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If You Ever Want a Chance of Impressing the Ladies, It’s Time to Ditch the Posters and Turn Your Place Into a Classy Bachelor Pad

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As Elena Morgan explained in her article for The Good Life, when you bring a woman over to your home, you want it to properly convey your independence and style. What you don’t want is for your surroundings to make the woman you want to spend more time with feel an urge to run away. According to her article, the three main things a woman pays attention to when she visits a bachelor pad is its cleanliness, personality and comfort.

If you’re currently reading this post at your place, take a look around and see what you think a woman would grade you on each of those factors. Think you’d receive at least one D or F? The good news is as long as you keep reading, you’ll learn exactly what you need to change in order to transform your place from a potential hazmat zone into somewhere that you can be proud to bring a woman you’re interested in.

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But It’s My Place!

Look, if you want your pad to look like where Steve Carell’s character lived in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, more power to you. Just don’t complain when you invite a girl over for dinner and wine, only to have her leave within fifteen minutes of getting there because of an “emergency” phone call. The reality of dating is most women want to be with a man and not a boy. They also want to feel comfortable in the place where they know they’ll be spending a lot of time if the two of you get anywhere near serious.

Does this mean you have to completely strip your personality out of your place? Absolutely not! In fact, whatever collections or other things you’re into don’t necessarily have to go away. Instead, you just need to take a page out of the married guy’s handbook and create a man cave for yourself. This will allow you to fully enjoy all the stuff you like without it completely overtaking your entire house or apartment. And because your man cave will be conveniently located in a spare bedroom, it will also allow you to show your special lady that side of your personality when the time is right.

Start with the Living Room

Since this is going to be the first place a woman sees when she comes over for the first time, as well as where the two of you may spend several hours talking and enjoying some wine, it’s the best place to start your makeover. If you’re worried about cost, keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with getting lightly used furniture from Craigslist. Additionally, if you’re in need of a nice TV or stereo, using a Best Buy coupon from GreatDeals.com will bring the price way down.

Don’t Neglect the Bedroom

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If you’ve been sleeping on the same sheets for the last few years, you should walk into your bedroom, take them off, put them in the trash and then go get new ones from somewhere like Target or a department store. And if you have clothes strewn all over your floor, it’s also worth picking up some hangers and a large laundry basket. Bonus points for grabbing some nice candles and an air freshener that plugs into the wall!

Small Touches and General Cleanliness Go a Long Way

In terms of the kitchen, bathroom and any other areas of your place, the two most important things to remember are to have some nice touches and keep everything clean. For example, make sure that your bathroom has hand soap and a towel by the sink. Also avoid letting dirty dishes pile up in the kitchen or old towels accumulate in the floor of your bathroom. While you can probably get away with only doing a full clean of your place once a week, if you’re too busy or simply know that you’ll never stick to that schedule, it’s definitely worth hiring a maid to come by once every 7 to 10 days.

Whether you’re a college student or a professional in your thirties, living on your own can be quite nice. Just be sure that you avoid crossing the line from comfortable to slobby. And although it may take a little bit of upfront work, once you follow the advice we covered and spruce up your place, you’ll be quite happy with the positive reaction you get when ladies visit it for the first time!

Rodney Tuttle is a blogger and SMB marketing consultant. Although he’s now been married for 7 years, he still remembers when he decided to put his huge model car collection safely away in storage and actually put some effort into making his bachelor pad look good.

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The Bucket List: 10 Ultimate Experiences to See and Do Before You Die

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Writing your bucket list has become a popular thing to do in last decade or so, and the options to include in that list have never been so numerous as they are today. Here are some suggestions of experiences you will want to have before you pass on.

Hang From Toronto’s CN Tower

Known as the “EdgeWalk,” this experience involves hanging by safety gear from a platform that is 1,800 feet off the ground from one of the tallest freestanding building ever built. If you have a fear of heights, this may be a great opportunity to overcome that fear and feel accomplished!

Set Foot On All Seven Continents

At the heart of this experience is travel and seeing more of the world, which can be a valuable, empowering and positively awe-inspiring experience. Also, don’t underestimate how jealous your friends will be when you book your trip to Antarctica.

Solve a Rubik’s Cube

Since 1974, this extremely popular puzzle game has taken the hobbyist’s world by storm. You can find a Rubik’s cube in most homes, so when you master the skill of solving a Rubik’s cube, you can impress your friends and family.

Explore the Great Pyramid Of Giza

Though the Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the most iconic images you may have encountered in history class, not many travelers end up making the trip. If you have the ability to make it there, you would be in for a once in a lifetime view of history.

Ride An Elephant

Aside from being a thrilling ride atop one of the largest mammals in the world, riding an elephant will bring you closer to nature and all of the fantastic creatures the world has to offer.

Become a Foster Parent

One of the most enriching experiences you can have, becoming a foster parent helps children in need while they wait for a more suitable home. You can be personally responsible for making a child’s present situation a positive and memorable one.

Learn a Martial Art

Learning a martial art takes discipline, hard work, mental acuity and meditation, all characteristics that will make you a better, well-rounded person. Anytime is the right time to foster your inner martial artist.

Participate In a Polar Bear Plunge

This is one of the most invigorating things you can do that costs nothing at all. Many of these events are also held for charity, so you can have this life-changing experience while raising money for a worthy cause.

Get Married

Maybe the most intimate and meaningful thing you can do in your entire life, getting married is like climbing aboard a ride that will last the rest of your life. Marriage, in that sense, is the ultimate adventure.

Visit Walt Disney World Resort

The goal of almost any child in North America at some point in their lives is to make it to Disney World, and 40 million people make the trip every year. Even if you’re an adult, Disney has so much to offer, so channel your inner child and book your trip today. Your bucket list is not something to write out and then file away for another day. If there is something on this list that fits into your category of things to do before you die, don’t delay, because you never know what tomorrow will bring!

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{conversations with the boyfriend} home decorating

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A conversation started about our yearly neighborhood yard sale — which I cannot attend this weekend due to work and derby, but the boyfriend intends to troll early for “the good stuff.” I’m particularly looking to add some old house stuff into our decor for some character.

Me: You know what I like, right?
Boyfriend: No. I see you pick out weird stuff, and I’m all wtf?! But then you put it somewhere, and it looks nice.

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Winning the War of the Battle of the TVs… and the sexes.

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I’ve finally convinced the boyfriend that we needed to remove the TV from our bedroom for various reasons relative to my insomnia and to, um… “other” certain bedroom activities. This, after arguing against the TV in the living room — the current and planned relocation of said bedroom TV; he has a separate media room, so I haven’t been adamant about giving up ALL OF THE TVs — upon moving into our new house.

*sigh*

Half winning?

I convinced him to give up cable very early on in the relationship (I’m six five years cable-free — edited, to reflect that I had to look up the final air date of The Sopranos. That, being my final day of paying for cable.), but I don’t really watch much TV — it’s a major distraction and, frankly, I think it leads to a sedentary lifestyle (one that doesn’t really interest me all that much, save for The Stupid Bachelor, which I usually watch online, and Desperate Housewives, which is in its final two or three episodes). But if I get some fucking sleep and some… ahem, more of the “other” then, I consider it a win in my two-can-opener household.

How do you deal with televisions throughout the house? Do you have one in your bedroom? Is this asking for TOO MUCH CHANGE?!

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2012 Resolutions: I haz some

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I can’t remember a time when I didn’t post about my intended resolutions for the year. Alas, there seems to be one missing from 2011. It included such things as: find a dentist, make more freelancer income than last year and eat more sandwiches. HOORAY, I PASSED ALL MY 2011 RESOLUTIONS!

But here’s how I intend to hold myself accountable this year (motto: no marriage, no babies, no bullshit):

  • Charity: Increase my involvement with the Humane Society (off-site volunteering at events) and spreading the word of shelter animals adoption and rescue. Maintain in-shelter volunteer schedule.
  • Money: I’ve been saving money monthly into my IRA, but I need to start KEEPING MONEY in my savings. And a second one for my freelancer taxes. Because that shit is just stupid at the end of the year. And a third one for a new laptop. I predict 2012 to be dubbed as the Big Laptop Crap Out. Oh, look I’m resolving to make stupid predictions in order to get new stuff!
  • Work: More Website copywriting work and start up-selling/adding to my services to current clients. True story: I’m a little burned out by social media, but it’s paying my bills right now. Also, I need to start networking locally. Join the PYP.
  • Travel: Visit 3-5 new cities that I haven’t been to: good thing I have DC, New Orleans and Montreal on my map this year! Pack workout gear and running shoes. ALWAYS.
  • Love: Have more sex. Ahem. Who freaking resolves to have MORE SEX?! Me, that’s who. I’m also making a resolution for an excuse to buy some sexy things. I’m sure the boyfriend won’t mind.
  • Derby: Skate three times a week: I’ve been skating 2x per week during break. Three times MINIMUM once the season starts. But using the vacation exemption, when necessary. Also: it’s my goal to make game day roster.
  • Exercise: Keep my weekly trainer appointments. Increase my upper body strength. Finish the 100 Pushups Challenge.
  • Clothing: Learn how to tailor my pants/skirts hems WITH MY NEW SEWING MACHINE. Separate work attire from current closet and store accordingly. Same with off-season stuff.
  • Mind: Read 52 books in 52 weeks. It’s on my Bucket List. Keep myself accountable by posting in a weekly blog post.
  • Pittsburgh: I want to cross off 5 new restaurants, 3 local museums and 2 fun tourist-y things this year.
  • Home: Shit. We own a house now. I’d just like to keep everything in clean, orderly and working condition.

How did you do on your 2011 resolutions? What are your biggies for this year?

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Not it. Well, I’m not it either!

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Not it. Well, I’m not it either!

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The boyfriend says he does not use these towels. Yet, they end up this way Every. Single. Day. This is no fault of this household’s felines. That, I assure you.

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{something borrowed} sharing the toilet with the boyfriend

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{something borrowed} sharing the toilet with the boyfriend

Keep your toothbrush away from mine!

OCD, hypochondriac, germo-phobe… pick one: I’m them all. I have adult issues with cleanliness and matters-of-the-stomach when it comes to food phobias. The majority of my obsessive-compulsive cleaning streaks ceased when we adopted cats. Because let’s be serious, OMG HAIR EVERYWHERE! I’m almost comfortable even with cleaning gunk out of the eyes.

*retch*

So, this recent story from Allure about sharing a boyfriend’s products (NOT ONE YOU LIVE WITH, MIND YOU) made me make that muscle-strained “ew” face. Being that AB & I have been living together for almost three years, we’ve stopped buying separate tubes of toothpaste, and I even share his shampoo after derby practices… BUT I’m sorry, it’s completely gross to use another man’s deodorant.

Years ago, I shared a toothbrush (once) when I visited SSD for a weekend when I forgot mine — not PURPOSELY forgetting — but, yes even though we swapped spit on numerous occasions, there’s something inherently grosser about male toothbrushes. And armpit hair. I cannot…

*gag*

Side, random note: do you and your partner pee with the door open?

Also, when you “purposely forget” your toiletry items when you stay at your boyfriend’s, remember that your period can start at any time, especially when you least expect it. True story. I’m pretty sure this and the Toothbrush Incident of 2008 was the same awesome weekend. I win.

For what it’s worth, I agree with the writer about men’s razors… and the smell of Irish Spring. I dated a guy once who used it (the soap), and I bought myself a package after we separated. Not because I wanted to smell the darn man anymore, but OMG that smell in the morning is downright fabulous. 10,000 better than “zest-fully” awakening. But I cannot share soap. Even the boyfriend and I have different shower puffs (there’s seriously 18 bottles of stuff in our shower). And when we have guests over, I can totally tell when they’ve used my bar, and I have to shave the exterior layers of it off before I can use it.

Wearing rubber gloves, of course.

The other side of this story — that the article so cleverly “forgot” to mention — is when you “purposely forget” your stuff when staying at your dude’s place, you run less a risk of losing out on hundreds of dollars worth of products, clothes and the best platform suede boots known to exist when he decides to Pancake your ass and never give your shit back. Just saying.

At least always keep a tampon on you.

{Allure.com: Products I Purposely Forget When Staying at the Boyfriend’s}

Photo credit: Psu4 via flickr

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The {financial} battle of the sexes

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I’m have no shame in admitting that I am NOT the breadwinner in this household. I just started my writing business last year and well, the boyfriend is a computer science dork. I will likely never be able to reach that kind of nerd-specific income, even if I published three books and regularly contributed to People Magazine. And I’m totally OK with it — my lifestyle is a LOT less stressful (fun, natch). We both love what we do, and share in household wants/needs/expenses, and that’s truly all that matters. We are a team.

Until it’s bonus time. We don’t spend it ALL, but do save a portion to do something fun or buy something we’ve been coveting. And while woman is still from Venus; man took a U-turn at a Black Hole.

Bonus time = woman thinks about adding a comfy side chair and ottoman, so she has a place to sit when he hogs the couch, and maybe adds flat panel tv stands to the apartment, since she hates glass tables (and a splurge maybe on a new pair of straight leg jeans JUST BECAUSE… well, because her ass grew three times its size from roller derby last year).

And man thinks about acquiring an iPad (even though HE ALREADY HAS ONE from his last bonus). And maybe some new underwear and socks.

The woman sees RED — and it is overloaded with PLUGS and EXTENSION CORDS. Which cannot be hidden any longer by those damn glass tabletops! *sigh*

Granted the items included in the woman’s redesign model in total would STILL be less than one piece of electronic equipment.

Can I least get the “old” one?

And I still want a telescope.

Men, women: how do you spend your little extra bit of bonus money? Shared household items, vacations or splurge?

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Topic of conversation

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Neither of us in this relationship is a master conversationalist. Working from home, my socializing is with a cat (read: seriously lacking, save for a “meow”). And my million of friends online. The boyfriend, well… like any male counterpart, I suppose, has a certain mute button pushed when I start talking. Most of the times, he won’t even notice I’m speaking.

Then when I’m talking to myself — or worse, the cat — he’ll respond with a booming “huh?” from a separate room. Why IS it when I am directing a question or bringing up a topic, he is completely vacant while SITTING RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, yet hears me mumble something from 800 sq. feet away?

Men, I will never understand you.

But when we do have conversations, it goes something like this:

THE MUNDANE
SCENE: Couch. Television on.

Mel: Awwww, the cat is crying.

AB: Because the cat’s eyes are watering, does not mean he’s crying…

Mel: (interrupting) I wonder if he’s sad about something.

AB: And even if he were crying, it doesn’t mean he’s sad.

Mel: He’s crying & sad because he hates when you pick him up.

AB: I cleaned his eye junk out this morning.

Or, THE BEDROOM TALK
SCENE: Err, the bed.

Mel: do you remember hands across America?

AB: I have no idea what you are talking about.

SERIOUSLY! (btw, I am NOT that old)

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Fully Functioning as a Joint Couple

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Now that we’ve finally got around to doing “it” (and by it, I mean surrendering ourselves completely to one another), we’re proud parents of a joint checking account. I mean, it’s wholly overdue, being that we’ve practically lived together since Date One (that fatefully-drunk St. Patrick’s Day) — now at our second cohabited place of residence. And have now moved somewhere where I no longer have in-person branch or ATM access (RIP, Chase Bank, but Pittsburgh doesn’t love you).

The responsibility that a joint account brings is something very scary to me. I’ve rightly fucked up my own money and financial situation just the way I like it (and gloriously revel in paying down balances to an “almost paid off” status). But now, everything from skating gear to make-up to the need for another pair of boots is scrutinized by more than just MY bank balance. HE has a say (and being the bread winner in said situation, I suppose at a 90% relevance to total household income).

But on that long-term relationship note, I had another conversation about “why I don’t want to get married” with one of my open skate partners-in-crime. I found it hilarious because every excuse I could give for being wed (having kids, combined tax benefits, commitment to “God”), her response was “that’s not a reason to get married… and THAT’S not a reason to get married.”

See? I have no reason. And merely being in love just doesn’t cut it because you need not be husband-and-wife to prove that to yourselves or anyone else, for that matter. Yet, people exchange vows every day and the wedding industry is making a ka-BILLION dollars in profits.

So, question: why did YOU get married (or why do you)?I mean, it’s only fair since everyone always asks me the opposite. And it’s OK, if it was for free shit, you can vent that openly here. At least that’s a more tangible excuse.

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