Sunday, July 22, 2012

July Date - All About Us

I feel like it is the end of an era.  It's already time for the final inclusion in the Dates for a Year Basket!  This labor of love has been truly that...a lot of work, made with a lot of love, and really made with the purpose to continue to spark and grow the love of my sister and her new husband in their first year of marriage.  There have been some simple dates, some extravagant ones, some silly, some romantic.  I feel like I included a large range of dates so that they wouldn't get bored by doing similar things each month.  

Their final date was actually the one that I had planned first.  I wanted Kim & Larry to have an opportunity to reflect on their first year of married life, their love story, and who they have become as a couple while remaining individuals.  This month, Kim & Larry are reflecting and recording "All About Us".  

Here's what was included in the June envelope:

Here is the date card that was included in the envelope:

I was inspired to get this book for Kim & Larry by seeing a similar one on Amazon.  I was at Barnes & Noble one day and came across this version.  I had completed the All About Me version while I was in college, so I had an idea of the style of this book.  It's personal, serious, funny, a little scandalous, and a lot of fun.  I thought it would be the perfect way to reflect on being newlyweds and looking to the future.  This is a long book and probably something that they will not finish in just one date.  I hope that it's something they continue to do until it's completed throughout the month.  The idea for the date is for them to find a cozy spot together...either at home or out in a quiet park and begin working through the book.  I suggest that they bring a bottle of wine (I meant to write a couple glasses of wine on their card, not bottles...but whatever floats your boat) {And yes, I also realize I misspelled Sharpies}.  Then they can laugh, talk, and relax together.  I also like this book because it asks a lot of unusual questions, some they may have never even discussed before.  For a couple that has been together for about 5 years, it's hard to find questions they haven't conquered yet, but I would be surprised if they don't find something new to talk about!

This date cost me around $18.00...the book was $12.99 and I splurged to give them brand new markers instead of tossing in a couple I already owned.  You could make this an entire gift basket, and actually I think it would be a really sweet basket to give to a newly engaged couple, as a wedding gift, or for an anniversary.  Find a nice picnic basket and fill it with everything they & glasses; cheese, meat, and crackers; a nice picnic blanket; the book and pens; chocolate.  Maybe even add a picture from when they first met, their wedding day (for an anniversary gift), or special things that remind them of their relationship.  

I think the only way to make this date cheaper than what I did is to DIY a book of your own.  It actually might be fun to customize your own "All About Us".  If you search "conversation starters" or "relationship questions" on Google, you will get a TON of ideas.  There's also this great blog floating around Pinterest with ideas.  And do ya'll remember those silly surveys we used to fill out ALL THE TIME in the early 2000's on e-mail and forward to our friends?  See what I mean?  There are plenty of ways to create your own book if you don't want to shell out the cash for a published copy.  The only real disadvantage is that if you're making it for a spouse or significant other, you'd already know the questions so the element of surprise and actually thinking out the question together would be taken away.  Also...if you didn't want to spend the time researching and finding just the right kinds of questions, you could instead opt to give a journal or notebook and just plan to write your love story.  You could take turns telling and recording moments of your relationship in your journal.  You could talk about dreams/hopes/plans for the future.  How romantic?!?!  And what a great keepsake for your marriage and eventually your kiddos to have?  

I can't believe I'm saying this now, but that is date number 13 of 13!  We made it a WHOLE YEAR!  I hope you guys have enjoyed it as much as I have and got some great ideas for yourself or for gifting to others.  I plan to do one more post to walk you through how I planned it all and pulled it together.  

My little sister's anniversary is in just over a week.  I can't believe she's been married almost a year!

But Larry has fit right in with our family.  

Also...I'm secretly planning a new year-long gift.  Stay tuned to find out what it is!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Photo A Day (June)

One of my favorite things I've come across on Pinterest in the past year that I've been excited about trying are the "photo a day" challenges.  I'm a girl that LOVES lists.  And as you know, I love anything that gives me the motivation and opportunity to be creative.  So, in June, I finally decided it was time.  It was tough to keep up once I was working full time (and with a broken cell phone camera), but I was able to complete all 30 days for June.  The list that I found most people followed was from fatmumslim.  I loved it so much, I wanted to share it with my blog friends.  Here's the list she put up for June:

And here are my photos:

You can follow my photo a day and/or see the full pictures on my Pinterest Photo.A.Day board.  After taking my pics, I edited them and added the text on PicMonkey, which I love because you don't have to go through signing in and individual user steps.  Just upload, edit, and save!

So, now that June is over it's time to start on July!  I've had a lot of fun with this, it's been a little challenging at times, and my hope is that it will help me grow into a better photographer.  If anything, I'm better about documenting my life through photos.  Why don't you join me??


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