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.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Romance 101 – Week 7

Romance Tip 07

- Visit a fair, market or festival together.

Single? Call up some friends for a cheap and entertaining day out. Markets are always free—though sometimes you have to pay to get into festivals or shows, so call or look them up online before you head out. Make the most of the food stalls and live entertainment. Talk to people, plan to take it slow and relax. You can find what is happening in your area by looking in smaller local newspapers, online community bulletin boards, by listening, or even calling, local radio stations and by googling your area and upcoming weekend dates.

Who knows, you might even make friends with some cute guys or girls who want to invite you out for drinks later! Always be friendly and bring an open mind. Fesitvals and shows can lead to all kinds of fun adventures!

Dating? Festivals, fairs, shows and markers are great places for couples. It’s a lazy way to spend a whole day, just slowly walking around together, chatting and relaxing. There is always food stalls and often there is live music and performances, local arts and crafts, small business stalls and interesting products and novelties. The whole day can be about the two of you, spending time together, with no need to rush or do much of anything except exactly what you feel like at the time.

The best thing about festivals and fairs is that most only come around once a year—so they are always a break from habit. Breaks from habit are very good for relationships! It will give you something new to talk about, and maybe a new interest to pursue.

Remember! While many festivals are annual and markets tend to be monthly, there are hundreds of different ones, running all around you, all year. In most areas, you should be able to find a fair, market, festival or show within a few hours’ drive of you, every single weekend. Don’t discount the trade shows either. Camping, farming, pet and bridal exhibitions are excellent, even if you don’t think you have an interest in those areas. Small town shows are great too—you always find the zaniest, most creative things! Not to mention foods you will probably never experience again. Which is probably for the best...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Romance 101 – Week 6

I’m getting pretty excited. My first book is released on the 23rd of this month! There are already reviews up around the place and a few give away competitions happening. It’s so wonderful and surreal! Anyway, on with the blog:

Romance Tip 06

- Leave a special message in a book.

Dating? Write a short, sweet love note for your partner and slip it in the book they are reading, a few chapters ahead of their bookmark. Just a simple ‘I love you’ will be enough to make them smile. Take the time to make sure the paper is cut nicely and not torn and aim for legible penmanship. You could even sprits the paper with your signature perfume or cologne.

Does your partner only read on an e-reader? You can do the same thing by flipping ahead a few pages, and writing a note—if the e-reader has that capability. Most do, but I recommend you google exactly how to do it, depending on which device your partner has. Make sure you add your name!

Single? Write a short note to a friend, reminding them they are beautiful and talented and slip it in the book they are reading when they aren’t looking. Be sure to put their name at the top and your name at the bottom. You never know, it might be the book their partner is reading, and that could get you into all sorts of trouble!

You can do the same on their e-reader, if it has the capability. You could even lend them a book and slip the note in before you give it to them.

Remember! These notes can take a little while to find. I’d been holding off telling a boyfriend that I loved him and had told him on no uncertain terms that I didn’t want to hear him say it first. Eventually I leant him a book with a note in it confessing my affections. It took him two weeks to find it—and then he called me at 2am in his excitement. It took a lot of self control not to ask how he was going with the book, but it was all worthwhile.