Date Night Gift Baskets

With Valentine’s Day coming up in a couple weeks I’m thinking about date nights and sweet gifts so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share some ideas that combine both! Giving a gift basket that has a date night activity is a thoughtful gift that shows your loved ones that you value time with them over any material object. Find the ideas below and click through to get all the details of what you can include in each basket!

Cooking Dinner for 2 Date Night Gift Basket

Painting Date Night Gift Basket

Game Night Gift Basket for Couples

Dinner and a Movie Date Night Gift Basket

A Year Of Date Nights Gift Basket

Looking for other date night ideas?

5 Winter Date Ideas

50+ Date Night Ideas

Summer Day Date Idea: Recreate Memories On A Local Road Trip

One Year of Pre-Planned Date Nights Gift

Strengthen Your Marriage with a Year Of Dates 


I’d love to hear about your favorite date night you’ve had with your significant other! Chat with me on Twitter @aliciamarie112



Romantic Scavenger Hunt And A Game Night Date Basket

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SendingYourLove #CollectiveBias

When Sinisa and I first started dating he went all out with the romantic gestures, from roses covering my car to mushy Hallmark cards on the regular. Now that we have kids (and have been together for over 10 years), the daily romance has changed from gifts of flowers, cards and candy to acts of love like doing the dishes and bringing me coffee. I still get cards and flowers and things like that, just more sporadically than I used to.

For Valentine’s Day this year I wanted to surprise him with a romantic gesture worthy of those I received during the early stages of our relationship and decided upon a romantic scavenger hunt to find a date night gift basket. I went to Walmart to get the cards for the scavenger hunt and some special date night gift basket goodies, including some games for us to play on our date-night-in since game nights are such a fun way to spend time together. Walmart has the newest collection of Hallmark Signature Cards for Valentine’s Day, so I picked out a variety of cards to write scavenger hunt hints in.

Hallmark Signature Cards are premium, hand-crafted cards and I fell in love with the beautiful embellishments on them. One of my favorites had a lovely message embossed on wood which reminded me of the game pieces to one of my favorite board games. Since I love to get crafty, this inspired me to make a little gift to go along with the board game that I was putting in the gift basket.

I love cards because you can write special messages in them and another favorite thing to give is personalized gifts, like this letter tile craft. The craft itself is pretty easy to put together but does require some planning when it comes to tile placement (which I learned the hard way lol). I was originally going to just put “Alicia”, “Sinisa” and “Love” but that seemed too empty so I decided to add the word “Family” and add my boy’s names in as well. Everything looked like it fit but then I went to put the frame on and discovered some of the pieces were too close to the edge so I had to use their nicknames so that everything would fit.

Here’s what you need to make this letter craft:

  • Shadow box (mine was 8×8 size)
  • Scrapbook paper for the background
  • Letter tiles
  • Adhesive (I used a photo adhesive to adhere the letter tiles to the paper)

To make the craft:

Cut the piece of scrapbook paper to fit inside the frame and adhere it to the inside cardboard backing of the frame

Arrange letter tiles how you would like them and add adhesive to the back of the tiles, one tile at a time, sticking each tile in place where you’d like it to be. Once all the tiles are on, put the frame back together.

When you are done crafting, it’s time to put the basket together. Along with the frame, I added a snack, something to drink, a board game, a deck of cards and a cute Valentine’s decoration.

With the date night basket ready you are all set to put together the scavenger hunt for them to find the basket. You can choose to do the scavenger hunt around your home or at places that are special to the two of you (like maybe where you had your first date, a place your family likes to go, etc.) Since it’s winter, and I live in Chicago, I decided to do the scavenger hunt around the house.

I wrote notes in a few Hallmark cards and hid them around the house, with each card giving a hint of where he could find the next card. The first place I left a hint was on the front door so Sinisa would see it right when he came home from work.

Inside I left a message about the scavenger hunt and then led him to his next card with this hint: “your love makes my heart make music”. You could also say “your love makes my heart beat faster” or something else cute like that. This clue could lead to a stereo or musical instrument. Our son plays guitar so I put the next clue on the guitar.

The card led to a map (hint: “I’m happiest wherever I am, as long as I’m with you”) which led to a pillow (hint: “I dream about you”) which led to the candy basket (hint: “your love is sweeter than chocolate”) which led to the car where the basket was hidden (hint: “you drive me wild”). This was such a fun thing to do and a cute way to start a date night!

The scavenger hunt was really simple to put together and a lot of fun, especially when it ends with a gift basket and a romantic date-night-in!

Don’t forget your loved ones this Valentine’s Day. If you are short on time just head to Walmart where it’s easy to get everything for your Valentine’s Day celebration – including the perfect Hallmark Cards. And, 1/29 through 2/14 (or while supplies last), earn $1 back on Ibotta at Walmart on any Hallmark Valentine’s Cards priced $2.97 and above! You can also keep your eyes peeled for an in-aisle coupon at Walmart – get $2 off when you buy 3 Hallmark Valentine’s Day Cards!

Visit the Hallmark Valentine’s Day Hub for more inspiration and to find a store near you!

How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day this year?

Double Date Idea And A Paint Night Gift Basket

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FronteraExperience #CollectiveBias

For a while now I’ve been wanting to go to one of those places where you can hang out and paint. It sounds like it would be such a great time but I really don’t get out that much for girl’s night or date night since becoming a parent. Because of this I thought it would be fun to put together a paint night gift basket to bring the painting fun home! The basket is perfect for a girl’s night in or a double date night with another couple. (Personally I love the double date in idea because you get time with a friend and your man – just get a sitter to share and enjoy some adult couple time.)

Along with the painting there’d have to be food because a fun evening isn’t complete without it! When I thought about the bright colors of paint I had bought, I immediately knew they would pair perfectly with the vibrant flavors of one of my favorite cuisines- Mexican! I also knew I wanted something simple because nothing kills the fun of an evening for the hostess like being stuck in the kitchen while everyone else enjoys time together. Luckily I knew just the right ones that would work- Frontera® Frozen Skillets, inspired by Chef Rick Bayless. They only take about 15 minutes to cook so they can be made before guests arrive or while everyone’s artwork dries.

The paint night gift basket makes a great gift for a friend or your significant other. To make it for a double date night just put enough of everything for four people in the gift basket!

Here’s what I put in my gift basket:

  • 4 Canvases to paint
  • Acrylic paint in various colors
  • 4 Paint palettes
  • Paintbrushes (fine and wide tip)
  • Colorful plates and napkins

The gift basket is easy to put together. I used a black tin and decorated it with some paper flowers on the outside and added some crumpled paper inside the bottom of the tin. I added in canvases to paint (two 5X7 and two 8×10 sizes), paintbrushes, tubes of acrylic paint, paint palettes, and colorful napkins and plates for our dinner.

Speaking of dinner….if you love Mexican food you have to try these skillets. Frontera® Foods brings premium ingredients and flavors into the kitchen so they make the perfect dish to bring friends together. I bought two flavor varieties, the Frontera® Chicken Fajita Skillet (made with tender cuts of seared chicken simmered together with fire-roasted poblanos and chipotle chiles) and the Frontera® Carnitas Taco Skillet (made with slow-cooked pork with tangy tomatillos and roasted poblano chiles).

I loved that the meal’s ingredients and directions read in plain English and were simple to follow. They are so easy to cook that it took less than fifteen minutes to go from freezer to table.

I bought the Frontera® Frozen Skillets, along with two jars of their salsa (Frontera® Jalapeño Cilantro Salsa and Frontera® Tomatillo Salsa), at Target. We found the meals in the freezer aisle and they had a variety of flavors to choose from.

And, if you are into saving money (who isn’t!?), from now through November 25th use the Cartwheel coupon below to get 25% off Frontera® Skillets at Target!

Have you ever had a double date night in? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

5 Winter Date Ideas

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

As I shared a few weeks ago in my date night at home post, Sinisa and I do not get out to have date night very often. It seems like ever since we had kids we are lucky if we go on one or two dates a year. We are really working on changing this and have been trying to go on day dates while our boys are at school. Since I work from home and he gets one weekday off a week, it seems to work best for us at the moment. I wanted to share 5 winter date ideas for those of you looking to plan something special for Valentine’s Day or any other day you and your significant other can get away and spend some quality time together.

Go ice skating – Whether you find an outside rink or an indoor one, ice skating is a popular winter activity that could make for a fun date night. Just think about how romantic it would be holding hands as you skate around the rink together. Or that’s the dream at least. I’d probably spend most of the date on my butt since I haven’t ice skated since grade school :)

Go see a play – Movie dates have become the norm lately so shake it up a bit by going to see a live play instead. Whether it’s a community play or a show on Broadway, there are a number of options to pick from.

Volunteer together – Volunteering isn’t the most romantic date but it’s a great way to spend time together. Whether the two of you help at a soup kitchen, nursing home or food pantry, there is nothing better than being able to give back to others and it just may teach you a bit more about the character of the person you are on a date with.

Paint at an art studio – If you or your significant other like to paint check out your local art studio for classes. Many studios offer date night options where you can pay to come and paint and they’ll provide the space and materials needed for you to create something. Check ahead but many allow you to bring snacks and drinks as well!

Go out to eat at a B.Y.O.B Restaurant- What I like about BYOB restaurants is that you can save a great deal on alcohol by bringing your own. (Please drink responsibly and don’t drink and drive.) Sinisa and I recently tried out a Thai restaurant and it was a nice break from the typical restaurants we normally go to.

For our date we chose to bring canned wine with us because it is portable and easily fit into my purse. Unlike bottled wine, with canned wine you don’t have to worry about carrying around fragile wine glasses to drink out of or re-corking the wine. Backpack Wine is packaged in recyclable cans that are ready for any occasion, from the ski slopes to your favorite brunch spot. Their wines are sourced from great vineyards and they offer two varieties of canned wine, Cheek Rose™ and Snappy White™ (rose and white wine).

Backpack Wine offers a unique combo of great-tasting, quality wine in a fresh new way so you can skip the cork and bring the pack! Where would you take your Backpack wine?

Looking for more date ideas? I have a list of 50 here!

‘Dinner For Two’ Date Night Gift Basket

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WonderfulYourWay #CollectiveBias The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older.

Before we had kids, Sinisa and I would go on dates quite often. We’d go out to eat, go to the movies, and walk around local downtown areas. It was nice to be able to connect during those times. Unfortunately, once we had our first child, our date nights out became almost non-existent. Nowadays we tend to do a lot of date nights in which basically consist of watching a movie on the couch.

With Valentine’s Day coming soon, I wanted to change things up a bit and create a special date night basket. Since Sinisa loves to cook I thought he’d enjoy a gift basket full of goodies that would let us have a date night in where we could cook a special meal together. I’m calling this a “Dinner for two” date night gift basket.

I started by figuring out what type of meal we’d make and decided upon pasta. Maybe it’s the whole Lady & the Tramp spaghetti scene stuck in my head, but I equate pasta with romantic meals. Along with the box of pasta, I put some other items we’d need for our date night in the basket including Valentine’s themed kitchen hand towels, some red cooking utensils, a couple chocolate roses, salt and pepper shakers, candles and a bottle of wine to enjoy with our meal.

We have a few go-to pasta dishes that we make but Sinisa made a really delicious one a couple years ago that I wanted to recreate together. It’s a dish similar to Pasta Carbonara though we don’t add eggs to it like the typical recipe calls for.

For our recipe, I got all the ingredients at Kroger, including Barilla® Pronto® Penne pasta, a product innovation that allows for one-pan meals to be created with no need to wait for water to boil, and no draining required. I like this pasta because it cooks within ten minutes and is perfect for one pot meals.

Ingredients to make dinner for 2:

  • 1/2 box of Barilla Pronto Penne
  • 1/4 cup of bacon pieces
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • 2 cups of (cold) water or broth (we used vegetable broth)
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • Seasoning to taste (we used black pepper and garlic powder)
  • A teaspoon of vegetable oil


Add the oil to the pan along with the bacon and peas and heat for a minute or so, stirring to mix.

Add the dry pasta.

Pour the cold water (or broth) over the pasta. (Feels strange doesn’t it? Usually you have to put a pot of water on the stovetop and then wait forever for it to boil before you can put your pasta in but this new pasta is “no boil”.) Cover and let cook on medium heat for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the 4 ounces of cream cheese. Then cover and cook for three more minutes to finish cooking the pasta.

At this point the pasta is fully cooked. Can you believe that you have perfectly cooked pasta in just 10 minutes?! Whoever invented this no boil pasta is a genius. I also love that you don’t have to drain it because the majority of the liquid has cooked out. To finish making this pasta dish, add the shredded cheese, season to taste and stir everything together.

I love the combo of cheese and bacon in this dish and the addition of the peas helps me meet my veggie goal for the week lol. This pasta dish is so easy to make and requires little prep which is perfect for date night. You’ll have dinner on the table within 15 minutes and making the whole meal in one pan is great because nobody wants to spend date night stuck in the kitchen washing a sink full of dishes.

What pasta dish would you make on your “dinner for two” date night? Find more “Wonderful Your Way” recipe inspiration here.


Summer Day Date Idea: Recreate Memories On A Local Road Trip

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareTheLyrics #CollectiveBias

Back before we had kids, Sinisa and I went on a lot of dates. A lack of money kept us from doing anything too expensive so we’d do things like walk around downtown, go star gazing, go to festivals and enjoy picnics at the park. Here we are at a local festival on one of our first dates back in 2007:

Looking back on our relationship, one of our favorite dates was a road trip to a campsite where we intended to camp for the evening. It turned out to be an even more memorable trip when we woke up to find ourselves, and everything inside our tent, soaked from rain and we ended up sleeping in Sinisa’s small sports car that night. We have learned that it’s not what we are doing, but who we are doing it with that matters. Sometimes the simplest things bring the best memories so I set out to recreate some of our favorite dates- road trips-  as we hopped in the car for a short road trip to a lake area in another town.

Want to plan your own day date full of memories? Here are some of my tips for planning a road trip day date:

1) Think back to your most memorable times as a couple and what you two enjoy the most and plan those into your road trip, whether it’s the spot of your first kiss or an activity you two love doing together. Some of my favorite dates have been sitting by the water just talking so that’s why I chose a park with a beautiful lake so we could sit and relax like the “good ‘ol days”.

2) Pack a picnic lunch and keep the menu simple. We love finger foods like cheese, crackers and salami along with some fresh fruit. It’s filling, doesn’t require silverware, and is easy to eat.

3) Make a road trip playlist. There is nothing worse than having to flip through radio stations while you are in the car so I like to have a playlist ready to go. Sinisa and I have different tastes in music (he likes country and old school rock and I like r&b and pop) so we find a mix of genres is best. You can even make a list of romantic songs that you both enjoy and make a playlist out of those. If you need some song inspiration for your road trip playlist, you can find it on the new Share a Coke and a Song Coca-Cola campaign cans because Coca-Cola has lyrics to popular songs right on the cans.

4) Bring a cooler full of drinks to enjoy as you travel and to drink once you arrive at your picnic spot. I bought a 28 pack of the Share a Coke cans at Sam’s Club and, not only did we drink them, but I incorporated the cans into our date by telling Sinisa how I feel about him using the lyrics on the cans. It would also be a fun idea to have each person pick out a can for their significant other and explain why they chose it and what the lyrics mean to them or pick out cans that tell your love story. Below is the story I told him as I handed him the corresponding cans. It was kind of sappy and corny but thankfully he likes things like that :)

You can find Share a Coke cans at your local Sam’s Club. We found ours on pallets near the kitchen products. You’ll want to look for ones that have the special Share a Coke and a Song Coca-Cola campaign packaging so you make sure to get the cans with the lyrics on them.

What tips do you have for planning a memorable day date?


Date Night Ideas {One For Every Week Of The Year}

One of my goals for 2015 is to go on a date with Sinisa once a month. Since our {rare} date nights normally consist of dinner and a movie I thought it was time to do a little brainstorming and come up with some unique date ideas so we had a little variety. Of course I had to enlist the help of my newest blog contributor to get a male perspective. {It’s actually a funny story because when I finally climbed into bed last night he was half asleep and I was chattering on and on about this blog post idea I had and texting him date night ideas lol.}

Here are 52+ fun date night ideas that we came up with- one for every week of the year! Our goal is to do at least one a month and share about our experience :)

1) Go ice skating

2) Head to the library and check out some books about destinations you’d like to visit and then plan a trip together

3) Cook dinner together and have a romantic candlelight dinner

4) Pretend you are tourists in your own town and head to the number 1 tourist attraction.

5) Go on a picnic

6) Volunteer together

7) Take a dance class together

8) Go to a wine tasting

9) Visit a local museum

10) Have a game night and each pick your favorite board game to play

11) Go to a drive in movie

12) Make pizza together and practice tossing the dough

13) Go on a short train ride and explore a neighboring town

14) Find a big hill and go sledding on a snowy day

15) Workout together

16) Go tailgating and cheer on your favorite team

17) Find somewhere far from city lights and stargaze together

18) Bake cookies together and decorate a cookie for the other person

19) Walk around an arboretum or flower garden

20) Work on a diy project around the house together

21) Go shopping for each other! Go to Walmart or Target and head in different directions with a plan to meet at the front of the store in 30 minutes. Your goal? To each find a gift for the other under $5. Once you are in the car or back at home give the gift to the other and explain why you bought the item. (This date idea came from my college roommate!)

22) Get a couples massage

23) Go bowling. Whoever loses has to make dinner for the other.

24) Find the perfect spot to watch the sunset (or sunrise!)

25) Go on a bike ride

26) Take a cooking class

27) Write each other love notes and then read them to each other

28) Go camping

29) Go out for coffee and people watch

30) Take a cooking class

31) Buy a canvas and paint and spend the evening creating a masterpiece together

32) Play a game of mini-golf

33) Go on a double date with friends

34) Go on a day trip with no destination planned. Enjoy the ride as you drive through nature and stop at places that look interesting

35) See a live show

36) Get dressed up in your Sunday best and go out for brunch

37) Rent a foreign language romance without subtitles and create your own translations of what they are saying just based on their body movements and facial expressions

38) During the holidays, drive around to look at Christmas lights. Don’t forget the hot cocoa and the Christmas music

39) Go to a sporting event, like a baseball game

40) Turn some romantic music on and dance together in your living room

41) Go to an open mic poetry night. If you are brave get on stage and read poetry you wrote

42) Head to the beach on a warm day

43) Stay overnight at a B&B

44) Visit a nearby lake and go paddle boating

45) Spend the evening in front of the fireplace

46) Take a walk, hand in hand

47) Go roller skating- old school!

48) Go to a free concert at your local park

49) Take a trip to your local thrift store and pick out an outfit for each other

50) Take a boat tour or walking tour of your town or one nearby

51) Visit your local Farmer’s Market or county fair

52) Go to the pumpkin patch in the Fall and then carve pumpkins

53) Spend a whole day in bed together


What would you add? I’d love to hear your date night ideas!

Date Night Ideas {Saturday Stumbles}

I’m excited to be going out on an actual date with Sinisa for the first time in a very long time. Both kids are going to be gone so we are going to have date night. Here are some ideas I came across while looking for fun date night ideas:

Have a Chinese themed date night at home {great pictures and ideas here}


If you have a whole weekend for the date, check out this WILD JUNGLE SAFARI date idea!


33 At Home Date Night Ideas


Check out these unusual date night ideas {sure to make you laugh for years to come}


Recreate your first date! {and find more ideas here}


Go sledding {and 50 more date night ideas here}


One friend used to go to the store with her boyfriend and they each had to buy something for the other. The catch? The gift had to be less than $5. It’s always funny to see what each person buys for the other on their limited budget.


The Knot has 20 date ideas here {including volunteering together}


What is your favorite date night idea?