6/07/2014

7 Touching Father’s Day Gifts That Will Leave Dad Speechless… #2 is Genius!

categories: Date Idea, How To:

“Some people don’t believe in heroes, but they haven’t met my dad.”

If your dad is your hero, don’t you think he deserves a hero’s gift this Father’s Day? Here are 7 unique ways to show your love for Dad this Father’s Day.   And the best part is that you can pull off most of these ideas for $10 or less.   Remember, it’s not the price-tag but the thoughtfulness behind the gift that matters most!

  1. Do A Chore That Dad Usually Does – I’m guessing that there is some errand or chore around the house that is typically done by Dad.  Perhaps Dad is the one who fills the tank up with gas or washes the car.  A wonderful surprise would be to get up before Dad on Father’s Day and stealthily take care of that errand.   Then sit back and enjoy Dad’s priceless reaction when he notices that you took care of it on Father’s Day!
  2. Surprise Shower Love Note -  This is the perfect way to start the day off with a huge smile on Dad’s face.  Crayola makes these nifty washable bathtub crayons (available on Amazon here).   While Dad is still sleeping, sneak into the bathroom and leave him a special note of appreciation on the bathroom mirror and/or shower.   When Dad wakes up and heads to the bathroom to wash his face or take a shower, the first thing he’ll see is your lovely message.  My wife Olga and daughter Eva did this for me once, and filmed it!  You can watch the home video below.  As you can see, I loved this sweet surprise!  
  3. A Donation In Dad’s Honor - Making a donation in your Dad’s honor to a charity that he is passionate about is an incredibly moving and memorable gift.  If  your Dad’s father is no longer with the family, then you may even consider making a donation in memory of Dad’s dad.  It doesn’t get any more thoughtful than that on Father’s Day!
  4. A 5-Star Spa Experience At Home - If you have kids and want to say thank you in a very romantic way to the father of your children, then consider giving him a 5-star spa experience at home.   Olga has been kind enough to transform our home into a 5-star spa on occasion, and it is such a wonderful treat.  We put together a step-by-step video guide to show you exactly how to pull this off with some awesome tricks, including how you can easily warm up towels to wipe off the massage oils just like they do at the 5-star spas.  It’s not like we own a commercial towel warmer, so you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how easy you can do this in your home. 
  5. An Actor Delivering a Personal Father’s Day Greeting for Just $5 - Have you heard of Fiverr.com?  It’s a site where people offer their services for just $5.  It’s typically used for business purposes (e.g. graphic design, translation, etc).   But there are also impersonators and singers on Fiverr that will create a personalized video for Dad for just $5.   For example, for $5 you can play Dad a customized recording from their favorite politician, whether Bill Clinton or George Bush, wishing him a Happy Father’s Day?  Or perhaps a song from Marilyn Monroe.  There are endless options for your perusal on Fiverr.com, where you are certain to find a performer that Dad will enjoy.
  6. Breakfast In Bed With A Heartfelt Twist -  Breakfast in bed is always a thoughtful way to get Father’s Day off to a great start.  But if you want to literally put your love onto the breakfast tray, consider serving a heart-shaped delicacy.  In fact, there is an entire board on Pinterest dedicated to heart-shaped foods, with over 100 pictures and recipes.  God bless the internet :)
  7. A Custom Fortune Cookie Greeting -  We love this simple 30 second trick that allows you to open a fortune cookie (without cracking it) to remove the message and replace it with your own custom greeting.  This could be a great way to surprise Dad with a message letting him know how special he is to you.  We also filmed a step-by-step guide on how to pull this off (video below and see our full blog post here). 

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5/04/2014

10 Truly Unique Ways To Surprise Mom This Mother’s Day (All Ideas Are $10 Or Less)

categories: Giveaways, How To:

“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” – Agatha Christie

As the saying goes, you can’t buy love. That’s especially true when it comes to moms. There is a unique love – an unconditional love – that bonds a mother and her child. So as you start thinking about how to make this Mother’s Day special for mom, focus on how you can spoil her with gratitude, love, and affection. Sure, you can do a last-minute run to the flower shop and buy an expensive arrangement. Or sprint to the spa to purchase a gift certificate for a pricey treatment. But you don’t have to break the bank to make mom feel like a million bucks. Here are 10 creative ways you can make your mom the happiest mom on earth this Mother’s Day for less than $10 (and in many cases without spending a dime!).

  1. Sharing Mom-ories (cost $0) – Take some time this week to think about some of your favorite memories with Mom – a.k.a. “Mom-ories.” Then, on Mother’s Day, reminisce with mom about those special moments and tell her how impactful they were in your life. Bonus points if you can dig up photos of those moments, and bring them along for your trip down memory lane.
  2. A Clean House (cost $0 if you do it yourself) – Imagine all the times your mom cleaned up after you over the years. Why not return the favor by giving mom a sparkling clean house this Mother’s Day? You can schedule a cleaning crew to come do the dirty work, or better yet, roll up your sleeves and get your hands a little dirty making mom’s home look spic-and-span.
  3. Blooming Tea (cost $5-10) – Simply find an excuse to enjoy a tea with mom (perhaps when you are sharing your mom-ories from idea #1 above), and drop a blooming tea ball into boiling water. Then, sit back and enjoy the huge smile on mom’s face as the tea blooms into a beautiful flower before her very eyes. You can pick up blooming tea at your local Teavana or tea speciality shop.
  4. A Custom Fortune Cookie (cost $0) – This is one of our favorite tricks here at Datevitation: how to remove a fortune from a fortune cookie without cracking the shell and replace it with your own custom message. All you have to do is follow our simple instructions in this step-by-step video and enjoy mom’s face light up when she cracks the cookie to find your sweet message inside.
  5. A Custom Music Mix For Mom (cost: $0 or the cost of a CD) – Your mom will love that you took the time to put together a playlist of songs just for her. It could be songs that remind you of her, songs that you enjoyed together during your childhood, or even current hits to keep mom in-the-know on today’s music culture (moms love to be cool!). You can create and share the playlist with mom using an online service like Spotify. Or, if you want to go “old-school” with a physical CD, then here is a blog post where I show you step-by-step how to create a CD insert using iTunes that lists all of the the song titles on your mix.
  6. A Home-cooked meal (cost: depends on what you’re making!) – Think of all the hours that your mom has spent in the kitchen preparing home-cooked meals for you. This Mother’s Day, don’t let your mom lift a finger in the kitchen. Instead, it’s your turn to slap on the apron and cook something delicious for mom. Consider coming over early to surprise her with a gourmet breakfast-in-bed.
  7. A framed childhood photo (cost: approx $10) – There is nothing that screams adorable like a childhood photo of you with your mommy. Find one of your favorites, put it in a nice frame, and deliver it on Mother’s Day along with a sweet handwritten note.
  8. A Thoughtful Toast (cost: $0) – Your mom knows how much she means to you. But it doesn’t hurt to tell her. Take some time this week to pull your thoughts together so that on Mother’s Day you’re ready to offer a meaningful toast in honor of mom. Or better yet, ask the entire family to prepare a toast for mom so that she gets to hear lovely sentiments from all of her loved ones.
  9. A relic from her childhood (cost: depends on the item) - Take a moment and think about the most memorable places, foods, and toys from your childhood, and imagine how fun it would be to experience those things once again. Now rack your brain for any old stories your mom has told you over the years about her childhood. Did she have a favorite treat growing up? A favorite book or toy? Bring things full circle by surprising mom on Mother’s Day with a relic from her childhood. She’ll be forever grateful.
  10. New memories  - If you do any of the above actions this Mother’s Day, your mom will undoubtedly be one happy camper. But all the other ideas on this list focus on reliving the past or spoiling Mom on Mother’s Day itself. A Datevitation gift book is a gift that is all about creating new memories together in the coming weeks and months.  You can start making your book here!

10/23/2013

15 Insanely Clever Couples Costumes For Halloween

categories: Date Idea, How To:

Datevitation Halloween Couples Costume

It’s hard enough coming up with a creative Halloween costume for one person.  It’s even more challenging when you are looking to collaborate with your significant other.  We’re here to help!  We’ve scoured the interwebs and compiled the following list of the our favorite couple costumes.  For our crafty community, we found 10 super creative DIY costumes. These are all costumes that you can make at home and many of them can be made without much effort or expense.  In instances where there were accompanying tutorials describing exactly how to make the costume, we have included the links below. We know that DIY costumes are not for everyone, so for those of you who would prefer to purchase ready-made costumes, we also offer five fun alternative below the DIY options.

DIY Costumes

 

1. American Gothic Couple (see detailed blog post by SeaKettle)

American Gothic Couples Costume

2. Google Maps

2 - Google Maps

3. Mr & Mrs. Pacman (see detailed post by Julieannart.com)

Mr. & Mrs. Pacman Costume

4.Wilson and Chuck Noland From Cast Away

Castaway Wilson and chuck noland couples costume

5. Beer Pong (more info here)

5 - Beer Pong

6. Words With Friends

7 - Words with Friends

7. Soap & Lufa (detailed post here)

8 - Soap and Loofah 2.jpg

8. Wendy and Waldo

9 - Wendy and Waldo

9. Mario and Luigi (detailed post by Dana Albertson)

10 - Mario and Luigi

10. Tooth & Tooth Fairy (detailed post, again by JulieAnnArt.com)

11 - Tooth and Tooth Fairy

Paid Options

 

For those of you who are not quite as crafty and are just looking to purchase a costume and get it in time for Halloweeen, here are some of our favorites and you still have time to receive them by the Holiday if you order soon. We have found that HalloweenCostumes.com has the best selection with hundreds of couples costumes options at various price points. Note that we do NOT make any money if you purchase your costume through this website.

11. Adam & Eve
Adam & Eve

12. Plug & Socket

Plug-and-Socket-Halloween-Costume

13. Peas & Carrots
peas-and-carrots-couples-costume

14. October Fest
october fest couples costume

15. Popeye & Olive
popeye and olive couples costume.jpg

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4/23/2013

The Best Way To Start Your Sweetie’s Day

categories: Date Idea, How To:, Romantic Ideas

Most of us get out of bed half-asleep and head straight to the bathroom for a shower to wake-up and start our day.  Now imagine you step into the shower, open your eyes, and the first thing you see is a sweet love note from your love on the shower tile.  Wouldn’t that be a great way to start your day?  The inspiration for this great idea is our now 3-year old daughter Eva who makes a guest appearance in the video above.  You see, Eva is not a huge fan of taking baths, so Olga and I were looking for ways to keep her entertained.  We discovered these Bathtub Crayons from Crayola, and now, Eva loves taking baths because she can sit and draw to her heart’s content.

The other week, Olga had a brilliant idea.  Why not use the Crayola Bathtub Crayons to write a love note for me?  So she enlisted Eva’s help, and the result is what you see in the video above.  This is such a fun, cute idea and it really did make my morning.  It can be a great joint effort with your kids if you have children, and even if not, you can still pick up some Bathtub Crayons and surprise your sweetie with a sweet love note to get his or her day started with a smile.

If you liked this idea and video, you’ll love our free video series full of practical step-by-step video guides to romantic gestures that will help bring happiness to your relationship.  Indeed, this is just 1 of 9 ideas we highlight in the free series.  You can sign up for the free video series right at the bottom of this post!

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4/03/2013

7 Habits of Highly Happy Couples

categories: How To:, Relationship Experts

photo of happy couple
We thought it would be fun to do a Datevitation spin on Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, which we’re calling the 7 Habits of Highly Happy Couples.
  1. Block “Just Us” Time – We are all so busy these days. Work. Family. Friends. TV. The Internet. With so many things competing for attention and so few hours in the day, it is easy for weeks or even months to fly by without spending any quality time with your partner. That’s why Olga and I have a new tradition. The first Sunday night of every month is blocked off in our calendar for an evening with just the two of us. We discuss what happened last month and talk about the month ahead. This has worked wonders for our relationship, and I’m sure it would do the same for yours!  Thanks Brad Feld for the great idea!
  2. Know The Words “I’m Sorry” – You’re not perfect. Nobody is. And occasionally you are going to screw up. When you do, say “I’m sorry.” But what is really difficult is learning to say “I’m sorry” when the situation is not so black & white, and perhaps you are both at fault. It may feel good in the moment to have the scathing last word in an argument, but you can find even greater satisfaction in taking the high road by being the first to say “I’m Sorry.” By taking this approach, you’ll find you can often quell an argument that would otherwise escalate into a full-blown fight.
  3. Say Goodbye With A Kiss – Before you leave the house, give your partner a kiss goodbye. Everytime. It’s a sweet little gesture that only takes a second, and will leave you both with a good feeling as you embark on your day. This one is super simple so there is no excuse to not implement this habit immediately!
  4. Make Love Often – Intimacy is vital to any healthy relationship. Indeed, one of the best parts of being in a relationship should be the regularity with which you can get it on :) Yet, so many couples let days, weeks, and sometimes even months go by without making love. So here’s an idea: Decide that making love will be a habit in your relationship. You can even block time for intimacy and put it in the calendar if necessary.
  5. Try New Things Together – Don’t be that couple that always goes to the same restaurant and makes “date night” seeing a movie once a month. You are unhappy because you are bored! Happy couples try new things, challenge each other, and like to get out of their comfort zone. As an example, Olga challenged me to face my fear of heights and we recently went paragliding together. She also bought us a flight lesson for my birthday. Conquering a fear with the help of your partner will undoubtedly bring you closer together.
  6. Be Each Other’s #1 – We have a lot of people we care for deeply in our lives. Our family. Our friends. Our community. But at the end of the day, there should be no doubt that you are each other’s top priority. Olga knows that she is the most important person in my life and that I have her back. I know she feels the same about me. Make it a habit, through words and action, to be each other’s #1.
  7. Do The Little Things – We always hear the importance of doing the “little things” — those actions that can take just minutes but will leave your sweetie smiling for hours. But happy couples actually do the “little things” and do them regularly. If you need ideas in this department, you’ll find a lot of step-by-step video guides to little things you can do today on our blog, including my personal favorites: how to put your own custom fortune in a fortune cookie (without cracking the shell) and how to surprise your special someone with a custom postcard (using your smartphone). Both of these examples take just minutes to do, and you’ll be amazed at how much happiness they can bring to your partner, and therefore, to your relationship.

What do you think about this list?   Can you identify any habits in your relationship that you think should be on this list?  Please let us know in the comments below!

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