10 Date Night Ideas Under $40

10 Date Night Ideas Under $40 | The New Wife Blog | Date Night on a Budget | Spending Time with Your Man | Marriage Advice | Christian Girl Advice | Creative Muse Blog | Jessica Giaimo

Happy Friday! With the weather cooling down and our schedules filling up fast, I thought it would be nice to share some fun date night ideas with you, all of which can be done for under $40. Because when you’re married, you need to be able to have a stress-free, relaxing date without all the hassle of trying to make it expensive or perfect.

So here are some of my favorite ways to spend time with my man without breaking our budget…

Olive Garden Pasta + Wine::

This one is by far my favorite! Especially as it gets colder outside, I love me some warm pasta at home watching a movie. I’m definitely a take-out girl :) We do this every so often. We’ll order a “create your own pasta” from Olive Garden, get the salad (it comes with two breadsticks) and we’ll get an order of 4 breadsticks with a side of Alfredo sauce (Jeff really likes it). Then we’ll stop at the liquor store on the way home and pick up a bottle of wine. I’m really loving pink moscato right now!

Split between us, it’s super filling without being too heavy and really doesn’t cost much. It’s a winner every time!

Movie Night with AMC::

We just recently signed up for the Stubs program at AMC, which allows us to go see up to three movies each week! If we only go see two movies in a month, it more than pays for itself. If there are some movies you know you’ll want to see coming up, then I highly recommend it. We pick up Chick-fil-a and sneak it in, while purchasing a soda and popcorn in the theatre (They don’t suspect you if you buy their stuff).

You can always do it for a few months to see the movies you want and then cancel it. It’s a great way to get out of the house in the winter!

Pei Wei Take-Out::

I told you, I LOVE take-out nights! Another thing we’re loving lately is ordering the chicken lettuce wraps and the Dan Dan Noodle Bowl with Chicken and splitting both. It’s really affordable and the Pei Wei app is always sending me coupons for free entrees.

Mini Golf::

I’m not really all that into mini golfing. But we found the most amazing place in Colorado that has an incredible course. You feel like you’ve stepped into another world! Look around your area for some fun, outdoor places and you’ll be surprised by how much you get in touch with your inner child.

Coffee + American Furniture Warehouse::

We did this a lot when we were engaged and newly married. We’d go pick up some Starbucks coffee and drink it while we walked around our local American Furniture Warehouse store. Ikea would be fun, too! It’s fun to walk around and dream of what you may want to buy, get inspired for new ideas or just have a relaxing night. The people there are super helpful but if you don’t want it, they’ll politely leave you alone. We’ve definitely had a few impulse buys there, too!

Explore an Area in Your City You Haven’t Yet::

Here in Colorado Springs, we’ve got Manitou Springs, Old Colorado City, the Penny Arcade, The Rabbit Hole (an underground bar/restaurant). There’s usually a lot to explore in your area that you have no idea existed and when you find them together, they make for really special memories.

Do some exploring and see what you think. You may just find your new favorite spot.

Recreate Your First Date (or Another Significant Date)::

Jeff recreated our first date on the night he proposed. Even though the activities weren’t a surprise, because they were from our first date, it was so exciting to recreate it. It almost felt like a mini thrill (of course I had no idea he was about to propose! You can watch him surprise me with it HERE).

Whether it was your first date, the date he proposed or the first time you said “I love you,” recreating a significant moment in your life is not only fun, but can bring up old feelings and emotions that you haven’t felt in a long time. It’s important to take yourself back there every once in a while.

Make Homemade Pizzas::

I’ve really been loving this! I buy pizza dough from King Sooper’s (you can freeze it and it keeps for a while) and get whatever toppings we feel like that night. Or, we’ll each get our own toppings and make our own pizza, trying each other’s out, too. It’s a different way to do dinner, while also spending some time together (as opposed to you in the kitchen and him in his office). You might just learn a thing or two about the guy :)

Try a new Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurant::

This is kind of similar to exploring your area, but maybe there’s a restaurant that you’ve always seen but never been to. Try something new and even if it doesn’t turn out to be amazing, you’ll have a memory that you two will share together.

Make a Holiday Traditions Night::

With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s the perfect time to plan some fun new traditions for you. Making gingerbread houses, baking Christmas cookies, hosting a Friendsgiving, the possibilities are endless and they are entirely up to you.

Every year, we always take a group of our fiends and go visit a local pumpkin patch and corn maze. It’s creepy and festive and we look forward to it every year. My family always put’s up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving and now I do that with my husband, while listening to Christmas music and munching on peanut brittle.

Having these special moments will stick with you forever and give you a sense that you’re spending quality time with each other, even if your schedules are super busy this season.

Those are just some of my thought on some date night ideas. Pick one and try it out soon. Dates aren’t always about making everything perfect. It’s about intentionally spending some time together and valuing time with that person. If he likes to go out and do things, try mini golfing. If you like staying home, try take-out and a movie. Mix it up so each person feels like they are getting the kind of quality time that matters to them.

What are some date night ideas you’ve enjoyed? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

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My Favorite Slow Cooker Fall Drinks

Slow Cooker Fall Drink Recipes | Pumpkin Spiced Latte | Almond Milk Chai Latte | Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate | Gingerbread Latte | Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate | Caramel Apple Cider | Hot Chocolate | Gingerbread Hot Chocolate | Easy Cooking | Holiday Recipe Ideas | New Wife Blog

This morning I woke to chilly weather and cloudy skies peaking down over the mountains and I couldn’t have been happier. Fall is finally here and Colorado is blooming with golden spots all across the mountains, where the Aspens are finally starting to turn. This is why fall is my favorite time of year… it’s simply magical.

Now the the weather is starting to cool down, I can finally start drinking some of my favorite hot drinks. However, my budget cannot afford for me to get my fill at the local coffee shop, so I wanted to try and start making some of my favorite fall drinks in my slow cooker.

Not only will these recipes save you money, but they will make your home spell like a cozy autumn afternoon. Try a few and let me know what you think. I’m sure there are a million different twists you could take on each one to make it even more amazing.

So grab a mug and a comfy plaid blanket and make one of these this week, in honor of October at least…

Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Almond Milk Chai Latte

Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate

Gingerbread Latte

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

Caramel Apple Cider

Decadent Hot Chocolate

Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

Here’s to many chilly mornings with a warm cup of something with pumpkin or apple or caramel or chocolate. Tis the season to enjoy yourself.

Comment below and tell me what some of your favorite fall drinks are. I’d love to give some more a try.

Jessica Giaimo | Creative Muse Blog | The New Wife Blog | Helping New Wives Get Their Confidence Back
 

12 Meal Prep Recipes to Get You Back on Track

12 Meal Prep Recipes | New Wife Blog | Easy Recipes | Fall Meal Prep Recipes | Christian Girl Blog

It’s that time of year! You schedule get’s packed and your free time shrinks and the days of you lounging around thinking of what you’ll whip up from scratch for dinner that night are gone.

Whether you’re getting back into school, busier days at work, sports, hobbies, gym goals for the holidays, these meal prep recipes are a life-saver as your planner fills up all the empty spaces. There are recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even some healthy snacks to have on hand, because you know I’m all about those treats!

Try making a few of these this weekend and give yourself some space next week to breathe, relax and enjoy the beauty of the season. It doesn’t last forever…

Overnight Oats

These are the greatest to make for meal prep. They make a delicious, healthy breakfast, leaving you feeling full but not heavy. They also fuel your beautiful bod with all the right things to give you energy and one of my favorites, mental energy. Try one of these or whip up you’re own. The possibilities are endless.

Coconut Berry ONO

Banana Peanut Butter ONO

Pumpkin Spice ONO

Bombshell Spell Metabolism Shot

This is my go to for great digestion, metabolism and over all glow. The apple cider vinegar is SO good for you but it’s kinda hard to stomach on it’s own. This is the best way to take it and I hardly ever go a day without it now. I usually keep two batches in a single mason jar (to split between me and Jeff in the morning) and whip up about 4 mason jars at a time. It’s good for up to about 4 days.

Recipe is for 1 serving (double to fill one mason jar)
-4oz pineapple juice (I’m loving the cans from Trader Joe’s)
-1 TBS apple cider vinegar
-1 tsp honey
-1/4 lime, juiced
-optional: add in 1 packet tropical emergenC

-shake everything in a mason jar (except emergenC) and leave in fridge till morning (then add emergenC… it can cause the pressure to build in the jar if shaken)

Egg Muffins

These are so simple it’s ridiculous. Mix up your eggs, add whatever veggies and spices suit you, and bake in muffin tins till done. Then enjoy heated up with a little siracha on top!

Blueberry Oat Muffins

These are great for when you’re hitting the gym a lot, on a tight schedule or training for a race. They are super easy, quick to grab and fill your body up with everything it needs to get after it. I usually whip up a batch of these for the week when I know I’m going to be more active like training or hitting the gym more.

Chocolate Protein Donuts

These are my obsession… Chocolate. Enough said. These smell like fresh made brownies when you take them out of the oven. I like to add in some semi sweet chocolate chips in the batter and usually eat one heated up with a little peanut butter on top. With the weather getting cooler, one of these with some morning coffee sure would be perfect. And did I mention they’re healthy!

Peanut Butter Coconut Energy Bites

I’m a snacker and these bad boys are perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up without the nasty crash from sugar. Keep them in the freezer and leave a few in the fridge to grab during the week.

Sheet Pan Garlic Ginger Chicken + Broccoli

This is a meal prepper’s dream! Easy peasy and you’re done. Dinner’s for the week or lunch for the office is ready to rock and roll. I love whipping up something like this on a Sunday night, making extra and storing them in the fridge for easy dinners or lunches during the week.

Freezer Meal Chicken Meatballs

I’m not a huge freezer meal gal yet. I mean I want to be, but I’m still working my way into it. But these are one of the best ways to get your toes wet with the whole freezer meal craze. Bake these insanely delicious chicken meatballs (yes, I said bake) and then freezer for a variety of dinner options: meatball sandwiches, baked cheesy pastas with meatballs, barbecue meatballs, buffalo meatballs, spaghetti and meatballs, meatballs and mashed potatoes… you get the picture. Make these, TONIGHT!

Spicy Sweet Potato Meal Prep Magic Bowls

Yes, you read that title right. I think it’s safe to say that this recipe is gold when it comes to meal prep. And who else loves sweet potatoes as much as me? This is the time of year to get them in so have at it girl!

BBQ Chicken

By far one of the easiest recipes ever! I love making this for company because it’s easy, relatively hands-free and so delicious. If you’re looking for something for you and your hubby but don’t want to make a huge batch, just cut a couple of chicken breasts in half thickness wise (or use meat hammer) and lay them in a baking dish and cover in your favorite BBQ sauce. Bake in the over at 425 for 25-35min depending on thickness of your chicken and voila! Perfectly tender BBQ chicken breast that you can have with anything.

Some great staples to make ahead of time for the week are rice, quinoa and frozen bananas (for protein smoothies). I also like having some pad thai noodles on hand in my pantry in case I want to mix any of the above chicken recipes with some noodles for a change.

So there you have it, meal prep ideas for the busy babe on a budget. I hope this helps you with your meal prepping endeavors and maybe enlightens you to a new favorite recipe two.

Do you have any go-to recipes for meal prepping? If so, let me know below! I love finding new recipes to try out and finding something new I love. Happy prepping!

 

The Balance Between Rest + Hustle

Bible Study: Journey Week Five

It’s the never ending struggle… hustle till you make it but don’t forget to rest.

Has anyone actually found this magic balance yet? You read that you have to hustle if you want to make it, that God is looking for the faithful and you have to prove yourself in the mundane. But then you hear teaching after teaching about the importance of rest and how this should be the state in which we do everything. Well, which is it?

I believe there is a secret sauce to this balance and I want to share that with you in today’s video. It’s not enough just to hustle until you make it. That will get you tired, burned out and totally depending on little ole you. But it’s also not just enough to “rest” and expect God to magically bring you the dreams you want. We do have a role to play.

So what is it? What’s our part and what’s God’s part in all this. Let’s talk about that and more in week 5 of the Journey study. I’ll see you inside!

What's in Your Hand?

Bible Study: Journey Week Four

We can all get a bit anxious when it comes to chasing down our dreams. But too often, we think of the “big picture” and refuse to see what’s right in front of us to do. What is it in this season that you are able to do to work towards your dreams?

Maybe your passion needs to become a hobby that you do faithfully on the side before it becomes a source of income. Maybe you need to do some volunteering and assist in helping other people’s dreams come true in an area that you are also passionate about. Maybe there are people in your life right now that God is wanting to use you to influence before you influence a large crowd. It’s all about the small, seemingly insignificant ways that you prove your faithfulness to yourself and build a trust in God.

This is the step that most Christians tend to skip on their highway to success. Even if they wholeheartedly surrender over their lives to become living sacrifices for God, they tend to overlook the mundane everyday because, well, it’s mundane! And our dreams are anything but!

This is where dreams go from a vision, to something that is physically being built in your life. Start by examining what’s in your hand and you’ll be amazed at how busy it keeps you.

Join me for week 4 of the Journey Bible Study and discover what opportunities you have right now to chase your dreams with God.