We hope you enjoyed this month's Unbox Love Date Night Box! We assume you came to this page to get a digital copy of the Family Meeting Template. There are some other great ideas in this post as well that will help you save time and money in many areas of family life!
The holidays are a time to spend with your family and friends and to enjoy and appreciate those you love most. They remind us of our love and gratitude and prepare us for a new year. Holidays, come with gifts and with gifts come the struggles of choosing the right one for the perfect message. We have categorized different types of gift giving and share our ideas for your gift to give this Holiday season.
Gift Baskets: These are great for relatives, friends, holiday parties, and anyone you are not as close to as your significant other or immediate family. Advice: pick one theme and the ideas for items will easily come. For example, cooking baskets: fancy olive oil, decorative pasta, a bottle of wine, seasoning, dessert chocolates, a cute affordable recipe book, etc. You can literally put together a very appreciated gift from the grocery store. There are plenty of themes you can use too! Game baskets, spa baskets, book lovers baskets, coffee/tea baskets, you name it.
Experience Gifts: I usually use this technique for my father as he is usually the hardest man to shop for. I'm sure you all can name at least one person you feel the same about. SO, experience gifts are the easiest and best gifts to give these kinds of people. They simply enjoy your company and the added bonus of going somewhere or seeing something cool is nice too. You can take them to the aquarium, museum, fancy dinner. Take them somewhere you don't ordinarily splurge on or where they don't get to go enough. There are concert tickets, vacations, sports games, it all depends on what is within your budget! Either way, this gift-getter will love and appreciate it.
Gag Gifts: This can be a fun playful gift to give your spouse or your children. It is always a laugh to surprise your family with a disappointment! Now, don't take that advice too seriously....you will have to get them a really nice gift and have it ready for them after they open it. Have you ever seen Jimmy Kimmel's parent pranks series? Look up "I gave my kids a terrible present" and give it a watch. You can prank your wife or husband with a bunch of lame presents all leading up to the real, nice, thoughtful gift. This can be a risk, you have to know your gift-getter. Do they have a sense of humor? Will they love the good laugh afterward?
Stocking stuffers: These are great little presents that are useful, necessary, fun, and all around great gift additions. Growing up, my family was rather healthy so I usually received a few small chocolates and an orange...Those would be topped with chapstick, a card deck, socks, or whatever other necessary items I needed. Every family is different so you most certainly don't have to put fruits in a stocking.
DIY Gifts: These are great gifts that show how much time and effort you put into giving someone thoughtful. You can get ideas for these on Pinterest and other sites. I have made lamps out of empty glass bottles. Don't know what to do with an empty wine bottle? Recycle it and turn it into a lamp. It's not that hard to do with the right tools. You can find really cool ideas for these online. You can go to your local craft store and find unfinished wood pieces. If you have a wood burning kit, you can make a really cool jewelry box, or set of intricate ornaments, etc. DIY gifts are affordable, fun, and say "I put a lot of time and effort into this". Anyone is bound to love it because you made it.
Sentimental Gifts: The holidays are about showing your thanks, your love, your support. Give someone something sentimental. You can make a photo album to share your memories with someone or you can give them beautiful jewelry they will want to wear forever. Sometimes "passes" are great sentimental gifts as well. Does your significant-other wish you'd do less or more of something? You can give them free passes that they can use whenever they want. "You have to give me a back massage tonight", *uses pass*. Plan a romantic evening for them or surprise them with a gift that reminds the both of you, your love and appreciation for one another. We offer gift options for Unbox so that you can give your love a very special date once a month.
We hope these gift ideas help with your gift giving, this holiday season! Enjoy the holidays and your time spent with those you love the most. https://www.pinterest.com/unboxlove/gift-ideas-this-holiday-season/
We welcome December! As we all know, this is the last month of the year. Twelve months have come and gone in the blink of an eye. We reminisce about the good and the bad that have happened in 2017 and we must be thankful for it all. We are most thankful for all of our continuous and growing support from you. Take a moment to reflect on this past year and all of the major achievements or monumental moments that occurred in your life. So, what are you most thankful for?
A year, no matter how quick it may seem, is a long time for many impactful events to occur. Not everything was good, not everything was bad. You may have lost someone dear to you or you may have accepted a new member into your family! Good or bad, they bring us together and remind us to appreciate those we are closest to. So now that you've thought about who or what you are most thankful for, we'd love for you to comment it below. We want to hear it.
We also want you to return the love. How would you show your appreciation? Spend a day volunteering in your community to give back to those around you. Write a letter to your boss expressing your gratitude for the job you have! Donate to a relevant cause that affects yourself or the people you care about. Take your significant other on a romantic date or a simple day of fun for just the two of you, reminding him or her just how much they mean to you. Simply go for a walk by yourself to continue to reflect and appreciate the beauty of nature.
These are all ways we want you to give back and they are simple and easy to do! Not only will these make those around you feel more positive but it will uplift your spirit as you head in 2018! You will be starting on a positive step forward. What will you do in 2018 to continue this path? Do you have any resolutions that you really want to focus on? Again, please comment below. We LOVE to hear what you have to say!
In this day in age, it is necessary- vital that we have subscriptions. There are subscriptions for everything! I doubt any of you can honestly raise your hand and say, no, I'm not subscribed to ANYTHING. There are online subscriptions to your must-watch shows and favorite music streaming platforms. I know I personally have Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu so that I never have to miss a beat on my favorite series.
As our society develops, we find ourselves driven on convenience. Our lives are busy, hectic, always moving so... when we do have time to take a breather? We want to enjoy what we want when we want it! Hence, the development of the subscription. Subscriptions make life easy and convenient at affordable costs to you.
Now, there is a new type of subscription on the rise. It's called the Box. These boxes are great for everyone! Consider a makeup box for example. The company that issues the box profits, all of the companies that participate benefit, and the consumer wins with affordable, quality products! You can sample a variety of products and possibly find your new favorite product that you have to have! If you don't like one, then that's okay! Products never repeat. These boxes are always finding new innovative items so you stay on your toes and are waiting for the next!
There's basically a box for almost anything! You name it, the Internet's got it. There are meal subscription boxes, outfit boxes, makeup boxes, dog treat boxes, and date subscription boxes! Since these boxes always have something new in them, it enhances your experience and adds the element of surprise to your monthly subscription. That is so cool! So if you're curious...visit our "the boxes" page and find out what we've included in some of our past boxes. Maybe you'll understand why others are already hooked! http://www.unboxlove.com/the-boxes-summaries
At the end of October, we held a giveaway for this month’s November Box. We asked couples to submit their couple costume photos to our Instagram and we promised that we would pick our favorite and give the winner a FREE November Box. While we’ve participated in promotions and have given discounts before, this was the first giveaway that we held with such a large return of submissions! Thank YOU!
We can't express enough how touching it was to see such enthusiasm in our brand and for us to get the opportunity to engage with all of you! It was very fun to see funny, cute, clever costume submissions! We selected our favorite submission and have given @valerieanncrawford a FREE November Box. We were overwhelmed with gratitude by all of the enthusiasm that we decided we would give two runner-ups, @milliganco and @melissamarieimagery a smaller prize.
BUT as much as we want to congratulate these winners further, we wanted to take a minute to reveal our honorable mentions and say thank you for participating in our giveaway! Everyone was amazing and we wish we could give all of you a token of our love. We will definitely make a point to have another one soon just so we can have the pleasure of getting to know you all a little better! And without further adieu, here are our very special honorable mentions:
There are many ways to make your anniversary a memorable one. Heck, every anniversary should be a memorable one! There are such simple acts that show your loved one just how much you care. Sometimes its the littlest of things that go the longest ways. We came up with a few of our favorites to help make your anniversary the most memorable.
If you're the first to wake up, make him or her their favorite breakfast. There is nothing like being woken up to a delicious breakfast made with love! Who doesn't love breakfast in bed, that they didn't have to make? I know I do. It shows thought, commitment, and it starts your day off right, whether you are enjoying the whole day together or reconnecting after work.
What have you always wanted to do but haven't? And same to your spouse, is there something that you both have always wanted to try? Have you ever wanted to go skydiving or paintballing? What about lessons in something? A memorable anniversary would certainly be "the time you both tried ________ for the first time." You may realize you love or hate the activity you've always wanted to try (I learned this the hard way about sailing). But either way, you'll have your significant other, right by your side to support you. This is a good growing activity between the two of you and also a very memorable experience the two of you can look back and laugh about.
Step out of your comfort zone together. Similar to trying something new, I suggest the two of you step out of your comfort zones together. Does anyone watch Modern Family? Well, Phil and Claire Dunphy like to role play as a tradition on their anniversary. They go out to dinner together and then a hotel, all the while using alter egos and addressing each other that way. I know, this sounds weird to actually try but they make it look fun! Or you could merely just try something that your significant other likes to do that you don't regularly do with them.
Go out to something irregular from your traditional dinner. (Dessert, Breakfast, Lunch) Not all couples get to enjoy a whole day together! Many of us have to work. So you could go out to dinner together but whats more memorable is the less traditional date. Eat a special dinner at home and then make it a special night by going out for dessert! Find a local bakery or a fancy gelato place. It doesn't matter, it's the two of you treating yourselves!
Get Outdoors! This is my favorite suggestion by far. It is so typical to spend lots of money on anniversaries. There are gifts, there are reservations, there are attractions, etc. that you and your partner decide to treat yourselves with. Take a breather. Step outside! You'll enjoy the fresh air, the exercise will boost endorphins, and the two of you will be enjoying each other's company without spending a cent!
If you really want to treat your Mr. or Mrs. you could send them on a scavenger hunt for a gift. This is a tough one but it's certainly memorable and should have anyone in awe by your creativity and dedication. This involves lots of thought and time so for those who are tight on time or lack some of the creative thought, I suggest you skip this. Basically, you hide a couple clues and make your partner go on some wild goose chase only to arrive at the final prize: You waiting for them with open arms and a gift in hand. Or the gift could be you! Either way it is something that if executed properly, is an adorable and most certainly memorable anniversary date.
"Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable." -Bruce Lee
This quote is so powerful and stands true in so many relationships. Sometimes we fall into our daily patterns and we let our fire fade. Don't let it! I'm not saying we fall out of love, we just forget to keep the passion alive and our spirit high. Date your spouse and keep dating your spouse, it's one of the many things you can do to keep that fire burning.
Get ready separately from each other. You see each other every day but treat tonight like you're still trying to make your best impression. Tweeze the eyebrows, shave the legs. Impress him! (And vice versa to whoever is reading) It'll be like falling in love all over again when you see each other both looking your best.
New, new, new. Emotions, experiences, everything was new when you first began dating! You need to continue to add something new to your relationship so you don't get bored of routine. When I say try something new, I don't mean to go jump out of airplanes together. It doesn't have to be expensive or outside of your comfort zone. You can take classes together (cooking, dancing, photography) or try the new restaurant that just opened in town. You could join meet up groups together, or even just switch up your perfume.
Physical activities are great for making relationships feel happy and healthy. You know how exercise boosts your body's endorphins? Well do those activities together and you both will feel great afterward. I'm talking about going on bike rides together or taking your family to a park to walk around!
The "what" isn't as important as making the effort to do it! If you can make this a habit, your love truly will become like those burning coals, deep-burning and unquenchable!
So I recently saw a video from a famous British vlogger; he surprised his wife with a special date night at home. They had a baby monitor app so they could keep an eye on their baby. He also rented a blow-up PUB with different types of alcohol. There were even bar snacks like peanuts and bar games such as pong or cards. The couple looked they were having the time of their life! (See link to the video below) So I'm not saying you have to go as far as renting a blow-up pub or making a custom bar BUT I am saying that it is easy to bring date night home. To make it easier, I've listed some great ideas for the perfect night.
The most important thing to remember is to have FUN! No one knows your partner better than you do so it's important to think about what you enjoy doing together.
1. Watch a movie together.
When I say watch a movie together, I mean really watch it. Don't just watch tv together or multitask while you watch (work on the laptop, text friends). I want you to go to the store and buy some popcorn and candy. Treat yourselves for the night. Then, turn out all the lights and let the night play out. This is a date night that does not require a lot of planning but its fun, its simple, and its great for couples who are parents and don't have the time to go out or plan far in advance. Another fun idea is to re-watch the first movie you ever saw together. Or one of your favorites from high school!
2. Cook a fancy meal together.
It's a date that stays at home but allows you and your spouse to have a fun, team building experience together. You will need to decide on what you want to eat. You can choose something you both love and know how to cook or you can be bold and try something you've never cooked before. I suggest the latter because it's more exciting and the anticipation and appreciation will be that much more worth it when you get to eat.
3. DIY projects
This can be anything you want it to be. There are so many fun and creative projects out there on the internet. All you have to do is look. Again, you know your partner better than anyone else. And date night is all about reconnecting with your significant other. So do they love crafty fun? Join them. It can be spontaneous, it can be your idea. Either way, crafting together can be fun for the both of you. Since this month is, in fact, October, why don't you carve pumpkins together?? And then! You can bake the pumpkin seeds to enjoy while watching a movie!
Wow, I think you've got your next date.
4. Game Night.
This can involve other couples or families as well. It's not your typical date night it is fun and brings the two of you together. You can use your power couple skills to try and beat everyone else but just a warning: I'm sure everyone else will have the same mentality.
5. Unbox Love
You could rent an expensive blow-up pub OR you could subscribe to our box subscription for a significantly lower cost. All I'm saying is that our Date Night boxes include a variety of fun for you and your partner. And half the fun is the surprise as you never know what might be next. There are cool products, snacks, games, and crafty projects for the two of you to enjoy together. We do the planning for you. It's date nights made simple.
Also if you'd like to watch the cute video of the blow up Pub, here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcuBt5qVFEA
The Dating Divas are a team dedicated to saving marriages, one date at a time and they are oh so good at it! We both believe in taking a proactive approach to investing in your relationship which is why we have become referral partners!
Who are they? They are an online community where spouses can read up on creative date ideas, shop for inexpensive must-have products, interact with other members in the community and more. Basically, every Monday they offer a cool date for the upcoming weekend and throughout the week share advice and other ideas.
They don’t just write about dates. They cover topics of gifts, parties, anniversaries, holidays, and how to save a marriage. They also share their favorite everyday products for those of you who are interested in new face wash or moisturizer! It's fun and entertaining to navigate around the site and read the articles! You can hear their personality in their writing and its bubbly and makes you happy!
Since we are a resource to helping strengthen marriages, they wrote an article about us and our monthly subscriptions and included a special coupon! You can check out what they had to say here: http://tiny.cc/2b7yn
Any little surprise can keep that love alive and that fire burning. Surprises remind your partner of your affection for them and they can spice up any relationship. When was the last time you surprised your spouse? We came up with some of our favorite ways to surprise and be surprised that you can use.
What is his favorite sports game? What is her favorite band? Any event that you both might enjoy is the perfect gift for your partner. If your spouse has had a rough day at work or a long and stressful week, you can cheer them up and turn that frown upside down with a pair of tickets. Or for an even bigger surprise, you can make sure that he or she has nothing going on and bring them directly to their favorite event!
2. Something They Love That They Know You Don’t
This one is simple. Nothing says “I love you” more than to give your partner something they love that you don’t. Relationships have flaws and we understand that sometimes we don’t see eye to eye with each other. This is a surprise that can really help strengthen your relationship because it shows that you are willing to put your spouse first sometimes even though you may not enjoy or agree with what it is.
The best part about surprises is that they don’t have to be over the top. It could be as simple as making your spouse’s favorite meal before they get home! They would love the surprise of walking through the door, only to see a home cooked meal and your smiling face.
4. A Massage
This is one is free! You could be watching a movie or sitting together after dinner and you could impress your spouse with an intimate and relaxing shoulder massage.
5. Visit Their Work With Lunch!
Visiting your spouse at work even for a brief minute to say “hi” and to drop off their lunch shows that you took time out of your day to see them and also it reminds them of your support!
6. Unbox Love!
That’s right! It’s the date that comes every month. Sometimes we don’t have time for that special night with that special someone. It’s simple and it doesn’t break your bank. It’s the monthly surprise that you and your spouse can enjoy together.
Do you ever feel like you just don't have enough time in a day to get things done, never mind making time for your marriage? If you are like most stressed out couples, it can be hard to keep so many balls in the air without feeling exhausted.
There was a time when we were feeling overwhelmed and needed to create a better system to enjoy a date night with our husband or wife. We found that when we sat down for some much-needed bonding with each other, we could only think about our to-do list. We could not enjoy date night. We knew something needed to change and made the changes below in our lives to create space for each other. We hope this helps you as much as it has helped us.
1. Meal Planning:
When you meal plan you spend less money and time at the grocery store. The best way to expedite this is to join a service such as Real Plans. We use them and love their customization and ease of use.
2. Fridge Planner and Grocery List:
If you don’t like the idea of someone else planning your meals you can do it yourself. We have organized a grocery list for you and included a downloadable meal planner can be hung on your refrigerator. There are also some time saving tips in the kitchen here as well: http://www.unboxlove.com/blog/timesaving
Only do Laundry on certain days. It is okay let the laundry pile up for a few days. If you commit to doing laundry on Sunday morning and Wednesday night (just an example and what works with our family), you will find that the stress of the everyday laundry game seems to disappear.
4. Bins, Bins and More Bins:
If you have small children, you need lots of containers around. Just have them in all of the primary bedrooms and living areas. This will make cleanup much easier. You will save so much time by collecting toys in bins than reorganizing daily to have the same set of toys back on the floor the next day.
5. Unbox love date night box:
I know we are biased to this one, but we promise even if it were not our company we would include it here. We plan it all! No thinking or preparation on your part. Just open the box and get your date on! How often have you and your spouse decided you were too tired to go out and turned the TV on. Poof- Date Night was done- conversation over…bonding time-not that night! We are here for you. All you have to do is open the box and be ready to laugh, love and connect!
We hope you find this list useful. Let us know what other time-saving tips you use.
Just like the change in season brings new colors, order, and structure to nature it does the same for our homes. Every time there is a significant shift such as back to school we are experiencing a change in season at home. This transition can be difficult, or it can flow naturally depending on how well we prepare.
At Unbox it is our mission to cultivate healthy marriages, and in doing so, we want to provide our audience some simple guidelines we follow to help the different changes in season.
First, we want you to take one last deep breath and appreciate the quality time that was emphasized during the summer months. The warm sun brings this lighter feel to each day. Spending more hours together as a family fills our lives with memories to last our lifetime.
However, just like mother nature prepares for winter with the shedding of leaves and the brisk air we must prepare as well.
To get ready, we recommend you hold a change of season family meeting. This is similar to a regular family meeting but this time include topics such as:
Who will drop off the kids? Pick up the kids?
What sports or activities will the kids sign up for?
What does time for our marriage look like with our busier schedules?
What does self-care look like for mom and dad, so they are well rested and present for the children?
Where will we spend the holidays?
Upcoming business travel?
Upcoming time off?
What days are the children off?
Is our babysitter still available when we need help with the kids?
What family activities do we have planned for fall and winter?
Often we assume that our spouse knows all the answers to the above questions because well we have been doing this for years. However, every year brings change, and we can not assume that we are all on the same page. The best way to get on the same page is to.... well... get on the same page. Together as a family discuss what our expectations are so when the situations come up you have already considered the plan ahead of time, and there will be no hurt feelings or miscommunications about what is expected of each other.
One of the most important parts to note about this plan is self-care for mom and dad. Back to school brings back a laundry list of to-dos for both parents. From birthday parties to school events, sports, and homework; little time is left to think about mom and dad. How do they keep their connection alive when all the focus seems to shift entirely towards the children.
It is for this reason that we exist because self-care can be a game together where you can laugh and play with your partner. It can also be a yoga class, and Sunday Football; just don't forget to connect. Your love is the thread that keeps the family together if it goes uncared for it can be the same thread that unravels it.
We look forward to hearing how you prepare for this new season. What would you add to our list?
If you are like me and camped as a kid, you can remember all the fun times you had with your family sleeping in tents, making smores and exploring the great outdoors. Now that I am an adult and go camping myself with my husband and daughter I have a different appreciation for camping.
I am often asked why do you go camping? Don't you prefer to stay in a hotel? Yes, but not when my intention is to go camping. Camping removes all of the clutter, and all that is left are the few bare essentials you can pack into your car. The act of living for two days or more with minimal belongings facilitates gratitude for what is truly important in life. On my last camping trip I realized to survive, we need very little, but we could not live without the love and laughs we share with our family.
So what scares people about camping? It is probably all of the prep before you head out and once you arrive at the camp ground. When we prep for our trip I make lists of clothes we will wear, the food we will eat, activities we look to do during the day and of course games and smores for our night time family gathering by an open fire.
Sometimes there is too much to think about, and I tend always to forget something even if I make a list and check it twice. Given the stress of prep and potential entertainment the Unbox team, whom all love to camp, are going to carry a little of that burden and introduce a camping box. The box comes with games, smores like you have never had, and ways for mom and dad to connect one on one.
Interested in taking a prepared activity night with you on your camping trip? Click here to purchase your Camping box
Summer isn’t just wedding season, it’s Anniversary season too! And why not do something unique and fun this anniversary. Skip the boring dinner date and try one of these!
1) Take turns planning anniversaries! Every other year you get to plan the activities and every other year you get to sit back and enjoy your partners plans! Give it a try- it’s great fun!
2) Go on an adventure! Dare to try something you’ve never done before. Hot Air balloon ride, horse ride in the mountains, dinner and drinks on a boat… Look around your area with an open mind and you will find many opportunities of fun things you’ve never tried.
3) Re-create a special event! Perhaps you could go back to the place where you first met, or to where you had your first date. Re-create your first kiss. Re-peat the proposal and tell them you would do it all over again. Visit a special place where you’ve made some great past memories. And when you are there, share and remember what it felt like.
4) Create a puzzle for your partner to solve! Ideas could range from a scavenger hunt that leads her to a thoughtful gift or leads him to a bedroom. You could create a crossword puzzle that includes words about each other and your marriage, where you met, the special song from your wedding, etc. Maybe include clues in the puzzle as to what you have planned for your anniversary! (Crossword makers are easily found online)
5) Art! Go to one of the local DIY Art businesses that will help you create pottery or make a painting. Embrace the artist in you and create something cool for your house that will be a reminder of your awesome anniversary date. (Some of these places include beverages and even dinner.) And if you can’t find a place, buy some supplies and take advantage of youtube-how-tos!
6) Get outta town! Okay this one might take a little planning, especially if kids are involved. Live in the country? Schedule a trip to a high-end hotel in the city. Live in the city? Book a B&B in the country!
7) Reminisce! Get out the photos of your wedding. Watch the video if you have one. Share things that happened that weekend that you either may have forgotten or that you never shared before. Re-live the special moments, repeat your wedding vows and share that love again.
8) Plan a mystery day for your spouse! Each new destination could be a surprise. Brunch here, road-trip there, shopping here, beach or lake next, quiet dinner for 2, concert and dancing, a stop at the comedy club… The possibilities are endless. Take some time to plan and you won’t regret it!
9) Write you partner a love note and then turn it into a song! Sing it to them on your anniversary! Okay if you are not destined for American Idol, you could write them a poem and read it to them. Or just place random love notes around that they will find throughout their day. (On the mirror, in their bag, on the steering wheel, in the fridge… you get the idea.)
10) Unforgettable Picnic! Rent your partners favorite vehicle and go for a ride. Rent a jeep and head for the hills. Rent a convertible and hit the highway. Pack an awesome picnic lunch and some beverages. Don’t forget the blanket and perhaps a couple pillows!
11) Head to the spa! Get a couple’s massage. Each of you pick out your favorite treatments. It’s okay to relax on your anniversary too, as you both deserve it!
12) Volunteer together! There are many opportunities to help out in the community. All are rewarding, and some can be pretty fun too!
13) Make your own romantic dinner! Not sure what to make or even how to make it? Take advantage of the new companies that send you all the ingredients for a great meal to be prepared at home. (Plated, Blue Apron etc.) Be sure to place your order a couple weeks in advance.
14) Get competitive! Play tennis, racquetball, golf. Try chess or other board games. Make some bets on the Wii. Be sure the winner gets a kiss.
15) Create a keepsake box! Put reminders of your date in it and add to it every year. (items, pictures, notes). It won’t mean much for a few years, but trust us, 10 or 20 years from now you will love looking back through it!
Finally, whatever you decide to do, either take some selfies or get someone to take pictures of you. Get a picture frame that holds several pictures and give it to them a week later. They will love you for your efforts. And remember, these things can also be done any time throughout the year. Invest in your relationship and it will make all the difference in the world!
Funny how once we get married and have kids dating takes a back seat. It shouldn’t, and we swear that it won’t, but for most of us, the truth is that it does. So how do we get back to dating when our lives are busy?
Let's just pause for a minute and acknowledge that, yes, we are swamped. We hear you; we are living in your shoes. We created this brand from that understanding.
Does this sound like your day, week... year:
Get up early, make breakfast, pack lunches, dress the kids, dress ourselves, drive the kids to school, rush to work, work a full day, drive home pick up the kids from school. Now it is time to make dinner, eat, take baths and get ready for bed … AND do it all over again.
Just in case you were wondering- we do realize that was a mouthful of a run on sentence but our lives are a mouthful of a run on sentence.
So how do we make time for dating with our very hectic lives? Is this possible? The truth is... YES!! You can still date and, honestly, need to if you are going to keep the love alive for 25+ years.
Here are a few tips and tricks on how to do it:
1. Don't plan your date on a Friday night.
My first tip is to skip the Friday night date night (when possible). On Friday's you have not had a chance to recover from the week. A date on a Friday is not as relaxed as you would want it to be to connect with your spouse.
Not that weddings count as dates, but my husband and I attended a wedding on a Friday, and all of the couples with kids were yawning and wondering how we would make it through the night. This is because Friday’s after a long week are tough.
Saturdays you can sleep in (unless you have very small children) hang in there; I promise sleeping past 6:30 is in your future. Saturday’s there are practically no emails, so you’re in a better mood. On a Saturday you don't have 30 minutes between work and a date so you can spend some time pampering yourself to look and feel great for date night (again I get it, small children, "me-time" is not far off - I promise)
2. Don’t discuss bills, or problems
Please don't laundry list bills, or discuss family issues and just about anything that is bothering you. That is what family meetings are for (link to post). Date nights are for connecting, not fighting. Another reason to have date night on a Saturday is that you already discussed your issues that morning during family meeting time, so it is no longer in the brain.
3. Plan a Stay-date
My last advice and I promise this I do this in real life; we just stay home. My husband and I have created a home that we love. We are extremely social people, but we just love our home. Our home brings us peace and the perfect setting for great conversation, playing games, or just hanging out. Connecting without needing to spend a fortune is why we love Unbox. It makes dating simple, fun and affordable.
Dating my husband keeps our marriage strong and gives us something to laugh about during the week. Do you have any dating tips?
We are so happy to have been able to work with Kacee Payne from Keek Photography this past week! Kacee did a photo shoot with a couple who tried Unbox Love for their first time. Seeing their initial reactions to the box was so rewarding, we are so happy we can give couples that special one on one time everyone needs!
Kacee Payne is a photographer from Utah, she is married and has two young boys. She is passionate about photography, and it shows through her work. We love Kacee’s work, particularly because she works with couples. She is able to capture everything in her photos from the emotions of engagements to the joy of families.
When I first heard of a family meeting my initial reaction was to question the whole thing. "So you want me to ask my husband to have meetings where we discuss our family like a business?" ... HMMM
What do I do when he laughs at me for even bringing this up? Well, newsflash. He did not laugh because he has a very business brain he was all for it. I did not mention right away that we would be coming up with a family mission statement too.
So how do you plan a family meeting and what does it look like.
Below I have included a real sample of what our family meeting agenda looks like. I did not make it up for the blog; this is what we do about twice a month on Saturday mornings.
For your first meeting, you want to update the template below to meet what makes sense for your family. You want to be prepared and take it seriously just like you would for any other meeting. You also want to have an idea of what your mission statement should be but don't write it all out yourself. The mission statement should be a joint effort so that it holds meaning for the entire family.
Step One: Mission Statement
Family Mission Statement:
Say it out loud when you start your family meeting. This encourages engagement, and you will probably not get it right the first time. We have edited ours every time we have a meeting. It is a work in progress, but like all mission statements, there will come a time where it is perfect, and the whole family will know it and live by it. It will be your north star.
We are committed to set examples of love, character, and fun. By building our community and our home, we welcome all who enter our lives.
We make this our daily reality through:
• Balancing life and work
• Finding a way to make a difference
• Lessening our impact on the environment
• Living into our top priorities of leadership, living with passion, compassion, and fun.
• Creating a home environment that is a place full of great examples, laughter, understanding, and patience.
• Encouraging and supporting each other by listening, connecting, and making time for each other.
• Treating each other with love and expecting the best of each other.
Step Two: Sync Calendars
Once we review our mission statement, we move to sync calendars. Most families have one or both spouses traveling consistently. Taking the time to sync calendars helps to prevent potential calendar blunders.
Sit with your planners or computers open to write upcoming travel for each partner. Don't just write it down on paper have calendars ready. The likelihood of such paper making it to a calendar later is slim and will make this exercise pointless.
What to include in your synced calendars:
o Upcoming Travel
o Upcoming Babysitter Needs
o Upcoming Events for your children
o Upcoming Parties or invites
o Possible Weekend ideas
o Date night
o Personal time (for each spouse)
Step Three: Family Review and Retrospective:
This one is my favorite because it helps to avoid fights. We are all human and things bother us, and they usually bother us a little, and it begins to escalate until it bothers us a lot. If we have a safe space to discuss the little things, we can avoid the big ones.
What to review:
o What worked well in our family this week?
o What went wrong in our family this week?
• Home made power bars
(I left our list in because it does not have to be big things. My husband loves snacks especially cookies. When I forget to get cookies, he feels like I only pick up what I like at the grocery store and forget about him. I know he can go too but that point we all want to feel noticed. So include the little things so that we don't create big things in our relationships)
o What will we work on this coming week?
Step Four: Money
Discussing money can be tough for many couples, but it is so important. When we are clear about our finances, there are so many headaches we can avoid.
o New cell phone plan
o Cutting Dish
o Life Insurance
o Upcoming big bills
o Home Improvements?
Fifth part: Requests.
This is just where the meeting is an open forum and everyone can add to the list including the kids. Our daughter is three and she is usually in the same room with us when we have our meeting. At this point, we bring her close and ask her what she would like to add. It is usually something like gummies or a dolly. I think it is good to include kids. They need to see all sides of mom and dad and how what they do to work on a healthy relationship.
We usually close the meeting with a big family hug and a feeling that we are on the right track. I can't tell you what a difference family meetings have made in our lives, and I hope that it does the same in yours.
Want to try and create your family meeting? Click here to download our template.
Planning a date night with small children can be challenging and expensive. Not only do you have to splurge for your evening out but you also have to have enough money to pay for the sitter, and if you have multiple kids; well that number just went up. UGH!! So how do parents of young children keep the love alive? Can it be done? Well… the short answer is YES!!
Here are some ideas to get your date on with your hubby or wife.
Anniversary Day, Date Night
The concept is relatively straightforward, if you were married September 10th, then every month on or around the 10thof that month is date night. This way you are both clear, this week is the 10th after the kids go to bed we will grab a game, or activity we can do together and connect. (words game and activity will link to a box subscription)
Family Date Night
Involve the kids! Yes, I know, how can we call it date night? It honestly is so much fun and does end up feeling like a date.
Here is how we do it; sometimes my husband and I will order in, pour some wine (she gets juice or water) and we have a dance party. It is so much fun we all end up belly laughing and although this can sometimes be a very short date night the point is quality and deep connection.
The More the Merrier, Date Night
Make it a group date night. Often when we want to have a date night but don’t want to splurge for a sitter, we have friends over, and the kids watch a movie while the parents are in an adjacent room playing cards, chatting and enjoying couples night out just like our days before the little ones.
Breakfast, Date Night?
Sometimes the best date nights happen early in the morning. My husband and I will plan to get up early on Saturday or Sunday mornings and have breakfast together before our child is up. We get to catch up, laugh and connect over a warm meal before the day actually begins.
Grandparent Drop-off, Date Night (Okay it's cheating but counts if we are not paying for a babysitter)
Grandparent sleepovers are the best for date night with no sitter if you are lucky to have grandparents nearby as we do. Well, nothing beats the love and bonding the kids get to enjoy as well as the quality time you can spend with your significant other.
Dating your husband or wife involves some planning, but it is absolutely worth it. The strength of the marriage grows as your family grows and we need to take the time to reflect on our days together to create more of those moments. Every marriage has an emotional ATM that we need to make consistent deposits too. When this emotional bank account is full, we can withdraw from it on days that we may not be feeling as connected. This leads to more patience, greater appreciation and more love! So pick one or more of these ideas and go for it!
-Ana from the Unbox Love Team
Let's put your new Massager and Plant Life Oil to use!
Here is a short video on the use of a 4-point massager.
If either of you have sore muscles in your back, neck, shoulders, calves or feet, trigger point techniques can really help release the tension. There are hundreds of trigger points throughout the body, and everyone can develop them in different locations. We have selected the most common location for this video (upper back and neck area) but you can find videos on any location if desired. While this video does not use a tool, hands get tired! So use your massager in the same way!
We hope you are enjoying your date! Need some ideas about what to make? Check out these! How about starting with how to make a pinch pot.
What about some cool coasters? You can use cookie cutters or even lids to shape your ornament. A knife or toothpicks are good for carving shapes or words.
Some ornaments would be fun. Use anything with texture to add a pattern to your creation. Use a screwdriver to poke a hole for hanging. If you have a hot glue gun or super glue, use your magnets and put 'em on the fridge!
Rolling your clay and making a round pot is a fun challenge. You can share colors on this one as well.
We hope you make something cool! Share your creations using #unboxlove. Or maybe write about it in your Together Journal! Thanks for being awesome!