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9 Low Key Date Night (or Day) Ideas

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How has your weekend been? Relaxing I hope however with the busy holidays coming up it’s easy to forget to spend quality time together alone and without friends, family or little ones around. So I wanted to share “9 low key date night ideas” before and around the holiday season. We’ve done a lot of these ideas, they’re a lot of fun. There’s a few ideas where you might think “that’s not a date..” but I assure you the minute you let go and start having fun together it’ll feel fun and romantic no matter what you’re doing. They are not holiday related at all but some of these can be adapted for the holiday season, I’ll explain. Here’s what I came up with and if you have any others please leave a comment below.

Bowling

I love going bowling! It’s silly, athletic but not difficult and fun if you do decide to go with a group. A group date for this is very acceptable. Even sometimes more fun and competitive when you’re challenging each other. Disco or Glow bowling is even more fun and sometimes even cheaper than a regular rate, it is later but unless grandma and grandpa are coming you’ll be able to manage. Either way I suggest a short game or two as it’s easy to get tired, hungry, grumpy or your hands will start to ache from throwing those heavy bowling balls. The loud music and black light in the fun of bowling just amplifies it for me- try it, if you haven’t ever been!

Go to dinner and a movie

Ah, the classic date, yes but don’t fix what ain’t broke. I’m not much of a movie theatre go-er so we will either rent, buy or stream a movie of our choice. Sometimes having a walk through a store on a special night is fun for us. Simply browsing together and seeing what is out new in,  say Best Buy,  because we are techy-people is a nice cap to the night. Also here’s where we aren’t as adventurous as others; we are picky eaters. So trying a new restaurant usually isn’t high on our list. But you sure could take this time to try new cuisine or have a fancier dessert (which is what we opt for) or drink (sometimes).

Explore

Go on a walk or run a trail you like or have seen before, head to the beach, mountains or desert (whatever is close to you) and enjoy being in nature. Here in the PNW I take it for granted- I think next year that’s gonna change. I love a good walk especially outside in a forest area along a river or stream. Walking our dogs out to a trail or place we haven’t been before to socialize them more if a good idea. They don’t get out enough and honestly neither do we, such homebodies. Fresh air is great for your lungs and makes your body feel new if you’ve been inside for too long.

Taking pictures on outings like this can be really nice by going making memories and getting each other and the scenery on film (digital) is a keepsake! So be sure to bring your camera, phone or other polaroid for taking pictures.

A large garbage bag or plastic sandwich bag (to drape over your camera in case of rain) less likely to get damaged by any rain or moisture. I suggest wearing good shoes (not flats) like tennis shoes, hiking shoes or boots. Downplaying the weather conditions can be easy to do but also will ruin your trip. Don’t hike anywhere you aren’t familiar (or at all) without a buddy. Also a day hike is better, so no hiking at night. 🙂 Be safe!

Cook together/Meal prep together

If you both love to cook then this is a great date night activity. Go to the store together-gather your ingredients, make something a little fancier, try a new recipe. Normally I’d want to follow a recipe if you’re like me, experiment and have fun. Meal prepping can be tedious but with a partner you can nearly cut your time in half! I don’t meal prep but I think this would be fun (also if we had a bigger kitchen). Depending on your kitchen, have your husband grill, fry or boil noodles. While you can cut, chop or blend whatever else you need. Once your done spend time together by having a glass of wine and talk about what the week looks like.

Rearranging your furniture

This is one I wasn’t sure I should include. I know that we really enjoy doing this together when we need to shake things up. If your selected room let’s you change the layout with your furniture-it’s fun to shape shift your living space. Usually in our bedroom we will put the bed on a different wall or move our dresser to a new spot. Living rooms are easy to do by moving or combining pieces in new formations in your open space. Just make sure you can still open doors and windows. Don’t cover any heater vents or wall heaters- be conscious of that! Safety hazard! I kind of believe in my own version of Feng Shui- just by moving things and vacuuming the floors, I feel newer in the fresh environment. It gives you a new mindset I think. This is probably most low key of all- but I enjoy it the most!

Create a playlist

Date night playlist? Travel mix? For special adult time? Select songs that you both like. For some couples that’s harder than others but it’s okay put a big mix of everything in there for each style. I think if you can handle each other day to day, you can handle a three minute song you don’t like. I have a few bands that I know we both like and he made me a playlist called  “in the car music” it was a sweet sentiment. A guy can also apply this idea to a girl/woman he likes- everyone loves a good mix tape/cd/playlist.

Play video games or board games/card games

This is a great idea if you’re a gamer like my husband is. Playing games together can be inviting and fun, challenging and innovative. Go buy a game together and have the stronger player help the other. Guide them through and have fun overall. Grab a variety of snacks (healthy or not) and enjoy spending time doing what the other enjoys. Board games can also work if you have friends or family nearby. Cards are a go-to staple when things are boring and slow. They are great for your mind as well, quick for wit so shuffle out the Gin Rummy or there’s always Go Fish!

Street fairs/Farmers/Saturday markets

Farmers markets are usually seasonal but can also open your mind to new food and produce or canned goods that you may not see otherwise. It nice to walk around locally on a spring or summer day looking through all the vendors. Saturday markets (like the one here in PDX) has a wide selection of food, goods and services as well as specialty things like face painting for young kids. Look up online under your city index and see if there’s one near you. They could be weekly, monthly, or during a particular season or sort of festival.

Mini Golf

Just another time to be goofy and silly with one another. Stay light hearted and have fun without being competitive. It’ll take her 25,000 times to get that ball into the lighthouse but come behind her and swing with her. Show her your sweet, helpful nature and be affectionate.

I hope you’ll try some of these next time you need a night (or day) out. Take pictures and make new memories. Never forget to nourish the relationship you’re in. It’s too easy and damaging to be too complacent. Enjoy each other especially when times during the holidays can be so stressful.

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Things to consider when looking for an apartment

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Location/Price/Size:

Of course when you’re moving, you’ll have an idea of why and where you want xor need to be living. Location is most important factor when choosing a new apartment because you’ll be there for at least 6-12 months or longer (if you choose to stay).

Price is also going to be one of the major key elements; maybe there’s a strict budget or you have some wiggle room. Either way you need to be diligent about price and discuss with your partner/spouse or roommates about finances and be up front and very honest about it.

You have to be realistic about square footage, number of rooms, how many bathrooms, amount of closet space, as well as storage spaces like cabinets and drawers and storage closet (if available) you’ll truly need.  Know what you have and if anything downsize & declutter before moving-it will help you a TON.

Applications/fee, Deposit-first last month’s/credit check, Pet fees, utilities:

Step One in moving is taking tours and physically seeing the space. If and when you like an apartment (or condo/house etc) then you have to apply for it. Put in your application ASAP! Applicants are vicious at some nicer complexes and will snatch a unit from under you without a deposit down or unit being held (this happened in my experience like twice). When you fill out the application, make sure you print neatly and if you mess up; either A- start over on a fresh application  (if it can’t be fixed) or very carefully use white out and write clearly over or to the side of the mistake.

DO NOT PUT YOUR IDENTIFYING INFORMATION on it until the end especially YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER! For fear of it falling into the wrong hands besides your hands or your managers hands…BE CAREFUL! 

But also don’t forget to sign the bottom and bring with you any needed documents like bills for identification, pay stubs or bank statements for income verification and an ID (of some sort). Usually application fees are no more than 20-40$ a piece, if at all.

Have an idea of your credit score beforehand- you don’t need to know this particularly but you’ll have a deposit based on credit so be realistic about what that number may be. They can run anywhere from like 300$- 2x the full rent amount (is what I’ve seen in Oregon applications). Sometimes it’s one full month rent or even first and last months rent OR a flat rate deposit based on your credit.

Pet fees are a big part too when you have a kitty or your best friend Fido, you’ll want to bring them with you. These days it is expensive to bring your buddies along with you to a new place-I don’t know if every state has Pet Rent but usually you’ll at least be hit with a not-so-friendly deposit for your furry pal too.

Utilities are another monthly expense (most places don’t cover for W/S/G, so if anything one maybe comped but don’t go in expecting anything. Count these in addition to your rent and pet fees expenses could be upwards of 50$ or more depending on where you live.

Quiet versus louder kid friendly complex:

As far as this goes- you need to know what type of people you are. You may not have all the control in the world over this but, to an extent you do. If you are a family of four, you won’t mind having lots of kids and a more active community around you. But if you are a single adult, a quiet older couple or a pair who just isn’t about kids then you’ll want a much quieter complex. So in your search be mindful of places that are loud and active versus more quiet and reserved. We personally don’t like to hear  screaming, some badly behaved kids constantly and have to deal with many families in the pool for instance but you don’t have much control over it- so I always just ask what the manager thinks and if we can get a unit in a quieter building.

Hard floors/Laminate versus Carpet:

This is a main point of a residence and he floors you have really set the stage for your apartment. If you have kids then you’ll want more carpet for falls and playtime. If you have dogs or cats then maybe hard floors might be a better option. There are often many options in an apartment and this may play more into what you’re looking for in a place. I find hard floors a little more difficult to clean the dust bunnies and get the corners spick and span but also impossible to keep nice clean carpets with dogs- so weigh your options and take it into account while visiting spaces.

In Hall Laundry, Room Laundry or Laundry Room separate outside space: 

I always prefer having my own laundry in unit. Sometimes it’s not possible and having a laundry room outdoors is usually what people would get stuck with. The moving of everyone’s clothes, having to pay coins for it, and going up and down floors with your laundry is a hassle.

Having an in hall laundry area is somewhat of the same problem. It’s always in the way, you’ll have clothes everywhere and moving them up and down (usually in a stackable version) isn’t the best for your back.

But those who can be blessed with an in-unit laundry room (small or large) will certainly appreciate some place to get rid of those stinky clothes, somewhere to get those spots out and a place to fold and sort. Handy too when you can do laundry in your own space at any hour.

Renters insurance, Mold/Mildew/Pests, Late Fees etc:

Important things you need to know before moving into a new place. Renters insurance is required everywhere and there’s no need to have an over expensive coverage usually it’s required for 100K worth of renters insurance for a year timespan. I go through Assurant and they have me on a plan that’s about $15 a month (which is normal for Oregon state) around $180 for the whole year to cover costs if any damages should occur. Believe me if a fire or something does happen you’ll be thankful that you had that coverage.

Mold/Mildew and Pests will and do often happen. Just ask your manager and go over these points in your rental contract. Usually it states that they will come and clean mold as it occurs and can make you very sick so it needs to be carefully cleaned with bleach and blocked from more moisture getting inside to create moldy areas (door seals, windows, bathtubs etc.). Pests are another story- I would think that a maintenance person or manager would cover that as well but I can’t speak for all properties. I know our complex here has a “pests day” where you can make appointments with an outside company if such a need occurs.

Late fees are usually anywhere between $50-150. The penalty for not paying rent on time or past the rent pay days usually the 1st-the 5th.

Gated versus Nongated: 

Gated and nongated complexes, these are also nice to take into account. Honestly especially in a sketchy neighborhood- I’d rather be a little more protected from the outside population. Having a key card or gate key is nice and also a bother, if lost or stolen you’ll be paying for a 30-40$ key, because they are specially cut at the key maker. Unlike a normal door key lock they are more intricate and therefore cost more. But not gated can sometimes be more dangerous and strangers being even more loud and obnoxious.

Security number, access code to pool/office bunkhouse, newsletter/special events and maintenance number:

Things you should know that you may not think about, make sure you get the number for security company if they have it or local police/non emergency line.

You’ll need pool access codes or key/keycard if needed and knowledge about who can and can’t come into the pool area. Some complexes do not allow guests or limit to one per resident. Pets are not allowed in pool and clubhouse areas. Knowing the hours of when the pool is open and exactly when it closes is good to know.

Office hours are a need to know basis and you should memorize them so you’ll know when you can get help to a problem or concern. Know who is the manager and what the policies are for living in that complex.

A newsletter is a nice thing to go around in some complexes to let you know what the happenings are- special days of the month, holidays, closed office days or events like Taco Tuesday!

Having the maintenance number is crucial because you’ll have accidents and things will happen in your new apartment. And although it looks shiny and new- it’s been lived in before, so truth is it has previous dents and dings. Don’t be scared to live in your space though despite breaking in your own apartment. I love to be in new shiny spaces but a cozy lived in place is just as nice too.

 

I hope that this is super helpful information! If any of this helped you or you want to pass onto someone else, I would really appreciate it.

*This is all information I have learned over the years and is based on my knowledge in Oregon.*

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