So this idea is not original to me. I found the link through a post on a mom's forum that posted a link to pinterest which led to a blog who shared this idea. Did ya follow that? Basically, what I'm saying, is that this is not an original idea. Well it is, it's just not MY original idea. Ok then, moving along.
I had been planning to make KOJ a booklet of coupons but I was coming up blank on how to make them and what all to put on them. Then I saw this idea and thought that it was so much more perfect. So I'm going to create a year of date nights. Now the website: year of date nights created this as a wedding gift (which is also a fantastic idea) but it made a lot of the date ideas implausible for us due to cost and childcare. So I thought it would be much better to find 12 date nights that we could do here at home after the kids are in bed. So I went to the handy dandy pinterest and searched "date night ideas" - give it a try there are some awesome sites out there. And I read through lots of ideas and this is what I have so far (please follow the links to see the original inspiration).
January - we're going away for a night for our anniversary so that will be our January date night but I will be bringing the Date Wheel in case we run out of ideas for things to do. lol
February - fondue date night - this one really appeals to me and seems appropriately romantic for Valentine's day too!
March - Lord of the Rings movie marathon - ok to be honest this doesn't appeal to me at all but I found these for KOJ for Christmas and he loves these movies so I'll probably try to get a child free day so we can watch them all in a row. Maybe. I could be convinced to find another date idea for this month. hahaha But this is really about KOJ not me. Right? Right. Oh and this was an original idea that I did not find on a blog anywhere.
April - Date Wheel - what can I say, the date wheel just seems cool.
May - Dinner and a Dance - this appeals to me and it's something we've never done before.
June - Wii sports night - this was my own original date night idea. I mean I'm sure a blog out there somewhere has offered up this idea before but this particular week I thought of it all on my own. lol I mean we own the wii and we really should use it for something besides netflix.... at least once a year.... right?
July - Christmas in July - we will watch It's a Wondeful Life as we both love this movie and have hot cocoa and some yummy holiday type snacks.
August - Garage Sale - for this one we will get a sitter for the kids on a Saturday morning. We both love garage sales so this will be fun for both of us. This idea came from the original idea link above.
September - Asian night - we'll watch a Jackie Chan movie (we love pretty much all of these) and I'll make something yummy and Chinese for dinner - probably stir fry, we love stir fry. But the egg rolls I'll splurge on from the actual Chinese restaurant. This is also an idea in the original link.
October - Clue Night - this just looks fun and simple. Now I've gotta find some friends who would likely agree.
November - Board game night - frankly this is one of KOJ's favorites, he loves board games. So I pulled this out of previous personal experience and not from a blog though one or more of the blogs linked might also suggest this as a date night idea.
December - Baby It's Cold Outside - love the simplicity and the idea of just snuggling up and enjoying a relaxing night together in all the hustle and bustle that tends to be December in our home.
So the top things to notice about our dates: All but two are at home. They use things we already have. Are mostly things we haven't ever done for dates before. Can be done after the kids are in bed so that childcare isn't necessary.
I'm learning something about myself while putting this project together for KOJ - that while I want romance I feel like it has to come in some big package or something but really just spending time together, laughing together, talking together is what dating is really all about. It's really that simple and I can't believe I've missed that all these years. Here's to hoping that these monthly date nights make our 8th year of marriage even better than the previous 7.
Also I should note that I have asked KOJ to stay away from the blog the rest of the month so this gift will still be a surprise but it was too fun and simple not to share with anyone who might still be looking for the perfect frugal gift to give their husband (or wife).
Also fun to note this gift costs me nothing in my 100.00 holiday.