Archive of ‘Marriage’ category

34 Dates in 34 Days

In November of this year, my husband turned 34. To celebrate his birthday I didn’t want to get him a tangible gift – I’m not much for wrapping video games and other quick-purchase items when it comes to him. I’m more in the business of gifting him experiences.

For his 33rd birthday I took him to the Dallas Cowboys Stadium to tour it and see the locker rooms, etc.
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All in all it was a excellent Birthday for him.

Cowboys2 Cowboys4
We even got to meet Michael Downs, a former Dallas Cowboys safety.

Since Patrick is the “Ultimate Cowboys Fan” (which, I’ve learned, all Cowboys fans think they are), I knew this year had to be impressive or it wouldn’t stand up to last years surprise.

One thing Patrick always tells me is that he wishes we went on more dates. We do go out often, but we have a whole list of places we’ve been wanting to go see, or things we’ve been wanting to do.  So this year for Patrick’s Birthday I decided to give him 34 consecutive dates to celebrate his 34th birthday.  They would each be pre-planned and pre-paid, so there would be no excuses to not complete a date. So I started by compiling a list of 34 dates. Things we’ve either been putting off doing, or thing we love to do together.

For the delivery, I designed a deck of cards for Patrick and put them into an old Moo Business Cards case I had.  Each card had one side that was color-coded based on the duration of the date (with his work schedule often changing or requiring overtime, I needed to be sure that he was choosing dates that were possible to complete before he had to leave for work), a place for weather requirements, expiration dates, notes, and more.
On the reverse of each card described the date we would be going on, and an envelope number. The cards would be in the box with the color-coded area facing forwards, so he would select a card based on the requirements of the date, and only after settling on a card for the day would he know what the actual activity was.

Any dates that required ANY information (Gift Card, Cash, Maps, Directions, Hours, Notes, etc) noted an envelope number on the bottom of the card. I had envelopes with corresponding numbers printed on them, so when he chose a date, he could quickly locate the envelope with all pertinent information for that date.

Date Cards
The dates ranged from romantic (Dinner and a Movie) to goofy (putt putt), and from quick (geocaching) to long (day-long scavenger hunt). They ran the gamut of dates, and really covered all the bases of things we wanted to do together.

It took me about 3 months to design everything, print it all up, collect all the necessary information, and save up the cash for each date without piquing Patrick’s attention.

I’ve been asked a lot about where I got the cards/envelopes, or how I made them. I designed them in photoshop, based on a set of cards a friend had received as a gift. I liked the neutral color scheme, and simple lines, but wanted to add a little personality to each card, hence the mix of designs. I made sure to make most of the cards something cheeky/funny, though, b/c that’s how we are with one another.

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To print the cards, I used Avery Printable Business Cards #8869. Be sure you get the 2 sided, print-to-edge cards with a clean-edge perforation.
I made a template in photoshop with the different designs for the top and bottom portions as different layers that I could turn on or off as needed, and then just edited the text of each card.  Read to the end of the post for a link to download your own set of cards.

Along with his date cards, I included some “instructions” cards, so that the first time he opened the box, he would know what his gift was, and how it worked.

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We started our dates on October 6th. He drew his first card at 12:59am. Can you tell he was excited to find out what his gift was?? I had been talking about it incessantly for a month. He asked for a hint at one point, and the hint I gave him was “It involves a dog, a golf ball, and a stripper”. How’s that for a hint? Ha!

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Here’s a quick (or as quick as 34 days can be) outline of our dates. You’ll notice all of these photos are cell phone photos from Instagram. That’s because we wanted to focus on enjoying ourselves, and worry less about getting perfect photos (something I struggle in finding a balance with). So our happy-medium was iPhone photos and Instagram. 😉

Date 1: Canasta
Envelope included a new deck of cards.
Date1

Date 2: Dallas Arboretum
Envelope included directions and map of gardens
Date2 Date2x1
Date3: Feeding the ducks
Envelope included $5.00 for bread.
Date3
Date 4: Food Truck Dining
Envelope included directions to Klyde Warren Park, and $25.00 in cash for lunch.
Date4

Date 5: Frozen Yogurt
Envelope included cash.
Date5

Date 6: Dallas Holocaust MuseumEnvelope included directions and a Groupon for tickets to the museum.
Date6
Date 7: Movie night
Envelope included a gift card to Harkins Movie Theaters.
Date7
Date 8: Photoshoot
Envelope included a groupon for a photoshoot appointment.
Date8

Date 9: Trip to the Arcade
Envelope included a print out from a local arcade, and $25 cash for unlimited play.
Date9
Date 10: Sushi
Envelope included cash for lunch.10 points for the FRIENDS fans who catch the Unagi reference.10 points for the FRIENDS fans who catch the Unagi reference.

Date 11: Dinner and a Movie
Envelope included gift card to Fandango, and print out of movies playing at AMC Dine in Theatres
Date 11
Date 12: Cupcakes
Envelope included Groupon for $20 worth of baked goods from a local bakery.
Date 12
Date 13: Inside Joke that we keep private. 😉
Not everything can be public knowledge!

Date 14: Take donations to the animal shelter
Envelope included a $25 gift card to PetSmart to buy supplies.
Date14 Date14x2
Date 15: Geocaching
Envelope included 2 Travel Bugs
Date15
Date 16: Scavenger Hunt

Envelope included a list for our hunt.
Date16x2Some of our favorites from the hunt…Scav Hunt
Date 17: Top Golf
Envelope included a gift card to Top Golf.
Date 17
Date 18: Drive in Movie
Envelope included cash for tickets, and a print out of the menu and directions to the Coyote Drive-In in Fort Worth.
Date18
Date 19: Icecream
Envelope included cash.
Date19
Date 20: Trip to the Farmers Market
No envelope.
Date 20
Date 21: Movie Trading Company
Envelope included cash.
Date21
Date 22: Texas State Fair
We weren’t able to actually go on this date, due to inclement weather on the date it was planned for, and then working around ill children. Bummed, but maybe next year!

Date 23: 150 years of Fort Worth museum
Envelope included directions and information about the museum.Date23

Date 24: Bahama Bucks
Envelope included $10 in gift cards to Bahama Bucks.Date24

Date 25: Putt Putt
Envelope included a Groupon to a local putt putt/go kart place.Date25

Date 26: Trip to the dog park
No envelopeDate26

Date 27: Trip to the Stockyards
Envelope included information about upcoming events at the Stockyards.Date27

Date 28: Angel Tree
Envelope included $25 cash for giftsDate28
Date 29: Dallas Zoo

We were not able to complete this date due to inclement weather.

Date 30: Redbox Movie night
Envelope included red box gift cardsDate30

Date 31: GoKart Racing
We were not able to complete this date due to inclement weather.

Date 32: Water Gardens
We were not able to complete this date due to inclement weather.

Date 33: Drinks at the Reunion Tower
Envelope included cash for drinks.
Date29
Date 34: A night at the NYLO Hotel.
Patrick has been saying for months and months that he wanted to go back to the NYLO. We once stayed there following a Rangers game, but I’ve been putting it off because I knew I wanted to tie it into his birthday gift. This was the one date he’d been repeatedly asking for, which is why I saved it for last.
Envelope included reservations for a room at the NYLO. We ended up cancelling the already-made reservations that day, and booked through the app called Hotel Tonight for same-day reservations at steep discounts. It was great, the room was the exact same room we had original reserved, but instead of being out-of-pocket $119, we were out-of-pocket $41, and you can’t beat that! If you download the app, enter referral code “JSPIVEY7” and you’ll instantly get a $25 booking credit in your account.Date34NyloNight
So that was our month of dating! At the end of the month, our reactions were vastly different.
I was ready for a day, staying at home in my pajamas, and Patrick was like “Lets keep going!!”
The only thing I would have changed would be to have more <30 minute dates (b/c those fit best into our schedule in case Patrick has to go into work early, or I’m volunteering up at the school, etc, and to have more indoor dates. We were going to start his 34 dates ON his birthday, which would have taken us almost to Christmas, but I was concerned that the weather would have inhibited too many of the outdoor dates. Starting to early so we ENDED on his birthday was my compromise to accommodate the weather, but even then we had a few that were “rained out” on us, and since we were to the end of the stack, we didn’t have any indoor options to use instead.
The experience was awesome though, and I’ll tell you, it was probably one of our more stress-free months. 🙂

Download your PHOTOSHOP-READY CARD TEMPLATE here
Download the CARD BACK for <30 minute dates here
Download the CARD BACK for 30-90 minute dates here
Download the CARD BACK for >90 minute dates here

If you decide to do this for your significant other, please take a moment to comment on the post letting us know.

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