Tag Archives: date night

The One Thing You Must Do to Enjoy Your Date Night

Enjoy Your Date Night

You wake up Friday morning, excited. You have a hot date tonight! With your man!

You confirm with the sitter. Make sure the kids have an appropriate dinner (i.e., something frozen). Get the Important Numbers list out. You and your husband are texting all day about the date, either making plans or excitedly anticipating the plans you’ve already made.

After a little thumb twiddling, you let the kids watch a movie so you can play dress up (and actually wear perfume!). He swoops in and sweeps you off your feet. And there you go!

Yayyyy…..

….

yyyy…

Hmmm… huh.

Meh.

As you go to bed that night, you think back on the date.

It wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t great. You went to one of your favorite restaurants – yay! You ordered an appetizer and ate it s.l.o.w.l.y. while you were talking about that thing that happened at the office on Monday.

Boy, that was tasty, you think as the handsome guy across from you is giving you the update on soccer practices and art previews from school this week.

The dessert is even better than the food… and the conversation, which is now centered on that issue with your uncle from forever ago. Humph.

Oh well. The conversation wasn’t that great, but we needed that time to catch up!

Your plan for after dinner was to go hear some live music and walk through the botanical gardens that are open at night, but you’re so tired, you both agree to go see the newest Bourne movie. (Good choice, by the way.)

Later you think, where did we go wrong? How did we not feel more – connected? Romantic? Flirtatious? Alive?

Here’s the one thing you must do if you want to actually enjoy your date night

Hold that thought (cruel, right?).

You might think I’m about to tell you to quit talking about the kids and school on your date, right? But you need to go back a little further than that.

To actually enjoy your date night, you must have a “catch up” time every day.

Yes. Every day.

As a couple, build into your routine a time each day that’s set aside just to listen to each other. Pour out any “business” (school and work) from the day. Lay out big decisions or worries you’re wrestling with. Pray together.

This might sound scary to you, or it might sound dreamy to you.

It might sound scary because it sounds like it takes a long time! It will at first, like most new rhythms. But once you’ve built it in, you’ll find that sometimes it only takes 10 minutes. Other times, it does take about an hour to really hear each other and care and pray for each other.

Plus, you actually have to hold off on turning on the TV… I know!

It might sound dreamy because it’s something you desire, but it would be difficult for your spouse to be on board with it. Let them know at a happy time (not during a fight) that having a certain time to be heard is important to you and makes you feel loved. Pray that God would make your spouse receptive and committed.

When you’re spending this kind of quality time together every day, you both expect it, you fight for it, and then when you have a date night planned, you can really have fun and converse just the two of you and re-learn all about each other!

And here’s one little bonus tip, especially for the tired and exhausted marriage couple:

Order coffee or tea at the beginning of your date

This sounds a little counterintuitive, maybe – don’t you want to sleep later? But, when we’re in those tired, tired seasons with littles, the first thing I do on a date is order a cappuccino.

If we’re paying for a sitter and spending time and money and energy to work at our marriage, then I want to give him my best – and my best comes with a shot of espresso! At this stage of my life, my caffeine sensitivity has been buried with months of no sleep, so I don’t have a sleepless night later, but even if I did, it would be worth it to build in special bonding time with my man.

And then I might feel more up to that music and garden tour instead of the movie I’d sleep through!

Thanks to my husband, whose sermon on Song of Solomon inspired this post!

Save More on Date Night (and everything else)

This post is sponsored by Groupon Coupons. As always, all opinions are my own. 

We have a date night coming up Friday! Woooooooooooooo!

Sorry, I’m a *bit* excited. We’ve had some dates since our baby was born, but this will be the first where we will LEAVE.HER.AT.THE.HOUSE.

Excuse me while I shed a tear for babies growing up!

As the chief spender (and saver) in our house, Groupon, one of my favorite sites to check for local deals, just became a favorite site for all deals with the launch of Groupon Coupons.

datenightGrouponCoupons

Let me help you plan your date night for Friday. I have a small baby at home, so going to the movies is out of the question. I mean, who wants to leave halfway through a movie because baby bombed the date night? Hence, all I want to do is go see a movie. Well Groupon Coupons currently has $3 off Fandango purchases! You’re welcome.

Haven’t finished your taxes yet? How about 40% off at H&R Block (P.s. taxes are due in 2 days.)

And you still haven’t picked up a DVD of I Am Gabriel (a film I have a supporting role in!)?

I Am Gabriel

Since it’s sold in Family Christian stores, you walk right up, open your Groupon app, swipe to Coupons, and search for the store. All available coupons will be presented to you!

There are actually over 60,000 sales and coupons current in the app, so I think you’ll find something you can save money on. Since you probably already have the Groupon app on your phone, you really don’t need to do anything else but check that app for some money-saving deals!

Oh, I guess you could also follow them on Facebook and Twitter so you don’t have to check the app every day.

Date night and money saving all in one post. I feel accomplished now. 😉

Three Easy Steps to Date Night Eyes

date night eyesWhen you go on a date with your hubby, do you do anything special? Do you wear a dress? Put on fancy perfume? Actually bathe?

Before we had children, we rarely went on dates. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: stupid! Please go on as many dates as humanly possible before kids. Spend money. Dress up. Stay out late. Don’t wear jeans.

Now, anytime grandparents are in town visiting, we’re like, Uh…. could we go on a date!?

Of course they always say Yes!

We’re already eager just to be together and have uninterrupted conversations, but date night also makes me eager to dress up and get all fancy-schmancy for my husband. Why? So that he is reminded that I am his and he is mine.

 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels. We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver. (Song of Solomon 1:9-10, NIV)

The fragrance of your garments is like that of Lebanon (Song of Solomon 4:11, NIV)

You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. (Song of Solomon 4:9, NIV)

Now, in Song of Solomon, there is lots of gazing and describing of each others’ God-given bodies. And I’m not going to pretend the focus is on the eyes. It’s pretty much everywhere, especially underneath the clothing!

However, the lover (i.e., man) does focus on the eyes at least a couple of times:

How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. (Song of Solomon 1:15, NIV)

How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves. (Song of Solomon 4:1, NIV)

In chapter 1, the lover and the beloved are getting married, and in chapter 4, they are about to consummate the marriage.

How often did you gaze into your husband’s eyes on your wedding day and soon thereafter? And how often do you gaze into them now? Yeah, it’s kind of pathetic to think about, huh?

But he wants your eyes to rest on him. And he wants his eyes to rest on you.

So back to date night – I always, always make sure to enhance my eyes for date night. After all, Brad will be looking at (mostly) them during our entire date.

There are three things that I always do to get date night eyes:

1. Touch up and darken your makeup.

Whatever makeup I put on that morning, I touch it up and darken it. I re-powder, and always put extra blush, eyeliner, eyeshadow, and mascara. And of course lips! You know those always need work.

Darkening your eyeshadow and eyeliner will enhance your eyes and change your look from daytime to date time. Plus, sometimes it’s DARK on dates! He won’t be able to see your normal makeup anyway!

2. Use a highlighter around your eye.

This one might be new for you, but it’s my absolute favorite accidental-makeup find. I got my Benefit Highlighter pencil (get yours using that link!) as a free gift with purchase quite a while ago. I thought I would never use it, but I always pull it out on date night.

You can use a highlighter pencil in several ways. For example, you can “draw” a line under your cheekbones and smudge it in.

But I use it most often on my eyes. Here’s how:

First, focus on the inner corner of your eye – the corner by your nose. Use the pencil to trace that little corner. Don’t be shy about using too much; it’s subtle (and you can always smudge it in if it freaks you out haha!). Once the corner is nice and focused, just use softer strokes outward above and below the corner to blend the highlighter into your eyelid. You can choose to smudge it, but I never do.

The inner corner of your eye is now bright and a little bit wow!

Secondly, and I got this awesome tip from a makeup artist on an AT&T shoot I did, use your highlighter to outline your eyeliner! You may already have a darker-than-usual eyeliner on for date night. Now, use the highlighter on the edge of that line. If you’re on the bottom of your eye, trace under the eyeliner, and if you’re on the top of your eye, trace above the eyeliner.

This is a subtle hit of WOW for date night. You can choose to just do the corner of your eye, just the corner and bottom line, or all of the tips above. I hope you love it as much as I do. Look closely at the image at the top of this post, and you can see the effects.

3. Darken your eyebrows.

I already have big, bushy, dark eyebrows that I’m constantly trying to tame (case in point, the “morning” pic I took!). But that doesn’t mean they don’t need some extra ooomph.

Using just a hint of brow powder can add drama to your eyes. Plus, it’s something people won’t easily notice. They’re like, “You look great!” But they’re not sure why. 😉

Look at my date night picture to see what a difference brow powder (and wax) makes! It’s a pretty big difference. But I don’t think it looks fake or scary. That’s the goal!

You will need brow powder, brow wax, and an angled brow brush. You can buy all of these separately, but I would opt for a brow kit like this one instead if this is new to you, as long as it has the right color for you.

Speaking of brow powder color, you want a color that is just a smidge lighter than your brow hair. My brow hairs are very dark brown, so I go for a medium brown (not blonde) brow powder. The color I use is Taupe by Smashbox. In fact, I highly recommend the Smashbox brow kits, which are specific to hair color. For these, you have to buy the brush separately.

Now, to apply the powder, dab the angled brush in the powder, then touch it to your brow just past the edge. You’re not trying to outline your brows, just add a little powder in the middle. Without adding more brow powder to the brush, blot the brush on your brow two more ticks up and to the right.

Once both eyebrows have powder, add wax to your brush, then use the brush to “comb down” the brows at the top. The wax should help any wild hairs stick to the ones that are better behaved.

And that’s it! Three easy steps to eyes ready for gazing!

What are your must-dos for date night? Do you have any extra tips for us?

 

DIY Date Night Nails – Tips for Sally Hansen Salon Effects

date night nails
Spring Break means that Samuel’s Naunie, who’s a teacher, is available to babysit for me. Which means a 3-day sleepover for Samuel. Which means a date night for mommy and daddy! :):):)

I know, I know. We should be having three date nights, but alas, Brad ended up with meetings on 2 of the nights we were free. (It’s just comes with the job!)

After dropping Sammy off with Naunie, I treated myself to a trip to Ulta – one of the great DIY beauty meccas! And if you know me personally, you know I’m all about DIY beauty. I do my own pedicures; I highlight my own hair; I even wax my own bikini – yup!!!

But mommyhood sometimes gets in the way of momma’s beauty. And I’m OK with that. For a time. But then it’s time to rev it back up – I want to look good for my man! He knows I do it primarily for him, so when I try a new lipstick or get a new blouse or wash my hair, he seems pleased. What man wouldn’t stand taller for a woman who wants to be a feast for his eyes only?

It’s definitely been awhile since I was able to take care of myself, so I had to stock up at Ulta. New pedicure tools, new waxing and shaving supplies (my razor was YEARS old and had mold on it – yeah). And I decided to try something new:

Sally Hansen Salon Effects. Have you heard of these? I know they’ve been out for awhile now, but I rarely paint my fingernails, so I’m kinda late to the game. They’re basically like nail polish stickers.

And I’m in love with them!

Everything you need is in the little kit, except for a swipe of nail polish remover. You do a little prep to your nails (with the kit tools), then you apply the stickers one by one. The kit comes with several sizes, including extras, and each sticker has a squarish edge and a curvy edge so you can choose which is right for your cuticle area.

I would say the whole process took me about 30 minutes. I’m a little fastidious (i.e., anal), so I spent a little extra time making sure everything was just so. After you’ve done it once, I bet you could cut 5-10 minutes off the process.

This is definitely a project you could do while relaxing in front of the TV, too. It’s not super messy (no wet nail polish, just stickers and sticker pieces).

The prices of the kits vary from about $2.50 – $9.99 for new/popular patterns. Mine cost about $5 at Ulta. A steal for a fun little manicure!

Are you ready to try it? Here are my tips:

  • Read the instructions through once before you get started. They’re very simple, but this will help you feel confident as you move forward.
  • Sit somewhere with good lighting! I did this in my dimly lit bedroom, which was a mistake.
  • Choose and line up which stickers will go on which nails before starting. I just lined them up from left to right, pinky to thumb for the left hand and thumb to pinky for the right hand.
  • When choosing the stickers, consider the fact that your nail beds curve down on the left and right. One sticker I chose was a little skinny because I didn’t factor that in – but it still ended up looking good!
  • If this is your first time, choose a pattern or glitter kit, rather than solid. If you make some minor mistakes, you won’t be able to tell.
  • When you put the sticker on, line it up in your cuticle, and then press in the middle of your cuticle. Keeping your finger on the cuticle, press up from there. In other words, stick down the center of the nail first. Then, move from the center to the sides.
  • After using the wood stick to smooth the edges, check if you got a little bit of overlap off the side of your nail. If you did, you can use the pointed side to get rid of it. Simply “outline” the edge of your nail with the pointed end, like you’re drawing over it. Don’t be too rough or you can damage the sticker. Just be firm and go over it a few times. The excess piece will start to disconnect, and you can take it off.
  • Make sure to crease the sticker over the front of your nail and rub it down. Then, use the file as instructed to get the excess to come away. You want to put the file on top of the sticker rather than underneath so that it stays connected to the rest of the nail. With light filing, once the excess starts to separate, you can gently pull it away or continue filing until it’s completely removed.
  • Do both of your thumbs last. You’ll see why. 😉
  • Enjoy!!

Oh! I also painted my toenails for date night using crackle polish (I was in a hurry so don’t mind the bad polish job):

date night nails

How much do you like DIY beauty? Could you use some more help with it? Let me know in the comments!

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