Friday, November 20, 2015

Are You a Good Wife?

I bought a few books at Target this week (I love browsing Target's book section - more manageable than a book store and always full of fun titles.) Yesterday I reported on how inspired I was by Yoga Girl Rachel Brathen, but today I am simply inspired by the the title of a novel I haven't even read yet - How to Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman.

"How to be a good wife - what the hell is that?" I wondered. What an antiquated notion. It seems  anti-feminist for a modern woman to aspire to be a "good wife."

But wait. I've been married to my husband for 24 years and my marriage is incredibly important to me, so I DO want to be a good wife. For those of us with kids, we definitely want to be good moms. The women I know put lot of effort into learning parenting skills and are constantly angst-ing over how well they're rearing their kids.  Shouldn't being a good wife be just as important?

I firmly believe that strong relationships don't just happen; they require attention and effort to thrive. But exactly what does it mean to be a good wife?  I write about sex and relationships professionally so I have a lot of research to fall back on. But every relationship is unique so I have to know what works in mine.

For something new (and because I have some time on my hands) I decided to explore the subject with markers. I'm not much of an artist, but I am a super doodler. And I love putting words on paper. Voila! Here's my Good Wife Doodle - listing all the things I think make me a good partner in my relationship.

Double click for larger image
The major categories are Communicate, Be Happy, Show Appreciation, Be Affectionate, Look Good, Allow Space & Change, Organize Fun Things to Do, Hang in There, Demand Equality and, of course, Marry a Good Guy.

I'm sure I've missed a few things - I plan to consult my man over the weekend for his feedback. But I thought I'd put it out there and ask YOU. Is it important to you to be a good wife? How do you do it? And by the way, I realize a marriage is a reciprocal arrangement. It's hard to be a good wife if you're married to a schmuck.  So I'd also like to hear what makes for a good husband. Is the list the same or different?

I have so many questions!  And here comes the snow, so I guess I have plenty of time to explore them. And actually read that How to be a Good Wife book.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Inspired by 26 year-old Yoga Girl

Usually I look to women who are older than me for wisdom and advice, but today I find myself inspired by Rachel Brathen, a woman who is literally half my age. Rachel is a social media sensation who first gained popularity on Instagram with  gorgeous photos of herself in yoga poses on the beaches of Aruba.  I picked up a copy of her book, Yoga Girl, at Target yesterday because I want to educate myself on the correct form and purpose of the poses I've been attempting in class.

The book, like Rachel herself, is beautiful in many ways. Yes the photos of her yoga poses are incredible (will I ever be able to do those flying headstands on the floor, much less balancing on a paddle board?) But what's really uplifting are her beliefs, such as - focus on being happy and you'll naturally do the right thing for your body, love yourself the way you are, do no harm but take no shit. Through her words and photos, Rachel radiates a sunny, accepting, positive energy and damn it, I want to be like her!

Whether you're into yoga or not, Rachel Brathen's recent Ted talk titled "Lessons I've Learned Social Media," below, is fascinating. She truly sees social media as a vehicle to build community and bring about positive change in the world.

I'm heading to a yoga class later this afternoon, feeling excited about continuing my fledgling practice of an ancient art which nurtures body, mind, and soul (and fires up your sexuality too.) But I'm also excited that I have found another woman I admire. Regardless of age, we all have so much to learn from one another!

For more on my yogic experiences, read my Sex & the Suburbs column 7 Ways Yoga Makes You Sexy over at

Peace out sisters.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Round up of my Latest Sex Stories

image via
I'm still writing my Sex & the Suburbs column for Make it Better magazine but I realized I haven't shared these spicy stories here at Ripe Peach. Living life to the fullest means cultivating juicy, satisfying relationships. Here's some support and motivation to keep your romance in bloom.

Click on the titles to read the full stories over at MIB.

North Shore Cougar Karen Poter Tells Women How to Make the Most of MidLife 
Karen transformed herself through tragedy into a "powerhouse." Now this self proclaimed cougar has a popular sexy youtube channel and a hot younger boyfriend. She'll inspire you!

Could a Contract Make Your Marriage Happier?
It may not sound romantic to put your relationship through negotiation, but coming to terms with your partner may make you both happier than ever.

Scientific Secrets for Better Sex
How come you never feel like having sex until after you start fooling around? Why does your body do one thing while your brain does another? Are you normal? The latest sex science provides some surprising and reassuring answers.

Where's the Viagra for Women?
After years of watching those ads for Viagra and Cialis for dudes, I had to ask - where are the similar drugs for women? After all, we deserve good sex too. Good news! Help is on the horizon.

Sex After Kids - 4 Ways to Make it Happen
Children are wonderful but they sure put a damper on their parents' love lives. Get around the no sleep/no privacy/no time/no energy conundrum with these savvy tips.

How to Be a Better Date
Whether you're single or coupled, these expert tips will help you have more fun,  be a more charming companion AND get the relationship you want.

7 Things Women Should Know About Divorce Before Getting One
Sadly, not all marriages last.  If you're considering divorce, this story will help you prepare for the realities of uncoupling.

And up next, I'm investigating the issue of Female Sexual Fluidity. Are all of us a bit bi-sexual? I'll do some digging and report back.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ripe Peach Moon

Don't you think September's Full "Blood" Moon Eclipse looked just like a beautiful ripe peach hanging in the sky - all rosy and feminine and  full of potential?  I hereby submit we call all future such moons Ripe Peach Moons (although we won't see another one like this until 2032.) In the meantime, I'll be on the look out for other luscious occurrences. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Stealing Style and Smart Ideas - Who are Your Icons?

Recently I was asked who my style icon is, and combined with my recent post about Amal Clooney, it got me thinking about who's style I really admire that I can also relate to. I've always liked the way Eva Longoria dresses, because 1) at 40, she's a grown up, 2) she is not tall and neither am I , 3) she has deeper coloring like me and 4) she's displays a lot of sexy, vibrant confidence in her clothing choices, which I would like to do. I don't have the glamorous life Eva Longoria has, but if I did, I'd dress like she does. Although there's no way I can handle those super high heels!
Images of Longoria via

The process of selecting a style icon got me thinking about the importance of having role models in our lives. Do we need them? Shouldn't we be expressing our true selves, not copying the choices or lives of others?

But I recently read this fun book on creativity called "Steal Like an Artist" by Austin Kleon, (actually, I stole it from my mom) and he believes it's our job to be influenced by the ideas and work of others. "Nothing is truly original," he writes of the creative process. "Your job is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas you collect, the more you can choose from to be influenced by."

So who you and what you choose to imitate, when filtered through your unique point of view, becomes new and original! Being influenced by others is not lazy or uninspired, it's art. If I copy Eva Longoria's style I'm actually taking deliberate steps to creating my own. Honestly, when I think of my most prolifically creative friends, they are constantly on the lookout for cool ideas to shamelessly use for their own purposes.

So, when it comes to stealing from icons, why should I stop at fashion? I can have a Humor and Wit Icon (hello Tina Fey) a Writer Icon (obsessing over The Fault in Our Stars author John Green, but who isn't?) a Leadership Icon (Jimmy Carter standing up for women's rights is a thing of beauty) and a Life Coach Icon (Martha Beck, you just get it.) I can have icons for cooking and organizing and exercising and presenting and being a good parent. I can copy anyone I find worthy or hip or inspiring or hot. How liberating it is to not have to be original!

What about you? Who is your style icon? And once you've figured that one out, who else is worth stealing from? Share here so I can copy from you.

Image via

Monday, April 13, 2015

Amal Clooney shows women can have it all - or at least more!

She's a brilliant international human rights lawyer and speaks three languages.  She's stunningly beautiful and impeccably dressed.  She has captured the heart of one of the hunkiest, most elusive movie stars of all time. Amal Alamuddin Clooney, a woman of intellect, sophistication, style, and character,  proves what women have been longing for - we really can have it all. Hooray!

Image via the LA Times
But also, ugh.

I'm fascinated by Amal, as is the rest of the world. There's even a blog completely devoted to analyzing her style.  The photos of her are incredible - her exotic features and luxuriant hair, those amazing designer clothes, her confidence and ease. I've seen plenty beautiful women in the media, but they're models or actresses - their job is to look good. Amal looks ravishing heading to teach a class at Columbia's law school. It's impressive and, I gotta say, intimidating.

Photo via
Of course women can be successful and beautiful, but Amal's dazzling display of both qualities leaves me feeling like a slacker. Amal is a defender of free speech and women's rights across the globe. I can sit at my computer in my pj's and write about relationships and sex for 35 minutes straight. Last weekend Amal wore a feather trimmed Giambattista Valli crop top out for drinks at The Monkey Bar in New York. Last weekend I wore a black t-shirt and Gap boyfriend jeans to World of Beer in Evanston to watch the NCAA basketball playoffs.

See why I'm feeling like a slouch?

Although she sets the bar high, I'm glad Amal is having her moment. Her looks may be gaining her attention (apparently Vogue's Anna Wintour is her fashion advisor) but her accomplishments are truly impressive. I  need to know about more multi-dimensional, multi-talented women like her - they'll motivate me to up my game.

And if they happen to be wearing Gap jeans, all the better.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Too Much Food, Not Enough Information

If you didn't see the Weight Watchers Superbowl ad, take a look. It really drives home the point that there is entirely too much deliciously oozy, buttery, sugary, tempting food available out there!

Talking about diets is boring, so I'm won't go into how I'm back on Weight Watchers, the only weight loss program that has ever worked for me. But tracking every bite I put in my mouth has made me realize that the portion sizes and calories being served up in restaurants and coffee shops and kiosks are really absurd. No wonder a third of all Americans are obese.

I don't think we're suffering from a lack of willpower; the problem is a lack of knowledge. Luckily, most restaurants post nutritional information on their websites.

Have you ever looked up the nutritional information of some of your favorite restaurant dishes? Our family loves California Pizza Kitchen, where I regularly order the fish tacos, which seems like a light and healthy dish, right? Nope, it has 1040 calories, as much as a BBQ Chicken Pizza.  But knowing that doesn't mean I have to stop dining there. Instead, I can order something lighter or split an entree with my husband. I'm in control!

Look, no food is bad - I eat everything and I know there's a Big Mac (550 calories) in my near future - but we owe it to ourselves to understand what we're putting in our bodies. And whether it's tracking points with Weight Watchers or just keeping a food journal, writing down what you eat is a powerful tool for better health. ( PS - I've lost six pounds!)