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Love & Spirituality

10 Home date night ideas for parents

10 Home date night ideas

If you’re like me and your spare money goes on lotto tickets and cappuccinos you may not have a lot left in the biscuit tin for date night. Scoopon candlelit dinners have been done to death and don’t even suggest a bubble bath, who has a bath big enough to fit two adults in? Well if you also have a small bath then you’re in luck my friend, here are my 10 Home date night ideas for poor people:

Outdoor fire pit

I love watching fire, I like poking it with sticks, watching things burn, It’s mesmerising and calms me. Get a bottle of wine to share or roast some marshmallows. Just don’t put your ugg boots too close or they will melt and obvs don’t set the house on fire guys. That’s a mood killer.

Play songs to each other

I’m not talking corny romantic Romeo and Juliet type stuff, I’m assuming you’re out of the honeymoon phase, I’m talking year by year what songs you were into. I went through a rage against the machine phase, a Hanson phase, a Dr Dre phase, I didn’t discriminate. You’ll be amazed at what you might learn about your partner and it’s fun being able to reminisce about what would now be considered ‘old songs’ especially if you grew up in the 80’s like I did.

Compete

Not in a game of thrones kill each other kind of way but in a friendly flirty banter kind of way. My husband loves nothing more than to wind me up and I take the bait every time. Call me gullible Glenn if you wish. I love to banter and I love to laugh but I can only compete in games where there is no clear indicator of the winner. For example; have a pizza making challenge to see who makes the better pizza. It doesn’t matter who the winner is, (clearly it’s me) it’s the process that should be fun.

Meal prep

Now this is certainly not romantic unless you’re partner is the hug-from-behind-and-kiss-sensually-on-the-neck kinda guy. Sorta like the movie Ghost but more dangerous if knives are involved, you get the idea. So if you don’t have a Patrick Swayze in your life, you can put on some good music and silly dance together or simply just talk without interruption and catch up on the day. By the time you’re finished maybe your partner might even appreciate how annoying planning and cooking meals are. He might even stop calling you during the day to ask what’s for dinner because it’s already sorted.

10 Home date night ideas

Board Games

Our (my) favorite is Taboo. The aim of the game is for your partner to guess the word on the card you picked. You need to describe that word without saying key words. For example; the word ‘propose’ you need to describe without saying the words: wedding, marriage, ring, love, promise. So I would say ‘this word is the reason you tried to take my dad to coffee to ask for my hand and he said no because he’d already had too many coffees so you didn’t end up asking him for another 2 months’. The closer you are with the person you play with, the funnier it is. I don’t suggest playing games like monopoly if you have a temper, throwing your mortgaged properties on the table and yelling ‘fine you won, are you happy, I’m shit’ isn’t ideal.

Plan your life after winning the lotto

This is a particular favourite of mine. I love talking about when we’re going to win the lotto and planning what to do with the money. My husband looks up properties that he can disappear to in the middle of the bush while I look up luxury real estate on the river. It’s amazing how fussy you can be when you have a ten million dollar budget. We decided recently that we will have fresh pressed juice delivered daily and a chef that prepares all our meals. We’ll have a personal trainer that trains us in our own gym but we’ll do our own cleaning and gardening because we don’t want to be out of touch with reality. Insert laughing emoji, I’m totally never cleaning the floors again.

Watch your home movies together

Not those kind of home movies sicko. I’ve seen the baby videos on my phone so many times but there are so many photos and videos captured on my husbands phone that I’ve never seen before or totally forgotten about. Last night we went through them all and he has some amazing ones, some not so great either like the ones he secretly took of me lying on the couch with my mouth open, hand in a packet of chips. He said adoringly ‘You were so beautiful pregnant’. If only that were true, the photo was taken 9 months post baby. Oh how we laughed.

Fondue

I love melted cheese and chocolate is totally my home girl. Cut up stuff and dip it in that soft runny gooey perfection until you’re both so full you roll into bed and don’t even kiss. Tip: If the idea of date night is to ‘get in the mood’ then ‘do it’ first because 1) you’ll be too full after the fondue and 2) you’ll be excited to eat the fondue so you’ll be extra keen to ‘do it’.

Draw or paint a portrait of each other

You can either be a good artist and impress your partner or you could be really shit like me and it is the funniest thing you have every seen in your life. It’s actually better the shitter you are. Nudity optional on this one.

Pretend you’re on Gogglebox

I basically do this every night without my husband even knowing. He’s used to me talking through TV shows and the bad habit has actually rubbed off on him too. He says some seriously funny stuff, sometimes even more than 3 things a day which is usually his limit. Side note: This will not work if either party is watching their favourite show and trying to concentrate. If the TV is paused and rewound or the volume is turned up you know you need to zip it.

So there you have it. Let me know your home date night ideas for poor people over on my Instagram @thatgypsymum. 

10 Home date night ideas
Translation: “Help me, I’m poor”
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Love & Spirituality

I bought my wedding dress before I was engaged

Most people say it’s bad luck for the groom to see the wedding dress before the big day so I really hope that’s not true!

One day I was having brunch with two of my best friends and we decided to have a look at some dress shops. We went into a nice boutique and among the formal gowns I saw THE dress. It was Eileen Kirby and it was what I had always imagined my wedding dress to be. It didn’t take a lot of encouragement for me to try it on and when I did it fit perfectly. I looked at the others with the biggest smile on my face and we decided I should get it. I asked the lady who worked there if I could put it on lay-by, she said sure then asked when the wedding was. I had to admit I wasn’t engaged ‘but I do have a boyfriend’ I said sounding desperate as they come. The look on her face was priceless, she told me the dress needed to be paid off and collected within 6 weeks. I assured her that I definitely would be coming back to get the dress.

Wedding Dress

Four weeks later I went with my friends from work to collect the dress. They all oohed and aahed about how lovely it was. A few giggles about when I was going to wear it but I just knew I would be getting married one day and this was the dress I would be married in. I was so excited to have it and carefully laid it down in the boot of my car. On the way home from work I was going to drop it off at my parents house but it was really stormy and traffic was bad, I didn’t want to have an accident with my beloved dress in the back so I decided to drive straight home and worry about it in the morning.

The next morning my boyfriend called me at 5am, he had just left the house to go to work so I woke up in a daze. He said the boot of my car was open and water was pouring inside but he closed it. Nothing wakes you up in the morning like your boyfriend discovering a secret wedding dress! So my heart started beating really really fast and I asked him what was in the boot. He said ‘Some white dress in a plastic bag’. I said it must be my grandmothers clothes (it did have a vintage look to it). He didn’t even question me! Phew I was off the hook. Haha my secret wedding dress was still a secret!

I immediately ran outside to get the dress, luckily the plastic cover (not bag) had protected it so it was only slightly damp. I got ready for work and on the way dropped the dress off at my parents house. I hung it up in their stairwell to dry. My parents were pretty much like WTF are you doing with a wedding dress and mum was really concerned I was setting myself up for disappointment. I was really defensive ‘he already has the ring!’ but looking back now buying a wedding dress before a proposal was pretty ambitious, even for me.

I went to work and as I sat at my desk, my boyfriend called again and I started to panic. Basically he was ringing to make sure that I was at work because he was worried my car battery could be flat from the boot light being on all night. Phew he had no idea.

Luckily the dress was fine, he proposed a year later, the wedding shoes I had bought (6 months before I got the dress) matched, we got married and so far happily ever after!

wedding shoes

 

 

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Love & Spirituality

Engagement ring drama

Some of you may have read about the proposal in March. Well since then I have had a bit of engagement ring drama.

In April I was at work and when I got home I realised a diamond was missing. I was so upset, I had only been given the ring 6 weeks earlier! I took the ring into the Jewelry store the next day. The woman who helped me said that I needed to be really careful with the ring and take care not to knock it and they usually don’t replace the diamonds but they would this time because she knew I hadn’t had the ring long. I felt like I was being blamed for the diamond falling out and felt really bad even though I was sure I hadn’t knocked it. Also aren’t engagement rings meant to last forever?!?

The following week I collected the ring and was warned again to be careful with it. In June I was at dinner and discovered the same diamond had fallen out again! The next night I was at the theatre and when I was leaving I realised a second diamond was missing so I went back in and was able to find the diamond on the floor. It must have fallen out while clapping. That’s when I stopped wearing the engagement ring. I went on my honeymoon and was sad that I couldn’t wear it.

I took the ring into the jewelry store at the end of July, I had put it off because I was anxious about being blamed for the diamonds falling out and getting the same woman who I had seen the previous time. Luckily I was helped by a lovely manager who was so wonderful to me. I explained the purchase of the ring, the re-sizing (by the time my husband proposed the ring didn’t fit anymore) and the diamond falling out previously. She looked at the ring and explained to me that the instruction from the manufacturer was that it shouldn’t be re-sized. She was apologetic and very kind to me and asked if I would be willing to exchange it for a different ring. I was really upset but said yes and I would come back with my husband as I didn’t want to pick a ring by myself.

I went back to the store with my husband to meet with the manager, she told me the same ring had been returned to another store due to a diamond falling out. As it had never been re-sized, she believed there was a manufacturers fault. I said I would be OK with looking at different rings but when we looked in the cabinet I became overwhelmed because I didn’t like many of them and the ones I did try on didn’t fit with my wedding band or weren’t as good as my current engagement ring. I burst into tears which was really embarrassing and I felt so selfish (first world problems), she was really understanding and said she would arrange for my ring to be couriered to a different jeweler to see if he would be able to help.

At the end of August I finally got my ring back but it only lasted one hour until a diamond fell out!

They are going to custom make me a new ring which will take 6 – 8 weeks to arrive and I can wear my original ring (with the missing diamond) in the meantime. I asked if I could get the ring in a smaller size because my current one was too big and they said yes – I went back into the store and the ring wasn’t even the size it was meant to be – no wonder it didn’t fit! I should get my ring mid October. It will be 7 months since I got the ring and the first time it fits (as long as my fingers don’t swell during pregnancy). I just hope it last forever like they’re meant to!

 

engagement ring

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Review

Honeymoon: First time cruise tips

I returned from my honeymoon a couple of days ago and went on my first cruise, it was amazing! If you have ever been on a cruise before then you will know there are loads of committed cruisers out there. When you meet people on the ship, one of the first questions will be ‘Is this your first cruise?’ which is shortly followed by ‘I’ve been on… (insert number here) cruises’. They wear the number of cruises like a badge of honor, you can see the pride on their face as they answer. One couple I met had been on over 20 cruises and told me ‘It gets in your blood’. One woman even claimed to have a friend that lived on a cruise ship! Now that’s a life.

Now I know what your thinking – that cruises are just for old people and trust me, there are old people on there but there is so much more to a cruise. I want to share my thoughts on my first experience as a ‘cruisling’.

– There are definitely ‘old people’ but not that many. I expected shaky old nanna’s with zimmer frames (there were a couple) but we found there were lots of young families, honeymooners and middle aged couples. There were even a few people in their early 20’s that all grouped together and enjoyed some holiday flirtation. My husband had to tell me to stop watching them as I looked creepy.

– Kids will love it. We saw the end of a kids talent night and were surprised at how many kids there were as it wasn’t school holidays. I did see one man constantly around the ship, loading up on cocktails during the day then wobbling around the nightclub at 2am. I was surprised at the end of the cruise to see him with his 3 children, the kids club must be amazing because he certainly had a great time.

– Not everything is free. I know this seems like an obvious one but you get a ‘cruise card’ at the commencement of the trip that is either linked to your credit card or you can put a cash balance on there which you can top up as you go along. It can be easy to forget that you are spending real money when you swipe your card for drinks, coffee, cakes, bingo, tours, photos or duty free shopping. Maybe get a printout each night so you know how your spending is going. I had a facial at the beauty spa and had a major blowout on beauty products. I really did need all the products she recommended. My skin was dehydrated!

– Be photo ready. At every opportunity they will try to take photos of you in the hope that you will see them on display and buy them at an exorbitant price. We would have had our photo taken about 40 times and one of those photos was amazing (I could tell they had photo shopped my skin!) so we I fell for it and bought one. Great opportunity on cocktail night to get a family portrait – cue the cute kids with bow-ties.

– Facebook stalk in advance. Before you go on a cruise you may be encouraged to join an event page, a lot of cruisers join it and it is a good place to ask for tips and information that you need to know that the 20+ cruisers will be gagging to answer. There may even be information on there that you didn’t need to know but are glad you learned. Join the facebook group then read the comments so you know who to avoid!  If you read a nuffy comment you should remember their face so you know to avoid conversations with them if you meet them on the trip. Nothing worse than being seated next to someone in the private dining room and having the most painful and slow 3 course meal of your life.

– Expect theme nights. We received an email before we left telling us to bring white clothes with us so we did but I also read on a facebook event to expect a formal cocktail night, possibly a pirate, island and country & western night so I packed prepared. Except for the pirate night. I don’t like pirates.

– Prepare to EAT! There was an all you can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at the buffet or you could eat a 3 course meal in the dining room. All this food was inclusive in the ticket price! If you do find yourself hungry between meal times you can buy additional food from various places on the ship.

– Plan or go with the flow – Each night you receive a booklet advising what the scheduled activities are for the next day. Movies are shown, there are live performances, we had a ‘mentalist’, comedians, a law of attraction specialist (right up my alley!), trivia nights, bingo and wooden horse racing. You can plan every minute of every day or you can go with the flow and look up the list when you want something to do. Just make sure you read the list the night before so you don’t miss out on something you’ll really enjoy.

-Casino payout. We went to the casino once, I put $20 onto a blackjack machine. Played for a while and chose the ‘cash out’ option. On the last night we went and got a copy of our total expenditure bill and I noticed the money hadn’t gone back on. Turns out you have to go back to the casino and get the cashier to give you cash. I wonder how many people got caught out with that one!

– Take seasick tablets just in case, even if you don’t have a history of sea or motion sickness. Despite only having one glass of wine on the first night I felt drunk because of the movement. People might tell you ‘you can’t feel a thing’ but if you haven’t cruised before there will be times where you notice the movement. It takes a couple of nights to get used to it but the nausea subsides. If you don’t then the medic on board can give you an injection. Just the thought of the movement on the boat has now made me feel a little dizzy – takes you a while to get used to being on flat ground afterwards!!

One final thought I am leaving you with is to think about the places you are going and see if there is anything you can take for those less fortunate than you are. Travelling is all about adventure, fun and relaxing but it also often reminds us how lucky we are to be living the lives we do. Our trip stopped at Pentecost Island and we were lucky enough to visit the school. I donated money but people arrived with cases full of clothes and school resources that I didn’t have the forethought to take. If you know of anyone heading to Vanuatu then this is a list I got from the school for supplies they need.

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Our cruise was through P&O Cruises. We were on the Pacific Dawn which has 2000 passengers but I would wait until the Pacific Eden or Pacific Aria is launched because they look amazing. I wouldn’t go as far to say that cruising is now in my blood but I definitely see the value in it. It was a great holiday. I might actually look up new cruises now… maybe it is in my blood!

 

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