May 28, 2013

professional romances - dangerous waters! - guest post by Nikki

What a great guest post you're about to read Ocean Dreamers! I have to admit I saw quite a few romances go sour when I worked in the "corporate world " 6 years ago and even though I thought it was entertaining, I never liked seeing people I worked with get hurt! Two of my friends even lived together and worked together, but they kept it quiet. Thanks Nikki for the great guest post on professional romances and be sure to check out her services; she looks like a great lifestyle coach! ;)
Professional Romances - Dangerous Waters


Office romances are rarely planned, more often they come along in surprise and spontaneity to sweep two co-workers from their feet.  Part of the reason that they’re so all-engulfing is this unexpectedness.  In the heat of it all it’s incredibly exciting, a whirlwind of emotion which threatens to blind two colleagues to everything else around them.  But relationships within the office can be very dangerous, both personally and professionally.

Complicated and secretive by their very nature, in-office relationships can risk the careers of everybody involved.  Whether it’s the lovebirds themselves for breaching a company contract, or their colleagues for not reporting it to management; proactivity in the beginning and keeping your wits about you can help avoid a train wreck through your cubicles!

Firstly, make sure you’re invested in the relationship for the right reasons.  A casual fling might relieve the tedium of the office temporarily, but it’s probably not worth it in the long run.  Most workplaces will smile much more kindly upon what they deem to be ‘meaningful relationships’, contract breach or not.  Human Resources will likely have developed their own crisp typography on in-office dating, which can range from “keep it discreet and professional” to “clear your desk and be gone by 5pm.”

Either way, one of you will eventually begin to look for a job elsewhere.  Even if HR give it their white paper blessing, living and working with your other half is difficult for even the most perfect of couples.  Working separately is much simpler in the long run, despite the over-reaction it may seem like at the moment; try to think of it as a positive step and an investment in the long term.  If the relationship is successful then separate working lives will be healthier, and if the relationship fails then working together will always be complicated.

Despite what television and film shows us, sneaking off to the supply cupboard is not as easy as it looks.  In reality, a clattering mop is going to give you away and it’s not as comfortable in there as it might appear.  It might look like fun, but try to resist ruining the Hollywood fantasy of it all by actually indulging in it and risking your jobs.

In the interest of discretion, keep your arguments, tiffs, fall-outs and tantrums to personal hours.  Frosty atmospheres spread and you co-workers will quickly lose patience if you change the dynamic of their workplace.

A sympathetic manager is the first person you should open up to before your co-workers start gossiping. The alternative is that rumors reach the boss, which will put him or her (and you) in an uncomfortable situation. An honest attitude is a sign of respect and a proactive approach reflects well on everyone. The key factor is that you are defining the nature of the world around you, and taking control.

In both your professional and personal relationship, communication is vitally important. This is doubly true when you combine the two. Complete honesty does not mean divulging every detail, but if there’s a problem then you must address it head-on. It is also important for both of you to know where you stand. Ambiguity will be a source of confusion, which will in turn lead to misunderstandings.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, your Social Media lifestyle needs to change.  Photos and comments are exactly how your professional romance will get rumbled before you feel ready to declare it publically. Constant paranoia may be over the top but it is also safe to assume there are cameras absolutely everywhere; which there are!

Should the two of you break up, it is vitally important to maintain professionalism. If you feel wronged then kept it discreet, and make sure he or she agrees to do the same. In the best case scenario this will never be an issue and the only problem will be how to accommodate so many colleagues and work friends at the wedding reception.

Nikki Armytage is a lifestyle coach based in London, England.  In her years of experience dealing with personal and professional clients through The Lifestylist, she has coached many couples through the rocky beginnings of an office relationship and guided them out of the other side!

May 27, 2013

bringing Hawaii home with you - guest post by Kendra

Travel has always played a huge role in my life.  From first landing in the Bahamas as only an infant, to visiting 28 countries on 6 continents, to eventually becoming my career, I can confidently say I have been awed and amazed by all this world has to offer.  Ranking high as a personal favorite, Hawaii is the most isolated location on Earth, which may be why I am always left feeling so serene following a visit.  Now employed as a mother of three, I have found multiple ways to bring a little bit of the island state home with me.
Yoga is something that I had always been interested in but didn’t fully commit to until a trip to Oahu.  Yoga has been a great way for me to unwind and relax while staying fit at home in Chicago. As yoga continues to gain mainstream popularity, many large and small gyms around the country have picked up on this trend and offer a variety of classes including hot yoga. As a result of this popularity, various locations in Hawaii offer a number of opportunities to meet other yogi’s. For any of you lucky enough to visit Hawaii in the early spring, Oahu’s Wanderlust Festival brings hundreds of yogi’s together for some spiritual therapy. In Hawaii there is always a time to practice yoga. This meditative exercise can be practiced alone of in a class setting at a number of hotels in Honolulu. Whatever your preference, Hawaii is a great location to take in the scenery and mediate with this relaxing exercise.

The Tropical Treatment
Arguably the best part of this tropical destination is their lavish spas. After relaxing for a day at Waikiki’s Olankino Spa or Halekulani’s Hotel and Day Spa, you will be sure to feel relaxed and refreshed.  As a travel advocate, I encourage you to make the trip to these wonderful islands … but in the meantime, I have prepared a DIY Coconut and Pineapple Face Mask that will be sure to have you daydreaming of the tropics and feeling rejuvenated wherever home may be.  

To prepare the Coconut and Pineapple Face Mask yourself, you will need:
2 tbs coconut milk
4 slices of fresh pineapple
a blender or food processor
a bowl

Quick Tip: You may buy a whole coconut from your local grocer or buy already packaged coconut milk.  I bought the coconut and drained the juice, however mostly for the experience.

Your first step is to place the pineapple in a blender or food processor. Add the coconut milk next and blend until smooth.  Remove the face mask from the blender with a rubber spatula and place in a jar or homemade container before applying.  

Apply the mask to a washed and dried face. Let the mask sit for 10-15 minutes while your skin absorbs the vitamins and rich enzymes.  Make sure to avoid the area around the eyes.  When you are relaxed and your skin replenished, wash off with warm water.


the top 5 water park holidays - guest post by Amber

Water parks are truly exceptional holidays for the whole family to enjoy. Young kids can frolic in the waves, slides and play centers whereas adults can enjoy epic flumes, wave machines and a wet and wild waterscape. So where are the best water parks in the world? Well, lucky for you, we have a selection of the top 5 in the world offering some of the best water-filled rides possible.

Siam Park, Tenerife
All the sun, sea and sand of Tenerife with the added bonus of an immense water park offering wildlife, beaches, plenty of flumes, sides and spins as well as the Lost City, an epic adventure park of water, bridges, fortresses and pools with a space dedicated to water babies and their parents. The whole family can enjoy the water here, whether you want to be rushed through rapids and race through the flumes on water tubes, or simply enjoy a drink and relax in the Mai Thai river scene.

Water World, Ayia Napa
Ayia Napa is renowned for its mega party scene and Water World doesn't let anyone down, instead simply taking the party into the waves. This gloriously family friendly water park is a masterpiece perfectly themed with Greek Gods and mythical creatures. The park features epic adventures such as the Drop to Atlantis and the Quest of Heracles. Kids of all ages will be amused for hours on end as they embark on mammoth slides, rapids, waves and amusements. Adults can retreat to specialized spots such as Aphrodite’s Bath complete with serene waterfalls and stunning water features. Younger kids can enjoy the splashes and inflatables in plenty of kid pools.

Atlantis the Palm, Dubai
Dubai doesn't do anything half way and their infamous water park is no different. This isn't just a water park, this is a water filled adventure and the perfect holiday for the whole family featuring 5* luxury rooms, fine dining, entertainment and the overall luxury you’d expect from glamorous Dubai. The water features are spread across parks, rides and marine life with 42 acres of wildlife, fun and excitement. Guests can spread their time across countless water theme parks, Dolphin Bay, aquariums and marine parks for an unforgettable experience. Whether it’s the thrill of learning to dive, the action of the deep blue sea, the excitement of rapids or simply sipping by the pool, Atlantis the Palm really does have it all.

Tropical Islands, Germany
Germany might not be renowned for fun and frolics, but Tropical Island is a mega aqua adventure for a thrilling family holiday. More than just a water park, Tropical Park is Europe’s largest tropical holiday world and is miles away from the industrial efficiency of Germany. Rain-forests  waterfalls, marines and tropical corners fill this glorious and magical center  A sauna and spa complex keeps adults relaxed and refreshed, far off adventure worlds keep kids amused and evening shows and entertainment keeps everyone entertained.

Blizzard Beach, California
Part of the magic and intrigue of Disney resorts, Blizzard Beach offers everything you’d expect of a child's dream come true with the added bonus of water. Some of the most epic, stomach churning and thrilling water parks known to man in a resort also dotted with ski slopes, ice caves and monstrous mountains. Blizzard Beach is much more than water slides and pools, the whole family can enjoy snow fountains and castles, toboggan racing, death drops, leisure rivers and on resort bars and restaurants. The whole family can enjoy the magic, water and snow in one of the worlds most adventurous and exciting water resorts.

Bio: Amber Collins is a professional freelance writer and fun-loving mother. She is a fitness junkie and always try to be creative in implementing different exercises in her daily activities as a stay at home mom. She just and is solely focused on decorating her new home. Her story of following her passions in home making and writing about it will inspire you. Her present article is dedicated on different safety tips when you decide to work out outdoors. Find some more exciting vacation spots here:

May 24, 2013

what to consider when remodeling your home or kitchen - guest post by Isabelle

Whew...has it been a month since I blogged?! 
Well, I'm back {sort of} and 
I have a slew of guest posts to publish. 
After that I'm taking a break from 
accepting guest posts and will be back with my weekly posts - hooray! 

I hope you are all doing well and stay tuned...

For now please enjoy a few guest posts! 


What to Consider When Remodeling Your Home or Kitchen:

The home is the center of a person's life, and the kitchen is the center of the modern home.

We really want to enjoy being at home in our kitchens. Updating your kitchen to make it more comfortable and livable is the best way to make your home feel new and fresh and prevent the feeling of  it being outdated.  A warm, welcoming feeling can be achieved in a kitchen more easily than you think, with a couple of replacements and clever tricks of remodeling.

I've seen some remodels that make the interior unrecognizable  Before you make your place, look at different interior examples from design firms like Unique Design's kitchens and bathrooms. Look at photos and inspiration to help you get ideas.

When remodeling your home, or drawing up plans, create a reasonable budget and then make sure that you stick to it. Don't overstretch yourself  on your plans, you probably  won't  know how much work it will be until you begin. Remember, building requires permits! Make sure that you have all of your permits sorted out, done and dusted and ready to go before you start to build. Building without a permit is illegal. You want to build a beautiful home, not break the law.

Be prepared for your remodel to take longer than you had anticipated. This isn't always the case, but it often is. You might be pleasantly surprised. Enjoy the new space that you will create!