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?

10 Budget Friendly Summer Date Nights

10 Budget Friendly Summer Date Nights

Date nights are one of my favorite things. I am such a quality time girl, and unfortunately, hanging out in groups with a bunch of people doesn’t fill up my quality time tank quite like it should. I’m more of a one on one kinda gal. My dad says I’m high maintenance in the attention category. . . and maybe I am.

As newly weds, we aren’t going to the fanciest restaurant in town to wine and dine, but we do like to do something fun at least once a week – whether that is cooking together, going on a walk, or setting up a legit date night. Today I’m going to share with you a few of my fav budget friendly summer date night ideas!

Hammock Date! 

I’m a huge fan of grabbing my double nested ENO, setting it up by a creek or a river, and snuggling and talking about our day. Or just snuggling and reading a book not saying one word to each other. . .

Picnic in your backyard

OK confession, Pai and I have had many picnics in our backyard because our dining room table was so full of wedding stuff/stuff that needs to go to Goodwill. . . six months into this whole marriage thing. Yup. But cooking dinner together or grabbing takeout and spreading out a picnic blanket in the backyard makes an ordinary meal *romantic*.

10 Budget Friendly Summer Date Nights

Stargazing

I always find it suuuper romantic to be out at night under a clear, velvety sky, looking at the scars. Extra points scored if someone thought to bring a yummy drink. Lying all cozy under the stars always leads to great conversations with your lover.

Trip to the Farmer’s Market

We don’t go to the Farmer’s Market enough, but I absolutely love it when I do go! Artisan bread, fresh flowers, herbs, succulents, delicious coffee – what more could you want on a Saturday morning?! Going to the Farmer’s Market with my boo is one of my fav things to do. Plus, I enjoy supporting local farmers.

Snocone Zone

Pai loves ice ceam, I love snocones. There’s a local food truck here that does ahhmazing snocones! First you get your snocone, then they put ice cream on it, then you can pick out a topping (I got pineapple once, and she poured sweet and condensed milk all over that goodness!) It’s pretty delightful. But if slushies aren’t your thing, milkshakes are equally fun.

10 Budget Friendly Summer Date Nights

Lake Day!

Recently we went with a group of people on a Sunday afternoon and rented kayaks for a couple hours. I got nice and light pink, was sore for several days after, but had the time of my life! Kayaking, paddle boarding, white water rafting – anything that gets you outside and moving under the summer sun is a great way to connect with your boo.

Slip-n-Slide

This is another great date idea where you can invite a lot of people to join in. On a super hot day, grab a tarp, find a hill, suds it down and get your bathing suit on because it’s slip-n-slide time. It is sure to be a hilarious and fun time.

Hot Tub Hot Date Night

OK this one may not be feasible for all. But if you don’t have a hot tub but have a friend with one who doesn’t mind you climbing over their fence to hang out in their hot tub late at night, then this could be a fun and giggly date night. Grab your favorite drink and enjoy a steamy evening with your boo (because hot tubs are steamy.)

Make Your Own Beach

When I see everyone else on the Instagram bummin’ it at the beach, I get kinda jealous. Because I want to be on the beach. But when life doesn’t give you a beach, make one yourself. Put a beach front image on your TV, the waves sound on your white noise app, lay out the towels on your living room floor. If it’s hot enough in your house and you close your eyes, you can semi-pretend you’re on the beach.

Camping

Nothing is more romantic than sitting out by a fire, eating hot dogs, roasting s’mores, and then sleeping on the cold, hard ground. While I’m more a fan of “glamping,” I don’t mind roughin’ it for a night with my boo.

Budget Friendly Summer Date Nights

What is your favorite way to spend a date night? 

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5 (Last Minute) Valentine’s Dates

hugs and lattes

A few weeks ago, Jon, my manicurist (I have a manicurist now! I pay $20 to this guy to redo the Shellac on my nails. He won me over a few weekends ago by telling me I looked like a Supermodel. I was having a particularly horrible weekend and anyone who flatters me can have my money. This is why I try to avoid the vendors at the mall.) asked me if I was getting any bling bling from the boyfriend next month. I thought, “Great, here’s another person who is asking me if I’m engaged. NOT. YET.” But he meant is the boyfriend giving me jewelry for Valentine’s Day. And I was like, Valentine’s Day? Oh yeah. . . I forgot about that. He was shocked we didn’t even have plans yet and I was thinking, bro, it’s only January 31. But then February 7 came along and Pai was mourning the Panther’s loss and Valentine’s Day was still unspoken between us. I said, “Well I’ll be grieving if we don’t do anything fun for Valentine’s Day next week.” And he said “Okay.” And then we went on with our lives.

The truth is, I don’t really like Valentine’s Day. Those Chocolate hearts with assorted truffles are 75% gross, and then I feel pressured to do something sweet/romantic/buy something.

And the other truth is, I actually really like it when people are sweet/romantic/buy me something as long as it’s not those nasty assorted truffles. Just buy a bag of Andes Mints, Hershey Kisses, and Reeces Cups and then I’ll be happy. If you buy me a book from my Amazon wishlist, I’ll be like HECK YES and kiss you. But only if you’re Pai.***MAJOR HINT RIGHT HERE, FOR THE BOYFRIEND WHO READS MY BLOG***

I’m actually a pretty creative person, if I do say so myself. I blame Pinterest. But sometimes Pinterest can be overwhelming, so I’ve compiled the perfect dates for you to pull off last minute. Ladies, just send this blog on over to your man and tell him to read the bold print. These are so easy, a caveman can do it. Bonus: They’re inexpensive. Because I’m not a millionaire and dating a grad student, who is also not a millionaire.

–> Blanket Fort of Love <–

Gather all the blankets in your apartment and hang them all up with nails, or just drape them over a table and put pillows underneath. Get a funny movie she’s been wanting to watch lately, or read a book together. Bring take out Chinese into the blanket fort of love and boom. You’ve spent $10 on a date and it was creative.

–> Hiking/Picnic <–

This year, Valentine’s day is on a Sunday, so you have time to pull off a quick little hike. Bundle up in some fleece, grab a blanket and a picnic basket full of goodies. Bonus points if you (the man) make the sandwiches. Your lady will be like, “Thanks for not being sexist. Wow, these are the best sandwiches a man has ever made. You’re the best. I’m going to kiss you a lot now.”

–> A Spa Day <–

You know your girl is stressed out. She works so hard at work/school and then she comes home and has to watch Netflix/clean/blog (if she’s a blogger.) Nothing would make her heart happier than if you either a) send her to a spa day or b) give her a spa day. A little back massage can go a loooooong way. She’ll love you forever and then you can be like, “Thanks for sending me that post from Hugs and Lattes. Maybe we should read her blog together everyday?” And she’ll say, “Yes! That’s all I’ve ever wanted from you!” And I’ll say, Thanks, you guys are the best.

–> Wine and Dine Her <–

Who cooks more in the relationship? You? Her? If it’s her, then send your female friend over the moon by cooking her a favorite meal. Flip through a cookbook, or if you’re brave enough, peruse through Pinterest or Stumbleupon. Clean up the dishes afterwards and you’re golden until next week when she wants you to put in the effort to pull off another date.

–> Scavenger Hunts!! <–

I’m a huge fan of the Scavenger hunt. One time, my mom sent my prom date and I on a scavenger hunt after prom because she thought our idea to go back home and watch a movie was lame. It was the best scavenger hunt ever even though we trespassed property, set off the intruder alarm, and probably almost got arrested. Boyfriends/fiances/husbands, don’t send your wifey somewhere she may get arrested. But do send her on a scavenger hunt around the place you’ve been/places that have significance. aka your first date. aka where you had your first kiss. aka where you had your first fight and she almost broke up with you but you cried so she decided not to. Just kidding, don’t go there. But seriously, scavenger hunts are fun.

Fellas, I’ve just given you 5 great ideas to pull off last minute (minus the scavenger hunt. That may take some preparation) Valentine’s Date ideas and guess what! It’s only Wednesday. That means you still have half a week to ruminate on how you’re going to woo your lady.

Let me make this clear: I don’t care if you’ve been dating two weeks or two years or have been married twenty years. Woo. Your. Lady. Woo your lady every chance you get. She wants to be wooed. Even if she says “nahh let’s just sit back and eat a pizza” maybe she’s just tired! Still. Woo her.

Ladies, you’re welcome.

 

5 Inexpensive Christmas Dates

5InexpensiveChristmas Dates

I LOVE CHRISTMAS. Okay. There I said it. 500 times in this past week. I also love date night. Pai and I set aside every Monday night as “Date Night.” It’s a commitment. We’ve discovered that if we don’t commit one date night a week, then there might be some weeks where we just don’t see each other. I’m a quality time person, so face time – literal face time – is important to me. But I’m a new adult in the working world and Pai’s in grad school, so we don’t have the money to go out every week, so we like to get creative with our dates. I asked Pai if we could have a Christmas themed date every week this month, and being the sweet boyfriend he is, he said yes. Here are some fun, inexpensive dates I’ve come up with to help boost your holiday spirit without breaking the bank!

Trim the Tree

Haven’t put up your tree yet? Invite your honey over and put him to work! Michael Buble’s Christmas albums are the perfect songs to dance to while throwing tinsel on the tree and creating the perfect Christmas atmosphere. Don’t forget to add some mistletoe and hang your stockings with care. 😉

Hot Chocolate and a Christmas Movie

Do you love chocolate? Do you love Christmas? Do you need a relaxing and cozy date? Pull on your fuzzy socks, make some cookies and hot cocoa and settle down with your favorite Christmas movie and your boo thang. This date is guaranteed to give you feelings of good warmth because a) hot chocolate is delicious, b) Christmas movies are cheesy and adorable and c) you inevitably are going to have to cuddle and all that oxytocin makes you love life.

Look at the Lights

The best thing about this date is that it’s virtually free! I say virtually, because you still have to pay for gas. Grab a cup of coffee and turn on some Christmas tunes and drive around to the most beautiful neighborhoods! Bonus points if you rank the houses, or make up your own Christmas Lights Bingo game.

Take Cute Christmas Photos

(see above. Okay. There are a few awkward ones. Jest ye wait.) If you have a DSLR and remote, or self-timer on an iphone, or a sister with a DSLR who is willing to give up an hour of her evening taking goofy pictures of you and your boo, then you’re all set!

Ding-Dong Ditch

Remember that game when we were kids when we would ring people’s doorbells and then run away? Well now you can play it as adults – just a nicer version. Spend an afternoon or evening baking little goodies and leave them on the doorsteps of friends in the area. It’s a great way to give back and spread some love! Maybe leave a little note so they know it’s not poisonous though. . .

Have you gone on any holiday themed dates? Tell me your favorites!!