What’s Not To Love?

April 29th, 2016

(As usual, if you don’t want to hear the oldies music, go down on right side and hit the pause button || )

Every now and again, I will say to Alpha Hubby, “I love you” – and he will reply, “What’s not to love?”

I have yet to come up with a viable and perfect comeback to that.

So I hit him in the arm.

wolf howling

Grrrr. Being married to an Alpha is not always easy. I suffer. Really, really suffer.  Why?

Because I am the one who explained what an Alpha was to him. He was blissfully unaware there was a name to the type of man he is.  WHAT was I thinking??

Anyhoo, on this blogging hiatus I’ve been on, I didn’t miss posting here at all. No withdrawals, either. I think I was burned out. But on a good note, I have lost 30 pounds since January (yay) and Zen-ed my house more.

As I mentioned previously, Alpha Hubby and I opted to do some reading about successful people like Napoleon Hill who wrote the book, “Think and Grow Rich” and “The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons.” By the way, the books are so inexpensive in Kindle form that there is no excuse if you’re looking for good success books.

Most of the books make the point that it is never too late to succeed in life. There is no cap or ceiling to succeeding – except the ones you put on.

But enough serious stuff. Other lessons were taught by these books, too.

The first tidbit of information can be construed as hysterically funny or taken a bit more seriously. 

In Napoleon Hill’s book (first published in 1937), there is a point he makes that, at first, made me roll around on the bed laughing. I thought Alpha Hubby was lying and using it as a sneaky way to get more. If you don’t know what that “more” is, it might explain your dragging sex live.

Anyhoo, the point that Hill made is that sex makes a man a genius. Yep, you read that right. Him bugging you for more isn’t because he’s a hound dog!

According to Hill’s book, “… (look) back through the pages of biography and history for more than 2,000 years. Wherever there was evidence available in connection with the lives of men of great achievement, it indicated most convincingly that they possessed highly developed sexual natures.

The emotion of sex is an ‘irresistible force’ against which there can be no such opposition as an ‘immovable body’. When driven by this emotion, men become gifted with a super power for action. Understand this truth and you will catch the significance of the statement that sex transmutation will lift one to the status of a genius.

The emotion of sex contains the secret of creative ability.”

At first I scoffed. Upon further reading and study on the subject, so many things came from that statement of “genius” that I realized that it wasn’t because the book was written so long ago. There is actual science to back it up – with the main point being that a sexually satisfied man (or woman) is going to be relaxed, happy, able to think clearly, and able to express himself succinctly.

A sexually non-satisfied man will not. He will actually become emotionally distant or find other outlets – such as time-consuming hobbies or hanging with the buddies more than his wife. What he won’t be is very smart (smile). 

As you can imagine, this has led to a whole new avenue of jokes for Alpha Hubby. “But honey, I need my genius level topped off” or “I’m feeling a bit unintelligent” and the like. *Sigh*

Then the other day, Alpha Hubby was reading the book, “Who Switched Off My Brain” by Dr. Caroline Leaf. At one point he grunted, “Huh.”

I said, “What?”

“Nothing.”

I HATE WHEN HE DOES THAT because I then start wondering what thought made him grunt.

Finally he answers, “I don’t hug you enough” along with stating what he’d read about how important a hug is. I can’t recall the scientific point of hugging. I just know he jumped up and gave me a hug. A real one (explained later).

He is right. It does calm the brain and make you feel amazing.

Except.

Him being Alpha, he is going to take it farther – the next time he hugged me, I smacked his arm.

Why? Well, this is the explained later part:

He used the hug as an excuse to cop a feel.

“Hey,” he says, “I can’t help it. I’m an Alpha.”

UGH.

Alpha Wolf

(Secretly, I love it. After 22 years of marriage, it is a wonderful thing that your beloved still wants to howl at the moon, chase you around the house, and beat his chest in conquest. Oh yeah.) 

Two bound hearts with raytraced texture. White background.

Favorite Things 7 Mish Mash of This and That

April 23rd, 2016

Have you forgotten me yet? Well, I certainly hope not. You can always go over and check out one of my new adventures – blogging about cattle on Alpha Hubby’s website.  It’s pretty much a take on a city girl’s adaption to cow poop…. and scent… and cow attitude. Boy, do they have personality! Blog links on blog page and on right column.

Alpha Hubby and I have been doing a lot of reading. Books on people who were or are successful in life such as Andrew Carnegie, Mary Kay Ash, Coco Chanel, Henry Ford, and the like.  It has certainly changed our mindset about our lives. So many of the people didn’t even begin to be successful until later in life (i.e., after 40).

We recently started reading an amazing book (and DVD series) “Who Switched Off My Brain” by Dr. Caroline Leaf. Oh my gosh, so eye opening about how very important our thoughts are and how science has proven the need to get rid of toxic thoughts for your own health, success and very life.

Dr. Leaf is a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in Communication Pathology specializing in Neuropsychology (say that fast three times!). Since the early 1980’s she has studied and researched the Mind-Brain connection. The areas she teaches about (and she is easy to understand) will change the way – pardon the pun – you think.

You will want to get rid of toxic thoughts immediately since they ARE killing you. They kill not just your life and health but your very success. You’ll have to get the physical book since it’s not an e-book yet. Her second book is available as an e-book (“Switch On Your Brain“).

Then we go to something completely different – the BEST slicing knife ever (including fingers, sigh). Yes it is a wee bit pricey but the trade-off is that I no longer have to listen to Alpha Hubby grumble and fuss about our former slicing knife tearing up the turkey, ham and roasts. AND he had to quit using my semi-expensive serrated bread knife. 

This slicing knife cuts through meat like a hot knife through cold butter. You have to be very careful as it is easy to get carried away and knick and slice fingers. Amazon and Ebay

Here is another item I learned about from Celia over at High Heeled Life

I was very skeptical that something with H2O in the title – water – could possibly remove makeup, especially stubborn waterproof makeup. I am here to report – it is amazing and it doesn’t burn my eyes or make my skin super oily-feeling. It’s made for sensitive skin and is good for normal to dry skin. My skin is very dry right now but this product doesn’t leave it feeling stretched or dried out after cleaning off my makeup with a cotton pad. Amazon

My pharmacist friend used to carry these amazing clippers. What separates them from the crowd of clippers out there is that they are encased in a plastic covering that catches your clippings. It is the coolest thing! It also is easy to tap them out, scrap them into your hand and toss in the trashcan. Easy! And they clip cleanly – sharp. Drugstores, Amazon

There is absolutely no purpose to this – just another tea pot or pitcher – but don’t you agree it is such a cool looking one?  I really like it and it holds a LOT of tea (60 oz) or infused water or whatever! It has a bamboo lid and while you can’t use it on the stove top, it is heat resistant glass and it comes with a filter.

Hiware pitcher strainer

Hiware pitcher strainer

As you can see in the spout, there is a wire filter that hooks onto the spout so any tea leaves, mint pieces, etc. are easily kept out of your cup or glass. That feature works very well.

And last but certainly not least – DEVA CURL. A magical elixir for people with curly hair, natural or permed. Wavy hair benefits, too.  I don’t know what I’d do without Deva Curl. It has made my wavy-spirally-curly permed hair/product last longer. The shampoo and conditioners are amazing, too. The Defining Gel is not sticky (I recommend the light not the ultra for the defining gel). A little scrunch (NO towel drying or rubbing), and voila! Beautiful waves or curls.

And I highly recommend this book to go along with your Deva products. The author really helps you understand and maintain your curls and wave – without frizzing!!

That’s it for this edition of my favorite things! I hope you see something you’d like to try! Until next time, ciào!!

Favorite Things 6 Rosy Edition

February 13th, 2016

I set up a few “favorite things” posts to publish automatically (HEY, I don’t want you to forget me while I’m gone)!!

Chanel Mascara

First of all, for ladies (and I guess a few gents out there, yoikes) who are staring at a tube of favorite mascara that is trying to go dry – here is THE BEST advice I ever discovered.  If you’re having a bit of trouble getting enough on your eyelashes and you know there still has to be some in the tube, I have two words for you – eye drops.  Yes, 2-3 drops of a good-quality eye drop (I use Systane) into the tube will revive what’s left so that you can use it until you get another tube.

Do not pump up and down vigorously to mix as that will pump air into the tube and cause it to dry out even more. See if you can’t roll the brush around inside, moving gently up and down without pulling the wand out too far.  Eye drops have revived several tubes of mascara for me and I’ve never had one problem.

Nina's Paris - Tea Salon - crop

Nina’s Paris picture from High Heeled Life

And while you are sitting at your table or in your private spot jotting down your most important thoughts, have a relaxing cuppa tea. My latest gotta have is courtesy of my friend Celia from Toronto, over at her wonderfully eclectic blog http://attitudeivlife.blogspot.ca/

Celia recovered from a horrific hit & run accident that happened several years ago. From that point almost 10 years ago until this day, she fought to get her high-heeled life back. She defied odds and people’s opinion to take control of her life to live it in the best and most beautiful way possible. Realizing she should have died, she grabs life with both hands, living it fully.

She ends every post with the saying, “You are the curator of your life so live it luxuriously” and is directly responsible for inspiring me to live my best life possible. She taught me to set aside anything that doesn’t bring me joy, to Zen my house, to appreciate the beauty in life, to live in peace. Life is short; take good care of you. Then you are able to help others.

NINAs-the-boite-rose-marie-antoinette

She introduced her blog audience to Nina’s (Paris) Original Thé de Marie Antoinette.  Marie Antoinette tea is  a mixture of “rose petals, apples, rose. A very delicate tea, flavored with apples & rose, with a touch of strongness with Ceylon tea. Apple aroma done with apples (coming) from King’s Kitchen Garden – Versailles” (from Nina’s website).  I am now hooked on rose tea. I purchase Marie Antoinette on Amazon.

republic of tea raspberry rose hibiscus

Republic of Tea Raspberry Rose Hibiscus

Marie Antoinette does have caffeine so if you are looking for something just as delicious without caffeine, try The Republic of Tea’s Raspberry Rose Hibiscus. Talk about delicious – Alpha Hubby even likes it.

Harny & Sons rose-scented-big-tin

Harney & Sons Rose Scented Tea

Another delicious rose tea is from Harney and Sons. They have several types of rose tea. There is just something decadent about rose teas. The flavor and scent are lush and quite different from an ordinary cup of tea!

aerin rose lip conditioner

Aerin Rose Lip Conditioner

My latest lip conditioner is one I discovered quite by accident.  Aerin is the granddaughter of Estee Lauder. She began her own beauty product line and I found out because I purchase a few samples of her Aerin perfume, Evening Rose (are you beginning to sense a pattern here?). I found inexpensively priced samples on Ebay. I like it! It makes my lips feel smoother than most glosses.

Demeter Bulgarian Rose Massage Oil

Demeter Bulgarian Rose Massage Oil

And one last rosy edition to this favorites post – Demeter Bulgarian Rose Massage Oil. Oh! The scent is like a fresh cut rose. It is great for very dry skin, can be used as a perfume, and is excellent for massage. Of course they have chocolate, hazelnut, and other scents. Rose is wonderful but for a romantic evening… a chocolate massage anyone? Ebay and Amazon.

Two bound hearts

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY – love on yourself, your significant other, your family!

See You Later, Alligator

January 10th, 2016

I wish I could say I was here taking this pathway, walking to the perfect beach:

Ocean Pathway

Ocean Pathway

Or here, taking this pathway, curious as to what’s at the end of the road:

Forrest Light

Forrest Light

Or even here, curled up in a chaise and relaxing:

Flower Garden

Flower Garden

But alas, no. Those are not the pathways I am on right now.

mountain

You could call it Mountain Climbing… if that mountain is named 2016 Goals!

I’m shutting down this website for now. I’m going to focus on things vital to my every day life. I am going to work on goals important to Alpha Hubby and me. We have things we are working on for our future that require more attention than I’ve been giving, so I’m cutting out the unnecessary. 

I’ll let you know what I’ve been doing, working on, changing, renewing, re-doing, cutting out, adding in, and especially when we reach some of our major goals. I know I’m going to love where we’re going.

So Ciao, Auf Wiedersehen, Ha Det Bra, Arrivedece, Aloha, さようなら (sayonara), Hej då, Farvel, Tot ziens, and see you later.

And if you like this song, look at Hypster player at the bottom right and check out the neat Cary Grant pictures. I love old black and whites.

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A Soft, Warm Love Affair

December 21st, 2015

I noted a trait in the past few years. I don’t think it is a good trait but it explains a lot. Some women get a wee bit snarky about what they call “gushing about your man” – a woman’s passionate love for her man. They call it the “gag factor”. Like there is something wrong with that.

couple santa hat

My thought is – YOU have obviously never experienced this type of love. Why can I say that? Because if you had, you’d totally understand.

I know a few people who have that type of relationship. It is something truly warm and special.

I am blessed with that same type of gag factor love.  It is something rare, amazing, wonderous, and precious.  And there are things about Alpha Hubby that just take my breath away.

alpha nape 1

Alpha’s Nape

There is a special warm, softly scented spot beneath his ear, the ear that listens to me ramble on about sometimes obscure, useless bits of information. Without acting bored.

That spot is inches back and away from the mouth that kisses me so passionately. It is tucked right above the shoulder I lean on and near the back that is strongly muscled and able to work to secure his dreams (one of which is moi. I’m at the top, right baby?? Even if I don’t “moo”??).

alpha nape 4

That warm, softly scented place is up above his heart that possesses his true love for me.  It is down to the right of his beautiful amber eyes that gaze so warmly into mine, full of promise and the fulfillment of future dreams.

When he wears my favorite scents, they get smoothed into that special spot just under his ear and right above his shoulder, where I can nestle my nose and inhale the velvety scent of Alpha Hubby.

alpha nape 0a

I could just absorb that scent for hours… but it tickles him so he won’t sit still too awfully long… well that, and he has to eat sometime. And sleep. And go to work. And the cows would protest. Which is a shame because I could just stay there in that spot forever.

It is a scent all his own, a coupling of cologne and him.

No matter where we are, if he is there and I can inhale his special warmth, I am home.

I like that spot almost as much as I like:

HisArm3a

…his arms which hold me so tight.  Passionately, sweetly or warmly his strength is always there, just for me.

Of course, after he sees these pictures, I’m done for.

But baby?  I couldn’t help myself.

Whether you’re

Feeding cows cropped

feeding cows in snow

or

Leland 2 small

in that professional picture for the office

*“The very thought of you
and I forget to do
The little ordinary things that everyone ought to do”

…which explains the laundry and dishes and unwrapped Christmas presents…

*ahem*

I think about you a lot.

*(Nat King Cole, The Very Thought of You)

MAY YOUR CHRISTMAS BE WARM, JOYFUL AND FULL OF LOVE!

jesus season ball

Snowman Torture

December 17th, 2015

YUMMY CHRISTMAS RECIPES ON RIGHT SIDEBAR!

It is Christmas season and it brings to mind so many things to ramble about, I don’t know where to begin! I decided to write about something very, very important – SNOWMEN!!

Snowmen Japan Sopporo Snow Festival

Snowmen Japan Sopporo Snow Festival

Yes, yes. Snowmen are the bane of my husband’s existence. He dreams of snowmen and blowtorches together. He talks about hiring a snowman hit man to take my entire collection out in one fell swoop.

Talk is cheap. The price he would pay is way more expensive than he would really want to pay. Really. Trust me on this.

So here we are at Christmas. I am a firm believer of keeping Christ in Christmas. There would be no Christmas without Christ but most people have forgotten this. They think Santa Claus is the reason for the season. Nope. Not so. Jesus is the Reason for the season.

GroupSoft

Group of Soft Snowmen

Side note: There was a real man whose life eventually led to the creation of what is now commonly known as Santa Claus. December 6, the day of his death, became St. Nicholas Day on the Roman Catholic calendar, and the custom of gift-giving on December 6 began in France and spread across all of Europe. For those of you who are interested, part of his story is available here: Real St. Nicholas. It is a fascinating story.

Wreath

Wreath

So anyway, back to the snowmen and the lesser reason in the season. Snowmen Torture of Alpha Hubby. Alpha Hubby really thinks I’ve gone overboard so I have really been cutting back on snowmen purchases. It is hard but I guess there really is such a thing as too many snowmen.

Nah!

Haw, haw, haw. Got you there for a minute, didn’t I!? There is NO such thing as too many snowmen.

So trying to keep in the spirit of the season and keeping the peace in the house, I’ve been careful to only pick up a few very special or unusual snowmen. I believe I have been rewarded for my loving kindness toward my husband. I have discovered that God really did make snowmen and meant for me to have them.

Praising Snowmen

Praising Snowmen

See? I have proof. Not only do I now have snowmen raising their hands and, what I believe, praising God, I even have one in front that is praying. What more proof do I need that it is OK for me to collect snowmen?? Oh? Those other two? Ummm – they were cute? They begged me take them off the empty Lowe’s shelf and take them home?

It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas – everywhere I snow… Dum de dum la la la la la —

aa012

Celebrate the joy of the season. Stay at peace. Don’t overextend your finances. Don’t shop until you drop. Realize that there is always another day to do what needs to be done – or don’t do it. Anything that causes you stress needs to be re-evaluated. Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Count your blessings and be thankful. Relax and remember the real reason for the season – and it isn’t finding that perfect gift for someone who will probably exchange it anyway.

Take a breath – that’s your first blessing to be grateful for. You are alive and have the choice to enJOY your life!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Nan Jesus

Me, many moons ago

Christmas Ideas for Hard to Shop For

December 12th, 2015

(Click on pix to enlarge. Almost everything on here I’ve picked up at amazon.com)

We all have those individuals who are a little hard to shop for. I’m tossing out some ideas for you to give you options that are different but good!

Chocolate. Life is too short to eat or drink cheap chocolate! You owe it to yourself if you are buying for yourself!

GODIVA.COM (amazon.com has great choices, especially those not available on Godiva) – hot cocoa, cookies, truffles, bars, Belgian chocolate:

CHOCOLATE TEAS: If you’ve never tasted chocolate tea, you have no idea the amazing taste you’re missing, especially the Republic of Tea’s Strawberry Chocolate! All of these are wonderful.

CHOCOLATE COFFEE AND HOT COCOA OPTIONS:

FACIAL ROSE WATER: A few years ago I was reading an article about Santa Maria Novella (US option; just do address without US for language choices): Officina Profumo – Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is one of the world’s oldest pharmacies. First founded in 1221 in Florence by the Dominican Friars who started making herbal remedies and potions to use in the monastery. Their reputation became world renowned and the pharmacy, sponsored by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, opened to the public in 1612. It is still in existence!

One of the things they are famous for is their Rose water. It is like a toner and a refresher. In the heat of summer, I put it in the refrigerator then use a cotton pad to wipe my face. The beautiful bottle comes in a beautiful heavy linen box. It is a bit pricey (the 16 oz is out of stock) so I am giving you three other options I discovered on Amazon that are just as delicious! I’ve used them all and can’t really tell a difference. If you put “rose water” in the Amazon search you will find many different options available in different prices.

LUXURY COTTON PADS: For the makeup addict, the higher end cotton pads are worth the price (Chanel). The other choices (best prices) are mostly from Japan on ebay (well worth the 10-15 day wait but not before Christmas). Check it out though because several stateside sellers offer the Cle De Peau Beaute and other Sheshido cotton pads. Several department stores and Amazon offer them. Google. I’ve used them all and they are great for a variety of uses! You’ll never go back to cheap cotton pads.

GLASS DRINKING BOTTLES: For your health addict, water is much colder in glass bottles rather than plastic. I use the first option, the Aquassana. Purchase the slip on covers, too, because they help keep you from dropping the bottle! The second option you don’t have to keep track of the lid and they come with a cover. Wish I’d seen them first (smile). All amazon:

INFUSION PITCHERS: Another wonderful healthy option – a water diffuser pitcher (and bottle)! I love using mine with cucumber or strawberries, oranges, and lemon slices. For those of you who say you don’t like water, this is a great pitcher/bottle to flavor it for you. Another Amazon purchase!

FOR SOMEONE WHO JOURNALS: Get them top of the line paper products! The pen glides across the silky paper.

clairefontaine notebook ebay

Clairefontaine Journal

Clairfontaine has the best notebooks and journals. Clairefontaine is a French paper manufacturer. The Clairefontaine mill has been making paper since 1858, and notebooks since 1890. The company is best known for making the first school notebooks in France. Clairefontaine notebooks feature a perfect satin finish for maximum smoothness in writing. It’s bright, silky smooth, and well-behaved with every ink. No feathering or bleed-through. Show-through is very faint on the back of the pages. The paper is described as 90 g/m^2 weight with acid-free properties. Sketch and drawing pads, coloring books, craft papers and high quality gift wrap are also available from Clairefontaine and Exaclair. I find the best prices on Amazon and ebay, along with iPen store (when they have a good sale).

Eccolo Notebook Journal

Eccolo Notebook Journal

Eccolo is another brand I love. They have the BEST covers with realistic faux leather along with some that are real Italian leather. It is the sayings on the cover that do it for me although the paper is also acid-free and silky smooth.

And a few things around the internet – Etsy, Amazon, Overstock, Italian Fine Linens – Google them

AND NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A TIN OF HOMEMADE CHRISTMAS COOKIES!

christmas cookies

Merry Christmas! Thank you for allowing me to share some of my favorite things with you!

jesus season ball

Here Be Dragons

December 6th, 2015

You can change the Christmas song you’re listening to by going to the player and picking the one you want (or pause it to stop music).

Here-Be-Dragons-map

Here Be Dragons (Added border so you could find it)

The saying, Here Be Dragons, was put on ancient maps to indicate, “dangerous or unexplored territories, in imitation of a supposed medieval practice of putting drawings of dragons, sea serpents and other mythological creatures in uncharted areas of maps.”[1]  In other words, it was a warning, “Watch out if you go here!”

This holiday season is one of those areas – dangerous times for a couple. There may be high expectations that can’t be met. There is a lot of stress, mostly self-induced. There are people who beg for your time for this pageant and that project and you feel you can’t say “no!!”. There is money spent too freely leading to a feeling of doom (January IS coming with those many credit card bills). There are meals to plan and kids to wind down before they explode.

It is just a tough time for most people.

christmas shopping

Here be dragons when finances are tight which can lead to arguments. Alpha Hubby and I learned a lessons about this a few years back. We were broke. We refused to use our credit cards. We didn’t have the money we usually did to “celebrate” Christmas and I was getting into the mullygrubs. I was trying to catch depression.

I began cataloging my many blessings. What did I have to be depressed over? That I couldn’t put a bunch of gifts under the tree?  I couldn’t go out and buy new decorations? What a crock. Yes, crock. I had enough containers of Christmas decorations to decorate the entire neighborhood. We have a beautiful home, heat, food, family up the hill to celebrate with, plenty. We had so much more than other people. I got over myself.

Alpha Hubby, Alpha Son and I decided we would focus outwardly that year. We got our home church involved and bought gifts to the local nursing home because so many of them were alone, with family far away, or who didn’t visit, or who were all gone.

It was the best Christmas we ever had, bar none. Why? We thought outwardly. We became a light for others.

christmas shopping

Here be dragons is your alone time with one another, especially if you have children. School kids are home on break. Little ones are wired with the gimmies, “I want this, I want that!!” Smaller ones may sense the atmosphere and be more cranky, whiny and clingy. You find yourself exhausted.

To keep that together, you have to be aware that your stress levels need to be kept under. If you find yourself blowing your top, STOP. Make a point each day to find a tiny haven for yourself, even if it is only in the bathroom with the door locked. But find that place, sit down, take a breath in, release it, and relax. Drink some caffeine-free tea, a glass of bubbly, or flavored water, but relax. Remember what is important.

If you have time in the evening after the kids are asleep, sit down and put your feet up.  Alpha Hubby and I knew if we’d have alone time and we made good use it it! Once that kid was in bed asleep – party!

Santa and helper

Santa and helper

Here be dragons because even with Alpha Son out of the house now, we still have to watch ourselves. Time has a way of slipping away from us during the day. Busy-ness tends to overtake the days, decorating, cleaning, getting ready for THE meal. The stress of decorating, there is no stress for me. That’s Alpha Hubby’s problem since he has declared all out war on my snowmen. Evil Alpha Santa. Evil. Evil.

Jake

Jake

He has threatened them with blow torches. He has offered to send them back to their homeland (North Pole). He has threatened total extinction of the entire tribe. He swears each year he lost the container they are in.  The only ones he likes are Jake and Elwood because they sing and are cool.

Here be dragons when you lose your sense of humor. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you may get into trouble during the holidays. They are CHOCK full of dragons (i.e., traps). Dinners can go wrong, children can become monsters (yes, even yours) and something is ALWAYS missing (“Oh man, I forgot to pick up the …).

white and red christmas fireplace interior

Learn to let it go. Learn to lower your expectations. Sure, you want to put on a perfect dinner but people have more fun at a dinner where the hostess doesn’t make them feel badly because something went wrong. If you are around people who expect perfection, get new people.

Find your joy. You can slay those dragons with joy, happiness, smiling, and laughing. I have learned to let go of expectations that are ridiculous. If my favorite white Irish linen tablecloth or napkins get stains on them? Well, if the dry cleaner can’t get it out at least they have been used rather than mouldering in the dresser drawer.

Find your peace. If all else fails, remember the real reason for this season. It will change your focus and remind you that THINGS aren’t supposed to be it.

Christmas Snowman Decoration

And now, a little something special from Alpha Hubby’s favorite friends:

Smokin’ Hot S*x

November 19th, 2015
couple hot lovers

Copyright Credit Unknown

The other day I was thinking about smoking hot sex.  Why, you ask?  Well – if you have to ask….

Just kidding. Part of it is because I said I would talk about in on the blog here and I want to get it right. Only disclaimer is that this is research and opinion, and experience. I know it doesn’t apply to everyone (but it could [bawdy smile]).

Oh, second disclaimer: sex is not not not a dirty word within the context of marriage. Everything else is not what I’m talking about. It’s hard enough to get married people to talk about “it” and hard to get everyone else to shut up about it (or showing it on television, in movies, books, etc. like randy rabbits – or is that an oxymoron?)

wet tango cropped

So I’m just going to jump right in and throw a lot at you (and be pretty blunt so if you get offended, quit reading and don’t leave me a nasty comment. You’ve been warned). I throw all this at you because after this you might not come back (smile).  Here it is: sex is very important to most men, but not in the way most women assume (i.e., horn dog). While most women need things such as financial security to feel safe and loved in a relationship (i.e., they’re not coming to take your home or car away), men need the physical act of sex.

I have heard it put this way, from Alpha Hubby and by reading so many men’s websites – the physical act of sex is like “coming home” and says to a man “I love you” in a way like no other. It gives him a security nothing else can. Again, not not all women or all men.

If this isn’t your relationship, that’s fine. What you have between you and yours is between you and yours, and whatever works for each couple is right for them.

As women, we are not exactly raised to know how vital the act was to a man (oh yeah, I can so see my mom telling me THAT, not). Most of us were told nothing at all.

As men, very few actually talk to their significant others about it. It’s not because they don’t want us to know – I think it is that we don’t give them a safe haven to talk about something as exposing as that. Remember, many are trained that they are supposed to want to BE those horn dogs. And certainly not to talk about the dreaded *feelings*. What he needs is to be able to tell you what he needs.

Talk to the hand

Some of the reasons women give for skipping out on the passion with the love of their lives:  being tired, having a bad day, just ate, rather sleep, feeling fat or un-sexy in some way, kids need them more, needing to do so many other things like housework, blah blah blah. The Number One reason I’ve been given by all the women I’ve interviewed over the years? “I just don’t FEEL like it.”

One woman I interviewed was furious because her husband confessed to her that he’d had a *ahem* how do I say this – a BJ – in his vehicle from a female co-worker. The wife stabbed his vehicle seats until they were destroyed because she was never going to sit on them again. 

Thing is, it had been over a year since they’d had sex. All the reasons why she hadn’t felt like having sex, truth? None were worthy of going a year without. I’m surprised he lasted that long. I told her that she’d sent her man out onto the world without his armor or protection. She was as much at fault as he was. They were both in the wrong.

couple Passion

It is super vital not to allow too much time between physical acts of intimacy. Think of it as that armor I mentioned, that protection he needs. Lack can set the man up to be vulnerable to outside – oh, I’ll just say it – forces of nature known as hussies. Skanks. Ho’s. Those who want your man and appreciate him and tell him so, making him think he’s “all that”. Yes, YOUR man no matter what you think of him. There is another woman out there who’d take him in a Cincinnati Second. And yes I know she doesn’t do his dirty laundry but that is not the point here. And no, most men won’t cheat but again, NOT the point.

Alpha Hubby has only twice refused sex that I initiated – and I think both times he had a temperature over 100 degrees, been feeling flu-like, coughing, and could barely breath. Other than that? He can be tired, dirty, side-tracked by things at work, super busy (like 60 hour weeks) or have a temperature UNDER 100 degrees, and if I’m ready and willing? Well, let’s just say, “Let the games begin!”

And therein lies one of the answers – “If I’m ready and willing” – ME. It pretty much depends on me and my attitude. We solved that pretty quickly in the beginning of our marriage when he came home from work and I was trying to get the dishes done. He kissed the back of my neck, being romantic. Alpha Son wasn’t home from school yet, but I wasn’t READY. And like I learned quick fast, turn him down enough and he’ll quit putting himself out there. It feels like (and is) rejection to him. Then it becomes “roommates”. Distancing beings. He’s protecting himself.

couple sexy in kitchen

We finally realized that sometimes he had to give me a few minutes to switch from mommy mode or housewife mode or cook mode or cleaner mode to rendezvous mode. But I, personally, had to realize that I needed to STOP operating in those modes BEFORE he got home. I needed to stop, drop and roll over. No no, just kidding. I needed to stop, shower, dress in rendezvous clothing, perfume up, makeup up, and indicate “Here I am baby, come and get me because I WANT YOU.” And yeah, that means anywhere, in any room, any how we want it!

He needed to know that and I needed to show that. And after 21+ years? It is still true. He needs to know I want him. It is vital. Important side note? You may feel fat but you dress for him, most men don’t see what you call fat – they see “available” – so no matter what, dress it and strut your stuff, baby. That’s all he wants.

woman overworked

Now I hear you out there – but “Nan, I work outside the home. How can I do that? I’d rather sleep!” Something Alpha Hubby told me when we were doing the 30-days of intimacy – just knowing I WANTED to, helped him to wait until we could. Then again, sometimes you gotta fake it until you make it. NO, NOT THAT. Man, you ladies sure have your minds in the gutter. I mean start getting ready to seduce him. Even if you don’t feel like it. Oftentimes, before you are finished with the makeup, you will have switched “modes” and have begun to think about him and seducing him – and you attitude changes.

Besides – I mean, come on, REALLY, just how long does it take to have sex?? Quickies are awesome and regular doesn’t take hours. It can but that’s not really what I’m talking about. I’m talking about connecting with one another and protecting one another (especially him). And if you time it right, you can roll over and pass out – together – and have a great night’s sleep.  Bwahahahaha.

love note

It truly needs to be a priority – intimacy. Not just sex but all those gestures that say “I want you” and “You are Number One in my life” and “You matter over all others” and whatever your chat with your significant other showed you was important to him.  You did ask, right?  RIGHT?  WHAT?? Not yet?  Ladies, what are you waiting for? You really need to know what makes them feel special, wanted, necessary, and important to you. It is a great protection to your relationship.

In tune with one another. That’s what it’s all about. The rest of the world fades away when you keep one another Number One. It isn’t always about sex but if you will protect your man by ensuring he is… *ahem* …topped up, you will find things just go better all around. 

Burning heart

And… the smoking hot sex ain’t so bad, either!!!

****

p.s. and as a friend of mine said in her comment, “…it’s time we debunk the myth that men are ready for sex at the drop of a hat” – true, true. Men are human, too! Yes, really! Men really are not sex machines, able to turn on immediately. Maybe when they are 16, ho ho – but no, they often need what we need – Alpha Hubby and I talk it out – we set dates as in, “OK, let’s plan it for tomorrow night” – and that doesn’t mean going all out so much as just knowing and then preparing, in the mood, thinking that it is going to happen (and me being ready when he comes in from work and giving him time to shower, etc.) – it isn’t always mega romantic – i.e., candles, music, rose petals along the floor – mostly it is just letting each other know we want it.

Sure, we do have the romantic (what I call rendezvous) once in a while but mostly it’s just knowing we planned for it and being aware we did. He tells me he thinks about it all day, knowing that that evening it’s a go. I shut down a little earlier in my day. When I worked, I thought about what I would do that evening to make sure it happened, after Alpha Son went to bed BUT it was on our minds which made it easier to accomplish!

Mo’ Intimacy (#2)

October 27th, 2015

intimacy

So we left off in our last post with a promise of sharing some ideas to help you create, recreate or increase the intimacy in your relationship. A lot of it is just little things but those little things are more important than you may realize.

I did say in the last post – I double-dog dare challenged
you – to TALK to your significant other about what intimacy means to them. Did you do that?? Suuure you did. If you didn’t, then do so. Intimacy doesn’t happen without talking and without understanding what your loved one thinks of as intimacy.

couple fireplace

What I didn’t say in the previous post is you need to be prepared to change your theories and thoughts about intimacy. What you may think of as a vital act of intimacy may mean zippo to your loved one. I KNOW– just when you thought it would be easy…

We have been fed a lie – that it is unromantic to TALK to each other about romantic gestures. Intimacy is the most important thing there is in your relationship. I venture to say that without intimacy, you have no relationship – you have roommates.

Sometimes we let the intimacy – those gestures, actions, attitudes, words – fall by the wayside as time and life get in the way of our once closeness. Intimacy isn’t difficult to understand – it is FOCUS – on the other person, your loved one. It is also so easy to let drop.

Intimacy acts are everything you did when you first met and were determined to be together. Dressing up, leaving notes, calling and talking to one another, giving cards, telling them what you specifically liked about them, touching, getting to know them by asking questions, making sure they know how important they are to you, and any number of things you can remember if you just think back.

Intimacy is cutting out everyone and everything that would take away from the two of you. Intimacy is letting them know they are the most important person in your life. No matter what. Yes, even before children – why? Because if you protect your relationship, your children will be taken care of just fine. Children are never supposed to come before your significant other. Ever.** It takes work but again, it is well worth it.

couple gazing

Intimacy is doing the little things that please the other person. Intimacy is about mushy emails, handwritten notes, light palm-to-face touches, feathery kisses, and connecting. Intimacy is trust because it takes trust to expose yourself to someone, your dreams, thoughts, desires, needs. Intimacy is the promise of forever.

If you are concerned because you’ve let intimacy drop, don’t be. Just making a commitment to working on intimacy – to doing something daily toward recreating intimacy in your relationship – will change something fundamental inside you both.

I can’t explain it; it just makes you more aware. It’s like going back to the beginning stages of your romance when everything was giddy and wonderful only now it surpassed that because you know one another so much better. 

Finding some way to express intimacy every single day is not a breeze. You will have to work harder at it because you are starting again. Oh, but the resulting benefits are so well worth it. It will seem hard at first but it WILL get easier – make the commitment! You may not succeed every day but committing will help keep it in the forefront of your mind.

heart arrow

Intimacy is whatever it means between the two of you. What works for one couple may not work for another. Some people need things others don’t. These are just things that have worked for Alpha Hubby and me, and for the many other people I’ve researched and spoken to about this topic.

Some things are basic – some areas men and women want the same thing. Both want respect. Both want the other to pay attention when they talk, and to remember what they said. Both want to be put first (and yes, ladies, before your girlfriends). Both need to know and believe that you believe they are your hero. They want acknowledgement. They want touching. They want you to notice them and what they do for you. And it must be said, s*x. Lots and lots of it for a lot of couples.

tango dance

Alpha Hubby loves to slow dance in the kitchen… or living room… or bedroom. I am relatively stoic but I swear, if the right song comes on I end up crying. He loves my singing voice and wants me to sing to him all the time – which only works if it isn’t some mushy song about love. Then, I end up crying through it. UGH. But, he loves it.

He’ll sing Little Red Riding Hood to me (which has personal meaning). He’ll send or bring flowers once in a while (but my favorites are the ones he picks and brings into the house. Those surprise me the most). He cooks (yes, grilling counts). He leaves the occasional note. He sends me romantic email cards. He builds things for me – rooms, walls, countertops, entire buildings. He comes home from work and finds me to kiss the back of my neck and say “hello”. 

BUT, and here is the most important thing anyone can learn – anything else I may need or want from him, I will have to tell him – like how it takes my breath away when he grabs my hand in public when we’re walking (or standing still). He didn’t know that. He now does and when he takes my hand it doesn’t matter I had to tell him.

phone text i love you

He might text something romantic (or naughty) or just to say “I love you”. If you’re not used to it, it may feel funny at first. The loved may not react the way you want them to at first because they’re not used to this – don’t give up. Keep it up. Say, “Can’t wait until you get home. I miss you.” He may say, “Huh?” Yeah, yeah, sometimes fake it until you get where you want to be in your relationship.

Alpha Hubby likes a good rendezvous. He may get home and find the lights out and a string of candles (or clothing) leading him to a room with romantic music and me, dressed in obvious “Hey it’s time for s*x” clothing.  We also have a date night – and go on a REAL date where he comes by in the car to the front of the house and picks me up. There isn’t a lot to do around this area except the movies – but it is a real “dress up and go out” date.
Kissing Lips 4

He likes lipstick prints – sexy on a wine glass or on a note in a card. I might leave a note on the mirror with a lipstick kiss print letting him know I love him. Or something like, “Tonight” – which means he’s gonna get lucky.

We both like to eat by candlelight with romantic music going on in the background. We don’t do it often so when we do, it’s special. We also have a swimming pool and if he is getting home late, I might pop into the pool – nekid – and wait for him to walk through the gate. Yes, swimming pool water can boil, smile!!

Take the first song playing by James Ingram (Find 100 Ways) – send roses just because. Don’t only do that on special days. Surprise her, men. And woman, make sure you find things he loves (a favorite meal?) and fix it for him. Look nice for one another (not just when you have to run to town). Compliment one another, what they do or how they look. “Hey, you look really handsome/pretty.” 

The most intimate thing Alpha Hubby has ever done? Not what you think (naughty, naughty). No, for twenty-one (21) years he has called me EVERY SINGLE DAY he is at work. He calls at lunch time to chit chat a few minutes. He lets me know he loves me, he tells me a bit how his day is going, or just to check in. Clockwork but to me, romantic.

Your greatest source of information is your loved one. ASK them what they consider romantic then work very hard to REMEMBER that and do it for them.

Next post will be a bit of an eye-opener to some – the importance of actually HAVING s*x. How important it is to men, what it means, what it means to a marriage to have or have not!

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**I will say that when a couple still has children at home, intimacy is harder to keep fresh and going, but it can and must be done. It just takes thinking outside the box, to use creative ways to keep each other first. Sure kids take up a lot of time and attention but protect your relationship FIRST.