I love my husband. I love our life together. And I do not see why I have to buy into the Hallmark holiday of Valentine’s Day in order to celebrate those things. Especially when we have to pay double for flowers that wilt, triple for a fancy meal, and a bonus for the single person to babysit our children. Growl.
That being said, I enjoy good food and drink, I love excuses to get dressed up, and I cherish uninterrupted conversations with my husband – all so rare with small children!
So, years ago, we created our own Valentine’s tradition. Instead of emptying our wallets only to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with loud strangers at overcrowded restaurants, we dress up to the nines, buy a fancy bottle of wine and whip up a glamorous meal at home after the kids are asleep. It’s so much cheaper than going out, and we can talk freely about *everything* without sidelong glances from our neighbors. We feel great that we are still celebrating our relationship, and it feels like we’re using our time and money wisely.
How Do You Set Up At-Home Date-Night?
First, we put together a meal plan ahead of time. Sometimes we do steak-and-lobster tails and an interesting salad. Other times we whip up some home-fries and caramelized onions to go with our protein (usually a good steak). Shopping is done before that day; all of the cooking happens together over our first glass of wine or beer after the kids are asleep.
Speaking of kids, they are taken to the playground or on a long scooter ride in the early afternoon to get all of their energy out. This helps getting them to sleep early. They usually get frozen pizza for dinner – less cleanup for us!
Other day-of prep includes self-care like showering (yes, please do), putting on makeup, sliding on a cute/sexy dress. We pick out a couple of games to have on stand-by for after dinner. We pull out the candles, throw on the tablecloth, use the good glasses and plates. And – as lame as this sounds – we sometimes prep topics for conversation. We can be out of practice or have so many things we want to talk about that when we finally have the opportunity to catch up, our brains go empty.
And with that, once the kids are asleep, we get cooking and kick off our first class at-home date night! Love!
What other suggestions do you have for staging a great date night at home? Or am I crazy and missing a fabulous night out by staying in?