How to Have the Perfect Hassle-Free Date Night In

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It's officially that time of the year, in New York at least, where it's no longer super desirable to venture outside anymore. In fact, I'm sitting here writing this post in a furry robe, under a furry blanket, while it low key blizzards outside (before Thanksgiving). This of course shouldn't stop you from enjoying a night out, but sometimes staying in can be a good option. In fact, I'm thinking it's a great option right now. 

I also love having a classic date night in when the weather's not crazy. As much fun as it is to go to different shows and try new restaurants, nothing truly beats the comfort of home. Right? 

Whether you're trying to avoid the cold weather like me, or simply seeking an uncomplicated evening with your S.O., here are a few must-know tips for the perfect, hassle-free date night in:

1. plan it out

I know, I know. Many times the whole point of having a date night in is to bypass the struggle of actually planning a night out. However, even just a little thought can go a long way. It's easy to get wrapped up binge watching your favorite series on Netflix, so think about what kinds of activities you want to do for the night. Even if you go for a classic movie night, try to add a new twist. For example, watch a genre you wouldn't typically try, or test out a new dessert recipe to enjoy during the film. The possibilities are endless if you take a few moments to think about the night ahead of time! This also ensures that you have entertainment and aren't stuck sitting around with nothing to do. 

playing Cards: one date-night activity that requires virtually no planning on your part, and switches it up from just watching tv. 

playing Cards: one date-night activity that requires virtually no planning on your part, and switches it up from just watching tv. 

after you've eliminated all of the household distractions, add in classic date night elements like pretty candles and flowers. 

after you've eliminated all of the household distractions, add in classic date night elements like pretty candles and flowers. 

2. set the scene

One of my professors said that the worst place to have a sales meeting is at your client's office, because there's too much opportunity for distraction. The same is true for at-home date nights. Though the whole purpose of a date night in is that you get to stay at home, make sure you remove all of the distractions ahead of time. You don't want to be messing around with household tasks when you're trying to enjoy time with your S.O. Get it done early so that your date night can be hassle free. 

3. ditch your phones

Along with getting household distractions out of the way for date night, it's important to eliminate the electronic ones too. After all, the spotlight should be on you, not on other people through social media. It's easy to reach for your phone out of habit or when there's a lull in the conversation, so store it away and nix the temptation. Not having your phone on you might seem odd at first, but it'll definitely make the night more special. 

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4. make meals easy

Everybody loves when their S.O. does the cooking, right? Though it can be super romantic to have a special homemade meal together, it can also be nice for both of you to be able to relax, without having to do any work. Richard and I love MorningStar® Farms Veggie Bowls, because they're both easy to make and delicious. My favorite variety is the Chik'n Pot Pie Veggie Bowl, which includes 100 percent vegan Chik'n Strips. Neither Richard or I are vegetarians, but we've found that these Veggie Bowls are great for everyone, since they're an "as-is" meal solution. AKA, they're perfect for date night when you're feeling lazy, haha! These Veggie Bowls also fit perfectly into Richard and I's healthy lifestyle, and pack quite a protein punch. Love, love, love it. 

5. incorporate a surprise

One thing that I love about about at-home date nights is that they're casual. The bar is usually low, so we can really relax and have fun. However, I always love when there's a small surprise that takes a typical night at home and makes it a special moment. For example, Richard will sometimes bring over flowers or another small item he saw me eyeing at the store recently. It's definitely not about spending a lot of money, but instead showing that you put a little bit of thought into the evening. Even just having the other person's favorite candy on hand can make them feel special.

So, what's your key to the perfect date night in? Anything you'd like to try next time?