Tag Archives: Date Night

Simple Weekends Are In.

We did it. I know it doesn’t seem like a huge feat but it felt incredible. We turned it all off. We turned off our phones, computers, and TV. No technological communication with the outside world for an entire 24 hours.

But we were productive still! We managed to go thrift shopping, learn backgammon, reorganize the kitchen, clean the apartment, cook breakfast and dinner, and start an awesome new project (more on that to come). I woke up this morning feeling like I’d had a full 24 hours rest. When we succumb to the TV Β all day, I feel like the day passed without me noticing.

So we’re committing. Every Sunday that we are at home, it will be a Simple Sunday. We’ll spend the day together doing everything and nothing. I can’t wait πŸ™‚

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On a different note, we went back to line dancing on Saturday night! My regular followers will remember this date a few weeks ago when we spent the evening at Stone Country Saloon. Well I fell in love with line dancing and have wanted to return ever since. I got the hang of a few more dances and am set on going back until I’m a line dancing pro. I’m still working on getting Mike out for the two-step (he’s getting there).

So, in conclusion. Simple Sundays are officially in. Line dancing is officially awesome. And I am officially relaxed. How were all your weekends?

Love and a smiling face,
Ash

 

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Fun Times Friday: Lunch Date and Line Dancing!

Happy Friday everyone! You made it. Since you’re coming up on some blissful rest days, I thought I’d give you a few ideas for a day out. Here in Illinois, it’s bitterly cold; last Saturday we had a heat wave when it got up to 45Β°F. Mike and I are beginning to get cabin fever couped up inside all day long. So since, it was my date day last Saturday, I got us out and around town as much as possible. All while staying under a budget.

First we picked up lunch from a wonderful little bakery/caterer/deli in Peoria. It’s called the Cracked Pepper and they had pepper grinders everywhere!

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These were my favorites. Isn’t the gold so pretty?

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Then, because the sun was out, we drove down to the Peoria waterfront and ate our lunch on a bench outside. We bundled up so we wouldn’t freeze and it was so wonderful to just sit in the sun. And cheap!

Then, ever the scavengers for cheap activities, we headed to the Caterpillar Visitors Museum to check out all the big machines Mike helps build. He gets in for free and I only cost $7. Sweet! Keep a lookout for student, senior, employee deals in your area to save yourself some dough. You can find out events and discounts in local (free) papers and handouts in newspaper stands.

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I lost track of what all the machines were called… But they’re cool! And Mike helps make them πŸ™‚

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This is the WHEEL of the biggest truck made, ever, in the world. It’s used for mining and the bed of it is 35 feet wide. In the museum, they fit a movie theater in it. So sweet.

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The simulator driver things. I had really wanted to get my operators license until I tried this thing. Mike was awesome. Me, not so good. Lol.

Then that night…drumroll please…we went line dancing! What?? I never really thought about it but, of course, line dancing in the midwest is the real deal. It was about 20 minutes from our house in a real barn called Stone Country Saloon. There was a massive dance floor and tons of locals (none of them wearing plaid oddly enough). It turns out that when I get a couple beers in me, I’m really pretty good at line dancing. I pick up the moves like a champ. By the end, I had people coming up and teaching me the steps. I guess that’s normal in these places but I felt privileged.

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Mike stayed at the bar to watch most of the time but jumped in when he felt he could do it. Isn’t it weird how much more nervous to mess up men are when it comes to dancing? Maybe it’s their lack of hips. I don’t know.

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But I’m in love. I’m going back this weekend. I want to get to know the patrons there. And the awesome saloon owner, Dan. And I WILL get good at line dancing before leaving the midwest.

On top of all this wonderfulness, the cover on a Saturday is $7 (a little steep) but the beers were $3 (makes everything ok).

What are some sweet deals you’ve found in your area? I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Fun Times Friday: Date Night Creativity

If you’ve been following this blog for a bit, you know that Mike and I go on a date every Saturday night. Each week we switch off planning and paying for them and, if possible, we make it a surprise. So last week was mine and, considering I’m on a VERY tight budget I’ve had to get pretty creative with what we do. My budget most weeks is about $25 for both of us. How the heck do I figure that out??

Well if you keep an eye out for free events going on in your town, you never know what you’ll find! There’s a nice, upper class area called Peoria Heights that I drive through every once in a while and I saw a sign for “Chocolate in the Heights.” You know those signs that you tend to ignore because you’re just too busy going about your day? This was one of those. But since I’ve come to realize my not awesome financial state, I’ve started actually looking at those signs! There was no description of what it was, just that it was the next Saturday (yes!) from 10am-5pm. I did a little searching and found a slightly more detailed poster for the event.

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Using my deductive reasoning, I assumed that each boutique and shop on the main street would have some kind of deal on chocolate and/or something free to offer. Done and done!

As usual, I planned to take him to this event and then bring him home and cook a nice, sit-down meal for us both.

I kept it a surprise until we parked in the Heights and let’s just say Mike looked less than excited. However! I kept the energy going. I gave us $15 to spend on chocolate and whatever else we wanted and, because I had to work late, we had an hour to do it.

It ended up being REALLY fun. Of course we only took one picture because I was too excited to remember to take more. But we discovered a whole street of awesome shops we didn’t know were there: an oil and vinegar shop with about 30 different types of gourmet vinegar (cool!) and a few more specialty shops with random but also really unusual knick-knacks. We got some great gift ideas for Christmas.

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^ Yep, I look like I’ve just discovered gold.

We used this as our food vacation day and got lots of delectable treats. Free stuff we indulged in: chocolate fountain (see above), chocolate pretzel clusters, oil and vinegar samples, cheese, wine, beer, and chocolate cupcakes. With our $15 we bought an amazing triangle of cheese, a bar of specialty chocolate, and some Pear Balsamic Vinegar. And we had such a good time scoping out the options and then going back to the shops to purchase what we wanted.

So it’s possible! To have a few hours of fun and still stick to your budget. You just have to keep an eye out for free things around your town.

Happy Friday everyone! πŸ™‚

Fun Times Friday: Pottery Painting

As I mentioned in this post. Last week was my turn to organize our date and I took Mike pottery painting. Hahaha. I kept it a surprise because I knew he wouldn’t look forward to it, in fact I was sure he would dread it. So we drove up to the place (Fired UpΒ in Peoria, IL) and I told him what we were doing. I asked if he was excited and, being the wonderful man he is, he answered, “Yeah.” No smile, no kiss, no jumping up and down in his seat. He was dreading it. I told him to keep an open mind and that I would still love him if we walked out and he still hated it. Just in case, I had steak marinating in the fridge to perk up his spirits.

Spoiler alert: he LOVED it. The painting part was really fun. He messed up on his beer mug a few times (thank goodness for the owner because she fixed it for him) but finally got the hang of it. I painted a bowl to use as our centerpiece on the dining table (practical as ever). But when we left, he still didn’t love it. HOWEVER, when we went back to pick up our goods a week later, he realized how awesome it was that we had actually painted a useable piece of pottery. Victory!

I will say that because we picked such practical (see: expensive) pieces, it ended up being a very costly date. But it was worth it because now we have something around the house to remember it!

Of course, I forgot to take photos while we were actually in the studio so see below for the three-picture montage. I love my man πŸ™‚

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^ He didn’t want to take a picture. It may have been the manly side of him. The same side that resisted the pottery painting.

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^ Yep, that would be an swirly bowl and a dinosaur mug.

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^ Finally a smile! He’s so handsome πŸ™‚

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^ And my bowl in place on our dining table.

Have you ever done something like this? What would/did you paint?

Happy Friday!!!! πŸ™‚