*This is a sponsored post by Painting to Gogh. However, all content and opinions expressed are mine. So are the dad jokes…
When was the last time you went on a non-dinner or movie night date? With Valentine’s Day/Galentine’s Day right around the corner, it had me thinking, (dangerous, I know), about dates; dates with your besties, new loves, and LTR (long term relationship) partners. I appreciate having a day where we express our love for each other, but wouldn’t it be nice if we carved out days during each month to spend time with those we love?
S and I have been together for over 10 years. We met in the summer of 2006, engaged in the spring of 2013 and married in the fall of 2014. During the first few years of our lives together we would go on these adorable dates. However, these days finding the time for a new and unique date night can be a challenge (sadly we don’t have the bankroll of the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise. I would love to be helicoptered to a faraway land with the Mister). Our go-to dates usually revolve around dinner out or spending time at the Art Institute of Chicago. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating out and I love going to the museum or to the theatre, but all of that can become predictable.
When Painting to Gogh reached out to me to see if I would be interested in trying one of their paintings, I instantly knew that this would be a great date night idea for S and me, and something my followers would enjoy. It’s also a wonderful activity for a ladies night, invite some of your nearest and dearest friends over, stock the fridge with some champs (duh), wine and appetizers (check out below for my adorable Maple Bacon Wrapped Asparagus. They look like little paint brushes).
Painting to Gogh, a Chicago based company that ships a painting party straight to the comfort of your own home (alcohol not included…). All the art materials get delivered directly to you and a link to a digital step-by-step video tutorial gets sent to your inbox. There’s a catalog full of unique and interesting paintings for one to try. Some of my favorites include Lovebirds at Dusk, Acoustic Sunrise, and Pride. This is a company you’ll feel good about supporting as they donate a portion of each sale made to an art based charity. A new charity is selected quarterly.
Sticking with the date night theme, I thought it would be fitting to try and paint Lovebirds at Dusk. The instructional video was delivered into my inbox shortly after I ordered my starter kit; the rest of the kit was sent to my home. The starter kit came with a selection of paints, a palette, a canvas, a number of paintbrushes, a disposable apron and an easel. I was tempted to watch the full video before I got started painting to get an idea of what to expect, but I quickly changed my mind. I unpacked all the materials and set everything up, accessed the the instructional video and started painting.
The step-by-step tutorial was easy to follow. I was a big fan of having the ability to pause, rewind and restart the video as often as I liked. I stopped and rewinded the video quite a few times, as my artistic ability is somewhat lacking. The virtual instructor made the process easy and enjoyable. The one thing that would have benefited me was if she had given suggestions on what to do if you were to mess-up. I accidentally mixed the wrong colors together for my leaves and didn’t realize it until the paint hit the canvas. I decided not to fret about it, as it gave me an opportunity to make it my own.
This was a very enjoyable experience and something that I will do again.
So, the next time you want have date night, a ladies night or simply looking for ways to relax, order a painting kit from Painting to Gogh. If you already own a canvas and paint brushes you can order the Essential Kit; if you’re doing this with your BFF or a SO you can order the Starter Kit for Two.
Now let’s talk food, because you can’t have a date without food. This adorable appetizer is the perfect accompaniment for a painting party. The asparagus is a fun play on a paintbrush and the bacon is a sweet and smokey addition.
You have two options here, you can either purchase maple cured bacon or you can buy regular bacon and paint real maple syrup on each slice.
I cut the bacon slices in half, used some high quality real Vermont maple syrup and painted each half with some syrup, topped it with some coarsely ground Pink Himalayan Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper. I carefully wrapped a halved slice of bacon around a trimmed asparagus stalk and then arranged the stalks on a lined backing sheet and baked for 25-30min in a 350 degree oven until bacon was crispy. Serve immediately!
If you make this make sure to tag me on the ‘grams @MacaronsandLavender and #MacaronsandLavender