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by Dee Dee

Ever get tired of the same old “How was your day?” question? The worst part is that it usually leads to an answer that’s about as tired as the question itself. Well, don’t worry you’re definitely not alone and I’ve just stumbled across the perfect, simple solution from The Dating Divas. They created these stacks and stacks of thought-provoking questions to draw out some much more stimulating and meaningful conversations.

These conversation starters have 250 prompts about intimacy, finances, quality time, romance, and family so if you make it through all of them, you’ll have hit all of the biggest ideas in marriage.

We decided on the ‘one a day’ approach and since the first time we’re really alone isn’t until we head to bed, we just have them divided up in our nightstands and we alternate nights. On my day, I’ll just choose a category and pull the top card from the deck. I read it aloud and then we chat about it. Sometimes it’s “easy” question and we share our thoughts for a few minutes but other times we actually have to stop and force ourselves to get to bed (we usually promise to think about it more and discuss over dinner the next day).

There have even been some questions on topics that we never would’ve thought to approach on our own. I think those are my favorites because afterwards we’re always so surprised we never talked about it before, and we usually have pretty similar thoughts on the matter too!

To keep everything organized and to make sure our cards aren’t spread throughout the nightstand (or even the entire house), it’s nice that they fit so perfectly in an Altoids tin. We keep all the cards in their little boxes, even the ones we’ve already discussed because you never know when your thoughts might change or something new might come to you. I’m a sucker for cute packaging, so I love the tins, but there are all kinds of ways to keep them organized – anything from a simple plastic baggie to a binder ring.

We’re pretty satisfied with our question a day routine but I do think it would be fun to use these conversation starters on a long road trip too. Having thoughtful conversation makes the drive seem a lot more purposeful and feel a lot less like a waste of time. We’re also lucky enough to see each other pretty much every night but I really think these would be fun to add to a nightly phone conversation if you’re in a long distance relationship!

So if you’re ready to open up those lines of communication the easy way and stop discussing only the basics of your spouse’s day, try some conversation starters today! I’m guessing you’ll be just as amazed as we were at the discussions these prompts encourage. Click here

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Fail-Proof Sunday Loaves

I remember every Sunday my great-grandma would bake bread. She would use these loaves for meals throughout the week and give any leftover crumbs to the chickens. Nothing went to waste!

The mark of any successful homesteader is the ability to make a delicious, hot loaf of bread. Here’s how you can make your own with homestead-friendly ingredients, like whey.

Granny Mary’s Sunday Bread

Ingredients:

3 cups whey (you can use water or milk, but your bread won’t be as fluffy)
8 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter
2 servings packages of active dry yeast
5 to 7 cups of unbleached white flour
Cornmeal

Directions:

In a mixer with the dough hook attachment, add all of your yeast.

Heat the whey to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the whey with the yeast. Cover the mixture with a towel for ten minutes, or until the yeast froths.

Melt the butter, sugar, and salt. Mix.

Add 4 cups of flour. Mix.

Add more flour in 1/4 cup increments. Do this until the dough is slightly sticky but doesn’t stick to your hands.

Increase the speed on your mixer to knead the dough. Knead for five minutes, until the dough is shiny.

Grease a separate bowl with oil. Put the kneaded dough into the bowl, cover with a wet dish towel, and let rise for one hour.

After the dough has risen, punch it two or three times.

Lay out the dough on a floured area and shape it. I like to do a round loaf and a plaited loaf.

Place the dough on a pan lined with cornmeal. Cover with a towel and let rise another hour.

After the bread has risen, add any embellishments or an egg wash, if you’d like.

Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 40 minutes. You’ll know the loaves are done when you knock on them and they sound hollow.


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