Monthly Archives: July 2012

A Secluded Spot, A Blanket, And…

Stretching the budget to include date nights can be a challenge in this economy.  Just something as simple as going to see a movie, when you include sodas and popcorn, can set you back $30.00 or more.  A nice supper out?  Yeah, I know.  Ouch. And we haven’t even gotten into working around hectic schedules.

But sometimes you both need to do whatever it takes to enjoy a romantic evening together.

All couples need to get away for some alone time.  Time to focus on one another, and shut out the rest of the world.  The jobs, bills, responsibilities, and distractions like computers and cell phones.  You especially need time for just the two of you if you have kids, because sometimes it’s hard to see yourselves as something other than parents.

Of course there’s that whole budget thing, isn’t there?  Well don’t worry…there are plenty of free and inexpensive things you can do for date night (or morning, or afternoon).

A walk in the rain can be very romantic – not to mention a whole lot of fun!  As long as it’s just raining and not storming.  Best of all, it’s free.

Don’t be a statistic

You probably thought I was going to bring up divorce, didn’t you?  No.  I’m talking about the many couples who take one another for granted.  Sure they still love one another, but they’re not in love.  They’ve been together long enough that they don’t really see each other anymore.

If you don’t want that to happen to your relationship, here’s something you can try.

Date night doesn’t have to break the bank.

Grab a comfy quilt, pack a picnic basket (or duffel bag) with a couple of pretty plates, two wine glasses, napkins and real silverware.  Arrange for a family member or friend to babysit if you have kids.  Then steal your Romeo or Juliet away for a picnic for two.  In a park, on a beach, maybe even your own backyard. The location doesn’t matter…as long as it’s fairly private.

Your menu can even be budget-friendly.  Wouldn’t it be great to surprise the love of your life with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, carrot sticks, grapes, and graham cracker cookies (recipe below), served on your best china?  You could fill a thermos with Kool-Aid or lemonade, and there you go.  You’ve just arranged a romantic dinner date that costs about $5.00.

No, it’s not a 5-star restaurant…it’s better.  Because you took the time to plan it, prepare the meal and, most importantly, share it with the one you love.  That’s what they will remember.  That’s what makes it romantic.

Okay, this isn’t really a ‘recipe,’ more like a guideline. Dump about a cup of powdered sugar in a bowl (carefully, or you’ll be wearing it). Add a heaping spoonful of creamy peanut butter. Now add milk a tablespoon at a time, stirring until it looks like frosting. If you don’t add the milk a little at a time, you’ll have soup, then you’ll have to add more sugar.

Cover bowl and put in picnic basket, along with a package of graham crackers. Make them together after you eat, or the crackers will get soggy.

If you have leftover frosting…use your imagination.

~~~~~

See you next week for the next tip.  If you’d like to be notified when it’s available, go ahead and enter your email address near the upper right-hand corner of this page.  Thanks for stopping by!

~~~~~

If you think that any of the suggested tips are a good fit for you, and you decide to give them a try, I’d love to know if you got the results you hoped for.  Although I can’t guarantee you’ll get any results, most people respond well to sweetness, consideration and attention.  Just remember, you will need to exercise some patience, and be consistent.  Anything worth having usually requires effort.

If there’s a particular issue you’d like advice about, but don’t want to mention it in the comments, please feel free to email me at:  kristykjames@gmail.com

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Okay…I Can’t Stand It Anymore!

For months all I wanted was more time. So I figured that focusing my blog, and dropping my posts down to once a week would work.

It’s not working!

Yes, it’s giving me more time…but I’m not enjoying that time as much as I thought I would. And frankly, I miss writing about anything that strikes my fancy. I’m so used to posting three times a week that I’ve felt a little lost the past few weeks. It doesn’t feel right.

No, I’m not going to stop writing my Friday series…because I’m enjoying it too much. But at least one extra day a week, I’m going to post about whatever else I want.

So now I’m going to share a video my daughter found tonight. I’ve watched it probably a dozen times now…and it still makes me grin. I just LOVE how the audience goes wild!

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Yeah. It’s Not Friday…But I Don’t Care

I just watched this video, and it gave me chills.

Yes, it’s a little over 7 minutes, but I encourage everyone to watch it. And then think.

It only takes a split second to kill or cripple someone. To leave families grieving the loss of the victim killed because of a serious error in judgment. And there’s never a do-over once a tragedy happens, no matter how sorry you might be, there’s no taking it back.

I don’t care if the music on a radio station sucks. I don’t care if your kid is throwing a tantrum in the backseat. I don’t care if you had ‘one too many’ at the bar. I don’t care what’s happening off in the distance. And if you’re texting while driving…then I hope someone beats the snot out of you.

Nothing…NOTHING…is worth risking your life…or the life of someone else.

Take it from someone who knows. One guy, distracted on the highway, runs a red light and totals my van. Though it doesn’t impact my life in any significant way, I’ll never have the peripheral vision back in the top of my right eye. I’ll never be able to watch a 3D movie again (5 weeks of double vision proved that in a miserable way).

I may never ride my bike again. At least it doesn’t seem likely after nearly four years. With the injury to the nerve in my eye, and the mild TBI, I’m scared to even consider getting on another amusement park ride…which sucks, because I love them. And I still struggle with concentrating for long periods of time…which affects my novel writing (and might explain why I fell in love with blogging).

It took nine months of working my butt off in physical therapy to be able to walk like a normal human being again…and I have to do a series of stretches every day, and regular pool workouts, to maintain that. I accept that I need to do that if I don’t want to limp…and I don’t. But I shouldn’t have to.

All of this because a driver was distracted. He wasn’t paying attention at a crucial moment, and I’ll be paying for his careless decision for the rest of my life.

I realize it could have been worse. Much worse. I saw people while I was in PT. People who needed special crutches to walk. One woman who required those, and a wide belt around her waist (that someone else had to hold to keep her upright). People who lost their ability to walk.

And one guy named Nate. Nate is such a sweetie. I had assumed his accident was recent…but he’d been in a wheelchair for several years by the time I met him. He isn’t paralyzed, but he can’t walk. And he always wanted to talk to me…but I couldn’t understand a word he said, which made me feel bad. The only things I could figure out is when he wanted a hug, or to hold my hand.

I don’t know if he caused his accident, or if someone else did, but a handsome, personable young man has such a poor quality of life now that it just breaks my heart.

Natalie Harford‘s mother-in-law was killed by a driver who was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol (sorry , I can’t remember the specifics, Natalie). One of my uncles was killed when he fell asleep at the wheel of his semi truck nine years ago. Yes, driving while tired is extremely dangerous. A friend’s son was badly injured when a car pulled out in front of him a few months ago. He was on a motorcycle. It’s a miracle he wasn’t killed.

At some point in the last two years, a young man from our town, a man who served two tours in Afghanistan, made it safely home…only to be killed when a drunk driver pulled out in front of his motorcycle. This hero was on his way home from work.

People need to start using the brains they were born with. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it…vehicles make very effective weapons. If you can’t give 100% of your attention to driving, then don’t bother getting behind the wheel. We don’t want you on the road.

 

 

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It’s Not All About You…So Just Shut Up and Listen

How many times has your Romeo or Juliet tried to talk to you about something, but later you can’t quite remember what they said? Might have been important, might not have been…you don’t have a clue. Yet instead of saying, “Honey, I’m sorry. I was distracted. Could you tell me again?” you just shrug your shoulders and go about your business. Clearly you made all the right responses, so they didn’t notice. Right?

Wrong! Just because they didn’t call you on it, doesn’t mean they didn’t notice.

You’ve been there. Heck, we’ve all been there. Really needing to talk to someone, to be reassured…or just to share something we’re excited about…only to be blown off. Usually not blatantly, but you can tell. You can always tell. Whoever you turned to isn’t giving you their full attention.

Really dig deep here. Be honest. How did that make you feel? I’m guessing not very good. Now hold onto that feeling…and think about how many times you’ve blown off the things your mate has tried to tell you. How do you think that makes them feel?

Really listen to the words of this song. Consider it homework, a skill you can apply when your better half needs you to hear him/her. Do you know what Romeo or Juliet’s dreams are? What scares them? What makes them cry? When they try to share those things with you, do you hear them?

Romance gone? Passion non-existent? Try shutting your mouth and opening your ears.

Do you want a roommate? Or do you want a partner, lover and a best friend?

If you chose partner, lover and friend, congratulations. There’s hope for you and your relationship. Start listening…really listening. Try what the experts recommend. Paraphrase what you think you heard your mate say. This not only proves you were paying attention, it allows him/her to clarify what they meant if you misunderstood (or they weren’t clear enough).

After you know you’ve heard what they said, the only other thing you can do is show that you care. Sometimes all it requires is a hug. Or a pat on the back, if what they’ve shared is good (though the hug would still be appropriate here). Other times you might have to admit that you don’t know what to do or say, and ask what they need from you. This last thing might annoy some people, but most will just be touched that you cared enough to hear them, and that you want to do whatever you can to make them feel better.

For the record, listening is very romantic. Achieving intimacy with someone is a whole lot easier when the couple is emotionally close. And you can’t be emotionally close if you don’t know them. You know where I’m going with this, don’t you? You can’t be emotionally close unless you talk…and listen.

If you’d like to be notified when the next post is available, go ahead and enter your email address in the upper right-hand corner.  Thanks for stopping by!

~~~~~

If you think that any of the suggested tips are a good fit for you, and you decide to give them a try, I’d love to know if you got the results you hoped for.  Although I can’t guarantee you’ll get any results, most people respond well to sweetness, consideration and attention.

If there’s a particular issue you’d like advice about, but don’t want to mention it in the comments, please feel free to email me at:  kristykjames@gmail.com

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Sex and Romance…NOT the Same Thing

Okay, so welcome back. This week I  decided that we needed to tackle an important issue…because I know this subject causes a great deal of confusion. And let me tell you, not getting it right can cause major problems in a relationship.

Especially in the bedroom.

Like it or not, if you want a great sex life, you need to make sure you don’t neglect this extremely important area. Something you need to address long before you slip between the sheets.

Most warm-blooded creatures liked to be touched…especially creatures of the human variety. Look at Jasper (above). He’s only a cat, but he’s in heaven right now-because he’s being touched.

But back to the humans. A gentle caress, an affectionate kiss on the forehead, or soft touch of any kind is one way you can be romantic – as opposed to blatant sexual advances and groping. Yes, it’s good that you want your Romeo or Juliet, but you need to remember they’re more than just a body. They have emotional needs that you need to be willing to nurture. If every touch from you is of a sexual nature, it can be big turn off.

Guys…want to earn some major brownie points in the romance department? Slow dancing is the perfect way to take touching to a whole new level. Pop in a CD filled with her favorite love songs. Then light the candles you set around the room earlier, turn the lights off and…you’ll be Juliet’s white knight.

You must meet his or her emotional needs if you expect your physical needs to be met.

Invest in romance like you do in stocks

Both take patience before you start to see a return. At least they do most of the time. A great sex life is the profit that comes from emotional investments. But know this…  If your main goal is to reap the benefits, then you’ll probably be unhappy with the results.

That said, take every opportunity to touch your sweetheart in affectionate, non-sexual ways this week. Tender caresses, hand-holding, hugs. Any physical contact that says you care is fine.

If you’d like to be notified when the next post is available, go ahead and enter your email address in the upper right-hand corner. Thanks for stopping by!

~~~~~

If you think that any of the suggested tips are a good fit for you, and you decide to give them a try, I’d love to know if you got the results you hoped for. Although I can’t guarantee you’ll get any results, most people respond well to sweetness, consideration and attention.

If there’s a particular issue you’d like advice about, but don’t want to mention it in the comments, please feel free to email me at:  kristykjames@gmail.com

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Filed under Romance

How’s Your Love Life?

Does Romeo or Juliet swoon when you walk into a room, or do they even spare you a glance when you get home?  Is their voice all soft and mushy when they hear the sound of yours on the other end of a telephone, or do they exhibit more enthusiasm talking to someone at tech support?  Are fireworks going off when you kiss, or does it feel like you’re locking lips with a cold fish?

If you’re living more like roommates than lovers, is there anything you can do to change it?

As a romance author, I find I’m a bit of an expert on – well – romance, and I say…there’s a good possibility.  If you’re willing to put forth a little effort.

I have a question for you.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a guy (Romeo) or a gal (Juliet).  What I’d like to know is this – how are your romantic gestures being received?  Are you even making romantic gestures? If grades were being issued, do you think would you receive an A+…or a big, fat F?  Maybe somewhere in-between?  Okay.  Yeah, that was like four questions.

This scene from Two Weeks notice is a prime example of what can happen when love isn’t expressed appropriately.  We all know that George is in love with Lucy.  He relies on her to the extreme, expects everything from her…but gives nothing in return.  At this point in the movie, he rates an F.

Are you a romantic fool, or a fizzled out firecracker? 

If you’d like to add some romance to your relationship, I can help!

Each week, I’ll be sharing a low cost (or no cost) way you can show your someone special exactly how much they mean to you.  Don’t worry, I won’t suggest that you stand on a busy street corner singing Total Eclipse of the Heart at the top of your lungs.  Although if that’s something you’re comfortable with, and you think Romeo or Juliet would start swooning (and not from humiliation), go for it.

See you next week for the first tip.  If you’d like to be notified when it’s available, go ahead and enter your email address near the upper right-hand corner of this page.  Thanks for stopping by!

~~~~~

If you think that any of the suggested tips are a good fit for you, and you decide to give them a try, I’d love to know if you got the results you hoped for.  Although I can’t guarantee you’ll get any results, most people respond well to sweetness, consideration and attention.  Just remember, you will need to exercise some patience, and be consistent.  Anything worth having usually requires effort.

If there’s a particular issue you’d like advice about, but don’t want to mention it in the comments, please feel free to email me at:  kristykjames@gmail.com

10 Comments

Filed under Romance, Uncategorized

What in the World?! (week 5)

So…  The moment of truth has arrived in the final installment of What in the World?! Wednesday.  Just be warned – I tend to have a lot of fun owning the objects of this week’s photo.  So, just in case anyone is offended, I’ll apologize in advance.  And I’ll mostly mean it.

I would like to introduce you to….my balls.  Until a few years ago, I didn’t own any balls, but I guess my mom thought I needed some.  I guess she thought my sister, and my brother’s wives needed some, too, so that’s what she bought us for Mother’s Day.  Now all four of us have balls.  Know what?  They jingle.

This is me, playing with my balls.

While I was trying to get a picture, I dropped one on the floor and had to wash it.  Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows I have a thing about germs….and that there’s no way I’d ever play with dirty balls.

This is the cute little box I keep my balls in when I’m not playing with them.

And there you have the answer to this week’s game.  Now I think I’m going to grab my balls and go embarrass my son.  He seriously hates it when I play with them.  Rolls his eyes at me, blushes, and just shakes his head as he walks away.  🙂

This oldie, but goodie, is something else you can have fun with.  Completely innocent, but it’s all in the delivery.  🙂

*****

By the way, I will be redecorating tomorrow, so things will look a little different the next time you visit.  🙂

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