Friday, February 10, 2012

My Version of "A Year of Dates" {Part One}

romantic table setting
I'm sure you've seen all the different "year of dates" ideas out there right now (if not, then you're in for a treat today). I think it's such a cool, creative way to add a little zing back into date night! Plus, it's just fun to have something special to look forward to, and planning out a series of date nights can help insure that they actually happen.

The basic idea is to come up with 12 dates (one for each month of the year) and package them in a cute way to give as a gift to your spouse. This is something I've been wanting to do since I first saw the idea several months ago. Well, it's time! My Valentine's Day gift to the hubby is gonna be my own version of a year of dates.

This will be a 2-part series since giving ideas for so many dates will make for a long post! Plus, I want to show you some ways to package up this awesome gift. So here is part one...

But first:

If you are my husband, then please read no further!!!

Okay. Just playing it safe. :-)

So, here's the twist to my year of dates idea. Usually, what I see is the 12 dates divided into months: January, February, March, etc. And each month you open a new envelope to see what the date is to be for that month. Well, I thought it would be fun to label the dates based on a key word rather than the adjective for what that date will be like. That way your husband (and you) can decide what kind of date you feel up for! Note: you will need to write on the outside of the envelope if the date has to be done at a particular time of day or during a specific season. That way you won't be trying to do some star gazing during a January blizzard! :-)

Oh, and instead of 12 dates, I am including ideas for 18 dates, leaving 6 dates open so you can re-use your favorite date ideas. So, instead of one date a month, I want you to have a whopping TWO dates per month! :-) We are really thinking outside the box now!

Here is a list of some great adjectives and the date ideas that go with them (remember, all your spouse will see on the outside of the envelope/package is this key word):

I picture this date idea as something fun and a bit challenging! For our date, I've decided to do some geocaching. I've never done geocaching and I think it will be really fun! Susan, another one of DefrumpMe's bloggers, did an amazing post on how to get started if you've never done this type of treasure-hunting before. Check out her post HERE. Other date ideas include taking a hike, rock climbing, canoeing/boating, shooting at a gun range, horse-back riding, renting a great adventure movie, or just trying out a new place to eat (hey, for someone like me, that IS adventurous)! 

To me, romance means candles and flowers, a starry sky, or a romantic restaurant. My romantic date idea for this year is to sign us up to take ballroom dancing! Yay! Never done that either. And it IS a bit out of my comfort zone...which is why I'm forcing myself to do it! Other romantic date ideas include star gazing (be sure to take a picnic basket of food!), dressing up and going to a fancy restaurant, creating a romantic dinner date at home (check out my post HERE to see a lovely version of this), eating outside at night while surrounded by candles, twinkle lights, or tikki torches, seeing a romantic movie at the theater or at home, or strolling through a local park/botanical garden at dusk. 

Haha! Yep. You read it right. I am extra excited about this date idea! What you do is each pick one thing that you love to do that the other thinks is a bit boring (or at least has little to no interest in it). Then you take turns doing each other's boring activity! Why do I like this idea? Cause it gives each of you a chance to do something just for your spouse...and maybe you'll even end up enjoying it. In fact, that's the goal for the date. You both look for ways to enjoy the other's chosen activity. WARNING: Do not do this date if you can't handle it! If you think you'll be a scrooge about it or have a bad attitude, then just don't do this date. But if you CAN do this date and enjoy it at the same time, I think you'll be on your way to a more mature relationship. :-) So, for my date, I am choosing to shop for 30 minutes at a local craft store (my hubby does NOT enjoy that). I will let him choose his activity, but I can guess it might be watching a SciFi show from the 70s that I have no interest in watching or something similar. :-) But that's okay, because I want to show him that I love him and his interests! Another way to approach this date is to pick something you both think is boring and do it together--but the key is to try to find the beauty in the activity, no matter what!

My date idea for this one is to walk a local trail that we've never been on. We've got some awesome biking/walking trails in our area, and walking is somthing that I enjoy (and can actually do!). Other date ideas include playing tennis (even if you have no idea what you are doing), biking, playing basketball (one-on-one...woohoo!), swimming, disc golfing, bowling, ice or roller skating, batting at a range, working out together at your fitness gym (yep--just make sure you do something relaxing after), watching a local sporting event, training for and participating in a local 5K or marathon (that's a long-term idea), etc...the ideas are endless on this one!

One of the things that attracted me to my hubby was his intellectual side. Plus, he looks so cute in glasses! :-) My date idea for this year is to do Love Actually's Bookstore date. We both love to read, so I think this will be really fun for us. Other date ideas: attend a university lecture, listen to a podcast together over dessert, go to a local poetry reading, watch a documentary, listen to an audiobook together, visit a museum or art gallery, or pick a topic and head to the library to find books about it.

I can only think of one idea for this...think spa night at home. It includes hot water and a shower/bath...pretty self-explanatory I think! Hot tub would be nice too!

This one can be really fun, especially if you take it on as a challenge. Try to have the cheapest date possible! This could mean stay home, but I encourage you to actually try it while you're out and about. If you have a gift card to a restaurant, then this could be the date you use it. Or you could go to your local Sam's Club and eat dinner there (granted, it might be a hot dog) for under $5. One idea I got from Six Sisters' Stuff is to only do activities that you have coupons for. Great idea! Another fun date idea came from the Happy Home Fairy. Each of you gets $5 (or whatever amount you choose) to spend at a dollar-type store. You each have to buy the other something(s) with the $5. Have fun and be creative with this one! This is what we'll be doing for our frugal date this year along with dinner at either Sam's Club or using a gift card (if we haven't used it by then). Other date ideas: just get dessert or an appetizer instead of a full meal at your favorite restaurant, go get coffee or hot tea and talk, play a board game (some coffee shops even have board games available), visit a bakery and get a small treat, use 20 Good Date Questions as a springboard for some great conversation!

Wild & Crazy:
Well, "wild and crazy" does not exactly describe me as a person. :-) Or my husband for that matter. So my ideas might be few and not too crazy, but oh well. I will try! I think our date night for this one will be playing laser tag at a local arcade. :-) That's about as wild as I get! Maybe you can help me out on this one, cause I really like the idea of a wild date night. Here are some of my other ideas: schedule this date during the fair and go on some wild rides, go on scary rides at a theme park if you have one nearby, rent a scooter and ride around town, get fake tattoos :-), visit some wild animals at the zoo (hee hee!), go buy each other a wild or crazy accessory for an outfit (like a crazy fingernail polish for you and a crazy tie for him), eat something you've never eaten before (be brave!), or watch a crazy movie...any other ideas??

I'm really loving this "year of dates" idea! I think it will be fun to see what type of date my husband will reach for first and which ones will end up being our favorites. We always do the same thing on our dates, which is fine, but I'm ready to try some new things. How about you?

That's it for part one. Come back tomorrow for more date ideas plus some cute ways to package it all up!

See Part 2 HERE.

Linking up here...

At the Picket Fence
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Creation Corner
Fun To Craft
Happy Hour Projects
Making Lemonade
My Romantic Home
Simply Designing
Stuff And Nonsense
Sun Scholars


  1. I needed to have things planned ahead for this years dates and know when they were happening because of being so busy this year, but if things calm down a bit next year I might try introducing a bit of pick and choose to next year's dates. Good idea.

  2. First, I LOVE the stop sign! lol What a great idea this is! We need some spark in our date nights! I love the picture with the lanterns, how beautiful! We would have to use the tiki torches though, or be eaten alive by bugs. Thanks again for the ideas!

  3. This is a really cool idea! Sometimes we just need a little plan. Just a little one, to keep spontaneity alive. Ironic.

  4. Such great ideas. I love the lanterns images in the first picture. Dreamy!

  5. I LOVE this idea, especially your adjective take on it. I know my husband would want a little more control over the timing and choice of the dates-- more romantic for him to still treat me to the dates I come up with ;)

  6. This is a great twist on the idea. Thanks so much for sharing! I love the idea of labeling them with the adjective, to make the date more apropos to your mood. Stopping by from Making Lemonade.

  7. Thanks for the sweet comments, everyone! Very true, Janel; and I agree, Carolyn. My husband will be able to have a bit of control over the dates (usually I'm the planner). This makes it easy for him...he just has to pick a word that he feels up to doing! :)

  8. Thanks for sharing! Our Valentine's plans all sort of fell through, so we stole the bookstore idea as part of our date this weekend and had a lot of fun--great ideas!!

  9. Under the category "Steamy":

    We have a book called Songs in the Key of Solomon: In the Word and in the Mood by John and Anita Renfeoe. Each one tells you how to set up a romantic setting for the devotion that goes along with it. We do this for our steamy date nights.

    Or, you can buy a copy of the Kama Sutra and try something you've never done before!

  10. Clever ideas! I gave my husband a box with 7 date ideas for Valentine's Day (one for each year we've been married) but I wish I'd gone ahead and done 12. I'll be using some of these ideas next time! Thanks for linking up to Refresh Your Nest Friday over on Making Lemonade.