Self Care/ Self Date

I’ve noticed that the older I get, the more I enjoy my own company. Even if I am in a relationship. And for some reason, I have found that some people think this is a bad idea. “What do you mean, you want to spend time alone? You have someone in your life now!” But why does that mean I can’t enjoy my own personal time and space? Many blogs, articles and therapists will tell you that while you are in the dating pool of single life, that it is also important to show yourself love and date yourself. Go out on your own, buy yourself gifts, give yourself the attention you would want from a partner. I argue that, that same attention should be done when you are in a relationship, too.

Remember, all the things you would do on a Saturday when you were single? Perhaps they have changed now that you are with someone, but they don’t need to. Just because you have now become a “WE” doesn’t mean you have to lose the “ME”. A few days ago, I took myself out to lunch, got a pedicure, did some shopping and bought myself some flowers. And the whole time I thought, “Why don’t I do this more often?” Sometimes we feel guilty not spending time with our partner. As if to say, that we should only want to do things together as a couple. But you have to remember, that you had a flourishing life before your significant other came into it.

It is important to note that this potential solo time or self date, is something that can also help your relationship. Have you ever thought that maybe your partner shares some of your interests out of love, but maybe doesn’t want to engage in them all of the time? Believe it or not, this can be a good thing. It allows you to enjoy the things you love, without your partner growing resentful in an effort to appease you. Not to mention, time apart can be a good thing. Maybe there is a movie you really want to see that he could care less about. Our a restaurant you know she wouldn’t like. Take yourself out on a date and enjoy that time on your own.

I recently came across a TikTok by a woman who took the suggestion of going to a bar alone, in an attempt to find a guy who would be interested that she was out solo. She mentioned that she was disappointed because it didn’t work. I’ve done this often when I was single but took a different attitude. If you find someone, great. But how nice is it to enjoy living in your own space? Appreciating a great meal or a delicious cocktail?

The same can be said about solo dating while in a relationship. Go back to the things you enjoy doing on your own, but do it without guilt. The key of course is to let your partner understand the importance of this alone time. Never use it as a tactic in a fight. But rather explain that it is a key way to stay in touch with the person that you are who had her own desires and passions before you met them. You aren’t running away from the relationship, you are just taking care of yourself. And by doing so, you are being a better partner.

Yours, Mine…Ours?

When they say sharing is caring, what exactly do they mean? Of course I am all for sharing…to a certain extent. As an only child, I admit my selfish streak, still runs pretty thick. I am funny about sharing my food, booze has a special section on my side of the bar and by all means, keep your mouth off my toothbrush. But when it comes to most relationships, one of the most common topics of sharing comes in the form of money and bills. For a lot of couples, the conversation can be a tricky one. And for years, money has been one of the top causes of divorce. So how do you bring up the topic of what’s yours, mine and ours?

Be Honest

It seems simple, but it is probably the hardest thing to do. But you have to be honest with your partner about your role and their role in sharing financial responsibility. There may come a time where full transparency is needed, and that is where you both look at your finances together to come up with a plan. Also, be sure to state the expenses you are willing to share and those you are not. I would never expect my partner to take care of any of my personal cosmetic expenses like hair or nails, nor would I ask him to contribute. But kudos to you men who do like to spoil us like that.

Set Up a Money Date

I came across a cool TikTok by a couple who once a month sit down and discuss their money goals and their spending. It’s a great way to keep each other accountable and on track with your finances. This is also a great time to discuss any long term goals like retirement or upcoming vacations. Any individual or joint savings can also be discussed at this time. It’s important to know that planning for the future doesn’t have to be scary. Especially when you have a solid partner to plan your future with.

What’s Yours is Yours

Perhaps the most controversial topic related to money is the old idea of what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is ours. If you think about it, this worked really well for our parents and grandparents generation, but not so much any more. Where the workforce and upper management are increasingly ran by women, the times have changed where we depend on a male breadwinner. With that said, there needs to be a vocal approach to what each person brings in and where the responsibility lies for household needs. Now, I am not saying that sharing all assets right down the middle doesn’t work. Some couples have joint accounts and find great success in doing so. So keep in mind that every couple and every household is different.

Talk to a Financial Advisor

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Sure your parents will give you great advice, but why not speak to someone who does this kind of work for a living? A financial advisor will be able to give you clear insight, tips and perhaps even ways to save you money, both as an individual and as a couple. Though an initial consultation may not be free, think of the fountain of knowledge you will gain by speaking to a professional.

At the end of the day, some of the best conversations to have in a relationship start as difficult ones. But with a plan, open communication and a united front, you and your partner will be able to tackle the topic of money head on and with confidence.

Movie Couple Inspiration

I don’t think of myself as a Rom-Com fan. And to be honest, most romantic movies are a bit cheesy to me. But there are a few for either story or soundtrack, I find myself enjoying. Recently I asked my fiancé if there is a movie which features a couple who he admires. I had this thought while reading a book. The couple in the book had several dynamics that I thought “Huh. I’d like that.” And rather than trying to explain the ethos of the couple to my partner I was curious, perhaps there is a famous movie couple that he admires.

Ok, maybe “admire” isn’t the right word. But have you ever watched a movie or show and thought “I like there love.” or “I want something like that.” ? Now the first thing I will say and fully admit, is that it is Hollywood’s job to make the idea of love and romance, so over exaggerated that it doesn’t seem real. I mean honestly…Christian Grey. (But full disclosure, I would love to have someone cyberstalking my bank account and just give me money and a car. Who wouldn’t?)

There are just some couples who’s love is iconic in film that you can only wish to have a fraction of it in your own life. Of all the most scene stealing, memorable, heart aching and inspiring characters in film, what couple stands out to you? Who has an earth shattering love? An endless love? A devoted love? Try this exercise: sit down with your partner and pic three couples each from movies that you admire. Talk about why their love is special. Perhaps they overcame obstacles and that is something that you want to work towards. Or maybe they proved their doubters wrong. Breakdown the dynamic of the relationship and then try to see how you can implement parts of it into your own.

Bonus points: Each of you pick your favorite movie featuring your couple, cuddle on the couch with a good bottle of wine under a blanket and do your own romantic commentary.

I must confess…I like reading smut!

When the “50 Shades of Grey” books first came out, I was working on cruise ships. Since we are very much like a small community, one young lady had the book and we soon began to pass it around our cast, taking turns reading about the exploits of the hottest bachelor in Seattle. I fell in love with the books quickly. Not just because of the cheese factor or the amazing lifestyle, but let’s be honest, the stuff was hot. Several years prior, I read a collection of books with a retelling of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice. It was her venture into the erotic literature world and let me tell you…your girl learned some things.

So to say I was a fan of smut, was an understatement! A good friend of mine is huge in #booktok, and is always giving great book reviews. And as much as I wish I had more time to read, I thought that perhaps an audiobook, would be a good option. I could listen to a book at work or doing my morning routine, and maybe get inspired for the blog and podcast. So I reached out to her and asked for a few smutty suggestions of audiobooks. I got some great recommendations and even some that I saw mentioned in a few Tiktok’s.

I decided on a series by Katee Robert. The first book being “Electric Idol”. It tells of a modern day Olympus, where the Gods rule various sectors of business and commerce. Now I am kind of a nerd when it comes to mythology, so I thought this would be right up my alley. The plot was exciting, the Gods have great character development, and the conflict has you from the first chapter. But let’s be honest, that’s not why I got the book. The shit was sexy AF.

I did however notice one major problem. Listening whilst at work can be pretty…uh… distracting. Robert has a way with words, I’ll give you that. You then add my desire to get work done and not be a sloppy wet mess behind my desk, and you have a recipe for a rather complicated work day. Of course it does not help that the male narrator has a voice that sounds like liquid sex, either.

I was maybe halfway through the book when I came home one day, looked at my fiance and thought “Yea…I need to do you!” So then I noticed something amazing. My sex drive got a little boost. I was inspired by what I was listening to and it definitely made its way to the bedroom. It got me thinking that maybe this could be the secret to some couples looking to add a bit of spice to their life. Smut on Tape!

I listened to another erotic audiobook that I also enjoyed and waited with baited breath for the second book in the series by Katee Robert. This time, I listened to most of it on a plane while heading out of town for work. A four day conference, away from my fiance and my vibrator (looking back I realized that was a big mistake). And if listening to “Neon Idol” at work was complicated, on a plane, wearing a mask and trying not to get turned on, was even more problematic. I finished the audiobook in three days!

The moral of the story kids, download “Audible”, check out some recommendations on #booktok and enjoy. What I love about the genre of erotic literature is that there is truly something for every one. Straight, Gay, Bi, Witches, Wolves, Mafia, Black, Asian, you name it…it’ll turn you on. But may I issue a word of caution…make sure your air pods are charged fully. I’d hate for them to die in mid sentence, fall out and an entire conference room hear about a certain God pining a woman down on a bed by her ankles.

A Girl and her Toys

A few days ago I had the horrorific experience of having a vibe die mid session. It of course was my own fault because I am the worst about charging them. Mainly because I leave them out and I hate the idea of my fiance seeing them and thinking “Oh, she’s charging Larry.” So of course this happened recently and I found myself slightly embarrassed. But not for me, but for him. I never want him to think that my toys are a replacement for him. They are however, an enhancement.

Now I fully understand that I am not like most women where using toys is not a norm. And I also understand that the idea of using toys can seem a bit defeating for some men. But I am here to get you on game for the benefits of bringing some playful vibes in the bedroom.

  • Variety is the Spice of Life: There is something to be said about knowing your partners moves, before they event execute them. And why is that? Because you have found yourself in a sex routine. That’s where a great toy can add something new to their rotation. Bringing in a little (or a large) toy for extra fun, is like when your teacher rolls out the VHS cart in homeroom. You know it’s gonna be a good day.
  • Make it for his and her pleasure: Toys are not strictly for women. Though some are marketed as such, there are many which feature dual action that both partners can enjoy. Take a look for those that are good for both men and women and give them a try.
  • It’s Getting Hot in Hereeeee: You are already hot and bothered, so why not get hotter. “The Drift” by Lora DiCarlo is my favorite warming vibe. You heard me…warming. It produces just enough warmth to give an amazing sensation causing some mind blowing orgasms.
  • Go out and Shop: If you happen to live in an area where there are adult stores, take a little shopping trip..together! It may seem awkward at first, and yes, there may be some giggles, but I believe you may be surprised at how your shopping trip ends. And be sure to ask the staff for advice. They are there to help.
  • Finally, solo play together: Sometimes the best way to explain to your partner what you like, is to actually show them. So why not do some solo play with your partner watching. Not only that, try doing this together. The visual of watching each other turn yourselves on brings in all sorts of mental, visual and sexual stimulation that we sometimes forget in intimacy. So show them what you turns you on and really pay attention, and listen, to your partner.

Setting Relationship Goals

With the start of each new year, we are quick to create goals for self improvement. But what about goals if you are in a relationship or building towards a relationship? Recently I spoke to my fiancé about setting weekly goals. Tasks that we want to accomplish for ourselves in the upcoming week. Then I thought of the importance of doing the same as a couple.

We went to a local restaurant and brainstormed on not only things we wanted to accomplish that week, but also things for the upcoming few months. It was great to bounce ideas off of each other. But there is also something to be said about setting clear goals within your relationship. So here are few questions to sit and discuss with your partner broken down to one week, three months and six month goals.

And if you do try this with your partner, please tell me how it helped.

Happy Goal Setting!

One Week Goals:

  • What is something that you have been putting off that I can help you with?
  • What is something new we can try this week?
  • What did you learn this week that helped you either personally or professionally?
  • When did I make you feel most loved?

Three Month Goals:

  • What has made you the most proud?
  • What do you need more of from me?
  • How can I motivate you?
  • How is our intimacy and what would you change?

Six Month Goals:

  • What are you afraid to tell me?
  • What does the next six month look like for us?
  • How much closer to your own dreams do you feel and how can I help?
  • How are we better than where we were six months ago?

The Sex Drought

Sometimes, every once in a while, maybe more often then we desire or plan, you encounter a sex drought. There can be many reasons for this. I work in an industry that is season based. And when work is busier for me, the last thing on my mind is sex. Actually, that’s a lie. I think about it a lot because I miss it. Over time, you may encounter that there are differences between losing desire or just not having time. Either way, a drought may come upon you and your partner. When this happens, what do you do and how do you address it?

A sex drought can be the ultimate elephant in the room. And over time, it’s a conversation that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. It’s one of the classic hard topics that any couple may face and one that can sometimes trigger deeper issues. But there is no denying the importance of sex or intimacy in relationship. Anytime I have found myself in a drought, I have been fortunate to have a partner who is receptive to conversation. Recently my health has been a factor. So I am grateful to someone who is understanding in that regard. But if bringing it up in conversation is hard, what should you do?

  1. Acknowledge the issue, don’t judge it. Too often when we bring up difficult subjects, our partner may go on the defensive. Sometimes this to protect them, sometimes it’s to deflect. Either way, try first giving face to the issue that it is present and not saying from which side it is coming from. Maybe you both work too much. Maybe you are both tired. Or maybe. it’s one or the other. Either way, saying that you recognize the drought is step one. From there, you can start moving on what to do change it.
  2. What’s the REAL reason? I have mentioned work a lot. But let’s be honest, work isn’t going to change. So is there something deeper that is causing a pause in the bedroom? Are you feeling less desirable? Are you feeling guilty because you are busy? Is it the kids? Are you in a different mental space? This is the question you have to first really look internally for the answer before addressing it with your partner. And then, you have to be honest with whatever truth comes out.
  3. Do you even care to get out of the drought? When you think about those old cartoons of characters being stuck in a desert, the mirage of water is always their salvation. They hallucinate to the point of hysteria because that is their ultimate goal: water! They want to be saved in order to get out of the drought. So do you want to get out? Or is this a deeper look into what is causing a shift in your relationship. Many have said that when the sex and intimacy goes, love goes. I don’t think that is true. Not totally. There are ways to look at how to move past a drought to make a relationship stronger than ever. However, there are ways to look at a drought as the beginning of the end. If that is the case….
  4. Finding resolution. Like most relationship issues, there is an answer. Maybe not a clear one. In the case of a sexual drought, the first answer may be to address it head on, and make steps to bring sexy back. It can be a scheduled date night (which I am here to say, I am totally for. Especially if you spend the whole day sexting in preparation.) Or it may be therapy. Either way, start with step one. The answer may not even be in the bedroom. It may be in recharging your intimacy, or getting in touch with some of your deeper desires. Either way, find your way to the watering hole. And you and your partner can enter into a beautiful oasis.

Cheers to 2021!

If you’re like me, you spent 2021 thinking “Uhhh, so that was cute.” And not in a good way. But you also thought that for a moment, at least it wasn’t 2020. It is sad commentary that we have to look at life through COVID tinted lenses, but here we are. So what do you do for 2022, and how can you find your own silver lining?

If you are like me, you are not a fan of resolutions. To be honest, I am not sure if I ever kept one in my life. Which is why I just say “Screw It.” But I saw something recently that did get me a bit excited and perhaps may inspire you. First, write down 5 good things you accomplished this past year. And I don’t mean, you got to try that new restaurant. Things that made you happy/proud. Then think back on those five things. How did you get there? How did you feel when it was done? How did others feel if it was something noticeable?

Then write down 5 things for 2022. Something to accomplish in one week, one month, one season, one year and that big dream goal. You know, the one you keep saying you will do one day. The one week goal can be something that you can do and accomplish at any week of the year. The same goes for your one month and one season. Don’t feel like all of your eggs need to be in your January basket. Because if you are like me, shedding off holiday food and booze is priority one for the New Year.

Next, put your goals in a place that you will see often but not get overwhelmed by. If you are able to make it a background on your phone, great. And then celebrate when you accomplish that goal. And I mean celebrate. Whether you take yourself out to dinner or get your nails done, sleep in an hour late or just cry alone in a closet out of happiness, truly recognize what you accomplished and be proud of your hard work.

One of the things I did learn this year, is that I need to start being proud of my own accomplishments rather than others being proud for me. My friends and family saw the work pay off, but no one knew the behind the scenes. The countless no’s. The articles that didn’t work or the clients I wanted to work with but never did. But those small victories, I did praise like they were big ones. Because it was a goal I had and I made it come true.

So for 2022, challenge yourself to praise the little with the large. Set achievable goals. And if by the end of the year you have met them, shout it from the roof tops! But, if you did not, do NOT beat yourself over it. Look at what you did accomplish. Look at how close you were. Maybe your goal somehow turned into another that you never planned on achieving. Either way, you woke up, started a new day and didn’t give up. Phew, that’s about as meta as I can get. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s almost Brunch O’clock and I’m sure there is a Mimosa that needs my undivided attention.

Cheers to you all and Happy New Year!

Product Review: Mixly Cocktail Company

We all know that I am huge fan of whiskey and tequila. The majority of the time I enjoy them on their own because I don’t do a lot of cocktails. And the few I enjoy, are very standard to those two liquors. I either go classic with an Old Fashioned or simple with Tequila on the rocks, splash of soda and a slice of lime. For me, I like a cocktail that isn’t too busy and tastes great.

So color me surprised when I got to try the amazing cocktail mixers from Mixly Cocktail Company. This woman owned brand specializes in creating mixers with fresh, high quality ingredients, that not only smell amazing but taste amazing. There is no juice from concentrate, so you get a crisp taste as if you made the mixers in your own home. And what’s even better, they work great with or without alcohol.

I had the pleasure to chat with Founder Johnna Rossbach about her brand. Created with friends, they wanted to create a business and a brand surrounded by fun. Big fans of cocktails, they noticed that the mixer category was a bit outdated. So along with their mixologist friends, Mixly was born. What I also love about this brand besides the taste, is that it is helmed by a woman. When asked how she felt about being in the boys club of liquors, Johnna said “I’m so proud to be a female owned and operated brand in a male dominated category. The tides are changing. Retailers are starting to understand they’re missing a critical female perspective, and when they add female focused brands, they sell.”

Johnna and her team sent three of their mixers to enjoy. The Strawberry Pomegranate, Pear Honey Vanilla Lime and Grapefruit Jalapeño. Since I received them in time to enjoy while recording an episode of my podcast, I made a cocktail for myself and for my fiancé and co-host. For him I used the Pear Honey Vanilla Lime and mixed it with Gin. I finished it off with a splash of Elderflower liqueur for a added touch of sweetness. This drink tasted like summertime and was crisp as it was delicious.

For yours truly, I used the spicy but not overpowering, Grapefruit Jalapeño with vodka. Because there is a little kick, I added tonic water to top off my drink. And since I love raspberries, a small splash of Chambord. If you like a bold cocktail, this is the one for you. Side note: we both can’t wait to try the Grapefruit Jalapeño with Tequila. I’m thinking a touch of Grand Marnier as well!

What is also cool about all of the Mixly Cocktail mixers, is they taste just as good with or without alcohol. So if you are doing Dry January, snag a bottle and use with tonic or soda water or with an NA based cocktail. And since it is the season of giving, if you would like to grab a bottle and get a discount as well, you can use my code DESIREE15 on their site at checkout ( Be sure to give them a try and get creative on your own. As always, drink responsibly. Cheers!

Full Griswold…or “How to Not Let the Holidays Ruin Your Relationship.”

On a recent episode of our podcast “Break Bottles, Not Hearts”, we talked about the stress the holidays bring not only on ourselves but our relationships. Whether it’s your parents, siblings, work colleagues or your significant other, this time of year has a tendency to make us go “Full Griswold.”

Much like the lovable dad, Clark Griswold in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” we have the greatest of intentions when it comes to making a memorable holiday for the ones we love. But outside forces, sometimes far from our own control, conspire against us. So what do you do when this happens, and how can you prevent it from ruining this magical time of year?

  • Back away from the Turkey!: Or as I like to call it “A Reset”. One of the first stress factors during the holidays is the additional people in your personal space. Many of us do not have the luxury of a large home, so you are literally on top of each other. No wonder you want to punch your drunk cousin in the face. When this happens, back away. Simply remove yourself from the space. Take a walk, go for a drive, visit your local bar. Remove yourself for a time from the situation and try to remember, they won’t be there forever.
  • Taboo or Not Taboo: There are usually a few things that every family knows you can’t just bring up in conversation. From the cousin who always brings his “friend” to the political topic of the day, you may find some comfort in enforcing a Taboo Rule. Meaning, these are what we will not discuss in order for us all to enjoy a good meal. And if some people have a hard time obeying this rule, simply ignore them. Or in my case, be incredibly sarcastic. It’ll really pisses them off.
  • Keep it Small: Though you love your family and all 20 cousins, sometimes you don’t need to see them all. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that a small gathering can be just as much fun, and less stress, than a big one. So even though borders are opening, your home can remain somewhat close. Keep your entertaining minimal to keep your fun at a maximum.
  • Just Say No: Ok, I will admit, this is a hard one for me. But when the time and the occasion call for it, “No” is a perfectly good response. “Can we bring the pasta salad?” No Shelia, you add raisins to it! “Will it be ok if we come two days earlier?” How about, No! You have 48 hours in my home and that includes entering and exiting. “Would you mind if…” No Karen! To whatever you are going to ask me. Sometimes in the interest of family and sanity, you have to put your foot down and say “No”. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you someone who wants to protect their piece.
  • Let the Classics remain the Classics: I was dating a guy a few years ago and I had this wonderful idea of making the most perfect Christmas for his family and mine. I had this insane notion because I grew up with such amazing memories around the holidays. But it wasn’t until I became an adult in a pseduo-healthy relationship, did I realize that those memories were the work of holiday geniuses far stronger than me. Women who had years of “Better Homes and Garden” conditioning that I could never live up to, who cleverly hid their stress under petticoats and Cognac. In other words, the age old idea of the “Picture Perfect Christmas” is just that…old. Let it die along with the pressures of feeling like you have to live up to your mother, his mother or your grandmothers expectations. It’s great to pass on those traditions that bring nostalgia, but I’m here to tell you that anxiety, shouldn’t be one of them.

At the end of the day, may your days be merry and bright. And may all your holidays end with wine!