Monthly Archives: July 2015

Jul 20

5 Ways to be Sexually Playful While Clothed

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

Does sex seem to be the last thing on your mind by the time you both fall into bed at the end of the day?

sexual playfulness in marriageOr maybe it’s the last thing on your spouse’s mind, but you are still hoping for some sexual connection. Yet, you feel way too disconnected!

Hey, I get it.

Life has a way of sabotaging late night encounters.

If you ever feel like you and your beloved are simply trying to keep your head above water (you feel that way sometimes, right?), you are not alone.

Good news!  There are ways to increase the odds of sexual intimacy happening on a more consistent basis.

Sexual play when the lights go out tends to be easier when there’s sexual play while your clothes are on.

Below are 5 ideas for being sexually playful while clothed:

1.  Touch while driving.

I’m not even talking about anything overtly sexual here. I am talking about expressing your sexual desire and affection with simple gestures.

Any one of these will likely get your message across:  Gently put your hand on your spouse’s leg.  Caress the back of their neck.  Softly run your finger just under the the hem on their shorts or the sleeve on their shirt.

If there aren’t kids in the car (or if the kiddos are fast asleep), you can probably get away with more suggestive caressing.

Sure, you have to keep your eyes on the road and stay safe.  But trust me.  A simple touch while driving can speak volumes about your intentions later.

2.  Use suggestive code words and nicknames.

When I was growing up, a childhood friend of mine had parents who occasionally would playfully talk in some sort of “code,” even when we were around.

As children, we obviously didn’t know what they were saying.  We probably even thought it was weird, even though it was obvious the spirit of the “conversation” was playful.

Now as a grown up who is in love with my husband, I think about my childhood friend’s parents and it makes me smile.

They had found a way to connect as husband and wife amidst the busy details of the day.

Who knows what they were talking about with all those secret words and whispers?!  I would bet my last dollar, though, that those innocent exchanges were anything but innocent.

Do you and your spouse have ways to talk about sex playfully without really talking about sex?

My pal J of Hot Holy Humorous wrote a couple of great posts along these lines, including “What Euphemisms Do You Use for Sex?” and “Is He Sweetheart? Stud Muffin? Romantic Nicknames.

3.  Kiss. Really kiss.

There’s just something about an unexpected passionate kiss that is genuine and heartfelt.

When was the last time you kissed your spouse this way when the two of you were not making love?

A spontaneous lingering kiss in the kitchen or before your spouse leaves for work or even as you are putting laundry away can convey that your sexual desire is alive and well.

Sadly, too many married couples stop kissing passionately.

4.  Don’t be afraid to sext.

I wouldn’t recommend this if your spouse has a company-issued cell phone, because obviously that phone is the property of the company and they likely have rules against sexting.

But if you are sending texts to your spouse’s personal phone, you can get creative.  Discretion is the key.

To be super wise about this, you should use code words.  That way, your spouse knows that when you type, “Did I mention we were out of chocolate syrup?,” what you really just said has nothing to do with an ice cream topping.

(Unless, of course, it does having something to do with an ice cream topping). 

Anyway, you get the idea.

When it comes to sexting, less is more.  Say too much too often and the technique loses its arousal factor.

I hope this goes without saying, but don’t send any suggestive photos.  Save all the visuals for the “live-and-in-person” escapades in the exclusivity of your marriage bed.

And obviously, double check that the text is indeed going to your spouse.  Sure, you’re talking in code.  But do you really want your kid’s soccer coach asking if you’re still out of chocolate syrup?!

Awkward.

5. Hold hands.

I know.  This one seems so obvious.  But why don’t we see more married couples holding hands?

Holding hands with the person you fell in love with and pledged your life to is one of the easiest gestures to actually do — but also the easiest to disregard.

When you hold hands with your spouse, whether you are walking to your kid’s ball game or heading into the grocery store, you convey to them that they are still the one you want by your side.

You convey a great message to those around you too, but that’s simply a nice side benefit.  What’s most powerful is the message you are sending to the person you married.

And remember that all hand holding is not created equal.  When you hold hands frequently enough with your spouse, you quickly learn the subtle differences of the type of affection being shown.

You can definitely be sexually playful through holding hands, and no one will know but the two of you!

After reading all of this, do you think there are ways you can be more sexually playful while your clothes are on?

Weave sexual expression into your relationship in a healthy way, and you will better appreciate why making love is so vital.

And for more reading on this topic, check out this post on my site by the same title.

Jul 13

Every Day is a Holiday – Who Knew?

By Debi Walter | Romance

I bet you didn’t know that today is Celebrate Your Geekness Day, did you?

Most likely you didn’t because it’s an unusual holiday invented by people who have too much time on their hands.

But, hey! If you’re a geek, you’re probably thrilled to know there’s a day set aside to celebrate your geekness. 🙂

I love holidays. I love parties. I love celebrating and making my husband smile.

Yes, I’m the hopeless romantic, but I don’t prefer that term. It makes it sound like romance is a negative, when in fact it’s the opposite.

Romance is like a breath of fresh mountain air on a hot, steamy Summer day. It refreshes your relationship in a way nothing else can.

In my years of blogging and writing neighborhood newsletters I’ve discovered there are websites focused on helping you celebrate just about any day of the year in fun and unique ways.

When was the last time you planned something unusual and fun for your spouse? If you can’t remember it’s been too long. There’s nothing like a party for two to help re-ignite the romance in your home.

I challenge you to select a date on the list below and go all out in celebrating the day. Be creative. Be thoughtful, but most of all be romantic!

July

17 – Peach Ice Cream Day – Go out for your favorite or make your own.

20 – National Lollipop Day – Surprise your spouse with a lollipop made of their favorite flavor

20 – Moon Day – Go sky watching after dark while eating moon pies

22 – Hammock Day – If you have a hammock for two, plan some time to do some nothing together.

23 – National Hot Dog Day – Make a hot dog bar for dinner with all the best toppings

26 – All or Nothing Day – Let your imagination go wild with this one, make it a Deal or No Deal game for two.

30 – National Cheesecake Day – Serve this treat after dinner with your favorite toppings

August

3 – National Watermelon Day

7 – National Lighthouse Day – If you live near the coast, plan to visit one and climb to the top. If you don’t, try playing flashlight tag in your house with all the lights off.

9 – Book Lovers Day – Plan a date at a local bookstore and see who can find the oldest publication, the funniest title, the prettiest cover, the most interesting topic, etc.

10 – National S’mores Day – Who needs an explanation on this one. Have fun like kids again!

18 – Bad Poetry Day – Have fun making silly rhymes and texting them to each other.

As you can see there are all sorts of crazy holidays you can celebrate together.

The most important reason to do this is to help keep your relationship from getting predictable and boring. Check out this website to discover more holidays for every month of the year.

Until next time…

Keep romancing!

(photo)

 

 

Jul 06

How to Say Good-bye to Limiting Financial Beliefs

By Kim Hall | Finances & Careers

good bye to limiting financial beliefsPersonal money management has two very important, but unequal, parts.

The how-to is actually only about 20% of the equation, while your behavior holds the overwhelming majority of the control.

The nuts and bolts of the how-to are easy ones to address, but your behavior is a more interesting matter.

Your behavior is guided by your core beliefs: what you value, what is appropriate, what is possible, etc.

As a married couple, that makes handling finances all the more interesting, because you each bring different beliefs to the table.

Core beliefs can help you see a world full of possibility in successful money management, or they can cripple your movement forward.

History is littered with examples of limiting beliefs:

It’s impossible to sail around the world.

There will never be a true flying machine.

Humans cannot run a mile in less than four minutes.

Fortunately, pioneers existed who didn’t share these sentiments.

They broke through the barriers and set new standards of what was possible.

Self-limiting beliefs are psychological barriers that get in your way.

Here are five self-limiting beliefs and examples of how they might show up in your conversations.

Hopelessness.  “There’s just no way to get out from under all the money we owe.”

Helplessness.  “We’ve always been clueless about money management. It’s just too complicated.”

Uselessness.  “It doesn’t matter what we do. There’s always something that sets us back.”

Blamelessness. “It’s not my fault. My parents never taught me. My spouse is the problem.”

Worthlessness.  “We’re just not meant to have enough money. It’s just the way things are.”

There are many other shapes these can take.

Pay attention to the chiding voices in your head and the negative things that roll off your tongue to identify yours.

However, if one or more of these already resonates with you, that’s actually good news.

Being aware of a limiting belief is not much different than realizing your foot aches because there’s a pebble in your shoe.

You aren’t going to be able to achieve a fitness goal, whether walking regularly or becoming a marathoner, until you take care of the pebble.

Similarly, you need to say good-bye to limiting beliefs to clear the way to setting and achieving financial goals.

Saying good-bye to limiting financial beliefs

Identify your self-limiting beliefs about money. Note that these are typically so deeply ingrained you and your spouse treat them as the absolute truth. They are not. Take note of the beliefs above that resonated with you. This is critical because you will remain stuck in an unhealthy financial place until you deal with these obstacles.

Recognize your mind is really, really, attached to these beliefs. Your mind will automatically go in search of evidence to support the beliefs, even when there may be much more evidence to the contrary. 

In Stop Saying You’re Fine! Mel Robbins writes about what happens in your mind when you’ve been stuck, and you begin entertaining some game-changing thoughts.

It’s a constant battle between your game-changer thoughts (lose weight, start a business, find love) that want to upset the current order of your life, and the protective thoughts (I don’t feel like it today, what if I get hurt) that want to preserve order by keeping things the same. Your mind is always scouting all the incoming signs from the outside world, and trying to make predictions about what might happen next, all in order to maintain a high level of safety and a reduced level of risk. When it sees a threat of any kind, it finds a reason to retreat. It’s the wet-blanket theory of motivation. If your mind can kill a great idea by dampening it with emotional turmoil, it will.

Now that you have the tactical advantage of greater awareness, you can take the next step.

Ask quality questions to help bust those beliefs.

Author Jay Arthur shares simple ones:

If you believe “It’s hopeless,” ask “How is it possible?”

If you believe “I’m helpless,” ask “What do I already know about it?”

If you believe “It’s useless,” ask “How is it desirable?”

If you believe “I’m blameless,” ask “How am I responsible?”

If you believe “I’m worthless,” ask “How do I deserve it?”

Pull examples large and small from all parts of your life, not just the financial area. Sometimes your spouse is much better at seeing where you have been successful, so ask each other for input. Be sure to be encouraging, supportive, and open-minded in this conversation. Read stories from and about people who have walked this road before you and have help and hope to share. Dustin has great resources on money and communication, and here’s a Pinterest Board devoted to Debt Freedom stories.

Take action and create new beliefs in their place.

When you look at the list of limiting beliefs, you will see they can all be transformed by gathering more accurate information that contradicts and undermines them.

Hopelessness turns into possibility when you see the ways different families have successfully tackled debt, and you take one or more of those strategies on as your own.

Helplessness is replaced by capability when you learn the simple steps to creating a home budget.

Uselessness changes to purposefulness when you envision how wise financial management is desirable and doable for your family

Blamelessness becomes empowerment when you embrace the satisfaction and growth that responsibility brings.

Worthlessness evolves into value when you realize you are able to not only provide well for your family, but also to help others, too.

With each step you take, every dollar you control, your hope and confidence will grow.

Your belief in yourselves to truly be in charge of your finances will strengthen, and your marriage will be healthier as well.

Comment: Which limiting belief do you struggle with the most?

Jul 01

7 “Rules” to Write the Perfect Romantic Love Letter (in about 15 minutes)

By Dustin | Romance

7 Rules for the Perfect Romantic Love LetterWhen it comes to adding some sizzle to your marriage, nothing beats a good old-fashioned love letter.

Sure, you can buy flowers, candy or go out for a nice dinner.

Those kinds of borderline-cliche gifts tend to be less personalized and their effects fade over time.

A love letter, however, is the gift that comes straight from your heart, and is one they will keep and cherish forever.

Why?

Nothing says “I love you forever” to your spouse like taking time out of your day, putting pen to paper, and crafting the words of your very soul.

In terms of romantic rewards, the author of a romantic letter will reap dividends – if you know what I mean. 😉

You may just have to hire a sitter for the evening!

NOTE: To make it super-easy for you to craft an awesome letter, we created a FREE Perfect Love Letter Checklist.
Be sure to click here to grab it now!

When you present your spouse with a romantic love letter, you might be shocked at the overwhelming response and outpouring of love that you receive.

Don’t be surprised if you see a bright smile that could light up the room. You might even end up on the receiving end of the most passionate kiss you’ve had since your wedding day.

By the way, ladies…if you don’t think a love letter will work on your husband as well as it works on wives, then you’ve really got to try it.

Everyone wants to feel appreciated, cherished, and loved. See for yourself!

But I’m Not a Poet or Wordsmith!

You might be excited about the idea of writing a romantic love letter to your spouse, but don’t feel like you’re creative enough to write one.

Don’t get overly concerned about writing a perfect letter just yet. Your only concern right now is to get up the courage to write one, period.

I’ll show you how to craft a perfect letter.

The only thing you need to possess is the willingness to open up and show the love for your spouse that I know you have (or you wouldn’t be reading this). If you have that, and even the most basic writing skills, you can write a romantic love letter that will melt your spouse’s heart.

You may be thinking, “Okay. I’m in love, and I can write, but how can I write a good romantic love letter?

Well, here’s the good news. It’s possible for you to write an awesome romantic love letter by following 7 simple rules.

Rules? Rules?!! Calm down. There’s no need to panic..these rules are easy to master.

Rule #1: Romantic love letters have to be personal

What does this mean? It has to be written by you…not by your friend, your secretary, your boss or someone you hired from the internet.

Your spouse longs to hear the secret words that are etched in your heart. The words that are written in the romantic letter do not have to be perfect, they just have to belong to you.

This is 1,000 times more important than earning style points.

Rule #2: Romantic love letters have to be positive and affirming

During the daily hustle of life, you may not remember to whisper sweet nothings in your lover’s ear or even tell your lover how much you care. This slight neglect may leave your spouse feeling insecure about their relationship.

A romantic letter serves as an affirmation to your spouse that the romantic flames have not been doused. It’s important to only mention positive attributes in the letter, and to show them that you have been noticing and cherishing them this whole time.

Rule #3: Romantic love letters must be specific and meaningful

No cliches! You have to put some real effort into crafting this letter. Like everything else in marriage, what you put into the letter determines what you get out of it.

So, make a list of specific things that you enjoy or appreciate about your lover. Maybe you enjoy your significant other’s hair. Or you might appreciate your lover’s kind and caring nature.

Whatever specifics you include in the letter, make sure the romantic letter gives specific details.

The more you personalize it for your spouse, the more special they will feel. Make it count!

NOTE: To make it super-easy for you to craft an awesome letter, we created a FREE Perfect Love Letter Checklist.
Be sure to click here to grab it now!

Rule #4: Romantic Letters should be neat and attractive

Not only should a heartfelt romantic letter be handwritten, it should be written on stationery or nice writing paper…not printed, and not even on a card (sorry, Hallmark).

Think about the history of love letters…you’re tapping into centuries of tradition. Rituals can be very powerful, so do it the old-fashioned way and it will look like less of an afterthought.

You could also write the romantic letter on attractive paper and include a drawing. Another nice touch would be to spray a nice smelling scent on the romantic letter.

Rule #5: Actually mail your romantic letter to make it extra-special

Mailing the letter to your significant other adds to the element of surprise and fun. It shows your spouse that you put a lot of thought into writing the romantic letter.

Trust me – they want you to be thinking about them, and they want proof!

You spouse will be in for a real treat by getting a surprise like this from you in the mail. Talk about reaping romantic rewards!

Rule #6: Make a commitment to write romantic love letters regularly

Writing romantic love letters is not a one-time shot in the arm to your relationship. Letter-writing is just one tool (albeit a very powerful one) in your romantic toolbox.

So use them from time to time, or on special occasions, as your letters might lose their effectiveness if they are received too often. But don’t wait too long, either!

Make it a priority to surprise your spouse with words from the heart on a regular basis…not just on your anniversary or when you’re in the doghouse. The goal here is to show continuous appreciation.

Rule #7: Remember to proofread your writing

After you have written your romantic letter, proofread your writing to make sure it’s free of errors. You also want to be certain that your letter conveys the message that you think you’re sending.

After your spouse receives the romantic letter, you’ll notice the following positive benefits:

• Deepened intimacy, romance and trust within your relationship,
• Your connection will be strengthened, and help you weather the storms to come,
• You’ll be able to express your feelings more easily when talking with your spouse later on,
• You’ll both re-experience those exciting feelings you had during your dating and honeymoon stages,
• Your spouse will have a keepsake that will serve as a visible reminder of your everlasting love.

I hope that by now you’re convinced of the benefits of writing a romantic love letter, and how much they will help your relationship.

But…some of my readers aren’t convinced they can write a romantic love letter on their own.

The Perfect Love Letter In About 15 Minutes…No Matter How Rusty You Are!

Suppose it’s been a long time since you’ve expressed your feelings in writing (or in general), and you feel like you’re not super-creative and need a little help?

To help you write romantic letters that will keep the flames of your love burning strong, I created a special checklist for you, which I call…

“Our Perfect Love Letter Checklist – 5 Simple Steps to the Perfect Love Letter”

This checklist outlines:

– How to never get stuck on what to write about
– The secret ingredients to crafting the perfect love letter
– The things to say that will make your spouse’s heart melt
– The way to deliver the romantic letter that will WOW your spouse

I am giving away a FREE copy of this checklist. Download your copy now.

You can click here to grab it now:

Then, get ready to give your spouse the surprise of the year with your own, original romantic love letter.

You’ll thank me later. Good luck!