Daddy Daughter Date Night

AKA Our fun night out and a visit to StoryMakery


If you’ve spent more than a few minutes in conversation with me, you probably know that being a Dad is easily the top priority in my life. I enjoy my work, I’m involved in the community, and I love my entire family…But…Job one for this guy is raising my daughter Laia into a wonderful, happy, secure, and successful woman. Now, I don’t know about you; but, when I became a dad, I must have misplaced my “Parents Manual for raising a child from infant to adulthood: Baby to Girl to Woman Edition” at the hospital. I’m just guessing that’s what it is called…because, like most everyone else; I’VE NEVER SEEN ONE!

Seeing as how there is no manual, I am in constant pursuit of better parenting ideas, thoughts, philosophies, etc. (I’m sure I’m not alone in that!) I guess it was about a year ago, I came across a gem…”The Best First Date”. A link to the video can be found HERE:

If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth it for just the first 90 seconds. Go watch it…I’ll wait.

Being a sappy dad like myself, this really stuck with me. That moment when he turns around and walks back to the door…and she opens the door and gives him a big hug…I’M NOT MADE OF STONE PEOPLE….

Anyway…I want to make sure my daughter grows up knowing what she should expect in a gentleman, as well as how he should behave when they date and are in a relationship. This video brought a simple but important idea into my head like a Mack truck plowing through a giant watermelon… “Be the Standard You want her to expect”. A simple concept started brewing in my head. We all have busy lives, and her and I do lots of things together; but, I wanted this to be a special event. So…last Friday…we had a simple, but, I think fun…Daddy Daughter Date night. It was our first official one.


The night started simple: I hit Lyft for a ride. I didn’t want to worry about driving…I wanted all of my attention on her. The car arrived and spirited us away to one of our favorite destinations: The Irvine Spectrum. We were running a touch behind. We went to Kona Grill for dinner and couldn’t have been more pleased. Laia & I both love sushi. We hit some of the basics like California roll and Philly roll, and tried something new: The Lobster Tuna Flatbread. (I loved it. Laia thought it was ok and went back to the California rolls.) We were a little tight on time…so we had to eat and run. The Service was good, food was excellent, and we were on our way out just in time for the main event!

Sushi, Kona Grill, Foodie, Daddy Daughter Date, Irvine Spectrum

We walked a short walk over to StoryMakery. Laia had no idea what the plan was…who doesn’t love a surprise?!!! Check in was a breeze, and the store was easy enough to find. We sat down, just in time to hear the guest Author, Jeanie Fung, who had written a story with her own daughter, Madison! Their book, entitled “Come With Me, Together We’ll See, The Beauty of Hawaii”, is a story they wrote about their vacation to…guess where…Hawaii. Well, this served as perfect inspiration for my daughter, as she decided she wanted to write a story about an imaginary vacation she took with her mom and I to France.


Now, for those who don’t know, Storymakery is a store where children can write, design, and print their own story, with no experience, and just a little bit of time and effort! You can also customize shirts and many other items for your budding artist. With some help from the incredible staff, Laia wrote her own story!

Irvine Spectrum, StoryMakery, Stories, Blogger kids, Irvine, Imagination, Reading, Books, Fun, Daddy Daughter Date Night

Laia picked the theme: A France Adventure. She wrote a short story about an imaginary vacation the three of us took to France. She picked the characters, (herself, her mom and I), and picked everything from backdrops to what color shoes she wore. Using the app, she moved all the way through from the dedication to the last page, and everything in between. When it was all said and done, they printed the book right there in store, and we walked out of there with our souvenir from our date night!


I really enjoyed how her and I were able to work together to create the story. The tools are simple enough to use; but, most fun when done in collaboration. My daughter said her favorite part was making her own book. I can validate that, simply by the look of excitement on her face when she held the finished product in her hand!!! If you’re looking to drop the kids off and get some quiet time, this isn’t for you. If you’re looking to do something together, and have a take home you can appreciate then and there, this is a great fit! With our new story in hand and my published author by my side, we figured it was time to celebrate with some Ice Cream!


When we got home, we spent a few minutes chatting and relaxing before it was bed time. Laia said to me she had a great time on our date, and thanked me for taking her out. I could tell from the look on her face, she felt special, appreciated, and important…and isn’t that all any of us want?

Irvine Spectrum, StoryMakery, Stories, Blogger kids, Irvine, Imagination, Reading, Books, Fun, Daddy Daughter Date Night

I would also say, it was undoubtedly one of the best dates I’ve ever had in my life…and I look forward to taking her out again! Thinking in the big picture, I hope I set a good standard for fun and attention for her to compare for her future. This was our first. It won’t be our last!


Many thanks to Storymakery for their wonderful event to help make our date night amazing. The manager Lidia and her staff are amazing, and I would highly recommend this to anyone thinking of a fun evening for them and their little one(s).

Irvine Spectrum, StoryMakery, Stories, Blogger kids, Irvine, Imagination, Reading, Books, Fun, Daddy Daughter Date Night

Disclosure: Hopscotch N Jellybeans was compensated and or provided samples in return for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 




  1. Boy that just makes me proud as hell that he’s my son. He really is a good dad. But he’s even more than that he is a really good man who never stops looking for ways to improve himself. I think he is awesome just the way he is

  2. Great article!
    Whether the date takes 30 minutes or two hours, the parents are sure to make it special. They specifically call it a “date.” They talk about the date all day before it occurs. They pursue their child’s heart and emotions. They savor the love and joy during the event. And the child feels so loved, cherished, valued, and secure in their child-parent relationship.

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