Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Last Love Drop

Looking for a way to help during the holidays? Consider the Love Drop.Every month they help a family in need, but this will be the last one, so if you want to help, now's the time! I've offered to help spread the word via my blog so here's the message from J$ and Nate:

Help give a Love Drop this season!

This Christmas the team's coming together for Diomi and her son Nallee, who are going into the cold Milwaukee winter with very little food, clothes, and other necessities. Diomi has been through so much, including the loss of her father, the loss of her job, and clinical depression. But even through the pain you can see all the love she has for Nallee, who has one of the most beautiful personalities you'll find. :)

We want to make this month special for them! We're working with their pastor to help get things they really need, including school uniforms for Nallee, interview clothes for Diomi as she looks for a job, and food to help them through the winter months.

If you can find it in your hearts to give one extra gift this year, whether it be money or a helpful item they can use, please send it in - our goal is to reach $3,000 worth of necessities.

Want to join us in helping Diomi and Nallee? Here are 3 ways:
  1. Give $1.00 - This money will be put towards basic necessities and care. Maybe even a Christmas present or two (They're currently spending it alone, w/out anything at all).
  2. Give a gift card - Gift cards are extremely helpful, especially to places that are national.
  3. Donate personal products -These two need anything you can thing of in the personal product department: bathroom/kitchen/bedroom stuff, etc.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Just Do It! Flash Mobbing at DIA

Yesterday I did something that's been on my "bucket list" for awhile: Participate in a Flash Mob! This is the kind of thing that once upon a time I'd sit back and say, "I want to do that, but ...I can't dance well enough, or ...I don't have a boyfriend, or ...my boyfriend doesn't like to dance or ...[other lame excuse.]

It's time to stop making excuses and Just Do It! So what if you're a newbie? Everyone is a newbie some time. As for waiting until you have a "partner," I have learned very well that it's easy enough to find someone else who doesn't have a "partner" and wants to have fun. In fact, many people who are partnered up in marriage or relationships often miss out on doing things that their partner doesn't want to do!

I actually have been dating a guy for the past few months, but he couldn't do this with me, so I just emailed a new friend (someone I knew had that "Just Do It!" attitude) and even though he, too, was a newbie, he said he'd love to participate! Sometimes we are all so afraid of taking risks, we don't even try. What's on your bucket list? What's holding you back? Just do it!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Staying Healthy and Active After Cancer

The other day I got an email from someone who asked if he could write a guest post on my blog. Trevor Bradshaw (trevorsendeavors@gmail.com) is an aspiring writer, a health nut, and brother to a cancer survivor and is very passionate about writing about cancer and health. Read on to hear what he has to say about staying healthy. This is good advice not only for cancer recovery, but for cancer prevention!

For many people, a cancer diagnosis can be a life changing experience. While chemotherapy can be effective at treating many types of cancer, lifestyle can have a significant impact on the body's ability to heal and recover.

It's important maintain a healthy style before, during, and after cancer.
Diet has a significant impact on overall health. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables have been shown to lower the risk of cancer in many people, and will help during the recovery process. It's important to watch one's weight, as obesity can impact the immune system's ability to heal the body.

There are several simple diet tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Avoid eating foods with refined sugars and carbohydrates, such as white bread, potatoes, candy, and soda. Many processed meats and cheeses contain high levels of nitrates, preservatives that can cause systemic inflammation in the body. Diets rich in meat and cheese can also cause inflammation, which will reduce the body's ability to heal. It's important to include omega-3 fatty acids in a diet. Omega-3 can be found in fish, nuts, and flax seed.

Exercise is essential after a cancer diagnosis. An active lifestyle offers many health benefits to cancer survivors, and can improve recovery time. Exercise doesn't have to be complicated: a 30 minute walk outdoors is a great way to start. There are many low impact physical activities that are great for cancer patients. Swimming can be a great way exercise and tone the entire body, without putting excessive stress on joints or tendons.

Yoga is a great way for cancer patients and survivors to stay healthy and relaxed. Yoga is a type of meditation, combined with physical poses. Yoga is designed to stretch and exercise the entire body, without putting excessive strain on any individual part. Many yoga classes teach students how to relax through breathing exercises, and can show cancer patients and survivors how to relax.

Exercise releases natural painkillers, called endorphins. During cancer treatment and chemotherapy, many patients may experience systemic pain throughout the body. Exercise can help lower pain without the use of dangerous analgesics.

In addition, exercise can be a great way to beat depression. Cancer can be a scary experience, and it's important to maintain a positive attitude during recovery. Exercise can improve mood, improve recovery time, lower pain. While cancer does require medical treatment, maintaining a healthy life can help recovery times and prevent recurrence.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Milkshake - All that's good!

The thing about blogging is that the more you explore, the more sites you find that are doing wonderful things. I started The Love Project at the beginning of the year and, as a result, I found a bunch of other sites that are about spreading the love. And those sites promote other sites and soon you realize the world is full of so many good people, making a difference and spreading goodness.

One of those sites which I discovered recently is "Milkshake." I get a daily newsletter from Milkshake that is (in their words): "dedicated to finding the good in everything: Companies, causes, people, places and products which give back and make a difference."

I've been getting the daily email for about two weeks now, and I'm always inspired by the messages and products and cool causes they promote. I encourage you to check it out for yourself!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Ten reasons to subscribe to...

..my relationship column on Examiner.com

To learn:

1. How to make dating fun
2. How to reconnect with a spouse or partner
3. How to pick a great venue for a date
4. How to date successfully
5. How to navigate the online dating sites
6. How to play on a date
7. How to get over insecurities and build confidence
8. How to get dates
9. How to build intimacy
10. How to banish dating fears

But even if you don't need to learn these things, subscribe for these reasons:

1. To help teach others
2. If you have a business, product or event, I may be able to help you promote it
3. Spark conversation
4. Make new friends (maybe even a date!!)
5. Ask questions
6. Trade links
7. Help spread the word
8. Help me make a little cash! (If I get a certain number of subscribers, my pay level gets bumped up.)

Everyone (whether single or married, male or female, old or young) would benefit from dating. So, go ahead! Subscribe!!

November Love Drop: Marci from Colorado

This month I resolved to blog more and stay on top of things like the Love Drop, so when I got the email this morning, I watched the video right away.

This one really hit home for me. First of all, Fort Collins is only an hour away... maybe I'll even tag along for the actual "drop" and meet Marci and her family. Secondly, I have good friends who are breast cancer survivors so I am close to the cause. And finally, I am a mother, and I'm certain Marci wants to be healthy not just for herself, but for her children and husband.

Please pass the word along. Let's help Marci and her family have a vacation to remember.

From the love drop team:

Meet Marci: http://LoveDrop.us

She's a super strong wife and mom of three from Colorado, who's not only beat breast cancer ONCE, but TWICE. And unfortunately she's been diagnosed yet again, but this time with Stage IV cancer that's spread into her lungs and lymph nodes :(

The most important thing in her life right now is quality time with her family, so we want to give them an all-expense-paid vacation before she begins her toughest battle yet. All of the money y'all have already sent in (or will be sending in) is going straight for them to spend some time together. So if her story resonates with you, or you happen to have some good airline/hotel/vacation hookups going on, def. be sure to give us a shout :) She's been through some tough times in the past 10 years so far, but she's remaining positive and gonna do her best to kick its ass again!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mesothelioma Cancer Awareness

Don't know what Mesothelioma cancer is? Check out http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog.

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I must say, I'm more aware of breast cancer than ever. There are all sorts of efforts going on. Even examiner.com is having a drive and asked us to write about breast cancer awareness in our topic area. (Since I'm the dating adviser, I came up with some date ideas!)

However, there are other, lesser-known cancers that don't get nearly the same kind of visibility. As a result of my last post about Race for the Cure, David Haas contacted me and asked me about being a guest blogger on my blog about Mesothelioma Cancer. He said:

I recently have been researching and writing about how beneficial cancer support networks and also staying physically fit is to people going through treatments, in remission, and even family members of cancer patients.

To be honest, I hadn't even heard of Mesothelioma Cancer until I checked out the site David referred me to: http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog This cancer is a result of exposure to asbestos and it's deadly.

David is a guest blogger for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Their blog and site provides inspiration and information for researchers, bloggers, survivors and advocates that cover all different kinds of cancer and topics.

Though I told him my site is probably not the best avenue for cancer topics, I was happy to write a post to help get the word out.

This is just one more instance of how social media can change our world. I'm glad those who are living with cancer have places they can go for inspiration and support. And we can all do our part, at the very least, by letting others know what's out there. It's very easy if you're a blogger or have a social media network to spread the word. It can be as simple as a ReTweet!

So please help spread the word to visit http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog

By the way, the Komen Race for the Cure was incredible! Huge crowds wearing pink and running in support of such a worthy cause. And I am so proud of my friend, Rebecca Ritter, a survivor who raised over $2500 for the cause!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Racing for a Cure - Please Help!

Anyone who's known me for any length of time has probably been hit up by me at some point or another to sponsor me for some kind of charitable event. Last year I asked for prayers, rather than money, but I know many of you still contributed to charities, cause... that's just the type of wonderful friends you are.

Well, this year I'm back to asking for money.

One of the people who's been in my prayers is my amazing friend, Rebecca Ritter. She's a breast cancer survivor. In fact, she's done more than survive. She lives life more fully than most of us ever will. So when she asked me to join her and her daughter in the Race for the Cure this year, I said, "Absolutely!"

Now, instead of asking you to contribute to my page, I'd rather help Rebecca reach her goal of $1500. She's about half-way there, but I told her that I would love to help her reach that goal. I assured her that my friends were very used to my frequent pleas for contributions and that they were generous, both with their money and their prayers.

To contribute to the Race for the Cure, go to Rebecca's page and click on the link to the right, under her picture that says: "Donate to Rebecca!"

All the money goes to the Komen Foundation which will continue to help people like Rebecca, who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Thanks to research, we have come a long way, and I am so grateful that Rebecca is strong and healthy. Let's make sure she and others who have been diagnosed with breast cancer will get the help and support they need to beat this disease.

PS.Think about joining us on October 2nd by pressing the "Join Rebecca's Team!" link on Rebecca's page. It's a 5K (3.1 miles) with lots of walkers, so no need to be a runner to join in the fun!

Friday, September 02, 2011

New Love, New Life

Here's a picture of my new love -- my baby granddaughter born August 29th.

I was hoping she'd be born on August 26th -- the first Anniversary of her great grandfather's death -- but the 29th is close enough.

The year + 3 days between my Dad's death and his great granddaughter's birth has come with many ups and downs. I think much more often about mortality. My amazing friend Craig died in December at age 50. And other friends and family have received the awful news of a cancer diagnosis. I wonder if this is what life will be like now in my later years... Worrying about who will be next?

I have been searching for another love, but lately, I've been morosely thinking that I'd rather be single than be a widow. I don't know if I could bare the grief of losing a spouse to death.

But why am I here talking about death, when just the opposite has occurred. A beautiful, perfect baby has been born. How will Dad find his way in her? Will she have his love of Math? His corny sense of humor? I look at those tiny hands, at that blissful, sleeping doll and think how miraculous life is. I remember that day I became a mother -- the day I looked at my perfect daughter, this baby's mother -- and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, there was a God. There is no way something so wonderful could have just been created "randomly."

When the people we love die, life can feel so meaningless. Is this it? We're just going to live until we die? All this "stuff" we do all day... why do we even do it? Why does it even matter? We are just going to die.

And then there is a birth. I look at the innocent baby and know she will have the love passed down from her great grandfather who loved me who loved her mother who loves her. And I know then that it does matter. Every smile my father gave me. Every day he worked hard to give us a wonderful childhood. Every tickle he tortured me with. It mattered. Love matters.

And now, beautiful little girl, though you will never get to meet him, your great grandfather's love lives within you.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Love Drop: Help Felicity

I've been very remiss on passing along news of what's going on with the Love Drop. What a great group of people that pull together to help someone in need. This month they are helping Felicity, a little girl with a brain tumor. And this family has also had to endure the recent and sudden loss of Felicity's young uncle. I can't imagine what they must be going through.

Here's the information about Felicity and how you can help:

The Love Drop team is at it again! Last month they gave over $5,000 worth of cash and goods to their recipient, the Aubin family, who was struggling financially after the passing of their dad, and this month they're ready to do it again and help out another person :) They've given out over $45,000 in the past 6 months, and show no signs of stopping. If you know of anyone yourself that could use their help, make sure to let them know.

This month they're heading down to Atlanta to help Felicity, a little 4-year-old girl who was just diagnosed with brain cancer. Felicity had immediate surgery and is currently undergoing aggressive radiation treatments for the remaining portion of her tumor. We want to raise $5,000 for her family to help cover mounting medical costs, as well as the future expenses a new baby on its way will bring. With your support and generosity, we can really do something special for them!

Here are three ways you can help:

1. Give $25 towards medical bills <-- Click this link to contribute $25 towards Felicity's radiation treatments. It'll help them out a ton!

2. Give a gift or service- Gift cards are always helpful. Places like Target, Wal-mart, restaurants, etc would definitely help them out. Services too - especially those you can offer yourselves, or from your company.

3. Join our blogger network - Blog about our Love Drops each month like I am :) It's easy, it's rewarding, and it REALLY helps spread the word (which in turn helps our families). Love Drop will give you all the content you need.

Thanks so much guys! Here's to a great month of paying it forward!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Can You Feel Intimacy From Blogging?

I've been quiet on this blog lately, thinking about why I blog -- what's good about blogging and what's not so good.

My life has been going through the usual ups and downs. One "good" about blogging about my life is that it's very therapeutic to write my thoughts down. I often journal privately and just the act of writing down my thoughts and feelings helps me think more clearly. My mood comes through. If I notice that my words are negative and that I'm in pity-party-mode, I play "therapist" with myself. If I'm in a happy mood, I write about why I'm happy -- the awesome things I'm experiencing and about the people I'm spending time with. Reading about these things when I'm in one of those down moods reminds me of how much I have to be grateful for and helps me snap out of the pity party.

Now, private journals are one thing, but blogging and making these feelings public can be... well, both good and bad. Exposing our vulnerabilities and making a connection with someone who understands what we're feeling is wonderful. You feel this intimacy with someone who you've never met.

There are bloggers and writers who have such a talent for enveloping me with their words of wisdom. So while writing and reading my own journals is nice, sharing with a fellow-blogger who is able to so clearly articulate exactly the feelings I'm trying to describe -- well, when that happens, I feel like I've met a kindred spirit out here in cyberspace who really understands me and it warms my heart.

I read a post this morning, Have You Found the Two Great Treasures of Blogging?, in which the author, Stu, talked about the importance of building "community" when we blog. I agree that this "community" and the virtual friendships I've made is probably the biggest benefit I've gotten from blogging.

What about romantic relationships? Can they develop from a virtual friendship? I know that I'm a sucker for the written word. One time I met a guy from online dating and we used to write these wonderful emails back and forth where we shared so much of our lives. He called it "eIntimacy" and I thought it was a very cool word. It's a new form of intimacy that really wasn't available to us before we had the Internet.

However, one of the things that makes "intimacy" intimate is that it's one-on-one and personal. When you are sharing with the world, it takes away from the intimate nature of the conversation. You are no longer sharing your feelings with someone special, you're sharing them with everyone, which actually seems to be the opposite of intimacy.

What do you think? Have you met virtual friends from blogging? Do you feel like blogging can enhance or detract from having an intimate connection with someone? Should our deepest feelings be saved for truly intimate relationships rather than airing them on a public blog?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Remembering Dad

Just remembering my Dad today...

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Looking for my soul mate, "Joe"

I don't put much stock into all this cosmic woo-woo stuff about love. I think there's something to be said for being positive, which is a lot of what "the law of attraction" is all about, but I have to resist from rolling my eyes when people start talking about soulmates and putting things out into the "universe." But let's face it. I've tried just about everything else, so I'm going to do what Arielle Ford suggests in her seminar on how to "manifest my soulmate." She says the first key is to have clarity in who I'm looking for. So here goes:

I want someone who has a genuine, friendly smile coupled with a mischievous, playful twinkle in his eye. We'll be able to look at each other across a room and share a secret look... a look that might say, 'I can't wait until we're alone' or maybe just say, 'I have gas. Aren't you glad you're over there?' His smile, his touch, his voice will make my heart beat faster and fill my stomach with butterflies. I'll love his words, his humor, his intelligence, and his kindness. He will most likely be a father, but even if he's not, he will love kids - being somewhat of a kid himself... loving to play and laugh, happy to join in any goofy game or activity.

My "soulmate" will laugh when I make a corny joke, hold me when I cry, and be happy to snuggle as we watch a movie or just read quietly together. He'll think I'm pretty even when I don't have makeup on and he'll find creative, personal ways to show me he loves me. He'll love it that I celebrate the anniversary of our first kiss, the summer and winter solstice, and every unusual holiday there is.

He will be handsome but humble, strong but vulnerable, confident but not arrogant. We will both be independent, keeping our hobbies and friendships... but we won't feel insecure or jealous when we're apart, because we feel sure of our mutual love for one another.

He will care about health and won't smoke or do drugs. He'll have a healthy mind and won't dwell on anger or past hurts or grief. And he won't be judgmental of others. He'll be grateful for his strengths, passions and skills, and won't act superior to others.

When we talk, we'll each listen and support one another. We'll never run out of things to say, but sometimes we'll be happy just laying quietly together.

We won't share all the same interests or passions, but it won't matter. We will find things we both enjoy -- maybe traveling or cooking (and definitely eating!). He'll be happy to teach me things and learn from me, too. He'll love to learn and when he's excited or has learned something new, he'll want to share it with me as soon as he can. He'll text or call just to tell me something trivial because he'll know that I'll love that he wanted to share it with me.

He will prefer summer to winter and love sunshine and beaches. He'll be excited to explore new places and find something fun to do whereever we go. But it won't really matter where we are... even if we're stuck in an airport with a 3-hour delay... we will have fun because we're together.

So there he is. Now I think I'm supposed to talk to this guy who's out there in the Universe somewhere... I think I'll call him... Joe... (Joe was my first boyfriend's name. And it does have a nice generic feel to it.) If any of you know Joe (oh yeah... he also has to be single and around my age) please let him know I'm looking for him.

OK, Joe. I know you're out there! Come find me before we get much older, please!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

7 Shockingly Interesting Dating Articles

My obsession with getting traffic for the Boulder examiner dating column has gone depressingly poorly. I have written something each day and always advertised to Twitter and Facebook, but the resulting page views have been completely unpredictable and, in many cases, quite low.

I read a bunch of stuff that tells things you can do to build traffic... comment on others' sites, get involved in networks, write "pillar" content, etc. etc. I'm going to focus on something new each week and see what happens.

This week, I read about the importance of the title (hence my rather embellished claim about the "shockingly interesting" articles I wrote last week.) But, hey... I think they're interesting. The one about checklists vs. intuition generated a lot of discussion on Facebook. Let me know what you think!

Which of these titles draws you in and makes you want to click on the link? Why or why not?

  1. 10 reasons Pearl Street is the best place to go on a date in Boulder
  2. Holidate idea: Search for the perfect eggs benedict
  3. Online dating: Bad experiences with Match.com
  4. Checklists or intuition? Deciding if you want to go out again
  5. Crepes a la Carte: French dining that won’t break the bank
  6. Celebrate free ice cream with a date at Ben and Jerry's!
  7. Learn to cook and impress your date with a romantic home-cooked meal

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Boulder dating roundup

I've really been having fun with my new side-"job" of Boulder Dating Advisor for Examiner.com. Admittedly, it's more like a hobby than a job, since it's virtually no money. But it can be kind of addictive to try and build traffic. With that in mind, I think I'll do a Sunday roundup on this blog.

I get about half-a-cent per page view, so if you see something you like, I'd love it if you'd check it out and help me spread the word by pressing the "like" button. It also would be wonderful to get some participation, so leave comments or questions on this blog or on my Facebook page and let's get some discussion going.

If you have a site, business or service related to the Boulder area or dating, let me know and we can exchange links or possibly think about doing some partner content.

Do you have dating question? Is there something you'd like to see more of? Let me know!

Dating for singles

Advice and ideas for couples or singles

Events in the Boulder area

Just for fun

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Ménage à trois anyone?

Last night a friend of mine hosted a French-theme party. Now I absolutely love theme parties. To really get in the spirit, I thought it would be fun to go as a Ménage à trois!

Oo la la!

I'm, of course, way too wholesome to carry this ruse to the bedroom, but I have to say, an evening of dressing up sexy and play-acting was certainly fun!

Have you ever done any "role playing" to have an evening of acting out of character? How was it?

Leave me a comment on the best date you had where you went "out of character" and maybe I'll write about it on my Dating Advisor column for examiner.com.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Online dating: How to get a woman to reply to a first email - Boulder Dating Advice | Examiner.com

Online dating: How to get a woman to reply to a first email - Boulder Dating Advice | Examiner.com

I love my new Dating Advice column at the Boulder Examiner. It would really be great to get more comments and participation, though. How about on this blog? Any dating questions? Have a dating dilemma? It's always fun to see advice from others, so help me out with a comment and give your point of view.

What would be your advice on getting someone to respond to a first email when you're online dating?

Sunday, April 03, 2011

The moments of life... The moments of love..

I found this video (a production by Will Hoffman) on The JackB blog. He says "This video is going to lead to many blog posts."

I've been struggling with maintaining focus for this blog... First it was just random stuff, then for the past three months it's been about The Love Project. This quarter, it will be about dating since I have the new Boulder Dating Adviser column on examiner.com.

This video isn't about dating so it may appear I'm already losing my focus! But stick with me here.

I'd like to redefine dating. When we think of "dating" we typically think of singles, rejection, stress, online dating and all the awkward, uncomfortable stuff that comes with new dates. But dating shouldn't be like that! Dating should be filled with beautiful moments. Dating should be sharing all those moments that fill you with happiness with someone else. Dating should be about smiles, relaxation, living in those moments... Not wasting them worrying, judging, or trying to figure out whether or not you'll go out again.

I've thought a lot about my relationship with my friend who died from ALS, Craig. I always looked forward to seeing him, even when he couldn't move or talk. He always was happy to see me. He found a way to flirt and play, even when he couldn't talk. He was so "alive" even when he was dying.

Once Craig knew he was dying, he told me he wouldn't "date" anyone. And it's interesting that when he became "safe"... when there were no worries about rejection or "dating," I had more fun with him than ever. It's the stupid "date" word that can often get in the way of us just enjoying the company of one another. We are too worried that if we're not a perfect match, we will either eventually get hurt or hurt someone else. It's too bad we can't just learn to love in the moment... love like we were dying.

I learned from watching Craig never to take life or people for granted. Dating isn't only for singles. It isn't only for romantic couples. Dating is for everyone. Enjoy dating. Enjoy people. Enjoy all the beautiful moments of life and love.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Final Website Roundup: Dating Sites! #love2011

OK, Love Project followers, today is my final "Website Wednesday" (and it's not even Wednesday). It's the last day of the quarter, so I'm wrapping up "Part 1" of the Love Project.

Part 2 is going to continue on with this week's theme: Dating. I want to stress, however, that this is not going to be limited to "romantic" dating or single's topics. Dating is about sharing love and attention with someone. It doesn't have to be a romantic partner. Surprisingly, most (if not all) of the dating blogs and sites cater to singles. That is one way where my focus will be different. Dating is even more important when you're married or in an established relationship.

In my Boulder Dating examiner column today, I challenged people to go on at least one date every week for the next 13 weeks. I hope you all will take the challenge as well and leave me comments.

In preparation for that, it's only appropriate that the final Website Roundup be about the best dating sites. I will continue to add these to my Love Links page as I find more. If you stumble across a good dating or relationships site, let me know.

Love Project MVP

A huge and final Website Wednesday thank you to Shirley Rivera, Girl Nutkin in the BA who is most definitely the Love Project MVP and a wonderful friend, for all her support.

Dating Blogs and Websites
(Note: I'm not necessarily recommending these blogs and websites. Some of them have content or ascribe to theories that I don't always agree with, but I always think it's good to be informed, regardless of whether or not we agree. As I have more time, I will read some of these more thoroughly and maybe give a review.

General Dating:

Online Dating


Monday, March 28, 2011

5-second Cuddle Party

This week on the Love Project we're talking about Dating. In fact, we're going to keep talking about dating because I'm now the new Boulder Dating Advice columnist at examiner.com. This is quite a fun new job because it means I have a good excuse to keep up-to-"date" on the Boulder dating scene.

So when I got invited to a Cuddle Party on Sunday, I thought to myself, "I should go check this out and write an article about it." But, as I said once before, I think cuddle parties are weird. I feel like I shouldn't really judge them without personally checking them out, but the thought of cuddling strangers just seems creepy to me.

However, I did ask my new friend, Armin, what he thought about the idea of "cuddle parties." Armin answered appropriately... he was not interested in cuddling with strangers, but he was happy to give me the "experience" if I wanted to write about it for my column.

We had a much less provocative date - celebrated Cherry Blossom Day by going to Sushi Zanmai in Boulder. But we did sneak in a 5-second "cuddle party" as we posed for the self-timed photo. Though I still have no interest in cuddling up with strangers, I have to say the practice session was really very nice!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Celebrate Cherry Blossoms and Joes on March 27

I really love "themes" so creating some kind of theme date is a lot of fun for me. The other day in my new examiner.com column I wrote about using special days to help you design a "theme" date.

Today, March 27th, Japan and Washington DC celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival. It's also National "Joe" Day.

I was an exchange student and lived in Fukuyama, Japan my senior year of high school. I saw the beauty of the cherry blossom trees in bloom... what a beautiful sight. I have a special place in my heart for the country, and, of course, like so many others, I'm so saddened by their recent tragedy. This seems like a fitting day to take some time to send thoughts, prayers and maybe a donation to help out the victims in Japan.

It also is a great day to write a haiku. There's even a free "Cherry Blossom" eCard you can use complete with cherry blossom tree photo. Just include your haiku in the personalization section and send it to a date, friend or someone you love.

How about this one:

Today is the day
When the cherry blossoms bloom
And you can be Joe


Peace and JOEy to you
As the cherry blossom bloom
Let us eat sushi

(set against the music of "Ode to JOEy")
Note: JOEy is pronounced "Joy", yet in honor of National Joe Day, we spell it JOEy

I invite you to share your Cherry Blossom and Joe haikus with me! Or tell me how you are celebrating the occasion! Whatever you're doing, I hope you are being JOE-vial!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Assignment 13: Go on a date!

Will you go for a date?
Assignment 13: Go on a date! It does not have to be a "romantic" date. It can be with a friend of either sex, or your kid (though mine insists that rather than "date" I refer to these one-on-one experiences as "outings" or "excursions.") Absolutely, if you are married or in a relationship, go out with your significant other! If you're single, maybe take the plunge and ask out someone you're attracted to, but if there's no one in particular that you're feeling romantic about, then shower that pent-up attention on someone you love.

OK, Love Project Fans, we are winding down on the first quarter of 2011, and the Love Project is going to veer into a new, but related, direction in Q2, with the focus on dating.

Now, just as I said in the assignment, dating does not have to be about romance. And it doesn't have to be restricted to singles! In fact, I have much more fun dating when I'm in a long-term relationship than when I'm dating someone I don't know too well, so I don't know why we so often associate "dating" with being single.

I have decided that for my 52nd year (which started the week of my 51rst birthday) that I would go on a date a week... or 52 dates. Since I'm not requiring these to be "romantic" dates, this has been easy and lots of fun! Here is my definition of a date:

Spending one-on-one time giving attention to and receiving attention from someone I care about and enjoy being with.

My goal is to have at least one date of this type each week, going to a different place each week. I enjoy coming up with unique date ideas and spending quality time with the people in my life.

Now, of course, I do want some romance, too, so I'm not ruling out traditional romantic dates... I'm hoping to have my share of those throughout the year, too. But dating doesn't have to mean romance. It's more about sharing time and attention with someone.

And, of course, this will tie in very nicely with my new Boulder Dating Advice column on examiner.com. Be sure to check that out and subscribe!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Claire Dederer, author of Poser, speaks in Boulder

This week on the Love Project, we're talking about "What's Your Story?" so I thought it would be appropriate to post this video I took of Claire Dederer who spoke about her memoir, Poser, the other day at the Boulder Denver Library. Claire's book mixes yoga, motherhood, and life. I haven't had time to sit down and read it yet, but from the back cover, "It's hilarious, unflinching, and bursting with love." Just my kind of book!

I saw Claire the same day that I had the pleasure of meeting Steve Friedman! Two best-selling authors in one day!

It was very inspiring to listen to Claire and Steve. They both were able to tell "their stories" in ways that were both funny and poignant. I was really quite humbled since The Laptop Dancer Diaries seems so amateurish in comparison.

But one thing I learned in the process of writing my book. Writing your story is as much, if not more, about discovering who you are for yourself than it is about telling it to someone else.

I once read that if you have some decision to make about what you're going to do, imagine that you're the protagonist in a book. What would you do? In other words, live your life so that at the end of it, you feel happy that you have lived out your story. If it means that you'll have embarrassments or mistakes along the way, so be it. But you'll have lived. You won't have stayed back on the sidelines just looking in.

Whether you write about it or not, don't be afraid to live your story. Have adventures. Take risks. Love...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Website Wednesday: What's Your Story?

This week on the Love Project, we're talking about "Your Story."

Love Project MVP

First, of course, we have Love Project's MVP, Shirley Rivera, author of girlnutkin in the BA, in which Shirley shares so selflessly, often spreading messages of optimism and love. I am constantly inspired by her.

In her most recent post, she shared a very beautiful song by Jeremy Passion, Stephanie, about a girl with lupus.

The song reminded Shirley of her friend jengyee, who died from lupus at the young age of 25.


LinkedIn: The Blog Zone - A Community of Bloggers

If you're a blogger, you might want to check out The Blog Zone Group on LinkedIn. A couple of months ago, Mike Clough of America's Best Business Practices started a discussion thread titled: Introduce Yourself - Tell Us Your Story. So far, there are 172 responses from bloggers describing their blogs. (You can also leave a comment here and I'll add your blog to my Love Links page.)

Memoir Writing
Memory Writers Network
Top 50 Blogs on Memoirs
Write My Memoirs

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hook Up Chas Update

The other day I blogged about Chas and his idea about asking for help in getting a wife, and guess what? This morning I got an email from him! He said:

hi yvette. a friend passed along your incredibly flattering (and well-written) post about my website. can't tell you how much it i appreciate it. (really makes this experience that much more rewarding.) take care, thanks again and hope you're having a nice weekend. best, chas

Isn't that sweet? I know this guy is getting tons of traffic (even MY post about him is getting lots of traffic) so I'm sure it must be hard for him to respond to everyone. And I didn't even send him an email! He sent that to me unsolicited!

If only I were 10 years younger, could have more children, and lived in San Francisco... I would be SO there. I really do love that spunk and he is a cutie. So here is my "official" application:

Dearest Chas,

I’d like to apply for the position of wife.
I’ll love you forever or… a few years of my life.

I am older, I know, but that’s not really too odd.
After all, what did age matter to Harold and Maude?

I, too, love kids and would love to have a few for us.
I promise I’d have them If only I still had a uterus.

I do love to play Scrabble so you’re not alone.
But I live in Colorado, so let’s play by phone?

OK, it may appear that I’m not quite right.
But when I saw the photos it was love at first sight!

How could I not be smitten with a guy so spunky?
I have to ask, what’s the status of Important Monkey?

No, it’s you I love… I was just being funny.
But if you don’t love me, can I still have the money?

If it’s not me, I assure you, in your email stack
There’s someone who will love you to the moon and back.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Author Steve Friedman: "Everyone has a story"

This week on The Love Project we're talking about "your story" and who better to advise about this than New York Times best-selling author, Steve Friedman!

Friedman spoke at the Boulder Writer's Meetup Group last week about memoir-writing, in a session titled: "Me, Me, Me: The Terrors and Delights of Writing First Person."

He entertained us first with a story of the time he'd bought a new suit for an interview with GQ. He'd been quite proud of his stylish new suit, only to realize when he stepped out in the sunlight that it was lime green! And then, to make things worse, a mime imitated him, mocking his strut and his own obvious obsession with his suit. The mime was apparently so excited about this opportunity to ridicule him that he broke the cardinal rule for a mime: He spoke! "Nice suit." (I guess this mime didn't know how to act out sarcasm... Stupid mime.)

Friedman will tell you the whole story and much more in his new book, Lost on Treasure Island: A Memoir of Longing, Loss and Lousy Choices in New York City. A second memoir he has coming out is the story of his relationship with his father and the communication they share during a memorable game of golf, Driving Lessons.

Friedman reminded us that we all have a story. It's the little things - the ordinary every-day-life kind of anecdotes - that are the real stories. He told us the best stories were the type in which we revealed our insecurities and feelings, no matter how embarrassing. It's in exposing those vulnerabilities that we become human and readers will relate. (I was patting myself on the back, because revealing my embarrassing insecurities is my speciality in The Laptop Dancer Diaries.")

There were plenty of other stories Friedman shared with us, including a few about relationships! Yes, he's single and, apparently, around my age. Check out this essay he wrote about a breakup. Unfortunately, I understand only too well. (Those of us who have had to endure mid-life dating and actually write about it share a special bond.) He did have a gorgeous, blond girlfriend with him so he wasn't able to openly share his true feelings about how attracted to me he undoubtedly was...but I'm sure it will all come out in our future memoirs...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Assignment 12: What's Your Story?

This week on The Love Project, we're going to talk about feeling comfortable talking about yourself. What's Your Story?

Assignment 12: Tell me something about yourself either in a comment or a blog post. If you can't think of anything to say, then tell me one thing you're grateful for and why. If you have a blog, tell us what your blog is about. Leave a link and I'll add it to Website Wednesday.

Background: There are a few reasons I want to cover this topic this week:

1. Last weekend I heard two well-known authors, Steve Friedman and Clair Dederer. speak about their memoirs. I got some video of both of them, so I will posting that this week. I almost started a whole new blog about memoir-writing, but instead, figured I'd could work it into this week's theme.. Obviously, memoir is the ultimate "all about me" writing.

2. Intimacy and love starts with feel comfortable with yourself and sharing of yourself. Open up about who you are and share your thoughts and feelings with someone else. Reveal both what you like and don't like about yourself. When you open yourself to someone, they usually will reciprocate and that's how intimacy develops.

3. I have a lot of stuff that I've been wanting to share, but I keep thinking I have to make my blog focused on the "love project" theme-of-the-week. By making the theme be "talk about yourself" I can feel free to tell you all about what's going on with me! (I love talking about myself!)

But I also love hearing about YOU! So all you lurkers out there, I'm waiting to hear from you!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Crowdsourced Matchmaking: Hook Up Chas for $10K

Yesterday my friend Kay let me know that the Boulder Examiner was looking for writers who liked to write about dating and relationships. The application asked for sample writing of a 200-300 word article to be written in the 3rd person.

Meanwhile, my friend Shirley tagged me on Facebook with a link to hookchasup.com, so I figured that would be the perfect story for my application (See below). Now, of course, I plan to write a "first person" application to Chas telling him why I'm the perfect candidate (or perhaps introducing him to his future wife).. but that will come later. In the mean time, if any of you lovely ladies are interested in Chas, let me know, and I promise to give you a good percentage of the $10K when you marry him... at least $100!)

Oh, and PS. I got the Examiner gig! I'm the new Boulder Dating Adviser!

Hook Chas Up and Win $10,000 Bucks

Gone are the days of settling for a local as your life-long partner. Thanks to the Internet you can search the whole World Wide Web for your soul-mate. Don’t want to do all the work yourself? Why not solicit some help from all those lurkers in cyberspace just waiting to meddle? Chas (of hookchasup.com) has come up with the idea of crowdsourcing his matchmaking services, offering ten grand to whoever introduces him to the future Mrs. Chas.

Chas says, “I work a lot and never had much luck with online dating.” When questioning himself on his “About” page about why he’s 40 and still single, he answers himself, “Thanks to a decade of ‘life coaching’ and some insightful relationships, I can honestly say I’m ready to start a family. For realz.[sic]”

Note: I feel I must explain that the [sic] indicates that I know Chas misspelled "realz," though I think this was purposeful to be kind of cool. I was not in any way judging him by thinking it was sick of him to say "realz." However, if I had been thinking it was "sick" and misspelled it "sic," an editor might add yet another [sic] as in "For realz. [sic [sic]]."

His Website sports some GQ-like quality photographs of himself in various poses. One has him reading a Shel Silverstein book in a king-sized, goose-down comfy-covered bed. In another he’s wearing shoes, wet jeans and a green polo shirt strolling through the San Francisco Bay. In a third, he’s sitting in a red chair in his backyard, wearing a 3-piece suit holding a photograph of his revered “Important Monkey.” (Could the 3-piece suite represent "monkey suit"?) There are eight photos in all, each showing Chas in his glorious uniqueness as he goes through his daily routine.

Chas clearly is not an ordinary man. Ordinary men would probably take their shoes off when wading in the ocean. Ordinary men would probably name their monkey a monkey-like name. Ordinary men would probably not advertise their email address and a $10K prize to a world which includes weirdoes, scoundrels, con-artists and spammers.

Ordinary men will find ordinary women. I suspect Chas will find just the extraordinary wife he’s looking for.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Assignment 11: Say Thank You - #love2011

We start a new week on The Love Project and this week the theme is Gratefulness.

Assignment 11: Be consciously aware of the people in your life each day who help you and thank them, either with a heart-felt 'thank you,' or by following up with an email, a card, or some other token of thanks. If you write a blog post or comment, let me know, and I'll feature you on Website Wednesday.


We hear often that gratefulness is a key to happiness. Many people keep "grateful journals," ending the day reminding themselves of things they are grateful for.

This week the Happiness Inside Book Club is talking about a book 365 Thank Yous. I don't have the book yet, but it's on my list of books to read. It's about a man who's life changed when he wrote a thank you card each day for a year to the people in his life.

Along those same lines, my friend Sonja Knaisch, just started Project Give Thanks. This is a project which will support breast cancer survivors with card art. Sonja, a breast cancer survivor herself, speaks of the gratefulness she felt from the support of so many people as she was going through her treatments.

Every day, we interact with people who are helping us... checking us out at the grocery store, (I'm referring to the people at the cash register... not the ones who are noticing how sexy we are.. but I'm grateful for those people, too.) Friends support us with a call or email... someone gives us a nice comment on a blog or Facebook. There are so many ways we help one another. Take the time to let people know you appreciate them. Thank them!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Website Wednesday: Romance Websites

Oh dear! Life has gotten busy, so I'm going to have to do a rush job with this version of Website Wednesday on The Love Project, and I really don't like to do that... especially with Romance! Romance should be savored and be nice and slow... enjoying every luscious moment. But blogging really isn't very romantic, so you'll have to excuse me for doing a rather short version this week, because my romantic bubble bath is waiting...

And without further adieu:

Love Project Participants:

girlnutkin in the BA - Very interesting story about Joshua Bell and a reminder to slow down!
Justice Jennifer - Aspiring author. Passionate Reader

Romance Blogs and Websites
Romance Tips
Love Romance Passion: List of 50 Romance Novel Blogs to Watch
Romance Coupons
Loving You

Happy Romancing!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Love Drop Update

Part of my role in the "Love Drop" is to spread the news of what that group is doing, so here's the latest from The Love Drop Team:

Last month the Love Drop Team raised over $13,000 (and 3 iPads!) to help two little boys with autism receive a service dog. They were beyond touched, and we did this in only 1 month - that's it. Everyone came together and gave a few bucks each to impact one family's life. If you were a part of it, THANK YOU!

This month we start all over again and rally behind Katie, a single mom out in Dallas battling not only two brain tumors so far (she's knocked out one, and currently working on the other), but who's also dealing with hydrocephalus. We'd love to bring the community her way, and make a huge dent in her medical bills.

Wanna help? Here are 3 ways we could use you:
Give $1.00 - This is the best way to help out and join our team at the same time.
Join our blogger network - Blog about our Love Drops each month like I am :) It's easy, it's rewarding, and it REALLY helps spread the word (which in turn helps our families). Love Drop will give you all the content you need.
Give a gift or provide a service - Gift cards are always helpful. Places like Target, Safeway, gas stations, etc would definitely help them out.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Assignment 10: Do Something Romantic

This week on the Love Project we are going to explore Romance.

Assignment 10: What does romance mean to you? This week spend some time making a list of what you find romantic. Then pick one of those ideas and experience some romance either on your own or with someone else. Write a comment or a blog post and I'll feature you on Website Wednesday and on my Love Links page.

Background: A couple of days ago I wrote about the "romantic" relationship I had with an old man I'd met by volunteering in a nursing home. We tend to think "romantic relationships" must be "sexual relationships" but they don't have to be. Romance can be experienced with friends, family, or even on our own. Of course, most of us associate romance with "romantic love." If we're at a beautiful, romantic place, we want to be sharing that with a romantic partner and it can be kind of depressing to be on our own while we see all the other love-birds around us, being all inappropriately smoochy. Instead of enjoying the romance and beauty, we can sit there pouting about how we are "all alone." To that I say "Bbrerrrsr" <- This is the sound that goes with pursing your lips and blowing... kind of like sticking your tongue out, but with sound. (I'm going to have to research the word for this action and the correct way to spell the corresponding sound, but basically it means, "Stop feeling sorry for yourself and enjoy the romance!")

We spend so much time in this life wanting to be validated by others. We feel in order for romance to be real, someone else has to tell us we're beautiful. We need to get flowers or attention. We need to be holding hands or kissing. Sure... those things are wonderful and we all want them. And if you have a romantic partner in your life, then take full advantage of that. Lavish your partner with the kind of romance they most enjoy.

But, if you don't have it... if you're single... it doesn't mean you have to give up on romance. Romance others, romance yourself... Gaze at the moon, the mountains, the ocean and feel the love in the world and know that you are part of it. Let a breeze embrace you, giving you tingles. Let snowflakes fall on your face. Let the smiles from strangers fill you with a sense of peace. Know that you're loved, with or without a romantic partner.

And last, but not least, tell those annoying love-birds to get a room...

Friday, March 04, 2011

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Old love: Romance never dies

This week on the Love Project we're talking about Celebrating Age so I want to tell you a story about the oldest man I ever had a "romantic relationship" with. His name was Guy (pronounced "Gee" with a hard 'G') Goyer.

I met Guy in 1999 at Boulder Manor Nursing Home. I was still married at the time, about to turn 40, busy with 3 kids and getting ready to run my first marathon. I volunteered through my church to help bring the Mass to Boulder Manor on Sundays.

If you ever want to feel young, spend some time in a nursing home. Compared to people in there, you will be a regular spring chicken even if you're 80! As long as you're healthy, you will feel a whole lot younger than the people there, regardless of your biological age. Yes... most people there were very old, very sick, and very... confused. It is not the kind of thing that makes you look forward to getting old... it's downright scary. At first.

But, once you go regularly, like any community, you start to get to know who's who. You start to figure out who will talk gibberish, who will be constantly worried about being near a bathroom, who is shy and who is spunky.

Guy was a spunky one. I remember the first time we met. He came into the room where we held Mass with his motorized wheelchair, oxygen, and sporting a debonair beret. He asked me my name and when I told him it was "Yvette" he was very excited. "Are you French?" he asked. "My mother is part French Canadian and loves French names," I told him. He was from Quebec and he wanted to talk (or should I say flirt!) more. A regular lady's man, despite the very advanced age. I sat next to him during the service and we talked more afterwards about our families and backgrounds.

After that, Guy was my new best friend at Boulder Manor. He always parked his wheelchair next to me, and held out his ever-shaking hand for me to hold during the "Our Father." He was always ready with a smile and told me the news of the day or teased me in some way. One day he asked if I could come back to his room to visit and he showed me his photos and mementos in his small semi-private room. This wasn't creepy or scary at all. He didn't act disrespectful or in any way like a "dirty old man"... more like a romantic gentleman who wanted to "court" me with old-fashioned charm. So, I started visiting for 30 minutes or so after Mass each week.

He asked me for my address once, which I thought was odd. Why would he need that? But that week I received some poetry in the mail from him. It was very hard to read. Guy's hands shook so badly that the handwriting was practically indecipherable... but in those squiggles I saw a romantic soul and it touched my heart, bringing tears to my eyes.

I knew Guy wanted me to visit him more often, but I was busy, and, honestly, I was a little worried that he was becoming too attached to me. Obviously, he knew I was married and that there would be no... um... physical intimacy of any kind... But he was lonely. He was this beautiful man with love to give and just wanted someone to give it to.

I missed the last Sunday I would have spent with Guy because I was in San Diego running that marathon. The next Sunday when I returned, anxious to tell him all about it, I heard that he'd died. Whatever service they'd had was over. I didn't know any of his family or friends to send condolences to. I had no one to grieve with. I wanted so much to see him again. I wanted to tell him something I'd never told him... That I loved him.

I know this love is different from what we all want. We want a partner, not a nurse. We want someone who thinks we're sexy and desirable, not someone who sees us as old and sick. But inside that old person is a heart and mind who still wants to love and be loved. I wish I had given that to Guy.

I have been thinking a lot about this lately... Can we continue to love people even when we are old, sick, and dying? Will they accept it and love us back? Many won't. I know this. I didn't even make the time for Guy... I was worried he would become dependent on me. I had other people in my life. Did I hurt him? I hate to think about it, but I know I may have.

By giving love to others when we don't get it back, will we set ourself up for rejection? Will we just feel more lonely and hurt? I don't know. But I do know that Guy didn't let age or sickness keep him from giving love. His poems taught me that we're never too old for romance and love... (and who needs sex when you're 90, anyway?)