We race to fall in love in our minds yet we are afraid to execute

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By Mark A. Leon

It is a big night on King Street. Dressed to the nines and the bar is packed.? Then it happens!? Their eyes meet from across the room. At first, a glance, then an extended stare and finally, for a brief moment, you are the only two in the entire room. It is that exact moment when you imagine an entire life together scripted in your mind and acted out in just a few seconds. It is the living dream of unconditional love and the fantasy of the dream life that keeps us energized in the pursuit of true love.

How can you not feel euphoria when you two strangers come together and find what they are both pursuing. The hard part of reality. Reality throws the curve balls that unfortunately eliminate even the great ones.

We spend most of the evening talking ourselves out of the risk. The more we drink, the more encouragement we get from our friends, the harder it seems to get. So strange this phenomenon. With divorce rates always higher than any of us want to see, it makes you wonder, what if some of these moments of unspoken bliss came to fruition.

So many questions run through our minds during these bar/club/coffee shop hours…

1. Should the guy approach the guy or can a girl make the first move?
2. What if his/her friends don’t like me? Then I don’t have a chance no matter what.
3. What line do I use? Or should I be myself? Or is being myself a line?
4. What if he/she rejects me?
5. What if the great speech in my head doesn’t come out right and I sound like a bumbling idiot?
6. What if we have nothing in common? Should I lie?
7. What if he/she is not looking to get picked up and they are just hear to spend time with friends?
8. What if he/she likes one of my friends better?

After all those questions race through your mind, is there any reason to even try?

Of course there is!!!

Life’s greatest rewards comes from the greatest risk.

You can second guess life all your want, but in the end we will continue to breathe one day at a time until our bodies decide not to. Life will move one minute at a time and we will continue to make decisions at work and home that affect every aspect of our lives. So why is the prospect of saying hello to a complete stranger so frightening? I don’t know either. Make it a homework assignment the next time you go out, to say hello to a stranger and engage in conversation. But if you see someone that makes you hair stand on end and gives you feelings you cannot control, you had better make that move otherwise you are going to live a night in regret if not longer.

Maybe if a few of us start taking this advice, more soul mates will truly find their partner.

8 Ways Women Can Impress Their Man and Spice It Up

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By Mark A. Leon

Here we go. You officially have your man. Prince Charming, the love of your life, your true soul mate and as time passes you with both develop a set of routines and consistent behaviors. One morning you are both going to wake up and realize that there is no longer any mystery. The zest has fizzed out and the only logical progression is the demise of the romance and spice. This is a period of a relationship so many of us have had to deal with. You may find yourself sitting in bed one evening pondering ways to add a twist to the relationship to make it new and exciting once again.

We are here to assist. Right before your eyes are a few sure fire ways you can step up to the plate and show the love of your life you are ready to play the game and keep the fire burning for a long time to come.

Tips to Keep Things Spicy and Energized in the Relationship

1. Speak your mind and say it loud. Do not be afraid to disagree with your significant other and justify your point. A good healthy discussion builds strong character and intense will power. Go toe to toe and show him that you are as strong in your convictions as he is. Guys like a girl that agrees with him, but not all the time.

2. Show your wild side a little more frequently. I am positive the intimacy is still healthy yet take a look at your routines in bed and see if there are some patterns of repetition and look within yourself to find new things you have never tried before such as a stripper pole, tying him up, blind folds, new lingerie, a little playful sex game, toys or a wild new position. Take the initiative and make it happen.

3. Go natural. We love make up and all the effort your put into your hair and face. Sometimes though, we want to know our girl is confident enough to go out just the way she is. We can look at magazines or four star restaurants to see women with hundreds of dollars of MAC products on, but there is something sensual about a girl that can walk out the door with nothing but a smile and work it.

4. Be impulsively spontaneous. Show up one day with tickets to a bed and breakfast or lessons to go sky diving or a road trip for the evening and the bags are already packed. Doing something completely unexpected with not only keep him on his toes, but will set the plateau higher for him to top you.

5. Show your inner geek. Play some video games or be a dork and dance in a water fountain. Dorky is the new sexy. Try it and let me know if I am right.

6. Laugh until it hurts inside and out. Laughter is the key to all happiness. Finding and embracing your love of laughter is the most cherished gift in the world. Whether you are at a movie or cuddling on the couch let yourself go. You will be shocked how turned on a guy can be when a girl is laughing her little butt off.

7. Take a chance on your passions. Men love to see a woman that shows a desire to learn something new and sticks with it. It shows focus, determination and accomplishment. Men by nature have a competitive instinct so when our lady shows an interest and follows it to completion, we are very impressed.

8. Be independent and be your own woman. Independence is very sexy. If you want girl time to go to the gym, sit in a warm bath or dance with your friends, go out and have fun. In a strong healthy relationship trust is the single strongest bond. If you both have that level of trust, we love letting you go and being on your own, because in the end it is the love that brings you back into each others arms.

There you have it, the guide to keeping your man impressed and maintaining a level of vigor and punch in your relationship. Keep it sensual, seductive and playful.

Now go give your special man a hug and a long kiss.

 

Desirable Places in Charleston, SC to Escape Life

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By Minta Pavliscsak

Ever have one of “those” days? Sure you have; we all have. The type of day where you just want to be alone and escape life for a bit. Between work, school, family, friends, and the constant connection with technology, places where you can just be alone are difficult to come by.

However, as long as you do not check in on Facebook or Yelp when you get there, you can seclude yourself and escape life if you wish to do so. Turn off your phone, bring a book, magazine, your puppy, a notebook, or simply your own thoughts, take a few deep breaths and enjoy your solitude.

Here are a few of the best hidden places in Charleston to escape life, if only for a few minutes.

Folly Beach: You have a few options here. The best places to go to be alone with your thoughts are as far east as you can go on the island, and as far west as you can go. On the east end you will enjoy a scenic view of Morris Island Lighthouse. The far west end is a bit further of a walk, but totally worth it. The walk there is part of the destination itself.

Charleston Waterfront Park swings at night: There’s not a sound much more soothing than the sound of water, and when accompanied by the feeling of gently swinging back and forth under the moonlight, worries seem to melt away. Bring a comfy sweatshirt, even in summertime as it tends to get a little chilly.

Melton Peter Demetre Park (formally Sunrise Park): If you want a unique view of Charleston and the surrounding areas, here is your spot. Nestled deep within James Island, this is the perfect place to start your day or spend the afternoon in peacefulness.? In the distance you can view the Cooper River Bridge or the church steeples of the peninsula.

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Allan Park

Fishing and Crabbing Dock at James Island County Park: Even if there is someone fishing, they usually just nod to say hi and focus on catching a big one. The dock is large enough for you to have your own spot to yourself. Bring your fishing pole, crab net, or just sit and enjoy the view.

Allan Park: Located just off of Ashley Avenue near Hampton Park, Allan Park is a splendid half acre of tranquility. There is a large fountain in the center and plenty of grass for picnics. There are also benches around the fountain if a blanket is not your thing.

Caw Caw Interpretive Center: Located about sixteen miles from downtown Charleston, Caw Caw Interpretive Center has remained virtually untouched over the years. Once several rice plantations, it is now home to a multitude of wildlife which you can enjoy along over six miles of trails winding throughout swamplands, cypress trees and boardwalks.

Magnolia Cemetery: Not many people think “relaxing” when it comes to cemeteries, but trust us on this one. Magnolia Cemetery is located on the banks of the Cooper River and in our opinion has to be one of the most beautiful places one could spend their resting days. Taking a stroll through this 92 acre stretch of land can give a whole new meaning to “escaping life”.

MUSC Urban Farm:? Right in the heart of the medical district off of Bee Street between Ashley and Courtenay is a safe haven.? In the heart of this square escape is an educational community garden where you will find everything from lemons, to rosemary to sunflowers with free gardening and nature lessons weekly.? Just outside the garden are open grassy areas and benches to relax, have a meal or just daydream.? Also, enclosed in this area are stretching equipment to keep your body physically fit.? This is a true mental and physical realm of health and solitude in the heart of the Charleston peninsula.

 

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Magnolia Cemetery

We know there are more, but we do not want to give away all of the secrets! If you have a favorite spot that you like to go to escape life and would like to share, please comment below.

What Not to Do In Charleston

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By Minta Pavliscsak

It seems everywhere you look these days there are blogs popping up about what to do in Charleston. Having information about what to do and where to go is great, but sometimes it is good to know what not to do. Fear not! We have you covered. So enjoy your time in Charleston, but please keep in mind the following things not to do in Charleston, South Carolina:

– Do not stop in the middle of the road to take pictures of the big, beautiful houses. Again, that goes for cars and pedestrians, although we see it happen mostly with cars. Simply pull over and park, get out and walk around. You will get much better photographs and see so much more!

– Do not block the sidewalks. We all have places to go and people to see. While this is the south and time does seem to run a little slower here, we are still in a rush to get to where we need to be. Please be considerate of those behind you when walking down the sidewalk and make sure they have plenty of room to get around you.

– Do not let the door slam on the person walking in behind you. We are taught at a very early age to “hold the door” for others, especially southern gentlemen. When you don’t, it is nothing personal, but we take it as such. And it’s simply rude.

– Do not stop in the middle of the intersection. This goes for cars and pedestrians. The light stays green for only so long, and trust me it’s not very long. If you are unsure of where you are going, just get out of the way and then figure it out.

– Do not eat at Hymans. With so many other amazing options, try not to fall prey to the hype. But you definitely don’t have to take our word for it.

– Do not walk in the bike lane when walking across the Ravenel Bridge. The bikers will warn you that they are coming up behind you, but they will also come pretty dern close to running you over if you are in their lane.

– Do not pay for a taxi when getting around downtown. You have a couple of free options. The city has the DASH, a free downtown shuttle that has different routes that will get you all over the peninsula. There is also Scoop Charleston, a free electric taxi service that will get you anywhere you want to go in downtown Charleston.? The Rickshaw is just a fine Southern tradition and cozy way to get around town.

– Do not get to the bar late if you do not want to pay a cover charge. Going out at night? Try upper King Street or hit up the Market and East Bay area. However, be warned that there will be lines and cover charges.

– Do not bring alcohol on the beach. Folly Beach was the last beach in the area that allowed drinking on the beach. They banned alcohol on their beach in 2012 following a last straw Fourth of July incident. Some say just be smart about it; we say why risk it?

– Do not forget that everyone has their bad days. Sure, Charleston has been named one of the friendliest cities but whether you are a local or a tourist, things like what are listed above can -and will- bug anyone from time to time. Just be patient, smile, and remember the golden rule for in the end we all want our Charleston experience to be a great one.

Best Places to Meet Quality Men and Women in Charleston

By Mark A. Leon

My years of successful and unsuccessful dating has embedded a sense of wisdom that has taught me a number of things including how places, patterns of behavior, ideals, morals, personal convictions and personal interests can all be identified by choices in places resided.? I am fortunate to have a wonderful, caring, compassionate and beautiful woman in my life, but there are still some even in this holiday season that are looking for someone special to create and share memories with.

To begin, we can eliminate Church’s Chicken, Pizza Hut, Wal-Mart, prison, rehabilitation centers (maybe not entirely), mud wrestling tournaments and race tracks as possible options for meeting your next partner.

Understanding the culture of an establishment will help you make an educated assessment on the type of person who chooses to be there. The choices in nutrition, entertainment or exercise are lifestyle choices so that needs to be a critical element in your decision to seek out a potential mate.

This list is not compiled through a statistical study and thus there is no formal ranking system outlined below.

Now it is time to put the app down for a while and communicate the old fashioned way, through genuine human interaction.? Still the best way to find love.

Best Places to Meet Quality Women and Men in the Lowcountry

Lowe’s / Home Depot (Home Improvement Centers)

We have evolved into a society who has made tremendous strides in gender equality. The strength of an independent woman who can create, fix and enhance their residence is a very attractive quality that should never be overlooked. If you visit your local Home Depot or Lowe’s you will find amazing women who are looking to do home improvement, building, painting, construction or aesthetic enhancements to the home. If you are a strong willed man that values a woman who can go toe to toe with you; one that knows her way around a power tool; and one that can live a vivacious life of independence and success, this may want to be a regular scheduled stop in your pursuit of the perfect mate. Of course, if she is alone or with other female friends, you need to keep an eye out for the big indicator: the ring. We don’t want to encourage the notion of breaking up marriages. We are a family friendly blog.? Women, this strategy holds strongly for you.? Men, by nature, love to build, fix and even break things, so we can fix them again.? Home improvement centers are a bit of a male adult playground.? Feel free to frolic.

Whole Foods / Trader Joe’s / Earth Fare (Organic / Health Based Grocers)

These three grocers and smaller independent markets have built a culture around being environmentally sensitive, organic and health conscious, and promoting mental/physical fitness. You are not going to find many lazy, lethargic or sloppy women or men here. On a given day, you will observe matching running outfits, business professionals or earthly/flowery sundresses. If you want to impress, don’t go in and just buy beer and chips unless it is a good craft micro brew and organic veggie chips. These establishments breed individuals that care about the environment and wellness. So, ladies and gentlemen, if you chose to take on this challenge, bring your own re-usable bags and water bottle, dress neatly, and don’t be afraid to show a little of inner and outer beauty.

Dog Parks

Dog lovers are creatures of habit. They love their dogs as if they are children and treat them with the same caring nature. A dog lover can make an excellent mate but make no mistake, you will most likely be number two in their world. The key to being successful at a dog park is to modify the behavior of your target. When you see that special potential someone, schedule your dog park time the same as them and feel each other out for a few days (of course it should be obvious that you have a dog as well). Each day, give your pup a pep talk about flirting with your targets dog. If the dogs work out, you are in like Flynn. If that does not work and the dogs become rival enemies, this will present a whole new set of challenges and often one you cannot overcome. Make sure when you first start talking to each other (humans), be very complimentary about their dog, ask its name, how old, and mention how good the two of them look together. When you tell a mother or father how adorable she is with her child, it is like melting butter on a warm slice of toast. This approach will take patience. It may be a week or two before the idea of an off site puppy date is brought up or better yet a puppy date at his or her place over dinner. If you get that approved, bring some good wine because you have a really good chance with this one.

Beaches

I hesitated to put beaches on this list. Beaches offer a sand to sand endless pool of possibility.? From Folly to IOP, beaches are about sun, fun, flirting and a even a little drinking perhaps. In hindsight, all of this invites more an opportunity for a short term fling than a long term relationship, but if you are a little vain and believe in looks above and beyond everything else, then you may meet that perfect mate. Here is where the hesitation comes into play: focus. Obviously, the women and men will be wearing the bear minimum of clothing and men tend to focus their attention on certain regions. When the chance occurs to strike up a conversation (say after you mistakenly throw the football by a group of girls or lose a flip flop near the boys), the likelihood is that you will not be focused on her eyes or his face. You need to train yourself prior to a beach day if you have any chance of success.

Coffee Shops (Independent preferred)

I am not by any means disrespecting Panera, Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. In fact, I met one of the most amazing women I have ever known in my life at a Caribou Coffee in the mid west. This is targeted for those with a lifestyle around arts, creativity, music and personal/spiritual enlightenment. For all the poets, musicians, painters and true “artists”, the independent coffee shop could be your haven for love. Be specific and do your research. Each establishment has a life of its own and a culture it breeds. Find out what type of music they play, the backgrounds of the owners, the art on the walls and chose wisely. Choosing the right coffee shop is almost as important as the right home.

Book Stores

Intellectuals are stable, intelligent, philosophical, insightful and frisky. When you think about librarians, book sellers, teachers or professors, you think proper. My experience has shown and certainly not true for all is that all that pent up proper behavior has to be released somehow. Believe me, in very adventurous and experimental ways. If you want an intelligent wild cat or a nerdy hispster with a hidden wild boy side, this might be a good place to start your search. If you do, don’t pick a cliche book to read; be original and make it an extension of yourself.

Gym / Fitness Center

If physical fitness is your game, this is an easy choice, but know how to read the signs. Typically working out is either a couple or individual activity. If a girl is by herself know what to look for. If she is wearing a hat, leave her alone. She is driven and has a goal in mind. You interrupting her is not in the plan. Again, look for the ring. That is vital as well. If you spot a girl you would like to know better, follow her routine for a few minutes (cardio, weights, stretching..) and try to find a good place to slip in a casual meeting. In this day of IPods, it can be harder than you think. Adjacent treadmills or bikes is a great starting point. It is an extended activity and gives plenty of time to see if eye contact is made. Remember, girls at the gym want a confident man that is not afraid to step up to bat.? For you type A physically fit women or ones focused on a goal, you have a room of testosterone; work it to your advance and take ownership of the situation.

Independent Breweries

Charleston is becoming a haven for individually owned and operated breweries.? These facilities offer unique craft brewing experiences in a casual and trendy way.? These settings offer an intimate and casual environment for people that appreciate quality beer, good conversation and local support.? Often, these establishments are less crowded than bars and offer bar seating, community tables and outdoor areas.? This is the perfect place to avoid the crazy bar scene and hang out with hip and cool people that think like you and enjoy a good local cold brew.? Sounds like a good place to meet someone compatible to you.

Yes, bars and clubs are so yesterday and online dating isn’t going away, but do you want an analysis tool to find you love?? Tinder…hmmmmm need I say more.

To all the men and women looking for that true connection, good luck. Even with all the tips in the world, we are a tricky bunch, but there are a good number of humans that are genuinely amazing creatures with beauty, intelligence and warmth. If you are lucky enough to find the one that warms your soul and has you yearning for more each and every day, you need to hold on, embrace and cherish it for the rest of your life.

A Few Things To Get Over On “National Get Over It Day”

By, Minta Pavliscsak

March 9th is National Get Over It Day. Originally conceived by a guy attempting to get over his girlfriend, he quickly realized how it can apply to so much more. There is so much in life that is beyond our control, yet it is going to happen anyway. And as bad as we think life may get, always remember one thing…It Could Always Be Worse!
So you have a choice. You can complain, wallow in self-pity, be a poster child for gloom and doom, OR you can make the decision to do something about it and simply Get Over It!

In case you need some inspiration of something to get over today, here are a few things we have noticed both around our community and elsewhere that have gotten their fair share of griping lately. Why not, at least just for today, Get Over it?!

– Traffic problems in and around Charleston.

– The extension of 526.

– Alcohol ban on the beaches.

– Hotel growth on the peninsula.

– Trump.

– The ever increasing cost of living in Charleston.

– Tourist season.

– Daily population migration into Charleston.

– The new presence of cranes in the Holy City.

– Folly Gras 2017.

Many people have said it many different ways. The bottom line is nobody is going to be happy all the time. The key is to make the most of what you have while you are lucky enough to have it. Today we are reminded of this.

“Life’s not fair. Get over it!” -Bill ?Gates

20 Ways to Start Out The New Year Right – Because it’s not too late!

  1. Send out Thank You cards.thank you pen
    We know you got at least one awesome Christmas present! Chances are you got more, maybe even more than you needed. Let your loved ones know just how much their hard thought, time and money is appreciated!
  2. Download a new album. –Or for us old school folks, buy a new CD.
    “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” –Berthold Auerbach ?Crank it up, kick off that dust and live life!
  3. Start setting a little money aside each week for that dream vacation.
    Summertime sneaks up and you are left with a wanderlust accompanied by a low bank account. Avoid this disappointment in 2016 by anticipating your getaway.
  4. Get involved.
    With so many opportunities around Charleston to participate in a worthwhile cause, you have no reason not to get involved. It doesn’t have to be a long term commitment; it can be something as simple as hanging out with the animals at one of the local shelters. Need ideas on how to get involved? Check out our article Volunteer Opportunities in the Lowcountry – Get Involved.
  5. Drop the resolution!
    I’ve never really believed in New Year’s resolutions, for a few different reasons. #1) If you really want to make a change in your life, you should do so now, not wait for the beginning of a new year. #2) Chances are you’ll just end up disappointing yourself. Even if you start off with the best of intentions and things are going great, most of the New Year’s resolutions I hear about simply do not stick. By the end of February, if not earlier, they are forgotten about all together. #3) That’s a lot of stress to put yourself, and your loved ones, under. Usually these resolutions involve some massive change and you tend to think the change can come January 1st. Why do that to yourself? #4) They usually involve something completely unoriginal and something that really didn’t have a lot of thought put into it in the first place. You deserve better for yourself than that.
  6. Wash your car.
    Don’t neglect the thing you rely on most everyday. Add it into your organizational plans.
  7. Pick up a book.book
    Books help open our minds and allow us to escape to anywhere our imaginations can go. Make the time to unwind, relax your mind, and snuggle up with a good story.
  8. Decide to love yourself.
    This doesn’t mean simply saying you love yourself, but just like in your relationships with others, you have to show yourself that you do. This includes eating right, getting enough sleep at night, exercising regularly, taking time for yourself, saying “no” when you can’t do something for someone -and feeling okay about it- and any other special way you can prove to yourself that you matter.
  9. Change your air filter.
    Another friendly service reminder courtesy of Charleston Daily. You’ll thank us later!
  10. Meditate.
    There are so many benefits to meditation! It is a stress relief, it helps with focus, it helps to reduce anxiety, it boosts your creativity, and it can aid in relieving depression, but the list goes on! Just devoting ten minutes a day can make a significant difference in your life.
  11. Go watch a movie by yourself.
    It’s really not as bad as it sounds. Trust us on this one and give it a chance.
  12. Make a plan.
    This can include absolutely anything. You’ve just got to get the ball rolling. Totally different than a resolution!?Really put some though into it, set small goals and work on them at your own pace. You’ll have more success with the results sticking this way.?The best ideas start out with a good plan.20151207_171211-01
  13. Spend a sunset at the Battery.
    There are many beautiful spots to watch the sunset around Charleston. The Battery is one of our favorites. You can spend the afternoon enjoying White Point Garden, have a picnic, walk around, or relax on one of the benches, then take in a spectacular sunset before ending your day.
  14. Spend the night at a fancy hotel or bed and breakfast (preferably one with a big tub).
    Just have a change of scenery?for a moment. It can help give you new insights on what’s really going on in your life. Do it locally so you eliminate the stress of traveling. Our recommendation? The Battery Carriage House Inn?located in beautiful downtown Charleston.
  15. Donate to a local charity.
    Of course charities will always welcome a monetary donation. But you actually don’t have to have any money at all to donate to most charities. Clean out your closet, clean out your pantry, clean out your garage. You will find lots of things to donate to different organizations. You can also pick a charity, visit their website for their Wish List and grab something extra next time you are at the store.
  16. Take a sunrise walk on the beach.
    I realize this was included in our “List of things to do before the end of 2015”. Well, did you do it? There’s never a bad time to take a sunrise walk on the beach. -I might recommend waiting for a day when it’s not raining, but other than that you’re pretty golden!-
  17. Pay off your lowest credit card.
    When working on getting out of debt, experts recommend paying off the card that has the lowest balance first. Don’t neglect other cards you may have, but even if you can put an extra $10/month towards that one card, you will start seeing a difference a lot faster. –It also helps if you don’t add anything else to that card! –
  18. Wake up fresh.
    This idea comes with appreciation?from my best 5 year old friend. When asked what I was writing, and I explained it to him, he took it upon himself to contemplate the subject and this was his first idea. I like it, a lot actually. So get your behind in bed at a decent time, snuggle in for more than your usual few hours, and wake up fresh!
  19. Purchase that perfect outfit.
    Start this year off looking and feeling fabulous! –Hey, everything’s on sale right now anyway! –
  20. Have a dinner party.
    This is a great way to connect or re-connect with friends. Plus throwing a party is just fun anyway. Good food, drinks, music, your closest friends…sounds like a great night to me!

20 Ways to Start Out The New Year Off Right – Checklist