Life is a journey, and for many of us our journey takes us to new and vibrant places for a handful of reasons across the span of our lifetime such as landing a dream job, starting a family, or moving on to the next chapter in life. For those who are looking for a fresh place to hang their hats, the following four American cities are wonderful places to start over.
From its awe-inspiring scenic beauty and relatively low unemployment rate to its strong local economy, Anchorage is a top city to live and work. For people looking to elevate their careers, consider that over a quarter of the companies in Anchorage are planning on hiring new workers, with job prospects in the financial, construction, education, leisure and health service industries being especially strong, according to MSN. Job seekers who are looking for a new career and a promising job market are sure to do well with a move way up north. Forget the all-work no-play mentality—Anchorage is a great for location for outdoor enthusiasts to play—hiking, biking, kayaking, skiing, and other outdoor adventures wait outside of your door each day if you move to this city.
I lived in Anchorage for a short period and have thought about going back to get away from things.
Johnson City, Tennessee
For people who have had enough of sky-high rents and astronomical grocery bills, The Volunteer State offers a very low cost of living. Tennessee has no income tax and is second to only Oklahoma for its budget-friendly living expenses, according to Business Insider. Known as Tennessee’s Green City, Johnson City has earned top honors, receiving the state’s first Green City Leadership award for its environmental efforts. Eco-conscious folks who relocate to Tennessee will find that the rent or mortgage on their new home is so reasonable, they will have plenty of wiggle room in the budget for home improvement projects, such as adding green features like energy efficient windows, new roofing, and custom doors to their new abode.
Although the capital of Arizona was hit especially hard during the recent recession, the city is bouncing back to be better than ever. Many homes are now available at extremely reasonable prices and people ages 20-29 are flocking to this city. Phoenix is also home to a number of major corporations, including Intel, PetSmart, Motorola, and top employers include Bank of America and Wal-Mart. Granted, Phoenix gets pretty toasty in the summer with temperatures that easily top 110 degrees on some days, but as former Northeasterners who now call Phoenix home like to say, “You don’t have to shovel sunshine.” The weather is gorgeous for the majority of the year, the employment outlook is positive, and there’s a plethora of fantastic restaurants and a rich culture—all of these things help make Phoenix a great place for young people to reinvent themselves.
Moms and dads who hold education in high regard and wouldn’t mind switching careers should consider Bethesda, Maryland. The area has an exceptionally low unemployment rate of around 5 percent, which is over 2 points lower than the national average, according to Forbes. In addition, the housing market is very strong, and the state is listed as number one in the entire country for its school systems. Boasting a great quality of life, Bethesda often appears on on lists ranking the livability of top cities, making this town an excellent place to live.
Apparently, summer is the season of love. According to The Knot, June, August, September and October are the most popular months for weddings. With all the upcoming nuptials, it can be tough on friends of the bride. Navigating bridal showers, bachelorette parties, bridesmaid duties and even wedding guest planning can feel like a juggling act. Before you tear your hair out, take a deep breath and follow this simple guide to get you through wedding season.
If you think a wedding is just one day of celebration, you’re dreaming. As soon as you hear your friend is engaged, it’s time to flip out the calendar and clear your schedule. Depending on your role in the wedding and how close you are to the bride, you’ll have to plan for the engagement party, dress shopping, bridal shower, bachelorette party, all those bridal shows she wants to drag you to, brunch dates to pour over wedding magazines and, oh yeah, the actual wedding day. All of this can get especially dicey when you have more than one friend getting married.
Gather dates and obligations as soon as you can to add them to your calendar. Be flexible, but also let your engaged friend know of any prior commitments you have on your schedule as early as possible so she can keep them in mind while planning. It can be helpful to print out a wedding checklist or scheduling template from The Knot, Real Simple or Pinterest. These are designed for brides, but can be handy for bridesmaids organizing their calendars.
Apps Are Your Best Friend
Keep your smartphone or tablet with you at all times (like you don’t already). It can be your best friend through the wedding anxiety. Some of the best wedding apps are for bridesmaids and groomsmen. Mashable compiled some of the most helpful apps:
- InTheMo is a personal concierge for planning a bachelorette party or night out in any city
- WedPics is a great way to share your professional wedding photos and invite other guests to view and share their own
- WeddingSpeechBuilder can help you conquer your stage fright with a database of quirky jokes and one-liners that are perfect for your reception toast
Search your app store for other helpful apps to handle everything from searching the wedding registry to a mirror app that lets you check your face before the photo shoot starts.
Finances and Frugality
According to a survey by the XO group, it costs approximately $1,695 to be a bridesmaid. Your budget may not necessarily match the extravagance level of the wedding, but there are ways to save money while fully participating in the matrimonial activities. Glamour recommends voicing any financial concerns to your fellow bridesmaids up front. For decorations, accessories and bridal showers, work together to find bridal sales or take the DIY route with inspiration from Pinterest or Etsy. Skipping the professional hair, makeup and spa days can save a couple hundred dollars as well. Remember you don’t have to buy the most expensive gift on the bride’s registry either. A thoughtful or personal gift will be memorable and appreciated, or you can go in on a more extravagant gift with friends or other bridesmaids.
Offer To Help
While being a bridesmaid can be stressful, remember it’s your friends special day—and she is probably freaking out twice as much as you are. The Knot recommends being specific when you volunteer to help instead of simply asking “What can I do?” Offer to stuff invitations, pick up dry cleaning, help with decorations or chauffeuring relatives. No matter what role you play in your friend’s wedding, keep it simple and you’ll have a great time.
So I had an interview with some cast members of Joe Manganiello‘s new documentary La Bare.
These guys left nothing to my imagination as they talked about the life and culture of being a dancer at a very popular male strip club in Dallas.
La Bare is the most popular male strip located in Dallas, Texas and has been entertaining ladies from all over the world for decades. I sat down with Channing, Cesar, and J.D – three real life entertainers who work at La Bare and star in this documentary.
I started off asking Channing, who is the youngest of the three, his experiences becoming an exotic dancer and what a rookie can expect when they enter the business.
It’s more than just women, money, and a good time, like the famous line from Magic Mike; these men train and diet like professional athletes, promote themselves like entrepreneurs with business cards and clientele list, hours of choreographed training– and they don’t take kind to newbies who think they can get by with doing the running man on stage.
“First thing you have to do, is go to the gym and stay quiet at first so the veterans don’t give you shit. Don’t bum rush it,…watch the veterans until you find your ground.”
Cesar chimes in, “it’s [strip clubs] a pretty open field, if you have a decent body…and you’re brave enough to get on the stage every night. The fact is, our doors are always open.”
And anyone can test their bravery on amateur night, which is described by the guys as its own animal where everyone from bad bet pickers to Chippendale hopefuls sign up for a chance to prove themselves. Many, like Channing and Cesar started out as servers, before taking a chance on a Thursday night in front of 30 or so women and co workers!
Channing, also known as the shirtless wonder, had a nice awkward experience that rivaled his high school musical days, (no duh?) and Cesar was just glad he hit all the beats on stage.
So what is the real difference with female dancers and male dancers? I asked J.D, since he commented in the film that women with big titties and decent looks could easily get a job as dancer.
“It has to do with the clientele, there’s no comparison– everything is different except both are wearing underwear.”
The truth is that La Bare dancers do more than just dance. They interact with their audience, sometimes taking women on stage to be part of show and that takes a lot of confidence. Confidence that takes experience and motivation to find.
They are not just pole dancers– not that anything’s wrong with that.
“…I’ve taken a pole dancing class, its nothing to downplay.”– Cesar.
This kind of lifestyle seems like a whirlwind fantasy, but really what you may not know about the men of La Bare, is that they have families. They are fathers, sons, and maybe even grandfathers who go through the same 9 to 5 reality you go through.
Even the strongest of them, is still as frail as the next human.
“So how do you find that boundary between ‘fantasy’ and ‘reality’?” I ask.
Cesar- “Because of the nature of the business and flirtation, its very difficult to have blended relationship in the clubs. It can be difficult because people want more of your time and attention and its kind of difficult keeping your balance in those regards.”
So what’s next?
J.D – “Supposedly a TV Show on the way, it’s highly possible.”
Fans, go to theaters Friday June 27, 2014 to watch La Bare. I’ll be visiting the club that night! ;-)
Meet the guys from La Bare on their Facebook pages!
I spent this weekend going through old crap and memories, until I found a book that I had not seen in years, it was an etiquette guide book, that was given to me when I went to a modeling school here in the city.
Now that I think about it, it was more of a finishing school.
The booked talked about etiquette over the phone, dinner parties, and other social interactions.
Thus, part of me began to wonder when did I stray from the path of becoming a proper young woman?
Somewhere in the last 15 years or so; I stopped playing piano and abandoned any aspirations of continuing a professional path with it, I started biting my nails and skin to the point of Dermatillomania, and this guy has a better posture than me:
The idea of course, of being a proper young lady, is that you are more desirable and attractive to the eligible bachelor.
No, not him. This guy:
A few years ago I liked this guy in my swim class, and I finally brought my best friend to…”check him out” and she gave her approval of him.
I remember at the end of class after running a pretty good drill, I got on deck and gave him a “high 5″. Afterwards, my friend suggested that since I liked him, I should not have high-5’ed him as it was not lady-like.
Apparently, with D cups, shoulder-length hair, and hips to knock J-Lo of the deck, he’d associate me as “one of the guys”.
I did give him my number, and after that never saw him again.
Well, its never too late to improve yourself; from sitting up straighter to changing your wardrobe. But it was last night at a gala, when I realized why many women do not act like proper ladies, it’s because of… the men!
A colleague invited me to this formal event, where I was lead to my seat and he pulled it out for me. He offered to get my drink, and women and guests were served dinner first. Thus, it was a code of conduct that the men be gentlemen and serving to their lady partners.
I sure felt like a noble lady as even my table manners dramatically improved from:
It sometimes takes a small show of courtesy or respect to boost one’s esteem and consciousness. And to receive the same treatment in kind.
And whom you are with makes a difference; people treat you based on how your friend/partner treats you.
Whether its holding your coat or pulling our your chair — a waiter will show you an ounce more of respect when they see your partner doing the same thing — it screams: “She’s important!”
And it changes how you see yourself, and the expectations you have for yourself.
For now, I’ll read through that book, maybe there are some things I need to re-learn, and should come to expect for myself.
So, does your beau treat you like a proper lady?