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February 24, 2011

Date Night Ideas

The first thing that pops into my head at the mention of “date night” is a baby sitter (or house sitter, in our case, after the girlies are in bed), wearing some grown-up clothes (i.e. changing out of my yoga pants), and a nice dinner out.

Sure, that may be an “ideal” date night, but I discovered within the last year that’s not the only way to have one.

Although we didn’t call them such at the time, Hubby and I started having date nights at home back during football season. Whereas we missed most of Alabama’s games in 2009, when the girls were infants, we were more organized this past season. We recorded the games to watch in their entirety after the girls were sleeping soundly upstairs.

Of course that meant I had to limit my online exposure during the day, lest I accidentally see a comment on Facebook that would clue me in to the outcome of the game. Oh, and if you called our house during the day, I would say, “If you know the score of the Alabama game, please don’t say anything – we’re taping it!”…before I even said “hello”.

Anyhoo, for each of the games we taped, I spent the days ahead preparing our game day feast.

Although I generally have a strong aversion to the mere mention of the word “Velveeta” (or more generically, "processed cheese spread"), I put my heebie-jeebies aside and made traditional Rotel dip, served with chips and homemade hot wings, for the season opener, for example.

One game we did a Mexican theme with 9-layer bean dip, black bean chili, and homemade guacamole. One week we opted for a more "sophisticated” menu, featuring stuffed mushrooms and bleu cheese-bacon dip.

We would dress in our crimson finest and [quietly] cheer on the Tide [albeit on a six-hour delay].

Those were fun nights…while we weren’t tailgating on the Quad and cheering on the Tide with 100,000 of our closest friends, we were still doing something we’d always loved to do. We were enjoying one of our long-favorite pastimes, and we were enjoying each other.

And as much fun as we had on those nights, another big part of the fun was the planning and the anticipation of it in the days leading up to our “date”.

I love reading about Megan’s Date Night Challenges. Taking some inspiration from her and a handful of others, here are some more at-home date night ideas that I compiled for our most recent Mothers of Multiples meeting…

Throwback night…what did you do for fun before kiddos? New Orleans was “our place”…so we might whip up some jambalaya and some bread pudding to a soundtrack of zydeco music, and look through our picture album after dinner

Make S’mores and set up “camp” on the living room floor.

Create a picnic on the back porch, complete with a blanket and basket.

Game night! Up the ante by saying the loser has to give the winner a back massage, or let him/her sleep in the following morning!

Turn off the TV, put on some music, and linger over a candlelit dinner (even if it’s not fancy). Most of us don’t realize how quickly we have to eat most of our meals while we’re juggling the needs of our kiddos!

Enjoy breakfast in bed (for supper). You may not be able to swing B-in-B in the mornings, but eggs and bacon and pancakes (and maybe a mimosa) taste pretty good any time of day!

Rent a movie, pop some buttery popcorn, and indulge in your favorite movie candy.

Set up a super-duper ice cream sundae station (and don’t forget the whipped cream!).

Test out some aphrodisiac foods…whether they “work” or not, you can have fun trying them out!

You can even do these on a budget, too. And don’t let a $10 limit cramp your style…let it inspire you to be creative. For me, the planning (and the anticipation) is half the fun!

9 comments:

christinabaglivitinglof.com said...

Great ideas! Yes, traditional dating is VERY expensive. Here's another idea (but some of you may have to wait until your kids start school): tell your boss you have a dentist appt first thing in the morning then spend that hour with your husband.

Cuz I'm the mama! said...

I LOVE this post! The hubs and I have started "dating" at home, too. And, I actually really like it b/c I am so tired at night and often don't feel like going out. Don't get me wrong, once in awhile I still do want to do that, but for this stage in our life this works well. The girls go to bed at 7 and then we have time to date. It cuts out the babysitter cost, cost of going out and gets me in bed by 10. :0)

Twingle Mommy said...

My husband and I date at home too. Every Friday night we put the kids to bed and have a date. We eat dinner as a couple now once a week. It's wonderful eating without cutting up food and picking up sippy cups off the floor a dozen times.

Marcia (123 blog) said...

I call it date night on the couch!

It's usually supper together and us cuddling while we watch a romantic movie :)

Andrea said...

I love these ideas....thanks for sharing! Ithink is was so neat that you 2 did that for football season! So very special! It just takes the little things! That is what counts!

Barbara Manatee said...

what a fun post! When the twins were younger, we always waited to eat until after they were in bed. Now, we usually eat dinner as a family but once in a while, we'll wait until they're all in bed and make a nicer dinner (steaks or seafood) and have some wine and take our time eating...always a nice treat!

Rebecca said...

I love Megan's date nights too...Husband would never let me take pictures, but good for her husband!

I love your ideas for the Alabama games...that is awesome! You also made me hungry for football food...at 7:00 AM. Thanks for that!

reanbean said...

In December (2 years and 9 months after Tiny and Buba were born) we finally both agreed that date time is a necessity. I think the reason we put it off for so long was our thinking that we had to have a date at night. We're both tired at the end of the long days, and the set up of our house doesn't make it ideal to have a sitter at night once the kids are in bed. So we've been doing breakfast dates and early dinner dates and sometimes just out and about by ourselves dates. I always look forward to T and me time no matter when it is or what we have planned. And the kids have loved every sitter we've had so far (a total of 4). They don't even care that we're leaving without them (a worry of mine and another reason why we put off couples time for so long)! It's easy to say now, but we totally should have started this sooner.

strongblonde said...

i love reading her date nights, too. thanks for a few more ideas :)

also! you're the second person i know with the name mandy!! (not shortened). i remember my childhood friend always having to correct everyone!!