Let's Get Sentimental + Mushy (A Cheesy Free Valentine's Resource for Couples)

When Josh and I started dating in 2007, it was during the dark ages before smart phones and easy texting were a thing. Facebook was still an internet baby and Instagram didn’t exist. And since I was living in Minnesota and he was in Texas, we communicated via lengthy, late night chats and long, sappy love letters. When we had the chance to hang out in person (which wasn’t often during our long-distance dating relationship), we smooched at red lights (and told ourselves we always would) and danced to Michael Buble in the candlelight after a fancy dinner.

And somewhere between 2007 and 2019, much that romance got buried under years of finishing school, three babies, late-night feedings, mounds of diapers, the daily grind, yoga pants, and paying bills.

Maybe you can relate?

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So, a few years ago, I created this little resource to help spark some of those sappy, gushy feelings and reconnect with your spouse.

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These worksheets really are fun, gloriously cheesy, and definitely an easy way to reconnect. When Josh and I did them, I can honestly say that it rekindled all that lovey-dovey mushiness that often gets missed during every day life. We laughed (a lot!), stared at each other just a little more lovingly, and there may have been some kissing too ;)

And even though I am completely aware that relationships aren't always filled with heart doodles, oogly eyes, and chocolate, I do believe that every relationship can benefit from a little sappiness now and then. Right? I mean, you never know what a little cheesiness can lead too (wink wink)...

Plus, there’s this cute 8x10 print included too—I currently have it framed on my mantel :)

1 Corinthians 13

If you want to dig a little deeper, you can purchase a set of these conversation starters for couples to spark some deeper conversations. We’ve loved using them when we needed a little extra push to share our heart, dreams, challenges, and joys with one another :)

Have a good one, friends!

Nicole

Thanksgiving Snail Mail

Hey friends! While I wait for baby and then spend some extra time snuggling the new little one, I wanted to invite Kayla from Baby Devotions to share some fun ideas and activities to enjoy with your kids this holiday season. Be sure to visit her website or say hello to her on Instagram. She shares so many intentional and simple activities to do with your kids to teach them about Jesus, kindness, and the world around us :)

Thanksgiving cards

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and one of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions is sending thank you notes to some of our loved ones. This year I decided to mix up the tradition a little by making our own Thank You cards. My toddler loves Daniel Tiger, and I have found Daniel Tiger's “Thank You Day” episode has really helped her raps the concept of what the holiday is all about. In the episode, Daniel's family journeys to the enchanted garden where they hang their Thank You cards on the “Thank You Day” tree. So we decided to make our own “Thank You Day” trees for our Thank You cards. 

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What you need: 

Construction Paper

Black fine-tip marker

Ink pad 

What you do: 

  1. Fold the construction paper in half

  2. Using a black fine-tip marker, draw a bare tree trunk on the paper. This can be as fancy or simple as you want. If you have older children, let them draw the tree. 

  3. Then have your child dip their thumb in ink and then press it on the paper. These are the leaves. Repeat until there are several leaves on the tree. 

  4. Write a note of thanks inside and send it to a loved one. 

thanksgiving card

Variations:

The fun thing about this project is it can be used for all ages. For young toddlers and babies, you can simply help them print their thumb “leaves” and it becomes a sweet keepsake for grandparents that might receive the note. For older children, have them think of the person they are sending their note to. For each leaf they print, have them think of something they they appreciate about that person (i.e. taking them for ice cream, they're kind, playing catch with them, etc.)

Who might you send a thank you card to? What ways could you adapt this activity for your family? 

ps. Thanks for sharing Kayla! Snail mail really is so fun to send! If you are looking for another fun activity to do with your kiddos this season, check out the free gobbly cute turkeys and thanksgiving verse cards.

Exploring Nature (Free Printables!)

Nature Hunt

This spring we bought a vintage pop-up camper. She needed a *little* more work than we anticipated, but this weekend we'll take her on her maiden voyage (and hope she doesn't leak!). Pre-kids, we camped often and loved it. But this is our first camping trip with the kids--so I'm excited and a little nervous too!

With camping + nature on my mind, I thought it was time I shared another free resource with you guys. Whether you are exploring your backyard or in the thick of a wild forest, getting outside with your kids can be refreshing and fun!

nature hunt

Plus, exploring nature is one of the most natural ways to talk about God and His beautiful creation :) 

If you are enjoying learning about nature, be sure to check out this post and download a free set of cute craft/play dough mats.

Have a good one!

Nicole

Free Printables: Donut Worry Prayer Box

If you've read the shop story, you know that the idea of a giant donut printable was the idea that sparked the creating and designing for Color + Kindness. Originally, it was a giant poster of a donut with prayer and thanksgiving sprinkles. However, last year I revamped it to make it a little more "print at home" friendly--and I think it's just as fun :) 

Donut worry but pray prayer box

It's often easy to think that teaching our kids spiritual concepts should be button-up and serious (at least I certainly don't want to make the Bible or God seem silly). However, if using donuts to remind kids to "donut worry and pray and give thanks" helps them remember to go to Jesus when they are worried or afraid, then a little creativity and Bible learning can go hand-in-hand. 

Donut worry prayer box

These printables are super simple to print and use. We used watercolors, well, because clean up is the easiest ;) However, you could decorate your donuts with felt pieces, glitter, glitter glue, paint, markers, or other fun materials. The sprinkles are easy to cut out, but of course, you could also make your own with card stock or construction paper. 

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There's also a cute 8x10 print included too :) 

I hope you enjoy this kit as much as we did and also that it helps you teach your little ones (and remind yourself!) to go to God in prayer and thanksgiving when they are worried or anxious. 

Have a good one friends!

Nicole

Love Your Neighbor: Make a Paper House Town

It's time to share another resource retired from the shop. We've actually done this activity a few times because the boys really enjoy it--I love that they get out some creative energy and I can recycle boxes in a fun way ;) Plus, once their paper houses are finished, they can play cars and people in their little town. If you've got a large cardboard box or large paper laying around, you could also draw some streets, railroad tracks, parks, etc. 

paper house illustrations

I originally created this activity as a tool to talk with your kids about loving their neighbor. While you are making your paper neighborhood, ask your kids about how they can love their neighbor--next door and beyond. You never know--you may be bringing cookies to that sweet widow down the street later that afternoon ;) 

paper house illustrations

A few tips:

  • Open up cereal/snack boxes and make the inside the outside. I usually just use staples to make it back into a box shape.
  • I usually let the kids color first, then I cut everything out. We've used watercolor, markers, and crayons. 

Full disclosure: it does take a little time to cut out the windows, doors, signs, etc, but it's also an excuse to listen to your favorite podcast while you snip away :) 

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I hope that you enjoy making colorful paper houses with your kids. As always, I'd love to see if you do! Just use the hashtag #colorandkindness to share :)

Have a good one friends!

Nicole