Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Beauty of the Kiss...Hollywood Style

Kissing is fabulous. It can be loving, playful, flirty, romantic and HOT! It can be the antidote to a bad day, the start of a good morning or the kindling needed to flame a love inferno.

When was the last time you kissed your love? I mean, really kissed your love? Like, Hollywood style. Long and like you mean it.

Begin your day with a kiss. It may be the sweet kind to wake him from slumber (maybe a little early, just in case you need a little extra time for a little more) or a kiss simply to say, "Good morning!"

Then, later, when you reunite after work or your daily activities that separate you, kiss again. Go Hollywood . . .long and lush. Your love will know you've been thinking of him and the sparks will fly.

Finally, before bed, just like you're never supposed to go to sleep angry, never go to sleep without a goodnight kiss. It simply sets your world aright, because when you strip away the demands of the day and the demands of your life, you have each other.

And for those tender moments spent lip-locked, it's only the two of you in the whole world.

Besitos, besos o besotes . . .the choice is yours. And maybe the luck of the Irish celebrated in March brings a little lovers' luck your way as well.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Love Notes

Some guys take the newspaper. Others may whistle. My husband describes his morning "routine" in the bathroom as writing a letter to his least favorite politician. "I'm off to write a letter to x," he playfully announces.

Now, hear me out, because I know this will sound strange.

Capitalizing on the letters motif, what about a morning love letter?

StoryCorps did a sweet, animated short about a couple who reminisced about their life together during the husband's final days with terminal cancer. During the broadcast, Danny and Annie spoke of Danny's morning weather reports, a way for them to romantically connect each morning before the busyness of the day sent them each on their own way.

What about a notebook where you could write a line or two to the one you love?

Teachers use these interactive notebooks to communicate with students during independent reading.

What if you began a similar notebook, but instead of weather reports or book updates, you wrote about the reasons why you love each other? The reasons why you are grateful to have each other in your life? The hopes and dreams you have for each other in your lives?

The bathroom may not be the most sanitary of storage places, but it is one common area you're guaranteed to visit alone at some point in your day.

You could build off each other or leave playful, intimate flirtations and invitations for fun later in your day.

Whether you write once a week or once a day, an interactive notebook is a fun way to connect. Sometimes written words come easier than spoken ones. Nevertheless, it provides another way to connect and show your love just how much he or she means to you.

Un beso...


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Eating Your Way Through Galicia

Many people associate Spain with its landmark cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, or Valencia. And many people associate Spanish food with tapas, paella and sangria.

While all of those associations may be true, there is so much more to Spain than its tourist-rich cities and there is so much more to Spanish cuisine than jamon y tinto.

Galicia, the coastal region in the northwest corner of Spain, is not a tourist destination, except maybe for Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. However, it features fresh seafood and shellfish that can be followed from net to plate and fruits and vegetables harvested from the rich, fertile farmland that makes the Galician panoramas some of the most scenic in the world. Here's a sampling.

Pulpo Gallego
Perhaps the most beloved dish of Galicia is pulpo gallego. Octopus can be found at nearly every feria, or market. It is cooked whole in giant copper pots. Then it it cut with scissors and served with toothpicks on a wooden plate drizzled with fine Spanish olive oil, paprika and sea salt. Washed down with local Estrella Galicia beer or house tinto and rustic bread, it makes the perfect snack during your market day excursion.

Caldo Gallego
Caldo gallego is a simple broth of kale, potatoes and beans. Some chorizo or other meat may be used to flavor the caldo, as well as other vegetables, but regardless of variation, this hearty dish is a staple in the homes and restaurants throughout Galicia.

Pimientos Padrón
These tiny green peppers are fried in olive oil until their skins blacken, and are then dusted in sea salt. They appear as tapas and are also sold by the bagfuls at the markets. Most of them are mild, but every once in a while, you get a hot one. "Los pimientos de Padrón, unos pican y outros non"..."Peppers of Padrón, some of them hot, and others not."

Empanada Gallega
Empanadas in Galicia are not like the stuffed meat patties associates with Latin and Asian cuisine. Empanadas in Galicia are like giant round calzones, stuffed with meat, fish or vegetables. They are found at ferias and at festivals. This one, below, was stuffed with mussels.

Galicia is also known for its famous almond Torta de Santiago, or St. James' cake, its soft, creamy tetilla cheese, its rustic round bread, pan de cea, and its high priced (and dangerously harvested) delicacy, the percebes, but one thing is true. 

Once you venture out beyond the obvious charm of Madrid and Barcelona, you will find that Galicia is a feast for the senses and after your visit to "Green Spain," your taste buds will leave you begging for more.  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Coffee Dates: Just Another Ordinary Sunday

We made it through Snowmageddon. The Blizzard of 2013, a.k.a. Nemo, has come and gone and we are finally dug out from under more than two chilling feet of snow.

We got a lot of extra together time this weekend, since the state was under a mandatory travel ban. But, late yesterday afternoon, the ban was lifted and residents were free to roam about in search of open businesses, restaurants and watering holes. We stayed in anyway.

Today, though, was a new day. And our ordinary Sunday was underway.

Our Sundays, while considered quite ordinary to most, are special here. And one of the things that makes it especially nice is our after-lunch coffee date ritual. Sunday is a day when we have no errands, and usually, no particular place to be. And so, after a leisurely spent morning with love and politics, we have lunch, our main meal of the day, and head out in search of the perfect cup of joe, usually in the form of a latte or cappuccino and a little something sweet.

Sunday coffee is sacred. We may go to a coffee shop in a nearby university town or even to the very ordinary Starbucks at the local Barnes and Noble, but regardless of where we pick our poison, Sunday coffee is a time to be one in time before the mayhem of the workweek settles in.

It may be just an ordinary Sunday, but joy in the ordinary routines, like our Sunday coffee date, is cherished time upon which dreams are planned, memories are made and love is shared.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Worth Ten Thousand Words

I come from a family of love you's. We tell each other we love one another when we leave each other, say goodbye on the phone, and any other time the opportunity affords itself. Even my brother's and my friends jokingly say, "Bye, love you" to my parents as they part ways.

This may be a difficult adjustment for someone who did not grow up this way, like my loving husband.

He does not come from love you's.

Don't get me wrong. He is not one who is emotionally closed off. On the contrary. He is Latin . . .passion runs through his veins, gracias a Dios. But he just didn't grow up that way.

Saying I love you every day . . .that's just not him. Nonetheless, I know he loves me, because he shows me every day.

It's in his smile when he sees me.

It's in his kiss . . .tender when I need it, and Hollywood-style when I least expect it.

It's there when he turns on the heated seat for me a cold day before I get into the car.

It's in his choice of ice cream.

It's in the way he holds my hand when we're walking anywhere, from the beach to the city streets, to the local mall.

It's in the way he plays with me, flirts with me, tickles me, challenges my thinking, supports me, holds me.

It's in the texts he sends, that nearly always end with a beso, or an even bigger besote.

His love for me shows in the way we connect at dinner, snuggle in on a weekend morning, or in the all too few moments before we rush off to work.

And it's behind the words, I love you when they escape his heart and cross his lips.

My husband may not utter those three words after every exchange on every day, but more importantly, he shows me every day, how he loves me.

And I love him. Likewise, I am committed to showing him every day how much I love him.

And that is a portrait of love worth ten thousand words.