As the temperatures get colder, we tend to spend more and more nights on the couch in our pajamas. (Do you feel the same way?)
The romantic dates go by the wayside for fear of frostbite, and often it’s pajamas and wool socks (you know how much Neal hates my “Grandma socks” 😂) over pretty dresses and heels–which can get a little…er, boring and unromantic?
Don’t get us wrong, we love a good movie night, but there can be a happy medium between date night and movie nights in! This year, we’re going to try to do more of–how shall I say– “romantic movie nights with effort.”
Here’s how you can recreate one, too!
How To Make Movie Night Romantic:
1. Dress up!
Like I said, pajamas are fun, but when you’re spending the majority of your time indoors in sweatpants, it’s not exactly the most exciting thing in the world. In the winter, we always look for more excuses to dress up, since it seems to be harder to find opportunities to do so when the temperatures are negative. Go for something nice, but still cozy–like a feminine sweater with dark jeans and a swipe of red lipstick!
2. Ditch the takeout:
Instead of the usual Chinese food delivery, make something easy and simple at home instead! One of the easiest (yet impressive) dishes to make is a roasted chicken. All you have to do is season it with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs, pop it in the oven over some sliced potatoes, and you’ve got an impressive, delicious meal! (This recipe is a really easy one!) Pick a great wine to pair with it, which brings me to my next point…
3. Get a great bottle of wine
You don’t have to spend a lot for a fun special occasion wine! (Let’s be honest, I drink it for everyday, too, haha!) Chloe Merlot is the perfect wine for a cozy movie night in. Total transparency, I have never been a huge Merlot fan, but this one is truly one of my favorite wines! It’s full bodied, with hints of blackberry, plum, vanilla, and a bit of spice.
Neal and I don’t often agree on wine preferences (he likes something very full-bodied while I prefer something lighter) but this is one we both love one its own or paired with food! It’s barrel aged for 12 months in 50% new French and American oak, which gives it a really robust flavor and silky finish. You can find it just about anywhere, too! (They have a store locator right here on their website.)
4. Make fancy homemade popcorn:
Neal and I both grew up eating homemade popcorn and it’s always the best snack for movie night! Popcorn made on the stovetop is always such a treat.(I won’t touch the stuff popped in a bag!)
We love to make it a few different ways:
Grandma Loftus style popcorn: I never got to meet Grandma Loftus, but one of the many things I hear about often is her famous popcorn! To make it, pop kernels on the stove in a bit of oil, drizzle with butter and Lawry’s seasoning salt sprinkled on top–mix it all together, and you won’t be able to eat it fast enough!
Bob Keys style popcorn: My dad always made stovetop popcorn with butter, salt, and junior mints. Yes, it sounds weird, but they get all soft and melty and it’s the perfect mix of sweet and salty!
Parmesan Popcorn: Tossed with equal parts butter and olive oil, sprinkled with salt, pepper, and lot’s of freshly grated parmesan cheese. It is SO. GOOD.
(Fun fact: What you see here are about the only useable photos of Neal I got from this entire shoot because he wouldn’t stop eating the popcorn!!)
5. Choose a brand new movie:
Sure, those silly comedies you’ve seen 100 times have their place in lazy nights on the couch, but for a romantic night in, choose something new that you both haven’t seen. Maybe go for that artsy film you’ve heard so much about but wouldn’t normally order–or a new award-winning documentary! Not only will it be more fun for you to both see something you haven’t seen before, but it will spark an interesting conversation afterwards (while you’re eating round #2 of popcorn, obviously!)