Dating for Less

Happy Wednesday, friends. Sorry I’ve been gone for a bit; I have a few reasons for my absence. 1. I was sick for about a week. By the time I got home each day, I was utterly exhausted and couldn’t imagine editing pictures. 2. I write for a good majority of my day at work and to be honest, the words just weren’t coming to me when I did find the time to post. 3. I spent a week infuriated with people in my life and just simply didn’t want to share things. I considered not coming back at all. I wrote a few unabashedly honest, raw, and frustrating posts that I wanted to get out in the open.

Although I decided not to post such mean spirited posts, it felt good to write them. I’m happy that I got the words out even if to only share with my best friend and husband. My words allowed me to heal and to grow. I’m constantly learning who to trust, who to let into my life and when to stay private.

With that being said, after over two and half years of spilling my guts on this ol’ site, I didn’t want to just stop because I felt betrayed by some individuals. I moved on and I’m back. Yes, with a little more reservations, but back nonetheless.

So without further ado… let’s get to it, shall we?

How do you keep the spark alive in your relationships? Do you have traditions that you do every week, every month? Do you pick things up for each other when you see something that reminds you of the other person? Do you have date nights?

It’s important to continue to date your spouse/partner/boyfriend/girlfriend even when you’re settled into a committed relationship with one another. Every now and then, Alex and I will find ourselves in a little relationship rut. It’s nothing terrible and is bound to happen every so often, but no one likes to do the same thing every week. You get bored. You stop thinking of new ideas to make things fresh.

Get home from work, make dinner, clean up dinner, watch TV, check your phone, go to bed… it’s like a sad song on the radio that is completely overplayed. I don’t think that anyone could say that adding a little spice into a relationship is a bad thing.

One Saturday morning instead of just rolling out of bed whenever the dogs decided to pester us, I actually set the alarm to start our day nice and early! We started off with a little coffee and Bailey’s, because doesn’t life seem more fancy with a little liqueur in your coffee? After feeding and taking care of the mutts – we were out the door!

We decided to grab breakfast out, which cost us less than $20 (affordable breakfasts out are a necessity – especially when you can make most of the same food at home for next to nothing). After breakfast we were back in the car for a beautiful 30 minute jaunt to Butler’s Orchard. If you’re in the Maryland area, I definitely suggest going to Butler’s Orchard if you’ve never been there before.

If you’ve never been there/don’t live in the area, it’s a gorgeous family-owned farm where you can pick your own fruits and veggies. Of course, what you can pick depends on what time of year you go. Some of their produce includes – strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, apples, potatoes, peas, blueberries, cherries, and pumpkins. You can also pick your own bouquet of flowers and cut your own Christmas tree around the holidays.

While we were there it was prime pumpkin, apple, potato, and raspberry season. Lucky us!


We had a blast and really enjoyed doing something different for a change.

The only problem is that doing new things tend to… well… cost money. They don’t all have to be expensive! Even though our pumpkin-picking adventure was anything but free (pretty comparable to the store, maaaaaaybe a tad more expensive) – it wasn’t going to break the bank. There has to be some way to get quality date nights without spending an arm and a leg, right?

Here are some ideas to keep things affordable and exciting:

  • Check out your local newspaper. My town (and most cities/towns) has an online newspaper at It’s a place where businesses and community members can post upcoming events, as well as a centralized place to find traffic and news for YOUR area — not the greater Baltimore/DC area. Each week they post what’s going on that weekend (whether it’s an Apple Fest or a free Zumba class on Saturday morning) and how much each event costs. GENIUS.
  • Living Social/Groupon. Most people have taken advantage of this already, but you can find awesome deals for restaurants, events and even hotels.
  • See an outdoor movie. The weather has finally cooled off. Grab a blanket and head to a local outdoor movie theatre.
  • Better yet – set up blankets, chairs, pillows, and preferably something with a waterproof backing (tarp, kiddie pool, etc.) on your lawn and lay out to watch the stars. Fill a thermos of hot chocolate or decaf and snuggle in the cool weather. Completely free.
  • Have a Facetime or Skype happy hour date with your best friends. As I’ve mentioned time and time again, our best friends moved away last summer – cue me doing the ugly cry-sob. Recently we rediscovered the joys of technology and find ourselves in front of the iPad drinking and telling jokes together. We’ve even talked about setting up a game of Apples to Apples!
  • Drive to a nearby new luxury neighborhood (bring the dogs) and walk through the neighborhood dreaming about your future. Pretend you live there. Why not?
  • Interview each other! Remember when I had Alex answer a bunch of questions for you guys? It was so fun to see what his answers were and how different than what I expected them to be.
  •  Stay at a hotel — in your house. Every now and then we’ll stay in our guest room. Usually it’s because our bedroom is off limits due to some project we’re working on. BUT – it’s fun to wake up together in a different or new place. Make sure you put fresh sheets on the bed and even lay out a tray with champagne or snacks to make it feel like a real hotel stay.
  • Have a sleepover in front of your fireplace. This is one of my favorite things.. EVER. It all started a few years ago in our apartment when we accidently fell asleep on the ground enjoying the fire. Now, we do it on purpose. We lay out a blanket or two and some pillows and just lay together. Sometimes we talk and other times we just watch the fire in silence. Very romantic!

How do you keep your relationship fresh? If money was no object, what would be the perfect date night for you? Have you gone pumpkin picking recently? Do you have any tips on how to keep dates affordable? Spill the beans!

(No, I didn’t get paid to write about any of the sites/companies that I mentioned. Groupon doesn’t know me. But I know them. And I want to share the love)


11 thoughts on “Dating for Less

  1. I have a funny story about sleeping in the guest room. We had a double bed in our apartment and our little Rat Terrier would sleep with us, so it got quite cramped. When we moved to a house, we bought a King size bed, and later adopted a Boxer mix. We tried to sleep in the guest room one night and realized we had grown too much for the double bed. My husband actually fell out! It made us laugh (and be thankful for the king a few doors down).

    We have gone mini-golfing and to the dollar theater, which are pretty cheap in our town. We also have played tourist in our town as well as surrounding towns. We go on the city’s website and usually they have a “plan your visit” page which shows a lot of fun upcoming events!

    Sorry this was such a long comment, but I really loved this post!

  2. Guess who’s back… back again… shady’s back… tell a friend. Okay, end of Eminem rap 🙂

    Great date night ideas! We love stargazing! We keep talking about getting a blanket and going out at night with a thermos, but it still hasn’t happened. Maybe this weekend before it gets too cold! Another thing we try to do for cheap dates is game night, working out together (always better in theory), or hiking up to see a waterfall (certainly helps that there are tons around us). Another thing we have been doing lately is just doing more chores together. Sure, it’s not an official date, but it is time together nonetheless doing something productive.

    If money was no object the perfect date night would be a trip to a nearby town (but far away enough for something different) for a nice little dinner at a vineyard with a great glass of wine.

  3. Ugh, you have officially made me jealous with that morning date. Fall in Austin just doesn’t exist! We sometimes rotate between other beds in the house for the same reason, have game nights with friends, and just DVR our favorite shows to watch once Declan is asleep. I ally only like watching our favorite shows, so that’s always a fun hour (or two) filled with lots of pauses and commentary. 🙂 We’ve been trying to gave daily walks, but that darn nap schedule gets in the way. Love your ideas!

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