Category Archives: Husband

Game of Love Basket {Valentine’s Day Gift Idea}

I promised last week that I’d have a few practical ways to get the kindness ball rolling in our marriages, so that’s what I had intended to do today.

And since I am far from the fountain of all marital wisdom, I had planned to share a few ideas from the book The Love Dare–which I had picked up at our local Christian bookstore when I was there about a month back, scouting out some homeschooling materials.

Problem was, it had disappeared. I finally found it in my husband’s office, but when I tried to take it downstairs, he snatched it back. I gave him “the look” and said, “Hey, Mister, I bought that for me.”

He started to hand it back to me, then hesitated and said with a sheepish expression: “But I’m in the middle of it.”

Well, as you can imagine, I dropped it like a hot poker. Sharing marriage tips with you guys is great and all, but ain’t no way I’m going to get in the way of my husband’s reading a book on the subject. I love y’all. But…ain’t no way.

ANYhoo, in lieu of tips from the experts, I thought I’d share what I’m getting Shaun for Valentine’s Day, just in case–like me–you sometimes struggle to come up with a meaningful and specific gift that you know your hubby will love.

This is basically a twist on the “Favorite Things” basket that I made him for Father’s Day a couple of years back.

This time, though, the theme is: Game Night.

Why? Because for the last several years, it just hasn’t been convenient or–let’s face it–worth the effort to go out for Valentine’s Day.

Sure, it’s fun to get all gussied up for a night on the town, but when you’ve got a newborn to feed, and every dress you try on is far from nursing-friendly, it feels a bit tedious. Even without a newborn, sometimes it’s just too much trouble to make reservations, find a babysitter, fight the traffic, pay the inflated prices for the “Valentine’s Specials,” and on and on.

So, we’ve had a lot of fun the last several years staying home and cooking a fancy meal together, love songs on repeat in the background. (This Ed Sheeran gem is, by far, our favorite right now).

This year, I thought it would be even more fun to jazz things up with a game night basket for Shaun. He loves board games, card games, word games–really any sort of competition. And so do I.

game of love

I was inspired by a trip to Marshall’s, where I scored that basket, the “Bulls and Cows” game, the wooden target game, and this (which wouldn’t come close to fitting in the basket)…


…for $35.

They had all of their “guy-themed” Christmas items on major clearance. Otherwise, even at Marshall’s prices, the Bingo set alone would have cost $50.


Of course, considering that it’s made of real wood and is really good-sized (hard to tell, but the metal ball tumbler is over a foot tall), I thought $20 was a steal!

All three of the games I bought were two-player-friendly, and I made sure to include lots of his favorite snacks from our local Whole Foods-esque grocery store.


Pictured here: Virgil’s Black Cherry Cream Soda, Murray’s Ginger Snaps, Deep River Olive Oil and Rosemary Kettle Chips, Kettle Popcorn, and–to top it all off–Marish English Toffee Caramels (pretty much THE BEST chocolate/toffee/carame I’ve ever tasted).

Of course, these are all tailored to Shaun’s specific tastes, but I can picture all kinds of creative options like a poker-themed basket with lots of–ahem–chips. Or, if you want to get super-creative, a carnival-themed basket complete with water pistols, bean bags, targets, and cotton candy.

Even if your husband isn’t all that into games, I bet he can be persuaded for at least one night by adding the all important word “strip” to the description of any game (okay, maybe not Monopoly, unless he’s got the patience of a saint).

After all, it IS Valentine’s Day.

Just sayin’. 😉

What about you guys? Any big plans for V-day?

Do you struggle to come up with great Valentine’s gifts? Or do you guys skip the gift exchange?

Like what you read? Like M is for Mama on facebook (pretty please?):

5 Things Thursday: V-day

Here’s what Valentine’s Day looks like around here:


This guy has been out of town since Sunday, but I get him back this afternoon.


I swiped this shot from Instagram.

{I think Della will be pretty happy to see him too; every morning this week, she’s asked me “where Daddy?” as soon as she wakes up}.


This is the outfit I landed on in my attempt to “Dress My Love” for my husband.


  • Those jeans that I mentioned yesterday that he loves so much.
  • A simple striped top from my J. Crew haul.
  • A monogrammed circle pendant necklace that I asked for as my gift for Valentine’s Day (I got to open it early since I already knew what it was when it came in the mail).
  • Fun, floral flats (say that five times fast)…because he kind of, actually likes my funky accessories when I keep them to a minimum
  • Bobby pins to pull the sides of my hair back from my face and leave the rest down. It’s his favorite hairstyle (I think, because it makes me look young and girlish), and he always notices when I wear it this way.


I’m making him a repeat of his birthday dinner as a surprise.  He’s been talking about that dinner for weeks now.


Horseradish crusted filet mignon, rosemary garlic roasted veggies, and four cheese toast.


We’ll probably also partake of some of this:


Chocolate Chip Heath Cookies + Symphony Bars = two of our faves. (I’ll share the cookie recipe soon).


I imagine we’ll listen to this song at some point today.

We’ve never really had something we call “our song,” but if we did, this would be it.

Not only is the melody achingly beautiful (when the choir joins in on the chorus at the end, I get goose bumps), but in a sea of love songs that talk about how the lovers feel about each other or about how “it’s so wrong, it’s right” (*gag*), the words to the chorus stand out:

I won’t give up on us

Even if the skies get rough

I’m giving you all my love

I’m still looking up


How’s your V-day shaping up?

Like what you read? Like M is for Mama on facebook (pretty please?):