The Dreaded Step: Meeting Her Folks

Meet the Parents

Meeting your girl’s parents for the first time? This is a serious step in a relationship as it signifies the end of mere casual dating. A lot of guys fear meeting their partner’s folks.

Bang

Caution! This may or may not happen.

You worry whether they will like you or not or on how you will act around them or what gift to bring them. It is normal for a guy to feel this way. However, it’s not always as scary as it seems. So guys, ace the first meeting and win the hearts of your girl’s parents by following these.

Get a favorable impression. First impressions always count and you definitely want to impress her parents in the first meeting. How then will you make a good impression on them? First, it’s best to know who you are dealing with. Ask your girl about them. This will give you an idea of what kind of parents they are and this will also give you good topics for conversation. Cultures and traditions may be different between you so this will be helpful in knowing what topics to avoid.

Parents

A background check would suffice. You don’t want to be in for a large surprise.

Dress appropriately. Looks can be an important factor in creating the first impression. So care enough to dress up. Also, dressing properly is a way of showing respect to them. Consider the place where you are meeting to know if you need to wear something formal or if something casual would be okay. What’s appropriate depends also on their tradition. But certainly you got to look fresh and clean so you better take a shower first. Then go for clean, properly ironed and well-fitted clothes. Make sure they are free of stains or wrinkles.

Dress to Impress

Dress up extra sharp for the occasion

Have a good conversation. Be interested and pay attention to the things they talk about. Ask them about their daughter; this will give them the favorable impression that you’re really interested in her. Also, share some things about yourself to let them know just who their daughter is with. And if you have a difference of opinion, you may say it, but make sure to say it in a respectful manner. Keep the conversation polite and just skip the dirty jokes.

Good Conversation

“Oh she got her eyes from this dude, now I can’t unsee.”

Treat your girl extra special. Parents pay close attention to how you treat their daughter. Hence when you’re around them, make sure to treat their daughter extra nice. This is a way of proving to them your good intentions. Observe them for clues about what other actions are acceptable to them.  But hold back on public displays of affection or the so-called PDA. So avoid being a little too touchy and save that when you and your girl are alone.

Gentleman

Be a gentleman

Be yourself. Try to be true and act natural. Don’t double the trouble. Getting too nervous will do no good and may even lead to problems itself. Just relax and put on your best behavior.

Meet the Parents - Don't be Nervous

Just relax… breathe in, breathe out.

The first meeting with the parents might not be perfect or they might not like you right away. But hey, it is just the first meeting. You should not feel bad if it doesn’t go perfectly. Just plan another visit when some time has passed.

Beach Season Basic

Light Packing

Plane

Heading to the beach is always an exciting idea. The warm weather and the view of the sunset have you longing to have some quality time at the beach. If you want to enjoy your beach vacation, one savvy tip is to pack as light and compact as possible.

Overpack

This could be you if you don’t pack lightly.

PACK. DON’T OVERPACK.

Small Backpack

Packing light so that everything will fit into a carry-on beach bag is a skill not everybody can get the hang of because people tend to over pack. But traveling light is a no-brainer. Yes, it can be done, especially when it’s a beach trip and especially being a man – it spares you from the pressure that makes most women bring their entire wardrobe.

First, consider the weight and size of the bag itself. Leave behind bag with wheels because they weigh extra pounds more. Just opt for the light one which has enough pockets and compartments to help keep you organized.

Small Beach Bag

You need not pack that much. Determine what and how much stuff you really need to take with you to the beach. Think about what you’ll be doing and needing on your trip day by day. A helpful way is to make a list of the things you would like to bring. Ask yourself if you really will use each item.  As you write what you really need, you will realize what you don’t need. Then try to strip away those that are not necessary. This ensures that nothing essential is overlooked and nothing unnecessary is packed.

Packing List

Here’s a good example of a travel list. It includes the basics, hygiene tools, clothes, and miscellaneous things

A beach trip needs far less clothes than what is in your list.  It’s all about choosing the right clothing pieces to fit the needs of your trip. Choose the right clothes that correspond to the weather. Pack enough clothing to stay cool. The lighter clothing you have, the better. Of course, get rid of the pants and just wear shorts and take more short-sleeve or sleeveless tops. Avoid clothing that weighs more and choose the quick-drying one.

For footwear, leave those bulky shoes at home and bring slippers or sandals. Waterproof, plastic or rubber ones are best. They are lighter and less bulky.

Also, don’t forget to pack other essentials needed for your beach vacation. When heading out into the sunshine, give your skin extra protection by using sunscreen; and sunglasses and hats to protect your face from harmful rays. You can’t afford to leave these items.

THE PROS OF TRAVELING LIGHT

Light Packing

It is really worth the effort to save weight when going to the beach. It is convenient and less tiresome to travel since you only have a bag to carry around.

Lighter load also makes your trip better because you only have a few items to keep an eye on hence you are less likely to lose them or to leave something behind.

There you have it. Know your comfort needs and packing style and choose what’s best for you. This will make your beach vacation more comfortable and more enjoyable. Happy packing and have a perfect beach vacation!

Chivalry: A Gentleman’s Must-Have Accessory

Man Carries Shopping Bags

 

“A gentleman is someone who does, not what he wants to do, but what he should do.”

– Haruki Murakami

The “gentleman” trend is making a big hype not only in fashion but also in music. Korean Youtube sensation PSY recently launched his second single entitled, Gentleman. The song is about looking like a gentleman, but not acting as one.

Psy Eating

Come to think of it, a lot of us are going back to the chivalric fashion but leaving behind chivalry per se. We grew up with the idea that the best model of a guy is the gentleman type, yet we fail to actually grow up to become one.

The English Gentleman


The English Gentleman by Richard Brathwait. This is one of the earliest records that show some exemplary qualities of a gentleman (1661)

A lot of people declared chivalry dead for quite some time. We say: it’s just in a coma.

Let’s start a movement to revive it once again. We’ve extensively discussed before how to look like a gentleman, this time let us talk about how to act like one.

Open doors for her

Hold Door

The best way to impress your lady is by holding the door for her. This applies to all types of door whether it’s the door of a small room or that of a car. Opening a door for your lady not only leaves a good impression, but also gives her a subconscious idea that you, as a man, can open opportunities for her.

Protect her on the streets

“If you’re walking with your lady on the sidewalk, I still like to see a man walking street-side, to protect the lady from traffic. I grew up with that, and I hate to see something like that get lost. I still like to see that a man opens the door. I like those touches of chivalry that are fast disappearing.”

-Betty White

Couples Crossing Street

The ladies should be at the side of the street opposite the running car.

Chivalry is often associated with the medieval ages. Nonetheless, it can still be applied in the modern times. While crossing the street, walking at the side of where the cars are going will make her feel safe. This act doesn’t really make a difference when both of you get run over by a car, but it does make her feel special.

Carry her bag (only heavy ones)

Man Carries Shopping Bags

Don’t be THAT guy who carries his girlfriend’s hand bag. It’s painful to the eyes, annoying and most of all degrading. It is degrading for you because you are the man in the relationship. Secondly, it is degrading for your girl because you are indirectly telling her that she can’t handle things on her own. There’s a thin line between chivalry and chauvinism. Learn how to distinguish it. Carry her bag only when she can’t handle it.

Not a Man Bag

You may think that this is cute. It is not.

 

Offer your arm

William & Kate

Make her feel like a queen. Your queen.

Nobody cares if you have the guns for it. Although an extra bicep wouldn’t hurt, the fact that you offered your arm to her already guarantees that you have a place in her heart. Take note that a lady often sacrifices comfort just to look good for you. Can you imagine the pain of walking in high heels?  Tell her that you will always be there for her by offering your arm.

Pay for her dinner

Feed the Panda

Make sure you pay for her dinner on your first date. If your partner insists that she pays her share, insist harder against it. Nonetheless, there’s nothing wrong with going Dutch at least once in a while. Just make sure you contribute the larger amount.

Being a gentleman is a commitment to serve the women, children and elderly. Nobody said it was easy. Manhood itself is a complicated thing. It requires discipline and a good heart. The best way to gain respect is to become a dignified gentleman.

Spring Cleaning Your Wallet

Stuffed Wallet

Wallet

There are many mysteries in life that are left unanswered. Like how the universe came to be? Is there life on other planets? Is there heaven or hell? But the greatest paradox in life is the stuff inside a man’s wallet.

Admit it, you have stuff inside your wallet that makes you say, “how did that get in there!?” There are receipts of items you don’t remember buying. There are calling cards of people you don’t remember meeting. Some of you might even find a condom that you’re not planning on actually using.

Stuffed Wallet

There are items that SHOULD always be inside men’s wallet. Aside from ready cash, here are some important items that every guy should have:

Government Issued ID with pertinent information

These always come in handy. Pertinent information includes your birth date, home address, blood type, and a contact number of a person in case of emergency. You are living in a civilized society and as much as you want to roam around incognito, you can’t just do that anymore. You don’t want to be tagged as John Doe when authorities find your dead body in a trash bin (of course this is just worst case scenario).

Brandii Bitstrips License

3 pieces of your calling card

Unless you’re a politician, three calling cards are enough. Business opportunities may pop-up anytime, anywhere. Potential clients and business partner are always out there. Always be ready to flip a calling card whenever possible.

James Bond Calling Card

“Bond. James Bond” The classiest way to hand out a calling card

Plastic money

It is inevitable that you will run out of cash. However, you must consider swiping these as your last resort. If you have a habit of putting your wallet at your pant’s back pocket, don’t stuff credit cards in there. The heat in your buttocks while sitting down may disintegrate the magnetic strip containing the account information.

 Credit Cards

You should also take note of these items that DO NOT BELONG inside your wallet:

Condoms

Putting condoms inside your wallet is more of a show than real action. You’re not being ready when you store it there, you’re being careless. Condoms deteriorate inside a wallet. Stuff it somewhere else.

Wallet Condom

Receipts

We are living in the smart phone age. Utilize it. Snap a picture of an important receipt or bill. You may dispose the paper if you want, but if it does have sentimental value, put it in a box along with your other hoardings.

Cluttered Receipts

Coins

Wallets are for bills, not loose change. Coins can damage the structure of your wallet. Same is true with keys and other metals.

Harry - Gringotts

Your wallet ain’t Gringotts Harry!

Back in the old days, a fat wallet means that a man is rich. Nowadays, a fat wallet connotes a mild hoarding problem. A bad habit is difficult to break. You may stuff useless things inside your wallet subconsciously. If you can’t fold your bi-fold wallet, then we have bad news for you! Relieve your wallet from all the burden and if wallets can talk, it will definitely thank you.

Driver’s License image from: http://bitstrips.com/r/D4PKL. Don’t carry condoms in your wallet image from: http://www.rubberrevolutiondc.com/condom-university.

How to Look Good Naked in 30 Minutes

Your overall well-being is important to us. Being always on the move can take a toll on your personal life. Yes, you may earn more income by drowning yourself with work but it can negatively affect your health and physique.

Going to the gym is the best way to keep your muscles in great shape. But as Sweet Brown would probably say, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” We understand that time is important to the modern man. Two to three hours at the gym can be a big burden on your work schedule. Sometimes, you just can’t fit it in your busy itinerary no matter how much you want it.

Fret not! A good 30-minute workout a day is enough to get in shape! You can slip these exercises in the morning before you take a shower. These exercises are convenient anywhere because you will not need any additional weights. Here’s how:

Push Ups

Never underestimate the good ‘ol push-up. The muscles worked include the abs, the deltoid, the pecs, and the triceps. It’s a classic workout but still very effective. Try committing slowly to 50 push-ups a day, working your way up to a hundred.

Glute Bridge

Here’s something for the glutes. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Raise your hips off the ground while contracting your abs and glutes. Avoid arching your back. Slowly lower yourself to the ground. Do 12 to 15 reps.

Burpee

Do the ‘burpee’. Squat and place your hands on the floor, then spring your feet into a push-up position. Drop to the floor, and then push back up to jump vertically (as high as possible). Do 3 sets for 5 reps with 45 second recovery.

Body Lunges

Stand on your feet, shoulder-width apart. Take a big step forward and lunge down without your knee going over your toe. Go back up and repeat. You can pack in some weights if that’s a bit too easy for you. It affects your quads, hamstrings and glutes.

Bicycle Crunches

There are a lot of 5-minute ab workouts out there all over the web. Check out this 5 minute abs workout by sixpackshortcuts:

Working out is not just for vanity. It’s for your overall well-being. It makes everything you wear look good on you. Heck, it even makes you look great naked. Everybody knows that you’re working your arse off. We know that you are working for your future. But remember that that future you are saving up for would not be as great on a hospital bed. Invest in your body. Work out and be strong.

 

Wax On, Wax Off: Washing Your Car like a Pro

New Car

There are two things in this world that a man never forgets: his first love and his first car. Owning a car is one of the many signs that you have moved up in life. It’s one of those moments that can make you feel genuinely happy.

 Car Depreciation

Sadly, a car is not an investment. Vehicles depreciate once you drive it off the dealer’s lot. Unless you own a collectible car, don’t expect it to increase in value any time soon. The least you can do is slow down its depreciation by treating it like a baby. And just like a baby, you have to bathe it regularly.

Washing your car is an art in itself. You have to follow a certain process in order to effectively clean it; otherwise, you risk the car to different damages. Here are general guidelines on how to wash your wheels like a pro:

Make sure that the windows, doors and compartment are closed. Cool down your car and make sure it is in a shaded area. Don’t believe everything you see on TV. Those chicks washing their cars outside under streaking heat is only for show. Sunlight prematurely dries your car. It leaves soap residues that may, in the long run, ruin the paint.

Car Wash Girls

You’re doing it right girls! Wash it in a shaded area.

Fill two buckets with water. One bucket should be filled with car soap, and the other is for washing away dirt in your sponge.

Car Wash Tools

Now get the car properly wet. See to it that the car is thoroughly wet before you remove the dirt. Never wipe dusts with dry cloth because loose particle can damage the car. First, you need to focus on the dirtiest part of the car: the wheels. Brush the rim like you’re brushing your teeth, strong but gentle. This can be a very dirty job because who knows what’s stuck in there.

Dirty Wheels

Using a separate sponge, wash the body of the car. Starting from the roof and moving all the way down. Put extra attention to the glass and rubbers of your car. Never use alternative products for car soap, such as dishwashing detergent or body soap. Although some might recommend hair conditioner as a good alternative, you may not want to risk an expensive car paint job.

Wash the Car

After thoroughly going through all the exterior parts of the car, give it one final rinse. It’s better to use the natural flow of your hose without any pressure. As always, start from the top moving down.

Water Hose

You should dry your car immediately after washing, lest the water spots which beats the purpose of washing your car. The most effective way is using a water blade. If you can’t stand the hair-raising screech, use a microfiber towel. Make sure that every part of your car is dry before applying any car wax.

Water Spot Marks

When buffing the exteriors, make sure you move it in a straight line. Just imagine yourself under Mr. Miyagi’s tutelage doing wax-on, wax-off, only in a front-back manner.

Wax On, Wax Off

Car washing is one of those few skills that a modern man should learn. While it is true that professional car washers can be found left and right, it is still a good thing to learn on your own. For one, you can save money. Secondly, you can treat it as a great exercise. But more importantly, it teaches a man to stand up on his own.