5 Cozy Winter Date Night Ideas

Thank you Idahoan® Steakhouse® Soups for sponsoring this post. Treat your SOUP-er significant other to a delicious meal!

It's that time of year when you need to have some cozy date ideas to close out winter! We LOVE Idahoan® Steakhouse® Soups and how warm and cozy they make us feel. #ad #CLVR #IdahoanSoups

I’m someone who tends to remember things by date, and I remember a date night we went on a year ago this weekend!

My mom and/or sister always comes for a weekend around Valentine’s Day or President’s Day and then we always take that opportunity to go on a real date. We have plenty of sitters around but there’s something about knowing the kids are happily and safely in relatives’ hands. Sometimes they take the kids out to a kid-friendly restaurant and/or movie, and then we have an at-home date. Sometimes the kids stay at their local grandparents’ house for a night or two. With my family coming this weekend and with the kids going to their other grandparents’ house next weekend, I have cozy winter dates on the brain.

It’s the time of year to hunker down and get close. I have been embracing all the coziest elements to better enjoy the colder and darker times. This means more bubble baths and reading by the fireplace. This means wrapping myself in my favorite grey cashmere blanket and watching winter movies. And this means still getting out there and enjoying the love and light of the season. I have told you before that I’m a soup fiend. I think about soup every day of fall and winter, and even a little bit of spring too. You also already know I love Idahoan® Steakhouse® Soups. I also incorporate them into date time.

It's that time of year when you need to have some cozy date ideas to close out winter! We LOVE Idahoan® Steakhouse® Soups and how warm and cozy they make us feel. #ad #CLVR #IdahoanSoups

It's that time of year when you need to have some cozy date ideas to close out winter! We LOVE Idahoan® Steakhouse® Soups and how warm and cozy they make us feel. #ad #CLVR #IdahoanSoups

Sometimes you have to get creative, which I did with Cassidy yesterday, and he did with me. It was so much fun to have surprises all day long to find. He put special socks from one of my favorite movies in my sock drawer to find. He came home with chocolates and flowers, and put fun toys, games, and other presents all over my desk to find. The really funny one was that he put Valentine toilet paper in our new bathroom. Hilarious! For him, I thought about all the things that make the best Cassidy day/night and incorporated them into the house. I’m talking appetizers, a full dinner (even wine), snacks for late night TV, bath bombs, and a card on his pillow. It was such fun. And it reminded me to keep that magic going this winter.

Here are five of my favorite winter dates.

1 – Pop popcorn on the stove, add a sweet treat as well, and have a themed movie marathon. Coming up with the themes is fun. You can even find enough movies for a Valentine’s Day movie marathon. Or movies with snow in them.

2 – Choose a movie theater and go, and just see the first movie about to play, as long as it’s not sold out.

3 – Go to a Trivia Night at a local bar or club. We have local ones with movie themes, and there are at least three places in town that do weekly general trivia nights, and they all do them at different nights of the week for courtesy.

4 – Breakfast together! If you’re really enterprising, first a hotel night and then breakfast! The BEST.

5 – Have a cozy dinner night indoors and make soup the biggest part of your meal. Yes. Soup is amazing and versatile. It makes you feel warm, it tastes delicious, and there’s even something romantic about it. Sharing soup. YUM.

Idahoan Steakhouse Soups are quick and easy to make, and they cause the house to smell delightfully delicious for hours on end. That’s why I share it with Cassidy, because he is my SOUP-er significant other. Get it? Anyway, why do I share my Idahoan Steakhouse Soups with Cassidy? It’s because they give you the flavorful, slow-cooked taste of restaurant-quality soup at home, but in 5 minutes! There’s 4 varieties: Loaded Potato, Creamy Potato, Cheddar Broccoli and Cheddar Potato.

Otherwise known as my four favorite soup flavors!

It's that time of year when you need to have some cozy date ideas to close out winter! We LOVE Idahoan® Steakhouse® Soups and how warm and cozy they make us feel. #ad #CLVR #IdahoanSoups

I also love that they bring together REAL, red Idaho® potatoes with flavorful seasonings and rich cheeses. This brings a creamy taste in every spoonful. All you have to do is add water, and then you get that creamy goodness.

You can find out more about Idahoan Steakhouse Soups by following them at @IdahoanFoods, and checking out their website.

What’s your favorite soup variety?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

7 Unique and Creative Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

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

Love is in the air! For as long as I can remember, I've said what I wanted to say with Hallmark Signature Cards. Find out why they're the BEST, and other ways to celebrate Valentine's Day this year. #ad #SendingYourLove

I think it goes without saying, but I will never forget my first Valentine’s Day with a boyfriend.

It was so wrong! And so right. It was wrong because I was just getting over the flu so my body was telling me to go lie down for a few hours, or weeks. And we didn’t know to book a restaurant for dinner so we couldn’t find a single place to eat! This was before cell phones so we couldn’t call ahead while driving. We just walked in and out of restaurants and were disappointed each time. Finally, we found a table at a popular Italian place but not until 9pm! I couldn’t help but laugh.

Our Valentine’s Day was so right because, well, we loved each other! We were young and inspired. We exchanged greeting cards and chocolates, and he gave me a giant stuffed bear. I fell asleep with it that night. Ah, Valentine’s Day of youth!

That was the first of many Valentine’s Days in which I wasn’t single. I don’t tell this to many people, but it’s my favorite holiday! It’s so pretty. One of the main reasons I love it so much is the element of surprise. Whether you’re single, taken, or married, you never really know what will happen. And sometimes you have to create that magic and mystery yourself. There’s nothing wrong with that! I think of it as a family holiday, but then that leads me back to what started my family. My relationship with my husband. So whether snuggling close with him, or with all four of us, I know it will be a gorgeous day.

For as long as I can remember, I have expressed myself in words. And for as long as I can remember, I have relied on Hallmark Signature Cards to be the beginning of my expression of feelings. Gifting cards is so important. Hallmark Signature Cards have been my top choice and my sister and I would try to top each other with the BEST and MOST appropriate and relevant cards. Whether to each other, or to the idea of romance in our lives down the line. In fact, if I saw a particularly romantic card at the store, I would buy it. Even when single. It’s because it gave me something to dream about and to look forward to – a real, messy, wonderful, expressive love. And gosh, I have found that.

In fact, I was super excited to go to Walmart last week to get a head start on my Valentine buying. It seriously gives me glee! You can often hear me laughing or maybe even see me wiping away tears in the card aisle. It’s PERFECT for me:

At Walmart, you can find the newest collection of Hallmark Signature Cards for Valentine’s Day. When you go to Walmart, it’s easy to get everything you need – including the perfect card. Hallmark always has a card for everything. Their wide range of cards covers you from every day and birthday, to special occasion and seasonal. My eye is on the prize!

Like I was saying above, sometimes you have to create your own magic on Valentine’s Day. There’s no use sitting and waiting for what will happen. You can make it happen! Here are 7 Unique and Creative Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day:

1 – Instead of going out, and trying to find a private or quiet place to eat, choose a home cooked meal. Not only that, make it together! Maybe one of you cooks and one doesn’t. Maybe you both do, or neither do, but you can try a meal or week’s worth of meals from a meal subscription service. That can be fun, and romantic. We did that last week. Delicious.

2 – Instead of a night spent alone, spring for a girls’ night out or even a solo date with a movie and ice cream. (my favorite)

3 – Instead of flowers, try a plant. It lasts longer. Or maybe plant a tree. You never know how big it will get.

4 – Instead of chocolates, make a dessert together. If you are already making dinner together, great. If not, sometimes it’s fun to focus on making one part of a romantic dinner. Dessert is a favorite meal for some! (me)

5 – Instead of an exotic weekend getaway, (which actually sounds awesome, but money, and time, and kids) be a tourist in your own town. We have a little city full of treasures we have yet to discover. And there’s always more to discover.

6 – Instead of a solo date, consider a group date! Split the duties and the costs and have a ton of fun. Another idea is to volunteer on Valentine’s Day. Pay a visit to people in extra need of love this year.

7 – Instead of fumbling for the words to say, let Hallmark Signature Cards be your guide. They’re always mine. Sometimes it’s just as meaningful, if not more, to find the meanings in these beautiful cards. I ALWAYS find ones that say exactly what I want to say. In fact, I have a great idea. Write a haiku in your card. It’s simple and it’s a way to say so much, in not so many words. Just like a card. It’s unique and creative and doesn’t put too much pressure on you. Try it!

In fact, I’ll write one right now:

Love is quite simple
It only needs an open heart
Wild, ready to soar

Be sure to look for a coupon in the aisle at Walmart, where you can save $2 on 3 Hallmark Valentine’s Day Cards! Right now through Ibotta at Walmart, earn $1 back on any Hallmark Valentine’s Cards priced $2.97 and above! Offer through 2/14 or while supplies last.

Make sure to check out the Hallmark Valentine’s Day hub for more inspiration and to find a store near you!

What’s your favorite creative way to celebrate Valentine’s Day?