Tag Archives: date night

What I’ve Been Wearing – Hello Sunshine Edition

Happy Wednesday friends!  I hope your week is going well.  Here in Toronto it’s been sunny if a bit chillier, but still summery fun is in full swing.  So I thought I’d do a recap of some of my favourite recent outfits 🙂

Girly casual for a fun date night at a comedy club!f7d3922d-4bb2-400b-9ff7-aeec4bfa54a0_zpsxxcmtgef

  • White denim blazer – Yileng from a Metro in Romania
  • Pink denim dress – Venus
  • Snakeskin metallic sandals – Walmart
  • Purse – Winners

Out and about for a Sunday Funday 🙂 e0d8004b-8071-4ed8-a981-70d47572ab5f_zpsso6ppbll

  • Blue dress – Suzy Shier
  • Pink bathing suit – Ardene
  • White sandals – Joneve
  • Sunglasses – American Eagle from Winners
  • Purse – Winners

Light and summery… and feeling like a mermaid.0f2a67b2-b4e9-4c41-b1cb-637bfb904761_zpspdmenwmk

  • Turquoise maxi dress – AliExpress
  • Black corset belt – Ardene
  • White sandals – Joneve
  • Seashell drop earrings – Avon

Movie night date night!  134210b8-770d-4c91-9a07-c065220a9a9d_zps60vle1wq

  • Black tee – Walmart
  • Pink floral skirt – Giant Tiger
  • Snakeskin metallic sandals – Walmart
  • Purse – Winners

What fun items are you bringing out of your closet for summer?  I’m loving getting back into cute skirts and dresses and bright colours!sig_zps80d391d4

 

Bring Home Some Romance

It’s the middle of the week, and it’s also 2 days until Valentine’s Day!  Yes, the sugar-sweet, hearts-everywhere, chocolate-covered, rose-scented Hallmark holiday.  It’s secretly one of my favourite holidays, and we don’t usually do anything too extravagant (actually, I usually don’t even care about the very day itself), but I adore seeing the world put on some pink and red and hearts.  So I thought I would share some easy ways to bring some romance into your home.

1 – Candles:  This is a classic staple for romance.  There’s nothing quite like the warm and flattering glow of candlelight.  Kick it up a notch with some pink or red candles, like these red tapers or rose scented tealights, you can even pull out your red or white candles from Christmas!  Why not spend one evening, or even just dinner, with only candles to light your home?  It will feel magical, romantic, and evoke the beautiful mysteries of so many thousands of years of nights when candles were the only way to light up the night.

2 – Sweet posters and artwork: This is the perfect time to pull out your most romantic wall adornments and pictures.  Wedding and engagement pictures are timeless classics, but for a more novel nostalgic spin, how about the sweet posters you maybe had when you were younger?  I have two posters from my university days hanging up – a beautiful black and white shot of the Eiffel Tower, and the entire balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet written out on a black background to form a rose.

3 – Flowers: Obviously.  Since I’m frugal, I have a few red silk roses that I keep around, and I make them the star of the show this time of year – they bloom beautifully every time, and for no extra money out of pocket!  Just put some silk blooms in a pretty vase and you’re set for a centrepiece.

4 – Romantic accessories:  Do you have some throw pillows or decorative blankets in romantic colours, or with sweet phrases and patterns?  Or pretty mugs that say things like “Good morning, beautiful?”  Grab them and enjoy the extra little bit of love they add!

5 – Love garland:  This was an idea I just came up with the other day, when I was taking down my Christmas card garland at the end of January (I know).  I decided to use the ribbon and make a heart-shaped spiral.  I have heart-shaped post-it notes, so I made one for the centre that said “Love”, and then thought how nice it would be if Nick and I wrote out some things we love about each other on heart post-its and stuck them to the spiral.  This is super easy and fun, and you can do it with kids too!  It’s a sweet reminder to see the love in the details.  Of course, leaving notes like this is always nice, like in a loved one’s lunchbox, or on the bathroom mirror (in lipstick if you’re feeling sassy).

Are you bringing some Valentine’s love into your home?  Let me know what ideas you have 🙂

 

 

Easy Date Night – Indoor Picnic

Is there anything sweeter than love and romance? Well, chocolate, I know.  But really, nothing compares to a romantic evening spent with the love of your life.  Getting dolled up, going out for a delicious candlelit dinner, lingering over cocktails while enjoying each other’s presence, or an evening of dancing…. ahhh, such sweet, loving bliss – at least until the bill arrives.

I know I’m not the only one to experience this, seeing the plethora of articles devoted to solving this problem – “Easy Cheap Dates”, “25 Free Summer Date Nights in Your City”, and so on.  What we have done a few times is reliable, romantic, and free!  I don’t know if this idea simmered in my subconscious while reading the aforementioned articles, or came to me one day when I was sick of eating dinner on the coffee table, since the itty bitty castle on the 26th floor didn’t have room for a proper dining table and chairs.  So the idea occurred to me all of a sudden – indoor picnic date night!  This is also a great idea to try right now, when the weather gets cold, and you can easily cozy up with your sweetheart.

The simplest way is transforming normal dinner into romantic indoor picnic.  This was exactly what I did – make dinner as per usual (I think it was pasta, or maybe homemade pizza), spread out a blanket on the floor, set out cutlery, napkins, maybe turn on some romantic music, and light a candle or two.  Serve dinner already plated, and set the extras on the coffee table for seconds.  Done!  The change of scenery and pace totally set a romantic mood, and that evening, we lingered over dinner, laughing, feeding each other, it was perfect.

Want to take it up a notch and have even more romance?  Make dinner together, and maybe try something special.  For example, our second Valentine’s Day as a married couple.  I planned out the menu ahead of time, and we had filet mignon with caesar salad and sweet potato fries.  I put on the romantic music as we started cooking, and making dinner together in a tiny kitchen is already a fun and sweet couple experience.  Dinner was ready in record time, and we were already relaxed.  I set out the dishes on the coffee table like a buffet and poured two glasses of wine (homemade!).  This makes such an easy date night, and the only cost is what you already paid on groceries.

What are your favourite cheap/free date nights?  Share in the comments below!

Pizza a la Casa

I really like pizza.  It’s one of the most fun foods, and it is tied to so many good feelings and memories.  Whenever I smell it or bite into it, I am reminded of joyous pizza days in elementary school, paying $1 for a slice of cheese or pepperoni.  I am reminded of day camp.  I am reminded of Pizza Hut’s lunch buffet, complete with their dessert pizza in either cherry or apple.  I am reminded of late night studying, or of working in a group to help someone move, and splitting pizzas as a result. It’s the perfect reprieve when you are feeling too tired, lazy, or whatever to make dinner.  It can also be an elegant and romantic meal, especially if topped with gourmet toppings like goat cheese and truffle oil, and then lovingly hand-fed to your spouse by candlelight.

But my favourite way to enjoy pizza is homemade.  Not only is it one of Nick’s favourite dinners, but it’s a mini date night just making pizza together.  Throw on some music while it’s in the oven, pour some wine, light a candle, and presto date night at your own little trattoria.

I occasionally buy pre-made fresh dough at the grocery store, and then it’s really easy – roll out, top, bake.  After a while of that, I decided to be even more of a domestic goddess and make my own pizza dough – ridiculously easy, and makes a big batch so I can freeze extra and always have some on hand.  I adapted this recipe, swapping out some of the AP flour for whole wheat, and it goes like this:

No Knead Pizza Dough

  • 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (1000 grams) plus more for shaping dough
  • 4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3 cups water

Directions

1. Whisk flour, salt, and yeast together.  While stirring, gradually add 3 cups water.  Mix well. Form dough into a ball, place in large bowl.

2. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for about 18 hours.  The surface will be covered with little bubbles, and the dough will have more than doubled.  I like to start on Friday evening, so this step is complete Saturday afternoon.

3. Place dough on a floured work area, and divide into 6 equal portions.  Dust with flour.  Let sit for about 1 hour.

4. At this point, dough is ready to use.  Wrap extra dough separate plastic wrap or resealable bags and freeze.  I usually throw these in the fridge overnight to thaw when needed.

Baking – roll out, top and bake at 450 for 13-15 minutes.

Our Favourite Homemade Pizza:  The one that’s been a continual hit at our place uses the dough above, then a generous layer of marinara sauce.  Top with shredded cheese (Italian blend), shredded grilled chicken, and bacon bits.  Sprinkle with basil, oregano, and garlic powder.

Buon Appetito!

What I’ve Been Wearing – Summer Fashion Update

Hello sweet friends!  I hope you are having a fantastic summer, full of warmth, sunshine, and fun 🙂  We’ve been having a great summer thus far, both enjoying the way Toronto blooms in the warm weather, and also heading out a bit farther on weekends.  This summer, we’ve been going to the beach for at least one day each weekend to relax, splash around, and work on our tans.  It’s been fabulous!

Summer is also my very favourite season in terms of style!  While it’s true that the heat prevents fun layering and limits choice if you want to be comfortable, I adore the simplicity of dresses, no need for stockings, and the bounty of both light breezy looks and bold bright colours.  Here are a few outfits I’ve enjoyed wearing the past little while:

This beachy looking date night outfit was great for a Saturday evening in the city, going to one of our favourite Thai restaurants, and having dinner on their patio.

  • White maxi dress (H&M)
  • Silver & turquoise necklace (souvenir from Mexico)
  • White wedges (Aldo)

Pretty in Pink, out running errands – I think we were looking for a bike for Nick on that day.

  • Bright pink dress (Venus)
  • Hot pink clutch (Aldo)
  • Silver flip flops (I think these were an emergency drugstore purchase)

Animal prints for the Office, a cute dress I bought back in the winter, but it works all year, and for both night and day 🙂  I am not usually the animal print type, but this one has been a fun foray into fashion risks!

  • Sleeveless leopard print dress (Suzy Shier)
  • Floral purse (Brand is Miche, gift)
  • Nude patent pumps (Nine West)
  • Silver & turquoise necklace (same piece as in outfit #1)
  • Silver & crystal bracelet (gift)

Another fun date night, celebrating 5 years since we met with dinner at Copacabana!

  • Black paillette dress (Venus)
  • Hot pink clutch (Aldo)
  • Black patent pumps (thrift store find)
  • Silver & crystal bracelet (gift)

A small snapshot of my summer wardrobe, peppered with brights, whites, and even a bit of animal print!  What have you been wearing this summer? Are you trying out new outfits and looks, or going back to old favourites?

 

Double Feature: His and Hers Concerts

Nick and I agree and see eye to eye on many things, but in some areas our tastes are very different.  One example – our taste in music.  Happily, we both really enjoy well-written, well-played competently executed music, so we both quite enjoy the other’s preferences, and of course our shared love of 80s hair metal is a nice common ground!

However, he gravitates towards heavier, more technical music with mindblowing solos, crazy time signature changes, and a huge focus on amazing instrumentalists.  I think this is partly because of learning how to play the drums, which he is fantastic at.  No wonder then, that one of his favourite bands is Dream Theater.  I really like them as well, even if they’re not the first thing I’d put on if I had the choice.

So we went to a Dream Theater concert when they were last in town, and it was amazing!  This was part of their Along For The Ride Tour, a super fun evening that was packed with truly astounding music.  We both had a great time, and I like their sound much more with Mike Mangini drumming  (Cue the onslaught of angry fanboys, if by some strange accident progressive metal fanboys ended up here on this girly blog).

I’ll admit, I find their music a bit too much for, say, doing housework, but to simply sit and focus on the music was amazing, and I was completely captivated by the astonishing mastery these gentlemen have in their music.  Here are some pictures from the event, which was here in town at Massey Hall.

As for myself, I come from a different school of musical thought.  I grew up pretty much with light music around the house (there was a lot of Abba and Boney M), and mainly did singing, being in choirs and in vocal class at school.  I adore soft romantic ballads, soaring love songs, and musical theatre.  One of my all-time favourite musical acts is Il Divo, and I’ve been enamoured with their music since they first came onto the scene 10 years ago.  So naturally, we went to their concert as part of their A Musical Affair Tour.  In a completely different way, it was an enchanting evening of amazing music, almost entirely made up of musical theatre songs performed to perfection, and with Lea Salonga as a special guest (the movie singing voice of Princess Jasmine!).  This was a romantic evening at the Sony Centre, full of lush orchestrations and the group’s angelic voices.  We got some pictures too 🙂

What music do you guys like?  Been to any good shows lately?  And for those of you in relationships, do you and your significant other have similar tastes in music, or worlds apart? 🙂

 

A Lovely Valentine’s Day

Hello, sweet friends!  I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day, and keeping warm in the (hopefully) last few weeks of winter!  We had a wonderful evening, and really a fantastic long weekend, since it was also Family Day on Monday here in Ontario.

So Valentine’s Day fell on Friday, and needless to say I had hearts and sappy love songs dancing around in my head all day – what else can you expect from a romantic like me? 🙂

When I got home, my sweet husband surprised me with the perfect low-key romantic night.  I was greeted by Il Divo music playing, and all the candles lit with their glow and sweet fragrance filling the apartment.  Nick also gave me a beautiful red rose, he’s so wonderful!

Next was dinner.  He whipped up an amazing steak dinner all by himself, which we enjoyed with his selected red wine, by candlelight.  I’ve gotta say, Nick’s steak done restaurant style at home is one of the best I’ve ever had, so this is always a treat!

For dessert, he had picked up amazing chocolate and raspberry cupcakes from one of my favourite bakeries in town – The Cupcake Shoppe!  (This was the same place I got our anniversary cake)  They were delicious!!

The evening was perfect and romantic 🙂

Thus commenced a perfectly relaxing and restful weekend.  On Saturday, we definitely scooped up some deeply discounted Valentine’s chocolate – a Lindor heart box, and a Ferrero Rocher one – and they’re both gone 🙂

Sunday, Nick’s parents were in town for the weekend, so after church we met up with his brother and had lunch at a dumpling house in Chinatown, which was so tasty and oh-so-filling!  Nick’s sweet mother also surprised me with an amazing pink trench coat and purse set for spring, so I can’t wait to start wearing those, they’ll get a feature post for sure!

After all the excitement, Monday was spent lounging around, relaxing, and planning for the future – because that’s what us weirdos do when we have spare time 🙂

Did you guys have a lovely (haha) Valentine’s Day?  I’d love to hear all about it 🙂