10 Inexpensive Date Night Ideas

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Tony’s Pizza, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #tonyspizzeria http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV.

Enjoying date night when you have children can be hard. There I said it. Simple, straightforward and to the point. Once upon a time, Mr. A and I had a pretty active social life. At the time, we had no clue how good we had it. We could decide on a whim that we just felt like catching a movie or going for a game of miniature golf. But then Little J waddled into our world and things changed quite a bit. Not that we mind, because let's face it, any couple will agree that their lives changed for the better when they became parents. Make no mistake, Little J is the best that has EVER happened to us, but, date nights are slowly becoming a fading memory in the far off horizon.

Last weekend Mr. A and I finally decided to have a date night for ourselves to break in the new place. We switched it up a bit and pulled out all the stops. We ate dinner outside on the balcony with the sweet sounds of Sade serenading us and the aroma of Tony's Pizza wafting through the air. We enjoyed a glass (or two) of wine, one too many slices of Tony's, and just talked about life. It was one of the best night's we've had in a long time.

See date night doesn't have to be expensive or outrageous. It can just be your and your sweetheart, a slice or two of good ole fashion pizza and a chance to remind yourselves that it's the simple things in life that are the most pleasurable. Last weekend Mr. A and I had the chance to remind ourselves of this.

Finding inexpensive date night activities doesn't have to be difficult. Especially when there are so many options out there. You just have to be willing to look outside the box and stray from the beaten path. To help with this, I've put together a roundup of some fun, creative and  inexpensive ways to rekindle the magic with your loved ones.

1. Visit Italy--From the comfort of your home: Okay, so clearly not all of us can decide to jet-set off to Italy at a moments notice, but you can always fake it til you make it. Nothing is more romantic than enjoying Italian on a rooftop (or balcony) with romantic music serenading you and your sweetie sitting next to you. Believe me, if you haven't experienced that, you haven't lived. Bonus: Tony's Pizza offers very affordable and authentic tasting pizza. Just sayin...

2. Local sports games:  Perhaps your local sports teams aren't exactly Superbowl, Stanley cup, or World Cup material, but who needs professional teams when you have access to inexpensive booze and yummy concession food.

3. Living Social and Groupon deals: Everyone love a good deal, and the internet makes it even easier. Last year, Mr. A and I happened upon an awesome Groupon deal for 5 private dance lessons for $25.00. Now, we have both apps on our phone so that we can check in frequently to see if there are any good deals. 

4. Food truck scouting: Back in the day, food trucks weren't exactly the cream of the crop. Now days, food trucks have come quite a ways. Depending on where you live, most towns even have gourmet food trucks to choose from.

5. Test drive a car: Yes, it seems silly, but just imagine riding down the highway in a Ferrari with the wind in your hair...Need I say more?

6. Go sightseeing in your city:  Just because you've lived some place for your whole life doesn't necessarily mean you know every thing there is to now about it. Get out and act like a tourist!

7. Volunteer: Back before Mr. A and I were an official couple, we bumped into each other while we were volunteering for Operation Holiday Cheer. It was then that I knew I was really starting to like this guy. Any guy who will give up time on the X-box to package boxes to ensure that even single soldiers who were deployed got a little extra holiday cheer was clearly the guy for me. Doing something good for the community can be a great experience to share together. And it's completely free. My favorite price :)

8. Take lessons together: Refer to number #3 for a great way to find inexpensive dance, painting, archery, cooking ect. lessons.

9. Go on a museum/art gallery hop: Most towns have a few museums or art galleries that are free to the public. Scope out the local newspaper for upcoming events at these galleries and then slip into your swankiest clothes and go have fun. Bonus: sometimes those art shows have free wine and appetizers, just saying...

10. Go for a ride: Rent a bike, rent a scooter, rent a car, rent some skates. There are so many options. It doesn't matter how you choose to do it, but some days are so gorgeous that simply hopping in a car and going for a ride together can be the best date you'll ever have.

Now you guys can't say I never gave you nothin! And because I can never pass up a good deal, I'm going to do you one better. Tony's Pizza currently has an awesome deal on their pizza. Use this coupon to save $.75 off any 2 Tony's Pizza's.  Be sure to grab you coupon and head over to Walmart while supplies last so that you can have your pizzas in time for your next date night!

Follow Tony's Pizza on Twitter and Facebook for more deals and news from the kitchen!

Did I leave a fun date idea off the list? What is one of your favorite ways to spend time your significant other?

Homemade Instant Oatmeal

Every once and a while, a recipe comes along that changes your life for the better. This recipe has done that for my family. Because Little J is such a finicky eater, breakfast in our home has always been a hit or miss. But then this recipe fell into my lap and now things have changed.

The best part about making your own instant oatmeal is that you have complete control over what goes into your food. Granted there may be a few additives in the ingredients themselves, but for the most part, you can eat this without having to worry that you're going to grow a third-eye. Even better still, you can't beat the price. Most of the ingredients are generally found in the typical household. Still, even if you don't have any of the ingredients you'll only pay about $10.00 for about a months worth supply of instant oatmeal. Not bad considering the bill for a months worth of Quakers Instant Oats will run you about $30.00.

For 20 packets of homemade instant oatmeal, you will need:
10 cups of quick oats (not the old fashion kind!)
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of dry milk
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
20-30 seal-able sandwich bags.

To prepare your packets, just toss the oats into a blender or food processor and blend them a bit. Be careful not to blend the oats too much or else you'll end up with mushy oatmeal.  I highly recommend only adding one cup of oats to your blender or processor at a time. It'll be easier to control.

Once you blend your oats, just stir all the ingredients together in one big bowl, then use a large spoon to add a few scoops of your mixture into sandwich bags. You can experiment a bit with the ingredients. Maybe add raisins or cranberries to give it a different taste. I added a bit of dried apples to our oatmeal for a bit of extra flavor, and it was amazing.

When you're ready to eat a packet of your freshly made homemade instant oatmeal, simply boil a pot of water and add as much, or as little as you would like. Then toss it in the microwave for about 30 seconds and your done!

So there you have it, a 5 minute solution to a breakfast that the whole family will love!


My Baby You'll Be

I was in the middle of complaining about not being able to fit into my dress when I found out that my friend had just lost her son. You can imagine how trivial it seems now. How silly it was to be so upset about something minor when there are people in this world experiencing a pain that great. A pain no parent should ever have to experience.

Later that evening we went to a birthday party. And it was absolutely gut-wrenching. While one of my friends was celebrating her daughter's birthday, another was mourning the loss of her child. I can't even imagine. I don't want to imagine. I no longer know how to exist in a world without my daughter. And that is terrifying.

I'm not sure what the takeaway from this post is. Other than to hold your babies a little bit closer today. Because somewhere in this world there is a mother who would do anything for just one more chance to hold her child in her arms. They may drive you crazy. They may do the opposite of everything you tell them. But no day is promised--for anyone. Not even our little ones.

And if you could, just say a kind prayer for my friend and her family. They are truly living through every parents worst nightmare.

Sunday Sundae's with Wet-Nap + A Free Printable

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Wet-Nap but all my opinions are my own.

Summertime in our house typically means filling up the freezer with every popsicle and flavor of ice cream known to man in an attempt to beat the North Carolina heat. However, if you live in the south, you know two things:
  1. There's no getting around this heat.
  2. Enjoying ice cream on a sunny day can be a messy experience, especially if you have a toddler.
This weekend, we decided to celebrate our first full month in our new home by having an ice cream party. Much fun was had. But a huge mess was created in the process. Because I'm no stranger to messes, before even purchasing the ingredients for our party, I stocked up on Wet-Nap. I suppose two years of parenting will teach you to cover all your bases first.

Of the three of us, Little J had the best time. We set up on the balcony so we could soak up the sun and have a yummy break in the process. Cue the melting of the ice cream. Even though we had bowls, it was still a messy experience. But the other thing that motherhood has taught me, is that most times, the messiest experiences are typically the ones worth remembering.

Like any dotating/overprotective father, Mr. A likes to capture moments like these for future blackmail for Little J's future potential suitors. Poor kid, she has no idea what she's in for...

We've decided to make ice cream parties a normal part of our summertime routine. With a view like the one we now have, we'd be crazy if we didn't. Especially if the clean-up process is as easy as it was this time around. That's another thing motherhood has taught me, if something makes your life easier, buy it--in bulk.

Which brings me to the final lesson that motherhood has taught me, when something makes your life easier, buy it in bulk-- especially if there is a sweet coupon to go along with it. So, before you head out to the stores to stock up on your spring and summertime sweets, be sure to print out this coupon to and save $.55 off your next Wet-Nap purchase while supplies last. As the queen of all things frugal, I picked mine up at Walmart, where the prices always low. So be sure to check out your nearest Walmart for Wet-Naps.

As a thank you for tuning in to my families latest shenanigans, enjoy this free 8x10 printable for your next ice cream party! Click on the Download button below to print the large version. Enjoy!
Click here to download the 8x10 version.