Archive for October, 2009

This month on certain days I have given you ideas on how to dress and things to do on Halloween. Today is a quick reminder of the things I blogged about to help you add a little spice to your Halloween evening. After all we are here to help you keep the passion in your marriage. The only memories I want you to have on this Halloween is the sweet evening you had with your partner.

Here is the list of things to have ready for your Saturday date night after the kids are in bed and sound asleep:

  • Costume – See blog title “For Your Spouse’s Eyes Only,” Oct 14, 2009
  • Scary Movie – See blog title “Get a Little Closer,” Oct 20, 2009
  • Dinner with the family and friends or just with your partner – “My Famous Chili,” Oct 28, 2009
  • Rich Dark Chocolate – See blog title “AH the Pleasure of a Kiss,” Oct 29, 2009

Remember, part of keeping your marriage alive with romance and love is to be childlike in the things you do together. Most people are too serious with their relationship which is really sad. Have fun; get silly like dressing up for Halloween. You will remember these special moments more than the serious evenings. Funny and silly times are what endear you with your partner. My husband and I are always laughing. We don’t take life too seriously. Life is just too short not to throw in a little fun now and then.

So go ahead dress up for Halloween, cuddle up, watch a scary movie and eat dark chocolate together; be childlike. It does you and your partner good.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2009 – 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

Share This Post

What is your favorite kiss? Is it a spontaneous one? Is it the tender one? Could it be a wet one? What about the one while you are laughing? A recent survey revealed that a tender kiss is the choice most people liked. In second place was the spontaneous kiss. All four have a place in the pleasure mode, it just depends when they are given.

My husband and I are always giving each other spontaneous kisses. Their quick, in the moment and can be done anywhere without making other people feel uncomfortable. This smooch could be on the cheek, hand or lips. I personally like the lips but on the cheek is good too. A spontaneous kiss lets your partner know you are enjoying them no matter where you are or what you are doing.

As for the tender kiss let me just say, “YUM!” Who doesn’t like the gentle, long tender kiss? It is a declaration of you love. They are great to do “once in awhile” in front of your children. Please don’t let them become too passionate though. Your children need to see that you are in love with each other and you are committed to your marriage.  They may say “gross” or giggle but that is OK. Remember you are teaching them how to have a healthy loving marriage.

What about the wet ones? These are wonderful in the heat of passion with your partner and are usually done privately.  A wet kiss can be delicious when done at the right moment. They are usually done long and slow. What a pleasure they can be!

“Ah” the laughing kiss! If you haven’t guessed it yet my husband and I do these quite often. When you are laughing it releases the feel good endorphins. A double whammy of endorphins is released into your body when you are laughing and kissing at the same time. This kiss happens to be my favorite kiss. It is a little like the spontaneous kiss but you are laughing. When you laugh with a friend you feel good about that person and your endorphins are making you feel good too! Try to a do a laughing kiss with your spouse as often as you can.

Since Halloween is on Saturday why not have a little fun with your kiss? You will probably have lots of chocolate around the house, grab a piece of rich dark chocolate for you and your partner. Take a small bite and let it slowly……… melt into your mouth. Then once it has finished melting and you have swallowed it then give each other a long tender kiss. Chocolate stimulates your pleasure centers in the brain and is stronger than a passionate kiss! I can bet you will both be laughing while doing this. And with the three together, you both could be saying “WOW!”

“Ah” the pleasure of a kiss! Go ahead enjoy a pleasurable kiss, or two, or three, or more on Halloween night!

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2009 – 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

Share This Post

Since Saturday night is Halloween and it will be a busy evening because you will be taking the kids out trick or treating, why not make dinner ahead of time.  My husband and I love to cook together and a lot of times we will fix dinner for the next day.  I have a great recipe that I like to do for Halloween. It is easy and low in calories. I got it years ago from Cooking Light Magazine. I tweaked it a little by adding sugar to help cut down on the acid and serving it over rice. I have served it to many people and they all love it. Cook up some fun with my famous chili.

Butternut-Beef Chili

1 lb ground round or ground turkey
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
3 cups chopped tomato (about 2 large)
3 cups cooked peeled butternut squash (about 1 small) (*See below)
3 cups water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 (16-ounce) can kidney beans, drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup small pitted ripe olives
2 to 3 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeno pepper
6 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Hot cooked brown or white rice for 6

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a Dutch oven, and cook over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain well; return meat mixture to pan. Stir in tomato and next 10 ingredients (tomato through garlic; (bring to boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in olives and jalapeno; cook 5 minutes. Spoon rice into bowls and ladle chili on top, then top each serving with green onions and cilantro. Yields about 6 servings or more.  Serve with cornbread and salad.

*Butternut Squash Cooking Instructions:

Halve squash lengthwise and scope out seeds. Bake cut side down in a baking dish with 1-2 inches of water at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until tender.  Peel and cube.

Get together with your husband and cook up dinner for Halloween. Hope you enjoy this chili recipe as much as my family has.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2009 – 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

Share This Post

A few months ago I wrote about a special at the Hotel Palomar in Westwood – Los Angeles, which is a group of hotels that are part of the boutique Kimpton Hotels. Please see the blog titled Hotel and Brew, published on 7/29/2009. We decided to make reservations at this particular hotel and take advantage of their unique special. Stay one night and they give you two free beers in their bar/lounge area.

The Hotel Palomar is a hip and sexy hotel located on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles, CA. Walking distance to Westwood and just a short drive to Rodeo Dr. Also, the J Paul Getty Museum is near by.  My husband and I grew up not far from this area. I have fond memories of my mother taking me out to dinner on Friday nights in Westwood or Beverly Hills and shopping. We weren’t rich but it was fun to browse.

My husband and I decided to stay for one night and enjoy the area. For me it was a little bit like walking down memory lane. Saturday morning we drove slowly down to Los Angeles making a couple of stops along the way and had lunch. We arrived at our hotel at around 3:00 PM and checked in. The room was done in rich colors of taupes, charcoal grays and chocolate browns with a black faux fur throw on the bed. There is complimentary wine served to hotel guests between 5 and 6 PM. We choose not to attend since we are not big drinkers and wanted to have a glass of wine with dinner.  That evening we went out to dinner in Century City at Houston’s Restaurant and then walked around the Century City shopping center. Later in the evening we drove back to the hotel to enjoy our complimentary beers which were included with the special room rate. When we returned to our room after our drink there was evening turn – down service with chocolates by our bedside. Yum!

Also, in the morning there is complimentary coffee and tea available in the lobby living room for you. While I was finishing getting dressed my husband decided to go down and get a cup of coffee and go for a short walk around the area. When he came back he said that when he was in the elevator it kept stopping at several of the floors (we were on the 12th floor) and only men were getting into the elevator. There were no women. The elevator came to a stop at the lobby floor and everyone got out along with my husband and headed for the coffee/tea bar setup in the lobby. He found it quite humorous because he figured that most of them were with their partners who were getting ready like me.

For breakfast we drove to The Farm of Beverly Hills but discovered it was closed for a private party.  Oh well, our best laid plans had to change. Instead we went next door to get a bagel and across the street for a Starbucks. After breakfast we walked one small block to Rodeo Dr and walked the area. It was around 10:30 AM and because it was Sunday morning none of the stores were open yet and there weren’t a lot of people walking the streets. It was just fun to stroll hand in hand and window shop while feeling the warm sun on our face. We went back to our room finished packing, checked out and then drove to the garment district in downtown Los Angeles.  My husband bought me a couple of purses I was admiring there. How lucky was I!  As we headed out of town we stopped at The Grove which is right next door to the old Farmers Market off Fairfax. It is a great area to visit. We had lunch and then back on the road heading for home.

Here is the breakdown on our hotel stay:

Hotel Palomar Westwood – Los Angeles:                  $173.64

Weekend Total $260.00 – $173.64 = $86.36

For dinner we went to Houston’s in Century City and it cost us $86.46 with tip. It only cost us ten cents more than what was allotted for dinner. The funny thing was we didn’t even worry about cost. We figured we may have to pay a little extra and that was OK with us.  Granted that doesn’t include 1 breakfast and 2 lunches for our weekend away but those are minimal expenses if you watch were you are eating.

 I would recommend the Hotel Palomar if you are in the city kind of mood for romance at a hip and sexy hotel. The staff was friendly and courteous the whole time we were there. The rooms are clean, well decorated and have a 42” LCD flat – screen TV. The beds are comfortable and the room was quite. The only complaint I have is that when I booked the room on line there was no mention of the $30 fee for overnight valet parking until we got to the hotel. My recommendation to you is before you book the room at any hotel on-line or by phone check to see if there is an overnight parking fee. You will need to factor that in your weekly savings.

The big question is would we go back again. Yes! My husband and I both agreed we would visit the Hotel Palomar in Westwood – Los Angeles again. We had a great time and it is a wonderful hotel in a great area.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2009 – 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

Share This Post

$5 a week could unleash all the romantic possibilities during your weekend away.

Keep those sparks flying!

JoJo

© 2009 – 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

Share This Post

My husband had off last Friday and it was extremely hot here on the Central Coast. It was 98 and we are not use to ninety and one-hundred degree weather. Here on the coast we don’t need an air conditioner in our homes.  In the morning we did a few errands and then after lunch we decided to go to see a movie to get out of the heat and into an air conditioned building. We went to an early bird movie that our daughter and her husband had recommended.

The movie we saw was Couples Retreat. The movie is predictable but very funny.  It is a comedy centered around four couples who go to a tropical-island resort for a vacation. One of the couples is there to work on their marriage; the others didn’t realize that they have to participate in the resort’s therapy sessions also. They have no choice. They all must participate or they have to leave the island. We laughed through the whole movie. There are some really funny scenes.

There is one scene where all the guys are together and the women are off doing their thing. They start talking amongst each other about staying together. One of them states that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and he asks this question. “Do you want to eat at Applebees alone?” He mentions the pitfalls of being single. Also he states that no marriage is perfect but neither are any of them.

So my question to you is “Do you want to eat at Applebees alone because you found out that your partner isn’t perfect? Are you?” So many couples are ready to throw in the towel because they discovered one day that their perfect spouse was somehow imperfect. Imagine that! Isn’t marriage about staying together and knowing that you are BOTH imperfect and loving each other in spite of the imperfections? Isn’t it about staying together through the good times and the bad times? Isn’t imperfection part of the bad times?

As for me, I choose to overlook my husband’s imperfections because I know he has done the same thing for me. God bless him for that. We both choose to eat at Applebees together. What about you?

P.S:  If you want to see a cute and funny movie, go see Couples Retreat. Great “Date Night Movie”!

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2009 – 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

Share This Post

Yesterday I told you how to save for an expensive and special romantic weekend. Today I will give you the rest of the story about our stay at that special inn in Pacific Grove. I had saved more than $663.78 for two nights with an ocean view and king bed. All I needed to do was save $12.77 a week but decided to round it up to $15 a week. This gave me $780. I had more than enough to pay for the room and a little extra to do something special.

The inn I reserved included breakfast and afternoon appetizers. Since breakfast was included all I needed to worry about was a small snack in the afternoon and dinner for the two evenings. The extra $116.22 would pay for a special dinner or two depending on where we went and what we ate.

All I told my husband is that I had made reservations for two nights in Pacific Grove. I didn’t bother to tell him where. He assumed we were staying at the same place we usually do. When we got to Pacific Grove I told him I was taking him some place special and then proceeded to give him directions on how to get to the inn.

When we drove up to the inn I reminded him of the walk on the beach last year and how beautiful I thought the inn was. I also reminded him of our conversation we had last year and that he had wanted to stay at the inn also.  “Surprise Sweetheart,” we are staying at this inn for two nights! He looked at me with a huge smile and said great!

We walked up to the inn and checked in but when the hostess had walked away for a moment and he seen the bill, he looked at me with some concern and whispered into my ear “this is very expensive.” I looked up at him with a big smile; whispered to him don’t worry honey we paid cash. The worried look quickly changed to a big smile on his face.

The inn was more beautiful than either of us had expected! The antiques were priceless and the living and dinning rooms were impeccable! Our room was exquisitely furnished, luxurious bedding, fabulous ocean view, fine amenities (soaps, lotions, etc) and the sound of the ocean crashing outside our room. “Oh, what a night was dancing in our heads!”

After settling in we went down to the living room for afternoon wine and cheese tasting. We then went for a stroll into town and later had dinner, which we paid for in cash. It was a while ago that we did this so I don’t remember the exact price but I do know we had money leftover. We walked along the beach and then back to the inn. We returned to the inn to learn they also provide homemade cookies with milk in the evening. Yum!

We retired to our room after with plans of enjoying a glass of wine. I had brought a wonderful bottle of red wine to enjoy but I was afraid of opening it. You see the room was all in very light colors and I was concerned about spilling red wine on their beige carpet or beautiful bedding. We nixed that idea. Who needs wine for romance anyway?

The next day we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast downstairs overlooking the Monterey Bay. We then drove to Carmel and spent the afternoon walking this charming town. We went back to our room to freshen up and enjoyed appetizers and wine again. We had another wonderful dinner along Cannery Row.

The next morning we had another delicious breakfast and went for a long walk along the bay talking and laughing the whole time. After we went back to our room and we had finished packing, we drove to Monterey and walked on Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Then back to our car for the three and half hour drive home and back to reality.

Time well spent together and a reconnection that won’t be long forgotten. That’s what anniversary getaways are made of.

By now you must be wondering what inn we stayed at. We stayed at the Seven Gables Inn in Pacific Grove, Ca. Check out their website:  www.thesevengablesinn.com.  Please note prices for the room we stayed in have gone up but there are rooms available for less than $299.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2009 – 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

Share This Post

Every week I send you an e-mail reminding you to put your $5 a week away. If you saved your $5 a week for the whole year you would have $260.00. I have shown you a number of wonderful places you could stay that would cost you $260 or less. There are times when you may want to splurge on someplace special. Today I will show you how you can make that wish come true but you will need to save more money every week.

There have been times when I wanted to splurge on our special evening so I made sure I knew ahead of time how much it would cost me. There is one particular anniversary that comes to mind when I did this. One year we had stayed at our favorite little inn in Pacific Grove, CA. We had taken a walk right at sunset along the beach.  As we walked barefoot on the sand we stopped and looked across the street and there was a large beautiful inn overlooking the Monterey Bay. I looked at my husband and said isn’t this inn gorgeous? Wouldn’t it be fun to stay there one year? He looked down at me and said let’s stay there next year for our anniversary. I told him I thought it would be quite pricey and he responded with “so.” Well that set the stage for me to save extra money every week for a year.

When we got back from our romantic weekend in Pacific Grove I called the inn we had admired and found out their prices for an ocean view room with king bed. Here is the breakdown on what it cost to stay for two nights and pay cash.

2 nights @ $299.00 per night  $598.00
11% tax                                        65.78
Total                                        $663.78

2 nights @ $663.78 ÷ 52 weeks = $12.77 a week

I would need to save only $12.77 a week just to pay for the room.  I decided to round it up to $15 a week.  Every week when I went to the grocery store I would write a check for $15 over my grocery bill and stash it in a hiding spot in my wallet. Unbeknownst to my husband I proceeded to put my $15 a week away and at the end of the year I had $780! I had an extra $116.22 to do something special on our weekend!  Four months before we would be celebrating our anniversary I made reservations for an ocean view room with king bed. Per the inn’s requirements I put down half of the cost for our two night stay, which was $331.89. Remember I already had saved that much and more.

Today I wanted to give you the mechanics on how I saved the money and tomorrow I will talk about our wonderful weekend. Don’t forget to check in tomorrow to hear the rest of the story.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2009 – 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

Share This Post

Last Wednesday on Oct 14, 2009 I wrote about getting ready for Halloween. It was called “For Your Spouse’s Eyes Only”. The main focus was to start thinking about what you will wear and things to do on Halloween with your spouse. I mentioned that you may want to get a scary movie and watch it together. According to the experts, when you do watch these types of movies it releases chemicals in your brain that can renew your passion for each other.

Here is a list of scary movies, I researched, for couples to cuddle up and watch together:

1. No Country for Old Men
2. When a Stranger Calls Back
3. Rosemary’s Baby
4. Psyco
5. Charade
6. Clue (Good movie for a party)

For me personally I’m not a scary movie fan. I would be more likely to watch Charade or Clue. The others would tense me up too much and there is no way I would be in the mood for romance. I do know the there are plenty of people out there who enjoy a good scary movie and I understand how it could raise your adrenaline and have it trigger the same chemicals for renewing the passion in your relationship.

Whatever your movie jaundra is be ready to be scared together. Turn down the lights and get a little closer on the couch with your spouse and get your heart pumping.  Watching a scary movie could rekindle the romance in your relationship!

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2009 – 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

Share This Post

A romantic weekend will help you uncover your love life with your spouse. Keep saving $5 a week.

Keep those sparks flying!

JoJo

© 2009 – 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

Share This Post
Get RSS Updates
Subscribe Here

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner