Whiten Coffee Stains + Celebrate the Mundane

This post is sponsored by Smile Brilliant. All opinions are my own. 

whiten coffee stains

Y’all know my two favorite things in life are my husband and coffee. I especially love it when my husband makes me coffee, and I love it when we take the time to dream and take the time to hustle.

Mr. M and I travel a lot, and being on the road gives us so much time to dream together. I get to listen to Mr. M as he talks and dreams about the ministry opportunities and side hustles he wants to launch and pursue one day. In the same way, he not only listens to my dreaming, but encourages me to sit my butt down in the chair and do what it takes to accomplish my dream. We spend many an evening side by side each working on our own respective projects. I learn so much from Mr. M as he consistently pursues and works towards his dreams.

Lately I’ve learned that I’m not as disciplined as I would like to be. I’m a sprinter – I get excited, I dash off, but I slowly die off half the way through. At the beginning of each month, I make a to do list of things I need to do and I’m gungho on Day 1, but by Day 15 I find myself more tempted to binge on Netflix than get up and do the work.

Dreaming can only get you so far. After you dream, you have to hustle. I heard a pastor, Jabin Chavez, once say, “The Dream is free, the Hustle is sold separately.” AKA you’ve gotta do the mundane to accomplish your dreams.

Celebrate the Mundane

Mundane Seasons Build Character

The seasons of mundane build our character and integrity. If we huff and puff and choose laziness over the hustle, we will never accomplish our dreams. But if we find joy in sacrifice and smile while doing the mundane, we will find that when we reach newer heights, we will have a greater appreciation for it.

Take, for instance: the dishes. When I first graduated from college, I lived in an apartment with a tiny sink and no dishwasher. I washed my dishes by hand – sometimes for an hour after a dinner party – dreaming of the day I would own a dishwasher. Now that I have a dishwasher (and a husband) I find that I can celebrate the little things – like owning a dishwasher. . . and having a husband who helps out with the dishes. 😉

So what does dishes have to do with accomplishing your dreams? Washing dirty dishes promote discipline, diligence, and sacrifice. And that’s what I will tell my future children one day when they complain. I get it, though, dishes and checklists are boring. But when we can find a way to smile through it, we have a better attitude about.

celebrate the mundane

In the same way, we’ve gotta do the dishes in order to accomplish our goals and dreams. The dream is exciting – it’s like the light at the end of the tunnel. But the bigger the dream, the bigger the hustle. And hustle isn’t always glamorous. Sure, we put life in a stark white, overexposed perspective on Instagram with the hashtag of #goaldigger and feel like the hustle is a joyride.

But the hustle is long nights, frustrating problems, saying NO to things like Netflix, or an extra night out. The hustle is doing the boring things so you can work towards the dream. When you’re doing the mundane, you have to smile. You have to choose joy, knowing that this will bring you to wear you want to be one day.

Mundane Seasons Require LOTS of Coffee

You also may or may not have to drink copious amounts of coffee – like me. I’ve been an avid coffee drinker since I started college six years ago. At first I enjoyed a Keurig cup little by little, and now it’s a full-blown addiction. I especially depend on coffee when I’m in crazy seasons where I am working full time and working on the side hustle. Sometimes when the nights are long and the sleep is minimal, I’m a 5 cup a day person. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know how much I love my coffee. I even brought my French Press to work the other day because #extra.

The stronger the coffee habit gets, though, the more yellow my teeth get. I’ve started to become self conscious about my teeth yellowing, so when Smile Brilliant reached out with their teeth whitening kit, I knew I had to give it a try.

Lately it’s been easier to smile knowing that I am checking things off my to-do list while knowing my teeth are getting whiter by the minute.

Smile Brilliant works fast and is a perfect way to whiten your teeth while washing the dishes, working on your side hustle, or snuggling down for the night with your favorite book or your boo and a Netflix binge – all very important parts of a perfect day.

I love that Smile Brilliant gives me the freedom to whiten my teeth WHILE doing what I need to check off my to do list for the day. With a cost 70% below the dentist and results 3x-5x faster, Smile Brilliant is an affordable, convenient, and FAST way to whiten your teeth. PLUS you don’t have to be strapped down to a dentist chair, so it’s a win-win situation.

celebrate the mundane

At first I was hesitant about using Smile Brilliant because I was wary of sensitive teeth; however, I only had one tooth that occasionally got sensitive. So when it was consistently sensitive, I took a few days off and then jumped right back into the treatment. Once I started using the treatment again, I didn’t have a problem at all. Smile Brilliant has been a great way to whiten my teeth while working on my blog, or even just snuggling up on the couch with my boo and our latest Netflix binge.

The treatment was easy to use and easy to understand. They sent me a box with paste and a tray to make impressions. Although I had traumatic flashbacks to getting impressions at the dentist when I was 11 and preparing for braces, these impressions were WAY less traumatic + didn’t make me gag. After I sent the impressions to them, they made a custom tray for my teeth. For 7 – 10 days, you line the trays with whitening gel and use for 45 minutes – 3 hours depending on the severity of your stains. To complete the process, you line the trays with a desensitizing gel for 15-20 minutes afterwards. While they encourage you to do the treatment before you go to bed, I found it was easier for me to do when I was up and moving around.

Since Smile Brilliant has given me the opportunity to brighten my smile and work on my side hustle (and still keep my coffee habit going strong,) I want to share this opportunity with you! I am teaming up with Smile Brilliant to give away the Sensitive T3 treatment kit OR $139 to go towards their more expensive kits. The Sensitive T3 kit includes 3 whitening gels and 3 desensitizing gels. You can enter the giveaway by clicking www.smilebrilliant.com/g/hugsandlattes. It is open until November 23rd and open to USA, UK, Australia and Canadian residents. You must enter their email to be entered!

If you’re ready to brush up on your teeth whitening skills, use my code hugsandlattes10 to get 10% off your purchase.

Now tell me, have you ever whitened your teeth?


Tooth Whitening Gel

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Loving Who I Am [Creating Space]

Creating Space is a 5 part series that will be featured on Hugs & Lattes every Wednesday through the month of November. This is the 3rd installment. To view last two posts, see here and here. Please note that the interviewee’s experiences are their own; they cannot speak for anyone and everyone in their circumstances. While stories may be similar, each individual has their own perspective. 

I believe that I found Ro through Twitter, and boy am I glad that I did. I was instantly attracted to her blog, Chicken and Bliss, purely by the name. I thought it was fun and quirky, and knew that I would find a fun and quirky writer, too. Ro is a newlywed, so we’ve found common ground in newlywed life, being in an interracial relationship, and our love for exploring. I love how Ro articulates her heart and thoughts, and she has brought some more thought provoking gold to Hugs & Lattes today. I’m excited that you all get to meet her and read about her experiences growing up as an African-American and being in an interracial relationship.

loving who i am

Tell Me About Yourself 

 

Tell me a little bit about where you grew up, your family life, what you do, etc.

I grew up in Pennsylvania where I was the youngest of two children. My mother worked as a nurse and I believe that seeing the sacrificial heart that she had helped me to develop this love for helping others.

I am currently a teacher working in an inner city school, serving a wonderful group of energetic and intelligent 5th and 6th graders. When I’m not teaching, I’m exploring with my husband, spending time with family and friends, or brewing up blog posts.

What has your experience been as an interracial couple?

Honestly, it’s been great! I feel that although my husband and I come from different cultural backgrounds, we truly respect each other and genuinely desire to understand the other’s background. While I am definitely not fluent in Korean, I make an effort to learn the language out of respect for him and his family. Although he doesn’t understand some things about African-American culture, he’s always open to conversations about it.

It’s also really nice to be able to be with someone who gets it. Koreans have dealt with oppression in their history and so have African-Americans. We often share stories that have been passed down from generations of the pain that has afflicted our communities and how they’ve risen from it.

It’s so refreshing that although we’re both from different cultures, I don’t have to explain why something is offensive to my culture and neither does he. We both truly respect each other’s culture.

What are some things you and your husband celebrate about each other’s culture?

Other than getting to eat a lot of delicious Korean food, I love being able to participate in Korean events with my husband and our family. For example, my husband’s mother is a wonderful dancer and sometimes has performances where she’ll perform traditional Korean dance. It’s always a pleasure getting to see her perform and getting to learn more about the history behind Korean culture.  

For my husband, it’s been the same thing. It’s really an exchange of information and I feel that we learn something new about each other, about our cultures, and about the world through our conversations with each other.

What has been difficult being in an interracial relationship?

Honestly, it was difficult in the beginning because we would get some of the nastiest stares from some people we’d walk past. I’ve had people walk past us and say, “ching chong” to my husband as we walked down the street together. I’ve witnessed other men glaring at me as if being with him means that I suddenly despise my heritage that I love. Although, thankfully I don’t notice it as much as I used to, it bothers me sometimes when I see it. I remember, recently, there was a woman who stared at my husband while we were walking on a beach in NJ, so I glared at her as if I was shooting darts in her eyes. Probably not the nicest thing to do, however, hahaha.

Additionally, the assumption that by marrying my husband, I must hate myself or my race or must be looking to have “mixed” babies is hard to deal with.  It couldn’t be the furthest thing from the truth, but the people who make these assumptions don’t care about that.

I love who I am. I love where I come from and I love my race. I am proud to be a black woman, but I also love my husband. If my husband was a black man, I’d still marry him. It’s his personality, his love for God, his values, and his heart that I fell in love with. It’s just sad that for some people, I cannot love my race and yet love my husband, who just happens to be Korean, at the same time.

loving who i am

On Identity

How has growing up in America shaped your identity?

Growing up in America has shaped my identity because everything I’ve known has been here. I believe that I am very blessed to grow up in a country where I can be open about my faith without fear of persecution and where we have access to so many things. I am definitely aware of how blessed I am to be an American.

Do you have any pivotal memories growing up that strengthened or weakened your perception and identity of who you are?

Yes, I’ve had memories that have both strengthened and weakened my perception and identity. While I had a strong mother who encouraged me to not be afraid to advocate for myself, I also had the media consistently portraying negative images of black women as lacking beauty. It was hard sometimes to believe it when family would compliment me, because society often portrayed images of women who looked nothing like me growing up as more desirable. I had internalized this is ways that I didn’t realize, but also articulated in a couple of posts on my blog.

What is something that you love/embrace about your race/culture?

I admire the perseverance and strength of my race so much. Despite the hardships and oppression my culture has faced, there’s this consistent theme in every challenge of not giving up. My ancestors were knocked down so many times and yet time and time again, they continued fighting for the rights owed to them and I admire that so much.

What is something that is difficult to embrace about your race/culture?

Honestly, I think other people’s perception of my race as being lazy and moochers. It’s not only an incredibly offensive generalization, but I would like to think you have to be pretty strong and determined to be able to endure years of racism and still be standing.

loving who i am

On Racism and Faith in America

What are some microaggressions you have experienced in the US?

I’ve been so blessed to not have experienced overt racism before. Most of the racism I’ve experienced has been covert. It’s the compliments that are actually insults in disguise or use of the n-word, despite knowing it’s offensive origins. It’s a nervous look when I walk past someone who’s uncomfortable with the color of my skin. It’s when while reading a text that’s talking about fried chicken and watermelon, your professor looks you in the eye in the middle of a lecture class and says, “you know what I’m talking about – right?” Yep, that really happened.

What has been your response? 

Sadly, my response to these things have normally been to be almost over-polite to prove to them that I am not as harmful as they’ve assume that I am. I make sure to say “excuse me” in the sweetest voice that I can when passing them. Regarding the n-word, I have spoken about it before, but the conversation is usually met with the “why can’t I say it?” Lately, I’ve definitely been more vocal, when led, about these issues.

How do you reconcile your faith with the racial tension we have witnessed this past year?

The events of this past year have left me feeling angry at times. I’ve found myself really becoming enraged with the hate crimes occurring and just the evil actions of the people in this world. Yet, I remember my husband and I were talking one day about despite how hateful they’re being, I am no better than them if I am sitting there wanting bad things to happen to them. It was honestly one of the hardest things to have to get to a place where my husband and I prayed for supremacists. We prayed that their heart would be changed and that they would come to faith. It was so hard praying for someone who hated people who looked like me so much simply because I looked different. As much as this grieves the heart of God, I know that He wouldn’t want me to fight hate with hate and would instead want me to do what he commands us to do in Matthew 5:44.

I’ve also found myself praying more about how God wants us as a church to respond to the injustices in the world.

How has your local church responded/how has the global church responded in your opinion?

Our church has been holding drives and having very difficult conversations about race in church. I know conversations about racism can be uncomfortable to have in any setting let alone church, but I’ve been so grateful for their transparency and for them condemning it head on. I believe these are conversations that the church should be having, globally, because it is something that grieves God.

However, I have been disappointed in how some churches have been responding to this. While it’s probably easier to not have these discussions, it is an important conversation to have – especially if people desire to end racism and seek reconciliation. It starts with having adequate representation in leadership in the church and not just in the pews. It starts with prayer and acknowledging the plight of people in the world rather than ignoring it for the sake of not ruffling any feathers. It starts with boldly condemning racism, but unfortunately I’ve only seen a handful of churches actually do this.

We were all created in God’s image and as the body of Christ, seeing our brother or sister hurting should grieve us. It should move us to the point where we want to pray about it and want to do what we’re being called to in order to help this issue.

What is one thing you wish the white community could understand when it comes to race and racism in America?

Hmm, I’m not sure how to say this, so I hope this comes out the right way. I would love for them to know that acknowledging privilege is not a bad thing. As an American, I also have privilege because there are people in third-world countries that don’t have half of what I have as a result of where I was born. However, the question is do we live acknowledging that privilege and then turning a blind eye to the oppression of those around us that don’t have the same privileges or do we lend a hand? Do we lift one another up in prayer? Do we advocate as an ally for our brothers and sisters?

loving who i am

 

On Unity

What does unity look like to you?

To me unity looks like how the body of Christ that’s talked about in  1 Corinthians 12. I believe that each person has a particular gift and a unique calling that God has given them. I believe that each person has something to offer and that when one of us isn’t doing our part or is saddened, it’s felt throughout the entire body. I would imagine that unity looks exactly like that. It’s being unified, despite our backgrounds and upbringings, for a common goal. It’s supporting one another by grieving with those who grieve and rejoicing with those who rejoice. It’s by helping one another and not just when it’s convenient to us or worthy of an Instagram post. It’s genuinely living in community and loving our neighbor.

What are practical ways the white community partner and align with the minority community?

This is a hard question that I often feel like I don’t have the right answer to, because it’s one I find myself still wrestling with. After conversations with friends of mine who are white, I realize that it can be difficult to find ways to do this without seeming like as an ally they’re taking over or washing out the voices of African-Americans who are experiencing these struggles. As someone who stands as an ally alongside groups of people that I don’t necessarily identify as or with, I can understand the difficulty with this.

I’m still praying for wisdom in determining this, myself, but in addition to prayer, I think that publicly denouncing racism and to continuing to advocate on behalf of people in the black community by contacting representatives regarding certain issues is helpful.

Thank you so much, Ro, for sharing a convicting, yet uplifting post on the raw effects of racism in America. Next week we will turn to Divya from Eat, Teach, Blog, to hear about her life in a small town of East Tennessee.

 

creating spaceRo is a believer in God, a wife, an educator, and a self-proclaimed coffee-aficionado who loves traveling. She is the blogger behind, Chicken and Bliss, which is a faith and lifestyle blog fueled by copious amounts of coffee. When she’s not teaching or drinking coffee, she’s writing, serving, reading, taking photography, and spending time with loved ones. To connect with her, feel free to reach her at any of the links: TwitterPinterestFacebookInstagramChicken and Bliss

 

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On Realizing I am Black [Creating Space]

Creating Space is a 5 part series that will be featured on Hugs & Lattes every Wednesday through the month of November. This is the 2nd installment. To view last week’s post, see here. Please note that the interviewee’s experiences are their own; they cannot speak for anyone and everyone in their circumstances. While stories may be similar, each individual has their own perspective. 

creating space

I found Asaake in the blog world a couple of months ago, and quickly fell in love with her writing style and her hair. (She rocks the gray hair and I absolutely love it.) Over the past couple of months, she has taught me more about Nigeria and we have compared notes on the similarities and differences between Zimbabweans and Nigerian culture and food. Nigerian food is way spicy, which I think I would like! When I was thinking of people to ask to participate in this Creating Space series, I knew I had to ask Asaake to share her experiences growing up in Nigeria and moving to America.

on realizing i am black

Tell Me A Little About Yourself

Tell me a little bit about where you grew up, your family life, what you do, etc.

I was born and raised in Nigeria. I come from a pretty big family so I lived with my siblings and cousins for most of my childhood. I currently work in the medical field, working on my masters and blogging in my spare time.  

What was it like for you to move from Nigeria and settle into life in America?

For the most part, it’s been pretty smooth. I had family members here already so settling in was fairly easy. However, I did have a hard time making friends for the first few years because I just felt like Americans just didn’t get me. Everything here was so different and people’s definition of “fun” seemed very different. Things have been adjusting fairly well now that I am much older and have become my own woman.

What was the biggest culture shock for you when you moved to America?

For me it was the fact that Americans could call their elders by their names *gasps*. In Nigeria, everyone older than you or perceived to be older or in a higher status has to have a “aunty” or “uncle” before their name. It’s just a sign of respect. That was very uncomfortable for me to grasp.

creating space

On Identity

How has growing up in America shaped your identity?

It wasn’t until I moved to the US that I realized that I am a black woman. I wasn’t sure how to relate with white people when I first moved to the Us and so i found myself always gravitating to black people and Africans because that was familiar to me. I ended up applying to a HBCU for that reason. A year later, I just didn’t quite fit into the HBCU experience.

The US made me realize that I am “African” and not “African American” but I am still Black. I learned what it truly means to be a minority here. I learnt colorism here- being a light skinned Black woman and feeling like I’m not black enough most times and not worthy to on “hashtag Melanin Monday”.

Do you have any pivotal memories growing up that strengthened or weakened your perception and identity of who you are?

I have had some pivotal memories that have both strengthened and weakened my perception of who I am. In relation to the topic of race in America, I think my first experience dating a white guy was pivotal for me. I knew it was allowed, my family is actually extremely open and accepting when it comes to individuals of other races. However, I don’t think I truly understood how to relate with white people without feeling like i’m losing my own self or my black identity. With dating my first white boyfriend, It taught me that I could still whole heartedly love someone of a different race and share my life and experiences with them without feeling like I’m losing some of my “blackness”. And that I could truly embrace other races and acknowledge our differences in Love without betraying the black race. From then on, i found that my relationship with white people blossomed. It opened the way for me to develop amazing friendships with non white people.

What is something that you love/embrace about your race/culture?

I love the culture, the people, the language and the food! Nigerian foods are one of the tastiest I have ever tried. Our languages are very distinct and our people can be very welcoming. I also love how communal my culture is compared to the individualistic culture here in America.

What is something that is difficult to embrace about your race/culture?

One thing that’s hard for me to embrace is the fact that many families desire a boy child more than a girl child. Male children are treated differently. Gender roles are taken to the extreme. I’m blessed to be from a family where this isn’t really an issue but It bothers me that there are people who actually deal with this.

creating space

On Racism and Faith in America

What are some microaggressions you have experienced in the US?

Omgosh so many!

I cannot stand when people ask me how my English is so perfect. Ugh, it’s 2017 people… We really do speak English in Africa.

Also, when people ask me if my hair is real -_-. I would never ask a white girl if her hair is real, I don’t know why people think it’s okay to ask black girls that. There’s just this wack belief that black girls can’t have long hair and so when you see a black girl with long hair you’re curious if it’s real or not. It’s actually annoying.

I’ve be followed around in stores especially in Asian stores and then having them try to nudge me towards cheaper items. Sometimes they even go as far as stressing the price of an item i want to buy as if unsure that I can afford it.  Quite frankly, I dread going to Asian stores for that reason.

Lastly, being told that I’m not “like other black people”. LOL listen. Don’t do it.

How do you respond in these instances?

I often just don’t respond because I’m just not a confrontational person. I have not learnt a productive way to respond to microaggressions so i’d rather just not respond. However, I might leave a smart comment here and there because I have a smart mouth.

How do you reconcile your faith with the racial tension we have witnessed this past year?

It is comforting for me to know that we are all one under Christ regardless of which racial group we belong in. Jesus sees us the same and loves us the same. As a christian, I know I am called to love others no matter what. This keeps me grounded even in my response to people who do not like me because of my skin color.

How has your local church responded/how has the global church responded in your opinion?

My local church is amazing. I go to a predominantly white church that is very much racially aware! We have lots of white families who adopt black children and seeing that every Sunday warms  my heart. Same goes for seeing the support these families are getting from members of the church. My church does not shy away from the issue of diversity and topics like racism etc. there  seems to be an open and warm environment for people to discuss and interact with members of different races. Our pastors do not hesitate to speak up on the racial divide and tension in the country. More so, the church does not hesitate to denounce white supremacy and any other form of racism no matter how minute.

What is one thing you wish the white community could understand when it comes to race and racism in America?

I really do wish the white community would understand that black people who fight for the rights of black people and the rights of minorities in America so not hate white people. Speaking up against racism and discrimination of minorities by white people doesn’t mean you hate white people.

creating space

On Unity

What does unity look like to you?

Unity looks like Christ! It is loving those we do not necessarily like with the Love of Christ. It is acknowledging that though we are different, we do not have to hate each other for our differences. We can actually enjoy those differences, learn from it and enjoy the beauty that it brings. Diversity is beautiful!

What are practical ways the white community partner and align with the minority community?

The history of race is uncomfortable. It will always be uncomfortable. Running away from this issue doesn’t make it go away. The white community need to accept this and decide that NOW is the time to face it. I must say that I am truly proud of those who have the courage to embrace it in their own little way- whether is having the discuss with their friends, neighbors, etc.

  1. It’s important for white people to listen and hear black people/POC out when issues like this arises. Listen to these voices and don’t try to invalidate their experiences.
  2. Seek out friends in other races. The easiest way to learn about how you can support minories is from minories. If you don’t have people in your inner cycle to learn from then this becomes harder.
  3. Acknowledge that white privilege does exist and use that privilege for good. I’ll be honest, when i see issues about race online, i follow the thread just to see what white people have to say about it. It truly makes me happy when I see white people speaking up against racism and discrimination in a thread. It’s these little things that truly matter.
  4. Don’t be color blind. And don’t say you’re color blind either. It just never comes out right. Don’t say.
  5. If you’re one of those who say “all lives matter” when you hear “black lives matter”… please stop!

Thank you so much to Asaake for her vulnerability and authentic conversation on race in America. Join us next week as we talk with Ro about her experience with race and identity being in an interracial/intercultural relationship.

creating space

I’m Asaake, a 26-year-old Jesus lover & part-time blogger. I enjoy blogging about green beauty & slow living. I am currently transitioning to minimalism and totally enjoy the process of letting go of stuff and embracing living a beautiful less with fewer things.  I spend my time drinking tea and learning about how to live a simple yet fulfilling life.I’m everywhere, InstagramFacebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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Take Your Time

take your time

I was always one who wanted to grow up too fast. When I was 9, I would play pretend like I was 16 in high school toting around my MUDD satchel. When I was 16, I dreamt of life in college where I could have authentic friendships and study my passions. During college I hoped to meet the man of my dreams and marry him before graduation day. Why? Maybe because this was what my parents did.

But life didn’t turn out like that. I met the man of my dreams, and we both responsibly waited until we graduated (he from graduate school, me from undergraduate) and got married. I’m thankful that my husband led us in waiting until he had a job because if we had gotten married on my timeline, we would have had the ramen noodle newlywed experience. And I can’t eat ramen – it messes with my digestive tract.

We have several friends who are parents of at least one if not 2+ kids. For many of them, their life and conversation revolves around their family. It used to make me feel self conscious and wonder if Mr. M is impatiently waiting until I’m ready to be a mom. You have to understand that in the South – especially in Christian circles – a lot of the women my age are either married or have babies.

Now that Mr. M and I have been married almost a year, the question is more persistent: “So when are the kids coming along?”

I understand that it’s a conversation starter. When we were engaged, people would ask us about the wedding. Now that there’s no wedding, they want to ask about babies. (And yet not many people ask whether I want to go back to grad school or jump into my career. . . ) I used to get so angry. Let us be married! I would want to say. But instead I would just smile and say “Oh in a couple of years!”

Sometimes all of this makes me feel as if we were on a timeline. Mr. M and I would come home from being around babies all night and I would ask him if he wanted to have kids. Recently, he spent 3 nights in a row working in the church nursery where he got peed on, his shirt ripped, and a 2 year old never let go of him the entire night. So he happily says, “Let’s wait a few years.”

Take Your Time

Waiting a few years is not a lot, but it may be enough for us.

It’s important that we take our time – whether it is consideration of children, job changes, or any major life event. Mr. M is calculated in everything he does; I think about it for a hot second, decide that my gut says go and then go. Being in a partnership with him has taught me that it’s OK to be present. It’s OK to focus on today. I can take my time in deciding what I want to be when I grow up. We can take our time in deciding when we want to bless the world with our cute little kids.

It’s OK to take your time.

I recently read somewhere that 30 is the new 18. Millennials are usually 30 by the time they get married, buy a house, and get started in their career. We are living with our parents longer, becoming more educated, and waiting until we do all the “grown up” things the baby boomers did in the 1960s. And that’s OK. The economy is different nowadays. So if it takes a while to land your dream career, do your due diligence in your current job. If it takes a while to decide to get married, embrace what life is offering you right now. And if you take some time to decide when you want to have kids, enjoy your uninterruptible night of sleep and celebrate the time you take with your spouse.

If you spend it watching 7 hours of Netflix, you’re an adult – you get to do that. If you spend your time hustling and chasing your dreams – you get to do that. But let’s all recognize that sometimes hustlers need a Netflix binge.

You get to decide how you spend your life. So if you need some time to reflect before you jump, take your time.

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10 Fun, Frugal Date Nights for Fall

 

10 Fun, Frugal Date Nights for Fall

I know that I asked for cooler weather back in the beginning of October when it was 80 degrees, but y’all. . . last week I was traipsing around North Carolina and it was 40 degrees. I think the earth needs to find a happy medium of a brisk 65 degrees and we call that winter. It’s the perfect temperature to wear blanket scarves, eat some chili, and snuggle up with your boo. 40 degrees just makes you grumpy and your feet cold. No one is happy with cold feet.

Needless to say, I was overjoyed one Friday evening when it was the perfect 57-65 degree range and I could wear my cardigan to the pumpkin patch for date night.

Mr .M and I try to have a date night set aside each week. Some nights it turns into Netflix and chill(i), but other nights we’re a little more creative.  Because fall is my favorite time of year, I thought I’d round up some fun, cheap, fall date nights for dating couples, newlyweds, oldlyweds, or just a band of best friends!

10 Fun, Frugal Date Nights for Fall

Go to the Pumpkin Patch

Who says pumpkin patches are just for October? I say “Seasons Greetings!” Gourds and squash are still a component of Thanksgiving decor, so grab your boo and head out to the local pumpkin patch to find the perfect pumpkin. Like every basic blogger in the blogoverse, I’m always on the hunt for white pumpkins. . .

Have a Pumpkin Painting Party!

And speaking of white pumpkins, they prove to be the perfect pumpkins to paint for that Friendsgiving you want to host. Grab a plastic tablecloth and a cheap painting set from Walmart, and have a contest to see who ends up with the most beautiful/creative pumpkin.

Host a Chili Cook off

When I think of the fall, I think of chili, apple cider, and cornbread. It’s by far my favorite fall dish. Do you have a famous recipe with a secret ingredient? A chili cook off is a fun way to double date with a close couple friend. Each of you bring a small pot of chili, and vote on whose is the best! For my favorite cornbread recipe check this one out.

Leaf the Party to Me. . . 

Mr. M and I have a HUGE tree that litters the yard with perfectly crispy leaves. For a fun date night outside, rake a pile of leaves together and jump on in! You’ll feel like a child, but what brings more joy than childhood memories and laughter?

Find Your Way Through a Cornmaze 

Nothing brings couples together like getting lost. I was devastated at the end of October when I realized we would run out of time to do a corn maze. The joy of being a college recruiter means there is limited time/energy to engage in fun, fall activities. However, I have dear memories from going through a corn maze a couple years ago with a couple friend of ours. We were all very hungry and grumpy by the end, so the night ended with pizza.

Host a Friendsgiving

I LOVE THANKSGIVING. And a great precursor to Thanksgiving is Friendsgiving. One year I hosted friendsgiving, and as the host does, made a turkey. The afternoon started in tears but ended well and without food poisoning, so I would say it turned out OK. If you ever want inspiration for throwing a killer Friendsgiving, I recommend checking out this post from Endless Bliss. Tiffany is the queen of throwing the most beautiful and fun parties.

Serve at your local soup kitchen

OK so this may not be a glamorous date night, but be a dear and spread holiday and fall spirit cheer by being the good you want to see in this world. Mr.  M works at a nonprofit, and he can tell you that life gets CRAZY this time of year. Volunteers are MUCH appreciated. Take a morning with your loved one and serve at a local soup kitchen, or help prepare for Thanksgiving meals. You not only find joy in serving, but learn more about each other’s hearts through service.

10 Fun, Frugal Date Nights for Fall

Take Fun, Fall Pictures

This one may be geared more towards you blogger S/Os, but in the spirit of blanket scarf season, take cute fall photos! It’s the most gorgeous time of year, and why not commemorate your love? If you have kids, these photos make for GREAT Christmas presents for grandparents.

Have a Seasonal Movie Marathon

If scary movies are your thing for Halloween, then cozy up and enjoy the adrenaline rush of watching Michael Myers stalk people. [Also, sorry this post is v late, but it’s not Halloween anymore.] If you’re like me, and hate scary things, then curl up with your favorite holiday movies. It is never to early for It’s a Wonderful Life. (Rachel from the Confused Millennial has a great list of fall-themed movies to get into!)

Make Fall Scented Candles

OK I’ve never actually done this, but I think it would be so fun! Please let me know if you do this so I can live vicariously through you. I’m always a sucker for candles, plus they make great gifts! I found this tutorial on making candles, and it looks like it would be a breeze! Your house gets to smell good, you get to upcycle and be creative, and now you have candles for the rest of the season alll for yourself. . . or to give away.

10 Fun, Frugal Date Nights for Fall

What is your favorite fall-themed date night?

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