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Six Valentines Day Messages of Love

February 14, 2013 in Celebrate!, Everybody Else, Expectations, Life, Relationships, Valentines Day

Spicy Heart Paprika Tortilla Chips

Photo by Snixy Kitchen

I know.

95% of you will NOT be spending this DAY O’ LOVE  with your other half.

He or she will most likely be cooking up a storm for the masses, who are looking to profess their undying love to someone else.

In reality, your restaurant man/woman will spend the evening weeded, as the flurry of Valentines Day diners allow their restaurant to turn one MAYBE two times tonight.

This is a very successful (meaning profitable) day for the industry worldwide.

Hopefully you’ve been with your other half long enough to sort of navigate through the wave of hearing your friends, co-workers and family oooh and aaah about how they’re “getting jiggy with it” this Valentines Day.

Hopefully you have come to understand that it’s not their FAULT, that because it’s the second most popular day to dine in the restaurant world, that he or she will not be making an appearance to hand deliver your VERY deserving flowers or chocolates or … insert your own gift here.

Finally, maybe you’ve even taken it upon yourself NOT to feel sad and blue, not sequestering yourself at home in front of the TV but have made plans to do something proactive with your evening. If you have children, maybe you focus your energies there, making sure they can feel your love on this day.

That said… no matter how you manage, navigate, accept it…let’s face it. It still stinks.  

It will always stink. There will never be a moment when you’re ever like YAY! I LOVE THAT I DON’T GET TO SPEND VALENTINES DAY WITH MY HUSBAND/ WIFE/ BOYFRIEND/ GIRLFRIEND!!!

No matter how much work you do to understand and accept WHY you are not with your beloved, it will never fully remove the twinge of sadness that you wish you could experience the days worth of swooning and swirling of LOVE that the day inevitably brings to so many.

(Insert your name here), It’s OKAY.

I am here to support you on this day by reinforcing six (6) Valentines Day Messages that I know you DESERVE to hear on this lovey dovey day. Consider this a reminder of how VALUED AND NEEDED I KNOW YOU ARE!!!

Pretend you are hearing this from your other half, okay? I am going to write it as if it was coming from your restaurant man or womans mouth. Consider this EVERYTHING YOU’VE EVER WANTED TO HEAR, from your love.

  1. I NEED YOU.  – Whether I am aware of it or not, whether I tell you often enough OR NOT… I need you. I know I could not get through HALF of the things I get through if I didn’t have you in my life. I know, I forget SO many things sometimes, It must seem like I’m totally oblivious to what’s going on around me on a regular basis, that’s why it’s imporant you know, THAT I KNOW, that I NEED YOU.
  2. I’M SORRY. – Babe, I know that there are so many times when I forget to call you to tell you I’m not going to be home when I told you or that I forgot to pick up my stinky shoes from where I last left them. I am sorry that I am not able to be there when our little ones are sick, because I am on the line and how I know planning a vacation seems almost IMPOSSIBLE. I know it might seem like I do not know what I’m doing most of the time (the truth is, most times I don’t), but I’m sorry for the many times that I’ve not considered your feelings when something that changes in my day, affects you too. I’m sorry I don’t stop to tell you how amazing I think you are enough, how I seriously grateful I am that you manage to continue to stick by me.  I can only HOPE that in some small way, I give you a little of what you give me.
  3. YOU ARE AMAZING. – I know it might seem like days, weeks or months of our lives becoming like one GroundHog Day after another, never telling the difference between one week to the next. SO in the routine of my routine, I can EASILY forget to tell you how AMAZING I think you are. I mean, look at’cha, you HOT potato you. It’s important you know that I think, in the good moments and even not not so good ones that I think you are AMAZING and I am so happy you picked me. Only someone AMAZING like you, has the courage and the strength to manage through my wacky career. I know that part of the reason why I feel SO LIBERATED to shoot for my dreams, and make things happen is because I KNOW that I have someone AMAZING in my corner, cheering me on. I only hope that I do for you, even a little, of what you do for me.
  4. WE ARE AMAZING – Like I said above, it’s so easy to forget how awesome we are together, when life seems to go so quickly, day after day. Sometimes I forget how you help me, and how I help you (even when you don’t see it) and how we have created this FLOW that helps us get through our day to day lives. I love who we are as a couple, a family and even more, how many more exciting things we have to look forward to, as we continue on our journey. I am very proud to be a part of your life, as your (husband/ wife/ boyfriend/ girlfriend)
  5. THANK YOU – You ready? Here it goes…. Thank you for putting up with my long hours, for my forgetfulness (whether it’s selected or not), for forgiving me for the thousandth time for not picking up the dog food at the store, for not being there when the kids are sick, for rarely kissing you good night, for not rubbing your feet when you have a bad day, for pushing me to be the best chef I know, for the times when I know I needed to hear your stern words (even if I didn’t want to at the time) for knowing what I need without me having to say it, for UNDERSTANDING that being with me in this career is not always easy, for finding ways to make life so amazing, for giving me the best gift of the most amazing family, for being the most AMAZING mother to our children, for showing me that you are an independent woman and I don’t have to always worry about you. I am SO grateful for you for this and for SO MANY MORE things… I will just settle here to name just a few. THANK YOU MY LOVE.
  6. I LOVE YOU. –  It goes without saying that you have my heart. I know I don’t always SHOW it, but I LOVE YOU and I am so happy I get to be a part of your life. I am honored that you have picked me to be your partner, your friend and your mate in this life. I am honored to know that your heart is with mine, and this overwhelming feeling that I KNOW that I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be.

Whether your other half is able to communicate this or not, I just know that they would say these things if they knew how. How I wish I had my husbands voice, saying this to me as a recording on my phone when I needed a reminder. (hmm, maybe a good idea everyone!) *And, if they already say these words freely, REMEMBER THEM when you find yourself in the middle of an argument and forget.

Please read and re-read these six messages when you need to fill yourself up. It’s SO FREAKING EASY to feel empty when life moves so fast, especially when our other half is not there. It’s so easy to FORGET that you have such a vital role in your relationship, resigning to feel like the victim because it didn’t work out the way you expected. PLEASE remember, my dear significant other, that YOU are the cornerstone of this relationship. The more you understand and appreciate who YOU are and what YOU bring to the relationship, I ASSURE you you and your restaurant man or woman WILL feel it, in turn, your relationship and your family will get stronger.

Because today, they are probably up and out of the house early (if not already) to prepare for the hundreds of deuces that are on the books tonight. They will be busy, prepping, directing and expediting, and whether they remember it or not (fingers crossed they do) REMEMBER they are able to do what they do, BECAUSE OF YOU.

Today marks the TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY of Married to a Chefs launch. YAY! I picked today to launch this website because I KNOW FIRSTHAND, how it stinks to not have any plans with my love on this day. It has brought me such JOY to find you, to connect with you and to tell you what I KNOW you deserve (and need) to hear (even when you don’t want to), as well as to help you find others in the SAME boat as you. I have barely scratched the surface with where I see us going, excited about some changes and additions to our mission in the very near future ahead, and I just want to say THANK YOU for being a part of our community. WELCOME if you are here for the first time, to find some relief.


much love,

TELL ME: How do YOU know you are loved and valued, not just on this day but everyday?

2012 Married to a Chef Holiday Gift Guide

December 8, 2012 in Celebrate!, Life


Can you believe we have LESS than 20 days till the big guy comes down the chimney? Amazing, right? How fast this year went, right?

We also have what…less than two weeks until we’ll see if the Mayans were right after all?

If somehow their prediction was askew, we’re in the holiday season and that means attempting to come up with a solid gift for our restaurant man/woman. Usually this ends up being a bit more difficult than we would like, and we end up flustered, wanting to give them something interesting but not something overtly culinary.

I thought I’d come up with a list of a few things I came up with, sort of out of the box ideas that I believe would peak our beloveds interest.

Finally, I want to end it with a few items for YOU. Because you do so much, manage so much and it’s high time you celebrate your own successes throughout the year.

PLEASE, tell us your favorites, link to them, so we can have even more to choose from!

Happy Holidays!

For your Restaurant Man/Woman

Seasonal Produce Calendar by UnCommon Goods – Maybe your man/woman would like to have this handy dandy guide to put in his kitchen to teach his staff when to use the freshest veg/fruits.

Bacon of the Month Club – I know a chef or two who loves trying out different bacons from all over the world. Most likely yours will to. Plus it’ll be an added bonus when they get the surprise in the mail, all year long. Another option here.

Join a CSA – (Community Supported Agriculture) Since your restaurant man/woman is probably not the one doing the grocery shopping, why not have locally grown produce brought to you (either you can pick it up locally or it can be delivered to your door), so WHEN he/she is available, they will have interesting ingredients at home to work with.

Point and Shoot SLR Camera – We know that our men and women like to keep track of their daily creations, why not give them something small and easy to use to do that with.

Rolling Foot Massager w/ Heat – We have one similar to this already plugged in and slipped underneath our couch for immediate relief after a terribly weeded shift. The look on my husbands face after 5 minutes on this is divine, and somehow I’m feeling better too.

The Splendiferous Array of Culinary Tools Print – from Pop Chart Labs – Anyone that uses the word Splendiferous is alright with me. Would look nice in a frame. If that one doesn’t suit your fancy, check out the other ones in their collection.

A kickass handmade knife from Joel Bukiewicz at Cut Brooklyn – Check out this awesome video about his passion.

*Sound something like the passion your man/woman has? Yea, thought so.

Vintage Knife sharpener

Then there’s the usual:

Themed Chef Products like T-Shirts, Hats, etc… I especially like some of the products over at Tasty Cotton

Subscription to Gastronomica.

Just to name a few.

And for you…

Book, Blood Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton – I THOROUGHLY enjoyed reading Gabrielles book of her NJ/NYC journey into becoming the successful chef and restaurant owner that she is today. Reading this was a cross between reading Under the Tuscan Sun and Kitchen Confidential. (Don’t kill me Gabrielle, I’m not an official literary critic.) It was also like I had a small opportunity to peek into the world that I only get to look at from the sidelines.

I am Enough Necklace – As I type this, I’m wearing mine right now. It is an AWESOME reminder, especially when I’m looking in the mirror, that I AM Enough, even when I don’t feel it. AND, many women have asked me about it and I can tell, it reminds them in that moment too.

*actually, anything from Bella Kai would be a wonderful gift to yourself. And, no, I’m not a sponsor of hers.

A schnazzy new FiloFax organizer- yea baby. I mean, since you’re already handling so much already, why not have something SCHNAZ to keep it all in, right?

A monthly subscription to BirchBox. It’s a $10/month subscription (that you can cancel at anytime) They ship you, each month, samples of the newest beauty products that you can try out. I just started it a few months ago and LET ME TELL YA, if you are the kind of person who loves surprises, you will LOVE seeing that pink box in the mail! The hope is they will introduce you to new products that you may or may night want to incorporate into your own routine! Only thing to know is due to popularity, there is a few month waiting list to get started. No matter, it’s TOTALLY worth the wait.

Finally, how about a day OFF!!! How bout you dash over here, find a sitter that feels right to you and take the day OFF from the kids!! If your mother or aunt or neighbor down the street is happy to watch the kids… LET THEM! Put it on your new Filofax on a Saturday and go… do something for YOU!

Just came across this list from a fellow Significant Other (via Hilary over at Desperate Chefs Wives), with her suggestions for gifts for this Christmas season – check it out here. Maybe she can give you a few more ideas to go with!

Finally, why not treat yourself to one hour with ME! Someone who understands EXACTLY what you’re going through and is trained to help you get from where you ARE at the end of 2012 to where you want to be in the new year. In the month of January am I offering one hour of dedicated YOU time with me for the price of $75.00. HALF of what my usual rate is.

*Having trouble with the PayPal above, click here to be directed to check out.

Whatever you end up getting, for your restaurant man or woman or for yourself this Holiday Season, I want you to know that I KNOW you are strong, that you have what it takes to THRIVE in this type of relationship and I am HONORED to stand by you, as a fellow significant other AND your resident life coach to help you create the life you ultimately desire.

Cheers to a DELICIOUS holiday season.
In gratitude,

Kerilyn Russo

 TELL US: What do you find as successful holiday gifts for your restaurant man/woman? Inquiring minds want to know!!

New Year! Time to CELEBRATE?

January 5, 2012 in Celebrate!, Life

boost your esteem by Liz


YOU DID IT! You made it through another year! CONGRATS!!!

Take a bow….. (no really, get up and take a bow. Do it. I’lll wait.)

I’d like to start out by asking you all a question, a non ‘I married into the restaurant industry’ question. (If I may…)

How do you CELEBRATE when life brings you something yummy?

Celebrate? WHAT? What’s that? I don’t have time to celebrate!

If any of the answers above sound familiar… you’re not alone.

With all the buzz of New Years Eve just behind us… the topic of how we celebrate has come up and I decided what better time to discuss celebration and it’s effects to our overall health and happiness.   

SO many of us work SO hard to ‘BE’ the person we think we should be, who our parents want us to be, our restaurant man/woman… even our society, that I am not sure we are even in touch with what it means to celebrate. We work on our goals, and when the new year comes around again, we set up new goals (or revive old ones) in an effort to keep achieving.

But what about celebrating?

The dictionary defines ‘to Celebrate’= to proclaim, to make known publicly, to praise widely or to present to widespread and favorable public notice…. AN UNINHIBITED GOOD TIME.

As your unofficial coach, It doesn’t feel right to put parameters on what celebrating looks like, or a list of what you should or shouldn’t do when celebrating.

I purely want to bring the topic to the surface.

I always ask my clients “How do you celebrate that?”… and inevitably, the answer usually stumps them.

It’s actually become an important part of my practice.

We don’t know HOW to celebrate, or more importantly…What it even looks like when we decide we want to.

A little bit, if you don’t already know about me. My birthday is on New Years Eve. I LOVE my birthday and I’ve just realized why.

It’s one of a handful of days when we give ourselves PERMISSION to celebrate.

*Okay, there are plenty of those out there who are anti-New Years Eve, who take a more “It’s just another day” kinda stance and for that I TOTALLY respect you.

But for me.. I LOVE the energy buzzing around me all day, people are getting ready to get dressed up, have people over, or settle in for a night at home. Either way… there is this electricity in the air that I love. *On top of the multiple happy birthday phone calls, texts, emails and Facebook messages that I receive that just keeps the energy flowing…

I’ve been to Times Square for New Years Eve. My 20th and my 21st birthday. The only way to define it is ELECTRIFYING. All these people, in such a small space, with one aim…

… to RING IN the new year.

Talk about celebration!

But what about the everyday reasons to celebrate?

What about celebrating just for the sake of celebrating?

How do we even begin to wrap our heads around HOW to celebrate?

It’s something I’ve been giving a LOT of thought too this past year, I want to share with you my OWN thoughts on why we have trouble celebrating and how to begin reframing the way we think about it.  

Myth: We think that celebrating occurs only on special occasions. (Think New Years Eve or your birthday)
Thought: We’re worried about what everyone ELSE would think of us, that what if we celebrated with more regularity… “‘They’ll’ think I’m weird if I celebrate.” So we’ve built in these occasions that we don’t have to worry about that so much, so we can ‘let down our hair’… to appear “normal” (a word I detest!) BUT…What if celebrations were a part of ALL of our everyday lives? How would that change things if we KNEW everyone was doing it?

Myth: Celebrating means doing something BIG and over the top (Think Times Square in NYC or a HUGE themed birthday party), or LOTS of investment (time, energy… money?).
Thought: What if celebrating only took 3 seconds. No really… 3 seconds, and NOONE else knew you were celebrating but YOU. Keep reading.

Myth: You only celebrate once you reach your goals. (BIG ONE… most of us feel this way about celebrating)
Thought: How would it change things if we thought of celebrating WHILE reaching our goals is like stopping for a break of water while running a race? Would we feel like we could give ourselves permission then? If it was something necessary for us to even reach our goal?

Myth:  Only selfish (or rich) people constantly celebrate.
Thought: Again, it’s about permission. If I were rich or self-absorbed… then it would be OKAY for me to celebrate. (A “Shoot, if I was rich and all my “problems” were gone, I’d FINALLY have a reason to celebrate!” mentality. – sound familiar?) What if we dared ourselves to think that WE TOO, deserve to celebrate too!?

Myth:  Celebrating doesn’t change the situation I’m in.
Thought: Okay… but what if it TEMPORARILY gives you RELIEF from your situation? Would it be okay then?  and even before that (here comes a virtual slap… you ready?)

What evidence do you have that it won’t change your situation?

Most likely… you don’t have any evidence. 

What if you gave it a try, a REAL hearty try for a week and see if you can find some evidence? 

*Consider this your New Years Resolution. Hey, at least I’m not asking you to take anything away, like on a diet. I’m asking you to ADD to your life, something that MIGHT (you do not currently know) change your whole day. (Basically… I double dog dare ya.)

Okay, Okay… I give! I’ll try it for a week if you’ll give me some ideas on how to celebrate.

I thought you’d never ask! Now comes the fun part!!! Here are just a handful of PRACTICAL ideas (for me, they gotta be practical, easy to do things in order for me to make them a new habit) to consider… AND… I’ll make them only 3 seconds long and if chosen, YOU will be the only one who knows you’re celebrating.


  • Every morning, after taking that first sip of coffee, tea, Diet Coke, etc… close your eyes and look up… SAY out loud (or in your head)….BLISS.
  • When you get an email/text/FB message from a friend (or someone you are excited to hear from) – SAY out loud or in your head… I’M IMPORTANT!!!
  • If you realize you’re having a good hair day, or our outfit looks good – look in the mirror and pretend, for 3 seconds.. that a photographer is taking a few pics of you…  SMILE FOR THE CAMERA!
  • When 5 o’clock hits and you’re shutting off your 9-5 computer…. pretend you’re at the end of a performance and, in front of your computer…. TAKE A BOW!!
  • When you hear something ANYTHING that makes you happy – do one of three things: 1. say AMEN!! 2. Do a twirl 3. put your hands in the air and say YEA!
  • Stop what you’re doing, for 3 seconds, look at something that makes you happy and SMILE.
  • After yet ANOTHER day of handling SO much; taking care of the kiddos, the 9-5, running to the grocery, hitting the gym, paying the bills, patience with the restaurant man/woman… for 3 seconds say WHATEVER comes to your mind… with conviction… with PRIDE!  *Yes, even if it’s F^&K!!! My recommendations are : I DID IT! I ROCK! ONE DAY DOWN! I CAN HANDLE ANYTHING!!!
  • Before going to bed, straighten all the sheets and blankets out before you get into it. Then Jump in!

Finally, celebrating isn’t about having a BIG moment. For my birthday, everyone asked me how I’m celebrating. I went out to lunch with one girlfriend, a movie with another girlfriend and then head home for an evening with myself (as most of you also were solo that night too), my kitty girl, and the energy that my friends and family are thinking of me today, that so many people ARE giving themselves permission to celebrate, and that I have so much to be grateful for. THAT ALONE.. filled me up with a sense of peaceful energy that actually being in Time Square could match. CELEBRATION.

So let me ask you….

How willing are you to give yourself permission to celebrate more in your everyday life?