Wives – The Modern Day Super Heroes
Sep17

Wives – The Modern Day Super Heroes

Staring at a sink full of dishes and the bomb site that is my kitchen, I do what I always do; I roll my shirt sleeves up and start the cleaning process. Alas, this is my cliché married life. My husband is a good cook, but every time he cooks, the kitchen is a scene from a horror movie! He has tried washing up in the past, but I think he intentionally does it badly so that I don’t ask him to do it regularly! I put up with his feet up on the coffee table when he is watching TV; dirty clothes on the bathroom or bedroom floor; used mugs, plates, cutlery either haphazardly left around the tables, desks, and/or kitchen (but not sink!); even his annoying habit of emptying his pockets of keys, phone, lint, receipts, coins (why do men always just spend notes and leave the coins? What do they expect we’ll do with the jars and jars of change?) on the bedside table every evening instead of the designated “bowl” I have set aside for all his crap! Despite all of the annoying little things (that automatically become big things during the hormonal week!), he is the man who I vowed to love for better or for worse and that I am blessed to have him in my life. The jobs of today’s wives are not in any wedding rule books. Wives are now creatures that work hard, play hard and love hard!  We manage the home, the finances, the kids, the extended family, the friends, the extended friends AND the whinging husband! It’s a never-ending job,...

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Are You Ever Too Old to Have a Teddy Bear?
Sep07

Are You Ever Too Old to Have a Teddy Bear?

      I went through an era in my life that I loved and thought every stuffed toy was the biz! Except for Chucky! He was the bane of some of my most frightening childhood nightmares! A toy that could talk, wields a knife and has scary eyes – I could not look at any toy for months in fear that they would come to life! Strangely, not unlike the new star of the Teddy Bear world, “TED”, though instead of a knife, this “cute” looking teddy bear has a foul mouth and spouts sexual innuendoes at everything he sees. For some reason I was never a fan of the plastic dolls (Barbies & Cindys). Even at a young age I thought those types of toys were a little too girly for me, but a lot of my girlfriends would go out of their way to play with their Barbies and Kens and make happy families for them.   My interest started at Cabbage Patch Dolls. When they first came out on to the market they were cute (real definition – UGLY but INTERESTING). It was like looking at a really ugly baby – I can almost hear the shocked gasp of a million Mom’s saying “There is no such thing as an ugly baby”!  These little darlings had huge round heads, round stunned eyes, snubby noses and cheeks so rounded it looked like a bag of Marshmallows was stuffed in there.    My next phase with stuffed toys came later in life. I started to make up for it by winning stuffed toys from fairs and those arcade point-and-grab machines. I...

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A wine a day keeps the whining away
Aug21

A wine a day keeps the whining away

I had a bad (understatement of the year!) day; everything that could go wrong went wrong! Let me set the scene for you: When you set your alarm for work to wake you up at 5:00am, you wake up at 6am and start screaming at your phone, then you realise that the alarm was set for 5:00PM instead of AM! You run for the morning commute and your heel breaks off, you arrive just in time to the office building and because you’re waiting for the lift – you’re ten minutes late, you’re making your morning cup of coffee and your mug slips and crashes on the floor! Seriously – the day carried on in that way! We’ve all been there! My experience says that after a day like that – your evening can only get better! Do you plan an evening in with your loved one and just cuddle up and watch TV? Arrange to meet friends and have an evening of dinner and conversation (albeit you will be reiterating most of your terrible day verbatim to dampen their evenings!) or spend the evening pampering yourself (whereby you’ll mull over the terrible day and wonder how you could have done it differently!).   On evenings like this, I tend to find myself with a glass of wine venting my woes to anyone who will listen (exit loved ones as they have heard it time and time again!). Seriously – pets are fantastic listeners! My cat “Bubbles” is a great conversationalist – she lets me vent and offers her meows as answers of her understanding that I am not...

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The Trials and Tribulations of Dating
Aug17

The Trials and Tribulations of Dating

Dating is always seen as one of the most exciting things in the world. Hollywood movies set the romantic scenes with flowing water fountains, angelic white doves and a star street performer serenading Frank Sinatra or Norah Jones songs faintly in the background.   Let’s just say reality is not quite the same picture! Don’t get me wrong- I’ve been on “that” date … Though my story was not quite as romantic! The water fountain in my story was always a brown, smelly puddle gargling on its own water; the doves (actually pigeons) that decided to share its delightful white wet mess on me or my date; and the street performer was likely an overly enthusiastic elderly gentleman playing the bagpipes (I will be generous to say that this was probably a new hobby as the “noise” was atrocious!). Welcome to reality!   I like dating- I am just not very good at it. Maybe I am just trying too hard. One time, I met this incredibly handsome Swiss guy on a night out, who STILL called me a few days later after I introduced him to my “intoxicated white wine and tequila shots” self. So, on our first “date”, I decided to show him the “I can be a wholesome girl” persona and invited him back to my house for a four-course meal. I consider myself a pretty good cook and to make him feel less homesick I chose to make him a Swiss themed meal. The Swiss like cheese, right? So I went all out and made this lovely composition of...

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Chinese Valentines Day – the Original Lovers Day!
Aug14

Chinese Valentines Day – the Original Lovers Day!

The Chinese invented Gunpowder. The Chinese invented Paper. The Chinese even invented Alcohol (or at least the fermentation part!). And just to shock you further – the Chinese invented VALENTINE’s Day! Well at least a day whereby “Love” and “Romance” is the order of the day. This is actually a serious holiday – a Government Public Holiday is given to celebrate “Love”! First, the history/educational part: Chinese Valentines’ Day is actually known as the Qixi festival  and happens to fall on the 7th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar year (on a regular calendar – it means the day actually falls on a different date every year around August). It’s about a love story between a celestial spirit and a mere mortal; Folks at Disney would have a field day turning the story into their next fairy tale cartoon! Here’s a quick video to give you an incite to Chinese Valentine’s Day! Next up, the tradition part: Young girls making wishes and offerings to deities to grant them the dream of meeting their Prince Charming. Burning paper lanterns and sending off paper boats down rivers with their thoughts and wishes written inside them. Apart from warning of the risk of setting trees, buildings and flammable items on fire – We’ll keep the rest of this section short, as it’s all too doe-eyed and fantasy based. Following on, the modern part: The modern day lass prefers more positive action from interested males, lovers and...

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My Affair with the 8th Deadliest Sin!
Aug10

My Affair with the 8th Deadliest Sin!

  Chocolate should be named as the 8th deadly sin! This decadent piece of food is able to launch all the rest of the 7 deadly sins! I remember times in my life I would have hoarded a box of Godiva truffles for my own consumption and stared with envy when a friend was spooning a chocolate dessert in her mouth! There are many studies and health risk pamphlets that list all the do’s and don’ts for Chocolate, but I’m not writing about that. All I know is that when I’m out with friends and loved ones for a fancy meal – I’d like to finish the experience digging into a Chocolate lava cake that oozes a rich, creamy chocolate fountain when I put a spoon through it. When I’m feeling a little down, time of the month, crappy day at work, or in one of those moods of “no one understands me!”, I want to bite into a huge bar of Dairy Milk Chocolate (even better with the little nuts in it!) and pretty much mutter to myself that my Chocolate bar understands how I feel!    Do not get me wrong – men enjoy Chocolate too! But I noticed a pattern that men EAT chocolate like it’s a food source, similar to needing his meat and two veg on his plate every evening. It is sustenance food, an energy source. When it comes to Chocolate, Men eat to live, Women live to eat!    For women, Chocolate is an indulgence or in modern day language it is better known as “Food Porn”.   I asked a few girlfriends who were around in the...

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Food and Romance
Jul31

Food and Romance

  Food and romance – Watch out for those aphrodisiacs! Nothing is more romantic that a candlelit dinner for two in a gorgeous setting. Unless, that is, you do what I did and avoid mentioning to your date that oysters and champagne produce unfortunate effects on your digestive system. To spare those with delicate sensibilities, let’s just say I put the yak in aphrodisiac that night (and that was our last date!).We have all heard about aphrodisiacs, those foods reputed to help put us in the mood, or enhance romantic moments. Oysters, avocado, garlic, asparagus, honey, almonds, even chocolate are all in this category. If you want to avoid my unfortunate experience with oysters, or any other foods in this category, give some thought to what you plan to eat on this romantic date. Make sure you think about your date too – if you are a devotee of a honey desert with almonds and they have a nut allergy, the only happy ending to dinner will come with the epi pen at the ER. Even if you plan to keep things simple and go for the garlic at an Italian restaurant, remember that breathing fumes that can knock someone out at twenty paces is definitely not sexy. If you both have the garlic laden Marinara that’s perfect…unless, that is, you manage to slurp tomato sauce and pasta all over your nice white shirt or, even worse, splatter your date with Alfredo sauce.The most important thing about a romantic dinner is to be...

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Love and Marriage
Jul29

Love and Marriage

  Love and marriage – oil and water? I didn’t mean to annoy her by leaving my motorcycle carburettor in pieces (soaking in the kitchen sink). I’m sure I will be able to repair the hole my wrench made in the wall when I ducked after she threw it at me for getting oil on the new tea towels (when I wiped my hands after dismantling said carburettor). The oily foot prints on the hall carpet might be a more tricky proposition. I’m sure I will clean it up in time for the book club meeting she is hosting this afternoon. How was I supposed to remember that was happening today? I already apologised for eating the cookies she baked for the occasion. The whole situation brings to mind a quote from humour columnist Dave Barry: “Guys are simple…women are not simple and they always assume that men must be just as complicated as they are, only way more mysterious. The whole point is guys are not thinking much. They are just what they appear to be. Tragically.” The fact is, I’m in the dog house with the Missus….again. I tried to apologise, but I’m guessing the bedroom door slamming in my face is a signal she wants some alone time. Once upon a time I was her knight in shining armour. Okay, a pretty good looking dude on a motorcycle. There was no doubt in my mind the day I asked her to marry me, flowers and ring in hand. She was (and is) the one. I just always seem to put my foot (or carburettor in it)....

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All About the Girl
Jul24

All About the Girl

  I have a Girlfriend…really, I do! A girlfriend. I always wanted one, I just didn’t know how to get one. I asked my friends (who all seemed to have girlfriends), and they told me just to ask someone out. But they didn’t understand that I wanted a girlfriend, not just a girl who was a friend. I wanted to go steady, as my Grandma would say. The problem is that girls travel in packs. Whenever I saw a likely candidate for my affection she would always be with her friends. Even if I received a glance or (be still my beating heart) a smile, I never got the chance to say “hi.” I would day dream about finding ‘her,’ imagining texting her constantly, going on dates, sending her flowers. I’d be a good boyfriend if someone would just give me the chance. But it was hopeless, I was doomed to be alone.Then it happened. I ran into her. Literally bumped into her while running to catch a bus. Her bag went flying and I stopped to help pick up the scattered contents. Somehow we ended up going for coffee and arranged a date. We had so much to talk and laugh about on that date. By the end of the evening we were boyfriend and girlfriend. Just like that. It’s been six months and I still have a girlfriend. No one warned me that she will say she doesn’t need a jacket, then borrow my sweatshirt half way through our date because she is cold. Three times, three different sweatshirts (as yet not returned). No one told me she...

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What is Romance?
Jul10

What is Romance?

What is romance? A common mistake made by men is believing that once they are in a committed relationship, they no longer need to put in the extra effort to maintain the attention of the person they have been pursuing. These same men are often unable to figure out why every one of their relationships ends once the initial sizzle has passed. They know all of the right tricks to be successful in the game of dating, but never quite able to turn lust into true love. Sweet text messages and ‘I miss you’ voice mails are a great start, but when constantly being repeated without adding more, they can easy begin to seem like eating the same kind of sandwich for lunch day after day. A exciting surprise will only produce a warm feeling for so long before it becomes a boring routine. Opening a door is a great habit, but any common stranger can provide the same effect. True romance is breath taking. It’s having to listen to a quite pause because the other person can not find the right words to say. In my opinion, romance is not a thought or a feeling, it is a action. It is holding hands in a vehicle when no one else can witness the occasion, except your one special person. It is capturing a stare between locked eyes for so long that you become blind to all of your surroundings. It can not be described by many words because it isn’t experienced enough. Having your breath taken away does not have to hurt...

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Marriage: Escapes Together
Jul08

Marriage: Escapes Together

Most married couples have activities that they do together and some that they do on their own. While it is good to have hobbies, couples’ counselor Dr. Harley, with Marriage Builders, argues that we should share our enjoyable activities with our partner. This would include escapes away from the day to day life of jobs, kids and other things that can be stressful. It is logical that the more time spent together doing enjoyable activities will increase your enjoyment of each other. When you and your husband were dating, you spent almost all of your recreational time with each other. That’s one of the reasons you fell in love with each other. And you married because you were in love. But after marriage, especially after children arrive, it becomes increasingly difficult for most couples to arrange their recreational time together. You probably followed the common strategy of new parents which is for one parent to stay home with the children while the other escapes from it all. Marriage, and raising children, can force a husband and wife to be together when they are unhappy, because they become partners in situations that are stressful. So after having children, it’s even more important for them to spend their most enjoyable time with each other, than it was when they were dating. They need to compensate for the stressful time they spend with each other raising their children by taking time to escape...

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KISS!
Jul03

KISS!

  I’m a romantic at heart. I love flowers and chocolates, strolling by the river in the moonlight hand in hand with my dream date on a warm Summer evening. Wait. I have never actually had a date like that. Here’s how my inflated dreams of romance and perfect dating go when I try to make them a reality. The more convoluted my plans, the more disastrous the outcome. Juggling flowers and chocolates is never easy, especially when I really want to be holding the hand of that dream date. Sticky hands and crushed blossoms are not the enduring memories I want to store up for tales of our romance. Walks by the river in the moonlight? Forget it. Unless my date likes eau de bug spray, the mosquito infested river is out. Not to mention the time I got carried away with happiness and danced a romantic twirl after a first kiss…right off the crumbling bank of the stream we were walking alongside. Squelching back to the car in ruined shoes was not the lasting impression I wanted to leave. Yet, something odd happened in the midst of disaster. Romance was found in the gentle touch of my date helping me out of the stream, and in the dry boat shoes (three sizes too big) that my date loaned to me that evening. We laughed (what else can you do when you look such a wreck?!). Love was found on subsequent excursions when dating plans were kept simple and focused on getting to know each other rather than the grand...

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Romantic Ideas: Outrageous
Jun26

Romantic Ideas: Outrageous

  Romance. We could all use more of it. While our previous posts on romantic ideas focused on more conventional approaches, this one covers ways to light that fire that are a bit more outrageous. These are sure to make a big impression! Visit a karaoke bar and surprise your lover by getting up and singing “your song” to him/her.   Kidnap her! Blindfold her. Drive her around town until she’s thoroughly lost. Then reveal your destination: Her favorite restaurant, or maybe a romantic inn.   Make a giant greeting card out of a big cardboard box, (such as the type used to pack a refrigerator).   Does your partner love M&M’s? Fill a one-gallon glass jar with them as a gift.   Want to jazz up the presentation of a special meal? Buy a little hunk of dry ice from a local ice house. Put it in a bowl of water and place it on your serving tray. You’ll create wondrous, billowing white clouds!   It’s romantic—but commonplace—to eat dinner by candlelight. So here’s a change of pace: Eat breakfast by candlelight.   Take your lover on a surprise two-week vacation to Paris.   Many couples have “His” and “Hers” matching towels, but here are some other ideas: “His” and “Hers” matching silk pyjamas, motorcycles, T-shirts, overnight bags (have them packed at all times), jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween, rocking chairs, Porsches (millionaires need love, too), heart-shaped tattoos, Christmas tree...

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Marriage: Meeting the Need for Affection
Jun24

Marriage: Meeting the Need for Affection

  The feelings of love that we have for our partner are certainly real for us. However, what happens when we lack the ability to fully express that love? While it may be innate to express some sort of affection when being physically intimate, many people have difficulties expressing affection in day-to-day activities. Affection is learnt from our parents, family and friends while growing up. Unfortunately, some families do not show affection amongst themselves or to their children and this can lead to adults that have never truly learned how to express their love to their partners. The following from Dr. Harley at Marriage Builders, is on how to teach people to show affection in a marriage. In this case men are given as an example, but the same method could of course be used with women. Whenever I counsel a man who is not very affectionate, I give him a list of things to do every day. (I usually make up the list with his wife who tells me what to include.) He must do each of them and check them off the list as he does it. Here is a general example.   Hug and kiss your wife and tell her you love her every morning while you’re still in bed. Rub her back for a few minutes before you get up. Tell her that you love her while you are having breakfast together. Kiss her and tell her you love her before you leave for work. Call her during the day to ask how she is doing and that you love her....

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Romantic Ideas: Classic
Jun19

Romantic Ideas: Classic

  Romance. Most everyone would like more of it. If you are looking for a classic method of ramping up the romance hopefully some of the following tips will strike a cord and you and your partner will be feeling the love. Spread red Rose petals all over the bedroom.   What could be more classic than a fine gold locket with your photo inside? (Maybe a photo of the two of you.)   Bring home one small, unexpected gift each week. Hide them in lunches, luggage, purses or left on front seat of car, dinner plate, their favourite chair.   Write a classic, romantic, passionate, handwritten, heartfelt love letter. Most adults haven’t written a love letter since high school. (Why not? Have we lost our youthful idealism, or have we just gotten lazy?)   When travel;ing, give your partner a bouquet of Roses; one rose for each day that you’ll be away. Attach a note that says something like this: “These three Roses represent the three days I’ll be away from you. They also symbolise the love, joy, and laughter we share together.”   Say “I love you” at least three times a day.   Guys: Surprise her by performing one of her chores for her. (And not something easy like carrying the groceries in from the car, but something that requires some time and effort — like cooking all the meals over a weekend, or cleaning the entire house.)   Ladies: Send him a letter sealed with a kiss. (Use your reddest...

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