Archive for December, 2009

 

Ride into a Happy New You!

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

We’re not just on the verge of a new year, but a new decade. That’s big stuff, and you deserve big things in it! In 2010, I want you to ride straight into the life you want.

This decade, you deserve to feel absolutely fantastic! (Image: "Boy & Girl on Bike" by Gusto)

This decade, you deserve to feel fantastic! (Image: "Boy & Girl on Bike" by Gusto)

Instead of looking at your job as a drudgery, ask for a job that moves you…then start riding toward one that feeds your passion and makes you want to leap out of bed in the morning. Yes, those jobs exist. (My job is like that!) You can be in one, too. 

Instead of looking at your life as dead-end and dull, ask for a life full of vibrance and abundance…then ride straight into it.

And instead of looking at your dating life as a dead-end, pointless gesture, ask for and expect a relationship that brings out the best in you…then ride straight into it. Ask for a relationship in which you feel loved for all those special things that make you unique. Ask for a relationship that makes you shine!

A wonderful life doesn’t just happen to you. A wonderful life is something you create. And the same goes for a wonderfully true, adoring, deep, compatible relationship. Those don’t just drop on your doorstep. Those are created by you. Desire it, believe it can happen, and start imagining how incredible it will feel when you have it in your life.

Then start pedaling and give yourself the ride of your life. Happy New You!

You might also like:
Whaddaya Doin’ New Year’s Eve?

Big love and happy new year,

Amy Signature 4

All I Really Need To Know About Dating I Learned From…Rachael Ray?

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

I was watching 30 Minute Meals today, and realized how much of what Rachael does for work actually gives us all great advice in dating.

rachaelrayheadshotAnd before you say I’m nuts, let me say that I’ve watched her cook, travel, take bites of food in Hawaii, interview guests on her talk show, and team up with Batali on Iron Chef—and Rachael’s mojo always points back to a few major points that could seriously inspire your dating life.

Here are ten things we could all learn from the 30-minute master in life and love:

1. It’s okay to be a grown-up saying things like “Yum-O! Well, sometimes, anyway. Because when you’re in love, isn’t that exactly how you feel? Like a big kid? I’m all for raw happiness, real feelings, and unedited energy about good food and love.

2. You should think about what you want Everyday. Rachael’s magazine and show focus on eating well every day. And that’s how often you should be thinking about your own happiness in life and love, too. If you want a big love tomorrow, then you should be thinking about what you want to feel Every. single. today.

3. Cherish your mistakes. When I watched a recent episode of Rachael’s daytime show, laughing at how hard it was to get her frosting onto some cookies, I realized that Rachael shrugs off spills and drips on her public cooking show easier than most of us do in the privacy of our own homes. Well, she’s onto something. If you bump into a bad date, have a terrible day, or your blind date ends up being a total drip…shrug and laugh it off. Mistakes are the real spice of life—the part that makes an average dish memorably special. As I say in Meeting Your Half-Orange, the worse the date, the funnier the story! Rachael’s gotten some good funny mileage from her “I set the Food Network set on fire my first day” story. So get out there and get some mazz-erably awful date stories you can kick back and laugh about, too.

4. Wear comfy clothes! Rachael once said she wears comfortable clothes on her show so she doesn’t have to worry about buttons and seams so tight she can’t reach for her ingredients. Well, the same goes for dating! In some recent advice I gave to Lemondrop.com: What to Wear on a Date, I said, “The whole point is to be liked and appreciated for who you really are, not who you want him to think you are. If you’re in an outfit or makeup or hairstyle you’re not comfortable wearing, it will show in your body language.” Dress in comfy “you” clothes so your date can get to know who that “you” really is.

5. Add cheese. Rachael doesn’t hold back from melting a little cheese on top. And you know what else is cheesy? Romance. Love. Fluttery, happy, flirty feelings that give way to deep compassion and caring. Give into the cheese, people, it’s good for you!

6. Have taste for all kinds of things. Every time I come across an element of Rachael’s empire, she’s talking about something different. She likes Miley Cyrus. Hall and Oates. Fine Italian villas. She’s spent $40 a Day in small fishing villages, and gone all out for fresh oysters in her Tasty Travels. The fact is, few of us are always 100% beach people or 100% mountain-lovers, eat only Thomas Keller or all Carl’s Junior. Even the Osmonds are a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll, and social butterflies love a quiet night cuddled on the couch. So instead of trying to box what you want into one small request, start thinking about how the relationship you want will allow you to be all of who you are, all over the spectrum. A little of this and a bit of that is what makes the best dish and date sing.

7. Laugh it off. Yeah, all of it. The one thing Rachael Ray does on her shows next to talking and cooking is laughing. Your dating life could use some of the same. Don’t let dating become so darn serious, like a straight-edged business transaction. The purpose of the whole thing is to find the person that keeps you feeling your happiest self, right? Start by laughing your way there.

8. Go for the hearty stuff. When Rachael is making a recipe, she doesn’t use the low-fat, low-flavor, blandy-blah version of anything, really. She’s all about big pieces of bread in big pans of simmering oil for filling “sammies.” That’s a girl after my own heart, and an inspiration for yours. Go big with your love life or go home! Do you want an averagely low-key love, or do you want a big, fulfilling relationship that will set you weak in the knees? Ask for the hearty stuff so life will know to bring it to you.

9. Just give it 30 minutes. Some people will tell you they know within 3 minutes if someone isn’t right for them. But it’ll take a little longer than that to know if someone is. Give people more than 3 minutes to show you who they are. In the time it takes Rachael to make a great meal, you might be able to tell if you can have a great start at love, too.

10. When you think of love, think of “oranges.” Rachael’s latest cookbook is her Big Orange Cookbook. Me, I’m more into half-oranges, since that’s who you want to be your other half! A “half-orange,” remember, is based on the Spanish term “media naranja,” and means your sweetheart, your beautifully perfect other half—and yours is out there! So turn on your dating optimism—and take these lessons from one of America’s favorite hosts—to bring him or her straight to you.

Big love,

Amy Signature 4

3 Love Lessons from “It’s Complicated”

Monday, December 28th, 2009

I laughed. I cried. I laughed. I cried again. And then laughed. And maybe cried one last time, I forget, really. Picture 1But the fact was, I absolutely loved It’s Complicated. Nancy Meyers, you are my idol. The characters (Meryl Streep’s “Jane,” Alec Baldwin’s “Jake,” Steve Martin’s “Adam” and all the rest) were real and damaged and hopeful and funny. And the story (which I won’t blow, don’t worry), reminded me why we go through all the damn trouble to fall in love in the first place.

Here are the three lessons about love and life I picked up from the new film and want to pass on to you:

1. Yes, it’s complicated, but we do it anyway! Why? Because love can be as rewarding as it can be trouble. Yes, it can hurt us and divorce especially can wreck us, but we get back on the saddle because the feelings and fun and benefits outweigh those tough times. So the next time you’re wondering why you’re even bothering with all this silly, complicated dating stuff, the answer is that a good love—one that nourishes and changes you in wonderful ways—is always worth the effort.

2. Sometimes doing something “un-you” or “bad” can be good for you. Over time, we all get pretty good at being us—we follow the same moral code, keep to the same parameters, date the same types of people. But every once in a while, when something different comes knocking on our door, maybe—just maybe—it’s worth answering. Jane delved into the deep questions of “should I or shoudn’t I” and constantly measured her “rights and wrongs” like we all do; and what I saw her learn and what we all can, too, is that sometimes it’s worth doing some shouldn’t-I‘s so you can figure out what’s right in the end.

3. There is always—always—laughing and crying in love. A good, hearty love isn’t just about being happy for forty straight years. As Jane and Jake talked about their 19-year marriage in the film, it’s about learning what you want from one another, navigating what bugs you both, dealing with who you wish your partner would or could be instead, and balancing your expectations with who you hug at night before bed. And in the end, you don’t get to the long-term laughing happy ending without the tough cries all along the road there. So think about this as you seek your other half. You don’t want someone who will give you an average, boring, okay existence—you want a half-orange who will challenge you and inspire you and help you grow together as a couple along the road of life. Ask for a partner who will weather it all with you, who wants to be nicked and scuffed and wet by a few tears through the years to get to the soft part together.

You might also like:
Julie & Julia: Your Optimism Gurus!
Big love,

Amy Signature 4

8 Gifts to Give Your Holiday Dating Self!

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

‘Tis the season of giving, right? But while you’re out shopping for other people, perhaps it’s worth looking at what gifts you could give your love life this year. Here are 8 special gifts I think your single dating self could use a dash of this holiday.

Give yourself variety, celebration and love that feels a little less...wooden.

Give yourself variety, celebration and "nuts" about 'em love.

This season, give yourself…

1. …the gift of acceptance. Just this week at least, accept the things about yourself that probably won’t change—that you’re loud, or laugh funny, or a clean freak, or have spicy food fears—and start asking for the partner who will appreciate you for all of it.

2. …the gift of variety. The holidays are all about a little of this and a little of that, right? Some singing, some baking, some traveling, some resting. So give your dating life the same feeling that you’re sampling it all. This holiday, try new types of people and new types of dates. Say yes to someone you might normally turn down and aim to find the sweet jelly lesson in the center of it.

3. …a gift that only you can use. When you become part of a couple soon, you won’t be able to help thinking about your partner as often as yourself (i.e. “I kind of want tickets to this show…but would my love prefer something else?”) If you don’t have another half to factor into your life equation right now, then prove it by getting those tickets to the quilt exhibit or the punk rock show, or taking that two-day drive through the country. Every day is a gift; don’t wait for a partner to start appreciating it.

4. …the gift of self-confidence. Love the things about yourself that probably won’t change—that you’re loud, or laugh funny, or a clean freak, or have spicy food fears—and start asking for the partner who will appreciate you for all of it. Those unique things about you is what makes your gift different than any other.

5. …the gift of a group love hug. Ever find yourself thinking, “Waaah, nobody loves me!” Well, that’s baloney and you know it. Maybe, right now, you don’t have a partner in your life to share that romantic love. But love itself? It abounds in your family and friends if you’ll just notice it. Don’t do to love what those people who have dissed you have done to you: Give the love around you the time of day. Remind yourself how it feels to have it in your life. Give and get some loving group hugs and think, “I can’t wait to feel this with my half-orange soon.”

6. …much too much of something. I know all the health magazines are full of stories right now about how to have just one chocolate espresso bean instead of a full plate of cookies; how to eat the holiday veggies instead of the gravy. You know what I think? Give into abundance. Have some holiday cookies, decorate with extra ornaments, give too many gifts and drink the dang eggnog (and sure, spike it with a little too much rum!). The love you’re looking for is overflowing and abundant, right? Well, then let your holiday feel that way, too!

7. …an impractical date gift. In such economically tough times, people are looking at practicality more than ever: I mean, do you really need a $75 rabbit wine opener? The problem is, you may be doing the same thing in dating: Do you really need to buy that spa-smelling hair conditioner for your date? No. But if it’s going to make you feel more fabulous and gorgeous than ever when you step foot into life and your search for love tomorrow, I say splurge.

8. …the gift of a fresh, new clean slate. The New Year is all about starting over, and that means erasing all the messy stuff on your emotional chalkboard, too. This holiday, it’s not about what happened in love last year, last month or even yesterday. It’s about what you do today to bring the love you want tomorrow straight to you. So start unwrapping that big red bow of hope and get celebrating.

You might also like:
10 Reasons to Be Thankful for Being Single
10 Things All Singles Must Do

Big love and very happy, loving holidays,

Amy Signature 4

The Motorcycle Lesson

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

My sister Liz has been a wise source of information for me these days. This time, the a-ha came when she was telling me about the motorcycle lessons she took two months ago.

Steer your life as you would your bike (Image: Yamaha Star VMax)

Steer your life as you would your bike (Image: Yamaha Star VMax)

She was laughing about how funny it is that when you get confused for a second about which way you’re supposed to turn or lean to make the bike do what it wants (in her case, make it around some orange cones in a parking lot), you need only follow the golden riding rule: Look where you want to go and the bike will steer you straight to it. And isn’t that a great rule for life and love? Look where you want to go.

It’s why, for instance, if we see an accident on the side of the road, we sometimes find ourselves driving straight into it. Or if we swear we won’t become attracted to a total player, we somehow end up embroiled in a hot affair with ‘em. Our minds and our physical bodies draw us where we’re looking. So instead of using it to steer you toward the car crashes of life, why not use this to your advantage? If you want to be in a certain place in life—in the career or relationship of your dreams, or as a mother or father of a family—look where you want to go and you’ll be led straight to it.

Just do me a favor. Please wear a helmet.

You might also like:
Love Lesson from a Serial Killer
The Edamame Lesson

Big love,

Amy Signature 4