Monday, December 19, 2016

The 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Oddballs

It's the holiday season, folks! And naturally, that means that bloggers are out in full force with our annual holiday gift guides! (Insert eye roll here.)

I've never done a gift guide before. And lucky for you, I will NOT be making this an annual thing (or at least I'm not planning on it at the moment). But in the spirit of doing things my own way, I give you my 2016 Top Ten Holiday Gift Guide for Oddballs (Dave Letterman style). Drum roll please...

Gift #10 (for parents everywhere): How to Traumatize Your Children, $11.03
I mean, all of our kids are eventually going to blame us for something we did wrong as parents, right? Why not beat them to the punch this holiday season by purchasing this book with "seven proven methods to help you screw up your kids"? You're welcome.

photo courtesy of

Gift #9 (for the bike enthusiast): Bike Tail Lights, $7.96
My husband happens to be a cyclist. And what is better than a pair of balls...for your bike? These would be great for someone who is into cycling...or balls...or both.
photo courtesy of Delomo

photo courtesy of Delomo

Gift #8 (for your pets): The Pet Umbrella, $9.99
How many times has your poor dog taken a dump in the rain while you hog up all of the umbrella? I mean, can you imagine doing your business while a monsoon drenches you? lovers, rejoice! There finally is a solution! Buy Fido the coverage he's been dreaming of!

photo courtesy of

Gift #7 (for the traveler): Travel Belt Hitch, $17.95
With long lines, hordes of frustrated people, and full body scans, airports are nightmares come to life. But the real problem with airport travel is that you never get to stand around with free use of your hands, right? Enter the travel belt hitch. You want to text while drinking coffee? No problem. You want to wash both hands at the same time without having your luggage be deemed as suspicious?'s the answer.

photo courtesy of
Gift #6 (for the beer lover with a sweet tooth): Draft Beer Jelly Belly, $2.59
Beer and candy? Well...I guess it would depend on how drunk I am. But if you need a gift for a beer lover, I'm sure purchasing another boring beer mug is not an option you want to explore again. So, why not try these beer flavored jelly beans? 
photo courtesy of
Gift #5 (for the dreamer): Bag of Unicorn Farts, $10.99
In the land of the dreamers, unicorns, rainbows, elves and fairies live in a very real place - right here on Earth. And if they are Earth dwellers, then I imagine these mystical creatures also have bodily functions. But because they are so much more impressive than the human race, their farts get massed produced and sold in bags for profit. I'm not sure what the bag will smell like, or what the benefit of owning this would be, but I'm sure if you have a dreamer in your life, he/she will figure it out. 

photo courtesy of
Gift #4 (for the neat freak): Nail Capsule Fingernail Catcher, $8
Do you know someone who would rather die than find a nail clipping on her floor? Neither do I. But just in case, check out this little contraption that keeps all of your nail clippings tidily in place.

photo courtesy of

Gift #3 (for the poop lovers): Doody Head Game, $11.48
Poop paraphernalia is everywhere. I can't get away from it. My nine year old daughter thinks poop emojis are "cute". And because my husband always says, "If you can't get out of it, get into it", I have a feeling this game will be under our Christmas tree this year. If you know a poop obsessed kid (or adult), this riveting poophead game is the way to go.
photo courtesy of

Gift #2 (for the crazy cat lady in your life): Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure, $14.99
I don't think this gift needs any explanation whatsoever. Although, I take issue with the "action" figure description. I'm not sure what type of action this doll would attempt to maneuver. Does she climb trees in her robe, searching for a cat in need? Does she gallantly tear her robe open, unveiling a giant cat symbol that shines in the night sky, allowing all of the cats in the neighborhood to know that she's the lady with the food? I'm baffled by her superhero merchandising status. But if you know a cat lady who needs a reminder of why she's so awesome, this is the perfect gift!
photo courtesy of

And the #1 oddball gift of the 2016 holiday season goes to...

Wash Your Nuts Soap on a Rope, $14.99
If you like sex as much as I do, then you know that your hormones want what they want when they want it. Even if your man recently finished a two-hour workout, you want Though your hormones may not mind schweddy balls, your mind is a different matter. And as said best by Margaret Cho, "Wash EEEEET!"

Which is why Wash Your Nuts is the perfect friendly reminder, as well as the perfect nutty stocking stuffer for your man!

photo courtesy of

And once again, thanks for being randomly amused with me! Happy holidays and happy shopping!

*This piece was published on Sammiches and Psych Meds on December 19, 2016.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Why I Don't Go To Office Parties

As a society, we tend to spend the majority of our waking hours at work. Americans have even adopted phrases like “work-wife” and “work-husband” to describe our co-workers who have become alternatives to our actual families. And with the holiday season approaching, there are sure to be bigger year-end projects, longer nights on the job, and, of course, holiday office parties.

As a mom working in the corporate world, my calendar is already bursting with holiday fun like ugly sweater parties, cookie-swapping parties, the school holiday choir concert, pictures with Santa, and holiday bake sales. So you’ll understand if I’m not exactly thrilled about squeezing an office party into my schedule.

You would think that because I have been working from home for quite a few years now, I would have successfully dodged the torturous bullet of office functions. Nope. I’m not that lucky. The hubs has already received a heads up about his company’s’ holiday dinner. And now, all we need is a tactful but firm way of saying “absolutely not.”

Before raising your pitch forks, you’ll be happy to know that we made an appearance at last year’s gala. But it is my opinion that if your office holds a corporate event at a buffet-style restaurant with the word “corral” in it, you should automatically be excused from all extracurricular work activities…forever. Of course, not everyone shares this view, which is why, this year, crafting the perfect holiday excuse was our first priority.

Though I have been blessed with a husband who prefers a cordial RSVP, politely declining an invitation has become a challenge. Admittedly, if it were up to me, I would just say no. I mean, why do people always feel the need to follow a “no” with a justification of the “no”?

I’ll tell you why. Because nowadays, if you don’t give a reason, people are nosey enough to ask for one. And some bosses are so dedicated to your attendance, they even come up with solutions to your elaborate excuses.

Example #1: Have Granny’s 70th birthday to attend? That’s okay! You can just come to the office party for a little while! (Disclaimer: This one can backfire, as my husband’s boss once refused to give him his holiday bonus for leaving the party early.)

Example #2: Have concert/game tickets on the same night? Worry not! Stop in for a quick bite to eat before the event! Those things never start on time anyway!

Example #3: Having oral surgery the morning of the party? No problem! We love seeing your face, no matter how swollen!

Some of you may be asking, “Why not tell the truth?”

We tried.

When my husband attempted to respectfully decline this year’s shindig by straightforwardly saying, “I would really like to spend that time with my wife and kids,” his employer’s rebuttal was, “Well…bring them”!

I know what you’re thinking. This is a generous offer. But think about it. Bringing your spouse to a work soiree, where she gets to spend a night with your acquaintances making small talk, all while smiling with clenched teeth, quietly scolding your bored and uncomfortably dressed kids who are naturally misbehaving, is not a good idea. As all parents know, bored kids at a function that really should be “adults only” is not beneficial to anyone involved.

As you can see, finding ways to avoid a holiday office bash can become a full-time job. And I’m sure there are plenty of people who truly love the networking opportunities, free booze, and drunken karaoke duets that come along with an office party. And that’s fine. Really.

But during the holidays, when the majority of us are feeling overwhelmingly stretched too thin, I think it’s important to spend our free time AWAY from work, with the people who calm our hearts.

Even though your boss may feel slighted if you successfully find a way to escape the annual celebration, try not to feel bad too bad about it. Obligation should never play a role in determining how you spend your time. So, go ahead and enjoy this holiday season your way. No excuses.

*This piece was published on Sammiches and Psych Meds on December 16, 2016.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What Will I Tell My Children?

The morning after. No less than twenty-three posts on social media all asking the same question. 

What will I tell my children?

My mind raced with thoughts of inadequacy. Oh no! Did I miss something? Was I supposed to prepare a speech for my kids about the results of the election?

Once I had my coffee and the fog lifted from my brain, I realized that I don’t have to “tell” them anything. Because, when it comes to politics, I choose not to force my beliefs onto my girls.

Don’t get me wrong. Watching my friends post pictures of their children at the polls, wearing Hillary or Trump paraphernalia was adorable! I started thinking that maybe the elections are becoming similar to team sports. If you were raised a Yankees fan, you’re always a Yankees fan. It doesn’t matter if you don’t really understand why you’re a Yankees fan. But if your parents think the Yankees are the way to go, then that’s the way it should be, right? This line of thinking had me wondering if I had parenting all wrong.

But then I came back to this - there is a difference between giving your children your opinion and giving your children a pathway to obtain information so that they can form their own. And as difficult as it is sometimes, I always try to go with the latter.

Did my girls want to know who I was going to vote for throughout the entire campaign season? Absolutely! And maybe I was in a unique position because I truly had no idea. So, when I told them I was unsure, it was the truth.

But my “I don’t know” answer led to further discussions about how to make a decision, which led to discussions about researching all candidates, and selecting someone who holds beliefs that are close to our own.

Researching candidates didn’t come willingly for my eleven and nine year old daughters. But with a quick Google search, we were able to find a political topic that my kids actually could relate to- Common Core. Now, as a parent, I think Common Core is a disaster. But when talking to my girls about it, they were both indifferent. It’s just something they are learning in school and neither of them had any complaints. So, while I may not understand Common Core, just like my mom probably didn’t understand calculus, I learned that my girls have a different outlook than I do on one of the issues being discussed on the campaign trail this year. So, based solely on this issue, my girls and I would have voted for two completely different candidates.

This simple conversation with my girls opened my mind in an important way. Not to point out the obvious here, but kids are impressionable. I do realize that as parents, we have no choice but to make certain decisions for our children. But we also have the job of empowering our kids to be confident enough to have an opinion that is different from ours, or anyone else’s, for that matter.

We should have a nation of children who are interested in finding out for themselves why they support something, rather than a nation of children who support something just because mommy and daddy feel a certain way. As parents, it’s time we acknowledge that our children have their own thoughts and may not always be on our side of the fence. It’s time we give our kids the tools to be independent thinkers.

So, if you’re still wondering what to tell your children about the election results, I completely understand your desire to tell them of your disappointment about the winner. I completely get it if you accidentally frighten them with your very real concerns about America’s future. But try to remember that, unless your child did their own research, picked their own candidate, and truly understand what happened this morning, your feelings of disappointment do not belong to them.

Instead, tell them that no matter what happens in life, no matter what setbacks they may face, their opinions, no matter how different, are valid. Tell your children that their voices matter…now, more than ever.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

When An Ex Can't Get Over the Hatred

When exes physically insert themselves into your life, it is most commonly known as stalking. However, in many cases, exes indirectly connect themselves to you, ensuring that they are still in your life, while eliminating a legal stalking charge. With the power of social media, pursuing someone who is unaware of your interest in them is extremely simple and is usually harmless. However, this is not the kind of activity I'm referring to. I am talking about instances where a person's commitment to crazy is alarmingly impressive.

Unfortunately, I have had some dealings with people in this arena. And why they do what they do will forever be a mystery to me. Below are some personal examples that have contributed to my permanent state of "ex" bewilderment. Here's hoping you cannot relate.

Example #1: My family and friends have nursed me through a few breakups in my lifetime. And because they are my tribe, they are naturally inclined to have my back. But when dealing with an ex who acts like a lunatic, expect everyone on your support team to get a frantic phone call from said nutjob, detailing all of the ways that you are an asshole. This person desperately wants to feel validated by the people in your camp, most likely because the people in this loon's camp already know to keep their distance. I mean, what's that old saying? You are known by the company you keep? one wants to be labeled as "the cuckoo bird's friend", so here's hoping that your tribe lets the impending phone call go directly to voicemail.

Example #2: If you've read my blog before, you know that I've written quite a bit about how I'm incapable of hanging onto the past. But when it comes to a hate-filled ex, moving on is not a I've actually been in a situation where someone, let's call her Sally Screwball, harassed repetitively contacted me a YEAR after the relationship with her ex ended. Not a month or two later...a YEAR later. In my experience, three to six months after a relationship has ended is typically the point where people start moving forward. But not Sally Screwball. She chose anger (over therapy), and found herself at the receiving end of a restraining order.

Example #3: When it comes to my Puerto Rican familia, if there is a breakup, the non-bloodline gets the axe.

And if the non-blood line is a nutter, my family is smart enough to see through the shenanigans. I can count on the loyalty of my Puerto Rican posse. But not all families are like mine. Some are easier to destroy. Similar to Example #1, psychos tend to enjoy penetrating your personal relationships in an attempt to ruin your life. Even though this fruitcake admitted to hating your family when you were together, your family suddenly blossoms into an avenue of hope, where revenge can be bestowed upon you by the act of manipulation. If this insane person manages to pry your impressionable family members away by offering them "stuff" while telling them awful stories of your assholery, then the hater wins (and maybe you do too, because you are probably better off without family members who choose to befriend someone who hates you).

Example #4: Wait. The crackpot didn't win yet?  There's more? Yes. Yes, there is. Sometimes, all of the above just isn't enough. Sometimes (and this is a true story), the fruit loop conjures up old documentation that can potentially create a frivolous lawsuit! Although I'm sure it's every judge's dream to spend hours of his time hovering over an angry bird trying to do an ex-partner in, I have to admit that this one confuses me most. In a relationship that ended YEARS ago, where there are no children, no shared assets, nothing at all left, walking away should be the only logical step. But apparently, some people are so vindictive, self-serving, antagonistic or plain obsessive in ensuring their ex's misery, that instead of moving on, they dedicate years of their own court...seeking revenge.

Here's the bottom line. The above behaviors belong to a very sad person (or at least to a person who may need psychiatric attention). Finding ways to make someone else's life miserable is no way to live.

To the exes who can't get over the hatred, I leave you with this. Your constant presence is like that of a gnat - annoying, but easily swatted away.

Waking up every morning obsessing over someone who fills your heart with hate is not healthy. Thinking that you have devised a plan to reach the core of your ex's being is not realistic. Any type of potential harm you think you may be causing is really only a stress trigger...for you. Because the inevitable truth is that your ex has moved past you. Your ex is waking up loving life and the people in it. And maybe it's time for you to do the same.

If it isn't, and you insist on remaining in your ex's life due to your hatred, please understand that your efforts are noted. But don't let it anger you further if a smile remains on your ex's face. Because what you seem to be missing, my dear, is that your ex has already succeeded in releasing the one thing in life that caused the most misery of all - and that, I'm afraid, is you.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Does It Really Pay to Be Nice?

When it comes to customer service, I have a certain amount of tolerance for inadequacy. But once that level has been met, I am a…well…what’s a good word for it?…complete bitch. 

Just the other day, I may or may not have chewed out a librarian over the phone. You see, I placed a book on hold three weeks ago. I checked online each week and the status of the book was “in,” but I was still sans book. After calling once (and being transferred to three people), I was told to call back the next day. Fine, no problem. However, when the next day rolled around, I called again and was transferred to three different people. Let’s just say that out of a total of six librarians in two days, persons five and six were not so lucky when it came to my patience.

Some of my minor annoyances included the number of times I was transferred and the number of times I had to give my account number and retell my story. However, after librarian #5 told me to call back every day after 2 pm to check on my book, that’s where annoyance morphed into bitch mode.
My response was, “So, it is my job to call you every day at 2 pm to remind you how to do your job in locating this book?” She told me that it wasn’t my job, but she was out of suggestions, as they were unsure of the book’s whereabouts. She then blindly tossed me over to her manager.

So librarian #6 got on the phone, and I had to angrily explain, yet again, the entire story. She acknowledged that it was not my job to call every day, but also noted that her employee did not tell me to do that. In other words, I’m a liar and entirely made that up. We ended the call without a resolution. But 15 minutes later, librarian #6 called me back, telling me she found the book. And then she added, “Doesn’t it pay to be nice?”

When I asked her why she felt the need to add that little quip, she said I was being rude, and that everyone who works there is really nice. So I responded with, “Well, apart from being incompetent liars, sure, your staff is lovely. But to answer your question, no, it doesn’t pay to be nice. I was nice for three weeks. But when I called and was rude, you found the ‘missing’ book in 15 minutes.” She was silent, conceding the conversational “win,” so we ended the call.

After this whole ordeal, I felt slightly bad about being impolite to librarian #5 and librarian #6. But at the same time, it really made me wonder about the world we are living in. In this case, had I not been rude, I most likely would not have gotten that book. And I have been noticing more and more in life that if you don’t call people out on their bullshit, nothing ever changes.

So what do we do? Do we turn on the asshole switch when we want to see a better or different outcome, assuming that people only respond when unpleasant behavior applies itself to a situation? Or do we just try to be nice, not ruffle any feathers and accept things as they are?

My experience with life thus far has taught me that it’s always better to turn on that switch. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a fan of being an intentional bi-atch. I try to listen to the “be nice because you never know what others are going through” mantra. My intention is to always start off on the right foot. But most of the time, I wind up disappointed that I wasted my niceness.

So, does it really pay to be nice? The verdict is still out. But I remain hopeful that maybe one day, I’ll discover a happy medium that allows me to get the desired results without flipping that switch.

*This piece was published on Sammiches and Psych Meds on October 28, 2016.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Modern Day Super Heroes (Sort Of)

As a kid, I thought heroes were rare creatures born with special powers on planets that I couldn’t pronounce. As I got a bit older, I began applying the term to regular people (dwelling on planet Earth) who make lives better for others. But now that I’m forty, and obviously wiser than I’ve ever been, I now realize that heroes are everywhere.

For instance, the other day, my husband made sure to tell me all about how he remembered to take the garbage out. I mean, move over Thor, right? I should have made my dude a cape right then and there, but instead, I started thinking about the heroes I come across on a daily basis. So, without further ado, here are five of my favorite heroes (not including my husband who is the best garbage taker-outer ever) who could totally use a cape.

These folks have mad super powers:

Hero #1 – I’ll call him Super Fan Dave. This is the guy who obnoxiously predicts every piece of music that will be a number one hit on the radio for whichever band he has claimed to discover. Super Fan Dave knows a band’s songs before everyone else…ever…like even before the record company found the band playing with broken strings, a washboard and a tambourine in a seedy bar in Kentucky. Yup, Super Fan Dave was first, and therefore, he could definitely use a cape.

Hero #2 – Super Maybe Bitch. She is the hero in your life who tragically “suffers” from resting bitch face. These ladies wave their RBF flags high, constantly alerting people to their condition. I’m not sure I get it, as it seems weird to me to flaunt your bitch face, especially if you really are a nice person. Does having RBF make you feel more intimidating or badass? I don’t know. But hey, if it’s something you’re that proud of, maybe you could use a cape.

Hero #3 – Super Worker Bee. This busy insect is the hero who works seventy hours a week (including weekends) and only sleeps for one hour at a time, but somehow still manages to tell the Facebook community about how tired she is. I am guilty of this. Working long hours with only a smidgen of sleep sucks. But telling everyone about it somehow gives me a virtual pat on the back. So yeah, hand me my cape so I can have a nap in it.

Hero #4 – Super Charity Chick. This rare bird thinks it’s a good idea to declare herself a benevolent individual by posting comments ensuring everyone knows she just did a few hours of charity work. Sometimes, she even finds it necessary to tell the world how big her heart is. Okay, so maybe she deserves a cape, but not if she’s going to be all braggy assed about it.

Hero #5 – Super Smarty Pants. This genius is a true hero to me because she has ALL of the answers, ALL of the time. She usually starts sentences that sound something like, “If that were my kid, I would never let her out of my sight.” And it doesn’t stop there. She will also give you real life accounts of what a tragic mistake it would be to allow your kid to ride a bike, play outside or watch gorillas at a zoo without constant supervision. She may even leave you wondering if there is a way to surgically glue your eyes to your kid. Super Smarty Pants is a phenomenon. And since she has life all figured out, she’s probably already wearing a cape.

Sometimes, being surrounded by all of these champions of life can really make me miss the humble heroes of old. But I will not fear. The new version of heroes are here. And they are proudly clogging up my daily newsfeed, one cape-worthy act at a time.

*This piece was published on BLUNTmoms on October 18, 2016.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Can I Still Wear a Romper?

For those of you who don't already know, I live in The Land of No none...ever (aka Florida). In early August, when temperatures are so incredibly hot that local weatherman warn against heat stroke, department stores flush out the summer garb to make room for the onslaught of wool sweaters imperative to every Floridian's existence. If you're familiar with my off the shoulder sweater from Urban Outfitters blog, you'll know that I: (A) love a good sweater and (B) love the two weeks every year when Florida's weather allows me to wrap myself in wool without sweating all that much.  But the truth is, no matter how much I love winter fashion, there isn't too much of a market for it in the Sunshine State. So, I've come to the conclusion that if you live in a year-round climate that even the Heat Miser would run from,  seasonal fashion trends should be treated with a "look, don't touch" policy.

With that in mind, on a recent shopping trip to H&M, I ignored the new arrivals and hunted for Florida-friendly outfits. Because it is October, it wasn't an easy task finding something that is wearable in 85 degree weather. But I was up for the challenge! After scouring the racks, I found a beautiful navy romper. I know what you're thinking.  Rompers are such a pain in the ass! Yes. Yes, they are. But for $14.99, I couldn't resist!
Stock photo courtesy of H&M

This romper is lightweight with a touch of feminine detail (non-obnoxious ruffles). And the color is still "fall" enough that I won't feel as though I'm completely disregarding the seasons. I tried it out with some of my own accessories (pictured below).

There aren't too many sizes left online, but I purchased my romper in-store only 2 weeks ago. So, if you're willing to push through the crowds at the mall, I'd bet there are still some of these available.  If you decide to purchase online, I would recommend ordering a size up, as it runs a bit small.

Happy shopping!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Shopping at Urban Outfitters at 40? Why Not?

Stock photo courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Gazing longingly at the smorgasbord of wintry sweaters appearing online and in stores everywhere, I find myself feeling completely ridiculous. I LOVE winter clothing, but the catch is that I live in Florida. We get roughly two weeks of “winter” temperatures, and by “winter temperatures”, I really mean fall for most everyone else.

Up until a few days ago, I owned thirteen sweaters. I figured that I should really buy just one more to account for the full two weeks of winter that will rain down upon me in January.  I thought to myself, “If I could find a truly unique piece, that would justify adding a fourteenth sweater to my already bursting-at-the-seams closet.”

Having already searched online, I’ve noticed that off-the-shoulder sweaters and sweatshirts are everywhere. And I wanted a piece of that action. But it became almost impossible to find an off shoulder sweater in a fun color. This season, the racks seem to be offering only sad gray, plain maroon and boring beige. If I really wanted color, I knew I had to do something scary. I had to go younger. So, my fingers hesitantly typed u-r-b-a-n-o-u-t-f-i-t-t-e-r-s-.-c-o-m,  and after about ten minutes, I found exactly what I was looking for.

I know what you’re thinking. The Urban Outfitters home page presents shoppers with a sea of bare midriffs and short-shorts with ass cheeks hanging out. Go on...I know you're dying to check it out for yourself.  Click on this link and come back to me when you're done. I'll wait. Go ahead...

Welcome back (kudos to you if you never left). It’s quite an intimidating page for a forty year old like me, right? But I am writing to tell you that I survived, and I am so happy that I had the courage to keep clicking!

I was lucky enough to find the Kimchi Blue Off-The-Shoulder Balloon-sleeve sweater. Despite the name, the sweater is actually a blend of colors from the pink family.  But not an obnoxious pink. I’ll call it “grown-up” pink. And those balloon sleeves make the sexy off-the-shoulder look more casual.

Although the model in the ad looks like she hasn’t gotten her period yet, I promise you, it’s wearable for the 30 and 40 something crowds. Take a look below to see a post-pubescent chick take on the same sweater.

See? Totally rocking it, right?

So, if you are in need of your fourteenth sweater for the winter season, I would give this one a try. And right now, it’s on sale at for $39.99! 

P.S. – The size small would have fit perfectly, but I ordered a medium because I wanted it to feel extra roomy.

P.P.S.- If you like my jeans, you can find them at the Gap factory store.

P.P.P.S.- If you like my brown Michelle D booties, you may be out of luck, as I bought them a few years ago at Dillards. However, feel free to click on the links below for some similar options.

P.P.P.P.S. (is "p.p.p.p.p.s." a thing?) - This outfit (minus the shoes) is under $100!

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How to Stay in Love When You’re Married with Kids

Spending years loving someone often reveals hidden quirks that help keep a relationship alive.
Dissecting your relationship (rather than your partner) to find these hidden gems can be quite a fun exercise. Here are some of the mundane, quirky, and loving habits that keep my husband and I close.

Keeping it hot in the kitchen.
While waiting for our pasta to boil, you can usually find us making out or even fondling each other while the kids aren’t looking.  I don’t know what it is about the kitchen, but cooking together always brings out our sexy.

Text you in the morning, text you in the evening, text you at suppertime.
Texting small messages like “I love you” or “thinking about you” throughout the day has become a routine that never gets old. My husband once described my texts as “small Christmas presents”. And who doesn’t love the gift of words?

Cuddling on the couch.
We have a ridiculously large couch that is better suited for a family of nine rather than our small family of four. Still, on nights when we aren’t quite ready for bed, my husband and I jam ourselves into the corner, with legs crisscrossed on top of each other, and affectionately watch television together.

Holding hands at dinner.
When we go out for a bite to eat, we unconsciously hold hands. We’ve done this from our first date and this endearing trend has yet to die.

Before bed, we snuggle up to each other and read together.  It’s not sexy. It’s just love.

Gaming at night.
After the kids are in bed, we use nighttime as our playtime. When we’re finished reading, we turn down the lights and begin our oddball version of fun. You can catch us competing in games like: who can slap the other’s bare ass the most, who can whisper the oddest noises into each other’s ears, or who will win the nipple tweaking contest.

Sex might not actually qualify as an item on this list of habits because, for us, it is not a scheduled ritual, but rather a spontaneous activity that is always on the table. Rather than making sex a task on our to-do list, unplanned sex keeps us intrigued and excited.

In some cases, the day to day course of a marriage can fall into dull routines. However, taking a few moments to appreciate the habits that form out of love can continue to boost an already strong foundation.

Based on this list, it seems as though our habitual marital activities are centered on touching, flirting or simply having fun together. We’ve found that we don’t need grand gestures to show that we still love each other.

Small daily presents are a constant reminder of how great we are…together.

*This piece was published on The Good Men Project on August 30, 2016.