Kirby & I are almost 11 months into being new parents. It's been such a journey for both of us physically & mentally, but also for our marriage. So much change comes with starting a big new chapter and our relationship has totally changed. The day we drove home from the hospital (5 days later than we planned) we talked about how we seriously had fallen more in love with each other through the craziness of our birth story. However, months down through road it didn't always feel that way. Lack of sleep, time for one another & time to really even have a conversation truly puts a cloud over your relationship. I think almost all new parents go through some form of it because with any changes comes evolving. With marriage it's key to continue to communicate feelings so growth can happen together (even if it's personal growth!). Another huge thing that we learned is the importance of spending time together on date days or date nights.
Having those hours alone to talk, laugh & do something we liked doing prior to having Addison made all the difference in our connection. We are hooked on finding time with each other now because we have so much fun & see the benefit it has on our little family. Happy, loving parents are a big part of what makes a happy baby. Since we have had some fun little dates this summer I wanted to share 5 summer date ideas that are easy, affordable & some of our favorite things to do!
5 Summer Date Ideas
- Biking around your local city/town & explore new little corners and restaurants! It's such an easy & affordable thing to do. We have always loved biking and have so much fun cruising around for hours no matter where we are. We recently did this in Minneapolis & got lost once or twice which ended up making the date even more of a fun journey for us. Most cities have bike rentals so even if you don't own bikes you can easily rent ones for super cheap.
- Grab tickets to a local baseball game! We are huge baseball fans (Kirby grew up playing) and love being able to enjoy a game. Kirby and I are Chicago Cub fans, but would honestly be fine watching any team play. There is just something about being at a baseball game on a warm summer night with beer/lemonade & hotdogs lol. Even if you don't enjoy the game it's a great place event to be able to watch & chat at the same time. If professional baseball tickets are too pricey look into the local minor league teams!
- Make reservations at your favorite restaurant (bonus if it has an outdoor patio!). I know this is basic, but sometimes basic is all you need. Minnesota summer are so beautiful (& short lol) so enjoying drinks & yummy food on a patio outside is always a main focus for us. One thing to remember, it doesn't always have to be dinner. If getting out of the house for breakfast, brunch or lunch is easier then do that! Brunch is a big deal for us so having a few hours to enjoy together (uninterrupted) in the middle of the day is a special treat.
- Be adventurous & get outdoors! I truly believe that being outside is so critical to clearing your mind. We fell in love with doing long hikes, bike rides & other random outdoor activites while living in Colorado. It's so fun to be spontaneous & sometimes a little crazy together! We recently rented kayaks at a local lake I grew up going to in the city, but had never ever done before! It was super affordable & was a great way to relax & be active together.
- Spruce up at-home date night! Obviously with having Addison, getting out of the house together isn't something we can always fit in. We've learned that date night's at home can be just as fun with a little extra effort.
Ways to do this:
* Whip up your favorite dinner dish or cookie recipe (included one of our faves below!)
* Taking a minute longer to prepare a cute dinner table setting
* Grab fresh flowers to place in your throughout your home & light some candles
* Play your favorite music
* Enjoy a fancy wine or beer
* Spend an hour (or all night) playing a board game
* Watch that one movie you've been meaning to watch & buy all your favorite treats to indulge
Recent Date Night
Last night Kirby & I had the pleasure of of attending #MeltyFest & oh my gosh it was a cheesy dream come true! I've shared a little bit about Tillamook cheese on my Instagram, but if you haven't heard of them/tried them yet... What are you waiting for? I first fell in love with Tillamook out in Denver and have yet to go back to another cheese. Although I'm lowering my dairy intake, when I do indulge and when Kirby & Addi eat cheese, Tillamook is our go-to. My little family is pumped that they're now available at Target in Minneapolis. You better believe we are stocked up! Make sure to see where you can grabs some too!
Tillamook hosted last nights event at the The Handsome Hog and it was a great time hanging with some friends! We seriously ate some of the most amazing cheesy dishes & I enjoyed a lavender cocktail, of course. If you're local and want try out Chef Justin Sutherlands famous Juicy Lucy, make sure to pop in from August 12-18th! Or, if you're looking for a fun little at-home date night - spruced up - create your very on Juicy Lucy's with Chef Sutherland's recipe below!
Justin Sutherland's Pimento Cheese Juicy Lucy
For Pimento Cheese:
Tillamook Sharp Cheddar - 2 cups Shredded
Pimento diced fine - 1.25 cups
Cream Cheese - 1 cup
Duke's Mayo - 1 cup
Hot Sauce - 2 tsp
Kosher Salt - 2 tsp
Sugar - 1/4 tsp
Cayenne Pepper - 1/8 tsp
White Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Bourbon Smoked Paprika - 2.5 tsp
For Juicy Lucy:
Ground Beef - 2lb
Salt & Pepper
Pimento Cheese - 8 oz
Form 8 patties
Scoop 2 oz of pimento cheese & place in the center of one patty. Place another patty on top and tightly pinch the edges together to seal the pimento cheese between the two patties. Repeat with remaining patties & pimento cheese
Season formed burgers with salt & pepper
Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Sear burgers 4-5 mins per side
Serve on soft burger buns along w/ toppings & ENJOY!