Posted on October 26, 2016
Here is the thing: I am not crazy about early mornings, but I really love waking up to a warm cup of coffee especially when it’s handed to me by my boyfriend. I know that sounds like a sentence from a Nicholas Sparks novel, but it is something that really ignites and kicks off my morning into a positive place.
What makes this cup of coffee even more delicious is when he says, “Here is the best tasting cup of coffee in the world.” Now, he is no barista in the kitchen. I would actually say the kitchen is not really his friend. But when he adds positive words like “the best tasting,” it not only excites me but makes me feel like I am really going to enjoy the greatest cup of coffee on the planet. That happy energy and simple uplifting exchange is something that puts a smile on my face before I dive into my workday.
It got me thinking about the words we use in our daily life, and how one or two words can really affect our delivery and the way our brain reacts, thinks and engages with another person or even are own self. If I were to come to you and say, “Have nice day,” does that have or give the same affect as if I were to say, “I hope you have the greatest day, you are going to rock it?”
I find it interesting that it only takes the simplest of changes in our vocabulary or tone of voice to make the biggest change in the way our mind reacts and our attitudes change. Like many of you out there, I am a big believer we have the ability to go from having a challenging moment to having an even brighter and better day by doing small steps following a hiccup or negative experience. Changing your attitude into a sense of pure happiness may seem like a total stretch, especially after a flat tire, work issue, relationship problem or family drama. I get how those conflicts are not easy for some people to do a quick turn around, but if you concentrate on the little aspects of your communication, the way you say things and words you use to yourself and others, then I believe it will allow you the opportunity for a more positive outlook on your day.
Avoid Negative Words & Phrases
For starters, some words that I would avoid using, especially in difficult moments that we may not even be conscious of at the time, include:
with my luck
probably won’t happen
I don’t know but…
It’s words and phrases like these that can actually leave your mind on a desert island of negativity and confusion rather than subconsciously guiding you into a state of confidence, courage and can-do attitude. You should have a more powerful sense of conviction in your words and beliefs such as:
This is what I am going to do
I am going to get through this
What I am going to do next
I can handle this!
This also relates to text messages and emails you write. It can be difficult to tell the tone of an email, but most of the time you should be able to feel out if someone is in a good mood, being short or simply can’t be bothered. I always suggest starting an email with a quick and kind introduction, with a similar ending. Do you begin your emails with, “Good afternoon” or “How are you?” It shows the recipient of your email that you are approaching from a positive place, validating their day and that you have good ol’ fashioned manners. It is easier to make a point in an email or make your feelings noted when you are not on the defense or coming at a person with a harsh vibe. It is possible to be direct, firm, with politeness.
How often do you send text messages to your spouse that say, “What time will you be home from work?” To me, such a text does not sound very caring (especially to someone you really love). If you added, “Hi, hope you had a great day, do you know what time you will be home from work?” I guarantee that approach will be more impactful, come off with a higher sense of thoughtfulness and will set the evening into a more happier place. Everybody wants to feel acknowledged especially after a long workday or an hour sitting in traffic, so why not adjust your delivery by adding a few extra words of kindness? It will only allow for a more courteous exchange, which should feed into the other person’s feelings. Feelings and emotions are the root of how we communicate, so why not use words that help boost and continue a smoother way of talking to each other.
I challenge all of you to start your day tomorrow (or after you are done reading this!) by using stronger and higher vibrating words in your communication at home, work, online and even when you are thinking to yourself. We all know that words matter and have a measure of strength behind them. But, it is the words that are encouraging, engaging and uplifting which are most significant.
With that said, I wish you the happiest of all days. You are fantastic.
Gratitude and Peace,
Posted on October 25, 2016
I have been a fan of hotels ever since I was a little boy. I remember staying at a hotel by Disneyland in California thinking it was indeed the most magical place. You don’t have to make your bed and you get food delivered to your room. Sounded like a slam dunk to me.
The older I grew in my years, the more luxurious my taste in hotels grew. I am humble to say that I’ve had a great life when it’s come to traveling. From the Four Seasons to the Peninsula, I have laid my head on some of the coziest and finest hotel bed pillows.
One place five star hotel I still had to check off my bucket list was The Ritz Carlton. “The Ritz” name grew to popularity with a strong reputation in the hotel industry as the “king of hoteliers and hotelier to kings.” Did you know the very first US Ritz opened in 1911 off 46th Street and Madison which was than followed by my hometown of Philly in 1913 (on Broad and Walnut Street).
The ritzy hotel empire has grown to over 29 countries and counting. So, I guess you can say I have many places to visit in the years to come. One hot spot and I mean – – HOT, I wanted to really experience was The Ritz Carlton at Dove Mountain. For me, it was a random choice for a weekend getaway as the property is located outside of Tucson, Arizona in a town called Marana. The Dove Mountain Community is a huge 800 acre community where the 253 room resort and spa sits. For all your golf fanatics, you would totally appreciate the Jack Nicklaus Signature courses. It has a very casual vibe yet sophisticated architectural the blends into the Arizona southwest.
I am one of those dudes that goes on Trip Advisor and checks out the real pictures of hotel rooms and amenities from actual guests. I’m all about an honest review and a star rating. The Ritz Carlton at Dove Mountain was rated one of the highest resorts in all of Arizona. It also raked up a ton of awards from Travel & Leisure Magazine and Conde Naste. I could not wait to get my weekend booked!
From the Phoenix area, it is about an hour and half (maybe shorter if my fiancé was to drive you) to the grand entrance of The Ritz at Dove Mountain. The drive down you could do with your eyes closed, as it is nothing but open roads and dry desert as far as the eye can see.
But, thankfully after a turn off Tangerine Rd, you start to see the sign you’ve been waiting for!
THE DOVE VALLEY COMMUNITY ENTRANCE.
At first I was not sure what to expect, the long drive up was sprinkled with residential homes, some spiratic large custom beauties, but mostly desert landscape at its finest. As you followed the signs through the windy roads around around the last circle, you are presented again with the very monument you want to see…
As you continue another short drive up the mountain, you start to see glimpses of the unique Arizona-esque architecture. Paining a color that that blends beautifully into the surrounding mountains but pops just enough to know it is the to serve and welcome you.
At first, the tall building reminded me of a Disney-inspired resort tucked into the most breathtaking mountain landscape But, as we pulled up to the valet that Ritz Carlton customer experience charm kicked right in. If you have not heard, The Ritz is known for their top-notch, “we are here to please” service.
That is exactly what we got when you walked through the grand lobby that really captures you at first sight. The tall glass windows framing out the most stunning desert views with a glimpse of a sparkling oasis in the distance.
Did I happen to mentioned they have an amaze-ball coffee bar?
The Ritz at Dove Mountain has a variety of rooms, suites and bungalows to choose from so we opted for the Mountain View Room.
I am all about a mountain looking right into my window – and, that is JUST what we got!
Can I get an “AMMMMEEENNNN” for privacy.
Now, the room at first sight is not going to blow your socks away if you are use to blingy-New York-modern styled boutique resorts. However, the bed was not too soft, not too firm and the patio out side definitely had a “WOW” factor in regards to its picturesque view. My favorite part was seeing this furry fella at our door stop. I guess he wanted to say hello and welcome us to his part of the world. Mr Bunny sat out there for a good 30 minutes, just chillin like a villain.
Wild life at The Ritz Dove Mountain is nothing unusual. It is something guests should actually get use to when they visit the property!
I mean let’s face it. We are in the middle of the desert! Surrounded by absolutely nothing. You better get use to seeing some desert critters while on a hike or out for a bike ride.
The look on my face says it all.
It was not that bad though and the very kind ranger was an all star when it came to making us feel comfortable. And by us, I’m talking about me and the group of six year old girls gathered around me.
But, don’t get alarmed – this snake was harmless. The Ritz really does know how to do it right when it comes to adding that extra something “special” to guest experience. They even have a resident tortious name “Rocky!”
After some creepy crawly petting zoo style fun, Nick and I made our way to one of the main pools (yep, there are a few on the property – including a water slide!!)
As the night started to cool down, we made our way back to our room for some grub. I give the room service team an A+ because they could not have been any nicer and they give you the exact minutes over the phone when your food would be delivered.
Take a peak at the spaghetti bolognese we ordered (hey, we are two Italian dudes – we cold not help ourselves!).
For the record it was perfect. One of the best things to order on their menu.
And, look at this sweet hand written card! Now, that is what I’m talkin about.
The Ritz nails it when it comes to making their guest feels extra special.
Don’t judge us – we are on vacation.
This round we went for the tortilla soup, cheese quesadillas…oh, and did I mention the hod fudge sundaes?
The tortilla soup was incredibly unique and worth every bite, same goes for the sundae. I am not sure what was in that cold concoction but it was a chocolatey smooth delight with an extra kick at the end.
After our last bite, we ended up in a heat and food coma.
That even met passing up this bad ass looking breakfast buffet. How could I say no to pancakes!!!
So, we decided to work off the bricks of food we devoured in our stomachs the night before and go for a much needed cruise around the area. The Ritz provides free bikes and helmets for the whole family! You can stick to an easy ride down a street or get your mountain man bike ride-on through the hilly trails.
We voted for the sleek (pre-school) ride down the street.
Side note: It was 110 degrees outside.
The Ritz spa itself is a completely separate building with a his and her side, a ton of treatment rooms, lovely smelling products and a private pool and hot tub area for JUST spa guests.
Can you say no kids??!
Nick chose a deep hydrating facial which he raved about!
I had a massage which was just ok.
I’ve had MUCH better.
However, the overall envious, first class customer service and one of a kind landscaping made our trip so very special. We would definitely recommend The Ritz at Dove Mountain to anyone looking for a luxury, lodge-like, private, sophisticated, and PEACEFUL getaway.
Besides, we may just add this hidden gem to our potential wedding location list!
Not too shabby of a place to say “I DO!!”
It is clean, well maintained and a secret summer getaway that you must take advantage of!
The Other Hubby
Posted on October 24, 2016
Are you and your hubby looking for a last minute Halloween costume?
Well, look no further!
This morning my magical make up artist gal-pal at Scottsdale’s Sparkle Bar transformed me into a spooky (and maybe sexy??) skeleton.
For just $65 bucks, you can go from a chic soccer mom to one fierce looking skeleton queen!
Here are some close ups from my Halloween make-up shoot.
Make your appointment now!
The Sparkle Bar
Address: 4200 N Marshall Way #7, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Hours: Open today · 4AM–9PM
Phone: (480) 941-3438
The Other Hubby
Posted on October 22, 2016
Posted on October 22, 2016
When I think the of the perfect hot spot destination, I picture laying by a sparkling pool at a gorgeous resort in the Arizona desert. That super quick flight from LA to Phoenix is a big plus too (and so affordable!).
For years, I remember hearing about this historic resort called The Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona (www.hotelvalleyho.com). Its futuristic, and trendsetting design not only got my attention but motivated me to book a “goodbye-summer-holiday!”
Hotel Valley Ho’s sleek look was originally designed by Edward L. Varney (a student of Frank Lloyd Wright), which quickly attracted some of Tinseltown’s biggest movie stars! From Natalie Wood, Humphrey Bogart, Frankie Avalon, Bette Davis, and Cary Grant, Hollywood’s most elite checked in, chilled out and lit up!
Later that night, we walked along Main Street in Old Town Scottsdale where you will find an array of art galleries, shops, pubs, and plenty of nightlife! You really don’t need a car if you stay at the hotel because you are just minutes away from all the action.
Looking at all that “ART” strangely made us hungry, so we chowed down at the ZuZu Restaurant back at the hotel. I have to say that it was one of the most colorful, creative and fun menus I’ve ever seen. ZuZu is known to dish up classic American food entrées with a unique twist – So, if you are in the mood for truffled grilled cheese, roasted spaghetti squash, and an orange frosty than this is the place for you!
As the weekend came to an end, we had to say goodbye to our new favorite hotel. Our last hoorah of summer was beyond wonderful and we are so grateful to the friendly hotel staff who made us feel so welcome.
Until next time.
The Other Hubby
Posted on October 20, 2016
I’ve noticed something about young women that has me bothered. I’ll get straight to the chase since you may be wondering why someone like me should be so bugged. Well, first let me say that I have sisters, cousins, nieces, and girl friends that are practically family members to me and when it comes to them – they have my heart. I’ve practically heard it all when it comes to topics such as dating, divorce, and anything and everything that has to do with men and relationships.
You see I’ve been the go-to guy on love advice ever since I was young. Girls in school always gravitated to me when it came to talking about their crushes, and the older I became, the more women continued to share their love stories and wanted my thoughts on what they should do when it came to the man department. From my college lady friends, work colleagues, to even my bosses, I seemed to be the first phone call before and after a date.
Perhaps, this is true for a lot of gay men, but for me, I found that it was not just about listening and being an ear, I found it to be such a mission in wanting to see the women in my life want to make the right decisions and feel more powerful in their own skin. So, when it came to a break up or a bad date, I did not want them to feel like it was actually going to break down their soul. I wanted to inspire them to stand on their own two feet and not allow some crummy date or poor relationship ruin their stride and spirit.
I care a lot about women. I obviously care about all people but I’ve have been very outspoken about women empowerment for a long time. One of the reasons is that the women I’ve had the pleasure of knowing in my life have made some long-lasting impressions on me. Seeing them hurt or go through some type of difficulty really motivates me to go out there and shed nothing but goodness and light around their day.
This brings up an instance with a gal pal I recently connected with: a young girl in her twenties, in school, that had just met a guy out and about at one of the local bars. She was fixated on how he looked, his social media pics, and what he had planned for their first date. When I asked her what she really liked about him, she replied, “He is really nice to me.” That reply basically stopped me in my tracks. I went on to say, “Well, of course he should be nice to you!” “All guys should be nice to you!” The more we engaged in the conversation, the more it opened my eyes to learn that she was not use to guys just being nice and generalized that a lot of her friends thought guys were just a bunch of players. That made me sad, as I know the dating scene is hard enough as it is these days.
There is an app for this, and right-or-left-swipe for that. The courtship factor is long gone, especially with the tidal wave of technology that has taken over the way we communicate. It has not only made the way we interact much different on a normal life basis such as at work, ordering take-out, mail service, transportation, etc., but it has most definitely drowned the dating world. First phone calls have turned into text messages, and really getting to know somebody has turned into social media stalking. So, what is a girl (or a guy for that matter!) to do these days when wanting to seek out true love?
I think a lot of it starts with learning what she does and does not want in a relationship. The whole “loving your self first” is not new advice. That has already been written about for years. It’s important for a woman to truly understand who she is, what are her goals, values, and most importantly, be fully aware that she deserves R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Sticking to that mindset is what will firmly set up her dating boundaries. She should also go into the date with a solid line of how she should be treated. This will not only give her a dating filter, but will also show the guy she knows who she is, what she wants and what she will allow to enter into her life. The self-esteem factor is important, but that develops even more through life (for both men and women). Owning that conviction of personal boundaries will help weed out any bad eggs and focus her eye more quickly to catch the red flags of dating.
These red flags such as a guy saying something inappropriate, crossing the line with a tease to get your attention, flirting with another girl, or being too into the nightlife scene, are often over looked. Why? Many times it has to do with a girl not knowing what she deserves. You see, in many cases, we only know what we know, and a lot of what we know about relationships comes from our childhood. How did your dad treat your mom? How did your mom treat your dad? Was the example of what you knew of a relationship to be a toxic and dysfunctional one, or was there a strong level of dignity and respect?
So, before you jump into the land of love or consider getting into a relationship, I want you to think about these points:
Are you fully aware and understand what is considered to be a healthy relationship?
Do you know that you deserve a healthy relationship and won’t settle for anything less than that?
When you notice a couple red flags from the very beginning that means those red flags are not ever going to go away, and you need to walk away.
Do you know what you want out of a relationship? What does that relationship look like to you?
Are you comfortable with keeping up your personal boundaries even in the name of the dating game?
Do not hide beneath the technology blanket. Understand that the more you communicate verbally and in person will only allow you to better understand a guy’s intent, character and personality.
Are you own goals and platform intact? Do you have drive in other areas of your life?
Being respected and treated with kindness should be an absolute given!
You deserve nothing but the best when it comes to love. Who you allow to share your life with you should be just as wonderful as you are. The truest soul and love connection is based on the utmost respect you have for one another.
Peace and Love,
The Other Hubby
Posted on October 18, 2016
When you think of visiting Arizona, one BIG hole probably comes to mind – The Grand Canyon.
I am not much of a green thumb so when I first heard that I would be going to a place with the word, “garden” in it, I was not sure what to expect! To my surprise, I was absolutely blown away but the positive energy that surrounded me once I pulled into the front gates.
Now, I am not one for tours as they can often be a total snoozefest but Steve was friendly, to the point, and even allowed us to hold different elements from the desert – such as this burrow made from the inside of a cactus.
Home to over hundreds of butterflies, this spacious 36-by-80-foot enclosed garden recreates a lush habitat for these fragile fliers. It is an experience you do not want to miss!! There is something so fantastic seeing all these uniquely colored butterflies surround you and even land on you at times. I was completely mesmerized.
The Other Hubby