Here’s the deal- I love love. I love being in love, I love celebrating people I love, and I super love date nights. Rather fitting, February is the month of our wedding anniversary AND it’s Valentines Day… so we get in some great dates and special moments together this upcoming month. Paul is really good at dates and planning special nights for us, and I can hardly wait to see what he has up his sleeve this year.
Regardless of the month or situation, dates are so important to us year round, no matter how extravagant (or not so extravagant).
We do a date night every single week. It’s top priority, because we know how quickly we can become disconnected if we don’t keep up with them. More often than not lately, we have been doing date nights in. Budget life is the cool life, can I get an amen? But in all seriousness, I love date night in. I like knowing we are being wise with our money, and I like being creative. I used to get ashamed and frustrated from social media when I would see couples going out on these expensive dinner dates every Friday night, and we weren’t able to. (Just being real.) But, I genuinely am thankful for what we have, and am more aware than ever before of just how much we have. I am thankful for time, which we haven’t always had, and I am thankful for a growing wisdom with our money. Our date nights in usually consist of some kind of pasta, or homemade pizzas, a movie (likely to be You’ve Got Mail or How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days), board games, and wine.
The key to making date night at home feel special, differentiating from all the other nights of the week we are together and eat at home, is being intentional with no phones and the conversations we have. Most week nights we are so tired from the day that we lounge on the sofa together, ask each other a few questions over dinner before watching one of our favorite shows together, and then barely stumbling to bed- which is honestly, like 9 PM. Date night is different on purpose.
This super cute cookbook, aptly called “Date Night In”, is perfect for different meals and drink ideas to make at home. I currently have a few date night treats I want to give a shot dog eared. From tasty desserts like bittersweet brownies with salted peanut butter frosting to apple cider toddies…Yum yum!
Here’s the most important part of this- whether you go out for date night or are doing a date night in- constantly pursuing and dating your spouse is the most important piece of a healthy marriage. When we were first married, Paul and I got into a rhythm of believing “if we don’t have money, then dates just aren’t part of this season right now.” That is SO what satan wants. He wants you to believe money has a role in your marriage when it doesn’t at all. That’s why I love the concept of this cookbook so much! It’s written by a wife who loved her marriage enough to realize they needed to reestablish intentionality. Time and circumstances made it hard to connect on a weekly basis as they got deeper into their marriage, had more kids, and (naturally) less money because of said kids. So despite what their pocketbook told them, they decided to make date nights happen again like when they were dating from the comfort of their own kitchen. It is their “journey [of] figuring out how to continue to grow in love with each other while mixing and dicing.” Each Date Night is packed full of recipes and accompanied with a well-written story about the author and her husband in their experience with the exact same recipes. You’ll laugh, you’ll smile, and you’ll connect with their real stories of the good, the bad, the frustrating, and funny.
Love is a choice- you don’t fall out of love, you stop picking that person above all else. You get bored, you start day dreaming about “what if.” Don’t let this be your story.
Choose love, choose joy, choose to date forever.
Love y’all so much!
All photos by Cottonwood Road Photography for The Cake by Hannah
***You can get my top from Skylar Belle Boutique!