Tag Archives: marriage

Is there an elephant in your bedroom?

17 Jul

sexy 2 Did you know that getting it on is really good for you?

I mean Zumba is ok but the horizontal rumba kicks its arse all day long.

Sex boosts your immune system, can lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, makes your hair shinier, and can help battle the effects of mild depression and anxiety.

With sex being the most awesome multivitamin in the world, we should be banging the be-jesus out of each other all the damned time, but the fact is, most of us aren’t doing it like they do it on the Discovery Channel.

I can’t speak for everyone, because I have no idea what happens to a large majority of couples once you add kids, sleepless nights, endless housework, a dash of resentment, and regular exhaustion, but of the ladies I speak to candidly and regularly about sex,  almost all of them complain about the same thing.

The most physical they feel like getting with their partner is punching him in the face….. no, not really (maybe, sort of), but they don’t feel like giving him one either.

I’ve written before that I reckon rumpy pumpy is the tie that binds you as a couple, and if you ain’t doing it those shoes left laying in the lounge room, and the putting the washing beside the laundry hamper really start to get on your tits. Basically, if you’re getting regular intimacy (read : schnuggles and schtooping) you’re more grounded as a couple.

Less easily pissed.

Sexy-Kiss-sexy-couple-sexy-kiss-Love-between-Woman-et-Man-sexy-BLACK-AND-WHITE-PASSION-THE-FEELING-THAT-ABSORBS-YOU-heplusshe_large_large

That’s a fact.

If the intimacy element of your relationship is slipping, it doesn’t take long to become a whacking great elephant in the room. You’re avoiding each other, feigning sleep, maybe you’re even ‘doing it’ just to make the other person happy…. that’s a bit awks… Obligatory sex?

Eew.

Remember my old buddy Isiah McKimmie, the sex therapist? She’s started up a new program called Juicy, Sexy, Love.

Juicy-Sexy-Love_Logo_FINAL

I was so pumped (not a euphemism) when I heard about it that when she offered my peeps a free crack at her introductory program I jumped at the chance because if you get onto this stuff early enough it can be a game changer for your relationship….as in, save that shit from going south-er-er.

Know what I’m saying?

Juicy, Sexy, Love. discusses the importance of intimacy as a couple, but it also delves into the other stuff, the really important stuff that will help your love life…… the stuff like -

Loving yourself.

Valuing yourself.

Feeling sexy and sexual and worthy of love and pleasure.

Remember that stuff?

That shit can be hard when you’re nipple deep in the daily sludge.

Isiah talks about the balance in your relationship. The balance of respect, the balance of power. You see sex isn’t just about the beast with two backs.

90% of love making is in your head, so if the planets aren’t aligning, you ain’t feeling the va-va-va-voom.

Anyway, the program itself is not open yet, but Isiah has given you peeps access to her 3 Keys to a Juicy Relationship, so you can suss it out and see if it’s something you think you can benefit from.

3 Keys to a Juicy Relationship is a three part video series, with little ‘play sheets’ so you and your partner can work together to reconnect, and rekindle your spark.

sexy

JUICY SEXY LOVE IS FOR YOU IF:

  • You’re ready to take action to improve your relationship and sex life.
  • You know that there are two people in a relationship and you have to work together to make it work.
  • You want to feel happier, more confident and have more energy.
  • You want to argue less and love more.
  • You’re willing to invest 8 weeks into making your relationship awesome.
  • You’re worried about what will happen to your relationship if things don’t get better again soon.

JUICY SEXY LOVE IS NOT FOR YOU IF:

  • You want someone else to do the work on your relationship for you.
  • You want to blame your partner for what is happening in your relationship.
  • You’re not willing to set aside time to make your relationship better.
  • You’re having multiple, long-term problems in your relationship (we suggest you seek help through coaching).
  • You want to leave your relationship.

** This is not a sponsored post. I’m just a big fan of sex and shiny hair **

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The end of her marriage was the beginning of her life.

25 Feb DSC_0051

felicity aitkenSometimes in life you need to hit the very bottom before you can come back better than ever. Obviously, the bottom is a subjective thing, but no matter who you are, or what’s going on, it’s never easy to get back up on top.

That’s what struck me when I had a brief chat to Felicity at my gym.

You see I looked at her and saw an awesomely fit, strong, vibrant lady who could kick my arse around the spin room and make me want to vomit 10 times in 45 minutes, and she just goes like the Energiser Bunny.

She’s a thinker, philosophical and provocative, and she called me out one day on the way I’m often quick to judge something if it’s different to what I know.

I liked that.

I like someone challenging the way I think. I went away and thought about what she’d said.

A little way into our discussion Felicity revealed that a few short years ago she was in a toxic and abusive relationship, with a very small baby, was 30 kilos overweight and quite simply -

MISERABLE

After a whirlwind romance she married her love very swiftly, but it did not take long for cracks to appear.

Felicity quickly fell pregnant and between that and the emotional stress she was under her weight climbed steadily. Her self esteem was nose diving at a rate of knots and she let go of her self care.

Not just physically, but also emotionally.

Felicity suffered pere-natal depression and was put on watch, and that extra attention went on after the birth of her child.

‘I was put in a single room and monitored closely. My hormones were going crazy, which I’m sure many mothers can relate to. After I left the hospital I still really had the blues

Felicity was madly in love with her son, but the cloud over her was dense.

Although she genuinely wanted things to work with her husband her spirits were sinking deeper with each explosive incident… and although that part is not my story to tell I will say there were many incidences that would have broken a lesser woman.

It was a Christmas away with her family, watching the dynamics between her people and observing the way they interacted with each other that made Felicity realise that her relationship was bad for her and it was time to make changes for herself and her son.

The logistics of a break up is always tricky and after a few false starts and some low patches Felicity and her son Josh moved in with her parents where they still now stay.

‘If it wasn’t for my family and community I would not be the person I am today and doing the things I am doing. The dynamics of parenting with my parents is sometimes tricky,  but I am so thankful that I have them. They help me no end, and Josh has a wonderful relationship with his grandparents because of that’.

People don’t often speak of the sense of failure they feel when a marriage breaks down but Felicity was quite candid with me.

‘I felt like it was my fault and I should try harder, but in the end it was so unhealthy, and I was so unhappy, that I knew there was no other way. I sought solace in my spirituality and received counselling without which I don’t know how I’d have gotten through‘.

Felicity had started her Cert 4 in Ministry (Theology) 6 years ago and fell off the wagon then got back on 6 months into her separation as she felt a real need to complete her certificate, knowing it would guide her through the tough times. Then in 2013 she began her University degree in Psychology, theology and sociology.

She threw herself into being the best personal trainer she could be and by getting into her body and mind was able to rise again like a phoenix from the ashes and take back control of her life.

‘I don’t lose weight easily and it took three years to lose the weight I had gained, but I’m now fitter, and stronger and happier in my skin than I have ever been.’

felicity aitkenThe thing that strikes me about Felicity is this is not just skin deep.

It’s her attitude.

Her determination.

Her light shines out of her, as cliched as that may sound.

‘I want to encourage people that even though you may be in so much pain, crippling pain, curled up in a fetal position can’t breath pain…. you do breath again.’

Felicity AitkenFelicity has a very thoughtful blog over here where she shares her journey and her inspiration.

Here’s one paragraph of hers that just sings to my soul right now -

Metamorphosis…..and…. The rhythm of life… 

I absolutely love this word and the meaning behind it. The caterpillar goes into a cocoon and comes out a magnificent butterfly. How amazing is this when we can transfer this concept into our lives? The idea that we can have time to heal, replenish discover who we are then enter the world with beauty and wholeness…

You can also catch her on Facebook here.

felicity aitken

 

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Love is something we DO… and a sexy lovers giveaway.

23 Nov

intimacy

A little while ago I had the pleasure of having an in depth chat about regaining your mojo with sex and relationship coach Isiah McKimmie.

She was cool to talk to for many reasons but one of which was her candidness about what can sometimes be a bit of an awks topic.

I was speaking to her purely for professional purposes of course, but she shared a few fab tips with me about getting back on the horse if mojo has waned in your relationship.

It was truly serendipitous that she contacted me just as I was putting the Awesome together, and although I’m not usually one for giveaways I think this one rocks it’s socks off…..or pants as the case may be.

Whether your relationship is hotter than ever, or slightly luke warm, this giveaway can add spice to your spice rack, if you know what I’m sayin’??

Over to Isiah….

If I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s that to keep things running smoothly, we have to put energy into them.

Think of a car, we need to fill it with fuel, check the water, give it a service once a year…  Or a garden – for it to thrive, we need to water and weed, tend it with loving care or if your green thumb is anything like mine, hire a gardener occasionally.

It strikes me though that one of the most important things in our lives we often forget to put energy into.  We forget that it also takes work, commitment, time, energy…  We think that it will just keep running well by itself.

Although we might say that this thing is the most important thing in our life, we find ourselves giving it less and less time as we squeeze in kids, work commitments, catching up with friends, volunteering at the school fete, landscaping the garden, our favourite TV shows…

I’m talking about our relationship, our partner, the love of our life.

I often wonder why it is that we prioritise so much before our relationship.  Is is because we think ‘love’ is enough?  That because we know we ‘love each other’ we can stop trying so hard?

 Love is a verb. 

Love needs to be something we do! 

Just one little gesture can make a big difference, one night out together can bring us so much closer, one good romp in the hay can help ease the tension that’s been building.

It doesn’t always take much.  But it does take something.  Action, effort shows that we really so value something

I read an alarming statistic earlier this year that said Australians spend twice as much money getting divorced as they do getting married.  I’d like to think that the work I do could go a little way to fixing that.  What can I say?  I’m a passionate romantic and lover of love!

That’s why I put together The 21 Day Passion Challenge.  I know that one of the first things we notice is ‘passion’ disappearing.  The 21 Day Passion Challenge is designed to help busy couples get it back with practical advice and fun activities that take less than an hour each day.  I know that passion is about more than sex.  Passion is about feeling connected, supported, appreciated, valued.  I know that passion also requires that we feel good about ourselves.

The 21 Day Passion program builds all of this.

Step by step.

To help the gorgeous Mrs Holsby celebrate her 12 Days of Awesome, I wanted to contribute something.  I’m inviting all of you to join The 21 Day Passion Challenge normally valued at $69.95 absolutely free.  This is my gift to you to help celebrate 12 Days of Awesome.

Because your relationship could be awesome.

Simply follow this link to register, and you will receive daily updates with secret video links to learn hot new moves, increase your sexual confidence, and pout SPARK back into your relationship in just 21 days.

I am launching my new book on the 28th November. 5 days….The countdown is on!

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. This book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  – A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

To pre-order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now and you will be the first to receive the hard copy book after it launches on the 28th. You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook (worth $15), plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ (worth $5) as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.

Winning :-)

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Do you speak your partner’s love language?

10 Oct 5 love languages - gifts

** This is a sponsored post. All opinions and ideas are my own, except the Love Languages bit, which is most of it.

That idea is from someone who is much more emotionally evolved than I am **

Difference-between-men-and-women-bathroom-meme-lol-funny-pictures-meme

The differences between men and women are a piece of cake to understand, right?

I mean, once you wrap your head around the Mars and Venus part.

Let’s not get started on same sex relationships; Suffice to say that things don’t get any less complicated when your partner is the same gender, but for the sake of this post, I’ll just stick to what I know best.

Men like to feel appreciated, and women like to feel special. Women like presents and men like affection.

Or is it the other way around?

Women like affection and men like… what do men like??

Of course, the way we feel loved is a very individual thing, so too is the way we show it, but what would happen if our partners weren’t picking up our love signals and they missed us communicating our devotion?

We can probably guess, right?

Eventual messy messiness.

According to Dr Gary Chapman everyone expresses love, and needs love expressed, in one of five ways. If your communication method is not the same as your partners, it’s possible that you’re missing each other’s love signals and therefore emptying your emotional love tanks… or as I like to call it, the Bank Account of Lurve.

One cannot only withdraw from the Bank of Lurve. One must make deposits to prevent the account from depleting.

Apparently, the secret to this is endeavouring to understand the five love languages and then ensuring you’re both fluent in each other’s tongue.

Basically, it breaks down to this (although we are all complicated and multi-faceted creatures, everyone has one language that speaks stronger to them) -

Words of affirmation

quote-i-can-live-for-two-months-on-a-good-compliment-mark-twain-187959

Do you or your partner thrive on sweet words? I think if you are mindful, it is quite easy to do this one. Gentle, loving encouragement and compliments take only seconds to give, and if they equal full love banks then they should be given regularly.
Speaking of appreciation and dropping compliments is not everyone’s style, however, and some struggle to do it.

I reckon this one is a bit like mastering an art. Maybe a bit hard at first, but with some practice you can be a silver-tongued devil in no time, and reaping the rewards of a partner with an overflowing lurve account.

I think this one is my husband. My smart, handsome, funny, great dancing, generous husband. Further research – online 5 Languages Test – shows that this is also mine.

Do we both instinctively shower each other with sweet words?

Of course not.

Quality time

Warning : This one requires the smart phone to be put on silent and placed in another room.

All some partners need is your full and concentrated attention. It is about doing stuff together, maybe sharing a meal, or doing an activity that you both love, but it is mostly about undivided attention. No TV on in the background, no phones, just quality conversation and connection.

I would imagine that every single relationship would benefit from this, but if this is a love language in your household, not creating the time and space for your partner could prove fatal (for the relationship, I don’t mean…. well, you know.)

Receiving gifts

5 love languages - gifts

I challenge you to find someone who doesn’t love a present, or as Doc Gary likes to call it ‘visual symbols of love’.

Some spouses feel most loved when they receive a token of your affection. They needn’t be extravagant, or expensive, just a symbol to show that you’re thinking of them when they are not there.

With the advent of  online shopping and online florists you can have even have gifts delivered to your spouse’s doorstep without putting pants on and leaving the house – Winning!!!

These gifts need not be every day, but if your spouse responds to the language of receiving, they will feel most secure and fulfilled when you’re handing over the goods.

Acts of service

5 love languages housework

This is one I’ve thought about a lot.

Helping your spouse out by doing something for them is an act of service. Some spouses get their love tanks filled by you simply helping a lover out. When you share their load, they see it as an undeniable expression of love. If you’re doing this already, and this is the correct love language then you’re on a winner, but don’t expect miracles because you took the garbage out because it’s not actually that simple. Not all acts are created equal!!

You need to work out exactly which acts of service tick your spouse’s boxes to ensure you’re doing it right. I may suggest to my spouse that we try this one out thoroughly to see if it floats my boat. Even if it’s not my primary language, I’d be in a better mood.

Physical touch

affection - 5 love languages

We’re not talking about the wild thing here, we’re talking about affection and touch. Love making is definitely a factor in this, but there are a million other ways to touch a physical touch lovin’ spouse that will help them feel the lurve.

If you have a partner that simply craves a cuddle but is left hanging, over time this can become a deal breaker. A caress on the face, or the back of the neck, holding hands whilst watching tv… also, canoodling is fun, just quietly.

Are the 5 Love Languages the secret to love that lasts as the book would suggest? Is Dr Chapman handing us the secrets to nuptial nirvana on a silver tongued platter?

I have no idea, but understanding your partner’s love language may certainly be a tool in your tool kit, and a well stocked tool kit is a welcome thing. I’m open to considering anything that may help lay the course through the marriage maze.

Which love language do you think is yours?

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Flogging my blog on Friday over with my fellow floggers at With Some Grace.

Wedded by three

30 Sep holsby wedding
'Hurry up, so I can pick up my glass'

‘Hurry up, my champagne is getting warm in this heat’

*This is a sponsored post, but this really was my wedding day, and it really is my anniversary, and this really is a video of us singing a duet – you’re welcome*

This time three years ago I was ensconced in a gorgeous beachside villa, surrounded by friends and family, getting ready to walk down the aisle and say ‘I do’ to my baby daddy.
We were in tropical Port Douglas, in Far North Queensland, and although rain was predicted nothing could dampen our spirits.

I had an amazing dress. A 1940’s lace wedding dress was found in someone’s garage and I bought it for $80. I took it to a local designer and asked him to help me tailor it to fit my post baby body. He suggested a modest decolletage to hide my monster breast-feeding mams, and a little train ‘for drama’.

He completely took that baby apart and recreated a dress that fit like a glove.

'Breath in' 'I am' 'Oh'

‘Breath in’
‘I am’
‘Oh’

My 6 month old baby, my sister-in-law, Bex, my mum and I went to my father and step-mother’s hotel room the morning of the big day.

We drank French champagne while my darling friend, Gab, did my make-up and we giggled for the last hours of me being a bachelorette. It was fitting as Gab was my long standing partner in crime, and had sat with me through a million break-ups and dalliances. Having her tend to me on this day was perfect.

Another dear one, with whom I’d traveled the globe, Kirsten Cox, was shooting the day, so surrounded with my loved ones I was primped and preened until I was ready to see my future husband and our friends at the gorgeous Chapel-by-the-Sea.

ready to get married - Holsby wedding

First comes love, then comes marriage…… oh.

I was nervous walking towards the church. I don’t know why, really. With a child under our belt our union was a fairy done deal.

Maybe I was nervous about walking in heels in front of people. I never did master that. In fact, I still haven’t stitched the hole I tore in the dramatic train that was almost more drama than we paid for.

Bex carried D Man down the aisle,  and I held my Dad’s hand as I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of ‘I Was Made For Loving You’ by Kiss, sung by my girlfriend Cass, who has the voice of a dirty, gin-swilling, cigarette-chuffing angel.

I watch the video and you’d think I was walking down the red carpet from the excited way I was greeting every guest. Not quite high fiving each person, but certainly not far off.

'This'll be quick, then we can get to the good bit'

‘This’ll be quick, then we can get to the good bit, get boozy and put lampshades on our heads’

It was everything I’d hoped for. I’ve never been one to begin planning my wedding day in my teens; a horse drawn diamonte studded, pink carriage and 15 bridesmaids all dressed in ball gowns wearing matching tiaras.

No, this intimate affair was ideal for me.

'FOREVER!!!' *maniacal cackle*

‘FOREVER!!!’
*maniacal cackle; minor skid in the undies*

That’s the thing I bloody love about weddings. They’re all so different, and wonderful in their own ways. I once even went to a surprise wedding, where the bride had organised everything unbeknownst to her boyfriend and the groom arrived by boat to a park and was given a suit to don in ten minutes while his guests waited in the midday sun.

That was ballsy. Could have been awkward.

Thankfully, he was blown away in a good way!

Holsby wedding

‘Did you break wind?’

We wrote our own wedding vows, mine were long winded, of course, and during the photos it rained on us newlyweds. They say rain on your wedding day is good luck.

It was blowing a blustery wind and our umbrella… well, you can see what happened.

Holsby wedding

holsby wedding

‘I hope they save us some cocktails. I need to anaesthetise my feet’

The reception was full of laughter and silliness, and lots and lots of food and booze, naturally. I chose a restaurant directly across the road from the chapel so we would waste no time getting down to business.

holsby wedding
Mister H was concerned about his dancing capabilities, so he had suggested we do a first duet in lieu of a first dance. (make sure to watch to 3.35, for a special appearance)

On my third wedding anniversary, I’d like to share this with you guys, and send a little message to my husband.

My love, Holy Shimoly, that few years was a hell of a ride!!!

Happy 3rd Wedding Anniversary.

You keep me on my toes, and you drive me crazy, but I do love you so. It’s been a big, wonderful, crazy, and busy three years, and I look forward to seeing what our future unfolds together. I couldn’t imagine my life without you, and all of your shoes in it, you big stinker.

I love you xxx

holsby wedding

Holsby wedding

A true love story.

5 Losing Strategies Used By Couples

10 Sep

you're a loser, babyWhen I recently read this article by relationship counsellor Clinton Power I couldn’t help but smirk a little because until quite recently,  I was plenty guilty of pretty much every single losing strategy that he named.

Every. Single. One.

If anyone had have asked if there were underlying issues in my relationship that may well eventually prove insurmountable, I would totally have pointed fingers. Not at me. At the other person in my relationship… ie, that cute dude in my bed.

I wouldn’t have accepted responsibility for any of the ongoing issues in my relationship, because I’m an awesome wife.

Just ask me.

The thing is, I’m not the only person in the relationship, and maybe not everyone sees my desire to have things my own way, or need for controlling stuff as awesome, or imperative, as I do.

After some serious soul searching, and a chat here and there with Clinton over the past few months, I can say the best place to begin working on your relationship is in your very own shoes. Mostly because your partner’s shoes probably don’t fit, or smell funny, but also because it goes back to the old adage -

You can’t change the world, but you can change yourself.

1. Being Right

Clinton suggests that sorting out differences in a relationship is not a matter of who is right or wrong. You may well be right according to your value system without taking into account the values of your partner.

Who doesn’t love to be right, right? Especially, when you are friggin’ right, thank you very much.

However, part of working together as a team is endeavouring to see the situation from someone else’s point. If you’re really busy being right, you’re no longer listening to your partner. Of course, there’s the fact that you are right, but it is possible that……sharp intake……you are both right.

Alright?

2. Controlling Your Partner

Contrary to popular opinion, people really don’t like to be controlled.  The reality is that being a control freak bossy pants is never a successful strategy and is likely to foster resentment and mistrust.

One of Mister H’s pet peeves is when I ask him to do something and then I hassle for it to be done immediately. How bloody hard is it to just do what I want, when I want it, right?

It’s really hard for me to accept that he has other pressing things on his To Do list (browse the web, cut his toenails) and that I need my request to go into the queue.

Accepting this is pretty difficult for a control freak, but learning to take a chill pill will only benefit your relationship in the long run.

Clinton even mentions stuff like indirect controlling – AKA manipulation. Manipulating people is incredibly unhealthy for all parties involved. The only form of manipulation you should do on your partner is christmas present hints, and hand jobs.

3. Unbridled Self-Expression

Ahem. Yes, well…. I may happen to know someone who has a very large mouth and a penchant for self-expression. Sometimes that makes me the most popular person in the room, and other times I make people cry and feel like an arsehole for days.

Clinton believes honesty is not always your best policy, particularly if it leads to you hurting your partner through you ‘speaking your truth’. ‘Just being honest’ doesn’t really cut it if you’re hurting people’s feelings. Perhaps, instead, go for ‘just being kind’…. unless you’re talking about nasal hair. Then your partner needs to just deal with that shit.

4.  Retaliation

He pissed me off, so I’m not going to do his washing…… no, wait, I am going to do his washing but I’m throwing a red sock in his whites.

He left his shoes in the lounge, so I’m going to set them alight using his matches collection (hypothetical, although I did once know a splitting couple and he set her clothes on fire with her matches collection after she slashed his car tyres).

An eye for an eye, and everyone goes blind. That’s not really being very mature, is it? It’s an easy trap to fall into when you’re pissed but it only makes matters worse. Being the bigger man is actually more fulfilling than payback.

Unless it’s a Dutch oven. Then retaliation is the only way.

5. Withdrawal

No one likes being shut out. Withdrawing can often be worse than all of the yelling and screaming because once the wall comes up it’s almost impossible to get past an issue.

Clinton believes that withdrawal can mean a number of things. It may be that you are giving up, using it in a passive aggressive manner for retaliation or maybe signalling that you don’t wish to invest any further energy in the relationship.

You must keep talking. The only way to keep your relationship on track to to keep communicating in a healthy fashion. If you’re struggling to do that, then maybe seek a relationship counsellor to help to give you tools to create a healthy and life long relationship.

If you find that you’re employing some or all of these losing strategies, maybe you need to have a little look at what’s going on in your relationship.

If you need help on that front, I reckon talking to a counsellor is brilliant. You need to find the right one for you, but they are as valuable as a great hairdresser or gynocologist. Sometimes a mediator is all you need to get through the shitty issues so you can leave them behind and make way for new shitty issues…. because you can bet there will always be new ones, but it’s just about how you deal with them.

 

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Hooking up with EssentiallyJess on this essentially awesome Tuesday with the essentially fantastic IBOT gang….

The Thing That Couples Fight Most About and the Best Muff Ever.

11 Aug

Apple Carrot and Ginger crumble muffinsI read an article the other day entitled ‘The Thing More Couples Fight About Than Anything Else’ or some such, and I clicked through expecting to see some of the top suspects peering back at me. I thought I’d see a little financial tiff, or perhaps a chore eruption, or maybe even a differing opinion on parenting, but you know what life changing event this article was referring to?

Renovations.

Many of you, i.e. those not about to renovate their bathroom in T minus 7 days, would probably have skimmed the piece of trash article and gone on your merry way, but being as I’m in the ‘other’ category I thought I’d have a little read, accept it as gospel, and freak myself out for the impending ablution room face lift.

I imagine if we had been stealing happy moments comparing tiles and taps, catching glimpses of ourselves in showroom mirrors laughing gaily at each other and having sneaky public bum squeezes, the article wouldn’t have resonated worth a damn, but being as the cracks have already started to show before we even buy a tile then I’m inclined to wonder if perhaps said article holds a touch of merit.

Alas, I’ve decided I must disregard this journalistic trash and forge ahead with the tunnel visioned view of my sparkly new bathroom.

We are stronger than renovations. If we can do toddlers, and triathlons, we can handle a bit of wall rendering and plumbing, right?

Right???

Apple Carrot and Ginger crumble muffinsI got myself a bit low over the whole business and really wanted to eat large amounts of cake to settle my nerves. I’ve always been more carrot than chocolate when it comes to cake, but I also didn’t want to undo ALL the good work I’ve been doing at the gym.

These muffins are possibly the best muffins I’ve not only made, but eaten. I was trying to harness apple, carrot and ginger goodness, but kept fantasising about crumble tops and then these were born.

Not too naughty, not too difficult and in my tummy in under an hour….. all four of them. Woops.

Apple Carrot and Ginger crumble muffins

Apple Carrot and Ginger Crumble Muffs

Yield : 12 large or 16 medium muffins

  • 1 cup white spelt flour
  • 1 cup wholemeal spelt flour (if you don’t have these you can just use 2 cups of plain flour)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/4 cup glace ginger, finely chopped
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 3/4 cup milk

For crumble topping

  • 2 tablespoons LSA
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180C, and line your muffin tray with patty cases.

Put all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix to combine, add fruit, carrot and ginger and stir through.

Add your wet ingredients. Mix well and spoon into your muffin cases in your tray.

For topping, rub all together to create a crumbly texture and sprinkle on top of each muffin.

Bake for about 20 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

OMG, nom nom nom. Eat while warm. Seriously. Then eat the rest cold.

Apple Carrot and Ginger crumble muffins

 

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An Enduring Love Story…

10 May an enduring love story

Two days before I was due to photograph the 50th wedding anniversary vow renewal of this  Groom and his Bride, I was invited into their home so we could get acquainted before the big day.

In this old school Italian family’s home, I sat at the table with the happy couple and some dear old friends of theirs who had been married for 43 years.

This here marriage novice had the most insightful discussion with these nuptial heavy weights on the secret to longevity in a union. We ate cheese and figs and drank wine and in no time I felt like I was part of the family, and it was beautiful.

The big day was touched gently by sadness, as it also marked the end of a mourning period after the loss of a dear one, but I truly believe I saw many generations of this family present, those with us and those passed, all celebrating 50 years of amore and famiglia.

LOVE & FAMILY

What else is important?

Nothing.

I’m honoured to have been able to chronicle the day, and capture just a few of the precious moments that this family had.

The biggest thing I’ll take away with me from this experience were the words of the Groom, the evening we met.

‘In life, in the home, there will be storms, but soon, the sun… she come out.’

Sage advice for a novice.

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an enduring love story an enduring love story

an enduring love story

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an enduring love story

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an enduring love story

an enduring love storyan enduring love storyan enduring love storyan enduring love storyan enduring love storyan enduring love storyan enduring love storyan enduring love storyan enduring love storyan enduring love storyan enduring love storyan enduring love storyan enduring love story

an enduring love storyan enduring love storyan enduring love storyan enduring love story

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an enduring love storyan enduring love storyan enduring love story

an enduring love story

an enduring love story

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enduring love story

an enduring love storyan enduring love storyA love storyan enduring love storyan enduring love storyan enduring love story

an enduring love storyan enduring love storyan enduring love story

 

Mrs H talks with a sex therapist….How to regain your mojo.

29 Mar intimacy

intimacy

(source)

I have a theory about sex.

My theory is that the more bonking you do, the less annoying your partner is (you really ought to be bonking your partner for best effect). Sex is the thread that binds you to each other and without it, you can become unravelled.

When I spoke with sex therapist, Isiah McKimmie, from Passionate Spirit I thought I’d hit her with my theory straight off the bat to see if I was on the money.

She agreed heartily. I decided I liked her.

Isiah went on to say that when your sex life is working well, your entire relationship can change, and therefore your entire lives can change.

I may have mentioned once or twice that my mojo has been somewhat lacking since I gave up sleep, so when the opportunity arose for me to interview a sex therapist over a cup of tea, I jumped at the chance.

Is it lingerie, sex toys, 50 Shades of Grey or oysters that I need?

Nope. It’s way more simple than that.

Although the road to a banging sex life is not a short one (Isiah offers courses to couples, as opposed to one off visits), what we discussed was certainly not rocket science.

The first thing that a therapist would look at is your relationship to yourself.

How do you feel about your body?

How satisfied are you with your life?

Do you still feel like sexy you, or are you now only a wife and a mother?

One of the most obvious things is our confidence about our body after all of the changes it undergoes throughout pregnancy and childbirth. We may not feel that we can take the time to get ourselves back into the shape we were previously. It is natural that your body changes somewhat, but if your self esteem takes a battering in the process, it may be as simple as finding time to exercise.

Taking the time away from family can often cause guilt, but it’s really essential for mental health. The time you take away from your family can actually make you a better wife and mother…. and your mojo may just be a Zumba class away.

The second major area to look at is your communication with your partner.

How do you communicate about general issues? This will certainly affect the way you can communicate about sex.

Being able to communicate freely with our partners is terribly important. Some people NEVER tell their partner that a particular thing turns them on, or more importantly, turns them off, or irritates their sensitive, pink bits.

Really?

Isiah said something so poignant to this -

If you can’t communicate well in the bedroom, you probably aren’t communicating well out of it.

Aaah. Not rocket science.

Our sex lives are so personal, and people feel a great sense of embarrassment and shame about it. This embarrassment is something we may have been taught as teens when we’re curious about stuff and wanking like chimpanzees. You’ll go blind, grow hair on your palms, or nice girls simply don’t do those things.

Sex is natural.

Our bodies are ours to explore and enjoy.

There is no shame in pleasure.

The clitoris is the only part of the human body solely for pleasure. It has no greater function than to give sweet sensation. I think it was the Universe’s consolation prize for periods.

If you’re silently turning your back on your partner thinking ‘No way, buddy, I’m exhausted and my bikini line resembles Macy Gray’s afro’, perhaps your partner only hears ‘I’m not attracted to you anymore’…..and that’s just the tip of the communication iceberg.

Also, we need to try to lighten up about it. If it’s become the elephant in the room then everyone starts getting anxious and feeling rejected.

One of the hardest things when you have little people in the house is time. I mentioned to Isiah that between training, children and general exhaustion, Mister H and I have one perfect time for rumpy. That sweet moment only occurs twice in a week, and then if the planets don’t align correctly, it can be week before that magic moment rolls around again.

I suggested that scheduling sex was incredibly unsexy.

Not as unsexy as never having sex, Isiah replied.

Mmmmmm hmmmmm. I see her point.

Also, a quickie has its place, don’t get me wrong, but if you’re only having occasional quickies it’s no wonder your mojo is lacking. Biologically, it take 20 minutes for a woman’s body to warm up.

We all know that we are slower than men and require a tad more romancing and finessing in all the right places, but being ready for the main event is not as simple as getting lubed up.

It actually takes 20 minutes for your uterus to contract and get out of the way, so the penis doesn’t bash its insistent head against your sensitive lady bits. This is particularly the case shortly after giving birth as the uterus is often sitting a little lower in the chamber.

Did you know that? I didn’t, and I thought I knew it all.

If you think you don’t have enough time in the day for langorous loving touch, try turning off the television a couple of times a week. After dinner, instead of retiring to the lounge, turn off the tv, the computers and the iphones, and spend time together.

NEWS FLASH : watching tv together is not spending quality time together.

You could start by giving each other a massage. Not a ‘nudge nudge wink wink’ massage but perhaps you could start reacquainting yourselves with a no strings attached massage, without a happy ending? Hell, if you feel like throwing a leg over then climb aboard, but if sex has become the elephant under the bed, perhaps you need to take it off the table (not the dining room table. I mean, no sex) for a bit.

If you agree that you’re not going to do it for a few weeks, it can alleviate the guilt you may feel from not wanting to. It doesn’t mean you have an affection stand-off, you do other stuff.

Fun stuff. Sexy stuff. Loving stuff.

Remember when you first got together and you’d pash like teenagers on the loungeroom floor? When was the last time you had pash rash? Or dry humped till you came in your pants?

That stuff was exciting, so maybe it’s time to strip back your sex life?

Get back to the fun stuff.

Isiah and I talked a lot about wanking, on your own, together, whatever takes your fancy. It goes to reason that after you give birth perhaps your body feels different, likes different things. If you don’t explore your own body, how can you guide someone around?

Hell, we don’t strike out across town without Google mapping first, so why not chart this territory, too?

I was shocked when Isiah told me that 30% of women have difficulty (or never) orgasm. Some of her adult clients don’t know where their clitoris is. You can bet your bottom dollar that if they don’t know that, they probably don’t know about other erogenous zones, like that crazy little spot behind their knee, their armpit or the back of their neck.

You need to take the time to explore not just your lady bits, but your whole body, and it’s way more fun if you do it with your partner.

There is more sex than ever available to us, whether it’s erotica, porn, toys, or whatever that floats your boat. There is still so much guilt associated with exploring our own sexuality, why?

Why the shame?

If you’re a bit weirded out by the idea of a sex therapist, Passionate Spirit has a subscription based website with loads of information and techniques if you think maybe you need a little helping hand getting your love life back on track.

Maybe it’s as simple as simply getting back on the horse and doing it? Reawakening your sexual self.

If not, and you feel like your relationship needs a little help getting it’s mojo back, maybe you could consider sex therapy?
If your car isn’t working properly, you take it to a mechanic, right?

At the conclusion of our fascinating chat, Isiah told me she had a spare media pass to Sexpo if I wanted it……well, I thought, maybe a little research would be good.

Stay tuned for the Sexpo wrap-up. Holy dooly. I thought nothing could surprise me.

This post is not a sponsored post. I received no payment from Passionate Spirit. I just love talking about sex.

Check out Passionate Spirit’s Facebook page if you want a little mojo in your newsfeed.

Did you find this as fascinating as I did?

Can you talk about your mojo or are you a little shy?

If you know anyone that may benefit from this post, share it with them, and let’s get that elephant out in the open!

Hooking up with FYBF at With Some Grace so everyone can read about mojo rising. Check out what everyone else is flogging.


Big Daddy’s homecoming and Oat, Date and Ginger Biscuits

24 Feb date and ginger cookies finished

ginger and date biscuits ingredientsAt the very second I type this we are T-2hrs until picking Mister H up from the airport.
It’s been a long ten days without him.

D Man is allowed to stay up late tonight and just he and I are heading off to the arrivals gate to see Big Daddy walk through. I think both chaps will get a buzz out of that….and I’m not embarrassed to say I’m looking forward to a pash. I reckon a public pash at the arrivals gate is totally acceptable behaviour.

Mister H left on Valentine’s Day and I didn’t write a Valentine’s post. I read a few spectacularly schmaltzy ones and it made me wonder if I was unsentimental, or perhaps my relationship was lacking….

You are the air I breathe and my sun and moon, just don’t quite describe my feelings for my husband but I’ve done some thinking in the last ten days.

I was 30 when we met.

I had lived a very full life and I’ve always relied on myself. I’m very independent, strong and fiery and I can get by just fine on my own. The majority of the  day-to-day ‘kid stuff’ I do anyway because he’s out of the house early and home late, so it wasn’t a biggie.

I haven’t missed not having all of the training clothes to wash, nor have I missed all of the shoes in the lounge.

What I realised was, though, is that Mister H is like the tonic in my gin. Gin is pretty good on it’s own, a complete thing, if a tad harsh, but when you add tonic?

Wow, now that’s a real marriage.

Mister H is the cheese on my pizza, the sugar in my coffee and the bubbles in my bath.

He’s the date and ginger in my oat cookie.

I have missed the kisses goodnight, and my friend coming home and chatting about our day.

I have missed the sound of he and the kid’s laughing, and I’ve missed cuddles in the kitchen…..so I made a batch of these chewy, spicy date numbers to ease us through the final days of his absence!

date and ginger biscuits licking the beater

What you will need :

  • 85g softened butter
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 60g brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 80g chopped dates

What you will need to do :

Preheat oven to 190C

In a large bowl cream together the butter and the sugars until nice and pale. Then add the egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.

Stir  together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt and gradually beat into the spread mixture bit by bit.

Finally, stir in the oats and dates.

Pop teaspoon sized balls onto baking paper and stick in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden and delicious. Leave for a few minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

Chewy, moist, sticky, spicy, sweet and yummy…..I ate 4 while they were still hot, and felt instantly better.

date and ginger cookies finished

Ironically, after I had already written this, Mister H gave me a present from his journey……

It goes perfectly with tonic.

Hendricks Gin

 

 

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