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A Wardrobe Male-function

The Dude has great style and it was one of the first things I noticed about him.

John Varvatos,  Hugo Boss, Christian Dior, and Cole Haan are just some of the labels you can find in his closet. When we travel, he spends time seeking out good tailors to make custom-made clothes. Gorgeous suits from Argentina. Beautiful button-down shirts from Thailand.  When he dresses down in t-shirts and shorts, he still looks good. The guy even looks stylish when he’s going for a six mile run.

So, it was with a mix of shock and horror when he came home with a new t-shirt that he ordered online:


No. Just no.

“What IS that!?!” I asked him, unable to mask my disgust.

My new shirt! Isn’t it cool?” he exclaimed with delight.

“You’re joking, right? You’re not actually going to wear that in public, are you?”

“Of course! It’s funny and the Monkey will love it”

“Who are you?”

Is fatherhood to blame? As the Monkey gets older, does the Dude want to become younger…or at least dress the part? What’s next? Will he start wearing baseball caps backwards or lowering his jeans to inappropriately obscene levels?  I believe this t-shirt may be the gateway t-shirt to a wardrobe filled with stuff that teenage boys would wear.

I am seeking a few answers from the Dude. But for now, the offending t-shirt has been relegated to the bottom of a drawer…awaiting shipment to my 14 year old half-brother.

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Mental Monday: The Mental Health Lessons We Can Learn From Tragedy

Like so many others across the world, I was horrified to learn of the tragedy that took place on Saturday morning in Tucson. The assassination attempt on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of six innocent victims, including a nine year old girl, was a gut-wrenching shock to the Tucson community and the nation as a whole. Why would someone do this? What would possess a 22 year old man to gun down a group of people? And what can we do to prevent this from happening again?

Whether the young man had a politically based motive to kill Rep. Giffords or not is still speculation. But what we do know is that the alleged murderer is obviously and clearly a very troubled person. What we do know is that he lives with his parents and that others who knew him also knew that something was wrong. So the only question I have right now is this: why didn’t anyone help him?

When we know someone who is troubled, delusional, and unstable, the signs will be there. Someone with the internal rage, delusional behavior, and unstable thought process like this young man exhibited will not be able to hide it easily.  So why was he ignored? As we know all too well, if we ignore, avoid, or deny the serious mental health problems of those we know, it may only result in tragic consequences for that person and/or for others. In fact, recent research has shown the correlation to untreated mental health problems and violence…and the problem is on the rise. (continues…)

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Foodie Friday: A Date with Cooking Class

The opportunity to combine my love for food and cooking with spending quality time with the Dude is my kinda date. The Dude and I love to cook together at home but we also enjoy the occasional outing to a cooking class. It had been a while since we’ve been to a cooking class together, so we recently headed to a local SoCal culinary school called Epicurean.

With about a dozen other couples, we picked out a recipe to create for the family style meal we would all share later in the evening.  We had a variety of menu items to choose from: crostini with fresh mozzarella, butternut squash soup, Caesar salad with homemade croutons, chicken piccata, grilled skirt steak with garlic mashed potatoes, homemade pasta with fresh tomato basil sauce, and chocolate souffle for dessert.

I think the point of cooking class is to challenge yourself with something new and to create a dish you have never made before. However, we were slow to sign up and the most challenging menu items were already taken (read: souffle). We signed up for the pasta dish even though one of our own specialties is homemade pasta. So, we weren’t going to be challenged much but, with our bottle of red wine handy, we knew that we would at least have a lot of fun.

(click on pics to open and expand)

We had a great time cooking, taking silly pictures, and meeting other cooks in the kitchen. The couple that made the crostini appetizers passed them around while the rest of us finished our entrees.  When our meals were ready, we placed our dishes on a long buffet table. With the hard work complete, we were all able to sit down, relax, and enjoy our wine and everyone’s dishes.

Cooking classes can be as challenging or easy as you want them to be, but you will likely have an enjoyable time nonetheless. Whether you’ve been formally trained or don’t even know how to boil water, cooking class is a fun date night with your significant other or with a group of friends. Plus, you’ll hopefully learn something new!

Homemade Pasta and Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce
Epicurean School of Culinary Arts (continues…)
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Bringing Sexy Back (After Kids) – A TBwaP Guest Feature

TBwaPI’m featured again over at the fabulous Tight Bod with a Pod (TBwaP) website today! You’re already subscribed to it, right?!? It’s a must-read website for moms and moms-to-be (dads, too!) for helpful information ranging from having a healthy pregnancy and getting your body back after baby to delicious and healthy recipes for kids and other helpful parenting tips.

In my 3rd article, I discuss tips on how to bring romance back to a relationship after kids come into the picture. As any parent can attest, it ain’t easy to find the time or energy for intimacy. But what is easy is losing a connection with your partner when children become the main focus and priority. This article is about making the time to prioritize your relationship, especially when it seems like there is no time to spare.

Read the article in full on the TBwaP website or scroll down to read more: (continues…)

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A Love Story: The Short Version


His & Her jeans. Guess which is which.

The Dude is about 2 inches shorter than me. On a good day.

There are days when we’re about the same height, like when I’m in flats and he’s wearing his fancy Cole Haans. And then there are days when I’m about 5 inches taller. Those are the days I wear heels. Those days are few and far between. It’s not because I care about being so much taller than the Dude. It’s because I’m clumsy enough as it is wearing flats.

I’m 5’9 and, before I met the Dude, I usually only dated men taller than me. I didn’t have anything against dating shorter men. Really. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Shorter guys never approached me and I was much too shy to approach anyone, let alone a cute shorter dude that didn’t even look my way. As soon as I sprouted in junior high to become the 2nd tallest girl in the class, the guys immediately stopped teasing and flirting with me. Instead, they asked me to play on their recess basketball teams. In high school, the cute short girls snagged all of my crushes, many of whom were my height or shorter. I never saw tall girls and short boys together. It was only when Tom Cruise married Nicole Kidman that I believed that there were people out there that didn’t give a crap about height.

How many times have you heard a woman say that she would never date a man shorter than her or a man say that he only likes women a certain height?  It’s the kind of stuff I heard in high school and continue to hear well into my 30′s. What gives? (continues…)

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