the science of love Why it makes you swoon, spoon and scream!
Hot spots to get your love on
Swingers! The who, what, where and why
DIY Sex Toys, Chef Michael Smith, Arranged Marriage & Puppy Love with Wilfred Issue NO. 7
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Contents Issue No. 7
▶ UPFRONT 07 2LIST: TV’s Wilfred barks back, arranged marriage & more! 12 Date Night 14 Spring Style 16 Smug Marrieds: Advice from a couple who’ve been there 20 Pop Culture ▶ ed and jenny 23 Watch “Kink” ▶ INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIVING 24 How to Have Sex in Public ▶ EXPERIENCE 27 The Perfect Anniversary Surprise ▶ GOOD LOVIN’ GUIDE 32 The Science of Love 36 DIY Sex Toys 40 Swap Meet 45 Why Does My Partner… 49 Lend a Hand
▶ COUPLE MAKEOVER 52 Patrick & Robyn: New Orleans ▶ TRAVEL 65 7 Sexy Cities ▶ AT HOME 94 Hello, Neighbor: A whimsical Toronto rental 99 Home Tour 109 Get the Look
▶ PARTY TRICKS 111 Dinner Theater 120 Movie Munchies ▶ RECIPE FOR 2 127 Chef Michael Smith 130 Speedy Shrimp Penne ▶ COUPLE SNAPSHOT 132 She Said Yes!
Your Guide to Good Lovin’ 4
come and gone for another year. But here at 2, we believe you should think beyond the V and celebrate your love year-round! That’s why we’ve put together this special issue devoted to our fave fourletter word: L-O-V-E. Whether you’re looking for some insight into your mate (see “Why Does My Partner…” on p.45) or want to know the science behind that crazy little thing called love (p.32), we got you covered. Valentine’s Day has
illustration: CSA Images
Want to add some spice to your boudoir—and beyond?! Check out our guide to getting it on in public (p.24) and do-it-yourself sex toys (p.36), which could lead to hours of fun around the house! Finally, when it comes to celebrating your love story, turn to p.27 for a peek at “The Perfect Anniversary Surprise,” which shows that a man with a plan can surprise the most suspicious of sweethearts! And if you can’t wait for the next issue, get your 2 fix by checking us out here: 2day The ultimate blog for couples. Check back for daily stories about love, life and the latest celeb dish.
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2List Insider info and hot tips for you and your mate!
Marriage Lessons Reva Seth, author
of First Comes Marriage: Modern Relationship Advice from the Wisdom of Arranged Marriages, tells 2 how this relationship model can teach us all a few things. —Beth Maher
⚭ “Arranged marriage couples have a realistic sense of what another
person can give them,” says Seth. They don’t expect their spouse to fulfill their every need, she adds, and are more apt to take ownership of their own happiness. In arranged marriages, newlyweds having only met once or twice before their wedding (if at all) often wait months before getting physical, so their relationship is built upon things other than sex. “One person described it to me as like a pot of rice,” Seth says. “It doesn’t start off boiling, but over time it grows.” “Because of the way arranged marriages come together—families and communities make the match—there is always the sense that the couple is part of a bigger plan,” says Seth. “Love matches are very inwardly focused, which puts a lot of pressure on a couple.”
n ’ t r o h S Sweet od
wo Hollykups Hoo
Britney Spears & Jason alexander
Carmen Electra & Dennis Rodman
Ali Landry & Mario Lopez
A Vegas quickie. Brit sported a ball cap, ripped jeans and bared her midriff. Yeah, we didn’t think she took it too seriously either.
Odd-couple alert! The height difference alone was enough to prelude the failure of this couple’s walk down the aisle. After 10 days of straining to reach for a kiss, they called it quits.
Dating for six years wasn’t enough to prepare Landry for her brief union to Lopez—she filed for divorce when she discovered he had not only cheated on her during his bachelor party, but again in the 14 days they were married.
Pam Anderson & Kid Rock
Nicolas Cage & Lisa Marie Presley
The Baywatch babe and the rap-rocker got hitched in rock-star fashion aboard a yacht in Saint-Tropez. The divorce took place in the less scenic environs of an L.A. courthouse.
With divorce proceedings lasting longer than the marriage, it’s safe to say there may have been other motivations for Elvis super-fan Nic to marry The King’s daughter. Guess the unprecedented access to Graceland wasn’t enough to keep the home fires burning.
rock and anderson: istockphoto; all others: film.com
Renée Zellweger & Kenny Chesney
tom green & drew barrymore
Jennifer Lopez & Cris Judd
R. Kelly & Aaliyah 1 year
Michael Jackson & Lisa Marie Presley
Met, married, divorced— all in under a year! Kinda makes us believe that they weren’t lying about their irreconcilable differences— they barely knew each
other. Well that, and the rumours that Chesney swings both ways.
They joked with the public for months about their impending nuptials, but when Green put Barrymore on the spot, suggesting they marry on SNL, it was a no-go. Art imitating life?
One word: rebound! J.Lo made a quick getaway from her rocky relationship with P. Diddy and leaped into the arms of backup dancer Judd. Needless to say, it wasn’t meant to be.
barrymore/green and lopez/judd: istockphoto; all others: film.com
She was his protégé, not to mention 15, when she released her first album and married Kelly. He alleges she lied about her age, but come on: The multiple child pornography charges that have occurred since don’t have us convinced. The brief marriage was annulled.
The media called it a hoax. Presley claims she thought she could save
him and that, yes, it was love. Two years later, she wasn’t staring at the man in the mirror any longer— and alas, now neither are we. 2forcouples.com
isn’t giving him a lot back romantically or as a friend really. We have to assume that a lot of it has happened off-screen. But yeah, it would be puppy love because it isn’t really grounded in a truthful relationship, and they haven’t developed one…yet. 2 : Have you ever been as
whipped as Ryan—by a girl you weren’t even dating? JG: Maybe for a week. Look,
Jason Gann Quickie Q&A
(FX Canada), a depressed ex-attorney (Elijah Wood) strikes up an odd friendship with his neighbor’s dog—whom he sees as a foulmouthed Australian in a shaggy dog suit, but the rest of the cast sees as a cuddly mutt. 2 sat down with Jason Gann, series co-creator and the man in the canine costume, to toss him some meaty bones to chew on.
Wilfred and Ryan seem like an old married couple. What would a couples’ counselor would make of their relationship? JG: You’ve obviously been
in the writers’ room. Look, I think it’s a really good romance between the two. I guess you’d call it a codependent relationship that is maybe not healthy. 2 : Wilfred’s owner, Jenna,
manipulates Ryan almost as much as the dog does. Is he in “puppy” love with her? (Pun intended.) JG: Ryan definitely has a
lot of stakes in a girl who
I’ve been heavily in love with girls but, from an early age, I saw what happened to nice guys. So even if I wanted to be like that, even if everything in my body was telling me to do so, I’ve resisted because they don’t respect it…well, they do and they don’t. That doesn’t mean I don’t treat women well in my life. I really do. I treat them like queens. 2 : Really?? Never even been
a little whipped? JG: What am I saying! My last
girlfriend used to send me to the dry cleaner all the time. I’d also drive her to work in the morning and she’d inevitably forget something and I’d have to drive her back. But it wasn’t because I was desperately in love; this somehow just happened.
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Date Night Cuz you should never stop dating your mate!
Get your rocks off by hitting the local curling arena. If nothing more, it’s the perfect excuse to scream “Hurry hard!” at your guy or girl.
Sure, it’s a bit messy, but Ethiopian dining is ideal for couples because, aside from tasting amazing, many of the aromatic dishes are made for sharing.
Say “en garde” to your mate with some fencing! Sign-up for an intro class for some friendly competition and a little fitness to boot. See: American Reunion. America’s fave teenagers reunite for their 10 year high-school reunion. Although a lot has changed, Finch is still lusting after Stifler’s mom. Opens April 6.
Attend a local sex workshop together for tips on how to increase sexual pleasure and intimacy. The hands-on homework is obviously the best part!
Explore the curbside fare in your city for a fun and cheap date. Skip the hotdog stand and try takeaway treats like gourmet fish tacos and fiery tikka masala.
making life memorable
Click for tips to create fabulous tables, courtesy of The Great Dinner Party by Mikasa, and share photos of your own inspired tablescapes! daylight dinnerware
g n i spr
e l y t s Cotton sweater $30 H&M
Dove Men+Care antiperspirant $5 Walmart
Slim jeans $39 Joe Fresh
Aviator sunglasses $17 Winners
Nautica watch $225 Sears
Converse by John Varvatos $200 Get Outside
TOMS sunglasses $140 TOMS
GOSH nail lacquer $7 Shoppers Drug Mart
Fulton umbrella $45 The Bay
Tiffany Rubedo cuff $8,250 Tiffany & Co.
Orange jeans $19 Joe Fresh
her Nautical tee $19 Joe Fresh
Smug Marrieds No-holds-barred advice from a couple whoâ€™ve been there!
Derek Chezzi & Angela Pacienza Happily married university sweethearts Angela and Derek live in a leafy neighborhood with their super-cute son and daughter. They are the envy of all their friends.
Friends of ours continuously post loveydovey comments to one another on their public Facebook wall. Itâ€™s making everyone else nauseous. How do we tell them to turn off their Facebook faux pas? illustration: zack blanton
Do they also “talk” to each other on Facebook when they’re in the same house? Ewwww... that’s just plain tacky in my book. Since they’re obviously not down with social media etiquette, I advise a direct approach. Take one half of the couple aside and gently explain that their wall posts fall under the TMI category or are just plain annoying/ icky to friends. Suggest they try the less public form of communicating such as texting or email. Question: Does this couple also speak in baby voices to each other? If so, I’m afraid you might not get very far. Another option is to just un-friend them. I know it sounds harsh, but Facebook is your space, and if you don’t want to read lovesick posts, you don’t have to.
photo: Kyoungil Jeon
Just unfriend them. Clearly they have little of value to add to your news feed. If it comes up in conversation, be blunt: Tell them you want to heave every time their status updates pop up on your iPhone. derek says…
It seems our couple friends are always dropping by our condo unannounced after work and we inevitably end up feeding them. Ordering takeout is beginning
click to Follow the Smugs on Twitter
to take its toll—on the wallet and the waistline. Help! This is the price you pay for being so darn great. Ask your friends to split the cost of takeout, if you haven’t already. Or have them take turns in your kitchen. It might become a fun, regular event. You could always start texting your friends around the time they’re set to arrive with a shopping list of ingredients they should pick up on the way over. They’ll either get the hint, or dive right in and create some gourmet meals for you.
upfront smug marrieds
Great food brings good friends together. My father-in-law is a great cook who loves to throw parties. His goto meal for an impromptu gathering is pasta. It might seem like an obvious choice, but it’s fast, cheap and you can keep a handful of ingredients on hand at all times for a variety of savory options. derek says…
My husband’s comic book collection is taking over the basement and there is no room for our toddler’s toys. How do I get him to understand that his childhood has come to an end?
My gut reaction is to let your toddler eat a peanut butter-and-jam sandwich in the basement. But upon
sober second thought, I wonder if it really is such problem after all? Isn’t it better if the comic books reside in the basement rather than your bedroom, dining or living rooms? And does his childhood really need to come to a complete end? If space is an issue, is there a compromise—maybe he can free up one shelf for the kid’s growing Olivia book collection? I’m no psychologist, but I have seen enough episodes of Two and a Half Men to gently suggest that perhaps you resent your husband’s ability to balance his super-ego and id. That childlike quality that expresses itself in his love of comics is part of the reason you fell in love with him. Asking him to part
“That childlike quality that expresses itself in his love of comics is part of the reason you fell in love with him.”
with them could rip out a piece of his soul and turn him into a dull, socially awkward individual capable of interacting only with electrical engineers. But if you really need the space, have someone digitally archive the collection and then buy him an iPad to carry the comics wherever he goes.
How come my husband always forgets stuff? I will call him at work to remind him, and it doesn’t matter how many times I text him—he never comes home with the stuff I’ve asked for. Why? And what can I do to get him to remember?
Sounds like you’re doing all the right things, but some leopards can’t change their spots. Certain guys aren’t hardwired for this stuff. I’m not making excuses for him, I’m just saying.* derek says…
Yeesh! If texting doesn’t work, maybe he needs to phone you as he’s heading home for a verbal reminder? The reality is that some people
are just absent-minded, no matter how hard they try. And in a relationship, there will be one partner who is dominant when it comes to remembering to bring home bread and broccoli for dinner. But maybe the other will
remember when the car needs an oil change. If it all balances out, just accept—and embrace— the absent-minded professor in your life. Hopefully he’s aware he forgets and compensates in other areas.
See the story “Why Does My Partner…” on page 45 for more insights!! Illustration: Simon Oxley
Pop Culture What to watch, read and listen to this month. click for trailer
Safe has everything we
love about Jason Statham flicks: high-octane car chases, UFC-worthy fights and Statham as the good guy suffering some hard knocks. This time around, he’s a disgraced NYC cop. And rather than transporting pretty young females, he’s protecting a 12-year-old girl from an Asian gang, corrupt cops and the Russian mob. Guys: If The Transporter got your motor running, you’ll love this high-speed romp. Ladies: Statham will surely be topless for a couple of scenes! Opens April 27. 20
rent The Iron Lady Alliance Films
Catch Meryl’s Oscar-winning turn as Maggie Thatcher.
Charlize Theron as an awful, selfish (and hilarious!) 30something visiting her hometown.
See what happens when a hard-living roadie for an ’80s hair band hits middle age.
Hilarity Ensues By Tucker Max
Blue Heeler Books
The debaucherous author
I’ve Got Your Number: A Novel By Sophie Kinsella Random House
Shopaholic series will savor this morsel of chick-lit. Our new heroine, Poppy Wyatt, is having a rough day: She’s lost her pricy engagement ring and her mobile to boot. When she spots an abandoned phone, she suspects her luck is changing—until she strikes up a text chat with said phone’s actual owner. And that’s when things get really complicated for the betrothed Poppy. A light and airy read, perfect for your morning commute.
Fans of Kinsella’s
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened By Jenny Lawson Penguin Group USA
Jenny Lawson, a.k.a.
The Bloggess, has a knack for making completely absurd situations seem entirely relatable. Her darkly hysterical memoir chronicles an odd childhood, filled with dead animal hand puppets and boots made of breadsticks, awkward highschool years and current life as wife, mom and blogger. She also raises some makeyou-think questions (why isn’t Jesus considered a zombie??). If you like Tina Fey, you will adore Lawson.
of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell is back with more booze-fueled shenanigans to entertain your inner college kid. This go around, Max meanders sticky situations like being sued by a dirty pageant girl, living in Cancun while still enrolled in law school and subtly torturing high-strung roommates to the point of psychotic meltdown. Once again, he shows that while assholes may not finish first, they seem to have a lot of fun along the way!
upfront pop culture
ht ate nig d r u o Y rack! soundt
m albu e of th ! th mon
First Day of My Life Bright Eyes If I Were a Carpenter Johnny Cash & June Carter Home Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy
fans, the wait is over. For Nada newbies, meet an indie band with a layered sound and introspective lyrics. The trio Nada Surf formed in the early nineties Barsuk Records and hit their stride in ’96 with the teenage anthem “Popular.” A subsequent falling out with their record label resulted in some independent albums but not much critical success. That’s set to change with Astronomy, their first studio album in four years. It boasts bittersweet yet buoyant tracks about youth, aging and everything in between. The album’s first release, “When I Was Young,” features sweet lyrics and a melancholic melody that picks up delightfully at the midway mark. “Jules and Jim” offers up a peppy ditty of young love and a xylophone—and who doesn’t love a good xylophone?! The closing track, “The Future,” is an optimistic tune that seems tailor-made for your next road trip—and the perfect endnote for a band looking ahead.
Love and Some Verses Iron & Wine
For Nada Surf
The Light Is You Said the Whale I Love How You Love Me Camera Obscura Never Had Nobody Like You M. Ward (featuring Zooey Deschanel) Cartoons and Forever Plans Maria Taylor You Are the Best Thing Ray LaMontagne If You’re Not Dancin’ Breathe Owl Breathe
click to Preview
Ed and Jenny
watch their (mis)adventures
click for Video
tV illustration: tarras79
instructions for living
e v a h o How t
n i x Se
c i l b Pu by reb stevenson
five places where you romped with your partner…If your answer is a full “bed” ﬂush—with a smattering of “couch” feebly thrown in, it’s time to raise the stakes with a dash of exhibitionistic pizzazz. Migrating straight from the bedroom to the front lawn is not recommended (unless you're looking for a quick avenue to sex in the slammer). But for discreet duos, here are some key places to have sex in public and how to do it! Name the last
n i x Se
ve a h o t How
c i l b Pu
2/10 Instructions: Beginners can cheat and hit the stop button between floors. More risqué couples should select the top floor of a tall tower and hope nobody gets on before they get off. (Warning: Disregarding security cameras can increase the odds of getting caught, but may start a career in porn.) Dress code: He’s a bellboy; she’s in a power suit. Dirty talk: “Ride that shaft.” Excuse if busted: “We got confused between going to the penthouse and posing for it.”
7/10 Instructions: Strip to the ankles. She sits on his lap. Insert coins and make indecent exposures. (Note: Failure to collect the pictures in time may result in an arrest/threesome offer from mall security.) Dress code: Anything, as long as you can keep socks and shoes on. Dirty talk: “Say sleaze!”
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Excuse if busted:
“The rules on passport photos are getting so stringent. First no smiles, now no shirts? Jeepers…” you may also like:
A fireman’s pole istockphoto
10/10 Instructions: Go to the kitchen cabinet display. Open two cupboards to obstruct everything from the waist down. Maintain the facial composure of shoppers who are seriously contemplating faucets. Dress code: A long skirt and a trench coat. Dirty talk: “Tab A in Slot B and then screw.” Excuse if busted: Pretend you’re Swedish. String together product names that sound like a sentence (“Malm sova agen svenning!”), then run to the cafeteria. Risk factor:
9/10 Instructions: She wears an inner tube around the waist to ward off prying eyes. He swims up, grabs the side of the flotation device, and she mounts him underwater. Dress code: A one-piece swimsuit (to prevent the awkward loss of bikini bottoms). Dirty talk: “You’re soooo wet.” Excuse if busted: “The undertow sucked me in.” Risk factor:
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Niagara Falls’ Maid of the Mist
4/10 Instructions: Most clubbing is just a layer of fabric away from penetration anyway. Wait until claustrophobia and intoxication levels soar simultaneously, then pull off a standing spooning position. Dress code: A short skirt and a well-oiled fly. No underwear. Dirty talk: “C’mon baby, do the locomotion...I’ll jump on the caboose.” Excuse if busted: “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” Risk factor:
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An outdoor music festival
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Sunday, April 29th, 2012 All Day
The Perfect Anniversary Surprise
Ken Hegan marks a milestone with something truly memorable! illustrations by Luc Latulippe 2forcouples.com
Unless the surprise is on me. Nine out of 10 times, when I walk into our apartment, she hides behind something, then pounces on me like a ninja. Scares the crap out of me. She especially likes to “ninja” me when I’m stumbling back from the bathroom in the middle of the night. Basically we’re like an old Pink Panther film. I’m the easily duped Inspector Clouseau and she’s my ever-surprising Kato. And I love it. But if I ever try and surprise her? Good luck. The woman plans like a general, so surprises tend to annoy her. She once warned me, “Don’t ever throw me a surprise party. If you do, I’ll divorce you so fast you’ll think you got hit by a truck.” So as our fifth anniversary quickly approached, I was in a quandary. This was our first big marital milestone, the do-ordie anniversary. Our normal anniversary dinner (a table for two at her favorite restaurant) just didn’t seem good enough for my sweetheart. I wanted to wow her with something fresh and wild—and possibly illegal. I threw caution to the wind and came up with the perfect anniversary surprise. my wife hates surprises.
I crafted my plan months in advance, telling her not to worry about a thing, as I was handling our anniversary plans this year. That didn’t assure her—at all. I told her we’d have a nice mellow weekend together. I’d take care of everything. She wouldn’t have to lift a finger. Then I launched my misdirection campaign. For weeks, I artfully distracted her with a tapestry of lies. First, I hinted she’d need a bikini for the lake. Then I said she might be bathing in rose petals at a local hotel. Finally, two days before our anniversary, I instructed her to pack an overnight bag and be ready for anything at 5 p.m. on Friday. Come Friday, my plan shifted into high gear. Instead of meeting her at five,
I took a taxi to her office just before lunch. At noon sharp, my wife’s boss (who was in on my secret) invited her to go for coffee. (Note: In retrospect, not a great idea. They’d never gone for coffee before, so my wife thought she was getting fired!) As they left the building, I called my wife’s cell and told her to close her eyes. Then I ran up, blindfolded her, and stuffed her into a waiting taxi. Yep, I kidnapped my wife in broad daylight. I kept the blindfold on her while the taxi driver kept mum. When we got to our destination, I whipped off the blindfold to reveal the airport departures’ sign. I said “Baby, here’s your passport…because I’m flying you to New York for a romantic weekend getaway!” She shrieked and hugged me. We flew to Newark, and then took a (surprisingly cheap) helicopter into Manhattan. When I opened the door to our Soho hotel suite (I’d asked for a fifth floor room but the manager upgraded us to the penthouse), my wife literally jumped around and yelled for joy. Brick walls. Hardwood floors. Soaring ceilings. And a king-size bed. The smile on my wife’s face was magical.
“But if I ever try and surprise her? Good luck. ”
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “That guy is so gonna get laid,” right? Wrong! Minutes after we entered the suite, my wife got sucker-punched by the flu. She spent the weekend shivering and moaning under the covers (not in the good way). The only time she left the room was when I dragged her to see a doctor on the Upper West Side. But since I’d forgotten to buy travel insurance, the jerk made her cry when he gouged us for hundreds of dollars for a five-minute consult. So, what’s the moral of this story? Even the world’s perfect anniversary surprise is powerless against a surprise visit from a killer virus. So lesson No. 1: Get your flu shot. But lesson No. 2: If you hold her hand, stroke her forehead and feed her plenty of fluids, she’ll love you even more. 2forcouples.com
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good lovinâ€™ guide
The science of love Love feels crazy, magical and amazingâ€”and a big part of it is beyond your control. Find out what happens to your body when your heart falls in love. by Siski Green
photography by Andrew Rich
credit: artist name
WAKE UP AND SMELL THE... LUST Even if you never, ever want to have children, your body is primed for that purpose. And whether you like it or not, your nose selects a partner who is compatible with you, genetically speaking, for creating healthy offspring. In one Swiss study, researchers had a group of men wear the same T-shirt for two nights. The clothing was then put in different boxes and women were asked to smell the shirts while rating the scent as sexy or not. When researchers checked the data, they found that all the women had chosen men (or their shirts) who had a different genetic makeup to theirs, thereby increasing the health of potential offspring.
“Your nose selects a partner who is compatible with you for creating healthy offspring.”
I CAN’T EAT That’s because some people lose their appetite when they fall in love. Why? Your body’s too busy prepping you for romance. “This can happen when the release of dopamine is triggered by falling in love,” says Helen Fisher, biological anthropology professor and author of Why Him? Why Her? How to Find and Keep Lasting Love. “Some people lose their appetites as a result.” 2forcouples.com
good lovin’ guide the science of love
“Physical exertion is a cheap and easy way to get a PEA high.”
I’M SO HAPPY, I COULD EXPLODE! Blame it on the phenylethylamine (PEA). It’s what keeps you feeling high for the first months of being with someone you’ve fallen in love with. It stimulates the release of norepinephrine and dopamine— the same substances released when you’re excited for other reasons, like when you go bungee jumping or jet skiing, for example. If you want to top-up your supplies, eat some cheese or chocolate (both contain 34
PEA), or do some hardcore exercise like sprinting—physical exertion is a cheap and easy way to get a PEA high. THE EXCITEMENT’S GONE, BUT I’M STILL SO IN LOVE After two years, scientists believe your body becomes accustomed to the raised levels of PEA and so doesn’t respond to it in the same way. But the hormone to take its place is oxytocin. Oxytocin is a bonding hormone that’s released when you hold hands, caress or snuggle each other—it’s also the same stuff that’s released by a woman when she has a baby—and it’s potent. WE ALMOST NEVER FIGHT. OUR RELATIONSHIP IS PERFECT Thank oxytocin for this, too. The hormone makes you more amenable to an opposing opinion. According to a study undertaken at the University of Zurich, couples who were given a dose of oxytocin before being asked to discuss a conflict within their marriage were more likely to talk about it in a positive, friendly way. The moral of the story? Couples who cuddle together, stay together!
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good lovin’ guide
No need to mortgage the house for some sexy fun—just explore your home!
by Siski Green
photography by Carlos Caetano
bathroom body scrub Not just for sloughing off dead skin cells, an exfoliating wash can make your touch electric. Spend a little time rubbing your partner down, rinse, then apply your most gentle, featherlight touch. The skin is extra soft and sensitive after being scrubbed, which will make this the best clean sex you’ve ever had. Electric toothbrush Any electric toothbrush can be transformed into a vibrator. Wind some plastic wrap around it to round off any edges, and remove the head attachment before you get busy brushing. Run it over your partner’s body, using a little lubrication to add to the sensation if you wish.
BEDROOM eye mask To add an aspect of sexual exploration, try shutting out one of your senses. Use an eye mask on your partner as you touch his or her body. Not being able to see where your hands are moving, or where you might place a wet tongue or apply a gentle nibble, makes even routine bedroom moves an erotic roller coaster ride. Makeup brush A barely-there caress awakens your nerve endings, making you extra sensitive to every touch. Try dusting a makeup brush over your partner’s body, playing the soft bristles on their skin.
KITCHEN apron Dressing sexily while doing mundane tasks can be a huge turn-on. Don just a kitchen apron and do your household chores as you would normally. Showing off a little skin is a great way to titillate—and it’ll make cleaning so much more fun! 2forcouples.com
good lovin’ guide diy sex toys
LIVING ROOM beanbag chair An excellent sex prop! Place it underneath during missionary—the angle of penetration means the woman is far more likely to climax. Place it underneath during her-on-top sex and the positioning of her legs means you’ll experience far deeper penetration.
LAUNDRY ROOM Washing machine It has a fast spin cycle and gets nice and warm too— perfect for a naked bottom. The vibrations of the spin will add an extra element to the proceedings, shaking up your entire body.
GARAGE tool bench The kitchen table is never quite the right height for sex, so opt for the only worktop in the house with adjustable height. Simply raise or lower until you’ve got the perfect angle nailed. But watch out for splinters!
BACKYARD Hammock Sit sideways in the hammock, legs hanging over the edge, with your partner standing, and you’ll soon get into the swing of things.
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good lovinâ€™ guide
An inside look at the world of swingers.
by Sandy Caetano Photography by Niko Guido
ave you ever wondered what it would be like to have a playdate with another couple? We’re not talking dinner and a movie here, but the kind of rendezvous people prefer to keep to themselves? Whichever way you slice it, the lives of swingers are very intriguing. It’s a night when you can explore your wildest of fantasies, an evening to push the limits and experiment with some new sexual activities—and with someone other than your partner. It’s their “dirty little secret,” something swingers can do every weekend, if they so choose, to indulge in some guilty pleasures. So what makes swinging so appealing? Does it enhance their sex lives? Does it strengthen their relationship? Why would a couple want to partake in a sexual encounter with someone who’s not their significant other? For John and Cindy,* it’s about spicing up their relationship. “Going to the club and dressing up also encourages us to stay fit and look our best for each other,” says Cindy. “We are also a lot closer,
as communication is a key component in participating in this lifestyle—we both have to be on the same page.” It isn’t for everyone, but John and Cindy agree that experimenting doesn’t hurt if you are equally into it. “Communication is key and also trust. Take things one step at a time,” says John. “Make sure you’re both enjoying the moment. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no thank you’ or to stop if things don’t feel right. The experience is tremendous when everyone is on the same wave length.” Swingers Penny and Parker enjoy exploring this lifestyle and their sexuality together as opposed to fantasizing about it or doing it behind their partner’s back. “It does strengthen our relationship. Sex together after playing is most intense,” says Penny. “You feel alive sexually and excited to pursue or explore other experiences in life.” “You have to keep Names have been an open mind,” adds changed to protect Parker. “Respect their privacy yourselves as well as 2forcouples.com
good lovin’ guide swap meet
others, set comfort rules and boundaries in the beginning and revisit them as experience grows. A constant and open line of communication is paramount,” he advises.
erious swingers (couples who like to participate in this lifestyle on a regular basis) prefer to go to clubs devoted to such sexual encounters. Swinger clubs, such as Mississauga, Ont.’s The X Club, host various theme nights and social events for members to heighten their experience. Most of these clubs feature two areas: a loungy dance club space and private rooms—play areas where members can enjoy encounters sparked in the more PG-rated parts of the bar. The atmosphere is similar to a regular nightclub, but with a twist. The energy level here is erotic and electrifying, and when the dance floor starts hopping, the pure sexual energy flows faster than the chilled Cristal. “It’s one of those things where you really have to experience it to believe it,” says Shawn, co-owner of The X Club. “We take the comfort and safety of our patrons very seriously.” 42
“We take the comfort and safety of our patrons very seriously.” “We have a ‘one strike and you’re out’ policy,” continues Jenn, the club’s other co-owner. “We do not turn our back on inappropriate behavior and people understand this policy—it’s all about respect.” Every swingers’ club has one important rule, which is heavily enforced: istockphoto
“It’s like an oasis of freedom—a place where you can express your sensuality.” No means no. Any type of pressure or aggressive action is not tolerated. Such clubs live in plain sight for those who want to find them, but are equally invisible to those wishing to turn a blind eye. Aurora Benzion, owner of Toronto’s Wicked, says privacy is key since many members maintain high-profile professions and like to keep this part of their lifestyle discreet. Swingers come from all walks of life, including those with very prestigious careers: lawyers, judges and law enforcement. But there are also dentists, nannies, school teachers and plumbers. They’re all everyday people. “We have noticed in recent years that many younger people don’t really care if people find out about their open relationships, and some even boast about it,” says Benzion. istockphoto
Everyone who adopts this lifestyle starts off experimenting, mainly out of curiosity. Then it becomes an addiction and, as Benzion says, “some just can’t get enough of it.” “They get hooked on the easy-going atmosphere, the friendliness of everyone around, the non-judgmental-ness,” she adds. “It’s like an oasis of freedom—a place where you can express your sensuality, no matter how wild or mild.”
ot everybody comes to the club looking to “play” or hookup with someone outside of their relationship. Some couples just enjoy the club section, where a lady can dance and dress as provocative as she feels without being judged. Others, according to Benzion, are exhibitionists and enjoy being watched by others, while some find a third person (male or female) for a threesome. The fantasies really are endless. “There is a bit of a hedonist in each and every one of us. We all have certain degrees of sexuality and desires,” says Benzion. “People who come to the club are those who dare to act on them. And those who don’t, let their inhibitions win.” 2forcouples.com
good lovinâ€™ guide
why does my partnerâ€Ś
We reveal the reasons behind some gender-based quirks.
by Siski Green illustration by Boris zaytsev
good lovin’ guide why does my partner…
Why will he spend five minutes precariously balancing a banana skin on top of the trash rather than empty it?
orget UFC: Real men test their masculine abilities on an overﬂowing trash bag. “When a bag is piled high, getting it tied up and out of the house is a better test of a man’s spatial skills,” says communications guru Allan Pease, co-author of Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. “A man is thinking: ‘Can I get the sides up without spilling any of the contents, get the contents evenly distributed so it doesn’t break and get enough spare plastic at the top to make a secure tie?’ That’s a challenge to get a thrill out of—a nearly full bag is boring.”
Why is the presentation of a gift as important to her as what’s inside it?
od is in the details—or so they say. And Lord help the man who wraps his wife’s expensive gift in newspaper. Why can’t she just be grateful? Because it’s not just about the present; it’s about communication. “When a guy is inscrutable, unfathomable or there’s a lack of communication, this leads to insecurity and a desire to overanalyze,” says Ian Kerner, author of She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman. “As a result, women often try to read a guy’s emotions from his actions.” Problem is, instead of teaching that it’s the thought that counts, our culture promotes the idea that bigger is better, and so men focus on the cost or size of a gift. Ladies, tell him again: Size doesn’t matter!
Why would she rather sew up her eyelids than go public in a bikini?
Why can’t he FInd the keys when they’re in front of him?
e have done studies where we place items in a simulated home environment and then test people on location memory,” says psychology professor Robin West of the University of Florida. Women outperformed men on the task, she says, even though men were more conﬁdent in their ability to remember. Researchers aren’t certain if this difference is due to the brain’s hard-wiring or learned behavior—either way, getting him to always leave the keys in the same place will at least help you to help him find them!
Why can he recall an obscure ’70s band but can’t remember your anniversary?
motional memories, such as anniversary dates, are triggered by estrogen, whereas the ability to recall facts utilizes testosterone,” says Pease. “This effect is so powerful that if a man has to receive hormone therapy—if he has prostate cancer, for example—he’ll become better at remembering emotional events and less able to recall data.”
or many women, wearing a bikini is a form of ﬂirtation,” says John Gray, author of Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice. “It’s a physical display, a way to attract potential mates. If their partner was seen ﬂirting with another woman, they’d get extremely upset, so they themselves avoid encouraging sexual attention in an effort to ensure that their partner doesn’t.” 2forcouples.com
HI-LO HOLIDAYS Save or splurge in 4 hot spots
A peek inside a real couple’s home
PET PEEVES... SOLVED! Solutions from a marriage counselor
PLUS: 10 CHICK FLICKS MEN DIG, TIPS FROM A CULINARY CASANOVA & LIVING WITH A SERIAL HOBBYIST
ISSUE NO. 3
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LOVIN’ S: GA LAS VESPAS!
INSIDE: COUPLE MAKEOVER GOES TO FLORIDA!
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48 HOURS IN SIN CITY
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Eat, drink, be merry. Repeat
A rad theme, the best booze & more
Peek inside an amusing abode
A downtown duo in a rustic retreat
*SEXY SOS Must-read!
PLUS: LIFE LESSONS FROM 90210, A DATE WITH DANIEL NEGREANU & CHEESY LOVE SONGS
ISSUE NO. 4
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How to sexify 5 not-hot situations
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good lovinâ€™ guide
HAND They stroke, they squeeze, they tease, they pleaseâ€”of all the sex toys in the world, nothing can do what a simple hand can. Harness its power with these tips for him and her.
by Siski Green illustrations by Pingebat
good lovin’ guide lend a hand
or most men, there are two methods for digitally stimulating a woman: the deep thrust or the onefingered clitoral twiddle. The first involves him sticking his fingers deep inside her. Although it might be enjoyable for some women, there are few nerve endings beyond the first inner third of her vagina, so a lot of the time this move does more for him than it does for her.
The second method can be used for getting her to orgasm, but there is a third better way! Position yourself behind her, let her lean back on your chest. Put your middle finger inside her, but only up to the first bend. Let your index and ring finger work her vaginal lips, which are packed with nerve endings and respond exceptionally well to touch. And what about her clitoris? “The beauty of this move is that your fingers’ knuckle bone (on the palm side) will be pushing on the clitoral region,” says Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright, author of Sultry Sex Talk to Seduce Any Lover. “For a number of women, this move will feel familiar since they often masturbate that way— wrist on abs, positioning fingers for clitoral stimulation.”
ith the right approach, your hands can provide his penis with more stimulation than your vagina. But be warned: A dry hand job is like a wooden slide—it’s no fun and it can be painful. “To avoid chafing and discomfort, you want to get to please things wet, much like the inside of your vagina,” says Fulbright. “Using a lube also makes your movements smoother, making you more effective in hitting key hot spots along “Because you have most muscle his shaft, like the frenulum and corona.” strength in your index finger and thumb, Lube up and try the “wrap and positioning your hand this way allows squeeze”. It’s not fellatio, but it feels just you to keep the pressure up right from as good for the recipient—without all the the base all the way to the tip,” adds sex hard work for the giver. Wrap one hand advice guru Dr. Pam Spurr, author of around the shaft of his penis, with your Fabulous Foreplay: The Sex Doctor’s index finger close to the base and your Guide to Teasing and Pleasing Your pinkie towards the tip. (Try it positioned Lover. “Cup your other hand over the behind him.) head of his penis, and use the palm of your hand like you were squeezing a lemon. Don’t be too firm—think stimulate, not hurt. This mimics the sensation of deep-throating, where the pleasure comes from his sensitive head hitting the back of your throat.”
Patrick & Robyn 2 helps high-school sweethearts, Patrick and Robyn, get back into the swing of things in New Orleans.
Photography by James Pattyn Styling by margo ducharme
click for video
5 things you need to know about these high-school sweethearts:
The two met at school when they were both self-proclaimed rebellious, confused, scatterbrained kids!
Robyn digs Patrick’s sense of humor: “I’m lucky to have a witty husband who keeps life fun and interesting.”
Robyn is a program coordinator for investor services, while Pat works as an export sales manager.
patrick & robyn
This fun-loving twosome grew up together— literally! Having met in high school, they evolved from teenagers to adults to hubby and wife. To breathe new life into their relationship (and style!), 2 whisked them away to the Big Easy to spice things up, Cajun-style!
How have they made their relationship work so long? “Laughter and sometimes acting like you’re teenagers—full of puppy love,” jokes Patrick.
They’d never been to New Orleans before, but were game to have some big fun in the Big Easy!
Country Inn & Suites New Orleans Created out of seven historic buildings, dating back to the 1860s, the Country Inn & Suites offer the perfect blend of old and new. Modern conveniences blend in alongside exposed brick and original wood beams. And the inn’s Magazine Street location is walking distance to the riverfront, French Quarter, aquarium, museums and Harrah’s Casino. When you tire of sightseeing, return to the hotel to unwind: Relax poolside in the picturesque courtyard, enjoy a cocktail during happy hour at the lobby bar or curl up with a book from the library. 2forcouples.com
Both Patrick and Robyn got a combination of highlights and lowlights to renew their â€™dos.
Patrick gets a rosemary-infused facial to help reduce redness and even out skin tone.
To match their fun-loving personalities, Patrick and Robyn got updated wardrobes featuring urban streetwear, vibrant color, comfy knits and chic accessories.
To kick off their New Orleans adventure, Robyn and Patrick stopped in at Murielâ€™s Jackson Square bistro for a relaxing lunch alfresco.
Patrick keeps Robyn laughing aboard the Riverboat Natchez, one of the last authentic steamboats operating on the Mississippi.
Back home, date nights for this career-minded couple are few and far between. So, a night out at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is just what the (relationship) doctor ordered!
Patrick tries his hand at feeding an alligator on the awesome Cajun Pride swamp tour.
Whoâ€™s that girl (and boy)?? The couple gets in a Mardi Gras frame of mind by donning embellished masks. While the actual festival is celebrated in January and February, the carnival spirit lives year-round in New Orleans.
Lovebirds Robyn and Patrick steal a smooch as they enjoy a stroll— and a nightcap—along Bourbon Street. 2forcouples.com
The couple took in a lively jazz performance at the renowned Preservation Hall. 62
Taking a romanticâ€”and much-needed!â€”breather at Creole restaurant, the Gumbo Shop.
click for video
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Beautiful commemorative photo album from the wedding
Guest book to read all the well-wishes left by royal watchers
Great articles, photos and features about Will & Kate
much, much more!
Skip Paris and NYC! We dare you to try some of the worldâ€™s lesser known but equally romantic locales! by Steff Green
Charles Bridge with a view of Prague Castle
Old Town Hall’s 600-year-old astronomical clock
“The City of 100 Spires”
will enchant even the most wary of travelers. You’ll be enchanted by the fairy-tale architecture and old world charm, and the hip nightlife will have you out dancing till the wee hours. With its Gothic spires, lovely lakes and plentiful fountains, Prague is the perfect city for romantic walks. Entertainment on Charles Bridge Prague Information Service (above and opposite)
What to do: Stroll through scented rose gardens. Listen to the chime of a 600-year-old astronomical clock. Kiss on the famous Charles Bridge. Visit Prague Castle—the largest ancient castle in the world—and admire the work of Rodin and Picasso at the National Gallery. 68
A fountain in Wallenstein Garden
castle: Prague Information Service; fountain: Jan Gottwald
Medieval charm in Old Town Square
town square: Prague Information Service; hotel: courtesy hotel Questenberk
Where to stay: A medieval monastery has been lovingly restored to create the tranquil and romantic Hotel Questenberk. Snuggle under the covers in an attic room under the original roof beams, and take breakfast in the converted baroque chapel. You can score a deluxe room for as little as â‚Ź57 and they offer many other great deals. 2forcouples.com
Ancient cave homes
Ballooning over the rugged landscape
Formed by volcanic
Sightseeing in Göreme National Park
opposite: HAYKIRDI; balloons: Niko Guido; tourists: Burcin Tuncer
eruptions and erosion, the natural wonder of Cappadocia’s whimsical landscape has been enchanting visitors and residents for thousands of years. Ancient inhabitants carved their homes into the soft rocks, and early residents escaped persecution by hiding in the area’s underground cities. 2forcouples.com
Byzantine frescoes in the regionâ€™s cave churches
What to do: Tour the seven floors of Derinkuyu Underground City and see the stables, storage rooms, chapels and ventilation shafts that serviced some 50,000 people hiding from persecution. See the whirling dervishes or take a Turkish cooking lesson. Adventurous couples can explore the dramatic landscape, ancient ruins and fairy chimneys on foot or horseback. For the ultimate romantic experience, soak up the morning sun from the basket of a hot air balloon. 72
A passageway in Derinkuyu Underground City
underground city: traveler 1116; church: tunart
A room at Museum Hotel
Museum Hotel’s tranquil pool
Hotel: courtesy museum Hotel; dervish: logos stock
Where to stay: Experience the life of Ottoman aristocrats in one of the opulent rooms of Museum Hotel. Built from the remains of ancient ruins and designed as a living museum, each “cave” room is furnished with rich carpets, jewel-toned fabrics and priceless antiques. The hotel includes an art gallery, ecological garden and award-winning restaurant. Rooms start from €200 and are ideal for a romantic indulgence.
Whirling dervish in action
A canal in the â€œVenice of the Northâ€?
Burg Square’s ornate Peace Court
The 13th-century Belfry tower
Belgian chocolate in the making
Called “Venice of the North,”
Bruges’ network of picturesque canals and preserved medieval charm make this a must-see for couples in love. A center of trade in the Middle Ages, Bruges is now home to some of the finest beer, sausages and chocolate in Europe. What’s not to love?! Belfry tower: clubfoto; Peace court: Michael Utech; chocolate: istockphoto/Plus
Shops and restaurants in Market Square
What to do: Take a cruise around the canals and learn about the fascinating history of Bruges. Climb the Belfry tower and take in panoramic views of the city. Enjoy waffles, chocolate and beer (not all at once!) in one of the many quaint cafes surrounding the Grote Markt (Market Square). Take a horsedrawn carriage ride or just walk hand-in-hand around the intimate cobbled lanes. A romantic carriage ride
Market Square: Fritz Hiersche; carriage: Alexander Gatsenko
Kempinski Hotel Dukes’ Palace
Poolside at the Kempinski Hotel
courtesy Kempinski Hotel Dukes’ Palace
Where to stay: Get the Royal Treatment in Kempinski Hotel Dukes’ Palace, the 15th-century residence of the former Dukes of Burgundy. Choose from one of the palatial rooms and suites– some are even heritagelisted—and spend a day relaxing in the opulent gardens or enjoying the luxury spa. Rooms start from €186 and include marble bathrooms and 300-count-cotton sheets. 2forcouples.com
Bath Bath Abbey, founded in 1499
Bathâ€™s Holburne Museum
Wander through the cobbled
streets and delightful gardens of Bath, a UNESCO heritage site brimming with ancient history and Georgian splendour. Since Roman times, pilgrims have come to Bath to soak in the thermal waters, which were believed to have healing properties. The city boasts more than 20 museums and the famous Bath Abbey, the last of the great medieval churches of England.
The ornate interiors of Bath Abbey
The Fashion Museum
Abbey and Holburne museum: Bath Tourism Plus/Colin Hawkins; fashion museum: Bath Tourism Plus
Getting steamy in the Roman baths
What to do: Hire a vintage car to tour the historic city, visit the ancient Roman baths and enjoy thermal spa treatments just like the Romans did at Thermae Bath Spa. Enjoy the surrounding countryside with a boat trip down the River Avon, and finish with a show at the Theatre Royal Bath. 80
Soaking at Thermae Bath Spa
Bath Tourism Plus/Colin Hawkins
Cruising down the Avon
The Windsor B&B
Theatre Royal Bath
Where to stay: Bask in Georgian finery at The Windsor, a B&B boasting 13 elegantly appointed rooms. Ideally situated in the center of town on one of the finest streets in Europe, you’re just a short walk from Bath’s romantic attractions. With double rooms starting at £84, you’ll have plenty of money left over to indulge in the nearby spa resorts. canal: Bath Tourism Plus/Colin Hawkins; Theatre: Piers Cunliffe/Theatre Royal; hotel: courtesy The Windsor
The cityâ€™s ancient walls, a.k.a. the Medina
An exotic hideaway
set against the backdrop of the Atlas Mountains, Marrakesh is a whirlwind of exotic sights, sounds, tastes and smells. Whether you want to explore brightly colored markets, visit a Moroccan bathhouse (hammam) or dance the night away in North Africaâ€™s party city, Marrakesh will be an experience to remember. Koutoubia Mosque
One of the cityâ€™s famous souks
The ruins of El Badi Palace opposite: robert paul van beets; mosque: Chris Hepburn; Market: Giorgio Fochesato; Palace: j. Wolf
Cooking in the souk 84
A Moroccan tagine
What to do: Stroll through the fragrant Jardin Majorelle French gardens and admire the Islamic arts in the pavilion. Explore the ruins of the 16th-century El Badi Palace. Try haggling as you explore the labyrinth of the souk marketsâ€”be sure to sample aromatic tagines and other delicacies. Ride a camel. Marvel at the snake charmers and belly dancers in Jemaa el Fna square. garden: Sue Ding; souk: air portrait; carpets: John Woodworth; Tagine: Gethin Lane
The local mode of transportation Riad Chi-Chi
Where to stay: A visit to Marrakesh wouldnâ€™t be complete without a stay in a riad: a home or palace with an internal courtyard garden and a luxurious, homey atmosphere. Riad Chi-Chi, situated on a quiet cul-de-sac in the heart of the Medina, offers simple, elegant luxury from ÂŁ75 per night.
camels: Philip Lange; hotel: courtesy riad chi-chi
A balcony at Riad Chi-Chi
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
The medieval center of Rothenburg
the Tauber River in the Franconia region of Bavaria, Rothenburg is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe and one of the top sights along the area’s “Romantic Road.” Once a wealthy center of trade in the Middle Ages, Plague and war left the town poor and nearly empty, preserving its romantic medieval character.
Quaint homes along a cobble-stoned street Opposite: Joerg reimann; street: Hedda Gjerpen; tower: Dieter Hawlan
A medieval gate 2forcouples.com
travel rothenburg ob der tauber
Klingen Gate, one of 5 towers along the ancient town wall
What to do: Walk atop the medieval wall encircling the old town and climb the tower for picturesque views over the Tauber valley. Enjoy lunch in the richly decorated Baumeisterhaus (The Master Builder’s House) near the marketplace. Watch a lively show at the Rothenburg Puppet Theater. Scare yourselves silly on Rothenburg’s famous Night Watchman tour, where a robed watchman walks you through the city’s more gruesome past. 88
Rothenburg’s 16th-century town hall wall: graham heywood; town hall: Ljiljana Pavkov
Burg Hotel Colmberg
Fireside in the Burg Hotel courtesy Baumeisterhaus-rothenburg-de and burg hotel colmberg
Where to stay: What better way to enjoy a romantic medieval getaway than staying in a thousand-year-old castle? Burg Hotel Colmberg, located a short drive from Rothenburg ob der Tauber, offers rooms from €79. Whether you choose a modern room or historic suite, you’ll enjoy remarkable views over the pastoral landscape and a scrumptious breakfast in the morning. 2forcouples.com
A view of the Puerto Madero district
Argentinaâ€™s National Congress building
If Tango is the dance
La Casa Rosada presidential palace, made famous by Evita opposite: holger mette; congress: Nikki Bidgood; Casa Rosada: Holger Mette
of lovers, then the city that gave birth to it is truly one hot spot! Buenos Aires is a whirlwind of seduction: Smell the aromas wafting from steakhouses along the grand boulevards, get swept up in the vibrant and modern arts scene, and delight in watching spontaneous street tango. 2forcouples.com
travel buenos aires
What to do: Take a tango lesson at the Academia Nacional de Tango, and strut your stuff later at one of the vibrant tango salons. Visit Evita Peron’s grave at the striking Recoleta Cemetery. See the iconic Obelisk and the Torre Monumental. Enjoy a fabulous dinner in the hip Puerto Madero district, followed by an opera at the Teatro Colón.
Puerto Madero 92
The Obelisk of Buenos Aires CemeterY: istockphoto; Puerto madero: Magalí Izaguirre; Obelisk: Cristian Lazzari
Torre Monumental clock tower
Where to stay: Located in the trendy Monserrat district, the 1890 Hotel Boutique and art gallery offers guests comfortable luxury in one of six suites overlooking a tranquil garden. Explore the city from this central location, or simply unwind under the colonnaded portico surrounding the gardens. Price from about $100 per night, this is a romantic getaway anyone can afford.
Teatro Col贸n opera house
1890 Hotel Boutique Opera: Cristian Lazzari; monument: Mlenny Photography; dessert: Kseniya Ragozina; tango: Magal铆 Izaguirre
Street tango 2forcouples.com
Hello, Neighbor! Annie and Michael turn an urban rental into a whimsical escape.
by emma reddington, the marion house book blog Photography by Kristin Sjaarda
first fell in love, they lived in a gorgeous sprawling apartment overlooking a canal in the enchanting city of Montreal. Since then, the pressure has been on to find spaces rivaling the beauty and romance of their first abode. While their when annie and michael
current Toronto home might not boast a canal view, Annie’s deft skill for combining flea market finds and vintage treasures make it a charming and whimsical escape. Annie is a foodie writer who shares her recipes and stories of family life on her blog, Annie Dishes. Michael is an accomplished musician who co-owns the Michael Johnston Music Studio with Annie. Occupations:
A rented three-story family home on a leafy street.
How long have you lived in your home?
About a year.
Any kids or pets?
Two kids: Lila, 5, and
In which room do you spend the most time? Why?
I love hanging out in our living room. Taking off my shoes, tucking my toes into the ultra-soft carpet, and sinking back into the couch is a perfect homecoming for me. Annie and I try to carve out some time at the end of the night to relax with a glass of wine and catch up on the seemingly endless adventures that mark our days. Michael says…
As a family, we spend the lion’s share of time in the kitchen because it is (relatively) big, bright and has something for everyone—alcohol, food, Annie says…
at home annie & Michael
books, music and toys. But when we aren’t there, you’ll likely find us hanging out in the playroom, which also seems to have something for everyone. As such, those are by far the messiest rooms in our house!
Is there anything you would change about your home? Or any future plans? Because we are renting, we try to confine changes to things we can take with us. I am on the hunt for new shades for a couple of vintage lamps, and I have also been systematically replacing the uninspired light fixtures that were here when we moved in. If I had the time, I would also happily repaint every single wall in the house! Annie says…
What is your favorite moment or object in the house?
Two of the many are gifts from Annie: framed hand-screened prints, made using coffee grounds, by local artist Annie Morrision. They are above one another—the top one says: “Wake up”, the other: “I love you”. It’s the first time I’ve seen art that serves as both inspiration and reminder! Michael says…
“I’m a fan of vintage everything and I have a weakness for crumbling wrecks—except where people are concerned!”
Two of my favorite moments: morning scones in the playroom, and wine and candlelight in the living room after the kids have gone to bed.
From where do you get your inspiration?
I’m a fan of vintage everything and I have a weakness for crumbling wrecks—except where people are concerned! I also have a stupendously talented husband, who inspires me pretty much every single day. Annie says…
Inspiration for me all
at home annie & Michael
starts with my family. Writing songs, playing music and teaching are all pursuits that often happen away from home. The longing and love I have for being in our home quite literally informs virtually every creative avenue I explore and work in.
Where is your favorite place to visit?
In the winter, my parents’ place in Todos Santos, a beautiful town in southern Baja, Mexico. Annie says…
What are you reading at the moment?
The summer fiction issue of The New Yorker. Annie says…
Reading is an end-of-day activity for me and, with such a limited window of time, I get through maybe a handful of books in a year. Annie recently bought me I Found This Funny: My Favorite Pieces Of Humor And Some That May Not Be Funny At All, a collection of short stories edited by Judd Apatow. I’ve really loved most of them. michael says…
As featured in The Marion House Book A buzz-worthy blog and collection of stories devoted to interior design, cooking, baking and DIY stuff.
Hello, Neighbor: Tour Annie & Michaelâ€™s whimsical Toronto home.
the marion house book blog Photography by Kristin Sjaarda
“The longing and love I have for being in our home quite literally informs every creative avenue I explore.” —Michael
“You’ll likely find us hanging out in the playroom, which seems to have something for everyone!” —annie
Industrial pendant light $90 West Elm
Outfit a cozy home with playful touches, perfect for kids and grownups alike!
Stump side table $212 West Elm
Bird candle holder $48 Anthropologie
Tulip chair From $1,667 Design Within Reach
Flokati shag rug From $598 Anthropologie
Floral pillow $98 Anthropologie
Cutting block $120 Williams-Sonoma 2forcouples.com
live a crystal life. waterford.com
Dinner Theater Throw a blockbuster bash bursting with romantic glamour!
Photography by James Pattyn
The Menu cocktails Chinatown-tini • L.A. Confidential Hpnotiq & 7 appetizers Spring rolls with Thai dipping sauce Garden-fresh dip with won ton crisps main course Asian pork skewers Five-spice slow-cooker chicken dinner
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Add some movie magic by showcasing your evening’s bill in an elegant marquee centerpiece. Accent with party snacks, such as licorice and decadent chocolate and nuts. Shown here: Grosgrain 5-by-7-in. double invitation frame by Vera Wang Wedgwood.
Channel your inner Bogie or Bacall with classy cocktails served in timeless crystal barware. For a modern twist, add exotic liqueurs, such as Pama pomegranate and Hpnotiq. Shown here: Waterford Crystal Lismore martini glass.
Match your menu to the showbill: Moroccan delicacies alongside Casablanca, or an Asian-inspired feast paired with a Bruce Lee classic. Shown here: Grosgrain dinner and salad plates by Vera Wang Wedgwood.
Since eating off your lap can be a balancing act, sturdy placemats make inexpensive trays and allow guests to enjoy their meal and movie unencumbered. Shown here: Grosgrain dinner plate, covered rice bowl and flatware by Vera Wang Wedgwood.
Having trouble picking your movies? Try a double-feature, such as Love Hurts: West Side Story and Romeo + Juliet. I Love New York: Annie Hall and When Harry Met Sallyâ€Ś or Remember When: Singles and Reality Bites. 116
Keep pesky popcorn kernels off the couch by thinking outside the bowl. A teacup can serve double duty as both popcorn scoop and bowl. Shown here: Jasper Conran Platinum teacup and serving bowl by Wedgwood.
House exotic blooms in an artist vase. Shown here: John Rocha Black Cut vase, votive and candlestick by Waterford Crystal.
Who wants to be fetching drinks while the movie is rolling? Make self-serve easy with nesting tables turned wine bar.
Keep the action rolling with A-list recipes!
Garden-Fresh Dip with Won Ton Crisps
Photography by James Pattyn
Classy Cocktails Serves 1 each
HPNOTIQ & 7
2 oz. Pama pomegranate liqueur
2 oz. gin
2 oz. Hpnotiq
Juice of one lemon
Splash of lemon-lime soda
1 oz. vodka Splash of cranberry juice
1 tsp. sugar 3 oz. club soda
Splash of fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 maraschino cherry
3 or 4 frozen blueberries
1 orange slice
Fill a large glass, halfway with ice. Add Hpnotiq,
In a shaker half-filled with
soda and a splash of fresh-
Pour Pama pomegranate
ice, combine gin, lemon
squeezed lemon juice. Stir
liqueur into shaker over ice.
juice and sugar. Shake well.
and garnish with a curled
Add vodka and cranberry
Strain into a double old-
piece of lemon peel. To
and lime juices. Shake
fashioned glass, partially
create, cut a 4-in. sliver
mixture. Serve in a martini
filled with ice. Add club
of peel from the lemon.
glass. Garnish with frozen
soda. Stir and garnish with
Remove pith. Wind peel
cherry and orange slice.
around a skewer to curl.
party tricks movie munchies
Spring Rolls with Thai Dipping Sauce Serves 4
6 rice paper wrappers 1 cup fresh bean sprouts 1 carrot, shredded
red pepper, coriander and VH Orange Ginger sauce to make filling.
1 cup napa cabbage, shredded
Dip one rice paper wrapper into warm water to soften.
Â˝ red pepper, julienned
heaping spoonfuls of filling on the lower part of the rice
cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
3 Tbsp VH Orange Ginger sauce VH Thai dipping sauce, as needed
In a large mixing bowl, combine sprouts, carrots, cabbage,
Lay out on a damp towel and pat dry. Place two to three paper. Fold right and left sides over filling and roll up tightly. Repeat. Place rolls, seam side down, on serving platter and refrigerate. Serve with VH Thai dipping sauce.
GardenFresh Dip with Won Ton Crisps Serves 6
1 14-oz. package won ton wrappers
Heat up some cooking oil in a frying pan, wok or deep
Sea salt to taste
wrappers until golden, approximately one to two minutes.
½ cup green pepper, cut into large cubes
fryer (375 F). Once the oil has reached temperature, fry Remove onto a plate covered with paper towel to absorb excess oil. Sprinkle wrappers with sea salt and set aside.
1 cup green onions, sliced
For the dip, mix green pepper and onions together in a
½ cup plain yogurt
blender. Add all remaining ingredients except parsley.
¼ cup plum sauce 1 Tbsp lemon juice
Blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl (or teacup), sprinkle with parsley and serve with chopped veggies and won ton crisps.
1 tsp. soy sauce Pepper to taste 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
party tricks movie munchies
Five-Spice SlowCooker ChickenÂ Dinner Serves 6
1 Â˝ lbs. red-skinned potatoes, cut into large chunks 1 medium onion, chopped
Place vegetables in the bottom of the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange chicken overtop. Pour sauce over meat. Cover and cook on low for eight hours.
4 medium carrots, chopped 2 stalks celery, chopped Salt and pepper 2 lbs. chicken thighs or drumsticks, bone in, with skin removed 1 bottle VH Asian 5-Spice sauce or VH Orange Ginger sauce
While it may be tempting, do not lift the lid of your slow cooker to check on its progress. Popping the lid can release steam and slow the cooking process.
VERA WANG IS A TRADEMARK OF V.E.W. LTD. WEDGWOOD® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK. © 2011 WWRD. GROSGRAIN, DUCHESSE & WITH LOVE SHOWN.
good morning. click for Video
recipe for 2
Michael Smith The TV chef dishes up some food for thought. by Kellie Davenport
Recipe for 2 michael smith
to do with… cooking? Everything, as 2 learned from a recent chat with celeb chef Michael Smith. “Food facilitates a life together— and cooking is an incredible opportunity to spend time together,” says the tall, dark and handsome foodie. For Smith, passionate cooking is about who you’re cooking for and also what you are cooking with. The chef, author and TV host has maintained a longtime love affair with local, organic ingredients—especially those from his home province of P.E.I. In his latest book, Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen: 100 of My Favourite Easy Recipes, Smith takes it a step further by showing that delicious, healthy food need not be complicated food. “It’s not necessarily harder to cook healthier,” he explains. “We’re all human—so it’s natural to be scared of unfamiliar things. But as humans, cooking is part of living. We gather, prepare and share food—it’s
what’s love got
part of who we are. It’s in our DNA.” So why are so many of us intimidated by what should come naturally? Our false need for perfection. “The media does a poor job of empowering cooks. We tend to suggest we are on a quest for perfection,” he says. “TV shows and magazines all tell people that this is the best way to do it, the perfect tool, the pefect ingredient, the
perfect this, that and the other. I disagree. It’s not about being perfect—it’s just trying to live a meaningful life.” In the new book, Smith actually encourages readers not to follow his recipes to the tee. But rather, to use his ideas as starting points and add your own spin. “Success isn’t when you do things exactly, precisely the way I would do it,” he adds. “Success is when you mix your own personality into the food.” In his own home, much of that personality is added courtesy of his little sous-chefs: son Gabe, 9, and daughter, Ariella, 3. “If I’ve learned anything about food over the last decade it’s that the best way to get kids engaged with food is to have them participate in the making of food. Make it fun and meaningful.” 2 asked Smith to whip up a meaningful yet fun dish for couples to make together. His delicious solution: a speedy shrimp penne. “Pasta and shrimp are made for each other,” he explains, “and so are this dish’s two secret ingredients: shrimp shells, packed with lots of bonus flavor, and cream cheese, which melts into an instant creamy sauce.” We say that’s a match made in kitchen heaven!
“It’s not about being perfect—it’s just trying to live a meaningful life.”
recipe for 2
Speedy Shrimp Penne
A quick and creamy creation from Chef Michael Smithâ€™s Kitchen.
Speedy Shrimp Penne Serves 4
1 lb. (500 g) shrimp, shells reserved, each shrimp cut into 4 chunks
Put the shrimp shells, carrot, bay leaf and wine in a small
1 carrot, grated
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or so.
1 bay leaf 2 cups (500 mL) chardonnay
saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the liquid is barely simmering.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the penne until it’s nearly tender but not quite done. Add the shrimp to the boiling pot and cook until shrimp
1 lb. (500 g) penne
is cooked through and the pasta is tender, another
1 cup (250 mL), or so, softened cream cheese
2 minutes or so.
2 Tbsp (30 mL) Dijon mustard ½ cup (125 mL) chopped fresh tarragon
Drain pasta and shrimp and return them to the pot. Toss in cream cheese and mustard. Strain in the wine mixture, pressing every last drop of nectar out of the shrimp shells. Toss in a few spoonfuls of the carrot mixture, minus the shells. Stir everything together until the cream
2 green onions, thinly sliced
cheese melts and forms a smooth, creamy sauce.
Sprinkle or two of salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
to your taste with salt and pepper. Serve and share!
Stir in the tarragon and green onions. Lightly season
Shrimp shells are usually discarded, but there’s actually more flavor in the shell than in the shrimp itself. That flavor is very easy to release— a quick simmer in any liquid will quickly create an aromatic broth.
She Said Yes!
Desiree & Darren, Chelmsford, Ont.
“I was at Thanksgiving dinner with my boyfriend Darren and a bunch of our close friends. When dessert was served, the plates were covered with cloth napkins—which we were told to remove on the count of three. When I lifted mine, the plate read ‘Will You Marry Me?’ And when I turned to look at Darren, he was already on one knee, holding the most beautiful ring I’d ever seen: a yellow canary diamond surrounded by white diamonds. It was the most magical—and surprising!—moment of my life.”
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