*This post is done in partnership with Date Night In Box (DNIB), but all thoughts and opinions are 2LWithIt’s*
Date Night In Box (DNIB) is a monthly subscription that sends a curated box of everything needed to plan a romantic date night at home. Each box includes: a custom Spotify soundtrack, an optional dinner menu (complete with recipes for apps, entrees, dessert, and drinks), games, crafts, and thoughtful conversation starters.
One of the things I like most about DNIB is their partnership with Tri-Development Center of Aiken County (TDC). TDC helps individuals with autism, head and spinal cord injuries, and intellectual disabilities, find employment in Aiken, South Carolina. TDC finds the helpful hands that put together each and every DNIB (and Kids Night In Boxes, too). I love to support companies that give back to their communities, so if you’re looking to give a gift that supports a good cause, look no further!
This month’s theme is “Let Love Grow,” which ties in well with Earth Day, which was a few weeks ago. I’m sure I’ve said it before about other date night boxes in the past, but this was one of our favorite boxes to date! The details from start to finish were very thoughtful, and maybe it’s just because we’ve been trying to live more sustainably (reusable grocery bags, no single-use plastic whenever possible, reusable water bottles, etc.), but this box gave us all the feels! To dig a bit deeper (oh yes, a gardening pun), this date night relates really well to the metaphor that relationships are like plants – they grow best with nurturing over time.
Without further adieu, let’s get into what’s inside the box! But before we do that, let’s talk packaging. It’s 100% recyclable! I’m pretty sure all DNIB packages are recyclable because the dates come in cardboard boxes, but this month’s box has a little note on the front of the box (just in case you need a reminder). Personally, we like to upcycle our boxes whenever we need packaging for gifts, but if we didn’t do that, we’d be recycling them. A lot of cities also have programs that accept cardboard donations (e.g. schools and non-profits), so that they can fund programs with the cash that comes from recycling them (if you’re looking for another way to give back and help the environment).
As a brief aside, I really like how the guide mentions how seriously the DNIB team takes customer feedback. For example, many of the items included in this month’s box are things couples can use more than once (We are all about this!). It can be difficult living in such a consumerist society to take the time to think about reusing items, but not only is it eco-friendly to not accumulate a lot of stuff (which most people will inevitably throw away), but it helps cut expenses and contributes to protecting the planet; a win-win all around!
As always, there is a curated Spotify playlist DNIB creates just for this date box; the music changes every month. This month’s tunes are the perfect mix of upbeat and relaxed; think the likes of Ben Rector, Ed Sheeran, Jamie Lawson, and John Legend (to name a few). To further help you set the mood, DNIB has you covered with a soy wax candle (non-toxic!) that comes in a travel-friendly metal tin. Once you finish the candle, this could easily double as a mint tin, or even as a pocket pill container.
Up next, couples will find a DNIB recipe card, which is a new addition to the box that we absolutely love! Previously they’ve done the date night’s recipes online or on a big foldout booklet; this card is just a tad bigger than a regular recipe card and includes a whole date’s worth of recipes, including: a Blackberry-Mint Cocktail/Mocktail, a Farro-Pesto-Veggie dish, Creamed Kale, and Lemon Cookies. I really, really liked that this was included because it means I don’t have to go online and look up the recipes, PLUS, I can just take the card with me to go grocery shopping.
I’m still trying to figure out my new diet, so unfortunately we weren’t able to make or try any of this month’s recipes. I’m hoping by next month I’ll be able to eat more than five things (elimination diets for stomach disorders are kind of the worst . . . but if it works, I’ll be able to reintroduce more foods back into my diet very soon). That being said though, the recipes looked delicious (and healthy, might I add) and very easy to make. Once I’m able to eat again, I’m definitely going to be whipping up the lemon cookies!
This month’s box didn’t include any snacks, per se, but it did come with four packets of Stash Wild Raspberry Hibiscus tea. I was really excited about these because hibiscus tea is all I’ve been drinking since my new round of antibiotics (it’s superb for nausea). Included were also two metal straws and a straw cleaner; very apropros for the eco-friendly theme (and perfect for traveling to places that no longer provide straws, even if you ask for them). Personally, we really enjoyed this variation of a “food item,” because sometimes we aren’t in the mood for candies and sweet treats that have been included in some of the previous boxes we’ve reviewed.
There are three different activities included in this month’s box: a diy blossom kit (with a reusable little DNIB pot), a relationship timeline, and a deck of eco playing cards. Now, I don’t typically gush about playing cards, but these ones are special. Not only do they have fun conversation starters on them, but they are also:
-made out of 100% post-consumer recycled paper
-created with wind power and green-e certified
-and printed using 100% solar energy
Talk about an awesome deck of cards! DNIB’ers have access to a variety of card game ideas (and instructions on how to play them), in addition to a custom game designed especially for this date box! You can find information on how to play the game in the included DNIB monthly insert.
Last but certainly not least, this date includes a variety of discussion topics (aka “Table Talk”). We really liked how these topics focused on how a relationship grows, in particular the five stages of a relationship, which include: romance, power struggle, stability, commitment, and co-creation. I didn’t know there were five stages, per se, but it’s true – there’s that initial attraction, then the rough spots, the even-keel moments, the balancing between intimacy and autonomy, and finally working together to create a present and future together.
It certainly isn’t easy; but does anything worth having ever come easy?
If you and your partner are faith-based, there is an additional (and optional) discussion guide that can be included in a DNIB. To set the mood, there’s a faith-based playlist; so you get a total of two playlists to enjoy on your date. This month’s discussion guide delves into the notion that relationships take “major commitment and sacrifice.” My two cents is that, if anyone says relationships aren’t work, I’d hazard to guess they’ve never been in one, or never fully-committed to someone 100% . . . because relationships are work. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth it, just that they aren’t necessarily rainbows and butterflies and steamy romance all the time; sometimes they’re late nights at work and eating dinner separately and fighting over stupid stuff.
The guide uses the metaphor of plants, and how relationships, like any growing plant, require constant vulnerability in order to cultivate new growth. Sometimes it can be hard to “keep it fresh,” especially with busy schedules that can breed stress and miscommunications. Included are suggestions on how to “plant seeds together” to facilitate this growth, including things like: praying together, reading together, serving together, reflecting together, and our favorite, continuing to date.
I think too many couples check out, so to say, from their partner and stop dating one another. You have to always set aside time to make the other one feel valued and appreciated, because whether you’re newly dating, engaged, or married for decades, a relationship is a daily commitment to someone beyond the relationship you have with yourself.
These discussion topics, the faith-based ones in particular, got me thinking about the notion of “the one.” Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think that exists. Like many of the conversation topics suggest, a strong relationship is cultivated over time. It endures good seasons and bad ones, and sometimes it comes out a little weathered. But when couples do come out the other side of a bad fight or even something more serious, together, they’re oftentimes much more resilient as a team to deal with whatever life throws at them next.
If you believe in soulmates and “the one,” more power to you; if you’re on the other end of the pendulum like myself and don’t, maybe that’ll give you hope that you can make it work with anyone you date. Yeah, sure, that person may not have every single quality you’d like in a hypothetical partner, but (a) maybe that partner doesn’t exist and (b) maybe this real person has other qualities you didn’t think you’d love and appreciate in said partnership. It’s for that reason that I don’t think there’s only one person out there in the world capable of loving a person; you can make it work with a gamut of people, you just might have to put a little work into it.
Basically what I’m trying to get at is this box digs deep, quite literally (with the diy blossom kit) and metaphorically (yes, another gardening pun). This date box is also a great reminder to get outside and spend some time with your significant other doing something together other than watching Game of Thrones. We still haven’t jumped on that bandwagon. Real question now, are we missing out?
In all seriousness though, this box was extremely thoughtful and had a variety of activities that couples can continue well beyond the date itself (hello, metal straws and ideas about continuing to cultivate a relationship). At the back of the date guide, you’ll find some fun suggestions about more ways to live eco-friendly (like paperless bills; so simple and some companies even give you a discount if you switch from printed statements). There are also other ways to continue the date night (taking a bike ride to our local coffee or breakfast shop is at the top of our list), plus there’s a list of movies to finish off the date.
PHEW, that was a roundup. But not like the weed killer. Okay, I’m just going to plant this post right here. (That’s all I’ve got for gardening jokes). The theme for next month’s box is “Sensing More.” Currently our guesses include something to do with the five senses and becoming more intuitive about your partner’s needs. Let us know if you have any ideas what it could mean!
For pricing and more details about the boxes, check out Date Night In’s pages here:
Use code “15OFFNIB” for 15% off all plans; limited quantities apply.