Quote of the Month
"There is no remedy for love but to love more." -- Henry David Thoreau
Just after Valentine's Day in 2007, my husband Jim left a love note for me — in voice mail. It was short and sweet, just 41 words. Not only did I appreciate the content of the message, but I could hear happiness and sincerity in his voice.
I saved the message then, and I've been resaving it every 21 days for the past three years. Sometimes I'm in a hurry when the automatic cycle forces me to listen to the message and resave it. Within 30 seconds, my impatience fades to a warm fuzzy feeling. If we're disconnected or irritated with each other or happenings in the world have me on edge, his message reminds me this, too, shall pass. It's a reminder to love more.
What simple message can you leave for your sweetheart that has the potential to change his or her world, even if it's only for 30 seconds every 21 days?
A Valentine's Day in Five Love Languages
In The Art of the Spark, I discuss The Five Love Languages, a book by Gary Chapman. He defines the five love languages as words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. Maybe you already know your sweetheart's primary love language. If you don't, go to www.5lovelanguages.com, click on Take the Quiz and fill out your Personal Profile.
While your sweetie's primary love language is the one you want to speak most often, Valentine's Day can be more special if you speak all or most of them. It's how you love more. Here are some suggestions:
For words of affirmation, tell your sweetie the top ten reasons you fell — and stayed — in love. Or list your darling's best qualities from A to Z, or leave a sweet voice mail.
For quality time, spend a day or evening focusing on each other without any outside distractions. Talk about favorite memories or play a romantic board game that encourages conversation and touch.
For receiving gifts, remember it's about the love, thoughtfulness and effort behind the gift. It's a reminder that your love is present even when you're not. What gift can speak for you? You may find it at the Shopportunity.
For acts of service, consider making a romantic dinner for two. Start with the "Four Senses Appetizer."
For physical touch, give a massage. Dim the lights, heat the massage oil and play soothing music.
Whatever you do, take Thoreau's advice. Love more.
Valentine's Day Shopportunity
Ladies, how do you get what you really want for Valentine's Day? Send your sweetheart to the Valentine's Day Shopportunity at Mt. Tejon, 125 North Tejon Street. Any day of the year, Mt. Tejon features quality, unique items crafted by local and area artists. It's a great place in downtown Colorado Springs to get women's clothing and accessories, home décor and gift items.
On Tuesday, February 9 from 4:30 to 7:30, there's a special event featuring Joan Maxwell's Mountain High Desserts, Sahru Design's jewelry, Kelly Parthen's hip and healthy cookbook Bean Appetit, and my The Art of the Spark. Door prizes will be drawn every half hour. Send your sweetie, and we'll send him home with what you really want.
Art of the Spark Workshops
Three workshops open to the public are scheduled for February and March. All of the workshops are highly interactive and entertaining. Each couple will need a copy of The Art of the Spark, which can be purchased at any workshop or online at www.ArtOfTheSpark.com. In all of the workshops, you'll learn the basics.
- 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
In longer workshops, special guest Jenny Domingue, an experienced massage therapist, will teach massage techniques as a way to help couples de-stress and reconnect. Through caring touch, couples can learn to deepen communication, intimacy and their ability to express love and appreciation for each other.
In the six- and seven-hour workshops, we'll explore additional topics.
- Reconnecting through massage techniques
- Presenting gifts — large or small — in memorable ways
- Expressing your love through words of affirmation
- Having a complaint-free relationship
Here's the schedule and some additional details.
February 13, 2010
High Plains Unitarian Church is sponsoring a 3-hour Art of the Spark workshop. The cost is $25 for couples or $15 for singles if paid by February 6. After February 6, the cost is $35 for couples or $25 for singles. Childcare will be provided by High Plains, but call 719 649-3201 before February 10 to reserve space for your children. The church is located at 1825 Dominion Way in Colorado Springs. Twenty percent of the proceeds from registration and book sales will be donated to High Plains. You can register at the church or by calling Mary at 719 649-3201.
February 20, 2010
The Better Health and Wellness Center is sponsoring a 6-hour Art of the Spark workshop at the community meeting room at Schomp BMW at 1190 Plum Valley Lane in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. The cost is $79 for couples if paid by February 13, and $99 per couple after February 13.
March 13, 2010
The Old Town Guesthouse, named the best bed and breakfast in the Colorado Springs Gazette in 2009, is hosting a seven-hour Art of the Spark workshop and overnight stay. The cost is $89 plus lodging if paid by February 27, and $109 after February 27. Old Town Guesthouse is located at 115 South 26th Street. Book your room early to get one with a hot tub on the balcony. Call Old Town Guesthouse at 719 632-9194 or 888 375-4210 to reserve your room. Register online for the workshop or call Mary at 719 649-3201.
Valentine's Day is coming soon
Do you want to make this Valentine's Day extra special and budget friendly? The Art of the Spark has lots of love-friendly anecdotes and inexpensive suggestions for expressing love and creating fun. Couples who play together stay together.
If you're looking for an idea for a Valentine's party, consider Romance Bingo. It's a lively icebreaker for parties and showers.
Celebrating with Food
A Valentine's Day dinner at home is more personal and intimate than going to a busy restaurant. With some attention to detail, you can have a romantic retreat in your own home. Use your best dishes, light candles and arrange flowers in a vase. Printing your menu on pretty stationery let's your sweetheart know it's going to be a special evening.
Four Senses Appetizers
Without the sense of sight, the senses of hearing, smell, taste and touch will be heightened.
Mediterranean Orange Roughy (or Halibut)
The season for fresh orange roughy is November through March, and for halibut it's March through October. Use what's fresh and in season for best results. When only frozen is available at your local supermarket, my personal preference is orange roughy over halibut. When it's fresh, halibut is divine.
Onion and Pine Nut Risotto
Risotto is a rich and creamy rice dish that gets it texture from the cooking method. It requires more attention than rice that is covered and ignored, but it is well worth the effort. This risotto has a mild flavor that nicely compliments the stronger tastes in the Mediterranean Orange Roughy. For a more flavorful risotto, add sun-dried tomatoes or sautéed mushrooms.
If you're making a romantic dinner for two, you'll have leftover risotto. Save it for risotto cakes. Use risotto cakes as an appetizer or side dish.
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 email@example.com.
Wishing you a life of romantic adventure,
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