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10

Spousal Playdates

Spousal Playdates

Playdates aren’t just for toddlers and puppies! While “date night” is a good thing, what could be more fun than just grabbing your mate to go outside and play? Participating in organized sports and furthering fitness goals are worthy pursuits. But for the playdate? Let your inner child have free reign with some blast-from-the-childhood-past fun. Here’s 5 ideas to get you started!

1. Hula Hooping. Just try not to giggle while watching the other wiggle and squiggle to keep that hoop from hitting the ground! Don’t forget arm spins, leg spins, and neck spins for a little variety! Click How to Hula Hoop to get all the basics down, or tour some YouTube videos for a few moves to wow your mate with!

2. Backyard Games. While yesteryear games of tag, Statues, or Red Rover, Red Rover may be a little too youthful to revisit, a nostalgic game of croquet or badminton might fill the bill. Both are portable, easily found, and available in a broad range of prices. Nothing like whacking a birdie or cracking a croquet ball to release a little pent up energy! Or check out some newer games to get your challenge on HERE.

3. Laying in the grass. Start out on your stomachs with a roll-out mat of games to play. End up rolling onto your backs to enjoy evolving cloud-pictures floating overhead.

4. Picnic Play. Whether it’s fancy-shmancy fare tucked into a wicker basket or PBJ’s in a brown bag, take your food and a travel game or two to the park. Or the patio. You won’t have any problem finding most of your favorite board games in a compact, nicely contained travel version. Scrabble, Backgammon, Cribbage, Battleship – something for everyone!

5. Visit a playground. Sure, that’s taking the whole playdate thing a bit literally – but so what? Remember swinging on swings with your buddy for hours, sharing stories, confiding dreams? Then racing each other to the merry-go-round where you took turns spinning and hopping on while the other rode? The afternoon can be a step-back-in-time that will leave you both with a smile on your face. Assuming, of course, that you don’t do that teeter-totter thing where you jump off while the other is in the air!

NOW GO FORTH AND PLAY!

17

Married With Bobbleheads

Married With BobbleheadsWhat makes people smile more than a bobblehead?  Known also as “wobblers” or “nodders,” these dolls often have oversized heads connected to the body by a spring or hook in such a way that the head bounces with a light tap or breeze.

You may have seen sports figures bobbilized (a new word I’m creating for the occasion!) or cute animals with bobbing heads on people’s dashboards. These smile-makers have been around for decades – my earliest memory of them was the Beatle dolls we received in . . . a previous year.

But you don’t have to be famous to be bobbilized! There are several companies that make custom bobbleheads from pictures – complete with specified outfits. They are a bit of a splurge, starting around $100 for a single figure. But, because the businesses are competitive, there’s a good chance that you can catch a promotional deal or a groupon for an order. And, for a special occasion, it may be the perfect gift for your spouse – or for you and your spouse to give. Here are 5 suggestions for creative bobblehead-gifting:

1. Surprise your spouse on a birthday or other special occasion with a bobblehead duo of them and their best friend. For double the fun (and a super-splurge), get two sets so they can give one to their friend!

2. Memorialize you and your spouse – bobblehead style – and present to your spouse on your anniversary. This will generate some serious brownie points in addition to the smiles!

3. Bobbing makes the heart grow fonder – pack a bobblehead of you in your spouse’s luggage when they are headed out of town, or send in a care package to that deployed spouse, so they can end their nights with your head-bobbing proclamation of love even though you’re miles – or countries – away.

4. From the two of you – to a child memorializing their sport, graduation, a special accomplishment, to friends for their anniversary (of them, of course!), to that special engaged couple who would get a kick out of wedding-cake topper that could keep on bobbing long after the cake was eaten.

5. Lead the way with a gifted bobblehead chosen just for the recipient – a favored pet, celebrity, family member – perched in front of them as they drive no matter where they go. I mean, what says “hood ornament” better than a bobblehead??

When friends and family want to chip in to get memorable gift for a special someone, bobbleheads can add just the right touch of humor to that special event. The only thing better than having a reason to say “bobblehead” ten times is to actually have or give one. Bobbleheads – the gift that keeps on bobbing!*

Image courtesy of groupon.com

Image courtesy of groupon.com

*NO batteries or assembly required!

Note: This was not a sponsored post. Although I wish I’d thought of that – it might have solved the what-to-get-for-the-anniversary-gift-dilemma!

11

5 Ways to Make Superbowl Game Watching More Fun

 5 Ways to Make Superbowl Game Watching More FunWhether you love the actual game, or you’re humoring the one who does, here are 5 ways to make Superbowl Game watching more fun!

1. Gift Pass: Pick a play and start passing a gift item – maybe a thermo cup or $5 Coffee Card. No holding more than a 3-count! The person holding it when a touchdown is made gets to keep the prize! After the first touchdown, the winner gets to pick what wins the next prize – maybe a penalty or field goal. And the watch is on! Variation: Everyone puts a dollar or a quarter in the cup and starts passing it – same finish!

2. The Icebreaker. For a crowd that doesn’t know each other well, you can have a pre-game warm-up game! Have a variety of questions in a jar and some small prizes to hand out for the winning answer. Then take turns pulling out and reading the get-to-know-you questions. Here’s a few to get you started:

  • Who has the longest middle name?
  • Who went to high school farthest away?
  • Who has the most pets?
  • Whose street name is the shortest?
  • Whose socks have the most colors on them?

3. Predict the winner: As each person enters the party, have them make their prediction of the winning team and final score on a sheet you’ve prepared for everybody’s answers. The one whose right (or closest!) gets the prize – maybe a tin of popcorn or oldy-but-goody football movie.

4. Don’t say it!: Everybody starts out with 10 quarters at the beginning of the party. Then choose a football-related word that no one can say during the game, such as “quarterback” or – if you really want to make it difficult – “touchdown.” If someone hears another person say the word, they can take a quarter. The person with the most quarters at the end gets one more quarter from everybody who has remaining quarters. Any quarters each person has left after paying their final quarter is theirs to keep! Variation: Pass out beads or buttons for each person instead of using quarters. The one at the end of the game with the most beads or buttons collected with a prize.

5. Commercial Bingo – Enjoy the commercials even more by winning a prize based on the order they’re shown. You can make your own cards or go HERE for some free printable cards.

5 Ways to Make Superbowl Game Watching More FunGO TEAM!

12

5 Exercises to Skip When You’re Married

5 Exercises to Skip When You're MarriedExercising with your spouse is usually a good thing. Not only are you spending time with each other, you are both working together toward a common goal – an activity that reaps benefits in other areas of your marriage. But not all activity is created equal. There are some forms of exercise that, when done with your spouse, could actually harm your marriage. Here are five exercises you should skip when you’re married.

1. Jumping to conclusions. You know what they say about the person who assumes, right? Don’t give yourself an opportunity to prove the old saying correct – ask a few questions (without the accusatory tone)  before making an informed conclusion about any given situation.

2. Stretching the truth. Referred to in some circles as “lying.” Not OK. Unless, of course, you are planning a fabulous surprise for your mate or hiding their gift!

3. Side-stepping the issue. The serious stuff doesn’t go away by ignoring it. Find a stress-free time to talk over those tough topics before they elevate to crisis-mode.

4. Running out of steam. Take care of yourself so you can better take care of and be there for your spouse. There’s a reason flight attendants tell passengers to put their own oxygen mask on before attempting to assist others: doing so makes the person more effective when assisting.

5. Pulling up past grievances. Take a tip from Elsa and let it go, let it go, let it go if you want to have a happy ending!

IN SUMMARY:

Marriage exercises to skip

Related:

Introverted But Not Shy? Does Your Mate Need Space?

7 Common Mistakes Married Couples Make

10 Car Habits That Make Your Spouse a Defensive Driver

17

5 Gifts to Have on Hand for Those You Care About – But Forgot

5 Gifts to Have on Hand for Those You Care About - But Forgot!This time of year can be absolutely crazy! We have so much to do, so many places to go, so many lists to write, so many things to remember. With all the hustle and bustle going on, it’s easy to overlook something. Or someone. One way to avoid being caught with a memory short and a gift shy is to have some great gifts on hand to present to those very special people you care about – but forgot. A great have-on-hand gift is one that is useful, not tied to a particular age, gender, or ethnicity, and – maybe most important of all – is something you wouldn’t mind owning if this is the year you forget nobody! Here are five that qualify!

1. Amaryllis in a box. This fast-growing flower comes in oodles of colors – including a cool peppermint striped variety – and can be found in big box stores and garden stores for $5-$10. The recipient will be delighted with the giant blooms (about 8 inches!) that erupt within 4-6 weeks indoors and last another two weeks on average. Bonus: the box is an easy-to-wrap shape.

5 Quick Gifts2. Bottled Quick-Bread. Layering these common ingredients in a bottle – or clear jar – with the simple instructions makes an attractive gift that anybody would eat up! Click on the picture for this Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Quick Bread recipe and how-to. Bonus: the mix lasts 2-3 months at room temperature.

Quick Gifts3. Holiday CD. Classics, instrumentals, children’s favorites, Big Band editions, country Christmas . . . there’s more choices and places to buy them than ornaments on a crowded tree! Bonus: If this one’s not claimed by Christmas Day, you can use it immediately – no mixing or growing required!

5 Quick Gifts4. Flavored Hot Chocolate Mix. You can present your gift in a jar as pictured, or fill cellophane bags, tie off and tuck them in a festive Christmas mug for two gifts in one! Click on the picture for this French Vanilla recipe. Bonus: this can be made in a batch and divided up to create multiple gifts.

5 Quick Gifts5. Windowsill herb garden. The pictured kit was found on Amazon.com for $18.68 (give or take a few pennies), but you should be able to find something similar at a local lawn and garden type store. From attractive package, to something that looks nice in the kitchen, to something one can eat, this gift has it all! Bonus: It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Italian herb rubs, rosemary bread – there’s so many yummy possibilities you may want to gift this to one who lives close enough to share!5 Gifts to Have on HandRelated:

Stocking Stuffer Extravaganza

Ten Good Holiday Deeds to Commit

A Christmas Carol – 5 Ghosts of Christmas Past

Christmas Table Talk

11

5 You May Not Have Thanked Your Spouse For

5 We May Not Have Thanked Our Spouse ForThere are some things we just don’t think to thank our spouses for – but maybe we should. For instance, you know how in the movies people wake up morning-fresh with tousled hair? Well, in real life, it’s morning breath and bed-head. Yet our spouses love us through it and in spite of it. And have we ever said “thank you”? Here’s five more you may not have said “thank” you’ for.

1. That warm spot they create in bed that you roll into the moment they shift.

2. Waiting until the commercial break (or fast-forward break) in your show to tell you something.

3. The times their face lights up with a smile when you walk toward them. (Isn’t that the most welcoming feeling?!)

4. Helping to develop the secret code you share. The look, gesture, raised eyebrow, or cue that says wordlessly Let’s blow this joint or Did you hear what I heard? or Did you see the chick in the pink tutu with the leopard boots?!

5. Saying “I DO” and meaning it.

5 You May Not Have Thankded Your Spouse ForRelated:

10 Ways Couples Can Put the Thanks in Thanksgiving

Marriage: 5 to Make You Smile

Marriage Chuckles

Original cartoon image

21

5 Ways to Spook Your Spouse!

5 Great Ways to Spook Your Spouse!Halloween may not be a very romantic holiday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate it by giving your spouse shivers! WARNING: These suggestions should NOT be used on somebody who is taking heart medication. Especially #5!

1. Creepy Finger Soap. Trade them out for the Irish Springs in time for their morning shower. Talk about waking up! Save one to drop in the pocket of the jacket they’ll be wearing that day – a little something to make them think about you later on!

5 Ways to Spook Your Spouse2. Speaking of fingers . . . Packing a lunch for your mate? How about slipping in some of these distressed digits for dessert? Who knew sugar cookies and almonds could make such a gruesome duo?? [Click picture for recipe]

5 Ways to Spook Your Spouse3. Toilet guests. Nothing says good morning – and Happy Halloween – quite like some critters hanging out under the lid! (If you want a little variety, a plastic rat can have a similar impact!)

5 Ways to Spook Your Spouse4. Jeepers, creeperswhere’d you get those peepers? For a ghastly surprise, attach them to something in the closet. Be sure to unscrew the lightbulb so the glow in the dark feature is at it’s best. Just your Halloweeny way to say to your spouse: “I only have eyes for you, hon!”

5 Ways to Spook Your Spouse5. Head in a Jar. In the refrigerator! You may want to have a camera set up for this one! I stumbled upon this last year and have waited patiently for a whole year to share this chilling delight. (I thought about including it as an illustration in the Deadhead Your Marriage post, but I wasn’t sure the humor would have been appreciated appropriate there.) [Click pic for the gruesome how-tos]

5 Ways to Spook Your Spouse!HAPPY HAUNTING!

21

5 For Fall

5 For FallGrab your mate and get your fall on! Celebrate the season with one of these five  autumn activities  – each with its own Plan B.

5 For FallEnjoy a few hours at a cider mill munching on cinnamon-dusted donuts and sipping fresh cider.

PLAN B: If you don’t live in a state like Michigan with lots of great cider mill options, head down to your local 5 For Fallgrocer or fruit stand and try out some of the different varieties to get your apple fix. Fill a bowl to munch by day, and have some caramel Wrapples standing by for a snack to go with your evening movie.

5 For FallKick up some fall leaves and enjoy the colors.

PLAN B: Not in an area flush with maples, oaks or aspen? Check out your local craft store for some faux fall leaves and line your mantel, table tops or shelves to bring that fall feeling indoors.

5 For FallTake a walk and breathe in the fall scents.5 For Fall

PLAN B: If the weather isn’t cooperating, recreate those fall fresh scents like autumn leaves, pumpkin spice, maple pecan and mcintosh apples with a little help from Yankee or another candlemaker.

5 For FallCarve a jackolantern.

PLAN B: Not up for the mess or prefer silly to scary? Paint fun faces on pumpkins instead. There’s patterns out there for any level of artistic ability!5 For Fall

 

5 For FallSip a pumpkin latte at an outdoor cafe.5 For Fall

PLAN B: If coffee house prices don’t fit into the budget this week, take advantage of the seasonal coffee creamers available at your grocer and sip your home-brew on the porch with the one you love!

 

5 For Fall

 

16

Five More With Broken Pieces

5 More From Broken Pieces

The previous post addressed how although a marriage may be cracked or fragmented, it still has potential to evolve into sea glass. Weathered, polished pieces of glass that are used to create enduring beauty. Several friends and readers noted that same analogy applies in our other relationships: parents, siblings, friends – even with ourselves!

Today’s Friday Five is another look – and reminder – of the results that can be obtained from taking the time to pick up the pieces and put them together in a new way. One that has more strength and durability to go with its new look. The end product? Beauty combined with character that can last a lifetime!

Here’s what 5 artists made with broken pieces.

FROM COLORFUL . . .

Courtesy of mostmarvelousme.com

Courtesy of mostmarvelousme.com

TO SOMETHING WITH DEPTH . . .

Courtesy of flickr.com

Courtesy of flickr.com

TO A THING OF BEAUTY . . .

Courtesy of Anita Irvine's Pinterest board

Courtesy of Anita Irvine’s Pinterest board

TO SOMETHING USEFUL . . .

Courtesy of pinterest.com

Courtesy of pinterest.com

TO SOMETHING BEYOND WHAT MOST PEOPLE COULD EVEN IMAGINE!

Courtesy of mymodernmet.com

Courtesy of mymodernmet.com

 CELEBRATE THE RESULT!

 Related: Marriage: Troubled Waters or Sea Glass?

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