Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Issue 43 - Good Things Come in Big Packages

Quote of the Month

"If there is such a thing as a good marriage, it is because it resembles friendship rather than love." -- Michel de Montainge

Good Things Come in Big Packages


I recently reconnected with a high school friend that I hadn't seen in nearly forty years. Rhonda Leath Sego has seven children and twenty-two grandchildren. Her husband, Lane, loves to surprise her.  On Christmas Eve he suggested that Rhonda go shopping with one of their daughters.  Even though Lane wanted her to buy things she didn't think she needed, she didn't suspect a thing. 

After their shopping trip, they returned home to find two more of her daughters and their families.  Under the Christmas tree was a gigantic box.  Rhonda thought it was big enough to contain a snowmobile, which is a favorite activity for the family.  It was wrapped in bright paper with lots of bows.  

Several cameras were pointed at Rhonda as she went to examine the package. Just then their daughter Sarah, son-in-law Andrew and their five children ages six months to seven years jumped out. Lane had flown them in from Virginia for the holidays.  

This would have been Sarah's first Christmas away from her close-knit family.   Having her home made this special time complete for everyone. 

Married Mondays

When Joe retired, he and Carol were looking forward to more time together.  At first, they fell into their old habit of going out on the weekend.  Soon they realized the weekends are crowded.  Since Carol is self employed as a reflexologist, her time is flexible.  They decided to set aside Mondays for each other. That's their day to go to the movies, visit a museum or take a hike.  They call it "Married Monday."   

February 12 Art of the Spark Workshop

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


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 here to 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 review 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 sock 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. 

Romantic Adventure Kits 

Valentine's Day is the perfect time to try Romantic Adventure Kits. Based on the concepts inThe Art of the Spark, each Romantic Adventure Kits contains six cards.  These are not your typical cards.  They're specialized art constructed with raised accents and jewels. There are three different kinds: From a Romantic Man, From a Romantic Woman, and For a Romantic Couple. 

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 and From a Romantic Woman contain the following cards based on the Romance Pyramid:

  2 say "I love you"

  1 makes a date

  1 builds anticipation for an adventure

  1 kicks off the adventures

  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 andFrom 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 prompt memories 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. 

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, tryRomance Bingo.


Food for Celebration


Thai Noodle Bowl with Chicken

For years, my dear friend Judy White didn't like to cook.  In spite of that, she always made delicious meals that were easy and nutritious. These days, she admits to enjoying her time in the kitchen. During a recent visit, I asked her to make her famous Thai noodle bowls so that I could share the recipe with you.

Roasted Winter Vegetables

This is my idea of comfort food on cold winter days.

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 at


Wishing you a life of romantic adventure,

Mary Zalmanek 


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