Archive for July, 2010

With county fairs popping up in every county during the summer why not have a date night there? When was the last time you went to the county fair without the kids and acted like a couple of kids yourselves? I know what you are thinking “I can’t go to the fair without bringing the kids too.” Well bring them during the day and you and your spouse go in the evening.

Enjoy dinner there; stroll through the exhibits and see if there is anything you didn’t know you needed and if it isn’t too expensive buy it. Enjoy the carnival rides, just the two of you, laughing, holding hands, screaming and stealing a kiss or two. After the rides have desert, maybe funnel cake, ice cream, fried Twinkie, etc. Lastly, while at the fair, enjoy the warm summer evening and their free entertainment under the stars.

When you have a date night at the county fair the kid in both of you will come out. Go ahead steal kisses on the carnival rides. The heat you create at the fair may be just what you need to create more heat when you get home. Later you might be singing “We Had Hot Night Tonight!”

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Alaska in all its majestic beauty has wild life, fishing, history, art, museums and festivals. If you are interested in the city life then there is Anchorage or Fairbanks but I decided to follow a little out of the way place called Homer, Alaska. It is listed as the “100 Best Small Towns in America” and is known as Alaska’s art capital. This seaside community has a population of about 5,400 and another 8,000 beyond the city limits. The average stay for tourist is about 3 days but most wished they had stayed longer.

Would you believe there are two wineries in Homer and a brewing company? What made me decide to write about Homer, Alaska were the reviews for Bear Creek Winery & Lodge in TripAdvisor.com.  The other winery is called “Ring of Fire Meadery” and the brewing company’s name is Homer Brewing Company.  Homer is known to many as the “Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea” but it was made famous in Tom Bodett’s tales as “The End of the Road.”

Homer is the nature’s lovers place to go. There is fishing, kayaking, bear viewing, shopping, dining or sight seeing. The Safeway in Homer has a Starbucks. Want to see live theatre checkout Pier One Theatre and if you like museums there is the Pratt Museum.

Want to have a little romance in Alaska? Then you might want to try the quaint little shoreline town of Homer. Where there are not only outdoor activities but art, theatre and a museum.  Get a little wild and romantic with your sweetheart in Homer, Alaska.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Would you like to go to see a play, concert or sports event with your sweetheart but think it is too costly? You can book your tickets and get great seats at a good price if you try these four strategies:

Wait and See – You can save up to 50% if you wait as long as you can before you purchase your tickets. I know in New York if you wait until the day of the show you want to see there are ticket booths where you can get them for 50% off.

Pay Attention to Fees – When purchasing on-line there can be commission and processing fees add to the regular price from the company you choose, which can bring the price up. Buyers beware; check out more than one Ticket Company before you make your purchase.

Call Your Credit Card Company – They may offer ticket discounts to their customers. Call customer service. If they don’t have discounted tickets they may offer upgraded seats at no extra charge.

Be a Tourist – Call your Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bureau or Convention Center. They might have coupons to the show or event you want to go to. Whether you are a tourist or live in town if they have coupons they will give them to you.

The next time you want to go to an event before you buy try to see if you can snag a ticket at a price you can afford. You and your sweetheart might be able to see the show or event if you try these strategies.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Have you ever felt spontaneous and wanted to hop on a plane and get out of town with your sweetheart? But you haven’t looked into it because you know flights can be extremely expensive at the last minute. Well the next time you have that urge to fly away for a romantic trip you may want to see what is available out there for the last minute traveler.

Look into vacation packages. Some airlines will bundle unsold seats with hotel stays or a rental car. These packages can be cheaper than buying a plane ticket alone. The package doesn’t offer your favorite hotel?  Not a problem.  Check out the airlines’ websites and see if you can get a lower last minute rate. Another way to find deals at the eleventh-hour is to go LastMinute.com or Kayak.com and see what kind of deals they have for you.

Once in a while it is good to be impulsive. Who knows you might find a deal at the last minute and hop on a plane with your sweetheart for a spontaneous romantic getaway.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Marriage can have “do-overs.” Continue by saving your $5 a week and your romantic evening away on your anniversary will make sure you continue to have “do-overs.”

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Want to do something a little different for date night? Rent or borrow a boat (paddle, motor or sail boat) and enjoy a picnic dinner floating in the middle of a lake at sunset. Leave a note for your sweetheart that says:

“Life is always a picnic with you! Let’s sail away tonight and watch the sunset in our own little private boat!”

Pack a simple picnic dinner:

  • Wine, Beer or Sparkling Cider
  • Tomatoes & Pepper Jack Cheese on skewers marinated in Italian Dressing
  • Grill Chicken or Salmon
  • Salad of your choice
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pack everything and of you go to your romantic dinner.

Ah, you will both be enjoying the beauty of swaying trees, lapping water, chirping birds and the laughter and the pleasure of each other. Most importantly you will be creating memories for a lifetime! Who says date night is always boring?

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Your marriage changes when you have kids. Before kids (BK) you picked up and went and did what ever you wanted to do. After kids (AK) just going to the grocery store is a chore. Let’s see diaper bag, check, bottles with formula, check, diapers, check, change of baby clothes, check, blanket, check, car seat, check, stroller, check, and the list goes on and on. Want to go out on a date? Who will babysit? Make a list for the babysitter, bottles with formula, check, diapers, check, baby’s schedule, check, emergency numbers, check, do I need to say more.

Like most parents you fall in love with your little baby and the miracle of it all. They require your full attention and finding the time to go out on a date well isn’t happening. You are both too tired. Work, cooking, playing with the baby, bathing and putting them to bed then preparing for work for the next day; I am exhausted just writing about it. No wonder neither of you can find the spark you had BK!

Mind you if you talk to most people and ask them if they had it all over to do again they wouldn’t change a thing. Children bring a different dimension to your relationship. All of a sudden you realize the world doesn’t revolve around you anymore. You discover a love you never understood BK. You see a whole new world full of other people and their needs. You become less selfish. There is nothing like the innocents of a child running up to you with a fist full of flowering weeds and offering them to you like they are a dozen roses. Or when out of the blue you hear their little voice say “I love you.” The biggest satisfaction though is to see your children grow up to be productive adults and become your friend. I wouldn’t change that for the world.

So how do you keep the spark in your marriage smoldering on through the years with the interruption of the sound of little feet pitter-pattering throughout the house?  Sit down with your spouse and make a pack to make time for one another, even if it is just sitting next to each other while watching TV with family. Schedule intimacy, write it on your calendar and look forward to it. Plan for it. Try to put aside money for a babysitter at least once a month. If you can afford it do it once a week. You don’t have to spend lots of money; just walking through the mall hand-in-hand relaxed can put you both in a different frame of mind. Stop for a cup of coffee and sit down and talk.

If you try to make time for each other you will be happier and your children will be learning how to have a good marriage. You won’t be going to the marriage counselor complaining “We are like bother and sister not lovers.”

We made time for each other throughout the years and people sometimes ask us if we are newly weds! I always answer “Yes, for 43 years we have been newly weds.” You should see their face when I tell them.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Sorry this is so late in getting posted. Life has been a little hectic around here and it has been difficult for me to blog everyday. Larry’s brother is very ill and was in intensive care for a week. We have taken Larry’s parents, who are both in their late eighties, down to San Fernando Valley twice last week. On a good day it is a 2 ½ hour drive down to the hospital and on a bad day it can take us up to a 4 ½ hour drive one way.

Since we are the only family members who live in the same city as his parents we have become the go between on keeping everyone in the informed on how his parents are doing. Of course they are upset considering they are worried about their son and rightly so. My father-in-law is getting a little forgetful but that is to be expected after all he is 89. God bless him every so often we need to explain to him why his son is in the hospital. He understands what is going on he just needs to be reminded occasionally. My mother-in-law is 88 and is also getting a little forgetful but not as much as my father-in-law. She has osteoporosis very bad and is getting frail but refuses to accept she has limitations.

Recently we invited them to dinner at 4:00 and they showed up at 2:30 instead. We weren’t going to say anything but my mother-in-law asked where my mother was so I just told her they came over a little early. I didn’t say how early. I then went into my office and called mom and told her to come on over. Oh well, the best laid plans. Larry and I laughed later because luckily we were ready for them. Normally we are still running around the house picking up things and cooking dinner 5 minutes before they come.

Larry’s brother is out of intensive care and was able to go to his daughter’s home yesterday. He has not been feeling well for the last 9 months and has been at her home since then. Larry is the contact person for the rest of the family to let everyone know how their brother is doing and their parents. With his parents reasoning power just about gone it is creating a lot more stress and then like most people who are still employed the company is requiring more from him due to the economy.

Last Saturday after our 4 ½ hour drive home and we had dropped off his parents we went for a walk on the beach to just stretch our legs and unwind. The reason I am telling you about this is to remind you life once in a while throws you a left curve. It is important you and your spouse find little moments when just the two of you can relax alone. Whether it is a walk on the beach, a walk in your local park or around the block take time to be together, to support and love each other. Those little quite moments can help to make life a little easier and your relationship stronger.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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I just found the cutest website selling personalized stamped sterling silver jewelry. You can choose from one of their designs or customize your own piece. They have a huge choice of jewelry designs, disc, key rings, photo charms, mother’s bracelets and saying necklaces.

I started to think about all the ways you could customize a piece. “I love you, anniversary date or your special nicknames for each other. There is a heart necklace with the words stamped “Marry Me.” Wouldn’t it be a great way to propose? There is one for “Mommy to be”. What a wonderful way to celebrate and let the world know about your new little bundle of joy in the making!

This is a great place to go for birthdays, anniversary or just because gifts. Also, you can order an email gift certificate if you need to get a gift right away.

Check out “Heart On Your Wrist” website and surprise your sweetheart with something special no one else has.

Always remember buyer beware. Check out reviews on the web to make sure this is a company you want to buy from.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Saving $5 a week will keep you looking forward to new adventures and romance in your marriage.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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