The Easiest At Home Date Night Idea
Way back in May when we realized we were in it for the long haul with this pandemic, I was hit hard with the feeling that everything I had been working towards was suddenly put on an indefinite freeze. Realizing that I could not live with that heavy hopelessness, I made some simple changes to our lifestyle, like adding a weekly at home date night. By now we’ve enjoyed several at-home dates, and my favorite is the simplest, an easy charcuterie, great wine like Rodney Strong Cabernet, and good honest conversation. Right now, true connection with your partner and family is more important than ever, because we’re all we have and we are stronger together! Today I wanted to walk you through some of the things we do to make sure that these simple dates feel more special and intimate than any other night at home together, and my hope is that this post encourages you to create a special evening in for you and your partner. (Thanks so much to Rodney Strong Vineyards for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.
We love to enjoy a good and affordable red wine together on our at home date nights. As the temperatures drop, a wine that warms you from the inside out like Rodney Strong 2017 Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon, is the perfect choice to complement a cozy evening. We tried this wine for the first time and both agreed that it was dry and filled out bellies with heat. I don’t like my wine too sweet, and this one was perfect for me with the flavors being that of plum and cherry, both fruits that are tart with a hint of sweetness. (If you want to find it in your area, check here.)
Of course, in addition to quality and flavor, cost is a factor I consider. This Cabernet falls under the category of highly affordable! There have been times in my life where I’ve purchased “highly affordable” wine, taste it, and I am hit with the thought, “Now I know why it cost only X amount of dollars.” I am happy to say that Rodney Strong Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that delivers more than what you pay for.
A bonus of Rodney Strong Vineyards is that they are a family owned business practicing everything they can to keep their wine-making sustainable. Actually, they were the first carbon-neutral winery in California! They proudly do everything they can to safeguard the eco-system which literally cultivates the fruits of their labor. You can read all about the many sustainable practices they implement here.
Chris and I don’t always enjoy the same hobbies, but one thing we both really enjoy is eating. While cooking together can sometimes be a fun date night, with our very controlling personalities in the kitchen, it can also lead to catastrophe. Ha! My absolute favorite thing to do for at-home date nights is to create a charcuterie or a snack board. It’s low key, and easy, and I can make it more fun by creating designs to suit the season. (I created a Christmas Tree charcuterie board you can check out here.)
Can you tell what I was trying to create with this snack board? Let’s take a closer look…
The grapes and dried figs are in the shape of a wine bottle… tell me you see it. Lie if you have to. 😉
These boards are seriously the easiest, and we can easily create a healthy meal out of it. I surrounded the fruit with crackers, nuts, cheese, gluten free petite bread, and fruit spread. We also sometimes add different meats for Chris. He’s an omnivore, and I am a 95% vegetarian (sometimes I eat seafood), so a charcuterie board is something that we can both find portions of to satiate us. Additionally, these boards take the stress out of deciding what to order or what to cook!
Cozy Elements & Ambience
Let’s be honest, we’re all tired of looking at the same walls day in and day out, so how can we create a special and intimate date night feel within our own everyday space? I’ve got a ew cozy elements you can add for a more romantic ambience.
When in doubt, candles! Candles offer that perfect glow, romantic lighting, and a little warmth which is perfect for this time of year. I have a few sets of candlesticks I like to rotate through to mix things up and make it feel fresh. This time I pulled out my glass Moravian stars to mix a little of the upcoming winter festive feelings with fall.
In the summer, we had roses from our front yard, in the winter, we’ll have boughs of holly, and currently, the leaves are changing and we’ve got fall colored foliage mixed with some magnolia leaves from our big tree. I don’t need to buy flowers or go very far to bring in natural elements which always lend to a feeling of peace and calm. Those simple touches make all the difference in creating a relaxed and intimate environment.
Peace & Quiet
With three kids in the house, finding “quiet” can be challenging. When the weather allows, we love to sit on our patio under the lights and enjoy wine together, but as the temperatures fall, those date nights have to come inside. We’ve found what works for us, and I know that each household will be different, so it’s about finding what works for you. Perhaps you wait until the kids are in bed to do your date night. With two older kids of babysitting age, and one toddler, we let our teens know in advance what day we will be enlisting their help, and then at 7 pm we pass Wilder off to them for an hour and ask them to take him downstairs to play or watch a movie until he goes to bed at 8 pm. Emmy typically brings him to us to say goodnight, then Sawyer and Emmy part ways and hang out in their rooms or they watch a movie or play a game together. The point is, it’s good for all of us… Chris and I get a chance to reconnect, and the kids also get a chance to spend un-parented time together. During these quieter evenings together, we often play different music and it’s a great chance for us to learn what the other has been listening to lately.
Blankets and Pillows
With cold weather arriving, cozy fur blankets and cushy pillows are just the thing to help encourage snuggling up together. Outside on the patio, we can cuddle on our little sofa, and inside, the banquette offers us that invitation. I added a fuzzy throw to help bring us together. Although if I am being honest, I am the one who gets cold, so the blanket might be more for selfish purposes.
The last thing that is absolutely free though not always as easy as gathering branches from the yard is honest conversation. 2020 has taught me that in order for us to be stronger together, Chris and I need to each be willing to be vulnerable and as open and honest about our feelings as possible. To be perfectly honest, being vulnerable with those closest to be does not come easily, but when I do so, I feel much more connected than when I hide those feelings. And sometimes a little courage in the form of a great glass of wine like Rodney Strong Vineyards Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon can help coax out the words I need.
With the stress of the holidays around the corner, and a very unique set of circumstances this year, I highly encourage you to make time to connect with your partner. Grab a bottle of Rodney Strong Cabernet, some crackers, fruit, and cheese, put on some tunes, and get ready to cozy up and talk for the night. You will feel much more connected and at peace, and you’ll be ready to face what comes because you are stronger together.
Now I would love to hear from you if you have any additional ideas or tips for easy at home date nights! Drop them in the comments below.