#26: Starry, Starry Night…

#26: Starry, Starry Night…
7 minutes to read

Guys. I’m going to level with you. This date night kit that I’m going to be prattling on about for the next 800 words, you can win one. So if you don’t want to nod politely through my recollection of romantic endeavours, then just skip to the bottom and click on the link to enter. 

Those who are left! Hi. I don’t get out for dates all that much, either with my husband or any other lucky suitor. We worked out that our last date took place in November 2015 when I was pregnant and stroppy, and we went to the cinema. There was fuck all on and so we sat through The Man From U.N.C.L.E. What a film, what a film…said no-one ever.

Since then, we’ve done a lot of Netflix and Chill (meant in the innocent lady sense, not the Urban Dictionary sense), but having Moo so reliant on my babylons means that our escape the house evenings are tentative and hurried. So, when I saw an advert for a complete date night kit from Just Us Box, I thought we’d give it a go. The box contents change monthly to fit a new theme, and you can buy them as a gift for someone else, a one-off box, or take out a subscription. We went for the one-off option because, well, the idea of a date per month seems a trifle excessive to me.

The theme for July’s box was “Stargazing”. I was delighted at the box’s heaviness, and I deliberately didn’t Google the contents in advance because I wanted it all to be a lovely surprise. We managed to get the children in bed at a semi-decent hour, and then decamped to the garden for a night of love and wonder. I’d made a pretty impressive raspberry vicky sponge with pink buttercream. I’d got us a Toblerone from Poundland. I’d even shimmied into something flimsy and feminine from Victoria’s Secret (alright, it was my oversized hoodie from the Pink range. Shaved my legs though!).

“Bit light still, isn’t it? What are we meant to do until it gets dark?” asked my husband. Then: “The grass needs a sodding good cut.”

Unopened box with black tissue paper and glow in the dark stars

Sensing I needed to achieve buy-in for the concept, I suggested we open the box and study our loot. The packaging was very cute – little glow in the dark stars and red tissue paper hearts. Inside was a festoon of actually really good quality items – there was a thermos flask for two, a hand-held spotting scope, a torch, some citronella candles, a craft kit for a Kepler telescope, activities, challenge sheets, sweeties, a memory jar, and some UV bodypaint and lipstick. Plus a dinky little picnic blanket designed for maximum bum-squishing-together-ness.

Contents of box laid out on a picnic blanket. L-R: UV body paint, lipstick and torch, Kepler craft telescope kit, torch, activity and challenge sheets, flask, hand-help telescope, sweets.

I served up some fat hunks of cake and studied the suggested date plan. There was a suggestion of streaming themed music from Spotify, but I totally trumped this by tuning the baby monitor in to Twinkle Twinkle. Relevant AND functional. We started by looking at the list of conversation starters. “Ooh, ask me the second one!” My husband hopped about with excitement and I knew the answer would be something to do with Star Wars. The mood fell slightly flat when I asked him what he would take to Jupiter, as I was informed with short shrift that you’d die instantly so there wasn’t much point in taking anything. Onward…! We then filled in some little love notes about each other, with pre-populated headings such as “you make me shine because…”. We dropped these into the glass jar and the ol’ smooth talker I married said that we should save the jar for a day when we’re feeling particularly shit about life, then read them all for cheap thrills and happy feels.

Cup of tea (mug has M logo), 2 x lit citronella candles, plate of cake - raspberry victoria sponge.

We finished our cake and talked for a while about the children, obviously, moaned for a bit longer about the state of the garden, then waited for the soft, inky night to envelope us and spark off le charme. Unfortunately, it was cloudy as fuck, and so we’d resigned ourselves to not seeing much in the way of astrological bounty (or should I say milky way?!). The kit did contain a brilliant star-spotting guide with key dates throughout July and August to view various starry / meteor-y / International Space Station type things, together with a constellation map. This led to an absolute clanger of a blonde moment from me, when I asked if Australia can see different stars in the winter months compared to the summer. Yep. I’m not even blonde. Anyway, point being, just because it was cloudy on our chosen date night, we still had all the tools to go out on a clearer evening for a better look.

One quite genuinely wonderful interruption came with a clatter over the back fence – our errant, nomadic cat Charles had decided to drop in to let us know he was still alive. They say cats choose their owners, and he sadly seems to have gone over to the dark side and pledged allegiance with a mad-as-a-box-of-frogs lady two doors down who entices him with gammon ham off the deli and saucers of cream. We caught up on our news and I told him that I loved him very much, before he scampered off for a late night snack of charcuterie and Baileys.

Husband stroking our cat.

After that distraction, we looked up and saw a handful of stars as the wispy clouds parted. There was an almost very romantic moment when my husband stood behind me and showed me how to use the telescope, but Moo spoiled it by eliciting a series of farts over the baby monitor. I then suggested we crack out the UV body paint and lipstick. Dear reader, you may recall from this post that my husband is entirely bald. So really, it would have been a shame not to graffiti his dome in a puerile and opportunistic manner.

Husband is looking at sky, I have drawn a penis on his bald head in UV paint...!

All joking aside, we both agreed that these boxes are a lovely idea and a pretty unique concept with mass appeal. I like the suggestion of packing up some food and drink and taking the box out into the wild somewhere, but actually we really enjoyed a night in the garden without a TV, giggling at our inability to focus the telescope and being able to duck back inside for a wee / to fetch more cake. It’s not the sort of thing we would just “do” without the kit facilitating it for us, so as perpetually knackered parents we enjoyed the slightly paint-by-numbers directive that the box offers.

Let me conclude by quoting the late, great Fredster of the Mercury variety:

I’m burnin’ through the sky yeah
Two hundred degrees
That’s why they call me Mr Fahrenheit
I’m trav’ling at the speed of light
I wanna make a supersonic woman of you…

(That’s my tenuous way of shoehorning in the fact that Mercury should be visible on 16th August, so try and have a nosey upwards. The planet I mean, not the dude with the ‘tache.)

Husband and I in the dark with UV face paint

The Science Bit

I lied, that was 900 words. Anyway, August’s date night box has an Indian Summer theme. I’ve had a sneak peak at the contents and it looks fab….so, would you like to win one? All you need to do is follow this clever link, which will guide you to my Facebook page and allow you to enter. The competition opens at midnight on Friday 5th August and runs until 11.59pm on Friday 12th August. Good luck!

Enter Competition

Promo image for Indian Summer featuring Taj Mahal, henna, people doing yoga, candles, and brightly coloured paint

-SJW August 2016

Diary of an imperfect mum
A Cornish Mum
ethannevelyn
The Pramshed
Admissions Of A Working Mother
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

55 Comments

  1. August 5, 2016 / 6:46 am

    Anyone that wouldn’t have drawn a cock in these circumstances needs to have good long look at themselves.

    • August 5, 2016 / 7:06 am

      It practically drew itself, like a beautiful expression of free artistry. First laugh of the day – thanks mate! X

  2. August 5, 2016 / 8:42 am

    Awesome review, thanks so much, the pics are a particular good especially the cake, yummy!! I’m pleased you managed one near romantic moment we’re counting that as a win!! Xx

    • August 5, 2016 / 9:19 am

      Thanks for the lovely comment and for a fantastic box, can’t wait for the next one! X

  3. August 5, 2016 / 9:59 am

    Ooh I might enter, as obviously I have hundreds of suitors now that I’ve started online dating. Um, maybe…#tribe

    • August 5, 2016 / 11:34 am

      Do it, and if you win I’ll come and date you ???? although I think the next box is a bit kinky…#tribe

  4. August 6, 2016 / 9:15 am

    This is a Fab review! There are so many great lines here. I will enter – perhaps, I will get lucky on some stary night too. Haha Thanks for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost

  5. August 6, 2016 / 9:16 am

    Ooh this looks fab lovely – I’ve entered as I should probably think of more entertaining ways of spending an evening together rather than just moaning about the rubbish on TV and then watching Two and a Half Men (a great show). The cake looks fantastic – did you make that one? Brilliant review, and still can’t believe you guys drew a cock! xx #picknmix

    • August 6, 2016 / 9:36 am

      Hahaha of course I made the cake! Cake, UV cocks, stars…the full date experience ???? xx

  6. August 6, 2016 / 11:09 am

    Haha I’m glad #fortheloveofBLOG brought me to this post because it was very funny and I’m now gonna sample some of your others.
    Date night box is such a good idea! Love that you can just buy a one off, and your cake looks divine!

    • August 6, 2016 / 11:29 am

      Aah thank you – I love it when you find stuff you really like through Linkys! Hope you enter the comp too ???? xx

  7. August 6, 2016 / 2:04 pm

    Looks like you had a fun night, even with limited star-gazing capability! There were quite a few items in the box too. Hope you get to use them to see more stars and possibly have romantic moments that aren’t interrupted by baby wind issues! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • August 6, 2016 / 2:07 pm

      Haha yes – the babies to tend to get into everything, nothing is sacred! This was a lovely halfway house though between a standard evening and going out to be wined and dined. The quality of the kit was fab ???? thanks for reading xx

      • August 7, 2016 / 11:04 pm

        Popping by again for #kcacols Still laughing at the body paint picture!

  8. August 6, 2016 / 11:05 pm

    Oh haha, this looks like such a fun night! I think babies take it as their duty to ruin the most perfect moments: whether it be with farts, throw up, or just plain screaming haha. I know how totally tough it is to get out of the house, and we would definitely benefit from a simple little date night like this. Thanks so much for sharing! <3 #KCACOLS

    • August 6, 2016 / 11:27 pm

      Pleasure! Yes, one day we’ll get back out into the big wide world of dinner dates and cinema trips for for now, this suits us just fine, even if it’s not without interruption ????

  9. August 6, 2016 / 11:13 pm

    Did your other half know you were drawing a cock on his head or was it a nice surprise for him the next day?! #KCACOLS

    • August 6, 2016 / 11:29 pm

      He said “wouldn’t it be funny to draw a massive cock on my head?” And that was all it took. We discussed whether to include the “finish” and agreed that in for a penny, in for a pound would be best…#kcacols

  10. August 7, 2016 / 10:06 am

    Anything that allows you to draw an glow in the dark willy on your husband, without him knowing, is a win in my book/box! The box does look fab and on another note I was forced to endure that U.N.C.L.E film last night as Mr C promised me that I would enjoy it. Did I balls! I spent the whole film muttering “how can this be 4/5 stars, how!” and “call this acting?!” I needed this box. #KCACOLS

    • August 7, 2016 / 11:44 am

      Haha I bet you watched it on Netflix or something though and didn’t actually spend decent money on a cinema trip for it ???????? thank you for reading and commenting, the boxes are brilliant. Much better than shoddy acting and unbelievable car chases within a 1.5ft gap between two walls….! #KCACOLS

  11. August 7, 2016 / 7:07 pm

    What a fantastic idea! My OH and I love going on a date night. Pre J we both did a whole year each worth of monthly dates. It was so much fun! I love how much you get in the box and I love that you baked the cake and had the date in your garden. Sounds amazing. #picknmix

    • August 7, 2016 / 7:10 pm

      That’s so romantic!! All goes a bit out of the window when babies come along but I do think dates are important. Definitely going to try and make a habit of it. Thanks for reading and commenting lovely ???? xx #picknmix

  12. August 7, 2016 / 8:28 pm

    Ahhh, this is actually a lovely idea – we are in serious need of some date night magic, so I will be popping over to enter the competition!

    And yes, the cock needed drawing on there……

    #stayclassymama

    • August 7, 2016 / 8:34 pm

      I’m glad you agree about the artistry ???? Yeah we would definitely do it again and I love how the box themes change as well, keeps you guessing and the quality is brill. Good luck and thanks for commenting xx

  13. August 8, 2016 / 9:53 pm

    This sounds great! We don’t get out much (ever) since Arthur was born ( 19 months ago) in fact this weekend was the first time we had been out for dinner without him, solely due to months of planning for my sister to travel over and stay the night to babysit for a few hours ( no family nearby and no overnight babysitting anyway due to Arthur’s obsession with nighttime tasting breastmilk). It will probably be another million years before we get to do it again so this is just the kind of thing we need…..will admit here that i am most drawn in by the UV paint, but mainly because im pretty sure I can use it for some sort of educational toddler activity and I absolutely would let arthur stay up late just for the occasion!

    PS – Hope the date night package did it’s job and the drawing on your husband’s head wasn’t the only willy image you managed to get a glimpse of that evening…

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

    • August 8, 2016 / 10:19 pm

      Aaah how was your dinner out? Sounds similar to me with Mouse – I fed her to 18 months and so couldn’t have a full night away from her until she was about two, so our dates were restricted to a few hours in the evening once in a blue moon. I’m sorry you don’t have more babysitting options at the mo, it gets easier the older they are. Lol at your willy comment ???????? xx

  14. August 8, 2016 / 10:22 pm

    Were you expected to draw anything other than a willy with that UV paint?! Nice idea for a date night though – something you probably wouldn’t have done without the box for a prompt I bet! #KCACOLS

    • August 8, 2016 / 10:43 pm

      Exactly – I’m not the sort of gal to have UV paint hanging around in the kitchen drawer so in terms of giving you something new, the boxes are brilliant. I could have drawn a constellation I suppose, to keep it topical…

  15. August 9, 2016 / 10:03 pm

    Well I’m convinced. This was a great review, really enjoyed it Sam!
    Ps you’re so mature #KCACOLS

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:19 pm

      Why thank you, and I’m so pleased you entered the comp too 🙂 Good luck!

  16. August 9, 2016 / 10:19 pm

    This is such a cute idea! We’ve had one date this year… we need more dates #KCACOLS

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:17 pm

      One date every 6 months isn’t sooooooooooo bad, although maybe aim for one every quarter…! Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  17. August 10, 2016 / 9:27 pm

    I have just had one arrive and am going to save for a special occasion but you have made me eager to get it out soon!!
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime #triballove

  18. August 11, 2016 / 11:39 am

    Haha what a weird and yet lovely concept! At least it would make you laugh if nothing else! Good luck with the comp – I bet there are many many couples who need more date nights now that they have mini people in their lives! Thanks for joining us on #fortheloveofBLOG x

    • August 11, 2016 / 11:44 am

      Yep, not something I’d heard of before and it’s not geared exclusively towards parents of smalls but it’s such a good idea! Thank you, first comp but going well so far ????

  19. August 11, 2016 / 11:49 am

    Ah yeah this one was an outdoorsy one as it’s summer (supposedly) but some are indoors too. Ah that’s a lovely tradition! When is your birthday? #KCACOLS

  20. August 11, 2016 / 4:12 pm

    I read the WHOLE post just for fun and even after the competition could be entered! Continue to love your writing style (are you ok with me saying it’s very unmumsy mum without being a copy of her) and you did make me chuckle with your antics with the baby monitor (I remember the crappy tunes well) and the bodypaint. I think the conversations starters sound a really good ideas as sometimes I literally can’t think of anything more to say then ‘how was your day?’. Last night I was so excited about our ‘date night’ (it was actually just no devices cuddling on the sofa watching the Olympics but hey ho) because one of our cats joined us too – we hardly see them these days as they are so scared of being chased by toddler twins! Look forward to reading your next post. x

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:00 pm

      Ah the comp is still open until tomorrow night, haha. Comparing me to Unmumsy Mum is a massive compliment, thank you very much! Your date night sounds absolutely perfect. Have you seen that picture by Hurrah for Gin that’s captioned something like “I love sitting mute on the sofa with you”. No devices is key! Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  21. August 11, 2016 / 10:06 pm

    Yes, so this kind of box is great if you have a long standing partner, might not have the same positive impact with a Tinder date. Great review. Pen x #KCACOLS

    • August 11, 2016 / 10:15 pm

      No, that’s because new dates are exciting enough as they are without needing to resort to a box of prompts! Oh to have a time machine and go back to a good first date where it’s all exciting and buzzy. My last first date was 12 years ago aged 20 and I really hadn’t lived! Still haven’t…thanks for reading and commenting lovely xx

  22. August 11, 2016 / 10:29 pm

    We’ve just reviewed a date night box ourselves from a different company, I’m a bit jealous of the theme of yours though I love star gazing and so does Si 😉 He isn’t bald though so the paints would have been less fun ha!

    Stevie x #PicknMix

    • August 11, 2016 / 10:39 pm

      You’d need to be a bit more creative with where you painted each other…! Hope you enjoyed your box too, it seems like a new concept but a very popular one. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  23. August 12, 2016 / 8:01 am

    Aah no this one was def worth the time and effort, a really lovely evening. Thank you for reading and commenting xx

  24. August 12, 2016 / 5:02 pm

    Haahaha I got one of these boxes too and drew a penis with the neon! Standard right? Sounds like you had a lovely time, sadly my Netflix and chill days are innocent as well but starting to change ish! There is hope. Thanks for the laugh and sharing with #StayClassyMama!

    • August 12, 2016 / 5:26 pm

      Standard classy practise methinks! Thank you for hosting and commenting xx #stayclassymama

  25. August 12, 2016 / 10:34 pm

    Mate! Somehow I missed this but just spotted on Insta that your competition is nearly over. I got in just in the nick of time! Your cake looks bloody delicious and I love that you drew a cock on your husband’s head, I would have done the same thing. I think these are a great idea, we don’t get out much either! Ed x

    • August 12, 2016 / 10:38 pm

      Haha – where have you been, I’ve been plugging it everywhere for weeks! Even almost told the guy serving me in the co-op about it! Almost. Good luck and thank you for entering – I hear the next box has something to do with the Kama Sutra in so bad luck if you win 😉 That cake was blinding, actually. I’ll make it for us WHEN we meet, for we must meet Ed. xxx

      • Ellen
        August 12, 2016 / 10:48 pm

        We must! Haha xx

  26. August 12, 2016 / 11:17 pm

    This had me howling! I read the whole way through and didn’t need the incentive of a competition AT ALL I am pretty sure that our night would have involved taling about the kids, moaning about the garden, glow-in-the-dark willies and fleeting moments of romance disturbed by wildlife too… Thanks for making me laugh! #KCACOLS

    • August 12, 2016 / 11:22 pm

      Aaah I’m pleased you liked it, thank you! It was a fun night, we’re not the most romantic of couples but we had a great time. Thanks for reading lovely ???? xx

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