Category: Fun

Ice Breakers #2

Sometimes you need an ice breaker when you’re on a date, at a party, or sitting at the dinner table. Try this ice breaker and follow up questions during that next awkward silence!

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Make Movie Night Magical

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Ah, the cinema. The collaboration of hundreds of talents, ranging from filmography to acting, from costume to set design, from production to directing. Cast and crew spend months of long hours fulfilling their visions, hoping to tell the stories from their hearts. And now it has become a lifeless, effortless date night option. The shame!

Although dinner and a movie isn’t considered the most impressive of date night choices, it has a lot of creative possibilities. If you want to make movie night magical, you have to create the magic yourself!

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25 Sites You Should Have Bookmarked

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The internet is more than cat videos and Facebook. It is an amazing resource that can and should be used to enrich every day life. Here are 25 websites we think you should browse on a regular basis.

 

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The Art of Creative Romance

lookRomance can be an intimidating word. Thanks to high-budget chick flicks and imaginative romance novels, it feels like the bar for romance keeps getting higher and higher. The truth is, romance is not as complicated as it seems. It’s not particularly elaborate, expensive, or theatrical. It does, however, take a bit of planning and thought; but overall, romance comes down to five basic things: personalization, presentation, variety, planning, and a special twist.

Personalization
Say your sweetheart knows you love baseball and decides their next romantic gesture should involve that particular sport. If they bought you a random jersey from a random team you might appreciate it, but it wouldn’t have half the impact as them buying you a jersey with your favorite player’s name on it, right? Relationships involve knowing and appreciating another person for who they are. The best way to show someone you adore them is to include who they are in your romantic gestures. What do they like? What do they dislike? What makes them happy? What styles are they into? What do they prefer? Pay close attention to who your sweetheart is – after all, that’s who you fell in love with.

Presentation
Buying a woman a dozen roses and handing them to her is romantic, yes. But how much more romantic is it to take those dozen roses and placing them on the ground one by one, leading from her front door to a love letter on the bed? Presentation is a big part of romance. It doesn’t always have to be over-the-top, but a little extra thought in presentation adds to the quality of the gesture.

Variety
Dinner and a movie is – in all honesty – a pretty solid date. The reason dinner and a movie gets so much flack is because many people make it a default date, failing to put in the effort to keep variety in their dating life. Variety is a huge key in being romantic. Expensive dates need to be balanced out with cheap dates, serene strolls on the beach need to be balanced with adrenaline-pumping roller coaster rides, double dates need to balanced out with intimate dates for two. Keep a date journal or calendar of the dates you go on, paying special attention to repetition and style. It’s easy to hit a plateau in your dating life, so keep a record to make sure that doesn’t happen.

phone2Planning
Spontaneity is incredibly romantic… sometimes. But when spontaneity is the only thing holding together your date night life, it can become dull fast. A lot of time is wasted when no one has a decision for the evening. The reason this is saddening is because planning a date or romantic interlude is incredibly easy. All it takes is a little research and a few notes. Grab the nearest newspaper and look for upcoming events. Look on the internet for attractions pertaining to your sweetheart’s interests. Look through romantic idea books and websites and write what ideas you like. Look at holidays coming up over the next few months and see what romance is inspired by it. Dates are simple enough to plan for weeks in advance, and they turn out better when you do so. (Note: you can plan something a week ahead and still make it look spontaneous.) Putting in the extra effort of planning ahead makes the date more romantic, helps the date run smoother, and it ensures that your romantic life is getting the proper attention it deserves.

A Special Twist
Adding a twist to a romantic gesture easily increases its romantic value. There are many books that offer romantic ideas and gestures, and they should not only inspire you to be romantic, but to be creative. Think about how you can put a twist on the romantic ideas other people have come up with. This is romantic innovation. Twists can be as simple as replacing the words in an idea. For example, instead of breakfast in bed, make it lunch in bed. Instead of a one dozen roses, make it four dozen roses. Instead of an Italian dinner for two, make it an Italian vacation for two! Twists are not incredibly difficult to come up with and they make a huge difference in the quality of your romantic gesture.

Note that all of these elements do not need to be incorporated all at once. That would be exhausting! The idea is to look at what your options are and then make that romantic gesture your own. Romance is no place for laziness. Even if you don’t consider yourself a creative person, you can be creative in romance. Your relationship will be all the better for it, too.

Romantic Time Capsule

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFirst decide if this capsule is for you, your kids, or to any stranger who happens to find it. Keep in mind that anyone could find it at any time, so don’t put intimate items and details into your capsule!

Pick out a metal box, a sturdy can with a lid (a coffee can works well), or shoebox, depending on where you’re planning to store it. Fill it with items from the past year, such as:

  • Photos you took that year together
  • Movie ticket stubs
  • Fortune cookie fortunes
  • Love letters, emails, and notes you’ve written to one another
  • Newspaper clippings
  • A list of romantic ideas
  • A list of dates you went on
  • A list of restaurants you tried together
  • A list of special memories
  • Marriage advice for other people who may find the capsule
  • Articles on family and marriage

We even have a time capsule print out sheet for you! Fill it out together, then add it into the capsule. Write a large note on the capsule saying, “DO NOT OPEN UNTIL 2022!” (Or whatever date you decide to open it.) Find a place in your backyard to bury it; or you can place it in the corner of a closet or cupboard if you don’t own your home.

Now that you’ve put it away, forget about it! When it’s time to open your capsule, reminisce and enjoy the good old days. Once you’re done fawning over your old memories, make another time capsule!

Click here for our Time Capsule Fill Out PDF

Valentine’s Day Randomizer

pinkdice2We want to make Valentine’s Day special yet easy for you. We fear that Valentine’s Day might over-whelm you – or worse, under-whelm you – and your plans will fall short of awesomeness.

So let’s make this easy: grab a die and roll it for each category below. Add your own romantic spin on each idea (see our article, The Art of Creative Romance) and voila – You have a solid Valentine’s Day date. (You can use this for anniversaries and birthdays as well. You’re welcome.)

Valentine’s Day Morning
1- Have flowers sent to their house around the time they wake up
2- Put a love letter under their windshield wiper
3- Make your sweetheart breakfast in bed or go out on a breakfast picnic
4- Be their singing wake up call
5- Leave a gift on their door step. Ring the door bell. Run away. (Even if you’re married!)
6- Give them a neck or foot massage before they go to work

Valentine’s Day Evening
1- Go dancing – whether it’s at a restaurant, club, studio, or at home
2- Cook an intimate dinner at home, proceeded by a board or card game
3- Attend a show, play, or concert
4- Go out to dinner, choosing a fancy place you rarely visit or a special place out of town
5- Go to a local event or place (check your newspaper or city website for ideas)
6- Turn a room of your house into a getaway

What Gift You Should Buy Your Sweetheart
1- Specialty food item they love, such as wine, tea, chocolate, spices, etc
2- Something R&R related, such as spa treatments, a hammock, massage chair, a vacation trip, etc
3- Something media related, like a CD, movie, video game, comic, or book
4- Something you can do together, such as a board game, event tickets, or a hobby project
5- A handmade gift – like a poem, wall hanging, bookmarks, etc
6- Something for outdoor use, such as tools, picnic supplies, sports equipment, or a swing for two

What You Should Write in Their Card (Yes, they get a card.)
1- Reasons you love them
2- Reasons why you appreciate them
3- A special memory of the two of you
4- How they’ve changed you for the better
5- Why you never plan to leave them
6- Why they are a great husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend

What You Should Tell Them Face to Face (Just fill in the blank.)
1- I appreciate your ____________
2- The thing I love most about you is ____________
3- You’ve taught me that ____________
4- I knew I loved you when ____________
5- My favorite memory of you is ____________
6- I’m so grateful that ____________

The Art of the Scavenger Hunt

map2Scavenger hunts are an entertainment typically reserved for parties and large groups, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t apply to couples as well! A scavenger hunt involves gathering items, clues, or information to receive a prize. Scavenger hunts can be incredibly simple or incredibly complicated, depending on the occasion, the prize, and time restraints. But no matter how you choose to put your scavenger hunt together, it is sure to put a smile on your sweetheart’s face.

Collecting Items
If your sweetheart is collecting items as a prize, include items that relate to romance, your relationship, or your date. You can have them collect romantic ambiance, like candles or flowers, or you can send them to pick up the wine or dessert. (Get the store owners involved in your hunt – it’ll make their work day more interesting!) You can also leave items around the neighborhood, at friends’ and family member’s houses, or scattered around your own backyard. When the items have been gathered, incorporate them into your prize or your plans for the evening.

Leaving Clues
A scavenger hunt doesn’t have to be only about collecting items, it can also be about collecting information or solving mysterious clues. Have your sweetheart collect clues in order to solve a secret message, send them to a rendezvous spot, or help them find a surprise gift. Information can be obtained through riddles or secret codes, or with a little legwork. Send them to the library with a list of Dewey Decimals, using the titles of each book to form a message. Or have your date gather clues from your friends and family members. Everyone loves playing a good game of detective, so make it mysterious and challenging to ensure that your sweetheart has fun collecting clues!

Scavenger Hunt Teams
If you enjoy friendly competition or simply want to get a lot more people in on the fun, consider doing a large scavenger hunt with other couples. Give each couple a list of what they need to collect, then give a prize to the first three couples that complete their lists and give consolation prizes to all the others. The prizes should be romantic in nature, such as dinner for two to a restaurant, a book of romantic ideas, or tickets to an event or show.

Prizes
Prizes are the biggest drive of a scavenger hunt. Try to make your reward equal to the amount of work your date puts into their search. Prizes can be anything from a birthday or anniversary gift to a romantic evening for two. You can also include your collected items as rewards. For example, if you wanted to take your wife to a formal event, you could pay for the dress, shoes, and hair styling in advance then make it part of the scavenger hunt.

Five Romantic Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Rendezvous Hunt
Start by leaving them a mysterious note such as, “I’m hiding. Can you find me? I have something for you if you can. Want a hint? Grab the package on the doorstep at 123 1st Street to find out more.” Have your date collect items for a picnic, such as a basket, blanket, and food before hinting to where you’re at. (Try not to make it too difficult or your date won’t find you and your food will get cold.) When they arrive, set up the picnic and give them a prize for finding you, such as an item they’ve had their eyes on or tickets to an event you plan to take them to after the picnic.

Boomerang Hunt
At a time when your spouse is at home and you’re not, text them with a message such as, “I have a surprise for you. But I need you gather a few things for me first…” The idea of this hunt is to have them leave the house to gather items, only to have them come back home to a surprise romantic dinner. Tell them to text you once they reach the first point of interest, then make your way back into the house and start to prepare dinner. (Something that will keep in the oven is a good idea.) Each time they reach a new spot, text them the next clue. Once they have collected all the items, bring them back to the house for dinner.

Photo Shoot Hunt
Have your sweetheart collect pictures of places that mean something special to the both of you. Write on your list things such as “The first place we kissed”, “Where we met”, and “Where we had our first date.” Have them collect the pictures, give them a prize for collecting them, then take those pictures and turn them into a small gift book. You can make the book yourself or use a self-publishing website like Lulu.com.

Cyberhunt
Tell your sweetheart a secret message with the help of the world wide web.

It might look something like this:
1 – open up Google search and type in “plants”
2 – click on the third item in the search bar
3 – Write down the third word in the third paragraph, etc

Your message can be anything from “I’m completely in love with you” to “Pick up chocolate cake from the bakery downtown and meet me at the park.”

Foreign Affair Hunt
Have your sweetheart collect objects or pictures of objects relating to a certain country. For example, if your theme was France, have your sweetheart take pictures of something with the Eiffel Tower, a French flag, a baguette, etc. Make the prize related to that culture, such as an authentic cultural dinner, a cultural show, or even plane tickets to the country itself!

Romancing the Seasons

collage seasonEach season has its own unique opportunities for romantic moments. Each season also has its own personality that can be reflected in your marriage. Take the time to appreciate each season together, with these suggestions in mind:

Spring
Spring is a time of thawing, growth, and new beginnings. Celebrate the spirit of Spring by letting go of old hang-ups and beginning anew. Celebrate how you’ve grown together in the past year, and celebrate your individual growth as well. Spend this time trying new things together, investing in the further growth of your relationship, and re-igniting your romance. (Spring is the most romantic of all the seasons, you know.)

Things to do in Spring: Dance in the rain, search for the end of a rainbow, plant a garden

Summer
When you think of Summer, you think of relaxing, having fun, and getting away. Maybe you don’t have the chance to do long vacations with your spouse, but do take the time to get away together. Schedule time together to either relax, have fun, or escape. Don’t make these the usual date nights. Make them exotic, make them big, make them refreshing.

Things to do in Summer: Midnight stargazing, go water skiing, create an island oasis indoors

Autumn
Autumn brings to mind images of home, community, and lively festivities. Gather with other couples during this season for double dates, couples’ parties, or festivals. Create a community to support one another in your relationships. Autumn also involves a lot of cooking and celebrating, so spend the season doing those things together.

Things to do in Autumn: Go on nature hikes, build a gingerbread house, celebrate the harvest

Winter
It may seem cold on the outside, but Winter is all about warmth on the inside. Spend the season making your home a cozier place to dwell, and dwell there often. Make good use of the short days and long evenings, with the use of lots of candlelight and snuggling. Get creative with indoor dates, or explore the warm memories of your childhood by playing in the snow. Appreciate the warmth your spouse brings you and celebrate it.

Things to do in Winter: Search for the best hot chocolate, go to a ski resort, make snow cones