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!!!