Life & Marriage Update

Hey, guys! I know you can tell I have not been around WordPress as much as we would like, but you also know why. My book launch is drawing nigh and I really am just trying to stay afloat with everything. Between Siobhán, my book, the launch and making some family moves, I’m wishing there was a spare Shandean or two to help.

 

Motherhood

Sio is such a sweet baby. She turned eighteen months old on April 13th and she’s growing into a fine, smart, entertaining, loving child. However, that doesn’t stop her from throwing fits when she’s tired and needs to take a nap or go to bed. Apparently, it’s somebody’s fault and she will miss too much if she gets some shut-eye. So no matter what else I’m doing I have to carve time out in my day to either hold her down or stay still so she can lay on me to her comfort and fall asleep. This can take anywhere from five minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the severity of tiredness. If it lasts more than half an hour, I may succumb faster than she does.

IMG_4899On the flip side, she more or less listens when I say to leave something alone or put it back. That doesn’t mean though, that I won’t have to repeat it about a hundred times, even if it’s for a hundred different things, or that I won’t have to endure the killing looks (because let’s face it, she’s my kid and she been giving bad looks since birth… literally) or the fit that is thrown if I dare to say she is ‘rude’ or has done something ‘unkind’. That my friends, can only be stopped if I make amends by offering or asking for physical comfort (from her). She needs the reassurance. If not, she’ll scream for the gods like she’s been slapped. #welp

IMG-20180327-WA0021.jpgShe’s counting a little, saying ABC’s a little, will try to say almost anything, shouts “Shan” a lot, understand “soon come” and will calmly wait if I say so. She’s quite the little helper, even if her help, isn’t quite so helpful. I appreciate it though, lol. As I type this, she’s “helping me”.

IMG_4974She is turning out to be the picky eater like myself, and I am honestly struggling with meal options. If she doesn’ t like it, she won’t eat it and I won’t force her. If you know any good local (Jamaican) toddler meals, please share!

Her personality is to die for, and she is such a little light for everyone in her presence. I can literally look at her when I feel overwhelmed and stressed and feel it melt away. She’s keeping me grounded.

 

Marriage

marriage-and-babiesIf you follow me on Instagram, you know I joke that Stella (Trina) got her groove back. I feel good, I look good. Finally, I feel like me again. It’s translating into my confidence and into me and husband’s relationship.

Dating

At the start of the year, my family and friends and I hosted a vision planning party. One thing on our vision board was that we would get back into dating and spend quality time together as a couple. That kind of took the back seat in late 2016 into 2017 as we focused on enjoying and integrating our young daughter into our lives and routine.

img-20180419-wa0009Five months in, we are definitely reclaiming our identity as a couple. We’ve also been hanging out more with friends as couples. That is something I discovered too. Now, if we could only find some couple friends with kids. Apply within, lol. I need local mommy friends and Sio needs play dates. *bawls*

Sex

Our sex lives didn’t wither and die, which honestly, I feared. The shift in our marriage was to be expected, of course, and if you believe the 101 blogs, marriage if where passion, love and sex lives go to die, particularly after children enter the picture. Then you have a cute little platonic friendship where you ignore your partner’s existence, have some boring, miracle-working, grace saving sex that’s supposed to make up for everything else and make the children the centre of your universe at a minimum of the next eighteen years. If that were my reality, I might be able to feel myself wither and die. True story. I became a mother, I didn’t stop being Shandean or being a woman.

img-20180211-wa0016Sure, it takes more work and commitment to the cause and some creativity, but it’s just as passionate and love-filled. And, we don’t have to “schedule” it. When your husband is a doctor that works overnight shifts, is always working, studying and tired and you spend your days trying to write and fend off a toddler full time, you tend to appreciate these moments that you can steal to just be into each other.

I’m so happy we have found some balance because before, it seemed like Angels whispered in the child’s ear to wake up and bawl if we even thought about trying anything. Yikes!

Still, on one hand, I don’t think the transition was too difficult, but we certainly feel the difference. For one thing, I certainly can’t parade around in my birthday suit like I used to, but I’m content with getting as close as I can. Our relationship remains mostly unchanged. We don’t squabble or snap at each other, but then, we never really did to begin with. Sure I get annoyed with him sometimes, but not too much. He’s still my sweet Boobles Woobles.

My Book

WhatsApp Image 2018-04-26 at 21.42.34

On another note, if you have not yet heard, my book, The Dangerous Business of Pleasure launches on August 9, on my birthday. Also, the prequel, OFF Limits, which is a short teaser for the book, will be released on June 1! If you follow my blog via email, then you are already on the mailing list and will receive yours automatically on the date. If not, you will need to join by going to the landing page or by visiting my website www.ShandeanReid.com. Please share it with your friends and family!

 

So bear with me, I’m in the throw of things! XO

download (2).jpeg

Siobhàn – The Story of Her Name

The one question I can now count on daily is someone asking the pronunciation of my daughter’s name, the origin and the meaning. There’s also the severely funny look we get when we provide her name to someone unfamiliar. Usually, if her name is to be provided for writing, I automatically begin by spelling it, then providing the pronunciation. Of course, this is not foolproof, as all too often someone believes I’m insulting them by indicating the spelling first. Except when they do go ahead and I provide the pronunciation and start to spell to avoid the error in spelling I know for a fact is looming, the offender proceeds to look at me as though I’ve lost all my marbles.

20180123_124217.jpg

This began the very day the registrar representative visited me in the hospital to register her birth. I already prepared to be a dragon because I have been embattled with the government agency more than once for frivolous errors the entity made with the affairs of the Jamaican people. These errors more often than not resulted in the customers bearing the costs (time and monetary) of correcting same, even if the error was the agency’s. No, mam! You were going to name my child what I want, and not what your fingers felt like. So when I started to spell and she gave me an exasperated sigh and asked for the names, I made a point of collecting her real quick. As predicted, with the conclusion of the spelling, she looked like I had grown a second head, before the fascination took over.

The Back Story

Ironically, the name itself is very old. It’s Irish and has been in use for many a year. (No, we didn’t make it up.) Back in 2012, when our relationship was pretty young, my husband and I would talk often about the children we wanted to have. What was a given, was that we both wanted a girl baby (We aren’t horrible, we’d have loved a boy just as much.). Oddly, at the time I was watching a series called Ringer and the name of the lead protagonist was Siobhàn. I favoured the name, but it wasn’t until the spelling of the name appeared in a closed caption episode that I absolutely fell in love. I got online and looked it up and decided I loved and would totally be naming my daughter that.

20180123_204536.jpg

BOOBLES VERSION: “I heard the name once in a TV series (Orphan Black) while at UWI before I took notice of the spelling… Then there was a lady that lived on Cluster 5 from Montserrat. I had always heard her name called. She was a part of the cluster committee. and I eventually saw the spelling, correlated it with the TV show. Looked it up, saw the origin and the meaning and was in love with it ever since.”

One day we were playing with names, and he mentioned that he loved this really cute Irish name, with an uncommon spelling. When I realized it was that same name, I giggled with glee, and my husband with his most serious expression, said

“That’s it then? Our first daughter’s name is Siobhàn?”.

In my agreement, her fate was sealed. Siobhàn was Siobhàn before she was ever really Siobhàn and for the remainder of the childless part of our relationship, we referenced her often.

There may or may not have been weird conversations about what our future children were doing at exact moments in time. The conclusion was usually hanging out in ovaries or chilling in the ball pool limbering up!

And Then There Were Three

20180120_170157.jpg

When we discovered we were pregnant in 2016 and the time to consider name came, I approached him (husband), afterall, this was his last chance to consider something else before we found out the baby’s sex. I was met with a fat, resounding, uncompromising “NO”. He wasn’t interested in looking at or hearing anything else. If it was a girl in there, her name was Siobhàn, and if it was a boy, I could name him whatever I wanted. So when the doctor told us there was a 90 something percent chance Lil Pepperseed was a girl, her fate was signed, sealed and stamped.

20180120_164551.jpg

Telling family and friends her name was high drama. I’m talking about horrid fits of laughter and deliberate tries to pronounce it “SIO+BAN”. We were good-naturedly advised she would be spelling her name her whole life, which didn’t matter to us since SHANDEAN and KEMOI required that rigour. Of course, it grew on them and she is affectionately called Shiv, Shivy and Sio (from the spelling).
There is the odd person who recognizes it, but let me tell you. Rarity isn’t even the word. Her paediatrician keeps a pronunciation record on file!

So, if you made it through all that, here are the particulars.

NAME: Siobhàn

ORIGIN: Irish

PRONUNCIATION: “shiv + awn”
MEANING: “God’s grace.”, “God is gracious.”
ENGLISH VERSIONS: Shevaun, Shavon, Chevonne

We love it. We love our Lil Sio. There just could not have been a better name for her sweet, bubbly, sassy personality. For us, it was written in the stars.

download (2).jpeg

I Won’t Go Natural

Over the past few years, the natural hair movement has dominated quite a bit. I am here for it. As ever, my little country, Jamaica has been pushing boundaries on the international stage regarding what’s acceptable as beautiful hair. I am here for it!

miss-jamaica-davina-bennett-wears-afro-miss-universe-20171086474812.jpg
Davina Bennett – Miss Jamaica Universe 2017

A few shining examples are the recent Miss Jamaica Universe, Davina Bennett sporting her fro while snagging her place as 2nd, runner-up in the Miss Universe competition. A spot many people worldwide agree fell short as we feel she deserved the crown. But 3rd out of 92? We’ll take it. And we’ll keep coming too, so watch out world!

Sanetta Myrie – Miss Jamaica World 2015

Other notable Jamaican queens pushing hair boundaries are Miss Jamaica World 2015, Dr. Sanetta Myrie, finishing as a top 10 contender on the world stage with her gorgeous locks.

Miss Jamaica Universe 2014, Kaci Fennel-Shirley rocked her short mane on the global stage too, ending in top 5 for the Miss Universe 2014 crown.

Kaci Fennel-Shirley – Miss Jamaica Universe 201

Even before then, there was Terri Karelle Griffiths (now Reid), Miss Jamaica World 2005 who rocked the fro and puff quite regally.

Terri Karelle Reid – Miss Jamaica World 2005

Despite this liberating shift for freedom and the appreciation for the beauty of hair in all its forms, some are, as ever fighting to turn this beautiful thing ugly. Scores of women (and possibly men) now feel entitled to spew all kinds of advice and commentary about hair, effectively attempting to ostracize black women who choose to get relaxers. It’s unfathomable that in 2017 we’ve seemed to abandon the concept of choice and preference. It seems it’s perfectly acceptable to have damaged un-cared for natural hair, as opposed to well maintained relaxed hair.

If I had a dime for every time some self-righteous woman thought it was a compliment to tell me how nice my hair would be if it was natural, I’d be rich. I am very appreciative of the natural hair movement as a black woman, and love that women are enjoying the freedom and beauty of their crowning glory. It’s our right to do so. Sometimes I think I want to go natural because it’s beautiful, but then when I think about it, I know I don’t really want to. It’s also my right to decide that it is not for me. My lifestyle, hair type and temperament do not support it, nevermind the actual transition. I know natural hair is versatile, I also know that if I were natural, I would spend so much time straightening my hair, there’s no doubt of severe heat damage, so what is the point? Simply, I’m not here for it. I am not interested.

Lifestyle

I’m relaxed, I prize the ability to apply some moisture, take my hair down from a wrap and scrape my hair into a ponytail or bun and be out the door in 5 minutes. Anything lasting longer than that thoroughly annoys me. When I need a relaxer, roughly every 4 weeks, it takes longer to do my hair in a way that I deem presentable. Suddenly, a ponytail or a bun can take as much as 15-20 minutes to craft, following many a grunt and frustrated sighs on my part.

Time

This has always been the case, but now that I’m a mother, it’s increased tenfold. The last thing I want to do is bother with spending 15 minutes combing through a tangled mess of 1/2 inch new growth. By the time I need to redo my hair in another ponytail, it will be tangled again and in need of a comb out. My scalp will start to become sore and tender. I don’t have whole days to dedicate to a washing regimen, or thousands to spend on an embarrassing collection of chemical-laced products we all like to think is ‘organic’. I would not be doing the transitioning thing either. After braiding for two or three months, I would hack it off. That’s just me.

I get a braid every few months, primarily because I don’t want to be bothered with hair at all for a few weeks. However, no matter the style, it won’t last more than 3-4 weeks.

Hair Type (4c), Tangle Prone, Fuzz Loving

Just this past summer, I pushed the limits (I know I really shouldn’t have, but I did) and kept my braids for 7 weeks. Yikes! My hair matted at the roots, as is its tendency. When my hair is braided though, it grows twice as much, sheds twice as much. So much so, it’s my go-to’ recovery/quarantine. If I’m experiencing breaking or excessive shedding, I get braids and the problem usually corrects itself.

The point though is that I choose to have relaxed hair. Every 4-5 weeks, I to choose to re-affirm and reinforce that decision. Please don’t tell me I’m trying to be white, or self hating, or ignorant, or any other half-assed attempt at reasoning to appear ‘deep’ when potholes on Jamaican roads are deeper than your level of cognitive thinking, or attempts to be so ‘woke’ that the lack of sleep is making you psychotic.

20170830_1512181602557470.jpg

Stop. I know what chemicals are. I went to school too. I have Google, just like you. Natural hair is beautiful. Let us bask in the liberty and appreciation for hair of types. Let us unite to prevent someone being told afro is unprofessional, unkempt, ugly or distracting. And cease and desist from trying we all must be natural to appreciate our blackness.

I might go natural one day, but it ain’t today… or tomorrow… or even the day after that.

Blessings!

Skincare: Noxzema Cleansing Cream

I stumbled on this product, sort of by accident. A close friend of mine had sent me a picture of a box of them he had bought. Nonchalantly, I said “I want one….. what is it?” Lol!

Anyway, he told me what it was and a few weeks later when I went to drop something by his house, he took what I brought him and handed me a bag. I had forgotten I had asked (still not sure I was serious)  but happy to try it. 

The first thing I noticed was the consistency of the cream. For a cleansing product, it didn’t exaggerate anything nor contain anything of the soapy quality. It simply feels like the spreading a cold velvet on. It simply claimed to cleanse.

It has the amazing scent of Eucalyptus Oil (an ingredient).

I find the best results are when I put the cream on as a mask for 10 – 15 minutes. Smooth, clean, fresh feeling and helped with evening skin tone. It’s AMAZING!

I really don’t understand how or why it’s overlooked. After 5 or 6 other current cleansers that do nothing for me and using thiz for a few weeks now, this is my new favorite.

 

Life Update: Where Have I Been?

I know I’ve been MIA lately on the blogs, so the short answer is that I’ve been around. Spending some quality time with the family, balancing the transition from being a mother to a young stationary baby and a rambunctious, overzealous (now walking) toddler whilst managing my freelancing and even a bit of study. I wish I could tell you I’m balancing all these aspects well, but that my friends, would be the most epic of LIES! It does though warms my heart that you guys miss me and check on me. I are here! **INSERT BOUNTY KILLER IMPERSONATION HERE **

update-1672385_960_720

Mothering

I never realized how much energy one tiny growing human can have, but booyyyy! Lemme tell you! I feel like it’s a battle of wills and every day ends with the scores; Sio 3 – 0 Shan. This child fights sleep like I have never seen anyone do in all my years, and successfully too! Mamas of multiples, I don’t know how you do it. I bow in reverence. On the flip side, my little chum chum is now 10 months old, with 2 sharp little rice grains for teeth, officially taking longer strides by herself and showing all the attitude I know comes from having me for her Mama!

WhatsApp Image 2017-08-20 at 07.37.35
Siobhán

 

She’s finally started doing the baby thing, where any and everything goes to the mouth with lightning speed. She sees everything! I once saw her snatch something off the ground and stuffed it in her mouth in a flash and when I checked it was a strand of hair! She snatches fistfuls of her hair and plucks for dear life! 😩

I’m also in the throes of balancing spoiling her (because let’s face it, she’s our only kid) and discipline. For the most part, she’s well behaved, just hyperactive and nosey. Add the trying not to go my hinges about how my house seems to be in a constant state of disarray no matter how many times a day I try to arrange it just so… *bawls*

But, comes with the territory, eh? I love every minute of being her mom!

Family

My sister who has been away for the better part of a year came home for 2 months and much of my time has been spent with her since. Though most of it has been going here, there and everywhere, I don’t mind. I missed her and I will miss her once she leaves again. It’s been wonderful watching her meet Siobhàn and watching them get used to each other. My husband’s schedule also finally freed up some, as he successfully completed his DM 1 exams and is now officially a senior resident. So we have been able to spend a bit more time bonding and doing things together as a family. Yay us!

My two youngest siblings graduated this year, each aceing their GSAT and CXC exams, so there was lots to celebrate. Boy am I proud!

Working From Home

0448f43d0b983e312391e16e1257bd54
This what I look like daily… without the big grin, haha!

It’s been going rather well in terms of work coming in, it the balance that I can’t find having to fend off my child while I work and there is no one else around to keep her occupied. I promised myself I wouldn’t let her become a ‘screen baby’ but it works to keep her distracted (sometimes) for an hour at best and I take what I can get. I would love to work at nights, but after she’s done with me, my tank is on E by 8.

 

 

21435895
Aha! That’s more like it!

So I’m around guys, and will definitely try to do better in keeping up. I’ve had a few new subscribers while I MIA, welcome and thanks for being here!

 

Single Til Married?

I was listening to a podcast and the topic of discussion was centred around a young woman who said that she was single until she was married due to the fact that men are not trustworthy and may be doing this, that, that and the third. This in and of itself is not an uncommon stance by women these days, as women try to guard their hearts against disingenuous men who really want to shelve women and still play the field.

I get it, truly I do, but I believe that women who think this way set themselves up for failure. If you’re going into a relationship with this mindset, then can you truly be mad at a man for not believing you are really worth the effort of a serious relationship? If you are ‘Single Til Married’, it means you are still looking. Still waiting for something or someone better. Whatever relationship you’re in, you have one foot in and one foot at all times. Basically, a woman thinking this way will half ass her relationships and when they fail will say ‘Yes! That’s I didn’t do this!’ or ‘I glad that never did that’, failing to recognize that the failure of the relationship could have been caused by her negligence and poor attitude. It’s a catch 22, but for the most part, these women will never own up to this.

 

Who wants to Marry Someone Acting Single?

So, how exactly does one with this mindset get to the marriage part? Does she expect a well thinking, well-adjusted man to marry her and hope that she will eventually commit fully? In my mind, this is same thing as the ridiculous notion that one should not give ‘husband benefits‘ to boyfriends It is downright ridiculous.

I am not saying shack up, play house and have babies while hoping for a ring, but do we really expect a man to marry a woman and simply hope she will morph into the wife he wants/needs after he’s married her? How is he going to know whether she is the kind of wife he wants? She’ll tell him so? Come on now. Who came up with this garbage anyway? If my son did this I would slap him into oblivion and back.

 

Maybe You Aren’t Marriage Material

If you are not ready to risk it all, to commit fully, to trust your partner; the person you are claiming to love, you are better off single.  If the person isn’t trust worthy, that’s on you, deciding to stay. Don’t ruin someone with good intentions based on what you think others are doing, or even what others have done to you in the past in a bid to ‘protect’ yourself. If you feel the need to emotionally protect yourself in a relationship, you are in the wrong one.

Many people do not want to identify themselves as the time wasters or the person who is not marriage material, but this is the raw truth. If you enter a relationship with a get out clause, your partner deserves better than that and they should leave you. You are the person others should avoid.

 

Make Better Decisions

My advice is to make better decisions in who we choose as partners. Invariably, there will be the man or woman who is in it for the wrong reasons or is just not of the character to carry on with a relationship. Do not make excuses for bad, inconsiderate or morally bankrupt behaviour. I believe nine times out of ten, a person has exhibited red flags prior to an indiscretion that a spouse will excuse or ignore in an effort to ‘keep the peace’ or  to hold fast to the view that they are special and as such whatever they have done to someone else they once love, it will not be extended to them. Lies!

People test limits. Most likely, the person already knows what they can get away with. However subtle the disrespect or bad behaviour, by forgiving it without a fuss or excusing it, you make it okay. They know that can do what they want, and they will simply spout an apology and everything will be okay.

Be Intentional

When you get into a relationship, communicate, communicate, communicate! Let the other person know what your expectations are from the beginning. Want to be married? Say so. Want kids? Say so. Give the person the opportunity to decide if they want those things as well and more importantly, if they want them with you. Don’t sit in a relationship for a half a decade having this man’s kids, tying up your finances, etc. if you want more than you currently in the relationship, hoping or assuming the man wants to marry you and then label men wicked when he lets you know he doesn’t after all. He was allowed to drink the milk for free and at no point was he told he would need to purchase the cow eventually. So he drinks and drinks and doesn’t want to be bothered to move again. Some men will ask, some won’t. Some want to be married, some don’t. Some won’t care enough about it and will marry their lady to make them happy, because he was already committed in his mind,  anyway. The point is, stop assuming that the person wants what you do. Talk about the future. Maybe they are just with you for the sake of being with someone.

 

Leave The Baggage

The above mentioned being said, there will always be genuine people who are hurt by others in a relationship. My advice is to not allow someone who wasn’t for you to keep you from the one who is. Heal and move forward. Chances are the person who has hurt you has. Why give them more power over you by blocking your blessings for their sake?

As humans, we sometimes spend so long looking and regretting a closed window, we never get to see the wide open double doors in front of us. If your mindset is ‘Single Til Married’… you may as well get a few dozen cats.

The Meaning of Friendship 

When I was about 18, I lost a friend that I had loved like a sister due to one of the most basic girl code rules that I had thought shouldn’t take place, a guy. To make matters worse, neither of us had been involved with said guy at the time and when one friend began to suggest that my ‘best friend’ has less than stellar intentions where I was concerned, I defended her vehemently. In my book, when you bestow someone with the title of friend, it means you love this person. That you will defend them, want the best for them. Friends are some of the best family members because they are the ones you get to choose. I played this part for my best friend to my core, being placed in a position numerous times where I felt it was my duty to defend and protect this person, so of course, I wouldn’t hear ill of her and take it lightly.

When the very guy which was the root of the issues began to relay some things my best friend had been saying and doing, naively, I insisted it wasn’t true, that there might have been some mistake, even going so far as to call this person a liar and trouble maker. She (best friend) had been acting funny, but that wasn’t cause to think the worse of someone I love and had been so close with since I was 12 years old. It wasn’t in my nature to think so and I loved her.

And then, I got what I asked for. Proof. There it was, undeniably in my face that my precious friendship was one-sided, for God knows how long. This person came to my house, I went to hers, she cried on my shoulder, I cried on hers. It was rare to see one of us, without the other. I kept secrets, secrets I probably compromised my integrity in doing so, but alas, when it came down to the wire, it was just me and my friendship.

After months of simply avoiding any contact with the person (and she never reached out to me once I stopped trying), while the truth ate at me, I reached out, offering my presence and understanding in the event she wanted to talk. In case I had done something unawares, I told her I loved her and missed her, and didn’t want to throw away our friendship on a whim. The ‘best friend’s’ response had been;

“I don’t have time for haters. I’m all about making money, I’m blessed and I don’t have time for unimportant things and people.”


That day was an important day for me. I learned, that the word ‘friend’ meant different things to different people. I learned that no matter how much you may love someone, leave room for disappointment. As I proceeded to say goodbye through the simple response of “Ok.”, I knew nothing would ever be able to bring me back from that view. I deleted her from my social media, her number gone from my phone, any messages we exchanged and quite simply, carried on with my life.

Since then, I have been extremely cautious in calling a person my ‘friend’ and is most likely to refer to a person as ‘someone I know’. But alas, the Lord has been good to me since, and I’ve been able to count among my friends people who I am comfortable to call so. The other day, two such friends sent me pictures they had from years ago, pictures that would quite possibly cause me some embarrassment (not reeeaaally, but you understand) if they were to, ‘get out’. Yet, I in no way feel threatened. On any given day, I can share my best and worst, have the most intelligent or entirely embarrassingly crass conversations. We have disagreements on topics and do so with respect and dignity, and once the conversation is over, so too is our disagreement. In such a space I feel safe to be who I am, without judgment, without waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Our generation seems to revel in the ‘loner’ concept, desperate for all to believe we don’t need anyone but ourselves, that we’re broken, and everyone is out to betray us. That trust is impossible, that our guard must always be up.

I say choose better. Don’t dismiss things that matter. Don’t watch a person do something that demonstrates poor morale and justify it by saying you are friends, so they won’t do that to you. Don’t make excuses. Don’t be afraid to point out that they’ve done something wrong or isn’t doing something right. Don’t be afraid to rock the boat. If that friendship isn’t capable of withstanding honesty, is it really a friendship? 

Know when to walk away. Know what you are willing to comprise, that should never be respect.

Today, best friend and I are cordial because well, maturity and after a few years, she just started speaking to me out of the blue, like nothing ever happened. As though we had simply picked up where we’d left off. I don’t hold a grudge and wish her the very best still, but I don’t count her among friends. My husband is my new best friend and ironically, one of the youngest friendships I’ve since forged at 6 years to date. Most others are now bordering the decade and 15-year mark, though there are a few young ones.

I’ve been blessed to call these men and women my friends, and it is a source of pride to have not caved on the value of friendships due to one bad outcome.

I just learned to be more selective at an early age and that sometimes, how long you’ve known someone has no bearing on your friendship. Their intentions for you makes all the difference.

Dream Date, Marriage & Sex

Someday, my husband will take me to Napa Valley or some Tuscany Vineyard for a surprise  picnic with grapes, cheese, wine and smooches… (At least, he better be planning to before we die).

It’s one of my very few, fondest,  actual dream. As one who doesn’t care too much for hard liquor myself, having migraines and all, I much prefer a Friday evening curl up with a good old paperback and a nice, big, sexy glass of wine to anything else. And if the evening happens to end with some toe curling, roof  raising, migraine inducing sex, preferably of the kinky variety, well, don’t mind if I do! Ha! Certainly, more enticing than any party could ever be. At least, that’s what I say.

Sex & Marriage

I always heard that marriage is where sex lives go to die. Well, I’ll be damned if that is about to happen over here. Child, bye! We’re not in the 1800s where we pretend men are the only ones with sex drives and/or that married women all suddenly develop perpetual headaches at any signs of sexual intimacy from their husbands. In fact, that same era tolerated mistresses, so that wives could be ‘left alone’. wedding-1246897_960_720

None of that over here folks! We don’t play like that.

 

With-holding Sex?

Every so often, someone asks me a question about my relationship and more than a few times that question has been; Do you withhold sex from your husband when you are mad? The short answer is, no I don’t. Why would I?

In the 21st century we all like to pretend that solves something, but unless you all know something I don’t, it doesn’t and as my husband would be the first to tell me if I brought it up jokingly, that will most likely hurt me more than it does him. I can just imagine how he would calmly sit and wait for my frustrations to take over, quite possibly laughing all the while. Quite frankly, that might be a strategy for him, but not for me. No ladies, withholding sex is not in my playbook.

We vex? We have vex sex, then. But we having sex!

hand-2086365_960_720

Grown and licensed, ladies. Don’t be squeamish!

Trina

P.S. This post was written by my alter ego, Trina. I, Shandean will know not of what you speak if you mention it. 

5 Red Wines For Beginners

I love wine. That is all. While I do have a preference for sweet reds,  and I’d say my least favorite red would be Cabernet Sauvignon as I don’t much care for dry wines. But I thought I’d share my favorite reds with you that were particularly easy as a beginner to like and ultimately fueled my preference for red wine to any other. I still like Whites (excluding Chardonnays) and others but, red wine is Bae (I can’t believe I used that word in public, haha!)

5. Carlo Rossi California Red

111Carlo-Rossi-500x515

Definitely the most economic of the five listed here, Carlo Rossi’s California Red is a medium sweet, medium dry. This is a good wine to try if you are stuck on Sweet Red’s and want to try others and fit’s great as a go between-er for say, Sweet Red’s to Merlots.

4. Barefoot Merlot

barefoot-merlot

Barefoot is known for great tastes and being inexpensive. It’s Merlot is no exception. It’s a touch dry but not overbearingly so. That makes it a good choice for introduction to Merlots.

3. Barefoot Sweet Red

8812928040990

I believe my first taste of red wine as an ‘adult’ buying my own wine was Barefoot Sweet Red. It was the first time I realized red wine could be taste that good. Not hard on the pocket and easy on the palette. It’s so good.

2. Lamothe Parrot Mellow Reserve

parrotreserve-555x669

Lamothe Parrot is BAE #2. Beautifully rich, fruity and great tasting. If you haven’t tried this one yet, you’re missing out and this would be ideal if you have never tried red wine before.

1. Yellow Tail Sweet Red Roo

yt-sweet-red-roo-1-235x820

This baby is BAE #1. Everything that fuels my love for red wine is right here in this one. It’s sweet. fruity, vibrant and smooth. Let’s be honest, if you are planning a sexy night with your significant other, or seducing someone, THIS!

There you have it folks! A list of recommended reds for beginners.