How To: Have a Perfect Date Night In

04 August 2020

Hi friends! How are we doing? I know, Covid kind of sucked the life out of many things, didn't it? I've definitely gotten used to this new life, but I do feel somber here and there! Somber because I can't proceed with life the way I normally would or I forget I can't just happily head out to dinner and drinks with friends or hubby - WAH! This isn't fun anymore, but it's definitely given us all a reason to find ways of getting creative with our new normal and beyond that, finding ways of doing our part to help support local businesses.

Being that I'm relevantly new to the North Orange County area, I'm still always on the hunt to find my new local favs! Just recently, I ventured out to the Brea area (about 10 minutes away from Anaheim, Yorba Linda, CSUF and Fullerton) and shopped around the cutest little shopping center called Village at La Floresta.  This center reminded me of another center I used to venture out to and immediately new I'd become a regular!  I don't actually tend to love huge shopping centers and prefer to walk right up to what I need and this is exactly what Village at La Floresta offers! Being that this center seriously offers a little bit of everything,  I headed there this weekend to pick up a few goodies, masked up and all of course, to throw a perfect date night at home. Date night, supporting local shops and staying safe? Twist my arm for a good time! Here's how you can throw your own date night at home:

1. Treat Yourself

Every pre-covid shopping trip always started with a cup of soOoOomething!  Following the same tradition, I started my trip at Reborn Coffee and picked up a hot Matcha Latte and pastry. I'm usually a 'pick up and shop' kind of girl, but this time, I hung out on their patio for a bit to sip my latte. If you're like me and prefer to avoid crowds when you're out, I definitely recommend finding a safe place! This patio was my best bet because guess what, no one else was out there, and the barista let me know they regularly clean, so I got really lucky!

2. Find Your Date Night Outfit

The most exciting part about a date night isn't actually the date, it's the outfit - am I right though!? Next to Reborn Coffee is this super cute boutique, Stitch + Feather, that is like a mini (and much more affordable) Anthro if I had to compare. I've seen Stitch + Feather on Instagram and was so excited to find their actual shop and be able to take home what I wanted right then and there vs online shopping. They have the cutest clothes, shoes, accessories and other trinkets that make it easy to browse the shop for more than an hour - which I did haha. I found the most perfect pair of pants I've actually been eyeing for a while now and paired it up with a simple matching tank.  Again, I got super lucky because the pants I wanted weren't available in my size on the clothing rack, but fortunately the stylist there found my size in a different rack, so it was meant to be! Before checking out, I scoped out the rest of the boutique and found the cutest corner full of cooking books, which I now regret not buying at least one because they were all so fun and could've served a purpose for future date nights, ya know?! No big deal though, I can always head back. Anyway, I checked out, added myself to their email list and off I went to my next stop.

3. Pick Up Food

Okay, before heading to Village at La Floresta, I scheduled a pick up order at Mendocino Farms and it was ready right on time! They offer in-restaurant ordering, curbside pickup or general pickup. I knew I was going to walk around the shopping center for a bit, so I just scheduled a general pickup. When I got there, a server was over at the pick up area, asked for my name and handed my bag right over - super easy! Mendocino is my absolute favorite place to eat a GOOD salad from and used to live just a few miles away from one.  Prior to this weekend, I hadn't had a Mendo salad in months, so when I saw Village at La Floresta had one, I definitely squealed loud enough for my neighbors to hear. Aside from Mendo, the shopping center offers other restaurant options like Slapfish, Urban Plates, Capital Noodle Bar and Jimmy's Famous American Tavern. Martin and I were feeling a light dinner, so we went for Mendocino but we ALMOST picked up food from Slapfish, since neither one of us has ever had it before. We'll just have to make a new date night out of it, right?

Picking up all of my date night necessities took about an hour and a half and I was so excited to head home to set it up. Beyond just feeling like I was trying to normalize a regular Saturday pre-Covid night, it felt really nice to support a few local shops during the process! Most times, I usually order food delivery service but it's not always from a small restaurant ya know? Usually it's from a larger chain, and same with clothes and anything else.  As Covid continues to hit the world harder and harder, it's really important for me to try to do my part to prioritize local shopping over other tried and true places.  Also not to mention, it really makes your day (and date night!) so much more meaningful! Anyway, here's your recipe to throwing a perfect date night at home. If  you live in Orange County, I highly suggest Village at La Floresta as your date night essentials shopping center! For more info and for a full directory list, head here. Chat with you all later!

Melissa Victoria

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