Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Importance of Dating

I think often in marriages, women still want to court their husbands by going on dates and do fun things like they did before the marriage, but men don't think it's necessary-they already did that, and now that you are married, it's not required.  Or perhaps the issue is that you both want to go out, but don't have the extra money or time to do so.  The truth is, dates are not meant just to do fun things or meant to put a strain on the budget.  Dating is a specific time where you let the troubles of the world go, put everything else on hold, and focus on your love with your spouse.  It's nurturing your marriage, just as if you were going to feed your children breakfast in the morning, your marriage needs to be fed too!

This is especially important if you have children, if you are both going to school, both working, have a home to keep up, schedule way too much in a week, all of the above, or basically live in this day and age.  Because we live in a time period where we think it's normal to take on way more in life (and do it faster and better) than ever in the history of mankind, we usually exhaust ourselves and barely leave time to recuperate.  That leads to zoning out in front of the TV or computer at night, and being too tired to actually interact with our dear loved one for maybe weeks on end!  Maybe this is just me and my life, but I have a suspicion that this could be a universal problem!?!? 

That is why planning a time where you re-connect with your spouse is so important; so that LIFE doesn't over take you.  What happens when you don't nourish a flower with sun, water, and soil?  The flower dies.  When we let life get in the way of nourishing our marriages, they too will wither into nothing.  However, if you regularly care and give attention to your marriage, at any state that it is in, it will grow bigger and more beautiful than ever!!!

Dates are one way to provide opportunities to spend time with your loved one,  to continue to get to know (understand)  them, and allows you to enjoy life together.  Being reminded of why you fell in love in the first place over and over again, through dates, sounds delightful to me!  Who wouldn't want that?

Now, dates are not just defined as going out and spending money together.  As you will see in this blog, many dates I will post about are simply staying home, spending little to no money, but most importantly, focusing on each other.  What a date meant to us as newlyweds, was getting a Jamba Juice and $5.00 pizza to share at the end of the week, and we looked forward to it!  We didn't always have money for that either, and so we have played many card games throughout the years (which we still like to do).  Now, I am thoroughly enjoying discovering new creative dates, that provide new experiences and conversations!  Love tip #2 comes from Douglas Brinley featured in the Ensign magazine, January 2012 issue and I have been loving this lately!

Love Tip #2:  "Date Frequently.  You and your spouse need time together to renew your relationship.  New perspectives come with time away from the mundane.  That means dating is essential.  If you have children but few resources, look for creative ways to go on dates. ...Above all, recognize that a babysitter is cheaper than a divorce."
 (Ensign, January 2012, What Happily Married Couples Do, pg. 13)

What have you learned about dating in your marriage?

Happy loving,

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Progressive Dinner ~Date

Since it's still the month of February, I was thinking about what other Valentine's dates I've experienced in the past.  I remember last year really stuck out to me because a group of my friends and I did a Progressive Dinner with our spouses and it was a hit!  I've also heard of families doing this as a tradition for Thanksgiving, but it is fun anytime of the year! 

A Progressive Dinner is done at a number of houses in one night, with the first house usually hosting an array of appetizers, the second house with a main course, and a third house with desserts.  When I did it with my friends, we had four houses hosting appetizers, salads, main course, and desserts.  We ended the night playing "minute to win it" games and it was a blast, and complete with humorous prizes for all the couples!  The food was amazing; just be sure not to fill up at the first house!  The entire evening lasted for about 4 hours I think, maybe longer, and I would definitely do it again! 

Minute to win it games are great for a group, I've even heard of them been done at baby showers.  If you would like to do minute to win it games at your next event, here is the link to the nbc show website with how-tos on every game: Minute to win it list .

I love food, so a Progressive Dinner is something I really enjoy with lots of food and great company!  I hope you enjoy this date too!

Happy loving,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Elegance in White.~Date

For Elegance in White, it's all about the mood.  You will be sharing delicious white treats in a breathtaking white atmosphere.  This date is one that you can do at home when the kids are in bed, if you don't have much time, or if you want to tack it on at the end of another date when you get home.  This also might be good for your anniversary, as white can reflect memories of your wedding. 

Preparations/decor:  The idea is to set up a location in your house before hand with white luxurious sourroundings.  Some ideas include: white candles (putting them on mirror candleholders creates a very romantic effect), white rose petals, sheer white curtains, white table cloth, white canopy (if your location is the bedroom), white flowers, pillows, ribbon, and/or gather any white decor you already have in the house as well!  If you go to the dollar store or Walmart and look in the wedding section you'll find these and other great white decor ideas for cheap.  Black and white photos of you and your spouse would be beautiful too!  Below is a vision picture of what you could create that I found on pinterest.  If you follow me on pinterest, I've collected some more beautiful decor ideas for this date there.

(original link for this picture here )

Preparations/food:  Then, you'll want to prepare or buy white lavish food such as cheesecake, white chocolate, white truffles, white cake (re-inventing your wedding cake), white chocolate covered oreos, sugar cookies, lemon bars with powder sugar on top, powdered doughnuts, and/or double berry cheesecake ice cream (Albertson's brand) for the date.  If you really love white chocolate and have a chocolate fountain, you could get an assortment of food to dip into the flowing chocolate too.  Also, I recomend getting sparkling cider or another variety that they have (I used sparkling cranberry), and serving it in glass champagne glasses for your beverage.
Make sure you have on white attire as well.

(Ignore the bites already taken out of the cheesecake!)

Yummy Recipes:
Oreo Truffles (except using white chocolate coating)
Mini Cheesecakes
Creamy Lemon Bars

Be sure to download one of these special invitation options: invite#1, invite#2, invite#3  Once you download the font will change to a pretty cursive.  For some reason these invites didn't keep the original cursive font when I uploaded them.
 (Click on file, click download original, enter in specific info, print)

Set all these things up prior to the date so when the time comes, you can savor and enjoy Elegance in White with your loved one for a complete luxurious experience!

Happy loving,

Friday, February 17, 2012

OOOh baby you know what I like!!!-Date


Wow, my husband is so clever.  He came up with this catchy date name, and what can I say, I like it! You can  make this either a group date or a couple date depending on what you want.

This date is all about making choices for your spouse and is sure to spark conversation about what you already know about each other and what you still have to learn!

1.  Pick out the outfits.  Each person picks out what they think their spouse's favorite outfit is to wear on the date.
2. Go out for dinner and order for each other.  Choose everything for your spouse and vice versa, including drinks, meals, and desserts. (If you are out with a group (and have friends like mine), can you just imagine the conversations that will spring up about each other?)
3. Play the Newly Wed Game.  After dinner, return home and play this lively game with friends or as a couple.  This game is fun whether you are newly weds or been married for a while. Instructions:  Take turns asking either husband or wives  a question, and they have to predict what they think their spouse's answer would be.  And example question for husbands could be, "How many pairs of shoes does your wife own?".  A good way to keep track of this is to have both partners write down their answer on paper so they can't change it.  To find which questions you want to use, go to these helpful links here and here. If you are playing with a group, this can be really funny and you could pick up some gag gifts at the dollar store for the winners!  If you are playing as a couple, write down a service prize that your spouse can do for you if you win, or what you will do for them if they win (30 min. back massage, foot rub, husband makes dinner, day without changing diapers, etc).  Trust me, incentives make games more competitive and fun!
 I've learned that surprises make everything more fun on a date, so if you want, you could just tell your spouse that you have a date planned on Friday at 6pm and lay the details on him that night.  Also, going the extra effort to make invitations to give to your spouse or friends, starts anticipation for the date and that's sometimes half the fun...and makes the fun last longer around any memorable date.  Here are some free download invitations that we created.  (Group Date Invitation) (Spouse Invite) After clicking the link, go to file and then click download original.  From there you can add information for your date and print.

 So there it is, all through this date you have learned so much about your loved one, or proved you know them best and it can be a very enriching night!

If you try this, or have any additional ideas for this date, comment and let me know! 

Happy loving,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Welcome Friends!!!

Welcome to my new blog, Live Romantique!  The word Romantique is to suggest the art of romance, or loving someone.  I am very excited to have a place to store my many ideas and discoveries that adds fun and romance into my own marriage and hopefully to yours too!  My vision for this blog is to include all things from date ideas, gifts, romantic destinations, food for thought, and basically anything that I find of value for strengthening and maintaining happy (totally fun) marriages!

I first wanted to thank the most important person in my life for loving me and continually striving to make each day better, my husband, you sincerely amaze me!  This Valentine's he gave me many gifts I didn't expect and that I of course adored.  But what I appreciated the most was how he took care of me and our family this past weekend while I was sick along with the two youngest children.  He had planned a Valentine's date for us this weekend and I was of course dissapointed that I didn't feel well enough to keep our plans.  He cheerfully went to the store to pick up things for the sick kids, and came home with surprises for all of us.

A dozen roses, chocolate bar, and a red (my favorite color) crockpot for me.  We needed a bigger crockpot, but seriously, he scored points because he bought the red one.  It's so pretty!  Weird that it brings me happiness, but I love that he knows me!  And the kids got new coloring books and sweetheart candy (Dollar Store).  He also borrowed some movies for us to watch over the weekend.  Despite being sick, this turned out to be a fabulous weekend seeing just how loved I am.  My husband did laundry, at least 5 loads of dishes, cooked the meals, cleaned up vomit from children, helped me get up with the sick baby at night, made cookies, painted our daughter's nails when she requested it, let me take a 3 hour nap, and continued to ask what he could do in advance to help make my Monday easier if I was still feeling sick!  When our house could have so easily been turned upside down, I was shocked to see the kitchen sparkling clean Sunday night and the beautiful roses on the table, and I thought, I am so very lucky to be loved by my husband!!!

 A lot of these things aren't really out of the ordinary for my husband to do for me and the family, but I was grateful that my eyes were opened to see that these things were his way of showing his love and concern.
  Love Tip #1:  Open your eyes and discover the way your spouse shows their love for you daily! 

Happy loving,