Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My 100th Post!

Welcome to my 100th post! Well where's the giveaway I'm sure you're wondering. Well, I'm working on it. I have a few things purchased that I want to pass on to one of my sweet little readers...but until I get all the things, I will wait. Look for the giveaway sometime this weekend. I'm excited!

I've been working on some projects - I'll show those later this weekend too. I realize that there is so much that I haven't updated ya'll on lately. How is WW going? I know some of you really want to know. This week...meh. I haven't felt like eating all too much so I haven't been diligent about my points. I have been keeping them - just not as strictly. I have been measuring my portions and watching my food labels. Just since Monday (my weekly start date) I haven't written much down. On the other hand, I'm really starting to see results. And FINALLY, Shane told me that I was looking thinner. I've been working out quiet a bit and feeling my resistance and endurance really kicking in. I've been doing Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred (butt kicker!) and though the first time I attempted it, I could only make it part way through, I am now happy to report I can complete the first cycle completely. This is one TOUGH DVD, but I would really recommend it if you are looking to really work out hard. It's good.

So, I got this email today that I wanted to share with you. In loo of Valentine's Day coming up (and my birthday one week later!) I wanted to share with you 21 Affordable Date Ideas. There are so many of these that I want to try! There is also a recipe included at the bottom. Hope you enjoy!

The economy might be in a bit of a bind, but your love life needn’t be! Here are 21 fresh date ideas to keep the romance cooking — without a lot of dough.

1. Go geocaching. Geocaching is when one of you hides an item in a specific location, and then the other one has to find it. If one of you is equipped with a GPS device, geocaching is a fun, modern scavenger hunt!

2. House swap with another couple for the weekend. Trade houses with out-of-town friends and enjoy a weekend getaway without paying for a B&B.

3. Go fishing. If you live in a warmer climate, fishing is a relaxing, inexpensive way to spend the day. For the brave at heart, try ice fishing. But as someone who has sold permits for fishing, I know this can be sort of expensive depending on what permits you get. It's always best to check with your Fish and Game officers first.

4. Tour local landmarks. Drop by your local visitor’s bureau (or visit their Web site) for a brochure about National Historic Landmarks and other sites of interest, and then make a day of touring.

5. Visit a museum. Is there a new exhibit in town, or perhaps a museum you haven’t explored yet? Let your inner artists mingle.

6. Relax in a local coffee shop together. Play board games and get goofy. Or show off your sexy smarts by reading and discussing the newspaper together.

7. Indulge in a home spa for two. Create ambience with candles, music and scented oils.

8. Ride bikes. Enjoy the simple pleasure of a casual bike ride. Find a local wooded, river- or lakefront bike path and cruise with your sweetheart.

9. Take a cruise. Not the tropical kind, the steamboat kind! If you live on a river, a cruise on your local historic steamboat offers something fun and different.

10. Go to a park and share your passions. Is one of you an artist? The other can sit for a portrait. A musician? Serenade your sweetheart. Or take turns reading classic romantic poetry by Lord Byron or Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

11. See a play at your community theatre. These shows are usually less expensive and the seating more intimate (perfect for snuggling).

12. Attend amateur night at a comedy club. Laughing together brings you closer. So why not enjoy some stand-up during amateur night?

13. Wander around a farmers' market or street fair. Hold hands and stroll as you two enjoy a relaxing afternoon of new sights, smells, flavours and sounds.

14. Go to the zoo. It’s fun. It’s different. And often that’s all it takes to make a good date.

15. Play disc golf. Disc golf courses are usually in lovely wooded parks. And all you need to play is a disc-golf disc (available at many sports stores).

16. Stargaze. A cold, clear night can offer the brightest stars. Find a dark field, snuggle up on a big blanket and share some hot chocolate.

17. Share a giant banana split. This date evokes sentiments of a 1950s soda shop. (Besides, you’d probably never be able to eat an entire banana split alone!)

18. Volunteer together. Helping others often opens our own hearts in the process, making volunteering an intimacy booster. So pick a cause you both care about and make an afternoon of it.

19. Attend a lecture or book reading. Lectures and readings are often free and offer fodder for stimulating conversations later over coffee.

20. Take a mystery drive. Hop in the car and pop in some happy tunes. Then start driving, taking only left turns. Where the two of you will end up is a mystery!

21. Less-Than-$20 Date Menu for Two

Caitlin Steininger, a culinary chef trained at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago and co-founder of, created this delicious, romantic menu especially for our readers. Together, you and your sweetheart can prepare this meal at home for less than $20.

Pesto-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin, Fresh Tomato Salad, Parmesan Couscous and Raspberry Bellini Float

1. Rub a pork tenderloin with a small jar of store-bought pesto. Bake at 450° F for 50 minutes.
2. Prepare a package of Parmesan-flavored couscous according to package directions.
3. Slice a large tomato into 1-inch-thick slices and arrange on a small platter. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
4. For dessert, smash fresh raspberries into the bottom of a pretty glass. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and cover with peach soda.

I'm excited to try this recipe because this past grocery day, I bought a pork tenderloin and couscous! And I just LOVE a fresh tomato salad! Yum!!

I'm also jazzed because I FINALLY figured out how to add color to my stinken blog posts. It only took me 100 posts to figure it out!!!!!


Stephanie said...

Genius.Nothing like a little color to jazz it up, haha.
February sounds like its gonna be a great month for you!
That workout sounds ummm fun? I always like a little butt-kicker!
Thanks for the fun date ideas.. what are the chances someone wants to switch houses with me (5 kids included?!)

Mary said...

Glad the WW and exercise are working for you! Keep up the good work.

Tracey said...

Mandi, great ideas and in this economy they are really inexpensive and creative. Congrat's on your 100th post and it looks great. I'll continue to pray for your effort in the weight loss area.. believe me,,I can use some prayers as well. I have always been overweight and hope I can find the strength before I get too old to get it off. Continued success to you!! Blessings to you and your family

The Thompson's said...

Wow those are some great ideas. If only we could get a sitter we could do them. We havent been on a date since our daughter was born. She is 6. :(

Watch for my giveaway!

Love and Prayers,


Jill -Forever and Ever House said...

I soooooo need to re-join Weight Watchers. The Battle of the Bulge is an ongoing issue for for what it is worth, I feel your pain. Good for you for keepin' at it!!

Mandi said...

Congrats on your 100th post!!I am gonna be there in the next week or so.
So glad to see that you are finally seeing some results from WW. I am down another 1.5 lbs this week!
These cheap date ideas are wonderful. I was looking for an economic Valentines idea, so I may just use one of these.
Off to catch up on DH. I bet you watched it Sunday!

Mrs. D said...

Your ideas are great! I have never been to a comedy club, I have always wanted to!

Holly said...

Congrats on 100! Love the new blog design.

Kelly said...

Congratulations on a really clever and fun blog, Mandi. I found you through a Google search I have on Caitlin Steininger who is my partner in Cooking with Caitlin and the chef who's ideas on a date night at home you posted. Thanks for spreading the word on Cooking with Caitlin. Be sure to check out our site,, for lots more twists on the foods already in your pantry and videos of how to execute them.

Happy Valentine's and thank you again!

Anonymous said...

Woo Hoo Girl! Congrats on 100 posts! Will I ever get there?!?! ;) I love the date ideas! Thanks for thinking about everyone's pocket books on that one! There are so many cool places in KC..that I have never been too this is a great reason to start! DATE NIGHT HERE WE COME!

~ Lisa @ AbidingThere~ said...

Congrats on your 100th post! :)

Jessica said...

Congrats on your 100th post!~ Cant wait to see what the giveaway is :) I know it will be good!!


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