Posts Tagged ‘planning’

5 At Home Date Night Ideas for Moms & Dads

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Date NightforMoms & Dads

Remember that time, when you were young and starry-eyed with new love, and Valentine’s Day was a time to fully express your affections with a dazzling evening out and big gestures of romance? Those special moments may have helped lead you to a deeper love, which might have turned into an elaborate proposal and finally a beautiful wedding. And if that sequence of events ALSO lead you to having children join your life together, then you KNOW that all of that romantic “stuff” has probably gone out the window (along with all of your free time and discretionary spending budget!)

Yeah, I have been there. I am coming out the other side though, with my kids growing up very quickly, and two out of 3 pretty much launched into adulthood. So I can tell you for sure, you do get your time back. BUT, don’t wait until then to keep connecting as a couple, whether it be Valentine’s Day, your anniversary or a weekly date night.

Since time and money can be an obstacle to keeping the flames burning, here are some ideas for romantic “dates” that you can enjoy at home. All it takes is some planning, some creativity, and an attitude of acceptance; accepting where you are right now in your family life cycle, accepting that you and your partner still need to look after your romance, and being creative about how to do just that during a busy time in your life.

The biggest obstacle to your plans will be the kids themselves. Sorta hard to get all lovey when they are clamoring for your attention. Finding a babysitter is not always possible or easy. If the kids are older, either send them off to a friends for a sleepover or to a family member if they are available. OR just this once, let them watch some TV in their room on a laptop or tablet, with the deal that they don’t disturb your date (kiss each other A LOT. Believe me, once they see THAT gross business, they will only come out to talk to you if the house is on fire or something). Let them ‘break the rules’ a bit so this can be THEIR special night activity. You will get more cooperation and buy in if they get a special relaxing of the rules and routine.

If they are still very little, plan to put them to bed a bit early. It may mess with their schedule temporarily, but this is an important evening and the trade off is worth it once in a while.

5 At Home Date Night Ideas That Don’t Require a Babysitter:
  1. Dining with Class – With a little team work, you can create the atmosphere of a romantic restaurant, complete with candle light and a special dinner that you don’t make as often now that chicken nuggets are a prominent item on your daily menu.  Use your best dishes, your prettiest tablecloths and play some romantic mood music. Alternative ideas meal, depending on the time of year, include: backyard picnics (complete with a blanket and basket), finger foods/appetizers and desserts only, or breakfast in bed. Breakfast can be date night as well – why not? It’s your date!
  2. Game Night – Jenja, Backgammon, Scrabble, Chess, Boggle – lots of fun two player games are available and you can have a friendly competition. Make some bets and offer up some “romantic” stakes. You will BOTH win that way (nudge, wink, wink). Pull out your favourite snacks, put on some upbeat tunes and get ready to play.
  3. Movie night – Create a marathon night. I recommend Star Wars 4-6 (not 1-3. Never 1-3!), Lord of the Rings, or maybe do an evening of movie classics. Can’t agree on the films? Each pick one movie and agree to gladly watch both movies (even if you hate rom coms or anime). Cuddle up on the sofa with snacks, dole out the foot rubs and enjoy some great films.
  4. Get Silly Night – Have a nerf gun fight, do some karoke, play “would you rather” or “truth, dare, double dare” (okay, that one could get interesting ha!). Be a kid and make a fort out of blankets and eat junk food. If your kids are home during this date, you might be hard pressed to keep them away from the action. This one is best if you managed to get someone to let them sleepover (‘Hello, Grandma?”). Capture some of the silly fun you had in your early dating days with this date night idea.
  5. Cooking Class – learn a new cooking skill together. Here are three I want to learn: homemade donuts, Dim Sum (I even bought some steamers to make these foods in), and any one of the over 10 MILLION ideas I have pinned on my pinterest food boards (there are a lot of them).

As a BIG idea for once a month, combine a bunch of these ideas and go all out cultural – choose a country to explore from home. Italy? China? India? Plan your menu, music, movies and games around which ever place you dream of visiting and explore. Take photos and share your “trip” when you get home. No “trip” is complete without some photos to go along with it. Better yet, start a photo album for ALL of your trips. Travel to a different “country” every month and you will have a wonderful keepsake at the end of your year of dates.

So you see, even if time and budgets are a bit tight since children came into your life, you can STILL have a ton of fun and romance together, with a bit of creativeness and a positive attitude.

Trust me, someday thee children will be all grown up, moved out and on with their lives. You guys are still there, together. Stay connected until then, so you can easily make the transition to REAL date nights and REAL trips around the world (at least, that is my intention).

 

From your Things Engraved Social Team,

Things Engraved Social

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Want to add a romantic touch to your evening with a gift of love? Visit our website or find it in a store near you to check out OUR ideas.

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5 Tips for Early Christmas Gift Planning

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Things Engraved Christmas

I know, you can’t believe we are talking about Christmas already! But it has to be done, my friends. We need to start getting organized.

As a retailer, we have been prepping for Christmas since, well, last Christmas. But the really serious work happens in the summer. Our stores have some of our very popular Christmas ornaments and stockings in stock NOW, all waiting to be customized by YOU. You can’t just come in on December 24th and get those things, trust me! The best ornaments are LONG gone, and embroidery takes time.

So, to avoid disappointment, let’s start planning now.

I happen to love the planning process. I love making lists, love putting stuff on the calendar, and REALLY love cross things off as I finish them. My goal every year, is to be DONE my Christmas errands, shopping and “work” before December. I love to take as much time curled up by the fire while listening to some festive music and sipping a hot buttered rum as I can. I know not everyone is like me, so I guess this post is for those who WANT to get organized and just needed a reminder to start…let this serve as my tap on your shoulder, my ‘a-hem’ in your ear, my foot kicking your…okay, you get the picture.

Let’s begin. It’s late September. What should we do first?

  1. Budget – Always start planning with your Christmas spending budget or you will lose control of yourself because let’s face it, there is a TON of great gift ideas, recipes, decorating projects that you can be spending money on. You need to rein yourself in FIRST. If you can, look at what you spent last year and decide if that is doable or needs adjustment. I always need an adjustment on my budget because, I am very naughty (so Santa doesn’t bring me anything, which is why I have to get some extra things myself and that is what makes me go over budget!)
  2. List of your gift obligations – I know, that is a cold way to think of your gift giving list. But we all know it. There are people you HAVE to buy for, like your children. Or your significant other. You know who is on YOUR list, so start with them. Also in your obligations are any events you are hosting, or attending. Clothing, food, hostess gifts, etc. also need to be on this list.
  3. List of your FUN expenses – This covers the decorating you want to do, the people you just WANT to buy for, the extras that, if you are good at your budgeting, will make the holiday extra bright. Your list will be different than mine…just start by asking yourself what “things” will make your holiday experience complete.
  4. Plan out the specific gifts for specific people – Some gifts need lead time. Some things are hard to find or need to be custom made. As mentioned above, sometimes they sell out early! This is another reason I like to start buying my gifts now. I get what I WANT to get, versus whatever is left over on a messy shelf in some department store or gas station on Christmas Eve.
  5. Wrapping and labeling as you go – Here is the part of my plan where I have to confess….I don’t do this. BUT please, do as I say, not as I do. Every year, when I am hunched over after a marathon of wrapping and sorting and figuring out if I managed to get everything I needed (because I usually shop and shove the stuff in a closet when I get home, so I lose track), I am CURSING myself for NOT wrapping and labeling along the way. You will thank yourself for doing better than me. I am hoping the Christmas 2015 version of me will also be happier this year. Time will tell.

So get going! Early planning leads to early finishing which makes your season that much more relaxing and stress-free. And have fun!

 

From your Things Engraved Social Team,

Things Engraved Social

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To get you started on your Christmas decorating plans, visit our website or visit a store near you.

 

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Summer 2015 Essentials

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summeressentials

Summer is in full swing and we’ve got your summer essentials!
Summer is BBQ season and every grill-master needs his own set of BBQ tools – We can personalize the carrying case with the chef’s name.

BBQ Set 8pc in Aluminum Carrying Case

BBQ Set 8pc in Aluminum Carrying Case

BBQ Set 25pc Aluminum Carrying Case

BBQ Set 25pc Aluminum Carrying Case

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Something to hold your adult beverage:

26oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle Mug with Straw

26oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle Mug with Straw

Set of 4 Steins with Monogram Included

Set of 4 Steins with Monogram Included

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I’m sure you’ll need a bottle opener.

Bottle Opener Keychain-Why Limit Happy to an Hour?

Bottle Opener Keychain-Why Limit Happy to an Hour?

Silver Bottle Opener

Silver Bottle Opener

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Some things to keep you busy during your summer holidays.

We suggest a game of euchre or “go fish” or reading.  These essentials will help.

Stainless Steel Flask with Playing Card Set

Stainless Steel Flask with Playing Card Set

Butterfly Bookmark

Butterfly Bookmark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Shop for more summer essentials online or in-store.

From your Things Engraved Social Team,

Things Engraved Social

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