Monday, April 26, 2010

Everyone's A Critic

One thing I really hate - nitpicking. So I know that some people may not be familiar with that term, I don't know whether it's a northern or southern thing, but basically nit-picking is being overly critical on small items that just shouldn't matter. You ever have that happen to you? It isn't fun, is it?

The worst thing is that in addition to being the victim of overly aggressive critics, as a mother, I realize that I am often one myself. Out of necessity - or what I feel is necessity, of course. I tell my daughters to fix their hair or change their clothes when they aren't up to my expectations. I mean, impressions do mean a lot, but at the end of the day, is it worth the constant criticism?

I bicker with my husband sometimes because instead of the words of affirmation that I crave, what I often get is an unrequested critique - even of my blog and TYPOS for the love of pete! I try never to correct people on typos because, after all, we all have made them. No one is perfect.

I am going to resolve now to stop being so critical of others and attempt to go with the flow a little more. Love is what matters, not perfection. Perfection is something that I'm not even remotely capable of, so I guess I should stick with the small stuff - you know, getting up every day, doing my best, taking care of my family... the day to day dirty work that often goes largely unnoticed and unappreciated. Some one has to do it after all.

So, since I can't change others, I'm going to start with the woman in the mirror. I don't want my daughters to hear some harpy in the head when they think of their mom, I want them to think of the person who loves them most in the world, because after all, we're the same person. As for me, well, I guess I can only hope that maybe when my treatment of others changes, maybe their treatment of me will likewise change.

Friday, April 16, 2010

How to Keep Your Domestic Goddess Happy - Guys Are You Listening?

There are few blogs that I read with any regularity but one that I particularly like is called Everything Must Go - A Male Perspective. It is a wonderful blog- funny, perceptive and always worth reading. At any rate, in one of the latest entries called Keeping Your Dragon Slaying Husband Happy Ken offers up some awesome suggestions for how to keep your man happy and at home. What's curious is that women are as likely as men to cheat or become dissatisfied in a long term relationship, so where is the how to guide for guys on how to keep women happy? I certainly can't speak for all women, but I will try to offer some insight into the female heart and mind.

1. Be her biggest advocate.
As a woman, I love taking care of my family. I love cooking, making a beautiful home and focusing on having a healthy marriage. As a woman, I also need to do those things that make me feel like a complete person, which occasionally includes things outside the home. When I undertake these endevours - whether it be a job, a volunteer position or furthering my education - I want my man to be there supporting my decision. Now don't misunderstand, that doesn't mean I want a yes man who agrees with everything that I do; however, it does mean that I want my man to give me his honest feedback and always have faith in my ability to do whatever I set my mind to whether it be losing 10 pounds, making a new recipe, or taking my life in a different direction.

2. Be Romantic.
This doesn't mean get her flowers every Friday, some women don't even like flowers. What is means is, find what is important to her and take the time to do the little things. If she likes flowers bring them for no reason at all. Take the time to do something special just for her to show her what she means to you. Use endearments, most women love that.

3. Words of Affirmation.
Women need to feel appreciated. If you want her to do something for you, ie, have sex more - then when she takes the time to do something special for you, let her know you appreciate it. Tell her how amazing you think she is and MEAN IT. Be honest, she will know if you are just blowing smoke up her skirt. You want her to look hot? Well, when she takes the extra time to put on a sexy dress, heels and straighten her hair for you - take the time to appreciate it. Don't just say "Wow, you look amazing." That's a good start, but take the time through your words and your actions to show her that you truly appreciate the effort that she made for you.

Women are more likely to repeat a behavior that feels good. Aren't men like that? So if you want something a little special in the bedroom whether it be role playing, oral sex, or whatever - make it worth her while and I promise you, she will make it worth yours.

5. Women Percolate.
Foreplay guys. Sounds simple, but I mean it. Men are often like microwaves, they turn on very easily. Women however are slower at getting aroused and they like to savor the experience. That doesn't mean that a women doesn't enjoy a quickie, but prepare her for it. E-mail or text her and say what you would like to do.... Call her and let her know you are thinking about her and can't wait to be together. Kiss her like you mean it, these are things that women appreciate.

6. Know Her Preferences.
All human beings like variety. Women like that as much as men do. Don't make her do all the effort in your relationship, sometimes the man has to take the bull by the horns. Know what she likes and actually listen to the cues her body is giving you. Sometimes women like gentle love play. Sometimes they like a man who is going to take charge and mean business. Sometimes we like to reverse roles and take charge ourselves. If you become adept at paying attention, you won't be disappointed.

7.Quality Time.
It isn't all about getting laid. Take the time to really know your woman. Talk to her about important things and frivolous things. COMMUNICATE! And most importantly, when your woman is talking to you, take the time to really listen to what she is saying. We know the difference between a man who is engaged and a man who is wondering what he needs to say to end the conversation and get in our pants.

8.Build Common Interests.
Find things that you like to do together. Try new things and places. Sharing memories and interests builds a foundation for a long lasting relationship.

9. Respect Each Other as Individuals
Even the closest of couples need time to develop outside interests. Let your partner spend time with their friends or doing the things that they love which isn't an interest you share. They will come home re-energized and these experiences will give you something to talk about. As you both grow as individuals, you need to reinforce your relationship so that you are also growing together. After all, in my opinion real love isn't found in gazing into one another's eyes, but in looking outward in the same direction.

10. Be kind and considerate. Be her knight in shining armor and no, I don't mean rescue her. I just mean love her.

Do these things and a woman worth her salt will love you in spades for them.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The World According to Snowflake

I just started reading this really cool book called "The Happiness Project". Usually I would blog about this at my other blog It's a Book Thing but what I wanted to talk about isn't specifically about the book, but rather my own outlook on life.
The author of the book is working on maximizing her own happiness in her life and part of this is coming up with areas of her life that she wanted to improve and basically boiling down her life philosophy. She said that in order to embark on her own happiness project, she really needed to review her "Ten Commandments."
I have issues with considering my philosophies of life as commandments, so I will refrain from referring to them as such. Still, I definitely have a code that I do try to live by and it is my firm belief that everyone benefits when they write out or articulate their core beliefs.
Here are some of mine, in no particular order:

1. You can't wait for happiness to find you, you have to make your own happiness.
2. Barbie was meant to be plastic, not people.
3. Don't just stop to smell the flowers, actually get your hands dirty and plant some.
4.You will never "find" the time, but if something is really important, you can find ways to make the time.
5. Appreciate the ordinary because it happens way more than the extraordinary.
6.Have a plan and when life messes with your plan, be ready to go to plan B, C, D, and even ZZZ if necessary.
7.Surround yourself with people who have traits that you admire and would like to cultivate.
8. There is little that a good book can't fix.
9. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, so don't be insane. Just run little penguin run!
10. We are stewards of the world around us, not the owners of it. It is our responsibility to teach our children and try to leave the world a better place for all the creatures that share it.
11. Compromise when you are able and for those things that really matter, be prepared to kick ass and take names.
Live your life.

I'm working on my own happiness project. This is just the beginning. Surprisingly next will be formulating a plan to identify areas in my life that I would like to improve to maximize my own happiness quotient and hopefully that of my loved ones as well. More to follow....

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Blog is Going Carbon Neutral and Yours Can Too!

carbon neutral coupons with

With Earth day just around the corner, I have been spending a lot of time lately thinking about what I can personally do to reduce my carbon footprint and love my planet. Maybe there really is something to "The Secret" because, like magic, an e-mail arrived in my inbox about making my blog carbon neutral. How awesome is that? The e-mail was from a young woman in Germany who is part of an initiative called "Make it Green". Their goal is to promote awareness of the carbon emissions resulting from internet usage - or more specifically - blogs.

Now you make think that blogging is already an environmentally friendly actively, but internet usage does have some carbon footprint. A blog with 15,000 views per month (not yet but maybe someday!) generates the equivalent of 8 lbs of CO2 per year. How then am I planning on going carbon neutral? The Make it Green initiative will plant a tree for EVERY blog that writes a post about this opportunity. This group is planting trees in cooperation with the Arbor Day Foundation in Plumas National Forest in Northern California for this project to neutralize the carbon footprint of blogs. Thousands of wildfires burned down many national forests over the past ten years and 88.000 acres of Plumas' were destroyed by two fires in 2007. To help replanting they need the support of bloggers all over the world! For every participating blog they plant a tree. One blog - one tree. My blog is worth a tree - isn't yours??

Here's my Earth Day challenge - write your own entry - make all your blogs green! Here is how:
Just a few easy steps to make it green:

Write a blog post about the initiative + insert your favourite button
E-mail the link to your post to
We plant a tree for your blog in Plumas’!