A New Year has Begun…

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My view on my birthday morning along the Santa Barbara pier. The Sun returned after days of glorious rains, the bright blue sky went on for miles & the ocean breeze filled my lungs. Couldn’t have felt more alive!

Its a lil crazy to think that I’m 40. I oddly haven’t had any trouble swallowing the actual number this year, but it still feels kind of abstract. I can remember as a child when my parents hit their 40’s & I couldn’t imagine being that old & yet now I feel so young.

I’m very excited for this new chapter. There’s been a lot of change swirling about & I can’t wait to see what unfolds! Seems to be lots of goodness…

Since it’s a new year, and the last blog title didn’t fit anymore, I figured it was time to jazz up the new blog, get a new host, a new title & a new style ~ a fresh start for 40!

Twirling Skirts is about enjoying life, being in the moment ~ if you feel like ‘twirling’, then twirl! For me, this year is a year of embracing who I am, without worry of the judgement of others. Come along on the ride as I continue my search for love & discover me in the process

To start this off ~ here’s my TOP 40 for 40

  1. Wear RED lipstick
  2. Star gaze (at actual stars in the sky)
  3. Smile at strangers
  4. Take a wine class
  5. Less pants, more dresses
  6. Be open to possibilities
  7. Visit Portland
  8. Laugh daily
  9. Dance in the rain (probably possible while doing #7)
  10. See ART, in any form, each month
  11. Put my toes in the sand more often
  12. Write more
  13. Enjoy nature, go for more hikes
  14. Let miracles happen
  15. Picnic with friends
  16. Dance!
  17. Read a book a month
  18. Make time for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
  19. Send out pretty cards for no reason other than I’m thinking of you
  20. Enjoy good chocolate
  21. Hug more often
  22. Talk more, text less
  23. Date fearlessly
  24. Take a cooking class
  25. Get out on a boat, its been way too long!
  26. Keep my body in motion
  27. Share
  28. See more live music
  29. Try learning French (again)
  30. Believe in love
  31. Have faith in God’s plan for me
  32. Enjoy being in my ‘feminine’
  33. Get out of the country, again its been way too long
  34. Trust
  35. Kiss passionately
  36. State my needs
  37. Adopt/rescue a dog
  38. Attend a retreat (yoga, writing, anything) somewhere tranquil
  39. Hold hands
  40. Enjoy delicious things, guilt-free

Let the adventures begin!!  xo

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Gorgeous blooms out on my hotel patio. Everything felt so clean & fresh after the storm. If even for one night, I had the dream ~ being able to be outdoors while at “home”

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Everywhere I walked I saw beauty!

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Just brilliant! Art, wine, music…all within block of each other. My kind of hiking!

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One of the stops on my ‘trek’, a converted tire shop with the most delicious wines, cool tunes, along with beautiful photos and art on their walls ~ Oreana Winery is a fave



Hope your’s is off to a great start!!

Thought I’d share my horoscope for the year ahead, cuz it freakin rocks!
Even though I don’t put much stock in them, I enjoy reading mine every now & again, especially when they say gooooood things – thank you Refinery 29 😉
Illustrated by Emily Forgot

Pisces (February 19-March 20) You are in for one heckuva year, Pisces, so get ready. Romance, possible fertility, and even continued education is on your cards in 2014. Take this time to define your life and call your own shots, instead of letting others dictate your actions. The first half of the year will be exciting, but by July, things will have thankfully died down so you can settle and take it all in. The four eclipses this year will reshape your life in more ways than one from your mindset to the number of stamps on your passport.”

Woot woot!!

Ok, so last month I claimed 2014 as the year I was going to date fearlessly in my search for  love…
What does that mean?????
I’ll be honest my heart is racing a lil & my palms are sweaty as I type this.
When I had this brilliant plan, I hadn’t quite thought through the whole “facing my fears” part, hmmmmmm, on second thought…

Nope, no I’m gonna do it, I’m sticking to the plan!

Step 1 to dating fearlessly, one has to figure out what fear(s) are blocking her progress in the love dept.

For the first time ever in my 39 years , I’ve been actively casually dating, no one specific man has had all my attention & I’ve been enjoying it ~ I will say it is quite fun having such a busy social calendar.
Getting to know different personalities, trying on different like/dislikes, learning about a new restaurant or activity ~ all good!

Throughout my 20’s & most of my 30’s, the concept of dating was lost on me. 
Finding dates seemed impossible, online was hit or miss back then,
flirting? phffftt, what was that?
If I had a date, I was nervous & awkward.
2nd dates were not common.
So I’d just sit back & swoon over the men who weren’t interested, daydreaming of love…
This then lead to the long stretch of throwing myself into my career.

A few years into that & tired of being alone, I decided to make some changes and take a good long look at myself
~ my thoughts, my beliefs, my patterns ~
I was ready, I wanted to find love.
I got me a dating coach & got to work!
Yes, I was that clueless when it came to relationships & needed guidance.

My amazing coach, Marni*, after much work got me back out there dating 
& almost instantly a quality man showed up!
Magic I tell ya, when you’re in the right space!
I had never experienced the fun & the joy of dating until him. The excitement of getting to know someone, reveling in their stories & sharing your’s, the rush of connecting to another soul, letting down of your walls & revealing your true self.
It was the most wonderful feeling.
I finally knew love.

It was amazing how easy it could be ~ why had I struggled so much before?
Why am I struggling again?
Am I struggling now? 

Lately I’ve started going for runs, a slightly shocking activity for me, 
but I’m really enjoying it. I love the feeling of strength & possibility I get while out on my run.
Music pumping, the sun on my face, the freedom in the moment.
So yesterday while doing a lap it hit me, this moment of clarity!
I’m too afraid to let myself be vulnerable again!

vul·ner·a·ble: adj    capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt

I am struggling within myself to let my guard down.
While these dates & men are great, I’m not letting them in…or letting them see the real me.

AM I willing to expose myself & my heart again?
Could I handle the pain again?

I want to say yes! Yes, I’m willing to let go of my fear!
Yes, to being open to the possibility of falling in love again.
But will I let down the safe walls I’m hiding behind?

I’m scared.
(funnily enough I’m willing to be vulnerable here with you, on the page, but in life? Oh boy!)
But I’m willing to try.

So the new goal going forward on these dates ~ share myself!
Be vulnerable!

Keep ya posted after this next round of dates 😉
Wish me luck 

*I wanted to give a shout out to Marni Battista & her program, Dating with Dignity – she’s changed my life & if you’re looking for love I couldn’t recommend her more! I’ve talked about our work together in posts on First Love at 37 if you want more in depth to the story. Thanks Marni!! xo

2013 ~ a Dating Year in Review

Ahhhhh, as promised the “Best of 2013”
Seems like everyone is compiling their lists of “Top 10 _________ of 2013”, so I figured why not give a shout out to all the fun this year of dating has brought!
I chose my order of ranking not by the men & our compatibility, but on the experience of our time together…some were a blip, some short & sweet, other’s I at least remember their name 😉
Here we go…

#10. Didn’t Have to Leave my Couch Guy ~
ok, I’ll admit I did get off the couch to do my happy dance when he stood me up! 
We met at speed dating, got the email “we’re a match”, the texting began, which led to the phone call to plan our date, or so I thought…it actually turned into an hour & 1/2 whine-fest about his life, saved by my “dying” battery we left it in his court to pick our restaurant & was never heard from again – YES!! Cracked open a bottle of wine & had the best date in with myself!

#9. The Napper ~
You gotta wonder when at some point in every conversation we had he talks about his naps – how often is this guy awake? I woke him up one too many times…

#8. The Sext-er ~
the 1st Tinder casualty, he had the amazing talent of turning every conversation sexual, even when I’d call him out on it, he’d slide right into sext-er mode.
We never even made it to voice-on-voice contact…

#7. Slouching Buddha ~
the name says it all

#6. Mr. Accent ~
ok, we all know I’m a sucker for an accent, especially a British one, throw in tall, wears glasses & is an artist, I was a goner…
if only we had found common interests to share, oh & I wasn’t bored out of my mind…cheerio

#5. The Nice Guy ~
what can I say, he was a very nice guy…just not “my” nice guy. Thank you for some lovely evenings! There’s a nice gal out there for you 🙂

#4. The Vanisher ~
probably the most enjoyable date of the year conversationally…never to return again

#3. The Cheshire Cat ~
a mixture of characters this gentleman was as he regaled me with tales of his directing feats, for movies of the week are  

 such creative faire. As he puffed on his electric cigarette, the red glow was all I could see…was he? Could he be? The hookah-smoking Caterpillar? Or, no wait! I recognize that floating grin, for its the Cheshire Cat in the dark corner of the hipster bar Wonderland…

#2. Mr. Fun ~
I like to refer to him as my “palate cleanser”.
He arrived after a series of blah dates & invigorated my dating spirit! Lots of laughs, 
a great kisser & quite the tequila connoisseur – ole!

Drum rollllllllll please…
& the #1 spot for best date experience 2013 goes toooooooo

#1. Mr. A.D.D. ~
what can I say? You never know whats gonna happen next! 
From impromptu drinks to elegant dining, racing through the city streets on the back of his bike to warm & cozy by the fire…fun & exciting, yet lacking focused connection, but hey I can focus in other areas…let’s get on the bike & go! Such a rush!

So there you have it ~ the top 10 men of 2013!

On the line-up for 2014 ~ warming up in the on deck circle…
Our conversations (email/text/phone) have been had, 
now its down to in person…batter up!

Here’s their stats ~
The Librarian ~ new in town, this Canadian librarian has blue eyes & book smarts…I could get lost in this combo.
The Restauranteur ~ genuine smile, witty & quite charming…only thing is – he sounds exactly like my gay boyfriend Marc on the phone…let’s hope in person he’s straight!
The 2nd Time Around Guy ~ a few years out of his divorce, 2 teenage kids, seems stable, had a great 1st date, makes me laugh…we’ll see 🙂

While it looks like I’ll have to wait another year to experience my 1st New Year’s Eve kiss,
I have a really great feeling about the year ahead!!
And sure, there may still be some frogs along the way, but the romantic in me believes love might just be around the corner…

Until then I wish you all a happy, healthy & wonderful 2014!!!
I leave you with one of my all-time favorite “feel good” movie scenes ~ enjoy!!!

Happy New Year!!!!!

It was bound to happen…

Looking for love online does come with its risks, I mean you are talking to complete strangers.
Why do we so easily open up to them, to the idea of them as a mate?
Its not like we’re handing out our numbers & hearts to every guy who walks by in the grocery store. In person we seem to be a lil more guarded with our hearts, but online we gaze at their pics, we read their words, exchange some emails & all of sudden a fantasy of what life could be like with him is dancing in our head.

We hold their well crafted words to be truth, their pictures to be the “everyday” version them, & not a well lit, best angle snapshot that is not reality from most angles.
And well, it finally happened…
the “inaccurate photo” guy finally showed up.

Mr. Pics & I mutually “chose” each other on OkCupid through their “Quick Match” system, where they give you a lil glimpse at each other’s profile’s & you give star ratings ~ lucky for us we each gave the other 4 or 5 stars.
Emails announcing your mutual interest are sent, let the connecting begin…

A couple of rounds of emails, a request for my number, the ring of my phone & the fun begins…
Completely shocked that he rang a mere 2 hours after asking for my number, I figured I HAD to answer the phone & I was really glad I did!
Turns out he’s a very talkative type, which is great for me (I’m a good listener-type).
We chatted for a coupla hours, yes hours(!), & when we hung up I actually said out loud “well that was fun”.
I couldn’t believe how enjoyable our conversation was ~ it had been a while since I was intrigued by a man and what he had to say. He was funny, took risks, loved what he does for a living, shared similar interests ~ I couldn’t wait to meet him.

We decided to meet on Sunday.
He offered to come my direction (points for him, especially considering he’s a West-sider)
I couldn’t tell with the options he threw out there ~ cafes to bars, what exactly kind of date we were going for.
We ended up with the bar/restaurant option based on their great patio, but chose to meet a 4p (?) – is that a late lunch? Early dinner? Drinks only? Who knew what this date held…

He was definitely manicure worthy, I mean I had been looking forward to meeting him all week. I had my favorite dress on, my best smelling perfume, I was feeling pretty & couldn’t wait to meet him!

We both arrived at the same time, and since the place was virtually empty at that hour, he was easy to spot, except that he looked nothing like his pictures ~
easily 30-40lbs heavier than presented online.
Yes, his profile said “a lil extra”, which his pics somewhat represented, but…

After the awkward hello’s & we immediately went to the LA standard safe topic – traffic!
As he got our drinks, I noticed his entire back was wet with sweat & as we sat and talked he continued to sweat for another 15 minutes.
My mind wandered to activities we could be doing in the future & wondering how much he’d be sweating.
I mean, he got out of a BMW, so I know he had air conditioning, if crossing the street caused this sweat, I could only imagine…

The date was fine, he’s a talker, like I said, so I learned alot.
Has roommates, 2 other guys – they call it their halfway house for divorcees (lovely)
Still not divorced (great)

As I sat there I kept questioning myself & how superficial am I???? 
Yes, we were not meeting up on other points too, but if we were “connecting” could I get past the extra lbs?
And if I expect him to be leaner, how can I judge with my “soft” spots?
I’m not a Sz 2 model/actress type that roam the streets here ~
who am I to be picky?
Maybe I should accept what interest is shown to me & get this done?

What wins out in the end?
If we want/expect to be attracted to our mates, must we live up to that standard we’re setting for them?
This has really left me spinning & questioning myself, how dare I judge him when I’m not perfect? If I want a lean man, should I assume he’ll want the same & I need to diet more?

This experience, on top of the previous half dozen, has left me wanting to take a break.
A friend says she’ll only let me take a week off, but I’m not sure if that’s enough time for my heart.
I’m tired of being alone, but lonely & disappointed is worse.

I’ve recently started back to a job I thought I enjoyed, but in a matter of days I’ve seen myself crash. The grueling hours have sucked any joy I had for it out. And with these hours, I have no time for myself, my business or my dating life.
I do this job to support my business, but I’m left pondering if I was to give up my business, then my financial stresses will feel some relief, then maybe I can find a job with humane hours?
And if I give up my business, why stay here in LA?
Maybe to find the love of my life, I need to move on…
Am I willing to make finding LOVE my priority?

I used to think I loved what I did for a living & loved my business, but I’m beginning to wonder if they’re safety nets to hide in?

I’m too tired to answer these questions right now, but they’ve got me thinking.
I’m sending prayers up.
Maybe its time to move on

Ahhhh the Sweet smell of Summer has arrived….

Wait, what??! It’s June??!!
 Yep,  the days are longer, the sun feels warmer, & the birds are chirping really early in the morning, I think its here…
That familiar sense of endless possibilities is surrounding me, hugging me ~ mmhmm yep, that’s that SUMMER feeling 
 & this year I couldn’t be more ready for some summer FUN!!

Life has been pretty hectic these past few months & I’ll admit it was a welcomed craziness! I dove head first in to work, into my business, & into anything to avoid feeling my way through my heartache.
And it worked for a while, but when I came up for air the heartache was still there…
I knew I needed to face it, but I knew I needed help.

So, as if I wasn’t busy enough, I enrolled back in with my amazing dating coach, 
Marni Battista. 
I knew no one would tell me straight up like it is & make me believe in myself enough again like she could! With her previous coaching, I had experienced my first true love, but now as I was experiencing my first true heartbreak I needed guidance to get out of the fog.

It has truly been a roller coaster of emotions these past few months & as a reformed “frequent avoider” of facing my feelings, it has been scary, uncomfortable & exhilarating!

Two summer’s ago, Marni & I finished up our work together & out into the dating world she sent me ~ a more confident & self-loving version of me.
And it worked! 
Once I had learned to love myself & saw the goodness I could bring to a relationship, the men started showing up.
A particularly wonderful man caught my attention quickly & it lead to an amazing summer!
(I’ll save you from all the stories, but if you want to read’em they’re at http://firstloveat37.blogspot.com/ )

We lasted a year. 
Maybe the timing was off, maybe it ran its course, I can only speak from my experience, that it will always be a year I treasure & hold close to my heart.
I learned to love & be loved and it was beautiful.

Needless to say that lead to the not-so-best summer of my life last year…

Now that we’ve circled around to another summer, I am ready to love fully, madly & deeply again!!!
I’m excited to be back writing again & will be sharing all the fun adventures, mishaps, & insights that dating at 39 brings!!!

I am taking on this summer with an open heart & an open mind!
Love could be anywhere!
Yes, I’ll be looking online, maybe going a round or 2 at speed dating, meet-ups, you name it ~ it’s all going to be about being out LIVING A LIFE I LOVE!

That being said, I am also open to meeting any fine gentlemen you may know. 
If you know me & know someone who you think may be a good match, why not introduce us? 😉

A couple of friends have done just that & it been fun meeting new men.
The 1st guy was my “getting back in the saddle” guy, there’s always gotta be that guy, right? 😉
It was fun to be out connecting, flirting, conversing, but not a match.
This 2nd guy is very nice…we’ll see… 

I feel lots of adventures await & you’ll get to be along for the ride!
Stay tuned.
I’ve gotta run ~ a BBQ at the beach is waiting