Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Romance 101 – Week 5

Romance Tip 05

- Make an online inspiration album.

Single? Inspiration boards have been popular for a few decades now. However websites like pinterest have taken them to a new level. Inspiration boards are fantastic for motivating you to achieve your goals, not to mention they are great for really focusing you on what those goals are. If you’re saving for a holiday to New Zealand and you have a board dedicated to photos of all the places you want to visit, looking at those photos will strengthen your resolve NOT to buy that cute $40 skirt, or even just that $3 candy bar.

Daydreaming is romantic too. You can dedicate a board to arts and craft projects to make your house more beautiful, and once a fortnight you can choose one and tackle it. (First for me? Jewellery hangers/organisers!) Or you can create a garden album and do the same. You can plan your dream wedding too, just don’t show it to potential partners until they really, really like you. Or, you can simply use them to visualise the life you want for yourself: a loving husband or wife, children, hundreds of cats, a horse ranch, a trendy artist’s loft, owning a cafe in Paris—whatever it is you want for yourself, visualising it will not only make you feel happy, but will make you more likely to take steps toward making it happen.

Dating? Create a profile as a couple, not as an add on to something else. Your partner is not just another board on your pinterest account! You want your inspiration album to be about the things you want as a couple—not just one of you agreeing to the other’s dreams. You might not want exactly the same things, so it’s important to focus on the dreams you share.

If you both want a baby and awesome geeky baby things, like dinosaur pyjamas and mad scientist building blocks, make a board for that. However you also might want to make a board for holidays you’d both like to take, or activities you both love. Inspiration boards are great for planning weddings, or decorating houses together. Choose a topic that works for both of you as a couple, thinking about the things that brought, and keep, you together.

Remember! Technically, pinterest and other online gallery websites are on shaky legal ground. Even though it’s frowned on for people to upload their own images to pinterest, the terms and conditions actually state that you should have permission to pin or re-pin any images you use. If someone asks you to take down one of their photos, you are obliged to do so and if you really love certain images, I suggest stashing them in your hard drive somewhere, as they could vanish into the ether at any time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Romance 101 – Week 4

Romance Tip 04:

- Remember the important dates.

Single? Are you always forgetting dates important to the people you love? It doesn’t mean you love them less, just that sometimes it’s hard to connect numbers to special occasions. Social networking sites like facebook remind you of birthdays on the day they happen. However when it comes to the people closest to you, you need a week or two to prepare things like gifts, restaurant bookings, cake, cards or whatever else is appropriate. Facebook also doesn’t remind you of holiday events, such as valentine’s day, religious holidays or your parents anniversary.

If you have a mobile phone or day planner you use regularly, you can put in a small amount of effort today to save a yourself a lot of pain and hassle later. First, make a list of the people who matter most to you, or whom you need to remember dates for:

- Your partner
- Best friends
- Siblings
- Mother and father
- Grand parents
- In-laws
- Close work mates
- etc.

Next to their names, make a list of the events you need to remember relating to that person. Eg:

- Birthdays
- Anniversaries
- Valentine’s Day
- Religious holidays
- Christmas
- etc.

Now check when those dates are and write them down. Look in your old day planner, ask people to confirm if you aren’t sure and check social networking sites. Now you have the people, the events and the dates they occur on. The next step is deciding how long you will need to remember in advance to plan appropriately.

Create an event in your mobile phone calendar, or make a note on the relevant page in your day planner. For things like birthdays, you should make a note at least a week in advance, so you have time to get a gift and don’t have to run around madly at the last minute.

If you are likely to promptly forget after receiving the first message, make an event notice for every day leading up to the important one. EG:

- Seven days until mum’s Birthday
- Six days until mum’s Birthday

You can also make notes of what you should be doing each day.

- Shop for gift (week in advance)
- Buy cake (day in advance)
- Order flowers
- etc.

Dating? Having a partner forget your birthday or anniversary is very painful and none of us want to make our partner sad. So even if you don’t make the effort to do this for anyone else, do it for the one who has decided to spent the rest of their life with you.

Make sure to give yourself plenty of planning time, and remember restaurants can’t always be booked at the last minute. If possible, try and book two weeks in advance at fancy places.

Scheduling may not seem like a sexy, romantic thing. Some people seem to believe we should remember to do these things organically, as if we’re thinking about them all the time. However life can be busy and tiring and everyone forgets. The results will speak for themselves and taking the time to make sure you remember IS sexy.

Remember! Always make the effort to say Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary to people if you remember, even if you don’t like them much. We all deserve to feel special and important once or twice a year and your thoughtfulness will make them like you more too!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Romance 101 - Week 3


- Take a class/do a workshop together.

Single? Grab a friend and find and amazing class or workshop you can take together. Most workshops will be related to a creative activity (cooking, art, craft goods) or a sport (dancing, fishing, self defence). You’ll also be able to find special interest workshops, such as wine tasting, cheese making or dairy farming. Check newspapers, community centre online notice boards, local council websites, universities, TAFEs and local arts centre websites to find courses that interest you, or just google your area and see what comes up.

Here’s a quick list of things I can think of that would be awesome fun to do.
- Life drawing classes
- Oil painting classes
- Photography classes
- Knitting classes
- Rock climbing classes
- Cooking classes
- Wine tasting classes
- Gardening classes
- Writing workshops
- Dance classes
- Self defence classes
- Wood working classes
- Pottery and sculpture classes
- Defensive driving classes
- First Aid classes
- Craft classes
- Martial arts classes
- Sailing classes
- Yoga workshops
- Better sex/couples workshops
- Digital art/photoshop classes
- Website design classes
- Landscaping workshop
- Renovating workshop
- Massage workshop
- Installing and maintaining a pond or water-feature workshop
- Pilates workshop
- Acting classes
- Singing classes
- Editing digital videos workshop
- Bookmaking classes
- Scrapbooking workshop

I could do this all day. There are so many classes and workshops around—if you can’t find one that interests you, you must be a very dull person!

Dating? If you’re dating, it’s important to find something that interests you both. Or perhaps you can broaden each other’s horizons by each picking a different class and surprising one and other with it. However remember it’s not a punishment, you want to find something the two of you can have fun at together. Getting out and doing something interesting and different will bring novelty back to the relationship and give you something else to talk about. And something like dance, massage or sex classes will likely spice things up in other areas of your life too!

Remember! New experiences and novel activities keep the brain healthy and active. With any kind of relationship, romantic or otherwise, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. We all have our habits and most of us have jobs that keep our schedule pretty consistent. If you don’t mix it up every so often, you might as well be a dairy cow. But workshops not only get us out of the house and somewhere new, they also teach us something and maybe introduce us to a new passion in life!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Romance 101 - Week 2

Well, it’s been a tiring week with an icky flu interfering with my editing and blog posting. My head is still full of cotton wool and, well, mucus, but being sick doesn’t mean we can’t still be romantic. In fact, I think when you’re sick, little romantic gestures mean a whole lot more. Being exhausted and achy just makes us that much more appreciative!


- The rainy day snuggle read-a-thon.

Single? Rainy days are the best days, as far as I’m concerned. Take a little extra time to make your rainy day at home a special one. Firstly, take the phone off the hook (and put mobiles on vibrate) and disconnect the modem. Lay out a good book, a fluffy blanket and a nice drink. Set up some candles, preferably scented, somewhere they are within your sight and can’t light anything on fire. Make sure you have good reading light.

Is there anything more romantic than curling up for a decadent day of reading, sipping cocoa and listening to the rain? If your chosen book is a sassy romance, even better! Escaping into another, more exciting world is my favourite way to spend a day. Live the life of your favourite heroine and daydream the entire afternoon—and don’t let yourself feel guilty about the housework you’re ignoring! Who knows, you might even come up with an idea for your own novel.

Dating? The best thing about dating is doing all the same things as a classy single girl, but with your partner there to warm your feet. Curl up somewhere and read together. Who knows? If you’re both reading something with a bit of ‘spice’ you might end up using the sofa and blankets for something else entirely…


Reading books creates more neural pathways in the brain—literally making your smarter as you read. Also, there are some studies that suggest that cocoa is good for you, so you might as well eat some chocolate too. Time out, real time out, without any stresses or responsibilities is even better for you, and you deserve it.

Today’s tip is both romantic AND good for you.