Tag Archives: summer bucket list for couples

6 Low-Key Date Ideas for the Fall Season

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As the leaves begin to turn and the themed aisles of Target quickly turn from back-to-school to an odd combination of both Halloween and Christmas, there’s no arguing autumn is in full swing. In previous years, this is usually the time when I accept that I won’t see my husband until the end of March due to a busy basketball-centered travel and work schedule. However, the beginning of this summer brought about a promotion and change of work responsibilities for J, and he’s no longer at the office until nine every evening or on road trips through the weekends. With a new found ability to spend more time together this fall and winter, I thought I’d brainstorm and share some inexpensive and low-key “date” ideas for the months ahead.

1. Spend a Saturday afternoon at a local watering hole sharing a pitcher and watching college football
Even non-sports enthusiasts can appreciate the atmosphere of a cold drink, greasy appetizers, and cheers from fans on game day.

2. Head to the kitchen together and spend the day making each other’s favorite cookies
With the exception of after-dinner dishes and heating up frozen pizza, J pretty much avoids the kitchen at all costs. However, if anything is going to lure him in, it’s the promise of cookies. This is a great opportunity to turn off the TV, put aside the cell phones, and maybe even learn something new about each other.

3. Paint a wall in your home and share takeout pizza when it’s complete
Quality time together and little home improvement? Sounds like a win in my book! Painting just one wall is an inexpensive and easy way to add a quick update to a tired space. If you’re anything like us, you’ll appreciate spending the money on paint and supplies much longer than you would a date out.

4. Carve pumpkins and enjoy a meal from the slow cooker
Throw your favorite one-pot meal or stew in the slow cooker and spend a Sunday afternoon carving pumpkins outside. When you come back in you’ll have a hot meal waiting for you to enjoy. This would be an awesome date-in to invite another couple to share in.

5. Go for a hike – or head out on a geocaching adventure
As part of our anniversary date last month, J planned an 8-mile hike and picnic around a local state park. It was fun to get a little lost together and enjoy the peacefulness of our surroundings. I also had a really fun time pretending to see snakes so J would freak out. I think we would love the added adventure of geocaching with our phones and finding “treasure” at the end.

6. Create your own Oktoberfest tasting
So many beer and wine stores around us are now offering customers the option to create their own six packs by purchasing individual bottles of premium beers. This is a great way to try new brands and flavors without too much commitment or expense. Head out with your partner and select a handful of pumpkin or Oktoberfest beers to try and then take back to your home to pour and share while you discuss what you like and don’t like.

Do you have a favorite or go-to low-key date? What’s something small you’re looking forward to enjoying this season?

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Update on My Summer Bucket List

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So, my Summer Bucket List. It feels like just last week I was writing up the list and anxiously anticipating the summer months ahead. Now here we are in the middle of September and I’m already Googling new cognac boots and spending too much money on fall scented candles from Bath and Body Works.

This summer went far from planned. To start, we moved. We had started looking at some new little nest options but weren’t planning on moving until later this season. However, we fell in love with an apartment and it was priced appropriately. In this area those two factors mean ACT NOW. So we did. While we accomplished some things on the Bucket List, many got left behind or forgotten altogether. Despite that, it truly was an amazing summer. We traveled, we “cheers-ed”, we laughed, we lived in the moment, and we were certainly never bored.

Here’s the rundown on our list:

– Read 8 books between Memorial Day and Labor Day

So, I didn’t make it to eight. I think I read five? When I created the list I anticipated reading much more on my vacations to Cape Cod and Europe than I actually did. Aside from travel time in the car or planes, I hardly read at all on those trips, which is actually probably a good sign. I will say that by creating a book list I really made it a point to pick up the titles I wanted to read. The list helped put the reading process back into my daily routine (even if I was only reading a few pages before bed), and that was ultimately the point. I definitely plan to create a fall reading list to share later this month.

– Go to Six Flags

Yep, we didn’t make it. We truly had no free weekends, and with all the other awesome things we were doing it never even crossed our minds.

– Attend at least one outdoor concert

Woo! We can actually cross this one off the list. Early in the summer we saw that Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson were going to be performing at Wolf Trap and we scooped up tickets and blocked out the evening on our calendar. Wolf Trap is a really fun and unique concert venue with a rustic vibe. They allow everyone to bring in their own blankets, picnic baskets, and alcohol, so we packed up nibbles and a bottle of wine and had a really perfect summer date night.

– Try three new restaurants in our area

I know we had to have done this, but I’m having trouble remembering what restaurants we frequented all summer. Crepes, BBQ, and lots of fresh seafood were all part of our summer diets, and we made it a point to try out new spots when we went out. While not at all in our area, the best meal we ate this season was hands-down at Barbecoa in London.

– Visit two new local Farmer’s Markets

I made it to the Annapolis market (meh), but so far I still haven’t gotten to Fell’s Point for theirs. Free Saturday mornings were at a premium. It is still on my list to get to though, and fall markets are sometimes even better than summer!

– Go to Sandy Point State Park

Nope, didn’t make it. Like Six Flags, it never even crossed our minds. Maybe next year!

– Visit a local winery

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to an actual winery. I did get to a few wine festivals and tried lots of new local wines – even finding some new favorites and go-tos. Boordy still has some events happening this fall, and I’m going to keep this goal for the coming season.

– Make homemade doughnuts

In the midst of travel and moving this never happened. For a couple of weeks there I was doing minimal cooking, let alone baking. Now that my pots and pans are unpacked and I’ve gotten the hang of my new gas stove (love it!) I may give this a go.

– Have a picnic outside on a blanket

We did this a few times, but as mentioned above, my favorite picnic was definitely at the Gavin/Matt concert.

– Make caprese salad using basil and tomatoes from my own plants

So the neighborhood we lived in before we moved in August was pretty residential and had deer. Lots and lots of deer. When my first few tomatoes started to appear back in June the deer swept in and ate my plant down to a stump. It is just finally recovering and has a few lone green tomatoes sprouting, but I have low hopes. We have much better outdoor space at our new apartment and I can’t wait to start fresh in the spring.

– Craft something

I think I crafted a few things over the last few months, but I honestly can’t remember. I did finally get around to staining an unfinished wood crate over Labor Day weekend. We used it as part of our wedding reception decor, and I’ve been meaning to stain it for two years now. Inspired by my new outdoor patio space and a three day weekend, I set about staining it and turning it into a small bookshelf/side table. I love the end result and the bit of personality it adds to our primarily Ikea-furnished living space.

– Buy a piece of artwork while traveling

Unfortunately, this never happened. We never saw anything that really struck us that we loved enough to haul around. We do plan to go through some photos and hopefully get some great prints from our travels to add to a gallery wall that is on our to-do list.

So, we didn’t do all that well at crossing things off the list, but so is life. What was something on your summer bucket list that you never got to? Or, what was something fun and unexpected you did this season? xx

Across the Pond & Back: Photos from London & St Andrews

We’ve officially been back from Europe for two weeks. It feels like a lifetime. We had an amazing time – filled with laughter, good friends, bubbly, and glow sticks. I’ll start getting back into some regular posting around here in the coming days, but for now, I’m going to stay in a state of wanderlust and reminisce.

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Week in Photos: Cape Cod

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Mid-Week Peaks

Happy Wednesday, friends! The past week included a lovely three-day weekend filled with a visit from family, lots of good food, a baseball game, and more! I shared some shots from the weekend in a photo post on Monday, but here’s a run-down of this week’s mid-week peaks:

  • 4th of July in Annapolis

J’s brother and his wife arrived at our little nest mid-morning on Friday to visit and spend the weekend enjoying the sights and sounds of the surrounding area. After some lunch and catching up, we made the short drive to Annapolis to show them around one of our favorite cities and soak in the 4th of July festivities. After a walking tour of West & Main Streets, we headed to the Naval Academy to explore the buildings and grounds (despite having done this several times with different guests, J and I always end up discovering something new each time, and we never tire of seeing the beautiful architecture!) We then headed back up the hill, stumbling upon Galway Bay Irish Pub and stopping in for a drink. While Galway Bay was awesome, the weather was perfect on Friday, so we decided to continue the party at one of J’s and my favorite watering holes, 1747 Pub, for some refreshments on the patio.

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Sidenote, I just counted, and in the 7ish hours we spent in downtown Annapolis on Friday, we visited 5 different restaurant/bars. In my opinion, the best way to see a city is by foot, eating your through it. Food and drink breaks become a common trend in any sightseeing tour with me and J. 🙂

Over the course of the rest of the evening we enjoyed some time down by the water, taking in the picturesque views before heading across the bridge to the Eastport area of Annapolis to track down Davis’ Pub for dinner. Once we made it back to Main Street, the crowds had really started to grow as everyone prepared for the parade and fireworks. None of us were too interested in sticking around for the traffic jam, so we decided to head to the car and catch the fireworks on TV back home where we enjoyed the A/C, playtime with the cat, and awesome 4th of July/nautical themed sugar cookies I picked up from  Sweet Hearts Patisserie.

Boats on a Bay

  •  A Saturday in DC

We had tickets to a National’s baseball game for early Saturday evening, so after a leisurely morning, we all got set to head into DC for the day. First stop was the National Arboretum, a place I highly recommend to anyone looking for free things to do in DC that are a little off the beaten path. In addition to gorgeous gardens, bonsai collections, and walking trails, the Arboretum also hosts the original columns from the U.S. Capitol. The columns are really stunning, and J’s history teacher brother definitely enjoyed the idea that President Lincoln once walked the very stones we stood upon.

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 After a little exploring at the Arboretum, we were all ready for some lunch and headed toward Capitol Hill/Eastern Market for a taste of We the Pizza, one of my favorite DC lunch spots. After we all pigged out on Spike Mendelsohn’s awesome pizza and homemade sodas, we strolled through the open air Eastern Market. With the typical Saturday afternoon bustle, there was plenty to see from all the arts, crafts, and food vendors before making our way to Nat’s Stadium for the baseball game, where the Nationals crushed the Cubs in a 13-0 game.

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By the time Sunday rolled around I couldn’t believe we were almost through the 3-day weekend. Time goes by way too fast when you’re having fun. It was awesome to have J’s brother and wife to visit, as we never get to spend time as just the 4 “kids.” It was such a fun weekend, and definitely the highlight of the week.

What’s been a highlight of your week? How did you spend the 4th of July weekend? xx

Seven Ways to Make July Great

SunflowersIt’s July! Can you believe it? Here are seven small ways you can make the month great.

1. Treat yourself (or someone else!) to flowers

The power of a $5 bouquet of flowers is highly underrated. Treat yourself to a fun bouquet from the Farmer’s Market, or check out the seasonal selection at your local supermarket. I scored the prettiest trio of pink peonies a couple of weeks ago for less than four bucks, and I smiled every time I walked by them the rest of the week.

2. Play with sparklers

July is the month of fireworks, and sparklers are the perfect way to celebrate. Pick up a basic box and (safely) enjoy. Bonus points if you can snap a Pinterest-worthy photo with friends.

3. Enjoy a cocktail (or mocktail) outside

Whether on your porch, deck, or a restaurant patio, whip up a fun and fruity drink and enjoy the summer sun while pretending to be on vacation, if only for just an hour.

4. Take an evening walk

Taking an evening stroll around the neighborhood is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the warm weather. It’s a great time to disconnect from technology, decompress, and enjoy the sights and sounds of your community.

5. Challenge a friend to a round of mini-golf

A round of mini-golf with a friend or partner is guaranteed to be filled with competition, laughter, and if you’re as bad as me, a little humility. This is also a fun and fairly inexpensive weeknight activity, perfect for breaking up the monotony of the work week.

6. Paint your toes a bright color

Treat yourself to an at-home pedi and gussy up those toes with a bold color. I’m currently loving OPI’s “I Eat Mainely Lobster”.

7. Make homemade popsicles

Don’t have a fancy mold? No problem! Popsicle sticks, plastic wrap, and paper dixie cups will get the job done. Get creative with your flavors and add-ins, or check out this article from The Nest, which rounds up 10 easy and delicious recipes. The champagne raspberry pops sound awesome!

 

Looking for more ideas on ways to make the summer extra special? Check out my Summer Bucket List. What will you do to make July great? Anything you’re looking forward to this month? xx

Fit for a Friday

Happy Friday, friends! Also, Happy West Virginia Day, and happy almost-first day of summer! How’s everyone’s week been? J headed home to his parent’s last night so he could play in an annual golf fundraiser today, so I’ve been holding it down single [cat]lady style. If the rain holds off tomorrow morning my plan is to check the Annapolis Farmer’s Market off my Summer Bucket List, and maybe even get a little baking done on Saturday before J gets home. This is the only weekend until September that doesn’t have something on the calendar, so I plan to happily enjoy the downtime. To help you kick off your weekend, here’s this week’s Fit for a Friday – a compilation of musings, findings, and favorite links I’ve stumbled across in the past week.

A great little piece discussing some of the awesome things to do in my hometown, Charleston, WV. As I mentioned in this week’s Mid-Week Peaks, J and I are headed there next weekend to catch the last leg of FestivALL and visit family and friends I haven’t seen since Christmas. Take me home, Country Roads.

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It wouldn’t be a Fit for a Friday post if I didn’t share a cute animal story. The fact that the zoo adopted the cat and is letting it happily roam in the habitat makes my heart smile. PS – the author notes this story doesn’t seem to have any real source or date, so please keep that in mind! The video is super adorable, though.

How stinkin’ cute is this? I actually stumbled on to this link through Sugar & Cloth’s equally cute DIY // Polka Dot Floppy Hat post. I went to high school with Ashley, the author behind Sugar & Cloth, and she always posts really fun and colorful DIY’s and sweet treats. Now excuse me while I go find a floppy hat to paint.

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I swoon. J and I dream of a little brownstone with original hardwoods, a touch of outdoor patio space, and reserved parking. The dream lives on.

That about wraps it up for me. Cheers to the weekend! xx