Monday, April 30, 2012

Sex and Yogurt Abs

Sometimes things change suddenly. Sometimes things change so slowly that you may not have noticed. I had one of those, “Wow, that’s different” realizations this past weekend. I realized that I actually had abs. Almost like a six pack type of thing going on.

I was sorting through clothes in my drawers and closet. Switching out winter stuff and getting out more shorts and summer wear (though the temps are still questionably cold for Maine). There were lots of things to try on. Some that I vaguely remember being big from last summer and some things I was shrinking out of this past winter. Why put it away when I don’t ever plan on going back up in size?

So, standing in front of my mirrored closet doors (oh, the wonders of 70s architecture), I saw that I actually had definition. Woohoo. Rockin’ the abs!

The funny thing is that I haven’t been trying for them. I mean I do eat right. Lots of protein. Every morning I eat a bowl of plain Chobani Greek Yogurt with flaxseed meal, wheat germ and some type of fruit mixed into it. Usually half a banana. Switching to yogurt versus having cereal every morning has made a difference in weight loss/weight maintenance for me. And, it’s made a difference in what fits and what doesn’t; and obviously in what my abs are looking like.

I started with vanilla yogurt then went to plain and added my own honey.
Now, I skip the extra carbs and sugar and get my sweetness from the wheat germ and fruit.

Besides the yogurt, I do exercise. Well, the only “formal” exercise I do is one weekly yoga class (if I’m lucky). I try to do a few sit ups and pushups every other day or so. Plus, I try to walk on the beach a few times a week because I just love to be by the ocean. Exercise that doesn’t seem like exercise is my favorite kind.

One of the best exercises that fits into that category is sex. (Masturbation is a close second). Especially for an ab workout. You tighten every muscle and then relax it again. Your heart rate goes up. Way up sometimes. You burn 144 calories every thirty minutes having sex. It’s a good thing, as Martha would say.

Since 5-11 Sexy Boi has come into my life, I think that has made a world of difference for my abs and my body. I’m sure as heck smiling more. Smiling may not burn calories but kissing does. Making out burns 268 calories every half hour. My kind of workout.

Maybe the yogurt thing had started working for me, but having a sexy sexual girlfriend has just pushed my body to a new level. (Now, here’s where most people cringe at the thought of their parents reading their blog and putting out there, “Hey, Mom and Dad… I’m having sex and lots of it. Oh well, the fun of being me. Winky face.)

So, grab some yogurt. Grab a mate and have sex. Lots of sex. Before you know it, you’ll be rockin’ the abs.

Unexpectations for Kindle

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dang! It’s Still a 4-Letter Word

Some people swear. Some people swear a lot. As the saying goes, they swear like truckers or sailors. Every other word out of their mouth is F this or S that.

Some people don’t swear. And they live in convents or are under the age of three. Or, they are me. Seriously. I feel like I need to join some special group to admit that.

“Hi. My name is Barbara. And, I don’t swear.”

Swearing has become such a part of society and culture. It’s everywhere. Heard everywhere. Seen everywhere. Sung everywhere. But, should it be?

Now I’ve heard swear words used positively, like, “Hot Damn!” and that doesn’t bother me at all. It just seems that most of the time swear words are used in anger or in a negative way. Are we so “glass-is-half-empty” in our society that we can’t find better things to say about someone or something?

This is from a great Youtube video that actually has a swear word in the title.
I replace "stuff" with the regularly used S word.
"Stuff" Yogis Say
Totally, totally funny. Oh, yea, and they bleep out the F word in it once too.

I’ve tried swearing. I had a friend who was trying to get me to swear more. It just didn’t seem natural. Maybe it was the years of getting my mouth washed out with soap that keeps me from cussing? I swear I was sixteen the last time I tasted a bar of soap (probably Irish Spring or Fels Naptha. They were both used frequently on me).

Yea, I got my mouthed out with laundry soap.
Don't you love the warning: "Caution: Eye and Skin Irritant?"
Once the wrapper is gone, parents don't see that.
This also works good on drying up poison ivy by the way...

So, now, the harshest word I usually say is, “Dang!” “Drat!” would be my second most used word of that sort. Dang seems to be one of those words that you can say and people don’t even flinch at it. Not really even considered a swear word by most. I don’t think the “Dang” sounds that bad from me, especially since I’ve noticed that my drawl seems to be coming out more lately. It may be because I am very relaxed again combined with the fact that I talk constantly with a friend who also has a drawl. You know, one of those sexy drawls… Don’t ask me where mine came from. None of my family or friends in Upstate NY seems to have my same accent. But, it sounds kinda southern so the Dang just slides out.

Is that what happens with people who swear? The words just slide out? At least when I say, “Dang,” I’m rarely angry. It’s more of a ‘Gee whiz, Beaver,’ kind of usage. Maybe people should just smile more and swear less? Take things with a grain of salt (or a spoonful of sugar)? Sure makes life taste better than a mouthful of soap.

So, do you swear? Do you swear a lot? What do you think about swearing in public? Or, in front of young children or older folks? Please leave your comments below.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Things That Make Me Smile

Today was the first day of my April break at school. I couldn't help but wake up smiling. That smile just seemed to continue non-stop for the rest of the day. If you know me, you know that I smile a lot. I just do. I'm not covering anything up. The happiness that I feel these days is genuine. I'm appreciative of things that I have in my life and of things that make up my day.

My teethy grin with lots of smile lines. I also have a crookedy
closed mouth smile thing that I do too. It's all smiling.

As I drove to Massachusetts to visit with friends, I found myself making a list of things that really made my smile even bigger. Kinda like the song from the Sound of Music, these are a few of my favorite things...that make me smile (in no particular order):

Sunny days
Dogs sticking their heads out of car windows with their ears flapping in the wind
Kiddie-sized, cherry-dipped, twist ice cream cones
My girls
Other people smiling
Friends and family
Sexy boots
Being out in nature
Treasure hunting
Beer on tap
Clicky pens
Sweet-smelling women
Beautiful people
The number 11
Music. Especially live music
Walking barefoot on the beach
Good pizza
Flowers and gardens
Japanese architecture
Boogie boarding

What makes you smile? Is there something special that you know will just cheer you up? Or, something that amuses you so that you can't help but smile? Please share. That would make me smile.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

I’m Really Much More Talented with My Mouth Than That. Or, How I Got My Eyebrows Threaded.

Eyes. That’s the first thing I notice about someone. Their eyes. I think every woman is beautiful when she has eyes that just sparkle and they tell her story. When I talk with a woman, I stare into her eyes. The term “eye contact” goes deeper for me in conversation and I can be very intense with the eye contact I give. But it’s only because I’m mesmerized by the subtle flecks and color nuances that make up the realm of that woman’s life.

I also smile with my eyes.

Now, I’m not a beauty queen by any standard. I wear minimal makeup and I was never really taught how to groom or apply that makeup. I just somehow learned that along the way. I actually feel naked if I leave the house without at least eyeliner on these days. I just feel that it wakes my eyes up and makes them “pop.”

Even if a woman doesn’t wear a stitch of makeup, there is one thing that I find that can detract from the beauty of her eyes. Her eyebrows. I guess I was taught by girlfriends in high school about plucking. I did the absolute minimum to just barely shape my eyes and keep me from looking like a bushman. I’m very fortunate in that I have light hair (mostly blonde) and if I miss a few in the plucking that it isn’t a huge deal (unless I’m out in bright sunlight looking in the rearview mirror in my car. Whoa!).

Anyways, a few years ago, I actually got my eyebrows waxed for the first time at my hair salon. Oh. My. God. Why didn’t I do this sooner? I loved the look. I loved the shape. I loved the way it framed my eyes. It doesn’t matter who has done them when I’ve gone in, they always seem to do a great job. I think every woman should try it. I’ve even started bringing my oldest in just to start shaping her brows. They’re starting slowly with her, but she’s liking the look that it is bringing to her face.

So, yesterday, at my hair therapy appointment at the fabulous Bei Capelli in Scarborough, Maine, I tried something different. I had my eyebrows threaded. It’s a technique where they use a piece of string that looks like dental floss to pull the hairs off your face. There’s a twist around some fingers and some of it wraps around their neck. And, like a funky move in Cat’s Cradle, they manage to precisely pull out those pesky brow hairs (or lip or chin hairs).

Envisioning my entire brow being pulled off and left with nothing but skin where I forever have to draw a clown brow on, I was a little hesitant. But, I know the women who work there and I chose to have confidence in the ability of our sex. There is more of a pampering involved in the treatment, too. A warm towel softens the hairs, then a fine powder is applied that actually helps them see what needs to be removed. The first thing you’ll notice is a zip-zip sound. Sort of like walking down the school halls as a kid in wide wale cords. I don’t think the threading hurts like the waxing (which I’m not sure it really hurts, it’s just the build up and waiting to feel a sudden yank of hairs coming out of your delicate skin.)

See, it looks a bit like the game Cat's Cradle?

The one thing that I wasn’t expecting was that threading is interactive. I had to actually use one or two hands to help pull the skin around my eyes taught for proper brow hair removal. It was fine. No problem. The fun part came when I had to make the skin taught around my upper lip. Now, I’ve never had any waxing or anything done in that area (remember the blonde thing I mentioned?), so this was interesting. But, I’m thinking a woman with a ‘stache isn’t high up on my list of who I’d date. So, why be that woman?

Lakahna, my fabulous stylist, told me to put my tongue over in my cheek so she could work on my upper lip. I looked at her and laughed. Yea, right. “Like you have a lollipop in your cheek,” she said. I moved my tongue. Nothing happened. She modeled again exactly what I was supposed to do. It wasn’t happening. She modeled it again and looked at me like I had three heads. I laughed so hard I was almost crying. So, here’s where I need to explain that I wasn’t born with the ability to curl my tongue. My oldest can curl hers even two and three folds. Yea, no. Not me. My tongue is very talented and coordinated when it’s outside my mouth, but that is a post for another day. Inside my mouth, it does the basic whatever-it-needs-to-do things. Seriously, I’m surprised that I just don’t bite it more with my lack of coordination. After asking for a mirror, I figured out what I needed to do.
The fabulous, Lakahna, at Bei Capelli. Plus, her name is just fun to say.

Took modeling and the mirror again by Lakahna to do the other side, but I was getting it down. Then came the part where I had to curl my top lip in and make it all taut. Lakahna modeled that for me. Oh God, help me. I would describe that as the equivalent of Angry Librarian or Angry Teacher face. I don’t make that face. Ever. My lips don’t know how to do much more than smile. Really. We don’t make those faces in my world of fluffy bunnies and happy rainbows. More modeling and more looking in the mirror and I got it down. Phew!

I have to say that I was very, very impressed with how everything came out. I keep feeling my face and am amazed at how smooth it is. Who knew I had that many hairs there before? And, I like the shape of my eyebrows. No clown-penciling for me, thank goodness. So, go out and beautify yourself. Wax your eyebrows if you haven’t and if you’d like to try something new, go for the threading. Just practice your tongue exercises on the way.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Keep Your Spirits Up & Your Batteries Fresh. Yea, I’m Talking About Masturbation.

I like to talk about subjects that people have a hard time talking about. I like to write about subjects that people wouldn’t even think of writing about. I’ve been going over edits for my second novel, Identically Different, where I wrote a scene about one of the main characters, Sadie, going out into the woods to masturbate. Reading it again sometime after I wrote it, I found it to be quite sexy and it got me to thinking that this is not a subject of normal conversation.

Woman Seated with Thighs Apart by Gustav Klimt, 1916.

Some people are so shy about sex and touching in general, that talk about touching yourself is one that most just wouldn’t bring up. I was happy to hear a friend use the word masturbate in conversation this past week. She said she’s been reading the book, 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James, and had to stop to masturbate several times. If that isn’t a great endorsement for a book, I don’t know what is.

I’ve taken several of my friends to an adult shop in Portland, Maine, called  Nomia. It’s not one of those creepy, dark, dingy adult shops. It’s bright and classy and they have a knowledgeable staff there that isn’t shy about explaining anything. Hmm…I should work there. When someone is not in a relationship or perhaps widowed, they still have got to take care of themselves and have that sexual release. Even if one is in a relationship, it’s perfectly healthy. We are all sexual creatures.

The classic and inexpensive silver bullet and another clitoral
stimulator called the LAYAspot by Fun Factory.
Pricey and it burns through batteries rather quickly.

Masturbation is a way to get to know yourself and what parts you have and what you like. Many of us grew up thinking that it was bad to touch ourselves “down there.” It was such a taboo, hush-hush subject. It still is. I’ve talked to my friends who are parents to see if they’ve talked to their kids about masturbation. Most have not. Some don’t even talk to their kids about sex. Masturbation is really the first step. I believe that it gives you the confidence you need in knowing yourself so that you aren’t taken advantage of by a partner…especially at a young age when kids are starting to explore their sexuality.

I did a little research online to see what points of view were out there on masturbation. Planned is pro-masturbation. is not. Hmm…imagine that? Planned Parenthood is with me on it being completely normal and natural. They have quite a bullet list of its positive aspects. These are some of my favorites:
- creates a sense of well-being
            - increases the ability to have orgasms
            - improves self-esteem and body image
            - improves sleep
            - reduces stress
            - relieves menstrual cramps says that masturbation “creates a deeper desire and capacity for sex which just leads to more masturbation.” They describe it as “a vicious cycle, like the junkie who craves a “fix,” but is only temporarily satisfied.” They also said that it involves “fantasy, visualization and often pornography.” Like that’s a bad thing. That’s what usually helps to bring one to orgasm. My character, Sadie, was visualizing who she wanted to be with while she was masturbating in the scene that I wrote.

Half of all men and women who masturbate feel shameful or guilty about it according to Planned Parenthood. The reason? Negative messages from their childhood. Why are there negative messages about it when it is NOT harmful and it will NOT hurt your body? Those of us raised Catholic or in the Bible belt have to relearn that it is not a sin and that we won’t burn in hell for doing it. But, if that is still taught, it’s hard to overcome if that is a belief of your faith.

There are actual medical benefits with clinical studies on the positives of masturbation. Because it causes the body to release dopamine naturally, it can help improve disorders such as Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). Dopamine is also known to lessen the effects of Parkinson’s disease. Hmm…expensive drugs with harmful side effects or free at-home prevention of RLS?

Wikipedia has a whole how-to section if you’re new to it. I’d suggest starting with your hands so you can learn more about your body and then work your way up to toys or objects. Sounding like an employee of Planned Parenthood or an adult shop, I encourage you to go out (well, go into the privacy of your home) and explore masturbation. After all, who doesn’t need to relieve stress and boost their self-esteem? Imagine how much happier of a society we'd live in? Smiles all around.

So, do you do it? Do you talk about it? Do you tell your kids about it? Is it something positive or negative in your life and thinking? Comments are welcome below.