Date Night Ideas

Date Night Ideas

We believe in date night with a passion! We beleive you should do it often and with out condemnation. It is such a joy to carve out time to have fun together! Life can get boring with monotonous chores, schedules, home routines, work, and family life juggling. Take time for adventure and for cultivating your romantic relationship. For your pleasure here are a few ideas to take from. We personally have done every single thing on this list. Spice it up and get out of the dinner and movie rut. Many of these ideas for date night are free. (All of these activities should be done with phone silence.)
Relishing in late breakfasts over mimosas
A long, quiet walk
Reading a good book out loud together
Doing a unique activity – cooking class, white water rafting, building a fire-pit or outside deck
Gazing into a fire
Spending time in a hot tub
Cooking a multi-course meal
Star gazing late at night (we have a telescope)
Cuddling under a blanket with the person of your dreams
Watching the sunrise or sunset
Swing in a hammock
Hiking
Eat at an Indian restaurant where you sit on pillows and have fire dancers put on a show
Pizza picnic night – lay a blanket on the floor while you watch a movie
Game night
Indoor sky diving (iFly)
Indoor rock climbing
Helicopter ride
Dance club
Concert/shows
Sporting events just the two of you
Train for a race as a team
Gun range
Couples massage
Kayaking
Camping trip
Pedicures
Ride horses
Ice skating
Art and wine show
Wine and beer tastings
Drive in movie
Apple/blueberry/pumpkin picking
Rent scooters or vespas
Scavenger Hunt
Rent a limo
Drive around looking at Christmas lights with coffee
Dueling piano bar
Ballroom dance lessons
Botanical gardens/aquarium/Atlanta underground

Southern Roots

Southern Roots

“To be born a Southern woman is to be made aware of your distinctiveness. And with it, the rules. The expectations. These vary some, but all follow the same basic template, which is, fundamentally, no matter what the circumstance, Southern women make the effort. Which is why even the girls in the trailer parks paint their nails. And why overstressed working moms still bake three dozen homemade cookies for the school fund-raiser. And why you will never see Reese Witherspoon wearing sweatpants. Or Oprah take a nap.” – Allison Glock

I grew up raised by true southern women. They all can make a great stitch and create clothes from patterns. As a little girl, they let me drink coffee in tea cups and my mother knows how to do big hair like nobody’s business. Most of them can drive tractors and ride horses. Others can make a mean Mac and Cheese recipe. Lace and Monogramming is a thing and they take it very seriously. There is tons of stuff about being raised in the south that I loved and there are things I didn’t.

Living in a southern small town I also got the flip side of the “southern living” style. Not the glamorous magazine one but the one that involved lots of hard work. I received training on the grueling details that “poor farm life” is real, and that everybody knows everybody’s stuff isn’t always a great thing. I saw cow tipping at its finest, and every boy alive drove massive trucks with ball bags hanging off the back. Let’s not even go there when it comes to the closed-minded mindsets toward any kind of change. Enough said, period the end.

It took me years to appreciate country music and I think it was due to some of these not so cute things about the south. Here is the thing. Everyone can tell you the negative’s or the positive’s of where they grew up. Whether you grew up in the city, the suburbs, the country, or even “Jersey” itself. In this season I am learning to appreciate so much. What builds you as a person is the good and the ugly. The harder topics are sometimes even more important because they seem to explain more by what you are not saying.

As soon as I could, I traveled the world and I moved to bigger cities. The thing I have stuck with? I am still in the south. I really love it.

We all have the good, bad, and ugly when it comes to our memories of where we grew up. I am learning to encompass all of it as it has shaped who I am today. As I sit with my daughter having a tea party I am able to see and be very grateful for where and how I was raised. There are so many wonderful things about it, and certain strengths I pray I can teach her.

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Here are all the beautiful things about growing up southern. These are the things I believe every person should emulate.  Southern or not, they are great ways to live life and to respect others.

  • Slower pace. – people say “Hi” and are taught to look at you. They wait for your answer to “how ya doin?”
  • Making people a casserole is always a good idea – babies, showers, sick days, tea parties, sunday potlucks, and funerals. Food can sooth. Learn a go to dish and stick to it
  • Country music should be respected for the art that it is

“A lot of people don’t realise I came out of the Smoky Mountains with a load of songs.” -Dolly Parton

  • Horse racing should be a sport that everyone watches – like soccer or football
  • Manners – “yes sir” and “thank you” go a really long way
  • Dress for success – No sweat pants were allowed at church, There is a time and place for everything. Overalls were for the farm, not a church wedding and not on a plane!

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. “—Maya Angelou

  • Children are considered part of the adult conversations and should conduct themselves accordingly. Or go outside and play. No tantrums were permitted at the table.
  • A party is always a good idea – to celebrate everything and anything! the south throw parties for absolutely everything.

“Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.”— Anthony Bourdain

  • A strong work ethic – is knowing when to start but also when to stop. When it was dark it was time to come in and be done.

“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”—Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

  • Growing your own garden and knowing how to make a stitch is becoming a vital and artsy skill again. It is looked at as rare and important. I’m grateful I have those skills, If you want to learn them – I’d be happy to help!
  • Respecting others was never an option to opt out of. Everyone is a child of God and should be treated as such – bully’s were called bully’s and not tolerated. A foot note on this topic: My husband came home the other day saying someone at the office told him that “nice guys, never win.” I was furious! Are we telling grown men now that bullying is not only acceptable but required for making good business? This is unacceptable in my book. Kindness is magic.

Living gracious, bold, stylish, and thankful is what true southern women do at all times. I am proud to follow in suite.

 

“Southern girls are God’s gift to the entire male population. There is absolutely no woman finer than one raised below the Mason-Dixon line and once you go southern may the good Lord help you never go back.” – Kenny Chesney

Gratefully Delicious

Gratefully Delicious

I am thrilled to bring you my most favorite recipes for the holiday season! I am grateful to have these beautiful recipes from many amazing individuals and resources and I hope they make your festivities lighter and more gratefully delicious! I am so grateful for every single one of you and your suport in this blog. Happy Holiday’s!

Homemade Pasta:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

4 eggs

on the counter throw flour in a pile with the salt and make a hole in middle. crack the egg in the well. using a fork stir and beat eggs keeping the well in place. start to stir the doe. Knead Dough until firm and elastic. (about 10 min.)

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Using a rolling-pin roll dough out thin and then roll the into a spiral log shape. use a sharp knife and cut 1/4 wide strips. unroll the doe for fettuccine!

Cook pasta for two the three min in boiling water.

 

I top with a homeade cheesy topping and eat!

Greatest green bean casserole:

  • 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Trader Joes Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) any style Green Beans, drained
  • 1 1/3 cups French’s Crispy Fried Onions, Original, divided
  • Mix soup, milk and pepper in a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup Crispy Fried Onions and (optional) 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until hot. Stir.

  • • For a kick of spice, double the black pepper in this recipe to 1/4 teaspoon and prepare as directed or substitute white pepper.• To feed a crowd, double the recipe and prepare in a 13×9-inch baking dish. Use an entire 6-ounce container of Crispy Fried Onions, reserving 1 1/3 cup for the topping. Increase cooking time to 40 minutes or until heated through.

Grandma’s Apple Crumble Crisp:

Dust pie pan with butter and slice apples in bottom very thin. dust with cinnamon and a touch of sugar.

Topping:

In a mixing bowl combine

1/2 cup melted butter

3/4 cup of oats

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/2 TB of cinnamon

Eventually distribute topping mixture over apples

Bake @ 340 for about 30 min

Mema’s Spiced Tea:

1 1/4 cups lipton sugar sweetned decaf lemon flavored ice tea mix. (if using stabdard instant tea use 1 oz tea and 1 cup sugar)

lemonade mix to make 2 quarts (I use counrty time)

1 tsp. ground cinnion

1 tsp. ground cloves

Mix well and leave in a pretty jar for people to use. Use 1 1/2 to 2 tsp with hot water to make tea.

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How to Make Your Life Better

How to Make Your Life Better

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Simple idea. Go on vacation. Harder to implement. Traveling is wonderful, but it is also expensive and exhausting in the planning. However, I encourage you to get away. 

You should use every single day of vacation you have, every single year of your entire life and you should be making it special.

Just go gain some perspective. You will be better for it and able to tackle life strong. Creating passion despite all the hustle and bustle. 

This year has been no exception to that rule for our lives and it has further encouraged us to keep up this practice up and to make it a top priority for growth in our lives and our relationship.

When you get away from your jobs and your chores and your house projects and routines it creates space for the creative mind to breath and to be refreshed in ways only separation  can. It makes you appreciate things like hot water and your own pillows. It makes you love cultures that talk about afternoon down time and of the long two-hour dinners where not a phone is in sight. It makes you love history and people more! There is a way to do this though that maximizes the potential’s and minimizes the damage. Our very first “vacation” trip was the fall after we got married and just months after our first official jobs. We went to wine country. We stayed with extended family to help with costs and we hiked the red wood forests (cause it was free) and dipped our toes into The pacific waters (cause it was free). To this day we talk about the tone that trip set and how we’re always going to take trips. No matter what else happens.

So here are our tips. In just over one year between the two of us, we have been to Africa, Italy, The Bourbon trail in Kentucky, Disney World, Canada, Palo Alto, and soon Scotland, 30A, and Colorado.  Our Advice: Go Somewhere Special! Anywhere. Save up your vacation, and your money, – hit the road. You will never regret it.

  1. Do not take a curling iron. Waste of space and time.
  2. Save up for your vacations ahead of time. If the money is there it is no longer a budget issue and you aren’t nickel and  dimming everything. If the money isn’t there, go somewhere cheaper. It’s just not fun to be penny-pinching on vacation.
  3. Do invest in the plug adaptors kit from amazon!
  4. Take time to rest, coming home exhausted isn’t a vacation in my book, it’s a trip but not a vacation. Life is busy and crazy enough. As the house keeper in Italy told me “no stress, no worries.”
  5. Hit all of YOUR top places and realize you can’t do it all. So do what you want and not what you “should” do or see.
  6. Disney World fast passes are a joke – the lines are crazy. Just expect it.
  7. Gelato anywhere is amazing
  8. Never travel to Canada unless it’s the summer time! (You will freeze)
  9. Buy yoga flops. They are awesome!
  10. Take tons of pictures
  11. A Vespa is a must
  12. Plan outfits ahead of time and only bring one extra. Wrinkle free preferred.
  13. Don’t forget your favorite fragrance and your toothbrush on the plane. You never know the smells you could encounter.
  14. Leave room in suitcases for bringing back souvenirs – note again on not over packing. 😉
  15. Dance whenever challenged
  16. Always carry band-aides, chapstick, and essential oils for muscle relief
  17. Neck pillows are an awesome investment! My Africa plane trip without it was a nightmare, buy the memory foam ones.
  18. Ignore all the audio tours. But If you can get the VIP tour with a real guide do them. The guides personalities and passion are awesome to witness as a bonus!
  19. Order “WHITE” wine everywhere in Italy just to hear them say it
  20. African safari’s are over rated you can see just as much at Disney Animal Kingdom
  21. Drive yourself if you can, Being car sick is not fun but on vacation it is the absolute worst
  22. Carry a backpack purse.
  23. Make copies of your passports, leave a copy at home, one in your suitcase and of course have your real one always
  24. Always take a fun read
  25. A hard copy map is great. Someplace’s the apps just don’t work
  26. Journal about all of Gods beauty you witness and experience while away

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