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:
- 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)
- Maid brigade. Next are the dust rag and vacuum. Turn on some music and make it fun!
- Sensuous sheets. Purchase some colorful new sheets in a pattern you love with a thread count of at least 300.
- Divine duvet. Invest in a pretty new duvet cover or bedspread. It will freshen up the room instantly.
- Pillow pizzazz. Some new pillows and pillowcases that coordinate with your sheets and duvet will add softness to your bed.
- Flower finesse. Buy some fresh flowers and put them in a favorite vase.
- Candle cozy. A few flickering candles will add instant romance to your new B&B bedroom.
- Music magic. Now for some light jazz or classical music to set the tone for the evening.
- TV tune-out. Unless you and your mate purposely choose to watch a funny or romantic movie together, turn the TV off.
- 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!
If 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!
Guest Post by Sherri Wilson Johnson
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being on Kathi’s ministry team, it’s that a clutter free life is the way to go! To be honest, I’ve learned a lot more than just one thing, but that’s got to be the most important concept I’ve learned. When your life is free of clutter, you can become a world changer.
In 2015, I kicked a lot of clutter out of my house and my life and as a result became much freer. I applied Kathi’s principles and increased my business and even got up the courage to become an Indie author, self-publishing five of my Christian romances.
There are many things that are important to me, including the Lord, my family, friends, my church and my clients. I support Stop Hunger Now through my church because I can’t stand to think of people going hungry, and Compassion International because I love to see children being educated and their families being released from the cycle of poverty. That’s a carryover from my homeschooling days.
As a writer and entrepreneur, I work hard and when I’m able to take a vacation, I believe the only way to relax is in clutter free style. Our vacation in 2015 came two weeks after our son’s wedding, the wedding which jumpstarted our empty nest. I was ready to sit back, relax, read some books, work on my upcoming novel…and eat some ice cream. And that’s what I did!
We visited Cedar Key, Florida, the setting of my fifth book, Secrets Among the Cedars. Cedar Key is on the Gulf coast of Florida, down below the Suwannee River. It’s not your typical beach resort. It’s a nature coast with scrubby pines and marshes, lots of dolphins, and the most gorgeous sunsets you will ever see. Only about 700 people live there and everyone you meet is super friendly. It’s a great place to declutter your mind and your schedule.
In Secrets Among the Cedars, my heroine, Kathryn, is in Cedar Key to search for a murder weapon, but she doesn’t forget to eat plenty of the ice cream found in one of the local waterfront shops. Salted caramel turned out to be her favorite and it turned out to be mine too.
With warm weather approaching, I’m going to have to take a break from my 95% no sugar diet and indulge in some more of that great ice cream. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it back to Cedar Key this year or not, so I went searching for some homemade recipes. I pinned a few yummy looking ones to my Pinterest board and I found a super simple one at the Girl in the Kitchen blog. I hope you’ll join me in making some!
I’m giving away one print copy of Secrets Among the Cedars! Please leave a comment below telling me where your favorite place is to vacation and what your favorite treat is to eat when you’re there. Must have at least ten people to constitute the giveaway. Continental U.S. residents only. Winner will be chosen Friday, April 8th.
Here’s the back cover blurb:
Some secrets are better left buried…or are they?
Kathryn Bellamy is the Assistant D.A. for Perkins County, Georgia. After detectives fail to retrieve a missing murder weapon, she travels to Cedar Key, Florida to find it herself. She finds more than she ever bargained for when she meets Phil Tagliaferro, a former defense attorney.
Phil is drawn to help Kathryn when he learns she’s receiving threats—until he finds out their pasts are connected and his association with her could mean death for them both. Kathryn won’t leave Cedar Key until she has unearthed the secrets…and the murder weapon, but she can’t do that without Phil.
Secrets Among the Cedars brings two people from opposite sides of a case together with one goal in mind: Justice. What else will they find in the process?
Secrets Among the Cedars is available on Amazon in print and ebook!
Sherri Wilson Johnson writes Inspirational Historical Romance and Contemporary Romantic Suspense, and she’s a speaker and virtual assistant to authors and speakers. She lives in Georgia with her husband and her Chihuahua, Posey, and they are empty-nesters. Sherri loves spending time with family, vacationing at the beach, curling up with a good book and working on her current work-in-progress.
You can find out more about Sherri at her website: www.sherriwilsonjohnson.com
Salted Caramel ice cream photo credit
5 Ways to Tell Your Hubby You Love Him without All the Words by Paula Tobey
Have you ever been in a rut in your marriage where you find it tough to ‘talk’? Maybe you argue or you’re just not connecting as well as usual. Maybe you find yourself not in the same place of love like you were a few years back. Whatever it is, friend, I am here to tell you it is okay. There is always something you can do to help get out of that rut, and it starts by doing one small thing at a time.
Today, I will share with you five ideas of things that you can do to show your hubby you love him without all those words, because let’s face it, he probably doesn’t want to hear them anyway.
Marital connectedness is so important in a family. It helps the kids in many ways to feel secure, not to mention setting a positive example for them as they grow and enter into their own relationships. Parents have a responsibility to model for their kids behaviors and attitudes that help establish positive development. One of the best things we can do for our children is teach them love and respect. There are lots of ways you can teach this without preaching or teaching with words. Your behavior and actions will show them better than any words can how you feel, so go ahead, win him over without words teaching your kids how to show love and respect for your husband!
- Dressed to Impress – Complimenting your Hottie on how good he looks in his dress shirt. This is one thing that I have not been very good at, but it means so much to my husband when I tell him that I like how he looks. Words of Affirmation go a long way for some, but even saying that you like how soft his shirt is, can be just the kind of compliment he needs to hear. After I have said a statement like ‘I like how soft that shirt is, it looks great’ I will undoubtedly receive a text a little while later thanking me. Take it from me, you hubby likes to know you are still attracted to him after all these years.
- Get Your Own Box – Cheeze It’s are one of my husband’s favorite snacks. I cannot eat them because I’m gluten free, so I tend to buy things for the family that we can all eat. However, my husband told me about a year ago that he really loves it when I buy those for him because he knows that I went out of my way to get him something that I would not normally buy. It is not something that I will get often, and as a matter of fact, I save those for things like an Easter Basket gift, but when I do get them, his face lights up like a kid getting candy! For that reason alone, I will make sure he gets his own box!
- Precious Post It Note’s – When I go out of town for a few days, I like to leave my husband (and daughters) little notes to tell them that I love them. When we were getting ready to move a few months back, I was cleaning out my husband’s medicine cabinet in the master bath, and I found a piece of paper taped to the inside of the mirror with all kinds of post it notes I had left him over the years. It made me smile to see that not only had he kept them, but that he wanted to be reminded often how much I love him. Because I smiled, I am pretty sure he does too. I did not quite realize just how much those little precious notes were to him until then.
- Shopping Cart Surprise – Once I was on Amazon, and I noticed that my husband put an item in the Wish List. It was just a book, and it was not expensive, but I went ahead and ordered it for him. To his surprise, the exact book he had been looking at mysteriously showed up! It was cute when he asked if I had ordered it for him, and I just gave a little grin like ‘I don’t know what you are talking about – who me?’ He then gave me a nice big hug and kiss. It was fun. Sometimes it is the little things that add up to make the big things not so big!
- Good To The Last Drop – Every morning my husband is up before me. He does not need as much sleep as I do, and he enjoys his quiet time to read the paper and drink his coffee in the mornings. One work day this last week, he was actually still in bed, and I was awake, so I got up and made him some coffee. I wanted to be sure he had some because I figured he must have been pretty tired to still be in bed. When he came out and I had the coffee out for him, he was so surprised, he asked me who I was. J It was very unusual, but I do know that if I continue to do little things like that, he will be happy to drink every last drop!
For more great ideas on making your marriage more connected and fulfilled, come on over to my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ParentingCoachPaula and check out the posts, books and videos.
Paula Tobey is founder of PheMOMenal Life Ministries a community for women to go get encouraged and equipped to be the best mom’s they can be to their children by living a healthy balanced life and by becoming all that God created them to be. For more information go check out her website here www.PheMOMenalLife.com
How do you stay connected to your man when your life is… crazy?
Fellow podcaster and blogger Jamie Ivey shares her tips and tricks for keeping her marriage hot when she has four kids, a busy husband and messy house. Listen in and get:
- Date night ideas that are creative and fun.
- Ideas on how to make our marriages a priority over work, over chores and yes, even over parenting.
- Tips on how to connect with your husband emotionally, spiritually and even physically.
- How to find time and energy for date night, sex and everything else you need to do to make your marriage hot.
Listen in and then head to Jamie’s homepage and get loads of free date night ideas and find out how she is “ruling” marriage by making her marriage her number one priority.
Are you ready for the 21 Days to a Better Relationship Challenge? “Like” the Happy Habits for Every Couple Facebook page now!