Showing Gratitude: Our Date Night In

If you caught my blog post last month about our experience with our first Date Night In Box, you will know how excited I am to have these boxes arrive at my doorstep monthly. To give you some background information, Night In Boxes is a subscription-based company that curates monthly “night in” experiences that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. They offer both Date Night In boxes and Kids Night In boxes, and there is also a faith-based option you can choose to incorporate into any of the night in boxes.

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We have really been enjoying our date nights, as we have struggled to make time for dates since having kids. It is so easy to prioritize everything and everyone else above yourself when you have littles, and we recognized that we had both been putting our relationship on the back burner. We wanted to make more of an effort to carve out this time for each other, and when I learned about this company, I was so excited to give it a try.

The theme for November’s box was “Give Thanks” and the activities were a great combination of fun and relaxation while connecting and reflecting on our lives together. I was intrigued when I opened the box to find a salt shaker, two plastic bags, sugar, vanilla extract, apple cider mix, caramel sauce, a plastic display board, cards with letters on them, post it notes, a pencil, a dry erase marker and a children’s book. Part of the excitement is trying to see how all of this fits together into creative date night activities.

As always, there is an instruction booklet for the evening, which includes a suggested Spotify playlist designed specifically for the month’s theme, as well as a suggested recipe for dinner. This month’s optional dinner menu included a cranberry spritzer, a turkey, brie and cranberry pesto phyllo wrap, parmesan and thyme mashed potatoes, and salted caramel cheesecake muffins - yum!

The first activity involved heading to the kitchen together to make homemade ice cream for caramel apple cider floats. The recipe was fun and easy to make, and I plan on saving this recipe to make ice cream with the kids! As we sipped on our floats, we wrote reasons we were thankful for one another on post it notes, then hid them around the house for each other to find. We also decided to each pick one and read it out loud. It was a simple activity that really made us reflect on why we appreciate each other so much. Sometimes, in our busy day to day, it’s easy to forget to express these sentiments to one another, but it is so important.

Next, we played a word slam game with the provided deck of cards. You start with a four or five letter word and you add letters to the word to create a new word, and the person who plays all their cards first is named the winner. We played several rounds of this as we love playing games and our friendly competitive sides came out!

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There was also a children’s book included in this box, with an extra special message of the importance of gratitude. The book Love from the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle was donated in honour of Tripp Halstead, a little boy who lost his life after fighting a tragic brain injury. His story moved both of us, and reminded us to be thankful for our health and the health of our children. Life is so precious. We were encouraged to “pay it forward” as a couple by bringing joy to another family in Tripp’s honour, and we look forward to passing this book on to a family in need, especially this close to Christmas.

If you are interested in trying out a Night In Box, take a look at their website for pricing and subscription plans. We love that the cost for each box works out to be cheaper than dinner and a night out after paying for a babysitter. If you have any questions, please reach out! I would love to chat and connect with you.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission from any sales generated these links. With that being said, I only review products I would genuinely use and always offer my honest opinion.

How to Date Your Spouse (without leaving home)

As parents, it is easy to get lost in our day to day routines and busy schedules and it can be difficult to find quality time to spend with our spouses. I will admit that once the kids are in bed, I have very little energy left to give after a day of drop-offs and pick-ups, busy work days, recreational activities, housework, and so on. Because of this, my relationship with Scott often gets put on the back burner. I don’t like that this happens, but it does. As a first responder, Scott works many weekends and evenings and we often have opposite schedules. Like most families, we are busy. Then, all of a sudden, life happens, time slips away, and we forget to prioritize us.

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This is something we have been talking about a lot lately. We don’t fault one another, but we do recognize that we need to be intentional about spending more time together, and we need to make more of an effort to prioritize our relationship. While it is important to both of us, we always seem to struggle with making “date nights” happen. We have the best of intentions to plan a special night out, but in reality, it rarely comes to fruition.

When I came across the idea of “Date Night In” subscription boxes, I thought it was such a brilliant concept – and possibly the solution to all of my “date night” woes! I suggested the idea to Scott, and he was completely on board (and maybe a little relieved that he didn’t have to plan a night out!).

To give you some background information, Night In Boxes is a subscription-based company that curates monthly “night in” experiences that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. They offer both Date Night In boxes and Kids Night In boxes, and there is also a faith-based option you can choose to incorporate into any of the night in boxes.

This weekend was the first in a few months where we could shift from unpacking and renovating to relaxing and having an intentionally slow weekend. We thought it would be a great opportunity to try our first box and to finally spend some quality time together.

The theme of the box was “Painted with Love”. It came with a candle, two 8” x 10”canvases, acrylic paints, paint brushes, a paper plate for mixing paints, a cloth napkin, glue and a snack. It also came with a booklet that outlines the menu, playlist and activities for the night. You can pick and choose which activities to do, depending on your personal preferences and how much time you have available.

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It comes with an optional dinner menu and “table talk” to set the mood and get some conversation going – because we all know we end up talking about the kids, even when they’re not around! It’s a great way to focus on each other and to ask each other questions you might never have thought to ask. We didn’t have time to shop for the required ingredients for the optional dinner menu this month, so we just made some popcorn and munched on the provided snack while we worked our way through the activities. The recipe for the Tapas Board did look amazing, and I love that a fellow blogger provided the menu. We will definitely try the suggested dinner that comes with our next box!

For the main activity, we were given two options. The first was a guided canvas painting through PaintingParties.com, where a professional artist would walk you through creating an artwork in a video. The second option was creating a glue resist painting on your own. Admittedly, neither Scott nor I are artistic, so we chose the guided canvas painting because we needed all the help we could get! This option required that we work together so that when we placed our canvases side by side, it created an overall "masterpiece". While our work is far from a masterpiece, we really enjoyed being amateur painters, and we laughed at ourselves quite a bit. Let’s just say we won’t necessarily be displaying our final product, but it was fun to create and, in the end, it was all about spending quality time together.

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Are you laughing at our “masterpiece”? So were we!

Next, there was a “Colours of Love” quiz to complete, where you ranked colours and then read what your selection indicated according to Professor Max Luscher’s colour theory. It was fun to read about each other’s personalities and share (and laugh) about whether we agreed or disagreed.

Finally, the booklet provides a list of movie suggestions that coincide with the night’s theme. It’s a great way to continue the night and allows you to avoid the dreaded movie selection process that can take hours (at least for us it does!) This month, we opted out of watching the movie (mostly because we have a few current NetFlix addictions), but we’re planning to include a movie in our next date night.

Overall, we really enjoyed our Date Night In. It was a great way to connect in a creative way and remind ourselves how much our marriage means to us. It was the motivation we needed to follow through on prioritizing a night for ourselves. It also took the pressure off to plan an extravagant date night out and the box and activity was a fun surprise for both of us. It was a huge relief that we could put the kids to bed early, put our PJs on, and enjoy a special night together that took little effort to plan and execute.

And the best part is, the cost for each box works out to be cheaper than dinner and a night out (plus the cost of a sitter if you don’t have grandparents or other friends and family members nearby). Prices start at $41.99 (US) for a single box, and if you decide to subscribe, the subscription plans have a slight discount per box. All prices include shipping. If you are interested in trying a box for yourself, you can read more here.


If you do try a box, let me know what you think about it! We can't wait to see what next month has in store for us!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission from any sales generated from this post. With that being said, I only review products I would genuinely use and always offer my honest opinion.

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