Marriage, married life, relationship skills

25 Free or Cheap Date Ideas That Isn’t Netflix or Redbox

Dating our spouse is important, but can be so expensive!  You can spend quality time with our spouse without breaking the bank.  Netflix or any other streaming services are great, but there so many other FUN things out there that you and your spouse can do and enjoy without it being overly expensive!  

date ideas 2

Here are 25 Dates that Won’t Cost Much!

Have a Fancy Dinner In: Dress up in your fanciest clothes, set the table with your best dinnerware, light some candles, and cook your favorite meal to enjoy together.

Bake Together: Taste testing is the best part!

Go for a Long Late Night Walk: Hold hands and talk!

Play Board Games: You could make a friendly wager of loser has to give the winner a massage.

Volunteer: Pick a local shelter or cause together.

Workout: You can workout at home or hit up a local class you’ve been wanting to try.

Have a Video Game Night: Racing games, trivia games, party games, and dancing games can be so fun!

Have a Picnic: It can be indoor or outdoor, either way, lay out a blanket and pack a basket!

Bicycling: Explore the neighborhood in a new way, or explore a local park.

Watch Funny Videos on YouTube: There are plenty of funny compilations online.

Go to an Art Gallery: Look up your local art gallery; they sometimes offer free nights to display up and coming artists.

Geocaching: There are different websites you can look up that list different places where geocaches are located. Make sure you bring something to leave too!

Go to Open HousesWhile there, you can discuss your dream home with each other.

Have a Lip Sync Battle: You can even dress up to try to reenact the music video!

Fire and Smores: Have a fire in your backyard, snuggle, and make smores together.

Go See a Local Band: Many restaurants have live music on weekends and do not require you to eat dinner there to enjoy the music.

Nerf War: Borrow the kid’s nerf guns and have a battle!

Go Fishing: You can enjoy the peace of the outdoors, and see who has the biggest catch!

Stargazing: Drive away from the city, pull over, lay on the hood, and take it all in.

Hiking: Look up local trails and go have fun!

Factory Tours: Many local factories give free tours, all you have to do is ask!

Thrift Store or Department Store: Have a contest to see who can put together the best and/or ugliest outfit. Don’t forget to try them on for each other too!

Water Balloon/Gun Fight: Fill them up, and fire away!

Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt: Many places allow you to build your own so you can pick as few or as many toppings as you’d like!

Sunset: Sit in your car, or bring a blanket for the grass, and watch the sunset together. You can reflect on your time together while you watch the sun slip away.


There you have it!  25 simple, free, or cheap dates for you and your spouse.  What else would you add to the list?


Download your FREE 25 Dates Printable!


25 dates printable

Marriage, married life

Give Your Best to Your Spouse


Dave Willis has it all right when he says, “always strive to give your spouse your very best of yourself…” I feel so often my husband gets what is left at the end of the day: after all the baby feedings, laundry, cleaning, taking care of the kids, which I’ll be honest, isn’t much! We need to make the time to give our spouse our very best because at the end of the day they are what matters the most.

Freebies, Printables, Recipes

Instant Pot Recipes to Make Your Mouth Water!

This post contains affiliate links.

Have you jumped on the Instant Pot cooking trend yet? It is a must-have appliance in my home.  I use it daily because I often forget to pull my meat out to defrost in the morning, or I just need a meal that I can throw into the pot and get some of my endless to-do list tasks done.  I LOVE my Instant Pot and can’t imagine life without it. It’s fast and the cleanup is unbeatable!

Interested in buying or learning more about an Instant Pot? Click here

Today we are sharing with you some of our FAVORITE EASY recipes as well as a FREE DOWNLOADABLE beginners guide to get you cooking with your Instant Pot!


Here are some of the Basics of the Instant Pot:

  • Make sure you have the vent set to sealing when you want to pressure cook.  If it isn’t closed, your pot can’t come to pressure and cook your food.  The knob moves back and forth between sealing and venting.
  • There are two different kinds of pressure releases. You use the knob for venting for pressure release.
    • Natural Pressure Release (NPR or NR) and Quick Pressure Release (QPR or QR).  When you do a natural pressure release, you let the pressure come down by itself after the pot has finished cooking the food.
    • A Quick Pressure Release is a little more daunting. There is a vent seal on the top of the pot that needs to be turned in order for the steam to release quickly.  As the vent is turned, steam instantly pours out and can make a startling sound. Never fear!  It’s normal and you will get used to it as you use your Instant Pot more.
  • The amount of time it takes for you pot to come to pressure depends on the amount of liquid. More liquid=more time.
  • You know that your pot has come to pressure when the pin (floater) is up and the countdown starts on the display.
  • There are many safety features built into electric pressure cookers so don’t be scared! They aren’t like the old stovetop ones. You can’t open it until the pressure pin goes down and there is also a feature that stops the pot if it senses burning inside as well.
  • Be careful with dairy and flour! These ingredients bubble up and can scorch easily and can make a huge mess! Add it at the end when all of the actual pressure cooking is done.

You can download your Beginners Guide here

Quick-Reference-Instant- Pot-Cooking-Times


Side Dishes in the Instant Pot


Bacon Ranch Potatoes in Pressure Cooker from Sweet and Savory by Shinee


Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs from Cooking with Curls


How to Make Perfect Instant Pot Eggs: Soft, Medium & Hard Boiled! from The Kitchen Magpie

Instant Pot Cream of Mushroom Soup from Pressure Luck

Main Dishes in the Instant Pot


Pressure Cooker Mongolian Beef from Pressure Cooking Today


Instant Pot Easy Sweet Pork from Six Sisters’ Stuff


Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos from Skip to my Lou

Instant Pot Beef Stew (One Pot Pressure Cooker) + Video from Life Made Sweeter


Pressure Cooker Chicken and Rice Casserole from Simply Recipes


Instant Pot {Pressure Cooker} Hamburger Stroganoff from Julie’s Eats and Treats


Creamy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese from Family Fresh Meals


Balsamic Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin from Eating on a Dime


Instant Pot Crispy Mojo Pork Shoulder with Spicy Slaw from Zen Belly


Instant Pot Old Fashioned Pot Roast from Bread Booze Bacon


Instant Pot Spaghetti from Cooking Classy


Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff from This Old Gal



Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo from Nature Moms Blog


Slow Cooker Cheesesteak Sandwiches (Instant Pot too) from Lauren Greutman


Desserts in the Instant Pot


Instant Pot Oreo Cheesecake from My Baking Addiction


Instant Pot Cheesecake from Amy + Jack Pressure Cook Recipes


Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake from isaveA2Z

Are you ready to buy your own Instant Pot?

Happy Instant Potting!

What recipe is your favorite?

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Mom Life, My Life

This House Runs on Love, Laughter, and Lots of Diet Coke


Diet Coke is so close to my heart! Growing up I remember lots of love, lots of laughter, and an endless supply of Diet Coke. So many great chats were over an ice cold Diet Coke with my mom! She of course has carried her love for Diet Coke on to all her Grandkids by giving them their first little taste of Diet Coke when they turn 6 months old! My kids now love when Grandma comes to visit because that means plenty of Diet Coke to go around! Who else loves Diet Coke as much as we do?

Mom Life, My Life, parenting

Life UnEdited

If you have been following my blog for awhile you will know that I try to be brutally honest about my life with you. I try to really show you who I am as a mom, as a wife, as a daughter, and as a friend.

As a blogger it is easy for us to display a “Pinterest Perfect” life with stock pictures that we can find on the internet of perfectly clean houses, beautiful food, and perfectly put together children and we have the ability to give you the impression that we have it all together, even though our houses are not always clean, we have toys everywhere, we eat fast food about 3 times a week in between running the kids around, and our kids have messy faces from the last meal they ate.

Great picture! But who’s kids wouldn’t be jumping in the water by now?

If you think about it, we all do this! You get a text that someone is on their way to drop something off and you madly start cleaning everything in sight that they will see when the rest of the house looks like a bomb went off in it. Or you blame the dishes in the sink on it being “your child’s job” even though they have never once cleaned the dishes. The best one is when someone asks you if you are okay, and you say, “I’m Fine.” even when you really aren’t fine and on the verge of tears. (I’m Guilty of this big time!)

Why do we do this? I will tell you why! Because we feel like we are not good enough. We feel alone. We feel self conscious because we feel like everyone else has it together while we are barely holding it together. We come up with this facade of the “perfect life” because we worry if someone saw us for who we really are they would think to themselves, “Oh my gosh… Can you believe… (fill in the blank).”

I promise you that you are not alone in your struggles! There are so many people out there that are struggling with similar things that you struggle with! But why don’t we share these things? Because we are scared. Because we always put our best foot forward for the world to see! On Instagram we see all the happy moments from everyone’s photos. On Snapchat you pick a really good filter to cover up your newly acquired zit, and oh Pinterest, thank you so much for making us all feel like our child’s first birthday needs to be on the same caliber as planning a wedding! What ever happened to a simple cake, a few presents, and some balloons? (Oh I guarantee they still exist we are just afraid to show those pictures in fear we might be judged for not throwing the perfect party!)

After writing “How Do You Get It All Done” and “10 Ways to Fall Back  in Love with Your Husband” (and some other posts here and here) it felt so good to share some hard things I have really struggled with. It felt even better to KNOW that they HELPED PEOPLE because they were struggling just like I was!

I started this blog to help people, so I decided that every Thursday I am am going to change it up a bit and show you real life! I will show you the good and the bad. The happy and the sad. The celebration and the tears and of course it will all be unedited, unfiltered, just life…

unfiltered, unedited, just me in real life!

Welcome to Life Unedited!

We will see how this goes, I mean let’s be honest… My life is not that glamourous! I don’t wear makeup 80% of the week and I hardly ever do my hair! I love to wear my pajamas for most of the day (even leaving the house if I know I am not getting out of the car) and I try to get stuff done, but usually something always comes up! I am a stay at home mom who stays home a lot! But guess what is so awesome about this? I am probably like a lot of you! Yes, I am bored out of my mind on some days and wish I was shopping at the mall or climbing the corporate ladder, but then there are days that I get things done and I feel so accomplished! I bet even if you aren’t a stay at home mom we have things in common, like eating out, shopping at Target, kids who love video games a little too much,  or running around the bedroom right before bed to get our 10,000 steps in.

Yep! It’s noon and I still have my pajamas on and yesterdays makeup… In fact I haven’t even brushed my hair yet! Now That’s honesty for you!

Join our Journey

I invite you to join this  journey with me of #LifeUnedited where we share real life with one another! We share the good and the bad. The happy and the sad. The celebration and the tears, so that everyone out there knows that they are not alone! That there are people just like them!  What do you say will you join us?

Life UnEdited


Kids, parenting

I Love You Right Up to the Moon and Back


As a little girl I loved hearing I love you right up to the moon and back! When I heard it I knew that my mom loved me so much! Now that I am a mom I love telling my kids that I love them right up to the moon and back. My daughter who is 2 loves this as well! Every night I tuck her in and give her a kiss and tell her I love her. She then tells me she loves me. I follow it up with I love you right up to the moon and back and then in her tiny two year old voice she says, “I love you moon and back, Mommy.” It melts my heart every time!

Wandering Wednesday

Wandering Wednesday #23

Wandering WednesdayHello! And Welcome Back to our Wandering Wednesday Link UP Party and Happy Valentine’s Day! 

What is everyone doing for Valentine’s Day? We are having a fancy dinner with steak, potatoes, salad, and all the fixings! And of course Sparkling Cider! The kids love fancy dinners!

We are so excited you are here with us today and we are so excited to announce some NEW THINGS happening at Wandering Wednesday! 

But before we get to the Exciting new CHANGES, we wanted to remind you that you find other link ups to join here. Also, if you are wondering why linking up is so awesome or how to do it, click here!

So For Our Exciting New Changes!

  • We Have started a Wandering Wednesday Board on Pinterest! We will pin ALL the posts you share at Wandering Wednesday there! So be sure to follow the board and REPIN your FAVORITE Posts from this week to your boards!
  • With all our Featured posts we will also make a SPECIAL GRAPHIC with their pins advertising Wandering Wednesday for even more exposure!
  • With these Great Changes, we have also decided to honor more blogs! So I will still choose my favorite, our guest host will choose hers, and we will still vote for the best one! We will then honor the three posts that got the most clicks from the week before!

I hope you are as excited as I am with the NEW CHANGES! Don’t forget to say, “hi” in the comments and let us know what you think of the changes! Now, let’s get to know Lori, our guest host! 

Meet Lori, from Choosing Wisdom!


It’s another great week here on Wandering Wednesday’s! Happy Valentine’s Day!  I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of the holiday. It might go back to some childhood trauma involving a lack of valentines in my homemade mailbox. But that is another story! 
On a day where we are celebrating love I thought it would be appropriate to share some of my greatest loves with you. As a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, and friend my relationships mean the world to me. I love learning, reading, tandem biking with my husband, spending time with my grandson, and of course writing. 
I developed my love of writing when I was a young girl.  I used to make up stories and have my mom illustrate them for my class to read. In my mind there always seemed to be a narrative going on and words were always reframing themselves to make stronger and more concise sentences. One of my greatest dreams is to one day write a book.

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 Lori is on  Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Her blog is, and she can also be found contributing on Evolve! and Midday Mornings.

We are so excited to share “Our Favorite Things” With you this week! 


My Favorite Pick!

Sometimes we all need a good laugh, and Micah from Home Faith Family had me chuckling at her Humorous Responses To Give When People Ask, “Why Do You Have So Many Kids!?”.  I was able to easily relate to her grocery shopping trips where people make not-so-welcome comments to the number of children I have in tow.  I always come up blank as to what to say to these strangers that feel the need to make comments, but now I feel like I have a few good responses up my sleeve to bring some humor to the situation thanks to her witty post.


 Lori’s Favorite!

There were so many great blog posts shared last week I had a really hard time choosing! I did love How do I do it all? By Michele Tripple – How often do we fall into the trap that we have to have and do things a certain way?  I love how honest Michele was in facing the hard realities of a mom’s everyday life.  Best advice of the century – simplify!  I think we all know it deep down, but doesn’t it help to have someone else say it’s okay?
 But since she is the host my final choice was Unexpected Blessing of Teamwork by Little House on the Water. Their adventure just blew my mind! Living in 200 square feet with six people while they sail around the world!  I can’t even imagine all the wonderful life lessons they are having while spending this quality time together! My favorite thing she said was: What kind of mom do I want to be for my children? What attitude am I choosing to model for them?  We always have a choice and I love how intentional they are being with their family!


The Viewers Favorite!

The favorite this week by the viewers was Love Is Patient Love is Kind Free Printables by A Hundred Affections. I loved these Printables also and can’t wait to hang one in my house!


Most Clicks This Week Goes To:

Valentine’s DIY Candy Jar by Three Clementines

10 Valentine’s Activities to Do With Your Little Love bugs by Erin Brown Hollis

Love Is Patient Love is Kind Free Printables  by A Hundred Affections

Thank you so much for everyone’s entries and we can’t wait to read your posts this week!

Enjoy this week’s Wandering Wednesday!  Don’t forget to vote for your favorite post this week in the comments below.  See you next week!

So Now on to the party!
Click here to see the awesome blog posts!

If you still need our new widget codes click here 

If you are interested in being a co-host please let us know here!

Add Your Favorite Post Here!


Party hours start Wednesdays at 8am (CT) and close at 8am the next day don’t miss out!

Wandering Wednesday Rules

1. Link to a specific post, not your homepage
2. Don’t advertise, do giveaways, link parties, or links to your shops
3. Make sure to check out and comment on at least two other links before leaving
4. By entering a link you are giving me permission to feature an image on my blog, it will always link back to your blog.
5. Follow Confessions of Parenting  Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram/ Pinterest

This link party is for family-friendly articles, that relate to parenting, marriage, recipes, DIYs, recipes, and anything that has to do with the home! 
Please share our LinkUP on Social Media use #WanderingWednesday. Tag me on Twitter @family_journeys in your posts and I will retweet as time allows in my day!

~Signed Michele @ Confessions of Parenting

If you want to be sent a reminder each week when Wandering Wednesday opens, subscribe here. You will only receive Wandering Wednesday notifications by signing up here. Be sure to add us to your address book so it doesn’t accidentally go to your “junk folder”


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*This post has affiliate links. To learn more please see our disclosure.


Marriage, married life

Believe the Best Forgive the Rest and Say, “I Love You”


In marriage it’s all about believing in your spouse and trusting them. When we believe the best in our spouse then we are always willing to give them the benefit of the doubt in all things. When we do this it is so much easier to forgive and move on and love them even more even with their shortcomings. So continue to believe in your spouse and forgive them because as we do this we will grow closer as a couple, fight less, and solve problems as one and love them more.

Kids, Mom Life, My Life, parenting, Product Review, things that work

How To Limit Screen Time with Tweens and Teens

This post contains affiliate links.

I have a love hate relationship with technology! I love it because it offers so much information right at our fingertips, but I HATE it because how much it sucks my kids in! I mean let’s be honest with video games, new YouTubers popping up everyday, and a variety of other ways to suck our kids in if we aren’t careful they will be “hooked up” to technology from the time they get home from school until bedtime, excluding the 5 minute break that they take coming down for “family dinner” to scarf down some food! And we haven’t even begun to talk about what they could possibly find on the internet!

I have tried so many things with the boys trying to get them to not spend so much time using technology, but each method has failed. Mostly because I hate being the bad guy! I don’t want to listen to their whining when I take electronics away so I end up giving in and giving it back to them. I am also inconsistent because it is so hard to monitor how much time each person has spent on technology! And on top of that, you can’t really chase Tweens and Teens around asking them if they are on their devices without being the “most overprotective mom” in the entire world.


I knew Chase would be getting a phone for Christmas and part of me was scared to death as to how much MORE he would be on the internet, so I started searching for different ways to limit the amount of wifi that each child used as well as have some sort of internet security in place to protect them from a lot of inappropriate stuff out there and that is when I heard about Circle with Disney.

What is Circle With Disney?

Circle with Disney is a device that you hook up with your router that controls each device individually on your wifi network, that is all controlled through an app on your phone, so it’s super convenient.  It allows you to place time limits as well as security limits on devices and individuals that are hooked up to your network. Circle with Disney allows me to set wake up and bed times, off times throughout the day, filter content, as well as look at the history of where each person has been on the internet. I can also pause each person’s wifi or give rewards for good behavior with a click of a button on the app on my phone! I don’t even have to be home to do this!



How Does Circle Work For Our Family?

We have had Circle with Disney for almost 2 months and it has worked fantastic for our family! At first the boys were using their entire wifi allotment within hours of waking up and they of course would come beg for more, but now they have learned to use their wifi when they really want to play a game or watch something on YouTube. Very rarely are they using all their wifi on their personal devices in a day. They have discovered the outdoors and other activities that they really enjoy, they are no longer getting up at 6am on Saturday (because they know the wifi is off) and family dinners are now longer than 5 minutes!



I love knowing exactly where my kids have been on the internet and how much time they are spending there. I no longer fear about them running into inappropriate content because I know it is being blocked. I have also discovered how much time I waste in a day on the internet and limited myself as well so that I too can be productive!

Circle with Disney is $99.00 and has been worth every penny because the wifi is no longer a battle I have to fight everyday with the kids! If you want to limit wifi and have struggled doing that I can guarantee this will work for you! They also have a monthly plan that protects devices when they are off the wifi network as well if your kids decide to start using data when they run out of wifi for the day (mine haven’t tried this yet because they know they will lose their phones for a very long time if we go over our data plan!)

If you struggle with screen time like we did, Circle with Disney can really help solve your screen time problems! Click here to purchase Circle with Disney at Amazon!


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Marriage, married life, relationship skills

Do We Spend our Time Wondering or Loving?


I love this saying because it helps me to really focus on what is important! I am such an over analyzer and I am always wondering or assuming rather than showing my love for my husband. When we think about it, of course we know that our spouse loves us, so rather than us focusing on wondering, let’s focus on showing them just how much we love them!