Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Win in February!

Since February is "I love me some ME" month at BD&V, there will be a few giveaways, and a few ways to win! I always love getting something great in the mail, and my kids are addicted to seeing the 'brown box' truck pull up!

The twitter giveaway will run for several weeks and give followers a chance to win every week. To have a chance to win you must first have joined BD&V in both of the following manners:

Join us on Google + - by adding BD&V to one of your circles
Follow us on Twitter- leave a comment showing us that you are now following @BDandV in the comment section of this post.

During each week, the hour for winning will be posted, and the twitter conversation on relationships and holidays will be open on twitter. That is when a random winner will be chosen from that weeks entries.  Remember, you have to have fulfilled both requirements to win!

There will be other giveaways coming, including one from a brilliant jeweler who creates one of a kind pieces! This month is about showing love to yourself, and I want to help you! Let's have fun and indulge.

From Becky Due's Blog....for Women

The following blog is from Becky Due's Blog... for Women. I read it and had to share it with you. It is a glimpse into a Valentine's date for one. After you read it, I would love to hear some of your ideas! You can visit her site and become a member just by clicking on the the name of it in this post, or on the title of the post.

Valentine’s Day: Romance… alone

31 Jan
I was sitting in class on Thursday night and a woman behind me said only losers are dateless on Valentine’s Day. I turned and said, “I don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day.” I wasn’t bitter. I was prepared and looking forward to my dateless night.

“Oh, I was just kidding, Valentine’s Day is overrated,” she said.

My romantic night alone began with a hot bubble bath accompanied by chocolate, non-alcoholic champagne, music and a candle. After my bath, I stood in front of my closet trying to decide what to wear. I had to convince myself to dress up for myself. I wore a black skirt, a cute red top, with a black sweater over it and my favorite black high heels. I looked good and felt good, too. I walked to my car excited for my night out.

I had made reservations late so I ended up sitting at the bar. There were two couples at one end of the bar; I chose to sit at the other end. I was nervous. It may have been my imagination, but it seemed the other couples pitied me.

The bartender asked, “Are you waiting for your Valentine?”
“No. just me,” I answered and ordered my iced tea.
I looked over the menu; the special was a filet with crab on top with fresh asparagus and hollandaise sauce; perfect.

As I sat waiting, I studied the bar. I was having my Valentine’s dinner with many bottles of liquor. If the mirror behind them had been more exposed to me, I might have had the illusion of eating with someone, even if it was me.

I ordered the chocolate cake for dessert and when the bartender placed it in front of me, he said, “Happy Valentine’s Day. Dessert’s on me.” Clearly, he felt sorry for me.

After dinner, I went to a romantic comedy movie then home to bed. Before I fell asleep, I thought about my Valentine’s Night alone and realized that it wasn’t that bad, in fact it was kind of nice. I didn’t have to consider anybody’s feelings but my own. I chose where I ate, were I sat, the movie I wanted to watch and what time I wanted to go home and to bed.

I thought about what I wanted in a relationship. I wondered if I would be a perfect fit for somebody some day. I wondered if I’d have a date for my next Valentine’s Night. Alone or not, I didn’t think Valentine’s Day was overrated, I thought it was underrated. I loved the romance and appreciated that special day of the year for all lovers, even if I was going it alone.

About beckydue 

Author of several novels that celebrate the fun, strength and independence of women

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Love Me some Me

It's near the end of January, and that month dedicated to love in a saccharin sweet way is sneaking up on us. February. Hearts and valentines, half priced chocolate and flowers. Romantic dinners and sappy commercials. Yep, it's all coming...and if you happen to be like a lot of the population, you don't have a significant other to share it with.


Do not get one just for the occasion!

I mean it. How many of us have been bullied by the mass marketing of supposed social norms into pairing up as mismatched couples for this seasonal stretch of make believe happiness? It's all a meticulously formulated lie, people. You do not need a dedicated possible passable partner to celebrate the month of love. You can dive in unsupervised and give love a fighting chance.

BD&V is officially dubbing this February "I Love me some ME Month". Yes, I know that it's poor grammar, but we are going to embrace that not everything is perfect, thus life is not always perfect,yet it is always a journey! Experience it from the inside out.

Here, let's try an exercise. I did this from the time I was 12 until I was...well, I still do it from time to time, when I need to be reminded:

Stand in front of a mirror, and look directly at yourself. Say to yourself: "I am beautiful. I love me. I love me some me."

Do it again. Do it every day until it feels natural.

If you have a hard time with it because you can't embrace your beauty, try this exercise instead.

Stand in front of a mirror, and look directly at yourself. Say to yourself: "God made everything beautiful. I am beautiful. He loves Him some me. I love what God loves. I love me."

Why? Because you need to be accustomed to hearing yourself acknowledge your own beauty and where it comes from - so that you understand why it doesn't take a significant other to celebrate love, life or liberty! It only takes you, finding out that you are healed, and you are whole.

This February, make a plan. Get together with friends, with your children; sponsor a program at church or a neighborhood center - share this month about love and heritage with others in a new way.

I haven't decided yet what my plan is for Valentine's day this year. Since my separation and then divorce I have spent that  day with my children doing something special, with my Mom, even taken my then mother-in-law flowers.  What kind of ideas do you have? I would love to hear them.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Taking Care of You....

EdenFantasys is an online adult industry store. Wait! Stay a minute. I am going to tell you about some of the products they have that you could use to make you feel great every day! There is more to being an adult than sex. It's not even the most important thing when it comes to taking care of yourself intimately. I believe we have to change the perception of some of the words we use so that we can feel comfortable about taking good care of ourselves.

From now through the end of February, BD&V is going to be dedicated to bringing you ways to take better care of you. Our biggest goal in surviving and thriving after a traumatic life change is healing and wholeness. The key to that success is caring for ourselves. Let me start by telling you what I found at EdenFantasys, which is strictly online - so you can order adult toys directly to your home!

I live in a place where weather can be harsh on the skin, so I love body polishes (exfoliates). The one pictured here is Island Hop and smells of coconut, lemongrass, verbena, musk - the tiniest bit of vanilla - all smells I love. There are four fragrances - but all of them will leave you with baby soft skin. There is nothing better than feeling good for you!

Sugared body polish

This Brown Sugar Lip Scrub is just right for anybody who gets dry skin on their lips. I live in a cold weather climate, so wind and sun combined give me peeling skin regularly. This lip scrub will take care of that without tearing or soreness, and your skin will look buttery soft. If you participate in winter sports or live in a schizophrenic weather zone, like I do, you need this in your arsenal. It's  made of natural, moisturizing ingredients like cocoa butter, almond oil, and vitamin E.
Brown Sugar Lip Scrub

And finally, the Doccia me satin shower cap. If you have to wear a bonnet over your locks, wouldn't you love for it to be this one, saying 'life is beautiful?'. Because it is' life is beautiful. Everything we experience is the sum of who we are, and we are beautiful in the midst of it. So, when we get in a mist we should cover our heads with something beautiful as well. Can you tell that I am something of a girly girl?

There is lots of other fun stuff on the EdenFantasys site, and you get a free gift with some orders (you have to select it and put it in  your shopping cart)- which you get to pick. Visit today!

Eden Gives Back - community helping communities

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thermal Tote Giveaway!

My friend and fellow blogger over at Woman of Many Roles has just launched a giveaway for a thermal tote! Now, she has been using this tote to keep drinks and snack fresh and cold as she travels with her husband, who is a coach. I thought of a great use for it as well, as I run from drama practice to doctors visits to choir practices with two kids! Plus it is too cute! I am a bag hoarder, clinically diagnosed by my own mother. You betcha I am going to enter to win, and so should you.

Would you like to enter? Head on over to the Woman of Many Roles facebook Page, and while you are there, tell her I BD & V, sent ya! Just click on the link:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Is that a She Cat or....my 13 year old?

If co-authoring a book is anything like co-parenting, I don't know if I can ever be a part of that endeavor. My daughter, overnight, turned into a teenage meerkat. Gone was the wonderful little girl I had known, dressed like a doll baby, parroted to church conferences and museum trips, laughed and talked with over lunch and book shopping dates. In her place was this little hellion who physically appears to be my child, but that is where the resemblance stops.

Now at a time like this, divorced parenting is not the optimal plan, because you can't just struggle to your corner and tag your authority partner to take your place in the ring. You have to call them on the phone and if they are available, relay the whole situation to them. You know the old adage "you had to be there?" This teenage angst is some mess that has to be seen in action to fully appreciate hormonal affect.

The time involved in getting the other parent up to speed cheapens your end game. I mean, who has time to explain to the other party that his spitting kitten doesn't want to wear the gray uniform tights with her formal uniform and wants to wear eye shadow to school, and mumbled under her breath that I "don't know anything about anything?" Just for him to say "Well, she's a teenager and she's going to go through this?" This kind of response belittles the battle of wills happening in real time right before your very eyes.

Now, it's gonna take at least 15 minutes for me to explain to him that she is not going to go through anything sorta kinda like this which resembles disrespect up in my house, Dr. PhilLipsAgain, so when does she get her key to your house - and that just takes too much time away from me chasing her into a closet. He has to be reminded that he plays for Team Parent.

I digress. The thing is, it is difficult to do well at divorced parenting during the teenage years. We may actually have to reconsider our parenting pact and develop some new communication skills. Teenagers can be frustrating, but we must be mindful to see around their hormones and past the challenging behavior to the underlying needs.

And you may find yourself making concessions that you couldn't or wouldn't make when you were still married, for the sake of your children. This is just God's way of helping you grow in a tight space. You might as well know now that you're going to grow regardless of whether you divorced or stayed married, if you both love your children enough to want to parent them together.

You may find yourself at times thinking, why couldn't we do this when we were married. Don't doubt. You have to know that you are right where God wanted you at this very moment. It doesn't mean that the next moment won't be different, but today is right.

Every once in a while I take the time to say "I forgave that past and its over. This right now? This is my  now." That is how I deal with co parenting, especially when something has to change. Dealing with this teenage child who resembles my baby? This is a change. Yet we must remember - change is not a bad word.

Well, I am off to rekindle my relationship with my therapist. I need meditation, medication, and copious amounts of mass communication to deal with this new leg of the journey - all, of course, preceded by much prayer!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Resources for Recovery

Not only have I read J.K. Sanders L.A.P.D. Life after a Painful Divorce, I have interviewed the author and seen him speak on the topic at several events. This is one of the resources I mentioned sharing, so please investigate. To access the book or find out about the world renowned Evangelist and author, click on the icon to the left; you can also visit  L.A.P.D. on Facebook and become a part of a fast growing international community discussing the reality of relationships, marriage and divorce. 

Here is a recent excerpt from the Facebook community:
"LAPD (Life After a Painful Divorce): You would be surprised of how divorce affects the brothers. I believe that in comparing our issues we will gather strength one from another to become the men we were called to be and perhaps better husbands the second time around! Pray for us sistahs and brothers join us! (JKS/pd)"

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How WE Love Ourselves and How we Love our Kids

This is a win/win read. You can only learn from the experience, and with the authors being married with children and grand children; they have already tried all their research out on their own family. In the words of contemporary comedian Kevin Hart; ‘you gone learn today.’ This book is helping me immensely. I am learning me, about how I love – something which I knew was broken for a long time, and about how to change how I relate to my children and what they need. And what I need. I have heard it said, and said it many times– they don’t come with a manual. But I will be gifting lots of new mom’s with this manual.

I chose to review How We Love Our Kids: The 5 Love Styles of Parenting because of my experience with a different book. Years ago, I read Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages. Chapman expounds of the five languages we use to express love toward one another, assisting readers in finding their most relevant language, which then leads to an understanding of your own love language. In the best scenario, the reader learns how to identify how they relate in love and how their significant other communicates as well. It’s a great idea. If you put it to work, it’s a phenomenal experience. When I was pregnant with my first child, I bought Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages of Children. I still have it. I never read it.

So when the opportunity presented to read How We Love Our Kids: The 5 Love Styles of Parenting and given that my daughter is a new teen, and my 7 year old son astounds me daily with his own devices, I jumped at the chance.
Okay, so Milan & Kay Yerkovich, therapists, researchers, and authors of this benevolent offering, set out to show parents how to overcome the regular challenges that arise out of the five love styles (which we will learn or have already learned if we read their first book) and help parents develop a secure, deep connection with their child(ren).  We are going to learn how to fix up how we react based on our own love experiences, and change those experiences for our children.
Click here for a radio interview with the authors on the subject of the book:
   First, we identify the five love styles, and then which one of them best represents our own love style. Discover your Love Style here. Then, with the help of these therapist turned authors, we discover the dynamics of our parenting and relationship building that will help us to get rid of those hot buttons only our children can push, and begin to build a close, sincere relationship by learning about the 7 gifts every child needs.

This is behavior you cannot learn by one reading, you really have to put it into action, read it over more than once, and be willing to do the work. Much of this work is based on the Yerkovich’s 2006 book called How We Love. That book deals with the idea that the vast majority of adults have “injured imprints” which are a result of situations they experienced in childhood. It describes five injured love styles (Avoider, Pleaser, Vacillator, Controller, and Victim), and includes questions to help determine how you love and how your past experiences have molded that love style.

You don’t necessarily have to read the first book to benefit from the second one, I haven’t. But it is on my reading list for 2012. Happy reading!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Some work and some really fun stuff

I love to write, read and get free stuff; and not in that order. This year, I decided that while I am embracing the authentic me and all the possibilities in my purpose, I would address every aspect of recovering from a traumatic event, such as divorce or the loss of a spouse, etc.

There are several important steps involved in this journey. One is grief counseling. It is oh so necessary to grieve those things or persons who are lost to us so that we can get on with healing. Also integral is to realize we are all intrinsically different, and so is our grieving process. No cookie cutter process will work - we each have to go through it in our own distinct way - and I've yet to see anyone go through it without God and be successful.

Another component to the journey is loving thy self. This is such a hard concept to embrace because we feel like we are displacing God - but God loves us. He wants us to love ourselves too. The greatest characteristic of God is love. Embrace you!

Begin by learning who you are, what you need, and what you like. Start making you look the best that you can every day. When you look good, you feel good. Exercise. Eat right. Take care of your temple. None of this is against the law of God or man. Invest in yourself. This year, I am going to make some reading suggestions, activity suggestions, and posit some ideas for you to consider in the rebuilding of your life.

We have to start somewhere or we will remain in the same position! Don't worry, if you find you don't like where you are, you can always go back from whence you came.

Having said that, I want to introduce you to a few things:

A great book: The Resolution for Women written by Patricia Shirer
I am reading this book with an amazing group of women, and we have basically resolved to purpose ourselves to become radically defined by Christ. It is an awesome book.
A great resource: This organization links you to groups in your area that meet up for social pursuits. Anything you can think of doing, there is a group doing it, and if there isn't you can organize the group through meetup.com. Just click on the icon provided here.

A great idea: There is something in you that is desirable, and worth having. If it's worth having, it's worth sharing. If it's worth sharing, it's unique. Ergo - you are unique.

I hope that you choose to investigate these resources in the next couple of weeks. I am going to be providing you with many more great opportunities to step into new areas of life. I'm also going to be sponsoring some giveaways of items I know will help you feel good and look great. I hope that you will provide some comments about some of the things that have helped you to move forward, and we can help each other.