Let’s go ahead and start off with a chocolate treat. Chocolate covered pretzels are a very easy and inexpensive treat to make. The kids can even do it! Just think about how much you would pay for them at the store, these homemade ones are half the price. Without the sprinkles, they might a little cheaper I guess, but we love sprinkles, don’t we!
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Chocolate covered pretzels with red sugar sprinkles.
¼ pound of pretzels
2 squares Chocolate flavored Almond Bark candy coating
2 TBSP red sugar sprinkles
In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate squares for a minute, take out and stir, if not smooth, melt for another 10-15 sec. and stir. If over melted, chocolate will become grainy, should this happens, add about 1tsp vegetable or canola oil and stir until smooth.
Add pretzels, 1 handful at a time. Stir with a fork until coated.
Once coated, lay pretzels out on wax or parchment paper and sprinkle on the red sugar. This has to be done before the chocolate starts to harden. I use a toothpick if I want to remove them one by one, they’re prettier that way!
Let pretzels sit for about 10 to 15 minutes for the chocolate to harden. We put ours in the fridge because my daughter prefers them chilled anyway.
In order to take care of him, you need to take care of you.
Taking care of yourself is one of the best gifts that you can give your spouse, not to mention yourself. Some say that massage with essential oils is a great thing to do for your spouse. But my husband is not really into my oil collection, maybe I don’t have the right oils. This is a great way to take care of the both of you.
One way I like to use my essential oils to take care of me is by making lotion. I have psoriasis and the commercial lotions just do more harm to my skin. I find that anything with commercial fragrance does not agree. Have you ever looked at the ingredients in moisturizers that you buy in the store. I prefer not to use that on my skin.So I make my own, using Shea Butter. Raw, unrefined Shea Butter is the best thing I have used on my skin thus far. Let me tell you, being able to make my own lotion is great. I can whip the consistency to my liking (cream has always worked best for me) and I can add essential oils for fragrance. specific ones supplement my psoriasis and the overall health of my skins. My man prefers not to use lotion, although there are essential oils that are fragrant for a mans taste. My skin is so, so soft. I know my husband appreciates that!! Here is the moisturizing lotion recipe that I use most often along with the directions
set lotion jar into a saucepan of boiling water, or use a double boiler
place 1/2c. of Shea Butter into the jar, melt down completely
once melted, take jar out of the pan and let sit on the counter to cool.
at this time stir in 2-3 Tablespoons Coconut oil until totally melted. I have a very tiny whisk that fits perfectly in this jar and I designate just for lotion. Here is a mini whisk like the one I use. I only wish I had purchased them in a multi-pack. These little boogers are very useful, so to have more than one would be great.
put the Shea Butter and Coconut oil mixture into the fridge to set up (this could take anywhere from10-20 mins.) It is ready when you can see an imprint of your finger, but you don’t want it set all the way.
add the essential oils now. I use peppermint essential oil, about 15 drops to most of my lotion concoctions. Stir until you get the consistency you like, making sure that the essential oil is evenly distributed.
Taking care of both of you
A great idea is for you and your significant other is to present each other with the challenge of becoming a healthier, better you. This challenge might possibly stick better if you lay on the fact that they will be embarking on this challenge for you and your relationship. Here are some ideas.
*Make the time to take a walk every day; this challenge kills two birds with one stone so to speak, it is healthy for you and gives you some alone time together
*Start reading together. I love to read self-improvement and natural self-care books and I often find information that I like to share with my husband. Sometimes he lets me read aloud to him. (ps. You might want to ask him first!) One great book that we both found to be very helpful is “Over-The-Counter Natural Cures” I’ll tell you, it has some pretty priceless information. The author, Shane Ellison is a chemist who formerly worked for large pharmaceutical companies making the toxic drugs that some people are made to believe they need in order to survive(but that’s another book we’ll touch on later). Now he provides the public with information, saving our lives from these toxic medicines and saving big bucks in the process. He expounds on fighting diseases such as cancer, as well as how to fix hormone imbalance, dealing with depression and anxiety, cardiovascular problems and so much more. You could get this book for under $10.00 and you won’t be disappointed. Actually I’ve started reading mine for the second time around. I reference it so often in my everyday life. Let me just tell you, this information can have a direct impact on your relationship!
*Weight loss challenge. This may sound corny, but it is a great one. There are specific ways here that you can find time to spend together and this is a great way to have an accountability partner when you are trying to get healthy, right in your own home, 24-7. My husband and I have done this before and it really opened up conversations about our future as healthy spouses and healthy parents! Anything that draws conversation is great!
*Carve out time to be together. Even if you cannot find someone to watch the kids every time, its okay, your kids need to see that their parents are showing each other attention, that they are united, that they like each other. Put your relationship on a pedestal for your kids to see, they need to know that bond between Mom and Dad.
I know this one can be a stretch, but try to take a weekend trip together, or better yet, a day trip.The last time my husband and I went on a romantic weekend, it was on Valentine’s Day! Here are some romantic weekend getaway ideas for your Valentine’s, or any time really. Courtesy of Redbook Magazine.
*Woodstock Inn, Vermont
*Jackson Hole, Wyoming
*Big Sur, Ca
*Grand Canyon, Az
*Smoke Hole, W.Va.
Now there are places on this list that should be easily accessible to everyone around the country. I have been to about half of these places and have to say that they are very nice. Most have been on one or two week vacations though. I added Smoke Hole onto the list because that is where my husband and I went on our last Valentine’s outing, very romantic. We stayed in a little cabin, you had to walk over a bridge to access it, with a fireplace (and electricity). It was wonderful. It happened to snow a little that particular weekend, so it was very nice. Most of the time, when it snows in W. Va, you want to avoid it , and it is anything but wonderful, it was okay that time!
We live in Virginia, smack dab in between Charlottesville and Middleburg. I have to say that Virginia is a great place to visit. I would not want to live anywhere but here. I love it!
Ok, now lets talk about some self love (self-discipline is more like it) and get back to those self improvements I started talking about earlier this month. If you recall, my improvements were to be in bed by 9:00, on school nights, to wash my dinner dishes that night, and to eat sensibly. Well, I have to be honest, I have only really conquered being in bed by 9:00. Although I am in the bed by 9:00, I sometimes have to read or color (yes, with a coloring book and crayons, don’t judge, it relaxes me!) until 10: 00. Sometimes 9:00 is just too early for me to go to sleep, but I am in the bed, none the less! So yay for me. I’ll still be working on the others, although I am showing some progress. I hope you have not lost motivation for your New Year improvements! Leave a comment about your progress!
Cheers to you!
As always, take time out of your busy day to relax a spell!