Archive for November, 2009

Dreams for your marriage are blueprints for success. Keep saving $5 a week.

Keep those sparks flying!

JoJo

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

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Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! Don’t let the day go by without hugging your spouse and letting them know how thankful you are that you found each other.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2009, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Yesterday I talked about our family tradition of lighting the candles. After everyone has eaten and we are more stuffed than the turkey could ever be. We will sit down to watch a wonderful Hallmark movie of a courageous woman and her son. This is based on an incredible true story set in 1944 during World War II.

The mother and son are in an isolated cabin in Germany’s Ardennes forest. Three American soldiers and three German soldiers are forced to confront the realities of war, face to face, person to person. What they discover is the true meaning of courage and true spirit of a blessed night. What I enjoyed so much was how undaunted this woman was no matter what was thrown at her. She stood her ground.

The name of the movie is “Silent Night” You may be able to pick it up at your local Hallmark store or I got it at: www.amazon.com

If you are looking for something a little different to watch, I highly recommend that you get this and cuddle up with your spouse and family to watch this wonderful movie.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

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

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Thanksgiving is only two days away. Grocery shopping, cleaning house, cooking and setting the table, it is the beginning of the holiday season and festivities. I enjoy this time of the year even though it can get a little hectic. It is a time of family traditions, love, spending time together and being thankful for what we have.

Some families always go to one specific house and have the same recipes every single Thanksgiving. Then they sit down to play games, watch football on TV or a movie.  While others will do something different every year, we are more like the latter group. Last year I served ham and this year it will be a turkey. One year we even served lasagna thanks to my mother. Too many hours and too much stress at work to have to worry about Turkey and all the condiments. This year we won’t have the usual stuffing. I plan on fixing a butternut, sweet potato stuffing with toasted walnuts that I seen in the November Southern Living Magazine along with some stir fried green beans with mushrooms and butter. We will have pumpkin pie homemade by my 87 year old mother. They are always delicious.

Even though we change the food and sides every year we still have our traditions. I try to set a beautiful table with candles at each plate. We gather around the table to say a Thanksgiving prayer before we head to the buffet table to pile our plates. Once everyone has sat down I will start our family tradition that I heard about a while back after hearing a Christian speaker talk about her family tradition of the candle ceremony. Her name is Emily Barnes and she has written many books about organization, family and prayer. Look her up on www.amazon.com. You may want to try this tradition.  I light the candle of the person who is setting to the right of me and say why I am thankful to have them in my life. The lighter is then handed to that person and they will light and say something that they appreciate about the person next to them. Around the table as each candle is lit there is a smile left on the person who has received the thankfulness from the person to their left until all the candles are lit. There is a glow and peacefulness that is felt by everyone there and it isn’t totally coming from the candle light. Thank you, Emily, for a wonderful way to show your love and thankfulness during this season.

This is a nice tradition when there aren’t that many people at the Thanksgiving table but when there are too many people and you can’t always sit together. If you have time before the big day sit down with your family and have them help you write a one liner about why you are thankful for each person who will be dinning with you. You will be teaching your children to look for the good in a person. Your kids will feel good about themselves because they are saying something nice about someone and everyone will feel loved by your family.

What ever you do whether it is going to grandmother’s house or out to dinner take time to be thankful for what you have. Your wonderful family and each of their differences it is what makes them special. Most importantly don’t forget to be thankful for your spouse.

After everyone is gone why not have your own candlelight ceremony with your spouse. Leave a little card in your spouses underwear draw in the morning. Men can write on the card, “I’d like to show you how thankful I am to be with you tonight by lighting a glow inside you.” Ladies can write on the card, “I’d like to show you how thankful I am to be with you tonight by lighting your candle.” Ah, the traditions of love and Thanksgiving.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

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

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If you save $5 a week you will bring out the passion and desire in each other on your anniversary.

Keep those sparks flying!

JoJo

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

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The weekend is here and you’re thinking about date night with Thanksgiving coming up in 7 days! Working, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning house with little munchkins running around the house and we’re suppose to make time for a date! I don’t think so. Not during this crazy week. You’re a little hot & bothered over this thought! Well I am here to help you see the possibilities.

You need to go to the grocery store, right?  Why not plan the menu and go grocery shopping with your spouse.  Hire the babysitter or drop off those cute little munchkins with family or friends. Once you have the kids  taken care of, then hop into the car and stop by your favorite coffeehouse and have decaf pumpkin spice latte, hot chocolate or apple cider and take a half hour and reconnect. Then go and do your shopping together and get it done in half the time.

Can’t afford a babysitter and you can’t find anyone to watch the kids? One of you will have to stay home and while the other runs to the store. There is still no excuse not to find time to reconnect. Right about now you are thinking I am nuts. How can JoJo expect me to find time for my spouse when there is too much to do already. I am exhausted! Why not sit down over the weekend and talk to your spouse about what needs to be done. You want to also find time to be together but you need their help. Then set up a game plan on how everyone in your family can help to get things done. Don’t forget to include those little munchkins. You are teaching them about teamwork in a family. Everyone pitches in to help, even the smallest child can help to pick up the toys and put them away. The older children can help with dusting, vacuuming and cooking. Make it a fun family day. Turn up the music and sing and dance as things are getting done. Promise pizza and a video for dinner because everyone worked very hard.  Or you could tell them you will take them out for ice cream. YUM!

Make a pack with your spouse that when the kids are in bed or watching a video you will go to your bedroom and have your quite time together. Put on some soft music, light some candles bring your favorite drink (hot chocolate or hot apple cider) and maybe a little snack and lounge on the bed together. What a nice way to reconnect. You won’t be bothered by people walking by or sitting near you like you would in your local coffeehouse. There will be no opportunity of running into someone you know and maybe they decide to sit with you both. Just the two of you in your private romantic haven reconnecting, talking, laughing and enjoying each other.

If you want to kick this up a notch then make a plan ahead of time to have some things ready. The kids are taken care of. The bedroom door is closed. Music and candles are set, sexy lingerie laid out on the bed, a note in the shower. On the note write “Let’s get steamy tonight because I am a little hot & bothered for you!”

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

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

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Yesterday I talked about cleaning up the clutter in your bedroom. Today I will give you some pointers on how you can have a bedroom that is a refuge for you and your spouse. Once you have cleaned out your bedroom have you and your spouse stand in the middle of the room and take a good look at it. Have a pad and pencil and write down things you would like to change in your room. What would make it feel like your romantic haven?

When you are looking at your master bedroom act as if that is the first room people will see when they walk in. I know most people will never see it and so you have a tendency to throw everything into that room and close the door when the door bell rings. Find another room or closet that you can throw things into, not your master bedroom!

If you need ideas on how to decorate you romantic haven go on-line and type romantic bedrooms. You will find lots of ideas there that you can replicate. Look through magazines.

Our bedroom is very romantic. We have bedside lamps with three way switches on it. There are candles in the bedroom and bathroom. There is nothing more relaxing and romantic than taking showers by candlelight. We have a small radio and CD player. We do have a very old small TV in the room even though it is recommended not to have it in there. We have it on only on in the morning while we are getting dress. We listen to the news. We never watch TV in bed in the evening. We haven’t spent a lot of money decorating it but it does look nice. Towels, accessories, sheets, bedspread and pillows all match. This is our romantic haven.

Here are some things you should consider when setting your room up for romance.

  • Paint:
    Paint is an inexpensive way to update and freshen up a room. Keep the colors calm and relaxing.
  • Lighting:
    Did you know that overhead lighting is very unflattering? A well lit room is not sexy. Your lamps should have three way switches. The lower wattage will put a nice glow on you and your partner. Pink-tinted bulbs can make you look good too. Of course candlelight is the most flattering.
  • Appearance:
    Clean your master bedroom, dust and vacuum everything. Wash everything; Make your bed like a hotel does with the sheets folded back invitingly. Keep your children’s toys and family pictures out of the room. Don’t use your room as a display case for your hobbies. This is your private place as a couple.
  • Scents:
    Buy candles, scented oils and a matching room spray that you both like. Make your room smell good.
  • Music:
    Have a small stereo in your bedroom and play romantic music, soft jazz or what ever your fancy is to put you both in a romantic mood.

Once you have identified everything you want to make it your special romantic retreat then plan to purchase something every payday or put the money aside until it goes on sale. Recently we needed new towels for our master bathroom so every payday I would put our money aside until the towels were on sale. This is how I purchase everything in my home. It is a gradual transformation.

Prepare your room every night so that when you walk in you relax. Turn down the bed, fluff up the pillows, turn on the radio with soft music playing in the background, have the lights softly lit and light a candle. For those special times, ladies have beautiful lingerie hanging in your closet make it easy for you or your husband to layout on the bed.

Enjoy your romantic haven!

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

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

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What does you bedroom look like? Is it a place where you can go to and it feels like a refuge for you and your spouse? Or, do you have clutter and junk everywhere on the floor, bed and dresser? More than likely there is no romance going on in your master bedroom. It is hard to get in a sexy mood with a pile of clothes on the bed. Do you want to clean up your act and set a beautiful romantic retreat for you and your spouse? Today I am will help you clean out the clutter. Tomorrow I will discuss how to make your room comfortable and romantic. Follow these simple steps and before you know it you will have the bedroom you can both feel welcomed in.

First you need to do something about the clutter. Grab your spouse and explain that you want to have a place where you both can go to and feel relaxed. You need their help to accomplish it. If you are both overwhelmed then take only fifteen minutes a day and start to clean up the room. Start with the floors and set the timer for fifteen minutes. Divide your things into 3 piles: hamper, donate to thrift store and trash. If you don’t own a hamper then put a box in the corner. Over the weekend when you are out shopping look for a hamper that would look good in the corner of the room or closet. Nice things keep you committed to picking up your stuff. You need to start to pick up the floor and see how fast you can do it. If you didn’t complete in fifteen minutes this evening then tomorrow continue for fifteen minutes until it is done.

Then move on to your bed, take everything off your bed and straighten it up. Fluff the pillows and make it inviting to sleep in. If the bedding is dirty then put on new sheets and make a mental note to wash the blankets and bedcover over the weekend. If your bedspread looks shabby, then talk about purchasing a new bedspread over the weekend. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just something that looks clean and is in the colors you both like. Maybe that could be your Christmas present for each other. Let friends and family know what you are trying to do. If they ask what you need give them a list they can choose from: candles, pillows, draperies, bedspread, towels, pictures, new lamps, etc. You could go as far as registering at someplace like Target, Wal-Mart, Pottery Barn or Macy. People can go and pick out what they would like to give you.

When the floor and bed has been picked up then pick up your dresser and end tables. Clear the clutter on top and inside the drawers. On top of your end tables there should be a lamp with a three way switch, and radio alarm clock and maybe a book, nothing else. On the dresser, you want to put your colognes, another three way lamp and a candle.

Lastly, clean out your closet! Don’t keep clothes and shoes you are not using or they are too worn out. Let there be space to hang empty hangers when clothes go into the hamper. Allow room for you shoes. If you have a place, try to hang a calendar in the closet and a couple of hooks for your rob.

Make it a pack that when you get up in the morning things will be put back in their place. And before you go to bed in the evening things will be put away. When you both work at keeping your bedroom clean and clutter free it frees your mind, there is more room for thinking about romance.

For those men who think that it isn’t that important to them so why should it matter to the woman in their lives. Think again! Women are very visual and tactile. If you want more lovin you may want to help with keeping it clean and spend the money on making the room look romantic and peaceful. A happy wife makes for a very happy husband.

So clean up your act and get the romance back in your bedroom.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2009 – 2013, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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What do you like to do as a couple? Do you have any hobbies together? Or do you have separate hobbies that keep you apart? Don’t get me wrong, I think we should have different hobbies; things that you like to do that identify you as an individual. This is what makes you interesting to your partner. But have you ever thought about or identified what you like to do together?

My husband and I have very different personalities. My husband enjoys watching car races and I like to go shopping or decorating our home, but we have found things that we both enjoy doing as a couple. We love to cook and try new recipes together. We enjoy traveling, going to bookstores and walking in quaint little towns or a big city and exploring everything that community has to offer.

What is your connection as a couple? Our son-in-law went to the Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara for photography. His photographs are absolutely wonderful. You should take a look at his website: www.tomflory.com. He has pictures of the local wineries in our area and a trip to New York they took a couple of years ago.  Our daughter enjoys photography also but more as a hobby not as a profession. She will go with him and help him with his shoots and when he wants to go to a conference on photography she goes along with him and takes classes with him. Sometimes they go to different classes. Later that evening they share what they have learned. As a couple they have found their connection.

Our granddaughter and her husband enjoy hiking. They live near Lake Tahoe. There are wonderful hiking trails that they hike along together. This is their quiet time, a nice hike and picnic.  Her husband proposed to her after they had hiked to the top of a mountain overlooking Lake Tahoe. How romantic is that!

The couple I wrote about last week who had went away for their anniversary for the first time after being married for 18 years. They like to get on their Harley and ride together. I had an English teacher who talked about how he and his wife like to read stories to each other in front of the fireplace after the children were in bed. Another couple decided they wanted to learn how to play the guitar together. When they are in class or practicing they help each other. They have found a fun way to connect.

What is it that you enjoy together? Is it playing a round of golf, going to the car races, watching movies and critiquing them? What is your passion as a couple? If you haven’t identified your connection then get your spouse to sit down with you and talk about the fun things you have done together and if you can’t think of anything then talk about what you enjoy individually and could do as a couple. If that doesn’t work then talk about something you would both enjoy learning together. Could it be learning a new language?

Know what your connection is, what makes you a couple. It will help to keep the bliss in your marriage even when you don’t like each other very much. There are plenty of things you do with the kids and family but find something that makes you happy as a couple.

There will be a connection that says we are a couple and we enjoy being together.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2009, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Saving $5 a week will change your marriage relationship.

Keep those sparks flying!

JoJo

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

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