Regardless of who is at fault, you’re better off without them if one or both of you don’t feel the relationship is worth fighting for.
Respect and love are the bare minimums of what you deserve.
Words without actions are also known as bullsh*t.
Throughout history, men have fought wars for love, they have traveled countries and given away thrones. If he’s not calling and doing what he needs to do, well…
Being right is less important than being right to one another.
You have been through this before and you will get through it again.
Vent to your friends, but don’t expect them to understand the emotional hook you have.
Come close. No, closer. Now, repeat after me: They were not my last chance at love.
Sleeping around won’t get you over them any faster. Drinking more and sleeping less will only make you look and feel like crap.
For God’s sake, don’t sign up for online dating until a month has passed (and when you do, please don’t go on Plenty Of Fish).
Listen to the words of this song and remember that there will come a day when you stumble upon the rest of your life just like he does.
Crying is OK. On first dates? Not so much. Give it a little time.
What you tell others cannot be taken back. This is important if you’re unsure as to whether or not you’ll get back together.
Your friends have their own relationships and situations. Do what feels right to you.
Go out. Often. Seriously.
Watch “What’s Love Got To Do With It” or any Tina Turner Bio. That hot mama left a jerk with 39 cents in her pocket , a black eye and a gas card. If Tina can come out on top after batshit crazy Ike, you’ll be just fine.
Bring joy, not pain.
Bring love, not hate.
Bring understanding, not judgement.
Bring hope, not hopelessness.
Bring kindness, not condemnation.
Bring peace, not volatility.
Bring compassion, not cruelty.
Bring a solution, not another problem.
Bring interest, not projections.
Bring humor, not snark.
Bring facts, not assumptions.
Bring generosity, not selfishness.
Bring a smile, not a scowl.
Bring a cheer, not a criticism.
Bring the best version of you and the space to allow them to be the best version of themselves to you.
What a life you will live.
What a love you will have.
What a legacy you will leave.
She thought of the words that had been tossed at her as she sat in the car that slowly drove her further away from the place that held the bed in which she once slept soundly.
She looked back, once more, at the gardens where her hope had blossomed.
The violent winds of projection had torn through the petals and the heavy teardrop’s had mixed with the blood that seeped from her fingers as she grabbed at the stems in the hopes of stopping the inevitable destruction that was underway.
Beside her sat the emotional dictionary she hoped would give her an understanding of the true meaning of the harsh phrases and fears that had dripped off of his tongue. She wanted to open it, but each time she did, she remembered and thunder struck, causing her frame to shake.
She looked down at the single, disheveled rose that lay in her lap. Her heart felt the sadness of what had been lost, but also the gratitude of what had been discovered–a beautiful person, and a better part of herself.
She picked her head up and wiped her eyes. She caught the drivers sympathetic look in the review mirror. ”Forward, please.”
(Photo of Kate Winslet Courtesy of Pinterest)
There was a sweeping volatility,
A loud burst of emotion,
A weeping flood,
In the stillness, she stood,
listening only to her breath.
The beat of her heart slowing down,
As the smoke replaced a glistening fire.
She had been here before,
And not so long ago,
But this time, it was different.
For she knew her way around.
No intimidation from uncertainty,
Or the slightest bit of fear,
She would navigate with logic,
and find her way out.
And her awareness of her ability to do so is what made all of the difference.
(Photo Courtesy of Pinterest)
Sip the best bubbly you can afford– be it Prosecco, Cava, Lambrusco, Veuve, Moet or Dom–and toast the people you love.
Laugh with great abandon.
Love enthusiastically, and without fear. Whatever happens, you have loved, and what a joy that brings.
If you’re going to kiss someone, make sure they walk away feeling like you had hot sauce on your lips.
When someone is talking to you, look them in the eyes and listen.
For goodness sakes, try the food.
Do nice things to help people out without wanting something in return.
Book a ticket to a new place at least twice a year.
Spend more time in person than on Facebook.
Apologize when you’re wrong and work to make it right.
RSVP “yes” to at least 70% of the events you are invited to (and don’t cancel)
Smile when you meet strangers, children and meet up with those you love.
Give more hugs, compliments and volunteer now and then.
Run in the rain and through the sprinkler.
Eat an ice cream cone on a stoop.
Host a picnic in the grass.
Pretend the mud pie really is delicious!
Hold people in a higher regard than titles.
Open doors for others.
Say “please” and “thank you”.
Respond instead of react.
Remember the “relate” in relationship.
Pick up the phone instead of texting.
Send a card or a small gift “just because”.
Accept that you are not perfect and they don’t have to be either.
Acknowledge the pain, celebrations, smiles, compliments, talents, struggles, concerns and birthdays of others.
Tell them you love them, often.
What we put out, we often get back in kind. You want a fuller, happier, softer and lovelier life? Be a fuller, happier, softer and lovelier person.
(Simone d’Aillencourt in Emilio Pucci, Vogue 1967)
Not too long ago, I found myself in a situation where I was being told I had motivations I didn’t, saying things that never came out of my mouth and behaving in ways that go against the very base of my character. At first, I did my best to explain, thinking that perhaps there was some kind of miscommunication. When that didn’t work, I became angry. There are few things worse than being punished for things you didn’t do. Not only does it hurt, it’s flat-out unjust. I wanted to bring this up because it’s so common. As a society we love to assume and judge, but just because we think something (they are liars, we will fail) doesn’t make it true. Just because a lot of us do it doesn’t make it right.
Take a minute and think about your general state of mind. Do you often approach certain kinds of situations with anxiety or immediately “go negative” when dealing with certain challenges?
Example: Your new colleague is quiet and you start to make assumptions about what her silence means. Before you know it, you’re filling in the blanks.
She must not be talking to me because she doesn’t like me or wants to undermine me in some way.
She’s a snob.
The mind wanders and you are suddenly supporting your assessment with “facts”.
She didn’t say hi in the elevator on Monday.
She never accepts my happy hour invitations.
Before you know it, you’re treating her accordingly, making her pay for sins she likely never committed, and forcing her to respond in kind.
The girl who was just shy is now an ice queen to you because you’ve treated her like one.
If you’re staring at this screen with a big oops on your face, take a deep breath and cut yourself a little slack. It’s a sad fact of life that many people corrode relationships (and potential ones) with projections and fears based on past experiences. The problem is that, by not training your mind to stop doing it, having happier and healthier relationships, and fresh, new experiences becomes nearly impossible.
If you have only had bad relationships, it becomes hard to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, even when their patterns of behavior have earned it. That’s not something they need to accommodate, that’s your issue. Just as they need to pack and carry their baggage, so do you.
I used to be a guilty-til-proven innocent type of gal. After being cheated on (he slept with 22 women and I found out at once, thank you very much) I was downright terrified of ever being hurt like that again. I found myself anxious and accusatory in the relationship that followed. It wasn’t a good feeling, for him or me. It took a lot of thinking, feeling, sorting, and yes, talking to my consigliere (the one with the Ph.D on his wall) to figure out that my partner was being pigeonholed and pushed away.
Do you find that you have a knee-jerk reaction to assume the worst in a person or a situation? Do you allow a relationship or circumstance to grow organically or are or are you pushing to prove a general negative theory right?
They watch from across the room,
Raising a a glass to all of the layers,
the person they need you to be.
Their walk is direct,
Their eyes, in focus.
Soon, their tongue begins to swirl their drink,
the intoxicating promises you know better to believe.
The flattery is too good not to swallow,
and you’re soon drugged by the desire,
To be desired.
Glances become numbers exchanged,
Encounters are pleasant,
Until they’re not.
The soul comes closer to the surface,
Finding its way out through the mouth,
The glaring and shifting eyes,
The touch that is just slightly too aggressive.
The mask begins to crack,
Your heart begins to break,
and suddenly you realize,
There are two of them…
One you loved,
and one you never knew at all.
(Photo of Gatsby courtesy of IMDB, Leo Washington Post)
Happiness is as happiness does. Read below for 10 ways to bring serenity now! Ok, maybe not right this instant, but soon.
Do I Seek To Add Value?
One of the things I always advise my interns to do is to sit down and think about the ways they have added value to the jobs and organizations they have worked in. No one wants to hire someone who does the bare minimum, or worse, diminishes the value of a situation. Mindless gossip, unnecessary criticism and standing around doing nothing all subtract from a situation, even if simply pulling out the peace or productivity.
Do I Surround Myself With People Who Enhance My Life Experience?
Remember your clubbing days? You never wanted to spend your evening with the riff-raff in some sketchy club. Why would you want to spend your life with them?
When Was The Last Time I Learned/Tried Something New?
It sounds like a silly cliché, but knowledge does give you an edge–in conversations, the boardroom, and on dates when the table you booked won’t be available for the rest of the night. Be warned, there’s a caveat: You have to actually use the information you acquire to your greatest advantage. Learning a new word each day is only effective when you use these words to create a better daily vocabulary, and since anxiety and fear are based on uncertainty and ignorance, hello reason to research!
What Influence Do I Have On My Own Life?
People-pleasing lecture aside, the days of your life won’t always be enjoyable, but if your life would call you a hater, it’s time to make some changes. You won’t always want to do what your friends, family members or partner want you to do and your best friend may be really against a life decision, but unless you are doing something truly destructive or disrespectful, there’s zero reason for guilt (or guilt trips). Sit down and think about the life you would be living if you didn’t have to worry about being judged. That’s what you need to work towards.
Do I Get Swayed By Emotion or Stick To The Facts?
Feelings are notoriously misleading, but facts, while not always candy-coated, are reliable. I have found that the only time people get angry when faced with them are when they feel guilty, ashamed, embarrassed or are trying to get something over on me.
Am I Impulsive?
Just because you are being offered something you want or will enjoy does not mean you should “reach out and grab it” the second it appears. That “once in a lifetime opportunity” will likely not evaporate in the 24-48 hours (or longer for bigger decisions) you need to sit and think more about it. I mean, if Enrique Iglesias calls you and asks you to go on tour, fine, consider going on leave, but signing contracts, rushing to their door to profess your undying love and moving house last-minute are worth some pillow time. Bottom Line: Follow your heart, use your head.
Do I Own My Behavior Or Judge It?
OK, you said you would go to the gym. You didn’t. You went to have margaritas and nachos with your friends instead. Congratulations, you now have a memory and maybe a hangover. Accept that most of us do what we want to do and that on the nights toning is more important to you than tacos, you’ll swipe your gym card.
Can People Count On Me?
Do you say what you mean, do what you say, and are you where you say you will be( and fully present) when you’re supposed to be there?
Am I Appreciative?
That dog that annoys you every morning when he needs to go out greets you with love and forgiveness every time you open the door. That coworker who takes time out of his or her day to read over your email or grab you a water, they don’t have to, you know? That friend who spends three hours on Gchat helping you deal with a guy situation? That’s a gift.
Is It Really That Important?
That sink will get fixed. That email was not that serious. Your boss is human. Everyone’s job is stressful. Your jeans will fit again. Now what?
-Brenda Della Casa
You are not responsible for the things your parents did or did not say to you, do for you, or teach you.
Sometimes you “win” by just deciding to get up and go.
Just because she is pretty doesn’t mean you’re not.
Hot is a short dress and heels. Witty, charming, self-respecting, elegant and drop-dead smart? That’s gorgeous.
If he gives you anxiety, excuses, a reason not to believe him or anything that requires a prescription, he’s gone.
Having a relationship is not the goal. Having a healthy, happy and loving relationship (with yourself and then someone else) is.
There’s never a reason to be a mean girl. You’re an intelligent, compassionate and professional woman. Carry yourself like one.
When it comes to your relationships, spend more time than money. Give more compliments than criticisms, and for goodness sakes, flash your manners.
Just because they say it doesn’t make it true.
Men who have six packs and great biceps often sustain themselves on a diet consisting of chicken and eggs and will choose the gym over date night with you. Remember that.
It’s OK to be ambitious, but ruthless? Bye Bye Rolodex.
Everyone wants to feel needed, no one wants to deal with needy.
You want to be a boss? Take care of your business.
Don’t spend your time trying to date a baller. Spend it working to become a baller.
She who dates a man for money should not complain when he treats her poorly. How do you treat that sweater you bought three years ago?
It’s OK to like sex. If you have it with a man who has not shown you that he respects, loves you, or wants to date you before having it, don’t expect that to change it.
Just because you ignore it doesn’t make it go away, and just because you rationalize it doesn’t make it right.
Men who want to be with you will call you (often more than once). Men who don’t will not.
That guy being a jerk right now? You’ll hear from him again, and by the time you do, you’ll laugh.
Happiness is not a choice, but doing things to bring you more of it is.
I adore Leo, so seeing (and loving) the movie is a given.
But the soundtrack? Who knew?
The compilation is the perfect mix of retro, rock star and rap.
I’d mention my “favorite” tunes, but they keep changing.
It’s that good.
Paired with the right outfit, they’d stop traffic.
Paired with the wrong one, they’ll stop it for the wrong reasons.
You can sit on the sidelines or walk the red carpet.
You can give commentary or you can step into your spotlight.
Choose to shine.
Don’t believe me? Try it.
This has been stressing me out for an entire season and a half.
Independence, personal power and intelligence is sexy.
Thanks to filters and fears, things are not always what they look like or seem.
Surround yourself with intelligent and compassionate advisers.
Reach out, listen and then take what feels right and move forward.
I’d have my girls over, Edith Piaf on the radio and champagne and sandwiches ready.
Mix it up and use it as a scrub on your face (and body). Leave for a few minutes and rinse.
Voila! Glowing skin.
There’s something very special about friendships between women.
I love the laughter, love, support, advice, reality checks and loyalty they are generous enough to give me.
It has often been reported hat more telephone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. But what if there’s no one to call? The beloved holiday can serve as a painful reminder of the ultimate void for those who have loved and lost or were never loved at all. A topic very close to my heart, I reached out to four women who were left motherless for one reason or another and asked them to share their incredibly painful stories and the ways in which they have learned to heal.
How old were you when your mother passed/left? I was eight when my mother died of cancer.
Can you briefly share the circumstances surrounding your situation? My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 30. She died at age 31.
Did her leaving/passing have an immediate impact? Absolutely. My father really fell apart. He didn’t function well. My grandparents could only help so much and eventually had to return to their jobs and lives. Once the help went away, our house fell to disarray. Dinners were pretty simple. Laundry was not done often. Lunches were made by myself. There were no more handmade Halloween costumes or help with homework. My father was overwhelmed with his responsibilities, he was only 32. He suddenly had to raise two young girls on his own.
Who raised you? My father raised my sister and myself. We spent most summers traveling between grandparent’s, cousin’s and aunt and uncle’s homes.
How was her absence handled in your household? My mother died in 1979. It wasn’t discussed much. There were no child therapy sessions to deal with it. Since my father took her death so hard, most of the family seemed to focus on him. My sister and I were the afterthought. My grandmother got rid of most of my mother’s possessions only days after the funeral. She did not want us to be around reminders of the woman who was no longer there. That was very painful for me. I felt like my mom was ripped out from under me twice in one week.
How did this impact you? I was in a tough spot. My sister was only five and needed support. My dad went into what I now know is a depression. I had to take on a lot more responsibility than any third grader should. My father worked. He supported us. But I had to take on a lot of the household tasks. I also remember having to think of Christmas presents for our extended family. Christmas sort of stressed me out because of the added responsibilities. I also knew my dad would forget to shop for my sister and I until Christmas Eve.
What did growing up without a mother feel like as a child/teen? As a child, I hated standing out. Everyone in our suburb knew my mother died of cancer at a young age. Every time we walked into a grocery store, I could see the faces of pity when they looked at my dad, sister and me. I hated standing out. I just wanted to be like everyone else. The special treatment bothered me most as a child. As a teen, I really struggled internally. When my grandmother told me that my mother died, I didn’t cry. I didn’t end up crying about her death until the summer I got my period. I knew what a period was, but I had a hard time talking to my dad about it. It was so stressful. I hated asking him for feminine hygiene products as much as he hated buying them. One night I had a break down that I didn’t have a mom to help me through dealing with my first few cycles. I sobbed for most of the evening by myself. I am sure at that point, it was five bottled up years of grief that spilled out that night.
How do you feel her absence has influenced you as an adult? I never know if I am doing female things correctly. Did I arrange the flowers from the vase correctly? Does this sauce need more salt? Did I fold the sheets correctly? Am I meeting the emotional needs of my family? Is this shade of lipstick work with this blouse? Did I wrap that present correctly? I also have this notion that when I meet people for the first time that they can tell right away that I grew up without a mom. As if there is a neon sign over me that says, “motherless daughter/feral child.” But I also think having to rely on myself at such a young age forced me to develop survival and coping skills, which has helped me deal with my son’s autism. I also think her death put into perspective which things in life are a big deal and which aren’t.
In what ways has her absence influenced your ideas about motherhood? It made me want to have my own family so I could make things right. She was an amazing mother and I couldn’t wait to be just like her. Unfortunately, I am not the seamstress and crafter that she was. I didn’t inherit that gene from her. In other respects, I think we are probably similar; light- hearted, funny, and warm.
What do you feel is misunderstood about motherless children? As I said before, I hated the special treatment and attention I received after her death. I just wanted to go play handball without being whispered about. I wanted a return to normalcy as quickly as possible.
How do you feel about your mother today? My heart breaks for my mother. She must have been so scared to find a lump in her breast when she had a preschooler and a second grader. It must have been awful to be going through chemo while we were trick-or-treating. I can’t imagine how it felt to go from one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen to a skinny bald woman in a matter of months. I feel love for her. I sometimes think I would give all the money I have just to hear her voice one more time. My father is still very angry at her for dying. This makes me incredibly sad.
How do you handle Mothers Day? Mother’s Day doesn’t bother me. I had four grandmothers growing up so I always associated Mother’s Day with them. However, my mother died on Valentine’s Day. I am scarred for life when it comes to that day. While everyone is celebrating their amazing romantic love, all I can think about is dropping all my Valentine’s cards when I rounded the corner and saw all the cars in front of my house. I knew my mom died by all of the cars on the street. My husband knows not to celebrate Valentine’s Day with me. We skip that day.
How have you healed? I hope I have healed but as you can see from answers, there are deep wounds left. My mother was so loving and amazing that I just think of her fondly. She never ever let me down. I think about how she was so much better than any other mother I ever met that eight years with her was most likely the same as eighteen with other mothers.
Any additional thoughts? Her funeral haunts me to this day. Some people just fell apart at the graveside service. I can still hear their wails. The adults were falling apart in front of my eyes and it impacted me deep inside.
How old were you when your mother passed/left? I was ten.
Can you briefly share the circumstances surrounding your situation? She was 30 and overwhelmed by three kids and suffered from some psychological issues.I think it was manic depression but I am not sure as it never formally diagnosed.
Did her leaving/passing have an immediate impact? Yes, it was horrible. She took my brother (6) and left me and my sister (2) with our stepfather who then molested me later that week.
Who raised you? My stepfather, my neighbors down the street, and eventually my dad when I was a teenager. I left home when I was 17 and never really looked back.
How was her absence handled in your household? She was vilified and everyone spoke poorly about her. She made herself an easy target for blame.
How did this impact you? Everything suffered. my confidence, self-esteem, friendships, grades…all of it.
What did growing up without a mother feel like as a child/teen? It was the ultimate feeling of abandonment. I was rudderless.
How do you feel her absence has influenced you as an adult? It has made me a strong person. It takes a lot to get me down.I have been diagnosed with PTSD (due to cancer, helicopter crash, sexual abuse, 9/11 etc.) I take medication and it has helped me to become a high-functioning adult.
In what ways has her absence influenced your ideas about motherhood? I think it has made me very sensitive to being physically present for my daughter. That said, she has it so much better than I did so i find myself avoiding the common wringing of hands that so many of my mom friends do. I know what a true crisis is and not having organic sunscreen to slather on your kid, is not a problem. I am very liberal about certain things but am a stickler for manners and respect towards adults. My daughter would say I am the strictest, but also the goofiest of her four parents.
What do you feel is misunderstood about motherless children? The assumption that we know the things that mother’s are supposed to teach us and norms and values and etiquette and how to use a feminine product–things like this were gaping holes in my understanding of how I was supposed to handle things.
How do you feel about your mother today? Now that I am older i understand why she cracked.She was sexually abused by her brother growing up and had no support around it. A mistake I made for many years was assuming that we were very similar. and although i have her hands and her sense of humor, she is much more shy, insecure, and meek than I am. seeing this allowed me to have compassion and understanding for her choices.
How do you handle Mothers Day? I go to mexico where mother’s day falls on my birthday, may 10th, every year.
How have you healed? Therapy, making mistakes, and more therapy. I worked to build my self-efficacy by starting my own business Eight and a half years ago. Forgiving my mom helped me let go.That was the best gift that I could give my daughter: the ability to tell her own story and to have her not inherit this legacy of pain. So far, so good.
How old were you when your mother passed/left? My mother was an alcoholic, she never passed away or left me but being that she was never sober and sent me to live with my grandparents one of those two things might as well have happened. I was 5 years old when she sent me to live with my grandparents due to her drug and alcohol abuse.
Did her leaving/passing have an immediate impact? Not having a sober mother definitely impacted me and my life. When I was 13 years old she sat me down and explained to me that I was an adult and that she was going to live the rest of her life for her. I had to grow up and go through things at a very young age.
Who raised you? My amazing grandparents
How was her absence handled in your household? We didn’t speak about it
How did this impact you? It made me feel good, not to have to think about her every day. It was nice forgetting that I had a mother that would rather drink than be with me.
What did growing up without a mother feel like as a child/teen? The hardest thing was to see the relationship my friends had/have with their mothers. Too see how they spent time shopping and cooking together. Even though I had a grandma who did all of those things with, it still was never the same. I craved a relationship like my friends had with their moms, yet any time I was around my mother there was a lot of anger and that relationship just couldn’t be.
How do you feel her absence has influenced you as an adult? I learned to not trust people or their “word”. I grew up knowing what abandonment/rejection by choice felt like. I guess the biggest way it has influenced me is that I don’t have a lot of faith in people.
In what ways has her absence influenced your ideas about motherhood? It worries me, a lot. I don’t ever want to be a screw up and ruin a child’s life.
What do you feel is misunderstood about motherless children? No answer.
How do you feel about your mother today? Indifferent
How do you handle Mothers Day? I dismiss it
How have you healed? By letting go of hope.
How old were you when your mother passed/left? I was 13
Can you briefly share the circumstances surrounding your situation? My mother had ulcers and was addicted to painkillers and because she was afraid of the doctors she never went to them. I remember the night before she died she was very weak but still took my younger brother and I for ice cream. That morning we woke up and my dad had called the ambulance and I had no idea what was happening until I saw the paramedics take my mom on the stretcher . We followed the ambulance in our car and got to the hospital. We found out that she had a bleeding ulcer and she was in a coma, but she didn’t make it.
Did her leaving/passing have an immediate impact? I don’t think it sunk it right away. I just felt like I was in a bad dream waiting to wake up. I went through a depression in high school and suffered with anxiety and panic attacks.
Who raised you? My Father
How was her absence handled in your household? My father did the best he could. He was the breadwinner in our family and my mom was the stay at home mother. I remember we did suffer with money and were very close to selling our house and keeping food on our table.
How did this impact you? I think that this made me a stronger women.
What did growing up without a mother feel like as a child/teen? Very lonely, I only had my dad and 3 brothers. No women influences.
How do you feel her absence has influenced you as an adult? It has made me believe in God more and made me more spiritual. I believe she is always with me and that I have an angel watching over me.
In what ways has her absence influenced your ideas about motherhood? I think it was the hardest time when I was pregnant with my daughter and even after I had her. I wanted her more than ever to help me and be there for me emotionally and mentally.
What do you feel is misunderstood about motherless children? I don’t really know, I never thought about that.
How do you feel about your mother today? I love her so much and she made me the women I am today. She gave me so much love during the short time that she was here and I will always cherish that!
How do you handle Mothers Day? By crying. Aside from that, I am a mother and my daughter makes it special for me that day.
How have you healed? By the grace of God, Time really does heal all, and definitely having family and friends that support you.
How old were you when your mother passed/left? I was told six months by some and a year by others.
Can you briefly share the circumstances surrounding your situation? My father was a bipolar alcoholic ex- convict and she was a 19-year-old with a number of issues–some documented, some not –who, from what I have been told, married him after running away. I don’t know much about either of them, but I do know that both had problems and personalities I cannot understand or relate to and when she left him to move on with her life, she left me with him. At 11, she found me and the courts gave her temporary custody because I had welts all over my body. A month later, she abandoned me again. I’d rather have been left where my hair was pulled and my fingers bitten, to be honest.
Did her leaving/passing have an immediate impact? I grew up in a volatile and chaotic environment that was about survival. My first memory is of screaming and running through a dark neighborhood on a rainy night, banging on neighbors doors because I was scared and didn’t know where to go. I never knew what it was like to have a mother’s love so this was a pain that simmered and seemed to grow saltier as time passed. I felt lonely and unworthy and like garbage that could be left behind, to be honest. There’s a very specific pain that comes with being rejected by the person who created you. I took my sense of worthlessness out on myself for a long time. I was never smart enough, successful enough, pretty enough. I accepted terrible behavior from people just to have someone. It took a lot of work to accept that my being abandoned didn’t mean I was not worth keeping and it really was her loss. I say that not in a nasty way. It really was. I would have been a great daughter.
Who raised you? My amazing grandfather, and my great aunts, Sybil and Vyvian in the ways they could when he passed. Other than that, I have been blessed with incredible, smart, wise, loving and supportive friends and mentors who have helped me to learn to navigate better.
How was her absence handled in your household? My father always had different wives and women around, but I was mostly treated as though I was in the way. There was one woman who I felt that motherly love from but my father beat her so bad one night that she snuck away and I never saw her again. My father, himself, never mentioned her other than to tell me what a bad person she was and she left me so I could be placed for adoption at any time. He would tell me he was not my father or that I should have been a boy which would let me know he didn’t care about me, either. My grandpa and aunts simply told me that I was better off. That said, I ached for her. I would sneak into my father’s closet to look at my baby book which had her photo. I would run to the mirror and try and pose like her to look like her. When he would beat me and tell me he would send me to her, I would say “no, no” but run in my room and pray she would come and get me.
What did growing up without a mother feel like as a child/teen? Not having parents was hard, and losing my grandfather was the greatest pain of my life, but I literally ached to know what it felt like to have a mother’s love. That longing was sharp and ever-present.
How do you feel her absence has influenced you as an adult? I have a drive and ambition to prove that I belong on this earth, too, and work very hard to make my mark in a healthy way and leave a legacy of love. That said, I have fears and insecurities that perhaps only those who have experienced can understand (hence, my decision to post this in the hopes it might help someone feel less isolated).
In what ways has her absence influenced your ideas about motherhood? I cannot wait to be a mother to give my child all of the love I have to give and the childhood I never had. I know I will be a loving, kind, fair, active mother to my child, biological or adopted, and I will love them with every ounce of my being. I simply cannot wait to have a family of my own.
What do you feel is misunderstood about motherless children? That the same rules apply emotionally. They don’t.
How do you feel about your mother today? Apathy most of the time. Rage, on occasion, when I think of certain things that were said and done to me. But I only knew her briefly in my life, so in reality, my “feelings” are about an idea and my reality as compared to it.
How do you handle Mothers Day? I used to sob and mope, but that was before acceptance. Now I honor the amazing women I have in my life who are mothers, the amazing women who have shown me love, and I remind those with mothers to cherish them.
How have you healed? I don’t know that I have healed, I am still very angry, but I have an incredible, loving, supportive and wonderful family of friends who have definitely helped me grow. I also have photos of my Grandmother (who died when I was 10 months old) and my grandfather everywhere to rem ind me that “mother” “father” and “parent” are titles that are earned, not given.
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In the beginning, the romance Gods created courtship, an amazingly intoxicating period where you and your new mate walked hand-in-hand through a thick, yummy love fog. You listened to what the other had to say, couldn’t keep your hands off of one another. You even found the way he avoided balancing his online accounts a “charming” aspect of his carefree personality.
Fast-forward a few years and you’re battling the Discovery Channel for his attention, barely speaking over dinner and somehow that whole checking thing has become your biggest pet-peeve.
If your great love affair has passed the Bogie and Bacall stage and headed straight into to Everybody Loves Raymond territory, it’s time for a detour. We’ve got the 411 on how to pass go, collect your romance and get right back into the good stuff, one gesture at a time.
Between jobs, kids and social obligations, it’s hard to find time for one another, so you keep a standing date on a specific night when you can catch up and relax a bit. While it sounds romantic in theory, the idea of penciling in dinner every other Friday is a routine, and routines become predictable (read: stale) over time.
Closer: Wooing One Another
Rev-up your romance by switching up who takes the lead and surprising one another with fun nights out. Ask one another out the good, old fashioned way and take care of all of the planning. Schedule a sitter, make the reservations or simply buy a bottle of wine, light a few candles and surprise them with dinner at home.
Your mate will love the element of surprise and also appreciate the pampered feeling of just showing up and enjoying the night you’ve worked so hard to give them. Showing your mate they are worth impressing will make them feel appreciated and loved, and who are we kidding… You’ll feel great knowing you rocked their night!
The day-to-day demands of living and running a household, office or just your own personal errands can be downright exhausting for most of us — which is why when your significant other reaches over to your side of the bed, it can be easier to give them a nudge instead of a little nookie.
Closer: Having Great Sex (Often!)
I know it’s a common practice, but let’s be real here: scheduled sex is the equivalent of “take off your pants” as foreplay. It’s hardly sexy, and there’s zero mystery. So instead of typing a missionary meeting into your Outlook, stir a little saucy into your private life by doing something a few times a week to connect on a carnal level.
Read erotic stories together before bed, send one another “for your eyes only” text messages, give your spouse a peek of what’s underneath by undressing slowly after a hard day at the office. If you are really feeling frisky, surprise them by joining them in the shower. Being sexually playful will not only bring you closer, it will make you feel flirtatious, sexy and fun. It’s a win/win situation.
You chat online when you can, make a call at lunch and ask how your partners’ day was when they get home. You don’t need to “talk” because you already know what is going on, so you both do your own thing, in silence.
Closer: Have a Hearty Chat
A lot of times couples forget they are made up of two individuals who are sharing their lives together, yet have their own thoughts, desires, fears, goals and dreams. This is why it’s important to check in every now and then. Once a week, sit down and talk to your partner face-to-face about things unrelated to the menial tasks and errands that need running.
Ask them how they feel about where their life is headed, their thoughts on a current event or how they are handling their new project at work. Your partner will appreciate the attention and most likely reciprocate. There is a good chance you’ll walk away learning something new about one another — which is part of the excitement of the courtship period.
Side note: Be sure to listen closely, maintain eye contact and keep the judgments and criticisms to a minimum. You don’t want them to fear opening up to you in the future.
You worked late and your guy is drained from a long day under the dictation of an angry man. The last thing either of you want to do is slave over a hot stove, so you call your favorite Chinese takeout place (again!)
Closer: Get Cooking
Go to your local bookstore and pick up a cookbook with exotic recipes you both are open to trying. Once a week, grab a bottle of wine, light a few candles, turn up the music and spend the evening preparing and cooking a meal together. You’ll feel like a team. Plus, food is a great aphrodisiac. Don’t believe me? Try feeding one another crème brulee and watch what happens.
We meet someone who changes our view of ourselves and our life in the most significant and beautiful ways.
We open our heart, our mind and our arms with great abandon.
Projections are thrown at us while they hide behind the wrong idea.
One has to step aside, out of their way, and let them figure it out.
Important information reveals itself in silence.
We let go of the desire for the dinners and drinks and pretty things and remember that two eyes looking at us, two arms around us, and a safe, kind and appreciative place to share the gift us is the fairy tale ending.
We have to look for the compassion in the passion, the love in logic, the strength in a broken dream.
We have to push against what we want to honor who we are, what we need, what we give, and what we deserve.
We are forced to whisper our love in a space that feels million miles away and hope the breeze carries it far enough for them to hear it.
We just have to hold onto the incredible experiences we were able to share with them and the important lessons presented when it was over.
By Robert Soares of Diary of a Gay Spinster
I just think it’s so stupid when people say you don’t have a choice in who you fall in love with, like it’s something that’s forced upon you.
When in reality, before you fall in love, you voluntarily let go a piece of yourself in the search for something to make whole. You pry at the circumstances, circle around the possibilities, and determine the consequences. You get up an hour earlier to make sure you have enough time to prepare your face and outfit, you wear three times as much deodorant and brush your teeth so hard that your gums start bleeding. You talk to this person about your deepest secrets, you let this person pay for your dinner, and you text at two in the morning until you eventually fall asleep.
And at that moment, at that glorifying discovery that you have officially fallen head first in love with this person, you realize there was nothing else in the whole wide world that you had been searching for. Just him. Just her.
In other words, you wanted it bitch, no matter how many times you’ve come home crying about the last one.
Robert Soares is a self-proclaimed spinster whose blog is rightfully titled, “Diary of a Gay Spinster.” He is a published writer for Echo Magazine, SheKnows.com, and The Arizona Republic and is a Public Relations Intern for CNN in New York. Hobbies include, crying while eating ice cream, and crying while watching doggy adoption commercials. Robert Soares is a gay on fire, with a round-trip ticket on the Hot Mess Express.
(Photo Courtesy IMDB)
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When it comes to style–both fashion and life–you have to hand it to Beatty. A” honest playboy”, the leading man made no secret of his love for sewing oats, but then seemed to slip into a marriage he took seriously when he settled down with wife, Annette Bening, twenty-one years ago.
The Suit: We’re not one to go on and on about the looks of men, but Beatty wasn’t a monster in his heyday and would have likely garnered female attention in a track suit. For the rest of us, his mix and matching of casual and chic will serve as a guide to help us navigate through everything from bachelor parties to the big day.
The Shirt: When not in a tux, T-shirt or turtleneck, Beatty favored open-collered button downs under blazers, leather jackets and sports coats, and often paired with jeans and aviator shades. His preppy, schoolboy look (as seen above) still works as classic a go-to for casual events.
The Shoes: More rugged boots with jeans, leather loafers for preppy.
The Hair: Even when clean-cut, Beatty tended to keep his locks long. His is a cut you go to a proper stylist to achieve, a “longer on the top” instruction to your local barber isn’t going to cut it.
Bonus Points: The actor is both an activist and intellectual which works to balance out his pretty boy look. Read up on current events, go light on the cologne, and if you’ve got a Harley, ride it like the rugged badass you are.
(Photos Courtesy of IMDB)
Make a Commitment To The Life You Want: Make a list of the things you value in a relationship and think about what is important to you in friendships, your home and other areas of your life. Then make a commitment to do what it is that you need to do in order to achieve this and be more loyal to that that anything or anyone else. Perhaps this is getting through the day without allowing your always-antagonizing boss to pull you into an argument or ending relationships that have gone toxic, regardless of how long you have been in them (see below). It could be something as simple as drinking more water in an effort to feel healthier. Each time you find yourself in a situation where you feel you are going against these values, let whatever is holding you back go.
Cut out Toxic People: Good people do bad things but if you have someone in your life that consistently steps on your boundaries and makes you feel bad about yourself,-even if they don’t mean to- they are not allowing you the chance to be your best self and live your best life. It’s not always easy to say goodbye or set boundaries with people who have walked all over you (and they don’t react well when you do) but having people like this in your life is like sipping a bit of poison every day. No wonder you never feel healthy and strong.
Expand Your Life: You may know where you want to wind up and what you would like to experience along the way, but how to get from here to there may still be foggy. Try not to judge yourself for not knowing and do what you need to do in order to educate yourself. . Sit down and think about 5-10 things you want to achieve and then brainstorm 5-10 ways you can work on them daily. For example: If you want to broaden your social network you can start volunteering, ask friends to introduce you to new people, hold a cocktail party at your place and invite people over or join a class of some kind and invite other students to coffee.
Don’t Personalize The Shortcomings of Others: Sitting down and trying to figure out why others do what they do takes up an awful lot of time. Still, while we may not understand why someone is freaking out on us, making nasty comments, or otherwise being hurtful, personalizing these statements is a grave mistake that can lead to anxiety, stress and even illness. Understand that we are all different people with different communication styles, boundaries and value systems and that we are all solely responsible for what we choose and chose not to do and say. Yes, people will hurt you, but to re-victimize yourself by taking the blame for bad behavior is not the way to go about it. Let them know you are there for them if they want to discuss what’s really going on, but that you won’t be anyone’s verbal punching bag.
Stay Grounded: We can’t always walk away from situations and people immediately, but we can make a choice as to how much we allow them to affect us. Sure, with so many people yelling, judging, stirring and projecting, it can be tempting to throw your dignity to the side and join the chaos, but he or she who stays calm, centered and focused is the one who will make it out of the storm faster than the others.
Keep Hope in Its Place: There is a beauty in looking forward to a brighter day and seeing the positive in people, but hope can become a prison when you are sacrificing everyday happiness in the hopes of a future that never presents itself. Give situations and individuals enough time to change for the better, but know when to walk away.
Accept That You’re Not a Superhero: It is not your job to make anyone else happy, just as it is not anyone else’s job to make you happy. To have a healthy and happy relationship with anyone, we must be respectful of them and ourselves, hold everyone accountable for their own behavior, show love and support, give cheers and offer loving constructive criticism when necessary.
Break Down Fear, Piece -by- Piece: Instead of living in a place of worry and stress about what might happen, make the best decisions for your life right now. Try to make short-term plans towards long-term goals, but take each day as it comes. Sure, leaving a relationship with someone who doesn’t respect or value you might bring up fears of being alone, but think it through: Being alone means you’re no longer going to be devalued and respected and will be free to meet someone who cherishes you.
Accept The Negative and The Positive: Yes, there are things in life that suck. Still, there are blessings there diffuse some of the negativity we experience. Think about the ways in which the most successful press agents handle crisis control for their celebrity clients. Knowing that salacious headlines are fueled by negativity, they encourage their clients to focus on doing something positive or make no comment at all. You can’t always ignore negative situations and people but you can decide how much power you’re going to hand over to them.
Learn to Love Yourself: This is a likely the toughest task on the list. Take it step-by-step and break it down. Take some time to sort through and toss the hurtful, mean and negative messages that were sent by parents, siblings, friends and lovers and accept that, while you are not perfect, they may not have been right. Forgive them, and yourself. Do something each and every day to celebrate the fact that you are growing stronger, lovelier and wiser as each hour passes and cherish your time alone. Get to know yourself as who you are and not who you think you should be. The more you believe in, love, and respect yourself, the easier it becomes to protect yourself and the happier life becomes.
(Photo Courtesy of Oktooka)
Over the years, I have made no secret of my love for Elizabeth Taylor. Feisty, passionate, authentic, intelligent and totally dedicated to living her life on her own terms, she was both respected and loathed by those who knew–and knew of–her. Growing up, I always knew her as Marilyn’s rival, but really discovered the fiery bombshell in my late twenties and fell madly in love with her spirit.
So inspired by her independence, I did a “Livin’ Like Liz” project where I played “what would Liz do?” and followed her example of how I should be living and loving.
This resulted in one of the most delicious months of my life. I am thinking of doing it again.
Care to join me?
Read a few of her quotes below to get inspired.
“So much to do, so little done, such things to be.”
“What did you expect me to do, sleep alone?”
“I don’t pretend to be an ordinary housewife.”
“If I want to drink, I am going to drink. If I want to eat, I will eat, and If I want to make love to my leading man, I’ll do that, too.”
“I’m a survivor – a living example of what people can go through and survive.”
“I’ve always admitted that I’m ruled by my passions.”
“I have been hated with the worst of them. But those who love me have always loved me. That’s what I care most about.”
“I’ve been through it all, baby. I’m mother courage.”
“Mike Todd loved me in a way that taught me to love myself. He also taught me how to hustle.”
“I’ve only slept with men I’ve been married to. How many women can make that claim?”
“If someone’s dumb enough to offer me a million dollars to make a picture, I’m certainly not dumb enough to turn it down.”
“My mother says I didn’t open my eyes for eight days after I was born, but when I did, the first thing I saw was an engagement ring. I was hooked.”
“It’s not the having, it’s the getting.”
“The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.”
“I like a good fight, it shows you still give a damn.”
“You find out who your real friends are when you’re involved in a scandal”.
“It is strange that the years teach us patience; that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting. “
“Success is a great deodorant.”
“When people say, ‘She’s got everything’, I’ve got one answer – I haven’t had tomorrow.”
A lot of you have emailed me stating your interest in a signed copy of Cinderella Was a Liar. Simply drop me a line at CinderellaWasaaLiar@gmail.com with “Book Purchase” in the subject line.
Send $15.00, plus $3.50 shipping to the CinderellaWasaaLiar@gmail.com paypal account and the tracking number will be sent within 48 hours.
I don’t know about you, but I have always found great pleasure in daydreaming. From how I would spend a Power Ball win to what it might feel like to write the novel that would give Dumas a strong literary challenge, I enjoy setting sail in a sea of “what if’s?” Unfortunately, experience has shown me that, without a sense of direction and movement, daydreams slowly rot and become missed opportunities, and the beautiful scent of what could have been becomes the stench of regret. Bottom line: Dreams are as motivating or as frustrating as the effort we place into them.
There are a number of ways to dream, and anyone who has ever watched their desire wilt due to a lack of attention knows that some are more productive than others. Still, I have found that dreamers often fall into one of these four major categories:
I. There are those who spend most of their waking hours in an alternate reality, dreaming away their lives with no real action. This often leads us living in a false reality, one that we compare our true reality to and wind up feeling shortchanged and disappointed.
II. Those who ache to make their dreams come true but allow others and/or their own fear to convince them from working towards them. This can often work to tear away chunks of our self esteem as each step not taken serves as “proof” of our inability to move forward.
III. Those who spend their lives chasing the proverbial carrot, taking risk after risk without much productivity. These gamblers enjoy the occasional stroke of luck, thus tasting small pieces of their desired outcome, but are often unable to sustain their dreams for a significant period of time due to a lack of focus and preparation.
IV. Then there are those who dare to do the work, make the sacrifice, and put in the time, but have no idea where to start.
This post is for them.
One of the greatest blessings of my life is that I have had the benefit of knowing a number of men and women who were cut from different cloths. The chaos of childhood has slowly transformed itself into great lessons in the difference between lazy and productive, moral and amoral, loving and abusive, cruel and kind, and so forth. To experience these characteristics in their most concentrated forms though people who have played passing and significant roles in my life was a great blessing to me, though perhaps it took me a while to get past the pain of the more difficult experiences to actually see that. I have seen people toss their dreams aside to save or please another, those who have pushed others to achieve theirs, those who have smothered all hope and direction, and those who have made their dreams come true by sheer spite or force of will. Here are a few lessons they taught me.
If you don’t do anything, nothing new will happen: Most of us live a life with a set of patterns. Though “anything can change”, most things don’t. Sure, there are random acts–people passing away, lotto wins, job losses–but these things are not happening on a daily basis for majority of us. The truth is that our lives are often a result of doing something different, the same thing, or nothing at all. To change our life, we must altar the parts of our own behavior that will create the ripple effect we need in order to change the way we live I’m and relate to the world.
We actually do not have all of the time in the world: This is not a statement to remind you that you can die tomorrow (though all of us could). Instead, this is a reminder that, regardless of how long our life is, we only have a certain number of days and hours to do what we want to do here on earth and a day becomes a year in a seemingly shorter amount of time as each one passes. There are also universal factors–biological and otherwise– that work for and against all of us at different stages of the game.
Good Planning Is Intelligent, If Often Ineffective: I am someone who likes to break things down in steps and I find it frustrating when someone tells me to take a leap of faith. I don’t want to leap unless I know where I am leaping and where that leap is going to take me. I also like to have a back-up plan in case I slip. This makes me feel safe, but it rarely serves as any real insight into what actually happens. I know and accept that planning things out is my way of outsmarting my own fear. It’s also a great way to procrastinate. If you want something, do your research, get a support system in line (financial, emotional, physical or any or all of the three) and proceed. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. If it does, you’ve just given yourself one hell of a gift: the chance to experience something that was worth the effort.
Know That Your Value, Skills and Abilities Are Not Diminished By Changes: My amazing doctor, Moses Shalit, is one of the most incredible people I have ever met. In a world of three minute doctor visits, he will sit with each patient for as long as they need. He’ll ask questions, calm fears and give common sense advice to real-world problems. One particularly difficult visit, he sat down and started talking to me about my life. The conversation was life-changing (no joke) and full of the kind of loving, intelligent advice everyone secretly wishes their father would provide them. One particularly interesting comment, “You’re job is up here (tapping his head) not in your office. You have a set of skills and abilities that no one can ever take away from you, and you have proven those time and time again, thus building a reputation.” This really stuck with me. What we have inside of us, what we have learned along the way, and what we have built does not fall apart if we lose our job, end a relationship or fall off of our proverbial bike. Keep going. That’s it.
Trusting Your Intuition and Instinct Is Like Using a Personalized Map: It’s not magic, it’s experience. The best part? You can train it like a muscle. Going against your instincts is what gets you stuck in toxic relationships, working in the wrong job and fighting for the wrong cause.
Doing What You Need To Do Is Not Settling: We all want perfect love, gorgeous mansions, plenty of cash and a thriving career that highlights us as an all-star. Life doesn’t work that way, do what you need to do to make an honest living and work towards the life you want.
Know What Your Dreams Really Consist Of: When I was a little girl, I wanted to be Marilyn Monroe. Thank God those prayers were not answered. What I really wanted was to be loved. What I really loved (love) to do was write. When I sit down to hire new staff members, I rarely ask them questions about their five and ten year life plan. I am more interested in finding out what their greatest passion is, what their dreams are and why they have chosen to apply for the job they are interviewing for. This has never failed me or the people I have hired (and not hired). I believe that that where we wind up is shaped by what we do now. The best way to get to where we are meant to go–not the place we think we need or want to go– is to live authentically and find a space where we can be our best selves. It is only then that we experience and share happiness, add real value, and have enough faith in the relationships we build, the skills we acquire, and the character we build to know that wherever we are headed is the right place for us because our curiosity, heart and soul have guided us there.
(Photo Courtesy Skin by Eric Traore)
Time to Balayage! I personally adore my guy (Greg Pike at Brush Salon)
A Perfect J.Lo Glow Made Easy. No Streaks, No Smell. Read my review at Divalicious.
Like me and think smelling like watermelon is for little girls? Try this grown-up budget-friendly lotion.
Feeling healthy and looking even better in less clothing is made much easier with grab-a-friend-and-go classes like those at 305 Fitness (my friend and sometimes Editor, Marissa Gold took me to this crazy-dance class) and The Yoga Room (where I get my often-misalighned OM on).
BDC for I Am Staggered
“WITH WHOM DO YOU ARGUE? WITH A WOMAN, OF COURSE.
NOT WITH A FRIEND, BECAUSE HE ACCEPTED ALL OF YOUR DEFECTS THE MOMENT HE MET YOU.”
Known for his straight-forward and fun approach to life Mastroianni was–pardon the pun–the maestro of La Dolce Vita. The stylish an sophisticated film icon made a life of frivolity look downright respectable. While you might find it harder to spend your days zipping around in spiders in the Amalfi Coast, looking like you do is as easy as following a few style tips.
The Suit: Toss your ideas about the Jersey Shore set. True Italian fashion focuses on cut, texture and timeless design. A well-tailored suit– made of silk or wool–in black, charcoal and chocolate brown works best.
The Shirt: French cuffed shirts paired with elegant cufflinks look classic. Pair white with a black tie and light pink, gray and blue all look great monochromatically. Wear an undershirt if shirts are thin or sweat is a problem.
The Shoes: Polished, laced leather always looks great, or try it with these Metino Bit Loafers from Hugo Boss.
The Hair: Leave the moussed up, gelled messes to the boys at the beach bar. Marcello’s combed, classic cut is timeless and has been successfully sported by everyone from Cary Grant to George Clooney.
Bonus Points: Shave the stubble, throw on some moisturizer, lightly spritz a classic scent and throw on a pair of classic shades. A confident, friendly and respectfully flirtatious demeanor is a non-negotiable.
(Photos Courtesy of IMDB)
BDC For I Am Staggered USA
With its rich history, friendly locals, impeccable design, and stunning natural beauty, it’s no wonder that she wants to head to Italy for your honeymoon.
This post isn’t about any of that.
This post is about the reason you want to go.
You know, the food and drinking portion.
While we’d never assume that any one restaurant is the best in the country (many dishes made in local kitchens make the top restaurants elsewhere hide behind their menu’s in shame) we have identified some that deserve top-ten placement.
My job is so hard.
What happens when a vivacious French chef marries a hard-headed and equally talented Italian? If you are lucky, things heat up–in the kitchen. When owners Rachel and Oscar decided to merge more than their names, we all had a reason to raise a glass. The two created recipes that highlight–and combine–the best parts of their respective cuisines and chose a warm and cosy locale that is as hidden as it is hot. The result is a “welcome to my home” ambiance housing a menu with food so delicious that we dare say we’d ask the two to prepare our last meal (and include the Tempura Di Verdure). This is a wonderful spot for a proposal, an anniversary dinner, a rehearsal dinner or a delicious meal with anyone you want to break warm, buttered bread with.
Owners, Lorenzo Lisi and popular television host, Francesco Panella, have taken over the historial hangout and turned it into the most glamorous restaurant in Rome . On any given night, the place is bustling with great looking locals and well-known globe trotters sipping the best prosecco and wine and nibbling on fresh fish and perfectly cooked pasta. Sit outside under the Italian moon and take in a vibe that inspires you to channel your inner Marcello or Sophia. Note: Panella owns the celebrated Antica Pesa, and partnered with Lisi to open a sister location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Pepe is a major player in the international food scene but you wouldn’t know it by his humble and unassuming demeanor. ”I just loved how my mother cooked and I wanted to share that with the world,” he said as he stood before our table, hand-selecting a menu for us. The five-course meal was a feast for the senses -the lightly-battered prawns and perfectly cooked pasta literally melted in our mouths-and the restaurant itself is the perfect place to take your in-laws the night before the wedding, celebrate your anniversary or send your parents to celebrate theirs.
Beloved by Hemingway, Onassis and numerous celebrities and well-paid locales, Harry’s Bar is a landmark with a vibrant history and the boasting rights that come with inventing the Bellini’s she likes to sip and the carpaccio you quickly devour. The brother location in Rome was featured in Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita”.
Nestled in-between the Amalfi coast and the Sorrento Peninsula, couples flock to the stunning four-star boutique hotel to watch what may very well be the most beautiful sunset view in the world. What they find while there is something different. The only way we can describe it is luxury, Italian-Style. Owner, Antonino di Acampora, takes pride in his globally-celebrated establishment and has been known to personally deliver meals to guests, old and new. If you’re looking to pop the question, this is the place to do it. Planning a destination wedding? This is where to stay.
Photo 1: (CasaCopelle website, Photo 2: Pierluigi website, Photo 3: Flickr, Photo 4: Harry’s Bar website, Photo 5: Relais Blu Website)
by Laura Ashton from I Am Staggered USA
Maybe you’ve heard the old adage “pack smartly and carry a small bag”. Yes, I’m sure that’s how it goes. Packing light means that you can avoid airline fees, look smart, and outrun the occasional puma attack if needed. It also means that you can credibly roll your eyes at her carry-on bags stuffed with nothing but shoes. Just don’t press your luck – heels can be a dangerous weapon. But I’m guessing you already know about that.
Luckily, good packing is so simple that you’ll be able to remember these few rules even as your brain is jammed with ideas about boutonnieres, cake flavors, and reception linens.
Are you really going to go to the gym on vacation? How about going to a fancy event? Really? Unless you’re genuinely training for a marathon or plan to crash a wedding during your honeymoon, forget about it. If you don’t absolutely love working out, you’re not likely to prioritize it over things like laying on the beach, sightseeing, partaking in local food and drink, or well, that thing you’re supposed be doing on your honeymoon. And since the goal of most vacations is to loosen up and be relaxed, you’re not likely to go stuffing yourself into a suit like you’re at the office. The sooner you’re honest with yourself about what you will and won’t be doing on your trip, the sooner you’ll free up space for that bottle of local booze you’re bound to want to bring home.
Yes, the time leading up to the wedding is bound to be full of stressful activities like planning a seating chart that separates relatives likely to make racial slurs from, well, everyone, bridesmaids and groomsmen who’ve hooked up but never spoke again, and pretty much all your friends from all your female relatives. But, packing at the last minute almost always leads to disaster. At least a week before your departure, lay out the things you’re thinking about taking. You’ll inevitably have more than you need. Spend some time looking for overlaps and thinking through your likely itinerary to weed out the stuff you don’t really need. You should be able to get rid of about 1/3 of what you originally laid out.
Band-aids. Aspirin or Ibuprofen. Cortizone cream. Umbrella. So simple, so helpful, and so often forgotten. And think of all the responsible, prepared guy points you’ll get from your bride when you spring to the rescue.
And for her sake, what you absolutely cannot. Turning your underwear inside out and backwards hasn’t been a viable option since you moved out of the dorms, so don’t even consider it. But as long as your plans don’t include mud wrestling or paintball, things like jeans and sweaters are capable of doing double, even triple, duty. Pack enough underwear and undershirts to make sure you don’t end up a smelly mess and then stick to neutral and dark colors for everything else. Keep in mind that in tropical climates, things that get wet may take longer to dry, so take an extra swimsuit if you need to –not having to put on a damp pair of trunks is space well used.
If you use a big bag, you’ll fill it. And if you don’t, she will. Force yourself to edit by taking a bag that’s sure to be carry on friendly. Skip the gym style duffel bag and use a suitcase with some structure, so everything stays in its place and can be easily found upon arrival. Some disagree, but I swear by rolling clothes when I pack to maximize space. And don’t forget that you can always stuff things like socks and other small items inside shoes.
It looks small, and at 20” will never have to suffer in cargo class, but holds a deceptive amount of stuff. It has compartments for everything, including a small internal garment bag and is water and idiot proof enough to withstand whatever you throw at it. I bought one a few years ago and it has been all over the world with me for up to two weeks at a time, including one experience that was definitely the luggage equivalent of off-roading. I’ve recently converted a friend who hunted this bag down, purchased it, and is already considering naming their first born “Mobilizer”.
Last but not least, don’t obsess about it. You’re going away to get a break from all the stress, so if you end up forgetting something, it’s usually not the end of the world. A quick checklist of really important things usually goes something like Passport, money, deodorant. After that, just relax and have fun.
Laura Ashton is a writer currently living in Sydney, where she practices to eat and drink around the world.
Each week, our resident style expert, Chadette Maragh, will be bringing the best of food, travel, fashion and more in her “Focus” column. This week, she’s got her eye on laser cut.
Click the photo to see it in full size.
BDC for eDiets
You’ve been told they are creatures from another planet who can’t commit and “think” with their nether regions, but the truth is, the guy in your life is a lot more like you than you might think -he just doesn’t know how to tell you. If your man won’t open up about what’s on his mind, don’t fret. You are about to find out the top seven things he’s secretly wishing you would start and stop doing right now. No analyzing necessary.
He never buys you flowers, takes you out to dinner or lives up to your grand romantic ideals like your sister’s guy. How does he know? You never stop telling him.
He Wishes You Would: Appreciate the Things He Does Do for You
Ok, so he may not surprise you with roses, but how about those days he walks the dogs so you can sleep in or the fact he suffers through your romantic comedies when he’s dying to see people run away from a chainsaw-wielding maniac? We all show love in different ways, and while we all need to make an effort to support our mates in ways they enjoy, it doesn’t mean we should disregard the efforts they make on their own.
You’ve been eating a little more pie and haven’t seen the gym in months. Your pants are significantly more snug, but you refuse to believe you have gained the 15 pounds the scale claims you have. So you decide to ask your guy the question that makes the ears of all men bleed… “Babe, do I look fat?”
What He Wants: To Get Out of the Line of Fire
Let’s deconstruct this for a second. You know you have gained weight, screwed up at work, or should not have cut those bangs at home, but you don’t want to face it — so you expect your mate to boost your confidence by lying to you or running the risk of being called an inconsiderate jerk? Not fair, lady.
You really like your guy, but his style, haircut and/or Star Wars obsession makes you cringe. He’s a really nice guy, so you keep dating him with the intention of “tweaking him to perfection” once he agrees to go exclusive.
What He Wants: You to Accept Him for Who He Is
While it’s normal for partners to influence one another, telling your guy to let go of ideas, opinions, or the things he enjoys or cares about is controlling and disrespectful. If he tells you he’s a football fanatic while dating, don’t pout when he doesn’t want to do brunch on Sundays two years later.
A pretty saleslady tries to help him at the store and you accuse him of wanting to sleep with her. His best female friend calls him late at night and you wonder if they are having an affair. He’s so scared of your outbursts that he feels he can’t look anywhere but down when you’re out together!
What He Wants: You to Trust Him
While a tiny bit of jealousy (faux pouts over the vacation he took his ex on, perhaps) are no big deal, there is nothing that can ruin a good time faster than a cold plate of distrust. Unless your guy is really doing something to make you feel insecure or disrespected, cut him a little slack.
We gals spend our cocktail hours trying to figure out what he means, what he’s thinking, and how to respond. Here are the answers: Exactly what he said. Work, sports or that funny YouTube video, and honestly.
What He is Dying To Say: Please Stop: Analyzing Everything!
I know you may find this shocking, but men are pretty straightforward creatures. Ever hear two men arguing and one of them saying, “What did you mean by that?” Yeah, didn’t think so.
You lie in bed waiting for him to put the moves on and get ticked when Friday rolls around and he’s made no plans.
He’d Love It If You Stopped: Expecting Him to Always Make the First Move, Plans, etc.
Welcome to 2013, ladies. We can not only manage corporations and run for president, we can also make dinner reservations. While the damsel role can be fun, finding new things to do all of the time can be stressful! You know how you enjoy it when he makes an effort to pull out all of the stops? He likes it when you do, too.
He’s Mr. Wonderful when he’s out with you, but get him around his old friend Jason and he’s lighting his farts and playing beer pong in 30 seconds flat! Why does he hang out with such a loser? He’s such a bad influence…
What He Wants: You to Respect His Relationships
You’d be hard-pressed to find a man or woman on the planet who likes every one of their partner’s friends, but that’s not the point. You are both individuals who feel a connection and bond with the people he has chosen to have in your lives — in addition to the one you share with one another.
When we get upset or face situations we perceive as dangerous, it is not uncommon for our heart rate to increase or to experience shortness of breath, sweaty palms or dizziness. “When my sister yells, I literally go into a state of panic and have had anxiety attacks,” says LeAnne, 32. Taking long, deep breaths from your diaphragm (as opposed to shallow breathing from your chest) is a good way to stay in control of your physical body and keep your mind focused on the issue at hand.
Instead of waiting until the next swipe, prepare yourself by sitting down and brainstorming ways to handle two scenarios in which you recently felt bullied. Write down the scene in as much detail as you can and look for similarities. Do you leave the scene? Do you scream or cry? What are the patterns of the bully? What are the patterns in your own reaction? Now, think about two ways of handling the situation differently. Chloe, 39, was tired of her mother belittling her in public and decided to try a new reaction which, to her surprise, worked like a charm. “My mother was always nitpicking me in front of people and I would usually say something which only led to a bigger fight later. One day, she attacked me in front of a store clerk and I just looked at her with a blank face as did the clerk and then the two of us continued our conversation. My mother was left to stand there on her own. I think her seeing that someone else found her comments inappropriate embarrassed her. When we left the store, she apologized.”
He or she who stays the calmest gets out of the fire faster. While we cannot change another human being, we all can create and enforce boundaries in our own lives. Clearly, confidently and calmly express yourself to the bully and refuse to engage them in a snark-fest or screaming match if they start becoming aggressive, manipulative or critical. Look them in the face and say something like, “I appreciate what you are saying but do not speak to me that way if you would like to continue the conversation,” or even, “Do not yell at me,” in a stern, calm tone. They may not like what you have to say or comply with your demands but saying what you expect clearly and not engaging them unless they abide by your boundaries is often enough to change the dynamic. “My dad has yelled at us since as far back as I can remember, and my mother always got it the worst of it. One day, instead of staying silent with tears in her eyes like she had for years, she looked at him and said, ‘Steve, I have had enough. You speak to me with respect or you cannot speak to me at all.’ We were shocked. He started yelling and talking over her again and she got up and left the room. She did this every time he yelled from that moment on until one day it sunk in that if he wanted to talk to her, he had to talk to her normally. It was a really huge moment for all of us!,” says James, 37.
It’s hard not to take criticism, exclusion or belittling personally, but research shows that adult bullies were usually bullies in childhood. This means the likelihood that their negative behavior started with you is low. Accept that he or she is the one with the problem, not you. While we all might do things that upset those around us, we all deserve to be spoken to and treated with dignity and respect. “I worked with a woman who would make fun of me on a daily basis all the while being nice to my coworkers; it made me feel horrible and really affected my self-esteem. One day, I met a woman at an event who also worked for my boss and told me she had to leave because of her abuse. She told me she always picked one person in the office to use as her verbal punching bag and had even been sued for it once! It felt good to know that it wasn’t really about me. I put in for a transfer the following week and got out of there four months later,” says Shawn, 39..
There are human resource laws there to protect you at work, but what if you’re in a situation where you do not feel safe? If there is even a slight chance the bully might become violent, do not provoke them. Leave the situation immediately and seek the help of a friend, family member, colleague, along with a law enforcement officer. If you’re in a domestic violence situation, get to a safe place and use a pay phone or friend’s cell phone–any phone but your own– to call The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
-BDC for D360
We all know that breaking up sucks, but when it is with someone you were once sure you would spend the rest of your life with, it ranks as one of the most heart-wrenching and stressful things any of us will do. Add the legal woes and fees, (and the fact that things can get downright ugly) and ready, set, stress. Most of us with any amount of common sense and empathy can understand that divorce is difficult, but we rarely talk about what happens once the property is distributed, the lawyers are paid and the custody terms have been decided. Moving on from divorce is not something that just “happens” when the state agrees to it.
Here are a few ways to soar now that you’re flying solo.
Re-Define Yourself: When we are in a relationship (even one that is breaking down) it can be tempting–and even comfortable– to define ourselves by the roles we are played in relationship. A married man with a wife and two kids becomes a divorced father of two. A wife becomes a divorced 33-year-old and so forth. While we are all juggling different roles and titles, our individuality sits wilting in the corner. The reality is that our identity is not based on what we endure, where we work, or even the role we play in the lives of those we love. It’s based on who we really are right now in our lives. Take some time to really sit and think about the skins you have shed, the lessons you have learned and what you really want out of the rest of your life using this moment as your starting point. You may not be where you would like to be just yet but it’s up to you to take that first step in order to help you get there.
Drop the Baggage Curb-Side: Look, relationships are never perfect and when two people have decided to end theirs, you can be sure both parties are walking away carrying their own fair share of hurt, resentments, regrets and anger. The problem with moving on into the rest of your life with this extra “stuff” is that it weighs you down. How in the world can you move forward at a healthy and productive pace if you’re lugging around a big bag of broken dreams, habits that no longer fit you and rotten feelings? Forget about meeting more appropriate matches with all of this mess. No one wants to travel with someone whose suitcase is overflowing with stuff belonging to their ex.
Your Future is up To You
Uncertainty is a part of life but outside of random acts of nature, health, and violence, most of what we experience in our lives is a direct result of what we choose to do and not to do. You might have been victimized, but that role gets old and will not only prevent you from ever experiencing the joy you deserve, but it’s toxic to your relationships–platonic, romantic and professional. How will you create better boundaries for yourself? What direction would you like to take your life now? How will you be bold and courageous this time around? A bright and productive future takes planning and work. Do what you need to do to ensure yourself a better tomorrow by sitting down and loving and respecting yourself today.
One of the most important chapters in my book, Cinderella Was a Liar, is based on the concept of taking time to “date yourself”. Go out there and live your life and court yourself. Treat yourself with the love, care and concern that you do your partners and friends and you’ll not only fall in love with yourself but be more than willing to hold out for someone who truly fits into your life and treats you with the respect and love you deserve.
Take Care Of Yourself
If you were cheated on, lied to,betrayed or are simply dealing with the disappointment of the end of a dream, you’ve likely gone through a hellish time. Not eating, sleeping too much or too little, drinking or using drugs (prescription or illegal) or otherwise sacrificing your health is not an option. If you need help dealing, reach out to your doctor, see a therapist, sign up for a Yoga class and force yourself to go. No one is able to swoop in and save you, but there are people there to help. Reach out and ask for what you need.
Losing One is Not Losing All
Your ex was not the only person on the planet to find you lovely, attractive, intelligent, compassionate and funny. Your amazing and unique qualities belong to you and are not dissolved the moment someone decides not to acknowledge or appreciate them anymore.
Thanks to my stylish friend, Kelly Irwin, for her input on these tips:
- Tight pants with a flowing high quality top (silk or satin).
- Always wear fabulous shoes (mostly high-heeled, chic flats, never sneakers)
-Big, glamorous sunglasses are a must-have.
-Your wardrobe will mainly be neutral, but when you wear color, go all out.
-A blazer always makes it better.
-Go for classic cuts in trendy fabrics.
-Leather, leather, leather!
-Accent dresses with a chic sweater, leather jacket or (faux) fur shawl
-The Black and white combo is always an option.
-Whatever you have, have it tailored.
-Jewelry should be kept simple and elegant.
My friend, Victoria Loustalot, sent this over to me and I started bawling at my desk (she and everyone who has seen it after has confessed the same). I want to thank Dove for this incredible and profound message.
Sure, you will cry.
You’ll wonder how someone you thought cared about you could treat you the way they did. You’ll wonder what they are doing and if they are thinking of you (they are). You’ll ask your friends a million questions they cannot answer accurately in the hopes of finding the one “reason” that will bring you comfort and end the pain that seems to be literally gnawing on your heart.
You might not eat, you probably won’t sleep, and you’re likely going to cry more than a few times. You’ll ache to reach out. Just a text to see if they care enough to say anything. Just a photo, so they don’t forget. Just a reminder that you’re still there, and alive, and hurting.
But you won’t because you know better than to chase someone who isn’t chasing you to forgive them for hurting you.
You’ll feel awful on some days and a little better on others. Once in a while, you’ll feel good, only to slip when you have sipped one too many and watched your coupled friends leave the bar in one cab while you hail another. But then, one day, you will wake up feeling a little stronger. The next you’ll go back to the gym. You’ll respond to the phone calls from friends who have missed you and perhaps you’ll even mean it when you smile. Slowly, you will begin to see the situation without the emotional hook that kept you blind to the red flags and clear indications that they were not right for you. You’ll start to see that the universe is on your side and you’re headed to happiness and they were pulled from your life because they were not able to go the distance with you.
They were keeping you distracted,
Holding you back.
Losing one is not losing all.
Especially if that one was a loser.
Losing a loser actually means you’re winning…
“You’re so negative.”
His words were infused with the same frustration that had made her toss and turn the night before.
Effortless for one, terrifying to the other.
Though both were clear on the right thing to do,
Getting from A to B was going to require more time than either wanted to take.
Heart rushing forward,
Mind holding back.
One big picture,
approached two ways.
She ached to look through his lens,
instead of framing things the way she tended to do,
but she was learning,
and he was patient,
and both understood that time meant nothing,
because their love was timeless.
BDC for For Me Magazine
When was the last time you had amazing sex? Not the basic run-of-the-mill vanilla bean kind, but a good saucy, connective, intimate session that left you with more of a glow than J.Lo on Oscar night? If it’s been a while, you’re not alone. “I love my boyfriend but he’s just not as sexual as I am and when we do hit the sheets, it’s hardly mind-blowing,” says Maria Franco 29, San Francisco, Ca. If bedtime has become more predictable than a pop song, don’t worry. Follow our advice and soon you and your man will be singing a whole new tune.
Chill out, Chances Are You’re Normal
Your best friend dishes about her marathon sex leaving you to wonder if you’re once a week love-session is normal or downright sad.
Libidos are unique and one size does not fit all. This means that what’s normal for your best friend might be abnormal for you and visa versa “Normal is dictated by the frequency that makes you and your partner happy,” says Mary Jo Fay, RN, MSN the award-winning author behind Please Dear, Not Tonight: The Truth about Women & Sex. “Where the trouble lies, is when partners are mismatched in terms of their expectations and interest. If one partner thinks normal is three times a month and the other thinks it’s three times per day, that’s a set-up for problems,” she says.
Lusty Makeover! Check in with your partner to see if they are satisfied with your sex life and find out what their ideal sexual relationship would be like. If you’re both happy, don’t worry about meeting the expectations your friends may have. “Honestly, If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” says Fay. But if your libido is a bit imbalanced it might be a good idea to bring in a third party—a sex therapist. “If you two can’t agree on this seemingly small, but in reality huge issue, then the advice of an understanding expert might help get you on the right track to finding a compromise that works for you both,” she says.
Make Time To Make Out!
Your guy is raring to go but you’ve had a long day at the office and the thought of even rolling over exhausts you. Welcome to the real world.
In the movies couples are coming home and throwing one another on kitchen counters but here in the real world, just the commute from the office through that front door can suck out all of your energy. “The un-sexy fact is that life and all its craziness sometimes gets in the way and changes a routine of what once was, into one of what is no longer! Whether it’s a hectic and stressful career, new baby responsibilities, lack of sleep or the pressure of a grad school thesis, there are many things that can leave even the most sexual of athletes cutting back on their frequency,” she says.
Lusty Makeover! If scheduling sex dates is too clinical simply make time for one another and make it as much a priority as dinner with clients or friends. Have a bi-weekly date night or end the day with a walk together. Remember, romance is a lot more than hitting the sheets. “Great sex starts way before we hit the bedroom. It begins in the morning with when he gives her that extra special soft kiss he reserves only for special moments, or when she caresses his thigh gently as she hugs him goodbye on his way to work. It’s planting those little seeds that get the brain sexually ready hours before the body needs to be called into action,” says Fay.
Stop Slipping Into Something More Comfortable
You know what you like and what your partner likes so you do it again and again. Somewhere along the path to couple-hood, you two fell into a rut.
When you’ve been with someone a long time, it’s easy to flick the switch and start riding on autopilot. Unfortunately this rout can lead to boredom, dissatisfaction and disinterest. Instead of following the same ol’ routine, spice things up a bit by taking the scenic route or taking your lover to a whole new destination.
Lusty Makeover! Grab your partner and start your own little sexual scavenger hunt! “Ask your partner for their sexual ‘wish list’ of things they may have thought about but never carried out,” says Fay. If you are always in the bedroom, meet him in the kitchen to cook up something hot or have sex in new and unusual places. Fay suggests making out in the back seat of the car like when you were teenagers or having a midnight roll in the sand on vacation. If the outdoors isn’t your thing, grab some body chocolate or honey flakes to add a little flavor to the bedroom. The key is keeping things fresh and finding new ways to please one another, which will not only rev up your sex life but bring you closer.
Rev-Up Your Libido
Somewhere in-between your hectic schedule and your partner’s stamina, you’ve started to view sex as a burden.
There is nothing worse than feeling obligated to perform and there is a good chance your partner feels the inevitable resentment that is sure to follow. If you’re feeling pressured it’s time to address the issue-no more excuses. Are you stressed at work or overwhelmed emotionally? Are you satisfied with your partner? ”A woman’s lack of libido may have much to do with whether or not she’s been getting real sexual satisfaction from her mate to begin with. And if she’s not, the odds are high that having sex for her is just one more thing on her ‘to do list’,” says Fay. If this is the case, speak up!
Lusty Makeover! Women often try to ‘do it all’ which leaves us feeling more overworked than oversexed. If stress is seeping from the boardroom into the bedroom consider seeking out a good therapist or asking your support network or even your partner for help. If you have started viewing sex as something you ‘have’ to do remind yourself that it’s something you get to do! “Once you stop making sex nothing but an obligation, a regular quickie, a “same old, same old” pattern of predictable behavior you may find that you both are looking forward to whatever new surprise your partner may have in store for you next!” she says. Besides, there’s nothing like a good roll in the hay to release tension.
Don’t Go Faux
You’ve read the articles, talked to friends and tried every position in the Kama Sutra and you still can’t catch a ride to O-Town.
Faking a tan is one thing but faking ecstasy is not fair; to you or your partner. “Many women have spent years faking orgasms with their partner because they thought they should do the honorable thing and reassure their men that they are sexual conquistadors!” she says. The truth is most women are not having orgasms. In fact, according to Fay a mere 30% of women can achieve an orgasm through intercourse alone. So what does that mean? It’s time to be honest with him and yourself.
Lusty Makeover! Get ready for the best homework assignment ever. With a slew of vibrators, warming lotions and candles, there are many aids to help you find out what tickles your fancy. “If you don’t know how to bring yourself to orgasm, your partner surely isn’t going to! So don’t expect him or her to read your mind!” says Fay. If the thought of visiting a sex shop gives you the heebie geebies, log onto www.babeland.com to shop from the privacy of your own home (we highly suggest the Rabbit). Once you find out what you like, speak up! “Don’t be embarrassed sharing your sexual needs and even physically demonstrating to your partner just how you have sex for one most individuals would rather know so that they can give their partner the best sexual satisfaction possible,” says Fay.
Give Your Sensuality a Makeover
You’re fantasizing about a romantic night and come home to a pile of laundry on the bed and him in his sweats-again.
Life is complicated which is why a perfect home and dressing up like a pin-up everyday is hardly a possibility (or something we even want to do!) However, there are ways to feel sensual and create a romantic atmosphere without having to wear a thong everyday.
Lusty Makeover! Whether it’s giving yourself a new hairdo, treating yourself to an endorphin-releasing workout session or simply slathering on a luxuriously thick cream after you shower, taking time to treat yourself is a great way to remind yourself of your worth and attractiveness. You can also do things to get your partner in the act! Makeover your bed with high thread-count sheets and scented candles or let him know how attractive he looks when he shaves his stubble. Ask him to join you at the gym or tell him to bring home a bottle of champagne and strawberries and surprise him in lingerie for a little romantic carpet picnic. Taking the time to appreciate your couple-hood will create an intimacy that will go far beyond the bedroom.
You’d love to tell him about your desire to be tied up but you’re afraid of how he will react.
Fantasies are not only a great way to ignite the fires of lovemaking but they can increase our sex drive and be used to seduce our partners all of this is contingent on a respect for one another’s privacy and boundaries. ”If both parties are willing and have trust that they can safely share their fantasies with the other, then the fun can be unending,” says Fay.
Lusty Makeover! Just because he’s fantasizing about a threesome does not mean you need to have one if it’s not something you are interested in. “It’s important to remember that fantasies are what we live in our make-believe life and are not necessarily transferable to real life. If your game to act out the scenes, make sure you’re both clear on what the rules of the fantasy are ahead of time,” says Fay. At no time should anyone feel pressured to do anything they are not comfortable with. “Sex should be an equal sharing and caring and never a position of power or control!” she says.
Show Some Respect!
A healthy sex life stems from a healthy relationship; one based on compassion, communication, respect and understanding. “Don’t be a participant if your relationship leaves you feeling unsafe, unhappy, unsatisfied, or unloved. If you do participate in such a situation, realize it’s simply sex and certainly not “making love,” she says.
Lusty Makeover! “Making love is a wonderful gift we have been given as human beings, not many other species on the planet have sex outside of breeding season. Now aren’t you glad you’re human?” she asks. Be sure you feel the connection you desire. “Great sex involves caring for the person you are with. Feeling like an equal to the person you’re with. Never feeling at risk or fearful of anything in the bedroom,” says Fay.
A Few Tips:
The peak depends on the person. “As with anything, the younger we are, the more stamina we usually have but the truth is a guy or gal can be 50 years old and still have the libido of a 20 year old, but if their emotional connection and/or satisfaction with their bed partner is off-kilter, none of that physical prowess will matter a lick!” says Fay
Stronger Kegels, Better Sex- The Kegel muscles line the floor of the pelvis and are the same ones that control your urine stream. This means by stopping and starting your urine flow you can find them and the more you strengthen them. The best thing is that the exercises are so discrete that you can do them anywhere; the bus, at work, wherever. Hold them for 3 seconds and release in sets of 5.
Get Into The Groove-Whether it’s a strip class at Crunch, a belly-dancing DVD or simply dancing to your favorite beats while getting dressed sashaying around not only burns calories and releases feel-good endorphins, but it brings awareness to your body and how it moves which will leave you feeling gorgeous, no matter what it’s size!
-BDC for eDiets
To Keep Your Personal Life Private
In a world of spill-your-secrets chatter, it’s hard not to feel like a prude for not wanting to discuss your sex life or the last time you had a Brazilian. The truth is there is something to be said for keeping a few secrets. It’s called maintaining a little dignity.
To Not Care about Kim Kardashian’s Mood Swings
You don’t know her, and it’s not like she’s stressing over your ability to pay your bills or whether or not you’re talking to your mother.
To Want As Much Sex As He Does (or even more!)
It’s a falsehood that women are sexless creatures with a dozen headaches a week. You are a living, breathing woman so, go on and get busy as often as you like (and without the least bit of shame).
To Have Never Had a One Night Stand
So, you don’t get the appeal of awkward goodbye’s and carrying a big bag of STD and “will he call” worries into a cab while still draped in last night’s clothing? Shocking.
To Not Want Your Friend Crushing on Your Celebrity Boyfriend
Hey, you have been there for Johnny Depp since 21-Jump Street and stood by him through his “Cry Baby” disasters. Where was she? Oh, that’s right–loving Richard Grieco.
To Not Care about a Few Extra Pounds
Sex appeal comes in all shapes and sizes and a woman enjoying her life and feeling good about herself will be far sexier as a size 12 than she would miserable and hungry sitting in size 4 skinny jeans. As for men? Do you know how boring it is to date a man who has to pencil you in between gym sessions?
To Not Like Reality TV
If you are content with the amount of drama you receive at the office and every time you’re sipping eggnog with the family, you’re not alone.
To Get Overly Excited About Small Things
Hell, happiness is hard to find so if getting your new Marie Claire makes you squeal in the mailroom, let it out with great abandon!
To Not Want To Get Married or Have Children
There is nothing sexier than a woman who dances at her own beat, lives her own life and makes her own rules. You know what is best for you and your life so live it as you see fit!
To Think Blowing a Rent Payment on a Bag is Insane
Jennifer Lopez may adore Balenciaga but she also makes about twenty million more per year than we do!
To Secretly Enjoy a Few Cat Calls
As long as they are not gross or offensive, who doesn’t like to know they look damn good?
To Not Have a Vibrator (or want one)
As the song says, “Ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby”
Don’t give your full attention to what it is your are doing or to the person with whom you are speaking. Paying attention will only get things done better (and faster). It will also help build bonds and improve existing relationships, who needs that crap?
Since he or she who stays calmest gets out of a chaotic situation the fastest, freak out and cause a high-drama in everyday situations.
Worry about Judgements. You know that people are going to have opinions about what you say, do, wear and who you date so you’ll have ample opportunity to allow those opinions to dictate your decisions.
Compare yourself to others. We are all a culmination of our own unique experiences which means we are going to walk alongside one another, but not always in the same direction. This makes comparing yourself to others an effective way to make yourself miserable. Chase their dreams while you’re at it (this way you’ll never realize your own).
Hold Tightly Onto Old Habits, Thoughts and Feelings. Just like those old jeans you will never wear again take up space in your closet, holding onto thoughts, ideas and habits that no longer fit the person you are is a great way to waste time and avoid moving forward. Besides, if you keep doing what you have always done, things will never improve. Then you can complain more!
Beat yourself up. Don’t learn the lesson, move on or do better next time.
Spend your time attempting to be perfect.
Allow fear to guide you. Don’t do things you ache to do out of fear you will get hurt or not achieve success. For added misery, sit on the sidelines and complain the whole time. Never train and join the race at all.
Gossip about others. This will make you look small and jealous and effectively deter those with positive and productive attitudes from associating with you.
Over-commit yourself. It’s the quickest way to stir up resentment. You’ll resent having to go to events you don’t want to be at or your companions will resent you’re last-minute flaking. Do it often so that you stop being invited all-together.
Attach your opinion to your ego. Assume that you are always right and argue with anyone who challenges you as though your very identity depends on it.
Live in the past.
Attach a string to all favors, compliments, emails and calls. Those on the receiving end will feel effectively manipulated and used.
Go green. Be jealous of other the happiness and success of others and use it as proof that you will never have what you want. Assume those who are happy are conceited and deserve to be put down or taught some kind of lesson.
Don’t honor your word. Say one thing and do another.
Complain about everything. Point out all of the reasons we have to be miserable. When anyone shares something positive, remind them of your own misery or why what makes them happy really isn’t worth celebrating.
Put yourself down constantly. Your thighs? Huge. Your face? Getting old.
Criticize those around you. They need to hear how they can look and do better all of the time. Besides, it will make you look superior, right?
Hold onto resentment. Forgiveness is for suckers.
Don’t help people. Convince yourself that their success will only result in your own failure.
Don’t say you’re sorry. Ever.
(Photo 1: Kylie Minogue via John Paul Gaultier. Photo 2: Valentino)
Your guy is fantastic until he has to make dinner reservations or freaks out over your monthly dinner with your best guy friend. Everyone’s got a few issues, but if your man’s moods are causing your feet to ache from all of the eggshells you’ve been walking on it’s time for a visit to the Emotional Emergency Room. But don’t worry, the outlook is good because we’ve found the first-aid kit for those times when you fall down lover’s lane and wind up with a scratch on your couplehood.
Ouch! His Libido is Low
You’re feeling frisky and he’s all over the remote. If you’re starting to feel like the 30-year-old Virgin, we understand, but don’t start packing for the convent just yet; chances are he’s just as concerned.
Diagnosis: If your man loves Raymond more than he’s loving you, consider whether his libido is low or just lower than yours. The ideas that men are obsessed with getting it on and women have a low sex drive are old-school myths that need to be tossed-now. If there has been a significant change in sexual compatibility consider whether things have gotten slower over the years? “During the hot and heavy phase of a relationship, almost everything is a turn on. As the relationship progresses, the constant turn-on becomes more selective,” says Jill Brown, LCSW, a couples therapist in Caldwell, NJ. If he’s a morning person, give him a wake-up call he’ll never forget. Is he into surprises? Catch him off guard when he least expects it. If he likes to make the first move, give him the opportunity to take charge. “It’s all about knowing your partner and not being afraid to ask questions,” she says.
Prescription: Don’t be afraid to talk about sex, just do it in a sexy way. Don’t approach him as though there is an ‘issue’ because it will only make him feel as though there is something wrong with him. Brown suggests making statements about your own desires, rather than asking questions about him. “Find affectionate times to tell him what you like. Watch his verbal and non-verbal responses. Ask for clarification if you’re not sure his response signaled agreement or not, then, if he doesn’t volunteer information about himself, transition into a couple of questions about what he would like to do more/less of together,” she says. If his libido is the only part of him that has changed, consider the possibility that he’s under a heavy amount of stress that has nothing to do with you or the relationship. “If he seems preoccupied, burdened, or unhappy, his libido may be just part of a deeper crisis- where the last thing you want is to be another source of stress,” she says.
Ouch! He’s Irresponsible
You make plans to meet for dinner and he shows up 20 minutes late only to tell you that he forgot to make the reservations (again!)
Diagnosis: Whether he’s habitually late, hides information like a child or is lax on his follow-through an irresponsible partner can leave you with the feeling you’re raising a boyfriend.
Prescription: If your guy forgetting work deadlines or losing reports, he may be suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder or another issue that affects his ability to focus and organize but if he is only irresponsible outside of work, then it may be important to set boundaries. Brown suggests sitting your man down and talking about mutual expectations and establishing consequences for his behavior, just avoid talking on the mommy-tone. “It doesn’t have to be a serious, burdensome talk- inject humor and make it clear that your goal is to stop bickering. Then follow through and don’t enable his behavior. If he’s late to the restaurant and doesn’t call, for example, tell him that you will leave the restaurant- then follow through; do it lightheartedly, but do it,” she says. Tell him that being responsible shows you that he cares- and he doesn’t have to spend a dime to prove it.
Ouch! He’s Jealous
You adore him but that doesn’t stop him from interrogating you about where you were or turning into the green-eyed monster over the e-card your best guy friend sent you.
Diagnosis: “Let’s face it, jealousy can be flattering. It shows that your partner finds your appeal so universal that every other guy out there mourns the day you hooked up with him and that can be sweet,” says Brown. This doesn’t mean you should fan the flames of his insecurity to feed yours. “If it bothers him that you let a guy friend give you a back rub, try to be sensitive,” she says. However, if your guy is blowing up every time your best guy friend calls, there’s a bigger issue. “Control, possessiveness and suspicion are not flattering or sweet. If he really has a problem with that kind of jealousy, you should not be flattered, in fact, you should be concerned. These behaviors are danger sings of a guy who may try to control your actions and decisions, and may try to isolate you from friends he believes may lead you astray,” she says. .
Prescription: While you might want to smooth everything over changing your behavior when you have done nothing wrong is allowing someone to control you. “Don’t tolerate comments that make you feel guilty about something you haven’t done,” says Brown. Communicate your feelings and ask him to share his concerns with you and if he is willing to work on his jealousy issues. “If he’s not willing to share his vulnerabilities or work on changing his behavior you have some serious thinking to do,” says Brown.
Ouch! He doesn’t like My Family/Friends
You love your mom and you love your man, but getting him to join you for the
holidays requires more diplomacy than a Middle East conference.
Diagnosis: “Remember he chose to have a relationship with you, not them,” says Brown. This is not to say that he shouldn’t try and get to know your best friend or avoid coming home with you for the holidays, just don’t expect him to love your nosy Aunt Melanie the same way you do.
Prescription: Just because he thinks your favorite cousin is a gossip doesn’t mean you should cancel your weekly brunch date. “Don’t start avoiding the people who’ve stood by you just to please him,” says Brown. Try explaining why you love your neurotic mom and how precious the people in your circle are to you. He does not have to like everyone you do as long as he does not try and isolate you from them. “If he makes no effort to ‘get it’, even with kind-hearted humor– that’s a serious issue,” says Brown who warns not to allow anyone to control where you go or with whom. “People in relationships should be aware that many abusive relationships begin when one partner takes the other partner away from her/his support system,” says Brown.
Ouch! He doesn’t have a Sense of Humor
You’re more Lucy but your man reminds you of Vincent Price. Can he still tickle your fancy?
Diagnosis: Remember that humor is like music, it’s subjective. Don’t worry if you like slapstick and your man enjoys the wit of Woody Allen. “A sense of humor is a very personal thing- does he really have no sense of humor, or is it just that his sense of humor is different from or less passionate than yours? Different people find humor in sarcasm, gossip, bodily functions, politics, slapstick routines, comedies of errors, or plays on words- with varying intensity,” says Brown.
Prescription: If your guy was once rolling in the aisles and now finds little reason to smile, he might be depressed or under a significant amount of stress. If this is the case, you might try talking with him or suggesting he talk to a professional. If he’s never been one to laugh or even “smirk” at himself, he may be self-conscious or dealing with other issues stemming from childhood or another event. The key is communication. He does not have to like everything you like but if his somber mood is affecting your happiness and enjoyment of life, this may be an issue of compatibility, which is no laughing matter.
Ouch! He’s Moody!
When acquaintances ask you about your man, you tell him he¹s like the weather. If you don¹t like his mood, just wait a little while and it will change into something else.
Diagnosis: Everyone gets moody it’s just that some of us are better at handling it than others. “You are both entitled to your moods. However, when you’re in a relationship, it can be important to consider the impact your moods have on your partner,” says Brown. Is your man taking work frustrations out on you? Be understanding but don’t be a doormat. “Don’t live in fear of his moods. If when you back off, he follows you around dragging his misery with him, or tries to blame you with non-specific complaints- examine the dynamic of your relationship. Don’t be a punching bag,” she says.
Prescription: As couples grow closer, it’s normal to start believing we can take things out on our partners without suffering consequences, a misconception that can destroy our relationships. ” We begin to believe we can let it all hang out, this is not so,” she says. This does not mean your guy isn’t entitled to be upset, disinterested, confused or frustrated at times but it does mean he doesn’t have carte blanche to take it out on you. “We have an obligation to communicate with our partner about it- even if it’s only to say they are not the cause,” she says. Brown warns that if you are trying to “fix” his issues or feel you are ‘walking on eggshells it’s time to back off a bit. “You are not giving him the space he needs to get over whatever is bothering him. Don’t continue asking questions, insist that he ‘talk it out’ or feel hurt if he wants to be alone for a while,” she says.
-Brenda Della Casa for For Me Magazine
They will tell you what you want to hear,
And often what you don’t.
At times, their statements are infused with sincerity,
On occasion, motives of an ulterior persuasion.
Still, your life will continue to go on.
How you will move while inside of it comes down to your ability to conceive, perceive and decipher.
What is best for you may not be best for someone else,
What has happened to someone else may not happen to you.
Experiences can serve as consideration,
But never as tarot.
The only way to know what is coming is to go towards it.
The only way to enjoy it is to know that, whatever happens, you will be more than OK.
You will be a deeper and more colorful version of yourself.
Oh, and how you will have lived.
Your own life.