Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Stay at home date - Fancy cheeses and cheesy movie

For our last stay-at-home date night, I bought a bunch of fancy cheeses and we watched a cheesy romantic movie.  All of these cheeses were from different countries and it was fun to try all of the flavors.  I kept it a little cheaper by buying smaller sections and got this whole plate of cheese for under $30.  We didn't eat even close to all of it - or even 1/4 of it - so this would be a good group stay-at-home date night too.
 
I got my cheese at Harmon's because they have such a good selection of fancy cheeses.

Monday, January 30, 2017

LG PuriCare Air Purifier from RC Willey - Product Review

I love living in Provo but I hate the inversion in winter.  Did you know Provo is in the top 5 cities in the nation for having the dirtiest air, and sometimes is ranked as top city for dirtiest air in the nation?
 
A couple years ago I got a really bad case of bronchitis that lasted three months and ever since then I have been very sensitive to getting respiratory infections.  It doesn't take much for my cough to come back and when it does it usually hangs around for a couple weeks.
The picture above is from when my daughter got croup just last month and had to sleep elevated to breathe better.  She gets it a few times a year and has to go to the hospital sometimes to get steroids for her lungs and breathing treatments.  I do what I can to prevent it and check this site periodically to see when we need to limit our time outside but even when we stay inside the bad air can cause problems.
 
I got a new LG PuriCare Air Purifier from RC Willey and even though the air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups today, the inversion hasn't been bothering me or my daughter at all this week.
The LG PuriCare Air Purifier from RC Willey is easy to use, with a color-coded LED system that shows the current air quality.  It works for pollutants and allergens too to remove 99.97% of airborne particles.
Want to pick up an LG PuriCare Air Purifier for yourself?  LG's new air purifiers are available at RC Willey now!

Mad Greens at Traverse Mountain is now open! (and GIVEAWAY)

GIVEAWAY - Do you want to WIN a $25 gift card so you can try MAD Greens too?!?  Just comment on my posts on Instagram or Facebook for your chance to win!  Giveaway ends February 6 at midnight Utah time.
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We went and checked out the grand opening for Mad Greens at Traverse Mountain last week with some friends and loved it.  The food was great and everything was healthy, which was an added plus!
We chose between wraps, sandwiches and salads.  My favorite was the Edgar Allen Poe salad that I had turned into a wrap.
The most popular menu items in Utah are the Annie Oakley Panini and the Ty Cobb salad.  There is also a Utah-inspired salad to try called the Butch Cassidy.  Can you tell they name their menu items after "mad" characters throughout history?
 
INSIDER TIPS:
Join the MAD MOB email list to get offers!  Also, if you're a mom who wants to eat healthy but not get the kids out of the car, try their curbside pickup by placing an order online or over the phone and then give them a call when you arrive and they'll bring the food out to you!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Stay-at-home date idea: Sushi from Five Sushi Brothers

Do you want to WIN a date night package of 3 rolls, an order of gyoza and two sodas so you can have the romantic stay-at-home dinner we did?!?  Just comment on my posts on Instagram or Facebook for your chance to win!  Giveaway ends January 26 at midnight Utah time.
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Our go-to stay-at-home date night idea is ordering sushi in after the kids go to bed.  In the past one of us puts the kids to bed while the other picks up the sushi but I just found out about this amazing place that DELIVERS SUSHI IN PROVO from 9 pm to midnight.  Stay-at-home date night game changer for us.  It was amazing.
It's simple.  Their rolls are $7 $8 or $9.  You order online and they show up at your house with your food.
 BUT GUESS WHAT!!!  Saturdays from 11-12 ALL ROLLS ARE ONLY $5!!!  That's a killer deal!
We got the Cali roll (top left), tiger mom (middle) and bandies (right), an order of gyoza and 2 drinks.  The drinks were so much fun because they had this glass marble that dropped down when you opened the bottle.  Have any of you had a drink like that?!?  It was fun.
 My favorite was the Bandies roll.  In fact, looking at this picture is making me crave another roll right now.  Oh man, this sushi delivery stuff is going to murder my budget for the month, I can already tell.
(...ok...I may have just texted my friend (since my husband is working) and told her to come over after the kids are in bed so we can order sushi.)
 
We usually pair our sushi with a game or puzzle or movie.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Stay at home date idea - Tin Foil Dinners and Doomsday Preppers

We try to have frequent dates to help strengthen our marriage but from time to time we can't get away and do a stay-at-home date instead after the kids go to bed.  (Like today when my little girl called us from school throwing up, which means I'm stuck at the house until she gets better).
Tonight we made tin foil dinners and watched Doomsday Preppers and it was SO MUCH FUN.  Honestly, I was pretty excited about this idea but after we did it then it ended up being even more fun than I had hoped!
We started out by making our tin foil dinners just before we started putting our kids to bed.  We like to put bacon on the bottom and over the top of ours to give it some extra flavor.  I know my brother loves to add cream of mushroom soup to his but we didn't do that this time.  We cut the veggies bite-sized to help it cook faster and stuck it in the oven at 375 for a little over an hour until the potatoes and baby carrots were soft.
I set up a picnic next to the TV and added a camping lantern and some small candles for a little romance (and to go along with the Doomsday Prepper theme) and we were set!
 
Have you ever seen Doomsday Preppers?!?!?  It's a show about people who are getting ready for end-of-the-world type stuff and go to great lengths to protect themselves from whatever they think might happen.  This is way past the average food storage standards and show people making assault vehicles, underground bunkers and elaborate family escape plans.  We love it.  Then at the end the experts tell them how well their family is prepare and what they need to change to survive.  They also tell us what the statistics are that something like whatever that family is scared of will happen.
 
Want to watch it?  Full episodes of Doomsday Preppers are on YouTube for free or you can rent episodes off of Amazon.
 
Seriously though, you should try this stay-at-home date night idea.  It was one of the best stay-at-home dates we have had so far.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Making our marriage stronger through frequent dating

I was a little surprise by the overwhelmingly positive response to my post on the moment we saved my marriage and the six words that started it all.  After several private messages and emails from both readers and friends asking what types of things I have done to strengthen (and save) my marriage, I have decided to post a few ideas intermittently on this blog.
 
The first (of many) things we implemented was frequent dating.  I have talked to so many friends who don't go on frequent dates with their spouse.  I get it.  We used to be the same way.  Life gets busy and expensive, especially with young kids, and it's hard to align schedules and find sitters.  I have talked to several friends who tell me they want to go on dates but sometimes it's hard to convince their spouse it's a priority.  I get it.
 
Let me stress again that I am not a marriage or personal therapist.  I do not pretend to know the answer to everyone's marriage struggles.  However, for my marriage, planning frequent (weekly) dates was a big part of helping us grow (and stay) close and strong.
 
It sets aside time during the week where we can connect again.  It's different with the kids (or even big groups of family or friends) around.  We get interrupted or distracted and it's not the same.  By prioritizing a date night, we are prioritizing our marriage, keeping it a focus and in the front of our minds instead of an afterthought we don't really worry about.
 
For me, as a stay-at-home mom with young kids, date night is sometimes the only time during the week I get a break and feel like an adult.  I take the diapers and wipes out of my purse and have a real conversation with an adult and eat my food while it's still hot and take a breath.  I need this break to be a kind, patient wife.  If I'm too overwhelmed, overworked and stressed it's really hard for me to be a nice wife and overall pleasant person to be around.  These breaks help me reset.
 
I know I could leave the kids with my husband one night he's home and go out by myself or with friends to reset and get that break.  Although I definitely think that's a necessity too in it's own way, by looking forward to something fun with my husband I am turning to him for happiness.  I look at him as a source of joy.  I am looking forward to something with him.  I want him to be part of my fun.  It really does help us feel closer.
 
It allows us to create these happy memories that keep us strong when something gets hard.
 
Although we try to go out at least once a week (partially so I get that break from the kids), sometimes kids are sick or we can't find a sitter or the budget is tight or schedules are crazy.  We never sacrifice date night (part of keeping our marriage our highest priority) so occasionally we do stay-at-home date nights.  It still puts our marriage as a priority.  It still gives us time to connect.  It still lets us create happy memories that make us strong when something gets hard.
 
All week long this week I am going to post some of these stay-at-home date night ideas.  Stay-at-home dates are a good way to make your marriage a priority if you don't feel comfortable getting a sitter, have a tight budget, or even if your spouse is hesitant to make frequent dates a priority.  "I planned this fun thing for us to do after the kids go to bed tomorrow night" might be easier for them to commit to than "I want you to start taking me out on dates every week."
This picture is from of one of our first stay-at-home date nights.  We just did a puzzle by the fire but it was so much fun.
 
Three things we like to keep in mind for a successful date night at home:
 
1.  Movies are probably the easiest stay-at-home date night (and we love to watch movies or shows together) but we don't only watch a movie every time because it's not as social and doesn't allow us to talk and connect as much.  Although, it does allow us to cuddle, which is important too.  My suggestion is to pair it with dinner or some time where the TV is off (a game or something) so you can still have a conversation and feel connected.
 
2.  Most of the time, I still get ready to go on a stay-at-home date as if I were going out.  I figure if I'm going to do my hair and makeup to go to a business meeting or family party, date nights (even when at home) are just as important.  It's not necessary but something I do to show him that I care and that it's an event I take seriously and look forward to.
 
3.  Plan ahead.  By deciding ahead of time when you're going to have a date, it keeps your schedule open and doesn't get it pushed off with other things.  Commit to a night before you fill your schedule with other things.  If I don't plan ahead it doesn't happen.  Also, it allows me to look forward to it all week, which creates these positive feelings about our relationship and the memories we make together.
 
What are your favorite stay-at-home date night ideas?

Monday, January 16, 2017

"Reisens I Love You" Missionary Care Package

Just in time for Valentines Day!  Send your missionary a box full of "Reisens" you love them!