January–Popcorn & Movie in Historic Theatre

I went over the crazy complication over our botched January date in my overview blog of the 12 Months of Preplanned dates that I gifted to Kit for Christmas. I finally got things worked out! The theatre gave me complimentary tickets to the popcorn & a movie feature that we chose and, to my surprise, gave me the gift card for my trouble. They had awesome response time to my problem when I called them.

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Sorry for the overly-cheesy upshot selfie here. It was the best I could manage. I really didn’t want to show up late. The two dollars was for our boxes of popcorn. We ended up spending about five bucks on concessions because we wanted candy and drinks too. I always feel better buying things from a not for profit arts group anyway.

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The theatre was super dark (as it should be), but I managed another cheese photos with bright orange tix and popcorn.
The movie was the 1930s Little Princess starring Shirley Temple. Eerie as it was, she passed away within a week after our date. When I was a kid I had watched the 1990s version which is a bit more fairy tale-ish. This was fun because the whole time I was comparing the two versions. Kit had seen a bunch of Shirley Temple movies as a kid.

Even though the movie itself wasn’t very romantic it turned out to be quite an enjoyable date. The theatre wasn’t overly packed, ate cheap concessions,  movie was a little grainy and the historic auditorium just added to the fun.
We don’t have many more day left in February to do our Blindfolded cookie baking date, but hopefully we can get it done before March!

~Kat

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!

Valentine’s Day Movies on Netflix Instant Part Two of Two

If you haven’t seen it, check out Part One of my Valentine’s Day Movie List.
As I mentioned in Part One, these are movies that I found on Netflix instant. Sure, you can peruse the Romantic movies section of streaming all by yourself, but I find lists on the Internet to be extremely helpful. Also, if you have to type one painful letter at a time to search for a movie on a Wii console or Roku, this list can be helpful. All photos belong to IMDB. Titles in bold are those that I’ve seen before.

  1. The Jerk Theory (2009)–Acting like a jerk wins girls, but can the sweet girl of his dreams change his tune?

  2. Carolina (2003)–I love me some Julia Stiles. This is a Rom-com jerktheoryabout a girl trying to escape her wacky family. Description makes it seem like a Boy-next-door romance.

  3. The Decoy Bride (2011)–Famous author and actress hope to get married on a remote island, but have to come up with a decoy bride to throw off the paparazzi. David Tennant. Nuff said.

  4. Charade (1963)–Woman finds herself running from bad guys who are looking for money her recently-murdered husband stole. Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant star in this classic.

  5. Clueless (1995)–Ditzy high school girl loves playing charadematchmaker, but her latest matches don’t go as planned. This is the updated version of Emma that I mentioned in Part One. 
  6. The Count of Monte Cristo (1998)–This is the four part TV mini series. A wrongly imprisoned man escapes after 18 years, he seeks revenge and his lady love. More of a swashbuckler than romance. 
  7. Like Water for Chocolate (1992)–Star crossed lovers and food in Spanish. Subtitles and some raunchiness (warning). The book is just as fun! 
  8. Maid in Manhattan (2002)–Important political candidate accidentally falls for the hotel maid when he mistakes her for a wealthy lady. 
  9. Tonight You’re mine (2011)–Two rival musicians get tonightyoureminehandcuffed together at a festival where they must later perform. I am really looking forward to watching this one.
  10. McLintock! (1963)–Stubborn John Wayne comes to town to meet his daughter returning from college and is reunited with his hot headed estranged wife. 
  11. New York, I love you (2008)–A slew of actors with nothing better to do made a movie with several love stories entangled. 
  12. Safe Haven (2013)–Woman on the run shows up in a small town and falls for a widowed man with kids. They both have shit they need to get over. 
  13. Say Anything (1989)–The unexeceptional guy at school falls for the gorgeous head of the class. No one told him he was John Cusack.sayanything 
  14. Waiting for Forever (2010)–Street performer childhood friend stalks the girl of his dreams next door. He finally confesses his love to her. This will either be great or a wretched train wreck. Stars the gal who plays in the TV show Hart of Dixie.
  15. Serious Moonlight (2009)–Woman tapes her adulterous husband to the toilet. And then they both get tied up by burglers. Super weird, I haven’t finished this yet.

  16. The Host (2013)–Unseen evil is erasing people’s memories. A book to movie adaption by Stephanie Myer. 
  17. Shakespeare in Love (1998)–Young writer finds a beautiful shakeyinlovemuse high above his social status. TONS of awesome reference to Shakespeare plays we know and love, this is treat for Bill S. lovers. 
  18. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)–Gilbert has to care for his challenged brother and ill mother. He is bogged down until a free spirit moves into town. Apparently more moving than romantic, but supposed to be quite good.
  19. TiMER (2009)–Modern invention has taken the unsettling guesswork in finding your soulmate. Everyone has a countdown to their soulmate…but what if you love someone else? Pah-lease watch this movie!

Valentine’s Day Movies on Netflix Instant Part One

I am always trying to find a good movie list for those only found on Netflix Instant. These are hard to find, so I am slowly making my own lists and I hope this helps other people who only have the Instant subscription.The Roku I have linked with my Netflix Instant account might be the best Valentine’s Day gift to ourselves that my husband and I have ever gotten. Searching for a genre is a little  difficult on the Roku and sometimes you just don’t feel like searching a specific title by clicking one letter at a time. Tedious.

Here is my list that as of January 2014 can be found on Netflix Instant. The titles in bold are those I have seen before. Those not in bold are movies I want to watch soonish and maybe you’ll enjoy them too.  It’s a little out of season, but I made a (shorter) list of Halloween-y movies found on Netflix Instant.
All pictures belong to IMDb unless otherwise stated.

Romantic-ish/Valentine’s Day movies on Netflix Instant–Part One:

  1. 13 Going on 30 (2004)--Girl wishes to be 30 with perfect BF/Job/life but when her dreams come true they fall short. Girly romance with boy next door theme. 13-30movieposter
  2. African Queen (1951)–A unlikely team, Bogart and Hepburn, strike out on an adventure to blow up an enemy boat.
  3. America’s Sweethearts (2001)–Movie publicist deals with very public celebrity split up. Love triangles galore, give the set up some time.
  4. Blue Hawaii (1961)–Elvis music and Hawaiian scenery. Elvis has just gotten out of the army and wants to enjoy island life again.
    bluehawaii
  5. I Hate Valentine’s Day (2009)–Woman avoids falling in love by sticking to dating rules, until love moves in next door to her florist shop.
  6. Dorfman in Love (2011)–Woman wants life outside of caring for her family. Looks like two new loves fall in her lap.
  7. Emma (1996)–She loves meddling and setting up marriages until her plans backfire. Period film version of Clueless.
  8. See girl Run (2012)–Young woman revisits her old relationships to seek guidance in her life.
    seegirlrun
  9. Footloose (1984)–Rebellious teen who loves to dance moves to a small town where dancing is banned. I prefer the 2011 movie simply for the updated music.
  10. About Adam (2000)–Guy seduces two sisters and possibly more characters. There are some poor reviews, but at least sniff test it.
  11. Get Over it (2001)–Love triangles every which way, allusions to Midsummer Night’s Dream. This might make me sound like a mom, but this is definitely a movie for older teens. Kinda surprised it was PG-13.
  12. Time Traveller (2010)–Girl tries to go back in time to find information to save her mother who went into a coma. She lands in the wrong year. (Foreign–Based on the anime The Girl Who Leapt Through Time).
  13. Grease (1978)–Good girl Sandy falls for the bad boy at school. greaseMusic, Travolta, fashions, euphemisms, and teen drama.
  14. Not Suitable for Children (2012)–Man who finds out he will soon become infertile sets out to procreate. Obviously rated R.
  15. Pretty in Pink (1986)–Teen must decide between her dream boy or the boy next door.

  16. Ondine  (2009)–Irish fisherman discovers a beautiful water nymph (selke) caught in his net. (Colin Farrell)ondine

  17. She’s All That (1999)–Jock takes a bet he can take the ugliest girl at school and turn her into the prom queen.
    Transformation romance. 

  18. Daddy Long Legs (1955)–Fred Astaire plays a wealthy man who sponsors an orphan to go to college. They accidentally fall in love.
  19. One for the Money (2012)–Unemployed divorcee takes on a job as a bounty hunter and searches for an old flame. Based on the Stephanie Plum books.
  20. Outsourced (2006)–American goes to India to train people in his job that recently got outsourced.
  21. Some Like it Hot (1959)–Two musicians running from the mob join a band of all female musicians. Very beautiful females–strictlyballroomhilarious.
  22. Strictly Ballroom (1992)–Classically trained dancer wants to dance his own style and risks his reputation on a new partner. Ugly duckling transformation, dancing and music.
  23. Somewhere in Time (1980)–Playwright hypnotizes himself so he can meet the woman in an old portrait in his hotel. Weepy of course. 

Stay-In Valentine’s Day Plans for Playful Couples

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I designed this stay-in date night for my sister-in-law and have decided the plans are too good to keep to myself.
This is a Valentine’s Day date designed for the broke-college students, kids at heart, vegetarians and those wishing to break the stiff candle-lit dinner traditions.
If this is you, read on.

Keep in mind these are plans for adults and they often do adult things together. If you are offended by couples with healthy/happy relationships both physical and emotional then this is your warning to get outta Dodge.

Set the TableMake a blanket fort

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I know it may have been years since you last made one. Just get started and your inner child will fill in the blanks. If you’re timid to try, here is a link to help get you started: School of How To.

Fill your fort with blankets and pillows to lounge on. Then put a string of Xmas lights or a small night light inside instead of a candle–a touch light or battery flameless battery operated candle.
Eat dinner then push the dishes out of the fort and get to snuggling.

Make Dinner

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All Recipes has a fantastic recipe for Black Bean Stuffed Bell Peppers. This is a vegetarian recipe but you can easily modify it. Fry up some bacon til crispy. Cool and crumble it into your mix. Also, this is a special dinner so if you have fresh onions then dice and saute half an onion (at least).

Cook dinner together. If you don’t think cooking as a couple is romantic then try this: Turn off the phones, turn on music you both love, lock the doors, draw the blinds and get naked. If you’re a little weird about cooking in the buff, then keep on your underwear and apron.

Dessert for Chocolate Lovers

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Fun desserts are messy. I’m working the mathematical correlation now. I recommend fondue or a s’mores lab.
Contrary to popular belief you DO NOT need a fancy fondue pot nor double boiler to make fondue. Just be careful to melt slowly and stir often. Crock pots come in handy if you have one.

This is the same Groovy Fondue recipe I used for my birthday party. It was a HUGE hit. Pro-tip: You can make truffles out of the chilled leftovers. You’ll thank me later.

The tasty alternate dessert is to create a s’mores experimentation lab. Grab plates, ingredients and get ready to create a franken-S’more. A Lot On Your Plate blog has Ten S’mores Recipes that should inspire you to get creative. Marshmallows in the microwave are just hysterical anyway.

Games/Activities

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The first two activities are more passive, but as you will soon find that they are awesome to add to the list.

The Couples Q&A. There are literally tons of these questionnaires on the interwebz and a quick Google search will turn up plenty of results. This list is just to get you started. Keep in mind–Some lists are designed for deep emotional probing that is probably inappropriate on a fun night.

The second activity is for dreamers. Kit and I love making lists like these. Here is an example of a Couple’s Bucket List to get your creative juices flowing. Grab a notebook and dream big!

Minute to Win it Games.These are fun and can be adapted for two instead of a group party. Most of the materials are super cheap–to save even more money, do these games the day after V-Day and buy the sale candies.

The games from that blog that I chose are: Heart-a-stack, Marshmallow Toss, Love Spot (use paper cut outs instead of expensive craft pom poms), and Heart Pick Up. I have seen the Face Cookie on every M2W party blog and am exhausted with its overuse.

How to Get Your Spouse to Play Along
If your partner isn’t the playful sort then I don’t have much hope for you. However, if you’re gamer sweetheart is just a little shy then this is a great date.

Kit doesn’t do well with surprises so I typically spill ALL my surprises. Some guys or gals are like that. They need to be mentally prepared for fun so they can be excited instead of reluctant. Give them really obvious hints. Tell your partner that you will be playing some mini-games similar to Mario Party and that you’ll be making supper together. If you want to keep it a guessing game, tell them some of the ingredients to dinner or dessert.

If you use any of my date night ideas please let me know how your night went!
(You don’t have to share the gritty details).