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Girl Talk

  • My Perfect Valentine

    Posted on Thursday, January 28, 2010

    When you’re in love, Valentine’s Day is the perfect holiday, providing a great opportunity to go out to dinner, hug, kiss and cuddle with that special person in your life.  Even if you had a fight the night before, all is forgiven and love is gloriously renewed on Valentine’s Day.

    If you’re alone, however, Valentine’s can be the most miserable day of the year.  With all the cards, flowers, chocolate and constant reminders of romance, it can seem like everyone in the world is in love except you.

    This doesn’t have to be the case.

    At age 13, I met my best friend Julia, who was a year older than I.  Neither of us can remember the exact day we met.  However, we both agree it happened sometime around Valentine’s Day, since all the other girls were preparing for the occasion while we didn’t have boyfriends.

    Although we hit it off right away, neither Julia nor I had any inkling that we were embarking on a lifelong journey.  Early on, we saw each other through all the traumas that every teenage girl experiences—boyfriends who broke our hearts, teachers who were mean or unfair, endless fights with parents and family members.  As we blossomed into young adults, these were followed by disappointments in college, serious relationships while trying to climb our way up the professional ladder.  

    Julia was there when I got married, she was there when I delivered my children, she was there holding my hand through a horrific divorce.  She watched me remarry and set about raising my kids, while I watched her go through her own trials and tribulations.  No matter what life threw our way, we shared all of it together and did our best to help each other stay sane, healthy and happy.

    Every Valentine’s Day, regardless of where we were, Julia and I celebrated our anniversary.  And I mean celebrated!  Dinners, flowers, cards, presents—we did it all because we considered our Valentines more special then any other couple.   Currently, our friendship stands at 28 years and counting.  In today’s crazy world, not many can attest to such an accomplishment.

    What has kept us together for so long?

    Interestingly, Julia and I are different as night and day, and people were always amazed at how well we got along.  What they didn’t see was that our bond is based on values, beliefs, and the instincts that always told us the right from wrong and kept us out of trouble.   Lucky for me, Julia was always more patient, non-judgmental and caring.  She loved me for being just “me.”  I never had to pretend to be somebody else, and she always stood by me, providing her support and wisdom when I needed it most.  

    As I look back at almost three decades together, I view our friendship as a huge accomplishment, one that belongs to us and to our parents.  After all, it was our parents who instilled in us the value of friendship and the rewards that it brings.

    My darling Julia will always be my soul mate.  I will always love her and I will always be grateful for that special day called Valentines so many years ago, when she and I became best friends.

    So if you‘re not currently in a romantic relationship, don’t feel left out.  Take the time to appreciate and celebrate the friendships you have developed, and you too can enjoy this wonderful holiday.

    6 Replies
  • How to be Your Own Love Doctor

    Posted on Thursday, January 28, 2010

    It may be wintertime, but your relationship doesn't have to reflect the cold weather outdoors. We all know it  takes two to tango. Compromising is the key, and planning ahead always pays off. Men in general are not great planners, instead of getting bent out of shape that your husband isn’t taking the initiative, take matters into your hands..  It's time to get some heat back between you and your man.

    1.  Plan a perfect him-date and a perfect you-date.  

    It can be really tough to try to consistently plan dates that you both will equally enjoy.  Solution?  Have him plan his perfect date and en you plan your perfect date.  This exercise is easy for you both, and you'll both finally be able to get your perfect night without hints, clues or flat out begging.  If he needs some help coming up with ideas, remind him of his favorite Mexican food joint and the billiard bar across the street.  

    2.  Get sensual.  

    Part of arousal involves anticipation build up.  A full body massage with oil, candles and rose petals (if you want to go all out) will set the mood for you both.  As for the types of body oil, men are more sensually stimulated by earthy, woodsy scents, not so much perfumed or heavy floral smells.  He'll love the pampering and full concentration on his body, and by the time you're done, he'll be ready to return the attention.

    3.  Get competitive!  

    Nothing will make sparks of passion fly like some good old competition—but nothing that will leave the loser devastated.  Play some old board games from your growing up years (Candyland anyone?), or go play mini golf or go go-karting.  As the game goes on, you'll find the flirtation, taunts and teasing will work you both into a near frenzy.  To intensify the experience, make a fun bet, like winner gets full body rub or loser has to cook a gourmet meal of the winner's choice the next weekend.

    4.  Make it Steamy.

    If you've done the massage-thing and are looking for a twist on sensual seduction, try taking a steamy bath together, or if the tub doesn't have room for two, the shower is just fine too.  Spare no expense with prepping the ambiance; candles and a playlist of your favorite sultry tunes will set the tone of the moment.


    5.  Create a sexy getaway for the two of you.  

    To do this on a budget, turn your apartment into a bed and breakfast.  Tuck a fresh set of sheets down hotel-style, get a copy of his favorite movie, buy gourmet breakfast-makings and putting some scented candles around the room to give it a more sultry feeling.  If the timing is right, plan an amazing, romantic getaway to spoil you both.  Planning the trip of your dreams together in itself will be an amazing bonding experience, and once you get to that cozy café in Rome, the bonding will be more intense than ever, and that's speaking from experience.

    1 Replies
  • Happily Ever After

    Posted on Thursday, January 28, 2010

    People get married for love these days.  This may seem like a "duh" statement, but over the past several decades there has been a creeping fear that women over 40 (especially college-educated women) who weren't married were doomed to a life without a spouse.  Well, for one thing it's never good to deal in absolutes; secondly, while you may remember Newsweek's prediction of dying in a terrorist attack before getting married after the age of 40 like many other women do, that outrageous article has been debunked thoroughly.

    Recently, the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School has analyzed the trends of marriage, considering age, level of education and race, and found that the sanctity of marriage and having a happy ending are not in fact threatened by making it to the
    big 4-0

    According to the university's findings, women over 40 who have a college degree are two times more likely to get married in subsequent decade than women who have only graduated high school.  

    As for marriage rates of women under 40, the level of education does not make any significant difference, as both college grads and high school graduates were nearly 90%.  Findings also show that college-educated women had the lowest rate of divorce, while women who never finished high school were least likely to get married.  It was also determined that college-educated women were happier with their marriages.

    This last finding, in particular, debunks the Pew Research Center's study that asserted college-educated women were finding it increasingly difficult to meet an equal, suitable match.  

    Race was also taken into consideration in the University of Pennsylvania's analysis.  They found that while 72% of African American college-educated women were married by age 40, only 63% of high school educated women are.  

    According to Dr. Betsey Stevenson (one of the primary investigators in UPenn's study), the de facto translation for the findings are simple: people aren't running to the alter in the interest of financial security anymore.  People can wait longer to get hitched because these days the focus and purpose of marriage is to find a companion to spend your life with, regardless of their bank account and status.  Looks like we're really on the way to making "Happily Ever After" the standard.

    2 Replies
  • 2010: The Year of the ANTI-Diet

    Posted on Sunday, January 24, 2010

    If I had to count how many times my new resolution was to diet and lose X-number of pounds, I'd be going back a couple decades.  This year, I'm swearing off counting calories and scribbling in mandatory gym days into my schedule.  This doesn't mean I still don't want to lose the pounds that crept on over the years, I just don't want to have o lose my mind to do it.  

    The problem with dieting is that often times, in our dieting attempts, we cut corners and go to crazy extremes to lose the maximum amount of weight as quickly as possible.  Here are some of the biggest reasons explaining why diets fail, along with some helpful hints, techniques and goals to get your weight down without watching it skyrocket back up the next month.

    Diets aren't realistic.  Who eats a stick of celery with cottage cheese for 2+ meals each day?  When you do a crash diet like the celery/grapefruit/juice diet, you're cutting so many calories out of your diet that you can't help but to lose weight quickly.  But as soon as you hit your mark on your scale, you resume your old eating habits, and low and behold, those darn numbers just won't stay low enough.  The thing you have to strive for is a lifestyle change.  

    Some of the most effective diet regimens require dieters to stop eating out and stick to low-calorie home-made meals to stay on track.  Many times I hear women complain that dieting is expensive and requires a gym membership and expensive pre-packaged, calorie-calculated frozen meals.  Low-calorie cookbooks now take up a whole bookcase at my local Barnes and Noble; this way you can keep track of what you're putting in your body without losing taste.

    This takes us to my next point: many diets sacrifice nutrition.  Women can become so focused on dropping the pounds that they'll cut whole food groups.  The problem isn't the food, ladies, the problem is the amount you're consuming.  For high-calorie foods such as desserts and fried foods, the key is moderation.  If this means limiting your cheesecake dessert to one or two bites instead of the whole piece with whipped cream, then make the adjustment but don't torture yourself into making food the enemy.

    Life does not revolve around diets.  When you put yourself on a rigid, strictly laid out dieting track, you leave no room for lunch or dinner dates with friends and family, which forces you to make the choice of going out with your loved ones and having to eat food you can't immediately calculate into your food journal, or staying home with your cottage cheese—you can't help but miss out on life.  

    This year, I've resolved to cook more at home, buy low-fat products when available, and actually make it to the aerobics class at the gym I've been eyeing forever.  After all, who said I can't enjoy breaking a sweat?  If Kelly Osborne can dance off the pounds, so can I.  The diet frozen meals in the freezer are not emergency-only go-to's; I've reclaimed my right to life and changing it according to my ability.  

    What makes me happy, is that I know I’m not alone here who is doing it. Way to go Fabbers agains Fab.

    Have a fantastic week.

    5 Replies
  • Does Size Really Matter?

    Posted on Thursday, January 21, 2010

    No, I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about a man's height.

    Specifically, how tall or short is your man? And does his height have any bearing on his personality?

    My father is of medium height. Both of my grandpas were of medium height, and so is my uncle. I love them all dearly, and their height has never been an issue with me. But when it came time to choose a man of my own, medium was not what I wanted. Call me shallow or vain. But in my little head, a tall man represented power, balance and stability.

    I was so locked into tall that I refused to date short guys, no matter how good looking or how nice their personality. The one time I went against my rule and dated a short guy, it didn't last very long. I remember catching a glimpse of my short boyfriend as we passed by a storefront window. Seeing myself a bit taller caused a knot in my stomach and made me want to escape. I broke it off with him the very next day.  

    Yes, that's how shallow I was.  And to make the matters worse, he was a very nice guy, the kind you are happy to take home and meet your parents. These days, when my daughter is madly in love with a guy who barely stands an inch taller than her, I look at both of them and smile. My daughter is so much smarter than I was.

    Personality Trumps Tall

    We women tend to wrap ourselves in the vanity of short, skinny, tall, fat—all of the qualities that we stop noticing when life happens. As soon as the "I do's" are over and life begins, no one really cares about these things. We either learn to overlook the imperfections in the spouse that we adore, or, if it turns out that we are not meant for each other and that love was a temporary thing, we tend to obsess about their imperfections.

    We've all heard about short men with Napoleon complexes. And we've all met the six-feet and taller men who are more insecure than a 15-year old boy with a face full of acne. The truth is that size doesn't really matter. It's all about personality.  

    My grandma always said that a handsome man is just a bit more attractive than a monkey (but just by a tiny bit, she would add with a twinkle in her eye).  

    A short man with a great personality has just as many (if not more) chances of getting that hot girl or classy woman as a tall handsome dude. In fact, the short guy will get noticed for a great sense of humor and gregariousness much faster than the tall handsome guy. Why? Simply because he is trying so much harder and it melts our hearts.

    So now, at almost 45, I finally get it.  And I apologize profusely to all the wonderful men that never had a chance with me when I was single and dating.

    21 Replies
  • Make him happy - but don’t neglect yourself.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    Do you remember the feeling of being in love? Remember how happy it made you feel? As I watch my kids get all hyped up for Valentine's Day, I can't help but smile and remember how special this holiday was back in the dating days. Of course, so many married years later, we don't put the same efforts in as we should, but why not? After all, it's up to us to make each holiday a special day to remember, especially when it has to do with our loved ones.

    Valentine's Day is only a few weeks away. How fun would it be to find out what everyone among our creative bunch is doing for their loved ones? Click here to find out how easy it is to win $100 worth of merchandise, AND don't forget to make yourself happy as well.
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    1 Replies