4 At-Home Date Night Ideas

*Today’s post is sponsored by Unbox Love and Crated With Love. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have you ever faced challenges when trying to schedule a date night? Since we became parents, we’ve definitely struggled sometimes to get out for date night. Because of that, I decided to write this post with 4 at-home date night ideas I hope you’ll love!

1)  Unbox Love 

Inside our box: Chocolate dipped pretzels, two different kinds of hot cocoa mix (keep in mind, we got this box when it was still winter!), joke cards, quick and easy dinner recipes, cards to write notes to each other with (they had writing prompts like: I love that you . . . or I smile when you . . .), puzzles to solve, and a game.

4 At-Home Date Night Ideas - emilybogner.com

We enjoyed writing a couple sweet notes to each other to get the date night and the good vibes started. We kept the rest of the cards to use in the days/weeks to come. One day I found a card on my nightstand, a reminder of something my husband loves about me. And it was just what I needed to put a smile on my face.

We told each other the jokes from our joke cards, which we thought were stupid but gave us a laugh anyway. Then we made our hot chocolate, and Max had the pretzels while we got started on working the puzzles.

4 At-Home Date Night Ideas - emilybogner.com

The puzzles: the little puzzles that came with our date night box were actually pretty darn hard! Sometimes they felt challenging in a fun way, and other times, we both got frustrated and had to remember it was just for fun. 😉

Overall, we enjoyed the Unbox Love date night and thought it was a unique way to bond! We still haven’t gotten a chance to play the game, but love that we now have a game to play for another date night in.

2) Living Room Picnic & a Movie

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Lay out a comfy blanket on your living room floor, prep some delicious snacks together (back when we were first married we’d do this, and we’d get different cheeses, crackers, and meats), then sit together on the floor and enjoy a movie and in our case, a bottle of Martinelli’s apple cider. We love it!

It’s a fun way to get back to the basics, and a different take on the classic movie night.

3) Video Game Tournament

Video games can be an exciting break from a regular date night, and they provide some friendly competition if done correctly!

How to do a video game tournament (the right way)

First, choose a game that you both:

  • LIKE ✓
  • Enjoy Playing ✓ (even if you haven’t played it in years), and . . .
  • Are at Least Near the Same Skill Level ✓, (it can be a drag if the same person wins every time . . . just ask my husband. Kidding 😉 Our game of choice is one we’re both pretty good at.

And finally, you both have to choose to be good sports about it. Keep it friendly by requiring both the “winner” and the “loser” to do something kind for the other person (for example: the “winner” gets their favorite dessert and “loser” gets a massage) that’s what I call a win-win.

And no unkind or bitter words spoken . . . period. Leave that weak stuff at the playground. Just saying 🙂

 

4 At-Home Date Night Ideas - emilybogner.com

4) Crated With Love

Inside our box: cards, envelopes, straws, twine, 2 rolls of washer tape, a golden egg with magnets inside, and directions for making a treat.

The theme of our box was foundations, as in the foundation of a relationship. Each activity within the box built off of that theme. The first activity was to write a relationship pyramid by answering questions that would help us to recognize things we loved about each other, and what qualities define and strengthen our relationship.

4 At-Home Date Night Ideas - emilybogner.com

Another activity required each of us to separately build some kind of structure using the straws, washer tape, and/or twine that would protect the golden egg. We each built our structure, and took turns putting the plastic egg inside and letting it drop. The egg didn’t fall out of either of our structures, or drop its contents, and we call that a win. The idea behind this being that each of us is like the straws, and washer tape in our relationship. We both bring strengths to the relationship to create a solid structure. At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what the message was. 🙂

4 At-Home Date Night Ideas - emilybogner.com

Another activity involved creating SMART goals together. If you’re not familiar with SMART goals, here’s the quick rundown: they are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time bound. We were supposed to create one goal for each month in three different categories: mind, body, and foundational. For example: going on a date night once a month, although I personally think this should be weekly, if possible.

We could then use the magnetic strips from inside the egg to put our goal cards up on the refrigerator. Well, hypothetically, because we have a stainless steel refrigerator that magnets don’t stick to. 🙂

Sweet letters:

There were two cards in the box labeled 6 months, and two cards labeled 1 year with blank envelopes. The last part of the activity was to write six month letters, encouraging each other to reach our goals, and then one year letters congratulating each other on reaching our goals.

Overall, our opinion of the Crated With Love box is it was fun, brought us closer as a couple, and encouraged us to think of the ways we strengthen each other.

4 At-Home Date Night Ideas - emilybogner.com

Have you tried any of these date nights or have different ideas for at-home date nights? Let me know in the comments!

Xx, Emily

 

 

Packing a Diaper Bag with 2 Toddlers

As a mom I’m always on the go and when I feel like there’s no way I could get any busier, I do! It seems like my to-do list just keeps growing and growing, which is why I’m happy to have my JJ Cole Caprice bag—a diaper bag that can handle my busy schedule.

Packing a Diaper Bag with 2 Kids - emilybogner.com

I love that this diaper bag has plenty of storage space as well as pockets and compartments to carry everything I need, and it’s stylish too, which is a win! Plus, it’s versatile—this tote bag can be carried by its’ handles or by its’ shoulder strap. One of my favorite things about it is that it has stroller straps that make it possible for us to easily attach it to the stroller (I have been wanting a diaper bag with this capability!).

Packing a Diaper Bag with 2 Kids - emilybogner.com

Packing a Diaper Bag with 2 Kids - emilybogner.com

And in case you need another reason to check out this JJ Cole diaper bag, here’s one: it’s a neutral color, so my husband doesn’t mind carrying it one bit!

Packing a Diaper Bag with 2 Kids - emilybogner.com

When it comes to packing a diaper bag, we have a system down. With our first son, we overpacked every time we left the house because we just knew we needed at least two or three extra outfits, five diapers, wipes, a nursing cover, and a handful of burp cloths for three hours of church or two hours out and I’m not exaggerating at all. If you’ve read my post on creating a sleep routine, you know my oldest had reflux, which meant constant spitting up so we literally had to have all of the above. Packing the bag for two toddlers looks quite a bit different.

Packing a Diaper Bag with 2 Toddlers:

1) Diapers – we pack a couple diapers in each child’s size.

2) Baby Wipes

3) Cups – our kids can use regular cups at home (yay!) but when we’re out and about, these are easier for us to use for water.

4) Snacks (not pictured)

5) Extra Outfits – we try to pack one extra outfit for each child. Depending on weather, we might bring two sweaters or jackets. Right now it’s warm outside so the boys can wear a shirt and shorts or a romper.

6) Blankets – we often pack a blanket for each child just in case they want one in the car.

7) Books (not pictured) – we often take board books with us wherever we go. That way, we have something to entertain the kids with if necessary.

8) Bandages & Antibacterial Ointment – I always like to be prepared with bandages and antibacterial ointment just in case. Thankfully, we haven’t needed to use the stash in the diaper bag yet!

Packing a Diaper Bag with 2 Kids - emilybogner.com

Packing a Diaper Bag with 2 Kids - emilybogner.com

Be sure to check out Babies R Us for all JJ Cole products!

Xx, Emily

5 Indoor Activity Ideas for Rainy Days

*Today’s post is sponsored by Trademark Innovations and Smiling Tree Toys. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.

Do your kids whine when they’re stuck inside all day? Right, neither do mine. But just in case you have a rainy day (we’ve been having a lot of those here in Northern California recently!) or a snow day, and are stuck inside, here are some indoor activities we do to help the day pass more smoothly and happily . . .

1) Hang out in a Teepee – We were so excited to receive this canvas Teepee from Trademark Innovations, and my hubby, who grew up loving cowboys, was even more excited when we found out it was in a cowboy print. The Teepee makes any activity that much more fun for them (especially activities #3 and #5).

5 Indoor Activity Ideas for Rainy Days - emilybogner.com

2) Build a fort – I loved building forts as a kid. We’d get all the couch cushions, pillows, blankets, and sheets we could find and put together huge tented forts that we’d play all kinds of games inside or lay under on a movie night. My kids are still a little too young for this activity, but I can’t wait to build forts with them when they’re older.

3) Read – Days that are filled with rain and snow are perfect for reading! Are your kids sick of all the books you have? Start a rainy (or snow) day collection of books—books that you only take out on a rainy (or snow) day! That way, it will be a treat when you bring out those special books.

4) Make Believe – When we are stuck inside all day, we play lots of make believe! We pretend to be dinosaurs, lions, or dogs—I love that we get to use our imaginations together!

 

5 Indoor Activity Ideas for Rainy Days - emilybogner.com

5 Indoor Activity Ideas for Rainy Days - emilybogner.com

5) Puzzles – Our little guys like these wooden name puzzles from Smiling Tree Toys, they put all the letters in, then dump them out and do it all over again!

What are your favorite indoor activities for rainy days or snow days? Share them in the comments!

Xx, Emily

What I Eat When I Want to Indulge

Mom life isn’t easy. It’s exhausting. For me, it seems like every day presents a challenge of some kind. And when I’m in the midst of a ridiculously busy day, it’s nice to have a treat I can indulge in. Lately, that treat has been these delicious VitaTops!

What I Eat When I Want to Indulge - emilybogner.com

What I Eat When I Want to Indulge - emilybogner.com

When I get hungry throughout the day, I usually have a small window of time that I can eat so that means when I need a snack it has to be quick to prepare and easy to eat. One of the reason I love VitaTops is because they are such a unique product–there are so many ways to enjoy them: I can toast them,  eat them frozen, or eat them at room temperature by either tossing one in my purse before I leave and giving it about 30 minutes to thaw, or by quickly placing it in the microwave for about 20 seconds.

What I Eat When I Want to Indulge - emilybogner.com

So I can eat them frozen, at room temperature, or warm, depending on how I’m feeling that day and how the weather is. Amazing, right? And these MuffinTops are yummy and healthy–they’re made with clean and simple ingredients that offer a range of nutritional benefits.

Quick and easy? Check!

Delicious? Check!

I found my VitaTops Wild Blueberry MuffinTops at Target! You can find yours at your nearest Publix, Kroger, Stop & Shop, Shop-Rite, or Target locations.

What I Eat When I Want to Indulge - emilybogner.comWhat I Eat When I Want to Indulge - emilybogner.comWhat I Eat When I Want to Indulge - emilybogner.comWhat I Eat When I Want to Indulge - emilybogner.comWhat I Eat When I Want to Indulge - emilybogner.com

Have you tried VitaTops yet? Click here for $1 off coupon and to find stores that carry VitaTops near you!

I loved both the Deep Chocolate and the Wild Blueberry flavors!

Xx, Emily

Random Acts of Love (Part of the “Love Your Husband” Challenge)

Did you accept my challenge to show your husband you love him once every day until Valentine’s Day? Awesome!

The best use of life is love.
The best expression of love is time.
The best time to love is now.

-Rick Warren

Here are some ideas for random acts of love you can do for your husband over these last two weeks until Valentine’s Day (including some of your ideas that you were kind enough to share with me!).

Random Acts of Love - emilybogner.com

Random Acts of Love:

• Cook his favorite meal
• Make his favorite treat
• Give him your FULL attention and listen
• Pick up his favorite snack (and leave it somewhere for him to find)
• Take the time to speak his love language
• Give him a hug and kiss before he goes to work
• Give him a hug and kiss the second he comes home from work
• Write him a quick love note
• Write him a thank-you note
• Express your gratitude throughout the day for all that he does
• Plan a date night out or a date night in

 . . . and ideas from you:

@happilymidwest – Laura got her husband’s truck washed and detailed, and then left a note for him on the dashboard to find in the morning!

Stacie – when her husband was working from home, Stacie brought him a glass of water. She also wrote him notes, and made him cookies!

Jana – Jana and her husband each have responsibilities around the house and one of her husband’s is taking out the trash. Because her husband had a long day at work, she enlisted the help of her daughter to gather all the trash together and take it outside (in cold, snowy weather) one night so he wouldn’t have to.

@mykidslavishlife – Colleen says she and her husband try to make date night every night by picking up the house, eating snacks, and hanging out in bed.

I have loved hearing about the random acts of love you have been doing for your husbands, keep sharing them! You can message me, email me, tag me in your post, whatever.

We’ve got two more weeks to go until Valentine’s Day and honestly, I haven’t been perfect at this! There have been crazy busy days that I forget until late and so my gesture was just thanking him that day for all he does for our family and giving him a kiss! The point is that you are thinking of him and making an effort to help him feel loved. Big gestures are great, and simple things are wonderful too!

Xx, Emily