Month: February 2011

Looking for Love

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Looking for love
Lisa Baniewicz
Full House

Some people love Valentine’s Day, while others loath a date designated for romance, flowers, and chocolate. It doesn’t help that radio stations belt out love songs, practically flaunting a person’s singleness with a neon sign. Sadly, this isn’t anything new, since the oldest known love song was written 4,000 years ago. Some people want to find that special someone so badly they force themselves to get really creative. According to, in Verona, Italy, where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet play took place, on Valentine’s Day the city receives 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet. (This isn’t just in the movies after all.) So, for those of you still mourning this recent holiday that some call “Single Awareness Day,” here’s some news that may cheer up even the most depressed.
There is an entire week reserved for you! Who knew? According to, the third week in September is “National Singles Week” in the United States. So mark your calendars and start planning a party. There should be several single friends out there. According to the United States Census, there are 95.9 million unmarried people in the United States alone. Forty-seven percent of these are men and fifty-three percent are women. So, chin up.
For those that get married, planning a wedding can add a lot of stress to not only a person’s mental health but also their bank account. Weddings certainly don’t come cheap. The average price of a wedding these days is $20,000. That’s a car, a down payment for a house, or several fabulous vacations. Rejoice!
After finding Mr. or Mrs. Right and settling down, things drastically change after children. According to, once a married couple has children, the couple gets to spend four minutes a day alone together. With these odds, it’s no wonder the human race even has time to reproduce. There are jobs, kids, TV, the Internet, hobbies, and home and family responsibilities. How much romance can be squeezed into four minutes? It’s no wonder a 2008 study revealed marital satisfaction improves once children leave home. The couple finally has time together.
For those who don’t want to give up on love, you are not alone. Not only are people searching for love, they strongly believe they will find it. This optimism is good news. According to Newsweek, 71 percent of men, age 18-34 believe in soulmates, as well as sixty-eight percent of women.
On another positive note, a person doesn’t have to look far for that special someone. According to, two-thirds of people fall in love with someone they’ve known for some time. Meaning, you probably already know your future spouse! It may just mean opening your eyes and heart to the person you least expect. Furthermore, as long as there aren’t any dating policies at your place of employment, office romance is likely. The single biggest predictor of love is proximity. That special someone could be a cubicle away!
If your job involves travel, head to Philadelphia International Airport or at least try to get a connecting flight. It may not be the only connection you make. According to an online survey, it’s the “number one best airport for making a love connection.” (There is an upside to being stranded in an airport.) It may be the only time to pray your connecting flight is cancelled.
Most of all, remember there’s no need to rush. Marriage is well worth the wait once you find the right person.

Courtesy of The Atchison Globe

Snow Daze

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Snow daze
Lisa Baniewicz
Full House

I’m contemplating buying a dog sled. Of course, I have little experience (truthfully, no experience) with Huskies, but I’m a quick learner. Truth is, I would like to be able to get around on snow days. I seem to be suffering from a bit of cabin fever. I think having five kids in the house with me complaining there’s nothing to do, isn’t helping the situation. They obviously can’t go sledding in near arctic conditions, so we’re stuck inside. This is where creativity is essential to parenting. Allow me to share how snow days usually play out at my house.
On the first snow day of the year (when temperatures permit), we sled, make snow angels and build snowmen and forts. It’s a fairy tale type day with cookie baking, excessive hot chocolate consumption, and watching family movies together cuddled by the fireplace. I even allow play dates with their friends at our home.
By the second snow day, I start to get nervous. I get the “deer in the headlight” look when I hear the announcement. While my children cheer, I’m stricken with fear. I frantically think, what can we do today? I contemplate quickly putting an idea jar together full of recommendations for the day. Each child gets to pick one and must do what it says. My ideas range from “who can fold the laundry the fastest,” to “who can clean their room in record time?” I even stretch it to say, “who can restrain from fighting with each other for an hour?” (I’d even be happy with a half hour of no arguments.) The winner gets a prize, which may or may not be money. (This may be borderline bribery.)
When the kids ask if a friend can come over this day, I just look at them in disbelief. When they say there’s nothing to eat, I tell them it’s because they devoured everything we had in the cupboards and refrigerator before 10 a.m. When they tell me one of their siblings is hogging the TV, I’m tempted to change it to CNN and hide the remote (although this would require me to remember where I hid it). On second thought, I could take out the batteries and tell them the remote is broken.
By the third snow day, I’m praying for an early spring. I don’t have an idea jar anymore, just rules for the day. The rules consist of the following: “Do not drive mom crazy today.” There is a five-question limit per child due to the fact that mom’s decision-making skills (and/or wiring) overheated days ago. If you go sledding and come in and out of the house three times, you get to clean the floor. You also have the privilege of doing the sopping wet laundry. The children are forewarned there is a quiet zone. This zone is anywhere within 50 feet of mom. There is also a danger zone, see above. Anyone who does not follow these rules gets to make dinner with the scraps left over from the day’s feeding frenzy. If any child is looking for the mom, she will be in bed with an ice pack on her forehead.
If there is a fourth snow day, this is a code red. Simply put, I will immediately bundle up all my children and walk them to the principal’s house, (even pull them on a sled if necessary). I’m confident this will guarantee school will resume the following day.

Compliments of The Atchison Globe.

Beauty Secrets 101

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Beauty secrets 101
Lisa Baniewicz
Full House

My teenage daughter attended a formal dance at her high school this past weekend. While getting ready with her friends, there were giggles, a little stress over the perfect hairdo, and last minute checks in the mirror before they were out the door. They all emerged looking gorgeous and it made me think of all the things women my age endure to look presentable.
Let’s begin from the bottom up — platform shoes to create height (and/or blisters). The platform under the ball of the foot is usually accompanied with four-inch, spiked heels. My mother once tried on a pair in the shoe department and broke her foot. She lost her balance and rolled her ankle. This could be why I’m hesitant to run out and buy a pair.
Moving a little higher up the body — I will forever be indebted to Sara Blakley, the inventor of Spanx. (I will now explain to men what in the world these little miracles are and what they can do.) Also known as “Power Panties,” these babies are the eighth natural wonder of the world. They basically suck it all in so women can fit into an outfit that’s fitted without revealing tummy rolls. One side effect is difficulty breathing, but how important is that really? They’re actually made for men now, too.
Moving up to the top half of the body, women are introduced to padded bras, push-up bras, and even water bras. (God forbid they spring a leak.) What will Victoria come up with next? These are all meant to push up what gravity wants to pull down. It’s a constant tug of war. There’s another answer, too. A friend of mine, determined to wear (and fill out) her strapless dress, inserted something in her bra that resembled raw chicken breasts. It did the trick until she got too hot while dancing; and they started to slip down her dress. Panicked, she whipped them out and stuffed them in her friend’s purse.
Moving on — manicured nails can be tricky. I once dropped my SIM card and failed numerous times trying to pick it up with my acrylic nails. Difficulty grasping things aside, acrylic nails are still the easiest way to add instant glam to your fingertips. Lately, many of the younger girls are keeping their nails short and either au natural, or painted in dark polish. They’re so smart.
Next, a woman asks herself, “To wax or not to wax?” This may or may not include the eyebrows, bikini area, under arms, or basically anywhere a woman has unwanted hair. Somehow the idea of burning liquid anywhere near my skin makes me shiver, although some women swear by it. Some liken it to a band-aid being ripped off. I have my doubts about this analogy after enduring the Epilady razor in the ‘80s (the razor with a spring-like head). It basically twisted the hair on your legs until it was wrenched out. It never left my legs smooth, just blotchy red from pain.
Lastly, those golden (or brunette) locks don’t stay that color forever. Women are either adding highlights, lowlights, or trying to get the same color they had in their 20s.
These are obviously the exterior things women do to look beautiful or feel younger. Luckily, what matters most is a woman’s inner beauty. No matter what anyone says or advertises, inner beauty can’t be bought.

Compliments of The Atchison Globe