Even after the year I’ve had… still so much thankfulness

 

I originally posted this on Facebook, but a friend suggested I put it here too since I have the most wonderful blogging family EVER!!!! 🙂 I totally agreed, as I love you guys to no end. So, here goes. 🙂

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I know it’s past Thanksgiving, but I’ve never really followed the rules for anything anyway. I have some things I want to let everybody know that I’m thankful for, and so much of it has to do with all of you.

I am so very deeply thankful for all of the love, kindness and support my friends here have shown me. It’s so easy for social media to be a place filled with nothing but political banter, disagreements, and or superficial–but very often still funny–types of things.

What I have found this year is it is also a place filled with love and prayers and people who come out of the woodwork to truly let you know that they love you and only want the best for you. That has meant more to me than I can ever begin to express.

I am also incredibly thankful that I’ve been able to return that love to so many of my friends that are having a very rough time of it lately. Whether you’re in emotional pain, physical pain, or both (which is likely the case), being able to let you know that I love you and that I truly am here for you brings me great peace. From the bottom of my heart I mean it when I tell people that they can call me and just cry for an hour, or just sit in silence for an hour knowing someone is on the other end of the phone if they do decide to talk. Hell, I’ll watch a TV show with you over the phone. Or you can just scream and yell cuss words at me until you can’t utter another word because your throat is sore. I truly mean with every fiber of my being that those of you who are going through hard times can call me and do any of those things.

It may have been many years since I’ve seen a lot of you, and we may not have even been close in high school or at a job or wherever it is that we met. Heck, we may not have actually ever met in person, but we’re here now, together, and to me that is what matters.

I’m also so very thankful to my family for supporting me through the last 10 and a half months. That my husband tells me I’m beautiful, even though I’ve lost 75% of my hair and gained a shit ton of weight from not being able to do anything, including walking, for almost a year just blows my mind. And the anazing thing is, I believe him. To know that the man you’ve chosen to spend your life with truly cherishes you is the best gift anyone can ever give or receive. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he’d be thrilled if I lost 40 lbs, and I know he’ll be happy for me when my hair grows back in, but in the meantime he does nothing but support me and lets me know that he loves me regardless of any of that superficial bullshit. That’s such a gift and I can never express my gratitude enough for loving a man who loves me for me, not for me as arm candy, or a bank account, or any of the other reasons so many men have been with me over the years. He loves me. I will forever be thankful for that.

And for those of you who grew up with me and my sister, the very beautiful and loving Becky, you’ll know that she and I had our ups and downs as we grew up. It’s hard being so close in age when you’re a teenager and then your twenties and unfortunately tend to attract and be attracted to the same types of men. God knows it caused a verbal cat fight more than once. But my precious, angelic sister has truly become my best friend. She lets me call her anytime night or day and never makes me feel like a burden.

When Becky was here taking care of me after surgery, she was the most amazing medical advocate for me. She took no shit off anybody and made sure I got the best care possible. When you’re as fucked up as I’ve been, you need somebody strong to have your back. And Becky was that. She never made me feel embarrassed for the hideous things she had to see and do. God bless her for that. She can never unsee the things she had to deal with and yet she’s never made me feel bad or humiliated. She just took it all in stride and made sure that I knew that she loved me and she would do anything for me. That kind of love is simply amazing and I’m so truly blessed for all of that.

While I still have a long way to go to get back to normal, and it may still be a few years before I have enough emotional energy to be a truly good friend in the way that I like to be, what I’m thankful for is that the people who love me understand that I don’t hibernate because I don’t love them or don’t want to talk to them. I don’t hibernate to avoid being a good friend. If 95% of you called me tomorrow and told me you needed me to be on a plane to come take care of you, I would be on that plane. But what is such a beautiful thing is that the people who know me understand that my keeping to myself is me just licking my wounds and trying to heal my brain, my heart, and my body. Plus they say it takes about 3 years, if ever, to feel normal again after severe sepsis, so thank God everyone seems to understand that me not leaving the house to go party has nothing to do with not wanting to see my beautiful friends. It just has to do with me taking time to heal so that when I am back on my feet I’m going to kick ass from here to Maryland and back… Taking no prisoners!

I do realize I should have probably just written a fucking book as this is about the length of one, but it’s 4:32 in the damn morning and I felt like telling everybody how deeply, deeply thankful I am for all of you.

I know I often say things in my comments like “much love,” or “tons of hugs,” or “XOXOXOXO.” And it may seem like just the way I sign off on my comments. But I really mean it. I have so much love in my heart for so very many of you and I just want you to know it. So I will tell you that over and over and over again so that there’s never any question about how I feel.

In closing, finally (right????), know that I do love you guys and I am so very thankful that you are in my life, and that you take the time to show me love means more to me than you could ever possibly know.

May God bless every single one of you and take care of your every need. I love you all so much. If you ever need me, I’m here.

LOVE YOU GUYS!!! Have a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and every other happy sentiment I can send you! 🙂 XOXOXOXXO

FREE BOOK TIME AGAIN–Almost!

TGIMFF!!! (Yeah, there’s more than just TGIF in that statement.)

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Kindle eBook Giveaway, so I thought I’d do one in time for Valentine’s Day (too many dang holidays all bunched up on each other!).

I’ll do another post when I have the exact dates for the giveaway–it’s looking like towards the end of next week.

I made some teeny, tiny, almost unnoticeable tweaks, so technically they are all 2nd editions, but you probably won’t even notice them. I’m a crazed and insane editor and I simply had to tweak!

If you don’t know about my books or are curious, click on any of the book covers below to get the scoop.

You guys know that for me, it’s all about spreading the love, not about the bux, so enjoy the gifts next week when the promo starts.

XOXOXO

PS: I also had the price lowered for print version of the Cookbook and for the newly formatted print versions of the How to Have a Happy Life relationship books (Sex and Intimacy), so that regardless of your financial status, they are all affordable. HUGS!

Horribly sarcastic and naughty. NO ONE should read this, unless you like that stuff. 😉

Maybe slightly less mouthy, but still full of piss and vinegar (and tons of heart too).

Yum yum yummies! Slurp! This is for people who both HATE cooking with a passion and LOVE it to death.

Have a wonderful weekend! Luv ya!

 

When the Sex goes Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehen, Arrivederci, Buh Bye

Recently, I was very honored to contribute to an article on Prevention.com.

The article, by Meghan Rabbitt, turned out great and really provided some good advice for couples who aren’t enjoying too much nookie in their relationship.

While I really enjoyed how she pieced together thoughts from other “sexperts” and myself, I also wanted everyone to read the full breadth of what I sent over to her as sometimes it can help to hear a single voice too.

She had asked me to answer 4 questions and here they are, along with my answers. I hope it can help some couples out there who are struggling with a relationship that doesn’t include much sex.

  1. Why does stressing about infrequent sex make sex worse?

Hopefully, sex for you is a joyful, stress-relieving romp with your significant other. But if it’s not and sex has become infrequent, it’s natural to start stressing about it. One of the big downfalls to that particular type of stress is that you’ll likely start to connect negative feelings to sex, which can create deep resentment towards your mate.

When sex becomes a scarcity and is no longer that wonderful, intimate release with your loved one, it can turn your thoughts to, “Why don’t we ever have sex? What is wrong with me? What is wrong with him? Is this how the rest of my life is going to be? Is he having an affair? Does he not find me attractive anymore?” The list goes on and on. This type of mindset can breed hurt feelings, insecurity, a lack of trust, and an overall negative attitude towards the relationship as a whole. That negativity can easily spread into all aspects of your life if you aren’t careful.

Beyond all of the self-doubt and resentment that a floundering sex life can cause, it can also set up great expectations for when it does come time for sexual intimacy. It can be easy to think, “Well, when we do have sex it damn well better be amazing! After all, it feels like it’s been forever since we last made love, so why shouldn’t all that built-up desire and pent-up need make the sex just that much hotter?” Then, when the sex is similar to what it’s always or recently been, you find yourself let down and deflated, rather than thrilled and excited about the next time.

The constant hope that you’ll have sex…the letdown if it doesn’t happen…and the disappointment when it does if it isn’t particularly great, can put you on a rollercoaster of emotions regarding sex and your partner that seem to always leave you wanting more.

It’s hard on any relationship, no matter how strong, when those up and down emotions become pervasive. The more you stress about it, the deeper the anxiety and feelings of rejection can go. And typically those emotions lead to even less sex, so you’re existing in a self-perpetuating situation that it can be hard to find your way out of.

So, when you find yourself stressing about how much or little sex you are having, take some time to evaluate what might be causing the situation and then try and figure out some strategies for change. It never helps to point a finger of blame at anyone, and the Blame Game only causes further stress and embarrassment. Broach the conversation lovingly and if you just can’t find a way to talk about it, for whatever reason, then step up your game the next time you and your partner make love and see if that new special technique you bring to the bedroom does anything to reawaken the sexy passion you once shared.

  1. What are the downsides/detriments to talking yourself into having sex — even if you’re not in the mood?

This is a topic over which there is much debate. There are experts out there who will tell you to talk yourself into sex, even if you aren’t in the mood, because once you’re in the thick of it you’ll start to enjoy it. They reinforce that the act of having sex makes you feel sexier and will eventually lead to having more sex on a regular basis.

The flip side of that is that sex is hopefully some combination of a loving, wild, delicious, lusty, bonding, and exciting way of connecting with your mate. If you go into sex half-hearted, will the passion be there? Will your partner feel your apathy?

Having sex when one isn’t in the mood can feel at worst like a violation and at best like you’d rather be getting a root canal. Creating a sexual environment in which those are the emotions that you tie to sex isn’t healthy in either the short or long term.  When your feelings about sex are negative, your response to even the thought of it can become Pavlovian in nature, almost visceral. When that happens your desire can lessen even more, thereby exacerbating an already tough situation.

Sex should be the culmination of love, lust, need, want, desire and a whole host of other emotions. Not a Well, if I have to I guess I can endure it type of activity. Make love when it feels right to both of you for that is when you and your partner will achieve the closeness and satisfaction that comes with a healthy sexual relationship.

  1. Why is frequency not as important as intimacy?

It’s the old argument over quantity vs. quality. Is it better to devour a really good pizza once a week or eat some frozen cardboard pizza 3 times a week? I’d well imagine people could easily argue both sides. But here is why I’d vote for intimacy over frequency any time.

Think back to your most amazing sexual experience. Was it crazy and exhilarating? Was it loving and tender? Was it some yummy combination of both? I bet when you think back on it you can remember every tantalizing touch. Or maybe you only remember the overall feeling of “Wow. That was incredible. I need to sleep for a week to recuperate.” Either way, it left a delightful positive imprint in your brain about just how good sex can be.

Now, think back on the most boring sex you’ve ever had. How did it leave you feeling? I often joke with people that if the sex is not worth the cleanup, then I’m not doing it. Boring sex can be dreadful because it strips you of all the tingles and passion that we equate with good sex. It turns sex into a chore rather than feeling like you are tripping the light fantastic. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to think of sex in the same way I think of cleaning my kitchen.

So, if someone put the question to me: Would you rather have amazing sex once a week or ho-hum sex 3 times a week? I think the answer would pop out of my mouth lightning quick: Amazing sex!

It’s important to remember, especially in a long-term relationship, that your mate having sex with you more often doesn’t mean they love you more. And having sex with you less frequently doesn’t mean they love you less. It’s never that cut and dry. What you can do to show how deeply you love one another, when the sex isn’t particularly frequent, is taking the time to lavish each other with unbridled passion when you do have sex. Ensuring that both of you are happy, satisfied and feel wanted can help nurture a continued sense of closeness even when you are outside of the bedroom.

One of the most enduring results of good sex is the intimacy it breeds between lovers. Intimacy stretches itself into all aspects of life. It helps us feel loved, cherished, adored, understood, and safe. Those feelings create an overall sense of happiness and security that foster an environment where everyone knows they are valued, loved and respected.

  1. How can long-term couples invigorate their sex life, without the stress/pressure to have sex often?

I’m going to tow the company line here and suggest great communication. I know it sounds trite, but over time it’s easy to forget what your partner really likes in bed (or on the kitchen counter) and simply asking can remind us of the fun sexual things we did long ago.

It’s easy for sex to become rote. He kisses this. I rub that. I get into this position. Bang, we’re done. No one wants a script for sex that’s the same over and over.

If you want to liven up your sex life, try and remember the sex you had during the first year you were together.

  • Were there certain places you liked to have sex?
  • Were there positions you favored that you don’t do anymore?
  • Are there erogenous zones that either of you haven’t paid attention to in a while?

To start rebuilding your sex life without doing anything drastic, you can go back to what you liked to do when the relationship first began—that can go a long way to rekindling the spark. It’s amazing how just feeling wanted by your partner can liven up your sex life.

You can also try something new. I’m not suggesting that everyone goes out and buys a blindfold and handcuffs, but just easing into something you haven’t done before can be titillating and kick your sex life back into high gear.

For example:

  • Have you tried roll playing? If you haven’t done that before, start slow and warm into it.
  • What about lingerie or sexy costumes?
  • How about talking dirty?
  • Are their certain scents that get you revved up?
  • Do you romance each other outside of the bedroom to get revved up for fun in the bedroom?
  • What about a quickie in the bathroom or the back seat of your car?

Sometimes trying something new, even if you just barely dip your toe in the pool, can invigorate a sex life that’s seen better days. The thrill and excitement that comes along with new experiences can make us relive the butterflies in our tummies that we had when we first started out on our sexual journeys.

Ultimately, while having a satisfying sex life is important, it’s achieving a balance in a relationship that everyone can live with that’ll help you endure in the long run. For some people, sex just isn’t that important. For others it’s the be-all-end-all of life. Finding a way to communicate and compromise so that both parties feel loved, desired and safe is the real path to enjoying a lifelong adventure with the one you love.

Author Jodi Ambrose

jodiambrose.com | jodiambroseblog.com | @jodiambrose

Okay, so all that above writing was me trying to sound like an adult (and trying not to cuss or be overly sarcastic!), but the short and sweet reality of it is: Sometimes couples stop having sex. It just happens. It may totally suck, but it happens nonetheless. Whether there’s an inciting incident that somehow kills the spark, or it’s the kids, the job, being tired all the time, feeling like roommates, sexual laziness, someone’s porn habit, whatever it is, sometimes the sex just falls away.

Believe it or not, one of the things I get asked about most often is what to do when the sex stops. Or why do I think the sex has stopped. And it comes from just as many women as it does men. This is not nearly as gender-specific of a problem as you might assume. It’s not just the ladies saying no–it’s a good chunk of men too. I had one male friend ask me how I can help him get interested in sex even half as much as he’s interested in football. He is not unique in asking that question.

I think there are a million reasons why the sex can peter out to nearly nothing–but the real questions for your future are:

  1. Is it something you can live with?
  2. Is the relationship fulfilling in every other way (or most other ways)?
  3. Do you love and adore your partner to the point where sex being a rarity is tolerable because everything else is going so well?

If you are in this type of a relationship, know you are not alone. I can’t begin to tell you how many couples are in an almost-sexless relationship. It happens WAY more than you would think. But it’s typically something no one really talks about, even with their friends, because admitting you never get laid can be embarrassing and no one wants someone else looking at them like: “What’s wrong with you? Do you suck in bed? Are you that undesirable?” When the reality is that it’s probably (mostly) none of that.

I’ve also heard from men and women that they’ve already tried everything they can think of to re-kindle the spark. Boudoir photos shoots, lingerie, stepping up the foreplay, more romance, sensual massage, talking dirty, being the best lover they can possibly be, being spontaneous, buying toys, role-playing, losing weight, gaining weight, wearing make-up more often, dressing nicer, being nicer…you name it. And sometimes none of that works. No matter what you do, the sex still just limps along like it has a broken leg. And arm. And back. And neck. And dick. And muff.

It can be so incredibly frustrating and it can be easy to translate a lack of sex to rejection as a whole. And no one likes to be or feel rejected. It hits home down deep where all the worst of our emotions lurk and eat away at our happiness.

Alas, sometimes, sex just falls by the wayside. So, it’s up to you to either find a way to fix it (with some of my awesome suggestions above!) 😉 or find a way to live with it, or get out of the relationship. Walking around miserable all the time because you never get laid will only lead to resentment and pain that worsens over time. So your options are to fix it, forget it, or leave it. But you can’t mope about it forever. It will ruin all of your joy.

Of course, my hope for everyone is that they get the best damn nookie of their life as often as they want it. Three Cheers for Awesome Bang-Bang-Time! 🙂 🙂 🙂 But if that’s not you, know that you aren’t alone and that less sex is not a direct correlation to less love. Sex is just one way of showing love. If you can’t do it that way, make sure to show it in every other way you can.

XOXOXOXO

 

Kick Butt Radio Time!

How do, everyone? I hope you guys are having a great week. It’s hump day! Yay!

So, as I may have mentioned one or a hundred times, I’ve been SWAMPED at the office.

Good grief, it’s like we have 10 minutes to run a marathon. And you guys know I’m not big on the running. 😉

But, I was lucky enough to carve a half hour out of my day today (I am allowed a lunch break at least once a year…right??) to go on SiriusXM with the wonderful Kim Power Stilson. She was so much fun to talk with–we dished about food for 30 minutes–no pun intended. 😉

Not only was she great, but her production staff is so nice too. It was just a great time.

So, because I’ve got nothin’ but food on my mind (which kinda blows as I’m on a diet, but I did lick the top of a cupcake today–I just couldn’t resist!) I’m going to do two things.

First, here is a link to the radio show. Click HERE to listen.

Second, I’m gonna share a recipe from the cookbook. Mmmm…food…yum…

This is straight out of Darn Good Eats, story and all. I hope you like it. It is my very favorite cake on earth. And, believe it or not, I’ve actually made it one or two times myself. Shocking, I know. ENJOY!!

Happy Birthday Coffee Ice Cream Cake

When I was 5 years old I met a wonderful little girl in kindergarten named Eden. Who would have guessed that meeting her would lead me to my all-time favorite cake? Her mom, Edie, hooked up my mom with this recipe and my sweet, precious mommy has made it for me many times over the years for my birthday.

My mom was shocked that as a little girl I liked it because it has coffee ice cream in it. I barely like coffee as an adult, but this coffee ice cream cake is perfection. And it doesn’t really taste like coffee. You know you are tasting something beyond chocolate, but it’s hard to put your finger on what that flavor is.

I hope that you love it as much as I do. Every time I take a bite of it, I’m pulled back down memory lane to my childhood where I’m blowing out candles and devouring this wonderful creation. I hope it becomes a birthday staple in your family too.

Coffee Icecream Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup of white, granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (the REAL stuff…no imitation vanilla)
  • 1 can (16 ounces) of Hershey’s Syrup™ (use the stuff in the can if you can find it, it tastes much better than the syrup in the plastic bottle)
  • I cup of flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • A dash of salt
  • 1/2 gallon, or slightly less, of good coffee ice cream
  • 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips (use Nestle™)
  • 2 tablespoons of Crisco™ Shortening

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
  2. Cream together the butter and the sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla and Hershey’s Syrup to the bowl and stir until well mixed.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl and mix everything together until well blended.
  5. Pour into a greased 9×13 baking dish and bake at 350 °F for 25 – 30 minutes.
  6. When it’s done, remove from the oven, let it cool and then cover it and put it in the freezer (not the fridge, but the freezer).
  7. Once the cake is frozen, let the ice cream sit on the counter until it is soft (not melted).
  8. Spread the ice cream onto the cake and put back in the freezer.
  9. In a sauce pan over low heat or in a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and Crisco™ Shortening together, constantly stirring until fully melted and smooth.
  10. Take the cake out of the freezer and drizzle the melted chocolate all over it.
  11. Put the cake back in the freezer.
  12. Serve frozen (it will be hard as a brick when you first take it out of the freezer but it will be perfect after the slices have sat out for a couple of minutes).

Not only is this cake simply fantastic, but it is so rich that it lasts for quite some time. As much as I love this cake, I only cut about a 2 inch x 2 inch piece when I eat it. It is incredibly flavorful and a small piece is usually all it takes to have a full belly and happy tastebuds.

FREE Kindle books for you! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, even if you are a Humbug! ;)

If you don’t already have all 3 of my books, you can download them for FREE on Kindlechristmas_animated_gifs_05 this Tuesday through Saturday.

Since I’ve tortured all of you with my Christmas decorating pics (here’s one in case you missed it–note the new Christmas Teddy Hammock on the right side!), I thought I’d give you Christmas presents too, starting tomorrow.

Christmas 2014 Plus Teddy Hammock

Remember, if you don’t have a Kindle, no big deal as you can download the Kindle reader to almost any device. Click HERE to download the Kindle reader. And then click HERE to download my books.

If you do have a Kindle, click HERE and download away!

Love you guys! Your friendship and support mean the world to me, so I hope you enjoy my Holiday presents! XOXOXOXO

MerryAWChristmas

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