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A couple months back I saw a deal on Plum District (love that site) for a deal from a company called TableTopics.  Since I am a big fan of mixing up dinner conversations, and do my own version of table topics every year at Thanksgiving, I thought it looked like a fun product so I bought the deal. Especially since last Thanksgiving I felt like I was running out of questions!

I finally got around to ordering mine this week, and after shopping their website, I discovered so many cute products, I wanted to share them with you!

The company carries all sorts of sets of questions to help people think of interesting conversation starters.  Questions like, “Where would you choose to live if yo had to leave this country?” or “Would you rather live in the past or in the future?”

There are editions for families, girls night out, dinner parties, slumber parties, teens, and the list goes on and on.  I also discovered their TableTopics to go which include editions like road tips, kids, travel, campfire, and more!  What a great way to get the family talking in the car.

And in their Ideas Cards categories, there are even sets of cards for Date Night, with 80 ideas of different things to do, as well as one called “Mom, I’m Bored!” which includes 80 idea cards of ideas for things kids can do. I purchased that one for those summer days!!!

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A Fondue Date Night from OCSaverTime

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My mother-in-law is from Switzerland so I am lucky enough to have experienced her homemade traditional swiss cheese fondue on many occasions. It is simply one of the best things in the entire universe.

I love fondue because a FUN-due (sorry) dinner is about more than the cuisine, it is about the experience. I love the leisurely pace. When you are having fondue, there is no rushing, just good conversation and time to indulge in each delicious bite-sized morsel.

If you have never had fondue before, then this deal today on for dinner at Simply Fondue is one that you cannot pass up for your next date night! Only $45 for a 4-course fondue experience at Simply Fondue in Mission Viejo (a $106 value!) is a new daily deal site focused on Orange County deals.

The 4-course dinner includes:

1.Choice of  Salad: After checking out the menu the spinach and strawberry sounded particularly appetizing to me. Nice to go with a lighter salad for this course.

2. Choice of Cheese Fondue:  Nothing better in this world that dipping a piece of french bread into a pot of melted cheese. Don’t believe me? You just have to try it yourself. You have to go with the Traditional Swiss with the Gruyere and Emmenthaler cheeses a la my mother-in-law Doris. YUMMMM….

3. Choice of Seven Entree Meats & Seafood:  Yes, you read that right, you get a choice of seven different surf and turf options.

4. Choice of Chocolate Fondue: Of course it wouldn’t be a fondue extravaganza without ending with a chocolate fondue. They even have a Thin Mint variety. Are you kidding me? My mouth is WATERING already!

That alone is quite a deal for $45, but this voucher ALSO includes two glasses of wine or two specialty martinis to add a little fun to the fun-due!

I am so snatching up this deal to take my hubby on our next date night. Better believe we will be toasting his mother for instilling in us a love and appreciation for fondue!

Click HERE to buy this deal.

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You can also follow OCSaverTime on Facebook.

[Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, but all my opinions, including my obsessive love of fondue are my own! Happy to pass on this deal to you!]



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Our Priceline Date Night

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Last Christmas my parents gave my husband a “coupon” for a night out on the town and offered to take our girls for a sleepover at their house, which we redeemed this past Saturday night.  As a sort of spontaneous decision, we decided to try to see if we could get a good deal to stay at a local hotel for the night.

Has anyone done Priceline before? I have to say it was pretty exciting going through the bidding and seeing where we ended up!  My husband did all the bidding – check out his tips below if you ever want to try it!

We ended up getting a room at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, which was a great location for a one-night getaway.

The weather was gorgeous, so we arrived around lunchtime on Saturday dressed pool-ready and checked our bags with the bellman.

We spent the afternoon reading, snoozing and enjoying the Jacuzzi (the small batch of homemade margaritas we snuck in made it extra fun. Yes, we were rebels sneaking in some booze – living it up on our big night away! Woo hoo!)

Later in the evening we walked over to the Newport Dunes and had a great dinner at the Back Bay Bistro. There happened to be a great live band that night (Tom Solis) playing my favorite kind of mellow music. By the way, if you go there for dinner, the Kobe beef sliders were out of this world. Didn’t see them on the menu, so they might have been a special, but ask for them!

The next morning we slept in and I read a People magazine in bed with a Starbucks coffee. My version of Heaven. For breakfast, we walked from the hotel over to Balboa Island and ate at Wilma’s Patio (the BEST.)

We headed home around noon relaxed, happy, and ready to see the kids. 24-hours to be a couple and it was amazing.

Now, admittedly, we are VERY lucky to have local and willing grandparents to help us out. But if you don’t, maybe you could recruit a family to do a trade off sleepover with each other’s kids so you can get a night away every once in a blue moon?

And with can score you a steal of a deal! Our accepted hotel bid was $78 (+ tax + $20 parking it ended up being around $120 total.) If you didn’t eat out at pricey places, it could be a very reasonable getaway! Heck, you could grab take-out burritos and head back to the hotel to eat at the pool. Main point being, for not a whole lot of money, a date like this can be  priceless.

Here are my husband’s tips on how to bid using Priceline:

1. Learn which hotels are in the area you chose – for example, if you select 4 star hotels in Newport Beach/Huntington Beach, first look on Priceline/Hotwire to see what # star hotels show up in that area.  This will give you a good idea of what hotel you might get if you make a Priceline offer.

2. If you want 4 stars – have an idea of how much a 4 start hotel room is going for on the night(s) you chose.  You can do this on Priceline/Hotwire.

3. Make an offer – remember your offer excludes tax. Also, remember that some hotels charge resort fees, parking, etc. so that you know exactly how much to expect to spend.

4. If your bid is not accepted you have a few options:

a. Wait 24 hours and submit a new bid for the same area and hotel rating.
b. Immediately bid again by adding in a new area and/or hotel rating.

Tip: If you find areas that do not have hotels matching the hotel rating you chose, you can bid again before waiting 24 hours. For example, I wanted to stay in a 4 star hotel in Newport Beach/Huntington Beach and my initial bid was rejected. I then had the option to bid again by adding a new area into your search.  I looked through nearby areas and noticed that Santa Ana and Laguna Beach did not offer 4 star Priceline hotels.  So for my next bid I increased my offer and I added Santa Ana knowing that my bid would only be accepted in Newport Beach/Huntington Beach.  If my second bid was not accepted I could then increase my offer and add Laguna Beach.  You can keep adding new areas and keep rebidding, just be sure to do your research so you know you are only adding areas that do not offer 4 star Priceline hotels.  The hotel mix changes frequently, so be sure to check before you bid.

5. After your bid is accepted and you know the hotel, call to hotel directly to see if you can request a room type (i.e. King, two doubles, etc.) The hotel will not be able to guaranteed bed or room type, so you have to be open minded and go with the flow on whatever you get.  We were lucky the hotel was able to get us into a King bed room.  We also had the option to upgrade our view for an additional charge upon check-in.

That’s it! This would be really fun to do as a spontaneous family get away for the night!

So it’s Friday!  Anyone have a fun date night planned this weekend?

Hope you all have a great one! XOXO

[Photo credit: Hyatt.]

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SOCO + the OC Mart Mix [Beyond Cool]

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The OC Mart Mix was one of those OC finds I can’t believe it took me so long to discover. I have driven by the South Coast Collection (affectionately known here in Orange County as SOCO) a million times on the freeway but hadn’t actually gone until a couple weeks ago.

Now that I have explored it firsthand, I am telling everyone you HAVE TO GO!


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5 Tips for a Successful Relationship by Lesley Malik, M.A. MFT

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Before kids, I never used to get when people said “marriage takes work” because my husband and I were so compatible our relationship used to feel effortless.

But those were the days when, just for an example, we would sleep in on Saturday morning, have breakfast together, read the paper, maybe go for a bike ride or go grocery shopping together, hit a movie, go to a home store to buy stuff to work on our house, make dinner together or maybe go out for dinner and drinks, you get the idea.

Every weekend, all weekend it was just the two of us.  And what that meant was we had a lot of TIME to focus on each other, talk and connect. No wonder it felt so easy!

Now after kids, I can absolutely see how marriage does take work. Anyone else feel the same?

There are stretches of time when I feel like we are both just totally immersed in “Operation Scheumann Household.” We are a cooperative team focused on everything we need to do to take care of the kids and our household.  Kids, activities, cleaning, shopping, birthday parties, organizing, work, bills, etc. etc. And unfortunately “Operation Scheumann Marriage” is often a neglected mission!

It started to bum me out last year because I really love being with my husband, a lot. But with two young children, the time we had with just the two of us started to become far and few between.  At one point, there was a four month stretch between date nights. Not good!

So, this past year we really have tried to make a conscious effort to do more regular “date nights” and it has made a big difference. Just an hour and a half to put on a cute outfit and get away someplace is all it takes to feel more connected again. But even this hour and a half takes effort, planning, babysitting, etc.  It’s not easy, but it is worth it.

I got to thinking that we can’t be the only ones that have to work to fit in time to devote to our marriage in parenthood, so I asked Lesley Malik, an Orange County individual and couples therapist, if she could write some helpful tips on how to work on strengthening your relationship.

I love what she wrote because they are all things that are easy to do. Here is what she wrote…

5 Tips for a Successful Relationship
by Lesley Malik, M.A. MFT

1. Be curious about your partner’s world – people who have successful relationships stay curious about their partners. Think about whether you could answer questions like:


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