1. Fajitas & Margs
We don't make Mexican food all too often at home, so it's one of my favorite nights out. Chicken fajitas with ALL the toppings with endless chips and salsa pairs SO well with a couple of flavored margaritas.
Here is Iowa City one of our favorite places is El Patron in the Ped Mall. (P.s. Don't miss out on their wildly good deals on Taco Tuesday).
2. Pizza & Bowling
Bowling is one of our favorite dates. I alway lose... but it's fun to get out and do something mildly active after a big pizza. We're probably some of the least picky pizza eaters... but in the area, we LOVE a couple of places.
Our very favorite is actually in Cedar Rapids . Yes, we'll drive 30 minutes for Roscoe's Pizza. Another good one, an Iowa City classic, is Pagliai's Pizza. Their pepperoni & jalepeno pizza... currently drooling just typing about it. Last but not least, I'm a huge Marquee Pizza fan. It's new just this year in Coralville and their menu is so interesting and fun. It's a fun vibe with some unique flavor combinations. So grab a pie from one of those places before bowling!
3. Takeout Picnic
Picnics are a fun change of scenery, you’re in the open and there’s no one around to interrupt conversation. I love this date when we need a night for JUST the two of us - to really get away from it all when we don’t have time for a real vacation.
I really like the takeout part of this one too. It takes the work out of it and makes for an even more relaxing night. It doesn’t have to be fast food! I like to grab burgers or chicken sandwiches with fries and pop. The ultimate feel good food to go with your feel good date.
4. Spaghetti & Mini Golf
We have one mini golf place in the immediate area and it’s... small. But that doesn’t take away from the fun of it! It’s an indoor course that’s connected to our bowling alley and it’s so much fun to put around with a little friendly competition is a perfect way to let loose and be kids again.
I like to pair this date with Italian food. Not only is it delicious, but it’s romantic! Since you’re bringing the romance down a bit with mini golf, why not pick it up with wine and shared spaghetti noodles!
So, there ya have it! A few date nights that will bring you and your S.O. together for a little something different.
P.s. these dates pair perfect with my outfit in the above pics - check out the links to the pieces in the Fashion tab.
A little over a year ago Matt and I brought home a sweet fur baby, Tuddie. She's a whopping 18-pound salt and pepper Miniature Schnauzer from the sweetest family in Argyle, Iowa. I remember that day we brought her home like it was just yesterday. We drove home with a tiny three-pound puppy that we instantly fell in love with. She was definitely partial to Matt at first, and didn't quite know what to think of me just yet...
After that initial excitement faded, the first three-ish weeks of dog ownership were HARD. I was probably dramatic, but then again, we got her at a pretty hectic time in our lives too. Luckily, Matt was still in college and on Winter Break when we brought her home. So he was with her non-stop for the first week.
She's definitely learned a lot in the past year - she loves her kennel, knows where to do her business, and even picked up some tricks along the way. Although she's taken in a lot, I think little Tuddie has taught us more lessons than we've taught her.
WE'RE NOT READY FOR KIDS
Before we decided on getting a pup, I have to admit, I was having major "baby fever". Since we'd gotten married and moved in to a new place I thought, "why not?" Matt was against it for so many of the right reasons. I was in a weird baby fog that only Matt could talk me out of, so we compromised on the dog instead.
We soon learned that it's a bit daunting to give up some of your freedom. We couldn't leave her home for more than two hours at a time when she was a baby, and even now we don't leave her for more than five. You can't leave babies at home alone... ever...
It all really boils down to, we're not ready to give up our free time together quite yet. We were always told to wait to have kids after getting married - to really enjoy each other's company and learn about one another. Tuddie has really opened our eyes to the truth in that advice.
OUR PARENTING STYLES DIFFER
I'm sure you can guess this one. Matt is much more stern with her than I could ever be. I let her get away with much more than he does. She can look at me with one little puppy dog face and she'll get what she's asking for. Matt on the other hand... he doesn't sway when it comes to those looks. I will say that most of her training (if not all) has come from him and his consistency. It's something that we have been working on since the beginning of our puppy parenting. It's also opened up conversations on how we'll parent our future children.
The good news is, we balance each other out a lot of the time. He's there to give me a that side eye glance like, "don't you dare give her that table food." And I'm there to give him the death glare like, "don't you dare scold her for putting a paw on the coffee table." Which brings me to my next point...
NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU TELL HER, "STAY OFF THE COFFEE TABLE"... SHE WILL STILL GET ON THE COFFEE TABLE...
This one sounds silly (also, Matt came up with this topic title and lesson). What we mean is that no matter how much training and scolding we put her through, she's going to be a puppy. We truly do our best to make her the best, most lovable dog she can be, but in the end she's really just a small furry kid!
Her personality shines brighter than any dog I've ever met and we wouldn't have it any other way. She's not good with strangers, she eats way too many pieces of garbage and paper we find on walks, and she just cannot grasp the concept of staying off of the damn coffee table! But, she's a work in progress just like anything - she's learning. Just like I always tell Matt, "she's just a baby!"
SHE'S A FINANCIAL COMMITMENT
I remember talking with Matt about how much money she was going to cost us. We estimated the cost of things like food, toys and... that's pretty much it. Not bad right? What we didn't consider was the shots, the frequent vet visits during puppyhood (because she eats anything she sees), medicine, the kennel (a tiny one and then a big one when she grew up), more toys because she destroys them all, a few different harnesses (because a girl can't have too many), her leash, another leash (because she chewed the other one, and grooming.
PRO TIP: BOARDING IS EXPENSIVE. Find incredible friends that will watch your fur baby because they love her. Shout out to Emily Rossiter and Kimberly Bates for being our heaven sent pup sitters. We couldn't have afforded boarding Tuddie. They were there, and continue to be there, through my crazy work schedule, our wedding, vacations, and football season. Love you guys!
If you've ever had a puppy growing up, you know this to be true. I have never loved anything as much as I do Tuddie. She's right by my side when I'm sad, she doesn't know my flaws, and even when we mess up a bit as parents, she's the first to forgive.
She's taught us a lot, but I think this is the most important. There isn't much that brightens my day more than walking into the house to find her uncontrollably excited to see me. The little wag of her tiny nub of a tail makes me smile every single time. We love this pup with all of our hearts and she loves us just the same, maybe more.