After the Kids Go to Bed – Date Night Happy Hour at Home – Wine and Cheese Platter

by Alice Currah on May 7, 2012. Updated May 15, 2012

“This post is sponsored by Häagen-Dazs® ice cream, encouraging life’s little luxuries.”


See this handsome guy? He is the one who gets me. He is the clever guy who convinced me to start dating him based on a questionnaire he handed me after the fact I set in my mind that we were destined to just be friends. One of the last questions on that sheet of paper was, “do you want a guy who would make a great husband to you and father to your kids?” How could I not go out with him after being asked that? Twelve years of marriage under our belt and three kids later we are as strong as ever. The funny thing about marriage is that for me, when we made our commitment, I would have never guessed in a million years we would be most happy while raising three kids.

Life before kids is a distant memory. Back then we would spend our time together doing what we wanted. No curfews, no one else to be accountable to, and limited only by our work commitments. But once we become parents our lives changed. Sleep deprivation set in, round the clock feedings and diaper changes, and an unimaginable joy that permeated our lives forever.

The one thing I miss the most about pre-kids is being able to stay out late on dates. These days when we get a sitter, we usually only go out for a few hours and come home no later than 9 pm, sometimes 10 pm when we’re feeling a bit rebellious.

But if I’ve learned anything over these last 12 years of being married to Rob it’s this. If we are going to spend time together we have to be intentional, creative, and flexible. With my husband traveling regularly he often prioritizes his time spent at home being the involved dad. I wouldn’t have it any other way. However, it can be challenging at times because we often don’t get the opportunity to sit down and enjoy a moment together without one of the kids needing something. (Tap, tap…. Can anyone else relate to this?)

So this is what we often do.  We wait until the kids are in bed to drink a glass of wine together over some “grown-up” types of food as we have an adult conversation.  To pause and take a moment to enjoy each others’ company is a simple, and a pleasure I do not take for granted.

As someone who believes in finding joy in simplicity I also like to indulge myself when I can with life’s little luxuries.  Sometimes it’s grabbing my favorite nail polish and giving myself a quick pedicure.  Other times I’ll order an espresso beverage off the specialty menu instead of my usual latte.  But when it comes to spending time with Rob, I try to make sure what I prepare for our late night (at-home) happy hour feels special and slightly more luxurious than a snack I would make for the whole family.  This is why I love cheese platters.

Assembling a cheese platter is fairly simple.  What I love most about eating off of one after the kids have gone to bed  is how they make both Rob and I feel like it’s just something special for the two of us.  Best of all, a cheese platter can be as simple or elaborate as you want them to be.

If I go to a specialty store with a well stocked cheese department I love asking the person behind the counter for their recommendations and favorites.  If I ask nicely they will often let me sample any cheese I want.  After I pick out my cheese and wine, I might add other elements for my platter. Sliced prosciutto is always a winner to me.  A cluster of grapes, apple, pears, nuts, olives, crackers, and chocolates also make excellent elements to include on a cheese platter.  There is no hard and fast rule on how to put together a cheese platter, but for aesthetics it is a good idea to have a variety of different bites.

When Rob saw this platter that I made for him he was touched because he’s flying out in the morning.  I’m so thankful for our late night happy hours together.  Just he and I, uninterrupted… like when we were newly married.

Would love to hear your date-night at home ideas, favorite cheeses, or how you incorporate life’s little luxuries into your busy schedules in the comment section below. Currently I’m obsessed with soft cheeses with quince spread.  If you’ve never tried… you must!

My other go-to luxury is sharing a pint of Häagen-Dazs® ice cream with Rob.  We’ve always been big fans of their ice creams and my all time favorite is “Coffee” with “Green Tea” and their “Five: Ginger” as close seconds.  You can share and declare your favorite Häagen-Dazs® ice cream flavor on their Inspiration Boards on Pinterest.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica May 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Oh my. If someone I wasn’t interested in wrote me that questionnaire, I would probably get a restraining order. But it’s wonderful that you two are so happy :-)


Moonblue54 May 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Sometimes as a parent you’re so involved with being mommy that you forget you were your husband’s best girl/main squeeze/boo/wife before you were “Mommmmmmmmmmy!” What an oh-so-sweet reminder! (but with that dimpled cutie, how could you forget!) :-)


JulieD May 7, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Very cool, Alice! I love the cheese platter. It’s my favorite thing to serve at get togethers. I love Haagen-Dazs ice cream! My first job was at a Haagen-Dazs ice cream shop and it was where I met my husband! :)


Ann P. May 7, 2012 at 2:50 pm

What a sweet story about how you and your hubby got together! And I think this is an awesome idea for an at-home date! It’s luxurious and intimate, all while being in close watch of the sleeping babies… ingenious :)


Leanne May 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Congrats to you and Rob on twelve years and three kids! My husband and I are about to have our first baby– three weeks to go!– and we’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to keep our special date nights going. I’ll remember the late night-date night at home.


Noble Pig - Cathy May 7, 2012 at 9:00 pm

It’s so important that you invest in your marriage this way…we all owe it to our children to keep the bond strong. Cheers to you and your husband.


Corinna May 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm

While we are not religious, my husband and I participated in Pre-Cana to marry in a Catholic church. We learned that to be better parents, we must put each other, the spouse, first. So, our late night date nights at home is our solution. A Netflix movie on DVD or instant play and a glass of red wine.

Congrats on 12 years and 3 kids. Next year, we celebrate 10 years and 3 kids. Cheers to you and Rob!


Cindy May 8, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Congratulations! What a great guy you have there! We just celebrated 17, also with a cheese platter. Yours looks extra delicious!


Von May 8, 2012 at 9:20 pm

what a romantic and yummy post. after 22 years of marriage our goto date nite at home is me w/ a glass of good red wine and my hubby a strong cappuccino along w/ a great movie in bed.


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