Posted in Making Memories Mondays

Making Memories Monday: Rediscovering the Concept of Date Night

As hinted in the last couple of posts, Tuesday through Saturday was full of night after night of dates (okay, fine, now that I’ve paused, I can’t for the life of me remember what we did on Wednesday).  Luckily for me, some of them also happened to include pictures on my July pictures to take list.  Gotta love multitasking!  🙂

I’m not quite sure what spurred us to do date nights.  I think it started with the movie on Tuesday, then we just found out about fun stuff to do in the days that followed.  Anyhow, I gotta say it’s been fun dating my husband again.  I feel like we haven’t seen much of each other lately!

As promised, some recaps:

Tuesday, as I mentioned, was movie night.  Since I did an entire post devoted to that night, and I don’t remember what we did on Wednesday, I’ll skip right on over to….

Thursday, where we went to a concert in the park.  I used to go to these all the time with my family during my summers in high school, but don’t really remember going to any since then.  Maybe once with some friends a few years back, but that’s about it.  So it was great to finally take in summer in the grass, listening to good music and hanging out on a blanket with the doggie.  We had a super-lazy picnic lunch (nothing gourmet here!) and played some chess during the concert.  Afterwards we went out and got some yummy cupcakes.  I’d have to say it was pretty much a perfect night filled with some of my favorite things.

Friday we wanted to keep the good vibes going so we had a spontaneous game of Monopoly while watching The Craft.  A few weeks ago we watched a documentary on Monopoly on Netflix.  It’s really very intriguing an I highly recommend it if you like that sort of thing.  We also watched a documentary on the history of Target (yes, the store).  We’re weird people who like that kind of stuff.  Doesn’t take much to entertain us, I guess.  Anyhow, after watching that documentary, we recalled how it’s been awhile since either of us played that game, so I decided to just put it into motion.  Out of respect for the documentary, we decided to go all-in with the game and follow all the rules, which meant none of the “bonus” rules that most of us have grown up with, such as the “put all taxes, etc. in the middle of the board and whoever lands on Free Parking collects whatever’s in the middle” rule (or are me and my friends the only ones who played that way?). (Also, total digression, but did any of you hear that they’re going to make a movie out of Monopoly, a la Battleship?  That can’t be good…)  Truth?  The game is so much harder when it’s played by the rules.  And the weird thing is, being 30 and towards the end of the homebuying process, I actually (sadly) understand all the terms in the game that I couldn’t quite grasp as a kid and a teen, such as mortgages, life insurance funds maturing, property taxes, rent, and why payment to the electric and water companies weren’t always the same.  I felt oh-so grownup (read: old fogey) playing the game this time around.  Next time, I think I’m going to totally reinstate the “Free Parking” rule, just for the sake of having more money during the game (when I played this time, I noticed that the huge stack of $500s I usually had was completely nonexistent).  Hmm…I must admit I didn’t plan to talk so much about Monopoly!  😛  We also actually got into The Craft, a movie I haven’t seen in about 14 years.  What a crazy movie!

Saturday we went to the horse racing track.  It was the first time any of us had gone to the races, and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, much more than we thought we would!  We did good on the bids on our first two races, but completely lost on our third race.  It was fun, but cost a lot more than we were comfortable with.  Once I get a job, though, we agreed it would be fun to go more often.  It’s definitely something that could take up a whole day, and I’m intrigued by mint juleps.  Still haven’t had one, and I really wanted to get one on Kentucky Derby Day!  Sadly, we weren’t able to afford going to the track on Derby Day, so I missed my julep opportunity.  It was cute that they sold those cute Derby hats at the track; I even saw some gals dressed to the nines that day!  I want to do that, too.

The best part of the day, though, was the real reason we went to the track in the first place:  wiener dog races!  Yes, you heard that right.  Purebred dachshunds took on a little strip of the race track and ran their cute little butts off to the finish line!  There were three heats and each lasted all of thirty seconds, but you better believe I squealed my little heart out!  It was mind-numbingly, tooth-rottingly sweet.  By far one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.  So the fact that we enjoyed the horse races that happened before and after the wiener dog heats was just a bonus.

Afterwards, we went on a mini roadtrip to visit some friends who were camping a couple hours away (we didn’t camp ourselves…that’s to come next weekend!).  As I mentioned on yesterday’s post, it was good to just reconnect with both them and nature.

So there you have it, our date-filled week!  And now what you’ve been waiting for:  the pictures!  (Quite a few bonus pictures in here that have nothing to do with my “Pictures to Take” checklist, but then again, this is Making Memories Monday, so I’m sharing some of these wonderful memories that were made.)

THURSDAY:

My “ready to rock outside” outfit.

Picnics (Okay, fine, this is more of the June checklist catchup.  Guilty.)  Our lazy picnic.  (Usually we go all-out with the red gingham tablecloth, wine, cheese, grapes, and some sort of homemade gourmet sandwich, but we didn’t have the time or money this time around.)

 Concerts in the park. The band du jour.  They were really good!

Snow cones.  (I’m just now seeing the flavors of the snow cones whie reviewing this picture, and I can’t figure out whether I should be amused or weirded out by the “Newt” [banana & bubblegum] and “Tiger Blood” [sadly didn’t get a picture of what the flavor really is, so it might be real Tiger’s Blood!  where’s Charlie Sheen when you need him?] flavors…)

Family squish time!

Action shot!

Soulful doggie eyes.

Singing along to the band.  I think they were singing “Red, Red Wine”

After-concert treat!  Yum!

If it has anything purple on it, it’s already Violet-approved.  The fact that the cheesecake icing and banana-pineapple-walnut cake part was phenomenal was just the icing on the cake!  (Pun intended.  I think.)

SATURDAY:

The wiener dogs getting ready at the horses’ starting gates!  Seriously, people.  Cutest.  Thing.  Ever.

From our nature walk and visit with friends on our mini-roadtrip.

Hope all of you had some great nights this week too!  🙂  I’d love to hear your stories.

Posted in Ta-Da! Tuesdays

Ta-Da! Tuesday: $4 Date Night!

I have to confess right off the bat that this isn’t going to be the normal “Ta-Da Tuesday” post, where I show off a recently-completed craft or recipe.  That will have to wait until next week, because I think what the hubby and I pulled off today definitely deserves a Ta-Da!  🙂

As you may or may not know, we’re in the middle of purchasing a house.  (Literally.  We just had the inspection, drew up some contingencies, and are waiting for word back from the sellers about it.  So please keep your fingers crossed for us!  We’re getting close!)  As you also may or may not know, buying a house is expensive (unless, of course, you get a super-cheap house, but you get what you pay for).  Not that we really had extra money to spend before, what with me looking for a job and all, but now that we’re using the money we DO have for a down payment, credit card spending is strictly forbidden.  And we’ve been doing a really good job about that because we really love this house and want to do the least damage possible to our (extremely good on both counts!  *patting self on back*) credit scores so that we don’t accidentally shoot ourselves in the foot and not be able to afford this house.

So when my mother gave us $20 spending money because she took pity on the fact that we’ve been living on Top Ramen and mac ‘n’ cheese to make this all work, we thought long and hard about how to spend it.  We got some much-needed coffee before speaking to our real estate agent, and the hubby bought himself new razors (trust me, this was a necessary thing; his face was starting to get scratchy!).  With the leftover money, we decided to check out the $2 movie theater nearby that plays movies that are in that lovely in-between stage where it’s not in full-priced theaters anymore but haven’t been released on DVD/BluRay yet.

Now, there are three reasons for this feat being Ta-Da-worthy:
1)  I can’t remember the last time we’ve been on a date where we’ve spent money.  Not that this is extremely important to either of us, but every once in awhile, it really is nice to treat yourself.  So the fact that we were spending money on being together felt pretty incredible.

2)  We had a full-blown date for only $4!  On Tuesdays, movie tickets are only $1, and hot dogs were only $1, so

 X 2
+
 X 2
=
$4, which also illustrates
3) I had a reason to dress up, which I haven’t done in a very, very long time!  So we weren’t going to a jazz club, fancy restaurant, or musical.  I was far and away the most dressed up person in the whole laidback movie theater, but I didn’t care.  I was on my first date in months and by golly, I was going to gussy up!!!  😀

Accessory List:
Two-tone dolphin clasp bracelet:  (gifted).
Purple floral hair pins:  Charming Charlie (bought 2012).
Purple tiered earrings:  Target (bought 2011).
Purple square-stone necklace (I’m pretty sure it’s not a real stone):  (gifted).
Purple floral ring:  Pier 1 Imports (bought 2011).
Black sheer scarf/shawl:  (gifted).
Purple owl pin:  (handmade & gifted).
*If you can’t tell, purple is my favorite color.  But I also happened to love how purple looks with yellow.


Purse:  Red by Macy’s (gifted).

Top:  Worthington (bought at JCPenney 2012).
Pleated colorblock skirt:  H&M (thrifted!  such a score!)

Black & gray plaid shoes:  Madden Girl (thrifted).  These may be my most absolute favorite thing I’ve ever bought from a thrift store.  I am in love with these shoes!
3 reddish spots on back leg:  Stupid bug bites (outside, hopefully).

Out of all the movies we had to choose from, Dark Shadows seemed to be the one that we would both enjoy.  (Hubby and I have vastly different tastes in the movies we’re normally gravitated to.  He’s more sci-fi/action, I’m more rom-com/anything Pixar).  I admit, I’ve never actually seen the TV series that the movie is based on, so I watched the preview blindly and thought it would be somewhat of a dark comedy, like Edward Scissorhands (yet another Depp/Burton collaboration) or a vampire version of Encino Man (oh, Brendan Fraser, you’re such a cutie pie).  So I went in looking for a laugh.

Oh, how incredibly wrong I was!  Though there were a few laughable moments, it was much creepier and darker than I thought it was going to be.

Me & the hubby acting out some of the scary parts of the movie.  We’re much, much less scary!!!
*Spoiler Alert!!!  Spoiler Alert!!!*
I’m quite the scaredy-cat to begin with, so seeing a ghostly figure fall from a chandelier over and over again screaming “Help Me” and watching paintings bleed, among other creepy scenes, gave me the serious heebie-jeebies.  It’ll definitely be hard to get to sleep tonight.  I’m watching copious amounts of Gilmore Girls to try and keep my mind off of it.  (*Side note:  Oh my gosh!  Seriously, AS SOON AS I WROTE THIS, a scene appeared on Gilmore Girls where Sookie is mentioning a TV episode of Dark Shadows.  I swear I didn’t plan that.  At all.  In fact, I completely forgot that Dark Shadows was even ever mentioned in this show.  Shocker, I know.)

Anyhow, it was an alright movie (I’d probably give it a 7 out of 10), just not what I thought it was going to be.  But all in all, it was great to be able to spend a night with the hubby.  🙂

Do you have any great money-saving stories that you’re proud of?  Seen any good movies lately?  (We plan to see Hunger Games next when that comes to the theater.  I know, I know.  We just might be the only people in the U.S. who haven’t seen it yet[see strapped for money, above], but we’re quite excited about it.)  Am I weird for thinking Brendan Fraser is cute?  😉

Sweet Dreams (for both you and me)!!!