Date night? What's date night? Between the mountains of laundry, G.I. Joe's work schedule, carting E to school, and adding a new member to our ranks, date night seems to be a thing of the past. Don't get me wrong- I love my husband, he is my absolute best friend and my favorite person in the world to spend time with, but as a young married couple, sometimes the "making time" part is the hardest. I craved a way to add date night back in to our busy married life. I needed options that were:
(1) pre-planned: NO MORE "what do you want to do?""I don't know, what about you?" discussions!
(2) kid friendly: as a military family, babysitters are limited. Often E needs to come along.
(3) included at home options: Once the new baby is here, at home dates will be our "go-to" dates for a while.
(4) low cost or no cost: we're busy buying things for baby and need our disposable income for tiny necessities!
Finally I found a solution! I was super excited to find a way to date my husband again, while abiding by my grown-up dating rules!
My solution? Twelve, ready made date nights in a bag! These little gems are convenient, portable, and a great way to sneak in a little quality time with the one you love. My goal was to spend at least one night a month devoting time to dating one another again, hence the twelve bags. It was so much fun brainstorming ideas and even more fun spending quality time with my guy! I can't wait to share 4 of our favorite date night bags with you!
Date Night #1: Old-school Game Night
G.I. Joe and I are the proud owners of a "vintage" Nintendo! We love this console and playing games that we grew up mastering. To say that we are a little competitive is a huge understatement. I decided to combine our love for this game system with our love for one another and the result was our first at home date night! I had so much fun gathering things for this date night bag. I was able to pick up some "vintage" candy at our local Dollar Tree including Pop-Rocks, candy filled wax bottles, and Smarties (if you remember from an earlier post, G.I. Joe is a sugar FIEND!). I decided to label the bag with a cute and flirty description and some clip art from our favorite childhood game! The outside of the bag reads:
"Time to embrace the nerds within!!!! It's time to get our Old School game on! Tonight you will enjoy old school candy, and getting your butt kicked at some classic Mario fun!!! Here's the challenge though, NO level warping! Whoever gets the farthest before meeting their demise wins eternal bragging rights, and maybe a special treat at the end ; )"
This date is perfect for after E has gone to bed on a night that we have some down time together! I can't wait to smear him with my mad Mario skills!!!
Date Night #2: Light's Out!
Like many people from our generation, we are slightly addicted to technology. Even in our spare time we are often competing with phones, TV, iPads, or the xbox for attention! I decided to create a "Light's Out" date night. The thought behind this date night was to recapture the feverish excitement that came when we were little and the power went out. I picked up some classic games at the Dollar Tree ( really, I should own stock) like Checkers, Old Maid, Crazy 8's, and Go Fish. I also threw in a couple packs of glow sticks for fun! Just as before, I created a little description of the date on the outside of the bag. This one reads:
"Let's spend the evening pretending the power's out! No electronics; no iPods, iPads, no cell phones, video game consoles, and no lights!!! Time to enjoy fun with glow sticks, candles, card games, and anything else we might think of to occupy our time in the dark!"
I can't wait to hang out with my hubby, no interruptions, playing games, and enjoying each other's company in the comfort of our own home! This date is sure to be one of my favorites!
Date Night #3: I Scream for Ice Cream
I am a Food Network junkie. I'm basically obsessed! So the inspiration for this date came after watching countless episodes of "Chopped" and "Iron Chef!" I decided our third date would be an ice cream sundae challenge! Yum! For this date I simply picked up some cute sprinkles and a new ice cream scoop from, you guessed it, the Dollar Tree : ) By creating a few simple rules this date went from ordinary to extraordinary! This date is yet another at home date that would be fun to tackle one evening after E has settled in for the night or even fun to include him in! The bag for this date night reads:
"Time to create our own delicious frozen creations! Using only the items we have in hand, create a one of a kind ice-cream sundae! Your recipe must include: one wacky/non-traditional topping, one traditional ice cream topping, and one cooked ingredient. Afterwards, let's take turns sampling each other's wacky and wonderful treats."
Although I must admit I am a little scared to sample G.I. Joe's creation, I cannot wait to spend time competing and creating sweet treats and sweet memories together!
Date Night #4: Drive-in Movie Night
I love the idea of a drive in movie! The only problem is that drive in movie theaters are few and far far between! So I decided to come up with a drive in date option that we could use right in our own back yard, take down to our local park, or try out a new destination. This is a simple, inexpensive date idea that will make a great memory for your entire family! In the bag I simply included some movie time snacks and an iTunes gift card! The idea is that we'll pack a picnic, bring along our snacks, and iPad and enjoy a movie. See, with the iTunes gift card I plan on purchasing a family friendly movie for download, making it ours to own even when wifi is not available! Yay for a DIY mobile movie theater!
I hope these date night bags have inspired you to find ways to enjoy your significant other even in a world full of laundry and responsibility! Enjoy brainstorming ideas together or surprise your loved one with a care package full of date night ideas like I did for G.I. Joe. The date in a bag options are limitless and the memories you'll make together or as a family are absolutely priceless! I hope you had a productive day and found some time to make it on a Monday!