Monday, November 29, 2010

Being thankful

Although the Thanksgiving holiday is behind us, it’s important we all take a minute to give thanks for all we have in our lives. Whether it be a new love interest (a la wednite_43), flourishing dating life, amazing friends and family, fulfilling career, endless optimism or profound happiness, there’s much to be thankful for each and every day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A little bit stronger

Anyone that's been in a relationship that didn't work out for one reason or another knows the pain of getting over that relationship. As painful as it is, it's part of the process and, with each experience, makes us a little bit stronger and prepares us for the next relationship. If we're lucky enough, the next one will be "the one," but if not, don't forge on with regrets, but rather lessons learned!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wednesdays are steaming up!

My Wednesday nights have been flying by. Number five and six to be exact with D, my boyfriend, in our total BFGF bliss. Sigh...and then puke, we make you sick, right!

Seriously though. Dream date numeral six Wednesday consisted of an AHMAAZING pot roast that stewed in his crock pot all day. D brought over the ingrediants and cooking gadgets (he owns a garlic press and isn't afraid to use it) to my house morning of--and proceeded to make one of the best comfort foods of all time. Add to the atmosphere a roaring fire in my fireplace and a string of "Top Chef Just Desserts" episodes culminating in the finale, and we serve up yet another super hot, memorable date. Nice.

Back up to my fifth Wednesday with D. By now, he's met my kids. I've met his parents, his brothers, and their families. He's cooked for me, I've cooked for him. We've done laundry together, grocery shopped, and experienced all the typical day-to-day stuff with each other. We've done my softball games, played tennis, golf, darts, shuffleboard, and rolled dice. We're now in the comfort zone. So what better than a great rental, great dinner and another great Wednesday night.

Sheesh. Life is good when shared, isn't it.

GG's in town!

So my sharp-as-a-wip, 88 year-old Grandmother, who my kids most affectionately refer to as "GG," just arrived for a visit. She's from the Chicago area, where I grew up, is my role model, my mentor, can tell you the starting White Sox lineup if you ask her, makes the BEST chocolate eclairs, and is, um, well very opinionated. Always full of "your kids are smart--Sofia reminds me exactly like you when you were a kid." Says all of the right things (and truly means them) making you beam with pride and joy, just the way she always did when I was a kid. Oh, and I did I mention that she is, um, well a little protective?

My boyfriend is no exception. She'll be meeting D for the first time at Sunday dinner. Before I even finished telling her about him, she immediately began quizzing me without did you meet(really online?)...did you warn him about us (we're a little outspoken if you haven't surmised that by now) ...what does he many kids does he have...when kind of car does he drive...who left who in his marriage (really Grandma!)...does he have money in the bank (her words exactly). Not meant in a judging way, just statements in the form of questions to ensure that he is good enough for her granddaughter.

Love that. I want to be her when I grow older. Full of life, full of laughter, full of wisdom. Oh, and I can't wait for her to meet D.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I’m not cut out to be a clown…

Confession time…clowns kind of scare me! There’s something about an adult that dresses up in funny clothes, paints their face and spends their time playing with balloons and entertaining small children. One thing I admire about clowns though is their ability to juggle.

Let me just say, juggling is SO NOT my thing. And I’m not talking about scarves, fruit or tiny little balls either. I’m talking about juggling the wonderful world of dating, and when luck is on your side, dating more than one person at the same time. Let’s just say there have been a couple “keepers” from my POF fishing experiment and it’s been a lot of fun meeting new people the last few weeks, but at what point do you decide juggling more than one prospect is not the best solution – for you or for them? And what if you make the wrong decision?

I don’t yet have an answer to either of these questions. I realize that dating is all about getting to know new people, finding someone you have a connection with and seeing where it goes. Casually dating more than one guy at a time is fine, as long as you’re honest with yourself and the other people in the equation.

Juggling is necessary though as you weed through the clutter to find that person you really have a connection with and want to move forward to something more serious. I would say it’s at that point when it’s time to retire your juggling act and move on to the trapeze where your stomach flutters, your heart beats with excitement and you can’t wipe the smile off your face as you fly through the air and entertain others and yourself with a new adventure!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Brand “ME”

I’ve come to learn there’s a difference between my work self and my personal self. Not a big difference, but I am much more forgiving of my faults in my personal life than my professional. One thing is constant though and that’s my “E-Squared” brand. It’s funny because branding is a term used a lot in the professional world, but I think we all lose sight of just how important our personal brand is in life, especially our dating life.

So what is a brand? According to Wikipedia, “A brand is the identity of a specific product, service, or business and can take many forms, including a name, sign, symbol, color combination or slogan. The word brand has continued to evolve to encompass identity - it affects the personality of a product, company or service.”

In the case of your personal brand, YOU are the product and how you position yourself can really make a difference in how you are perceived by others, and yes, even potential suitors! How define your brand? I recently had to do this for work, and surprisingly, I learned a lot about myself and what I have to offer – whether it be to my job or a mate. To begin, you have to build your own brand platform…

Brand Attributes: Identify four or five attributes that describe you as a person.
Empathetic, Positive, Trusted, Motivating, Nurturing

Brand Persona: If your brand were a person—or type of person—who would it be?
I am the brand that continues to think strategically and identify new solutions to solve problems. I am confident, energetic, innovative, engaging, clever, creative and committed to succeeding as an individual and a team.

Value Proposition: A statement that positions your value to a range of audiences.
With an abundance of successes and lessons learned from personal and professional experiences, E-Squared strives to live each day to its fullest. With a focus on motivating others and being a trusted partner at work and at home, my goal is to seize every opportunity and learn from it, all while having fun and sharing the experience with others. My priorities are my family, friends and making the most of my life.

Vision: You vision has to present consistency and should convey what you do and how you accomplish this.
The people we surround ourselves with, in our personal and professional lives, are what makes us whole, and without a strong, positive relationship with those people, we can’t be successful. As a trusted partner, I am committed to fostering a positive, fun, and inclusive environment for everyone to enjoy.

Essence: Brand Essence is the heart and soul of a brand – a brand’s fundamental nature or quality.
Work like you don't need the money.
Love like you've never been hurt.
Dance like no-one's watching.
Sing like no-one's listening.
Live like there's no tomorrow.

Once you define your personal brand, you’ll be amazed how much it changes your approach to dating. Much like in business where you try to partner with products or services that align with your brand, you’ll soon start seeking a partner that aligns with your personal brand, and then, it's can have the makings of a beautiful joint venture.. Give it a shot, and if it doesn’t work, well, there’s always the chance for a hostile takeover :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Find Me a Find, Catch Me a Catch

Like I said in my one and only blog entry to date, we sing a lot in our office. I've been humming "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" from Fiddler on the Roof in my head today.

Yes, I've taken the plunge. I signed up for yesterday. My first foray into the online dating world. In setting up my profile, I flew through the preliminary questions with ease, keeping in mind the sound advice of E-squared... let your personality show. Kinda hard though when you only get 200 characters. But then I got to the "About Me" section. This is the space to really let your personality shine. Talk about who you are and who/what you are looking for. The text field was huge... daunting in fact... maximum 4,000 characters. 4,000?! You would think I would revel in such luxury of space for words ... until I tried to write. I hit a brick wall.

"If you're looking for a fun-loving, adventurous person up for new challenges, that's me!" STOP. Delete, delete, delete. This is not a want-ad and definitely no cheese, please. "I'm a single, divorced woman looking for...". STOP. Delete, delete, delete. That says nothing about me but stating the obvious. I need inspiration... why is this so difficult? Ok, I'll look at the sample profiles. "Hi, I'm putting a beacon out there. Yes, I'm single." That's the opening line of one of their sample profiles? Ok I would never use the word "beacon", so that's out. Next one... "I'm a laid-back dude that doesn't mind the occasional Happy Meal." Seriously, these are the sample opening lines? Ok that guy's is kinda funny about the Happy Meal, but I can't use that material. I start writing again. Words are flowing, but I stop, reread, and delete, delete, delete.

Maybe I should just put in my headline "Fun-loving, adventurous, over-thinker"!

It’s a small world after all

A few of my friends packed up this weekend for a trip to Disneyland with their family and I couldn’t help but start singing the tune to the good old Mickey Mouse Club. Yes, before the days of Hannah Montana and High School Musical, there was the Mickey Mouse Club to entertain the children of America. Back in the day when Britney was an innocent little girl and Justin Timberlake’s blonde curls were not nearly as hot a commodity as they are today. But I digress…

I also couldn’t help but be reminded of another Disney attraction that haunts me to this day – Small World. Not the ride itself, but the fact that the lyrics are oh so true! Case in point, with my POF social experiment in full swing, I’ve been more than entertained by the fish in the sea and I’ve been talking to a few guys so far. There is one fish in particular that has caught my attention though. We’ll call him “Croutons” for the sake of this post (DISCLAIMER – I do not give dates real names until I know they’re meant to stay for a while).

I’d been emailing with Croutons for a few days and the back-and-forth exchange was actually quite fun. So, we took it to the next step and so began the texting. There was something familiar about him though, and I couldn’t quite place where I had seen him before…his picture to be precise. And so, after a couple days of racking my brain and putting my detective skills to good use, I finally put two and two together…he was friends with someone I’m very close with and I’d seen his picture on her FB friends. A quick text to verify and POOF, we had an instant connection to spark even more conversation.

At the end of a very pleasant first phone call, Croutons suggested a chance to get to know each other better over drinks. He was direct, confident, made decisions easily. So refreshing in the, “where you do you want to go?” “I don’t know, where do you want to go?” world of indecisive conversations so many people face on a first date. And so we met, at a great bar in our suburb town, enjoyed a couple glasses of wine and talked and laughed for over three hours. We even had a laugh over our mutual friend because as luck would have it, this mutual friend has actually talked to both of us at some point about introducing us. I don’t know where things will go with Croutons, but sheesh, it really is a small world after all!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"F" is for ....

As you know from my previous blogs, Wednesday is THE night of the week for my whatever--date night, GNO. Name it-it's usually planned and always fun. Lately, that means spending time with D, the totally hot, totally cool, new guy in my life. Which brings me to my newfound, new four F's. Similar to Marketing's four Ps, in my recently found BF/GF relationship bliss, everything lately has revolved around the four Fs. Last Wednesday, and for that matter, all week, was no exception.
Flexible. Had to switch our Wednesday nite to Tuesday. Dinner at his house already planned, he never hesitated. Not a problem. How about an hour's notice of meeting my friends (for the first time) instead of just the two of us hanging out. No issues.

Fun. Our time spent together is always easy and effortless. Whether it's early morning football over bloody marys, watching a movie, or meeting up with family. We make it about the fun.

Foundation. OK, so this is where I go a little deeper. Every successful partnership needs a solid foundation build from mutual respect, mutual understanding, and most of all mutual trust. So, when faced with adversity or conflict, there's nothing that we can't face together.

Family. Deciding when to introduce your kids to your guy is a big deal. It better be the real deal and you better be right. So, when it happens, and you bond over Wii and end with hugs all around, you know it's right.

Friends. Fans. The future. Fill in your F, and see where it takes you. I can't wait to see where my new relationship goes next.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Are there really plenty of fish in the sea?

So last weekend I started a social dating experiment and found myself signing up for PlentyOfFish (POF). After spending time with two women I completely admire and respect, and hearing their stories of finding wonderful men in the POF pond, I figured it was worth a shot. And regardless of if I actually do meet someone, it’s definitely serving the purpose of providing plenty of entertainment!

Within two hours of signing up and completing the list of questions (so much shorter and easier than eHarmony by the way), I had five emails from guys wanting to take me out over the weekend. Now let me just say, none of them were really guys I was interested in going out with (think Jersey Shore but the Sacramento version), but they were bold and entertaining nonetheless.

What is amazing about POF is the abundance of guys on the site, and the option for them to be honest if they’re looking for a relationship, looking for a buddy to hang out with (see previous “buddy zone” post), looking for a casual hook-up, or just looking to meet new people in the area. It’s amazing just how honest people are. And my favorite question (that requires and answer), “Do you have a car?” Hilarious!

If you find yourself in a dating rut, or you just want to be entertained for a bit, check out POF ( If you don’t like it, hey, it’s free so you’re not out anything. And you never know, your Mr. Right could be out there waiting for you. In the meantime, I’m sure I’ll have more fishing stories for you very soon!