A Beach Proposal, Honeymoon in China, and a Whole Lot of Love February 2018
It’s February, and for you romantics out there, you’re looking forward to one thing: the Super Bowl.
kickball team. It was us and several of our friends, other lawyers, and we would go after class and play games against teams in our neighborhood. It was a fun way to stay active.
I’m only kidding! You are probably thinking of Valentine’s Day, right? A day that’s devoted to love.
For our honeymoon, Ashley and I went to China. It was very unique to anything either of us had ever experienced — spending two weeks in a place where no one spoke English. We could only talk to each other, and it felt like being in another world, one we had all to ourselves. The company was memorable and so was the food, with a lot of savory and sweet spices. The meats were
“Feb. 14 might be the most recognized day to celebrate love, but it’s important to show the people in your life that you love them every day.”
Ashley and I celebrated our fifth anniversary last year, and it takes me back to the day I asked her to marry me. Fresh out of law school, we spent our first couple years of dating going for walks in downtown West Palm Beach. Sushi was a big part of our early romance. We would go to the grocery store, get some sushi, and head down to the docks to talk while watching the sun set over the water.
seasoned with flavors I’d never tasted before, and we tried all kinds of very unique, spicy foods. I even tried fried scorpion on a stick, though Ashley wasn’t interested in it. In hindsight, I think she made the right choice. The meal we both enjoyed most, no contest, was at a hot pot restaurant in Chongqing. The area has been named “hot pot city” because there are so many restaurants there. They serve you a pot of delicious, spicy soup, and it’s an enjoyable, satisfying experience. A hot pot restaurant just opened up right here in West Palm Beach, and Ashley and I are excited to go try it soon in honor of our trip to China. Now that we have two kids, our time is more limited, but we still make an effort to go on adventures. Last month, we took our boat out on one chilly Florida day. Our son, Russell, smiled and laughed while “driving” the boat. He’s coming along with fishing, too. Ruby, our daughter, just turned one, and we had a birthday bash for her to celebrate. It was a hoot to see all her little friends running around, trying to figure out what the celebration was for. Experiences like these make us realize that watching our kids grow is our biggest adventure yet. Feb. 14 might be the most recognized day to celebrate love, but it’s important to show the people in your life that you love them every day. Take a day this month to shower your partner with love — it doesn’t have to be on Valentine’s Day.We put a few more ideas for you in the rest of the newsletter.
Ashley and me on the Great Wall of China during our honeymoon
Right before I asked her to marry me, we were getting ready to go on vacation. I knew I didn’t want to propose somewhere that wasn’t part of our story. I wanted to ask her in a place that held significant meaning for us. Thinking back to our early date nights, I suggested a walk on the beach. “Let’s have sushi down by the docks like old times,” I told her. We made our way to the dock as the sun started to fall towards the water, casting a warm orange-pink glow over the beach.
I put some music on from a speaker, and as the sun began to set, I asked her to be my wife.
When she said yes, I felt elated. I was going to marry my best friend and the woman of my dreams.
That day kicked off a marriage full of adventure. Neither of us are the type of people who are content to sit still. We want to get outside and be active. One of the things we did when we first started dating was organize a
Until next month,
– Chris Bruce
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Talk to Me
When you undergo a life-changing event, you can’t underestimate the toll it will take on your mental health. Even if you’ve never had the need to talk with a professional, you might find that you could use one now. Self-help books might be something you’ve turned to in the past, and while they can be helpful, they can only get you so far. Even though your friends and family might be supportive, they cannot offer the unbiased, outside perspective a professional can. The advantage of talking with a professional is they are there to listen and help you process through what you’re experiencing. A therapist or counselor is not there to judge or give you instructions or advice. They are there to listen and ask questions to help you reach the answers that were there all along, obscured by the haze of everything you are going through. If you’ve been in an abusive relationship, you might feel vulnerable, and it might feel good to keep everything inside. But doing so will only hurt more in the long run, and it will prevent you from moving on. There’s a lot of healing that can happen as you talk to another person who has your best interests in mind. Especially if you’ve suffered from depression, being able to process your emotions in a healthy way might be the difference between recovering and doing more damage to yourself. Don’t turn to self-medication or self-abuse. Access the clear, unbiased voice in your head by talking to a professional. If cost is a concern, your insurance may cover some or all of the visit to a mental health professional. Call your insurance company to find out what they cover.
EDUCATION IN THE KITCHEN With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you’re probably wracking your brain for the perfect recipe to bake for your loved one. There’s nothing wrong with store-bought chocolate, but there’s no topping the personal touch of some homemade baked goods. If you have kids, baking alongside them can be just as rewarding as enjoying the fruits of your labor. As an added bonus, baking is a hands-on opportunity where your child can learn all sorts of important concepts. Here is a short list of some of the educational lessons hiding in your kitchen. MATH Baking is a numbers game. Just take a look at any recipe, and you’ll recognize the importance of math in building a beautiful cake. Having children measure out ingredients helps them learn about fractions and ratios. You can also test your kids by doubling or halving a recipe for multiplication and division practice. With older kids, practice unit conversions by asking, for example, how many pints are in half a gallon. FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS Not unlike computer science, baking requires a strict order of operations. The wet and dry ingredients often need to be mixed separately and then folded together. It only takes one deviation from the instructions for a pastry to go from delicious to disgusting. Spending time in the kitchen, then, is a great way for kids to learn the importance of reading directions carefully and comprehending what they’ve just read. CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING Cuisine is a fundamental part of every culture. Introducing your child to dishes from around the world will expand their horizons. Want your child to be a less picky eater? Involving them in the cooking process is the surest way to get them excited about trying new flavors and ingredients. What Your Child Can Learn From Baking NUTRITION Now, you might not think that baking cookies will encourage greater nutritional awareness, but hear us out. Sugar is often buried within packaged foods. When you bake something at home, a child gets to see, firsthand, just how much sugar goes into certain sweets. Meanwhile, cooking savory dishes also allows them to learn what constitutes a balanced, healthy diet.
When you’re ready to seek that voice, find a list of professionals on the staymarriedflorida.com site.
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our divorce strategy book can help!
The book can be downloaded for FREE at BrucePA.com/free-divorce-book .
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Why Is February so Short?
And Why Is There No Full Moon This Month?
always land right around Valentine’s Day. There’s no chance of even a waxing crescent for couples on that special night. But, how did this come to pass?
February used to not exist at all. The calendar used by the ancient Romans would, at a glance, look very familiar to us. Its months had 30 and 31 days, and the year ended in December. But both January and February were missing. This is because the Romans, as an agricultural society, didn’t feel the need to track winter months. The days and weeks between December and the spring equinox were just, well, nothing. Eventually, the calendar was updated to more accurately reflect the lunar cycle. January and February were added, and the year was extended to 355 days. At the time, people believed that even numbers were unlucky, and the Roman ruler of that era, King Pompilius, was hesitant to create any more even-numbered months. But, to get everything to add up to 355, he had to leave one month stuck with unlucky number 28. And the rest is history. Over the centuries, days were added here and there, the leap year was eventually instituted by Julius Caesar, and we came to the 365-day calendar we know today. But this year, as we let Valentine’s Day pass in the dark, think back to the legacy of King Pompilius and his one unlucky month.
If you were planning a romantic, moonlit stroll sometime this month, you’d better reschedule for March. But, on the bright side, if you’re terrified of werewolves, you can rest easy for the entire month of February. Every 20 years or so, because of its 28-day length, February lands between the zeniths of the lunar cycle. February passes without a full moon, while January and March get to double up. Astronomers call this event a “black moon,” and it’s happening this year for the first time since 1999.
There’s a certain irony that comes with the full moon skipping the most romantic month of the year. In fact, a black moon February ensures that the new moon will
have a LAUGH
Tater Tot Bombs
Sure, your showoff pal can wrap a tater tot with a piece of bacon and call it “The Daniel,” but you can take it a step further. Prepare a couple batches of these savory snacks for your Super Bowl party or the next family get-together. Snag a few for yourself before they disappear!
2 cups frozen tater tots, defrosted
4 slices bacon, quartered
1 ounce sharp cheddar, cut into 1/4-inch squares
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Heat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Press a cheese square into each tot, then wrap with a piece of bacon. Dredge each tot in brown sugar.
Place tots seam side down on baking sheet. Bake for 20–25 minutes, using metal tongs to turn halfway through. Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve immediately.
Recipe inspired by ThisGrandmaIsFun.com
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Celebrate Your Love page 1
Cook Your Way to Better Grades
Address Your Mental Health Now page 2
What Happened to February?
Not Sure What to Bring to the Super Bowl Party? page 3
Have You Heard of Ruby Chocolate? page 4
Sample These Chocolate Facts
WHAT’S IN A NAME? The ancient Mayans are credited as the first people to grow and consume chocolate. However, the word “chocolate” comes from the later Aztec civilization. The Aztecs loved a bitter, spicy beverage made from cacao beans called “xocoatl.” And since we’re on the topic of words, the scientific name for the tree that grows cacao beans, Theobroma cacao, is a Greek word, which translates to “food of the gods.” This just proves cocoa connoisseurs were right all along — chocolate really is divine. A SWEET DEAL Speaking of the Aztecs, their civilization loved chocolate so much that cacao seeds were used as a form of currency in Mesoamerica. During the American Revolution, chocolate was still accepted as payment, sometimes used in soldiers’ rations in lieu of wages. Even today, chocolate remains a valuable commodity. The chocolate industry is worth around $110 billion a year. Humans have enjoyed the sweet pleasures of chocolate for thousands of years. And with so many chapters of candy history left to explore, namely ruby chocolate’s eventual entrance, it’s clear the treat won’t go out of style any time soon.
Chocolate lovers, rejoice! After 80 years, a new variety of chocolate has finally graced the world: ruby chocolate. This naturally pink chocolate, created by Swiss chocolatier Barry Callebaut, is not milky like milk chocolate, sweet like white chocolate, or bitter like dark chocolate. Instead, Callebaut describes the flavor of his confection as a “tension between berry fruitiness and luscious smoothness.” Unfortunately, while ruby chocolate sounds like a wonderful treat, it is not yet available to consumers. So, as you wait for ruby chocolate to be stocked in your local grocery store or candy boutique, satisfy your chocolate cravings with some sweet facts about your favorite treat. IMPOSTERS! The names of certain chocolates can be very misleading. German chocolate cake, for example, is not named after the country of Germany. It’s actually an American dessert that was first baked in 1852, named for its creator, Sam German, and originally called “German’s chocolate cake.”White chocolate also suffers from a mistaken identity. Made primarily from cocoa butter, white chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids, which means it’s not technically chocolate.
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