When people ask what her "secret" is, she laughs, as she honestly cannot believe she is 100. That's a big part of what aging well looks like, too. Of all the lessons my mother leaves those who know her, is her love of living and desire to be here. To be active, to contribute and to live life to the max, regardless of your circumstances.
Whenever we meet someone, some deep part of our psyche perks up and says, "I don't know why, but this person that I just met is incredibly important and they could be the absolute key to my happiness and well-being for the rest of my life." The endorphins kick in, the toes start to tingle and pretty soon we've imagined the relationship, the marriage, the kids and the divorce before the second date.
I'm all for feeling and expressing love, but the idea that we need an official day to remind us to do so is a bit sad. Really, Valentine's Day -- regardless of the saint behind it -- is a commercial construct whose purpose is to wrestle money from our guilty wallets, as we try to make up for the other 364 days we feel we failed to express our feelings sufficiently.
As a busy mom, I don't value the standard gifts of Valentine's Day the way I did as a young bride and I think many women out there think the same way. We don't need the extra calories of heart-shaped chocolate or expensive, cut flowers that wilt and die in a few days or a store-bought card that lacks originality.
As an executive chef at four restaurants, V-Day allows me to get playful in the kitchen. A Valentine's dinner needs to be pretty -- a visual feast as well as culinary. It should quench one kind of hunger, and hopefully replace it with another. Consider food and drink part of foreplay. It's all part of the seduction.
Opt for a few aces up your sleeves this Valentine's Day. To add some context to this statement, I reference a timeless adage: "The way to someone's heart is through their stomach." There's no denying the truth in those words. Attaining culinary success in spades can guarantee you affection in return.
Despite what porn and Hollywood lead us to believe, women's erotic networks of nerve endings, erogenous zones, and pleasure options are more complicated than for penises. While erotic hotspots and pleasure techniques in men are generally more universal and consistently popular, the sources of arousal and pleasure in women are more varied from person-to-person.