Thursday, February 13, 2014

That Sunday kinda love...

Perhaps Etta had it right when she crooned… I want a Sunday kind of Love…A Love to last past, Saturday night…

I was thinking about love and relationships as I often do since I deal with them in my stories. As a romance writer, I'm always thinking about what motivates people. What draws them together, keeps them together and make them break up. 

My sister made  a post just the other day about her husband and how she loved him because of how he’d sacrificed his own personal comfort to help her when she was recently in a situation which was frustrating her. He could have laid in bed and slept until it was time to get up and go to work, but though the hour was early, and he would miss out on rest, he got up and helped her through the matter.  She was so appreciative of that one act. It made me think about real love. Not the passionate, all encompassing, bowl you over, grand gestures of love, but the every day considerations of love; where you work in tandem. They've been married for a number of years and I’m sure they've gotten settled into the day to day grind that marriage invariably becomes.  
You know the routine. You wake up and see that same person over and over again. The walls of pretense have fallen and you see each other with all of your faults and foibles; the things that make you human. 
Saturday night has long passed and it’s just the two of you, making your way through life. How easy it is to fall out of love; to cease going that extra mile for the person you married or are in a long term relationship with.  Where as you used to keep yourself up, you've now let yourself go. Where as you used to talk incessantly and couldn't wait to tell them about your day, now you don’t even bother to ask. And what about spending real time on your relationship, together. Some people don’t even look their mates in the eye anymore.

I have a request. This Valentine’s day, make a conscious effort to do something DIFFERENT. Something you haven’t done since you started dating. How about doing something they like to do, but you don’t. SACRIFICE your wants and needs just once, to show your mate that you still care for them and love them. It’s not always the words. Actions are even more important.  There are plenty of  people that will say they love you, and will flatter you all day long, but the second you need money for the light bill, they scatter like the wind, or the moment the lights get turned off because you shopped with the bill money and thought you would have it back before they got cut off, (Yes, I’m talking about you), then your partner wants to call it quits instead of saying, 'honey, you have a problem and we need to see what we can do to fix it.' 
Saturday loves can be fleeting. The second things get tough, instead of working through it, we toss a good mate to the side, seeking perfection where there’s none.

Resolve to get your relationship back on track. Yes, there’s a lot of water under that bridge, and you might need to get professional guidance to help you navigate the tricky currents and ripe tides of forgiveness. Trust me, if your mate is essentially a good person but you've had the usual relationship missteps, It’s worth doing. Especially if you want that Sunday kind of love.

Here are some personal suggestions from me
1.       Consciously do something with your mate which you've never done before. Or do something you used to enjoy doing together but haven’t done in years. AND Enjoy yourself.

2.       Get help if you need it.  Sometimes we need to stop trying to patch things up and call in a professional to help us see what’s wrong, and what the solution may be.

3.       Have an open and honest dialogue about how you feel about the state of your relationship, and get your ego out of it.  It’s not always about YOU.

4.       Determine together where you want your relationship to go. Plan together how you’ll get there. We have goals for everything else, but we don’t often make relationship goals.

5.       Find one thing that you two can consistently do together and stick with it! I had neighbors who walked around our community together every single day. Even in the snow and rain.  I really admired that. It's important to foster a sense of togetherness even if you don’t feel it right away.  How about planning and cooking a meal together one day a week.  Cook something different every time. I love going to the farmers market and getting fresh foods to cook with. *Hint, men really open up when their hands are busy so put him on chopping duty and just let the conversation go wherever it takes you. 
Just make sure you post this sign somewhere AND follow it>>>>>>>.  
You married a human NOT a drone. We all have different needs for different reasons. Some day’s we have to give them what they need at the expense of what we want.
I hope this helps and good luck with finding or fostering that Sunday kinda love.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Let's bring sexy back-The Appeal of boudoir photography

I was initially going to use this post to jump start my annual Valentine’s Day count down. Last year I came up with different sexy, romantic things to do with your mate until "The big V day." And you know the Romance Arsonist in me has a VERY creative mind :-)  However, as I was researching this particular idea, I realized it could be used for almost any occasion, even if it's just a little ego boost. By now you're probably wondering what in the heck I'm talking about. You see that beautiful thick, luscious, sexy woman in her sensual pose? Well, that could be you!
No, you don't have to be particularly thick or luscious, and you might not even think of yourself as being the least bit sexy or sensual but guess what; you are BEAUTIFUL. You just need a bit of help channeling your inner sex kitten. That's where boudoir photography can help.
Now, you know how I am, I love to feel beautiful, sexy and sensual (I'm a Leo. it's in our zodiacal DNA). And I try to give women the tools to help them feel the same. So this post is dedicated to boudoir photography.

What is it about Boudoir photography that I like?

  1. Anyone can do it. NO EXCUSES!
  2. It's probably the closest you'll get to Extreme Makeover
  3. It's fun
Let's start with the obvious. Any one can take boudoir pics. In fact, most of us have. Raise your hand if you've ever sent someone a pic of you in a sexy outfit or in a sexy pose (raising my hand). We'll congratulations, you've taken a boudoir pic. I think we now call them 'sexy selfies' the only difference is, you're not a professional .

Let's leave the pics to the professionals! 

Now I know the first thing most of you are going to say. Gynger, I'm a big girl, I can't show all of this stomach, and definitely not these thighs, to ANYBODY! and I won't even go there with the stretch marks.
Well guess what? Ever hear of airbrushing. Yes, the same tricks that the glamour mags use to make us think models and celebrities came into the world without one blemish, is the same thing that will get rid of your stretch marks.
I love these pics of thick women showing their sensual side. You bring the confidence and your photographer will use it to make you SHINE!
Boudoir In Bloom Photography
 A good photographer will have a host of poses to help camouflage your jiggly bits too. The goal is to use air brushing minimally so the real you can shine through. Artful poses help in that area. Look at this pose. If you have some problem areas with your arms and thighs, this sexy pose is your best friend.

And what if you have a bit of a a tummy and you're self conscious about it, that's what props are for. 

What if you have the body of a goddess but the acne of a teenager smack dab in the middle of puberty or scaring on your face or body. No problem, Boudoir photographers typically have someone there to do your make up and sometimes hair if you need a little help. Check out these beautiful before and after shots.

Awesome transformations

What I love about boudoir pics is that they really help you see a side of yourself you never knew existed. They can bring out a side of you that you are normally shy or hesitant to show.  It can be what ever you want it to be. Are you conservative about how much skin you show, or what areas of your body you show. Guess what? You bring your own outfits and the photographer works with what you bring. That means you can be conservative and your idea of sexy at the same time.I think this is great for women who want to show off a bit but, are concerned about the image they project, for whatever the reason. It's honestly not for anyone to judge. We're all different and and have our own comfort levels. That's a good thing. 

Boudoir pics also allow some women to get in touch with there sexy, sassy, sensual side.They feel comfortable with what the good Lord gave them, and under the right circumstances, (anniversary, Valentines day or mile stone birthday's) want to show it off. I say, YOU GO GIRL!!

 And for all you natural ladies out there. Set that hair free and make it sexy 

The main thing is that you HAVE fun doing it. A good boudoir photographer will have props. They will also allow you to bring your own.Are you or your mate sports fans? Try some sexy poses using your favorite team as a theme.

sports boudoir pics 
 I love these foot ball themes but you could easily do a basketball jersey, hockey jersey , NASCAR etc. 

Are you or your mate in the military? Get creative and use that in your photos. These are either going to be for you or to share with your mate so personalize it accordingly.

Honestly, the list of things you can do is endless.You can also do couples boudoir pics. Don't worry, a real photographer will know when to say WHEN! LOL
Now, I can not and will not close this blog without addressing cost. To be real, a good, professional boudoir photography session can cost anywhere from $200 to $800. (Say what!) Yes, I said it. I just like being upfront with my readers HOWEVER! you can cut this cost down in a number of ways. 

1. Check out Groupon and sites like it for specials: Most boudoir photography studios offer specials and deals on those sites because they want and need exposure. 

2. Split the cost!: Have a group of girlfriends chip in to rent a hotel room, then look around at some of the colleges for beginning photographers or on Craigslist to see if there are photographers listed (always check their credentials and confirm that you will own the rights to all of your prints and proofs). If you're not good at doing your own make-up, go to the mall and have your make-up done by a professional. M.A.C cosmetic stores do make-up using their products at a reasonable price, but there are many make-up artist out there so use Google, Yelp or other search engines to find them in your area. 
3. Use what you have: Use a chair against a blank wall or a screen to break up the background you'd be surprised how simple backgrounds make the best pictures. Be creative. How about white bed sheets and pillow cases(new pillows work best and you can always used them any way). Find a free lance photographer (see option 2).  The bulk of the cost should be for the photographer and ask for them to shoot most of the pics in black and white. Black and white pics work really well when you're on budget.


If all else fails and you can't find a discount and don't have enough friends who're willing to split the cost. Save up for it. I promise it'll be worth it in the end! Remember, as in life, you get what you pay for. If you opt to do option 2. or 3. don't expect the same results as if you'd gone to an established studio. I'm not saying it will look cheap. I'm just saying results will vary have a look at their portfolio to make sure you like their style. No matter what, at the end of the day, you should have a good quality product that you're happy with. So remember keep it sexy and HAVE FUN!!