Inexpensive Dating Anniversary Ideas

With my and Aaron’s four-year dating anniversary coming up on December 15th (!!!!), I’ve had love on my mind. I’ve been trying to brainstorm new ideas to show him how much I love him (in addition to his present!). I thought it would be fun to share some of the things we’ve done for each other in the past because I know I’ve scoured the internet many times before for inspiration!

For our one year anniversary:

I was madly in love (I still am! but I was definitely in that honeymoon phase) so I went a little crazy. I decided to write out 365 things I love about Aaron on tiny slips of paper. To add that “fun” factor (and because I’m apparently really cruel), I hid each slip of paper throughout his dorm room for him to find. He came back to his room completely surprised. We’re still not sure if he found every single one, but he keeps them in a special box to look at from time to time. Three years after that and I’m still amazed that I already had 365 wonderful things to say about him then and I know him so much better now.

Here’s the letter I wrote him:

Aaron surprised me with flowers and Michael Buble tickets. It. Was. Awesome.

For our second year anniversary:

Aaron’s gift takes the cake for this year! While I got him Pens tickets and wrapped it in several boxes with cute pictures and quotes, he sent me on a scavenger hunt all around campus! He gave me clues to all of our favorite places where we had different memories, such as where we first met, what class we had together, what dorm I lived in my freshman year. My roommate and sister joined me and documented my journey:

It was such an exciting walk down memory lane and it was so thoughtful. It was hands-down probably the most romantic thing he has ever done for me and I will never forget it.

For our third year anniversary:

I really wanted to make this anniversary thoughtful and romantic so I broke it up into two things. The first thing I did was similar to his scavenger hunt, but we were already on Christmas break, so I decided to blindfold Aaron and drive him to all of the places at home that hold special memories for us (I made sure to drive in random directions to make him confused first! :P).

When we arrived at each destination, I told him how that place reminded me of him and how it represented each stage of our relationship. For example, I first took him to my high school because that was where we had one of our first dates (I took him to see a jazz band there) and I mentioned how it reminded me of the strong friendship we had before we started dating. The last stop was back at my house to tell him that he reminds me of home and hope for our future; I am home wherever he is and hopefully we’ll get to create a home together one day.

The gift portion was inspired by this post via Shannon at Find Joy in the Journey. This brilliant blogger put together a basket of pre-planned, pre-paid dates for her husband, one for each month of the year. Being a college student on the cusp of graduation, I decided to put together six pre-planned/pre-paid dates for Aaron. It was the perfect way to stay connected during student teaching. Every month, we really looked forward to the dates planned and we had a blast. I will post about each of those dates in the future!

It has been a whirlwind of memories the past four years, but I really love that we take the time to appreciate one another each anniversary. Some people think we’re silly for celebrating dating anniversaries, but I think they are important milestones, too!

What do you do on your anniversary? I would love to hear more ideas. I won’t reveal what I’m doing for our four-year anniversary just yet, but I could still take some suggestions ;)

Check out some of these dating ideas websites:

Faux Dress Pants

One of my Black Friday purchases was a pair of pull-on bootcut black pinstripe pants from NY & Company. Normally I am not into the faux dress pant look because it’s usually not believable. This pair of pants, however, feels like yoga pants, but looks just like my other dress pants! It’s a win win situation in my book!

I thought wearing them would be the perfect way to get back into the swing of things at school. I paired the pants with a silk patterned top and a green cable knit sweater.

Blouse: Express (Goodwill)
Sweater: Gap (Goodwill)
Pants: NY & Company
Heels: Payless

 How have you been getting back into the swing of things after Thanksgiving? I know that I feel like I didn’t get a break at all! While it will be tough pushing through to Christmas, I have a lot of projects I can’t wait to tackle that will keep me busy.

Subtle Neon From Work to Off-Duty

Most of the time, as soon as I get home from work, I change into sweatpants or PJs (no judging!) because I’m usually in for the night to grade papers, make dinner, or relax. But sometimes, I do have evening functions or I run to the store and I don’t like to change my outfit entirely.

Here’s an example of what I might do:

Sweater: H&M (Goodwill)
Pencil Skirt: LOFT (Goodwill)
Tights: No nonsense
Heels: Payless

I found this H&M sweater at Goodwill and, even though I’m not really into the neon trend, I felt like this was a subtle version that I could handle. If you follow my fashion board on pinterest, it’s no secret that I love pretty much anything striped or polka-dotted. In this picture, I’ve paired it with a simple black pencil skirt, tights, and heels. Sorry for the flipped hairdo and lack of accessories–I was in a rush. 

My off-duty wardrobe usually consists of jeans and boots in the winter. You won’t usually find me in anything else!

Jeans: Banana Republic Outlet
Boots: Style & Co. (Macy’s)

I could wear this with brown or black boots, but I decided not to be too matchy-matchy and went for brown. Plus, the heel makes it a little more dressy. I might add a scarf or a different accessory too.

How do you transition from work to off-duty? What’s your weekend wardrobe look like?

DIY: Five-Minute Phone Case Refashion

In lieu of our regularly scheduled Teacher Tuesdays (cut me some slack–we haven’t had school in a week!), I decided I would share a five-minute DIY project with you!

I purchased my iPhone 4s back in July and immediately covered it with an Otterbox phone cover, which I loved (and then abused!). I trusted my Otterbox so much that the outside rubber cover has been torn to shreds from being pulled out of pockets and bags and tossed (lightly!) on to my couch.

Needless to say, I was due for a new cover right away.

But I hadn’t done my research yet. Did I want a new Otterbox? Could I just purchase the outside skin? Did I want something slimmer? So I needed something temporary to hold me over until I made a decision.

I found a case at Goodwill for five bucks and bought it over Thanksgiving.

But there was a slight problem . . .

The skins were not quite my taste. I bought them anyway, with the plan of making a temporary skin that was more “me.”

It literally took me five minutes (or less) to make.

Step One: Choose a pretty paper.

I chose this scrapbook paper that would go well with the gray bumper.

Step Two: Trace your phone cover.

Don’t forget the camera hole! Use pencil so you can erase any stray marks that might show.

Step Three: Cut it out. Use an X-acto knife for the camera hole.

At this point, you could definitely make this more permanent or protect it using Modpodge or laminating it. Since mine is temporary, I did not take the time to do this. Be warned–it may get dirty quickly unless you have a clear case!

Step Four: Attach the new case. 

You may need to trim the edges so it doesn’t pucker. Ta- da! Now wasn’t that the easiest DIY ever? 

Hopefully this will tide me over for a while. I’m hoping to get a good deal on a protective, yet slimmer case. Does anyone have any recommendations? I’d like something more than just a plastic cover (even though the Kate Spade ones were on sale yesterday for Cyber Monday for $15. So tempting…)

More outfit posts are coming your way! Have a great one!