Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Short Break :)

Hello readers!

Sorry for the long break between posts. Lauren is working very hard to finish up school and graduate college in June but after that this blog will be back in business and we will answer all of your questions as soon as we can! We haven't forgotten about you. Keep sending in those questions and we love all of our readers! Thank you for your continued interest :)


Thursday, March 10, 2011


Always one of my favorite days of the week! Sometimes it seems like the best times are those unplanned, unexpected moments of fun that often seem to happen on a Thursday! For example, this is my birthday week (OK, let's just tell it like it is....I actually celebrate my birthday all month long!) and so this Thursday I will most definitely be partaking in THIRST-DAY!

So the featured drink for this edition of Thirst-Day will of course be..... the BIRTHDAY DRINK! The Birthday Drink is a good excuse to enjoy a cocktail I might not usually order. My friends and I have found a drink called the "Birthday Cake Martini". This is the perfectly decadent, yet celebratory drink to toast another year of being 29.......yes, hard to believe my 30 year high school reunion is this year and I am STILL 29!  One of these sweet drinks is perfect, like dessert in a martini glass. If you are making these drinks at home, get the birthday girl the Birthday Cake Martini glass made by Lolita for that "icing on the cake" touch!

Here is one recipe, although there are a few slightly different versions out there.

Birthday Cake Martini

1 1/2 ounce vanilla vodka
1 ounce half and half
1/2 ounce Amaretto
a little lemon zest

Pour all ingredients into a shaker full of ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


xxoo Shelly

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Your Question Answered: What Women Want

What do you think real women (not the cosmo reader women) desire most in a man? And what things can a guy work on to make himself the best future possible?

Lauren says...

Okay, first, great question, but next let me just say that this must mean you have never picked up a Cosmo yourself have you. I'm guessing you've only read the headlines and seen the overly done up celebrity on the cover. Let me just break down Cosmo for you. It is a magazine geared towards women by writing articles and lists about sex, men, dating, beauty...etc. Most of it is for entertainment purposes, if women take it literally, the mistake they are making is that obviously most of the information is written BY women. There is some input made by men but I'm highly skeptical about the amount of "real" men they poll and talk to. The only real problem I have about Cosmo is the done up celebrity on the cover. Watch the attached video and you'll get a picture of what they do to make them look like that. It's gross.

So anyways, if anything Cosmo helps women by offering inspiration for their sex lives. I happen to read Cosmo but I take it at face value and it's definitely far from my "bible".

However, I understand where you are coming from with all this because we women can be pretty damn confusing sometimes when it comes to the "what we want" department.

When it comes right down to the barest possible explanation for what we desire most in a man, I think it is... to be loved and desired. This can further be expanded to be personalized by each woman because everyone wants something different, that's why we are so confusing. I think the best way to explain this is to have a list of things women like most in a man.

The goal is for the women to like being around you just because you're you.

1. Grow up: Stop being a "guy" and start being a "man". Guys are immature, unmotivated, twenty-somethings with no drive to find a significant other and start a family or move on to the next stage of their life that is after college. A man takes charge, goes after what he wants and isn't afraid to be a man. Men are powerful and highly sexual but learning how to harness that is the difference between attracting women and pushing them away.

2. Confidence: Have confidence in yourself! This is huge because there is a line between being confident and being cocky. Cocky is usually a negative. And while the woman may be all over the map with her feelings and her signals to you, don't lose your confidence, she'll figure out what she wants eventually, but if you give her a strong and steady person to lean on and follow, the majority of the time she'll like you for it. Also, to be confident you have to embrace your insecurities.

3. Actually listen to what we say: Don't just pretend you're listening. Being interested in us makes us more willing to reciprocate and be interested in you.

4. Sense of humor: Be able to laugh at yourself, be funny and make us laugh. If you make us laugh, that's a huge advantage.

5. Communication, Trust  and Security: The trifecta of dating/relationships. Learn to be a good communicator, learn to trust and receive trust in return (this would include honesty) and be able to offer security in a relationship.

6. "Nice guys finish last" syndrome: The guys who complain about this are still young and have taken to chasing the women who don't know what they want. Women can have this problem too, so let's not point fingers. The solution? Understand that you will win in the end. Women don't want to settle down with those unstable bad boys, they want a nice guy. So stay strong, keep doing what you're doing and she'll figure it out eventually. Why is this in my list? Because there are not enough "nice guys" out there!

7. Shared values: If we aren't on the same page, there is no way you have a chance.

8. Know how to love: Love is about being vulnerable. To truly love someone you have to be willing to let them into a part of yourself that no one else gets to see and giving them the power to hurt you but trusting them not to. Men often don't know how to be vulnerable so it stops them from fully loving a woman the way she wants to be loved. Women tend to give their entire selves to men in a relationship and because of that they expect the same in return but men don't work like that.

"Unless it's mad, passionate, extraordinary love, It's a waste of your time. There are too many mediocre things in life Love shouldn't be one of them. "

"Love... We think about it, sing about it, dream about it, lose sleep worrying about it. When we don't have it, we search for it; when we discover it, we don't know what to do with it; when we have it, we fear losing it. It is the constant source of pleasure and pain. But we can't predict which it will be from one moment to the next. It is a short word, easy to spell, difficult to define, impossible to live without."

"Good relationships balance over time. This means that at any particular point in time, the relationship may appear quite unbalanced: One partner may be more nurturing; one may be more needy; one may be providing all the financial support, etc. But if both partners are loving, understanding, giving, dedicated and flexible, then the relationship can handle all kinds of ups and downs, and still be strong, exciting and, yes, romantic. The best relationships are well balanced. Not a delicate balance; not a static balance- but a dynamic ever-changing balance." - Gregory Godek

Shelly says...

Really, after that intelligent, insightful, and passionate post by Lauren, what more can I possibly say????

As I read what Lauren has written with a more "experienced" outlook and perspective, I still find myself nodding my head and shouting, "AMEN Sister!!" Especially the answer to "what do women desire most in a man?" I mean really, when it's all said and done and the years are rolling by, that is what we all want isn't it? To be loved and desired? And in addtion to the emotional fulfillment of feeling loved, there is no more powerful aphrodisiac than feeling desired.

The other important point that Lauren makes, and this is one that takes alot of mindfulness and practice to master, is her #8...Know How to Love. In fact, from this point on I am referring to this concept in my daily life as #8.


I have to say this isn't limited to men only. The idea of making yourself vulnerable and letting another person into the innermost sanctum of your heart and soul is not necessarily gender specific. Giving someone not only the power to hurt you, but the trust not to. That is one of the most profound things I have ever read.

So when the reader asks how to become a good future husband, if you can master #8 you are well on your way in that department. And know that to be a good husband for the long haul it also takes finding a willing partner in all the areas we discussed to make your efforts successful and worthwhile. Love is never a one-way street and if we are blessed, we find that person who allows us to become our best selves as we help them to do the same. An open and willing heart will lead you in the right direction!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Your Question Answered: Long Distance Relationships

"Do you think distance relationships are doomed to failure? If they aren't please give some tips on how one goes about keeping the passion despite distance."

Shelly says...

I am reminded of the old adage, "Never say never!!!" It's not in my personality to admit that ANY relationship would be doomed, particularly with something like distance as the obstacle. What I would say however, is that it really depends on where you are in your life that would decide if a long distance relationship is feasible. I tried to make a long distance relationship work while I was in high school, and that was disastrous. We both lacked the maturity to stay the course through the inevitable challenges that arose, and of course as teenagers needed to date others as a way to grow and learn about relationships.

I did manage a distance relationship successfully during the summers between college, as my now-husband and I were separated by thousands of miles due to my Dad's military transfer. That was before the age of cell phones and email and texting and........ok, now this is getting depressing! I'm really not THAT old!!! I am feeling nostalgic as I think back on those times because we relied on the good ole' love letter to keep us connected. I'm sure I have saved those letters, all of them beginning "Dear Pretty Green Eyes...." I won't go into more detail since Lauren is probably shouting "lalalalalalalala" at the top of her lungs right now, but suffice to say, we kept the passion alive with some pretty smokin' narrative......;) Of course with the technology available today, there are soooo many options for staying connected and close.

For a distance relationship to be successful, I am reminded of our earlier posts on the topics of Communication and Trust. Stay connected through consistent and meaningful communication, and be a trustworthy partner. Make a point to see each other in person at regular intervals and every so often re-evaluate the situation to make sure that the relationship is meeting your needs.

And....Never Say Never!!!

Lauren says...

Lalalalalalalalalaalala----- Oh jeez....but adorable nonetheless :) And way to reference Justin Bieber lol.

But I do agree with my mom on this. I think that it's possible but I think that it depends on the level of trust that there is between a couple. Today it is easier to achieve that because of all the technology but I also think there is danger in that too because our lives are no longer as private as they used to be. If you have  Facebook your life is as observable as you make it and sometimes in a long distance relationship that can put a strain on the trust factor. Back in the days before technology, you didn't have all these ways to "spy" on people and all these new ways to cheat on people and I think that technology has made it both harder and easier to have a long distance relationship. But that just comes back around to trust and how you need a lot of it.

Also, I think a long term relationship will work if you really love the person and have plans to be together eventually. If it's just a frivolous relationship then it is easier for those to fail because you both aren't committed to moving to a mutual destination eventually.

Basically, I think that if you have trust in your partner, can stand being apart for long periods of time and are good at communicating, then long distance relationships are definitely possible.

A list of ways to keep the passion alive while apart...
1. Skype -- web cams and face chat are great ways to stay connected
2. Phone calls -- texting is all well and good but nothing beats a phone call
3. Texting --- standard
4. Facebook -- use with caution, soooo much can be misinterpreted on FB
5. Emails -- Send an email love letter
6. Send gifts to remind your other how special they are
7. Be creative! And visit each other often. :)


Thursday, February 24, 2011


Thirst-Day!!! Otherwise known as Thursday, seemed like a great opportunity to post about delicious drinks we either have been dreaming about all week, or drinks that are just flat-out favorites of ours!

It seems only fitting that we begin this series with.....CHAMPAGNE! Champagne has always been a favorite of mine, and since Lauren has turned 21 we have been known to share a glass or two together!

One great thing about living where I do is that it is close to the gorgeous part of California called the Wine Country. I've spent many happy hours with my girlfriends meandering the beautiful vineyards and of course, TASTING some of the region's offerings. A fabulous place to spend a couple of hours is at the Mumm winery in Napa. If you have never sat on the deck in the sunshine, sipping champagne with your best girlfriends, I highly recommend that you put that on your list of things to do SOON!

As Bette Davis said, "There comes a time in a woman's life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne."

But whether you are lamenting or celebrating, cheers to you! And a special toast to my beautiful daughter, Lauren and this time we are sharing together!

Our featured champagne for this Thirst-day is..... MUMM Champagne!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lauren's Response: FWB

Ohhh goodness, friends with benefits. Where do I even begin?? 

I guess I'll just start out by saying I don't really believe in it. But then that's just me and so now I'll explain that it takes a certain person to do FWB. It takes a certain detachment with your partner. Most women are perfectly capable of one night stands but having sex with the same person multiple times without SOMEONE developing feelings is very, very rare. And by FWB, I'm classifying this is having sex with someone MORE than 3 or 4 times. 

FWB is so hard because the minute jealousy shows it's ugly head, the relationship is doomed. Both people have to be okay with the fact that neither of them have claim upon the other. They can do whatever they please because FWB is not a monogamous relationship. 

However, I understand the appeal of FWB. Not having the drama or the attachment of a relationship appeals to a lot of people (*cough* MEN *cough*) and the convenience of having sex with your partner whenever you want while still having the freedom to go out and flirt and see if something better comes along. There is no pressure to be a good gf/bf. Also, there are people who are reeeally good at sex but who you may not want to hang out with on a regular basis. 

But what I would have a problem with is if you are hanging out with your FWB partner AND having sex, why not make it a relationship. You obviously have one of the most essential elements of a real relationship; sexual attraction. Plus, you are actually hanging out with this person and doing things other than having sex so it doesn't make any sense to me when people don't just put the title on it. 

The bottom line is that in order for FWB to work, both people have to be on the same page. The expectations have to be clear and both people have to know when to end it in order not to hurt someone. But chances are someone will get hurt, because the majority of the time, having sex with someone many times is bound to develop into an emotional attachment and when that happens, FWB is doomed and is just down right unhealthy. It is rare that I have come across a FWB relationship that didn't end in an ultimatum where one person demanded a title be put on the relationship or the sex would disappear. 

I guess it just all depends on your mindset and your value of sex and what it means to you.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Friends With Benefits

After our first reader question relating to the subject of dating, it started me thinking about dating in this current culture. I was thinking about the whole idea of Friends With Benefits, or FWB, as it is commonly known. I have to laugh to myself over the concept because something like that does tend to illustrate the difference in the generations between myself and Lauren, and the idea of me becoming "older" is one I am still coming to grips with! (Although that is a topic for a different blog!)

So what do we all think about this FWB deal? I don't even think I understand it fully. I mean to me, I can't fathom the idea of "benefits" without a relationship being part of the equation. Don't get me wrong, I do understand the idea of the "hook up" or in my day, "the one-night stand", but I am referring to a real relationship between two people who are truly friends, but are also enjoying a physical side to their friendship.  I know of many friendships that are more intimate than some marriages, so maybe that is what allows this type of arrangement to work? Or is the FWB deal that the two people are truly just in the arrangement for the sex? And if this is a continuous thing, doesn't the relationship continue to develop through the intimacy that sex can bring? How do you literally bare your body without also revealing and exposing your heart? And if you are going there, why not just call it a romance? Am I a dinosaur? STOP!!! Don't answer that......But seriously, somebody please explain to me how this deal works, or if it is all truly just some hyped up pop cultural trend that everyone thinks "everyone else" must be ascribing to. Seems to me to be a perfect set-up for SOMEONE to get their feelings hurt.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Your Question Answered: A little something on dating...

We got our first question! My mom and I are both so excited and we want to thank this person for getting the ball rolling for us. :)

The question was asked on our formspring account which you can access to ask us a question. The link is located off to the right.

"If someone is completely inexperienced in dating, is it unconscionable to date with no intention of further romantic pursuit?"

Lauren says...

First, I think the only way to gain experience in dating is to actually date. You don't know what you like or don't like unless you date someone with those qualities. What you find attractive in a friend, you may not be as equally attracted to romantically (although sometimes this is untrue, that's a different discussion). So, in answer, I don't think that it's wrong to go on a date with no intention of further romantic pursuits. Dating is supposed to be fun, but I don't think it necessarily has to be with the end goal of finding "the one" every single time you take someone out. However, this being said, I think that taking someone on a date is still a special thing. It means you find this person to be attractive in ways that step over the boundary of "just friends". I also firmly believe that if you have no intention of further romantic pursuits you should be open with whoever you are taking on a date that this is the case. Whatever your intentions are, you should say them. BOTH people should be honest and open about what they want. I know that there are few things us women hate more than a wishy washy man. For example, you cannot be just friends, a fuck buddy, dating and in a relationship all at the same time. Pick ONE. And I'm sure men don't like dealing with indecisive women.

So back to the dating thing. You can go on dates without wanting to pursue anything, you just have to be clear that that is what you are doing. This doesn't mean going into a whole speech about it or making some huge ordeal out of it (unless you like the drama) all it means is at some point you tell whoever you took on a date the truth. Women will either be fine with it, or not, (men will probably always be fine with it) but it's better to be open in the beginning then being confronted later when a little ways down the road they wonder why you didn't call them back/take them on another date/ask them to be in a relationship/etc.

I don't know if your question was based on your inexperience in the dating world or whether you just want to date but not have an exclusive relationship with someone, but hopefully that answers your question. I also think that even though you may want to date but don't have intentions of further romantic pursuits, you may just be surprised one day with a girl/guy you go on a date with and might just realize that instead of a one time thing, this person is someone you want to spend more time with. Love and stuff is crazy like that. :)

Oh and PS, I'm a FIRM believe that first dates are supposed to be the most awkward things in the world and that no judgements should be made until the second date.

Shelly says...

First of all, I totally agree that unless the first date candidate is creepy, reserve judgement for the future of the relationship until you get to know the person a little better!

As far as dating without intentions of further romance, I also agree with Lauren that dating is an opportunity for fun and exploration, not a commitment in any sort of way! But let's look at this question from a different angle.

This question could also be interpreted this way. "Is it unconscionable, as an experienced dater, to date someone who is inexperienced and let them think that there is a romantic future, when you as the experienced dater have no such intentions?" If that is the case, I would say yes, that is just poor character! While it may be easy to influence and manipulate an inexperienced dater, the end result is likely to be one of heartbreak. And while heartbreak is an inevitable part of life, both parties should ideally enter into a relationship with eyes open and intentions clear.

Of course love rarely goes according to a set plan. Many of the strongest relationships I know started out with a simple first date and friendship. None dreaming that a love affair would develop.
So be honest and open with the people you date. Have fun. And please, no matter what the situation, don't take advantage of anyone's inexperience. Disappointment is one thing, leaving a scar on a person's heart is another......


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Shelly's Response: Communication and Trust

Good communication is one of the keys to real intimacy in a relationship. You've heard the expression, "I'm not a mind reader!" Well this definitely holds true when it comes to communication. If you can't express what's on your mind, how will your partner know what is going on in there??? Communication is an ongoing process that requires alot of time and effort on the part of both people in the relationship. "Please pass the salt" will only get you so far in the intimacy department. Making a conscious effort to deepen communication can only bring the relationship to higher levels.

Lauren wrote about arguing/debating. My feeling about that is that it totally depends on the personalities of the people doing the arguing/debating. For example, Lauren looooves to debate. Some may even call it arguing. She gets heated. She gets loud. She even gets exasperated! But when her piece is said, she feels better. Like she has been heard. Me, on the other hand, I get uncomfortable with that type of communication. I prefer to keep the discussion low key and in the moderate range. If voices get raised I am ready to end the discussion. But Lauren does bring up a good point that if you are careful not to go on the attack, if you are respectful of the other person's opinion, then the approach may work. Just make sure you both are on the same page!

Trust.....ahhhhh. The very foundation of a successful relationship. When I first read this post by Lauren, this was the subject I was drawn to. I was impressed with her insight of how if you can't trust your partner then you are not able to go on and live your life outside of that relationship. You are always on edge, wondering if that person is "doing something shady". That is spot on......

Sadly, trust can be broken and is unfortunately one of the hardest elements to repair in a relationship. Time does have a way of healing past hurts, but unless both parties are willing to work hard to get past it, the concept of trust being critical is perfectly illustrated.

Communication and trust..... Lauren does know a thing or two about this relationship stuff!!

Communication & Trust

Two of the most important things in a relationship are communication and trust. If you don't have both of those, the relationship will be more stressful and way more work then it needs to be. Now there are other factors (obviously) but I like to think that these two are the foundation for all the others.

Being able to communicate allows a couple to express what they want out of the relationship and if there is a problem, helps to find a solution faster and more effectively. Compromises can be made with good communication and if your partner doesn't know why you're upset they have no way of knowing how to fix the problem. 

With communications comes arguing and debating. These things are not bad if done in a healthy way. When you're expressing how you feel make sure you're not attacking your partner, use words and phrases like "I feel..." and stay away from words that make him/her feel cornered. Never go to bed angry and stay on topic when arguing. Make sure you get out everything you want to say so that when the discussion is over, you don't have to keep revisiting it over and over again. 

Trust is another huge part of a relationship. If you don't trust your partner, there is no basis to grow as a couple. When one or both people in a relationship continues to think that the other is cheating or will cheat, it creates friction in the relationship. Drama and mistrust keeps both of you on edge and doesn't allow you to have lives outside of your relationship with each other since both of you are constantly wondering what the other is up to and if they're doing shady things. 

Trust is also the hardest thing to get back in a relationship. If trust has been broken in the past and the couple has chosen to try again, someone has to be the bigger person and just get past the issue. It's difficult to forgive and forget, but if you're choosing to go back into the relationship then that's what needs to be done, otherwise, why be with that person again? 


Make sure to look for my Mom's response!!!

What do you think are the most important factors in a relationship?
Email us at: or comment here. 

Sealed with a Kiss: The Intro

Hi everyone!

Welcome to Sealed with a Kiss! This is a Mother Daughter blog centered around relationships, love, dating and men. Two generations will give their input and hopefully provide insight and advice into the above topics.

Please feel free to email us questions that you would like us each to address. How this blog works is one of us will post first and the other will then post a reply so most of our blog posts will come in pairs so don't forget to look for the second one and don't just stop at the first.
All of your questions will remain anonymous of course so feel free to ask us anything you want. If you don't feel comfortable emailing us, feel free to comment on one of the blog posts and ask us a question.

Sometimes we might decide to deviate from the above topics, you never know what we might decide to discuss.

So read and enjoy and help this blog progress by sending us your questions!

Below are our individual introductions. Enjoy!

Lauren: Hi! Welcome to Sealed with a Kiss. I originally started this blog but then decided to open it up to my mom because we have always wanted to do a Mother Daughter blog. I'm excited to see what happens with this and how it progresses. I love my mom and while we might disagree on things, for the most part I hope that this blog will provide two generations worth of advice, insight, as well as examine and discuss various aspects of relationships, love, dating and of course men.

A little about me, I'm about to finish up college an have a degree in Business with emphisis in Marketing as well as a background in Psychology. I'm very good at reading people and my friends are constantly coming to me for advice with men, their relationships as well as dating. This is ironic since I'm single but I always fall back on the saying, "those who can't do, teach!" :) My intuition and keen observation skills haven't steered me wrong yet!

Shelly: Welcome! So this is my first foray into the world of blogging and I can't think of a better place to start than with my daughter! We thought this would be a fun, informational, and probably at times very entertaining blog to write together.

A little background on me....(my history is a little bit longer as I am just a LITTLE bit older than my daughter!)

After completing my bachelor's degree in Business with a minor in Psychology I married my college sweetheart and we have been married almost 26 years! In addition to my daughter/blogging partner I also have 2 sons. I'm not as good at reading people as my daughter, but I am also one of those "Dear Abby" types and have been listening to people and giving advice (mostly solicited of course!) my entire life. Unlike my daughter, I HAVE been pushed off course a time or two by giving my opinions on the lives of others, but I have definitely changed and grown from all that I have learned. Here we go!!! SWAK!!!