So I Tried Some…

Part Two of Recommendations

Again thanks so much for reading and responding! I had some pretty good recommendations on my blog and in person.  I have added links to Goodreads, IMDB and Youtube videos if any of the following media interests you.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley  (book)
More steampunk from the 1880s in this historical fiction. It has mystery, a mysterious pocket watch, and even more mysterious characters. The blurb seems oblique which likely means there are too many twists, turns and mysteries to summarize properly. My sister in law had just started reading it when we went on vacation together and I never got to hear how she liked it, but I am looking forward to trying it myself.

Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changes America by Eric Larson (book)
The blurb reads like fiction. 
Everything seemed to happen at these world fairs. One of my favorite fun facts about the 1893 World’s Fair is that is where Pabst Blue Ribbon beer won its blue ribbon. Although the title seems all inclusive let me share that the book mainly follows the architect for all the amazing buildings that spring from ground and another serial killer that must be drawn to the masses of easy prey. Now I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. 

Max Headroom (TV series)
I came around after the swell and ebb of fascination with sassy, glitchy music VJs. This was another show that was recommended to me and I got to view it right after. I was coached beforehand that this series was created when there were computers, but there was no Internet. I do remember before my family had Internet. And then we exited that musty old cave. Anywho, the show is futuristic (specifically 20 minutes in the future) and the most important difference in this Blade Runner type world is that televisions have no off-switch and they are two way. The show focuses on wordplay and human emotion so despite the sometimes (VERY) silly sounding tech talk this show is still entertaining. Carter, Max and a team of misfits uncover some treachery in the way things are run in their world by broadcasting the facts.  

Mokoomba (band) and specifically the song Masangango
I gotta say, this is not my normal style of music, but I loved it! My friend really sold it when he recommended it to me by saying, 

Mokoomba is an exciting, Afro-fusion band from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
Their sound has elements of Afro-pop, hard reggae, and rock. Vocalist Mathias Muzaza’s powerful singing is matched by the incredible musicality of the band. This particular song is a masterpiece. The melodic intro with haunting vocals and subtle blues licks on guitar soon lead to a happier rhythm, punctuated by the traditional African mbira thumb piano. The song builds from there, yielding the fierce and powerful vocals for which Muzaza is famous!…The listener may not know the meaning of the lyrics, but that fact will not diminish the power of song or the enjoyment of it.

Thanks for sharing, Thor! Catch more snark and tune recommendations from Thor on Twitter @RadioThor. The song has an awesome blues/reggae vibe that sits just right and I’m following Mokoomba on Spotify. I suggest you check out more of their music as well.

Naked in Death by JD Robb (book)
Futuristic lady detective who gets involved with one of her suspects. There are quite a few books in the In Death series penned by Nora Roberts under her pen name. I don’t believe I can get through 30+ books, but I will definitely look into the first few books soon.

 

Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander (books)
I can’t tell you how many times I have been told to read this series. Young boy is charged with babysitting a magical pig. It’s a very famous fantasy series with adorable cartoon that doesn’t hold at all true to the books. Maybe I will give this another go. I haven’t ever really given this book a chance.

Pink Panther (movies)
I know I have seen bits and pieces from the Peter Sellers and the Steve Martin versions of these films. Of course, Sellers is the classic. I need to go through and watch the movies again. Good old physical comedy from the way back whens.

They Told Me To Try It

Part one of recommendations

I had some pretty good recommendations on my blog and in person. Thanks for reading and responding! I have added links to Goodreads, IMDB and Youtube videos if any of the following media interests you. There will be more coming soon.

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell (book)

Src: Goodreads

This was recommended to me when I told one of my historian friends that I had started A Young People’s History of the United States (Zinn, adapted by Stefoff). I am having some trouble getting through it because there is little cheer in highlighting every group’s battle with oppression. Assassinated presidents sounds like another jolly topic, but from all the reviews I’ve read the writer presents it with some wry humor and it sounds organized like a travel journal. I’m a voyeur and how can you blame me since I have kept a private journal for nearly 12 years.

Banks of the Ohio (song)
I listened to several versions of this to get a feel for this creepy, creepy song that was first recorded in 1927 (Wikipedia). Bill Monroe and Doc Watson was the first that I listened to. It has all the charm of an Uncle picking on the back porch with a couple of the other older farmers. Feet dangling off the back porch and smoke curling up through the battling heat and humidity. This is a song that falls under the sub genre of murder ballads of which there were at least enough for Nick Cave to fill an album of them. The second one I listened to was by Dolly Parton, which I had hoped was a tweaked female version. It takes a very Dolly spin in the way it sounds and although some lyrics are different the main change is found in the first few lines: “I went into his prison cell/To write his story, if he’d tell/He spoke as tears fell from his eyes/And he told me when and how and why/And he said…” before moving onto the story. Olivia Newton-John changes to a female perspective and has the same “knife to breast” murdering that Dolly sings about. I prefer Bill’s straight off pushing and drowning murder. Seems simplest. Johnny Cash has the best of both worlds as he stabs and then pushes his love into the Ohio River. Moral of the story, if the man’s name is “Willie”, don’t turn him down by any sizable body of water.

The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. (TV series)

This is a TV show that got recommended to me and then I got to watch several episodes. First off, if you are a Bruce Campbell fan and haven’t seen this, then you might need to look to fixing your life. This is a wild west TV show in which a man comes to town to avenge his father’s death (Brisco County Senior). It’s your typical wild west TV show (27 episodes), if your norm involves the Chin himself, snorting with laughter at Julius Carry (who played Sho-Nuff in The Last Dragon), and a little bit of weird that can most easily be categorized to 1890s steampunk. Watch it.

Gary: Tank Commander (TV series)
I have already started watching this on Netflix and as I have gotten into it, I dinnae ken who can avoid watching it! Okay, it’s not going to change your life, but this is a funny Scottish military TV show. Gary barely scrapes by without keeping out of trouble and the many duties that the armed forces take on while at home. I still have to have subtitles on and near the beginning of the series the actors poke fun at Americans who can’t understand their slang and accent so there is plenty of cheek. There are a few jokes that are culture specific, but I haven’t had to look up anything that I didn’t understand by context. It kinda reminds me of the pranks and scrapes of the characters in MASH except there aren’t any episodes that include folks getting dead. Around the time of posting, Netflix has 3 seasons available.

Vegan Bourbon Hazelnut Pancakes (recipe)
This is not actually a recipe I made, but one that I ate. The recipe that my vegetarian friend was one that she got from a vegan recipe book. I’m not certain, but this one seems damned similar. Let me clearly state, I don’t like pancakes. I’m also a lover of cheese, milk, butter, and eggs, so vegan recipes are hard for me to get behind. However, I’ve got a friend who is brave enough to try it and forces me -nicely- to try stuff. These were THE BOMBDINGO. We ate them with plain maple syrup, but you could have eaten them plain as well. I ate huge helpings and was waddling around after dinner. If I had any complaint, the ‘butter’ didn’t quite melt like butter. None of that mattered since it tasted ah-mazing. Get outta here with your banana pancakes, Jack Johnson.

Did this short list remind you of other awesome things you’d like to share? Please post below.

Have you already tried some of the above things listed? What did you think?

Keeping Clean

Or:
Some sweet cleaning pins I discovered
and can’t imagine Life without them now

People are always saying to me, “Kat, how do you manage it all? Keeping such a spotless house and a cool head.”

That is a complete lie. No one has ever said that to me. In fact, one friend said, “this is the cleanest I’ve ever seen your house!” Once when he came to visit. And he was actually paying me a compliment.

I do not want a Martha Stewart house by any means. I love homes that are lived in by real people. However, there is a certain level of organization that I believe my home lacks.

I have discovered a few Pinterest links that have served me well. I wish to share these with my readers so you can have the same amount of control over one miniscule aspect of your life. These aren’t life hacks. Life isn’t easy and espcially when it comes to keeping a home.

1. Fan Blade Dusting

I can’t imagine returning to Plato’s Cave again. This one is amazing. It is stupid how easy this makes dusting fan blades. Take a pillowcase and pull it over a single fan blade. Add a bit of pressure to the top and bottom of the blade as you pull the pillowcase off.
You won’t get a face full of dust and you won’t sneeze a hundred times. If you missed a spot on the fan blade just recover it with the pillowcase and do it again. Once all the fan blades have been dusted, throw the pillowcase directly into the washer.
Thank you, Apartment Therapy! Source

2. (Sorta) Homemade Fabric Softener

Instead of tossing/recycling the old fabric softener bottle keep it around and refill it. Combine 6 cups water, 3 cups white vinegar and 2 cups hair conditioner. The original poster said to stir not shake to avoid suds. I shook and had no issues.
Thank you, Jillee @ One Good Thing! Source.

3. Liquid Concentrated Laundry Detergent

I tried making a powder laundry detergent but (I assume) because my washer is HE it doesn’t use as much water and the powder ended up clumping. So I took the powder that I had painstakingly put together, added it to water with a bit of dawn soap and boom. Perfection.
Part one includes grating a Fels Naptha bar (optional), Borax, OxyClean washing powder and baking soda. Part two, mix 1 1/2 cups of mixed powder, half cup of dawn dish liquid and warm/hot water shaking as you fill up the jug to ensure all the soap has dissolved.
Thank you, Jillee @ OGT! Source & Source.

4. Clean Front Load Washing Machine

This absolutely needs to be done. We clean our washer about once every two months or so. We should really do it more because after cleaning we can smell a significant difference in the quality of the clean clothes. Run first hot water cycle with empty washer and  2 cups vinegar in the detergent slot. Run second hot water cycle with 2 cups bleach. Run third water cycle with just plain water. Remove the soap dispensers and soak/wash them in the sink. Take a cloth damped with very diluted bleach water and wipe down the rubber gaskets around the door. The last steps sound tedious compared to the press-button cleaning process. I promise it is all worth it.
Thank you, Jillee @ OGT! Source.

5. Homemade Body Wash

There are tons of recipes out there for grate and heat body wash. gratedbarliquidsoapAny old Google search will reveal tons with slight differences. I honestly don’t have all the answers. I feel like each brand of soap will give slightly different results. However I will share my best tips for making it.
Combine 3 tablespoons of glycerine, 6 cups of water and 3 bars of soap (grated) in huge cook pot. Heat on medium to melt soap flakes. Avoid boiling! Burnt soap is a bad, bad thing. Once the soap bits are completely melted turn off the stove and allow the soapy water to sit overnight. Next day use a hand mixer to break things up. Add more water if you feel that the mixture is too thick. Bottle and go.

6. Bathtub Scrub

For some reason I haven’t been able to hunt down the the proper recipe original pinner I copied the idea from. Many apologies to the person I took this idea from. Grab a spray bottle and mix together equal parts of dawn dish liquid and white vinegar. Spray this all over your disgusting shower and allow it to sit for 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on your free time. As a warning to sensitive people, the combo of these two makes for a strong smell. If you are sensitive you may open a window when you go to wipe down and rinse off the walls of the shower.

7. Organized Cupcake Liners

This is much like the first tip above. Very simple and it makes life just that much easier. Take all the random half cellophane masonjarcraftsblogcupcakelinerorganizationwrappers full of your mismatched  cupcake liners and stack them in a mason or bell jar. My only complaint about this is I usually want the V-day/Xmas/Halloween liners that I have put at the bottom of the stack. It looks pretty in the cabinets I think and you know we all secretly want beautiful cabinets.
Thank you, Mason Jar Crafts Blog! Source.

8. Cheaters Car Wash

This is a great in-between washes way of making your car a bit more presentable. Use Pledge or a similar off brand furniture polish. This cuts the nasty road grease. After you wipe away all the nasty get a fakeitfrugalpledgecarwashclean microfiber cloth or paper towels and buff the residue until you can see your face. I bought the cheap store brand version and it worked just as promise.
Thank you Fake-It Frugal! Source.

9. Denture Clean Water Bottle

This is another easy one to help avoid the soapy taste and nasty bacterial smell after filling up your reusable bottle. Grab two of the denture cleanser tablets and toss them into your bottle with warm water. Allow to soak before dumping and rinsing the bottle.
Thank you, Jenny @ Popsugar! Source.

10. Homemade Windex

Easy to mix up and works better than the store brand. You’ll a spray bottle, 1/8 cup white ammonia, 1/4 cup isopropyl rubbing alcohol and 1 drop of laundry detergent and warm water to fill the bottle up. This is great in the bathroom for good cleaning and doesn’t leave streaks on mirrors/windows.
Thank you, Fake-It Frugal! Source.

Kat’s: Food and Exercise Updates

It has been ages since I’ve mentioned anything on my blog about my progress. I don’t want you all to think I’ve given up on this whole healthy thing. If you please, follow my twitter I update followers frequently on my eating/exercise progress. I also share articles, snarks and videos that are amusing to me.

Here’s the run down: I went from a size 14 to a size 6 since January 3rd. I truly hope you didn’t believe that. I haven’t changed sizes at all in fact. Haha! Getting fit is a slow process for me. I have been exercising almost daily at the YMCA since January 3rd. My worst streak of going without working out was three days.

Food & Exercise Tracker

Since the end of January I have been tracking and trying to reign in my calorie intake. I am trying to stay at or under 1,720.

When I first started I struggled because there was no

mfp

baseline for how many calories typically I consumed in a day. I would hazard to guess around 2,500 to 3,000 given how many sweets and snacks we have around the house. I am a terrible habitual snacker and could probably can eat a family size bag of chips all by myself.

The fitness tracker app I chose to help me with my calorie count is My Fitness Pal (MFP). You can also just used the regular website if you choose to.
MFP has an awesomely huge food database and a code scanner if you are having trouble finding a product by search terms.wtrackerexcel

The exercise tracker aspect of MFP isn’t quite as refined so I only keep about half of my exercise logged. I consistently use a spreadsheet to track the times, weights, speed and reps of my different exercises. It may sound tedious to keep two trackers but it doesn’t bother me too much. And it only takes about five minutes out of my entire day to input stats.

Water and Vitamins

I haven’t been doing so well on these goals. It is all too easy to reach for coffee in the AM and then lightly sweetened homemade iced tea throughout the day.
My goal is a formula that PBS mentioned in one of their health series:

The old adage of 8 glasses a day is no longer true.
Instead, think about how much you weigh and divide that number in half. That’s how many ounces of water you should drink per day.

I have realized that adding a touch of lemon can make water taste a little less watery. I like the taste of it but I am a bit sporadic about drinks. Each time I refill my glass I want a different type of drink. Just ask my husband how long it takes me to pick a drink at the gas station.

Taking a multivitamin slips my mind most days. I tried setting up a reminder in MyFitnessPal and one on my phone. Neither one pops up to remind me, much less at the correct set time. I don’t take any other meds on an actual routine so it

jellybracelets

is hard for me to start this. Forreal, I only take an allergy pill in the mornings when my nose is stuffed up and even then I tend to forget.

I found a whole blog with tips on how to remind yourself to drink water. Starting today I’m going to do my best to follow the bracelet trick. I recently re-discovered my jelly bracelets from when I was a teen–Don’t judge me.

Exercises

I don’t really have a well defined plan here. If I can’t make it to the gym, I do have an extensive at-home workout plan that requires only free weights and a chair. I say extensive because I’ve never made a 45 minute at-home plan like it before.

I broke it down into the basics: Some warm ups, arms, legs and core and cool down stretches. All the warm ups and cool down exercises must be completed.
There are about six exercises in each of the arms/legs/core categories and am challenged to pick three from each group. I feel less trapped into one particular routine. If anyone is interested, I can share my plan. It includes instructions on how to perform most of the exercises but no photos or diagrams.

Not a picture of me

Not a picture of me

Mostly, I get to the gym when I can because I feel accountable to do a good job. My favorite classes of late have been the Pound Fitness class that is offered three days a week at my YMCA. If you’ve never heard of it you must Google a video! You use lightly weighted drum sticks to drum along with songs. Mostly focusing on the core. I feel like a badass akin to the sensation a non-musician gets from playing guitar hero. Accomplished even if it isn’t exactly the way the pros do it.

Another favorite class of mine is the Aqua Zumba class. The instructor stands on land to lead and you follow except all the arm and leg motions are intended for under the water. This is an ideal exercise for me because I stay cool in the water and can feel the water resistance. Also, no one can see how badly you mess up under water.

When there is not a class at a convenient time, I do my own thing in the small weight room. I do a mixture of treadmill walking and machines that focus on my arms, legs or abs and back. I have been upping my weights on those machines when I don’t feel worn out after my sets.

Extra full belly--post lunch weigh

Extra full belly–post lunch weigh

Weight

I honestly should be going by measurements. That is a justification for my pitiful progress, but also I am told a more accurate way of telling how your body changes. My heaviest that I weighed since starting—Oh yeah, brace yourselves, the reveal is coming!!was 181.2 lbs on the gym scale. The lightest I have weighed and what seems to be consistent is 176.6 lbs.
It is a slow slogging struggle but I am keeping at it.

Looking ahead

I have a feeling that things will get easier once I begin my season at MACA. I will be average hiking four to six miles in a day depending on my schedule. Some of those days I will be doing the crawling tours which will engage even more muscles. I do not intend on slacking off of my gym time. I may go three to four days a week instead for five to seven days simply because work will keep me busy.

couchto5kI had a tipsy revelation last week regarding me and running. A good buddy of mine—actually many of my peers—are runners for health. One program that several have suggested to me is the Couch to 5K program. The thought of it excites and terrifies me. Afraid of failure but also willing to try to beat the stitches in my side and coughing to catch my breath. Yes, I really do suck at and hate running.
I also hate sweating all over myself, being out of breath and red faced in front of others, YET I have kicked serious ass the last two months at a gym!

Art Day: Artist Trading Cards

For many years, my sister has been re-branding Valentine’s Day as not a day to buy overly expensive material things to prove your love but a day about appreciating beauty and creating art. Way more classy than an Anti-Valentine’s Day party in my book.

We celebrated Art day on February 15th this year–because we had the weekend off–by making Artist Trading Cards. Apparently this is a big thing, but it was my first time hearing about it. My mom gave us a brief oral presentation about history and such. If you want to know more I encourage you to do your own batch of Google searching, there are tons of links.

I think the Wikipedia page offers a good summary:

Artist trading cards (or ATCs) are miniature works of art about the same size as modern trading cards baseball cards, or 2 12 by 3 12 inches, small enough to fit inside standard card-collector pockets, sleeves….Cards are produced in various media, including dry media (pencils, pens, markers, etc.), wet media (watercolor, acrylic paints, etc.), paper media (in the form of collage, papercuts, found objects, etc.) or even metals or fiber. The cards are usually traded or exchanged. 

There are tons of lesson plans and how-tos around the Interwebz. One I found fairly decent was a Wikihow page in 11 Steps where they suggest using playing cards if you can’t cut out the typical size for the cards.

The School Arts Room website offers a more standard layout of a classroom lesson play for the teacher types of the world. The Student ATC website has several great sub-pages with some theme ideas to get your brain or your pupils’ brains working. It also includes a little history and a how-to.

We all had Valentine’s Day and love related things on the mind but our official theme for our Art Day was Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love. Yeah, inspired by some Moulin Rouge loveliness.

collection1

There were several different artists present and art styles. Forgive me if you don’t get our sense of humor. We had a blast and created art cards for almost five hours.
Sorry I didn’t get a picture of our hugely messy art table. There were stacks of colored paper, stickers, markers, paints, crayons and tons more stuff. We had a blast cutting and pasting and creating. Our art cards were cut out of index cards and my mom purchased a package of 100 trading card sleeves for storage once finished. 

PATC

Ideally, these are supposed to be traded, not sold. I’m not sure if anyone would pay for mine, but there are some really inspired pieces in here. I’m saving mine for last so you can be sufficiently unimpressed by my work.

LATCOn the backs of the art cards we wrote our artist name, state and month/year it was created. A couple of the cards even got named and those were written on the back. By the end of the evening most of us didn’t want to immediately trade our hard work, but we’re looking forward to creating more and maybe trading them or giving them others.

All--ATCThere is whole cluster of our pieces together.

All--ATC2

Sorry for the fair bit of fuzz-o-vision. I didn’t have a good camera with me and the light wasn’t ideal. You get the idea here though.
Below is my cluster of cards:

atcroseAnd one of my personal favorites of the ones I created:

visitparks art cardDoctors have started prescribing their patients with visits to National Parks. I have known for a long time that getting a daily dose of nature and light exercise can make huge wonders of difference. Recreation–my major–is hugely important to me.

Questions for my readers—-

Have you ever heard of artist trading cards? 

Have you been inspired by this blog, searching or the links provided to create your own mini-trading art cards? 

Do you have any fun alternative ways of celebrating Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day Greek Date-Night

We came up with a themed date night for our Valentine’s Day by a sort of happy accident. We started off by saying how much we wanted to make this or that. Then we realized that all those things went together in a way.
All of the photos belong to the original bloggers. Please click the hyper-linked text to find their amazing recipes they shared with the world.

The important stuff—What are we eating!?

We have had gyros before and my Sister in Law (SiL) swears that if I can make naan then I can make my own pita bread. I’m not going to use the more traditional lamb because of the cost. Instead we are going to use some beef steaks I found on sale.

Our appetizer will be relatively simple. I’m planning on doing hummus and sweet bell peppers for dipping. Maybe some carrots if we have them on hand too, but I don’t want to overeat before we get to the main event. There will be plenty of food. If you’ve never made hummus before then don’t worry. It is much like guacamole. There are some essentials and after you get them dumped in the bowl you fix it to your taste. A can of chick peas, lemon juice, salt, garlic and pepper. You’re pretty much in business if you have those things.

To alleviate crunch time stress I am going to make the pita bread the pita day before. Allow them to cool, cut them into halves to create the pockets and put them in zipper bags until our supper the next night.
Here is the recipe for pita bread that I will be following. Looks simple, right?

I will also likely make the tzatziki sauce the day before. As with most

tzatziki infographic

sauces, I feel like it will be more tasty after sitting over night anyway. Tzatziki sauce is basically cucumbers pureed, yogurt and some herbs/spices. It is awesome! Of course if you hate yogurt and cucumber then stay away. Here is the recipe I will be following for Tzatziki sauce. I will however point out that I will not be allowing the yogurt to drain for 2 hours. 30 minutes will suffice.  Check out this cute little infographic on how-to make tzatziki or click the link above for word directions.

gyro

The gyro recipe will more or less follow the one found on Tide and Thyme (again). I figure as long as I add some lemon and thyme and other Greek-ish spices that the meat will be just fine. For veggie stuffing in my gyros I am planning: Olives, spinach, tomatoes, and feta cheese.

Sidedishes: The sides will be relatively simple since they are not the main and delectable main stage player that the gyros will be. We are going to make up a box of Suddenly Salad. Yeah, I realize that is silly with all the homemade things surrounding it, but I really enjoy those pasta salads and the lack of work they entail. The second side dish is going to be homemade sweet potato fries. I haven’t completely nailed down a favorite recipe but I’ve been scrounging on Pinterest for one that speaks to me. I kinda want to do an olive oil, salt and rosemary topping for them and I definitely want to cut this fairly thin so I get a good crispy fry. Oh, I should clarify that by “fries” I mean that I bake them on a cookie sheet.

The final thing on our menu for the evening is less Greek, but much more realistic and easy. I decided the most important thing was the gyros

lemon brownies

and I don’t want to spend hours slaving over the dessert too. I have been wanting to make these Lemon Brownies for ages! I love lemon desserts, chocolate desserts or chocolate and fruit desserts. Yeah…I kinda have a sweet tooth. This recipe is of the mix and dump persuasion so I think it will fit our evening the best.

My mom suggested this last part and I figured, why not dive in?!
Mom owns a copy of My Big Fat Greek Wedding  so we’re going to greekweddingwatch that as we eat our gyros, salad and fries. I hope that we’ll be full as ticks by the end of the evening. Seeing as the hubbster doesn’t drink wine or champagne I’m not sure what specialty drinks we might have. He will probably stick with his sweet tea or diet coke. I might get a small bottle of something special just for me. And you know that once you remove the cork is spoils if you don’t finish it in one night. 

Questions for my Readers:

Is a themed Valentine’s date too cheesy for you?
I’ve got a lot riding on if all these recipes turn out right. Would you try a new recipe on a special night?
Are you
, like us, trying to avoid going out on the 14th at all costs? I gave up trying to battle the crowds years ago. Staying in are where it is at!

12 Months of Pre-Planned Dates

I have been dying to share this!! Just dying! 12 months of pre-planned and pre-paid dates was my main Christmas gift to Kit in 2013. Our first date kinda flopped because there was some idiotic things I couldn’t control. However, we are back on schedule.

12datesimagepinI found this idea of 12 Pre-Planned Dates on Pinterest. There are tons of them all over the internet. The blogger I linked had some great tips but the blog was a touch sparse when it came to actual ideas. I believe that was on purpose. The original blogger didn’t want you to do an exact copy because she wanted her readers to get creative and make it their very own. I am will toats share all of mine, never fear. I do stand behind her in saying: Make this your own! Don’t just copy the dates, sit down and put some serious thought into things that the two of you would like to do together.

For example, some couples may hate to cook together, but that is a great togetherness time that my husband and I have. I also wanted to keep these 12 dates on a very serious low budget. I think all together I spent less than $50. Those are some legit dates if you ask me.

20140126_090115

What is this all about?

Come up with 12 date ideas. Write 12 letters, grab and label 12 envelopes and make sure to include anything needed to complete the date. Especially items like, printed off directions, brochures of destination, recipe cards, gift cards, or other specific things (like food coloring to go with a cookie recipe).

About a week before the new month open the envelope and pick a day to have your pre-planned date! So you would open the February date envelope sometime during the last week of January.

January

My plan for January was to get a $5 gift card for this local theatre that mostly does live performances. They promised to have several $2 movies they would show during January and the schedule of shows would be available–to include in my envelope–by mid December. Sadly, the show schedule didn’t come out until January and the shows are all scheduled for February.
To make matters worse the gift card to the theatre got lost in the mail somewhere. It might be in my PO box…silly mail. We hope to hold three dates in February, the Jan-date, Feb-date and something special for Valentine’s Date. March will feel uneventful after our crazy February ends.

February

I want each month to have its own blog post after we have the date, but since Kit has opened the February envelope I can summarize it here. 20140126_090222February’s envelope includes: A bandana, a small tub of Wilton’s rose pink coloring, a recipe for super pink chocolate chip cookies, and a letter with instructions. The instructions essentially say that our challenge is to make chocolate chip cookies will taking turns being blindfolded.
I suppose if you wanted to analyze what this does for the relationship it can be noted that this is a trust building exercise. The blindfolded person must depend on the unimpaired partner to help make measurements.
My mom has asked about 15 times already….So yes, if you’re wondering it will probably be a naked cooking date. We’re adults and we can be naked. Hahaha, it also may be more amusing this way.
One of the best parts, in addition to nudity, is that we will have awesome super bright pink cookies to nosh when we finish the date. Milk and cookies is what’s up!

March

This one is a surprise! You’ll have to wait a month!! But I promise to continually add to this list so you know what we’re up to throughout the year.

Happy Dating!

~Kat~