No-prep Mini-dates

Now that my fiance and I are both working full time, our nights and weekends have filled up with errands and day trips and just general busyness. We’re both incredibly lucky that we live together, so we get to tackle most of the insanity together (which makes any food shopping trip or bank trip much more enjoyable!) However this does mean that our ability to spend quality one-on-one time shrinks a bit. We maintain a bi-monthly date night; every other week we go out to dinner and catch a movie or something. But we still like to take some time in the middle of the week to do mini-dates. They’re typically something that can be done without any prep real (we’re usually inspired to go on these mini-dates midway through particularly stressful work days or when we’ve realized that we’ve spent too many nights in our respective corners of The Treehouse).

Spoiler alert: some of these dates are sappy, but I challenge you to get engaged to the best person on the planet and not be a little sappy about spending time with him from time to time.

Dinner and a Movie 

Jim and I love to cook, particularly together. Sometimes on the way home from work we’ll google new recipes to try on our phones and then stop at the supermarket down the street to pick up any ingredients we might need (he usually tries a new take on a chicken dish, while I like to find interesting sides and desserts). We’ll grab what we need (although nowadays we keep a pretty well-stocked kitchen so the list is pretty small) and head home to divvy up the kitchen duties, listen to music (typically Edith Piaf or Carla Bruni), and cook. Once we’re done, we sit on the floor of our living room and eat while we watch a movie that we usually pick at random- typically some terrible monster movie or a movie that we’ve seen so many times that it doesn’t matter if we talk the whole way through the film.

Champagne and Dancing

Since beginning our wedding planning, Jim and I keep a Spotify playlist that has a bunch of songs that are meaningful to us. They’re eventually going to be boiled down to help us choose “our song” (we have so many, it’ll be hard to pick the main one), but for now one of our favorite impromptu date nights is to clear the floor in our living room, put this playlist on as loud as we can, and to spend the night slow dancing together. Sometimes, we open a bottle of champagne too, just to add a classy touch to the evening. (Mind you, the champagne is Andre, which averages out to be about six dollars, but we usually have a bottle of it somewhere since we’re not picky). This is a favorite date night for both of us.

Nature Walks and Photobombs 

Being a part of the much-despised “selfie generation” means that Jim and I both have smartphones with photography apps that we love. I am more guilty of abusing my camera phone than he is, but we both have more photos stored on our SD cards than we’ll ever look through. Even so, on nice days (or snow days, or drizzly days, or cold days) we will walk down to the lake near our house or drive over to the nature trail a few blocks over and hike through the woods while taking pictures- either of each other, us together, or of whatever is around us. If we get a chance, then we’ll head off the trail (we live close enough to civilization that we’re never truly at risk of getting lost in the woods) and just stomp around in the leaves or the snow or the mud. We’re guilty of getting into snowball fights and puddle jumping and all kinds of mayhem. Our favorite part of this mini-date is that it gets us out of the house and moving, and when you feel like you’re out in the middle of nowhere you’re not afraid to be loud and silly. Plus, you get some awesome photos out of the day, and those are memories that are great to have!

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