Date Ideas for Couples Who Don’t “Date”

I’m going to make a confession that will shock and horrifying marriage bloggers.

We don’t go on scheduled weekly or bi-weekly or monthly date nights.

Don’t get me wrong- we go on dates. They’re just not regular or scheduled. Our relationship doesn’t work that like. We’re both workaholics (who work with each other) and it’s healthier for us to veg at home (sometimes together and sometimes apart) instead of heading out on the town. I’m an introvert and K is an introverted extrovert so we alter our life and relationship to make ourselves happiest.

Ok, enough explaining. When we DO go out on dates, they tend to be a little bigger and/or planned out than what a weekly date night might entail. If your “dating style” is similar to ours, here are a few of our favorite things to do together:

An evening concert.
We love going to concerts together. We’ve been doing it since the very first month we started dating. When we were younger we’d show up to the concert venue, rock out, and then pig out on fast food or gas station food on our drive home. Now we like to go out to dinner first, then attend the concert (and then come home and crash like old people, lol).

A trip to the local creamery.
We live about 0.25 miles from the town’s BEST creamery. In addition to yummy ice cream, we both love their homemade coney sauce. On beautiful evenings when we don’t feel like cooking we climb into the convertible and cruise over there for dinner together.

Early morning breakfast dates.
I think one of my hands down favorite things to do with K is to wake up semi-early on a Saturday or Sunday and get breakfast at a local diner while the world is still waking up. There are lots of places near us but our favorite is a cute one a few towns over. With maybe 12 tables inside, everyone knows everyone. We’re strangers in that town, but they’re so friendly and it’s fun to watch them greet one another and catch up as they come inside for breakfast.

Walking around car shows.
I married a car enthusiast. We’ve spent many afternoons slowly walking through car shows, admiring the vintage rides of yesteryear. Truth be told, I’ve actually learned a lot about cars from K while walking around these shows. My dad, brother, and grandfathers are all car lovers, too. I guess it’s in my blood 😉 Perusing car lots and open houses are also a fun way to spend the afternoon. For us anyway.

A festival lunch date.
We don’t really care for crowds. Additionally, in a small town like ours, when you immerse yourself in a crowd you’re bound to know a handful of people- some you like and some you don’t. We’ve found that by going on weekday lunch dates to street fests and fairs, we avoid crowds and lines and small talk with people we haven’t seen since high school. AND we get the benefit of fresh lemonade and vinegar-soaked fries 😀

I think it’s adorable and cute and #relationshipgoals when couples plan out weekly quality time. I really do. It’s just not how we operate 🙂 All kinds of kinds. These occasional outings work well for us and keep us happy and connected. Next time you’re looking for something to do with you s/o, try one of these!

What kind of date activities do you and yours like to do?

How To: Host a Garage Sale

I live in a small Midwest town where garage sales are still a pretty big staple of summer. My mom used to host them, I’ve hosted them, and street corners are decorated with neon SALE signs in every part of town all summer long. Is that typical across the country? (I’m honestly not sure…)

Anyway, tomorrow and Saturday I’m having a garage sale in conjunction with the neighborhood garage sale. (Our new house is in a development and I’m so excited to participate in the neighborhood sale!)

I won’t lie… I really like garage sales. I enjoy pricing things, arranging things, and selling things to others (a.k.a. checking them off my list). I’ve even been known to tell people to “just take it.” I’m 100% committed to getting rid of stuff. Since I’ve done this a few times, I figured I’d offer some friendly and totally unsolicited advice to anyone thinking about hosting their own yard/garage sale!

  1. Certain items draw people in. People like furniture, gently used kids’ toys and clothes, and jewelry. Once they’re in your driveway they browse through the adult clothes, kitchenware, and other miscellaneous things you have. People like winter coats, too!
  2. Keep your prices low. I might be guilty of under-pricing things, but they sell so I don’t care. And don’t be afraid to drop prices mid-sale.
  3. Friday is typically a better sale days than Saturday. Drop your prices overnight. Don’t be afraid to haggle on Friday (but maybe take someone’s best offer on Saturday). In my experience, Fridays are great and profitable while Saturdays are more of a freebie.
  4. Have refreshments! I’m not necessarily talking about a kid-run, bee-swarmed lemonade stand. Some cold $1 bottles of water will draw people your direction.
  5. Pay attention to when other around you are having sales. If you can get in on a neighborhood on that’s even better! People flock to multiple sales. Also, if people show up early and want to buy stuff before you’re 100% ready, let them 😉
  6. Advertise in the newspaper/on Facebook/in the classified. Mention the *good* stuff you’re selling (see advice #1).
  7. Don’t burn yourself out. Only go from 8am to 2 or 3pm. After that it’s not worth it. Also, if you have friends or family who want in on the sale you can take shifts!
  8. Speaking of which, share your garage with friends/family. I don’t have kids but my bff does and she’s bringing their old toys to our sale this weekend to draw people in. My mom is also contributing items. You can use different colored stickers to keep track of how much money each person makes, then divide it all at the end.

Honestly, there are no solid rules to garage sale-ing, but these tips have worked for me. I don’t like cluttered tables or mismatched items so I tend to stage and categorize. I think it’s proven successful in most cases. I usually mark the sizes on clothing, too. That way people aren’t tearing through my piles 😉

Just a reminder:

  • obtain a garage sale permit (even if your neighborhood is having a sale)
  • check with people before you stick a sign in their yard (advertising your sale)
  • have change ready for people paying with large bills

I know some people find garage sales to be stressful and way too much work. I am not that person. Haha. Have you ever had a garage sale? Do you enjoy them?

 

Ramblings of Sorts

I don’t have anything worthwhile to say today. (How’s that for a lead-in?)

So here are some random thoughts.

For those in Texas, human and critter, know that my heart and prayers and donations are with you ❤︎
I can’t explain how proud and hopeful I feel when I see the stories of people taking their boats & large trucks into affected areas and helping people out of buildings. That is what makes humanity wonderful and keeps our country united and strong.

In a different breath, I think this president is growing increasingly dangerous. His small steps to reverse policy and pardon dirt bags and alter law enforcement/military power is extremely alarming. Don’t let these things go unnoticed. Be aware of what your government is doing before it’s no longer your government…
I believe both sides of the aisle should be fired up.

And now some lighter things to get us through the rest of the week…

This popped up on my FB yesterday:

Sorry, but there’s no way to decrease your chance of death/dying. It’s 100% guaranteed.


Oll's

In honor of yesterday being 8 years since I moved into my first dorm at college. Woof.


I’ve seen this before and for some reason it sends me into a fit of giggles.

(The original post had a dated and offensive term so I edited it. Ha.)



A Tuesday Reminder: In an effort to protect our brains in this crazy world, if you’re like me and you still have a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. that you scroll through multiple times a day then I suggest taking time to really go through and unfollow/unlike/unfriend the folks or accounts that bring you down or upset you. If it’s differing or hurtful opinions or a perfect manicured life or gorgeous vacations once a month or whatever… unfollow them because you don’t owe anyone a follow or Facebook friendship. If it’s affecting your mood then take some action.  It’ll make you feel better to be free of weird social media obligations, lol.

Alright. This was a weird post. Happy Tuesday ❤︎

10 Things to Remember in Your Twenties

Sometimes my posts are conceived from other articles & blogs that I read. Such is this case today after reading this article.

Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait.

If you’re like me, that article made you mad. It’s entitled The 20 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make in Your 20s. The title actually got me really excited! I thought to myself, ‘Oh, some good advice from the internet about how to avoid mistakes in my twenties!’ But then I opened the article. And I realized that I am making 9 of those “mistakes.” And I am incredibly happy.

So moral of the story here is that this list doesn’t apply to everyone. Actually, based on the comments (“never read the comments!”) it only applies to skeezy men in their twenties. It’s hard to make a list that applies to everyone, but I’m going to give it a shot.

10 Things to Remember in Your Twenties

1 | Don’t Drink and Drive |
Our parents and teacher have been saying this for years, but we all could use the reminder- especially when we’re stumbling out of a bar and home is only 3 miles down the road and you’ve only had 4 or 5 drinks. Just call a cab or a (sober) friend.

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2 | Don’t be rude |
You never know who might employ you. You never know who might be the one to help you change a tire. You never know what someone may be going through. The world could do with a lot less rudeness. You’re an adult now; don’t be an asshole.

3 | Always be kind |
Similar to number 2, but different. Smile and say hello. Hold the door open for the person behind you. Give the homeless man the granola bar from your lunch. Don’t be rude, but also choose to be kind.

4 | Everyone is fighting a different battle and working toward a different goal |
Your goal might be a plush corner office at a top law firm but your friend Jason might want to be a stay-at-home-father of 5. Be encouraging and be gracious. We’re all fighting sometime and working toward something, and we’re all different.

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5 | Don’t compare yourself to others |
Currently one of my Facebook friends is in the Peace Corps. Another friend is studying to be a doctor. One girl is teaching English in Japan and another couple is doing a cross-country trip from Ohio to Alaska. Any way you slice it, they’re all doing pretty cool things. My coolest accomplishment this week was getting up (kind of) on time. Often I feel like I could be doing more, but being happy for others is much more healthy than being jealous of them. I am me- my only comparison is the person I was yesterday.

6 | Strengthen your bond with family |
Call your mom. Invite your brother to dinner. Visit grandma. I know that not everyone has a “good” family. Sometimes family members spread more toxins than love. If that’s the case then find some non-blood family and strengthen those relationships. Humans need other humans (and animals) to stay whole. (That’s why there’s a “social” requirement on The SIMS. Duh.)

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7 | It’s ok to take a break |
The most troubling advice I’ve read as a twenty-something year old has been: “Don’t get comfortable/Don’t Slow Down.” This is the biggest load of crap and it has caused me so much anxiety. If you are happy with what you’re doing then be content in that! And if you’ve worked your butt of in school and right now you’re working a job to pay the bills and provide stability then there’s nothing wrong with that. Being stationary is ok; being trapped is not ok. But there is a big difference.

8 | Believe in something/someone |
If you’ve gone this long without believing in someone or something then it’s high time you start. I’m a Christian and I believe in God. Some people believe in a supreme being. Some people believe in themselves. Believe in something and hold yourself accountable.

9 | Save some money |
This is very, very good advice. Always try to save a little money, even if it’s only $20 a paycheck. I love my Smart TV and my vacations and my grande cinnamon dolce latte, but I also know that in the future I will need money… so putting a little away in my 20s is crucial. (Better yet, find an employer that offers retirement and other savings programs!)

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10 | Forgive |
My brain is programed to remember old offenses and grievances. Not only do I remember when someone has done me wrong, but I remember the crap that happens to my friends and family, too. I can’t forget these things, but I can forgive people. Holding onto hate and grudges and anger is poisonous (and very easy to do), but I know there are times I need forgiven and it’s better to think of people as mostly good- not the opposite.

 . . .

Not every single point from this post-inspiring article was horrible. I tend to agree with #16, 13, and parts of 8. But overall, the article is pretty offensive- especially toward women.

So those are the tips I try to follow as a 24 year old. What advice would you give yourself (or a younger/older version of yourself)? What did you think of the other article? What’s the best/worst life advice you’ve gotten?

-Louise

 

 

Good Advice – Bad Advice: Marriage Edition

We have almost been married for two years (& together for 8!). This weekend I found myself taking advice that I’d been given at a bridal shower. This inspired me to revisit some of the advice I’d received and compare it to my marital experience thus far.

Advice

|1| Don’t Go to Bed Angry.
I think 85% of my guests gave us this advice. This is probably different for every couple, but sometimes we go to bed angry because we just need to sleep on it. K does this a lot and, though it used to drive me crazy, I know he just needs a break from the tension and he’ll be ready to accept my apology/apologize/just drop it in the morning.

|2| A King Size Bed Makes for a Happy Marriage.
This is the piece of advice K and I put into action this weekend! We are now proud owners of a fabulous king size bed and I am never going back! Of course, there are two dogs that still choose to lay across my legs, but at least we’re less crowded. K and I aren’t the snuggling type so we definitely appreciate some personal space.

|3| The First Year is the Hardest.
Some people said the first year with kids is the hardest, but I can’t attest to that. My guess is that the first year with kids is the most challenging because Year 1 was great! We struggled and learned how to live together and how to budget, but it was an incredible year! We took a honeymoon, bought a house, adopted a puppy! Every year is going to have its set of challenges, but Year 1 and 2 have been mostly enjoyable!

|4| Share Hobbies That You Both Enjoy.
For us, this depends on the hobby. Professionally, K and I don’t work well together. If one of us is “the boss” then the other is the defiant employee. Actually, I just hate being told what to do. We could build a birdhouse together, but I would have to be in charge (even though K would be the one that knows what to do). Call it a personal flaw… haha.

|5| Divide Up the Chores/Bills/Responsibilities Evenly.
This is probably good advice, but we don’t abide by it. Since K has been working on his business I take on a lot of the household and payment responsibilities. It works for us right now and someday, when the business runs like clockwork, we’ll re-divide and work it out.

What relationship/marital advice have you been given? Did you follow that advice? What would your advice be for a new couple?

-Louise

7 Years & 7 Pieces of Marital Advice

My husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary in April, but my old-favorite anniversary is October 21st. Seven years ago K & I started dating (and 3 years ago he proposed!). Needless to say, today is the day that started it all.

Seven isn’t a celebratory number, but considering we got here without any break-ups or tragedies, I definitely believe in a few relationship “rules”…

1. Be Honest- especially if it’s troubling you
This is a total cliche, and I’m really sorry to start the list off with it, but I am such a strong believer in honesty. Don’t hold back from your significant other. When things are bothering me- especially if it’s something K did or said- I find a way to talk about it and tell him how I’m feeling. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation, but being honest about how I feel or what I did diffuses the future blow-up.

2. Compromise
K wanted to stick with one dog and I was hell-bent on getting a second. It’s not that he doesn’t like dogs- he LOVES them- but he knew it’d be more money, more responsibility, more time. Well, as I’ve mentioned before, K works long hours and spends some weekends on the road. Since Lylee and I were the ones at home, he agreed to another fur-baby. We have compromised on television programs, cars, dinner, and housework, among other, more important, things. Compromise makes the world go round!

3. Knowing Your Limitations
K and I do many things together, but we’ve identified problem areas and we try very hard to avoid them. Need an example? Some couples dream of opening a bakery together or starting a marketing business. Not us. K and I do NOT work well together in a professional setting. He’s very aggressive and I am very competitive- it’s like a power couple gone bad. Long story short, if you can avoid volatile situations, identify what they are and avoid them!

4. You Don’t Have to Like the Same Things
I love asparagus, but K doesn’t. He’s a huge fan of Chipotle and I am definitely not (I know, I know- I’m weird). K likes Taylor Swift’s older stuff and I’m a fan of the new jams. I like theater and K likes Nitro Circus. What I’m trying to say is it’s ok to like different things and it’s even more ok to enjoy these things on your own or with someone else! That leads me to my 5th point…

5. It’s OK to Do Things Without the Other
Most of my friends are unwed. They also tend to live all over the state. I travel at least once a month and stay a night or two with friends… without K. He travels for business and I stay home with the dogs. Heck, last August I went to Williamsburg with my family and K went to Indianapolis to network. We need time together and we need time apart. Time apart makes the time together even more awesome. This works for us and it doesn’t work for everyone, but make sure to squeeze in some “me” time every once in a while.

6. Don’t Let Outside Pressure In
Oh man… I wish I would’ve learn this early on. K and I are +3 years apart and we started dating when I was 17 (he’s older). Needless to say, there has been a TON of pressure throughout our relationship. Now that we’re married, the pressure to have kids is ever present. We feel pressure to see family, work less, vacation more, have sex 8 times a week (newly-weds, right?), etc. Guess what… do what works for you and your boo.

7. You Don’t Have to Have it Figured Out
When you get married/commit to someone it’s essential to know who you’re marrying, but you don’t have to have a 20 year plan. K and I know we want to have kids, but we don’t know when and we don’t know how many and we have no idea how we’re going to discipline. K has a business and I have a very good job, but we have NO idea where we’ll be in 10 years. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve definitely got goals, but we’re learning along the way!

I hope I capitalized in all the right places…
I’m not a love guru and I make SO MANY mistakes when it comes to “us”, but these have been such important lessons throughout our relationship. What would you add?

-Louise