Ready For the Weekend


It’s date night, and I am still glistening with sunscreen from this morning’s pool party with the kiddos. I see pub food and casual conversation in our near future. What are you doing this weekend? Here’s a few links that made me click twice this week.

He with the most Facebook friends wins apparently.

Nicole Kidman– the early years

Clark and Mia dead ringers

My kids new favorite book

Invite for my next At-Home Date Night

Butter in coffee?

Good advice for summertime runners

The Happy Movie just made my instant queue

Well, that’s all for now….I hope you enjoy the official first weekend of summer!

{Image via Indulgy}

Date Basket

This clever idea has been making the rounds on Pinterest, but every since I saw these pre-planned {and pre-paid} monthly date envelopes, I’ve been coming up with ideas to make my own. Shannon Brown made these as a Christmas gift for her husband, but how cool would it be as an anniversary or a wedding gift? Each month of the year would have a different theme and a different adventure for the special couple. It would certainly take thought, originality, and quite a bit of planning, but it would surely be a gift they wouldn’t forget. And, if you’re a really good friend, you could slip a “free childcare” coupon into each envelope for couples with small children. Oh, please won’t you be my really good friend?

Great Cheap Date Challenge #20

Whoa! We’re up to 20 date nights completed. So far, so good! It’s been one of those weeks where I feel like I’ve been pulled in a million different directions, and I just want to be home for goodness’ sake! So, I think that we ought to plan a stay-at-home date. such as…

Henry and June

“Compose together, or take turns writing paragraphs and then folding over what you’ve written except for the last sentence, which the other person then continues until the conclusion of the tale, at which time one of you reads the whole thing aloud.”

I’m sure this will be a riot to post about on Monday.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Great Cheap Date Challenge #19

Picture Perfect Picnic

“Be an artist for the day, or just look like one. Pack a picnic, a pad of paper, watercolors, crayons, colored pencils, pastels or whatever medium you’ve always wanted to try. Set off to a scenic afternoon spot where you can both sketch and fritter the time away with good conversation and lots of color. This is all the more fun if neither of you are artistic, or if both of you are. If they aren’t too heavy, you could both bring your favorite art books to pore over after you’ve finished your own masterpieces.”

I was relishing in my Scrabble win from last night when it occurred to me that I didn’t post this weekend’s Great Cheap Date Challenge. The weather in Charlotte has been so beautiful and my sweetheart has not only been cooped up sick this week. Not only that, but his license is expired and he couldn’t get out even if he was feeling well enough to go anywhere! So, we are headed outdoors tomorrow afternoon. I will drive us, of course. And, while we’ve been gifted artistically in some ways, but coloring, drawing, painting, and anything pertaining to visual art of any kind is not exactly our forte. This ought to be fun, right?!

Great Cheap Date Challenge #18

Window Shop

“Just for the fun of it, dress up and venture down to all the chic stores in town for an afternoon of window shopping. After you’ve made the rounds at all the highbrow retail establishments, head to the five-and-dime for a snack and a shopping spree. Separate for five minutes and buy each other a gift that costs no more than 99 cents.”

Seriously, I owe Clark after the our Bake a Cake date last weekend. Its all fun and games until the only color dye you have for the cake frosting is purple.

He’s the only grown man I know who’s birthday cake would be more fitting for a six-year-old girl. But the spice cake was delicious!!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Great Cheap Date Challenge #17

Every Friday I post one of 52 Great Cheap Dates by Lynn Gordon. A friend of mine gave me this little deck of cards as a stocking stuffer so long ago, and one day while I was feeling adventurous, I pulled them out and enlisted my husband for a 52 week dating challenge. Every week, we pick a new adventure to do together. Some are out on the town and others take place right at home after the kids go to bed. Some of my favorite dates don’t even involve leaving the house! They simply require the two of us and a sense of humor. We are having a blast! And I welcome you to accept the challenge right along with us. This week’s challenge is rather perfect because Sunday is Clark’s 33rd birthday.

Bake a Cake

“Have yourselves a Betty Crocker date by poring through the best-sounding dessert recipes and choosing one that you might never tackle alone. Grocery shop for the ingredients, then make your outrageous creation from scratch as the evening’s entertainment. Be sure to have doilies and glasses of milk on hand.”

I’m pretty sure Spice Cake isn’t all that outrageous, but, I do have some pretty interesting cake molds. I wonder how Clark would feel about his birthday cake being in the shape of a giant bunny?

Yes. Let’s!

99 Bottles

Beer Tasting

“Local Microbreweries often offer free tours with beer tasting afterwards. If there’s no brewery near you, throw your own tasting party by buying some of those weird new beers whose taste you’ve been wondering about, and making homemade pretzels (simple recipes can be found with just a bit of research). Buy a couple of different mustards to put on the fresh pretzels and ta dah! You’ve got your own beer and mustard tasting party (though preferably not mixed together).”

In my defense, I had been up at 5am on Sunday to get ready for church before the kids woke up. Before our little beer tasting double date with Ben and Ashley even started, I was ready to curl up with either Clark or the body pillow and call it a night. But, I had gone to the Common Market the day before and created my own six pack (ok… two six packs) of exotic beers, and I couldn’t wait for non-beer drinking husband to finally select a beer that he liked or at the very least could barely tolerate. The tasting began with Ben enlightening us to the difference in shades, textures, and origins. Thank you, Ben. If Clark and I had been on our own, we would have had to make stuff up as we went along. We sampled ales and lagers from all over the world…Belize, Greece, Germany, England. That combined with the Mexican food we had for dinner has made for an interesting tummy situation for both of us this morning. But the good news is, we found a winner!! Turns out my husband who likes girlie drinks actually prefers the stoutness (is that a word? Stoutness?) of a Steelhead brew. No sissy pale ales for my man. No sir-ee. Before the night even started, I could feel myself coming down with the cold “funk” that’s been going around, and sure enough, not only did I fall asleep before our guests left, but I am sick today with a stuffy head and sore throat.

No….. its not a hangover.

Our cheap date of beer tasting was a success! And now our dining out experiences will be even cheaper if Clark isn’t ordering those expensive martinis!

Bowling with Benefits


Big Balls. Little Balls. 

Have yourself a middle-American afternoon dressed in garb appropriate for a miniature golf game, or head to a putting green and whork out your whacks there. If you hate chasing those little white balls, head to the bowling alley (you do have your own shoes and bowling ball, yes?) for a cutthroat bowling tournament for two.”

Clark and I spent all day Friday looking forward to bowling a few frames at the Epicenter’s Strike City Lanes. We were placing bets, and I must say, the stakes were getting more provocative as the day went on. We showed up psyched because regardless of who won, we knew we would both make out okay. I should have been tipped off by the bouncers freezing outside the front door. Strike City soon struck out when we discovered it cost $45 an hour per lane. Excuse me? This is supposed to be a Great CHEAP Date Challenge. So, bowling for benefits turned into Shocktops and cheese sticks at the snack bar. I wasn’t too disappointed as we exchanged perhaps the first uninterrupted conversation of the entire week. It is a wonder how 2 people can share a name, a bed, and a checking account and in 5 days time only manage to squeeze in enough dialogue to ensure the garbage made it to the curb before trash day. I’m pretty sure we looked more like a newly dating couple than a married couple with 5 years and 2 kids under our belt, since the waitress did ask us if we wanted separate checks. I’ll take that as a good sign. Cheap Date Challenge #15… Good times without the embarrassing bowling score.

Great Cheap Date #14

Wash and Dry

“Make a date to meet at your favorite laundromat to do your laundry, but pretend to be strangers. Somewhere between the sorting and borrowing detergent introduce yourselves. Perhaps between rinsing and spinning you could bravely begin to make small talk, and by the time you’re folding and leaving, see if you can’t make a date to get to know each other’s dirty laundry better.”

Did you ever see the movie Four Christmases? The scene opens with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn pretending to meet in a bar for the first time when they are really a dating couple. He’s going down in a flame of pick up lines while she completely shuts him down cold in the middle of all these people. Next thing you know, he’s put her in her place (which she finds irresistible) and they leave the bar together arm in arm to everyone else’s amazement.


I don’t know if I would have the nerve to roll play like that, but if I can muster it up, this would be the cheap date challenge to give it a try. Considering my recent Laundress post, I think this date will not only be fun, but rather necessary in our case.

Up, Up, and Away

“Drive to the airport, park in short-term parking, and stroll through the international terminals. The range of nationalities found here is impressive. People-watch and make up stories about people’s lives and the trips they are taking. Enjoy the emotional drama of sad partings, joyful reunions, and all the misbehaving tired children. Scan the latest in trash reading at the airport gift store, have yourself a snack in one of the snack bars, and head home with the comfort of knowing that you won’t be sitting on an airplane for 11 hours.”

We recently moved to Charlotte from Atlanta. In more ways than not, Charlotte is much more suited to us than Atlanta– less people, less traffic, less expensive. However, for this week’s Great Cheap Date Challenge, things may have gone rather differently if we had lived near Hartsfield-Jackson rather than Charlotte Douglas. Granted, it is the busiest airport in the country, but you can practically hang glide through the terminal its so big. Not to mention, the shops and restaurants available are endless. Kill some time over a cold beverage and a Ceasar salad at Houlihans. Or stay healthy at the Grove stand on your way to catch a flight. Want a massage? No problem. Hit up any one of the Brookstone shops and test the new uSqueeze Pro Massager. You can pretty much find whatever your heart fancies before you even reach the security check point. Perhaps we may have been a tad bit spoiled. Upon our arrival at Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Saturday night, we were greeted by nothing but a lonely Starbucks and an empty Lufthansa ticket counter. We soon realized that any hope for entertainment was beyond the full body scanner to be enjoyed by ticketed passengers only. Clark muttered something about all airports smelling like cigarettes and rubber, and I made some crack about a girl wearing a strapless sun dress and flip flops. Does she know its 20 degrees outside? We realized it was only hunger talking, so we left the airport, no sooner than we had arrived, but not before we promised each other that we would one day show up at the airport ticketless and choose an exotic destination on a whim. This addition to the bucket list was well worth our brief visit. In keeping with the international theme, we headed to Deejai Thai and toasted to finally finding our stride. The airport didn’t deliver, but the chicken Tom Kha certainly did.

Did you do anything fun over the weekend?

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