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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?

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]

To have and to hold (10 of Hollywood’s Longest Lasting Marriages)

In this day and age, you hardly find marriages that stand the test of time – especially in Hollywood where short marriages (as short as 55 hours) seem to be the norm. However, it is good to know that even in Tinseltown, there are still some Hollywood Marriages that do last, and here’s 10 of them:

[Read more...]

Dealing With Grief

dealing-with-gieft

It’s not something that most of us like to think about, but we are all going to experience grief in our lifetime. Many different situations can cause grief – not just the death of a loved one. For example, couples feel grief when they realize that they cannot have a child, and we all grieve to some extent when we lose our jobs. Grief can even occur when we end a relationship – we may be glad to be out of it, but we still feel deep sorrow for what we have lost. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we are experiencing grief – so it’s important to know the symptoms. [Read more...]

12 Days of Christmas

Image Source: Wikipedia

During the Christmas Season, one of the most ubiquitous carols is the 12 Days of Christmas. It’s practically a staple in any Christmas Carol fest and sung by choirs. While you’re trying to remember what gift was given on a particular day (and trying desperately to catch your breath at the same time), have you ever wondered what those gifts mean? Surely no “true love” would give partridges in pear trees right?

From mid 1500 to early 1800, Roman Catholics in England could not openly practice their faith. As such, christmas songs became the avenue by which catechism was taught to the young. On the surface, Christmas carols appear like catchy ditties, but on a deeper level, these songs convey messages that only those of the same faith can understand.

Image Source: Wikipedia

So what’s behind the lyrics? According to an article published on the Catholic News Agency, the “True Love” referred to is not a romantic sweetheart but God the Father, and the 12 Days of Christmas actually represent the following:

a partridge in a pear tree – represents Jesus Christ who died on the cross, the same way a partridge would willingly sacrifice its life for its young.

two turtle doves – Old and New Testaments

three French hens –  faith, hope and love

four calling birds – the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

five golden rings – 1st 5 books of the Old Testament

six geese a-layingSix days of creation

seven swans a-swimming – Sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit (Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership and Mercy)

eight maids a-milking - the eight beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12)

nine ladies dancing – nine fruits of the Holy Spirit (Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Mildness, Fidelity, Modesty, Continency)

ten lords a-leapingthe Ten Commandments

eleven pipers piping – the eleven faithful Apostles

twelve drummers drumming – 12 points of belief in the Apostles Creed.

Who would have thought that Christmas Carols held so much meaning?

7 Great Beach Wedding Locations

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

What could be more romantic than a beach wedding? Let’s have a look at your checklist: Beautiful blue waters (check), sparkling white sand (check) and a romantic sunset to end a wonderful day (check). What else could you ask for? If you’ve recently just gotten engaged and are still undecided about your wedding venue, consider these top beach wedding locations. One of these would have to be close to where you live.

Indonesia

Image of Gili Meno Beach in Indonesia from Wikipedia

Bali is one of the more popular wedding destinations, due to its breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean and Java Sea. Under Indonesian Law, beaches in Bali are in the public domain – and privacy cannot be guaranteed on popular beaches in Kuta, Legian,and Seminyak. If you are concerned about your privacy, you may want to select a secluded beach in less popular sites such as Bias Tugal and Amed.

Be careful though, resorts may advertise beach weddings but in actuality, the ceremony takes place within the resort with nary even a view of the beach. Check the venue beforehand before signing on the dotted line.

Seychelles

Image of Anse Source d’Argent in La Digue Seychelles from Wikipedia

There are 115 tropical islands in the Seychelles so you will be spoilt for choice. The three main islands of Praslin, La Digue and Mahé are all very popular and exquisite wedding venues. If you want to get married in one of their not-so-popular beaches, consider Denis Island just north of Victoria. It’s a private island with 25 individual cottages that can be rented out for events such as this. Another option would be Sainte Anne, another luxury private island, which is just a 10 minute boat ride from Mahé.

Thailand

Image of Koh Samui Lipa Noi in Thailand from Wikipedia

Thailand is another popular wedding destination. Koh Samui has a wide selection of beaches and is quite popular. Places such as Chaweng and Lamai are popular too but can be overcrowded with backpackers and other travellers. If you want to have a private wedding, try Bo Phut or Mae Nam – both beaches offer unparalleled views and a higher level of privacy. Sunset at Mae Nam is supposed to be amazing so make sure you have some wedding photos during that time of the day.

Hawaii

Image of Turtle Bay Beach from Wikipedia

Image of Turtle Bay Beach from Wikipedia

Hawaii has been, and will always be, a popular wedding destination – so you can’t go wrong if you want to exchange your vows here. Turtle Bay, on the island of Oahu, ranks high in the list of honeymoon hotel with over 35o wedding held at their venue every year. Apart from the wedding ceremony, the hotel offers other romantic experiences such as beach picnics, horse riding and couple massages.

Greece

Image of a beach at Kefalonia, Greece from Wikimedia Commons

Getting married in Greece may prove to be a headache simply because there are a lot of romantic wedding locations for you to choose from. Crete boasts of 1,000 kilometers worth of exquisite coastline. The historic coastal towns of Rethymno and Chania have secluded coves and luxury resorts. Kefalonia, an island made famous by the novel “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” has amazing vistas as well. There’s just so many places to choose from!

New Zealand

Image of Cathedral Cove at the Coromandel Peninsula from Wikimedia Commons

The Coromandel Peninsula on the western side of New Zealand’s North Island is dotted with picturesque beaches. Front Beach has spectacular views of the Coromandel coastline, Cooks Beach is also a great option. Cathedral Cove would be an amazing wedding destination, if you don’t mind a short walk from the car park to the beach. It’s well worth it.

Australia

Image of Whitehaven Beach in Australia from Wikipedia

The Whitsundays is a little-known but great exotic beach wedding location. Whitsundays is home to Hamilton Island and Whitehaven Beach which is just an 8-minute flight from Hamilton Island. With 7km of white sandy beaches (made up of 99% silicon so it never gets hot), you and your guests can stand bare-foot on the beach while you and your loved-one exchange wedding vows.

Of course there are other exotic and romantic beach wedding destinations around – it would be impossible to list them all down. The list above is just a mere teaser. If you don’t fancy any of the ones mentioned – why not look closer to home? Surely there’s a nice secluded beach a few hours drive from where you live – it may not be as visually awe-inspiring as the places that’s been listed, but since it’s in your hometown, it would probably be more special than these locations.

Online Giving Trends 2011-2012 [Infographic]

An infographic looking at some of the changes in online donations and charities from 2011-2012


Via: iContact

3 Ways Fashionable Fundraisers Help to Raise Money for Charity

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Shopping; it’s what women love to do. Even some men enjoy the experience of shopping. The only thing that could make shopping even better is the idea of shopping for fashionable clothing at the same time you’re helping a charity raise money for a good cause.

The New York Foundling hosted a charity event October 22 at fashion designer Cynthia Rowley’s location in West Village. The event benefited children and families in need. Rowley’s designs were made available at a 10 percent discount, with 10 percent of the purchase price going to the designer’s favorite charitable causes.

This is just one example of exactly how fashion fundraisers are changing the face of fundraising and charitable giving. [Read more...]

Keep Your Parents Healthy And Active

keep-your-parents-healthy-and-active1

Do you remember when you were growing up? Your parents took care of you, and made sure that you did all the right things to grow up healthy and happy. Even when you went away to college, they were always there for you – on the phone, driving you halfway across the country at the start of the semester, and welcoming you when you came home. Now you have moved away and have a family of your own, but they still are a sympathetic voice you can talk to when things get tough.

However, you may have noticed recently that they are slowing down a bit, particularly since they retired. It’s difficult being so far away – you want to make sure that they continue to enjoy their golden years, but you don’t know exactly what you need to do to keep them healthy and active. Don’t worry. Even if you can only manage to visit them once or twice a year, you can still help them to get the most out of their life. To start with, it’s incredibly important to keep your parents interested and engaged with the world. For many people who retire, this just isn’t a problem, but others start to feel isolated when they’re cut off from work and all the people that they knew there. Studies show that when people lose contact this way, they start to feel isolated and don’t keep their minds active. This in turn can lead to diseases such as Alzheimer’s – which is the last thing you want to happen to them. [Read more...]