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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

5 Truths About Dating (When Married) + A Cookie-For-2 Recipe ... Guest Post by Pamela of Macdonald's Playland

Hello everyone! My name is Pamela and I am so excited to be here today! (Thank you to the sweet and beautiful Daniela for having me during her special wedding anniversary week!) I am from southern California, am happily married to my husband Scott, and am the proud mommy of a beautiful 2-year-old girl named Lilly (with a son on the way, due at the end of March! Just a few more weeks to go!) I blog over at Macdonald's Playland

My blog exists so I can share & hopefully inspire through my creative outlets and thoughts. I share a lot of crafts/DIY (I have no fingerprints), home decor (my bedroom is all WHITE - yes..even with a toddler), party planning (I'm a crazy party planning lady), and it also includes a smorgasbord (yes, I said "smorgasbord") of other things I enjoy in life such as recipes (I'm always rumbly in the tumbly!), fitness (or lack thereof), thoughts on marriage (TMI much?), and lessons in mothering/parenting (usually it's my child teaching me things!)  It would be fun to have you join me as I adventure through wifehood and mommyhood! I love writing & sharing things that hopefully help & inspire fellow women, wives, mommies, etc. to get through their own adventure...all while documenting my own :) And of course, I share a lot of adventures I have with my little family. We love Disneyland. Did you know I told my husband I was pregnant at Disneyland? You should read about it & watch the video. It was awesome, and he's so gullible.

That's me and my blog in a nutshell!

.........So, back to our regularly scheduled program! In honor of Daniela and her hubby's anniversary week, I wanted to share a post about dating in marriage :) 

I've found that dating, just as it was fun and essential during courtship, is just as essential and necessary in marriage. Finding that time to be alone with your spouse is so important. It's taking the time for the 2 of you. You both deserve it, and your marriage deserves it. I promise when you try to do it consistently, you can strengthen your marriage.

My husband and I are nearing our 5 year wedding anniversary in August, and we are celebrating our 13 year "dating" (since we met) anniversary in May. Through all this dating we've done in our 13 years together (that's a lot of dating!), I decided to share 5 truths about dating in marriage that I have learned along the way.

5 Truths About Dating (When Married)

1. It's not always "romantic."

I would consider myself a pretty romantic (ahem..and a hopeless romantic..) person. I would also say my husband is extremely romantic. (He still tells me every day that I'm beautiful..can you believe that guy? Even when I'm feeling like a round pregnant cow, he says it. He also spent all night creating/hand-carving this box for me on my last birthday. I bawled.) With all that being said, sometimes dates when you're married are not going to always be the most romantic nights, or those dates you may remember when you were going through courtship (why do I hate saying that word so much? Eh.) If you're imagining the candlelit dinners, roses, and staring into each others eyes while the harp plays.....yeah.... no. I'm not saying that those kinds of dates don't ever happen anymore. And that's also not to say you are not having fun with each other or having a great time when you're going on dates when you're married. But I've found out that dates in my marriage have become more hilarious, more fun, more silly, more precious, more cherished - bells & whistles or not. My husband and I have fun just laughing or going to a restaurant and eating greasy burgers.

All I know is I want to be with him, no matter what we end up doing. Though that was the case before we were married, it's even more prevalent now that we are married. The candles, doves, harps, and staring sessions are fun, don't get me wrong, and they certainly can (& sometimes should) still happen when you get married...but I've found my perspective has changed a lot.  The need to "impress" like when you're courting each other lessens, and the need to just be together/take the time for each other is greater. As long as I'm with him & know that we're doing something to strengthen us, I am happy. It still feels "romantic" to go on a date as often as we can and to make it one of our priorities. Though the date itself may not be what others would see as "romantic," it is to us because it's for us.

One of my favorite quotes that sums up what I'm trying to say here is this:

“A happy marriage is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one’s companion." ~Gordon B. Hinckley

2. You may end up talking about your kids the whole time.

As much as we know it's good to get away, just the 2 of us...somehow conversations always end up on our children. Example:
  • "What are you thinking of ordering, sweetie?"
  • "Oh..maybe the steak."
  • "You going to get it well done?"
  • "Yep."
  • "speaking of know the other day, Lilly was moo-ing like a cow, and it was hilarious..."
But I've found it's ok if your conversations end up on the precious little lives you've been blessed to care over. Afterall, they are such a big part of your lives now. They are the lives you and your spouse created and care for together. Sometimes we laugh at ourselves when we realize how much we talk about our kids while we're out together, but I think couples can see it as a testament of the good parents you are trying to be and how much your love & priorities have grown since you first met each other. Embrace the adventure and the family you have created together :)

3. Saving money is even more in the picture.

Maybe this just applies to us cheapskates, but the other day we went to a restaurant and were having trouble deciding on what to order. We both knew we wanted to share something (because we weren't hungry enough to get individual meals). We were being incredibly indecisive and couldn't decide between 2 things. So how did we make our decision?

We ended up just saying, "Ok..fine, which one is cheaper?" and promptly compared the prices. Though there have been times we have certainly splurged, it's funny when family responsibilities (like budgeting, housework, feeding kids, etc.) sneak their way into dates.

Hey, we do have kids to feed.

Though I say that all somewhat jokingly, in all honesty, going on a date does not always mean having to spend tons of money, or going to a fancy dinner together. That is not what makes a date meaningful. If your resources are minimal, here's a link I found to 50 fun date ideas for cheap or free.

4. Sometimes you don't go out.

Sometimes you both may decide to just stay in. Stay-in dates can be fun. Your dates may end up being alone together in your living room, watching a movie, cuddling on the couch, talking (or sometimes whispering because we just put our daughter to bed and don't want to wake her) and/or in our case, having a totally junk-food filled night and binging on the fattiest foods, ever. Together. And loving it.

But that's just it. We're together. And even though we're not out and about, that's ok. We're together.

5. It's worth it.

My husband and I try to go on a date at least once a week. I know that weekly dates may not be possible for every couple, but the point is: trying to have some sort of consistent date night schedule can really help strengthen your marriage. We have made it a consistent goal and put in a lot of effort to make sure we go on this date if possible, and we have seen how it has strengthened our marriage. No matter how long you've been married for, no matter what your schedules are like, no matter if one travels and is away for some time, no matter the circumstances...I know that "dating" and finding that time for each other is important. As you can see from my examples above, a "date" does not necessarily have to be the way every one else in the world may picture a "good" date. Find what works for the 2 of you. It can strengthen your marriage and has definitely helped strengthen mine.

"Date frequently. You and your spouse need time together to renew your relationship. New perspectives come with time away from the mundane. That means dating is essential. If you have children but few resources, look for creative ways to go on dates."
- Douglas Brinley

I'd love to hear your thoughts on dating in marriage. Do you try to do it consistently with your spouse? Do you notice a difference? Have you had to get creative with your dates? What funny or true facts have you discovered about dating in marriage?

Recipe - Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie for 2

To end, I figured I'd share with you a very yummy chocolate chip cookie recipe-for two! This chocolate chip cookie is so delicious and thick and gooey. It almost has the consistency of cake (maybe just a little firmer), but it's thicker than your regular ol' chocolate chip cookie.
This will be a perfect for those date nights you have, whether you're staying in binging on junk food together, or just getting back from a nice night out and looking for something sweet to share.

And just so you know where I got the recipe from, one of my awesome Beehives (12-13 year old girls that I teach at church), taught me how to make this! Go figure that a preteen girl helps me to create something great for a date! ;)


  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tspn pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tspn baking soda
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (ie: semi-sweet. -- I used milk chocolate, but what else is new?)

Make It:

  •  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together with a spoon.
  • Add the egg and vanilla and stir.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, and salt then stir.
  • Add the chocolate chips and stir.
  • Once it's all combined and you get the gooey batter, transfer it to your baking dish or skillet. (I used a regular 8x9x2 baking dish. I've also seen this placed in a cast-iron skillet).
  • Be sure to smooth the top before putting in the oven.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes (I actually had to cook it about 20-22 minutes). You're looking for golden brown and a clean fork when placed in the center.
  • Allow it to cool before enjoying.
  • Eat it by itself or  top it with some ice cream or whip cream!
  • If you're feeling particularly romantic, you can take some heart cookie cutters and do what I did ;)
ENJOY! If you'd like to see more of my posts, visit me at my playland :)

A very happy happy wedding anniversary to lovely Daniela and her husband!! I raise my chunky, gooey cookie to the both of you - here's to many more anniversaries, dates, and adventures to come!! ;)


Thanks, Pamela, for that super sweet {and yummy looking} post. Isn't Pamela awesome?! I am so so happy she is my friend. You will love Pamela's blog. I always leave it feeling happier and wanting to be a better wife, mom, and person. My favorite part of Pamela's post was her advice to just be together. You don't need some tropical vacation, an expensive restaurant, or all-out-romance-novel date. Those things aren't bad and are fine in moderation, but just being together is so important - no matter what you are doing. Last month, my husband and I went on a mini staycation to a nearby ski resort to snowboard for a couple days. The first night there, I had this cool sushi restaurant picked out for us to go to. How much more indie romantic can you get than a dimly lit restaurant feeding each other sushi & ginger with chopsticks? As we were driving to the restaurant - we were almost there - and my husband saw a Taco Bell. Now, he didn't know where we were going to eat, it was a surprise! But he saw this Taco Bell and got SO excited {we try not to eat fast food normally - we go for health over deliciousness}. All he wanted was to eat at this Taco Bell. I just laughed and giddly drove to the Taco Bell, away from my sushi romance novel, because this cute boy just wanted a beefy 5 layer & a baja blast. We had the best time. Just sitting there. In a Taco Bell. Laughing at the elevator music in the dining area and talking about how 2 humans could eat $14 worth of dollar menu mexican food.

Ok - I'm done - this is Pamela's post not mine! But really her tips are so great. Here are some of my favorite marriage themed posts from Macdonald's Playland:

7 Ways of Staying Engaged While Married

There will be no post here tomorrow. My husband and I are celebrating our anniversary early! Staycation from blogging. :) 

Link'n Blogs will be up tomorrow night at 10pm, as usual. Get there early to be the first to link up! I can't wait for you to see our love & marriage themed features. See you there!


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  1. Loving this post -- the 5 facts are right on!! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. True That! I love the quotes. One of the biggest lessons I learned from being married so long is this: As long as you and your husband can show love for one another and show your kids how important your spouse is to you, it can only instill stability, love and confidence in what a marriage should be. For boys and girls this is going to help them in their relationships and who they pick and what NOT to settle on in a partner.
    P.S. I've been married 21yrs now!
    leelee @

  3. I loved reading this! I think dating after marriage is super important, and I loved reading your perspective!

  4. thank you, Jenna! glad you enjoyed!!

  5. leelee, thank you for your input! loved reading your thoughts! i completely agree that children should see the love between their mom and dad and that they value their marriage. sometimes i feel bad for leaving lilly while we go on a date, but then i always have to remind myself that it's good for her to see this happening. i can't agree with you more.
    (also..i can't believe you've been married 21 years because you look so young still!!! ;) congratulations lovely!)

  6. thanks for reading, amanda!! <3

  7. Daniela - i love you, girl!! thanks for having me on your blog for your special week & for all the kind words you wrote. I loved reading your thoughts in response to my post -- your awesome taco bell date sounds like the perfect example to what i was saying! so very cute! <3 LOVE YOU! hope you are enjoying your anniversary celebrations!! ;D

  8. Thanks....I'm old! lol. My body feels like it anyway. Yeah I got married when I was turning 21yrs old...I was just a baby!


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