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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8/29/2012

The Ultimate Guide To Date Night At The Griffith Observatory

categories: Date Idea, Dates With Kids, Los Angeles Dates, Romantic Ideas

With the help of our trusty guide, you’ll enjoy an evening at the Griffith Observatory and end up being your date’s biggest star.

Step 1: Nail Down The Logistics –  We’ve done the research for you so you won’t hit any snags :)

  • Lowdown – Griffith Observatory is a L.A. landmark. It’s located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, just above the Los Feliz neighborhood
  • Location - 2800 East Observatory Road; Los Angeles, CA 90027; (213) 473-0800
  • Hours - Closed Monday and Tuesday; Open Wednesday-Friday: Noon-10pm; Saturday-Sunday: 10am-10pm.
  • Parking – There is a parking lot, but on busy nights, be prepared to park on the road outside the lot and then walk up the hill to the observatory.  Note that traffic can be a nightmare on nights where there is an event at the Greek Theatre so make sure you check the Greek’s schedule here first and plan accordingly.
  • Cost – Admission to the grounds and the Observatory itself is FREE.  However, there is a $7 charge to see one of the 3 rotating shows in the recently-renovated Planetarium.  Tickets can be purchased only at the Observatory, and only for that day’s shows.
  • Other Questions? – For more information, check out the Griffith Observatory website here.

Step 2: Have a Blast! 

You’re at the Observatory.  Now it’s time to have some fun!  Here are some astronomy-related trivia and jokes you can bust out as you take your date on a tour of the Observatory.

Impress With Your Astronomical Knowledge

  • Home to the most trafficked telescope in the world! – Since the Observatory’s opening in 1935, more than 7 million people have put an eye to the Observatory’s original 12-inch Zeiss refracting telescope (which you’ll find if you take the elevators to the roof of the Observatory).
  • You’re in Hollywood, so drop some Hollywood Trivia.  On the west lawn as you approach the Observatory from the parking lot, you’ll see a bust of Hollywood icon James Dean.  Why, your date might ask?  You’ll explain that the Observatory was prominently featured in Rebel Without a Cause (1955), starring Dean (consider renting the movie before or after your date!).   The Observatory can also be seen in The Terminator, The People v Larry Flynt, Yes Man, Transformers, and countless other blockbusters and TV shows.
  • The origin of the saying “Once in a blue moon” — The saying “once in a blue moon” refers to the rare occurrence of two full moons during one calendar month.  The last time that occurred was in March 2010.  The next time is in August 2012.
  • Apps for Stargazing – In addition to the 1935 Zeiss telescope, the Observatory often has telescopes set up in the front lawn that you can glance through.   These telescopes are incredibly powerful and worth the wait even if there is a line.  There are also some incredible smart phone apps for stargazing (I use Star Walk on the iPhone).  If you haven’t already, download one of them before you go to the Observatory and then use it as an excuse to get cozy with your date and locate constellations :)

Crack some Astronomy Jokes – If you’re a cheeseball like me, then you might try your hand at one of these corny astronomy jokes.

  • Did you hear about the great new restaurant on the moon? The food is excellent, but there’s no atmosphere.
  • How do you know when the moon is going broke? When it’s down to its last quarter.
  • What is an astronomical unit? The biggest apartment you’ve ever seen.
  • An alien traveling around the universe calls up his travel agent to request a hotel room on the moon.  The travel agent sadly informs the alien that that there are no hotel rooms available because the moon is full.  [This joke is from Ali G’s interview of Buzz Aldrin.  If you haven’t seen it, check it out here.  Hilarious!]
  • Nicolaus Copernicus was a mischievous teenager.  One day his father got angry when Nicolaus was causing trouble, and screamed at him: “One of these days you’ll realize that the world does not revolve around you!”  [Note: If your date gives you a blank stare, you have an opportunity to wow her with those brains again....  Nicolas Copernicus is widely credited with the heliocentric model that displaced the earth as the center of the universe.]

Step 3: Keep Your Date Going 

If after the observatory, you’re not ready to call it a night quite yet, consider checking out one of these nearby joints in Los Feliz.

  • Covell for a glass of wine (or two) – Covell is one of the best wine bars in all of Los Angeles County, and it happens to be just down the street from the Observatory.  If you are not a wine connoisseur, the expert bartenders will help you find the perfect glass of wine for you and your date’s palette.  Their cheeses and food are fantastic too!

Bar Covell
4628 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027

(323) 660-4400

  • Bru for coffee – if you are not in the mood for alcohol, stop by Bru Coffee Bar for artistan coffee, teas, and pastries.  The baristas are pros (and super friendly), and the atmosphere is modern and hip.  Note that Bru closes at 10pm so make sure to check the time before you head over.

Bru Coffee Bar
1866 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027

(323) 664-7500

Thanks for reading.  I hope you have as much fun at the Griffith Observatory as we did!   Note that the Griffith Observatory is a featured venue in our ebook Epic Dates Los Angeles: A Complete Guide To 10 Epic Dates in Los Angeles.  You can claim your copy at the bottom of the this post, or for more information, visit http://epicdatesbook.com

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7/03/2012

How To Put A Custom Fortune In A Fortune Cookie In 30 Seconds (Without Breaking The Shell!)

categories: Date Idea, How To:, Kitchen Dates, Romantic Ideas

In the video below, I teach you a trick that will take virtually no effort (30 seconds of your time) but will leave the recipient with a smile that last for days.    Sound good to you?   It’s how you can remove the fortune from a fortune cookie without cracking the shell, and replace it with your own handwritten fortune. This is absolutely perfect for the next time you bring in Chinese take-out. And for those of you looking for a great marriage proposal idea, it could also be a very unique way to propose.  Your custom message could be “Will You Marry Me?” or you can even put the ring itself in the cookie.

In addition to the video demo above, here are written instructions as well for your convenience:

Step 1 –  Write the custom fortune that you’ll be inserting into the fortune cookie on a piece of paper (approximately 1/2 inch by 2 inches in dimension).

Continue reading >

5/22/2012

5 Steps To Making Your Marriage Proposal The Best Proposal Ever

categories: Date Idea, Romantic Ideas

Please take a moment to watch my proposal to Olga & Eva in the video above.  Olga has described the proposal as the “best proposal ever” but obviously that is a highly subjective standard. What it really means is that it was the best proposal she could have ever imagined, which is all that matters to me. If you are planning a marriage proposal, then making it the best proposal ever in your girlfriend’s mind should be your ultimate goal too. But how do you actually go out and make that a reality? With the benefit of hindsight, I reflected on what I did right and identified 5 steps that, if followed, will put you on the path to creating the best proposal ever as well.

Step 1 – Think Long And Hard  – This is probably the most important step of all, yet most often overlooked. Keep in mind that this is a moment that your girlfriend has dreamed of all of her life. You owe it to her and to yourself to spend quality time thinking about what you can do to make it special and planning exactly how you are going to make it happen. As you can see in the video above, my proposal involved a lot of moving parts, including coordinating with the sand castle sculptor and videographer. This took careful planning and a little help from a really cool (and free) piece of software called Skitch. You can see how I used Skitch to ensure that everything went according to plan in this blog post.

Step 2 – Do Something Memorable – There is something beautiful yet simple with just getting on one knee and popping the question. But if you really want to blow her mind, then try to do something outside-of-the-box. In my case, I knew I wanted to involve Eva in the proposal as well, since this is really about the three of us starting a family together. So when I was brainstorming ideas, I tried to think of something creative that would appeal to both of them. Eva was 2 years old at the time of the proposal and in full-fledged princess obsession mode, which is what spawned the idea of having a sand castle built. If you can think of something that is not only unique, but also relevant and meaningful to your particular relationship then you have yourself a “best proposal ever” idea. If you need some inspiration, I would suggest taking a look at this article from the Knot with 50 unique proposal ideas.

Step 3 – Get Your Proposal On Video Or Photographed - As you can tell by this video blog, I’m a big proponent of video and photographs. I know it’s not for everyone, but unless you think your girlfriend would be uncomfortable or would want the moment to be 100% private, then I would highly recommend hiring a photographer or videographer to capture the proposal.  If you don’t want cameras right there in the open during the proposal, it is also possible to hire a photographer to take photos from a distance. I know this is an added expense, but you only propose once and Olga and I are both so happy that we’ll have the video and pictures from that day to look back on forever.

Step 4 – Have Family And/Or Friends There To Celebrate - While I would not advise you to have family and friends present during the actual proposal, I know that it meant a lot to Olga for our families to join us afterwards and celebrate the moment with us.  Unless you are planning to propose out-of-town (which is a great option), I would highly recommend that you consider inviting your family and/or closest friends to celebrate with you right after the proposal. Scope out the venue first to see if there is a private room or other place where your guests can remain hidden during the proposal itself and then appear afterwards for congratulatory hugs and kisses. It’s such a special moment in your lives, and it feels great to share it with the people who are most special to you.

Step 5 – Keep The Surprises Coming  - If you get a YES, then both you and your now fiancee will be on Cloud Nine. I knew I wouldn’t want the day to end right after the proposal, so I planned for that to be just the beginning. The rest of the day was one surprise after another. Instead of staying at home that evening, I surprised Olga by booking us a room at the SLS Hotel, a posh hotel in Beverly Hills. For dinner, I had made reservations at Mastro’s, one of the finest restaurants in the city, where we enjoyed champagne and one of the the best meals of our lives. Despite being in a food coma after dinner, I was able to convince Olga to head down the street with me for one final drink to cap off the evening at Nic’s Martini Lounge. Unbeknownst it to Olga, all of our closest friends were waiting at the bar to toast our engagement. It was so much fun seeing Olga’s jaw drop time and time again as I kept the surprises coming over the course of the day.

I hope that you enjoyed the video and find these ideas helpful.   Note that the vast majority of our content on this blog is aimed at general date ideas and romantic gestures for every day use. So please make sure to poke around our blog for ideas that are more practical for your relationship.

Acknowledgements

First and foremost, I’d like to thank Olga and Eva for saying YES. I’m so grateful to have both of you in my life, and I am so excited for the wedding in September and the wonderful years ahead.

If you are interested in having a sand castle built for your proposal (or for any other occasion), then look no further than Archisand. In particular, Greg Lebon was an absolute pleasure to work with, and I believe his skills and artistry speak for itself in the video.  Greg, thank you for making such a beautiful sand castle for us that we’ll remember forever.  Eva is still talking about it to this day, and I’m confident it is something that she will remember forever.

A special thanks to Noam Bleiweiss and Armando Macias for filming the proposal on short notice, and for doing such a great job on the fly. We only had 1 take for this, and you guys couldn’t have done a better job.  I’ve known Noam for many years, and he is an incredibly talented filmmaker and the director of our forthcoming Shit List series.  If you are ever looking to shoot a commercial for your company, Noam is your man.  Armando is a master sound designer.  We actually met for the first time on the proposal day, when I sprinted into the men’s bathroom to get mic’d up before the proposal.  I had told Olga that I desperately had to use the bathroom when we got there, and Armando masterfully set up the mic and tested it in a matter of minutes so I could get back outside before Olga had a chance to sense something was going on.

Also, without the patience and editing skills of Nic Michaels, there is no way this video would have ever come together so beautifully.  Thanks you Nic for sticking with me for all those months and creating such an incredible final product.

Finally, on the day of the proposal, there was a family vacationing from Boston who happened to see Greg building the sand castle in the early morning, and were so incredibly kind to literally spend hours helping him dig and move sand to make the castle as magnificent as it turned out.  In the excitement of the moment, we failed to get the family’s contact information and we regret it till this day.  I hope that one of you somehow finds your way to this blog post, and if you read this please send us an email at press@datevitation.com. We wanted to personally thank you again for all that you did, and of course, hook you up with complimentary datevitation gift books :)

Alex

4/24/2012

Romantic Idea: Warm Her Heart With A Warm Towel

categories: Date Idea, How To:, Romantic Ideas

There’s nothing quite like a nice hot shower.  Maybe that’s why so many of us dread the thought of getting out of the shower, especially that cold air that hits your face when you open the shower door.   When you’re at a nice spa, it isn’t nearly as painful when they have heated towels that you can wrap yourself up in to stay warm.  Good news!  You can replicate that spa-like treatment for your sweetie at home, even if you don’t have a fancy towel warmer.  We show you how in the video above :) Check it out and let us know what you think in the comments below.

 

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