Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How to Get a Rich Man and and Other Things You Might Need to Know

Today's guest is Donna Spangler, a beauty, fitness and lifestyle expert, blogger and author of "How to Get a Rich Man; The Princess Formula." But before you click off this page in disgust and think that she's undermining everything we've worked so hard for, read on to see what she means by "rich," it's better than it sounds. Donna is at work on another book and about to launch her line of Donna Spangler Beauty cosmetics. 

Donna Spangler
1. Finances get really complicated for couples when we're in our 40s, especially if there's a wide disparity in incomes. How can you avoid the money issue in a relationship?

Being a couple is first and foremost, a partnership.  When you commit to each other, you are committing to building a life together.  Complications with money usually occur when there is a lack of communication.  It is imperative that complex money issues are discussed with one another.  You need to both express where you each see the money going and how you feel it should be spent.  For example…Is the money going towards a vacation or towards the children’s school tuition?  You need to clearly lay out what each persons financial responsibility is and if the responsibility is fair.  Often one spouse makes more money than the other.  In this case, establish and understand that perhaps they will then carry the bulk of the financial obligations.  In a relationship, money should always be distributed in a fair and equal manner to ensure a harmonious and long relationship.  Any unfair distribution of finances will often lead to resentment and problems down the line.  The bottom line is to always lay down the ground rules of what each person expects of themselves and the other at the very beginning!    

2. You look amazing. What's your surprising secret, beyond genes, eating right and exercising?
I believe in doing everything possible to help maintain a vital and healthy body. Vitamins are very important for me.  I take them daily to ensure I am getting those vitamins that I may have missed in my diet.  I love protein shakes and I eat a ton of vegetables and very lean meat.  I exercise regularly with weights and I do Taekwondo and I make sure to get ample hours of sleep.  I drink a ton of water.  Water cleans out your body, helps promote healthy skin and it makes you feel fuller throughout the day so you don’t get as hungry.  I admit that like many gals out there, I do a little Botox here and there.  I go to the dentist regularly and I visit my hair stylist to maintain my hair cut and color.  Looking good is a heck of a lot of work.  The older we get, the more diligent we gals have to be. I’m not saying that I am trying to look like a teenager or someone in my 20s.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am just saying that as we age, keeping up our appearance and maintaining a strong body is important for our health and our mental well-being.

3. You wrote a book about how to marry a rich man. How is that different than gold digging? What else is important for women in their 40s to seek out in a mate that they might not have valued earlier in their lives?

My book, How To Get A Rich Man: The Princess Formula came out in 2007 and since then it has been translated into multiple languages.  The title is sort of tongue and cheek.  My main message in the book is for women to be the best that they can be to attract the right kind of man that is ultimately rich in heart and spirit.  If you can find one with an abundance of financial means, there is nothing wrong with that but it is not the most important thing.  Most women want a man who is loyal, loving, kind, considerate, humorous and respects them.  Finding a man with common interests and the same goals in life is important for the right chemistry.  You can find the richest man in the world but if he does not love and respect you, then he is worthless in my opinion.   

4. Anything else you think is important to know about life after 40? 

Life after 40 should be empowering!  After 40 we have finally gained so much wisdom and insight.  We should be fearless in going after all of our goals.  We should lose the fear that often traps us.  Don’t look at yourself as getting “old.” Look at yourself as getting “better” and empower yourself!  Start looking at yourself as someone who has a lot to contribute to this world.  Above all, spread your love and goodness and enjoy life’s ever-abundant journey!

Thursday, August 1, 2013


The shattering glass and splattering milk on the shiny marble hotel floor was more than just a broken bottle. It was the end of an epoch. I looked at 22-month-old Grace for signs of freaking out, and then took a picture of the mess before the bellmen scurried around to clean it up.

"OK Grace," I explained after throwing several bills at the workers and apologizing profusely, as I had done exactly 11 times before, because usually the broken bottles occurred on hard restaurant floors, or the concrete sidewalks under an outdoor table. "The last bottle is broken. Bottles are for babies, and you're a big girl now. No more bottle. Say bye-bye to ba-ba."

"Ba-ba broken," she repeated over the next few days, sometimes as a statement, sometimes as a question.

I had expected gnashing of teeth and wailing. But it never came. And the "ba-ba broken?"s eventually came every other day, then every few weeks, and now maybe once every couple months.

I underestimate Grace sometimes. She had been so addicted to her bottle, like in a junkie kind of way. Writhing and screaming if she didn't get it, ready to do physical damage to anyone who stood in her way of "milt." I thought it would be harder for her than that. Instead, the transition was flawless and kind of beautiful, and I got a better understanding of how Grace processes change.

Steve has been out of the house for two weeks. Or is it three now? I don't know. We are telling Grace she has two homes, one with Mama and one with Dada. She asks a lot, "Where's Dada? Is he sleeping at his house?" She'll also say, in the same order each time, "Dada's OK. Gracie's OK. Mama's OK." And she talks a lot about home, "Gracie's home."

I have been neglecting most tasks outside of work to concentrate on the house. I want to make it the girly palace we so deserve, beautiful and practical and comfy. I am obsessed with orange curtains and in the past week I have: negotiated with fabric terrorists for 10 yards of Tibetan-orange shantung silk; spent way too much time sewing late into the night; realized I could only make two curtains, not the four I needed; gone to Ikea and got white curtains I didn't want or need as a "solution" to the extra 4 yards of shantung silk left over; and realized I really really really want orange silk curtains, so my room can look like a Christo installation and somehow be transformed into a more spiritual place. Oh, also, I had a full debate about tab-top curtains vs. hidden tab and solved it by asking myself, "What would Yoko Ono do?"

In the next few days I will return Ikea curtains and go back to negotiate with fabric terrorists for more silk, and then spend more hours swearing at the sewing machine and working so late that I start hallucinating there are mice running around the table.

Steve and I have decided to make this the best divorce ever. We are painfully kind to each other and offer time with Grace on our "off" days. He fixed my tricky water heater Saturday. I made him this insane BLT salad we both like for dinner tonight.

Grace was eager to get in the bath after drawing on her feet with red magic markers, and so we went through the usual routine. As she pulled off her diaper, she banged her head on the tub and started crying. Then she got in the bath long enough to wash the marker off her feet, which was about 40 seconds, and then wanted to get out. She started wailing again, wrapping her soapy little body tight around me. She wouldn't let me put her down, and directed me to get her some milk and her blanket. And she cried some more, from a deeper place inside her than a head bump (I'm her mama, I decode cries, like a bird-watcher can tell the subtle variation between an American Robin's dawn and daytime calls).

And then she asked for "Mama night-night" and "Dada night-night." Which means she wants both of us come lie down and read to her and snuggle until she goes to sleep.

So each of us laid down on either side of her in my bed, and Steve read a story, and I just breathed in soapy clean little girl smell. After the book I turned out the light, and the room took on low fiery glow from the last of the daylight fighting through the orange shantung silk curtains. Grace took each of our hands and tried to connect us.

Grace, living up to her name every day.