Friday, June 23, 2017

Revive Date Night with a Couple's Getaway

This month has been all about #ReviveDateNight and I have loved sharing and learning together about ways to get out of date night ruts and reconnect with your spouse. 

For me, the number one sure fire way to rekindle that spark in marriage and get out of a major rut is to have a little get away, just the two of us. It can be a little stay cation, or a full blown 5 day trip away. The key is that you just need to leave behind all distractions (kiddos included... hard as that can be), and devote some time to just each other. 

Last week, we were able to make a trip to Seattle and it was absolutely perfect. It was right around our anniversary, so we made it an anniversary trip. I'll be sharing more specifics of the trip over the next two weeks, but for today I just wanted to share some pictures from the trip along with reasons why I think a couples get away is so important. 


The main hesitation I hear about making a little getaway happen is finances. You'd rather spend the money on a family vacation or you feel guilty spending it on yourself. I'm here to tell you that it's worth the investment and it doesn't have to be extravagant (though there's nothing wrong if it is). And I definitely don't think a couple's getaway should replace your family vacation. It's totally possible to prioritize both. 


So let's start with the why of why I think it's important to budget this in. At home, we get caught up in the day to day grind of things. Are conversations are mostly centered around who's going to pick up the dry cleaning, what time we need to leave to make it to the work party, how many watermelons I need to buy to the neighborhood service project, etc. Even during date night we'll be guilty of talking "business" more than anything. But if you do something out of the ordinary and get out of that routine, you'll find that other conversations will flow more easily. Goals and dreams. Hopes for the future. Silly and romantic conversations. You'll talk to each other like you did while you were dating. 

Now, I'm not saying you should just throw caution to the wind and make a getaway happen if it's not in the budget. Be wise and do what you can. If you can't make a few nights away happen, find a local hotel in your own city.  If that's even too much, pitch a tent in your own back yard. Just do something that will break the routine and let you focus on your spouse again. 

And now, for what I think is the even more difficult issue of leaving kids behind. I had SUCH a hard time leaving my little one this time around. I mean, super hard. I actually cried. A few times. And by the end of the trip, Brad and I were both super ready to all be back together again. But I still think it was so good for us to take the time and get away. To make it a little easier on you and the kiddos, here are some tips: 
 - Leave some fun things for the kids to do behind when you go. 
 - FaceTime with them as much as you want during the day. 
 - If you'll be gone multiple days, consider switching things up for them around the half way point. Our little gal stayed with my mom for the first two days and my in laws for the second two days. It helped her a lot to have a change of scenery, new toys, and new cousins to help her not be sad. 
 - Send a post card home.
 - Do something extra fun when you get home. 
As much as parenting is a full time job and a major responsibility, I believe that nurturing your marriage is just as important. We were able to focus on just the two of us for a few days and rekindle the love we share. And you know what? We were even better parents when we got home. 




After our little getaways, Date Nights improve, our conversations improve, and our relationship is even better than before. I'd say that's worth it. 

So what do you think? Is a couple's getaway worth it to you?


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

6.21.13: A Unique Engraved Anniversary Gift

Tomorrow will mark 4 years of marriage for me and Brad. In some ways, it's hard to believe that we've been married that long, but in other ways (good ways), it feels like we have been together forever. And I suppose that in some ways, we have.

Darby Elizabeth Photography

Generally for our anniversaries, we swap the traditional gifts. For the first (paper) anniversary, I made a Love Notes journal that we pass back and forth. The second (cotton), I made a sock bouquet (Brad is obsessed with argyle socks). For the third (leather), I bought a leather journal. I'll be sharing this year's traditional gifts later in the week, but I also wanted to do something a little extra for Brad this year. It's been a bit of a crazy year, and I wanted something meaningful and useful.
A big thanks to Jord for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.


I learned a few months back that Jord Wood Watches is now offering engraving on the backs of their watch faces. And I've been wanting one for Brad ever since. I love how meaningful something as simple as engraving can be. I chose the watch I wanted quickly and without much trouble. I knew that I wanted something in a dark wood and with a round face, so that was no trouble at all. I went with the Hyde in walnut and black and I am absolutely in love.

 http://www.jordwatches.com/#twobestfriendsinlove

 http://www.jordwatches.com/#twobestfriendsinlove

I had a much more difficult time choosing what to have engraved on the back. I knew that I wanted it to reflect our marriage. I considered a few words from our song. I considered something like "love you forever." I even thought of doing something more punny... "love for all time." But eventually, I settled on something very simple. Our wedding date.

 http://www.jordwatches.com/#twobestfriendsinlove

I'm in love with how the engraving turned out. I love that it's a constant reminder for Brad of the day that started it all. To me, our wedding date is a symbol of choosing each other. It's the day we made sacred promises or vows to always love and care for each other. It's the day that we committed to give our whole selves to another person--the person. The day that we said it's forever.

Which is why I'm so pleased with this unique gift for Brad. It says so much while saying so little. It's just what I had hoped it would be. So if you're in the market for a unique gift, make sure to check out Jord Wood Watches. They have amazing selections of both men's watches and women's watches that will be sure to impress. And the option to engrave makes these wood watches an even more special gift.

Brad loves his watch and I was so glad that it was ready to go earlier than I had anticipated! I was able to give it to him on our Seattle getaway, which made for the perfect surprise!



 http://www.jordwatches.com/#twobestfriendsinlove


Jord is generously offering one of you lucky readers a $100 credit to their store! You can enter to win HERE, and everyone who enters will receive a $25 off code, just for entering. The giveaway will close July 9, 2017 at 11:59pm. Both the $100 and the $25 codes will expire on October 29, 2017.

 http://www.jordwatches.com/#twobestfriendsinlove


Do you like to give meaningful anniversary gifts? Do you follow the traditional gifts each year? 


Luxury Wooden Watch

Friday, June 16, 2017

How To Plan a Color Theme Date Night

One of my favorite ways to get out of a date night rut is to have a themed date. Themed dates can be anything you want them to be: choose a letter of the alphabet and plan as many activities as you can that start with that letter, choose a country and make food from that region while listening to traditional music and following with an activity based on the culture, or choose a genre of music and create a date around that theme. 

The current theme date I'm planning is a color date! This one definitely stretched me, but when Justine told me that she was planning a color date, I was excited to jump on board. I decided to plan my date around the color blue. 



Of course, the date includes blue outfits. I feel like this is just an absolute must. 

Next, some blue flowers were practically required. I love blue flowers! Brad bought me some awhile back, and I had never seen anything like them before. 


From there, we will be headed to dinner at the Blue Iguana. It's a tasty Mexican Food joint, that we just can't say no to!


If you don't have a conveniently named restaurant near you, you could cook a meal at home and eat on blue plates. Either buy a cheap pack of disposable plates from a party store (seriously, they have every color), or buy nicer plates from the dollar store. If you don't want to buy blue plates, go with a simple blue table cloth! 

Dessert was a more difficult decision. I've settled on vanilla Blue Bell Ice Cream topped with fresh Blueberries! But making blue koolaid slushes was also very tempting. 


We're very excited about our blue date tonight! Grab yourself some blue shirts and join us! 
And make sure to visit Justine and Amberly today to see how they are helping you #ReviveDateNight


Friday, June 9, 2017

Revive Date Night with a Date Night Bucket List

You guys, I'm going to be fully honest. We have totally been in a date night rut recently. We've been making it happen, but we don't plan ahead and we often end up doing the same thing over and over... so we needed to make a change.


So for Date Night last week, we sat down and made a Date Night bucket list. It was a little hard at first... I told you, we're in a rut. We had a hard time coming up with some good ideas at first. But once we got some ideas flowing, we were able to come up with a pretty great list. I'm really excited about it too! We typed it up nicely and we're going to print it out and leave it posted on the fridge so that we can refer back to it easily and make sure that we are making the activities happen. This way, even if we haven't planned ahead well, we have some great ideas to choose from!

Here's a sampling of our Bucket List:

  • Make Homemade Ice Cream
  • See a Musical
  • Visit Fountain Hills
  • Go to a You-Pick Orange Grove
  • Take a Gondola Ride
  • Take a Couples Cooking Class
  • Visit a Museum
  • Do an Escape the Room
  • Have a Picnic and Make Kites
  • Host a Murder Mystery Party
  • Rent a Tandem Bike
  • Go On A Hike
  • Ride a Trolley in Old Town Scottsdale
I think making a bucket list was the best thing that we could have done for getting out of our rut. It made us think of different things that we could do rather than takeout and a DVD. Not that there's anything wrong with that every now and again, but let me tell you, it was getting pretty old... 

If you want to make your own Date Night Bucket List, here's a cute free printable that you can use!

Click HERE to Download



What do you do to get out of your date night ruts?

And don't forget to sign up for our Date Box Swap. Sign Ups close on Wednesday. And make sure to check out what Justine and Amberly have to say about reviving date night and remember to use #ReviveDateNight so we can follow along with your date ideas on Instagram! 


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Date Box Swap

Hello lovelies! I hope you are all enjoying the beginnings of your summers and that you have plans to make all sorts of amazing memories. I wish for all of us that some of those memories include some awesome date nights! And to help with that desire, I'm excited to announce a new box swap that will help get you out of a date night rut, keep your date night mojo going, or just be a whole lot of fun for you and your spouse! Mainly, I think this is a perfect swap for our #ReviveDateNight series, because we will be swapping so many great date night ideas.

Date Box Swap

If you've never before participated in a box swap, let me explain the generals quickly before delving into the specifics of this box swap. You will be assigned a partner to get to know via email over the course of a month. At the end of that month, you will each mail each other a box of goodies. Here are the specifics on how this swap will work. After reading the specifics, if you can commit to participating fully, you can sign up to join the swap using the google form linked to at the end of this post. You do not have to blog to participate in this swap.

For the Date Box Swap, you will:

  • Be assigned a fellow wifey pen pal. You will receive an email from me with your partner's information on or before June 17th
  • Email your partner at least three times during the duration of the swap to get to know her. I recommend once a week or more. 
  • Mail your partner a Date Night In A Box valued between $20 and $35 (before shipping) that will arrive on or before August 4th. The sky is the limit on what you might send. The idea is to help each other come up with new and exciting date ideas. You might send a 2 player game that you and your husband adore. You might send all of the fixings to make gourmet s'mores at home while watching a favorite movie. You might send gift cards and some Dating Divas products. Seriously... these boxes can be anything. Just something that a hubby and wife can do together for their date night that you think your swap partner will love. 
  • Use #DateBoxSwap on social media if you are talking about the swap or posting images of your box so that we can all get ideas from each other. Tag @twobestfriendsinloveblog so that I can see all the fun you're having
  • If you blog, come back here and leave your Date Box Swap post in our link up on August 18th. If you don't blog, just come back and see all the fun goodies that everyone received. 
  • Have so much fun meeting a new wifey friend and helping each other get new ideas for date night!

If you think that this is the perfect swap for you and can commit to all of the requirements, come join us! To sign up for the Date Box Swap, please fill out this form HERE. Please only sign up if you can for sure send your partner frequent emails and mail her a date box by August 4th. Sign ups are open 6/7/17 through 6/14/17 and you will receive an email with your partner's info no later than June 17th.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Revive Date Night: 5 Tricks to Start Dating Your Spouse Again

When is the last time you and your spouse had a date? And how frequently do you make date night happen? Once a week? Once a month? Can you even remember? And if you are consistent with date night, do you ever feel like you're in a rut of doing the same thing over and over? That's the trouble we seem to have with date night. We're fully committed to making it happen every week, but we can get caught doing the same thing week after week. Usually these ruts consist of Take-Out and Netflix. And every now and again, there is nothing wrong with that. But when we do it week after week, it feels less and less like date night.



So if you're in a date night funk, haven't had a date night in months, or just need to switch things up a little bit, this post is for you! Today I am sharing 5 ideas to get back on the horse and really start dating your spouse again. Basically, these are things that are meant to jump start your dating routine by changing things up a bit.

1. Plan a Double Date.
This month I will be sharing some of our favorite double and group dates. I think that these are one of the best ways to get out of the date night funk. If you invite others and plan ahead, the date night will most definitely happen and you will do something outside of your norm. Chances are, you will also dress up and look your best, which always adds a necessary spark to date night.

2. Ask Your Spouse Out On A Date.
One of the ruts that we sometimes get into is just understanding that date night happens every Friday and not planning very well. So many times it will be Friday morning and one of us will ask "did you have anything planned for date night, or should I figure something out?" And then we will usually end up watching a movie after the little one goes down. While there is nothing wrong with this, it will lead to a date night rut if we do it over and over.

Now think back to before marriage, while you were dating. You would take turns planning out great dates where each of you would have a great time, you could reconnect, and maybe even impress each other a little bit. You would ask the other in advance to make sure they were free. For some dates, you even put a ton of effort into the asking... making a puzzle or game of it. So go back to those days. Take turns and each plan an extra special date. Ask ahead of time in a special way. Make it a bit of a surprise so that you can still give your spouse those gilts of excitement and butterflies.

3. Do Something A Little Crazy.
Doing something completely out of the ordinary will help you to get out of a date night rut. Spend a little more than you might usually, or nothing at all. The cost doesn't matter at all. What matters is that you make is something completely different. Go indoor skydiving. Take a 30 mile bike ride. Hike to a hidden water fall. Do an Escape the Room experience. Try a ropes course. Make a picnic and eat it on the roof. Just do something that will get you excited and create a change.

4. Buy Tickets In Advance.
There is something special about being able to look forward to an event together. For Christmas, we both bought the other tickets to musicals, and looked forward to them for months. Buy tickets to a sporting event, a show, a concert... even just a movie for the next weekend. Just buy them ahead of time so that you can look forward to something together. It also makes date night more exciting when you know you already have something lined up.

5. Create a Date Night Bucket List.
One of the easiest date night ruts to fall into is just simply not knowing what to do. You fall into a routine and do the same thing (read: Netflix) over and over. This seems to be an especial problem when you don't plan ahead and just fall back on your old stand-by. Enter the Date Night Bucket List. Making the list can become a date night on its own. Sit down together and come up with ideas of date activities that you would each like to do. Then when a weekend comes around when you don't have a plan for what to do, you can pull out your bucket list and choose something without any trouble.


I'm especially excited to tell you that I've teamed up with two of my favorite bloggers for a blog series this month all about Reviving Date Night. Justine, from Little Dove, Amberly from A Prioritized Marriage , and I are on a mission to help couples get out of date night ruts and really start to date each other again. Every Friday in June we will be posting ideas on how to revive date night. And make sure to follow along on Instagram where we will {spoiler alert} be hosting an amazing Date Night Giveaway along with even more ideas. We would also love to hear all of your ideas! Make sure to use #ReviveDateNight so that we can learn from each other and really bring back date night this month! Show us how you overcome obstacles like busy schedules, tight finances, kiddos, or anything else to make date night happen!




Friday, May 26, 2017

Baby Number Two

Pregnancy Announcement

Excited doesn't even begin to express how we feel about a second little one joining our family in November. We are really looking forward to meeting this new little person and watching our family grow.

Kymri seems to be super excited, though I'm not certain that she fully understands. She loves telling people that she's going to be a big sister and that Mommy has a baby in her belly, but I can't decide if she really knows what those two things mean. She walks around talking about being a big sister and sometimes she will come up and rub my belly and say "I love your baby, mommy!" It's definitely heart warming and I just love it. I'm hoping that we can prepare her well for when the big day does come. She sure does love having Mommy and Daddy's full attention, so I'm sure that this will take some getting used to, but I have also seen how much she loves seeing babies at church, at the store, etc. so I'm hoping that she will take it in stride and slip easily into her new big sister role. But even if it takes some getting used to, I know this little girl is going to be the best big sister there ever was.

Pregnancy Announcement.



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