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52 Dates a Year Update + 17 Creative Date Ideas

Seems like every year that we told ourselves we need to go out and date more, life always seemed to get in the way. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve been through a lot of life changes in the three and a half years we’ve been married. Jacob quit his corporate job to help me run my wedding photography biz. After that, we both quit wedding photography, rented out our Atlanta house to a nice couple, and moved to LA to pursue youtube as a career. Then we moved again.. this time to Las Vegas as of February. We’re on the move, and we’re hustlin.

Yep, life can always get in the way if we let it. And we did for a long time.

That’s why as part of our 14 in 2014, we decided to go on 52 dates this year. And so far I’m grateful that this challenge has helped us carve out more “us” time. No matter how crazy life gets, there are no excuses. We just have to be much more intentional about our time (read this book). We’ve also been trying to keep our budget at $100 a month (this rolls over). Sometimes this means that we have to get a little creative so that some dates can be cheap or free to save money for fancier ones.

This past week we went to the mall and took cheesy mall pictures like back in high school except without all the glow and glamour. Guess that went out of style. ;) We got a groupon for the picture people and for $16, it included the session, one 10×13, one 8×10, two 5×7, ten 4×6, and 16 wallet sized photos. It was a really good deal! I know some photographers refuse to do this, but I’m not gonna act like it’s beneath me. Heeyyyy for $16? Sold!

Date number 15: Get mall photos done. 15 creative date ideas for you!Pin
Date number 15: Get mall photos done. 15 creative date ideas for you!Pin
Date number 15: Get mall photos done. 15 creative date ideas for you!Pin
All photos taken with an iPhone 5.

17 Creative Date Ideas for YOU!:

An update on the dates we’ve been on so far:

  1. Go to an arcade – D & B where it all began.
  2. Go to a local bookstore – The Last Bookstore & PIES!
  3. Attend a movie screening – Dinner and Dumbbells with Lana and Nathan.
  4. Eat a progressive dinner – Italian and Dessert at Mon Ami Gabi.
  5. Stay at home and fill out our 3 year journal together.
  6. Do a beer tasting – don’t have photos, but check out our San Diego brewery tour.
  7. Paint pottery – made a water bowl for the cats at Bee Creative Ceramics
  8. Go hiking – Red Rock National Conservation Area.
  9. Walk the streets of downtown – Fremont Experience.
  10. Go to an interactive museum – Pinball Hall of Fame.
  11. See a local art installation – The Life Cube.
  12. Have brunch and see a matinee – Crepes and Muppets.
  13. Go to an Art Walk – First Fridays
  14. Not ready for kids? “Window shop” at a pet adoption – Petapalooza
  15. Go to a food truck park – Las Vegas Foodie Fest.
  16. Sam’s Club or Costco and get free samples on the weekends.
  17. Get mall pictures taken (this post!).

MORE: Alphabet Date Night Ideas from A to Z

Even though we are behind schedule, I’m so grateful that we’ve been learning to be more intentional and to appreciate our time together.

Gratitude Quote of the week by Ellen Goodman:
“We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck. But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness.” — Ellen Goodman QuotesPin

What could you cut out of your life right now to make time for something more important to you?

This is my gratitude practice for week 34. 18 more weeks to go! Click the banner below to see my previous gratitude posts:
This is week 34 of my gratitude practice plus 17 creative date ideas.Pin
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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. i like the quote except that i disagree that forgiveness is just ‘part’ of it. i’d say forgiveness is a LOT of it!

    1. esther julee

      you’re the writer! maybe it doesn’t sound as good that way. :P lucky or unlucky for me.. (can’t decide) jacob has to do most of the forgiving. Wish you were here so we could all do the mask together!

  2. Erika

    Aww, I love the initiatives you have for bettering your relationship! I want to implement something like this with Tyler one day! It sounds fun and takes you out of the routine. And I think this idea in particular was so cute and cheesy and IS SOMETHING I TOTALLY WANT TO DO! Pics at the mall what what! :) Hehe. I wish people shared more wallet photos. Those are just fun!

    1. esther julee

      Do it!! :) I can send one your way! I don’t even know what I would do with 16 wallets, but sometimes I feel like it’s a little weird to send people photos of myself.

      1. Erika

        I think about that, too! Like back in the day (like 10-20 years ago?) it would have been nothing, People would expect and ENJOY a photo in a card or a letter. But I do think it would be seen as a little weird nowadays unless it was like, a baby or a kid. Which is a shame because I think it’s fun. TOTALLY send me one! (Hope you don’t think it’s weird that I’m like, SEND ME THE WALLET PHOTOS hahahahahaha)

  3. I’ve always thought it would be fun to go to one of those mall photographers. :) The shirt you’re wearing is really cute! It’s so cool that you two make an effort to go out on dates and that you make sure they’re fun and creative.

    1. esther julee

      You should do it!! :) And with the groupon, it’s so cheap. Do you guys have picture people where you live? I think it’s a nationwide deal right now. Thanks! I got the shirt at target on sale. :) I think making it as a goal has definitely helped us be way more intentional about dating too.

  4. This is such a cute idea! I think it is very important to carve out time together. I think a lot of couples spend too much time apart or focused on individual activities and forget to carve out time to be just the two of them. I of course had to pin your San Diego beer tour for future reference :)

    1. esther julee

      Yeah definitely. And I know I’m already good at spending time apart or having my own things to do. :) I guess it’s always about balance though. You’ll have to tell me how you like them. SD is huge on IPAs so it was harder for me to enjoy, but you might definitely find some great ones!

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