May 31, 2016

Better Way To Play With Your Dog

"Uh-huh. This is a great dog, mister."
"The dog's Moe, I'm Flynn. Zoe, can Simon take Moe back out so they can run around like maniacs for a while?"
"Sure. Twenty minutes, Simon, then you hit the books."
"Straight out the back," Flynn told him. "There's a ball out there with tooth marks and drool all over it. He likes you to chase it and fetch it back to him."
"You're funny," Simon decided. "Let's go, Moe!"

Key of Light


By Takashi Hososhima from Tokyo, Japan (It's happy running time!) [CC BY-SA 2.0
 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The researchers found that dog owners who touched their dogs more, stayed close and moved around a lot appeared to have more fun while playing with their dogs.
“In other words,” the researchers explain in the study, “people smiled more in play when they were active and moving around, and when there was a lot of physical contact between them and their dogs.” 


Maybe, in some convoluted way, his mother had been right to foist a dog on him. It forced him to get outside—which was a big part of the purpose of relocating. Gave him a chance to look around, relax, get in tune with what moved around him.

The Search

May 30, 2016

questions to ask yourself before you start dating a coworker

"You know how stories fly around a newsroom. Internal stories," she specified as she returned to her dinner. "It's a difficult place to have any privacy. Privacy's important to me."
"Yes, it must be. There hasn't been any mention of you in the papers or glossies since you were a teenager. The Carmichaels always make good copy."
"I didn't fit the mold." She hadn't meant to say that, and was astonished it had slipped out. "What I'm trying to say," she continued, as Thorpe kept his silence, "is that once someone in your newsroom or mine gets hold of an idea, the next minute it'll be fact. Then the sky's the limit. You know how a simple coffee date can become a torrid lunchtime affair after the third telling."
"Does it matter so much?"
Liv gave a weary sigh. "Probably not from your standpoint, but from mine, yes. I have to deal with being the new kid on the block, and a woman. It's still hard, Thorpe. Whatever
progress I make is always examined more closely than anyone else's right now. Is Carmichael seeing Thorpe because she wants to jump on the national news team?"

Endings and Beginnings


By GOD OHMY - (domínio público), Public Domain,

We've all seen, experienced, or thought about office romances. 
Some say they're a terrible idea (people might gossip, or things can get awkward at work if the relationship goes sour) — while others believe they make perfect sense (you're with these people eight hours a day, and you know you have at least one thing in common). But what's the real deal with interoffice dating?


Carl drew hard on a cigarette and shot a glance over his shoulder at Thorpe. "See you around here more now than when you worked here," he commented.
"I've more incentive," he answered easily.

Endings and Beginnings

May 25, 2016

Just Give Me A Reason

"I think, to get the light back, you have to give her a reason. What you say is

one part, but what you do, that's the big one. I think."

Bed of Roses


Just give me a reason
Just a little bit's enough
Just a second we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
It's in the stars

May 21, 2016

What it's like to quit drinking

"Thanks, but I don't drink. Can't."
"Oh." She felt abominably slow and stupid. Hadn't she noticed herself that he never took alcohol? Couldn't she have used her brain to put two and two together before embarrassing a guest? "Coffee it is, then."
"Please." He stepped over to lay a hand on her arm before she replaced the bottle. "Open it, enjoy it. It doesn't bother me when other people have a drink. In fact, it's important to me that they're comfortable. That you're comfortable. Here, let me do it."
He took the bottle. "Don't worry, opening a bottle of champagne isn't backsliding."
"I certainly didn't mean to makeyou uncomfortable. I should've realized."
"Why? I'm not still wearing that sign that says Recovering Alcoholic around my neck, am I?"
She smiled a little, walked to the display cabinet for a flute. "No."
He released the cork, a quick, celebrational pop. "I started drinking when I was about fifteen. Sneaking a beer now and then, the way boys often do. Nothing major. I did love an ice-cold beer."
He set both their plates on the table, then poured his coffee while she arranged the rest of the simple meal. "Went through the drinking insanity in college, but again, plenty do the same. Never missed a class because of it, never caused me any trouble, really. My grades stayed up-enough I graduated with honors, top five percent of my class. I loved college nearly as much as I did an ice-cold beer. Am I going to bore you with this?"
"No," she said, her eyes on his. "You're not."
"All right." He took his first bite of the sandwich, nodded. "Miz Harper, you make a hell of a po'boy."
"I do."
"So I went to grad school, got my master's. Taught, got married, worked on my doctorate. Had myself a gorgeous baby boy. And I drank. I was . . . an amiable drunk, if you know what I mean. I was never confrontational, never abusive-physically, I mean, never picked fights. But I can't say I was ever completely sober from the time Josh was born-a bit before that to be honest, until I set the bottle down the last time."
He sampled David's potato salad. "I worked-taught, wrote, provided my family with a good living. Drinking never cost me a day's work, any more than it had cost me class time. But it cost me my wife and my son."
"I'm sorry, Mitch."
"No need to be. Sara, my ex, did everything she could do. She loved me, and she wanted the life I'd promised her. She stuck with me longer than many would have. She begged me to quit, and I'd promise or reassure, or fluff her off. Bills were paid, weren't they? We had a nice house, and we never missed a mortgage payment. I wasn't some stumbling-down, sprawled-in-the-gutter drunk, was I, for God's sake? I just had a few drinks to take the edge off. Of course, I started taking the edge off at ten in the morning, but I was entitled."
He paused, shook his head. "It's easy to delude yourself that you're entitled, that you're just fine when you're in a haze most of the time. Easy to ignore the fact that you're letting your wife and child down in a dozen ways, every single day. Forgetting dinner parties or birthdays, slipping out of bed-where you are useless to her in any case-to have just one more drink, dozing off when you're supposed to be watching your own baby. Just not being there, not completely there. Ever."
"It's a hard thing to go through, I imagine. For everyone involved."
"Harder for the ones you shipwreck with you, believe me. I wouldn't go to counseling with her, refused to attend meetings, to talk to anyone about what she saw as my problem. Even when she told me she was leaving me, when she packed her things, and Josh's things, and walked out. I barely noticed they were gone."
"That was tremendously brave of her."
"Yes, it was." His gaze sharpened on Roz's face. "Yes, it was, and I suppose a woman like you would understand just how brave it was. It took me another full year to hit the bottom, to look around at my life and see nothing. To realize I'd lost what was most precious, and that it was too late to ever get it back. I went to meetings."
"That takes courage, too."
"My first meeting?" He took another bite of his sandwich. "Scared to death. I sat in the back of the room, in the basement of this tiny church, and shook like a child."
"A lot of courage."
"I was sober for three months, ten days, and five hours when I reached for a bottle again. Fought my way out of that, and sobriety lasted eleven months, two days, and fifteen hours. She wouldn't come back to me, you see. She'd met someone else and she couldn't trust me. I used that as an excuse to drink, and I drank the next few months away, until I crawled back out of the hole."
He lifted his coffee. "That was fourteen years ago next March. March fifth. Sara forgave me. In addition to being brave, she's a generous woman, one who deserved better than what she got from me. Josh forgave me, and in the past fourteen years, I've been a good father. The best I know how to be."
"I think it takes a brave man, and a strong one to face his demons, and beat them back, and keep facing them every single day. And a generous one, a smart one who shoulders the blame rather than passing it on, even partially, to others."
"Not drinking doesn't make me a hero, Roz. It just makes me sober. Now if I could just kick the coffee habit."

Black Rose


By Fantasy Park -, CC BY 3.0,

As experts call for warnings to be put on all alcoholic drinks, we speak to five people who have decided to turn their back on the bottle

Men in particular refuse to believe the risks. This comes as data shows that millions of middle-aged men drink more than is recommended in new government guidelines – the limit was lowered in January for men from 21 units a week to 14, the same as women.

For some, their relationship with alcohol is such that they decide to stop drinking completely, either for life or for a few months. This can be for a variety of reasons – to tackle more severe problems such as alcoholism or simply for better health.

May 20, 2016

Best Relationships Start as Friendships

"I don't know. I need to think. It's complicated. He's a friend. Our friend. And he's Del's best friend. Del's your brother," she said to Parker, "and the next thing to a brother to the rest of us. And we're all friends, and business partners. Del's our lawyer, and Jack helps out when we need him. Plus he's designing the remodeling. We have all these connections, and they're all tangled up."
"And nothing tangles up the tangles like sex," Mac put in.
"Exactly. What if we end up having this thing, then the thing goes south. Then we're awkward with each other, and that makes the rest of us awkward with the rest of us. We have a kind of balance, don't we? Sex isn't worth upsetting the balance."
"You wouldn't be doing it right then," Mrs. Grady commented, and shook her head. "Youth thinks
too damn much. I'm going to start the wash."
Emma sulked over her pancakes. "She thinks I'm being an idiot, but I just don't want anyone to get hurt."
"Then set the ground rules going in. What you each expect from each other, and how you'll handle any complications."
"What kind of ground rules?"
Parker shrugged. "That's for you to decide, Em."

Bed of Roses


By Nina from Australia (Friendship) [CC BY 2.0 
(], via Wikimedia Commons

The big fear about falling in love with a friend is that if the relationship goes bad, you're down both a boyfriend and a friend who might have comforted you through the breakup. It's a big risk, but when it goes right, it pays off big time. Falling in love with a best friend can be the best thing in the world. We all know the best boyfriends are the ones that feel like best friends you get to kiss, anyway.


Resigned, Emma let out a sigh and decided she wouldn't wait for Jack to have a glass of wine. The trouble with friends, she thought as she went to the kitchen, was they knew you too well. Sex date, foreplay music, sexing underwear. No secrets among…
She stopped with the bottle in hand. Jack was a friend. Jack knew her very well. Wouldn't he…?
What if he…? "Oh, shit!"
She poured a very large glass of wine. Before she could take the first sip, she heard the knock on her door.
"Too late," she murmured. "Too late to change a thing. Time to see what happens, and deal with it."
She set the wine down, went to the door.
He'd changed, too, she noted. Khakis instead of jeans, a crisp shirt instead of a chambray. He carried a large take-out bag from her favorite Chinese restaurant, and a bottle of her preferred cabernet.
Sweet, Emma thought. And certainly another advantage of being friends.

Bed of Roses

May 19, 2016

Things All Insanely Stylish People Have in Their Homes

After her nerves settled a bit, she studied the apartment.
A conversation pit in deep forest-green dominated the living area. In its center was a square coffee table.
Riding over it was a large sailboat in what she recognized as Murano glass. A pair of green iron
candlesticks held fat white candles.
At the far side of the room there was a small bar with a pair of black leather stools. Behind it was a vintage poster for Nuits-St.-Georges Burgundy, depicting an eighteenth-century French calvary officer sitting on a cask with a glass, a pipe, and a very satisfied smile.
The walls were white and splashed here and there with art. A framed print of a stylish poster for
Tattinger champagne, with a elegant woman, surely that was Grace Kelly, in a sleek black evening gown behind a slim flute of bubbling wine, hung over a round glass table with curved steel legs. There was a Joan Miro print, an elegant reproduction of Alphonse Mucha'sAutomne .
Lamps were both sparely modern and elegantly Deco. The carpet was thick and pale gray, the
uncurtained window wide and wet with rain.
She thought the room displayed masculine, eclectic, and witty taste. She was admiring a brown leather footstool in the shape of a barnyard pig when he returned with two glasses.
"I like your pig."
"He caught my eye."

Inner Harbor


By ( [CC BY-SA 2.0 
(], via Wikimedia Commons

People with style seem to naturally ooze the It factor that makes their lives look like the stuff of Instagram dreams. You know the type: They’re impeccably dressed, the best hosts and hostesses, and masters at creating chic yet effortless homes. Curating a naturally sophisticated, style-centric space calls for a few must haves.


When she left him, Mikhail let his gaze sweep the room. It pleased him. This was not the formal, professionally decorated home some might have expected of her. 

She really lived here, among the soft colors and quiet comfort. 

Style was added by a scattering of Art Nouveau, in the bronzed lamp shaped like a long, slim woman, and the sinuous etched flowers on the glass doors of a curio cabinet 
displaying a collection of antique beaded bags.

He noted his sculpture stood alone in a glossy old shadow box, and was flattered.

Luring a Lady

May 18, 2016


Shutting down again under the shade of bending palms and cypress, she took out Jackie's idea of a picnic.

 There was Pouilly-Fuisse in paper cups, and cracked crab to be dug out with plastic forks, 
and tiny Swiss meringues, white and glossy.

Loving Jack 


By Hartmut Josi Bennöhr (user:josi / de:user:josi) - self made by Hartmut Josi Bennöhr, CC BY-SA 3.0,


The Parisian Picnic is a Fine Art.
Not to be taken lightly,  it takes the right amount of preparation, 
thought and planning to Master the Perfect Picnic like the Parisians 
manage every time.


He flipped open the lid of the hamper, took out the blanket folded on
top. She helped him spread it open, then sat on it cross-legged.
“What’s on the menu?”
He pulled out a bottle of champagne snugged in a cold sleeve. Surprised, touched, she laughed.
“That’s a hell of a start—and you just don’t miss a trick.”
“You said champagne picnic. For our entrée, we have the traditional fried chicken à la Marg.”
“Best there is.”
“I’m told you favor thighs. I’m a breast man myself.”
“I’ve never known a man who isn’t.” She began to unload. “Oh, yeah, her red potato and green
bean salad, and look at this cheese, the bread. We’ve got berries, deviled eggs. Fudge cake! Marg gave us damn near half of one of her fudge cakes.” She glanced up. “Maybe she’s in love with you.”
“I can only hope.” He popped the cork. “Hold out your glass.”
She reached for it, then caught the label on the bottle. “Dom Pérignon. Iron Man’s car and
James Bond’s champagne.”
“I have heroic taste. Hold out the glass, Rowan.” He filled it, then his own. “To wilderness
“All right.” She tapped, sipped. “Jesus, this is not cheap tequila at Get a Rope. I see why 007
goes for it.”

Chasing Fire

May 17, 2016

Summer Desserts

All of Summer's talent was focused on the creation of the finale, the exquisite mix of tastes and textures, the overall aesthetic beauty of the bombe.

The mold was already lined with the moist cake she'd baked, then systematically sliced into a pattern. This had been done with templates as meticulously as when an engineer designs a bridge. The mousse, a paradise of chocolate and cream, was already inside the dessert's dome. 

Summer Desserts



"You haven't sinned, Juliet, until you've tasted Summer's bombe."

Lessons Learned

May 16, 2016


Mal glanced at Jack. "No, the other one did. Ms. Brown."
He took a hit of his beer.
"The one who says 'excuse me' and means 'fuck you'."
"That would be Parker," Del confirmed.

Bed of Roses


I'd rather stand tall
Than live on my knees,
'Cause I am a conqueror,
And I won't accept defeat!


But it wasn't fear, that familiar burn in her throat: it wasn't panic, with its sharp, fluttering wings in her belly. It was rage she felt, the hot, bubbling gush of it pumping through her blood.
She wouldn't lie helpless this time, not this time, while someone she loved was taken from her. Not this time, not ever again.
She heard Rick shouting her name, and forced back the tears that wanted to blur her eyes. Brody hadn't stopped him.
So she stopped, closed her eyes and ordered herself to think. She couldn't go running back to the cabin.
He'd hear her, see her. And he would end it. He might very well end up killing Lo and Linda-gail as well.
Circle around, she decided. She could do that. He'd think she was still running, or just hiding. He
wouldn't expect her to come back to fight.

Angels Fall

May 14, 2016

cats and dogs

"Okay. Is that a stuffed bear in his bed?"
"Dogs are pack animals."
"Uh-huh, and a stuffed teddy bear is Bert's pack?"
"It comforts him"

The Witness


cutest cats and dogs who just can’t be parted from their childhood toys

Many of us had a favourite soft toy when we were kids which we just couldn’t bare to part with wherever we went and whatever we did. Well, it seems that in some cases, the same mindset develops among our beloved pets — give them a toy when they’re still very young, and they’ll love it with all their heart for innumerable years into the future.

May 13, 2016

The Science of Falling in Love

It took a long time to cook a simple meal when you were distracted by conversation, by lingering looks, by seductive touches.
It took a long time to eat a simple meal when you were sliding lazily into love with the man across from you.
She recognized the signs—the erratic beating of the heart, the bubbling in the blood that was desire. When those were tangled so silkily around dreamy smiles and soft sighs, love was definitely a short trip away.
She wondered what it would be like when she reached it.
It took a long time to say good-night when you were floating on deep, dark kisses in the doorway.
And longer still to sleep when your body ached and your mind was full of dreams.
When she heard the faint drift of his music, she smiled and let it lull her to sleep.

The Perfect Neighbor


By Petar Milošević (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0
(], via Wikimedia Commons

Chemistry or Fate

Do you ever wonder why you fall for certain types of people? Or why we can have potentially the most perfect person is in front of us, and the spark just isn’t there?

May 12, 2016

Laugh Can Reveal Your True Personality

And to Cybil's amazement, the man could laugh. 
Really laugh, with a wonderful baritone rumble that melted all the ice 
and made her sigh in delight.

The Perfect Neighbor


By Trailer distributed by 20th Century Fox. - Digital trailer from SabuCat Productions. 
Capture by uploader., Public Domain,

You might not believe it, but an individual’s laughter greatly mirrors their own personality. By just hearing someone’s laughter, one can assume the individual’s general attitude towards life. Find out what your laugh says about you today!


She laughed, a rich smoky sound that seemed impossibly erotic in a room full of clowns and stuffed bears.

Taming Natasha

May 11, 2016

How to Get Your Groom Excited About Wedding Planning

“But speaking of Emma and me, you'll do the best man thing, right?”
“Sure. Wouldn't have it any other way.”
“Good. That's about the only thing I have to do. Mostly, I just have to smile and say that's great when she tells me what they've come up with for the wedding. Parker told me my deal's the honeymoon, then gave me the contact for a travel agent she says is the best—and an entire packet on Bora Bora because she says it's somewhere Emma's always wanted to go, plus it's exotic and romantic. So I guess that's where we're going.”
Intrigued, Del studied Jack over his sparkling water. “Do you want to go to Bora Bora?”
“You know, I do. As soon as I looked at the packet, I thought, hey, this is it. Your sister's a little scary, Del.”
“She can be.”
“Carter got a packet on Tuscany, which included those "Learn Italian" discs for both of them.”
He had to laugh. “I guess that's taken care of.”

Savor the Moment


By Mreasystart -, CC BY-SA 3.0,

I have yet to walk down the aisle myself but when that time comes I want my Groom to be as excited about the wedding planning process as I am. Admittedly,  I hope he has a “Yes, dear” attitude towards certain details (peonies are a non-negotiable), but I plan on getting him involved and on board using these 14 brilliant tricks from SMP’s just-married editors.


“Yes, you do, but I'm—” 
“Trust me. It's going to be perfect and beautiful and the happiest day of your life.” 
“I'm being a pain in the ass.” 
“No, honey, you're being a bride. Now go take a nice, warm bath. You've got an hour.” 
“Carter isn't nervous.” Mac narrowed her eyes in a scowl. “I could hate him for that.” 
“Mackensie.” Parker turned from the computer. “I was in the kitchen this morning when Mrs. G made him sit down and eat some breakfast. He put maple syrup in his coffee.” 
“He did?” She threw up her arms in a cheer.“He is nervous. I feel better. I want him to be nervous, too, and I want his ears to blush the way they do, and I want . . . Since I'm the bride it can be all about what I want, right?” 

Happy Ever After

May 10, 2016

How a Man Treats His Mother Tells You Everything You Need to Know

Noah murmured, and earned a punch of his own.
“But you sure are pretty, Mom. Isn’t she pretty?” He grabbed her hand and kissed it.
“You think that gets around me?”
He scooped up potatoes. “Yeah.”
And that’s what did it for Val. How could she hold back against a boy who so clearly loved his mother? She lifted a basket, offered it. “Have another roll, Noah.”
“Thanks.” This time when he smiled at her, she smiled back.

River's End


I once dated a man who screamed bloody murder at his own mother in front of me — plus my own mother. When I broke that relationship off, my mom and I whispered what we both had long known to be true: “If he treats his mom like that, how will he treat other women?”
The answer: Terribly.
So on my second date with my now-husband, I told him straight-up — half out of self-preservation, half out of fear — “I’ve always said, if you want to know if a guy is safe to date, see how he treats his mom.”
“Is that so?” Pat replied with a smile.

May 8, 2016

Book Organization Style

And Naomi stared, with wonder and delight, at the living room wall of books. “Wow, the rumors of book lover are true. That’s quite a collection.”
“Part of it.”
“Part? You’re a serious man, Xander.”
“About books, anyway.”
She glanced around. “Very efficient space, and that is one of the best uses of a wall I’ve ever seen. Color, texture, dimension.”
“Not to mention words.”
He walked over, offered her a glass of wine, took the bottle from her.
“Yeah, words. I like to read as much as the next guy—unless you’re the next guy.”
“That’s the plan.”
She laughed, waving him off as she walked up and down the wall. “But this is art.
You’re smart enough to know your furniture is absolute crap. You don’t care about that.
You’ve arranged your space for efficiency and highlighted a passion. 
And by highlighting it, created art.”

The Obsession


By David Joyce ( [CC BY-SA 2.0 
(], via Wikimedia Commons

What Your Book Organization Style Says About You

It's almost more telling than what ​you read. 

It's not just the subject matter of the books you read that reveal insights into your personality — the way you organize said spines is very telling, too. You see, some arrangements are all about being practical, while others focus more on being style-forward. Find out what your method says about you:


“Is there a system to the way you shelve the books?”

He glanced up. “Where they fit, why?”

“You have Jane Austen beside Stephen King.”

“I don’t think either one of them would mind, but if you do, you can move books around.”

“No, that’s part of the point. It’s a wall of stories. Take out any one, go anywhere.
It’s . . . Storyland.”

The Obsession