Date Night Idea - Music Library Exploration

For more date night ideas like this one, check out the Prioritizing Date Night Ebook. This book shares practical tips for making date night happen on a more regular basis, no matter your current stage or situation in life. It also includes over 200 unique date night ideas, just like this one, with all of the inspiration you need to make the date fit your situation in life.


Our first or second Christmas together, I got Joe an iPod. He'd never owned one before and wanted something he could use to listen to music and audio books while he was mowing lawns. After he'd put all of his music into iTunes and synced it to his iPod, I pulled out my iPod and we spent the evening browsing our music libraries. It was a lot of fun to listen to songs that I hadn't listened to in forever and share with Joe the moments that they brought me back to. I enjoyed hearing the songs that he really loved and discovering his secret knowledge of all things music. And then there were the surprising albums that we had in common.

I never knew how much Joe loved music when he was in junior high and high school until we sat down and went through our music libraries together. He owned so many CD's and knew everything there was to know about the history behind songs and bands and artists. Just recently Joe told me about how he used to change the format of his songs to mp3 and put them all on a blank CD. That format allowed him to fit up to 200 songs on one CD and listen to them all on his walkman or in his truck. He and his friend were proud of their discovery for carrying all of their music around on one handy little disc, long before iPods were even a thing.


If you're looking for a relaxing at home date that encourages connection, this is the date night activity for you! Grab your favorite takeout, and get cozy on the couch. You could also find a local scenic overlook and watch the sunset while you listen to songs in the back of your car. Make sure you have your phone or your iPod, two sets of headphones and a headphone splitter like this one (affiliate link), so you can both fully experience the great music that you listen to! You will be surprised by the things that you learn about your spouse and how much the music you listen to connects the two of you as a couple.

9 ways to make the most of your music library date

Listen to the first album you ever bought. The first CD that I ever bought was Britney Spears 'Baby One More Time' followed by N*Sync and Backstreet Boys. 

Listen to the songs that remind you how much you love each other. Do you ever listen to a song that makes you think about your spouse or your relationship and smile? Download those songs and listen to them together. You might even choose to dance to them.

Listen to a random album that the two of you have in common. When Joe and I went through our music libraries, we both had a couple of the same Billy Gillman CD's, I was obsessed with his music in junior high. And then we both had the Cascada CD, the soundtrack of my college days living away from home.

Listen to your wedding song. We didn't have a wedding song... well, we jokingly had one, but I don't remember if it was played at our wedding. However, I know that most people had a wedding song and first dance, so put it on and reminisce on your wedding day together.

Listen to each of your top three favorite songs. Picking a favorite song for me is hard, because it depends on my mood, the genre, and the time frame we're talking about. Do your best to narrow your favorites down to three, or you could pick your top five if that's too difficult.

Listen to the song that you listen to when you need a pick me up. When you're feeling down or have had a bad day, what song do you turn to? Share that with your spouse and tell them why it makes you feel better.

Listen to the song that inspires and motivates you to be better. I have an entire playlist filled with songs that make me want to be the best me that I can be. Those are usually the ones that I listen to when I'm running or having a 'blah' day. A person's motivational song choice can tell you a lot about the.

Listen to the songs that remind you of moments in your relationship. Was there a song that was playing during your first kiss? What about the first time you saw each other? What song was on in the car after you decided to marry each other? Music has a way of taking us back and reminding us of every detail of those moments that we spent together.

Listen to one of your libraries on shuffle for 15 minutes, then switch and listen to the other person's library on shuffle. We love doing this during a long car ride. I used to turn on a playlist and lay on my bed staring at the ceiling while I listen. I feel like everyone is so busy now and rarely takes time to just be. I love doing this and enjoying the lyrics and rhythm of the music.


This date night could also turn into a smaller, daily or weekly ritual to help you unwind together. It could take the place of one of your nights sitting on the couch to watch TV together. You'll love the simple variety that this activity adds to your routine!

I'd love to hear about your music date night after you've gone on it! Comment below and tell me which of the suggestions from above you tried and if you learned anything new about your spouse.

A fun idea for date night at home or out and about if you choose. Bring your music library along and share some favorites with each other.

The Best Shows on Netflix to Binge Watch Together Right Now

It is our goal to be intentional about making time to work on our marriage every single day. That being said, at the end of each day, you'll usually find us curled up together in bed, watching our current Netflix binge. After we've finished our work day, cleaned up the kitchen and the kids are in bed, we're usually both exhausted. Some nights, we love to sit back and relax and when we do, we love having a show to watch together.

Joe loves Netflix because you can watch entire seasons of shows on your own schedule rather than waiting a week or more for the next episode to come out. We've also really come to love Netflix originals. A lot of couples have their "show" that they watch together as a couple. We love being able to quote shows in our everyday life and love discussing and getting the next piece of the story line together.

Read: Date Night Movies You'll Both Enjoy!


I looked through everything that is currently available on Netflix and added shows that we truly loved to this list. As shows are added and removed in the future and as we find more shows that we found binge worthy, I will do my best to keep it up to date. There are a lot of shows that we've loved in the past but that are no longer available on Netflix and that's a bummer! Whether you're looking to just watch and episode or two or binge watch and entire season (or more), I'm certain you'll find something on this list that you haven't seen yet and will love!


The Good Place - If you haven't seen this show yet, you need to add it to you queue pronto! It showed up as a suggestion for me randomly one day and I finished the first season embarrassingly fast and quickly invited Joe to watch it with me. I'm eagerly awaiting the second season to hit Netflix! This is a quirky, light-hearted show that had me laughing until I cried. "What the fork?!"

iZombie - We started watching this one because it sounded a bit like one of our favorite movies, Warm Bodies. It's a fun little crime show with some quirky side story lines. If you like crime dramas, you'll like this comedic

The Office - If you haven't watched this series yet, you are missing out. Some of the characters will drive you bonkers and others will feel like your best friends. We can never watch this show too many times.

Parks & Rec - We resisted watching this show for a while and started it multiple times before finally skipping through the first season and loving the rest of the series. I think we've watched the series twice and a few episodes more than that. Joe quotes Ron Swanson often.

Jim Gaffigan - This is our favorite comedian and we laughing hysterically through every single one of his shows. He has a few different ones on Netflix right now; Cinco, Mr. Universe, King Baby (our current favorite), Obsessed, and Beyond the Pale. Watch them all!



Imposters - I discovered this one a few weeks ago and have already watched the entire first season twice through, once on my own and once with Joe. I suggested it to my siblings and they've all watched and loved it too! The story line of this show drew me in and kept me interested and surprised through the entire season!

Granite Flats - I'll be honest, I've never seen this one, but I saw it on Netflix when I was browsing and knew that I needed to add it. This is a show that my family used to watch (after I'd moved out) every Sunday and I know one that they really liked. Joe and I may be adding it to our list soon.

Madame Secretary - I like this one, but Joe is very particular about his politically based shows, so it isn't one that he has watched with me yet. If you like shows like House of Cards or West Wing, this might be one that you would like as well!

Once Upon a Time - I am SO behind on this show! I started watching this one on my own, pulled Joe into it after a few seasons were on Netflix (I would watch the current episodes and also watch the older stuff with him) but we stopped watching for some reason. I'm hoping to start up again soon and get caught up on what has been happening in Storybrook. I LOVE how they tie so many fairytales and stories into this show.

Parenthood - This is another show that if you haven't watched, you really need to. It's a relate-able show with a family that you will fall in love with. If you've been watching This is Us and liking it, I've heard the two compared to each other. It's one of those tear jerking, feel good shows that you can't get enough of and are sad about when it's over.

Longmire - Joe loves this Netflix original and was really bummed when they announced that they won't be making anymore seasons after this last one. A small town sheriff who solves crimes and seems to be always feuding with the local Indian reservation. I need to sit down and watch this one all the way through with Joe.

Hawaii Five-0 - I feel like this is similar to an NCIS or CSI type show, but it takes place in Hawaii and has a little more humor. It's been a while since we watched this show, I think we need to start the series over again.



Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - My friend Charlene recommended this to me and I'm excited to start watching it with Joe, I think it will be the next one that we start because I know he will love it!

Blacklist - We got so excited when the most recent season of this show hit Netflix. It's one of those crime and suspense shows and such a great one!

The Flash - Joe watches this one on his own, but I always sit down and join him when I walk in the room. If you like Marvel movies, you'll like this show!

A Series of Unfortunate Events - I read these books as a kid and have heard nothing but good about this show. Joe never read the books but I'm hoping that he'll like the shows. And no, we're behind so we haven't watched it yet.

The Walking Dead - When we first started watching this show, I told Joe "I can't watch anymore after this" in the middle of the first episode and then we got to the end of the episode and I couldn't not watch the next one. This show is fantastically done and the one that Joe watches every single week rather than waiting for the entire season to hit Netflix like he does with most shows.

Reality TV

The Great British Baking Show - I have a couple of friends who not only watch this show together, but they've done their own Great British Baking Show at home with their kids. They posted pictures on social media and it looked so fun! If you're fans, get a recipe online and bake something together after you finish watching it!

Zumbo's Just Desserts - I recently discovered this one and I am obsessed!! There are a lot of different cooking shows out there but this one is one of my favorites. It's unique and fun and I got fully invested in the bakers and totally knew which one was going to win the first season by the third or fourth week.

The World's Most Extraordinary Homes - This is one of Joe's new favorites, as of this past weekend. It's a really cool show that walks you through four amazing homes per season. This has given me lots of ideas and dreams for our current home and our future forever home as well.

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee - This one has every comedian you can think of, driving in a cool car and getting coffee with Jerry Seinfeld. We picked and chose which episodes of this show based on which comedians were featured and really loved it. 


What are some of your favorite shows to watch together as a couple, whether they are on Netflix or not? Are there any must watch shows that you would add to my Netflix list?

The best shows to binge watch together on Netflix right now.

4 Ways to Incorporate a Puzzle on Your Next Date Night

For more date night ideas like this one, check out the Prioritizing Date Night Ebook. This book shares practical tips for making date night happen on a more regular basis, no matter your current stage or situation in life. It also includes over 200 unique date night ideas, just like this one, with all of the inspiration you need to make the date fit your situation in life.

If you're looking for a quiet night at home, or something that you can do together every night over the course of a week or two, building a puzzle might be fun for the two of you! To prepare for this date, head to the toy section of your favorite store or go to your local dollar store. Pick out a puzzle or two or three that you like and get to work. I have a few ideas to change up your puzzle date. You could pull out each of these ideas on different occasions and make four separate nights out of it.


Enjoy a quiet night at home together completing your favorite puzzle. Sit down with your favorite takeout or dessert, some music, and your puzzle. Putting the puzzle together.... together... gives you the opportunity to practice your teamwork as you work together toward an end goal.

Competitive Speed Race

Pick out two puzzles with the same number of pieces and with a picture that's similarly difficult, then race to see who can complete their puzzle first. Make sure you've determined your stakes ahead of time. Winner gets a foot massage, loser does the dishes, winner picks dinner on your next date night, etc.

Without the Picture Guide

Building your puzzle with the picture on the box as a guide is hard enough sometimes, what would happen if you removed the help? You could do this one of two ways; 1. Grab a random puzzle off the shelf and try to look at the picture as little as possible, dump the contents on the table then hid the puzzle box in the other room while you work to complete it. 2. Have someone else pick out a puzzle and purchase it for you (reimburse them of course) and dump all of the pieces into a zipped bag before giving it to you, then you'll have no clue what it's supposed to look like until you complete it. The puzzle may take you a few days or weeks to put together, but it will give you something fun to do every night before bed.

With a Group

Puzzles make a fun group date as well! Pick up a large, millions of pieces puzzle that you can work on all together. Or for a twist on the competitive speed race, pick up a bunch of puzzles that each couple can pick from and then put your puzzle together in a race against the other couples in the room.

For a keepsake from your date, purchase some puzzle glue and then frame the puzzle and put it in your room or use it to decorate another area of your home. As your puzzle skills grow, grab a puzzle with more pieces and work your way up to the biggest puzzle you can find. Who knows, maybe puzzles will become your new hobby!

Puzzle Date.png

25 Ideas for Simple Family Fun

This past weekend Joe took Bensen on a "man date" because Bensen was in need of some quality one-on-one time with his dad and because we are trying to make dates with mom or dad a regular thing in our family. They went to dinner and sat by the window where they could count the trucks and trailers driving past. Then they made a stop at Home Depot to pick up a can of paint I needed for some touch ups around the house. There Bensen experienced the greatest thing in his life so far, he sat on a John Deere mower. When he showed me the picture of him on the mower, he got so excited, and he got just as excited every time he showed the picture to everyone when we were with family on Sunday. There were giggles and squeals and so much excitement that his little body would shake because the energy had nowhere to go.

Sitting on the riding mower display for a few minutes and going nowhere was the highlight of Bensen's weekend. It was a simple thing but it left a big impression. He's been carrying his own John Deere toys with him everywhere, they're his current most prized possessions. It made me realize that for every big outing or fun adventure I plan for our family, I can plan a dozen simple ones, because my kids and my husband will love them just as much.


As a Family


Bensen's very favorite thing right now is to have a picnic and watch a movie. We do this at least once a week, sometimes twice if I'm feeling extra fun. His very favorite is when we lay a blanket out on the floor and everyone sits together. During the summer months, we love to eat on a blanket outside. We can cook a picnic, pull together cheese and crackers or pick up chicken nuggets from the drive-thru and he loves them all just because it is a picnic.

Go on a Walk

There's a trail close to our house that we love to frequent when the weather is nice. We've recently started letting the kids get out of the stroller and run when we hit the trail. They love exploring their surroundings up close and personal. It makes the walk last twice as long, but they have so much fun, I don't mind. It usually gives Joe and I more time to talk as well because the kids are running ahead a ways and we're tagging along behind, enjoying watching them go.

Go to the Park

Bensen loves to go to the park with everyone in the family. He loves eating at the picnic table, playing on the toys and running around in the grass. It's his favorite when we do it all together and when everyone is involved in the activity.

Make a Treat

Whether you make caramel popcorn, bake brownies, make cookies, roast s'mores, or make ice cream sundaes, there is something so fun for kids when it comes to working together in the kitchen to make something. Assign part of the task to each member of the family and 

Movie Night

Our kids are old enough now that they are starting to enjoy watching movies. They love cuddling up on the couch as a family in our pajamas or comfy clothes and watching one of their favorites or being introduced to a new classic. We're finding that as parents, we're excited to introduce our kids to some of the favorite Disney and Pixar movies that we've grown up with or that have come out in past years that we've really enjoyed.

Seasonal Activity

What simple activity can you do to enjoy the current season and everything that it brings to your area. In the spring, we love walking around to see the flowers blooming in everyone's yards. We also love going on picnics and playing at the park when the weather starts to warm up. During summer, we explore local festivals, go on late night walks and play outside in the water. In the fall we love to get outside and crunch leaves, and snuggle up inside to watch the rain. We spend a lot of time indoors during the winter, due to freezing temperatures and crappy air quality, but we still find ways to have fun. Going outside to play in freshly fallen snow, drinking hot chocolate, baking cookies and family game nights are some of our favorites.

Go to Grandma's House

We go to grandma's house every weekend and spend time with all of the family that is there. But there's something fun about going to grandma's when nobody else is there and having them all to yourself. Our kids love their grandparents and we love that they live close enough that we can see them often and our kids can build a relationship with them. Bring a picnic or dessert and show your kids all of the fun things that you enjoyed at your house when you were growing up. 

Visit the Pet Store

When we were doing our Christmas shopping this past year, we stopped by the pet store to grab a couple of gifts for Howie. The kids were all shopped out at that point and just wanted to run around and play. Joe took them back to see the fish, birds and small rodents and they were entertained for a good 15 minutes and would have stayed there longer if we'd let them. Emmy loved the birds and Bensen was intrigued by the tanks full of fish. It was something different than they're used to but so fun to see. 


As Parent/Child

Readathons in a Fort

I have done this is the past and want to do it even more in the future. We love reading books in our house and do it often. One way to make that activity a little extra special is to build a fort, fill it with pillows and blankets, bring a bunch of snacks and read with flashlights in your fort. I'm not talented when it comes to fort building, so we usually grab the biggest blanket we have and drape it over our kitchen table and chairs. Or we climb into the biggest box that we can find (we keep a few from purchases we've made.

Go Out to Eat

Kids love going out to eat, and it's the perfect opportunity to make them feel special and get some one on one connection with them. Let them pick the restaurant, order a kids meal, and the focus 100% on them. Color on the kid's menu/placemat together, talk about their favorite topics and enjoy getting to know them on a more personal level.

Get Ice Cream

One of my favorite dates with Bensen was when we went out for ice cream cones. We sat and talked while we ate our kiddie cones and then he showed off for me on the play place. It cost me less than $1 and Bensen talked about it for weeks.

Play at the Playground

I take my kids to the park a lot, and I'm sure you do too, but when was the last time that you spent a large chunk of your time playing on the playground with them. I'm a kid at heart and love the idea of a little playground date with my kids. Sliding down the slides, running across the swinging bridges and swinging on the swings. 

Get the Mail

Is anyone else's child obsessed with checking the mailbox? Bensen loves to check grandma's mail at the end of her driveway and he loves to walk to the end of our circle to check the community mailbox. Sometimes I take both kids, but a lot of times I make this a mom and Bensen activity because I know how much he loves it. It takes five minutes out of my day but it means the world to him.

Bake Cookies

There is nothing that Bensen loves more than helping me in the kitchen. He is always grabbing a chair and standing next to the counter so he can see whatever I am doing. When we bake one-on-one, he loves being able to dump the ingredients, start the mixer, and watch the cookies while they are baking in the oven. We like cake mix cookies because they only have a few ingredients so they are easy for toddlers to help put together. If your kids are older, make your favorite cookies or try out a new recipe together.

Go to the Library

With two toddlers, the library can be a crazy place to go, but going to the library often is something that I want to make a priority. My family would go to the library every week or two when I was growing up and books were a huge thing in our home. Both of my kids love books and I want to continue to foster that love. As we make mom/dad and me dates a more regular thing in our house, I want to take my kids to the library to sit and read a pile of books of their choice every so often.

Play a Game

Bensen's current favorite game is Candyland, even though he hasn't quite grasped how to play it. He loves looking at all of the cards and moving the playing pieces around the game board. When we play games together, I'm mostly an observer, but that one-on-one time when he has my undivided attention is his favorite.


As a Couple

Cook Dinner

While one of us in the kitchen making a meal, the other is usually entertaining kids and wrangling them to the table so they can eat. And when we do dinner at home for date night, we usually opt for takeout. But I know a lot of couples who love to make dinner together, splitting up the tasks and listening to podcasts or music while they do. Joe isn't a big fan of baking or cooking, so he usually opts out of joining me, but when we're grilling for dinner, he's right there in the midst of it all. He keeps an eye on the grill while I put together the sides. I love that we're working toward something yummy together and get to talk while we do it.

Grab Dessert

Sometimes a simple dessert date can be a lot of fun. Whether you grab ice cream, visit your favorite restaurant just for the dessert menu or find a great place near you that serves a unique treat. Some places near us have delicious dessert waffles, ice cream cookie sandwiches, donuts with ice cream and more!

Go for a Drive

There is a canyon near us that is gorgeous in every season and I love to drive up by it. I have a route that I follow that takes me on a good hour long drive. Car rides like that are great for talking and reconnecting. We also love to look at all of the houses up on the hill and day dream about what our future forever home will look like and what features we want to include.

Star Gaze

This is a classic! Drive out to somewhere away from the city lights, find a secluded park or lay a blanket out in your own yard. We have a few favorite star gazing locations and love to watch the sunset then wait for the stars to come out.

Outdoor Movie

Movies in the park are one of my favorite summer traditions, but they're only specific days of the week and they sometimes aren't showing a movie that we're interested in watching. For a date night at home, we can blow up our air mattress and put it out in the yard with lots of blankets and pillows. Then we can watch a movie on one of our laptops or our small TV. I've also gone out in a truck to the middle of nowhere and piled blankets into the back of the truck and watched movies that way!

Try a New Restaurant

One of the things that we've been doing a lot this year is eating out at places that we've never been before. It has been fun to seek out restaurants that aren't our norm, and we've discovered some great, locally owned places in our search. We make note of restaurants that we see when we're driving around and then plan to come back and try them out later. We order appetizers and split main dishes so that we get a taste of everything. It's always yummy and a lot of fun!

Watch YouTube Videos

It's easy to get sucked down the YouTube hole, but fun when you do it together. We love music videos, funny viral videos and comedian routines. Whatever you're in the mood for, start with something that you know well and see what related videos it finds you next. You could be entertained for as short or as long a time as you want.

Look at Old Pictures/Videos

When I was growing up, we'd pull out our family videos or slides every so often and look through them. It didn't matter how many times we looked at them, we always enjoyed them. With digital cameras and phones, it's easier than ever to look back at the videos and pictures that you've taken over the year. I love Facebook memories, so I know that I'd love going through all of our old pictures and reliving those memories together.

Plan Something Fun for the Future

We love to sit down together and plan for goals that we want to accomplish in the future. Some days we plan a big vacation that we want to take years in the future, other days we plan for a trip that we can go on in the coming year. We love to plan for our future house or for things that we're going to do together after we've retired. It's simple and can be done any time, even if you aren't able to do that thing right away.


I definitely want to plan camping trips, outings to museums, visits to trampoline parks and similar play places, exploring local festivals and a lot of other fun adventures. But my ultimate goal is to make memories as a family and find ways to connect and build our relationship every single day. Sometimes the simple things are the best way to do that!

25 Ideas for Simple Family Fun

The Importance of Praising Your Spouse in Front of the Kids

There are a lot of great pieces of advice out there for how to show your children an example of what a healthy marriage relationship looks like. One suggestion I hear a lot is to be affectionate with each other and to not be afraid of grossing your kids out (keeping it appropriate of course). Another thing that I've heard often is that children should see their parents talk through a disagreement and come out the other side having worked out their differences and come to an agreement. On a similar note, I've heard people suggest that although children should not see their parents fight and argue, they should see examples of apology and forgiveness. Something that came to me a few weeks ago was that our children also need to hear us praise each other. 

The other day I walked into the kitchen where Bensen was sitting at the table with Joe. A few minutes later, Bensen said, "Dad is a big deal!" Then he and Joe gave each other knuckles. I just laughed because Joe being "a big deal" is a running joke in our household and really with anyone who knows Joe. Later I found myself wishing that instead of laughing, I had agreed with Bensen and in that moment said, "Yes, dad is a pretty big deal." Because Joe is a big deal in my eyes, and the most amazing man I've met. I married him after all, didn't I? He had to be something special to become my closest confidant and my partner in life.

In the little things, we should praise our spouse and we should let our children hear that praise. When your spouse is interacting with the kids, you could say things like, "Daddy is the most fun story reader!" or "The snacks that mommy makes are always so delicious." For older kids you could say things like, "You should ask dad to help you study for your history test, he knows all of the stories and dates better than anyone I know." or "I'm excited for our upcoming vacation! Your mom has put a lot of effort into planning this and I know it's going to be a lot of fun because she always finds the best activities!" Focus on the positive talents and traits that you notice in your spouse, and share those so your kids start to notice them as well.

And in the big things especially, we should let our children know how valuable our spouse is in our life. If your spouse gets a raise, make a point to tell your kids about it, and how proud you are of their mom/dad for working hard and how well deserved that raise is. If your children have questioned something that your spouse has chosen to do, or the way that they are parenting, support them with praise and let your kids (and your spouse) know how much you appreciate them as your partner in parenting and how much you respect the decisions they've made because you know that they have your family's best interests in mind. 

Praising our spouse not only lets our children know how much we value them, but also speaks to that words of affirmation need that I believe every person has. Your children deserve to hear how highly you think of each other and your spouse deserves to hear how amazing they are. Don't just assume that they know how you feel! There are so many components to a healthy relationship and our children should see them all. We don't need to sugarcoat and share with them only the happiest moments. But they do deserve to see how much we love each other and hear all of the things that we love the most.