Monday, April 25, 2016

Romance - One Man's Point of View


Thinking about romance and what is considered romantic, in general, I casually asked my husband, at the dinner table, a few questions. His off the cuff responses were honest, funny, and fairly interesting. Here’s a little excerpt of our conversation. Keep in mind, English is my husband’s fourth language.

Me: “What does romance mean to you?”

Husband: “Love, relaxation, and sexiness.”

Me: “Haha. Okay. Tell me what kind of activities you think are romantic?”

Husband: “Walking on the beach. Watching the sunset. Talking about the future.”

Me: “Interesting. What would you consider a romantic date?”

Husband: “I never had a romantic date.”

Me: “What? Really? That’s not true.”

Husband: “Well, my lady always plans the romantic dates, so…”

Me: “Hmmm. What comes to mind when you think of romance or what have you seen in real life or movies that you thought was romantic?”

Husband: “I like when I see old couples still together. That’s really rare and really special. Also someone surprising their partner on a special day when they weren’t expecting it, like a birthday or anniversary.”

Me: “All right. Anything else come to mind when you think of romance?”

Husband: “Romance comes from ladies. Men are rough, tough, disgusting. It’s all about the love. Without love, there is no romance.”

Me: “I like that. That’s a great sentiment.”

Husband: “I mean, you think it’s romantic when I cook you something nice, right?”

Me: “Right.”

Husband: “But you don’t think it’s romantic when I try to give you a lap dance.”

Me: Bwahahahaha!!!

And we ended the conversation on that note. A lot of his statements were the cliché versions of what romance is to most, which makes me think men aren’t that different than women. I liked hearing he enjoys talking about the future. He also thinks romance is the woman’s responsibility, which was surprising. But, he’s romantic. He just doesn’t know it. Especially when he’s not trying.
Not trying = my husband cooking a beautiful dinner, ready when I come home from work.
Trying = my husband giving me a strip tease/lap dance that’s more funny than romantic.
But that’s us.

Ladies, reading this post, I challenge you to ask the man in your life what he considers romantic and comment with their response below.

Men, reading this post, comment and tell me what you think is romantic.

I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life, and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.


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Monday, February 8, 2016

Relationships are Hard


Relationships are hard.

Yes they are. If anyone tells you a long-term relationship is all champagne and roses, they’re lying to you. Couples argue, they fight, and they fantasize about tearing the other’s hair out. Life is tough. Things happen. Do you let those things tear you apart? Or do you pull together and come out stronger on the other side?

There are times when the kids drive you nuts and your opinions differ on how to deal with them. Finances can get tight and suddenly what the other wants to spend money on starts an argument. Stress from work or lack of work is easy to take out on your partner.

Realize that all of the above have nothing to do with how much you love your partner. Life is knocking you about. Don’t hurt the one you love because you're hurting.

Sometimes there are situations in which a compromise cannot be reached. Sometimes love is not enough, and each person must decide what they can and cannot live with. Do all the good things about this person outweigh the bad? Do I love this person enough to live with the things they do that I hate?

Make a list of all the reasons why you love your partner. Remember why you fell in love with them. Pay attention to the things they do on a daily basis that warm your heart. Be romantic. Make an effort to show them how special they are. Appreciate the good times.

Relationships are hard. But in the end, isn’t a loving relationship worth the work?

I’m not talking about abusive situations. In that case, get out now. The sooner, the better.

I’m talking about the ups and downs of real life that can tear couples apart. Fight for the one you love. Fight for your relationship. Show the other how much you value their love.

Don’t give up just because it’s hard. It’s hard for everyone.

Stay strong for you. Stay strong for each other.

I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.


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Monday, November 2, 2015

Lazy Sundays and Quality Time


Most of us enjoy a lazy Sunday, knowing Monday is only a few hours away. The work week calls, with all its daunting responsibilities. Why can't I have one more day? I've been evangelizing the four-day work week for years, but no one seems to be listening. Just one more day...

After much snuggling Sunday morning, my husband and I opted out of household chores. Instead, we took a stroll in our little downtown area, just the two of us. We’d stayed in bed well past brunch and lunch and were just in time for a late lunch.

Clouds hinting at rain overhead, our little hometown remained warm, making it perfect weather for a walk. Holding hands, we chatted about nothing and everything. We left the kids at home (both old enough to stay home alone for an hour or so,) and focused on each other.

Family time is important. In this day and age when everyone is constantly working, parents and children need as much quality time together as possible. But adults also need quality time away from the kids. Just as children need to play together, so do the adults. There's something about connecting one-on-one, away from the kids, that’s necessary for every relationship. Parenting may be our most important role, but we’re not just parents.

We’re also friends, lovers, and companions in need of attention. We talk daily about homework, dinner, household chores, finances, and all the other things that take up the majority of our time. But what about our dreams? What about goals? Feelings? Failings? I consider my husband my best friend, and there are times when I just need to talk to my friend. To laugh, cry, and reminisce.

Don’t make bedtime the only quality alone time you have with your partner. Make time to spend with each other, away from friends, relatives, and even the kids. Talk, go for a swim, enjoy a picnic in the park, or go for a drive and gaze at the stars on a clear night. Human beings need to connect and not just on digital devices. Remember why you fell in love with your partner. Give them your undivided attention. You both deserve it.
When was the last time you and your partner connected (I mean outside the bedroom, geez) without kids, friends, or relatives present?
 

I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.
Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1
 

Monday, October 26, 2015

R&R - Rest and Romance


If I’m not working, I’m writing. If I’m not writing, I’m networking. Family time comes down to homework and dinner time. There’s also cleaning, cooking, laundry… There never seems to be enough time in the day or week to get all the things done I want to. I don’t see my family enough. I don’t see my friends nearly enough. My husband and I are often like ships passing in the night with our different work schedules. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I’m sleep deprived.


This past weekend I was feeling a bit under the weather. Saturday, I should have been writing, but I spent the day on the sofa watching television instead, with no energy for anything. Sunday, I slept in and then went to brunch with the family. I had a ton of things on my to-do list; color hair, laundry, two blog posts, fine tune the outline for my current WIP, a few scenes I should’ve been working on… Instead, I asked my husband to take a nap.

And so we did. We snuggled for a bit, talked, and flirted with doing something more. But relaxing in each other’s arms was so much more enticing than anything else. The phones were put away and the television was turned off. Birds chirping and kids playing outside in the distance floated on the cool breeze whispering through our bedroom window. And eventually, we snoozed.

It was heaven. Romantic. It’s something we should do more often.  Note to self: Must make more time for naps.

Take time to snuggle. Make time to caress and exchange sweet words with your partner. It doesn’t always have to lead to sex. Give your bodies the rest they need as you connect with your partner on a more intimate level.

 

I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.
Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Healing Heartbreak - Take Two


There’s more to healing a broken heart than, “get over it.” I admit, my previous post, Healing Heartbreak, was slightly rushed. I can only say that I was sucked into a Harry Potter marathon weekend, on top of pumpkin picking, and an award ceremony for my daughter. It was a bit brief. Let’s dive in a little more, shall we…

One thing I want to make perfectly clear: Loving yourself is number one. Loved ones should lift you up, not bring you down. That means stepping away from a relationship that is not good for you.

How do I define an unhealthy relationship?

·         Do you compromise your morals?

·         Are you constantly trying to change yourself into what you believe is your partner’s ideal?

·         Does it seem as if you are constantly asking for more from this person than they are unwilling to give?

·         Have you lost sight of your own goals and dreams?

·         Do you only know who you are when with your partner?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of all-consuming love and the kind of love that makes your world complete. I’m a romance novelist, for crying out loud. What I’m not okay with is putting someone else’s feelings so far ahead of your own that you lose yourself.

Whatever the reason for the breakup, in my opinion, the best way to get over someone is to get back to yourself. Let’s reverse the damage.

·         Figure out what your boundaries are. What’s your moral high-ground and what are your limits.

·         Discover your beauty. It’s easy to start spouting off what we perceive as our flaws. Instead, make a list of things you love about yourself. Fall in love with you again. It’s okay to be a bit of a narcissist. You should absolutely love yourself for who you are.

·         Understand the difference between giving and receiving love. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be on the receiving end. You’re not being greedy. You’re being honest.

·         Remember the things outside a relationship that make you happy. Make a now-list, not a bucket list. Start checking things off this list now. Take that class you’ve been thinking about. Learn a new language. Travel. Go to the museum. Do what brings you joy. Remember who you are.

·         Be confident in who you are as a person. What makes you tick? What do you like? What annoys you?

I’ve said it before; confidence is sexy. Relationships come with their own set of compromises: A compromise on who makes dinner or where we go for the holidays this year. These are normal. Do not compromise your very being. You want someone who loves the real you.
So, figure you out. Find yourself. Love yourself. Be yourself. You will get over it and find you have a lot more to offer than you thought.

What is the best advice you can give for getting over heartbreak?


I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.


Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1



Monday, October 19, 2015

Healing Heartbreak

For those of us who have loved and lost, we know how crippling heartbreak is. Your chest concaves, sucked in on itself by the emotional pressure.

It consumes us. It’s more painful than any injury we can imagine. We feel as if our soul has somehow split into a billion pieces, never to be whole again.


But then, time passes, and we hurt a little less. We stand up. Walk. Run. And soon, we’re alive again. Ready for another chance at love.

The time it takes to recover is different for everyone, but most of us can look back with a sense of relief and understand exactly why it didn’t work out.


Sometimes, it’s timing. Others, it’s the relationship itself. One may not be ready for a relationship. The other may be too afraid to open up. Personalities, circumstance, past experiences… There are so many reasons a relationship can fail.

Whatever the reason, know that your heart will heal.

Fill your lungs with oxygen. Open your eyes to the sky above you.

Life goes on. We go on.

“Love is a risk. It’s putting your heart out there, giving it to someone completely. You risk a broken heart for a chance at the greatest happiness.” Excerpt from Choosing to Dream.


I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.
Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1


Monday, October 12, 2015

Let Love In


Currently playing on iPod: Let My Love Open the Door by Pete Townshend

Like it or not, our life experience shapes the way we view the world and relationships. If you’ve ever had your heart broken, you’re less likely to be open to love. I believe, when it comes to relationships, everything happens for a reason. Remember your first heartbreak? Do you look back now still heartbroken or relieved?


The first time you touch a hot pan you learn to use a pot holder. It doesn’t mean that you never make the same mistake and get burned again, but if the burn is bad enough, you’re more likely to protect yourself from future injury. Does that mean you stop using the stove and never cook again?

Absolutely not.

But what happens when you let your fears of repeating the past prevent you from having a future?


You stop living.


A partner in your past cheated on you, but your current partner may be the definition of loyalty. Don’t project the mistakes of one onto another.

You grew up with divorced parents, but you can still have a successful marriage. “Happily Ever Afters” do exist. We love. We fight. We make up. Real love is worth fighting for.

You may have had a run of bad luck in the relationship department. The next one could be “The One.”

When you’re in a loving relationship, don’t let the worry that something will derail your happiness prevent you from being happy.


Self-sabotage happens. It’s a sad reality that many of us lose out on love because of fear. Sometimes, we put up walls to protect ourselves from further heartbreak. Be careful you don’t build those walls so high you miss the love of your life serenading you at the gate.

A good relationship is a gift. Don’t throw it away because you’re afraid of getting a paper cut. Open it. Cherish it.


You are entitled to love and be loved.


If you’ve survived an abusive relationship, there are certain red flags that you look for in possible partners. These red flags are important in preventing future injury, physical and emotional, and you shouldn’t ignore them.

Learn from the past. Don’t let it destroy your future.

Let love in.

 

I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and have a husband and two children. Music is an addiction. I can often be found in the car, singing along at the top of my lungs to whatever is playing. I work full time, and I split my spare time between family, reading, blogging, and writing. I’m a habitual quoter. Lines from films and TV shows constantly pop into my head—my kids are the only ones that really get it. I’m an only child, and so of course I married a man who is one of ten children. Other than English, I speak Spanish, Moroccan, and a little French. I love to travel, but don’t do enough of it. Reading has been a passion for most of my life and I now love writing. I’m klutz, and in my own mind, I’m hilarious.
Signup to join My Dream Team: http://eepurl.com/bjAzz1