Friday, May 26, 2017

How to Save for a Special Date Night + What to Wear

K: Brandon and I love to make a date night feel special. We've mentioned before how we rarely go to the movies or just out to dinner; instead, we prefer dates that hold more meaning. Unfortunately, the dates that hold more meaning can also mean that they're more expensive. For a newlywed couple, or any young couple starting off, it's hard to justify shelling out a lot of cash for your weekly date night. We've put together a few helpful tips for you to ensure that you can save up for a special date night.

1. Week Out, Week In

It wasn't until I started writing this post that I realized Brandon and I have a sort of schedule with our dates. One week, we'll go out for our date night, like we did in these pictures. Whether it's a concert or a nice dinner, it's important to actually go somewhere as a couple. After having a week out, we'll try to make the next week more budget friendly. While there will still be a date, it may be something like an at home movie night (here) or a picnic in the park (here). By alternating weeks, it ensures that you're saving on the "off" weeks and you can feel better about going out when your next week rolls around.

2. No movies for three months

The average movie ticket today costs $8.12. Times that by two and add in the extra costs of popcorn, your favorite candy, and soda. You're looking at a date that costs approximately $30 or more. Imagine if you saved that and didn't go to the movies for two or three months. How much would you save? It could be anywhere between $60 and $120, depending on how frequently you go. Put that money to good use for another date, something that's more unique and special for you as a couple. Brandon absolutely loves Gipsy Kings and I saw that they were coming to San Antonio for one night, right before his birthday. I knew that I should get him tickets as a surprise and I felt fine justifying it. It was special, memorable, and we both like to spend money on that kind of date, versus a simple movie date every month.

3. Plan Ahead

Going on "special" dates requires a bit of planning. I got our concert tickets a month and a half in advance, just to ensure that we'd get good seats. Figure out what's going on in your city that sounds interesting to you. Mark it on your calendar (even if it's a few months in advance). When you see it on your calendar, you'll be more apt to plan your weekend around it and make sure that you can go. It could be something as small as a new restaurant opening or something as big as a concert. What's your idea of a special date?

On Katherine: Leith dress, similar shoes here (on sale!) , World Market earrings (old, new selections here)

On Brandon: Similar shirt, Similar chinos, Tods shoes, Shinola belt, Persol sunglasses

Ladies, I've linked some great date night dresses below and all of them are on sale for less than $100 as a part of the Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale:


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Your Summer Reading List

As an English teacher, it's no surprise that I'm an avid reader and always have been. I grew up going to the library regularly and poured through books faster than I could check them out. I primarily teach the classics in the classroom. This usually means that when I get home, I'm often tired of analyzing Shakespeare or Orwell; instead, I usually reach for something a little lighter in the evenings. Brandon and I both prefer to unwind by reading before bed. We try to do twenty to thirty minutes a night with some evenings being better than others. I've read some incredible books lately and wanted to share them with you as a summer reading list. Since I have summers off, I find that it's my best time for reading. I try to get through one new book every two weeks. Here's what I've read lately and what I'd recommend for your library. For all the guys, many of these are great for you as well. Or, scroll to the end to check out Brandon's preference on magazines:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Our Casual Summer Uniform + 20% Off

K: With just two more weeks of school, I'm getting ready to embrace my summer uniform. For me, I tend to live in dresses during the summer; however, when I found these denim shorts and the softest t shirt ever, I felt casual and relaxed in an outfit that was perfect for running errands. I know that I'll be living in bright colors, denim shorts, and fun accessories like this pom pom scarf for cooler evenings or indoors with blasting AC. I'm excited to share 20% off anything from the adorable boutique Pearls and Rocks. They have so many fun accessories like these tassel earrings or this turquoise bracelet. I had my heart set on the colorful pom poms but would love to know your favorite pick from the site. Just use the code SWAINKYFAMILY at checkout to receive 20% off your order + free shipping on any order over $30.