Saturday, July 16, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
10 Cheap Date Ideas She’ll Actually Love
Bonus #11: Impromptu living room dance party.
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Joe Weber of Dappered.com.
“’Cause I don’t care too… much for money, money can’t buy me love“ – The Beatles
If you’ve decided to take on the challenge of dating women instead of simply hanging out with them, there’s both good news and bad news.
The bad news is that you’re going to have to overcome your nervousness and fear of rejection.
But the good news is that taking women out on dates doesn’t have to be expensive. It simply takes a little more thought.
Too many men make the mistake of believing they can buy their way out of thinking. But creative, cheap dates are often the best kind. They’re more memorable than the standard dinner and a movie, and when a woman sees that you’re thoughtful, she won’t care how much dough you spent on taking her out (if she’s a keeper, that is).
So here are 10 fiscally responsible options for when you’re short on cash but still want to impress her with a terrific date…
1. Wine Tasting
Wineries are sprouting up everywhere this side of Antarctica. Most of these upstarts allow wine tasting for free or for a very small price (and often times, those that charge let you keep the glass.) Go and learn about the different wines, what they pair well with, and keep mental notes on which varietals she enjoys the most. Knowing a woman’s preferred type of wine isn’t as important as knowing her eye color, but it helps. As counter-intuitive as it may feel for those of us who see wasting alcohol as a mortal sin, make sure you use that spit bucket. You’re driving, you need to be responsible, and if you swallow every taste you’re not going to be fit to drive her home. You don’t have to spit every taste, but showcase some restraint. She’ll notice and appreciate it.
2. Hit a Flea Market
Unlike antique shops, flea markets seem geared for the young and not as affluent. The merchandise is almost always more interesting if not downright weird. Same goes for the people in attendance and those who are selling the goods. You can watch people barter, look over pieces of furniture that are probably haunted, and maybe pick up some small gift for your date if something inexpensive catches her eye. If it’s jewelery? Who knows. Maybe it won’t even turn her skin green. (Or it could end up being some awesome treasure). Try and stick to outdoor flea markets that have a good reputation. Not those once in a blue moon indoor sales which charge you an arm and a leg before you even get to lay eyes on what’s for sale.
3. The Sunset Hike + Post Pub Visit
Going for a meandering walk with no real destination can be fun, but hiking to the top of an easy to get to peak to watch the sun go down gives you purpose. Keep it to under 45 minutes. You don’t want to go on some epic journey only to end up stumbling through the dark. Reward yourselves with a beer or glass of wine afterwards at a cozy pub. This works terrific in the fall when you can see all the changing leaves around you.
4. The Photography-Filled Afternoon
File this one under the category of two-birds/one stone. Most of us have relatives in other parts of the country (or world) and you never know what to get them for their birthday or the holidays. Go on a photo hunting expedition in your hometown for the places and scenes that best represent where you live. When you’re all done, pick 12 of the best and hit one of the many websites that allow you to upload photos and create wall calendars. There’s your gift for Grandma and Grandpa who live a few time zones away and would love a reminder of what it looks like where you live.
5. The Bicycle Picnic
Picnics are always at the top of everyone’s list for cheap and romantic dates. But mixing in a leisurely long bike ride can make a nice difference. It’s relaxing, you get to enjoy some scenery on the way, and it’s far more romantic and engaging when compared to fighting through traffic and finding a place to park. Keep the menu simple, know any open container laws that might apply to your eventual picnic destination, and make sure you’ve got a backpack and bike gear rack that can handle your load. Take a bike lock with you. You might end up taking a detour on the way home for ice cream.
6. Take a Historical Walking Tour of Your Town
Almost always free, historical walking tours actually make you stop and appreciate the history that most of us drive by every single day. We’ve got our own point As and point Bs, and most of us rarely spend time focusing on the places in-between. Usually these tours are led by volunteers who can be real characters, and the buildings and their stories are never boring. Both (the guides and history) will provide for plenty of conversation at the cafe or bar afterward. Nostalgia, history, architecture, an appreciation for the past… it’s all wrapped up in one of these on-foot freebies.
7. Cheering on Your Local Roller Derby Girls
For the cost of one cheap seat at most major league games, you and your date could watch one of the hundreds of local roller derby clubs duke it out with a rival. Usually a ticket will let you see a couple of bouts, and the speed and spills are the real deal. It’s something different but still sports related, with just enough adrenaline, which doesn’t involve sweaty guys for once.
8. The Untraditional Movie Night
There are two options here. First, if you’ve just jumped into a relationship, skip the new romantic comedy that just hit the Redbox, and instead go with a classic like Casablanca, To Catch a Thief, or even the goofy-as-all-get-out original Ocean’s 11. Grab some takeout, make a meal, or have some cocktails on hand that line up with the plot or location of your chosen old Hollywood story. Set an upscale mood by dressing up a bit. You don’t want to look like you’re settling in for a night on the couch because you have the flu. Just because you’re at home watching a movie, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress up for her.
For those that have been in a relationship for awhile, consider reenacting your first movie date. We all (should) know the first movie we saw with our significant other. Find it for cheap on DVD, grab a wicker type basket from a craft store, dress it up with some tissue paper, and load it up with popcorn, M&Ms, and other movie theater-type snacks. Deliver it to her and ask her over for a movie night. Should cost you less than the arm and a leg you spent on just the popcorn and sodas alone when you two first saw it in the theater.
9. Farmer’s Market in the Morning, Making Dinner Together That Evening
Staying in and making dinner together is as romantic as it gets, but use your dinner date as an excuse to hit your local farmer’s market that morning. Stroll past the different vendors, and eventually you’ll start assembling a pile of fresh local ingredients that you can use that evening. You don’t have to get everything at the market. Maybe just the foundational items for each course–perhaps a couple bunches of kale to saute up with some olive oil and garlic, a couple of local organic chicken breasts that will be plenty easy to stuff, and some berries to pair up with shortcake for dessert. Get creative, then use the middle of the day to find some easy recipes and pick up the rest of the ingredients you’ll need.
10. Monopoly. Loser Buys Dinner or Drinks
Don’t scoff at board games (or cards). They can make for a terrific evening in (if that’s what you’re looking for). Put a friendly couples related wager down on the outcome (dinner, drinks… I’m sure your imagination is wandering to other places). It’ll make the game all the more interesting. Skip Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit. Those can get too mentally competitive. Monopoly has enough chance involved that no one’s feelings will get hurt (yours included) if someone completely dominates the other. And dominate Monopoly you will if you nab those orange properties (it’s true, they’ve done studies). Win, and if the prize includes a night out on her dime? Then this cheap date idea just produced another. Well… for you at least.
What are your favorite cheap date ideas? Share them with us and if we get some good ones, we’ll do another installment.
Joe Weber is the Director and Editor of www.Dappered.com where affordable style is the one and only focus. He believes that living right, living well, and looking good doesn’t mean you should go broke in the process.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
My Action Steps:
- Pray about it, releasing the worry into God's hands.
- Write stuff down.
Posted: 05 Jul 2011 08:04 AM PDT
Do you have so much to do that you just don’t know where to begin?
We all feel like that sometimes – maybe most of the time. When there’s a whole bunch of different commitments and responsibilities pressing on is, it’s easy to freeze up and do nothing at all.
That’s why you need a to-do list and more importantly perhaps, you have to execute on it. Listing things simply to clear your mind isn't good enough. It is however a start so let's begin there.
It helps you:
- Beat overwhelm – it’s easier to get a grip when you can see what you really need to do, in black and white
- Remember everything – you can get all those little things off your mind and onto paper, so that you don’t forget anything crucial
- Stay on track – so that you don’t end up wasting time doing the wrong things
So, here’s how to create a to-do list that will actually work for you.
- Write Down Everything That’s On Your Mind
You’ve probably got a whole bunch of stuff in your head right now: tasks to do, projects to complete, things you need to buy, phone calls to make, and so on.
Grab a piece of paper or fire up an app, and write it all down. This might take 10-15 minutes and you may end up with a horribly long list. Don’t worry – we’re not going to tackle it all!
- Find the Important Tasks
Look through your list and highlight anything that’s important. That might be mission-critical tasks at work, promises that you’ve made at home, or anything that’s going to cause you a lot of inconvenience if it doesn’t get done (like paying your bills).
It’s up to you to decide what counts as “important” – it’s not just about work tasks. If you’d really love to start a blog, take a pottery class or go skydiving, those can go on your important list too.
- Find the Urgent Tasks
Go through your list again, ideally with a different colored highlighter. This time, pick out anything that’s urgent. These might not be especially important tasks – but they need to be completed within the next few days.
Urgent tasks might be taking back your library books, making a phone call, sending out an email, or similar. Again, it’s up to you to decide what counts as urgent – you might want to focus on tasks for the next day or for the next week.
- Pick Two Important Tasks
Now, look at your important tasks. Choose:
- One small task to do today (like “finish that report and send it to the boss”)
- One medium-sized task to do some time this week (like “write the first chapter of my novel”)
- Add in Urgent Tasks
Hopefully, you won’t have too many urgent tasks ... but even if you feel overwhelmed by them, it’s still a good idea to get your important tasks in place first. (That way, you avoid building up a backlog of tasks that keeps you chasing urgent things rather than important ones.)
If you can, ditch any urgent-but-unimportant tasks, or get someone else to give you a hand to get through them.
Again, make sure that you break the items down into specific actions (especially if you’re going to be delegating).
- Make a To-Do List Every Morning
Now that you’ve got a big list of tasks, it’s easy to look through each morning and decide what needs to be done. Every day, pick one – three important tasks, and make these a real priority. Jot down any urgent tasks too, so that you don’t forget them.
Your to-do list is a powerful tool to help you avoid procrastination: if you have a clearly-defined list of tasks, it’s easy to work through them.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
I don't recall where I first read it, but the theory is that if you can make a change and stick with it for 21 days, odds are in your favor that you have won and created a new habit.
What can you do for 21 days in a row?
What have you been wanting to change in your life?
What if you made a list of 17 things, and every 21 days you added another change?
Why 17? Simply math... 17 x 21 = 357 days. You can make 17 different changes in the next 12 months with a few days off.
I'm off to work on my list and get started.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Posted: 08 Jul 2011 08:10 AM PDT
If I could show you how you can become an outrageous success, would you be interested?
You see, human beings are naturally happy when everything negative is removed. It’s like trying to hold a beach ball underwater. As soon as you let go, it pops back up to the surface.
So imagine yourself being a success and all that it brings with it. It feels good, doesn’t it? You can have that, and much more, if you would just let go of the things that hold you back.
- Lack of Vision
The number one thing that holds most people back is lack of vision. You have to get a clear image in your mind's eye about what success means to you. I'm not talking about having tons of money, five cars, and a huge house somewhere expensive.
I'm talking about the life that you truly want to live. Think about how you would feel if you already had all that.
In the end all we want is to feel good now.
- Negative Expectations
We've been conditioned to talk negatively to ourselves all day long. Some people don't believe in affirmations, but they go around telling themselves that they aren't good enough, that they can't accomplish anything, and that nothing is worth doing.
Try saying those things to yourself right now and see how you feel. Positive expectations will make good things happen.
There's no one to blame. You alone are responsible for not only the business success you have, but also how much you enjoy life right now. Even if someone did something wrong to you in the past, it doesn't mean that you have to be mad at them for the rest of your life.
The only one suffering from you blaming others is you.
- Negative Beliefs
Everyone has their own set of negative beliefs. Figure out what yours are and start letting them go. There are a lot of ways out there that you can use to let go your negative beliefs.
Many of them work. I personally help people do just this with NLP and sometimes EFT and the results are powerful, but the change starts with you making the decision.
The problem is that most people like their negative beliefs, because they have benefits and feel familiar. They haven't realized that by letting go of these negative beliefs, you can feel even better and become even more successful.
Familiarity holds everyone back, because feeling like you're safe and comfortable is nice, but it ultimately keeps you stuck. And it's nowhere near as nice as when you take action, face your fears, and build a life that you truly desire.
Feeling uncomfortable when you do something new is a part of the game. It's just a sign that you're changing and making progress.
- No Trust
It's essential that you trust the process. You don't have to know exactly how you're going to earn more and become more successful.
Your heart already knows where to go. Listen to your heart and follow your highest excitement.
Trust yourself, because you are the only one who knows what's right for you.
- Lack of Focus
Another big stumbling block that may hold you back from outrageous success is the lack of focus. You have to have smart goals.
If you begin a new project or start a new business, you have to put on the blinders and focus on nothing else.
I’ve found that the more I focus, the better I do. It's easy to get distracted and sidetracked, I get that, but if you want success, you have to have laser-sharp focus.
- Wrong View of Happiness
Happiness doesn't come from the outside, it comes from the inside.
Think about what you truly want when it comes to business success, and ask yourself what that will give you that you wouldn't otherwise have.
Keep asking that question until you reach the end, which is usually peace of mind, happiness, joy, or something like fulfillment.
The truth of the matter is that we all want to feel good, and we can feel good right away. You don't have to get stuff or accomplish things to do so.
- Settling for Mediocrity
This goes hand in hand with familiarity. It's easy to settle for mediocrity, because you may have felt that you weren't good enough up until now.
You can change that whenever you want. Success isn’t what you thought it was. It can be fun and enjoyable.
Everything we believe is just a map of reality, and the map is never the territory.
- Passion Procrastination
The most successful people are those who are passionate about what they do. Now, there are people out there that don't love what they do and are widely successful. The only problem with them is that they kind of hate life.
Being successful is not about making a lot of money, it's about doing what you love, and feeling fulfilled.
The funny thing is that when you do something you love and get really good at it, the money tends to follow.
|Written on 7/08/2011 by Henri Junttila. Henri writes at Wake Up Cloud, where he shares his personal tips on how you can live the life you know you deserve. When you feel ready to take action, get his free course: Find Your Passion in 5 Days or Less. And if you liked this article, you will enjoy one of his top articles: 77 Great Quotes That Will Change Your Life.||Photo Credit: grinapple|
Sunday, July 10, 2011
The Life you are living is the life you choose to live.
There are very few exceptions to this, such as the very young who are limited by the choices of their parents.
There are also economic limitations, but those can be overcome if you are willing.
You have so many choices available in this life of yours if you stop blaming others and change your attitude.
You can choose where you live, where you work, who you live with, and what to do in your free time.
For those who are unemployed and cannot find a job, the problem is not the job market, it is what you are doing or not doing.
And I know a few folks that have been looking for work unsuccessfully who will disagree with that last sentence but I stand behind it.
They have placed limitations on themselves, or attitudes and they have been unsuccessful.
However, I want to also emphasize that we have compassion for those who have lost their jobs and humility because it can happen to any of us and when it does, you never expect it to last.
Reach out and do what you can to help, even if it is a listening ear.
We place ourselves in situations that create limitations on our own lives, but instead of looking at those limitations as a way of holding you back, look at the other possibilities.
Here's an example from my own life:
When I was 22 I married for the first time and about a year later, our first daughter was born. By the time I was 26 we had three kids which meant we were outnumbered as parents!
My life changed the day my first daughter, Rachael was born in 1983 and I recall standing outside the hospital wondering how my life had changed so quickly in less than 18 months from the time I met her Mom until that day when I first became a Dad.
But it was the life I chose. I wanted to marry. Marriage was going to lead to having children. Neither was always easy. But these choices led to many blessings over the past 20+ years.
Even though that first marriage only lasted 13 years, and for awhile it felt that my life was in a holding pattern for awhile, life continued to move forward 24 hours at a time.
Now I have been married for 10+ years, my ex also remarried, and all 4 of us have been through the weddings of those 3 babies who are now 25, 26, and 27. (The picture is of the 3 of them 20+ years ago).
They are having their own kids now and the cycle continues...
No matter what stage of your life you are in, you get to choose to create a life you love.
As my daughter Tiffany shared on Facebook last week, some days you are "covered with poop and spit-up", others are filled with pulling weeds, and yet everyday is an opportunity to be thankful.