Book Inspired Date: The Memory Of After by Lenore Appelhans

For past Book Inspired Dates posts go here!


 My review of The Memory Of After by Lenore Appelhans (formerly known as Level 2) | Amazon | Goodreads|

I thought this would be a nice, low key Valentine’s Day (really any day) date for people who want to just stay in and really spend some time together without all the typical Valentine’s Day hoopla.


The Inspiration

The idea of an afterlife, Level 2, where you replay memories

So basically in the book, when you die, you go to Level 2 where you live in a chamber & spend your day plugged into computers where you have access to view all your old memories or the memories of others by way of a very elaborate system of credits. Your memories can be loaned out and you can borrow other peoples memories. It was interesting to think about which memories I would never want to relive and which ones I’d find myself watching over and over again. You could borrow the memories of others like travel memories, or someone’s memory while reading a book or a going to a concert, etc.

For this date, I was thinking how it would be really nice to sit down with some of our old pictures and relive those memories. So that’s the inspiration!


The Date

{Plan} Step 1: Dig out those boxes of photos. Print out the ones from your phone and Facebook because dammit you will want those pictures in your possession should the zombie apocalypse happen and you can no longer get on the Facebook to look at your pictures.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

{Plan} Step 2: Make a playlist of loooove songs to be playing in the background (or a mix of YOUR songs…Will and I have a playlist of our songs…they are filled with sweet and silly (seriously, I Like Big Butts is on it).  Or feel free to listen to the one I made for y’all!

{Plan} Step 3: Pick a project to do with your photos — a simple as changing out the photos in the frames you have out (I always forget to do this) or buying new frames to put pictures in, start a scrapbook (I think this one is cool), something like this, this, this, this, this, or the million other things you could find on Pinterest.

Step 4
: Get all your photos out and reminisce away! This is the important step. Before you do any thing with those pictures take some time to talk about the memories from each one and maybe why you picked it. Laugh or share an “off camera” memory of when this picture was taken. Talk about that day, that moment, how you felt. Taking a walk down memory lane is good for the soul, in my opinion, and sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the stresses of life or the future or the day to day life things…but sometimes it’s just nice to reflect on the sweet memories of the past and how far your love has come. The conversation that will be sparked from your memories will be lovely!

BILWVEJCcAAGzcy.jpg_largeAh, this memory. Will and I were such babies — this was back in 2007 (he was 18 I think and I was 21). We hadn’t even been dating a year. I had just gotten back from a trip to Europe in the summer and we had the best date ever — I had flowers waiting for me, I made him pasta with pesto that I brought home with me from Italy and had a candlelit dinner, we took silly pictures, laughed and just generally had an amazing day. That so-drunk-on-first-love euphoria. <3


Step 5: Complete your project after you are done walking down memory lane and then display those memories!

IMG_5537Photo credit here

Step 6: Follow up with some takeout or cook dinner together and settle in for a favorite movie together.


What did you think of this book inspired date? Have any fun photo/memory related projects that would work well with this? Because Will and I are seriously doing this sometime soon because we have a bad habit of never printing our photos out and I’m still looking for a few different project ideas!

Book Inspired Date: Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

I’ve been meaning to bring back my sporadic Book Inspired Dates posts but I got lazy and was feeling pretty uninspired with all the wedding hoopla and then getting settled in as newlyweds! But I’ve been trying to get creative with the dates that Will and I have been going on now that we are a married couple and I feel my inspiration coming back! I also wanted to change the format so it wasn’t multiple dates in one post — we’ll see how that works out!

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

| My review of Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt | Amazon | Goodreads|

“When I read Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt back in February I KNEW this was going to be my first book inspired date when I got my crap together enough to do one of these posts again. I was talking to Will while I was reading it and said I COULD NEVER DO THIS (I barely made it through my social media diet for a week). If you don’t know what the book is about the basic premise is that a girl finds out that her boyfriend has some secret internet girlfriend and she decides to give up all things modern and make her life more simple. OBVIOUSLY funny things happen and she realizes all the ways she relies on modern luxuries that weren’t available in the 60’s and that  maybe life wasn’t so simple back then either. I’m SO attached to my phone, the internet, my ipod, Netflix, etc. that I just can’t imagine life without those things and all the other things we use on a daily basis (Hello hair straightener!)


The Inspiration

Mallory’s plan to de-modernize & disconnect from technology


The Date

Step 1: Put your phones/ipads etc in a drawer, a safe or SOMEWHERE where you won’t touch them. I don’t know about you but I have a bad habit of checking Twitter or email even when Will and I are together. (He’s guilty of checking ESPN on his phone during date night). They won’t be coming out ALL day/night until the date is over.

Step 2: Start the afternoon portion of your day by breaking out some classic board games! Ideas? Yahtzee, Monopoly, Battleship, Mastermind, Sorry, etc. Enjoy each other’s company and conversation without the background noise of tv! Bonus points if you actually have vintage board games. Double bonus points if you have a record player and can play some music while you are playing!

Classic-Yahtzee-300x300Photo Credit: The Game Aisle

Step 3: Get out your mom or grandma’s cookbook (or search the internet before the actual date) and pick something that you’d like to make together. I feel like everything in my mom’s old Betty Crocker cookbook is BUTTER BUTTER BUTTER so we are going to be INSPIRED by a recipe and make something modified. The recipe I picked out? I’m either between Swedish Meatballs or a casserole — both such classic dishes that I could easily lighten up. I love this recipe for lightened up Swedish meatballs and this skinny broccoli mac & cheese! Bonus points if you wear a vintage looking apron.  Double bonus points if you get your man to.


Photo credit: Casserole dish | Apron

Step 4
: After dinner, rather than heading over to see what’s on Neflix, it’s time to get out! I’m giving options for this step due to the fact not every area will have every single one of these.

vintage2Photo Credit: Skates  | Ice Cream | Drive In

* Find an old fashioned soda shop or ice cream parlor! We have a couple near us! (If you can’t find anything old fashioned any ice cream stand will do!) Bonus points for being romantic and putting 2 straws in one shake. That would never fly with Will — he doesn’t share well.
* Go to a roller skating rink ( I miss the really old one where I used to live — the one around here is too modern for me…no character!)
* Go find a cool vintage store and check out clothes and other fun things from different eras!
* Go to a drive in movie! I am SO stinking excited because we found two that are decently close! You can use this search engine to see if there is a drive-in movie theater near you! (If you can’t find a drive-in sometimes movies show at different parks or school in the summer outside.)

Step 5: Remove your phones from where ever you stored them. Kiss all of your technology because you missed it so much. Check your phone/email/social media sites and realize the world didn’t implode without you for the day/evening. It felt pretty good not to be glued to your phones/tvs/computers, yes?


What would YOU add that you think would make a perfect GOING VINTAGE date night? What board games would you play? Do you have any cool retro restaurants/ice cream parlors/arcades/drive in theaters near you? And just out of curiosity, do you find yourself pulling out your phone in social situation (like dates or hanging out with friends)? I’m trying to break the habit – I’m good with being polite and not doing it with other people but with Will I’m TERRIBLE at it.

Call Me The Love Doctor – 3 Fun Dates Inspired By Books!

Move over, Doctor Phil. I’ve got love and relationships in the bag. 😛


I’ll be frank. After 5 and a half years of being with Will, sometimes we get lazy about going on dates. Our dates start to consist of a lot of nights eating takeout Thai food in our sweatpants while watching episodes of One Tree Hill or Friday Night Lights. We are getting closer and closer to Hermitdom.  Now, while I love those nights well enough in moderation, I also love when we go on real live dates outside the house like going to a show outside, walk around the city, go to a flea market, etc. I like to get all pretty for the occasion and, damn it, we have a good time together. Sometimes it feels like we are falling back in love. AWWW, look at me getting all mushy gushy on y’all. It’s the wedding hormones talking.

But guys, sometimes I put my lazy pants on because I don’t FEEL like planning a date for us nor does he. Then I go read books and I’m all SWOON SWOON SWOON that sounds like a perfect date. WAH WAH WAH.

So I decided to take some inspiration from books and plan a few dates for Will and I to go on soon (or perhaps after the wedding since our dates seem to now consist of stuffing envelopes and talking about flowers). Now go forth and have epic dates.


Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour Inspired Date


The Inspiration: The, um, EPIC ROAD TRIP they went on, sillies!! This one won’t be as LONG as Amy & Roger’s but it will be every bit as EPIC.

The Date:

Haine Shoe Place Near York, PA - I do not own this image

Step 1: Make sure you have a car. Hot wire one if you need to.
Step 2: On your own, both of you should create the most epic, road tripping mix. There should be songs that bring the dance party, songs that you can belt out like a mofo, songs that you pretend you can sing really well too but totally can’t, etc. etc. This will be interesting for Will and I as our musical universes do not often overlap. Sample of My Mix:  MGMT, The Naked & The Famous, Florence & The Machine, Journey  Will’s: RAP, RAP, RAP.
Step 3: Purchase a map. You know, that thing made out of paper. Leave your GPS at home. It’s explooooring time. You are allowed to get lost.
Step 4:  Pick your radius for how long you are willing to travel and then pick a place on the map as your final destination. Research places to go on the way (a cool diner, a state park, a funky museum) or just freaking wing it and see what random ish you find on the open road. You might run into a house that is in the shape of a SHOE or an Elvis shrine.
Step 5:  Pack the goodies to eat, have your camera handy, fill up your tank, check those tires (thanks Dad!) and YOU ARE OFF.
Step 6: Roll the windows down and commence car dancing and loud singing. Bonus points if you don’t care about the wind in your hair. Take lots of pictures of everything you do. AND FOR GOD SAKE, JAMIE, DO NOT FIGHT ABOUT HIS DRIVING! It will only ruin the epic and memorable road trip you are about to have.


Anna & The French Kiss Inspired Date

The Inspiration: Ok, my IDEAL date inspired by this book would be for Will and I to go to Paris but that’s just not going to happen anytime soon with the wedding. But one of the places I loved so much is the cute theater that Anna would go to escape and watch old movies — sometimes in English and sometimes in French. I’m a SUCKER for cute little theaters and really loathe the big multiplexes. I loved the old man who walked his dog that owned the theater. BUT MOST OF ALL. I loved the first time they all went to the theater together and there was that tension between St. Clair and Anna. It was so reminiscent of my first “unofficial” date with Will. Sitting there feeling the proximity of his elbow to my elbow, my knee to his knee. Sneaking glances throughout the movie. I LOVE IT. It’s funny that was our first kind-of-sort-of date because I can count on my hands the number of times we’ve gone to the movies in the past 5 1/2 years.

County Theater in my hometown! Photo Credit to halfpic

The Date

Step 1: Get on the Google machine and find the nearest theater that either 1) shows older movies or 2) is a cute old-time theater. Fortunately for me, I have some really great options nearby. They are playing Breakfast at Tiffany’s this summer and An American In Paris. I’m so going to get my Gene Kelly on!!
Step 2: To really add that Anna and the French Kiss touch, enjoy some crepes beforehand either by finding a fabulous little creperie or go all Betty Crocker and make them yourselves. Will and I found a fabulous recipe for Nutella and banana crepes I’d be willing to share for the occasion! Bonus points if you make them because you still have money to buy concession candies.
Step 3: During the movie, while perhaps taking in a little Gene Kelly, hold hands. Steal glances at one another. Share your Sno Caps.  DOUBLE BONUS POINTS if you try to sneak a kiss but no makeout sesh please and thanks. You aren’t ACTUALLY a teenager again.

Dash & Lily’s Book Of Dares Inspired Date

The Inspiration: The notebook full of crazy dares left by Lily at the Strand that Dash finds and plays her game which results in some gut busting, hilarious moments!

Aww little freshman year Jamie did a dare scavenger hunt with friends. WORK IT, GIRL!

The Date:

Step 1: Have a sense of humor and a sense of fun. This one is going to be super silly and possibly make you turn fifty shades of red. Possibly have a flask with you for liquid courage. BUT DEAR HEAVENS, don’t drive nor should you get sloshed in public.
Step 2: Come up with 5-10 fun dares/challenges for the other person (nothing too illegal or too crazy unless you can handle it) that can be done in the span of an afternoon. I would DEFINITELY be making Will jump in a fountain with his clothes and pretend to drown for a minute or make him, a la Anna style, scream “I LOVE KISSING BOOKS” in a bookstore. Or maybe I’d make a gross concoction and make him drink it or make him sit on Santa’s lap like Lily does to Dash! Get creative!
Step 3:  One by one do the challenges. Document them. Laugh your ass off. And remind yourself of how fun it is to be in love.







Be on the lookout for more book inspired dates because I’ve got a whole lifetime of dates to have come August 17th. I’ve got a whole list of them! What did you think? Which date would YOU be more likely to go on?

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