Monday, November 28, 2011

Joe's Christmas Gift

Alright Joe, stop reading right now.
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I'm actually successfully keeping this one a surprise so don't read this post

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I mean it, Joey.

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Okay, I think we're safe now. Husband should be gone.

I've got Joe's Christmas gift all plotted out and thought I'd share:

A Year of Date Nights:

Ever since Evie was born our date night has suffered. Her inability to go to sleep for anyone but Joe and me (and struggling even with us) makes it very difficult to leave her with a sitter, even grandparents. So this is what date night looks like for us:

Put Evie to bed at 7.
7-8:30: I work, Joe either works or watches TV, waiting, making sure the baby is really asleep.
8:30: leave for movie at the dollar theatre, my mom babysits.
11:30: return home, praying that little Evie is still asleep. Sometimes she is, sometimes she isn't. Sometimes she woke up and grandma successfully put her back down.

Bottom line, this is not a romantic carefree way to date.

Poor Joe.

Poor me.

It was time for a date-night-intervention.

On pinterest I'd been seeing this pin "A year of prepaid planned dates" and people saying it was a great wedding gift.


I"m thinking, seriously, that's quite the wedding gift?! I think we'll stick with a cake plate for wedding gifts.

But I could give my own husband (and therefore myself...) a year's worth of prepaid planned non-movie dates. It's money we've budgeted for dates anyway, why not preplan them and surprise them.

You see, Joe is up for anything but when I ask him to plan things it stresses him out.

I asked him to plan our first anniversary and a few days before he broke down and said "will you please help  me, I don't know what to do!"

This man will LOVE, L-O-V-E, LOVE pre-planned dates.

So I started planning. And decided that manilla envelopes was a little boring. I much preferred something like this coupon book I saw on etsy. And I set off to designing something similar.

I use the term "design" loosely here. Mine was "designed" in MS Powerpoint and not InDesign or Photoshop.

I don't have mad design skills. But I did google how to install new fonts and used two, count them TWO non-standard fonts.

Oh and I planned one date per month.

I printed them off. Cut the cardstock for the book. Assembled, had it bound. And am now gathering the "inserts" for the pocked on each month.

Pictures? Okay. Let's call it a Tutorial since that is the buzzword in blogland:

1. First you'll want to modify & print out the ppt slides. You can use mine as a template (I also included instructions on exactly how to print and where to get the fonts I used). Download the file here:


2. Cut out 2 rectangles of cardstock for each month in coordinating colors. I went with a 1/2" border all around and then and extra half inch on the lower piece so it stands out and creates that visible pocket.

3. Adhere the PPT slide to the smaller rectangle (I used double sided sticky tape on 2 sides).

4. Adhere the smaller rectangle to the larger rectangle (I used double sided sticky tape on 3 sides, not the 4th or you'll seal off the pocket!).


5. Take it to an office supply/copy shop and have it spiral bound (Mine cost just over $2)

6. Fill up each pocket with something small.
I also plan on adding a cover page, but haven't gotten to it yet and wanted to share early in the month for all you brainstorming your gift giving.

I feel good about this gift. It is handmade and it'll make Joe feel special. And it'll make our date nights more exotic for the next year.

You heard me, ice skating is exotic.

We are officially a pathetic suburban couple.

If you are wondering what we will be doing, here's Our Plan (within the brackets is what I plan on putting in each pocket):

January: Ice Skating at Murray Park [gift card for hot chocolate]
February: Go see the new Utah Museum of Natural History [pre-paid tickets]
March: Going to a Vocal Point concert [Tickets if they go on sale by Christmas]
April: Going geocaching [gift card for snacks/lunch]
MayTandem bike ride to get J-Dawgs in Provo [cash for JDawgs, phone number for bike rental place]
June: Roast hot dogs in the canyon (which is what we did on our first date, June 2006) [A note that says "I'll bring the supplies if you stoke the fire" which is both literal and a reference to the text message exchange that brought us together...oh and the fact that Joe made me build the fire on our first date and I was a failure]
July: Dinner at Ruth's Diner [print off of the map to get there, it's up the canyon]
August: See "Sound of Music" at the Hale Center Theater [Tickets]
September: Go berry picking, with or without the baby in tow [Cash for the berry field]
October: Tram Ride at a ski-resort, moonlit or regular, his choice [Not sure, ideas?]
November: Date to Nicklecade [A couple of nickles]
December: Date to Color Me Mine [gift certificate for them]

There you go. My husband's Christmas gift. Which is really a gift to us both.

What would you do on your 12 dates? Are you going to make one for your significant other? I hope so.

Do it. They'll love it. I plan on making this an annual tradition.

4 little remarks:

painty (Melinda) said...

Super idea!

Anne said...

soooo cute! I love all the fun ideas! Where do you go berry picking?

*Aliese* said...

Totally pinning this. :) LOVE the idea.

Ali said...

What a great idea...guys are SO hard to shop for since the stuff they want usually requires loads of (their own) research:) If I can get my act together, I'll be copying this someday.

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