Tag Archives: date night

Date Night Ideas, www.happywivesclub.com, today show, frugal dating

Free Date Night Idea: The Today Show Date

My personal date-night challenge was this: come up with either a cheap or free date night idea. Preferably something free, fun, and that parents with small children could do easily – no baby sitter needed.

I started thinking about what my favorite things to do with my hubby are. Number one on my list is talking and cuddling. Any variation of talking and cuddling will *always* make me happy.

I had the idea for this blog post and then was thrilled to see a conversation on the Happy Wives Club Facebook page where HWC members repeatedly agreed that “talking and cuddling” is where it’s at as far as our favorite bonding activity with our hubbies.

So here it is, super simple and I discovered it totally by accident. We had recorded the Today Show and when I turned it on the big headline was that the government was monitoring our cell phone usage. Remember the day, when that story broke?

Well as it turns out, my husband had very strong feelings about it, as he is in IT, and understands the nuts and bolts of *how* the monitoring would work. I had very strong opinions too and asked him a ton of questions.

I found out things I didn’t know about him, just by asking him a question from the news story on the Today Show.

Then I realized he is my favorite person. I want to know what he thinks about everything. So I asked him to stay and watch the show with me and if we could pause on different segments and discuss. He is used to my zany suggestions and said yes.

We laughed, we debated, and we watched Martha Stewart using Match.com to find a date. We found that both gripping and hilarious at the same time. We talked about how having cameras following you around is probably not conducive to opening up your soul.

I could not get over how much Natalie Morales and Savannah Guthrie look alike. My hubby laughed, highly amused at my observations.

In the end we fast forwarded through some segments (latest and greatest makeup on sale) and had long, thoughtful discussions about others (what is our expectation of privacy in this digital-shareable world?) and overall had a great time.

This is so easy to do, I had to share.

Record the show. Watch together. Discuss. (If you have little kids, you can totally do this once they are asleep at night.)

Disclaimer: I am not associated with the Today Show in any way, other than watching it. I took the pictures on my camera at home and I hope the team at the Today Show thinks this is a really GREAT idea! – Maggie

5 Great Ways to Start and Replenish a Date Night Fund

5 Great Ways to Start and Replenish a Date Night Fund

5 Great Ways to Start and Replenish a Date Night Fund

We’ve been talking alot about date nights (and date days :) ) in our HWC community recently and there’s a reason for that.  

Dating your spouse isn’t just great for staying connected and taking time out for yourselves, it sets your friendship on fire!

HWC Contributor, Carlie Kercheval -whose post on free and frugal ways to celebrate your anniversary is among our most popular article…ever- is back to share a nifty little trick to make date nights affordable.

Until Monday…make it a great weekend!

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Do you have a date night fund?

We do.

We didn’t always have one, but after our first two years of marriage, we decided it was a necessary tool to keep our marriage thriving. I would encourage you to start one today if you haven’t already.

Being a single income family with three children - we are careful to make every penny count.

Sound familiar? 

Well, guess what? I am going to share 5 ways my husband and I keep our date night fund afloat.

1. Every month choose one thing to cut back on. For instance, many people I know buy coffee at fancy coffee shops. Nothing wrong with it, but what if you decided NOT to do that for one whole month and save the difference? Bingo! You’d have money in your date night fund! No need to carry it over to each month (unless you want to). But one this is for sure, this will help you see more areas of excess that are robbing you of your precious date nights!

2.  If you shop online, use Ebates. This has been our #1 source of date night funds for the last 5 years! Basically you sign up and find your favorite online retailers on the Ebates website. You will click on the Ebates link and start earning cash back for your purchases. Best. Site. Ever. Because you can save so much money already by buying online, this sweetens the pot. Go to the Ebates site and check it out!

3. Only buy what you need. Sounds simple enough, right? Well I can tell you this: I find most people don’t follow this rule. They tend to buy a lot of “little” things or things simply because they are on sale - but if you resist the urge to buy into the consumers trap - you will see a large increase in your monthly bank account. This will mean different things for different people, so figure out the ways you can make this happen in your particular situation.

4. Use coupons whenever possible and save the difference on one or more of your trips. For instance, we’ll go for a weekly shopping trip, use our coupons and how ever much we save, we’ll put that into the date night fund. To save time I use FREE sites like CouponMom.com that give you coupons and deals by area including weekly store sales at many retailers.

5. Dedicate a percentage of your monthly income to your date night fund. Even if you can only afford to save 1% of your income each month, it will add up. Nothing is too small. Start where you are at and work with what you have.

Date night is so important in your marriage, so be sure to invest what you are able to keep it going!

I pray this list can help inspire you to start your very own date night fund. And if you already have one, I hope it sparks new ideas to keep it going. 

Be sure to check out my last post for more ideas: 25 Free & Frugal Ways To Celebrate Your Anniversary (can be used for creative date nights too!).

After reading these, there is no way you won’t be inspired to get out on a date with your man! Enjoy!


JOIN THE 1,000,000 MEMBER CHALLENGE: If you haven’t already done it, what are you waiting for? Join the club! It takes only a few seconds and, of course, is free.

Another 1st Date

Another First Date

Can you still remember the first date or outing that you and your husband shared? The excitement, the butterflies, nervousness and maybe even a bit of awkwardness. ;)

This fun little date night idea will help you reminisce on those old memories. All you have to do is think about your first date and try to recreate it. Eat at the same restaurant, visit the same places, or watch the same movie (at home). You could even try to wear similar clothing or take photos in the same places that you did so many years ago. 

Recreating the first date can be a super fun and romantic way to celebrate anniversary milestones, or just to revisit old memories together! It’s the perfect time to think about how far your relationship has come, since that first butterfly-filled evening together.

My husband and I did this on the 2 year anniversary of the day we met. We first talked inside a Starbucks, so we went back, 2 years later, sat in the same spot, and talked about how much had changed in just 2 short years.

This time we were married, and even had our newborn son with us! It was a bit surreal as we realized that just 2 years earlier we had sat there, getting to know each other, talking about our dreams. We had no idea that we would one day be there again, together, married for almost 2 years (for those doing the math, yes, we got married 35 days after we met), with our son next to us, and endless love between us.

On that first unofficial date that started it all, we never would have guessed that we would end up happy and in love, but we did.

another 1st date

Recreating special moments is such a romantic way to reminisce and it is a beautiful way to build new memories together. 

Where did you and your husband share your first date? How can you re-create that day?

The Power of Touch

The Power of Touch

I am assuming that almost everyone is aware of the power of touch. Coming from my education background I always find these topics of interest. I read an article recently by Psychology Today that grabbed my attention.

In the article Dr. Herbenick talks about her desire to be touched.  She mentions benefits for our husbands sexual satisfaction by the power of touch.  To my surprise it was not a sexual touch, but instead cuddling, caressing, and being together.

This article made me think back to my husband and my favorite times together.

Here is the date night that walk down memory lane conjured up.  It’s a date my husband and I did without any planning involved.  At that moment we had no children at home, so for those with kids this may require some planning.

We did this when we were feeling disconnected because of schedules and such. When we do not have quality time together, it generally shows in our communication.

To start off the date night, the first thing we do is to get comfortable. For me I’m usually in a tank and shorts. And ladies… no bra! I have not met one women who is comfortable in those blasted things. :)

This date can take place on your porch, couch, wherever you are comfortable, yet can be touching… but my favorite place is our bed.

(I’m blushing… geeze)

There are a couple of reasons.

1. CUDDLE TIME! – It is so much easier to cuddle and have skin-on-skin contact.

2. It’s a presence and environment of rest.

We start by talking about things we have miscommunicated over the last day-week-month. We talk things out while holding hands, hugging, and caressing. Even when we discuss things that may have upset us, because we are cuddling and touching our defenses are down. It becomes much easier to get out what we are feeling and solve any conflicts.

We talk about our dreams and plans. I think this is important. We get so busy with life we forget all those dreams and plans we have. Reconnect through those.

We also talk about funny stories, or things we have been through, that we can now laugh about.

There are a few rules to this:

#1. NO electronics… put them away. Your spouse needs to feel you are listening to him. 

#2. No Sex – I know that could possibly (or probably) will lead to this… but hold off. Trust me after having a connection and talking things out you will feel incredibly close.

#3. No time limit- If you have children this might be a challenge, or if you are really busy. But set a couple hours aside for just you and your spouse.

I love the benefits of this date! Communication, touch, and quality time with the one you love. Try it and let me know if it helped you connect! I know it has for my hubby and I!

Staying Hopeful, Aunt LaLa



Date Night for Parents: The Faux Date

Date Night for Parents: The Faux Date

Children are wonderful but they can certainly increase stress on your marriage, if allowed.  As women, we often neglect taking time for ourselves which seems to increase after having kids.  And what about our marriage?

Who has time for a date night when there are small children running around?

I know it’s harder to break away when they are young, but it can be done at least once in awhile.  My first child didn’t like taking a bottle which made it difficult to get out alone for more than an hour or two.  Now we have two kids under three years old, so we like to make the most of our infrequent date nights.  

Get ready because I am about to share my favorite date night idea with you.

The Faux Date Night

Step 1: Secure a baby-sitter (preferably at someone else’s house).

Step 2: Drop your kids off.

Step 3: Grab a quick dinner.

Step 4: Go home and get busy!

The first time we went on a faux date it was unplanned.  We dropped our daughter off at Gramma’s house with plans for dinner and a movie.  However, we didn’t care for the selection and didn’t want to spend $8+ per ticket for something we weren’t excited to watch.  We ended up renting a movie and headed home.

Home? Yes, a nice quiet, empty home.  

So, we took advantage of that by spending the rest of our date in the bedroom. I’m not going to lie, having kids (babies especially) can make it tricky to have uninterrupted sex.  This is why the faux date is one of my favorite date night ideas!

You may be wondering why anyone would lie about there plans.  Well, when you ask grandparents to baby-sit at their house, they are naturally curious about your plans.  If you are comfortable telling them straight out, that’s great!  You can also tell them you’re going on a date night without telling them the exact place.  Personally, I tell them we’re going to the movies.

I like to say we’re going to see a movie we’ve already seen before or heard enough about that we can share a brief synopsis if asked.  Oh, and definitely go to the movies sometimes too.  Just make sure your husband knows ahead of time if it’s a real movie date or a faux movie date!

QUESTION: Have you ever fibbed about your evening plans to your sitter?

Lets Dance - Happy Wives Club

Baby, Let’s Dance!

“Let’s take a dancing lesson with lots of strangers, and then we’ll practice our  brandy-new skills at the dance afterwards!”

Surprisingly, my suggestion for the evening wasn’t met with the same enthusiasm with which it was delivered.

I suspect some of my fellow vacationers imagined that we’d make fools of ourselves and be asked to leave the event faster than Fred Astaire could say “Would you like to dance?”

While searching for an impromptu date night idea, I had found a website for the Knoxville Swingdance Association.

Their message for beginners was welcoming and low-key:

No special shoes required

Dress comfortably

Most important of all HAVE FUN

They certainly were speaking our language!

Throwing caution to the wind, we headed to the Laurel Theater.

Friendly club members greeted us at the door, and we paid our two dollar entry fee.

We continued into the large, empty, dance space and nodded to the few college-age couples milling about.

In a matter of minutes, the room filled with smiling folks of different ages and abilities.

The students on the stage cued up the vintage music on their CD player, and our jean-clad instructors stepped to the middle of the floor.

They deftly demonstrated a couple of steps, and we attempted to follow.

As you can imagine, there was much laughter as we tried to keep time and keep from stepping all over each other’s feet.

Then, our teachers switched things up by having us move to the perimeter of the room.

Every minute or two they’d call on us to stop dancing and ask the women to move to partner up with the man to her right.

We’d do a few more steps, share a few more laughs and apologies, and the ladies would shift places again.

Thankfully, every man was a gentleman, and everyone was a good sport.

When the lesson was done, but before the free dance started, the instructors cleared the floor.

They then enthusiastically whirled, twirled, and rock-stepped into their high-spirited rendition of West Coast Swing.

A few moments after they began, one of the dj’s called out, “Snowball!”

The dancers broke apart, came to the fringes of the circle, and grabbed a partner.

This scenario repeated itself every few seconds until everyone was out on the floor doing the best they knew how.

There were moments of mild embarrassment and utter terror—I have to lead a stranger in dance steps I just learned?!—and frustration at the learning curve.

However, we deemed the evening a rousing success.

I highly recommend a “Let’s Dance!” date night, not only for getting your bodies and minds moving, but also for stepping out of your comfort zone!