Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Romance 101 – Week 13

Romance Tip 13:

- See a Professional Photographer.

Single? Now is the perfect time to commemorate how fantastic you are. Not when you lose five pounds. Not when you have a boyfriend or get that fantastic promotion, right now. Either find a photography studio that does hair and makeup or splash out and go to a salon. Get your hair and make up done, fish out that amazing dress you only wear on special occasions and get your photo taken, exactly as you are now.

Avoid wearing jewellery or clothes that will look dated in a few years and make sure you ask the stylist for a neutral, natural look.

Not only will you come away with gorgeous photos you can look back on in thirty years, but you’ll have a new, fresh image of yourself for online dating profiles, facebook and your blog. Send a copy to your parents for Christmas and don’t be ashamed to frame it and put it up somewhere in your house. You’re gorgeous Who wouldn’t want a picture of you around?

Dating? If you’re still early in your relationship, it may seem a little formal to get professional photos done. However if you last the distance, you’ll be glad you have such a nice memento of your early years. If you’ve been together a while, it’s the perfect opportunity to get some nice pictures done and celebrate the time you’ve spent together.

Photos are some of the most special keepsakes you can have. In emergency situations, they’re usually the first material things people try and save. Not only that, they will last well beyond your lifetime. A few years ago my grandmother died and many of her old photos and slides ended up going to me. There are a collection of professional photos taken at her wedding and they are utterly gorgeous. She looks like she could be my sister.

The photos you take now might not just be enjoyed by you and your children, but your grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Remember! Finding the right photographer is paramount. Visit their websites and look at their online galleries before committing to anyone. You want to find someone who matches your own personal style, be it quirky and alternative, or traditional and classical.

Be sure exactly what you are getting for your money. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for alternatives if they don’t offer a package that suits your needs.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Romance Links

I know I haven’t updated for a few weeks.

I’m moving house and still dealing with recent tragedy.

Instead of a post this week, I’m going to link ya’ll to some fantastic articles on romance ideas and romance novels:

Romantic Getaways is an Australian website designed to help you find the perfect romantic retreat in the land downunder. There is a featured retreat and then an option for you to select a state, then further options to select regions in that state to find your dream location.

Romantic love messages is a simple website that lists romantic quotes and flirty messages. Great for writing quite notes to your partner if you don’t know what to say!

This article on Romantic Ideas In Life is a list of 60 romantic proposal ideas. Number 59 is my favourite... I only wish I was a light enough sleeper for someone to do that to me!

Here are ten tips not written by me for women wanting to be romantic for their man.

Here are ANOTHER ten tips not written by me for women wanting to be romantic for their man.

Here is a fantastic list on Good Reads of the top contemporary Romance novels from 2012. If you love contemporary romance, this list should provide you with some great suggestions!

If Fantasy and Paranormal is more your style, here are Good Reads best romances for 2012.

And if you prefer hot guy on guy action, Good Reads has a list for that too!



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

No Post

No post this week due to a death in the family.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Romance 101 – Week 12

Romance Tip 12:

- Book Trade!

Single? Books are magical. If you already read and have friend who read, you probably exchange recommendations all the time already.  Book recommendations are a little different from book trades though—I’m not suggesting you give away your favourite books, rather that you loan them for a short period of time.

Choose a book that you think a friend would love—but one they wouldn’t necessarily read on their own. Something outside their favourite genre. Something that if you simply recommended it and they looked it over, they probably wouldn’t pick up. They do the same for you and you both commit to reading the book in a week or a month, depending on what works for the two of you.

It’s a great way to expand your literary horizons and it gives you both something new to talk about.

Dating? For me, sharing books with lovers has always been one of the most intimate, important acts I can do. Books are so important to me and the characters and worlds within them so special, that sharing my favourite authors and series is a way of sharing a very special part of my soul. I don’t let myself be disappointed if my partner doesn’t love the same stuff I do, we all have different tastes, but I’d be very hurt if they didn’t at least try and read it.

Sharing books about our passions, regardless of if those passions are sci fi, gardening, finance, romance or Pomeranian sledding teams, is a fantastic way for our partners to learn more about our interests. There is nothing better than giving a partner a book they are doubtful about, only to have them love it and recommend it to their friends.

Reading together is a great way to spend time together, being intimate, without feeling like you have to be fully attentive. It will give you something new to talk about and, who knows, you might find a new favourite author or hobby!

Remember! It takes most authors between six months and two years to write a book. If you’re loaning and borrowing books, the author isn’t seeing any extra profit, no matter how much you enjoyed reading it. However you can do the author a huge favour by popping on to amazon or goodreads and giving their book a star rating, as well as writing a short review. You don’t have to write a novel of your own, just a few lines about what you enjoyed can really make an author’s day and help boost their sales.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Romance 101 – Week 11

Romance Tip 11:

- Handmade Bath Salts!

Single? Handmade bath salts are easy, fun and cheap to make. You can keep them for yourself, or give them away to friends and family as awesome gifts. You only need a few simple things to get started—most of which you should already have, or can get at the supermarket or $2 store.

You will need:
- Empty glass canisters (such as coffee canisters or cheap glass storage canisters).
-  Several kilograms of rock salt.
- Food dye.
- Essential oils (such as rose, lavender, jasmine or orange).
- Ribbons – to decorate the canisters.

Put several cups of rock salt into a bowl, or several bowls, if you want a few different colours. Put in a few drops of food colouring and a few drops of essential oil and stir with a big wooden spoon.  You’ll want to add food dye slowly, so you can get the colour you want and you may need about a tea spoon of scented oil for every four cups of salt.

Don’t put too much colour in! You don’t want to dye yourself blue!

It’s pretty much that simple. Then all you need to do is put the coloured, scented salt in the glass considers and tie a bow around it with the ribbon—preferably in the same colour as the salt.

When I was sneakily redecorating my mother’s bathroom while she was on holiday, I made bath salts to match the colour scheme of the room. And if you want to get really creative, you can mix two or more essential oils together to make your own special bath smell, just for you.

Dating? Do you know your lover’s favourite colour and scent? Men tend to prefer ‘food’ scenes, like cinnamon, orange and vanilla, while women often like flower scents, like rose, jasmine and lily of the valley.  Balt salts are a lovely, but still cheap, surprise that you can make for someone. And hot, sweet-smelling luxurious baths are always sexy.

You could even make the bath salts a part of a ‘love pack’ including oils, candles as a prelude to a great night in!

Remember! Always test a drop of the essential oil on your skin before you pour a whole heap in with the salt. It’s much better to have a small patch of hives on your hand, than a full body rash if it turns out you’re allergic.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Romance 101 – Week 10

Romance Tip 10:

- Design your own cocktail.

Single? Time to invite over a few friends for a really fun party: its design your own cocktail night! The best thing about doing this with friends is that you can split the costs, as its one of the more expensive romance tips I’m going to suggest. Ask your friends to bring over all and any bottles of alcohol they have at home—though you’re going to need to make a list of what they have beforehand, so when you make the trip to the bottle-o you’re getting things you’re likely to use.

As well as a range of alcohols—as many as you can get—you’re also going to need mixers and a few tools.

Here’s a list of things that aren’t alcoholic you may want:
- Chocolate (for chocolate curls!)
- Maraschino cherries
- Berries
- Lemon
- Banana
- Other fruits
- Milk
- Cream
- Soft drinks, particularly coke
- Grenadine
- Ice
- Ice cream
- Mint
- Pineapple juice
- Orange juice
- Apricot juice
- Cranberry juice
- Other juices
- Coffee
- Cinnamon
- Sugar
- Salt
- Flavoured jelly crystals
- Tea
- Marshmallows
- And if you want to be really filthy, cake or brownie mix.

You’ll also need a few other things, like stirrers, glasses, spoons a blender and some other things that you hopefully have already. If not, get your guests to bring them.

Remember to keep a pen and paper handy to write down the best recipes. Chances are, you’ll be a bit drunk and totally forget them. Don’t forget to name them!

Dating? If you’re a couple and have decided to do this together, instead of with friends, it should be a cosy evening in the kitchen. Put on some music you both like and have a good time. Try and make something that represents you as a couple and your relationship. Is it sweet and rich? Fizzy and fruity? Hot and pink? Make something you both really enjoy, then on special nights together, you can whip them up again. You’re own secret romance recipe!

Remember! Please drink responsibly. This tip is about creating exciting new cocktails, not getting completely blitzed and throwing up on the couch.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Romance 101 – Week 9

Romance Tip 09:

- Be clean, well groomed and exfoliated.

Single? I always think there is something a little bit sexy about a really good shower. Having a full morning, afternoon or even a whole day of body pampering is a sure fire way to make yourself feel confident. I’m not talking about a day spa or spending a hundred dollars at the hairdresser. Instead, I am recommending a head to toe overhaul at home.

It’s good to keep things simple, so I’m not going to suggest any fancy tools or equipment. However you will need a loofah, shower cap, pumice stone, basic nail care supplies, shampoo, conditioner and maybe a nice body wash and moisturiser.

Start in the shower by washing your hair, but when you get to the conditioner, put on a shower cap and let it sit for five to ten minutes before you rinse. Remember to always rinse your conditioner in cold water.

Lather up your loofah and lightly scrub every inch of your skin. The idea is to remove dead skin particles, plus the light massage effect will bring more blood into the skin and make it look younger. Don’t forget around your toes and the undersides of your feet. If you shave, now is the time!

Next, when your skin is soft from the water, use the pumice stone on the tough skin on your feet. Sometimes it helps to use it once, wait ten minutes, and then go over the same areas again.

Once out of the shower, it’s a good idea to towel dry your hair. Blow dryers will damage it. You should also never brush hair when it’s wet, as it’s more likely to break. Make sure you dry yourself thoroughly. Wet skin, particularly in intimate places, leads to ickiness.

If you have some patches of skin that a prone to dryness, slap on some moisturiser. I don’t like to use a lot personally, unless it’s very weather dry and my skin is itchy.

There is some debate if it’s better to wax before or after showers. Afterward, the hair follicles are more open, so it’s less painful. I recommend after, but if you’re messy and often need a shower to clean up, do it before! Take the time to tweezer your eyebrows too. Remember to pluck from the bottom, not the top, so you don’t lose your natural shape.

Now it’s time to sit down and do your nails. Use nail scissors and a nail file to trim and shape—starting with your toes, them moving up to your hands. Even if you don’t like coloured polish, you should put on a three-in-one shine, protect and grow formula, which you can get at the chemist. Having nice nails, hands AND feet, is important, regardless of gender or season!

You should be fresh, clean and feeling pampered. You look great too, take my word for it. Now you’re ready to go out and meet Mr or Ms Sexbomb!

Dating? We love our partners, but sometimes we can be just a tiny bit lazy about things like eyebrow plucking and exfoliating. I don’t think we should always have to look our best with our partners. I think a happy relationship is one where the weekends can be spent in pyjamas with our hair in ponytails and socks that don’t match. However, personal grooming is something that you should never get slack on, with the obvious exceptions of bad colds and other serious illness.

Being clean and well groomed is not just good for your health, but it’s respectful to your partner. Curling up with someone who has dry, flaking skin, bristly hair patches and gnarly toes isn’t nice. Even if you love them, it’s just not sexy!

Men and women deserve a partner who meets a certain standard of grooming—not just in the early stages of the relationship when you’re trying to impress, but in the later ones too. Love your partner. Exfoliate!

Remember! Always be water wise! It’s hard to do hundreds of things in the shower without spending a lot of time in there. I have long hair and it seems to take hours to wash. If you’re doing something lengthy that doesn’t require running water—shaving your legs for example—you can always fill a jug to rinse the razor in and leave the taps OFF while you shave.

Definitely don’t spend any time daydreaming in the shower. Even when you have a lot to do in there, get in and out as quickly as you can! Water is a precious and limited resource.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Romance 101 – Week 8

Romance Tip 08

- Do your partner’s chores.

Dating? I hope that all partners who live together have divided the household chores in a sensible and fair way. Interestingly, studies show that in households where men do 50% of the household chores, both partners are happier and the relationship is more likely to last. It’s important for relationship health that everyone does their part to keep the household running. However there is nothing nicer than dragging yourself into the kitchen to do the dishes and seeing they have already been done and that the kitchen is spotless!

Simple gestures like this can really show our partner we love them. It seems mundane, but there are plenty of women out there who tell you cleaning up and cooking dinner the sexist thing a man can do. And guys always appreciate the opportunity to sit down and relax... particularly if they would otherwise be sweeping out the garage.

Single? It doesn’t matter who you live with, the theory is the same. Clean up for someone, wash the dog or do some dishes. Mop the floors. I am sure there are endless things you can do that will really make the day of your family or housemates. If you live alone, this is a little trickier. If you have a friend who is sick, disabled or has a new baby, offer to come over and cook them dinner—then clean up afterward! It will be deeply appreciated and they’ll love you all the more for the gesture.

Remember! Some tasks require special skills, or at least, a basic knowledge of how things work. If you’ve never done washing before, your kind gesture may turn into a fight when you throw her jeans in with her $100 bra, or your red cap in with her whites. My housemate never checks if the arms in the dishwasher can spin, and as a result I have to re-load the dishwasher and wash the dishes again 50% of the time.

If you are going to do someone’s chores, do them properly.