10 At-Home Ways to Create the Bed & Breakfast Romance

10 At-Home Ways to Create the Bed & Breakfast Romance

10-At-Home-Ways-B&B
One of our favorite getaway spots is a little bed-and-breakfast in the mountains. When you ask my husband why he likes it so much, you very well might hear about the cheese and cracker plate with fruit that is always waiting for us when we arrive. My thought has always been, Great, we just spent the equivalent of a month’s worth of groceries on a cheese and cracker plate.

Why we love a good bed-and-breakfast

What is it about the bed-and-breakfast experience that makes us want to fork over upwards of $200 a night to sleep on somebody else’s sheets and eat clotted eggs in the morning?

  • The room is cleaned every day. Now I know some of you actually do this but it doesn’t matter. It’s so much better and it just feels cleaner when somebody else does it for you.
  • The bed is made. Now I know I’m spoiled, because my husband makes the bed every day. But, how great is it when you’re gone even for just half an hour, you come back and the bed is done up. The pillows are fluffed and there’s a little mint sitting there waiting to be indulged in. There is no better feeling on the planet.

Back home and back to reality

Sadly, most of us can’t afford to camp out in the local bed-and-breakfast on a regular basis. So it’s probably time to bring some of that bed-and-breakfast experience home.

Here are a few simple tips from designer and author Kathryn Bechen to help you get that restful and relaxed feeling in your own bedroom:

  1. Clutter cutter. Declutter your bedroom when you begin your fluff-up. Nothing kills romance faster than a pile of dusty magazines and techno paraphernalia. (More on this on podcast episode #136 Clutter Free Romance & blog post Declutter Your Way to a Better Marriage)
  2. Maid brigade. Next are the dust rag and vacuum. Turn on some music and make it fun!
  3. Sensuous sheets. Purchase some colorful new sheets in a pattern you love with a thread count of at least 300.
  4. Divine duvet. Invest in a pretty new duvet cover or bedspread. It will freshen up the room instantly.
  5. Pillow pizzazz. Some new pillows and pillowcases that coordinate with your sheets and duvet will add softness to your bed.
  6. Flower finesse. Buy some fresh flowers and put them in a favorite vase.
  7. Candle cozy. A few flickering candles will add instant romance to your new B&B bedroom.
  8. Music magic. Now for some light jazz or classical music to set the tone for the evening.
  9. TV tune-out. Unless you and your mate purposely choose to watch a funny or romantic movie together, turn the TV off.
  10. Tray of delights. Bring in a drink and cheese tray with some fresh fruit, dim the lights, and you’re on your way to a lovely and romantic stay in your very own Bed & Breakfast Inn bedroom. Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Dipped Fruit

1 pkg. milk chocolate morsels (11½ ounces/2 cups)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
Strawberries, grapes, bananas, apples, kiwi, or pineapple

Melt milk chocolate morsels and shortening over hot (not boiling) water; stir until smooth. Remove from heat, but keep over hot water. (If chocolate thickens, return to heat; stir until smooth.) Dip pieces of fruit into chocolate; gently shake off excess. Place on foil-lined cookie sheets. Chill 10-15 minutes until chocolate is set. Peel off foil. Fruit may be kept at room temperature up to 1 hour. If chocolate becomes sticky, return to refrigerator. Makes 1 cup melted chocolate. In microwave, melt on high 1 minute; stir. Repeat.

A few other creative tips:

  • My husband loves a special kind of root beer that we used to not be able to keep stocked in the house (teenagers!). I would hide it under the veggies in the crisper – no chance of the kids looking there.
  • If your husband gets home before you do, plan ahead by hiding a treat in the fridge for him. Call during the day to let him know it’s waiting for him.

Giveaways Week 3!

hottie-300If you haven’t yet, go to my Facebook page to like and follow my Kathi Lipp page, and then answer the question of the day for your chance to win a “My Husband is a Hottie” t-shirt. Check out the page each day for a new question and get in on the conversation about loving your husband!

5 Steps to Successfully Prep for The Husband Project

5 Steps to Successfully Prep for The Husband Project

Husband Project

 

Are you excited about starting the project portion of The Husband Project? I am excited for you to get underway, and I’m so thankful to be partnering with Proverbs 31 this summer. It is going to be a summer of fun and life-giving to your marriage. But, like anything in life, it requires you to put your whole self into it. To make the most out of The Husband Project, and for the best chance at success (you know, actually doing the projects) a little prep work is highly recommended.

 

In the spirit of successfully accomplishing what you have now signed up to do, I’ve compiled 5 Steps help you prep for The Husband Project:

 

1. Find at least one friend (two is better!) to help keep you accountable for the duration of the project.

2. Look at all the projects and come up with your own personalized schedule based on upcoming travel plans, visitors, holidays, etc. (Check out the the info below on how to get the official Husband Project calendars!)

3. Share your plan with your accountability partner(s). Ask them if they have any feedback.

4. Grab your supplies! After you fill out your calendar, create a list of supplies for the activities you want to do. To be budget-conscious, you can create weekly lists ahead of time to help you prep well but also stay in your budget.

5. Pray! For your heart, for your attitude, and for your husband to be blessed through it all.

We put together handy calendars to help you prep the projects you want to do, including a filled-in and blank version of the calendar. To get your calendar, sign up for the newsletter! (and if you are already signed up to get the newsletter, your calendars should already be in your inbox!)

 


IT’S NOT TOO LATE!

Sign up for The Husband Project over at Proverbs 31. Even if you don’t have the book, you can follow along with us and bless your husband’s socks off for the next three weeks! Join us!

Husband Project

Getting Hung Up on the How Robs of Us of Seeing Our Husband’s Heart

Getting Hung Up on the How Robs of Us of Seeing Our Husband’s Heart

disagreeable giver husband

guest post by Cheri Gregory

My husband is a disagreeable giver!

I know, I know.

Doesn’t sound like one of the most romantic thoughts crossing my mind after more than a quarter century of marriage.

But it’s certainly one of the most important.

This epiphany hit while I was listening to Adam Grant’s Global Leadership Summit* talk, “Give and Take: A New Perspective on Leadership,” in which he describes four types of people:

  • Agreeable givers
  • Agreeable takers
  • Disagreeable takers
  • Disagreeable givers

Agreeable givers are everyone’s favorites, to the point they often become doormats. Agreeable takers are “fakers” who can fool us into treating them as givers. Disagreeable takers are pretty quickly labeled as jerks.

But it’s the disagreeable givers who, according to Grant, are the most misunderstood and undervalued.

They invest endlessly in the people and causes they care deeply about.

They just don’t care about how they come across.

What Happens When I Get Hung Up on How

A few weeks ago, a scenario that’s played out thousands of times in our marriage started to run according to script.

Daniel and I were in the kitchen, and he said something that ticked me off. I started to react, but in the nick of time remembered I’m trying to ask myself what problem is he trying to solve?

Which forced me to recognize I was all set to react without knowing the facts. (And while I may be a Highly Sensitive Person, I’m an HSP who scores high in analytical reasoning. I expect my emotions to be grounded in data, thank you very much!)

As Proverbs 18:13 so bluntly puts it

To answer before listening—
that is folly and shame.

So I asked myself, If I’m not about to react to facts, what I am I about to react to?

The answer was simple:

I’m about to react not to what Daniel said.

Or even why he said it.

I’m about to react to how Daniel said what he said. 

I’m waaaaaaaay too hung up on how.

Focus on Why and What Before How

Now, I’m not suggesting that how other people speak to us isn’t important.

I am simply confessing I have been way too hung up on how, to the exclusion of why and what.

When I paused in the kitchen to ask myself why did he say that? I knew, without even asking Daniel, that the over-arching answer would be:

  • because he loves God, and/or
  • because he cares about what’s right, and/or
  • because he is committed to me and to our family

And when I asked myself, what did he actually say? the answer was something simple and reasonable.

Sure, it’s important in any relationship* that we discuss how we communicate with each other. But how doesn’t deserve top billing, at least not for me.

I’ve become convicted that my knee-jerk reaction to my husband’s how prevents me from hearing his why and what.

When I find myself getting all bent out of shape over how — and I start gearing up to turn lawyer, judge, and jury — I’m telling myself:

Don’t react without the facts.

Ask why.

Ask what.

Only then, ask how.


Cheri Photo CORRECTEDCheri Gregory is a teacher, speaker, author, and Certified Personality Trainer. Her passion is equipping women to relate and create with less drama, more delight. 

Cheri is the co-author, with Kathi Lipp, of The Cure for the “Perfect” Life and the upcoming Overwhelmed.

Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel, her opposite personality, for twenty-eight years and is “Mom” to Annemarie (25) and Jonathon (23), also opposite personalities.

Cheri is the host of “Grit ‘n’ Grace: Good Girls Breaking Bad Rules,” a podcast for women tired of trying so hard to measure up. She blogs about perfectionism, people-pleasing, highly sensitive people, and hope at www.cherigregory.com.

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*Note: This blog post reflects one woman’s experiences, reflections, and insights in a marriage between two well-intentioned but flawed individuals. It does not attempt to speak to any relationship that includes abuse, addiction, adultery, abandonment, and/or apathy. Such relationships are beyond the scope of this post and may need the intervention of a trained counselor.


 

2016_OBS_HusbandProject_PreStudy_Square-01The Husband Project Online Bible Study starts in just one week!

Sign up now and get your book from Proverbs 31 and join the thousands of women all over the world ready to bless the socks off of our husbands!

The Day I Stopped Shoe Shopping at Safeway: A Marriage Metaphor

The Day I Stopped Shoe Shopping at Safeway: A Marriage Metaphor

marriage metaphor

The Day I Stopped Shoe Shopping at Safeway: A Marriage Metaphor

For many years, I did my shoe shopping at Safeway.

This was difficult, because the Safeway near my home doesn’t sell shoes, only groceries. But I’ve never been one to let a challenge stop me! I became all the more determined to do my shoe shopping at Safeway.

Every week, I scoured the aisles: no shoes.

Every week, when the cashier pleasantly asked me, “Did you find everything today?” I responded loudly, “No, I did not. I came here for shoes, like I do every week, and I still haven’t found any shoes.

Every week, I filled out a complaint form at the so-called “Customer Service” counter: Why are there no shoes in this store?

Eventually, I became so focused on shoe shopping at Safeway that I started going daily, just to see if they’d finally set up a shoe aisle.Day in and day out, I experienced nothing but disappointment after disappointment after disappointment.

I grumbled about Safeway to my friends. Soon, complaining about the lack of shoes at Safeway soon became my sole topic of conversation.

It all seemed so unfair.

The Day I Discovered Payless ShoeSource

Then, one day, I happened to drive by a Payless ShoeSource. As I walked in, I could not believe my eyes: shoes! Aisles and stacks and end caps of shoes! I bought two pair on a BOGO sale!

My next stop was Safeway. As I walked in, I could not believe my eyes: so many beautiful groceries! Fruits and vegetables … breads and cakes … cheeses and deli meats … I filled my cart and headed to check out.

The cashier nervously asked, “Did you find everything today?” and when I responded, “Why yes, I did, thank you!” She looked shocked. The manager seemed surprised when I walked by the customer service comment box with a friendly wave.

The day I stopped doing my shoe shopping at Safeway was the day I started enjoying grocery shopping at Safeway.

A Marriage Metaphor

Okay, so I made all of that up.

I would never be silly or downright foolish enough to go shoe shopping at Safeway, would I? Well, in the early years of my marriage, I stubbornly “did my shoe shopping at Safeway” by expecting Daniel to meet some of my needs he was entirely unequipped to meet.

The more I demanded he meet these specific needs, the more hyper-focused I became on his failures. The more I focused on his failures, the more I ignored his myriad strengths. Sadly, for many years I acted as if everything he did bring to our marriage and all the ways he did meet my needs were worthless because I was so fixated on a few failures.

After years of frustration (for both of us!), I was convicted that 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 applies to the gifts our husbands bring to marriage:

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”

When we continually downplay the gifts our husbands brings to our marriages, we discount the work of the Holy Spirit.

On the flip side, when we take responsibility for the needs we’ve been trying to pawn off on our men, we may be astonished to discover all the ways they truly bless us.

Perhaps it’s time for you to stop shoe shopping at Safeway, too?


 

Cheri Photo CORRECTEDCheri Gregory is a teacher, speaker, author, and Certified Personality Trainer. Her passion is helping women break free from destructive expectations. She writes and speaks from the conviction that “how to” works best in partnership with “heart, too.”

Cheri is the co-author, with Kathi Lipp, of The Cure for the “Perfect” Life and the upcoming Overwhelmed.

Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel, her opposite personality, for twenty-eight years and is “Mom” to Annemarie (25) and Jonathon (23), also opposite personalities.

Cheri blogs about perfectionism, people-pleasing, highly sensitive people, and hope at www.cherigregory.com.

More about being an HSP!

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Wicked Wednesday: Are you a stepmom? Accept Your Husband

Wicked Wednesday: Are you a stepmom? Accept Your Husband

StepMother

Are you a stepmom? One of the best ways not to feel like a wicked stepmother is to accept your husband just like he is. But how can you do it when you may be struggling to accept everything (and everyone) that comes with him?

Accepting Your Husband

  1. Remember that part of your paycheck belongs to another woman.
  2. Remember that his children came before you in time.
  3. Think about whether or not your heart is committed enough to his children.
  4. Remember he carries guilt for his part in a broken marriage.
  5. Remember he has to unlearn old patterns of relating and has to learn to live with you.

You can find more great info in my book But I’m Not a Wicked Stepmother!