5 Conversations to Have Before Getting Married



Maybe you're in premarital counseling right now, or maybe it's the last thing on your mind. Either way, you already know there are a few touchy issues engaged couples are "supposed" to talk about before making it official. Well, we asked a few seasoned couples therapists to tell it to us straight. They mapped out the tough talks to have with your soon-to-be spouse before heading down the aisle, so consider this your guide to counseling yourselves.

You should talk about: Kids

If it hasn't already come up, now's the time to discuss whether you want children. But here's the surprising thing: You shouldn't stop there. Our experts agreed that it's important to discuss where you each stand on the issues that'll crop up once you start trying to have kids and when the tykes are actually around. "Are you open to adoption if it's necessary?" asks Rebecca Hendrix, a licensed marriage and family therapist in New York. And once you have kids, "How should they be disciplined when they disobey?" asks Vivian Jacobs, a licensed marriage and family therapist in New York. Issues like these can become knock-down, drag-out fights later on, so it's better to discuss them now.

But it's okay to disagree on: How many kids you think you want right now. "Once a couple has their first kid, they'll have a better idea of how many children they really want," says Jaclyn Bronstein, a licensed mental health counselor in New York. Right now, the number isn't as important, Jacobs explains, "as long as you agree on a timetable -- how many years you want to wait before having children."

You should talk about: Money and your careers

One of the biggest things married couples fight about is finances, so talk now to skirt arguments later, Bronstein says. Decide whether you'll pool all your money or keep separate accounts, and determine which accounts you'll draw from for everyday expenses and for big investments. And if one of you is a spender and the other is a saver, choose amounts to set aside for the future and for personal spending that you'll both be satisfied with. "No one has the right answer to what your money strategy should be," Jacobs says. "You just have to live within your budget, figure out what works for you, and be reasonable and communicate." On the same note, talk about your career plans. Where do you want to be in five years? How do you see your 9-to-5 -- and your salary -- evolving over your lifetime? Getting both your expectations in line with reality will cut down on money-related arguments later, Jacobs says.

But it's okay to disagree on: How many hours you should be pulling at work right now. "If someone has a busy job and works 12- or 14-hour days, that might be a big issue at the beginning of a marriage," Bronstein says. "But maybe they agree that getting financially stable is more important in the long run." That's a trade-off that works, she says.

You should talk about: Religion and values

Our counselors all brought up faith and moral values -- they might not seem like a big deal now, but religion and morals play a bigger role in marriage than some couples expect. "For a lot of people, fights happen when the other person turns out to be more religious than they thought," says Bronstein. Adds Jacobs, "You might go into marriage not caring, but the problems start as the children arrive and you're deciding how to raise them." So talk about your faith, and how you see it affecting your shared life, right now.

But it's okay to disagree on: Issues with your in-laws. Those family matters are common hiccups in any marriage and they're survivable. For example, "You can agree that it's okay he goes to see his parents and it's okay that you don't come every time," Jacobs says. The crucial part is that neither of you feels like the in-laws get priority over you, she says.

You should talk about: How you'll handle fights

Arguments are inevitable, but our experts agreed that it's how couples handle them that determines whether they'll get through the fights. "Make sure you understand each other's way of managing conflict," Hendrix says. She suggests thinking back to a recent fight: What happened? "Did one person refuse to talk, while the other couldn't sleep without resolving the issue?" she asks. Whatever your argument style is, hash out what counts as acceptable fight behavior and what's off-limits. "Tweak how you handle arguments to accommodate each other. If she doesn't like to talk about it at 2 a.m., learn to pull back a little," Hendrix advises.

But it's okay to disagree on: The little things. "People are going to disagree about how to run the house, chores, who cleans the bathroom," Hendrix says. "But those are the kinds of things that people can, if they work on their communication style, work through."

You should talk about: Your deal breakers and your bucket lists

If there's anything else that you know will drive you nuts in a marriage, it's better to chat about it sooner rather than later. "Let your partner know that you won't be able to tolerate it if he's always flirtatious with other women or if she blows all the money at Atlantic City," says Jacobs. On the other hand, you should also be up front about the big life goals you're dying to accomplish. Aiming to live in another country or own your own business someday? "Make sure your partner knows about that dream and is open to it," Hendrix says.

But it's okay to disagree on: Your hobbies and pastimes. "If your partner isn't into one of your passions at all, you can continue to do it on your own," Hendrix says. The key is making sure that you're both okay with how much time you spend apart.


Source: ​https://www.theknot.com/content/things-to-talk-about-before-marriage
Picture: ​http://www.terranea.com/assets/images/masthead/mast-5.jpg

3 West Club
3 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019

Picking the Right Wine for Your Business Dinner



Picking the right bottle of wine at a business lunch or dinner has become almost as stressful as buying the appropriate anniversary gift for your partner, especially if you are on a budget. That makes spending $4,000 on a bottle of the 1982 Petrus most likely out of the question.

But wine lists are as getting so big these days that if you dropped one on your foot you'd break your toe. Not to mention people's tastes are ever-changing and, well, you need to close this deal. So do some homework. Most restaurants have their wine lists online. Study it before you go. Then you have the opportunity to look up the wines online and see what will work with your budget. But if you are like most of us and barely have the time to read your children’s homework, never mind a wine list, then you have to just go for it when you get to the restaurant.

So what do you do?

Take a deep breath and order a round of cocktails or a bottle of bubbly to buy yourself some time. Now your guests have something to drink while you dissect the wine list.


Here are three simple things to consider when choosing your wine:

1. Avoid the easy way out.

“Stay away from favorite varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay,” says Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, a.k.a. the World Wine Guys , who are wine, spirits, food and travel writers. Too many people know the prices of those wines these days and many of those bottles -- like Caymus, Silver Oak, and Cakebread -- have big markups on wine lists because they are crowd pleasers.

2. Be brave and go for the unknown.

That means stay away from regions like California, Bordeaux or Burgundy. If you need to stay in Europe, there are tons of delicious affordable whites like German Rieslings, Spanish Albarinos, and Italian Pinot Grigios, says Alyssa Rapp, founder and CEO of Bottlenotes, an interactive media company in the U.S. wine and craft beer industries. And if you need a red, Spanish Tempranillos are inexpensive and consistently impress as well, says Rapp.

But there's no need to stay in Europe. Almost every corner of the Earth is producing wine these days – from South Africa to Bulgaria to even Virginia here at home. So spin the globe in your head and just pick a wine in your price range. If its something no one has had, it is easier to taste and critique it together. Then it becomes conversational and there are no expectations.


3. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

"If you’re not looking to channel Portuguese world explorer Vasco da Gama, then use your sommelier,” says Jessica Certo, wine director at Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse. This is what they are paid to do.

Certo always suggests you hold the wine list in front of your sommelier and discreetly point to a price. Say that you are looking to stay in that particular range. The sommelier will immediately understand and then all you have to do is be open-minded and leave it to her. Certo loves it when people say, “This is my budget bring me something I never had.” Then the wine tasting becomes fun and adventurous. It becomes part of the discussion, and could arguably be translated into the way you do business. Even better, your guests will have learned something knew...and may even walk away with a new go-to wine that consistently reminds them of their dinner with you. The added bonus will be that the wine is a respectable price point.



So the further you stay away from the predictable wines on the list, the more room you have to find a great, inexpensive bottle that your guests will love.

That’s all good business.


Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/249718
Picture: ​https://static1.squarespace.com/static/50b3b799e4b01c11f0f37ec5/t/5803b017e6f2e133b164bfc7/1476636700725/wine.jpg?format=original


3 West Club
3 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019

Most Popular Wedding Songs of 2016



According to Spotify, there are more than 6.7 million wedding-themed playlists around the world.

The streaming service examined all of them and created categories featuring the 50 most common first dance and wedding reception songs.

Out of those playlists, Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” is the most popular first dance song in the world, and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” is top among reception songs. (At 683 million streams, “Thinking Out Loud” is actually the third-most-streamed track of all time on Spotify.)



10 Most Popular First Dance Songs:
  1. “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran
  2. “At Last” by Etta James
  3. “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne
  4. “All of Me” by John Legend
  5. “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri
  6. “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele
  7. “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz
  8. “Everything” by Michael Bublé
  9. “Better Together” by Jack Johnson
  10. “Amazed” by Lonestar​


Top 10 Wedding Reception Songs:
  1. “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey
  2. “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas
  3. “Marry You” by Bruno Mars
  4. “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson
  5. “Hey Ya!” by OutKast
  6. “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” by Beyoncé
  7. “Dancing Queen” by ABBA
  8. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston
  9. “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson
  10. “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison

What is your wedding playlist?

Source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/terripous/we-found-love-right-where-we-are?utm_term=.bv2b9eKmw#.qs9PoY9nQ​
Picture: http://www.bridalguide.com/sites/default/files/blog-images/real-brides-speak-out/rigo-claudia/first-dance/first-dance-glitering-lights.jpg​

3 West Club
3 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019

10 Ways To Have More Productive Meetings



Who hasn’t struggled to stay awake through a three-hour meeting, or left a department-wide pow-wow wondering what the point was?

It’s amazing how many bad meetings we have to suffer through at work: Each month, people spend about 31 hours in unproductive meetings, and the U.S. spends a whopping $37 billion on salaries for hours spent in unnecessary meetings.

Here are 10 tips to ensure your meetings aren’t time-wasters.

State The Objective

How many times have you gone to a meeting with only a vague agenda and sat through a discussion with no end in sight? The most effective meetings are ones where the objectives are clear. A simple statement of what you hope to achieve can shave an average of 17 minutes off of your meeting. In my experience, a basic agenda, shared in advance with any relevant documents, keeps everyone on track.

Be Exclusive

When I get a meeting invite, I’ll usually ask (politely) if I actually need to be there. Often, office politics get in the way of who really needs to attend. Google caps attendees at 10 and Amazon has a “two pizza” rule (i.e., never have a meeting where you can’t feed the whole group with two pies). It all serves one purpose: only invite essential personnel, and you’ll find things stay on track.

Time It To The Second

I’ll often request 22-minute meetings. This idea comes from an Ignite talk by Nicole Steinbok, and may sound a little silly, but I’ve found it’s a hyper-effective way to keep everyone conscious of both starting and ending times. People tend to fill the amount of meeting time they’re given, so I generally get just as much done in 22 minutes as in a standard half-hour meeting.

Leave A Buffer

It’s amazing how often we’ll book back-to-back meetings without thinking about the logistics - the time it takes to walk from one office to the next, for instance, or to top up your coffee. Building in even five minutes between bookings (and there are plenty of calendar apps, like Calendly, that can do it automatically for you) will help avoid snowballing late starts for the rest of the day.

Ditch PowerPoint

At Amazon, Jeff Bezos banned PowerPoint outright. Too often, we’re stuck listening to a presenter read an entire slideshow, verbatim. Visuals can be a great tool, but if you’re using PowerPoint as a crutch, your meeting is going to feel like it’s on life support.

Change Your Scenery

A boardroom is usually the most sensible meeting space for a group, but when you’ve got a one-on-one booked, a walk-and-talk outside makes for a nice change of pace. Not only can it be an opportunity to get some privacy if you’ve got an open-concept office, but walking also helps creativity, according to a recent Stanford study. Plenty of big thinkers love walking meetings - in fact, they were Steve Jobs’ preferred method of conversation.

Provide Some Entertainment

Some people might hear “icebreaker” and groan, but a round-table question gets the conversation going. Or take it one step further and incorporate a team-building activity to break up a dull topic - the meeting we did with a short improv lesson had us all on the floor laughing and energized to tackle our agenda.

Unplug Your Laptops

Studies have found that students who use laptops have a harder time remembering what they learn in lectures and are less likely to understand complex ideas; the same goes for the office. When you’ve got half an eye on your email, you can’t be fully present. So unless you’re taking minutes or absolutely need your computer, turn it off.

Meet Face-to-Face

How many conference calls have you tuned out of? I’m guilty of it, too: letting my mind wander when I’m not physically in the room. One study found revealed that 65% of employees regularly do other work while a conference call is happening. (A full 47% have even gone to the washroom during a call). A good meeting is about connecting minds and ideas, and face-to-face is ultimately the best way to make that happen. That’s not always possible, but there’s really no substitute for face time.

Lead With Purpose

Great meetings happen when you have great leaders. It’s not always easy to be the one ensuring things are moving along, but someone has to be accountable for running meetings that don’t suck. Once you’ve set standards for efficient, effective and entertaining meetings, your team will follow - and meetings may start to be the best part of your workday.

How productive are your meetings?

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/brianscudamore/2016/06/15/10-simple-ways-to-have-more-productive-meetings/#15e4da60706f
Picture: https://media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/p/7/005/0ae/277/2a19223.jpg; https://probonoaustralia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Women-leading-a-board-meeting-RS.jpg


3 West Club
3 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019

What to Do If You Get Sick on Your Wedding Day


Of the disasters on the list of what you don’t want to happen on your wedding day, getting sick has to be pretty high up there. Most other mishaps are things you can find workarounds for, or even laugh about later. But falling ill on what is supposed to be the happiest day of your life means you will be feeling miserable and may even have to miss large parts of the reception that you spent months planning.

As much as getting sick may just feel like terrible luck, it’s something that can happen fairly easily. After all, the stress of coordinating the big day can weaken your immune system, and you are likely coming into contact with many different people as you finalize your special plans. While everyone’s immune system is different and we are definitely no substitute for a doctor, we do have some tips on how to help prevent becoming ill, as well as how to power through if you do.

To Prevent Getting Sick:
- Regularly take vitamin C in the week leading up to your wedding.
- Get plenty of sleep. Try meditation if your mind is going a mile a minute about everything that needs to be done.
- Eat healthy food, especially yogurt that’s low in sugar and has active cultures since that’s the kind of bacteria you do want!
- Wash your hands frequently, especially after handling something another person has touched.
- If you begin to feel a cold coming on, try zinc tablets to stop it before it starts. Just be sure to eat a full meal beforehand, as zinc can do a number on your stomach.


If You’re Already Sick:
- Load up on medication, but make sure to take non-drowsy formulas and don’t overlap on medicines that have acetaminophen. While it’s great at reducing fevers, it’s also easy to overdose on, which causes liver damage. Always follow the instructions carefully!
- If you lose your voice, avoid talking until it's time for the vows, and make sure the mic is on! People might just think you're choked up with emotion, but everyone will probably learn you were sick by the reception anyway.
- Ginger is a good natural cure for nausea and other stomach problems.
- If your wedding is on a hot day, avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke (which can be very dangerous) by hydrating consistently. Speak up about not feeling well if your photographer is taking pictures outside.
- Use facial tissue with lotion in it in order to prevent your nose from turning red, and make sure your makeup artist gives you a touch-up kit.
- If you really need the extra rest, delay the ceremony a bit if you absolutely have to, and ask your officiant if they can shorten the service. You can also have your photographer start photos with your future spouse to give you some extra time.
Learn how to stay healthy while planning your wedding and ensure you'll feel your best on the big day.
Opening photo by Honey Honey Photography


Source: ​https://www.insideweddings.com/news/beauty/what-to-do-if-you-get-sick-on-your-wedding-day/3498/


3 West Club
3 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019
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