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Fresh & Fun Date Ideas

If you and your partner have been together for, oh, I don't know, more than two and a half days, you've probably watched enough Netflix together to last a lifetime. Don't get me wrong; snuggling on the couch and watching the new season of Black Mirror is a cozy way to spend a quiet night in. But no one can blame you for looking for more creative date ideas that go beyond Netflix and chill.

We put together 6 types of dates below. Some are romantic, some are unique, and most involve various kinds of delicious food and drink, because hey, we're all only human. Most importantly, zero of them involve watching seven straight hours of TV until your butts leave imprints on the couch.


You gotta shake it up from time to time!


No. 1

Mini Movie Night

As a couple, it’s important to spend quality time together because it can help you strengthen your relationship and can help with communication! You may be craving some fun night-in ideas. Whether you’re going out to the theater to see the latest release or staying in and watching an old fave, dinner and a movie is a classic date formula. But every now and then, it’s OK to change things up a li’l. Here are the perfect movie night date ideas we've tried and LOVED it.


1. Don’t just “watch” a movie. My boyfriend came up with the idea to get up and dance during movie night when we watched Best Man (my fave!). Similarly, practice your swing if you’re watching a baseball movie, or turn the remote into a mic if any character breaks out into song. As dorky as it might sound, it will get you both laughing.


2. Play dress up. Everything is more fun when you’ve got a nice fit on, am I right? Pull out that little black dress out from the back of your closet and dab a little rouge and lipstick on to make it feel like a sexy romantic night in. Or even better, get into a cute fuzzy lounge set and add a little highlighter to your cheekbones to make your natural skin glow even more. You can get a bit more formal with your movie date night by throwing on a button up shirt and some slacks, or cute heels and something special underneath the little black dress. Don't forget, have fun with it. Your style? To each their own!


3. Create a themed meal. We love meal planning almost as much as we love finding new and unique recipes for our friends, family and clients. Being creative and planning a themed dinner takes our love for unique recipes to the next level! Themed dinner nights keep eating at home exciting and keep you from caving to the desire to eat out instead. There are so many ways you can use themed dinner nights to make mealtimes more fun. If you're watching the Sopranos, you might want to consider an Italian themed dinner. Make your own pizza nights are always a good idea! Cheese and bread? Yes. Or maybe you two choose to watch an oldie like American Graffiti! Cook up some hamburgers and make your own french fries. Don't forget the coca-cola and milkshake.

BUT If you're both not too into cooking one evening, order a nice take-out feast!


4. Get creative with the seating. Have any cardboard boxes lying around? Kids can be ridiculously creative when it comes to cardboard boxes, and with a few snips, some marker and tape, you can turn a basic box into a spaceship, a car, a castle … and then sit snuggly inside while the movie plays.


5. Be popcorn scientists. As I kid, I loved experimenting with different flavors (grapes rolled in salami dipped in Sprite was my jam). For movie night, why not pop some popcorn and let each each other concoct the latest flavor sensation? It’s a great way to let creativity and imagination take hold as you sprinkle in anything from M&Ms and mini marshmallows, to pickle juice and paprika. Hey, the sky’s the limit — or, at least, your pantry is!

6. Make a home cinema. Print out tickets and offer assigned seats for the night’s film. Then load dollar store baskets or bento lunchboxes with candy, drinks, and popcorn. If home movie night is something you do often, splurging on a movie projector screen could be a seriously awesome investment, too (we have one, and love it!).


No. 2

Make It Together Monday

What is Make It Together Monday? Make It Together Monday is a weekly dinner theme where you choose recipes that are interesting and unique in the kitchen making food together with your honey! Whether you want to make this a weekly tradition or an occasional experience, this list of Make It Together Monday tips will surely guarantee a delicious candlelight dinner.

  1. Select your main dish.

  2. Choose 2 – 3 side dishes that compliment your main dish.

  3. Think about variety of food groups. Try to choose something from each of the main food groups.

  4. Focus on providing well rounded, nutritious meals.

  5. Kiss and joke around.


No. 3

DIY Tastings

  • Wine Tastings

You love wine — and your friends do too! Chances are, you’ve been to a couple tastings at your local winery, and you’re feeling ready to host a tasting of your own. After all, what’s better than drinking wine among friends in the comfort of your own home? You can even spruce it up with tasting notes or a palette cleansing snack.

As a wine lovers, hosting a wine tasting party is one of the more creative ways to share your passion with your lover. A wine tasting is a type of an experience where you sample different bottles of wine, compare vintages and regional varieties, and enjoy some lively discussions.

At the end of each wine tasting, have each other express an overall assessment of the wine, referring to the notes and impressions collected during the tasting session. How do you feel about the wines you tasted and what story do those wines tell you? Remember the following:

  1. Limit the guest list to 10 or under, keep it intimate

  2. Gather the wine supplies

  3. Create a "What We're Tasting" sheet

  4. Pick out the wine you'll be tasting

  5. Have fun with it and don't take it too seriously!

  • Chocolate Tastings

This is how you become everyone’s favorite hostess: Throw a chocolate tasting party. Wine is famous for inspiring its devotees to hold elaborate tastings, complete with spit buckets and intense conversations about mouthfeel and notes of “tobacco” and “freshly mown grass”. However, wine isn’t certainly the only indulgence suitable to a careful, thoughtful tasting. More and more, people are getting excited about tasting chocolate. Like wine, chocolate can be rich and multilayered, offering up a complex range of flavors and aromas. And, of course, it’s delicious. (But you already knew that).


So, What Is a DIY Chocolate Tasting?


A chocolate-tasting party is exactly what it sounds like: a gathering of chocolate-loving friends to sample different types of chocolate and discuss what they taste like. How do you taste chocolate? Start by studying its color. (You might think all chocolate looks the same, but when you compare them, you’ll see that there are subtle differences between types.) Inhale deeply to take in the chocolate’s aroma. Finally, let it melt slowly on your tongue, and consider the flavors that arise. Take the time to think about how the flavor evolves as the chocolate melts. Tasting more than one chocolate can help you to see (and taste) just how different one chocolate is from another.


  • Coffee Tasting

Cupping is one of the best ways to learn more about flavour, aroma, and to share that with other people. "We cup every batch of coffee that we roast here at Sample to make sure it meets our quality standards, but it’s also a chance for us to talk about flavours.", says Simon Wright from Brew Crew.

Choose a relaxing spot in your home where you and your loved one would like to taste. Both of you will taste the coffees then compare notes and keep tasting to understand what you're are picking up in the cup.


The tasting technique used by Touri is called coffee cupping or cup tasting. This is how coffee is tasted by producers and buyers around the world to check the quality of a batch of coffee. In cupping, coffees are scored for aspects such as cleanness, sweetness, acidity, mouthfeel and aftertaste..


Tips:


At this point, you’re probably itching to get to that coffee, but before your actual tasting begins, just remember that thisis about enjoying the process, savoring the experience and (literally) stopping to smell the flowers… or rather, coffee.

  • STEP 1 - GRIND

If your coffee is whole bean, grind out 9 grams (approximately ⅓ of an ounce) of each blend per person. Pour each coffee into its own bowl and use this opportunity to assess the dry smell of each coffee.

  • STEP 2 - HEAT

Heat your water up to 200°F, then pour 150 grams (about 5 ounces) of hot water into each bowl and start your timer.

  • STEP 3 - SCOOP

After 4 minutes, break the crust of each bowl with a spoon. Scoop the crust, foam, and any remaining coffee grounds into the spent grounds bowl. Wait 15 minutes for the coffee to cool, and then you’re ready to begin your tasting.



No.4

Smell The Roses


The expression "stop and smell the roses" is not simply about flowers, but rather about how to live your life with a deeper appreciation of the world around us. It reminds us to slow down and notice the little things that make life worthwhile. Despite a busy life, it is important to know how to be present in the moment; otherwise those moments will pass you by. Here are some of our suggestions:


  1. A Walk In Peace: Botanical gardens are such a beautiful setting for a date that you might feel a bit like you’re in a Bridgerton episode. Honestly, that sounds like a pretty great date when you think about it like that. But seriously, the gorgeous surroundings set the mood and can be effective in calming those in love that want to bask in each other's arms.

  2. Love Hike: Are you and your partner the more adventurous, outdoorsy sort? Then heading out for a hike might be the perfect way to get your blood pumping and that chemistry flowing. Plus, who can resist the romance of those scenic views.

  3. A Lover's Picnic: Even somewhere as simple as your neighborhood park can offer a great experience. It's an outdoor space where you can walk and chat, and that’s ultimately the most important part of a walking date. If that's the most convenient location, go for it.

Make it A Little Surprise

Make plans to take a day off work when you know that your partner will be able to take the afternoon off. The idea is to not let him know what you are up to.


Prepare the surprise picnic after your partner leaves for work. Picnic food ideas for this lunch might be a loaf of crusty bread, fresh butter, a sharp cheddar cheese and a soft brie, strawberries and a bowl of whipped cream, and a bottle of wine. Pack everything into the basket, including cloth napkins, two wine glasses and a blanket to sit on.


When it is time for lunch, let your partner know you want to meet them for a bite.


Head for the nearest park hand in hand and unpack the delicious picnic surprise.


Sit on the blanket and begin munching on good bread and cheese. While your partners sipping wine, lean over and whisper sweet nothings in each other's ear. In a matter of moments, he will be on his cell phone calling to request the afternoon off.

The two of you will head home to a quiet house and an afternoon of sensual delights.



No. 5

A Brunch & Farmer's Market Get-Away


On Sundays we feel passionate romance in a very bright, public setting. Fresh aroma of sweet fruits and organic, local fare, smiling faces and sun shining. Mmmm how we love the FARMER’S MARKET! Don’t worry…If you’re living somewhere with snowy winters, you can always re-create the vibe in the produce section! As you and your loved one walk-feeling the warm embrace of the sun, you can both slowly scan the offerings and let the vibrant colors draw each other in closer.

Stroll around, smell the flowers and try all of the food samples, from the aged Gouda to the warm loaves of sourdough bread. Be inspired by what’s in season and grab the ripest, red apple to snack on while walking around with your honey. If you’re in the mood for lunch, you can find all of the ingredients here to make your very own picnic for two.


No Farmer’s Market visit is complete without a delicious tasting dessert. You can make a sweet treat out of the fruits you purchased or enjoy the fresh baked blueberry pies, apple tarts and lemon bars that are nicely packaged and ready to bring home and enjoy as a couple for this date idea.



No. 6

Give Back

Consider planning a surprise romantic date with your mate to enrich your relationship. It is easy to get comfortable in a relationship and forget to treat them in a special way, so be sure that your babe will be and feel surprised, happy, and loved when you go to extra trouble to plan something they will enjoy.


In this circumstance, what truly makes it a romantic date will depend on what you both like to do, and the attitude that you bring to the event. Set your intention for the date before it starts, treat your mate with courtesy and show them all the love you have for them.


You can either choose from one of these date night ideas and simply have a good time with your partner, or you can draw one of them from a “mystery date jar”: just write each suggestion down on a separate piece of paper, and fold each one into a small square. Put all the squares in a jar and choose a date when you want to surprise your loved one.




Bonus Tip:

Mystery Date Jar. Awesome idea.


LLA


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