Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Issue 56 - Hugs: 34,000 and Counting

Quote of the Month

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” Walt Disney

Hugs: 34,000 and Counting

When he was in high school, Tim Harris was voted Homecoming King and Student of the Year. He graduated from college, and then spent two winters living aboard a sailboat and exploring the Bahamas with his parents. As an athlete, he’s earned more medals than Michael Phelps. When he was in his mid twenties, he opened his own restaurant. His life story has been covered by People Magazine, NBC, ABC, CBS and NPR, just to name a few. In his spare time, he is a motivational speaker. By all accounts, he is a successful, popular man.

Tim Harris also has Down’s Syndrome. He earned all those medals in the Special Olympics. He is believed to be the only person with Down’s Syndrome to own a restaurant. Six days a week he welcomes people at the door with a handshake or a hug. He is so happy to come to work that he does a “dance off” in the parking lot. Really, you can see his “dance of magic” on Youtube ( 

What really makes Tim’s Place special are the hugs he gives to his customers. “Free hugs, available upon request” are on the menu. On Good Friday, 2013, the Hug Meter on the wall was at 34,111 hugs.

I’d heard about Tim’s Place several times recently. It’s about a mile from my mom’s house in Albuquerque. I went to Albuquerque last week to visit her. On Valentine’s Day, she had broken her wrist while she was out square dancing. On Friday, she had a doctor’s appointment, and we hoped her cast would be removed. I took her to Tim’s Place for a good-luck hug. Not only did he give us warm hugs, he signed her cast, “Tim Hugs Around the World.”

Tim inspired me, just as he has countless others. He was inspired by Walt Disney’s quote, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” When he was 13, he told his parents he wanted to own a restaurant. He dreamed it, and with the help of his parents, he did it.

Art of the Spark Relationship Workshop - April 27, 2013 

For most of us, our childhood dreams included finding Mr. or Ms. Right and living happily ever after. Reality often falls short of the fairy tale. To find out how to keep or rekindle the spark, come to the next Art of the Spark Relationship Workshop.

You’ll discover that acts of service are one way to express your love, one of Five Love Languages we discuss based on the work of Gary Chapman. And that’s just a start. There are hundreds of way to express your love and celebrate your sweetheart. The workshop explores love, romance, and fun for couples in committed relationships -- married, engaged, dating or partnered. You’ll also find out how easy it is to have romantic adventures on any budget. 

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to avoid five common mistakes couples make:
  • Expressing love in ways their partners don’t understand
  • Using surprise when it’s ill advised
  • Being so busy with other responsibilities that their relationship gets lowest priority
  • Becoming bored because the focus is on all work and no play
  • Thinking they can’t afford to invest time or money in their relationship
Back by popular demand, Special guest Molly Lord, creator of Tuned-In Workshops, will teach how to use music as a tool to rekindle fun and passion. Recently acknowledged as an elite teacher and visionary, Molly was featured in the human potential film, The Keeper of the Keys, with authors Jack Canfield, Marci Shimoff and Dr. John Gray. 

When I took Molly’s Tuned-In Workshop, I realized how much music influences all our relationships. Naturally, I was most interested in how music can enhance our romantic adventures. After two successful field tests of my own, I asked Molly to join me for the next Art of the Spark Workshop. 

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see Molly in an Art of the Spark Relationship Workshop!

Date and Time:  April 27, 2013
                       10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location:           Old Town Guest House
                       115 S 26th Street, Colorado Springs, CO
Cost:                $109 per couple, if paid by April 20
                       $129 per couple, if paid between April 21 and 26
Includes:           The Art of the Spark (one copy per couple)
                       A very romantic light lunch

Click here to register.  Don’t wait until the last minute to register. The last workshop was sold out.

Schedule Your Own Art of the Spark Relationship Workshop

It's easy to host your own Art of the Spark workshop tailored to meet your needs. You provide space for the workshop in your home, office or church, tell your friends about it and I do the rest. When a church or non-profit sponsors the event, 20% of proceeds will be donated to that organization. 

Click here for more information.

Rave reviews from past participants Art of the Spark Relationship Workshops

“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 Lauck

“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 Vigil 

“Mary has a wonderful presence and a wealth of information that is invaluable to any relationship.” — David Thomas

“LOVED YOUR WORKSHOP!!!! Thank you for bringing an extra spark to our relationship. I know the next 10 years are going to be that much more amazing!!” — Noelle Arbon

“I not only endorse and recommend this class, but feel that Mary has put a creative and fun approach to a subject we sometimes take for granted in this fast-paced world of ours.” —Dr. John Daugherty

“The course brought together many new ideas and all the things that have worked for us but were forgotten.” —Tom Saponas

Two-for-one Special

Buy The Art of the Spark: 12 Habits to Inspire Romantic Adventures, and get one free. It's a book that shows you how to express your love in simple ways that your sweetheart will best understand. That helps you build a foundation for romantic adventures. You'll be inspired by the hundreds of examples to create your own romantic adventures, and see that it's possible on any budget. 

Buy one for yourself, and give the other as a gift. 

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

Food for Celebration

This time of year I long for warm weather. If I can’t be on a beach somewhere surrounded by palm trees, at least I can cook with coconuts. All three of this month’s recipes have coconut, coconut milk or coconut oil. Here’s to warm weather!

After Nancy Bentley described this yummy salad to me, I bought the ingredients on the way home. The original recipe called for almost half the kale and twice the barley. Nancy suggested doubling the kale, and I liked the results. I used the barley kind of like a crouton; if you want a heartier salad you can add more. 

For some reason, Cocoa-Crusted Shrimp with Coconut Risotto strikes me as a romantic meal. Maybe it’s because I first served this a few years ago on Valentine’s Day. It’s a fun meal to cook with someone since the risotto requires constant stirring. If you are cooking for two, it’s easy to cut the shrimp recipe in half. This is also a great dish for company.

Even if you’re cooking for two, make a full batch of risotto since it’s good leftover. The recipe calls for white wine, but you can add extra chicken stock if you'd prefer. 

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

Have fun in love,

Mary Zalmanek

Next entry      Previous entry    Newsletter menu     Home