I’m thinking of romantic adventures, like a drive to a little cozy cabin in the woods with a roaring fire and bottle of wine for two, poured and waiting, or a walk on the beach that leads to a lonely bottle washed up from the sea with a secret love letter tucked deep inside, just maybe a quiet walk through the snowy woods to discover a twig nest and tiny rock with the words be mine painted in red.
I love all three scenarios above but I think MR. Java and I will settle for a cozy dinner, romantic movie “The Holiday” with Cameron Diaz comes to mind, a glass of wine and a lovely box of chocolates. Just one more thing to add to this plan, my hunt for the perfect nest to tuck a little message into. After I find a cute little nest, I’ll make a trip to the store for a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine but most important is the bag of candy hearts. I’ll pick the perfect message and place it just so on a piece of green moss, then I’ll tuck this love nest in a brown paper box and carefully wrap it in red velvet ribbon.
The perfect compromise to my big Romantic adventure? maybe. The hardest part will be bundling up and venturing out through a foot of snow in search of the ultimate nest but I can’t wait!
Tell me your Valentine secrets….
Happy Valentines Day!!! I wish you love!
ps. I will draw the winner of the peace necklace for OWOH on sunday night and post the name sometime Monday.
Here we go into the last few days of holiday shopping. This is when you can smell fear and see terror in the eyes of desperate shoppers. I always feel particularly sorry for the men walking around with that deer in headlights look in hopes that the perfect gift will magically appear. It’s the act of procrastination that gets them into this spot year after year but their pitiful look gets me every time.
Last week I was so taken by a young man who came into the store looking for a reindeer plate to add to his girlfriend’s collection. He was so cheerful and excited about the holiday. When I asked if he had his shopping about done his face lit up and he told me about his Christmas Day plan.
”Well you see”, he said with so much excitement, ”my girlfriend and I have this advent calender and every morning we take out the ornament for that day and place it on the tree. He could hardly contain himself as he told me the rest. “You see, on Christmas morning when she opens the little door to the 25th there won’t be an ornament but something better. On Christmas Eve after she goes to sleep I will sneak down to the tree and replace the ornament behind the 25th with a diamond ring and a little note asking her to marry me.”
He smiled, purchased the plate and quickly darted out the door. His story made my day. I could tell he was so proud of himself for coming up with that special moment and I was so touched that he had shared it with me. I can only imagine what a wonderful Christmas morning they’ll have- so special. I’m sure I will be thinking about them come Christmas morning. I’m a sucker for romance.
Well, I’m off to work and then girls night were we will have dinner and exchange gifts for the season. Cheers to monday (as I raise my coffee cup) and the perfect start to a very busy week!
A short break in the rain allowed me a trip through the garden for the last cuttings of the year. A handful of roses and a small bouquet of lavender made the perfect centerpiece on my breakfast table. A little romance for breakfast never hurt anybody!
Prelude to a kiss
Kind words are softly spoken
as two lips tenderly melt into one.
a spell is cast,
and the dance begins.
The arrangement not only made the perfect decoration for my table this romantic image made its way into my studio. I loved the look so much, I decided it was worthy of forever. The title was inspired by one of my favorite movies with the same title. Here’s a clip of Meg Ryan’s Prelude to a Kiss.
I just had to mention a special friend and her perfect day- she so deserves it! Click on the image and take a quick trip. There is nothing more special than a loyal friend!
The artwork and award are by a very talented artist Ces, check out her amazing work.
My wish for you- an extra special weekend!
Update… I made a few changes to the story. Let me know what you think.
Dear friends, I’m pulling out my hair, running around like a mad woman and biting the heads off small children. I desperately need your help! I’ve been struggling with the opening to the chic lit novel with strong romantic elements that I’m currently working on. I can’t seem to set the tone just right. I feel like there may be something missing. I’m 3/4 of the way through my first draft but I’m still not sure about the first few pages. So, I’m going to throw it out there and let you give me some feedback. I’ll be brave and of course I’ll trust you…
Please send me to the beach with a little peace of mind. I need to feel like I’m on the right track before I run off on vacation.
This is just the first few paragraphs.
And so the sofa diary begins like this…
I was deep in the reverie and wanted to call out his name, just breathe, I told myself. All my life I’d been praying for something big to happen but now the only thing that mattered was a new life with him. I was falling for this boy and he didn’t know the half of it. His eyes made me want to beg, for what I don’t know. I’d had plenty of boyfriends before but none that got inside me and haunted my every thought. I’m not sure what made Alex different, could be his quiet confidence and drive for success. It was probably more like his killer looks that buckled my knees every time I saw him. Something in him brought out a primal need in me that I just couldn’t explain.
My heart stopped when I heard footsteps making their way up to our new loft apartment. I rushed to the door, opened it slightly and then quickly positioned myself on the worn out sofa that was in clear sight as he entered the room. My heart was beating out of control as I couldn’t wait to see his expression when he noticed what I wasn’t wearing. My deliberate demeanor quickly unveiled my intentions. I was so ready to give up unpacking and consummate this new step in our relationship. In fact I had been dreaming of this moment all day. His eyes, his touch, his smell, yes that’s what it was, his smell; it haunted me down to the core. I couldn’t get away from the need to consume every inch of this boy. Alex took one look at me and he understood completely. He tried to place the box down carefully but in his hast the damp cardboard split wide open, spilling my grandmother’s china all over the hardwood floor. He looked over at me with a worried face that anticipated the usual dramatic response from a twenty-three year old girl moving into her first place.
“Oh shit, I’m sorry Bella. Did it break? Damn, couldn’t you have picked a better day to move all this crap?”
I casually picked up the pieces. It was my grandmother’s china and should have meant something to me, but it didn’t. Besides it was the ugliest pattern I’d ever seen. It resembled brown wheat or something similar that didn’t belong on fine china. I wasn’t really the sentimental type and that’s why my dreams of making a life with Alex surprised me so much. He bent down and collected the remaining pieces off the floor. I brushed up against his determined cheek and said softly,
“It’s okay. I’m not worried about a few broken dishes? I have more important plans for you my dear boy. I’ve been waiting for this all day.” I grabbed his hand and pulled him over to the sofa. I took my time unfastening each button and every button of his shirt. I kissed his neck and then pressed my breasts against his bare chest. This caused a shutter to take over me. He pulled me in and I slid underneath his body. I felt his eagerness, like I was the one he’d been dreaming about. Everything I wanted was to be his one and only dream. I needed to see his eyes, frantically searching to find me. He was no stranger in my dreams. I had to wonder what part I played in his.
I whispered, “I want you” in his ear and moments later, the apartment christening was in motion. Just as he thrust his hips, sending my body hurling to a familiar place, things began to escalate as my toes formed the perfect curl, with a loud crack and then a big crash to the floor. Our half-naked bodies spilled over the hardwood planks.
“What the hell, Bella? Where did you get this piece of shit?” Alex said as he jumped to his feet.
We both laughed as I turned to him and said, “Damn, I’ve had one hell of a week. It started with my uptight mother forbidding me to shack up, then came my first parking ticket, Grandma Bea’s china is broken, and now the only piece of furniture I own is a piece of shit. He flashed me a wink with a promise of better things to come.
It starts simply enough with a twenty something girl and guy, first apartment together, steamy relationship, well you get the picture. Did you get that she’s a girl who is hopelessly head over heels for a guy who is pretty smooth but just along for the ride?
Here are the things that I’d like you to consider in your feedback. What could I do better to set the mood or convey my message? What’s missing? Is there anything that just isn’t working? Be brutal, well maybe not too brutal, but honest
Thanks, I knew I could count on you.
Her eyes got lost in the deep dark pools that led her to his soul, she saw, she remembered. How could that be? His soft curly locks framed his masculane chin ever so perfectly, supple lips, strong shoulders, and a muscular chest all packaged in his warm Latin skin. She felt his touch course over her body, even though they were table lengths apart. She remembered his smell, the spicy aroma of smoked wood and the sweetness of a just ripe peach. A prickly sensation started at her lips and spread through her body ending with a tiny spark at the tips of her fingers and tops of her toes. She felt a primal urge to reach out and embrace each hair and every limb of his body but couldn’t move or speak. Her feet glued to the floor, her mind unable to think her lips dripping with lust for his, they were incapable of forming the words. She needed, she felt, she ached, and lusted for this man who’s name she didn’t know but who’s touch she remembered. She could recall every detail of the old woman’s description and felt each encounter so deeply. Had this woman sent her to live out the past, her fantasy, a long lost love, or her destiny? But how did she know- the accident, the choice of detour and why did she do it? What was her motive? She envisioned they’re tangled feet and embracing arms with feverish passion. When she closed her eyes she could almost feel his hot breath on her neck. She was trapped in a body of indecision and plagued by the fear of change.
But then, his deep eyes glowed as he winked his long lashes and turned toward the door. Should she stop him and risk her secret life so private and perfect? Can she share her life, her sensuous garden of succulent fruit and glowing candle light? She feared losing her independence by falling completely for this man. She could lead him to the garden to dance barfoot in the breeze and bathe in the warm waters that trickled past her sleeping nest. Her mind was conflicted but she felt her heart open and her hand reach out as he passed by. She felt the firmness of his skin as her fingers melted painlessly into his flesh. His head turned toward hers, his face so gentle, his eyes so intent but his lips never spoke and… and…. he held out his hand with perfect fingers out-stretched toward hers. As her mouth tried to make words he laid a finger to her lips and…….
Did he?…… Did she?…….. Should they?………. I guess I’ll leave this one up to you. You, tell me what happened. Sorry for the delay in the story my week has been a little hectic thus far. Today I am dreaming of running barefoot in the garden- just waiting on spring. Enjoy your day!
This was one of those perfect moments, perfect shot, kind of things. I captured this image last summer. Make a wish. Gotta love this kind of opportunity.
Slums of Mumbia India
What is it about human nature that forces us to look at the suffering of our fellow human beings? We have an intense need to gawk at the scene of an accident, a bubbling curiosity to drive through the worst neighborhoods to view the belongings of evicted tenants strewn on the lawn, and a deep lust to read about the struggles of our blogging friends. Is this simply human nature or something else. Have we been conditioned by the continual onslaught of violence that the media crams down our throat? Maybe we’ve been desensitized by the evening news and the constant reminder of how tragic the world has become. Do we tune in our ears and affix our eyes without even realizing ,or do we make a choice?
I can only speak for myself when I say that I have a wander lust to travel to remote countries and witness the human condition. The power of witnessing people at their rawest form gives off some sort of romantic notion. Real people raising their families and surviving against all odds is inspiring and somehow magic.
How did I get this way? I never stopped to think about that ,nor did I even realize I felt this way, until I viewed the recent phenomenon called “SlumDog Millionaire.” It is an extraordinary film of brilliant, up in your face, cinematography and a Bollywood soundtrack too good to miss. This modern day Cinderella tale takes you inside a world too painful to imagine and yet so breathtakingly beautiful in color and culture. I found myself falling in the love with this film very early into the picture and yet I still wondered if it was innate human nature or learned behavior that made me and so many others feel this way. I’m not sure that I can explain why I was so taken with this film. It was intense at times and in other moments slipped by like a ripple in the water but each and every second was just as captivating as the last. The characters lent you their emotions without you even realizes the exchange had taken place. It was seamless and when the movie ended you felt good. A modern day fairy tale told with a twist. I loved it!
Some have accused writer Simon Beaufoy of exploiting the people in the slums of Mumbia and criticized the name Slumdog. They claim the word dog is demeaning to the people of India but he claims it is only a shortened version of Underdog. Has he exploited the people of India? Have we voyerized their existence? I have to admit that upon my return home from the movie I wondered how true to culture he’d been. I quickly googled the Mumbia slums and found that the images were true. The sights and sounds of this movie are the real thing, no mistake. Does that make it okay?
I loved the movie but I can’t answer the question of whether this film trivalizes the struggles of the people of Mumbia nor if this kind of fairy tale makes us forget what tragic conditions many people around the world or just outside our front door are forced to endure. Is it right to be curious? Is it okay to look? Is this what makes us human?
I have no doubt that most of us have been voyerized because of our religion, a scar on our face, a limp in our walk, or the old beater we are forced to drive. We have also been on the other end of the spectrum as the voyee.
Ghetto/slum of Detroit, Michigan
Although I am a voyeur who enjoys this type of look into the human condition, I’m afraid to let myself get too close and feel their pain. It’s easy to look from a distance without getting close enough to smell the garbage rotting on the street but my view may have to change. I was recently asked to get closer to the streets by monitoring at risk children and becoming their court advocate. I want to step forward and lend a hand, but I don’t know if I can take it. I am afraid to feel too much; it might hurt a little and make me think a lot. This would mean that I couldn’t turn my head when it got really ugly or walk away when the smell got too strong. I would have to become more than just a voyeur; I will have to be involved. Do I have what it takes? Can I use my moxy and curious nature to help children who can’t help themselves? I’m ecstatic and terrified at the same time. I haven’t made a decision yet but stay tuned to find out.
Dance scene jai Ho
Chocolate cake is the ultimate food porn.
I thought I would share a tip for sexy eats that are sure to improve your love life. Zoe from Bigmethod left me an email with a link to an interesting web site called The Lovebite. This site is run by an Aussie chef named Mannix. He promises to teach you the art of seduction through pleasing the palate. For some reason just typing the words “art of seduction” steamed up the windows in my office. Is it hot in here or is it just me? Sorry back to the food. Mannix has a number of romantic recipes for the perfect date night. His clever tips just might make that special someone fall passionately in love with you or at least keep him/her coming back for more. My fav is the menu for a dirty weekend which includes roasted chicken, brie, avocado, baguettes, antipasti with chocolate and whiskey to finish. A sumptuous recipe for Mango Mischief got me really excited. I may have to try it.
The Lovebite a clever site with great dating tips and delicious recipes that you just have to try- date or no date. You can peruse his tasty recipes or sign up for the Get Bit news letter. A new date with recipe to match are featured every month. What a great way to add a little romance back into your life without breaking the bank.
Now… go and visit The Lovebite it may make your night or at least spice things up a bit. Let me know if you try any of his yummy suggestions and if your efforts are met with positive results. Have a delicious weekend
Be My Valentine
I love you
hugs and kisses
V-Day is closing in and it’s time to leave that special someone a secret valentine right over here. You can do it anonymously or with full disclosure – you decide. Let you inner cupid bring out your romantic side. Just leave your message in the comment section here. I will feature a few letters on the daily post on or around Valentine’s Day. Don’t be shy; do something really special for that special someone in your life. It doesn’t have to be addressed to your lover. Leave a valentine message to anyone who has made a difference in your life or is just too damn cute to ignore. No valentine message? Then leave us with your best v-day memories or a little romantic advice. Make our day with your sweet message or spice up our love life with a romantic tip, either way we can’t wait to hear it.