15 Fall Date Ideas That’ll Make You Feel Young Again

72198620_402194130672625_2971200122731364352_n.png

As a married working mom, I know how difficult it is to find time to go on a date with your spouse. But it is incredibly important. According to Dr. Dianne Grande, “[Date night] is not really a luxury after all. Consider it a necessity for a happy and life-affirming relationship.” It. Is. A. Necessity!

But, again, I know how hard it can be. That’s why I have come up with 15 different types of dates for NYC couples this fall. They cover a variety of budgets (which is important if you need to pay a babysitter) and lengths of time. Some couples will have to squeeze in time while others may be able to pull off a whole weekend away. The point isn’t to compare. It is to find time to do something fun with someone you love – no matter how much money or how much time you have.

Plus, these dates will remind you of what it is like to be young. And who doesn’t want to feel young and newly in love again? Fall is the ideal time for dates that take you back to your youth. Take a look.

1. Go Apple Picking.

Head to an apple orchard and pick some apples together. You’ll enjoy just being in each other’s presence, and you’ll leave with a bushel of apples.

2. Spend Time at a Tailgate.

If your youth involved tailgating, make plans to tailgate with your spouse. If you can’t tailgate at your school or for your favorite team, then choose the next best thing and cheer on the home team.

3. Carve a Pumpkin.

Be a little creative and carve a pumpkin. This date night works even if you can’t find a babysitter. Wait until the kids are in bed, turn on some music, pour your favorite drink, and get busy – carving a pumpkin, that is.

4. Visit a Brewery or Winery.

To me, fall screams beer and cider. Head to a local brewery and get a flight. If beer isn’t your thing, then head to a nearby winery and do a tasting.

5. Start Christmas Shopping.

If you have kids, then you know how chaotic the holiday season is. Beat the rush by going to the toy store now and get a jump start on your Christmas shopping.

6. Volunteer Together.

If you want to give back, find a local organization that you’d like to support and volunteer on the weekend. This is a great way to bond with your spouse.

7. Make S’mores by a Bonfire.

Enjoy a backyard fire pit or bonfire. Buy special goodies to make creative s’mores to enjoy together.

8. Put on a Brave Face in a Haunted House.

Before October ends, head to a haunted house together. You will find yourself clinging to your man like you use to.

9. Pack a Picnic for the Park.

A lowkey picnic is a perfect fit for the couple that is always busy. It is a great way to slow down, but it is easy to plan.

10. Go Camping (or Rent a Cabin).

For those lucky parents who have grandparents willing to babysit overnight, go camping. If camping isn’t for you, then rent a cabin. Fall is the best time of year to be outdoors with the one you love.

11. Cuddle and Watch a Scary Movie.

Take advantage of all the free horror movie marathons happening around Halloween and watch one late at night with your spouse. It is the perfect excuse to cuddle up close on the couch after the kids go to bed.

12. Hike Together.

For active couples, the cooler weather makes it a wonderful time to go hiking together. You will both work to overcome challenges and grow closer in the process.

13. Spend Some Time in the Kitchen.

Take all the apples you got when you went apple picking and make candy apples together. Or, bake an apple pie. Or make apple crisp. Here’s a list of 65+ easy apple recipes.

14. Take an Autumn Road Trip in New York.

Book a babysitter for the day and take a road trip through New York to look at the beautiful changing leaves. Remember, it’s about the journey, not the destination.

15. Try Not to Freak Out on a Ghost Tour.

NYC couples have their pick of spooky ghost tours. To find the one that sounds best for you and your husband, check out Time Out’s The Best Ghost Tours NYC has to offer.

What is your favorite fall date? Tell me in the comments!

10 Ways to Keep Your Love Strong 10 Years In

68669579_1102975726759716_376062087987724288_n.png

My husband and I recently celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. I am so thankful that I have spent the last ten years married to the best man, best father, and best husband. But, after ten years, I have learned that marriage takes work. If you want to keep the spark alive ten years in, there are some things you have to do.

1. Schedule Regular Date Nights

Date nights are an absolute must – especially a decade later! You need a night away from the kids to remember the two of you as a couple. Date nights give you an opportunity to dress up, flirt, and enjoy each other’s company. Go ahead and schedule a monthly babysitter – it is worth it!

69562853_369011220662286_896923466442211328_n.png

2. Do Things You Love Together

This many years later, I am so glad my husband and I have common interests. If you can find something you love to do together, it can make a huge difference. We love eating and traveling, so we try to do these things together as often as possible.

3. Keep Communicating

It’s easy to stop communicating as often when you think you already know everything there is to know about your spouse. Believe it or not, my husband still tells me stories I haven’t heard before. Keep talking to one another. Text each other throughout the day and indulge in some pillow talk each night before bed.

69069661_2417344748309036_2850976025246957568_n.png

4. Give Gifts

I love it when my hubs surprises me with a special gift – it never gets old! To this day, if I see something I think he’d like, I either go ahead and buy it for him or add it to the wishlist for a future holiday gift. This reminds your spouse you know what he loves and that you think about him even when you are apart.

5. Make an Effort

Let’s be honest for a second. It is really easy to let yourself go a little when you are comfortable. While it is great to be comfortable enough with each other to no longer feel the need to get all dolled up, you should still try to make an effort to look nice for your spouse (especially on date night). Go ahead and wear that outfit he loves you in!

68441688_737113000073000_2827628522896359424_n.png

6. Try Something New Together

If things are starting to feel predictable after ten years, that is normal. But, it is also a sign that you guys need to freshen things up a bit. Find something new to try together (and we don’t just mean in the bedroom). Find a new hobby the two of you can enjoy together.

69436320_403712486812582_5448002492686139392_n.png

7. Say Thank You Often

After ten years, you may find that you take each other for granted. Instead, make an extra effort to continue thanking your spouse for the things he does. Gratitude goes a long way in keeping marriages healthy and happy.

8. Spend Time with People Who Value Marriage

Spend time with people who value marriage rather than people who spend all their time complaining about their husbands or marriage in general. Those who value marriage will encourage you to work things out when you inevitably have a fight, and they will be the ones most willing to babysit for a much-needed date night.

69312362_2298290067111015_6758559690877042688_n.png

9. Reflect on Your Years Together

Ten years of marriage is a big deal! You have 10+ years of memories to reflect on. Take time to share favorite memories and talk about the difficult seasons you overcame with each other’s help. And, make plans and dream about the next ten years!

10. Don’t Stop Touching

Finally, don’t stop touching. For some reason, when couples have been together for a while, they stop holding hands, cuddling, and kissing as often. Don’t let this happen to you. The next time you are out, grab his hand! Tonight when you binge-watch tv, sit close and cuddle. Tomorrow when you get home from work, give him a smooch.

68816565_635490290271987_8103995403650727936_n.png

Why You Need to Prioritize Your Marriage (and How)

60592018_427415754710603_4159484554102439936_n.png

Ask anyone who has been married as long as I have, and they will tell you it hasn’t always been easy. And, if they tell you otherwise, they are lying. Marriage is hard, but a strong marriage is worth all the hard work it takes to get it there.

If you and your spouse and both working, you have to learn to balance your relationship with your work life and schedule. If you are parents, you have to learn how to keep prioritizing your marriage when little people are demanding so much of your attention all the time. Between work and kids, if I didn’t prioritize my marriage, it would be easy to let it fall apart. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened.

Whether you are newly married or have been married for decades, the following tips for how to prioritize your marriage may be just what you need to remember why you two got married in the first place.

Date (and Date Some More!)

60259621_2289124001337528_7684022222863728640_n.png

Remember when you were first dating, and you could not wait for date night? Do you remember how much effort you put into picking out your outfit and getting ready? After you’ve been married for a while, it is possible to let date nights fall to the wayside – especially if you are busy and have children.

Don’t let this happen! Book a babysitter, get dressed up and go somewhere special! And, if you can’t find or afford a babysitter, go for a lunch date while the kids are in school!

Travel Together

60302107_332018350795165_2808355278062354432_n.png

If you have been following me, you know I believe it is important to travel kid-free with your spouse. This is such a good way to reconnect with one another without the usual distractions.

Don’t Act Like Roommates

60239852_2260599800652305_989060565164883968_n.png

After living together for a lengthy amount of time, you may find yourself acting like roommates instead of spouses. If you seem just to be passing each other on your way in and out the day, it’s time to make a change. Instead, try to identify the behaviors that are more like roommates than husband and wife (see Are You a Roommate or a Spouse Checklist) and then look for ways to reconnect.

Embrace Couple Rituals

60450425_286701855616749_2635688839619805184_n.png

Whether you realize it or not, the smallest rituals can make the biggest difference in a marriage. For example, make it part of your daily ritual to give your spouse a kiss when you get home from work or make a point to discuss your day before you go to sleep.

Find a Hobby You Can Do Together

60257547_810595672653249_6841236969511452672_n.png

A great way to reconnect with your spouse is to embrace a new hobby together. In most relationships, the husband and wife have separate hobbies. But, when they have a unified hobby, it provides a wonderful way to spend time together doing something you both enjoy.

Don’t Check Out – Check In!

60563977_484040225674400_5280611953415290880_n.png

Finally, marriages depend on each spouse being emotionally invested. The best way to stay emotionally invested is to keep checking in. Instead of checking out of the emotional day-to-day of your spouse’s life, check in. For instance, throughout the day, send texts or DMs to one another rather than checking out and talking less and less. Not only will this help you stay connected to one another, but it will also let your spouse know you are thinking of him when you are apart.

7 Things Your Man Actually Wants This Valentine’s Day

51138590_2348840142069335_6687460209553571840_n.png

Let’s be honest, ladies. Valentine’s Day is really for us. Most men will claim they don’t even want anything at all for Valentine’s Day. But, since Valentine’s Day is the quintessential couples’ holiday, it just feels wrong not to give the man you love something special.

Ultimately, your guy just wants you to show that you love him. How you choose to show him that he still makes your heart beat fast is all up to you, but you can’t go wrong with any of these 7 gifts.

A Day Off

51616513_616744585430998_5250706297996705792_n.png

All men want a day off from everything and everyone now and then. As adults, it is harder than ever to get away from it all. If your man is always busy at work and then coming home to complete a honey-do list around the house, give a coupon for a day off. It will show him you love him and appreciate how hard he works.

A Good Meal Cooked by You

51135331_334918824021476_1225522278863732736_n.png

A fancy dinner out is always nice, but most men will be just as happy (maybe even more so) with a home cooked meal. Choose to cook his favorite dishes or order a meal kit from Hello Fresh.

Beer, Wine, Whiskey

tim-wright-289734-unsplash.jpg

A man will never scoff at his lady gifting him his favorite spirit. Just be sure you splurge on something nicer than what he normally buys. He will be impressed with your knowledge of his tastes and your willingness to spoil him.

Tickets to a Sports Game or Comedy Show

ryan-774349-unsplash.jpg

Look for tickets to an upcoming show that he will love – even if it doesn’t take place on Valentine’s Day. Giving him tickets to see his favorite team play or hear his favorite comedian live will be an experience he will never forget.

His Favorite Sweet Treat

51163522_2225683277644745_9138883269863931904_n.png

A way to a man’s heart is his belly – even in small doses. Your man will know you love him if you give him his favorite sweet treat such as baking his favorite cake or showing up with doughnuts from his favorite shop.

A Love Letter

51017121_533922600351062_1293266587570143232_n.png

Women are often the ones on the receiving end of love letters, but men love them just as much. Your husband will be overcome with emotion as he receives a beautifully written love letter from his wife. Take time to be sure your letter is full of compliments, affirmations, and funny inside jokes. It will be a gift he never throws away and rereads year after year.

S-E-X

wine-3804526_1280.jpg

Come on, you know I had to say it. What your man wants the most is some alone time with you in between the sheets! Honestly, you don’t even have to give him a gift if you turn up the heat in the bedroom.

So, ladies, what do you plan to give your man this Valentine’s Day? Is there a gift you have given your husband that he loved? Let me know in the comments.

10 Festive Christmas Dates for Couples in New York City

christmas_blogs12.jpg

During the busy holiday season, I think it is super important to spend time with my husband. It is too easy to get caught up in all the holiday busyness and stuff with my girls before I realize I haven’t had any good quality time with my man. Plus, the holiday season is romantic – why not take advantage of the added twinkling lights this time of year? I’ve gathered up ten wonderful Christmas date ideas for couples in NYC that will have you hunting for places to kiss under the mistletoe.

Go Ice Skating

christmas_blogs10.jpg

There are several places to go ice skating in New York, but my favorite place to go ice skating this time of year is The Rink at Rockefeller Center below the giant Christmas tree. Yes, it is a tourist trap, but that just means it is perfect for people-watching!

Shop Til You Drop

christmas_blogs6.jpg

Christmas means shopping. Why not turn one of your favorite activities into a date with the one you love? You both have to buy gifts for the people in your life, so enjoy spending time together while you check off your lists.

Marvel at the Holiday Window Displays

christmas_blogs1.jpg

If your man claims he hates shopping, then take him window shopping instead. Trust me – this is a date you both will love. The holiday window displays at New York City stores is something to see. Take your time to hold hands through the city streets and talk about which holiday window displays are your favorites.

Watch a Broadway Show

times-square-615801_1280.jpg

For theater-lovers, there is always a show to see in NYC. These make some of the best date nights because you get to experience it together.

Enjoy Holiday Menus at Restaurants

Dinner dates are always my favorite types of dates, but I love them, even more, come Christmas time. Why? Well, many restaurants in New York City rollout special holiday menus so you and your date can try new dishes and holiday-themed drinks.

Cheer at a Basketball Game

If you are a basketball fan, a date to cheer on the New York Knicks is a must. While the weather outside is frigid, the atmosphere in the arena is on fire!

Play Like a Kid at FAO Schwartz

p-1-FAO.jpg

Yes, you are a grown up. But, I promise you, something amazing happens to adults when they visit FAO Schwartz! You become a kid again! Let go of some of your holiday stress by trying out toys with your guy and shopping for the little people in your life.

Tour Dyker Heights

Photograph: Teddy Wolff

Photograph: Teddy Wolff

For a truly festive date, take a tour of the Christmas lights in the affluent Dyker Heights neighborhood. This neighborhood goes all out with illuminating their homes – some even hire professional light decorators! If you want to do it right, take the Slice of Brooklyn Dyker Heights Christmas Lights tour.

Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art

During the Christmas season, the Metropolitan Museum of Art adds some festive art to the museum. For those who love to explore museums for date night, this one is a must. In addition to beautiful Christmas trees, you will also see an eighteenth-century Neapolitan Nativity scene.

Take a Carriage Ride in Central Park

Central-park-horse-carriage-tours-in-winter.jpg

Those of you looking for romance straight from the tv screen, look no further than the carriage rides offered in Central Park. Cuddle under a warm blanket, drink a hot beverage, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city during this special time of year.

Why You Should Take a Vacation Without Your Kids At Least Once a Year

44884586_349905089109899_5291021244743811072_n.png

I’m here today to give you permission to do something that might feel a little crazy. Moms, you need to take a vacation. And not just any vacation. You need to take a kid-free vacation at least once a year.

I’ve heard the excuses. You are too busy. It just isn’t possible to find childcare. You would feel guilty. Enough with the excuses! I’m not saying you have to go somewhere for an entire week or spend a ton of money. But hey, if you can pull that off, go right ahead and don’t feel guilty.

Your kids will survive without you for a couple of days. Plus, you will come back refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to do all the mom stuff without complaint. Think about it. Don’t you always feel a little bit better when you get some downtime? Now just imagine if that downtime was more than fifteen minutes of privacy in your bathroom. You’d be the best mom ever!

Now that we’ve got the whole guilt issue out of the way, let’s talk about all the reasons you should take a vacation without your kids.

To Remember Who You Are

44842685_207577730174719_5201474397847683072_n.png

Being a mom is the best job in the world. But, once upon a time, you were more than “just mom.” Do you remember that lady? While being a mom is going to be your main priority when you are with your kids, something magical happens when you step out of that role for a couple of days. The women you were slowly starts to reemerge!

To Reconnect with Others

For those of you who are married with kids, you no doubt understand the importance of having alone time with your spouse. It is so important to spend time with your spouse without kids to reconnect. While date nights are wonderful, you should also try to sneak away together for a weekend. After 14 years together, I appreciate time away with my man even more.

44772626_2157813474536695_4643278341862850560_n.png

Along these same lines, if there is any way possible you can pull off taking a girls trip each year – do it! Getting away with your girlfriends kid-free is good for the soul – and even better for your sanity. Like they say, sometimes talking with our girlfriends is all the therapy we need.

To Have Some Real Rest

44831591_502402490256281_5744637952332398592_n.png

Even though my girls are well past the stage of waking up throughout the night, I still feel like I don’t get as much sleep as I would like. It’s probably because like most moms, my senses are always on alert when my girls are nearby. But, when I travel without my kids, my brain gets a little break, and I can rest easy.

To Have Someone Take Care of You for a Change

Moms are always taking care of others and putting someone else’s needs above their own. I cook, I clean, I work, I tuck my babies in each night, and on and on. It is so nice to stay at a luxury hotel where I don’t have to lift a finger unless I want to. Room service? Maid service? Turn down service? Yes, please!

You Deserve It!

43557811_112382599686973_2191594138950959104_n.png

Being a mom is a tiring, demanding job. You deserve a break! While working moms get vacation days and sick days, your mom job does not come with those off days. That’s why it is so important for you to create those days yourself without feeling guilty about it. We all need time to ourselves to refresh. Without a vacation, employees know their workers will burn out and lose productivity. The same thing goes for parents. Invest in yourself and avoid mom burn out.

Remember, Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Your kids are not going to forget about you while you are away. Instead, it is likely they will miss you and be overjoyed when you are reunited. And, you know what? You will appreciate all their little idiosyncrasies even more.