Sunday, January 11, 2009

My FeMANine Side 2008 Year In Review
(The Barton Girls)
Happy New Year. Hope everyone’s 2009 is off to a great start. I wanted to get this post out much earlier in the year but, as usual, life got in the way. So here it is, the widely anticipated "My FeMANine Side 2008 Year in Review":

Top 3 Quick 'N Easy Romance Tips

# 3 BHH - Brush Her Hair - Post Date – 4/17/08

As easy as it sounds.

#2 Post-It’s – more than just a sticky piece of paper – Post Date 1/13/08

A clever way to say “I love you”.

#1 Subliminal Emails – Post Date – 04/03/08

Send an email with a romantic subliminal message.

Top 3 Crafts – Great to do with Kids

#3 Love-In A Picture Frame -Post Date 4/17/08

#2 Tissue Paper Flowers -Post Date – 1/17/08

#1 Words On Wood – Post Date – 2/11/08

Top 3 Cooking Videos – Also great to do with the Kids

#3 Baked Sesame Seeds w/GarlicGomasio,Celery & Dipping Suaces – Post Date 4/17/08

#2 Toasted Naan w/ Sauteed Onions/Mushrooms & Chicken – Post Date – 5/15/08

#1 Sweet Potato Fries and Baked Broccoli – Post Date – 1/13/08

Just a Glimpse - Some of my favorite photos from 2008

My Favorite News Segment of 2008

"Local Dad Todd Barton Talks About Being FeMANine"

Coming in 2009

Todd In Real Life, Dear Oprah, What I’ve Learned from My Girls and much more….

Also coming...Valentine’s Day. Never too early to start thinking about what you want to do. It falls on a Saturday this year so the earlier you make your plans the better.

Friday, October 24, 2008

JoePa 82 years young, MBT's the anti-shoe, Homemade Salsa and Guacomole w/ Toasted Pita Chips, Improving your "indoor" air and Just A Glimpse

Quick and Easy Romance Tip

(Photo by Madison)
This week’s tip is simple…Read to your wife. Don’t know what to read? “Ask” her! The great thing about reading is that you can read different things to her at different times and in different ways. Whisper a sweet poem in her ear to be romantic or read aloud a motivational passage to lift her spirits. Does she like to garden? Then find out something about her favorite plant or flower and tell her about it while she relaxes outside. You decide. And don’t be discouraged if this tip isn’t for her or you. You never know till you try . You may both end up really enjoying it. Happy reading.

Why to watch Penn State vs Ohio State?

This week Penn State, ranked 3rd in the country, takes on Ohio State; who is ranked11th. Joe Paterno, Penn State’s head coach, will be 82 years young in December. In this, his 59th season as a Coach for Penn State and his 43rd pacing the sidelines as Head Coach; “JoePa”, as the student body calls him, has the Nittany Lions poised to compete for a National Championship.

Is this a big game? JoePa has not won at Ohio State since 1978. What a nice little October treat for Penn State to go into Columbus and take the Buckeye's down. Even if you are not a college football fan, and you could care less about who wins the game, if you get a chance watch a little of it just to check out Joe-Pa. He’s awesome. I guess 82 is the new 50?

Penn State 45 Ohio State 17.

Can You Fall In Love With a Pair of Shoes?

(My MBT's)
Whether it is tennis sneakers or dress shoes, if I liked the way it looked and it was in my price range, I bought it. Laura would like me to mention that my price range was $14.99 and under and my shoes of choice were Kirkland Signatures bought, of course, at one of my favorite places, Costco.

That was until I was introduced to MBTs. (Masai Barefoot Technology). MBTs’ design is based on the African Masai Tribesman who walk around barefoot and have practically no back or joint problems. The shoes try to replicate what the body experiences when walking barefoot. Laura has been wearing her MBTs for two years now and for about two years I have been hearing about how great these shoes are. Recently I got a pair of my own as a gift. At first I admit I was reluctant to say I liked them but if Laura and I ever have another child his or her name could be Masai. Okay, I wouldn’t take it that far but you get my point, these shoes are amazing. Every time I take a step in them I feel like I’m doing something good for my body.

Video: Homemade Salsa and Guacomole With Toasted Pita Chips

Indoor Air worse than Outdoor Air?

This year, as a birthday gift for my Dad, I bought my parents a Peace Lily for their home. We have about 7 of our own. Besides being beautiful house plants, Peace Lilies also eliminate VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) from the indoor air which I just recently learned is more polluted than outdoor air. Adding a Peace Lily to your home decor is a great way brighten up a room and they are very easy to take care of even if you do not have a green thumb. If you’ve been thinking of getting an indoor plant or just want to add to the ones you have, try the Peace Lily. Your lungs will be glad you did!

Just A Glimpse

My FeMANine Side on KTLA Morning News

In case you missed my appearance on the KTLA Morning News please check out the link below. The girls & I had a blast. Hope you enjoy it and hope to be on there again soon!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

You're CUMFY She's COZY, Toasted Naan Stuffed with Sauteed Mushrooms,Onions and Chicken, An Art Wall For All Occasions

This week’s Quick and Easy Romance Tip:

"You’re Cumfy, She’s Cozy "

I have to admit I am a tickler. Almost every night I tickle Laura before we go to sleep. Her arm, back, neck etc. I truly enjoy it. It sometimes helps me fall asleep. One way I do it is I lay in bed on my back and get into a comfortable position. When Laura comes to bed she sits in a position where it is very easy for me to tickle her back right above her midsection. I do it for a little while and then I tell her I love her, rollover and go to bed. Quick and Easy. And remember the whole purpose of this is to just relax her before she goes to bed.

This week’s video: Toasted Naan with Sauteed Onions/Mushrooms and Chicken

An Art Wall For All Occasions

Looking for something to do with all that great art your kids bring home from school? Here’s a creative & fun way to display some of it. Find a wall in your home with some vacant space to display pictures and make it the “art wall”. Not only will you enjoy it but your kids will too.

Next post: The Ultimate Spinach Salad.

It's easy and delicious

Have a great weekend.



Thursday, April 17, 2008

BHH, Baked Sesame Seeds w/ Garlic Gomasio, Celery and Dipping Sauces, "L-O-V-E" in a picture frame

This week's Quick ‘n Easy Romance Tip

3 words
– Brush Her Hair

Yes, it’s as easy as it sounds. A hair brush can be a very powerful tool towards relaxing your wife/girlfriend. If you know what her favorite brush is you’re half way there. If you don’t, no worries. You can either bring a selection of her brushes with you when you’re ready to brush her hair or just ask her what her favorite brush is. If she asks why, tell her. Here’s what you do. One evening before she’s ready to go to bed, brush her hair. Your whole objective is to make her feel good, relax her and just let her lose herself in how good it feels to get her hair brushed by you. Do it for about 5 minutes, give her a kiss on the neck and tell her to have sweet dreams. Quick ‘n Easy.

And ladies…communicate with him; let him know what feels good and what doesn’t.
And Gentlemen...Be good listeners.

This week’s video:

Baked Sesame Seeds w/ Garlic Gomasio, Celery, and Dipping Sauces

Laura & I think this tastes Pha-Nominal. And like many recipes, it was found by accident. I created Baked Sesame Seeds w/ Garlic Gomasio, Celery, and Dipping Sauces
because after several times of making Baked Broccoli (January 13th post) and Baked Sweet Potato Fries; which are both seasoned with Sesame Seeds and Garlic Gomasio, I noticed that we all enjoyed eating the baked Sesame Seeds/Garlic Gomasio that were left on the cooking sheet. So I started making extra Seeds and Gomasio every time we had these 2 dishes and it evolved into this week’s video. The name is actually what I call it when I tell Laura & the kids that I’m going to make it. I say, “I’m going to make the Sesame Seed and Garlic Gomasio thing.” We all love it and hope you enjoy it.

In the video I mention the “T-list” and refer you back to my 2nd post. But it is actually my 3rd post that I begin to explain the “T-list.

What is the T-List?

Oprah has her "O" list, I have my T-list. There are T-lists for cooking, gardeing, being romantic, etc…Things on the T-List are things I like to have on hand when I cook, garden, be romantic etc. Everything in this recipe is pretty much on the T-list. Sesame Seeds, Garlic Gomasio, Powdered Garlic and Olive Oil. I get my Sesame Seeds and Garlic Gomasio from Whole Foods and the Powdered Garlic and Olive Oil from Costco.

L-O-V-E in a Picture Frame

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, here are two photo craft projects you can do. All you need is a camera, some pictures she’ll like and your imagination.

This project is all about “L-O-V-E.” And while I show 2 examples of what I did, there are hundreds, thousands, if not millions of ways to spell “L-O-V-E” in a picture. Use what I did as guidelines and come up with your own creative way to say “L-O-V-E” in a Picture Frame.

As you can see, this version has the word “L-O-V-E” in the middle and is surrounded by pictures of my three girls and Laura. I created the “L-O-V-E” image on an old piece of wood that Madison had painted blue and, due to the rain, it gotten washed out. I used flowers from my garden to do the spelling. The “L” is Daisies, the “O” is Ivy Geranium Flowers, the “V” is part of a succulent plant and the “E” is made up of Basil Sprigs. I laid the flowers out on the piece of wood to spell L-O-V-E, took a digital picture of it, printed it out and surrounded it with pictures of my family.

L-O-V-E” in the Park - another version

For this one, I took my camera with me on a recent walk and shot images that resembled letters. If you know the word you’re trying to spell, in this case “L-O-V-E”, you just have look around and see what things look like those letters.

In my example I used images that Laura and I see when we take walks together The “L” is the edge of a gate, the “O” is a tree stump, the “V” is a Birds of Paradise flower and the “E” is a branch.

After you take your pictures, download or develop them and choose the ones you think will work best. Then print out the pictures in the sizes that will fit the frame you choose, lay them out accordingly and you’re good to go. You have an incredibly thoughtful and relatively simple gift that she’ll hopefully treasure for years.

Have a great weekend.



Thursday, April 3, 2008

Kissey Pissey On The Cheeky Peeky, Grilled Veggies w/Roasted Garlic Pita and Subliminal Emails

This Week’s Quick and Easy Romance Tip

Kissey Pissey on the Cheeky Peeky

As with many couples, Laura and I have cute ways of saying things and “Kissey Pissey on the Cheeky Peeky” is just our name for a sweet morning kiss on the cheek when one of us gets out of bed in the morning. I do have to admit I love it when Laura kisses me on the cheek and whispers I love you in my ear. It’s a great way to start the day. So sometime this week get up out of bed before your wife, go over to her give her a sweet kiss on the cheek and whisper I love you to her in her ear. Quick and Easy.

This week’s video:

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette and Roasted Garlic Pita Bread

Subliminal Emails

Send her an email with a subliminal message. Just write her a simple email and highlight letters within the email that spell a word or phrase out. For example:

***This is a subliminal email. The bolded letters spell out a secret message***

How was your meeting? I went to the Greek restaurant again but didn’t go crazy on the hummus. I am going to swing by the market and pick up some grilled vegetables and pita bread. Do we have any garlic cloves at home? I saw a great recipe for a grilled vegetable salad with roasted garlic on My FeMANine Side today. What did your brother say about running with us tomorrow morning? My softball game was cancelled so we will be able to go to a movie tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you tonight.



If you want you can put a PS and say “Scroll down to see the answer” and then put the phrase or let her try and figure it out.

Have a great weekend.



Saturday, March 15, 2008

English Muffin Pizzas, Her own Astrological Forecast and Just a Glimpse

This week's Quick and Easy Romance Tip

Three Words - Washable Bathtub Crayons

This week’s Quick and Easy romance tip let’s you be a kid again! All you need are some kids’ toy washable bathtub crayons (make sure they’re washable). Write or draw her something sweet on the walls of the shower so every time she showers that week she will see it and hopefully it’ll put a smile on her face. Quick and Easy.

This week’s video: How to make English Muffin Pizzas

Before I get into the English Muffin Pizzas, I just want to say "thank you" to all of you that have been reading my posts. So "Thanks"

English Muffin Pizzas are very easy to make and they taste delicious. And you can use whatever toppings she likes. The one thing I forgot to tell you in the video is that you should toast your English Muffin before you make it into a pizza. As you can see from the video below Madison and Brooklyn joined in the fun & helped me make the pizzas.

March Madness

Hopefully by now you have your special day picked out and are in the middle of planning it or maybe you even celebrated it already. If you haven’t clued her into the special day that awaits her, below is a fun way to reveal to her that you have a “special” day or something else romantic in the works for her.

Write Her Her Own Astrological Forecast..

This is not as hard as you think. I know very little about astrology and you don’t have to know much either. You just have to use your imagination because everything you write is going to be created by you. First, find an Astrological forecast. You can find one in a newspaper or online. Or, you can do what I did… I bought one of those 99 cents Astrology books that they have in the checkout line of the supermarket. It all comes down to the language you use. Write the way they do but personalize it for your wife. For example, below is one I could write for Laura.

You have much to celebrate during this solar period that features the Sun in your sign.
This solar energy brightens everyone’s aura that you are around especially your loving husband and your
three beautiful daughters.

Your opportunities for romance multiply as Venus and the new moon travel in your sign.
Turn on your
charm and let your powers of attraction drive your loving husband crazy.

Your lucky number is: (insert your phone number here) . Call this number today,
tomorrow and forever
whenever you want to hear I love you.

Matters of the heart are second nature to you with Venus, the Universal Planet of Love.
You are
charming, gracious and extremely sexy. Late night reservations have been made for you at Bartonio’s for
dinner/dessert or both when the real energizer of your social life Mars is at its highest peak between the week of March 18th – March 24th. Or any other day or time you want. Just let the author of this astrological forecast know at your earliest convenience.

I love you.


Todd “Aesop” Barton

Have fun with it and put it somewhere she will see or find it.

Just a Glimpse

Madison opened a candle store in London's room and one of Madison's many outfits.

Brooklyn with some wild flowers she picked in the yard.

London, Mommy and Daddy walking in the park

Have a great week.



Friday, February 29, 2008

Bringing Back Chivalry, The "Yummy" Dessert and Bobby Knight

This weeks Quick 'n Easy Romance Tip

Bringing Back Chivalry

To most women, chivalry took a hike a long time ago. Well, it’s time to bring this classic back. So, this week’s Quick ‘n Easy romance tip is all old school, it’s about getting back to the basics that so many of us have forgotten about. So, here’s what I want you to do, whether it’s just for one date, a whole day, one week, or the entire month of March and beyond, practice the art of “Chivalry.” Here are some basic examples:

· Open the door for your wife in the morning when she leaves for work
· Open the car door for her if you carpool
· Pull out your wife’s chair when she goes to sit down
· Hold a door open for her & let her walk through it first
· Wait to eat until she’s seated at the table

This week’s video: The “Yummy” Dessert

This dessert was affectionately named by my 3 girls. They just started calling it the "yummy"dessert. It consists of an inner layer of ice cream and two outer layers of sorbet.
You can also top it off with homemade blueberry and strawberry sauce. Sounds "yummy" doesn't it? The above picture is one I made last summer for Laura & the girls. And I do have to say it was “phenomenal.”

If you have any questions about the "Yummy" dessert leave a comment or email me at

And the rest of this week’s post is dedicated to the Big Dance...March Madness:

The “Game Plan” Continued

Last week we started talking about the importance of planning, about laying out your “Game Plan” for your Valentine’s Day (Just Because I Love You Day) in March. By now you hopefully have picked when this special day will occur. This week, we tackle the next step in the plan. You need to start thinking about what you want to do and start making a list of the things you will need.

Are you going to surprise her after work? Do you need to arrange for a baby sitter? Do you need to bring a change of clothes for her? Do you need to get her out of the house for a while on a Saturday to set up? Maybe you want to take her horse-back riding? Maybe you want to cook for her? What friend or family member could you ask for help? Are you going to give her a killer massage? Do you have the oils and lotions you will need? How about music? Are you going to want to dance with her? Do need you need post-its to leave love notes? (By the way, Post-Its are actually available in the shape of a heart & these would be perfect for “just because I love you day.”) Make that list and before too long you'll have your Game Plan.

And if you're feeling a little overwhelmed, I have a quote from Bobby Knight to help inspire you.

“A Pre-Game Pep Talk”

I’m a fan of Bobby Knight’s, who we know will not be on the court coaching this March since he retired a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t always a fan of his though. I didn’t like him too much in ‘87 when Indiana’s Keith Smart hit that shot out of the corner to beat Syracuse in the National Championship the year before I attended Syracuse. You know how there are some sports highlights that just make you cringe? Well that’s one for me.

But since then, I have come to like Bobby Knight. I love his passion. He may have let his emotions get the best of him sometimes, but he always had a lot of passion. I was reading something about him recently where they featured a quote from him that I loved and immediately put on our quote board.

“Everyone has the will to win…Only those with the will to prepare will win.”

This goes hand and hand with you putting together your Game Plan. Not only do you need to have the “will” to be romantic, you have to be willing to take the time to prepare, to plan, if you will. I believe that anyone can be romantic. You may hit a few bumps at first on your journey but practice makes perfect. The more you practice being romantic, the better you’ll get at it. And the more you plan, the easier it is. So start preparing and planning for your wife’s special day, that effort will go a long way.

March Madness “Post” Up

For the ladies, if you hear the term “post up” when your husband is watching basketball this March, here’s the definition:

“Post Up”- a basketball term where a big man like Shaquille goes down low
(near the basket), establishes a good position, and pins his man with his body
and asks for the ball.

For the gentlemen, since it is March Madness, I would like you to “post” up. But not in the basketball sense, in the blogging sense. I really haven’t had the time to tune up on my college hoops so I need some help. I know Memphis, Duke and Tennessee could all get to the Final Four, but who is the Cinderella story this year? I want to know who you guys think will be this year’s “Bracket Buster?” So, let me hear from you!

And ladies, I would love to hear from you too!

Don’t miss next week’s post:
· Her own Astrological forecast written by you
· English Muffin Pizzas and
· “Good Idea, Bad Idea”