeat after me: “I have the potential to make a decision that will screw up my relationship.”

People like to talk about potential, but only in the positive sense. We tend to bring it up when talking about people with a lot of knowledge or skills.

How about negative potential? Do we ever think about that?

I personally think a lot of drama and unfaithfulness could be diminished if people were honest about their potential. Instead of saying, “I can go out to dinner with this girl even though she isn’t my wife. I would never cheat on my wife.” you should say “I shouldn’t be in an intimate setting with someone of the opposite sex because I’m capable of anything.”

We’re all capable of anything, good or bad. Paul even went so far as to say “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” (Romans 7:18)

We all have the potential to do something highly stupid and disastrous. That’s why we need to set up boundary lines – boundary lines that aren’t close the edge, but are far enough away that we can’t even see the other side.

People don’t like boundary lines; it makes them feel fenced in. But the reality is that boundaries fence in the things you shouldn’t be getting into. Think of it like the zoo: You’re not in a cage while the animals circle around you, but instead, the animals are caged while you walk around freely. The threats are caged in and off limits, not you.

Galatians 5:16 explains the best thing to do with keeping your “potential” in check: “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.”

When we turn to God first, He directs us in a path of good results. He’s not trying to suck the freedom out of your life by setting up boundaries and telling you to flee from temptation. He’s trying to keep chaos from taking over your life.

So why aren’t you turning to Him? He knows your potential. He’s there to help. He wants to save your relationship as much as you do.

Verses to Meditate On:
Matthew 26:41
Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!

1 Cor 10:12-13
If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

2 Timothy 2:22
Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

Date Idea: Picnics

picnicPicnics are a great setting for intimate conversation and casual dining. It’s dinner without table, chairs, and sometimes silverware. Use your imagination to create a fun-filled picnic your sweetheart is bound to enjoy… Or just use our ideas!

Outdoor Picnics

  • Surrounding scenery sets the mood for outdoor picnics. Use your environment to inspire your meal.
  • Have a seafood picnic on the beach or on a boat
  • Make tailgate-style food then have a picnic in the bed of a truck
  • Have a picnic on a playground and bring your favorite foods you ate as a kid
  • Decorate your backyard to reflect a certain culture, such as France, Italy, China, or the Caribbean and then create your menu around that
  • Go to another country or state just to have a picnic (guaranteed to be memorable!)
  • Have a star-gazing picnic with hot chocolate and star-shaped cookies

Indoor Picnics

Locations may be limited with indoor picnics, but with the right ambiance, any room can be transformed into a romantic and intimate setting.

  • Have a picnic in a fort you’ve made from furniture and blankets
  • Make a mountain theme by filling the room with the scent of pine, lining the floor with fallen leaves, and hanging glow in the dark stars
  • Play music in the background that reflects the theme of your picnic – then ask for a slow dance during the meal
  • Grab a DVD that plays scenery of the beach, mountains, or a fireplace
  • Married couples: have a picnic-in-bed
  • Decorate your living room to look Moroccan and have a picnic on silky pillows and a festive rug

Themed Picnics

Fruit
There are a few options for the fruit picnic:

  • Go to a pick-your-own fruit farm and then bask in your selections.
  • Go to a farmer’s market and sample local and organic produce.
  • Visit your favorite grocery store and pick out those odd imports that you’ve never tried before. Most grocery stores have a reference book somewhere on the floor that describes the different fruits and how to prepare them.

Cheesecheese
Bacteria party! With so many different types of cheeses, how can you not be curious? Avoid cheddar and jack this time around and go straight for the imports.

This type of picnic can get expensive, but it’s definitely worth trying. Compliment with fruit and crackers.

Dessert
This picnic is best after a light dinner. Travel to a local bakery and grab some of their sugary treats, ordering a sample size of each item. (In other words, the two of you should split a cookie instead of having one cookie each.) Or if you feel ambitious, bake things yourselves and add them to the basket.

Be sure to have something mixed nuts or milk on hand to balance out the sweetness.

Three Fun Picnic Ideas

smoothieThe Morning Picnic
Why wait until sunset? Pack a light breakfast and hit the local park. What better way to start a long day then with your sweetheart? Grab smoothies and a few bagels, or homemade bread with a variety of fruit butters.

Chocolate and Wine Picnic
The experience of pairing foods and chocolate with wine can be a fun date. Search online for pairings, or you can buy a bottle of wine and a bunch of chocolates and take notes on what mixes and what doesn’t.

If you’re not of legal drinking age or you just don’t like to drink, turn it into a foreign chocolate tasting picnic. Pick up single-origin chocolates from around the world and see which countries create your favorite.

Halloween Picnic
Dress up in your costumes and sit down to a spooky picnic. Decorate with jack-o-lanterns and spider webs. Play a Halloween sound-effect CD in the background while having stew and bread, or go to a specialty store to find Halloween shaped pasta and cookies.

You can do this kind of theme with any holiday. How about a St. Patrick’s’ Day picnic with all your food dyed green? Or what about having a Halfway-to-Christmas picnic? There is no need to wait until the holiday actually arrives! Look for strange and fun holidays to celebrate.

Lonely Saturday Night

Your friends are on vacation with their families. Your family members are all working. Your significant other has previous obligations or doesn’t exist yet. So it’s Saturday night and you’re all by your lonely self. What do you do when that happens?

Hand Write Letters
You know that box that magically sends you bills and magazines? Did you know it can also send mail out as well?

Need a subject? How about sending someone a note about ywritingour fondest memory of them? Or what you like the most about them? Go on an adventure and send someone a letter like it’s your personal journal entry, accompanied by pictures or illustrations. Or start a story, leave it at the cliffhanger, and tell that person to send you a letter back finishing it.

Want to write a love note instead? Check out this site that has some pretty good ideas:

http://festivals.iloveindia.com/valentines-day/love-letters/10-best-love-letters.html

Movie Night
Not your normal movie night. No use in renting the newest romantic comedy and then sitting around feeling sorry for yourself. There are tons of movies you’re missing out on!

For the first weekend of the month: Black and white movies
http://www.bnwmovies.com/
For the second weekend of the month: Anything between the 1960s and 1980s
For the third weekend of the month: Foreign films
For the fourth weekend of the month: Kung-Fu/Karate movies
And if there’s a fifth weekend: Documentaries

Be Artistic
There are tons of mediums to explore: oil painting, sketching, computer rendered, chalk, photography, colored pencils, crayons, sculptures, and even wood work.

Need inspiration? Check out: www.deviantart.com

Make a Board Game
Just because everyone is busy this weekend doesn’t mean that they won’t be back the following weekend. If you want something to do then, make a board game.

Make a game based on a romantic story about you and your boy/girlfriend. Make a game based on your friends. Pick a historic event to make a game about. Make a board game for that awful chemistry final coming up. Who knows? Maybe someday you can sell it.

Need tips? Look at www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Own-Board-Game

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABake
Who doesn’t love receiving cookies, candies, or cupcakes? All these things take time and heart to make. Make cutout cookies that are personal and fun. Try your hand at making small bags of candies to give to your family. Decorate a cake. Visit local bakeries and try to copy their products. Try to create your own sweet recipes. Baking is full of possibilities and is pretty time consuming, so your lonely Saturday night will go quickly!

For some fun recipes, check out: http://joyofbaking.com/

Explore
Find a map. Find a city you’ve never heard of. Drive there. Walk the city streets and try to take in the local restaurants and attractions. Ask locals about what places there are to see. Go to the city’s visitor center and pick up pamphlets about the history of the town. Find a local café (not a chain!) and people watch. Stay alert and stay safe, but don’t be afraid to have a good time on the town by yourself.

For maps, go to http://maps.google.com

Be Random
The web is full of fun info to look at. Try this random site generator! It might give you some more ideas, anyhow:

http://www.randomwebsite.net/
or try
http://www.stumbleupon.com/

Why You Should Get Premarital Counseling

couchWe have all heard of premarital counseling, but it is really necessary?  What is the purpose of premarital counseling and how does it affect marriage?

Helps you understand the adjustments you’re going to have to make
You’re not going to be single anymore! This is a truth you’re going to have to adjust to. Marriage involves self-sacrifice and new priorities. Find out if you’re ready to make these adjustments and how to do it.

It opens up discussions on compatibility
Think you two are perfect for each other? Then put it to the test. See where you’re strong as a couple and where you bump heads. If you get good reviews, great! But better to find out you’re not right for each other now then deal with a horrible divorce later.

It teaches you navigation through rough patches
They’re inevitable. Every marriage has rough patches, but they’re less daunting when you know how to get through them together. Learn about common problems and how to face them.

Premarital counseling statistically reduces divorce by 30%
The number may seem small, but look at it this way: that’s nearly 1 in 3 couples. Divorce is a messy and painful route to go – yet it seems to be happening everywhere. One in three divorces may not have happened if those couples obtained premarital counseling. Be that one in three.

When it comes down to it, you’re making a promise to stay together for life when you stand at that alter. Arm yourself with the necessary information that will enable you to keep that promise.

For information, go to your local church – they’ve seen it all! You can also check out these resources:

Couples Halloween Costumes That Don’t Scare People

costumeLet it be known that the plug-and-socket or lock-and-key costumes are not romantic. They’re creepy. If you want to having complimenting costumes, try one of these ideas that won’t scare people.

Matador and Salsa Dancer
Men: Light-weight, long-sleeved shirt; silky jacket and pants; red cape
Women: Long ruffled skirt, off shoulder top, rose hair clip

Masked Ball Couple
Men: Embroidered jacket with pants to match, classical looking boots, mask
Women: Long gown, a styled wig with large amount of hair, mask

Robin Hood and Maid Marian
Men: Feathered hat, sleeveless shirt, boots, bow and arrow
Women: Renaissance style gown with bell sleeves, waist sash, veil

20′s Gangster Couple
Men: White-striped suit, shined shoes, big (cardboard) gun
Women: Feel free to wear the same type of outfit as the men, or dress as a flapper with a knee length dress and boa

Royal Mummy and Egyptian Queen
Men: Shredded white sheet or gauze wrapped around body, Egyptian crown
Women: Long gown, Egyptian crown and wig, cape that has wrist connections, waist sash

Samurai and Geisha
Men: Long-sleeved robe tied at waist with silk sash, loose black pants, samurai sword
Women: Wrapped gown tied at waist with silk sash and large sleeves, fan or umbrella

Cowboy and Native American Princess
Men: Jeans, long sleeved button up shirt, red bandana around neck, cowboy hat, boots
Women: Braided hair, tan dress, beaded jewelry, moccasins

Ares and Aphrodite
Men: Breastplate armor, gladiator skirt, shield and sword
Women: Greek toga, gold armbands, tied sandals