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5 Best Honeymoon Destinations

Top Honeymoon Destinations You're Gonna Love

In our opinion, honeymoon destinations deserve more time, care, and planning, than the actual wedding day. After all, a wedding is one day of your life, and you spend most of that time too stressed over something going wrong to fully enjoy it. A honeymoon is usually a full week (maybe even two), and it’s generally your first major adventure as a couple. 

How some people spend a fraction of the money on their honeymoons that they do on their weddings, is beyond us. With that said, here are our picks for the 5 best honeymoon destinations in the world. Let’s get started!

honeymoon bran castle

5. Castle Dracula In Romania

Castle Dracula, or “Bran Castle” as it’s officially known, is located in Transylvania and fits author Bram Stoker’s description of his fictitious Count’s residence to a tee. Stoker never visited the location but allegedly used a drawing of Bran to fill out his monstrous creation’s life. If you wanted to make this romantic horror tale a part of your honeymoon, we couldn’t blame you. Visit here to start your planning. And before we forget: “Down with glittery vampires!”

honeymoon italy

4. Tour Of Italy

When you’re talking about touring Italy, it’s far too difficult to pinpoint just one location as a “must-see.” Personally, if we were planning this as one of our possible honeymoon destinations, we would have to find time to visit Venice, the Colosseum and ancient Rome, and, of course, the Vatican. Way too much history and architectural beauty to ignore! Get started here.

honeymoon ithaa

3. Rangali Island Of Conrad Maldives

Okay, so not everything has to be about history. If you want all your fun stuff in one location, we suggest heading to Conrad Maldives — Rangali Island, in particular — and taking advantage of the resort-style atmosphere. You’ll arrive following a 30-minute flight via seaplane. From there, choose from 11 amazing restaurants and bars, including the famous Ithaa Undersea Restaurant. Then, go for a swim or spend a full day at the spa. Up to you. This link will allow you to start planning your getaway.

honeymoon new zealand

2. Huka Lodge In New Zealand

Fodor’s Travel calls New Zealand one of the World’s Best Honeymoon Destinations for 2014, and who are we to argue? If you want a location that has the scenery for taking it easy and the endless opportunities for adventure, then this is where you’ll want to go. And while you’re here, the Huka Lodge is considered one of the best hotels the country has to offer with island and park access for all the hiking, fishing, golfing, and boating you can possibly handle.

1. Makepeace Island In Australia

(Pictured at top)

This heart-shaped island in Australia is perhaps the quintessential honeymoon destination. In addition to being the perfect shape for love, it’s exclusively yours for the entire length of your stay. That’s because once you book it, no one else can get in. While there, swim and indulge in the great outdoors until your hearts are content. Just make sure you start planning today.

Which of these top honeymoon destinations do you find the most appealing, and what would you have included on the list?

Watch These 5 Horror Movies On Valentines Day

Horror Movies On Valentines Day, Perfect Couple Pastime

Valentine’s Day is a day loved and respected by some (happy couples) and hated by others (bitter singles and couples on the verge of breaking up). While the three groups can seldom agree on how to take it — and some have even gone to calling it “Single Awareness Day,” what everyone should agree on, is that horror movies on Valentines Day are awesome, albeit for very different reasons. 

Happy couples can take joy in the fact that if one partner gets scared, there’s an excuse to snuggle. Unhappy couples and bitter singles can take joy in the fact that other people, even if they are a bunch of movie characters, are having a worse V-Day than they are. Luckily, we’ve got five horror movies to share that should go perfect with the festivities.  

my bloody valentine

1. My Bloody Valentine

If we had to rank these, this one would be at the top, especially in the uncut version that wasn’t released on DVD until 2012. If you like atmosphere, blood, guts, and relatively competent filmmaking, then this is the movie for you. Again, in uncut form, it earns the heck out of that R rating, so it’s not for the squeamish. 

my bloody valentine 3d

2. My Bloody Valentine 3D

The 2009 remake of My Bloody Valentine is way more over-the-top than its predecessor, and the red stuff is mostly CGI, so it comes off hokier, but it’s still a lot of fun seeing psycho coal miner “Harry Warden” in action again. (Though, SPOILER ALERT, if you’ve seen either flick, you know Harry Warden is just a red herring for the true killer.) 

the loved ones

3. The Loved Ones

Technically, this Australian horror film is centered around the prom, but what is Valentine’s Day if not a precursor to that magical night in the lives of most 16- to 18-year-olds? The Loved Ones is part torture porn, part dark comedy, and centers on a twisted teen, who decides to kidnap her “prom date” and subject him to unimaginable horrors. 

lovers lane

4. Lovers Lane

Lovers Lane, from 2000, was one of the few standouts among the second glut of slasher movies. The first glut produced the superior My Bloody Valentine in the early 1980s. The second, on the heels of Scream, birthed this shocker with Anna Faris and Richard Sanders (WKRP’s Les Nessman) about an escaped mental patient who may (or may not) be picking off teenagers one-by-one using a hook. Not very original, we know, but slasher flicks don’t have to be as long as the kills are good — and for the most part, these are. 

valentine

5. Valentine

Valentine is definitely the weakest to watch of the horror movies on Valentines Day. It has a dumb ending and a by-the-numbers childhood memory-turned-revenge plot. However, it’s worth watching for the creepy looking Cupid Killer and an early screen appearance of Katherine Heigl. Plus, it’s pretty tame on violence, so it should be “just right” as a couples horror movie. Based on the Tom Savage novel, it also stars David Boreanaz, Denise Richards, Marley Shelton, and Jessica Capshaw.

Do you watch horror movies on Valentines Day? If so, what are your favorites? Share in the comments section below!

Men And Pregnancy: Six Tips For Survival

Men And Pregnancy Guide To Survival

Men and pregnancy: we often get left out of the discussion because all the attention is on the mother. Why should that be? We’ve got a hand in this, too. Shouldn’t someone be telling us how to cope with it? Well, hang on for a bit and I’ll try to do just that. As a father-to-be, here are some tips that I’ve picked up for surviving the turmoil.

One: Hold Her Hair (Unless She Doesn’t Want You To).

If she’s going to be miserable, then be miserable together, provided she doesn’t tell you to get the heck out of the bathroom while she’s busy retching up a turkey sandwich.  

Two: Clean Up After Her.

Seriously, it’s just easier. When the sickness strikes — and it will at the most inopportune times (e.g. 20 minutes before the 7 p.m. movie when you’re just about to walk out the door, when you’re heading into a restaurant on date night, etc.) —  take care of it. If she has to clean up after herself, it will just launch into a cycle of endless sickness and vomiting.  

Three: Join Mom In Taking Ownership Of The Child.

If you’re a deadbeat dad — if you think it’s just her responsibility and don’t want to be a father because it’s too inconvenient and a lot of work — if you don’t go to the pregnancy classes with her — if you don’t rub her back or legs or whatever part of her is swelling — if you don’t talk to the baby while it’s in her stomach — then who do you think you are, because you’re not a man. 

Four: Her Appointments Are Your Appointments.

As WebMD contributor Martin Downs writes, you’ll have about 15 routine prenatal visits if all goes well: “once a month until 28 weeks, three or four times up to week 36, and once a week for the last month,” he states.

Start planning for them from the beginning. Join her on these days, and it’ll help her sanity knowing she has your support. If she’s sane, chances are you will be during the home stretch.

Five: Take On More Housework.

Your partner’s body is being terraformed to support life. She’s carrying around 20 extra pounds at all times of the day. Her stomach is being pushed up towards her throat by an expanding uterus. To get any release, she has to pass something the size of a watermelon through something the size of a garden hose. (And you probably couldn’t do it.)

That concludes 36 to 40 weeks of discomfort. She’ll get to the point where she can’t bend over without it being a huge production. So take on the dishes, laundry, and any other housework that needs doing, okay?  

Finally: Do Not Complain In Equal Or Greater Portions As She Does.

It’s not easy going through what you’re going through, but it’s a lot tougher on her. If you have to complain, do it to a close friend or start talking to yourself. 

Men, what pregnancy tips helped you survive? Share yours in the comments section!

Work From Home Plans? Think Hard About Your Answer

Work From Home Jobs Are Challenging

Work from home plans in 2014? Take notice.

If you want to work from home, then one of the first things you should do is recalibrate your expectations. There is a certain charm that comes with the decision prior to rolling up your sleeves and actually doing it. If you’re blinded by this charm, it can be difficult making the necessary adjustments for success.

After close to six years of full-time work from home experience, there are some things I hear from hopefuls that immediately send my eyes rolling into the back of my head. With that said, I’m not writing this to discourage you, but to help you set realistic expectations. So if you think you want to pursue this path, first ready yourself for some of the challenges you’re going to face.  

One: You Work Harder.

Before leaving the office environment, you’re probably thinking how great it will be to escape the prying and judgmental eyes of your boss eight to 10 hours per day. For the first couple of days, it is awesome until you realize that no one is there to motivate you into getting things done. And especially if you work for yourself, that can be a scary thing. 

(No work, no eat.) 

Once you come to grips with what is at stake, you’ll find yourself become something of a workaholic as the panic sets in. From there, it becomes quickly apparent that you need more structure and less freedom. Question is: are you the type of person, who can self-provide? Here are some additional tips from Nigel Marsh on work-life balance: 

Two: Your Schedule Gets Tougher To Manage.

In my own business, I’m up to 11 regular clients. Without productivity apps, such as Wunderlist and 30/30, I would be completely lost as to what should come next. When you get to this point, you have to prioritize work by profitability without stamping on the expectations of your agreements. That means more product management skills and more work, even as you make billing arrangements to keep cash flowing in. 

Three: You’re Your Own Boss. (Ha!)

When I first became a full-time freelancer, it was common to tell people what I did and then get that “Lucky you” look as they said, “You’re your own boss now!” Ha! Leaving the office environment took me from one boss to several. You have to be careful when marveling at your newfound freedom. Get too proud of yourself, and you won’t put the customer first. That leads to shoddy work, fewer clients, and lower income.

Four: Your Loved Ones Just Don’t Get It.

When people find out you work for yourself (or from home), they’ll start thinking your schedule isn’t as important as when you worked in an office, when it’s actually more important. I can’t tell you how many times friends and family have acted bothered — whether they’re joking or not — that I didn’t answer my phone at 10 a.m. or 2:30 in the afternoon. 

In Summary

You’re going to learn a lot when you work from home, and you won’t like everything you discover. Still, the flexibility and empowerment is worth every extra moment you spend working. If this is your dream for 2014, set realistic expectations and plow forward, full-steam-ahead.

[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]

5 Tips For Avoiding Long Talkers

Long Talkers Need To Shutty

Long Talkers: they’re the worst.

Oh sure, they mean well, and it’s true that they only want someone to talk to, but who has the time to waste on hours of boring chit-chat?

As Fate would have it, yours truly was “blessed” with a next door neighbor who fits the bill. Over the last three years, I’ve become somewhat of a maestro at avoiding him, but it hasn’t always been easy.

Here’s what I’ve picked up along the way: 

The Phone Conversation

After about six months of playing nice (and losing an hour and a half of my workday twice a week), I finally resorted to holding the smartphone to my ear whenever I would check the mail or head out to my car to drive to my favorite coffee shop. A few times, faking a conversation became necessary as I passed by him and felt his eyes on me. 

The Invisible Man

If you’re a pretty decent actor and can feign the look of determination, then you may be able to get by with pretending they’re not there. As one George Louis Costanza said in “The Hot Tub,” act annoyed.

 

Under-The-Weather

Of course, it helps if you really are sick, but this one is entirely fake-able. Rub your eyes, look like you’re having trouble keeping your them open, put on the 1,000-yard stare, and hope for the best. In my case, the neighbor is retired and elderly, so he’s terrified of anything that remotely resembles sickness. If he sees me coming in such a state, he usually turns the other way. Still, it requires a little more prep than I would like, but it’s effective and can be a godsend if you don’t have your cellphone on you.  

The Forgot-Something

If I think the neighbor is waiting at the door for me to walk in. I usually try to speed up my walk and look rushed. This is a pretty cool tactic because you can hit the long talker with a drive-by, “Hey, how’s it going” as you advance past them. They assume you’ve forgotten something important, and if they don’t, you can always just lie and tag that on to the end of your greeting. Coupled with the act of charging forward, he’ll buy it.  

Phone Recon

This one requires a cellphone and a friend (or in my case, wife). Tell your buddy or partner ahead of time that you’re going to be home or they’re going to hear from you by a certain time. “If you don’t, it means my neighbor caught me, so if you don’t mind, give me a call at X:30.” Leave your ringer on, and when your phone starts ringing while he’s in the middle of telling you about his five children you’ve never met, he won’t suspect you’re eluding him.

If you don’t want to put friends and family through that mess, just get an app on your phone like Fake Me A Call and do it yourself.

What have been some of your favorite methods for avoiding long talkers?

[Image via MyCompleteLackOfBoundaries]

4 Financial Decisions You Can’t Afford To Put Off In 2014

Financial Decisions Not To Put Off In 2014

We’re now just two weeks in to the New Year. By now, most resolutions have crashed and burned into a fiery mess of disappointment and inaction. However, there’s still time to turn things around. One resolution, in particular, that needs your attention: finances. Here’s what you can’t afford to put off in the weeks ahead:

Life Insurance

If you’re in the 18 to 35 demographic, and you’ve yet to sign up for a whole life insurance policy, what are you waiting for? It gets more difficult to qualify for coverage as you get older and health issues arise. Buy in now, and you can get significant coverage at affordable rates. It doesn’t matter if you’re single and without children. If you plan on having a family one day, now’s the time to set the wheels in motion, and earn cash value in the process.

Controlling Healthcare Costs 

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been a troubled experiment in government-run healthcare, and the current numbers aren’t very encouraging. According to Businessweek, the dominant buyers thus far have been older individuals and women — two groups historically expensive to insure. Furthermore, more than 79 percent of sign-ups are eligible for subsidies, leaving 21 percent (mostly middle class families) to make up the difference.

If you can get ACA subsidized, then it can help defray out-of-pocket expenses, but if costs continue going up, don’t count on the subsidies to be around forever.   

In 2014, you can fret over this trajectory, or you can take proactive steps for controlling healthcare costs. For many, that means purchasing catastrophic health insurance plans or jacking up deductibles to afford premiums, then negotiating with hospitals to pay normal check-ups out-of-pocket. While you’re at it, don’t forget to eat healthier and exercise four to five days per week. Healthy living is one of the best things you can do to keep down costs.

Setting Up An Estate Plan

If you want to ensure your loved ones are taken care of when you’re gone, then make sure you’ve got an estate plan. First, create a will that details your financial wishes. Then, decide whether a living trust is right for you. Trusts can protect your assets while still making them available to you while living. Next, make sure that you have an advanced medical directive in place to detail your wishes should you become incapacitated as the result of an accident. Finally, choose an executor and a medical power of attorney that you can trust to fulfill your last will and testament. For more on setting up an estate plan, here’s the first in a 15-part series that’ll help you get started: 

 

 

Updating Beneficiaries

Have an estate plan, retirement account, and/or life insurance plan in place? Don’t forget to revisit your beneficiaries on a regular basis. Life circumstances change. You get married, divorced, have children — wherever you’re at and whatever you’re going through, make sure your financial plans are always reflective of your true wishes.

In Summary

New Year’s Resolutions can be hard to keep 365 days out of the year. But it doesn’t require 365 days to do all you need to do for financial peace of mind. Get your affairs in order today because you never know what tomorrow might bring.

[Featured Image via Flickr Creative Commons]

5 Top Instagram Photographers Worth Following

Instagram may be well known as a popular photo sharing site but it goes beyond that. In fact, apart from people who simply want to post their images on the site regardless of their quality, there are those who use the platform for a worthy purpose. They post the most beautiful and professionally taken photos that captivate the hearts and minds of other users.

It’s time to find out who these top photographers are and why you need to follow them. You may also be interested in creating unique images for a particular theme. If so, you have to join the Instagram photo challenges.

Charity: Water

charity-water-instagram

Charity: Water or @charitywater is a non-profit organization on a mission to provide clean and potable water to people in developing countries. Its photos on Instagram show children and other people uniquely captured using water. [Read more...]

10 Things Every Man Should Have

A previous article on o5 itemised the 10 things every woman should have, and it seems only fair that a similar article focusing on the 10 items that every self-respecting man should have be prepared too. So here’s the list … here are 10 items, listed in no particular order, that every man should have.

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5 Christmas Weight Loss Tips

Image Source: Wikipedia

Christmas is probably the one time in the year where most people gain an insane amount of weight. And why not? There are constant Christmas Parties, gifts in the form of cookies, cakes and chocolates, family dinners and of course, there’s the Christmas Meal. It’s impossible to say “no” to all the delectable goodies being offered.

However, there are some ways you can keep the weight off during the Holiday Season.

[Read more...]