Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Issue 42- Sweeter Than Success

Quote of the Month

"Remember, you only have to succeed the last time." -- Brian Tracy


Sweeter Than Success


Successes are sweet, but it's some of my early rejections that still make me laugh.


Seven years ago I created the prototype to my current Romantic Adventure Kits. A local health food grocery store invited me to participate in a "Heart Healthy Fair" for Valentine's Day.  I set up a table with ten sets of each kit, thirty in all. 


It was my first experience in retail sales, and it didn't take me long to realize people weren't beating a path to my table. During a lull in activity, a neighboring vendor suggested I try engaging customers by inviting them to look at my products.


The next person through the door was a hairsprayed blonde man in a black corduroy shirt.  The top three buttons were undone to reveal a wide gold chain on a hairy chest.  Since he was wearing a wedding ring, I thought he might be interested in something for his wife.  I asked him if I could show him my Romantic Adventure Kits.  


"Is this some kind of New Age thing?" he asked.


"No, it's about love and romance," I responded.


"Do they have Bible verses on them?"


"No, they're not about any particular religion or philosophy, just love."


"My wife and I only give cards with Bible verses," he said. 


I can respect that.  I didn't have what he wanted, so we both moved on.


The next guy was wearing a plaid shirt and a down vest.  He had curly brown hair and a friendly smile.


Once again, I asked if I could show him my Romantic Adventure Kits.


"Sure," he said.  "I'll show you mine if you show me yours around midnight tonight."


Strike two.  


After a few successful encounters resulting in sales, I noticed a short grey-haired lady in her eighties approach the table.  At the risk of being accused of ageism, I'll admit she didn't fit my profile of a potential customer.  I let her browse.  She picked up one of the sets and seemed to study it intently.  After a few minutes, I asked her the same question I'd asked the others.


She looked startled.  "What'd you say this is about?" 


"Romance, expressing your love for your sweetheart."


She dropped the package like it was burning her hands.  "Oh my God.  I thought it was about high blood pressure."


I sold more than half my stock that day, but the people I remember best are three who didn't buy.


Next Generation Romantic Adventure Kits 


The cards were tedious to make.  Once I sold out, I figured that was it.  Recently I ran into an old friend, Connie Gallo, at a dinner party. She mentioned she loved creating greeting cards.  I sent her my old samples and she created absolutely gorgeous handcrafted cards. These are not your typical cards.  They're specialized art constructed with raised accents and jewels.  

Valentine's Day is the perfect time to try Romantic Adventure Kits. There are three different kinds, each one containing six greeting cards. Cards in From a Romantic Man, From a Romantic Woman, and For a Romantic Couple are based on concepts in my book,The Art of the Spark.  


If you've read The Art of the Spark, you know about the Romance Pyramid -- frequent loving gestures, regularly scheduled dates, and romantic adventures. From a Romantic Man andFrom a Romantic Woman contain the following cards based on the Romance Pyramid:


  2 cards say "I love you" 

  1 makes a date  

  1 builds anticipation for an adventure

  1 kicks off the adventure

  1 says thank you

For example, the make-a-date card in From a Romantic Woman looks like a personal ad. It says

  "Woman seeks romantic interlude with her beloved.

   Just say yes."

The inside says


"We've been so busy lately

   It's time to make a date

   To reconnect

   To have fun - just you and me

   To enjoy the love we share"

The following two photographs contain sample cards for  

From a Romantic Man and From a Romantic Woman. 

For a Romantic Couple guides a couple through a heartfelt, intimate conversation. Each person fills out his or her own cards.  The cards will be used during a date or as part of a bigger adventure. This kit contains three cards for each of you.


   2 cards reminisce about the good times in the past

   2 focus on qualities you admire in your sweetheart

   2 explore hopes and dreams for the future

Here are three sample cards contained in For a Romantic Couple. 



Romantic Adventure Kits are $25 each, plus shipping.  Complete instructions with suggestions for giving are included.  Quantities are limited. 

Art of the Spark Workshops 


There is an Art of the Spark Relationship Workshop open to the public in February. It explores love, romance, and fun for couples in committed relationships -- married, engaged, dating or partnered.  


In this workshop, you'll learn how to: 

 - Build a foundation for romantic adventures

 - Speak your sweetheart's Love Language

 - Know when surprise is wise ... or ill advised

 - Customize your own Couple's Playlist with six types of Couple's Play 

 - Plan romantic adventures ... on any budget 

 - Reconnect to your heart and your partner through learning the Art of Touch,

   taught by Jenny Domingue, Registered Massage Therapist

 - Have a complaint-free relationship

February 12, 2011


The Littleton Yoga Center is sponsoring a half-day Art of the Spark workshop (1:30 to 6:00) just in time for Valentine's Day. The cost is $99 for couples if paid by February 5, and $119 per couple after February 5.  A copy of The Art of the Spark and an afternoon snack are included.  The Littleton Yoga Center is located at 10146 West San Juan Way #120 in Littleton. Click hereto sign up or call (719) 649-3201.


Schedule Your Own


It's easy to host your own Art of the Spark workshop tailored to your needs. When a church or non-profit sponsors the event, twenty percent of proceeds will be donated to that organization.


Rave reviews from past participants


"I was deeply touched by the things that happened that afternoon.  My husband, who has always been a great husband but never particularly demonstrative, totally blew my socks off... He's been so warm and considerate since that afternoon -- I'm just elated!" 

     -- Linda L.


"On a scale of 1 to 10, the workshop was an 11.  It was filled with substance and depth, yet still playful and easy."     -- Ronna V.


"It really opened up my mind to things I have never thought of before."   -- Les S. 


Buy The Art of the Spark

Have you read The Art of the Spark You can get one for yourself, or buy copies as gifts for friends.   


If you are hosting a party and want a fun and unusual icebreaker, try Romance Bingo.

On Newsstands Now

I'm a frequent contributor to Motorhome Magazine.  The February 2011 issue is one of my favorites.  In addition to an article I wrote about the Texas Hill Country, the cover has one of my photographs, our motorhome surrounded by a beautiful field of bluebonnets.   Our timing was lucky; some called it the best bloom in fifty years. 


Food for Celebration


It's the new year. For most of us, that means it's time to cut down on the high-calorie foods from the holidays.  The salad and sole recipes are tasty foods that do just that, if you go lightly on the cheese in the salad.


Dijon Pine Nut Salad


The delicate taste and texture of butter lettuce is a delicious compliment to the tangy Dijon dressing and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. 


Sole Mates


The fillets of sole served on a bed on shredded vegetables and topped with asparagus tips and sliced mushrooms is a match made in heaven. 


Until Next Time


If you enjoyed this free newsletter, please forward it to friends. I care about people and how they celebrate.  If you have any stories you'd like to share, please send them to me


Wishing you a life of romantic adventure,

Mary Zalmanek 


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