How to Make the Best Gourmet Coffee Recipes At Home

People love their morning coffee, especially in the colder months. While making a quick cup of coffee at the office or at home is a good way to get your fix of caffeine, sometimes you want something more luxurious or gourmet than a basic cup of joe.

Specialty coffee shops have menus with dozens of different gourmet coffee beverages, but going to the cafe every day can take a toll on your wallet.

Making gourmet coffee at home or at the office is easier than you might think. It can also save you a lot of money and be a lot of fun.

Component Recipes

Most coffee drinks use a few base recipes in different combinations. With just a few ingredients, you can make a wide variety of drinks.

Black Coffee

Good black coffee can be a gourmet drink itself, but it’s also the base for many other coffee drinks.

The most important part of any coffee drink is the coffee itself. High quality coffee will help make a high quality drink while low quality coffee means a low quality drink, no matter how much effort you put in.

To make a gourmet cup of black coffee, you need three things: whole coffee beans, a grinder, and a way to turn ground coffee into brewed coffee.

Buying whole coffee beans is less convenient than buying prepared coffee grounds, but the quality difference is immense. Coffee begins to go stale soon after it’s roasted. Once the coffee is ground, it becomes a matter of hours or days before it loses a huge amount of its flavor.

By contrast, you can keep whole beans for weeks before you notice a significant drop in flavor quality and they’re often good months later if you store them well.

When you go to make a cup of coffee, you should grind the beans just before using them. There are plenty of cheap grinders out there. You should look for one that grinds the coffee to a consistent size because similarly-sized grounds are important for equal extraction of the coffee.

Finally, you need a way to turn ground coffee into brewed coffee. There are lots of ways to do this. You could use a french press, a drip coffee maker, an Aeropress, or a pour-over setup. Each method of making coffee will produce a slightly different cup, even with the same beans. For example, a french press will likely produce a heavier cup with more oils than a method that uses a filter, like a drip coffee maker.

How you’ll make coffee will depend on the brewing method you choose. Any brewer you buy should come with a recommended recipe, but you can try variations if you want to play around with different ways to make coffee.

Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew can be a great way to drink coffee when the weather is warm, and some drinks use cold brew as a base rather than hot coffee.

As with any coffee, good cold brew means using high quality, freshly ground coffee beans. For cold brew, you’ll want to use a relatively coarse grind when compared to other preparations.

Cold brew is easy to make but requires more time than brewing hot coffee, meaning you’ll have to plan ahead if you want to have cold brew or make a drink that requires it.

To make cold brew, grind some beans and place them in a container of water. Then, leave the container in the refrigerator overnight, or for 12 to 24 hours. A common ratio to start with is 1 part coffee for every 8 parts water you use, but you can adjust the ratio to your tastes.

After the coffee brews in the refrigerator, strain it through a cheesecloth or other type of filter. The resulting liquid will be heavily-concentrated coffee.

To serve, dilute the concentrate with milk or water to taste.

Keep in mind that cold brew is different from iced coffee, which involves brewing warm coffee and cooling it down with ice.

Espresso

Although some coffee drinks use regular coffee as their base, many traditionally use espresso as their base.

Espresso typically involves brewing with a small ratio of coffee to water; often you use 1 gram of coffee for every 2 grams of espresso you want. It also involves high levels of pressure during the brewing process.

Espresso machines can be highly expensive — far more than most people will want to pay to own. If you want an approximation of espresso, you can use another brewing method to get close.

The Aeropress is one of the best ways to make an at-home approximation of espresso. Combine 17 grams of coffee and 50 to 55 grams of water in the Aeropress. Let it brew for about 20 seconds, then plunge the liquid into a cup.

You won’t have true espresso, but you’ll have highly concentrated coffee that you can use to make espresso-based drinks.

Milk

Many coffee drinks use milk, either cold or warm. Which type of milk you use can vary with personal taste, but the more fat in the milk, the richer your drink will be.

If a recipe calls for frothed milk, you can froth it at home in a pot on the stove. Steaming milk is difficult without the proper equipment, but frothed milk is usually a suitable substitute. To froth milk, pour it into a pot and start warming it on the stove. Don’t let it boil. Once it’s warm, whisk it heavily until it begins to froth.

Alternatively, you can heat the milk in a pot then pour it into a french press. You can then repeatedly move the press’ plunger to froth the milk.

Flavored Syrups

If you like sweet coffee drinks, you’ll want to use syrups to sweeten and flavor your drinks.

The most basic syrup is simple syrup. To make simple syrup, combine equal parts water and sugar in a pot, then bring the water to a boil while stirring constantly. Once the sugar dissolves completely, let the liquid cool and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Simple syrup dissolves more easily in drinks than granulated sugar, meaning it sweetens the drinks more effectively.

To make a flavored syrup, all you have to do is add flavorings like spices or extracts to the water and sugar and let the ingredients simmer for long enough for the flavors to transfer to the syrup. Then, you can strain the syrup to remove solids if necessary and store it in an airtight container.

Many flavored syrups have applications beyond coffee, such as in cocktails, giving you lots of room to experiment.


Gourmet Drink Recipes

These are some popular coffee drinks that you might want to try.

1. Iced Coffee

  • Ground coffee (based on coffee maker’s instructions)
  • Water (half as much as the coffee maker’s instructions)
  • Ice (equal to half the water the coffee maker instructs)
  • Milk or cream (optional)
  • Simple syrup (optional)

To make iced coffee, you will want to make highly concentrated coffee, and then dilute it with ice. To do this, use the normal amount of coffee for your coffee maker, but half as much water. Add ice to the cup equal to the amount of water used.

For example, if you typically use 20 grams of coffee and 400 grams of water, use 20 grams of coffee, 200 grams of water, and 200 grams of ice.

Brew the coffee, then pour it over the ice. Add simple syrup and milk to taste.

2. Mocha

Mocha is the gateway drug for many people who don’t like coffee. It combines coffee, milk, and chocolate flavor to make a delicious drink.

  • 8 ounces of black coffee
  • 1/4 cup milk (add more or less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • Simple syrup to taste — start with 1/2 tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon of cream (optional, for a creamier drink)
  • Whipped cream (optional, to top)

Brew the coffee according to your brewer’s instructions. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Top with whipped cream if desired.

3. Latte

This simple drink combines coffee and milk to make a cup that tastes great on its own or paired with a pastry.

  • 1 part black coffee (for a 12 oz drink, use 6 oz)
  • 1 part warmed milk (for a 12 oz drink, use 6 oz)
  • 1 ounce of frothed milk to top

Combine coffee and warmed milk in a cup. Stir to combine. Top with frothed milk.

To make a flavored latte, add flavored syrup to taste. Start with a tablespoon or two.

4. Cappuccino

Cappuccinos are another milk-based coffee drink that combines espresso with foamed milk to make a light, airy drink.

  • 2 ounces of espresso
  • 4 ounces of frothed milk

Make espresso and pour it into a cup. Top with frothed milk.

5. Affogato

An affogato is a coffee dessert that combines espresso with rich vanilla gelato. (Ice cream is a fine substitute.)

  • 1 scoop vanilla gelato or ice cream
  • 2 ounces of hot espresso
  • Chocolate shavings (optional)

Chill a glass in the freezer, then add 1 scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream. Slowly pour hot espresso into the glass and then top with chocolate shavings if desired. Serve with a spoon.

6. Flat White

A flat white is a basic espresso drink that is popular at cafes around the world.

  • 2 ounces of espresso
  • 4 ounces of frothed milk

Combine the espresso and most of the milk in a cup, then stir. Top with the remainder of the milk.


Flavored Syrup Recipes

To add sweetness and flavor to different coffee drinks, you can add a flavored simple syrup. These are some basic recipes for common flavors you might enjoy in your coffee.

If you want to keep multiple syrups on hand in your fridge, you can use plastic squeeze bottles that are cheap to buy, easy to clean, and easy to use to add syrup to your drink.

1. Maple Simple Syrup

  • 1 part maple syrup
  • 1 part water

To make maple simple syrup, replace the sugar in a simple syrup recipe with maple syrup. Combine the ingredients in a pot, simmer, and stir until combined. Let it cool, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

You can add spices of your choosing during the simmering to add additional flavors.

2. Vanilla Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the ingredients in a pot, simmer, and stir to combine. Let the mixture cool, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

3. Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoon pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Can substitute 2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice for individual spices

Combine the ingredients in a pot, simmer, and stir to combine. Let it cool, strain it through a cheesecloth or other material to remove solids, then store the syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

4. Cinnamon Brown Sugar Syrup

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine the ingredients in a pot, simmer, and stir to combine. Let it cool, strain it through a cheesecloth or other material to remove solids, then store the syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

5. Almond Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

Combine the ingredients in a pot, simmer, and stir to combine. Let it cool, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

6. Chai Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped ginger

Place the spices except the ginger in a pot and toast them on the stove until aromatic. Add the water, sugar, vanilla extract, and ginger. Bring the liquid to a boil, then simmer and stir to combine. Let it cool, strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or other material to remove solids, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Final Word

Creating your favorite coffee drinks at home can save you money and be a lot of fun. Best of all, you can customize your drinks exactly the way you like them. You can tinker with your recipes if you wish to adjust the flavors. You also have complete control over the ingredients that go into your coffee, ensuring that you can enjoy a fresh cup of quality coffee made with all-natural ingredients from start to finish.

It’s your coffee, so feel free to get creative about how you assemble the cup of coffee you use to start your day.

Source: moneycrashers.com

6 Best Lenders for Quick Cash | Fast Personal Loans

Financial emergencies can happen at any time, and when they do, you need to respond quickly. But this can be challenging if you don’t have the funds available in savings. When this happens, taking out a personal loan can be a good way to cover the shortfall.

happy man

You may think that the process of applying and getting approved for a personal loan would be tedious and time-consuming, but it’s not. Many online lenders will give you access to the funds within the same day or by the next business day.

6 Lenders That Provide Quick Cash Loans

Listed below are six online lenders that provide quick access to personal loans.

1. Upstart

Upstart helps borrowers that have strong financial futures but are still in the process of building their credit. The company will consider a variety of factors, including your degree and your job history. You do need to have a credit score of at least 620 to qualify.

The approval and funding process is quick with Upstart, and you could receive the money within one business day. Upstart does charge origination fees and late fees.

  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $50,000
  • APR range: 5.67% to 35.99%
  • Repayment terms: 3 to 5 years

2. Best Egg

Best Egg caters to creditworthy borrowers that are looking for ways to consolidate their debt. You’ll need to have good to excellent credit to qualify, and you can receive the funds as soon as the next business day.

However, Best Egg isn’t going to be the best option for borrowers with bad credit. And the company does charge origination and late fees.

  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $35,000
  • APR range: 5.99% to 29.99%
  • Repayment terms: 3 to 5 years

3. Avant

Avant is a great option for less creditworthy borrowers who are looking to take out a quick loan. The company offers same-day funding, flexible repayment terms, and refinancing options.

And the company is very transparent about its fees and gives borrowers the option to prequalify for a loan. However, you won’t have the option to apply with a co-signer.

  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $35,000
  • APR range: 9.95% to 35.99%
  • Repayment terms: 2 to 5 years

4. Discover Loans

Discover Loans are a great option for borrowers with stellar credit that are looking for a low interest rate and fast funding. You can receive the funds within the next business day, and the company doesn’t charge any origination fees.

However, Discover does put some limitations on what borrowers can do with a personal loan. You can take out a personal loan to consolidate debt or fund a large home improvement project. These cash loans are not designed to pay for college expenses or pay down the balance on a Discover credit card.

  • Loan amount: $2,500 to $35,000
  • APR range: 6.99% to 24.99%
  • Repayment terms: 3 to 7 years

5. Lending Club

Lending Club was one of the first peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders and is one of the best lenders for borrowers looking for fast, convenient online cash loans. You’ll apply on Lending Club’s website, and the company will match you with investors that are willing to fund the loan.

If you’re approved for a loan the funds will be deposited in your bank account within a week. You should expect to pay an origination fee between 1% and 6% of the total loan amount.

Lending Club is ideal for borrowers with good credit history and a low debt-to-income ratio.

  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $40,000
  • APR range: 6.95% to 35.89%
  • Repayment terms: 3 to 5 years

6. OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial is another lender that is willing to work with borrowers that have bad credit. The company doesn’t have any minimum credit score requirements, and it offers same-day funding on cash loans.

However, you will pay for this kind of convenience. The company charges higher interest rates than others, and you’ll have to pay an origination fee.

  • Loan amount: $1,500 to $20,000
  • APR range: 18.00% to 25.99%
  • Repayment terms: 2 to 5 years

Things to Keep in Mind

Keep in mind that when we say you can receive the funds within the same day or by the next business day, it’s not guaranteed. There are a variety of factors that will influence how quickly you receive the cash loan. These factors include things like the rules of your bank, the loan amount, and when you apply.

If you’re not sure if your credit scores are high enough to qualify with any of these lenders, then you might consider a lending marketplace. With a lending marketplace, you’ll apply, and the company will match you with multiple lenders that are willing to work with you. This lets you compare interest rates from multiple lenders without further damaging your credit.

And finally, when you’re feeling a financial pinch, it can be tempting to settle for the easiest option. But don’t make the mistake of turning to predatory payday lenders that charge insanely high interest rates.

Choosing the wrong lender will only hurt your financial situation over the long haul. If you’re this desperate for cash, consider asking friends or family to loan you the money. Or you can look for creative ways to earn some extra money.

Summary

If you’re looking for a fast cash advance loan, any of the lenders on this list will make an excellent choice. The application process is fast, and if you’re approved, you can receive the funds with the same day or by the next business day.

Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of that loan before agreeing to anything. And start taking steps to save an emergency fund so you won’t find yourself in this situation again.

Source: crediful.com

How the Sandwich Generation Can Protect Their Retirement

Wise Bread Picks

For those who are caring for their aging parents and raising kids at the same time, it can often seem like there’s never enough time, money, or energy to provide for all the family members who need you. In particular, handling finances when two different generations are relying on you can feel like an impossible balancing act — not to mention an exercise in feeling guilty no matter what you do.

But being the caregiver sandwiched between two generations makes it even more important for you to prioritize your own financial needs, especially when it comes to retirement planning. By protecting your retirement during this difficult season of your life, you’ll be in a better place to remain independent as you age, launch your kids into a more secure adulthood, and offer ongoing support to your parents.

Sound impossible? It’s not. Here’s how you can protect your retirement if you’re a member of the sandwich generation.

Retirement savings comes first

Retirement savings should get priority ahead of putting money into your kids’ college funds. You know that already. Your kids can take on loans for college, but there are no loans available to pay for your retirement.

The more difficult decision is prioritizing retirement savings ahead of paying for long-term care for your parents. That can feel like a heartless choice, but it is a necessary one to keep from passing money problems from one generation to the next. Forgoing your retirement savings during your 40s and 50s means you’ll miss out on long-term growth and the benefits of compound interest. By making sure that you continue to set aside money for retirement, you can make sure your kids won’t feel financially squeezed as you get older.

Instead of personally bankrolling your parents’ care, use their assets for as long as they last. That will not only allow you to make the best use of programs like Medicaid (which requires long-term care recipients to have exhausted their own assets before it kicks in), but it will also protect your future.

Communication is key

Part of the stress of being in the sandwich generation is feeling like the financial burdens of two generations (as well as your own) are resting entirely on your shoulders. You feel like you’ll be letting down the vulnerable people you love if you can’t do it all. But the truth is that you can’t do it all. And you shouldn’t expect that of yourself, nor should your family expect it of you. So communicating with your loved ones about what they can expect can help you draw important boundaries around what you’re able to offer them.

This conversation will be somewhat simpler with your children. You can let them know what kind of financial help they can expect from you for college and beyond, and simply leave it at that.

The conversation is a little tougher with your parents, in part because you need to ask them about nitty-gritty details about their finances. Whether or not money is a taboo subject in your family, it can be tough for your parents to let you in on important financial conversations — to them it feels like they were changing your diapers only a few short years ago.

Being in the loop on what your parents have saved, where it is, what plans they have for the future, and who they trust as their financial adviser, will help protect their money and yours. You’ll be better able to make decisions for them in case of an emergency, and being included in financial decisions means you can help protect them from scams. (See also: 5 Money Strategies for the Sandwich Generation)

Insurance is a necessity

Having adequate disability insurance in place is an important fail-safe for any worker, but it’s especially important for those who are caring for aging parents and young children. The Council for Disability Awareness reports that nearly one in four workers will be out of work for at least a year because of a disabling condition. With parents and children counting on your income, even a short-term disability could spell disaster, and force you to dip into your retirement savings to keep things going. Making sure you have sufficient disability income insurance coverage can help make sure you protect your family and your retirement if you become disabled.

Life insurance is another area where you don’t want to skimp. With two generations counting on you, it’s important to have enough life insurance to make sure your family will be okay if something happens to you. This is true even if you’re a full-time unpaid caregiver for either your parents or your children, since your family will need to pay for the care you provide even if they aren’t counting on your income.

It’s also a good idea to talk to your parents about life insurance for them, if they’re able to qualify. For aging parents who know they will draw down their assets for long-term care, a life insurance policy can be a savvy way to ensure they leave some kind of inheritance. If your parents are anxious about their ability to leave an inheritance, a life insurance policy can help to relieve that money stress and potentially make it emotionally easier for them to draw down their own assets.

Become a Social Security and Medicare expert

Spending time reading up on Social Security, Medicare, and other programs can help you to make better financial decisions for your parents and yourself. There are a number of misconceptions, myths, and misunderstandings masquerading as facts about these programs, and knowing exactly what your parents (and eventually you) will be entitled to can help make sure you don’t leave money on the table or make decisions based on bad information.

The eligibility questionnaires at benefits.gov can help you determine what benefits are available and whether your parents qualify. In addition, it’s a good idea to sign up for a my Social Security account for yourself. This site will provide you with personalized estimates of future benefits based on your lifetime earnings, which can better help you prepare for your own retirement.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Caring for children and parents at the same time is exhausting. Don’t compound the problem by thinking you have to make financial decisions all by yourself. Consider interviewing and hiring a financial adviser to help you make sense of the tough choices. He or she can help you figure out the best way to preserve your assets, help your parents enjoy their twilight years with dignity, and plan for your children’s future.

Even if a traditional financial adviser isn’t in the cards for you, don’t forget that you can ask for help among your extended family and network of friends. There’s no need to pretend that juggling it all is easy. Family can potentially offer financial or caregiving support. Knowledgeable friends can steer you toward the best resources to help you make decisions. Relying on your network means you’re less likely to burn out and make disordered financial decisions. (See also: 9 Simple Acts of Self-Care for the Sandwich Generation)

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Are you part of the sandwich generation? When you are a caregiver to children as well as aging parents, it can seem like theres not enough time, money or energy to provide for all the family members. Here are the tips and ideas on how you can protect your retirement finances. | #sandwichgeneration #personalfinance #moneymatters

Source: wisebread.com

10 At-Home Date Night Ideas, Whether You’re Together or Apart

Even if you hail from the same place (or have already gone home to meet the parents), you could use Google Earth or Google Maps to show your sweetheart around your college campus — or explore a city you’re hoping to visit together someday.
So they’ve kept their long-standing date night tradition alive through the pandemic with some pretty adorable dates — one of which you may even have seen a glimpse of on John Krasinski’s “Some Good News.” (Look for the fine dining experience around 7:55!) Here are some tips to make it feel more like you’re actually together.
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They printed real menus, got dressed up and dined al fresco on a three-course meal at “Jack & Olivia’s” — so named for their kids. Kenny cooked up the steaks, while the kids made the salad and dessert.

A couple hold hands as they enjoy dinner in their backyard.
Kenny and Celina Beaumont have a date night in the backyard of their home in Orlando, Fla. Photo courtesy of Kenny and Celina Beaumont

Date Nights if You’re at Home Together

But there are still free and low-cost ways to keep up the date night tradition.

1. Fine Dining

It might not sound like the peak of romance to some, but sitting down to a game of Scrabble or Chess together is a great way to spend some quality time while also giving your brain a workout. If you’re really geeky, you might even take on a match or four of Magic: The Gathering.
Jamie Cattanach’s work has been featured at Fodor’s, Yahoo, SELF, The Huffington Post, The Motley Fool and other outlets. Learn more at www.jamiecattanach.com.

2. Ballroom (or Any Other Kind of) Dancing

Although they’ve been married for over a decade, Kenny and Celina Beaumont have always realized the importance of romance — especially after having kids.
We recommend adding fancy duds to the equation to make it feel even more date-y.

3. Game Night

Thanks to technology, there are some ways to recreate a date experience even if you’re miles apart.
If that’s a little too intimate, you could simply spend time together being creative, whether that means knitting, cross-stitching, painting or something else entirely. You could even make plans to gift each other the products of your art therapy session.

4. Virtual Hometown Tours

Re-create the concert experience at home with a cocktail and maybe a band T-shirt, and enjoy unlimited bathroom breaks without having to snake through a pushy crowd.
A browser extension called Teleparty easily syncs Netflix, Disney, Hulu and HBO videos for multiple parties while also providing a scrolling text chat along the right side of the screen.

5. At-Home Spa Services

A seriously romantic idea for the bold: re-create each other’s likenesses while on a video chatting application like FaceTime.

Tips for Successful At-Home Date Nights

Even with the best of intentions and lots of planning, it’s easy for an at-home date night to feel like … well, just another night at home.
You might not make it out to your local Arthur Murray studio, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to dance. Some couples’ counselors suggest that a tango or two can be as good for your relationship as it is fun.

  • Put away your phone. Celina and Kenny say they make a point of putting their screens down during dates.
  • Wait until after bedtime. It’s fun to get the kids in on the action — but if they go to bed earlier than you do, those couple hours of quiet can be a great time to rekindle your connection.
  • Look for the silver linings. Although staying home is hard in a whole lot of ways, it also offers a lot of opportunity for closeness, especially in a world where we’re usually running all over the place.

Here are some tips to keep it feeling romantic.

Date Night Ideas if You’re Apart

Treat yourself — and your beau — to some DIY indulgence. Whether you give each other manicures, facials, or massages, it’s bound to be a whole lot more affordable (and considerably more fun) than it would be in a salon. Check out this list of spa treatments you can do at home.

6. Virtual Coffee (or Cocktails)

There’s nothing quite as cozy as snuggling up with your sweetheart for a movie, whether at the theater or on the couch at home. But even if you’re stuck apart, you can spend time in front of the silver screen together.

7. Reading to Each Other

You can definitely recreate the restaurant experience at home, complete with dressing up for the occasion and actually sitting down and being waited on. That’s exactly what the Beaumonts did. According to Celina, Kenny and the kids had been conspiring about the idea for several days before surprising her.
“We never get to spend this much time with each other,” Celina said of her family. Try to look at your at-home dates as an opportunity to slow down and enjoy yourselves.

8. Live Streaming Concerts and Events

Crank up a YouTube video, clear out a spot on the living room floor, and give it a whirl. After all, nobody except your SO — and maybe the cat — is watching.
If you were already cohabitating, there are plenty of ways to set aside some special time for each other.

9. Virtual Movie Nights

If your movie or TV show is on another service — or if, quaintly and adorably enough, you’re going to watch the same DVD in separate houses at the same time — you can always hop on the phone and queue up the video. Don’t forget the popcorn!
“If we’re not happy and having fun,” Celina told us in an interview, “our household’s not going to be happy and having fun.”
The options are endless: You could pick a book neither of you have read before or revisit an old favorite.

10. Art Therapy

Ready to stop worrying about money?
This one’s super romantic whether you’re at home together or apart. If you’re not in the same place, you can read to each other over video chat or over the plain-old phone.

Tips for Successful Date Nights Spent Apart

A woman FaceTimes with her boyfriend.
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But dinner dates are just the beginning. Here are some of our favorite at-home date night ideas.

  • Get dressed. It’s all too easy to lie around the house in pajamas all day… and even attend your dates that way. Wearing real clothes can make you feel more like you’re on a real date.
  • Connect often. If you can’t be with each other in person, spending digital time together is extra important. Maybe try to move your date night tradition from one night a week to two or three.
  • Remember: It’s only temporary. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and although we don’t know when this pandemic is going to end, end it shall.

Video call applications like Zoom and FaceTime make it easy to recreate classic low-stakes, first-date ideas like grabbing a drink or a cup of coffee. <!–

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The coronavirus pandemic put a halt on a whole lot of awesome things, including date night. If you’ve been with your sweetie for years, it can be tough to find something special to do when you’re spending most of your time at home together. And if you were just getting started dating, it’s hard to establish a connection when you’re apart.