How to keep a Marriage Hot

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Many of you may have seen my plea to vote for us on Facebook for the B-Metro/Levy’s Fine Jewelry Valentine’s Day giveaway.  We were selected to be one of 35 couples in the running for an amazing romantic date night package.

I saw the call for entries a couple of weeks ago and applied on a whim.  I didn’t think too hard or long about what to say, nor did I necessarily pay attention to grammar, so I apologize in advance for the snippet you read as part of our entry!!  In the application, I were asked to describe how we met.  I go describe the following:

My hubby and I happened to be a the same Mexican restaurant in DC the night we met.  It was Cinco de Mayo.  He was at a table with at least 6 other women, making them laugh by sucking helium out of a ballon and then talking in a high pitched voice.  Novel, I know. Somehow, it was working and he had them all laughing their tails off.  I kept looking over because their table was SO loud.  We were maybe 10 feet away from each other.  I am certain that my now-hubby thought I kept looking over at HIM, haha, because not long after, he asked the waiter to offer me a drink on his behalf.  At the time, an acquaintance (female, so don’t get it twisted, lol) and I were having dinner.  It was Cinco de Mayo and neither one of us had plans that night, so we decided to go out for an uneventful dinner.

So, the waiter comes to the table with the drink.  I wasn’t accustomed to strangers sending drinks to my table, so I rejected the drink and sent it back!  Haha.  Hubby said he thought to himself, “Who does this chick think she is?!” LOL! His group did look like it was having a great time, so I said to my friend, “Let’s join their party!”.  She agreed and I went over to inquire whether, instead of accepting a drink, he would accept our company instead.  He did and we had a good time with the group.  Turns out they were all co workers and out for the same reason we were:  To have a low-key night out on Cinco De Mayo.

Cut to the end of the night.  My now-hubby asks me to go out to his car with him.  Of course, I’m thinking, ‘oh no, here comes the part of the night where he reveals his serial killer tendencies’!  Of course, he insisted, so I convince my friend to come out with me.   Two of us have a better shot at surviving than one of us alone! He opens his car and reaches into the back.  Here we go, the axe or gun are about to come out!!  But no, instead, he pulls out a Big Bertha golf bag!!  Sigh of relief.  And comic relief at that, for, what are the odds that anyone would have a Big Bertha bag in their car and their name is BERTHA!? Well, and so it was.  So, yes, I gave him my number, haha. My real number too!  We went out on a date about a week later and voila, 15 years later, still going strong.

How to keep yourSO, where’s the part about keeping your marriage ‘chic’ and ‘hot’ you ask??  Gosh, well, I honestly don’t know exactly what advice to give here to be honest.  All of the articles I read talk about ways to keep it ‘hot’ and ‘sexy’ and usually they are suggestions that seem rather lame or that don’t apply to our family dynamic.  For many years, going away for the weekend, for example, was not an option.  We don’t have any immediate family around and I’m one of those people that has a really hard time asking for help from others, so I hate to inconvenience friends with keeping our two crazies overnight.  Side note:  Although our 6 and 2 year olds drive us crazy, we love them unabashedly!

But, I realize now that when kids are in the picture, one has to make marriage a priority, even if only sporadically – because often that is all that kids will allow.  SO, an overnight date night is often the way to do that!  I therefore applied to put our name in the hat for this giveaway and part of the giveaway involves an overnight at a local, hip hotel!  Score! At this point, we don’t seem to be in the running (and likely will not win), but it was the thought that counts, right??  Anyhow, it was my attempt to make our marriage a priority. I am often consumed with life as an academic, as a mother, and as a multi-hyphenate woman aiming to find ‘me-time’ to keep her sanity.  As my husband often reminds me, that usually means that our marriage – and he – come last.  Not on purpose, obviously, but last nonetheless.  He once said to me, “I’m last on your totem pole.”  To which I retorted, “…but at least you’re ON the totem pole!”  Right???  Haha, all goofiness aside, this giveaway entry was my attempt to bring our marriage to the forefront and make it a priority.

I will say, the one thing that has kept our marriage sane, if nothing short of alive, is communication.  Good, bag, ugly: communication – in my opinion – has been the number one reason we continue to chug along to this day.  We both express grievances to each other on a very frequent basis.  Early on, he encouraged me to share what I was feeling, rather than bottling it up and letting it all spill out in the form of a breakdown.  You see, we spent the first four years of our marriage in a long distance relationship.  Shortly after we married, he was deployed to Iraq.  He spent 18 months there and then was deployed to the southeast, while I remained on the west coast trying to finish up my degree.  We had no choice but to talk things out because communication was all we had to keep our marriage alive.

So we talk about things, rather regularly.  Mind you, some of our communication happens over text.  You got that right!  Likely as a consequence of our long-distance relationship status for so many years.  That said, I think it’s somewhat neutral territory if you ask me. There’s no shouting involved (unless you use all caps, in which case, it’s game on, lol!), and both parties get a chance to fully express themselves without having the other interrupt.  I find that settling the hardest parts over text has worked well for us…for years!  As I mentioned in the giveaway entry, we are going on 12 years of marriage this May.  This may not be a good solution for all, but definitely a tactic that has worked well for us.

We are trailing behind at least three other couples (equally if not more deserving than us), but if you want to help our cause and keep us in the running for the overnight date, please vote for us here: on.fb.me/1QRx2fA.

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Until next time! Stay ‘Chic’!

Fall-ing for Living Proof

Disclosure:  I partnered with Living Proof for this post, however all opinions are my own.

Fall appears to be transitioning rather slowly this year.  This past week, my city has experienced temps in the 80’s!!  It may therefore come as no surprise that my hair is having a field day and attempting to run amuck.  Thankfully, I now have Living Proof to help avert my hair crises!  I have officially ‘Fall’-en in love with Living Proof.

Many of you already know that I have a PhD.  So it should come as no surprise that I instantly gravitated towards Living Proof’s new line of hair products – PHD (aka Perfect Hair Day)!  I first received a sample of the PHD Overnight cap and loved it.  So when I was asked to sample other items from their line, I enthusiastically agreed!

My hair tends to be super frizzy.  I am NOT the wash-n-go type.  I am the wash, dry for an hour, style for an hour, then tame with products for another hour, type.  Sigh.  I’m exhausted just thinking about it.  Which is why – if you ever see in me in person – my hair is usually up in a bun.  It’s bad.  But, good!  But also, bad.  Cue Living Proof and their amazing hair-taming products!

Living Proof , http://chicinacademia.com

As you can see, I selected many of the Living Proof frizz products, as well as the Perfect Hair Day products.  I used their Product Selector Tool to help me decide what products to get.  I had already tried their PHD Overnight Cap before using the tool, though, so I knew that would be a must this time around as well.  The Product Selector Tool also recommended the Living Proof frizz products, which in combination with the PHD products, have been major game changers for my hair.

Below is a photo of my hair with another product; which at the time, I thought, was taming my hair.  In retrospect, I have realized that it in fact simply weighed down my hair, and by the second day, made it somewhat greasy. No bueno.

Exhibit A:

hair, http://chicinacademia.com

The biggest difference I noticed with the use of the Living Proof Products, was that my hair was not frizzy, felt soft and not ‘dry’, and smelled fragrantly delicious.  Check out two photos I took after using Living Proof products:

Living Proof , http://chicinacademia.com

Living Proof , http://chicinacademia.com

Both these photos were taken while traveling for work and one of the great things that made these hair styles possible was the availability of Living Proof Travel packs!  I sampled both the PHD and the frizz travel packs.  They were heaven sent since I often use whatever the hotel provides and often end up wearing my hair up in a bun or slicked-back with hair spray because my hair becomes untame-able.

Living Proof , http://chicinacademia.com

I’m seriously in love with this line.  It is the first line that preserved my volume, all while eliminating frizz and making my hair smell freshly-washed!  I love that my hair looks like it does not have hair product in it.  I also noticed that I didn’t have icky residue on my hands after applying it to my hair.  Have you noticed that when applying product to your hair, you often have to wash your hands??  well, not with these Living Proof products!  That makes then extra spectacular in my opinion.  They have truly made me achieve my #besthair.  I’m certain it will help you achieve #yourbesthair too!!!  Part of what makes them such an amazingly functional hair care line is – wait for it…here’s the science!! – the combination of two major hair discoveries (following text from LivingProof.com):

Hair Discovery #1:OFPMA

OFPMA is a superior way to care for and style hair; better than any of the conventional technologies that exist in the market, like silicone and oils.

This molecule creates athin, invisible shield around every hair strand. With this shield:

  • hair becomes healthier over time
  • hair is strengthened and protected from daily assaults like brushing and washing
  • hair balances the flow of moisture in and out of strands, so damaging moisture flux is controlled
  • hair fights off humidity, so frizz is stopped in its tracks
  • hair repels oil and dirt so it stays cleaner, longer
  • hair texture is polished into a smooth, glossy lustre

Hair Discovery #2:PBAE

This tiny molecule does big things. Literally. PBAE creates a micropattern of thickening dots on every hair strand, making hair look and behave like textured, full, thick hair.

To understand the power of the PBAE technology, it’s helpful to first understand the root cause of flat hair. It only takes two words: No Friction. Flat hair simply has no friction. The hair strands are so fine and smooth that they lie flat on top of each other. The way conventional texturizers and volumizers work is by trying to create friction…but in two very ineffective ways. They either use damaging chemicals that lift the hair’s cuticle so the strands don’t lie flat against each other, or add glue-like resins that build up on hair, making it feel stiff and unnatural and fall flat fast.

PBAE’s microscopic pattern of thickening dots sit on the surface of the hair, creating the much needed friction and space between every fine hair strand without any of the damage or baggage of conventional technologies. These thickening dots have endurance and don’t break down, even as you run your fingers through your locks, making fullness completely revivable and renewable.

With PBAE:

  • Hair behaves like full, thick hair with body and volume
  • Hair has volume and texture that is revivable and long lasting

Together, these hair discoveries help make Living Proof products the leader in hair makeovers!  So, give them a try!!  I have honestly fallen in love with them and am already fearful that I will run out of product WAY faster than I anticipated, simply because I am using them all so much.  I plan to try the STRAIGHT products next, but for now, I’m enjoying the frizz-free, voluminous styles that the PHD and  Living Proof frizz products are allowing me to achieve!

LP Collage, http://chicinacademia.com

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!

Get Yo’ Fitness On – Weeks 5 and 6

Well, friends…the end of our workout challenge has come.  Can you believe we got this far?!  Hopefully these posts have helped you find new moves to incorporate into your workouts. I have found them to be incredibly useful, and have even been able to do them while hanging out with the kids since they require little to no equipment! Here are weeks 5 and 6 to complete at your leisure:

Week 5

Week 5 Day 1 Exercises

Week 5 Day 1 Summary

Week 5 Day 2 Exercises

Week 5 Day 2 Summary

Week 5 Day 3 Exercises

Week 5 Day 3 Summary

Week 6

Week 6 Day 1 Exercises

Week 6 Day 1 Summary

Week 6 Day 2 Exercises

Week 6 Day 2 Summary

Week 6 Day 3 Exercises

Week 6 Day 3 Summary

Don’t forget that you can contact Cody Robinson at Home Fit Consulting, LLC if you want something custom tailored for you.  Otherwise, if you’re willing to wait and take your chances, you can enter to win some free personal training sessions simply by leaving a comment below!  Make sure to:

  1. ‘Like’ the Home Fit Consulting Facebook page (click here) and
  2. leave a comment down below to be entered.

We will select a winner and announce on this post a week from today.  Good luck, friends!

Cody J. Robinson, MS, MPH, CSCS
President
HomeFit Consulting, LLC
@HomeFitBham
Home fit consulting, http://chicinacademia.com
Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!