Sunday, February 27, 2011

Global 2011: Rooms with a View: 10 Top Hotels & Inns

Aerial view of Bora BoraImage via Wikipedia
Every traveler hopes to score a hotel room with a view, but there's no need to leave it to chance. Each of these hotels, inns, and vacation rentals comes with unbelievable views of oceans, lakes, mountains, forests, or skylines.

St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
What: Maho Bay Camps Eco Resort

Los Angeles, California
What: Andaz West Hollywood

What: Queen's Gardens Resort

Paris, France
What: Shangri-La

Bora Bora, French Polynesia
What: InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa

Hilo, Hawaii
What: The Falls at Reed's Island

San Francisco, California
What: Cavallo Point -- The Lodge at the Golden Gate

Seattle, Washington
What: Edgewater Hotel

Vienna, Austria
What: Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom

Weehawken, New Jersey
What: Sheraton Lincoln Harbor

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Global 2011: Conversation Starters From The Pro's

Cover of "Wolves in Chic Clothing: A Nove...Cover of Wolves in Chic Clothing: A Novel
Denise Fennell
Stand-up comic and lead actress from Off-Broadway hit, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding
“The art of what I do, as far as improv, is about initiating conversation with strangers. I look at someone and try to find something on their body that I can connect with; I look at clothes—shoes, ties, whatever. I think guys find it endearing if you say something like, ‘I bought my dad the same shirt.’ It’s less of a come-on that way. I also think girls can get away with sillier things. I’ll stare at people until they notice me and say, ‘What are you looking at?’ and it totally works in terms of breaking the ice. You have to realize that the worst thing that can happen is he (or she) won’t respond and then you didn’t have a chance anyway—so you’ve got nothing to lose.”

Celebrity hairdresser to Bill Clinton, Nicole Kidman, and Liv Tyler
“Don’t play it cool. Being intimidating and aloof is no way to start a dialogue, or a relationship. Being casual and friendly goes a long way towards establishing trust with someone. Also, use the fact that everyone has an image or fantasy of who they are inside. Tell someone they remind you of a certain celebrity and maybe continue the dialogue by asking, ‘If you could be any celebrity, who would it be?’ It’s about finding out what someone’s dreams may be. Then you can start connecting with them.”

Jill Kargman and Carrie Karasyov
Socialites and authors of the book, Wolves in Chic Clothing
“Eavesdropping can be a clever entry point to a conversation. Let’s call it the ‘accidental eavesdrop’ because you don’t want to be rude. But especially someplace like New York, where people are literally on top of each other, it’s easy to overhear something and join in with something fun and clever.”

Danny Millan
Co-owner of the New York City café Kingsize and bartender
“Treat the person you want to talk to as a human being—as opposed to someone you’re trying to pick up. You can just say, ‘I’m not trying to hit on you, but you’ve got a beautiful smile.’ And if that’s the end of the conversation, let it be the end of the conversation. Be respectful and don’t force it. Everyone appreciates being told something nice, no strings attached. Be earnest, give a real compliment, and maintain eye contact when you’re talking. A woman can be wearing a low-cut top but make sure to talk to her—and not to them. Women are very quick to pick up on these nuances.”

Donald P. Gregg
Former ambassador to South Korea
“I think showing you have a sense of humor is a real door-opener. A willingness to be self-deprecating is often helpful. And remember that sometimes it’s a question of not saying too much—not falling all over yourself. Being low-key is good. And remember: The staring over your shoulder, or looking beyond the person you’re talking to as if to see who else is there—that’s a killer.”

Dr. Joy Browne
National radio-show host
“Pick something in the environment around you that you can comment on, like ‘Isn’t that the ugliest painting you ever saw?’ It’s something they can focus on, comment on, and it’s non-threatening. Or just be bold: Once I was in a party at a bar. I walked in and there were about 50 women—attractive, smart, well-dressed—but virtually no men. I walked up to the little cluster of men and said, ‘My friends and I are over there in the back, and they triple-dog-dared me to invite you guys over.’ The worst that someone can say is bug off, but so what?”

Paula Froelich
New York Post Page Six gossip columnist and author of It!: Nine Secrets of the Rich and Famous That’ll Take You To the Top
“Start with a compliment; there just aren’t enough compliments going around. A guy once looked at me and said, ‘I’m sorry to interrupt, but I just want to tell you I think you are really beautiful.’ It was short, simple and sweet and I was so flattered I was speechless, which rarely happens. But make sure it’s sincere and honest. Having a good conversation is about finding common ground, and that takes listening. You may only be interested in their butt, but you won’t get any closer to the butt if you don’t work the head.”

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Global 2011: Gorgeous new options for wedding dresses

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 10:  A  Model   s...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeThe last decade's trend of lavish, over-the-top weddings are slowly becoming a thing of the past as recessionista brides are looking for less expensive options for their big day. According to multiple reports, the average bride spends $4,500 on wedding attire, but a recent Shine poll found that 42 percent of our readers would only spend $500 to $1,000 on a wedding dress. If the latter sounds more like your price range, you're in luck! There are some new, wallet-friendly gowns on the market from a range of retailers. Looking for something that isn't your basic white, strapless dress? We've found plenty of unusual designs to meet every bridal style. Costco (yes, that Costco) has officially joined the bridal party, with moderately priced gowns up to size 24 coming soon. On March 14, online e-tailer Shopbop will launch their wedding boutique with on-trend dresses by nearly a dozen hot designers. Vera Wang, perhaps the world's most sought-after wedding outfitter, has just launched a gorgeous line for David's Bridal. Urban Outfitters Inc., the company that owns Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People, has launched a new bridal brand called BHLDN, which offers up an array of cuts and colors for the hipster-bride. J.Crew's preppy classic dresses have maintained a popular spot in the bridal arena for the past few years, and their latest collection doesn't disappoint. And last but not least, Victoria's Secret's newly-launched Sexy Little Bride collection features accessories and undergarments to get you from bridal shower to honeymoon.

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Global 2011: 7 Products Under $5 That Made Millions

Post-it notesImage via Wikipedia
America is the country of innovation and inventions, big and small. But what about those smallest, least expensive of inventions? Here are seven products under five dollars that made a million -- and in some cases, a lot more than that.

1. Post-it Notes

2. Crazy Straw

3. Slinky

4. Silly Bandz

5. Pet Rock

6. Antenna Ball

7. Koosh Ball

The Bottom Line

Are you inspired? Whether your idea answers a need, like the Post-It, or a fad, like the Pet Rock, imagination can yield big bucks if you persevere. The bad news is that the odds are not in your favor as an inventor -- 99.9% of inventions never see a successful product launch, so don't plan to spend your future millions just yet. The good news is that these inventors prove that you can beat those odds, with a good idea, some

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Global 2011: 8 Want Brooklyn Decker’s Body?

Brooklyn Decker in June 2009.Image via Wikipedia
Spring is on the horizon and it’s time to shed that winter fat. So I asked Brooklyn Decker for a few of her body-fab food, fitness, and lifestyle tips. After all, according to the movie starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler,Brooklyn has the type of body that makes “normal girls” insecure about being in a bathing suit (something no woman ever wants to hear).

While her body is pretty much perfect, Brooklyn says that even she has a hard time when it comes to balancing life with exercise and healthy eating. “I, like most women, get caught up in my day-to-day life and job. Sometimes, I get so busy that I forget, or I lose my days and don't allow myself to fit a workout session in. I also go through phases where I become so strict that I go to the gym every day. My biggest struggle is just finding that balance and making my routine consistent. I want it to last a lifetime!” Here's how Brooklyn stays in shape and keeps her body trim.

Brooklyn’s 5 Slimming Secrets

1. Combine Cardio and Weight Training
2. Don’t Forget About Food
3. Ab-Trimming Foods
4. Hydrate  Your Skin from the Outside!
5. Hydrate Your Skin from the Inside!

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Global 2011: Irina Shayk Doesn’t Shave Her Legs

Gair's work has been the main cover photo in v...Image via WikipediaSports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model Irina Shayk apparently doesn’t shave her legs because here she is in LA yesterday looking a tad, I dunno, let’s say “Kardashian-esque.”

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Global 2011: 3 Reasons to Hit the Snooze Button

The delightful Eko alarm clock - it's only 4in...Image via Wikipedia
In an ideal world, SNOOZE buttons and even alarm clocks wouldn't exist: We'd all sleep seven to eight hours a night—the amount experts recommend getting to prevent serious health concerns such as diabetes, hypertension and more—and wake up feeling naturally refreshed and alert. The reality: Many of us fall short on sack time (nearly 60 percent of SELF readers reported logging less than seven to eight hours a night in a recent survey, and 15 percent said they got by on a measly six hours or less), so chances are, we feel groggy and confused and we crave more shut-eye when the alarm starts blaring.

On the flip side, bingeing on sleep to catch up on missed zzz's can throw off your circadian rhythm, your body's 24-hour clock that plays a role in sleep and wakefulness, says Amy Wolfson, Ph.D., author of The Woman's Book of Sleep. Sleeping in—and hitting the hay that night later than usual as a result—also makes it hard to readjust to your usual routine, so you start the next morning in a fog.

So is it ever a good idea to ignore your alarm clock? Experts say yes! (And I say, Phew!) Here are three times you have the green light to hit SNOOZE:

  1. You've racked up serious sleep debt
  2. Your schedule looks brutal
  3. You're run down and choosing between sleep and exercise

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Global 2011: 5 secrets women shouldn't keep from their doctors

Various pillsImage via Wikipedia
Let's be honest—when it comes to confessing your most personal issues to doctors, it's tempting to fudge the details, whether it's those diet pills you borrowed from a friend or that fling you had with a neighbor.

1. "Those pills you prescribed? I haven't been taking them."
2. "I'm doing a cleanse to lose 10 pounds."
3. "My sexual past isn't what it seems."
4. "My family's health history is not so perfect."
5. "I'm cheating on you."

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Global 2011: You Still Need Business Cards

Visiting card, business card, name cardImage via Wikipedia
In these days of BlackBerrys (Nasdaq: RIMM - News) and e-mail contact lists, the humble paper business card may look like a relic. Does passing them out signal you as hopelessly behind the curve?

Not at all. In a world where so much communication happens electronically, the business card remains a valuable, tangible way to promote yourself and your company. The key is to produce cards that are memorable and informative, ones that can instantly sum up your brand in a glance.

While social media may get all the press hype, the vast majority of business interaction in this country still takes place face to face. Most business owners still interact with potential customers and partners personally at Chamber of Commerce events, the local Rotary Club or informal social gatherings.

In all those instances, exchanging business cards remains a primary way to formalize your interaction. It helps the person you've met remember your name and the name of your business -- sealing the deal, if you will. (How often have you been introduced to someone, only to forget their name within minutes?)

In the best-case scenario, the person you meet keeps your card and adds you to their list of contacts, either by putting the card in a Rolodex or scanning it into an electronic database (the card itself will probably get tossed, but by then it has served its purpose). Either way, the card helped cement you and your business in the mind of the person you met.

Business cards may be a tried-and-true marketing device, but that's not to say they haven't changed with the times. For a look at recent trends, browse The Business Card group on Flickr or go to Cardonizer, where users have posted stylish, creative examples.

The key is to keep your cards looking up-to-date but not overcrowded. Cards these days cram ever more information into a small space -- in addition to the company name, address, phone number and email address, some people are adding their company's website, Facebook fan page link and Twitter stream. The result? A visually confusing mess.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Global 2011: 21 phrases to use to help you FIGHT RIGHT with your sweetheart

agreeing to disagreeImage by the|G|™ via Flickr
Here are twenty-one phrases that help turn down the heat of anger:

  1. Please try to understand my point of view.
  2. Wait, can I take that back?
  3. You don’t have to solve this—it helps me just to talk to you.
  4. This is important to me. Please listen.
  5. I overreacted, I’m sorry.
  6. I see you’re in a tough position.
  7. I can see my part in this.
  8. I hadn’t thought of it that way before.
  9. I could be wrong.
  10. Let’s agree to disagree on that.
  11. This isn’t just your problem, it’s our problem.
  12. I’m feeling unappreciated.
  13. We’re getting off the subject.
  14. You’ve convinced me.
  15. Please keep talking to me.
  16. I realize it's not your fault.
  17. That came out all wrong.
  18. I see how I contributed to the problem.
  19. What are we really fighting about?
  20. How can I make things better?
  21. I’m sorry.
  22. I love you.

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Global 2011: Thor Trailer

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Global 2011: Five iPhone physics puzzlers to topple Angry Birds from its perch

Angry bird family growsImage by haikugirlOz via Flickr
Everyone with an iPhone or an Android phone has heard of Angry Birds by now. According to the sales charts, more than a few have actually played it. Part of the game’s appeal is its simple controls and physics-minded puzzle scheme that has players firing various kinds of birds at structures to squash pigs hiding within them. But Angry Birds isn’t the only game that does physics well, nor is it the only iPhone title that uses slingshots, living projectiles and smashed enemies to score you points. Below we’ve compiled five iPhone titles that will push your physics knowledge and puzzle-solving skills to the test, both with and without flying characters.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Global 2011: 10 things I don't want to hear my husband say

Pink bathroom on Second Life, with a woman was...Image via Wikipedia
What I don't want to hear from you, my darling husband ...

1. Details of how successful or unsuccessful your trip to the bathroom was.

2. That you didn't like the dinner I slaved over all day long.

3. How annoying you find the kids, three seconds after walking in the door.

4. The dirty joke you heard at work.

5. That there are no clean socks.

6. That you think I look fat.

7. That I haven't changed in two and a half days.

8. That your head hurts and your throat tickles and you are really sleepy.

9. That you're in the mood.

10. That you managed to wrangle all of the kids out of the house, to the museum, out to lunch and to the bathroom with no minor catastrophes.;_ylt=AurkYdyZLrxnm0wwa5go5B0Ib6U5

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Global 2011: 8 Last-Minute Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Children's Valentine in somewhat questionable ...Image via Wikipedia
Even if you’ve waited until the 11th hour to do your shopping (or the holiday almost slipped your mind altogether) you don’t have to look like a stupid cupid this Valentine’s Day. Just check out the following eight thoughtful gift ideas that are easy and fast to pull off.

1. Print Artful, Anything-but-Average Greetings

2. Sweeten Up Your Bouquet

3. Set a Romantic Dinner for Two

4. Surprise with a Getaway

5. Send a Personalized E-Gift Card

6. Rush Delivery on Flowers

7. Sign Up Your Sweetie for Food-of-the-Month Clubs

8. Take Advantage of In-Store Pickup and Overnight Shipping

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Global 2011: 3 Things You Don't Know About a Man Until You Marry Him

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 30:  A man sits in a vinta...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
I learned this a decade ago during my tenure as a bouncer at a New York City bar. There I saw all the deceptive ways men present themselves during the courting process. Looking back, I realize I was guilty of them too. Karel dated a very different Aaron than the one she settled into a long-term relationship with. Most women do. Let me explain.

1. Single men are dripping in cash.

2. Single guys clean up nice (and often).

3. Single guys live for foreplay.

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Global 2011: Extra Fees: What Airlines Really Charge

Airbus A330, a new aircraft introduced in 1994Image via Wikipedia
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics ranked the 10 domestic airlines that earned the highest revenue from extra fees in the third quarter of 2009, and used this data to find how much passengers on each of these airlines paid on average for extra charges. The charges included in these statistics are baggage fees and reservation change fees, as well as pet transportation costs, charges associated with redeeming frequent flier miles and standby passenger fees.

The silver lining to this story, if there is one, is that most customers seem to be able to avoid the majority of extra airline fees by planning ahead. Otherwise, the average fees paid per passenger would certainly be much higher than they are here.

1. Delta
2. Northwest Airlines
3. US Airways
4. American Airlines
5. Alaska Airlines
6. Continental Airlines
7. United Airlines
8. AirTran
9. JetBlue
10. Southwest Airlines

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Global 2011: Heirs to Billionaires

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 30: (L-R) Steve Del Rosar...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
The fortunes passed down from billionaire parents to their children have allowed businesses to continue under well-known family names long after the principals are gone. Those fortunes have also provided the resources to get a new venture off the ground.

Whether they're passing down a longstanding empire to the next generation or providing the backing for a new investment, the wealth that billionaire parents have handed down has created opportunities that otherwise might not exist.

Here are the children of several high-profile billionaires. While it's uncertain if the parents will pass down all of their riches, some of children have already used their parents' wealth and influence to their advantage.

  1. David, Dylan and Andrew Lauren
  2. Emma and Georgina Bloomberg
  3. Amanda Hearst
  4. Paris and Nicky Hilton
  5. Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Global 2011: 5 Ways to Cheat Death

Issues in Mental Health NursingImage via Wikipedia
We've been told that the only sure things are death and taxes. But just as creative accountants have helped many men triumph over their 1040s, we can help you outrun the reaper. Maybe it's a game you can't ultimately win. But by following these 5 tips, you sure can send it into overtime.

  1. Live Higher Up
  2. Make Relationships Last
  3. Brush Your Teeth
  4. Breathe Clean Air
  5. Accept Your Age

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Global 2011: WSJ’s iPad 2 story deflates some “lofty” expectations

Photograph showing Apple Newton hand held comp...Image via Wikipedia
Yep, it's another iPad 2 rumor story, this time from the Wall Street Journal—except this one seems as focused on lowering expectations for Apple's next-generation tablet as it is on hyping its new and improved features.

The reportedly in-production iPad 2 will indeed add "at least one" camera for video chat, the anonymously sourced Journal story claims—raising the possibility that it won't get a rear-facing camera for recording HD video, like on such Android-powered competitors as the Dell Streak 7, the Motorola Xoom, and the LG G-Slate.

The new iPad will also be "thinner and lighter," but the display may "disappoint customers" hoping for a "significant improvement" in resolution, the Journal reports.

While the current iPad's display resolution of 1024 by 768 is nothing to sneeze at, earlier rumors had it that the new iPad might get an ultra-dense, double-resolution screen, similar to the "retina" display on the iPhone 4.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Global 2011: Supermarket Standoff: Potato Chips

A pack of Walkers "Salt and Vinegar"...Image via Wikipedia
We have embarked on a taste test tour of supermarket foods. We nibble, we score, and we share the results to help you avoid the paralysis of Brand Choice Overload. Today's topic: potato chips.

Bon Appetit's editorial headquarters is moving from Los Angeles and joining the small-but-sturdy web staff here in our New York office. Why is this important to you? We had double the amount of taste testers on the job last week for this supermarket standoff.

And we needed them. Eleven brands of potato chips is a lot of salt on the tongue. We only tested brands that are available nationwide (sorry, no UTZ), and stuck to straight-up fried chips. No baked versions, no wonky flavors; just potato chips. While we crunched and munched, dietitian Sandra Frank pored over nutrition labels, calculating which brands are the best--well, least bad--for you. Find both our winners for taste and Frank's picks for health after the jump.

Our Favorites for Flavor

#1 Zapp's Potato Chips

#2 Dirty All-Natural Potato Chips

#3 Wise All Natural Potato Chips

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Global 2011: What Do Men Want for Valentine's Day?

Valentines heartImage via Wikipedia
Buying gifts for men can be difficult. Usually, boyfriends, fiancées, or husbands will go the “I don't really need anything” route or maybe if you're lucky, he'll tell you, “I can use some new socks.”

So, this year, to make sure you don't crash and burn or become too stressed with Valentine's Day gifts for him (since after all, it's technically your day), here are some gift ideas that will mean the world to him.


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Monday, February 7, 2011

Global 2011: Credit card had a 79.9% APR from First Premier Bank

Credit cardsImage via Wikipedia
Toni Riss had a credit card with a 79.9% interest rate.

The 58-year-old woman from Texas thought she struck gold when she found the First Premier card, which is aimed specifically at consumers with poor credit.

"I had an accident on a motorcycle, went through bankruptcy to pay for medical expenses and my credit went to hell in a hand basket, so I was looking for credit cards for people with bad credit" Riss said.

They granted her a card with a $300 limit -- typical for new customers -- and a starting rate of 29.9%, which Riss said she considered decent given her credit score.

But about six months after opening the card -- at the end of 2009 -- she received an unwelcome surprise in the mail.

"I about had a heart attack when I got a disclosure notice saying that my starting rate of 29.9% was going up to 79.9%," said Riss. "It was ludicrous. Talk about a highway robbery."

At that same time, First Premier Bank launched a new credit card with the sky-high 79.9% rate.

The card proved popular with consumers, said First Premier Bankcard CEO Miles Beacom, but the performance was bad: "A lot of the people ran up the card, defaulted and went directly to charge off."

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Global 2011: 5 tips for bonding with her better

A bar of milk chocolate for baking.Image via Wikipedia
Valentine’s Day: Celebration of love, or calculated plot to destroy romance?

Think about it: There’s nothing more romantic than a spontaneous outpouring of love. But that’s one thing you can’t have on V-day, when we’re all supposed to move in lockstep formation down to the jewelry/flower/stationery store. How about cozying up over an intimate dinner for two? Fugghedaboutit: Every restaurant in town is packed to the gills and about as romantic as the mosh pit at a Green Day concert. And what about being fit, healthy, and ready for lovin’? Good-bye, sexy body: There’s nothing like an enormous cardboard heart filled with carbohydrates to ruin the way your belly looks, and feels.

When it comes to chocolate disaster, temptation is everywhere. From the coworker who sets out a community bowl, to the aisles lined with sweets at your local grocery store, there’s no love for your waistline.

But I have good news: If you know what to look for and can exercise a little self-discipline, indulging your sweet tooth isn’t nearly as sinful as you might think. That’s why I’ve dedicated this post to arming you with the knowledge you need to enjoy a romantic evening, compliments of the new Eat This, Not That! and Cook This, Not That! books. Here's how to embrace the sweet (and still guilt-free) side of life:

Not That!
Ghirardelli Milk & Caramel Chocolate Squares (1 square)

Eat This Instead!
Ghirardelli Intense Dark Twilight Delight Squares, 72% Cacao (1 square)

Not That!
Russell Stover Milk Chocolate Almond Delights (1 piece)

Eat This Instead!
Milk Chocolate Chocolate Whips (1 piece)

Not That!
Lindor Mini Milk Chocolate Hearts (1 heart)

Eat This Instead!
Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate Bar w/ a Touch of Sea Salt  (1 square)

Not That!
Fannie May Cappuccino Truffle (1 piece)

Eat This Instead!
Chocolate-Covered Citrus Peel (1 piece)

Not That!
Hershey’s King Size Valentine Marshmallow Heart (1 heart)

Eat This Instead!
Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Kisses (3 pieces)

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Global 2011: Are Commitment and Exclusivity The Same?

Yue Ding: CommitmentImage via Wikipedia
We figured that exclusive simply meant that there was no hooking up with anyone else allowed: no making out, no dating.

Our theory on commitment was that it evolves slowly, long after exclusivity.

"If I'm committed, I'm picking your dad up from the airport."

Commitment is when lives are intertwined so much that your lives become one unified life.

To summarize, here are the signs to look for at each stage:

How to know you're "Exclusive"

  1. You Agree About it Through Conversation

How You Know You're Committed

  1. You've Been Dating a Significant Amount Of Time
  2. You've Each Met Immediate Family and Best Friends
  3. You're "Living Together" In Some Form
  4. There Are Unspoken Expectations

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