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Fall Foods I Love

Many of us love summertime because of the family picnics and lazy days by the pool, but, for those of us who live in cities that have “seasons,” there’s nothing like the beauty of fall color, and the winding down of activity after the kids have headed back to school.

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It’s officially fall which marks a special tradition I share with my own family. Every fall we get together at one of our homes and catch up, listening to the crackling of the fire as we tell stories around the fire pit, sharing cinnamon sticks and mulled apple cider (with a spiked version for the adults), taking the kids Trick or Treat, and nibbling on our family’s favorite fall recipes. There’s nothing like the feeling of coming together with conversation, food and drinks with the people you truly love.

Like many families, we have some dietary needs, including vegetarian, no-red meat and gluten free so I’ve included special recipes below that your family might love as much as we do. One of my favorites is my son’s Matt’s famous wings – I have to say he knows his way around a spice rack! As your deciding what to cook up this fall or tonight for that matter, remember nothing is more relaxing than comfort food and snuggling up with the ones you love. Here are some of my personal favorites from the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health Consultant Cookbook.

Vegan Quick Chocolate Chili: Submitted By Christina-Marie Wright (I’m making this at home this month, not only because it looks and sounds healthy, but also delicious!)

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Ingredients:

1 – 15-ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 – 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
1 – 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained
1 – 15-ounce can black beans, drained
1 – 15.25-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
1 – 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 – 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, juice included
1 – 64-ounce can vegetable cocktail juice
¼  cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 Tablespoon of garlic powder
1/2 Tablespoon of dried sweet basil
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
½ teaspoon of  ground black pepper
½ teaspoon of  hot chili powder
½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
1 bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped

Directions:

Dump all that stuff into a big stock pot, and heat over medium-high heat, stirring until everything is heated through, and the chocolate is all “melty” and blended in. Serve with a dollop of vegan sour cream, if desired.

Pasta and Clams, Serves 4 – Submitted by Lauren Hueber (when my daughter Lauren and I make this, we substitute gluten free Quinoa in place of pasta!)

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4 garlic cloves chopped

1/3 Cup of  EVOO

1 Tsp of red pepper flakes

2 cans chopped clams

½ cup white cooking wine

½ cup Italian parsley  finely chopped

1 box of thin spaghetti

Directions:

  • Cook olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes in a small pot on medium heat for 5 minutes, or until garlic is browned
  • Add the clam juice and white cooking wine. Cover and cook on med/high for 8 minutes
  • Add clams and parsley and turn heat down to simmer.
  • Serve over cooked pasta with fresh parmesan cheese

G-Free Peanut Butter Cookies: Submitted by Lauren Hueber (Again, delicious, and healthy. Need I say more?! Bon appetite!)

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Ingredients:

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup sugar

I large egg

1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  • Mix ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  • Cover and harden in the fridge for one hour
  • Scoop 1 tbs balls out onto a cookie sheet
  • Sprinkle with sugar and press down with a fork
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden
  • Cool for 5 minutes on a cooling rack

 

The 2014 Patty Brisben Foundation Gala: Gatsby Style

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Our recent fundraising Gala for the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health was truly a party fit for Gatsby! Everyone fully embraced the theme – beautiful jewel-encrusted headdresses, fringe and 20s style suits – the costumes were as brilliant as the real thing.

A party isn’t complete without first-class entertainment: we had an amazing band called Galaxy Red out of St. Louis, Missouri, which started with music from the “Jay Gatsby” era and then brought the playlist into modern day; by the end-everyone was on the dance floor partying like Rock Stars. The city’s premier restaurants provided tastings and included Montgomery Inn, Fusian, Embers, Trio, Kaze, Nada, Tres Belles Cakes, A Tavola, 50 West Brewery,Watershed Distillery, Stella Artois, and Woodford Reserve, as well as cigar rollers from Oliva Cigars.

We also captured the beauty and artistry of the era with professional dancers, Justin Chiou and Jackie Zhang, who are among the top amateur ballroom couples in the Midwest from the Cincinnati Ballroom Company.

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We have raised over $208,000, which is a $60,000 increase from 2013! What I loved the most, was continuing to bring awareness to issues surrounding women’s sexual health. If you weren’t there, please take a moment to watch a video of Dr. Michael Thomas and I talk about this subject. We do feel sometimes like the “Lone Rangers” or Pioneers of the Wild West when it comes to fighting for more awareness on the behalf of all women. With every dollar raised, we are granting money for further research and education. I’m not doing this for myself – I’m doing it for our daughters, granddaughters, great-grand daughters and beyond. No woman should feel uncomfortable when it comes to talking to her Health Care provider.

Organizing this annual Gala is just the icing on the cake; it’s where we get to have the opportunity to have fun and celebrate bringing awareness to this important cause. What I loved most were all of the people who were attending the Gala for the first time – hearing our Consultants speak with great pride and knowledge about the foundation to them, and why it was important was so incredible. That was in itself like having extra hands and legs to pay forward this mission, and made me proud that they were teaching others more about what the the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health is doing to help women. I don’t know how we will be able to top the event next year – which will be the foundation’s 10th anniversary – but I will have fun trying!

 

 

“A Body Too Old for Making Love…”

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An expert on my panel for The Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health recently sent an article to me called, “He Said Her Body Was Too Old For Making Love. This Is Her Response.” I was astounded. I don’t want to share my personal thoughts until I hear all of yours. I want your real opinions, honest and straightforward. After I’ve read through all of your comments, I will share my point of view.

I’ve also sent this article to two other experts who have worked with Pure Romance for many years, Dr. Ian Kerner and Dr. Madeleine Castellanos, to get their personal feedback and will include their thoughts in my upcoming blog.

I look forward to hearing what YOU think about this! And don’t hold back!

PROFESSIONISTA: Fall Fashion Favorites

Guest Blog by Emily Wall, Pure Romance Professionista StylistPattyBlogEmilyWall_0413

 

 

 

 

While the rest of the world has been indulging in Pumpkin Spice Latte season, I’ve been thinking about something else. Football games? Apple cider? Nah. Not my thing. Big cozy sweaters? That’s more like it. Great flat leather boots? Sign me up. Killer outerwear? You had me at Hello. I think you see where I am headed here. The leaves are going to turn, the temperature is dropping and I have one thing on my mind. FALL FASHION.

As I continue to shop for my fall 2014 wardrobe, I find myself worrying that my wallet is going to hate me. Fall seems to call for a much more indulgent set of wardrobe essentials. Jeans, outerwear, leather boots, go-to sweaters, wool suiting, scarves. If you want to stick to any budget at all, you need to think about where to splurge and where to save.

First, before you do anything I have two things I must strongly suggest. First, be practical about your lifestyle and what your fall wardrobe needs really are. Do you need business professional attire on a weekly basis? You may want to consider putting money towards a pair of booties to go with your great fall dress pants and skirts instead of dumping money towards warm and fuzzy Ugg boots. Are you a business woman who also chases kids around all day? You’ll want to think about spending money on some classic and easy day looks instead of a wintery cocktail dress! In other words, think about what pieces you would wear most. Ideally, you choose the pieces that will give you the best return on your investment. The most wears per dollar. Make sense?

The second thing I suggest women do is shop your closet. Are there any pieces that are looking worn out and due for a replacement? Don’t push your limits. If it looks old and tired it won’t do you any favors. Is there anything that could be altered to fit better or look more current? Are there any “superstars” you want to continue to highlight this year? Anything you can repurpose and wear in a different way to make it like new? Think outside the box and you may be able to eliminate some things from your shopping list! Oh, and while you are in there … go ahead and clean out the closet! If you have not worn it in years, toss it. I have plenty of tips for the closet purge also … that’s a whole other blog post worth of information!

So now that you have done a little homework you are allowed to finish that fall wardrobe -shopping list. I usually suggest that people come up with one list of NEEDS and essentials, and a shorter list of trendier or fun wish list type pieces. For instance, you may need a new wool blazer for work desperately, but also really want some faux leather leggings. Tackle your essentials first and if there is room left in the budget, then start on the wish list.

Here are just a few things I think it is worth investing a little cash:

  1. Flat leather boots: You want these to be a signature part of your fall wardrobe so consider spending a little more on a comfortable pair that you love. Flat boots can be versatile. I wear mine with leggings, great oversized sweater and some statement earrings for a casual put-together Sunday look. I also pair mine with tights, a shift dress and leather jacket for a classic work look during the week.
  2. Killer coat: Okay, I will be the first to admit I am not one of those people that collects great coats. I don’t even really like wearing them. I do, however, hate being cold so they are a necessary evil in my book, and you better bet if I am going to get one I am going to get one I love and one that can take a beating while still making people turn their heads when I walk in the door. You want your coat to fulfill its purpose – to keep you warm. This may mean you have to spend a little more to get one that really fights the temperature. While you’re at it, you might as well get one that makes other people stop and mention how much they love your coat, right?! One that you love and which completes your look, letting you walk out the door feeling confident and warm!
  3.  Long sleeve dress: One that fits fantastically and allows for versatility. This dress could be the real work horse of your fall wardrobe so take the time to try on several and spend a little more if the one you love is not the cheapest one on the rack. This piece can be reinvented a million different ways with accessories, scarves, and jackets. You’ll be able to wear it for daytime events, work functions and maybe even a date night.
  4. Tights/opaques: It pays to spend a little more for a few mid-range pairs of great tights. Ones that won’t run or rip and can stand to be put in the wash (on most delicate COLD cycle, of course) I know it seems silly, but trust me. Invest in at least three pairs of good tights this year and you will never turn back! Note from Patty’s desk: My favorite tights are those that have the built-in spanx; they’re high wasted and go up to the bottom of the bra. It allows me to wear most dresses without even reaching for the traditional waste-targeting Spanx! Best investment piece ever!

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There are also a few things where we can all save:

  1.  Leather accents or … faux leather accents: Leather is still on trend in Fall 2014 and you can find the look at any price point. Look for jackets with faux leather panels, THICK leggings with some leather down the side or even tops with faux leather detail.
  2. Sweaters: I am really having an internal struggle with this one. There is definitely an argument to putting sweaters under the “invest” list, but when it came down to it I just think there are so many options at any price point, its worth picking up one that is a steal. Sure you can spend a lot on cashmere and other luxe wool fabrics, but you can get a lot of look from a great cotton blend sweater also.
  3. Scarves: The options are endless! Scarves may be fall’s most essential accessory, but save your money for a fun night out with your friends and family instead of breaking the bank for a scarf. Stock up on budget friendly versions to create endless looks with your fall basics. You could have a scarf for every mood!
  4. Basic long sleeve tees: Come fall and winter these are layering pieces that usually go somewhat unnoticed so it’s okay to look for a good basic style for a few dollars. Note from Patty’s desk: One of my favorite dressy and casual tees is the Eileen Fisher Tee. It is made of the softest material, yet has a very dressy look to it. It was a great investment piece for me. While most black Tees tend to fade, with this brand I’ve found that if I wash it on the delicate and cold cycle, and lay it flat to dry, the color lasts for over a year! I’ve had that same Tee for two years and it looks brand new.
  5. Denim jackets: Another versatile piece for fall. I like a denim jacket paired with a casual dress and boots for a chic daytime look or with straight black pants and simple Tee and flats for a casual weekend look. I love the idea of finding a great worn-in denim jacket or scouring vintage stores for one with the attitude already built it.

 

Return of the Sex Kitten

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There’s nothing sexy about breast pumps, pacifiers and stepping over toys on the way to the bedroom. As a mother of four, I know parenthood is one of the most amazing blessings life can offer, but I also know you have to work that much harder to make sure your relationship is getting the attention it deserves. We are so focused on the children, and understandably so. But it’s SO important to still feel sexy and feel like a woman again. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to boost your self-confidence and get out of the post-baby funk many of us often drift into before we even know it’s happening. It can be scary to break out of the routine, but it’s that adrenaline that will fuel your intimate life and get the fire going again, I can promise you. Until you change the game, it’s not going to happen on its own.

We are creatures of habit. If we don’t get out of our comfort zone and force ourselves to try new things, that’s when we end up getting into that ho-hum boring rut. It’s up to us to work to make things new and challenging – and I mean that in the most positive way. I’ve walked in your shoes. It won’t change on its own – in fact, it will be very uncomfortable before you can find yourself again!

We were raised to believe that men are knights on a white horse who are going to save us and solve all of our problems. Sometimes you have to be your own savior. You have to set the bar. If you want something, don’t wait for it to come to you, go after it!

In relationships, sometimes it seems like all of the pressure is on women to be seductive, but this shouldn’t be the case. You should both be working to improve intimacy. And here’s the thing: once you take that first step, I promise you that it will create a (very pleasurable) domino effect. Your partner will notice something is different and begin creating new responses among old behaviors.

When kids are involved, men also can worry about “rocking the boat,” or coming off as needy when you have your hands full with the children. Taking initiative and showing him that you see your relationship with him just as important is the first step to reconnecting and being on your way back to a second honeymoon.

Below are a couple fun game-changers that will get you started…(don’t feel like every single suggestion has to be a perfect fit for you!)

1. There’s nothing sexier than cooking a meal together! (This is one of my favorites!)

2. Throw on a pair of sexy high heels once in a while

3. Sometimes it’s hard to open up to one another – play any one of the Pure Romance “Date Night” games to open the doors of communication and also try something new

4. Stop by the makeup counter next time you’re at the mall and have a professional demo a brand new look on you that will make him feel like he’s seeing you for the first time!

5. Wear a wig – in or out of the bedroom…

6. Take story time to a whole new level by reading him some erotica

7. Slip on a long strand of pearls with only a silk top and thong (or nothing at all); think Carrie in Sex and the City, the movie.

8. When you get up and move, you feel better; get active – whether it’s a “Pole Dancing” class, yoga or other fun/sexually-charged fitness (think Zumba) classes that will also get you feeling wonderful (and sexy!) in your own skin again

9. It’s no secret men are visual. One night, tell him where to meet you and show up wearing something completely unexpected.

10. Plan a party with your closest girlfriends and include a hair stylist, makeup artist fashion stylist, and Pure Romance Consultant and do a group makeover!