Hubs complains to me a lot that we don't go on enough dates. And he's right. We have only been on a couple of dates this past year. It is mostly my fault because I don't like the idea of getting a babysitter. I just don't feel like I can trust anyone with my kids. Unfortunately we don't live in the same state as any of the grandparents and to top it off, I am still exclusively breastfeeding little brother which makes it hard to leave him. But it's time for me to let go of my anxieties and get back to some much needed alone time with my husband!
So for Valentine's Day this year I created a year of dates, one for each month. I saw this idea over at Find Joy In the Journey and ironically it looks like her and her husband live in Portland, OR as well :o)
Each of the 12 envelopes holds a note that explains the date and some include gift cards or small gifts to use on the date. I didn't spend a lot on the gift cards, just enough so that we are committed!
1. January: Nothing better than a cup of coffee and good book on a cold January day with the one you love. On this date we will go to Starbucks and then head over to a really neat bookstore unique to Portland called Powell's Books. I included a $5 Starbucks gift card.
2. February: This is the month that we will start with since this gift is for Valentine's Day. And because the month is already half over, I thought I would make it easy have an at home On Demand movie date night. I included a bag of microwave popcorn and a king size twix bar. AND I specifically wrote that there will be "NO iPhones, iPads, Facebook, Words with Friends, crafting, crocheting, laptops, or blogging allowed!"
3. March: Portland also has a really neat farmers market called Saturday Market that runs from March 3-Dec 24. We have lived here for over a year and only been there one time and of course our experience was chaotic because we had both boys in strollers. So on this date we will be stroller-free and take our time enjoying the food, crafts and waterfront.
4. April: This month will be a shopping date! I collected a couple of Visa gift cards we had laying around the house (each probably have less than $10 on them) and decided that we will enjoy a walk around our favorite outdoor mall and treat ourselves to some retail therapy without being rushed!
5. May: My hubby enjoys a pedicure just as much as i do. Especially when it includes a foot massage and a paraffin wax treatment! On this date we are going to get our feet ready for sandal season with a couples spa pedicure. I included a gift card to the nail salon and pair of disposable flip flops.
6. June: There are tennis courts 2 blocks down the street from our house. We drive by them everyday and reminisce about the times we used to play tennis together when were dating. So on this date we are going to dust off our tennis rackets and play a game! I included an Adidas workout shirt I found for $10 at Nordstrom Rack.
7. July: This is the big one! And it needed no explanation. It is a gift card to one of our favorite restaurants: Benihana. I am looking forward to going there without the kids in tow and take our time to eat!
8. August: Last year we purchased a membership to the Zoo which includes FREE zoo summer concerts. We never took advantage of this perk last year so this year we will choose a concert when the event calendar is available. And nothing beats FREE!
9. September: Both of us enjoy a glass of wine so what better than a wine tasting date! There is a great winery very close to our house that is the perfect place for a date. They also have a bistro so we can enjoy a nice dinner as well.
10. October: Before we had kids we would go to the movies all the time. Usually at least two in a weekend! But times have changed and we haven't seen a movie in a theater in very long time. This is the one thing both of us really miss about our days without kids. So I purchased a fandango gift certificate online and we are going to the movies!
11. November: We were introduced to a yummy greasy spoon breakfast spot when we first moved here. We talk about going back but never seem to have the chance. It is one of those places where you have to get there when they open and wait in line. Kids and waiting in line do not coincide. One morning (maybe when Grandma and Grandpa are visiting) we will leave the kids in bed and go on a breakfast date!
12. December: December is always a hectic time. With the holidays and possibility of bad weather conditions, I thought this would be a good month to have another home date complete with pajamas, slippers, chinese food and a game of scrabble!
I hope this inspires some of you to plan your own unique dates with your spouse. This would also make a wonderful gift for an anniversary or birthday. Not all gifts need to be spendy. Try searching online for free activities in your city. Have fun re-connecting with the one you love!