Nothing says, "I wanna spend a little bit of quality time with my man" quite like a well-planned out date does. And personally, I agree with someone I was talking to recently who said that the traditional dinner and a movie can get kinda old, pretty fast, mostly because it's so predictable and typically lacks creativity.
So, in honor of doing something that's a little outside of the box, when's the last time that you and yours went on a picnic? And to add a bit of a twist to it — an indoor one. If it's been a minute or you never have and you'd like a few tips on how to make one happen without a hitch, I've got 15 tips that can help your first — or 10th — indoor picnic be one of your best dates ever!
1. Buy a Picnic Basket
Let's start off with the obvious. Whether you're outdoors or inside, there is absolutely no way that you can have an authentic picnic without a picnic basket. If you're wondering if you've got to break the bank in order to cop one, you don't. Places like Target and Walmart typically sell them for around $25 and, the cool thing is, once you've got one, you won't need another for several years to come.
2. Pitch a Tent
Once you've got your basket in tow, it's time to create a bit of ambiance. Since you're going to probably be in your living room, den or basement, something you might want to consider doing is pitching a tent. For a basic one, all you need is a sheet, some clothespins and maybe a few twinkle lights. Then you can put some throw pillows and blankets on the inside of it. Once you're done making your tent, you'll probably be surprised by how cozy you'll feel underneath it. Anyway, if you want to give it a shot, Our Mini Family is a blog that can walk you through the steps. You can check out their instructions here.
3. Or Bring in a Tree
I've shared before that one of my favorite décor additions in my home are two big faux trees (kinda sorta like the one in this picture). I have one in my living room and one in my bedroom. I dunno what it is about 'em; they just seem to make my space feel "warmer".
If you've got one as well, something that can make you feel almost like you are outside is to position your tree in such a way where it is the centerpiece of your indoor picnic. If you want, you and your partner can use paper clips to attach notes for you and your partner to read before or after your meal. It really is a very sweet touch.
4. Play Nature Sounds
While playing some of your favorite music in the background is always a great way to set a romantic mood, more and more, I am coming to like the sound of nature sometimes. I fall asleep to ASMR rain sounds. Sometimes, I like to hear waves crashing instead. Again, I am never (ever) gonna knock a good R&B playlist. Still, why not try the sounds of wind blowing or waterfalls with birds chirping, just to see if you like it? YouTube has free ASMR videos that will literally play for hours (just go to the site and put the sound that you are looking for in the search field).
5. Sprinkle Some Flower Petals
Whether you go with a tent, a tree or nothing but a blanket on the floor, definitely get yourself some fresh (preferably rose) flower petals. They absolutely scream romance. They also add a nice aroma to the space and they're an easy way to make your picnic something really pretty to look at. A lot of grocery stores sell petals in boxes (so do florists) or you can always buy a half-dozen stems and pull the petals off yourself.
6. Go with Natural Lighting, Candles or Lanterns
OK. One more thing about the ambiance. When you want to cultivate a romantic mood, lighting really is everything. If you're planning to have your picnic during the daytime, open up your window treatments and let some natural light shine through. If it's going to be during the evening or nighttime hours, light some scented soy tealight candles, go to a local arts and crafts store to get some cheap lanterns or change the color of your overhead lighting or lamps to bulbs that are a red, green, blue or purple hue. Soft lighting is really sexy and will definitely help to set the mood.
7. Wear. Less.
One of the best things about having a picnic indoors instead of outside is you can wear whatever the heck you want because you are in the comfort, convenience and privacy of your own home. So, pull out some lingerie in your partner's favorite color, wear nothing but a cute frilly apron or — wear nothing at all.
After all, nothing says, "This ain't your family reunion kind of picnic" like having barely anything on. Right?
8. Enjoy Your Meal...in Stages
Speaking of providing things with a bit of a twist — as we get into some cool food ideas for your romantic picnic, why not serve things in stages? By that I mean, with appetizers could come some compliments. With cocktails could come a little bit of dancing or kissing. After dessert…well, comes dessert. Because it's just gonna be you and your boo, build up the anticipation of every part of the meal by incorporating some much-needed — and I'm sure, appreciated — affection. It will make the picnic that much more special.
9. Serve Romance-Themed Appetizers
Now for the actual foods. While most of us know what an appetizer is, were you aware of the fact that the literal definition of the word is it's a small portion of food or drink that makes you want to have even more? Since the theme of this particular picnic is romance, when it comes to the appetizers that you serve, try and think of what will make you and your partner feel like you want to be more in each other's space. Little shrimp cocktails. Smoked salmon bites. Baked asparagus. Skewered ravioli. Fig and goat cheese bruschetta. Vietnamese chicken and vegetable spring rolls. Wafflized mozzarella sticks with salsa. The idea here is to come up with an appetizer idea that is delicious, not super difficult to make, and will be easy for the two of you to feed one another — because there is something about letting your partner feed you (as you do the same to him) that is low-key sexy as hell.
10. Make Some Fondue
Speaking of sexy, is there anything better than some chocolate fondue? It's great for dipping fruit, cookies, angel food cake (or any cake, really), marshmallows, graham crackers, licorice, bacon (ever had beef bacon? Whew, chile!) — pretty much anything that you enjoy dipping chocolate into. And since you're considering breaking everything up into stages, if neck kissing or finger sucking is on "the menu", fondue is a great way to implement it. (If you don't happen to have a fondue pot, you can learn how to make chocolate fondue without one by going here.)
11. Have Strawberries on Deck
Speaking of fruits to put into your homemade chocolate fondue, did you know that back in the days of Ancient Rome, strawberries were considered to be the symbol of Venus, the Goddess of Love, due to their shape and color? That's a big part of the reason why they are also on the list of foods that are an aphrodisiac.
Chocolate-covered strawberries. Strawberries, whipped cream and orange liqueur. Arugula salad with strawberries in it. Strawberries, pomegranates and dried rose petals. Strawberry-ginger lemonade floats. These are just a few creative ways to incorporate strawberries into your indoor picnic meal.
12. Create a Cocktail
Speaking of lemonade, something that I'm all about, for pretty much any occasion, is a signature cocktail. It's fun. It's unique. And when you're coming up with one that only has you and yours in mind, it can be uber romantic too. If you're totally down yet you're just not sure where to start (because I won't lie, mixing the wrong stuff together could land you in your bathroom rather than your bedroom), a blog called Life by Olivia has a quiz that could help to point you into the right direction. Check it out here (also, putting "how to create a signature cocktail" in the search field of your favorite search engine can help you out as well).
13. Order the Main Meal
OK. I definitely don't want you being in the kitchen all day and night. Matter of fact, please keep in mind that all that I've said so far, you can "remix it" however you wish.
Yet if you do decide to follow through with everything, my two cents would be to order the main meal. Heck, why not? There have been appetizers, fondue, strawberries and a one-of-a-kind drink — so, order a pizza, some Chinese or even favorite dishes from two different restaurants and have it delivered. It's not uncommon at all for folks to pick up traditional picnic foods from places like a local deli because, when it comes to a picnic, it's more about the atmosphere and presentation than anything else.
14. Enjoy an Aphrodisiac-Themed Dessert
C'mon. What's a romantic meal without a dessert that has an aphrodisiac theme to it? Anything with chocolate in it would qualify. So would watermelon gelato, cinnamon rolls, sweet potato pudding, champagne cake (that's gluten-free), mango vanilla slice, apple pomegranate cobbler and banana cream pie. What all of these have in common is they are delicious desserts that have foods that are considered to be aphrodisiacs in them. They are a great way to transition from dining to…what may be next.
15. Pull Out Some Throw Pillows/Blankets. Then Nap Together.
Whether I'm having a picnic outdoors or inside, there is something about a full stomach and the right blanket that makes me feel cozy enough to want to go to sleep. You're indoors. You're with your boo thang. Why not put your head on some of those pillows, get up underneath a blanket and cuddle until you fall asleep? I can't think of a more wonderful way to end a romantic picnic — and possibly gear up for something else…once the two of you wake up (if you know what I mean). #wink
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.
I’m willing to bet that this is not the first time you’ve seen this couple. Dalen Spratt is a television producer, owner of a tailored men's suit line, and creator of Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests, which is currently streaming on Destination America. Stacey Spratt is also a serial entrepreneur, focusing mostly on events and the nonprofit world, and she is the owner of two award-winning craft beer bars called Harlem Hops. But their accolades are not what united them.
The couple met years ago at their alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, when they were still working to create the life they have now, and if you had told them then that they’d eventually tie the knot, the pair probably would’ve laughed in your face.
Today, they’re new parents, flourishing in their careers, and each others’ “teammates.” When desiring love, Dalen recommends not looking to other couples for advice. And Stacey advises staying true to what you want. “Don’t put age or limitations on love and children. If God could do it for me, why can’t he do it for you?”
Here's How We Met.
How did you meet?
Dalen: We met in 2005 when she was advising the Greek sororities and fraternities in college. She was old as hell in college, and I was a young buck (laughs). Everybody had a crush on her, but I didn’t think much of it. Then, in 2007, we were in the same grad school class, but she still wasn’t trying to see me then either. I had to catch her five years ago; I was very patient.
Stacey: Yeah, everybody in our grad school class called him Young, Fresh to Death because he was always dressed in B-school (what CAU affectionately refers to as business major classes), and we’d just wear sweatpants (laughs).
So, I know Dalen was always attracted to you. But what about you? Did your attraction to him develop over time?
Stacey: So 2006-2008 – all the years went by. I don’t think we were really thinking about each other at all back then. Years later, I had an event in Dallas, and I booked him to be a speaker. Then, a few years ago, Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: "If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you." But I still thought he was too young at the time, and he started pulling receipts. Taraji P. Henson was dating someone young at the time, Gabrielle Union–
Dalen: First of all, I didn’t do that. You did that.
Stacey: Okay, I did. I thought he was a cutie pie, but that age thing was on my mind!
"Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: 'If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you.'"
Talk to me about the first date. How did he change your mind?
Stacey: Our first date was at Tin Lizzy's in Atlanta. During that time, he was living in Dallas, so it was long-distance. But he came into town, and we just had a good time. We talked a lot, which we still do. It wasn’t anything fantastic.
Dalen: Don’t downplay our first date.
Then, walk me through your courtship. How did you get to the next level? What was that conversation like?
Stacey: I think he knew at age 43 or 44 I wasn’t playing around. But also, I think it just naturally progressed.
Dalen: Yeah, it just happened naturally. And I’m going to be honest, I don’t think initially either one of us thought it would be as serious as it was. She thought I was too young and I wasn’t ready for marriage, kids, and all that. I think we both thought we were just hanging out. But after spending so much time together, a lot of stuff started happening. Like, she had to have surgery early on. It wasn’t just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That’s why we still don’t have an anniversary date because we never really asked.
"It wasn't just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That's why we still don't have an anniversary date because we never really asked."
What made you want to commit to each other?
Dalen: The moment I knew Stacey was for me was from a phone call. I don’t really like talking on the phone, and I can be really blunt sometimes. But we were talking, and I said, ‘I don’t really feel like talking anymore.’ And she was just like, okay, and hung up. I wasn’t trying to be rude, and she understood that. It sounds bad, but that’s how I knew she just got me. I felt like she could get my random awkward moments, and she does to this day.
Stacey: For me, I liked him as a person. Even when times get rough and tough, I could still like him as a human. He is my best friend. We have time. We laugh until we cry, and it’s just always like that. Even when we get pissed at each other, something happens, and we fix it. Also, how he treats his mother. That’s a momma’s boy, but I’m a daddy’s girl – so I get it. I know how I want to be treated, and I see how he is with her and that’s beautiful.
What are some important lessons you’ve learned about yourself through loving your partner in this relationship?
Dalen: I grew up an only child and she grew up with siblings. So, when you have someone who is used to doing things by themselves, there is definitely a learning curve when you get into a serious relationship. It’s funny now, but it was definitely a process.
Stacey: I agree – definitely the only child thing. There’s times I look at him like, did you ever live with anyone else? That comes from being momma's baby, too. I have to say, my “mother-in-love” spoiled him. But also with Axel (their daughter), that brings another level of patience.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images
What was the biggest challenge that you had to overcome together?
Dalen: We’ve gone through a lot within the years we’ve been together. We suffered two miscarriages – I’d say that’s the biggest.
Stacey: Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me. I was wondering if I can’t carry [a child] what that looks like for us. We had very real conversations pretty early in our relationship.
"Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me."
What do you fight the most about?
Dalen: Nagging. Stacey nags; she’s a complainer. She’s that momma that will look in a room and just hunt for something to complain about. Like, I’m worried for Axel when she's in high school.
Stacey: It’s because I like things to be in place. He leaves stuff all over the place. I can tell where he’s been in the house because something is left around. So he says I’m nagging – but it’s like, just get your stuff.
What are your love languages?
Dalen: Stacey is gifts all day.
Dalen: We’ve talked about this. xoNecole is about to cause problems in our home (laughs).
Stacey: Obviously I love you. *thinks again* It’s words of affirmation.
Dalen: That’s it.
What’s your favorite thing about each other?
Dalen: I’ve always respected her business-mindedness. That may sound superficial, but it’s not because I’ve never been with someone who thinks like me. It’s one of my most treasured things about her. I remember one day, I was just running through ideas with her, and each time Stacey had a suggestion on how I could make it better. It’s just very comforting. She takes whatever I’m doing and elevates it – including me.
Stacey: I love Dalen’s hustle and creativity. He’s been on multiple shows, and he continues to create, produce, and reinvent himself and the product he’s putting out. I love that we can create together and bounce things off each other. Even though we may be in different arenas, there’s nothing he can’t offer me great advice about. I love that drive.
Finally, how did you know it was love?
Dalen: Well – she said it – first. (laughs)
Stacey: And he looked at me and smiled! He didn’t say it back. We were on a trip, out of the country.
Dalen: We were arguing when she said it, and she just threw it out.
Stacey: But we continue to do that. We’ve spent holidays and everything outside of the country.
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The Scorpio man and Pisces woman form a relationship that is heartfelt, sincere, and not for the weak. There is an immediate connection and familiarity between these two, being that they are both water signs and are both ruled by their emotions. They are on a similar playing field in life, yet they go about their desires in love in a very different way.
Scorpio Man And Pisces Woman Love Compatibility
Ultimately, a partnership being formed between the two is an intimate and emotionally transformative one, and this is a relationship they both never forget. Things can get messy, but if they are willing to do the work within, then the love can also be pretty amazing for them as well. They are all in or nothing when it comes to partnerships, and they learn a lot about true commitment and vulnerability through this pairing.
What attracts a Scorpio man to a Pisces woman?
The Scorpio man is attracted to the Pisces woman's mysterious aura and emotional demeanor. The Pisces woman is attracted to the same things as the Scorpio man. See, these two are more similar than most signs of the zodiac, and they can intuitively feel this about each other right away. Pisces and Scorpio often share similar interests and have a lot of opportunities to meet each other because they like to do the same things and are often in the same places. These are two creative and artistic souls, and there is something that they both find inspiring about each other right away.
The connection and synergy of a Pisces and Scorpio couple is undeniable, and there is a strong force in life that often brings these two together. The Pisces woman can feel that there is more to the surface than the Scorpio man presents right away, and this is instantly intriguing to her, being that she rules the 12th house, which is where everything is hidden in life. The Pisces woman has secrets of her own, and she sees the Scorpio man as someone who can resonate with how she feels and dive deeper into the relationship together.
What is the relationship like between a Pisces woman and a Scorpio man?
The relationship between the Pisces woman and the Scorpio man is emotional. Emotions run very high in this relationship, which is often a good thing, but can turn into something entirely different very quickly as well. The Pisces woman and Scorpio man often get into a relationship together quickly. They are not earth signs that take their time developing a relationship; they are water signs that base their decisions on their emotions and go with the flow of the currents here.
So when they meet and they feel that instant connection with each other, they often jump into a pairing with one another right away.
This couple will enjoy spending time together and will feel like they are deeply understood in the relationship. There is a comfort here that is truly profound, and if anything, they are best friends first and foremost. However, the Pisces woman and Scorpio man tend to let their emotions overwhelm them and can turn little things into something bigger. Arguments or disagreements in this relationship can get messy, and they are both somewhat emotionally impulsive. Neither will forgive and forget easily as well, so reaching a point of forgiveness or harmony after something challenging occurs may never happen.
This relationship works best if both parties have already experienced a long-term commitment or have learned their lessons in love and evolved. The longevity of the relationship will depend on how they begin it. However, the love they have for one another is undeniable.
What is the sex like between a Scorpio man and a Pisces woman?
The sex life between the Pisces woman and Scorpio man is transcendent. They tend to have no issues in the bedroom, and that instant connection they feel when they meet often has an underlying energy of sexual compatibility as well. This isn’t the type of couple to wait a long time to explore each other in the bedroom, and they form a deep intensity here right away. They are looking to connect on many different levels, and they feel enough compatibility in the connection to do so.
The Pisces woman is willing to explore in the bedroom, and the Scorpio man is ready for anything. This is a couple who will entertain role-play, bondage, etc., and there are a few limitations to what they are both interested in. With the Pisces woman providing a safe space to many, the Scorpio man feels comfortable opening up in many different ways, the main one including behind closed doors and in the bedroom. They are emotional at their core, however, and will still want a level of intimacy with each other that goes deeper than just sex, so although their sex life is great, there is more they both want at the end of the day.
What makes a relationship between a Pisces woman and a Scorpio man work?
What makes the relationship work between these two water signs, is that they both understand each other deeply. They don’t have to explain themselves or work too hard on getting to know each other because it’s almost instant that they do. They speak the same language, in other words, and they can learn a lot from each other in the process. They are more open with each other, and their more reclusive demeanor changes in the presence of one another. This is a couple that likes to spend time together doing things that each other has an interest in.
At the end of the day, these are just two people who want to love and be loved, and they can give each other that.
The Pisces woman helps the Scorpio man open up more, go with the flow, and trust the universe. The Scorpio man helps the Pisces woman step into her power, stick up for herself more, and live life fully. There is something creative and eye-opening about this pairing, and they create their own world together. Trust is everything between the both of them and once they have that, they lay the foundation for the relationship to grow and thrive.
What may cause a Scorpio man and a Pisces woman to break up?
The thing about a water sign relationship is that things can get messy. Emotions are always running high, and if they are not on the same page, this can lead to the energy of the relationship being all over the place. The Pisces woman is loyal, attentive, and compassionate, but she is also a free spirit who likes her space and freedom. The Scorpio man, on the other hand, craves deep intimacy and partnership and may have a hard time trusting the Pisces woman, and that trust needs to be had in a relationship.
Scorpio may find Pisces to be too wishy-washy for his liking, although Pisces just sees herself as someone open-minded and flexible and doesn't understand why the Scorpio man can’t be a little more like that as well.
This relationship can fall apart due to things becoming overwhelming too quickly. They tend to get into the relationship quickly and break up just as fast as well. If they can act on mental clarity as much as they do their emotions, then this can create a more solid ground for the relationship to grow and continue to grow upon. You would think that being with someone who is the same element as you is a recipe for success in a relationship, but two of the same things can be too much at the end of the day.
Summary: Is a Scorpio man and a Pisces woman compatible?
Ultimately, this is a relationship with high compatibility, and depending on the two people at hand, it will determine how things unfold here. They have the tools needed to form a sincere, loving, and compassionate relationship but will have to confront each other's differences with the same attitude to work. Once the first challenge or conflict arises in the relationship, how they handle it afterward will determine if the relationship is going to work out or not.
These two are perfect when things are going well, but can be dramatic when they are not. The Pisces woman and Scorpio man can’t get enough of each other at the end of the day, and this will indeed be a relationship that they will never forget.
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