February 18, 2020 | Story by: Olivia Monte
Arranging a weekly date night after having a baby can seem like it requires way more effort than ever before. Prior to having a baby, we had to be so adamant about scheduling our date nights to ensure we would make them a priority or they wouldn’t happen. When we were about to welcome our firstborn baby into the world, I remember telling my husband “make us get out of the house when she gets here!” I was terrified to be those parents who are intimidated by taking the baby out in public. I was also on high alert for Postpartum Depression after hearing several fellow mamas stories and every doctor at the hospital giving us fair warning– “it happens without you thinking about it!” So getting out of the house regularly was high on my priority list. It was also so shocking how many people would see us out with her and comment, “Good for you! Getting out of the house!” Bringing her along with us was fundamental to readjusting to our new life.
Of course, going out looks a little different these days though. Our old choice for going out was hopping around all the local bars downtown or we would go out and spend an evening at a sit-down restaurant where we would have a few drinks, eat a long, intricate meal, trying several small plates. Living downtown Brighton, I cannot tell you how lucky we are to have such a good handful of places where taking a baby is no hard feat.
Our neighborhood favorite is El Arbol. El Arbol is the old Yum Yum Tree (an ode to the name, Arbol meaning Tree in Spanish!). What I love most about El Arbol, besides the delicious food, is the speed of the service. From the time you sit down, to the time you are eating, this is the place to get in and get out (ideal with a newborn/infant)! What has worked really well for us is putting our baby in the backpack/sling and sitting in their window seats. Especially now that she’s getting older and more observant, she loves watching the traffic drive by. As we smash some street tacos and tamales, the atmosphere is perfect to accommodate families. Quick service, delicious food, and a wide variety of food offerings that suit my dietary restrictions, not to mention their friendly staff.
View this post on Instagram
If you’re anything like me, the moment you’re finished with your dinner, you get an emergency sweet tooth. Emergency meaning it needs to be addressed ASAP. We love to take a little after-dinner walk around the Mill Pond to let our food settle and we usually end up at the Brighton Coffeehouse and Theater. Opened just under a year ago, owners Marcus and Amy have done wonders for the downtown scene with this new addition. The evening boys will make you the most perfect hot chocolate (I request mine to be made with cacao) and if you’re lucky you can snag one of their gluten-free vegan banana nut muffins. I love ending up here because they have tons of board games that make for a good time. We love playing a game while sipping our hot chocolates. Baby can hang with us here in her stroller or in the sling and it’s easy to relax in their family-friendly, cozy environment.
View this post on Instagram
Date night doesn’t have to be complicated. As I mentioned, it looks a lot different these days than it used to, but I’m okay with that. Our baby girl is now 7 months old, and I am happy to report, staying with our routine “date night” has been one of the best things we’ve done as new parents. We love including our sweet girl on the things that bring us closer together. I am thankful to have some local go-to places for this so close to home.
You can follow Olivia on Instagram, learn more about Verbinding House from their website and Instagram, and learn more about The Space from their website and Instagram.
Giving Back in Livingston County
April 22, 2020
Throughout the last month, the Livingston County community has rallied together to support local businesses, health care professionals, and other essential workers. We are committed to sharing resources and ideas to for continued support of those in our community…
Brighton-Howell Area Kids Activities
April 2, 2020
Enjoy all the fun of the Brighton-Howell Area without ever having to leave your home! We all are looking forward to welcoming you back soon for events, biking, shopping, and good eats in the summer sun! For now, here are…
Celebrate Female-Owned Businesses in the Brighton-Howell Area
March 8, 2020
To celebrate International Women’s Day, the Livingston County Convention & Visitors Bureau spoke to some of the female business owners in our communities about their company’s story, inspiration, role models, and advice. A community is stronger when…
The Artistic Movement in Livingston County
February 3, 2020
Please enjoy this guest blog from local artist, Kelly Beacome, as well as photographs from other artists in the Livingston County community.
Hello, my name is Kelly Beacome. I am an artist living in Howell. My parents…
100 Things To Do in Livingston County
January 21, 2020
Livingston County is full of activities for every personality – the foodie, the adventure seeker, or the family-focused traveler. There’s something fun for everyone in every season of the year. Here is our list of 100 things that you…