celebration https://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12483/all en-US Achieve More With Goal Sequencing https://www.wisebread.com/achieve-more-with-goal-sequencing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/achieve-more-with-goal-sequencing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wisebreadgoalsequencing.jpg" alt="Finish Line" title="Finish Line" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the world of marketing and communications, there&rsquo;s a niche service we offer clients called &quot;communication mapping&quot; or &quot;sequence mapping.&quot; Briefly defined, this service helps clients visually bridge the gap between their business objectives and their strategy. Mapping outlines the path and answers the question, &ldquo;How do we get there?&rdquo; It reduces complex marketing and messaging plans into individual, digestible tasks and tactics &mdash; sometimes to a painfully granular level. Organizations love it. Companies can see the A-Z paths that support their business plans, identify cause/effect relationships early on, and streamline process before those processes even begin. Brilliant, right?</p> <p>Why don&rsquo;t we apply the same strategy to our own lives and, more specifically, to our own goal-setting? When it&rsquo;s time to lose weight, go back to school, or switch careers, why do we set a singular monolithic goal and let it lay there steaming in the hot sun of our inaction? I think it&rsquo;s because we&rsquo;ve always been taught that a goal is a singular thing instead of a set of sequenced processes. And since we don&rsquo;t know that our goal is just a distant Z in a whole A-Z process, we have no way to navigate our journey. We sputter and stall.</p> <p>Do you have a lingering list of goals that nips at your heels every birthday or on the eve of every new year? Here&rsquo;s how to give yourself a fighting chance at achieving a few by breaking each goal down into a series of sequential and simple tasks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trade-in-new-years-resolutions-for-achieving-life-goals">Trading in&nbsp;New Year's Resolutions for Life Goals</a>)</p> <h3>Realize There Are No Single Goals</h3> <p>Major goals in our lives actually consist of many incremental sub-goals that need to be achieved before we reach the primary one. An empty-nester who wants to go back to school for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-a-masters-degree-can-boost-your-career">master&rsquo;s degree</a> needs to first organize her finances, take any necessary exams, brush up on her computer skills, narrow her school choices, and start the application process. And each one of those sub-goals can be divided further (studying for the SAT, taking an intermediate level computer class, visiting campuses, and exploring different graduate programs, etc). Understanding and defining all the sub-goals that feed into our primary goal is the key to success.</p> <h3>Map It Out</h3> <p>Mapping begins by working backwards from our primary goal and understanding the cause-effect relationships between sub-goals. If I want to change jobs, I first need to identify my ideal position. Then, working backwards, I can see any qualification challenges I might face, determine what classes to take or organizations to join, amend my resume, network with the right people, and choose where to apply. The sequence of each action should create a clear pathway to your primary goal. Map every step out visually to reinforce the process and keep you on-track.</p> <h3>Don&rsquo;t Dawdle</h3> <p>Mapping a goal might create 10 or 15 sub-goals or steps that need to be completed first. It&rsquo;s easy to lose focus and motivation by giving yourself too much time for each step. As you create your visual map, ascribe a reasonable time frame for each sub-goal and stick to it. Again, start with your main goal and work backwards &mdash; when do you want to achieve it? What time frame do you need to stick to for each step in order make that timing work?</p> <h3>Reassess and Reroute When Needed</h3> <p>Paths and processes are never as smooth or as direct as we expect in the beginning. Periodically review and reassess sub-goals based on new insights or information, always making sure that your new route still leads you where you want to go.</p> <h3>Don&rsquo;t Think Big-Picture</h3> <p>Contrary to popular opinion, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-focused-at-work">staying focused</a> on your primary goal is distracting and debilitating. As you work through your sub-goals, pretend each is your singular and final goal. By giving each task your undivided attention and laser-like focus, you&rsquo;ll achieve more and achieve it faster.</p> <h3>Reward Yourself and Move On</h3> <p>Don&rsquo;t be afraid to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-frugal-ways-to-reward-yourself-right-now">celebrate success</a>. Working through even the smallest sub-goal supports your bigger plan and is cause for reward. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back, review your progress, update your map, and get back to work.</p> <p>In the end, even the biggest fire-breathing dragon of a goal can be slayed by dissection. Breaking down huge goals and seemingly insurmountable objectives into manageable tasks is the secret to success. The only difference between action and inaction, between achievers and non-achievers lies in the ability to reduce goals to a series of relatively simple steps. When we approach goals strategically and sequentially, taking the first step is no big deal &mdash; it&rsquo;s tiny.</p> <p><em>What big goals have you tackled through planning and process? How did breaking down your goals into small bits help?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fachieve-more-with-goal-sequencing&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FAchieve%2520More%2520With%2520Goal%2520Sequencing.jpg&amp;description=The%20Joy%20of%20Disconnecting"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Achieve%20More%20With%20Goal%20Sequencing.jpg" alt="Achieve More With Goal Sequencing" width="250" height="374" /></em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/achieve-more-with-goal-sequencing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-deal-when-youre-way-behind-at-work">6 Ways to Deal When You&#039;re Way Behind at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/get-it-done-how-to-measure-your-goals">Get It Done: How to Measure Your Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-not-to-delete-your-emails">5 Reasons Not to Delete Your Emails</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/effort-vs-results-the-difference-between-trying-and-getting-it-done">Effort vs. Results: The Difference Between Trying and Getting It Done</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-automate-your-everyday-life">4 Easy Ways to Automate Your Everyday Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity achieving goals celebration planning Mon, 24 Sep 2012 10:25:11 +0000 Kentin Waits 954667 at https://www.wisebread.com 14 Dos and Don'ts to Ensure a Happy New Year's Eve https://www.wisebread.com/17-dos-and-donts-to-ensure-a-happy-new-years-eve <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/17-dos-and-donts-to-ensure-a-happy-new-years-eve" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_new_year2.jpg" alt="Woman celebrating 2011" title="Woman celebrating 2011" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="150" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Without proper planning, New Year&rsquo;s Eve can turn into one of the worst nights of your entire year &mdash; before the year even begins.</p> <p>I speak from experience. I&rsquo;ve had my fair share of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lessons-learned-from-new-years-eves-gone-wrong">New Year&rsquo;s Eve disasters</a> over the years.</p> <p>This year, though, my husband and I will celebrate the holiday quietly indoors. We&rsquo;ll be in front of the TV, stuffing our faces with pizza, ice cream, and champagne, while cuddling on the couch and flipping between Anderson, Carson, and Ryan&rsquo;s annual broadcasts. Totally not sad about it either. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-fun-winter-staycation-ideas">14 Fun Winter Staycation Ideas</a>)</p> <p>But just because we&rsquo;re old, married, and boring doesn&rsquo;t mean you have to follow suit. In fact, I encourage you to get out there to shake things up and watch the ball drop the way that it&rsquo;s meant to be watched &mdash; with a huge smile on your face and an impending hangover.</p> <p>Before you say hello to 2012, however, there are a few dos and don&rsquo;ts of New Year&rsquo;s Eve (every one of them tried and true) that you should put on your checklist.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Do: Eat a Satisfying Meal Before You Head Out</h3> <p>Even if the party you&rsquo;re attending promises food, try to eat at least a small meal before starting your evening. Some parties can last six hours or longer, so it&rsquo;s best to arrive with something in your stomach. Also, it could be the case that when you arrive at your destination you don&rsquo;t like what&rsquo;s on the menu. That will leave you hungry and ill prepared for the alcohol you may consume. If you&rsquo;re carrying a purse, pack some snacks for good measure.</p> <h3>Do: Fully Charge Your Cell Phone</h3> <p>Make sure that you have a full battery before you leave the house for the night. Between checking in at locations on Foursquare, updating your Facebook status, and texting your friends and family Happy New Year&rsquo;s greetings throughout the night, your battery will be working overtime. You want your phone to work if you really need it later, like to call a cab or someone else to pick you up if you can&rsquo;t make it home on your own.</p> <h3>Do: Remember Your House Keys</h3> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to bring the whole ring &mdash; that just provides you with more stuff to lose in your stupor. Instead, take off only the house key(s) and put them somewhere safe &mdash; either on your body or in a hiding place outside the door for easy access when you stumble in.</p> <h3>Do: Know Your Game Plan</h3> <p>One of the worst decisions you can make on New Year&rsquo;s Eve is to play the night by ear. It will never work out in your favor. You&rsquo;ll encounter long lines and cover charges most places you go, and some establishments won&rsquo;t let you in if you haven&rsquo;t pre-purchased your tickets in advance. Do some research beforehand, and decide where you want to spend the night. You&rsquo;ll have a lot more fun when you know what to expect opposed to being blindsided a couple hours before the clocks strikes 12 with nowhere else to go.</p> <h3>Do: Ensure That You Have a Safe Ride Home</h3> <p>If you can find a DD on New Year&rsquo;s Eve, more power to you &mdash; but not many people are willing to follow a bunch of drunks around for hours just to drive them home at the end of the night. If you live in a reasonably large city, you can rely on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-reasons-why-i-love-public-transportation">public transportation</a> and taxis, and in some places free cabs are available; to find the latter, do a Google search with your city&rsquo;s name.</p> <h3>Do: Carry Cash, Credit, and Identification</h3> <p>You should never rely on only a check or credit card on a big night out for several reasons:</p> <ol> <li>Bouncers never accept credit cards for entry</li> <li>Some bars accept cash only for drinks (yes, even in 2012)</li> <li>If your card is denied at any point, you&rsquo;ll be out of luck</li> <li>It&rsquo;s easy to leave your tab at a bar without closing it or otherwise misplace a card when you&rsquo;ve been drinking.</li> </ol> <p>Your best bet is to carry a card (maybe two) and cash along with your ID.</p> <h3>Do: Drink Water Throughout the Evening</h3> <p>They say that the best way to prevent a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-list-of-hangover-cures">hangover</a> is to drink a glass of water for every drink you consume. Nobody ever listens to that logic since it&rsquo;ll have you in the bathroom relieving yourself half the night. Rather, be conscious of how much alcohol you&rsquo;re consuming and cut it with a bottle of water every couple of drinks.</p> <h3>Do: Know Your Limits</h3> <p>New Year&rsquo;s Eve is not a competition to see which idiot can drink the most. Or maybe it is, but that comes with severe consequences, like impaired judgment, severe vomiting, alcohol poisoning, and lots of other nasty side effects that can be avoided if you know when enough is enough.</p> <h3>Do: Dress Warmly</h3> <p>I know so many people who don&rsquo;t want to take away from their outfit by covering it up with winter gear, but those same people are the first ones to complain when they&rsquo;re standing in line outside the club for 30 minutes and freezing their bums off. Bundle up &mdash; it will probably be cold out. You can take it all off when you get inside.</p> <h3>Don&rsquo;t: Leave Your Drinks or Personal Belongings Unattended</h3> <p>Want your night ruined in a flash? Leave your purse lying around so it can get swiped or your drink unattended so it can be spiked. None of these despicable acts are your fault, but they can be prevented by closely guarding what&rsquo;s yours.</p> <h3>Don&rsquo;t: Yell at the Bouncers</h3> <p>If the bouncer doesn&rsquo;t let you into the party, it&rsquo;s probably for a good reason &mdash; it&rsquo;s at max capacity, you don&rsquo;t have the money, or you're visibly inebriated. Screaming and throwing a fit, demanding that he let you in isn&rsquo;t going to help. But it might just get you thrown in the back of a cop car a little faster.</p> <h3>Don&rsquo;t: Rely on Anyone but Yourself</h3> <p>You have the best friends in the world &mdash; we all do. But crazy things happen when everyone lets loose at the same time with no voice of reason to keep the situation under control. Be sure to have a back-up plan in case the night goes awry.</p> <h3>Don&rsquo;t: Leave and Forget to Tell Your Friends About It</h3> <p>How many times has this happened to you? One time a &ldquo;friend&rdquo; of mine left me at a nightclub without saying a word. I texted her several times before going to bed and called her several times the next day. She didn&rsquo;t return my calls until 5 p.m., at which point I was not only scared for her safety but also extremely mad. Save your friends some grief and try to stick with them.</p> <h3>Don&rsquo;t: Let the Unexpected Ruin Your New Year&rsquo;s Eve</h3> <p>Take it from me &mdash; what can go wrong sometimes will go wrong on New Year&rsquo;s Eve. You build this night up in your mind all year long and you want it to go off without a hitch, but that&rsquo;s not always the reality. I&rsquo;ve had a few terrible New Year&rsquo;s Eves, but they&rsquo;ve each been learning experiences in what to do and not to do when celebrating a new year. If you can roll with the punches &mdash; and use these tips &mdash; your night will be as incredible as you want it to be.</p> <p><em>Have any New Year&rsquo;s Eve dos and don&rsquo;ts to add to my list? Let me know what they are in the comments section below. Stay safe, and Happy New Year!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/17-dos-and-donts-to-ensure-a-happy-new-years-eve">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/lessons-learned-from-new-years-eves-gone-wrong">Lessons Learned from New Year&#039;s Eves Gone Wrong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-of-the-most-costly-new-years-eve-parties-ever">8 of the Most Costly New Year&#039;s Eve Parties Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-avoid-awkward-moments-at-white-elephant-parties">4 Ways to Avoid Awkward Moments at White Elephant Parties</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-a-great-new-years-eve-party-for-cheap">How to Host a Great New Year&#039;s Eve Party for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-non-depressing-ways-to-spend-nye">5 Frugal, Non-Depressing Ways to Spend NYE</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips bars celebration New Year's Eve parties Thu, 29 Dec 2011 10:48:18 +0000 Mikey Rox 845094 at https://www.wisebread.com 5 Romantic, Inexpensive Anniversary Celebrations https://www.wisebread.com/5-romantic-inexpensive-anniversary-celebrations <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-romantic-inexpensive-anniversary-celebrations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/celebrating_couple.jpg" alt="Couple dancing outside" title="Couple dancing outside" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You can&rsquo;t quantify love.</p> <p>It's not exactly a catchy, Beatles-esque hook, but it's true nonetheless.</p> <p>Happily wedded couples have known for years that some of best anniversary gifts are often the most inexpensive. The idea is certainly more appealing during tight economic times, but there's an evergreen, more romantic ideal lurking here as well.</p> <p>No doubt, the sparkly tennis bracelet or pricey tool set comes as a nice surprise. But some of the most powerful and long-cherished gifts are rooted in creativity, originality, and, dare we say, frugality. Here are a few ideas for inexpensive anniversary gifts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-happy-and-married-24-tips-from-a-24-year-old-marriage">24 Tips From a 24-Year-Old Marriage</a>)</p> <h2>1. Explore the Great Outdoors</h2> <p>Go camping for the weekend. If your anniversary comes during one of the changing seasons, this is a great option. Make sure to plan your meals and check the camping site&rsquo;s amenities.</p> <p>Camping may be too ambitious for some couples, but a picnic surely isn&rsquo;t. A surprise picnic is even better. For the ultra crafty, outfitting a kite with an &ldquo;I Love You&rdquo; banner would be the icing on the cake. A slightly more costly but still-frugal option is to rent a boat for a day. Again, that option depends on weather. Couples can still make it special by packing their own food and celebratory champagne.</p> <h2>2. Surprise Each Other</h2> <p>Decide which one of you will spearhead certain surprises. For instance, one of you makes dinner, plans a post-meal activity and a night cap while the other does something similar on the following day. Think of some of your first dates and incorporate their best moments into your anniversary celebration. Miniature golfing, bowling, or maybe just a walk around town to a sentimental location can remind you of your first times together.</p> <h2>3. Go Green</h2> <p>Simulate a blackout by unplugging all the lights and electronics so you&rsquo;re forced to rely on candles and/or a fire. Feel free to bend the rules to put on romantic tunes or finish preparing a candle-lit dinner. Then cuddle up and enjoy the dark.</p> <h2>4. Hop in the Car and Go</h2> <p>Pack a few bags for a spontaneous <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-survive-a-road-trip">road trip</a> together. Going far is not the crux of having fun here. Instead, go wherever the road takes you. Don&rsquo;t forget a road map so you have a general idea of where you are once you get there. Otherwise, forget your inhibitions about planning and just go for it.</p> <h2>5. Stay Home</h2> <p>With time off, couples often want to travel. Planning for trips has the propensity to cause stress and can put a crunch in the celebratory feeling. Prepare for a &ldquo;staycation&rdquo; instead. Turn off the cell phones, computers, and other bothersome communication devices.</p> <p>Anniversaries are a natural time to reconnect with your partner, reminisce about good times, and prepare for plenty more. Celebrating love does not have to be expensive, and when it&rsquo;s celebrated best, it hardly costs a thing.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-romantic-inexpensive-anniversary-celebrations">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">Massive List of Things to Do While Watching TV</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/25-hobbies-you-can-start-for-under-10">25 Hobbies You Can Start for Under $10</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/single-parent-try-these-10-tricks-for-entertaining-kids-on-a-budget">Single Parent? Try These 10 Tricks for Entertaining Kids on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Family Lifestyle anniversaries celebration things to do Tue, 02 Aug 2011 10:00:18 +0000 Chris Birk 647808 at https://www.wisebread.com Lessons Learned from New Year's Eves Gone Wrong https://www.wisebread.com/lessons-learned-from-new-years-eves-gone-wrong <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/lessons-learned-from-new-years-eves-gone-wrong" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new_years.jpg" alt="Pouring champagne" title="Pouring champagne" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nobody gets out of dodge faster than me on New Year&rsquo;s Eve.</p> <p>Not because I don&rsquo;t like to spend the holiday at home &mdash; New York City has some of the best celebrations on earth &mdash; but by this time of the year (especially now &mdash; holy blizzard, Batman!) I&rsquo;m ready for fun in the sun.</p> <p>For the past couple of years my destinations have been tropical, and anyone with seasonal affective disorder knows that a healthy dose of UV-delivered vitamin D can at least temporarily restore one&rsquo;s sanity. But even though the locations are usually conducive to rest and relaxation, my getaways haven&rsquo;t always been the respite I anticipated.</p> <p>In 2005, my flight to Paris was canceled due to inclement weather, leaving me stranded in Dublin with a plane full of disgruntled travelers. A year later, torrential rains dampened our festivities in downtown Toronto. When my husband and I traveled to San Diego to ring in 2008 on the beach, we forgot to pack supplies to build a fire. And when we decided to bar hop in Honolulu last year &mdash; instead of buying tickets to a party &mdash; we were left sitting at a booth with two people we didn&rsquo;t know, spinning our noisemakers in vain.</p> <p>Like it or not, these experiences make me an expert on what <em>not </em>to do on New Year&rsquo;s Eve. So to ensure that you start 2011 off right, consider the following tips. Fail to comply and, well, you may find yourself facing the business end of an old Irish woman&rsquo;s vacuum cleaner as you catch some <em>ZzZ</em>s on an airport floor. <em>Sláinte!</em></p> <h3>Don&rsquo;t Pack Too Much Into the Trip</h3> <p>Ryanair (avoid it at all costs, no matter how cheap the fares are) deserves the brunt of the blame for my unfortunate European experience. It canceled flights to the City of Light due to fog, which is hardly a reason in my book. Still, the rest of why I had NYE envy that year falls on me. In eight days, I had planned time in London, Dublin, and Paris, and the truth is, it was too much. In hindsight, I would have split my time between only two of the cities &mdash; that way I would have had time to come up with a contingent plan had either one of them not worked out. (Not as if London went off without a hitch, however. When Paris was no longer an option, Ryanair shipped us back to the U.K. capital &mdash; just in time for the Underground workers to strike an hour before midnight on December 31, forcing us to exit the train in the middle of nowhere, Great Britain. Yeah.)</p> <h3>Dress Appropriately for the Party</h3> <p>In 2008, we stayed local and purchased tickets to a New Year&rsquo;s Eve cruise on the Hudson River, complete with hors d&rsquo;oeuvres and alcohol. Sounds perfect, right? To us too, until we got there and realized that the event was a tourist trap, filled to the brim with a sneakers-and-T-shirt crowd. We were dressed in blazers and ties &mdash; reasonable attire for a holiday party in public &mdash; but because of the atmosphere we felt overdressed and out of place. My rule of thumb is to always dress up &mdash; because you can dress down when you get there by removing the blazer and/or tie &mdash; but I would also recommend calling ahead to see what&rsquo;s expected. If it&rsquo;s a Nike-clad kind of event, embrace it. No reason to be so stuffy when everyone else is comfortable.<o:p> Don't underestimate the weather, either, if you're partying outdoors. An hour in the cold is one thing; six hours is a whole new level. Remind me to tell you about the time I took my socks off after the festivities in Times Square to find ice crystals on my frozen toes. Talk about pain.</o:p></p> <h3>Pick a Place &mdash; and Stay There</h3> <p>My husband and I would rather bar hop than stay at one location all night, but New Year&rsquo;s Eve is not the time to do that. Many places host prepaid, ticketed parties (for which you&rsquo;ll pay dearly at the door if it&rsquo;s not already sold out), and if it&rsquo;s not a ticketed event, they&rsquo;ll hit you with an inflated cover charge. This year we&rsquo;re traveling to Miami, and before the big night arrives we plan to scope out a reasonably priced party that includes an open bar (a must if you&rsquo;re paying up front) or accept an invitation to the house fiesta of a friend's friend. The lesson here is that if you&rsquo;re in an unfamiliar city, don&rsquo;t leave your good time in fate&rsquo;s hands. It will quickly turn sour, and before you know it, you&rsquo;re standing in a line listening to everyone inside counting down from 10. Even if the party itself is a bust, at least I&rsquo;ll have the two things I need most &mdash; unlimited booze and my babe. In that order.</p> <h3>Have a Back-Up Plan</h3> <p>If I&rsquo;ve learned anything from my end-of-year debacles, it&rsquo;s that Plan B is absolutely necessary. Inclement weather, fed-up subway workers, an ill DJ, a liquor shipment that didn&rsquo;t arrive on time &mdash; anything that can happen sometimes will and is apt to turn your itinerary inside out. Instead of sulking (like I&rsquo;ve been known to do) line up your options. Talk to the person with whom you plan to celebrate regarding what would happen in the totally likely event that disaster strikes. What will you do? Do you cut your losses and go home? Do you find an off-the-beaten-path party? Whatever it is, make sure you&rsquo;re on the same page about it ahead of time, because it&rsquo;s a double doozy when you can&rsquo;t agree on the backup. One plan you should have and keep, however, is how you&rsquo;ll get home. Drinking and driving should never be an option. Especially when you can have so much naughty fun in the back of a cab.</p> <p>Stay safe &mdash; and Happy New Year!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/lessons-learned-from-new-years-eves-gone-wrong">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/17-dos-and-donts-to-ensure-a-happy-new-years-eve">14 Dos and Don&#039;ts to Ensure a Happy New Year&#039;s Eve</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-by-learning-how-to-admit-youre-wrong">Change Your Life by Learning How to Admit You&#039;re Wrong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/12-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid">12 Grammar Mistakes That Are Making You Look Stupid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/12-more-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid">12 More Grammar Mistakes That Are Making You Look Stupid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-10-stupidest-things-smart-people-do">The 10 Stupidest Things Smart People Do</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips celebration international flights Mistakes New Year's Eve open bar Thu, 30 Dec 2010 14:34:40 +0000 Mikey Rox 419428 at https://www.wisebread.com Celebrating Year of the Pig with life-threatening fireworks https://www.wisebread.com/celebrating-year-of-the-pig-with-life-threatening-fireworks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/celebrating-year-of-the-pig-with-life-threatening-fireworks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000075546105_Large.jpg" alt="sky lanterns" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="126" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This Sunday (2/18) is the Chinese New Year. What better way to celebrate than with some amazing displays of Chinese ingenuity and life-threatening fireworks?</p> <h2>Sky Lanterns</h2> <p>Sky lanterns originated from Pingshi, a village located in a mountainous region outisde of Taipei. According to the Government of Taiwan:</p> <blockquote><p>Originally inhabited by indigenous people, the region was later developed by Han settlers who were often the victims of murder and robbery during earlier times. Since access to the region was inconvenient, these pioneers came up with the idea of releasing &quot;sky lanterns&quot; to let others know that they were safe and sound.&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p>Today, the lanterns are released during the Lantern Festival, the last festival of the Chinese New Year celebrations. Here's a beautifully serene scene from a recent celebration:</p> <p><object width="425" height="350"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/oEAIdbBwQGM" /> <param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="https://www.youtube.com/v/oEAIdbBwQGM" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object></p> <p>(<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEAIdbBwQGM">link</a>)</p> <p>Another spectacular view:</p> <p><object width="425" height="350"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/OpRMRM6VtKc" /> <param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="https://www.youtube.com/v/OpRMRM6VtKc" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object></p> <p>(<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpRMRM6VtKc">link</a>)</p> <h2>Yanshuai Festival</h2> <p>Peaceful sky lanterns are not the only way to celebrate. In the village of Yanshuai they mount firecrackers into beehive launchers and fire straight into the crowd!</p> <p><object width="425" height="350"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/auiIxZgGh_s" /> <param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="https://www.youtube.com/v/auiIxZgGh_s" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object></p> <p>(<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auiIxZgGh_s">link</a>)</p> <p>Here's a scene from the festival that is an insane blend of <em>Terminator,</em> <em>12 Monkeys</em>, and pure awesome:</p> <p><object width="425" height="350"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/2C9n2rbRXLE" /> <param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="https://www.youtube.com/v/2C9n2rbRXLE" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object></p> <p>(<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2C9n2rbRXLE">link</a>)</p> <p>There is a method to this madness. Also according to the Government of Taiwan:</p> <blockquote><p>It is told that in 1875, the village of Yanshui in Tainan County was stricken with a pestilence that lasted for twenty years and nearly wiped out the town's entire population. The few survivors that remained prayed to the Goddess Kuan Yin to come to inspect the ravished land. On the day of the Lantern Festival, the town residents entreated the deity Kuan Kung and the deities of Heaven to come to earth to witness their plight, lining the route with signal fires and firecrackers to help the spirits ward off evil and rid the town of disease.&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p>While the disease was wiped out, scalp burns rose 2000%. If you want to find out more, here's a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryQtYL2Ta6s">short movie</a> on the subject (it is in Chinese).</p> <h2>Eating for Prosperity</h2> <p>2007 is the Year of the Pig. Before you pig out during celebrations, check out these interesting superstitions that will bring you good luck for the rest of the year. According to Weekly Wire:</p> <blockquote><p>The foods themselves are selected mostly for their names as homonyms to prosperity, longevity, etc. <em>Bak-choy</em> sounds like the term for &quot;great wealth,&quot; so a dish with bokchoy would be included. Oysters are called &quot;<em>Hao</em>,&quot; which sounds like the word for &quot;an auspicious occasion or event,&quot; and &quot;<em>Fu</em>,&quot; as in tofu, sounds the same as &quot;riches,&quot; so a tofu dish is always present.</p> <p>Fish is always included, but this one gets a little weird. The Chinese word for fish is &quot;<em>Yu</em>,&quot; which also means &quot;surplus,&quot; something any family would want plenty of. The problem comes from eating your surplus, leaving the family with nothing. Often a spoiled fish is cooked in a spectacular fashion, as a showpiece only, not meant to be eaten.</p> <p>Sometimes a fish carved from wood is sauced to represent the fish course. Only if the host first breaks the fish into small pieces in front of them should guests ever eat the fish (or in the case of <em>Yu Sheng</em> -- Chinese New Year Salad -- where all the guests simultaneously toss the fish within the salad).&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p align="left">If you want to celebrate without throwing a feast, check out Andrea's <a href="/when-good-food-goes-bad">recipe for braised lettuce</a>. Happy Chinese New Years!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/will-chen">Will Chen</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/celebrating-year-of-the-pig-with-life-threatening-fireworks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-romantic-inexpensive-anniversary-celebrations">5 Romantic, Inexpensive Anniversary Celebrations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/watch-the-10-craziest-annual-4th-of-july-fireworks-displays">WATCH: The 10 Craziest Annual 4th of July Fireworks Displays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-spectacular-amusement-parks-for-thrill-seekers">5 Spectacular Amusement Parks for Thrill Seekers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-gamers-can-make-extra-cash">9 Ways Gamers Can Make Extra Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment celebration cultures fireworks year of the pig Sat, 17 Feb 2007 04:41:26 +0000 Will Chen 283 at https://www.wisebread.com