Archive for June, 2009

When you are planning a trip and you are going to an area where you have never been to, do you worry about the place you will be staying at? Will it be as nice as you had hoped for or will it be the hotel from hell? I worry about this all the time, in particular when we are making reservations for our anniversary.

Through the years there are some stories I could tell you. Like the time I had wanted to go to a bed & breakfast in a tiny town about 1 hour from where we live. It was a big beautiful white Victorian house with a white picket fence around it. One of the travel books I read said it was the author’s favorite place to go to. So I booked one night there before we headed north to stay in Carmel, CA. Well it ended up being the bed & breakfast from hell. So much for a romantic evening together!

It got even more interesting the rest of the weekend. The inn that I had booked, in Carmel, was originally owned by a company we trusted. This particular company has several bed & breakfasts but recently sold the one we were staying at. In talking to the gal at the reservations desk, she assured us it was even better than when it was owned by the company we trusted. Well the charming little inn had been completely redone and we were the first to stay in one of the renovated rooms. Everything was nice and clean. The rooms were extremely tiny but cute. When we went to bed that evening we woke up in the middle of the night and realized that there was a tiny crack under the door and cool air was coming through. We absolutely froze! We tried to stay at another hotel/inn for the next night but everything was booked. We had no choice but to stay the second night at the same place but went to bed with warm pajamas and socks. It was just too cold to put on something sexy.

We did have a wonderful time in Carmel, it is so beautiful and picturesque, but we still talk about our weekend for romance! It just wasn’t as romantic as we had planned. While we were in Carmel we laughed about our predicament and we still laugh a lot about that weekend today. A special moment with funny memories!

Thanks to computers now it is so easy to research where you want to stay. My favorite website is TripAdvisor.com People like you and I can write a review on the hotel or inn. You can make reservations for hotels, flights & car. Trip Advisor also has reviews on restaurants, trip ideas, free travel guides and much more. Check it out. Please be advised, reviews are all relative, people have different standards and likes. But it is a website you will refer to all the time.     www.tripadvisor.com

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2009, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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“Keep your marriage energized by saving $5 a week.”

Keep those sparks flying!

JoJo

 

 

© 2009, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Last Friday I wrote about Friday night being date night for us and that things have changed since deciding to start www.surprisekiss.com. We have stopped driving to San Luis Obispo and eating out. Now my husband comes home after work and we usually have dinner at home and then after our meal we run out to get some things we need for the weekend. Maybe picking up food for a weekend dinner party for family or friends, or it could be picking up items for a project we are planning to complete for that particular weekend. We didn’t forget our date night we just changed the day that seems to fit better for us. There is less temptation to want to go out and eat. After all we are creatures of habit. Our Friday night date night would have felt not as special. We decided to make another special night that didn’t feel as if we were cutting anything out.

Like most people today our income has been cut in half and we are being very careful with our money. My husband and I each take $20 every week from our budget for incidentals that we might need during the week. If there is money leftover we will combine the monies together and determine if we have enough money to do something special with it on Sunday evening.

 Sundays are now our date night. We will usually have an early dinner at home and after the table is cleaned we will go for a walk on the beach. Now that the evenings are getting warmer for us we will start to bring a picnic dinner from home and enjoy it on a cliff over looking the ocean or in a nice park. Sometimes if there is money leftover from last week we will go to the movies or for a cocktail at a restaurant over looking the beach or maybe a place that has a special atmosphere. If we are really lucky and neither of us has spent our monies and we have $40 leftover we will order an appetizer and have that with a cocktail. This is our dinner.

Did you know that when you eat a light dinner there is more of a desire for having intimacy? Think about it when you overeat, you feel too full and uncomfortable and really don’t want to do anything. You are just so uncomfortable. So…..remember less food more intimacy! 

Sunday nights is now our date night to reconnect with one another before the busy work week gets in the way. What night is your date night? What makes it special? Is your date night during the day? Do you go fishing; swimming; hiking? What do you enjoy doing together that allows you quite time to reconnect? 

Keep those sparks flying!

JoJo

© 2009, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Yes, have an affair…..it’s good for your marriage. Did you read that right, “Have an affair….. it’s good for your marriage?” You must think I’m nuts! Yes, I did write “Have an Affair” but let me finish that statement by saying “Have an affair with your spouse its good for your marriage.” After watching the news and hearing Gov. Mark Sanford admitted that he is cheating on his wife, I thought why didn’t he have an affair with his wife? After all, it would have been a lot easier and less messy to have an affair with his spouse. The effort and energy it took to have this affair is so sad when you look at the hurt and pain it has caused. Recently I read that infidelities are on the rise not only by men but by women also.

An affair is about the newness and excitement of it all. You remember when you first started to date your spouse and all you wanted to do was talk and talk. You listened to one another. Now that you are married you know all about your spouse. Neither of you are listening to what the other is saying. Also, in an affair there is an illusion of spontaneity but if you think about it you have to plan your secret rendezvous. So why not plan a secret rendezvous with the person you promised your life to and make it a surprise for your partner. The fun and anticipation for the person planning the rendezvous is very beneficial to your relationship. When you plan a secret rendezvous for your spouse you are greating feel good hormones about your marriage. You are smiling on your relationship. What better way to say “I love you” and care enough about you to have an affair with you!

You may say this is not spontaneous. My answer to that is, if you have an affair with someone else you have to plan when you will meet and where. Before you were married to your spouse you had to plan when and where you were going to be together.

Now you don’t have to make reservations at a hotel or inn every time you want to have a romantic rendezvous but you do need to think outside of the box. SurpriseKiss.com is here to help you do that. This weekend plan a night out with your spouse. Make arrangements to have a babysitter for a couple of hours. And then go for a walk on the beach or in the park, a place where you can talk and reconnect.  When you get home put the kids to bed and close your bedroom door. Light the candles and have some soft music playing in the back ground. Let your affair begin!

The following week have your spouse plan something.

Yes, have an affair with your spouse its good for your marriage!

Keep those sparks flying!

JoJo

© 2009, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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You have decided you want to do something special on your anniversary but not sure were you should go and what to do. Karen Brown has written books that will not only help you make a decision on where you would like to go but where to stay and an itinerary of the area. 

For over 30 years Karen Brown has helped travelers plan wonderful trips.  She searches the best places to stay and will give you information and things to do in the area that you are visiting. I have read her books to help me plan my trips for our anniversary. I don’t necessarily follow her itinerary completely but it does help to know what is available.

When you are traveling to a particular area that you have never been to, you will find Karen Brown’s books are informative and helpful. I have used some of her recommendations and have been happy with them. 

You can buy her books at:            www.amazon.com

Keep those sparks flying!

JoJo

 

© 2009, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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You have made the decision to start putting money away for a romantic getaway. All you can save right now is $5 a week. You have put the $5 in an envelope and put it away where no one can find it or you have arranged to have your bank take the money out every week to put in a savings account. Now where do you want to go?

Recently, I was telling a friend about my website and my plans to remind everyone to save $5 a week. She thought it was too low of an amount and suggested that I recommend that you save $10 a week because she felt you couldn’t get a decent Hotel or Inn for that price. After all, you need to be able to have money for breakfast, lunch & dinner.  After talking to her I thought about suggesting $10 a week but the more I thought of it, the more I knew I needed to stick to $5 a week.

So I am here to prove you can save $5 a week and go to a nice Hotel or Inn on that amount. During these difficult times, people like you and me are on tight budgets and we need to stay ahead of the bills but still feel that we can celebrate our anniversary.

I found a beautiful place for a great price and it is in LA on the beach. It is owned by the Lowes Hotels and it just opened in June of this year. They are having a special right now on their room rates for half price.  This is a luxurious place in a beautiful setting. The hotel is on a cliff and it overlooks the beautiful Pacific Ocean. On a clear day you can see Catalina Island. Where is this place and how much is it? Here is the breakdown:

Terranea Resort, 6620 Palos Verdes Drive South, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275, (310) 802-7433

www.terranea.com

If you want to have this rate you need to book a room before June 28, 2009, this is what I was told by the reservations department at the hotel. A full non-refundable deposit is required at time of booking. (I check to see if this rate was available thru Dec 1st. The room rate was even lower for Dec 1st,  $135 a night!) So call them before June 28 and see what rate they will give you on the month you need.

Rates:                   Room Charges:                       $145.00 (Monday thru Thurs)    

                                Fees:                                         25.00

                                Tax:                                           15.37

                                Total                                      $185.37

Valet parking is an additional $30, self-parking is $5 or there is free parking you just have to walk a little bit. If you use the free parking lot your will have $74.63 left over to spend on dinner. I didn’t include breakfast and lunch because I figured you could find a little extra money somewhere else for that. Start saving all your change, you will be surprised at how fast that can add up.

My husband and I have been known to eat breakfast at home and pack a picnic lunch on the way down.  The next morning we will have a bagel and coffee.  Lunch could be a yogurt and a banana from the grocery store or pick up a $5 Subway for lunch and have a picnic someplace. See you can keep the cost down but splurge on other things and have a wonderful Hotel or Inn of your choice with money left over for a nice dinner to celebrate your anniversary. And remember you paid cash!

Keep those sparks flying!

JoJo

© 2009, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Once a week you will be reminded to put money away so that you can plan a romantic getaway on your anniversary or special occasion. So please let me know your partner’s birthday and your anniversary date. I will remind you a month before their birthday and 6 months in advance of your anniversary to make reservations at that special Hotel or Inn you have been wanting to go to but didn’t have the money for. This will keep you committed and it will reinforce the idea that you already have half of the money saved.

The dollar amount is up to you but for ease right now I will be writing $5 a week. The idea is if you put aside $5 a week at the end of the year you will have saved $260! You can go to a nice Hotel or Inn and spend an evening quietly together without the kids. In addition, you won’t be using your credit card because you paid cash! Also, another way to save additional money is when you return something you have purchased and you get the cash back put that into your anniversary savings. This money has already been spent and you won’t notice it gone. Lastly, if you receive some money unexpectedly put that into your stash. You will end up with more money than you had planned on, which is a nice surprise for your romantic getaway. You could do something extra special you hadn’t planned on. Like maybe stay 2 nights instead of 1 night. Don’t count the extra money until about 2 months before your rendezvous with your spouse and then decide what you want to do with the extra windfall.

Imagine the possibilities if you put more money away once a week:

  $  5 = $260
  $10 = $520
  $20 = $1040
  $25 = $1300
  $30 = $1560

You get the idea, so start saving, planning and romancing your sweetheart!

Thought of the week:   “$5 a week keeps the marriage counselor away.”

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2009, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Are you planning on giving a gift to your husband today? Or do you say, “He’s not my father, so why should I give him a gift?” Some are also saying “I want to give a gift but there is no money.” There are things you can do to say I love you and Happy Father’s Day!

Its Father’s Day today but we had dinner last night at our home to honor the men in our lives who are fathers, my father-in-law, son-in-law and my husband. We all sat around the dinner table and toasted them all and thanked them for their strength and love they have shown to all of us through the years. Through their example they have taught their daughters and sons how to treat their wives. What better gift could these men have given to their families?

For the wives out there that say “He’s not my father, so why should I give him a gift?” I say “Why shouldn’t you?” You are thanking him for being a wonderful example on how a husband should be toward his wife and a good father to his children. It is about respecting one another.

As for us, today is directed to my husband. Whatever he wants to do we will do. This morning we met our daughter, son-in-law, grandson and granddaughter for a light breakfast at our favorite coffee house, coffee, bagels and good conversation, sitting outside in the beautiful California sun. We left an hour later, hugs and kisses with wishes to the men, “Happy Fathers Day”.

Our daughter and her husband have just bought a new home and were heading home to continue to put it in order. They are having her husband’s family over for dinner and to watch baseball. They are huge fans of baseball. It is take out night. Who ever comes by brings their own take out and drinks. Our daughter and her husband are having sushi.

We on the other hand went to a car show in Pismo Beach. We walked the blocked off streets and looked at all the cars and vendors. This is my husband’s favorite thing to do on Father’s Day. He looks forward to it every year. We will go see an early bird movie shortly and have a quite dinner out. This is what my husband wanted to do and I am here to please.

Money is short like a lot of people right now and if you are like me there is no money for a gift but you don’t need money to give a gift. Why not the gift of yourself? So for those who don’t have the money try this idea or better yet think of something different.

After the children are in bed sleeping, close your bedroom door and take a shower or bath. Then have your husband do the same. While he is showering, slip on something sexy or maybe nothing at all. Wrap a ribbon around your neck with a note that says “Happy Father’s day sweetheart” on one side and on the other side say “You can unwrap me any time.”

It doesn’t take a lot to show your love to that special husband you have chosen to be with for the rest of your life.  Have a little fun!

Keep those sparks flying!

JoJo

© 2009, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Friday night has always been date night for my husband and me. We never said it out loud, it just was an unspoken thing we did. Every Friday night we would drive a half hour away from our town and have dinner, a glass of wine or beer and walk the beautiful streets of San Luis Obispo, CA.  Most of the time we ate at the same place, a moderately priced Mexican restaurant, and I hate to admit it but we usually ordered the same thing every time. It wasn’t so much about the food but about reconnecting.

The half hour drive to San Luis Obispo was our unwinding time. We usually listened to some soft jazz on the radio and talked. This was the time I felt the closest to my husband. We would talk about the week and about our concerns. As we drove to San Luis Obispo, my husband’s steady hand was on the steering wheel and his brown eyes where looking straight ahead on the freeway talking to me. 

What I noticed was that he was more open about his feelings and concerns. It was Friday night and the beginning of the weekend, time to unwind. We choose driving a half hour away because we knew the likely hood of running into someone we knew was slim. This was our private time. During dinner we would continue to talk and talk, not paying attention to the people around us but to each other.

After dinner we would walk around town either holding hands or our arms wrapped around one another.  Did you know that there have been studies about walking together? Remember when people had porches and there was a swing on it? Well the studies showed that when you sat with someone on the swing your hearts would start to beat in sink. The same thing is true when you are walking arm in arm or hand in hand.

Now you don’t have to have your Friday night date night out of town but do try to take time to be together.  Any day will do. When I was young I babysat for a couple with 3 young children every week on Wednesday. For them date night was Wednesday. Yours could be Thursday or maybe Sunday. Just start to make time for one another.

I hoped you noticed I wrote this in past tense, being an entrepreneur has made us change how we do Friday date night.  Next Friday I will talk how date night has changed for us.

Keep those sparks flying!

JoJo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2009, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Do you romance each other everyday? Have you forgotten how to romance your relationship? Well it doesn’t take any money or much time to feel the warmth and connection we all crave after we have been married for a few years. Start implementing these 8 steps and you will enhance the closeness you both need to keep a romantic relationship going.

1.      Hug your partner in the morning for 20 seconds.

2.      Kiss your partner before you leave for work.

3.      Tell each other to have a good day.

4.      When your partner gets home greet them with a big smile.

5.      Hug and kiss each other.

6.      Take 15 minutes of alone time with your spouse to reconnect and talk.

7.      When you go to bed in the evening tell them you love them.

8.      Cuddle up in bed even if it is only for 1 minute.

The same steps can be done with your children too. I bet you already do some of these things right now but have forgotten to do them with your partner. When you do these things for your children, they feel respected and loved. Does your marriage feel respected and loved?

By implementing these 8 steps your levels of oxytocin, a bonding hormone your body produces naturally, will enhance your connection with each other and keep the romance alive.

Keep those sparks flying!

JoJo

© 2009, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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