Fall is Coming – 5 Reasons to Start a Running Routine With Your S.O.

Exercise has countless benefits, not just for your own health and happiness, but also for your romantic relationships. Yes, cardio exercises are great for the obvious: heart-health, reducing obesity, decreasing stress, etc. What about improving the stability and satisfaction of your relationship? Establishing a running routine with your S.O. might sound like torture–even for seasoned runners–but it can enhance your relationship and ultimately lead to a happier you.

How to Throw an Epic Summer Bday Party for Your S.O.—On a Budget

It’s easy to want to go all out for your S.O.’s birthday, especially if it’s a milestone age, you slacked off last year and need to make up for it or you’re in a new relationship. Just remember, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars for people to have a good time. The number one rule to throwing a party on a budget is planning in advance. It sounds cliché, but throwing something together last minute is stressful and you end up not caring what the price tag says.

Summer’s warm temps are perfect for a b-day bash, allowing you to take advantage of outdoor spaces, pools, beaches you name it. Here’s how to throw an epic budget-friendly summer b-day party for your S.O.:

GET CREATIVE FOR FOOD COSTS

Food is expected at a birthday bash and can be a significant cost compared to other expenses. In fact, 60 percent of American’s polled said food is their biggest expense when throwing a summer party. It may seem old school but going pot-luck style can save you money for you S.O.’s big bash.

If you want to make sure your love has all his or her favorite foods to choose from, create a list of items and ask attendees to choose one thing to bring. If you don’t feel comfortable asking others to bring food, buy things in bulk to cut costs and always keep ingredients simple.

Consider something fun and relatively inexpensive like a taco bar, which you could then carry the theme throughout the party. Also choose the time of your party wisely—an afternoon backyard bash or brunch pool party will likely be less expensive than hosting full-on dinner for 40 of your closest friends.

DON’T RENT AN EXPENSIVE SPACE

While renting out VIP tables at a nightclub or dining at the most exclusive new restaurant is great, they come with a huge price tag for you and your guests. Think about places you can meet a large group of people for free, such as breweries or rooftop bars.

Breweries are popping up all over the map and since most don’t operate a kitchen on site, they team up with food trucks for happy hour or dinner. While you don’t have to provide food for everyone, order a handful of appetizers for your party and let everyone indulge! Just be sure you call ahead to get the food truck schedule so your guests aren’t left hungry.

Rooftop bars are also hot right now—what better way to hang with a group of friends and celebrate your S.O. than on top of a roof with beautiful views of your city? Check out the space before hand and make sure there’s enough space and staff to accommodate a large party.

TELL YOUR FRIEND TO BYOB

Don’t be embarrassed to ask your friends to BYOB to your party. Especially if you’re hosting somewhere like a beach or pool, where people will need their own coolers anyway, it makes sense. If you think it’s tacky, you could make your S.O.’s favorite signature cocktail and serve it up to your guests, but don’t think you have to supply alcohol.

Of course you wouldn’t want anyone to go without so be sure to communicate BYOB to everyone in advance. If you decide to purchase alcohol, pick beverages that make sense for the occasion. For example, for an outdoor pool party, you probably won’t want glass beer bottles or a full-liquor bar.

Pro-tip: consider making your own frosé—it can be inexpensive to make large portions, refreshing on a hot day and it’ll surely impress your guests!

Questions to Ask Your S.O. Before Buying a Home Together

Deciding if you’re ready to buy a home with your significant other can be an exciting and stressful season of life. While it’s fun to start the process in finding your dream home, both of you likely have different expectations and opinions of what that actually looks like. When it comes to finances, location, size and caring for your home, things can get complicated quickly—especially if you haven’t communicated these things up front. If you’re open with each other and willing to listen and compromise, you’ll have fewer conflicts to deal with down the road. Here are five questions you should ask your significant other before buying a home together:

Is space more important to you than location?

The best place to start when you’re buying a home with your significant other is with a conversation on location. Would you rather have a large home with plenty of outdoor space and surrounded by neighbors? Or would you rather have a smaller town home that’s in the heart of the city? If you can’t see yourself settling into the city but your S.O. can’t stand the thought of maintaining a yard, try compromising with a house in between. Choosing to negotiate is a great way to make sure you’re both still satisfied with where you live a year or two later.

How long are we going to live here?

Investing in a home you both can see yourselves settling down in for the long run is different than buying a starter home. If you plan on staying in your new home long term and raising children in it, then you’ll probably want to discuss a budget for home upgrades or renovations throughout the years. If you decide on a starter home, you’ll want to discuss how you’re going to spend your money to make the house comfortable while you’re there. If you both have different opinions on what you’re ready for, take some time to weigh the pros and cons of both options before you jump into anything.

What’s our budget for safety upgrades?

This isn’t talked about in the home buying space as much as it should be. Safety is important, especially when you’ve just spent more than you’d like to admit on a down payment for your home. Unfortunately, safety doesn’t come free, and you may need to increase your savings goal to be as prepared as you’d like to be. You can start small, with security “props” like a fake security camera. Not only is it a fraction of the cost of an actual security camera, but “most fake security cameras have a noticeable blinking LED light that deters at night when criminals are active,” according to home security experts. This makes it a great stand-in while the both of you save for the alarm system you agree is best for your home.

How do we divide household duties?

Nobody enjoys cleaning the house, paying bills or purchasing groceries, but you’ve got to work out a system for day-to-day maintenance or else you’ll both end up frustrated. People often assume living with and adjusting to your significant other will be a breeze, especially because it’s someone you truly care about. Men and women have very different opinions on what living cohesively with someone else looks like so it’s important expectations are discussed up front. If you let the frustration with your partner build, it can lead to unhappiness and ultimately a split. If simply delegating and agreeing on chores isn’t working for you, try a chore chart where you either take turns or split them fairly. Of course you have to stick to the chore chart and pull your weight around the house for it to truly work.

Are we prepared for the responsibility?

Owning a home takes a tremendous amount of commitment and responsibility. You no longer have a landlord to call when your refrigerator stops running or your air conditioner stops working in the middle of summer. Paying rent or your bills a few days late simply isn’t an option anymore. If you know you aren’t prepared for the responsibility but your S.O. is pressuring you into it, it’s best for everyone involved if you speak up. In addition, if you can’t see yourself or your S.O. staying committed to the home for years to come, consider renting for a year or two before you buy. It’s a lot less stressful and financial safe to figure out if you just can’t live with someone before actually investing in a house together.

10 Warm Destinations For A Winter Adventure

When the cold and snow start to take a toll on your mood, it’s time to plan a winter adventure. Whether you’re traveling solo or with friends, a vacation is not only a chance to get away, but also a great opportunity to meet new people, including potential love interests.

Here are my top ten warm destinations that will immediately shake off those winter blues!

Boracay, Philippines

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One of the most alluring tropical islands in the Philippines, Boracay is home to sandy white beaches and clear blue water. It’s a great spot for singles as there are many bars and restaurants along the seven-kilometer long island—some that even stay open 24 hours a day.

San Diego, California

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San Diego is filled with active people who are always looking for group adventures. Not to mention the geography is perfect for a warm-weather getaway. San Diego adventures include whale-watching tours, beach volleyball and SUP paddle boarding. If you’re riding solo and single, grab a towel and head to the nearest beach to scope out the surfers!

Crete, Greece

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Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and perhaps the most popular. Mountain villages, seaside bars, nightlife and luxurious resorts make it a unique, culture-rich experience for both couples and singles alike.

Honolulu, Hawaii

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Hawaii is a tropical paradise for winter getaways, and not just for couples. There’s plenty to do solo or with a group of friends, like check out ‘Eat the Street’, a monthly gathering of more than 40 of the island’s best food trucks. Locals are crazy about this “eclectic alternative to the island’s food scene.” Chat, eat and be merry!

Destin, FL

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You may be daydreaming about white sandy beaches and palm trees. Known as the “world’s luckiest fishing village,” Destin is perfect for someone looking to experience paradise, while meeting others who love fishing. Make a reservation with Charter Fishing Destin for deep sea fishing adventure to meet fellow anglers. You never know who may catch your eye!

San Juan, Puerto Rico

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If you’re in the mood to salsa dance until the sun comes up, San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico is the destination for you. As a single looking to mingle, head straight to the Isla Verde resort strip of San Juan, known for its bars, casinos and nightclubs.

Cape Town, South Africa

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With its Mediterranean-style climate, incredible wildlife and diverse culinary scene, Cape Town is a fabulous escape from reality for adventure-seekers. Sip on guided tasting flights in the Winelands, tag along on an African safari or dine at the best restaurant on the continent, The Tasting Room.

Charleston, SC

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You can’t go wrong with a trip to Charleston, which was named the World’s Best City by Travel + Leisure’s 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards. Its southern charm, award-winning restaurants and trendy nightlife make Charleston an ideal place for singles of any age. You may even find yourself a true southern gentleman!

Rose Hall, Jamaica

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The miles of beaches and irresistible tropical climate make Jamaica a perfect Caribbean getaway to improve your mood. The Iberostar Rose Hall Suites is home to restaurants, a swim-up bar, spa and white sandy beach provide ample opportunities to mix and mingle with other singles.

Costa Rica

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If you’re looking to find a little bit sunshine and friendly people, Costa Rica is known as the ‘Happiest Country on Earth’—and a happy partner makes for a happy life. It’s also a great destination for thrill-seekers, with plenty of adventurous opportunities like zip lining or white water rafting.