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.)


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.)


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 Making Memories Mondays

Making Memories Monday: Fathers, Family, Flip-Flopped Feet, Fakeouts, and Fourth Fireworks

Oh, alliteration.  How I love you.  (As evidenced by the titles of my “blog days”.)

I have so much to catch up on for my Pictures to Take Throughout the Year list!  So let’s get this party started, shall we?

June Catch Up:

(***Still to take sometime in the summer:  animals at the zoo & outdoor activities)

Baseball games

At a local park.
Photos with Dad
I realize this is one of the most unflattering pictures taken of me EVER, but it’s the only one where it’s both me and Dad and on Father’s Day.  So there you go.
Purse:  FREE from a yard sale!  Red sweater* (not pictured:  silver stitchings of dogs, paw prints, and tennis balls on this adorable sweater!): gifted.  Gray gingham shirt:  Target (bought 2012).  Jeans:  Avenue (bought 2012).
*For the father-in-law portion of the evening, we went to a puppy parade, where me, the hubby, my parents-in-law, and both of our dogs were participants!  A great time, and thus, the adorable dog-themed sweater.
Feet wearing flip flops

Nail polish:  Grand Canyon Sunset, OPI. (Same color I wore on my toesies on my wedding day, so this particular color has great memories attached!)  Flip flops:  Payless (bought a looooong time ago!)
Strawberries on the vine

Okay, okay, I confess.  These are neither real strawberries nor are they on the vine, but this was such an interesting sculpture!  Actually, I’m not sure whether or not those strawberries are 100% fake.  On closer look, there was some red (full disclosure: and mold!) under the black paint of these strawberries, and they were squishy upon touch instead of metallic-feeling.  So yeah.  Your guess is as good as mine.
Gray cardigan: a.n.a. (bought at JCPenney 2011).  Pink tank:  St. John’s Bay (bought at JCPenney 2012).  Belt (worn as necklace): ??? (gifted).  Shorts:  Mossimo (bought at Target 2012).  Belt (worn as headband):  ??? (gifted).

July (week 3…3!!!!  Where is the time going?!?)
4th of July celebrations
Here I must pause and wax poetic about this year’s Fourth of July.  From 2005-2010, the hubby and I hosted wonderful 4th parties at our place.  It quickly become a tradition that both we and our friends looked forward to every year.  We’d bring our couch outside to the gravel driveway, set up the grill, have roasted corn with spices and various other barbecue food, spend about $100 on fireworks, and proceed to launch them in the huge driveway next to ours that belonged to a car detailing place (we totally got permission from the owner beforehand, of course, and every year he was more than happy to provide the driveway because we were always pretty anal about cleanup…big buckets of water and industrial-sized push brooms were involved).  Then, from our own private, hilled driveway, we’d watch the at least 5 different fireworks shows that were going on in the towns that bordered us.  It was absolutely wonderful.

Then we moved, and we were unable to do the usual get-together because the town we moved to didn’t allow fireworks.  We went to an acquaintance’s place to watch fireworks at a nearby small lake, which was fun, but just not the same.

This year, we’re in yet another different town (I HATE moving.  But hopefully we’ll only need to do it one more time).  Again, we couldn’t have our get-together here (mostly because our friends are further…farther??? [You’d think I know this, being an English major and all.  Then again, I’ve been too lazy to look up parenthesis rules, so there ya go.]  But also because we didn’t have any extra money to spend on even a box of $2 sparklers.)

So we made plans to get together with some friends at a city that was a midpoint between us.  It was a huge Fourth festival, with over 60,000 people in the city’s park (I heard about it the next day in the radio…trust me, I didn’t bother counting or coming up with elaborate equations to figure this out.).  There was live music and kettle corn and strawberry lemonade.  We got there early, staked a claim on the wide, expansive, grassy hill, kicked off our shoes, and played a card game as we waited for the fireworks show to begin.  It was the first time in my life that I have ever laid down on my back on a blanket in the grass to watch fireworks, and I had the added benefit of being cuddled up with my hubby.  It was also the longest fireworks show I ever remember seeing, lasting I would think a good 20 minutes or so.  The fireworks were beautiful, and at the end of it all, we ran to the car and were able to get out of the traffic and on the highway back home in record time!  All in all, a wonderful, low-key day.  Next year, though?  We’re totally setting off fireworks ourselves and reinstating our get-togethers.  🙂

Some pictures of the gorgeous show.

My extremely-rushed patriotic nails.  Saw a cool pattern on Pinterest but it didn’t work out the way I wanted to at all (it was supposed to look spangled, not like abstract art).


Enjoying sitting on the lawn in my red, white, and blue!
Polka dot shirt: Merona (thrifted).  White tank:  ??? (thrifted).  Blue shorts:  Mossimo (bought at Target 2012).  *Side note:  Wow, I really have been wearing those shorts a lot!!!  Star earrings & necklace:  ??? (gifted).

I’m hoping to use the next couple of weeks as catch up.  There are a lot of fun things on this month’s list!

To Your Own Relaxing, Pleasant Surprises!  🙂