Category Archives for "Friday Five"

Don’t Always Understand Your Wife? Meet Aaron Traister!

Don't Always Understand Your Wife? Meet Aaron Traister!Let me introduce you to a funny guy if you don’t already know him. Meet Aaron Traister. He says what husbands are thinking – in a way that wives will recognize. Take his article regarding what he learned about women on Pinterest, for instance. Most guys can sum up their confusion about what the big draw there is with a shrug, dismissive wave, or a sentence shorter than ‘blah, blah, blah’. Not Aaron. He took the opportunity to explore that alien venue and learn things about the opposite sex – and as a blogger and columnist for Redbook magazine, he is happy to be a voice for other men and share his discoveries so women may be enlightened about what they’re thinking! Here are 5 of those lessons he learned about women on Pinterest.

Husbands Meet Aaron TraisterOn designer baby pictures: The quest for the most unusual baby photo is your white whale. I don’t ever remember walking into any of my friends’ houses when I was young and seeing framed pictures of them as newborns nestled inside a worn leather baseball glove or sleeping on a mossy rock in a beautiful field. This is a weird new phenomenon, and I wonder, why are women into it? The Pinterest baby-photography thing looks like ads for small humans. Who wouldn’t want this baby that sleeps in a catcher’s mitt?! It’s the perfect baby for the sporty guy in your life! Am I saying I never posed my baby in an empty pizza box or on top of the sleeping dog? Of course not—I’m just saying it was a daddy/baby moment, and I didn’t need a professional to capture it.

Husbands Meet Aaron TraisterOn inspirational affirmations:  Am I alone in finding all the quotes and inspirational messages depressing? We can all use a pep talk from time to time, but when you realize that someone has pinned 40 affirmations—”A strong woman is one who is able to smile this morning like she wasn’t crying last night”—in three hours, suddenly it feels a little too personal for social media.

 Husbands Meet Aaron TraisterOn what’s cooking: It’s all about chicken dinners “made easy.” I argued with my editor about this. I maintain that chicken dinners aren’t that hard; I make roast chicken once a week. My editor said that easy chicken dinners are boring and women like her seek new ones. With all due respect, boss, a roast chicken is never boring, because you never roast the same chicken twice.

Husbands Meet Aaron TraisterOn hair trends: I will never know what a “bob” is. You can show me one hundred pins of a woman’s bobbed hair and I will still have no clue what exactly is going on. Dudes are generally blind to hairstyles, so cut us some slack when you say “curly bob” and we think you’re talking about some guy from the office.

Husbands Meet Aaron TraisterOn the perfect gift: Vintage photography is for lovers. Apparently, shooting photos in black and white automatically makes them romantic. This is good to know, since the only current photo of my wife, Karel, and me is from a cousin’s wedding and we’re both stuffing our faces. I’m gonna slap a black-and-white filter on that bad boy and it will magically transform into a whimsical, French-looking meditation on true love.

 For the rest of his candid observations about what’s going on with women at Pinterest, read his article 12 Things I Learned About Women on Pinterest.


Marriage: 5 to Make You Smile

Marriage: 5 to Make You SmileFor today’s Friday Five, here are 5 on marriage that will help you head into the weekend with a smile on your face!

1. It’s all about doing what works.

Marriage: 5 to Make You Smile2. Now there’s some math that adds up! To be able to print out the saying and/or see what it looks like framed, click on the picture.

Marriage: 5 to Make You Smile3. A new way to send (pack?) a love note! Scratch your message onto the banana peel and by lunch it has “appeared”!Marriage: 5 to Make You Smile4. May your wishes come true. (So I guess there are 102 Things to Say to Make Your Mate Feel Great!) This one’s simple to whip up, too!

Marriage: 5 to Make You Smile5. And remember this . .

Marriage: 5 to Make You SmileHAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!



The Perfect Marriage – Bacon and Us!

Perfect Marriage: Bacon and Us!


There’s a reason bacon sizzles – it’s the food of love! In honor of National Bacon Day, here’s bacon five ways to get you and your mate sizzling, too!

1. Cheesy bacon bombs. Exploding with the passion of gooey cheese and crispy bacon. Is this a picture or what?! [Click for recipe]

cover2. Sizzle on stick. Sweet and salty combined in these Bacon-Wrapped Pineapple bites. A perfect start to that special meal.

Perfect Marriage: Bacon and Us!3. Where your love for bacon and your love for your spouse meet. Bacon hearts? Awwwwwww . . .

Perfect Marriage: Bacon and Us!4. Chocolate bacon. Yet another perfect marriage!

Perfect Marriage: Bacon and Us!5. Bacon roses. NOW nobody can argue that bacon’s not romantic!!

Perfect Marriage - Bacon and Us!And here is the reason that bacon can also mend a broken heart.*

Perfect Marriage: Bacon and Us!* Click the picture to see all the bacon dishes pictured as well as more mouth-watering bacon pics with recipes!



5 Ways to Help Your Child Through Divorce

5 Ways to Help Your Child Through DivorceDivorce affects children in a myriad of ways. Just because they don’t seem depressed or their grades don’t crash doesn’t mean they are unscathed by what is going on around them. As a matter of fact, more than one psychologist I consulted with when representing children (whose parents are going through  divorce) has told me that grades going up during this time can actually be a red flag – it could indicate an increased focus on one small section of the child’s world that he can control when there is so much chaos in his environment.

Divorce for adults can be difficult, painful, and confusing. For children, we have all that plus a lack of understanding regarding the reasons or need for divorce and a lesser ability to process life events.There’s not an easy way to get everybody through it. But there are some things you can do to help make it less difficult for your child. Here are five.

1. Let teachers and child care workers know about your family situation. They spend a significant amount of the day with your child and  might pick up on behavioral changes in their environments that they could alert you to. It also allows them to understand changes in your child’s attitude or demeanor which might otherwise be attributed to willful misbehavior.

2. Explore support groups. While counseling can be helpful and sometimes necessary for children, support groups serve a different purpose. There are many good programs available that help children transition through divorce by participating in groups with other children their age that are experiencing the same thing. This is not a therapeutic relationship with a counselor. It is an opportunity for children to see they are not the only ones dealing with this, it is not their fault, and to participate in exercises that educate them about how to deal with some of the emotions they are dealing with. Calm Waters, one such program in Oklahoma City, offers such a program with separate sessions available for the parents at the same time to receive information about the topic being covered in the children’s session. You can find such programs in your own area by asking school counselors, your attorney, or court staff for recommendations.

3. Talk to a children’s counselor yourself. Make an appointment to sit down with a good children’s counselor to get advice. They can educate you on norms and behaviors that may manifest themselves for children of different ages as well as make suggestions for ways to share age-appropriate information about the process. They can also make recommendations for activities and reading materials that may be helpful to your children.

4. Don’t talk negatively about the other parent. The children are dealing with enough negative changes they don’t need negative words, feelings and attitudes heaped upon them, too. If you have it in you, you might take this one step further and go out of your way to be positive about the other parent and the child’s relationship with that parent.

5. Don’t expose them to romantic relationships. No matter how long you have been separated from the other parent or how convinced you are the current flame will be your future spouse. Allow them time to process the changes going on in their own family before foisting new ‘family’ upon them. There are so many negatives that can come from such exposure – confusion, anger, blame, lack of trust, aligning themselves with the non-dating parent – that when to introduce such a person to the children may be one of the topics you want to discuss at your meeting with the children’s counselor.

Related article you might find helpful: Divorce Through a Child’s EyesChildren and Divorce: 5 Things Parents Should Never Say


5 Links to Laughter

If you’re going to laugh your way to a longer, healthier marriage, you need to know how – and where – to get your laugh on. Here are five options that you might not have been aware of!

1. Laughing groups. Chances are your favorite hobby has a laughing group. I checked out the meetup website for laughing groups, put in my zipcode, and found 6 groups in a 25 mile range. Yoga laughing, hiking laughing, karaoke laughing, outdoor enthusiasts laughing and more. Click on the picture for meetup sites and options.

5 Links to Laughter2. Check out funny pictures on the Make Me Laugh blog. The author takes pictures that are out there, like the one below, and adds some humor to it.

5 Links to Laughter3. All things Bill Cosby. Many only know Bill (yes, we’re on a first name basis) from his 80s sitcom. But his comedy goes way back. And it’s still funny. To check out a sampling of his old comedy routines, click the picture to see 9 that Parade put together. If you like them, you can find plenty more on YouTube.

5 Links to Laughter

4. The Best of Herman. LOVE this book. (I also love Herman –  and my husband’s OK with that.)  It is what I send to friends who need a pick-me-up. It’s my go-to when I’m a bit down – I can open it to any page and there’s going to be a smile-inducer there. And I am definitely not above using it as a quick way (it’s like cheating) to get a laugh out of my husband.

5 Links to Laughter

5. Funny animals. There is no lack of entertaining animal videos out there. I lost a chunk of my life researching this for you (you’re welcome!). Here is one of the shorter videos I found, but if  this type of Pet TV makes you laugh, there’s plenty to choose from. Once you do an internet search for “funniest animals,” the hard part is deciding which ones not to watch!


Related posts you may like: Laugh Your Way to a Longer Marriage; 5 Ways to Make Your Mate Feel Great; Random Acts of Toilet Paper; 5 Unique Ways to Share a Compliment


Go Outside and Play

Go Outside and PlayIs anybody else still mourning the loss of Jarts? Remember that yard ring-toss game that made mothers sound like an excerpt from A Christmas Story: Be careful with those or you’ll poke your eye out! Well, apparently not enough kids listened to their mothers and the game was taken off the market. I don’t get it – like horseshoes didn’t knockout a person or two?? And who hasn’t tripped over a wicket or seen a croquet mallet wielded as a weapon?

For our Friday Five I thought I’d look for some safe yard games. Here are a few that promise to be (almost!) as enjoyable as Jarts  – and none of them take as long (or as much space) to set up as croquet. So grab your mate while the weather’s still nice and go outside and play!

1. Ladder Golf Game. The buddy who introduced us to this game noted you could find it at big box stores for about $20, but could build your own sturdier version for a few bucks more. The one pictured here, from the Wireless Catalog, is a glow-in-the-dark version for some evening fun.

Go Outside and Play

2. Bocce Balls (also known as lawn bowling). This traditional game is a personal favorite! Sets can be found in sporting good stores and online shops. Prices for real balls (there are plastic versions available – not nearly as fun) range from $30 on up to a fancy $200. This set from L.L.Bean with it’s durable case is $90.

Go Play Outside

3. Backyard Bean Toss. Shown here is a 3-hole version from Triumph. There was also a mini one-hole version. My internet search turned up plenty of brands to choose from with prices ranging from $20-$50.

Go Outside and Play4. OGO Sport Copter Darts. Kind of a weenie-version of Jarts (no points!), but with the same premise. They’re easy to pack up and their soft materials lend themselves to indoor spaces also. Most of the sets I saw were about $35. Here’s a brief look at what Copter Darts look like in play.

5. Score Tower. This is a fun accessory for any of the games above. It not only helps you keep track of the score, it holds a beverage for you! ($42.99)



Do Us a Favor: DON’T Go to the Movies

Do Us a Favor: DON'T Go to the MoviesWe finally get our spouses to join us for that movie we’ve been wanting to see – our first date in ages – and then we run into one of those people. You know – the inconsiderate boob that ruins the movie for the rest of us. The one that refuses to turn off his cell phone because he’s sure he’s going to get an important call. And when that call comes (probably from his bookie), instead of slipping discreetly out to handle things, he announces in a stage whisper that he’s in a movie (yeah, we know) and has to make it quick. But then he doesn’t.

Here’s 5 more things that should be banned -for all our sakes – from movie theaters. If there’s something on this list you just can’t give up, please do us a favor – DON’T go to the movies.

1. Perfume or cologne. No matter how wonderful it smells, it’s going to clash in a headache-inducing way with the just-as-wonderful scent from the guy in front of us.

2. Your big-faced glow-in-the-dark watch. You know – the one that sheds enough light you can read by it? If you must have verification of yet another minute passing by, maybe you could get a watch face with raised numbers and hands that you could keep in your pocket so you can feel the time without bothering the rest of us.

3. All things crunchy. Yes, M&Ms count. And bootleg, smuggled-in chips? Should be a firing-squad offense. There’s a reason the nacho chips are saturated with liquid cheese-product at theaters.

4. Gum. Unless you can chew it with your mouth closed (yes, we can hear as well as see someone chomping with their mouth open) without snapping, smacking, or popping, it should be banned.

5. Hats more than two inches taller than your head. And, no matter what decade the movie depicts, this includes retro 1980s big hair, too.

Well, there you have my Friday Five list of what shouldn’t be allowed in movie theaters. But as long as we’re on the subject of movie etiquette, let me just mention one more thing. Please be advised there is an unwritten rule that anyone who leaves during a movie – it doesn’t matter if it’s for a drink refill, bathroom break, or emergency gall bladder surgery – they simply forfeit the movie time. They are not entitled to a blow-by-blow recap, thus blotting out what is currently going on for the rest of us. The movie will come together and make sense to them later as you explain the missed section on your drive home.

What would YOU like to see banned from movie theaters?


Friday Five Roundup

Friday Five Want to surprise your mate? Or hear a few painless ways to save a little money to be splurged on marital bliss? Wonder if that ‘truism’ you heard about divorce is really true? Want to stop an argument before it really gets going? Or maybe you’re just looking for a way to make you mate feel great.  Today’s Friday Five is a roundup of Five you may have missed! Just click on the pictures to catch up!


5 Ways to Make Your Mate Feel Great!

Ways to Make Your Mate Feel Great


5 Ways to Stop the Fight Before it Gets Started

5 Ways to Stop the Fight Before it Gets Started

5 Painless Ways to Save up For Some Marital Bliss

5 Ways to Save Up For Some Marital Bliss

 5 Myths About Divorce

5 Myths About Divorce


 5 Fun Ways to Surprise your Mate

5 Ways to Surprise Your MateHAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!


Random Acts of Toilet Paper

Having recently established that certain bathroom habits can be harmful to marriage, I left some people feeling that the bathroom was downright hazardous. But it’s not the bathroom itself, it’s the bathroom behavior we need to look at (not literally). Toilet seat left up? Bad behavior. Cracking your spouse up  with your artistic toilet paper endeavors? Good behavior. Here are 5 Random Acts of Toilet Paper to achieve the latter!

1. Get their day started with the promise of a breeze.

toilet paper sailboat

2.  Let your spouse know things could always be rougher.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of


3. Who doesn’t like to see a smile first thing in the morning?

Random Acts of Toilet Paper4. Make sure you can never be accused of not giving them flowers. (Yes – there is a book on the art of toilet-paper folding. If you don’t believe me, click the picture.)

Random Acts of Toilet Paper

5. Show them you’d be lost without them . . .

Random Acts of Toilet Paper



Fun Facts About The Signers of the Declaration of Independence

Fun Facts About the Signers of the Declaration of IndependanceWho are those people responsible for this holiday where we get to take off work, eat hot dogs, watch awesome firework displays, and celebrate being a citizen of one of the most amazing, independent countries in the world? Here are five fun facts about that group of men to give you something to chat about as you flip burgers on the grill!

Fun Facts About the Signers of the Declaration of Independence


Of the 56 men who signed, only two never married and two become presidents. Can you name the presidents? (*Answer at bottom)

Fun Facts About the Signers of the Declaration of Independence

The signers sired a total of 325 children. It was believed that about 8 of the men didn’t have children. However, Carter Braxton, William Ellery, and Robert Sherman picked up the slack by having (respectively) 18, 17 and 15 children.

Fun Facts About the Signers of the Declaration of Independence

This was not a group of politicians – there was only one in the bunch. The others included 23 lawyers, 12 merchants, 12 farmers/agricultural work, 4 physicians, 2 manufacturers, a printer and a minister.

Fun Facts About the Signers of the Declaration of Independence

While most of the paintings we see depict a bunch of gray-hairs, the group wasn’t as old as you may think. Only 7 were over 60. Eighteen were in their 30s and 3 were in their 20s. Ben Franklin, 70, was the oldest of the group and 26-year-old Edward Rutledge the youngest.

Fun Facts About the Signers of the Declaration of Independence

Many of the signers put their money – and their health – where their mouth was. Some pledged their fortunes for the cause of independence, some lost their health, family members, property and wealth. And some lost their lives. OK – so that’s not a ‘fun’ fact –                                                         but it is a fact worth remembering.



Fun Facts About the Declaration of Independence Signers* Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.