Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday HBR ~ Loving You Series by Thumper

10 Date Night Ideas Under $15
Keep spending to a minimum and fun to a maximum with these recession-proof date night ideas!

1. Fiesta Night
The Nest staffer Lauren has this weird dream of wearing a sombrero with chips around the brim and salsa in a bowl on the top. We'll just ignore that and offer you this idea for some delicious and calienté amusement.

Novelty sombreros: $10
Chips and salsa: $5
Doing the Mexican Hat Dance naked in said novelty sombreros: hilarious
Total: $15

2. Kickball
Positioning you and your sweetie on opposing teams makes for an excellent grudge match -- and great make-up sex later on.

Kickball: $5
Big grassy field: free
BYOB: free
Cotton t-shirts and markers (clearly you need team jerseys): $2/each if you get at least 12
Losers buy the pizza: makes things much more interesting
Total: around $10/person

3. Romantic Italian Meal
While it's odd to say that dogs once epitomized romance, we loved the scene at the Italian restaurant in Lady and the Tramp. Skip the pricey pasta and opt for the cheaper (and cheesier!) pizza instead. Kissing isn't optional.

2 slices of pizza: $5
2 glasses of wine: $4
Ice cream for 2: $6
Total: $15

4. Fashion Show
She loves Project Runway for the fashion and drama, he loves it for, well, Heidi Klum. Combine your passion for fashion and fun -- and then take it all off at home.

Trying on ridiculous outfits at a vintage store: free
Disposable camera: $6
Incriminating pictures: priceless
Total: $6

5. Movie Night
Miss the wild abandon of your college days? Have the gang over for beers and movie -- but save the make out session for later.

Renting Old School: $5
Inviting your friends over: free
Going really old school and having people throw in beer money at the door: awesome
Going streaking through the quad: optional
Popcorn for 20: $10
Total: $15

6. Watching the Sun Set
Like our love lives, it's easy to overlook the beautiful things that happen around us every day. Watch the sun go down and then share a kiss under the stars.
Blanket to sit on: $6
Sunglasses: $2/each at your local drugstore
Lemonade: $1/each
Total: $15

7. Poetry Night
When it's done right, poetry can express love like no other medium. Remember Byron's "She walks in beauty like the night?" Well, bad poetry can be just as evocative -- and downright hilarious.

Berets: $10
Espresso: $5
Trying to out-do one another with cheesy, horrific poetry about your love for one another: awesome
Total: $15

8. People-watching aka Create Your Own Movie
Not all dates have to be steamy! Simply spending time together is what dating is all about. Pick a beautiful day to sit on a bench in a park and marvel at the wonders -- and freaks! - of nature.

Bottle of wine: $8
Plastic cups: $3
Bench: free
Marveling at the wonders of the public: more fun than you think
Total: $11

9. Silly Sex Night
We'll let the Wikipedia entry for edible underwear speak for itself on this one: "Edible underwear is a type of undergarment that is formed of an edible material which can be consumed by the partner during sexual activity. In this case, pleasure is heightened by undressing the partner with the mouth. However, this sort of underwear is often given as a gag to friends couples."

Edible panties: $6
Kama Sutra: $5
Keeping information to yourselves about the number of positions you try: please do
Total: $11

10. Take a Bath Together
Hot tubs are overrated! There's fun to be had in your very own bathroom. Rub-a-dub-dub, keep it sexy in the tub.

Luxurious bath soap and salts: $8
Back-massaging Loofah: $5
Getting clean and being dirty at the same time: sexy
Total: $13
Source: The Knot By Lauren Le Vine

Fit and Fabulous as You Mature Series
Attached is a cookbook!

Keeping Track of Serving Sizes
Many people think that bigger is better. We are so used to value-sized portions—especially in restaurants—that it can be easy to eat more than our bodies need. Eating smaller portions will help you cut down on calories and fat (and might save you money too). Here is a 1,600-calorie per day sample menu with sensible portion sizes:*

1/2 cup oatmeal
1 English muffin with 1 tablespoon low-fat cream cheese
1 cup low-fat milk
3/4 cup orange juice

2 ounces baked chicken without skin (a little smaller than a deck of cards)Lettuce, tomato, and cucumber salad with 2 teaspoons oil and vinegar dressing
1/2 cup rice seasoned with 1/2 teaspoon tub or liquid margarine
1 small whole-wheat roll with 1 teaspoon margarine

3 ounces lean roast beef (about the size of a deck of cards) with 1 tablespoon beef gravy
1/2 cup turnip greens seasoned with 1/2 teaspoon margarine
1 small baked sweet potato with 1/2 teaspoon margarine
1 slice cornbread
1/4 honeydew melon

2 1/2 cups low-fat microwave popcorn
1 1/2 teaspoons margarine
* Adapted from National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) sample menus.
TIP: Use tub or liquid margarine instead of butter. Choose a soft margarine that has less than 2 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon and has 0 grams of trans fat. "Liquid vegetable oil" should be first on the ingredient list. (American Heart Association)
TIP: Try keeping a food diary. Writing down what you eat, when you eat, and how you feel when you eat can help you understand your eating habits. You may be able to see ways to make your eating habits healthier. You can also use your diary to plan weekly menus, make shopping lists, and keep track of recipes you would like to try. For more information about keeping a food diary, read the Weight-control Information Network (WIN) brochure Just Enough for You: About Food Portions.

Eating Away From Home
In real life, you cannot always cook your meals. Here are some ways to make healthy choices when you are away from home:

  • Use a small plate at social functions to help keep you from eating too much.
  • At restaurants, order a half portion, share a meal with a friend, or take half of your order home for another meal.
  • Balance your meals throughout the day. If you have a high-fat or high-calorie breakfast or lunch, make sure you eat a low-fat dinner. If you know you will be having a higher fat dinner, make lower fat choices earlier in the day

You can do it!

Set goals, and move at your own pace to reach them. Ask your family and friends to help you. They can encourage you, help you with setbacks, and be there to celebrate your successes!
No matter what, keep trying—you can do it!

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