*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 “Great Love,” which pays homage to one of my favorite childhood books, The Great Gatsby. Everything in the box has some correlation to the 1920’s, like: “Daisy’s Shrimp Cocktail” on the suggested dinner menu, the Chocolate Moonshine Co.’s Illegally Good Fudge (the snack included in this month’s box), and a murder mystery game with mobsters and socialites that’s a mash up of Clue and Go Fish!
We’ve been loving the fact that DNIB has continued to put the optional dinner menu on a recipe card, because it’s super easy to shop with at the grocery store and to store in the kitchen so you can use any of the recipes again. Unfortunately we didn’t get to the recipes from this month’s box because we’ve been moving and our kitchen/house is in various stages of unpacking (read: piles everywhere and we have no idea where most things are). Once we’ve settled in though, we’re looking forward to having a Gatsby dinner at home; I’m most excited about the mint juleps and bowtie brownies (but modified to be gluten-free, of course).
Even though we didn’t get to try the optional dinner menu (which is such a fun thing to have included in the box so you don’t have to rummage for recipes or takeout options yourselves), we did go through the rest of the activities inside this box together!
To set the mood, every DNIB includes a curated Spotify playlist and usually a candle. Unlike previous months where it’s been a special scent or DIY candle, this month’s candle is a tea light that you pop into a wine glass and cover with a custom DNIB wine shade (so it looks like a little lamp when you light the candle. We both thought this was super cute and creative (and it definitely set the mood for the rest of our date that night).
As always, DNIB evenings include a variety of activities to do with your partner. This box included the following things to do with your partner:
–TABLE TALK: discussion questions related to “great love” and how it can develop and change over time. We really liked having the opportunity to reminisce about how we met and how we’ve changed and grown together since we met. It’s kind of crazy to think back to when everything was new and how we’ve continued to “date” each other by going to different places, trying new things (looking at you, aerial yoga), and working through various challenges together.
–MURDER MYSTERY GAME: as mentioned earlier, it’s a mash up of Clue and Go-Fish, aptly set during the Prohibition Era. With characters like Southside Sam (a mob boss) and Billy Booze (a bootlegger), the game is a hoot.
–TIME CAPSULE: this is probably one of my favorite DNIB activities to date. It’s a small cardboard box that comes with a card to fill out together. It asks questions like “our favorite activity to do right now is . . .” and “in the future, we hope to learn about, discover or experience . . .” Couples are encouraged to put a date on the box sometime in the future (we set ours for five years form now). I’ve seen people do this for weddings, and how you set aside letters to one another with a bottle of wine for your “first fight as as married couple,” “first milestone (job, kids, big move, etc.) as a married couple,” etc. This is kind of like that, minus the wine (but of course you could totally add that. We put some pictures in the box with our card, as well as a list of places we’ve traveled to and big milestones we’ve seen together (e.g. his recent job promotion and me passing the bar at the end of last year).
To be honest, this is why I really like DNIB. The company takes the time to come up with creative themes (and corresponding activities) each and every month. Thus far, I’ve never seen a theme repeated and everything in the box (for the most part) contributes to a really fun evening (or two) together that we probably otherwise wouldn’t set aside the time for. It’s a built-in opportunity to check-in with one another, even when work and life gets crazy.
–DOMINOS: there’s a box of these included and if you go to the online portion of the date (where you’ll also find three different 1920’s dance tutorial videos), you’ll find DNIB’s variation of “Mexican Train.”
–FAITH NIGHT IN (ADD-ON): these are like the table talk prompts included with every DNIB subscription, but the content is faith-based. Included is an additional customized playlist (usually with Christian artists), as well as discussion questions and passages that tie in faith with whatever the monthly theme is. This month, I really connected to the following passage:
“Too often we sit around waiting for a feeling of love to motivate us to serve our partners. When that doesn’t happen, we conclude that God must not be calling us to love them because we don’t feel anything. As a result, we do nothing.”
It really got me thinking about being more proactive about showing my partner my commitment to our relationship and taking time in my day to work on myself so that I can be more present for him when he’s having a rough day at work or going through something else that he needs support with. It got me thinking about self-reflection and how it’s important to slow down when I start to feel overwhelmed, because it doesn’t do anyone any good if I’m in that space. This passage also made me think about relationships and interactions that I’ve had with others that haven’t been very pleasant, and how I can either let those moments sour my day, or reframe them as fleeting frustrations that aren’t worth getting bothered by.
–REFLECTION: last, but certainly not least, the end of the DNIB program includes ways to continue your date night. Suggestions include things like: checking out a local jazz club, learning how to play casino games, and watching 1920’s inspired movies like The Great Gatsby and Bright Young Things.
All in all, we really enjoyed this month’s DNIB. As we get into the thick of wedding planning, it was nice to take a moment and reflect on how we met, all we’ve been through together, and where we’re headed. I’m excited to open our time capsule in five years and see how we’ve changed and grown.
These are photos of us after the date; clearly we’ve got the goofy faces down (hopefully we can master other expressions before the wedding next year).
The theme for next month’s box is “Dine & Dance Late Night In Box” which we’re guessing has something to do with pizza. Are you more of a thin crust or deep dish kinda person? We’re both fans of crispy crusts (and dare I say, we also both enjoy pineapple on our pizza).