It’s Never Too Late for Romance!

Feb 09, 2015

I really thought very hard about sharing my romantic story with all of you, my blog friends, especially since my husband is the strong, quiet type. But as such a believer in fairy tales coming true, anything Cinderella, and, of course, all the Hallmark movies, I hoped it would show that it’s never too late for romance.


With all that took place this past year with the new book, the house renovation, and the kids going their separate ways with jobs, boyfriends, and school, we wanted to take some time together to get away as a family, and I placed my husband in charge of booking the trip. We had gone to Maui about four years ago and really loved it, so… off we went for a Hawaiian vacation!!!


For our family of five, most hotels require you to book two rooms. We opted instead to stay in a suite at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea. It is the only oceanfront resort we found where all the bedrooms were large (860 square ft!). Our suite featured a separate sitting room with a pull out couch, a bedroom with two beds, a coffee bar area, two closets, a very large bathroom with separate potty area, and a nice size balcony—perfect for our family!


After a very long day and night of travel, we arrived at the resort at 5:30 AM, giving us time to unpack, fight over the sleeping arrangements (haha!), explore the resort and be first ones to the pool and beach! The hotel boasts an open air lobby with breathtaking views all around. The second shot was taken from the balcony in our room!!!.


Well, my sweet husband, John, who I would say usually scores on the low end of the romance department scale, had something special planned for the first night there. He had rented a cabana by the pool, had it lit with candlelight, and had planned a special dinner just for us. We were the only ones out there with all of those wonderful views!

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Here are my children,  Matthew (25), Kirby (24) and Sammy (21)! The table was set beautifully with a special four-course menu prepared from their signature restaurant, Ko, specifically for us! Most of the menu items are organically grown right there on the island, and the food was amazing!!!!!!! The best of many good meals we had on the trip!

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John and I married 27 years ago with a ring that his grandmother had given us. I never got a proper proposal with him down on one knee, but I was so in love that I didn’t really care. A cigar band for me would have been just fine, and the ring, three sizes too big, was lovely!!! The ring became even more sentimental when I inherited my grandmother’s guard rings, and the two sets fit perfectly together – such fate since they both were unusual shapes! I loved the fact that I had a part of each grandmother, both of whom were married for over 50 years!!! John and I had such fond memories of spending time with them! But during a house renovation years ago, the rings were stolen. I ended up purchasing a small antique ring for myself at an antique fair, and I’ve been happy with that ever since!

Following the main course on that first night, John completely shocked me when he got down on one knee in front of the kids! At first, I honestly thought he was retrieving his reading glasses. What a heartfelt proposal he delivered, this man of few words but such a kind heart!!! He said that he loved me even more now than before and that he couldn’t have chosen a better partner or friend. As you can imagine, I was like a giggling schoolgirl. He even remembered I had once said that I wanted someone to feel about me what the lyrics of the Bruno Mars song, “Just the Way You Are,” proclaim, so he had it playing on his phone. He was so cute, and, at 65, he was so, so nervous!


So taken aback by all of the thought and planning he had put into the evening, I was not expecting a new ring. When he took two black boxes out of his pocket, it brought me back to my 24-year-old self when he first proposed full of youth and dreams. This evening was truly even more special! To have our three children, all in their twenties, see their father be so emotional and sentimental in front of them is something I will never forget. We had so much fun the rest of the evening talking about how he planned it. He had gone to Kaylin Harr, a trusted jeweler and friend that I have known for 20 years, with our middle daughter, Kirby, to pick out the ring. Somehow, they all pulled off the surprise evening without me suspecting a thing!


It was certainly hard to beat that special night! John said he had to do it that first evening or he would have been too nervous to enjoy the rest of the trip—too cute!!! The boys played golf while the girls and I went to the beach and pool. Growing up in a family that owned restaurants, we all love to eat and try new foods… below are the highlights!!!


The Monkeypod,which is fairly casual, had wonderful signature drinks, lobster stew, truffle pizzas, fish and gourmet burgers with sweet potato buns!! They also had live music, creating a fun and festive atmosphere!


Sansei is a place the locals frequent and one of the few places we went where the prices weren’t too high. It has excellent sushi as well as delicious sauteed Brussels sprouts and seafood.


For Christmas, my sweet office staff had given me a gift certificate to Spagos, a Wolfgang Puck restaurant located at the neighboring Four Seasons Hotel. It was definitely swanky – we were sitting right next to Tom Arnold! He had his wife and small son with him who was flirting with my two girls but we didn’t want to ask for a pic!


Nicks Fish House, located at the Fairmont, was excellent!! Goodness we were all so full, tired of eating so much and spending money that we canceled our reservations for Mama’s Fish House, one of the best places in  Maui, to go shopping instead. If you get the chance to go to Maui, book at Mama’s way in advance and don’t cancel! It’s honestly the best seafood on the island!


What a memorable trip it was for me! It was incredible to see my husband, who I believed was so unromantic, surprise me with such an amazing and thoughtful evening, making me feel special and loved. I want to leave you now with our song,  Just The Way You Are! I hope that you all have a very special Valentine’s Day and, just remember, it’s the small gestures your loved ones make on a daily basis that define all along how deeply they care!

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Segreto Updates! We are so excited to share that our work was published in Luxe & Tuscan Style this month, and an article I wrote was featured in Houston House and Home! “Taking a Look Around Town” can be read by clicking here! Don’t forget about the fast approaching Organization Challenge!!! Send entries to by March 2nd… I am busy trying to finish up my closet for the great reveal!! The rules are below!

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  • MaryBeth
    Posted at 10:09h, 09 February Reply

    We were in Maui at the same time! We were at Kapalua at the Ritz. Our 3 kids are in college so we went by ourselves and I didn’t get a ring! Lol! Congrats to you! You have a beautiful family!

    • Leslie
      Posted at 13:06h, 09 February Reply

      Hi Marybeth! So Funny! It would have been so fun to run into each other! Wasn’t there a big golf tournament there hat week? Beautiful place, we have stayed there before! Take care!! xo

  • Diana woodman Hammett
    Posted at 21:36h, 09 February Reply

    Leslie – love this so much!!! I’ve been following your Pinterest site and love it. Your kids are beautiful and that was the sweetest thing. Xoxoxo, Diana

    • Leslie
      Posted at 22:05h, 10 February Reply

      Thanks so much for the comment!! It was so sweet!!! Love Leslie!!

  • Kaylin
    Posted at 14:11h, 10 February Reply


  • Rié | Portobello Design Blog
    Posted at 11:26h, 11 February Reply

    Leslie that was so sweet… on his knee … just the way you are … and a gorgeous ring … 27 years isn’t long enough! So romantic and better then a Hallmark movie. Sigh! XX Rié

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 12:26h, 11 February Reply

      HI Miss Rie!! It was!! I tear up every time i thing about it!!! I hope you will join our organizational challenge!! xo

  • Sharyn
    Posted at 18:11h, 11 February Reply

    Reading your romantic story and viewing all the sentimental photographs of your wonderful family, I feel my heart swelling beyond my chest and my vision clouded by all the happy tears. Thank you for sharing your love story will all of us that love you for who your are.

  • Design Chic
    Posted at 21:19h, 11 February Reply

    Oh my gosh, Leslie, that was the best trip ever!! Just love seeing your beautiful family and hearing the story of this perfect time…loved every word…

  • Gina Diamond
    Posted at 09:17h, 13 February Reply

    What a wonderful day for you! That is the sweetest thing ever. So glad you shared your story. Your ring is so beautiful. Happy Anniversary!

    • admin
      Posted at 08:44h, 14 February Reply

      Hi Gina! It was so sweet! Thank you so much!!! xo Leslie

  • Stacey Strouhal
    Posted at 16:30h, 16 February Reply

    I always enjoy your Monday entries but this one is especially enjoyable! Congratulations to you! The ring by the way is absolutely stunning and what a wonderful surprise. What a fabulous example you and your husband are setting for your young adult children as to the value of marriage!

  • Leslie Sinclair
    Posted at 16:59h, 16 February Reply

    Through the ups and downs!! Haha! It really is worth it, so many wonderful surprises along the way!! xo

  • cindy hattersley
    Posted at 18:03h, 16 February Reply

    This is the sweetest story I have ever heard! That husband of yours is a keeper!! Adore Mama’s fish house as well! Would love to be in Maui right this very minute!!

  • Mary Ann Pickett
    Posted at 13:27h, 24 February Reply

    Oh my gosh! What a beautiful story. I have a lump in my throat.

    • Leslie
      Posted at 15:12h, 24 February Reply

      Thank you, Mary Ann! It really was so sweet!

  • sherry hart
    Posted at 06:45h, 02 March Reply

    What a beautiful story…..lucky you!

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