Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Box...Happy Valentines


7:30 am - Ric and I woke up and I presented my gift to him....a box of different envelopes! Yep I could see the excitement on his face...haa! (although he loved the box and kept talking about it, which made me soo happy!(you will see why in a minute)

He knew that I had something planned for the entire day but he didn't know what. 
I told him that everything else stays in the box until later that night except the stack of envelopes tied with the hounds tooth ribbon.
*Each envelope is numbered and inside is a card...the front of the card has a clue for where we are going and inside the card is the answer and  a dollar. I told him to hold on to the dollar until later.  (he was intriqued by the dollars!) Ha!



Below are the clues and answers:

1. Biceps don't grow on trees....started the day off at the gym (arms day) We had been out of the gym for awhile so this was day 1 felt so good to be back...we both love to workout and just don't function well without it.
 2. The grass is always greener where you water it......time for a shower. (details are for us only)
3. Morning has broken and Mr coffee has spoken.....breakfast and coffee at Starbucks (soo nice just to take your time and talk over coffee and breakfast)
4.  Dear Stress and back pain, lets break up Love,R&S.......1 hr couples massage at Natural Body Spa (Ric has never had a massage and I have only had one ever... and I will tell you that Ric was really nervous. He is not a "invade my personal space" kinda guy and he does not like his feet touched, but it was probably one of the best things we have ever gone and done together. We were in the most gorgeous room with candles and rose petals on the floor  and when it was over Ric looked at me and said "I don't wanna leave" was much needed and a definite regular thing for us to do for ourselves from now on. Plus, they gave us a gift of massage oils so we can use at home (YAY!)

5. One cannot think well, love well, sleep well,  if one has not dined well......lunch at Carrabas- (which we had a gift card for from's so nice to go out for a nice meal and it's free!)
6. Let's almost get kicked out again-(wink-wink)......Going to the movies! (Explaination for clue: Ric and I's first movie date was in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday and we were the only ones in the entire theater, so we were kissing and someone shined a flashlight on us from the booth behind us...haaaaa! Good times!) 
7. Stressed is Desserts spelled backwards.....Dessert time! (we had talked awhile back about how we both had never had a cannoli before, so we went to the bakery and picked two up)
8. Kiss me, tease me, touch me, hug me, cuddle me, tickle me, love me.....livingroom campout fireside.

So, we are back at the house sitting by the fire on our livingroom campout bed, eating our cannoli's and drinking sparkling cider,

and now it's time for part 2 of the box....
"Meet Ric and Susan Stanford"

In each envelope are a list of questions entitled "I wanna know you".   No matter how long you have been married, there are probably things about your spouse that you don't know.  As we grow, we change...and I want to know as much as I can about Ric.  This list is a combination of questions I wanted to ask...each envelope has the same list. Some are funny and easy to answer and some are more serious and difficult, but it is important to ask these things and learn from the answers. 

Here are the questions:
1. What are your 3 favorite foods? (we found out that we have a favorite food in common and it's a food we have never eaten it is on the list for a Stanford family recipe for this food.....Chicken N' Dumplins
2. What are your 3 favorite restaurants? 
3. What is your favorite color? (found out that Ric's favorite color is silver...he is the first person I know that has that favorite color)
4. What is your favorite sport to watch and favorite to play?
5. What sport were you best at growing up?
6. What did you dream of being when you grew up? (found out we both wanted to be Architects)
7. What are your 3 favorite hobbies to do in your free time (if we had a lot of free time..haa)?
8. What are your favorite type of gifts?
9. What is your favorite song? (we then played the video of both our songs and sang to them..ha!)
10. What was your favorite subject in school?
11.What do you fear the most?
12. What do you consider are your strengths?
13. What do you consider are your weaknesses?
14. What acts of affection do you like the most?
15. What acts of affection do you like the least?
16. What action of mine provides you the greatest sexual pleasure?
17. What other things stimulate you sexually?
18. At what times do you need assurance of my love the most? How can I show you that love the best? (we realized that we had the same answer for this...but oddly never respond to one another in the way we desire the response for the same need.)
19. What concerns you that does not seem to concern me?
20. What things do I do that irritate you? (this one was actually fun!)
21. What desires and dreams do you have for your life?
22.What is your favorite thing we have done together so far in our marriage?
23. What one thing do you want to do before you die?
24. What personal habits do I have that you would change? (he said brushing my teeth a million times a day...haa! I have total OCD when it comes to brushing my teeth)
25. What makes you feel loved?
26. What is your favorite beverage?
27.If you could learn any skill what would you want to learn?
28. What makes you cry? (we both answered with the Extreme Homemaker show and the humane society commericals)
29. If you could be friends with one famous person who would it be?
30. What is your least favorite household chore?
31. If you could have one superhero power what would it be?
32. What was your favorite tv show as a kid?
33. What is your favorite tv show now?
34.. What do you want to teach or experience with our kids before they are grown?
35. What is your favorite article of clothing that you own?

 We had an absolute blast with we sat on our campout in front of the fire we took turns asking these questions. We decided since this was so fun, that we would look at them every Valentines and see if  we have the same responses.

Now we are down to part 3: The explanation for the dollars....

I read a story a few months back about how this couple had taken a trip to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. This trip was 10 days long, all expenses paid (including airfare) and was paid for by the money from their "box". The box was a collection of dollars....dollars for every time they made love.  My heart literally skipped a beat! What an amazing way to celebrate your marriage!  I knew right after reading this story that I wanted a box for Ric and I.  I immediately picked up my phone and sent Ric a txt ..."If you could go anywhere in the world on a vacation where would it be?" ...within seconds I received a response..."Hawaii"    I was beaming...he read my mind!  :)   Now that our destination was set, next was to find the perfect box.  It's going to be in my home for a few years so I wanted to find one that really represented "us".   I finally found the perfect box at Hobby Lobby (love that store).....It's a little rustic,  a little classic , with a little old world charm, imperfections everywhere, gorgeous distressed paint, aged leather straps and brass stud's perfect and it looks like a suitcase! :)

Next I had to think of how I was going to present this to Ric.  So, I wrote a story....a story similar to the one I had read months ago...a story about Ric and I years from now, and in the enevelope I included a dollar.
Our Story 
"This morning a couple celebrated their wedding anniversary, and boarded a plane for a long-awaited trip to Hawaii. They were as excited as if it were their honeymoon! When they married , they had only enough money for an overnight trip a few miles from home. They made a pact one Valentines that each time they made LOVE, they would put a dollar in a special box and save it for a real honeymoon in Hawaii. The husband was a manager at Home Depot and the wife was a loan officer. They lived in a modest house and did all their own renovations. Raising three children was a challenge, and sometimes money was short. But no matter what emergency came up, the couple would not let each other take any money out of the "Hawaii account"
This couple was always very much in love. They would often come home and tell the other, "I have a dollar in my pocket." wink-wink! The other would smile and reply, "I know just how to spend it" The couple never said how much money they managed to save, but it must have been considerable. Before they boarded the plane, the wife winked at her husband and said, "Tonight we start saving for St. Lucia"

You don't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy time together. Just enjoy each moment you have...slow in the moment and enjoy the simple talking to your spouse and really getting to know them!  This was one of the best date days we have ever had! The details of the rest of the night are for Ric and I only but I will say it was "money well spent"  ~Happy Valentines!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Winner of the Valentines Giveaway is.....

                                           .......Elizabeth Keen!!!

{Hooray!!!! Congrats!! Please remember to email me your address}
Thank you to those who commented and subscribed! The next giveaway is coming soon! (If you have subscribed to follow my blog you will be automatically entered for the next giveaway!) 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Giveaway!!

This is my very first pallet wood sign and I LOVE it!!!
Made from 4 cedar pallet boards. The pallets are painted ivory with an antique glaze and the letters are carved out so the cedar is exposed. I included my all time favorite verse about what God intended Love to be. 1 Cor. 13


Hang it on the wall, or place it on a stand!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Year of Dates!

Men are very simple, but when it comes to gift giving for a gets a little more complicated.  I always find myself thinking "What in the world can I get Ric that will show my love for him but will actually be something he would like "(instead of something I would like) :)  Well, thanks to Pinterest, last year I decided to give him a "Year of Dates."  
Our lives are crazy busy...and usually when we would have a chance to have a date night we found ourselves not knowing what to go do because it was always last minute.  So, this was perfect!  12 fully planned out, paid for and scheduled dates. What man wouldn't love that?? No money, or planning needed...just put the date on the calendar and boom- your done!! Some dates were things we had never done and always wanted to, and some were timeless classics that we love time and time again.  It did take some time and thought on my part, but it was soo worth the fun and memories we made.   So, if you are wondering what to get your special someone for Valentines, a birthday or an anniversary....A Year of Dates is the way to go!  To help you get started here is the process for how I did it, and a preview of the dates I chose.

I started by just writing down some date ideas...then I researched what activities were going on in our area throughout the year.  Once I had my 12 ideas I decided the best months to do them and how much it would cost.    Tip: Groupon is awesome for purchasing date nights...just make sure you are aware of the expiration date.  If you shop at Kroger- you get sometimes 4x the fuel points if you buy gift instead of going to each place to buy a specific giftcard for meals or coffee, buy it all at Kroger and get the extra fuel points. 

***Bonus Idea:  For most of the dates, I made a little gift bag filled with themed items for the date***
 Well,, enough talking....lets get down to the date ideas that made my list!

On the back of this reads:
"Enclosed are 12 envelopes...each one containing a complete date night. On the first day of the month for the next year we will open the envelope, reveal the date and put it on the calendar. Get ready for fun days, new experiences, romantic moments and memories for a lifetime!
                                                                                     Love, S

                                    Our dates started on Valentines 2012 thru January 2013

Along with the 12 dates, I included a BONUS date! The Bonus date is one of Ric and I's all time favorite dates and can be combined with any other month or just as an extra special night throughout the month.  Make a bed on the livingroom floor, build a fire, grab some smore's and cuddle up with a movie or boardgame.

Our living room campout bed

February Date: Part 1: GUN RANGE!!  I had always wanted to learn to shoot a gun and had never been to a gun range.  So, I purchased a Groupon for a day at the range. We ended up spending hours up there and left with my very first gun purchase (and a pink bag to carry it in)  This was a new experience and is now a common love for us both!  After the day at the range, we came home ordered some chinese and watched Sons of Guns reruns on tv.  One of my favorite dates!
Bonus: gift bag had ear plugs, protection glasses and a target

February Date: Part 2: Ric actually had 2 days off in a row for Valentines so we had a "date weekend"
Part 2: was Mechanic Date Day!
I love cars and so does my husband! But, I do not know how work on cars and I don't know how to drive a 5 speed and I really want to learn both.  So, what better way than to get him some fun car stuff and make a date of him teaching me to install them on his car.  (I purchased a Cobb Tuner and an air intake for his 2012 Subaru WRX)
Bonus: gift bag had his tuner and air intake in was a surprise!

March Date: Stanford Spa Day
This we did at home. I turned our entire bedroom and bathroom into a candlelight, rose petal filled spa.   Relaxing in our huge jetted garden tub with my favorite bubble bath from Victoria Secret (the smell is amazing and your skin feels like silk afterwards) Then on to the massages. You can get massage oils from a lot of different places, but I got ours from Natural Body. Turn your bed into a massage table and take turns giving massages. ;) Then enjoy a little treat of Sparkling Cider (cause we don't like wine) and chocolate covered strawberries.  I covered up the last line of the Spa date in the picture because that is for my husbands eyes only, but this was a very intimate and relaxing way to connect with your spouse without spending a lot of money.
Bonus: Gift basket had strawberries, cider, massage oils, bubble bath, rose petals, tea light candles and 2 new large fluffy towels.

April Date: Picture Perfect Picnic
There is no better way to spend a gorgeous spring day, than at Kennesaw Mtn having a picnic with your best friend.  Picnic basket full of food, blanket, a football, a frisbee and a camera.  Go in the late afternoon and stay until the sun starts to go's absolutely gorgeous. 

May Date: Pirate Putt Putt
There is an amazing Putt Putt course near Stone Mountain,Ga. called Pirates Cove. It feels like you are playing putt putt at the beach!  At night the course has lights in the waterfalls and everything..soo fun!

June Date: Under the Sea
We actually planned to go to the Georgia Aquarium, but we went to the beach instead. :) Ric and I had an opportunity to spend a week at the beach in Clearwater, Florida during the same time that we had this date planned, so the beach trip won!

The view from our room!

July Date: Take me out to the Ball Game!
Nothing goes better than dinner at the Varsity and a Braves Game!!
Bonus: the gift bag for this had Big League bubble gum, cracker jacks and a foam finger

August Date: One of the Guys Night
"Let the xbox games begin! It's guys night baby (but with your favorite girl) complete with wings, pizza, rootbeer and me whoopin' your tail at the xbox!
This was a fun night! Just hanging out, eating junk and having a little healthy competition.
Although, Im really bad at boy xbox games....but I totally rock at Dance Central

September Date: Georgia State Fair
This was my first time ever going to the fair! and all I can say is....
I LOVE THE FAIR!  Ferris Wheel, Cotton Candy, Funnel Cakes...Oh My!!

October Date: HAPPY FALL!!
"Get Ready for me to be screaming and jumping on your back cause we are headed to the Haunted House! AHHH!"
"If we make it out alive we will enjoy some pumpkin lattes at Starbucks to celebrate. Its going to be BOO-Tastic!! (get it Boo cause you're my boo!) Haa! I know I'm a dork! Love you babe! "

Get on your RED and BLACK because we are going....

December Date: Ice Skating
Ice Skating hand and hand surrounded by twinkling lights and the sounds of Christmas the outdoor ice rink in Atlanta. Then warm up with some peppermint white mochas after a cold fun night!

January Date: Serendipity
**Trip to Serendipity in Buckhead for coffee and dessert then home for a movie**
Serendipity is Ric and I's favorite dessert place and we both love the Serendipity movie (for a chick flick, Ric doesn't mind it)

Join me as I stumble upon...trip over...fall into..accidentally finding...wonderful new discoveries to share with you!
Because in my world Serendipity is so much more....
then just about Love!

What are some of your favorite date night ideas? Comment and share...I'd love to hear about them

Happy Valentines!

Friday, February 1, 2013


I heart everything about Valentines!!  A whole month dedicated to showing the people around you Love!
Heart shaped balloons...boxes of roses...bears with I love you on their feet and Valentines cards everywhere you look!!  I love it all!!
I have challenged myself to show someone "love" each day this month!!
Happy February!