Archive for the ‘Couples & Married’ Category
Monday, July 18th, 2011
By Aly Walansky
Despite popular belief, television and technology can actually be used to help, rather than harm, a relationship.
Here’s the deal: According to TiVo’s “Turn on the Love” survey* users spend more quality time together and are twice as likely as generic DVR users to put down their laptop during quality time at home.
“Plopping on the couch alone to watch sports for hours a day, sleeping next to your smart phone, or compulsively surfing the Internet can have a negative impact on a relationship, but there are smart ways that technology can actually help couples communicate more,” said renowned comedian and co-author of “He’s Just Not that into You,” Greg Behrendt. “Using TiVo’s access to music and movies increases a couple’s exposure to entertainment and pop culture which are light, but very real topics for a couple to bond over on a daily basis. In home entertainment certainly helps busy couples turn off daily stresses and create a romantic date night in.”
Among its findings, the survey revealed…
- Drama and sports come with more kisses. More than half of respondents will pause dramatic television shows for a smooch (54 percent), and a third of respondents will even pause their favorite team’s games for a kiss (33 percent).
- The definition of romance is broadening. While dining out still ranks first as the most romantic activity with a significant other, a night in to watch TV or a movie is a close second. And with more to watch/experience, users are more likely to classify a night in with their significant other as romantic, quality time
- Keep this recording. Despite the increase in romance thanks to television technology, a third of all survey respondents say they’ve “accidentally” deleted their partner’s recordings to make room for their own (31 percent).
Greg has the following tips for couples when it comes to using technology to help your relationship:
- Disconnect to reconnect with your partner. There is nothing wrong with checking your smart phone in your spare time, but when it butts into your dinner date or intimate moments it’s becoming a problem. Discuss your relationship phone policy so there are no miscommunications half way through the night.
- Timing is everything. In a good relationship, you know your partner is always thinking about ways to be considerate and score points in your relationship. If your honey is bummed because they will be missing their favorite show, have their program recorded and ready to watch when they get home. Just add popcorn, and you’ve changed their day from bad to good without paying a cent.
- Old can be as good (or even better!) than new. When planning a date night in, don’t just search the new releases for movies that your partner might like. Think about their favorite classic movie actor or even better, turn them on to something that had a big effect on you.
- Spontaneity and fluidity are key. In any relationship it’s important to remain spontaneous and change up daily plans at a moment’s notice.
- Sometimes a song says it best. Take out or a home cooked meal can take an evening from average to special.
Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
by: Yolanda Shoshana
When I first heard that Ice-T and Coco were going to get their own reality called “Ice Loves Coco”, I thought, it was a joke. The show came about, because Coco wants to take her career to the next level. It has not been declared what the next level is, but know that is the goal. Let’s just hope it isn’t acting. While I do happen to agree with alot of politic comments from Ice-T, would I want to see him at home, in a Speedo or taking a shower? You know how reality television sometimes shows you too much information.
I did know that I would turn in at least for a few shows. Ice-T and Coco would either be a hot mess to watch or at least mindless entertainment for a few minutes. My other reason I wanted to turn in is due to the fact that I am now matchmaking for interracial couples. I wanted to see if Ice-T and Coco would show off a different side than is normally portrayed on television between interracial couples. Unfortunately, the talk shows, Jerry Springer and Maury, show interracial love as a train wreck while a lot of other shows display stereotypes, so my fingers were crossed that there would be a positive spin on this reality show.
Within minutes of the show coming on, not only did Ice love Coco, but so did I. Actually, I love them both, especially together. Coco is quirky which is what is so awesome about her; even Ice sometimes doesn’t know what to say. He just looks at her, because he knows she is going to do keep on with her idea. As he says “why should he be a wet blanket on what she wants to do?” There was a scene of Coco working out to keep killer curves. Any woman who works out on her heels (and can) is my kinda girl.
They have only spent one night apart, who would have thought? When Coco said she never got to wear a wedding dress for their wedding, the camera caught how Ice-T looked at Coco. It was priceless for at that moment, the audience could see his care and concern for her. By the end of the show, Ice suggested that they renew their vows. Now you know that is going to be fun to watch, who knows what these two will do for a wedding.
Who would have thought that an ex pimp and gangsta rapper would have one of the most loving and positive relationships in the entertainment business? They have total respect and admiration for each other. If you missed the show, check it out. You may think of it as a guilty pleasure, but you will give a whole lot of relationship tips from Ice T and Coco. Now we know how they have been together for ten years strong.
Yolanda Shoshana “Shoshi” is a lifestyle provocateur: sex goddess, courtesan coach™, lifestyle guru, perfume creatrix, matchmaker, wedding officiant, and new thought speaker. She has a lifestyle show on Mingle Media TV called, Courtesan Candy. Follow her on Twitter @Shoshi
Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
By Aly Walansky
Earth Day may have been in April, but us true global denizens know Earth Day is (and should be) EVERY DAY.
Trying to add a little environmental love to your bedroom love? Here’s some tips!
1. Shower together for some steamy fun that will conserve water as well.
2. Toss used condoms in the trash, not the toilet. Flushing condoms can clog pipes, treatment plants and rivers. Also, stick with latex since polyurethane condoms are essentially plastic (not biodegradable).
3. Engage in some sexy foreplay by giving your partner a backrub with organic massage oil. Experiment with different fragrances. Some aromatic oils, such as jasmine and sandalwood, are considered natural aphrodisiacs, while others such as lavender may help you to de-stress.
4. Keep the lights off! Energy-efficient lovemaking in the dark enhances your senses and also helps qualm body insecurities. (Did we mention you might save a little on your electric bill as well?) Candles can also create sexy silhouettes, so consider making love by candlelight for an ultra-sensuous evening. Opt for natural beeswax candles to limit indoor air pollution.
5. Instead of ordering a pizza and driving to a movie, enjoy the outdoors for a sexy date. Try a walk in the park or along the beach, or how about some star gazing? Plus, the fresh air is invigorating.
6. Did you know you can also naturally support your man’s performance? Tenaga is an herbal supplement contains PhysTA, a patented form of Tongkat Ali developed in collaboration with MIT that may not only support overall energy, but may give you a boost in the bedroom as well. Malaysian men have been using this natural aphrodisiac to boost their sexual desire for centuries.
7. Some foods are thought to have sexually stimulating properties, such as black pepper, asparagus, ginseng, red wine, oysters, dark chocolate and avocado.
8. Avoid lubes that are made with petroleum products or artificial fragrance, flavor or color, and opt for water-based instead. Coconut and olive oils are also great alternatives, just be careful not to use them with latex.
Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
By Aly Walansky
Though “variety is the spice of life” and “opposites attract,” most people marry only those whose political views align with their own, according to new research from Rice University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Political scientists found that political attitudes were among the strongest shared traits and even stronger than qualities like personality or looks.
In an article published in the April issue of the Journal of Politics, researchers examined physical and behavioral traits of more than 5,000 married couples in the United States. They found spouses in the study appeared to instinctively select a partner who has similar social and political views.
“It turns out that people place more emphasis on finding a mate who is a kindred spirit with regard to politics, religion and social activity than they do on finding someone of like physique or personality,” said John Alford, associate professor of political science at Rice University and the study’s lead author.
On a scale of 0 to 1, where 1 means perfectly matched, physical traits (body shape, weight and height) only score between 0.1 and 0.2 among spouse pairs. Personality traits, such as extroversion or impulsivity, are also weak and fall within the 0 to 0.2 range. By comparison, the score for political ideology is more than 0.6, higher than any of the other measured traits except frequency of church attendance, which was just over 0.7.
The study adds to recent “sorting research” that has uncovered a surprising level of uniformity in Americans’ personal political communication networks — where they live, with whom they socialize and where they work.
The new research shows that this sorting doesn’t stop with the selection of neighborhoods or workplaces, however. It’s also visible in choice of spouses, Alford said.
“It suggests that, perhaps, if you’re looking for a long-term romantic relationship, skip ‘What’s your sign?’ and go straight to ‘Obama or Palin?’” Alford said. “And if you get the wrong answer, just walk away.”
Alford and his co-authors noted that sorting is not the only reason for spouses’ political uniformity, but it is clearly the most powerful. More traditional explanations for the political similarity of spouses turned out to have only modest effects and account for only about 10 percent of the similarity between long-term partners. Social homogamy — or the tendency for people to choose a mate from within one’s own religious, social, economic and educational surroundings — played only a small role.
Similarly, the researchers found little support for interspousal persuasion, the notion that partners tend to adapt to one another’s political beliefs over time – a discovery that could have implications on partisan politics for generations to come, the researchers said.
“We did expect to find a strong political bond between husbands and wives,” said John Hibbing, a professor of political science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a co-author of the study. “But we were surprised that political concordance seems to exist from the very early years in the marriage, instead of the folk wisdom of mates growing more alike politically as their relationship goes along.”
The authors said this sorting can have a big impact on the future of American politics: If parents transmit political traits to their children, then the practice of liberals marrying liberals and conservatives marrying conservatives seems likely to increase political uniformity into the next generation.
“Obviously, parents are very influential in shaping the political beliefs of their children,” Hibbing said. “If both parents are on the left or on the right, it makes it more difficult for a child to be something different. It may be part of the reason why we see such polarization.”
This means that marriage — a major means by which diversity enters into extended families –doesn’t actually contribute much to the political “melting pot,” Alford said.
“Instead, marriage works largely to reinforce the ongoing ideological polarization that we see so clearly today,” he said.
The study, “The Politics of Mate Choice,” was authored by Alford, Hibbing, Peter K. Hatemi of the University of Iowa, Nicholas Martin of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research and Lindon Eaves of the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics.
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011
By Aly Walansky
The Royal Wedding may have cost millions, but no expense will be spared for the royal honeymoon either. The newlyweds are trying to keep the mid-May trip top secret, but some news outlets report that Prince William and Kate Middleton will be heading to a villa on an exclusive island in the Seychelles. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to honeymoon for ten days in the Indian Ocean, spending roughly $6600 a night. You may not have that kind of a budget for your honeymoon, but don’t worry—you can still feel like royalty.
Try All-Inclusive – When you’re royalty you can have whatever you want, whenever you want it. That’s kind of how it feels when you stay at an all-inclusive resort. Feel like a margarita at midnight? No problem! Want shrimp at sunset? Your wish is their command.
Check out Package Specials – Wills proposed to Kate during a romantic African retreat. Find deals at similar resorts by visiting TheSafariandConservationCompany.com. Right now you can save 20% on a visit to Manda Bay plus the package includes complimentary excursions and a unique wilderness dinner.
Ask for Free Upgrades – The saying ‘you never know unless you ask’ definitely applies to honeymooners. Ask the airport check-in attendant if there’s any spare room in first class. See if the resort will give you free spa services. Tell your waiters you’re celebrating your honeymoon and you could experience some royal treatment without paying anything extra.
Stay Closer to Home – For years, Britian’s royals have been honeymooning in nearby Scotland—not exclusive destinations half way around the world. By sticking closer to home you’ll save big bucks on transportation. And you’ll likely spend more time enjoying your honeymoon destination instead of being stuck on an airplane.
Create a Honeymoon Registry – Rather than asking for towels and trivets as wedding gifts, why not ask wedding guests to sponsor part of your honeymoon? Free honeymoon registry services like Honeyfund.com help cut the cost of your big trip so you can make your dollars go further. Things you may have skipped in an effort to stay on budget (ie. couples massage or horseback riding on the beach) you’ll now be able to afford.
Irv’s Luggage coupon – Wherever you go on your honeymoon, make sure you take some sturdy luggage! Save 15% sitewide, plus get free shipping on $99+ orders, with coupon code SPRING15 through 05/31/2011.
Sheraton coupon – Save 40% on every second night’s stay with coupon code ZB4 through 12/31/2011. Use your savings to get in-room couples’ massages or room service!
Thursday, April 28th, 2011
By Aly Walansky
All brides want flawless and glowing skin on their wedding day. But in an effort to look and feel especially beautiful, soon-to-be brides often splurge on beauty treatments that they haven’t done before, says Mike Sendogan, Clinical Director of LaserTouch Aesthetics, a luxury medspa in SoHo and Midtown Manhattan: www.lasertouchsoho.com.
Any beauty treatment that you’re trying for the first time should be done a minimum of two weeks before your wedding day to give any unexpected reactions or irritations time to fade. Below are four wedding-week DON’TS:
1. Botox. Botox takes four to five days to kick in, and you wouldn’t want to discover one day before the wedding that a brow has dropped or elevated unattractively.
2. Chemical Peels. This type of facial is designed to dissolve dead skin cells and reveal brighter skin. It also helps erase fine lines and lighten dark blotches for a more even-toned complexion. Do this at least two weeks before your wedding day because even a gentle chemical peel can cause drying that may be annoying to apply makeup over.
3. Fillers. Lip plumping is popular with brides, but filler in the lips can look swollen initially—which is not very photogenic. All fillers can also cause bruising that may last up to two weeks, so be sure to give yourself time to heal.
4. Microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion, which uses a machine to buff skin, is also a commonly sought-after pre wedding beauty treatment. Mike suggests not going the week before your wedding day because side effects may include redness, sensitivity, and breakouts. Avoid that stress by consulting with a professional three months before your wedding day to come up with a personalized routine.
Monday, April 25th, 2011
By Aly Walansky
Sound the trumpets! After eight long years, Prince William and Catherine (“Waitie Katie”) Middleton will walk down the aisle Friday in a fairytale wedding. Contrary to all the pomp and circumstance, the happy couple actually lead a very modest life in a $1,200-a-month farmhouse in Angsley, Wales. If William wasn’t heir to the throne, one gets the feeling they might plan a more intimate and reasonably priced affair. That doesn’t mean they’d have to forgo all the bells and whistles, however.
If you’re planning a wedding and would like to exchange vows in a more royal fashion on a limited budget, read on for 15 tips shared by fabulous consumer savings expert Andrea Worochto to help you tie the knot in style without sacrificing your savings.
1. The Proposal
Prince William took Kate all the way to Kenya to propose over a champagne dinner. While you can’t replicate the location, you could pop for champagne and cook your own dinner. If you’re looking for something a bit more romantic, try Michael Scott’s incredibly romantic, candle-laden proposal on “The Office.”
2. Princely Invitations
The royal invite is a relatively simple 8-inch-by-6-inch card that says the Lord Chamberlain has been “commanded by the Queen” to invite the holder to the wedding. Eliminating all the extra envelopes, tissue paper and fuss of traditional invites is both very modern and much less expensive. To save even more, opt to create the invite on your home computer or visit sites like PrintRunner.com which offer easy-to-follow directions on custom wedding invitation cards.
3. Pre-marital Counseling
Once the question has been popped, it’s wise to seek a bit of advice. The royal couple will meet with both the Bishop of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury, but you can turn to your own spiritual adviser or check with your county mental-health center for a recommendation to a counselor who charges on a sliding scale.
4. Wedding Rings
The royal couple will exchange wedding rings made with gold from Wales’ Clogau Mine. William is also having Kate’s ring engraved inside, a sentiment common couples can easily duplicate. For an excellent price on rings, check out pawnshops and discount jewelry merchants, like Amazon. Watch for promo codes for even more savings on jewelry.
5. Teeth Whitening
Want to know a secret? Kate donned invisible braces and had her teeth whitened for the wedding. (She also lost weight, but that’s another topic.) One of the cheapest ways to purchase a teeth-whitening session is via one of the group-buying services, such as Groupon and LivingSocial. Otherwise, try a more affordable drugstore product like Crest White Strips to make your smile dazzle on the big day
Catherine’s floral selection is easy to duplicate as she’s planned a white pallet reminiscent of an English garden. While hot-house flowers are nice, it’s much less expensive if you ask a variety of friends to share the bounty of their backyard gardens. Or you might use silk flowers, which can be repurposed to decorate your happy new home.
Queen Victoria created a tradition when she included a bit of myrtle in her bouquet to symbolize “constancy in affection and duty.” Her highness later planted the sprig so future brides could share a piece of her bouquet. Not only is this an inexpensive and lovely idea but planting the sprig is very eco-friendly.
An all-tuxedo ensemble at the altar has become rather passe. Follow Prince William’s lead and wear your military uniform, or go your own way with a simple suit. Don’t have a suit? Thrift shops have some surprisingly good deals on quality jackets, pants and two-piecers.
Lucky Catherine has her choice of gowns, from Vera Wang to J. Crew, and she can wear what she likes as there’s no protocol on bridal wear. Everyday brides, however, can save by renting, borrowing or hitting second-hand shops. For those looking for a gown online or in-store, plan to buy discount gift cards before checking out to help lower the cost by up to 30-percent off.
Not everyone wants to wear a tiara, but it would be hard to forgo this headwear if, like Kate, you could chose from 80 stunning tiaras in the royal family collection. Brides who want to look more like a princess than a pauper might check out costume shops for realistic-looking tiaras at rock-bottom prices.
Princess Diana rode to her wedding in a glass carriage. Trumpets sounded upon her arrival and three choirs serenaded her walk down the aisle. While that might be overdoing it just a touch for your wedding, there’s no reason you can’t replicate the sound with recorded music. For a more personal touch, ask a friend to play and sing.
Commoners might find it difficult to fill St. Paul’s Cathedral, but you don’t want to overlook the many low-budget locations open to you. A nice backyard, local church, public park, community garden, historical building on your local university campus…there’s no end to low-cost locations if you begin to think outside the box.
13. After Parties
Queen Elizabeth is hosting an intimate luncheon for 700 at Buckingham Palace, then the oldsters will clear out and 400 of the younger guests will enjoy an evening of dining and dancing. While you might need to scale down the numbers, you can follow the same blueprint. Hold a small champagne reception directly after the wedding for the senior crowd and, if you’d like to go really low cost, a potluck dinner followed by dancing to your favorite iTunes.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles spent their honeymoon in Hampshire, England, but it looks like Kate and William will head to equally chilly Canada. Not all of us have a former colony to tour, but we can get away for a nice hiking weekend or time at a friend’s cottage. If your budget has been destroyed by the wedding itself, there’s always the option of a staycation. Turn off the phones and computers and turn your home into a spa, movie theater or whatever suits your fancy. Just don’t tell anyone where you are.
Despite having a millionaire’s bank book, Kate is an economical clothes shopper, which can’t be easy when you have to wear all those hats. The soon-to-be-princess also doubles her wardrobe by sharing with her sister. You can follow Kate’s tips or hit thrift shops, second-hand stores and the big boxes for your trousseau. Target, in particular, has a comparatively upscale clothing selection at very reasonable prices.
Monday, April 18th, 2011
by Stephanie G.
The impending nuptials between Prince William and Kate Middleton have brought about a ton of wedding trends that just aren’t practical for the everycouple. Here are a few that I hope crash and burn post-royal wedding.
The ringless groom: While exhaustive coverage of this wedding ensures that no man or woman, alive or dead, will EVER mistake the prince for a bachelor, I’d venture to guess that the exchanging of rings means something to William’s fiance. If not, wouldn’t they both abstain from wearing a band? I’m all for couples creating their own traditions, but the refusal to wear a ring seems like yet another instance in which Kate and William display a difference in opinion on something they should be on the same page about – their marriage.
Publicly discussing Kate’s virginity status: Speaking of tradition, is it necessary to even question whether or not the couple has had pre-marital sex? I’m fairly certain that Purity Rings and Purity Balls are based on the idea that waiting until marriage is the exception, not the rule. If a woman chooses to wear a flamenco red wedding gown that screams, ‘NOT A VIRGIN!’, pat her on the back and keep it moving. And if she wears a traditional white gown? She probably feels her wedding isn’t the venue to discuss how many men she’s been with. Because it’s not. Mind your business.
Inviting your ex to the ceremony: Kate and William have the royal obligation of inviting their former flings to their wedding day, but I’d venture to guess that when my wedding day rolls around, I won’t be tripping over myself to invite any of my exes (or their +1s). A wedding is a day to celebrate the future, and palling around with your ex-boyfriends seems counterproductive at best (and excruciating at worst).
Multiple dresses: The bride-to-be reportedly has three dresses in the queue (in case her gown of choice is leaked pre-wedding). She can clearly afford her choice of wedding gowns, so more power to her – but if you have the cash to purchase three dresses, can’t you find a way to discreetly purchase the dress of your dreams without settling for the next best thing? This problem isn’t typical of most brides – I just hope she wears the dress she wants to wear, regardless of whether or not her soon-to-be husband sneaks a peek or not.
Stephanie is a NYC lifer who enjoys new-age dating, sharp-dressed men, and occasionally acting as big spoon. Follow her on Twitter!
Thursday, April 7th, 2011
By Aly Walansky
Swedish couple Stefan Svanstrom and wife Erika just returned from the Honeymoon From Hell.
They chatted with CNN about their honeymoon trip which — purely by chance — put them at the center of most of the major global disasters of recent weeks.
The first night of the trip they got stuck in Munich because of a freak snow storm. Then they went to Bali and got stuck in a monsoon. After that they went to Perth, Australia and got stuck in a cyclone. Bush fires started just as they left. Then they went to Cairns, to dive the Great Barrier Reef. They had to be evacuated because of the storms. They were flying to Christchurch, New Zealand, which was hit by a giant earthquake before they got there so they had to go somewhere else. They chose to go to Japan, which was hit by a giant tsuanmi and earthquake.
They made it home to Sweden and say they are still in love. They also seem to be in remarkably good spirits after their rocky start to married life.