If you recall, one of my New Year’s “goals” for 2015 was to make date night more consistent and at the same time not so routine. You see, as a couple, like I am sure for many of you, “date night” often consists of running errands and grabbing a quick bite to eat or take out and a movie on the couch.
Not that there is anything wrong with either of those things, in fact, I am a firm believer in building your relationship and taking time just for the two of you no matter how “big or small” the act of love is. However, challenging yourself and breaking out of the norm is how we grow as individuals and as couples!
Now that 2015 is almost over, I wanted to report back with our date night resolution and share one of our recent date night adventures. So how did we do? Well, we had lots of fun times in 2015! We went on a few vacations, one with some friends and one just the two of us. We went on several dates, again alone and with other friends, and in the end I’d say were rocking things just the two of us!
Even though we have a very strong relationship and are always on the go, one thing I still want to work on, is putting thought into our date nights, and not just “winging it” when we have a night off. Our approach to dating is still, “oh we have a night off let’s see whats happenin’ around town” but I’d rather there be a little bit of thought and planning so that we have something to look forward to; something fun to be excited about.
With that continuing to be a struggle, recently I put some thought into the date night planning, and with a recent cold front, decided an ice skating themed date was perfect for this time of year! It has been years (seriously not since we first started dating) since we went ice skating, so it was a great way to change up our usual date night! To get us excited, I put together an Ice Skating Date Night Survival Kit and gave it to Eric a week or so before our planned date day. Our kit had everything we needed for an afternoon spent on the cold ice skating rink and for dinner afterwards.
For my Ice Skating Date Night Survival Kit, I headed to Walmart to grab everything I needed. I wanted the kit to of course represent the theme of the date night, with cute ice skating knickknacks, like his and her’s mittens and cozy socks, festive mugs and a spicy homemade hot cocoa mix, but I also wanted to include some practical items. Some of the more practical items included ChapStick Total Hydration, which I love because I my skin is always affected by cold weather and this instantly smooths and moisturizes my lips. Emergen-C to help us stay healthy the weeks leading up to date night and to overall make sure we have more healthy days and more healthy nights. I also included Advil Liqui-Gels (nothing’s faster on tough pain (among OTC pain relievers) Use as directed.), since we all know ice skating is quite rigorous and tough on the body; and because I had a number of spicy foods planned to help “warm us up” after a day on the ice, Nexium 24HR, with just one a day. All-day, all night frequent heartburn protection. (May take 1 to 4 days for full effect. Use as directed.).
I chose to package my date night items in a cute burlap bag, that I tied off with ribbon and an ice skating/snowflake ornaments that represented the theme of the night well. Other things you might want to include in your Ice Skating Date Night Survival Kit, is tickets or a brochure to the local ice skating rink, scarfs, breath mints, and if you are eating out, a gift certificate for a restaurant close to the ice rink.
To warm us up after a cold afternoon of fun, I threw a batch of Slow Cooker Jalapeno Popper White Bean Chicken Chili in the slow cooker on our way out the door to be ready to enjoy when we got home. Then we sipped on Mexican Spiced Hot Chocolate, which is rich and chocolaty with warm spices, snuggled in fleece blankets on the back porch while we sat next to the fire pit, laughing and making s’mores late into the night. Seriously, the most fun night we have had in months! This night gave me the inspiration to want to continue these carefully planned themed date nights and I hope inspires YOU!
- 3 cups dry milk powder
- 1 ¼ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cayenne powder to taste
To make cocoa mix: Combine all ingredients in a large blender or food processor and pulse for 30-60 seconds, or until everything is well combined. Store hot chocolate mix in an air tight container, in a cool dark place, for up to six months.
To serve: Warm 1 to 1 ½ cups milk or water in the microwave or on the stove top until simmering. Place 1/3 cup of the cocoa mix in a mug and pour hot milk over cocoa mix. Stir until dissolved and enjoy!