Bison Socks by United by Blue

united by blue bison sock review

 

 

These days the weather seems like it’s as unpredictable as ever, so you can imagine my surprise when I suddenly found myself pulling out my winter coats in the middle of November. Thankfully, I was also graced with some great socks by United by Blue that turned out to be a big help.

I shared an Instagram post of the socks recently and they are even more luxurious than they look. The bison-made socks are super thick, tightly woven and very warm. I appropriately wore my bison socks on one of the coldest days this fall in NYC. It was barely 30 degrees out of nowhere!

I got some more information about bison down and it turns out that it is stronger and softer than the traditional merino socks we are all used to wearing in the cooler months. I won’t bore you the specifics but I will say that these socks are definitely holy grail quality footwear for the cold weather. I’m definitely looking forward to wearing them more and more this upcoming winter.

And if that wasn’t enough to sell you on them, these United by Blue socks are also made from American Bison, created in Iowa and packaged in Wisconsin. That means with every purchase you’re also contributing to the maintenance of American jobs across the country. I happen to think that’s pretty cool, especially when most companies outsource much of their process to other countries internationally. I think it’s pretty cool to support local businesses whenever possible. Somehow it just leaves me feeling a bit more connected to the brand.

In addition, I’ve learned that United By Blue is also a “mission driven company,” which means that for every product sold by United by Blue the business removes one pound of trash from the U.S.’s coastlines and waterways.

In this day and age, I think it means something special for a brand to produce good merchandise, have a commitment to the environment and invest in the people who make their business run so effectively. It’s a great testament to a unique brand and its commitment to stay united by blue.

You can view more products by United by Blue or get your own bison socks (they would make perfect gifts for your friend who toughs out cold winters), at unitedbyblue.com. You can also learn more at their Kickstarter page!

 

Disclosure: Product for review was provided by United by Blue.

Unilever Unveils New Deodorant Innovation

unilever espace

Last week I got the chance to attend a special event in NYC’s espace announcing the launch of Unilever brands new deodorant technology…dry spray antiperspirant.

What exactly is dry deodorant?  Well maybe we should begin with the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant as the terms are often used interchangeably. Plainly put, deodorants technically only offer odor protection while antiperspirants typically offer both wetness AND odor protection.  In my experience spray “deodorants” (as they are commonly called) don’t usually offer wetness protection.  Usually they only smell good and usually there’s way too much fragrance involved, but then again that’s just my personal opinion.

Well, Unilever has developed the technology that makes it possible for your favorite spray on deodorant to become dry almost instantly. That means no more accidental white streaks on your black shirt or wetness just before you head out the door.  It’s definitely an unexpected innovation that I wouldn’t have imagined before.  It turns out Unilever knew better all along!

Degree men dry spray

 I’ve had the chance to use a few of the brands’ dry spray antiperspirants and they really work.  On top of the products’ ability to dry almost instantly, the scents are excellent and well-balanced too.

I should also say that Unilever is a family of brands and in the coming weeks the new dry spray antiperspirant technology will be released across the Unilever family of brands: Axe, Dove (for men and women), and Degree (for men and women).

Dove Men Care dry spray

 

 

 

 

 

To date, I’ve only tried a few a sample of the new product line up: the Degree Adventure and Dove Men Care’s Clean Comfort.  Both are awesome in my opinion.  I’m someone who doesn’t particularly like strong scents and both seem to have managed to find a balance between helping you smell nice without being overwhelming or overpowering.  The Degree Adventure antiperspirant spray has a nice woodsy citrus scent that I think a lot of you will like.  And true to the Dove Men Care line, the Clean Comfort dry spray antiperspirant is exactly as it says…clean and comfortable. From all the experiences I’ve had with Dove Men Care, I have to say they’ve really outdone themselves in offering quality products at a great value.  And with this innovation of dry spray antiperspirant, it looks like Axe is getting a little reboot too.  In fact, the upcoming Axe White Label Dry Spray Antiperspirant line is going to be exceptional and a complete game-changer for the brand if the first scent, Night, is any indication.

Be on the lookout for a whole new line up of dry spray antiperspirants from Axe, Dove, Dove Men Care, Degree and Degree for men in the coming weeks.  You won’t be disappointed.

Crushing the Midday Lull with barkTHINS

Barkthins

Workdays are notorious for that mid-afternoon, post-lunch crash right around 2:30-3 PM. Most people try to battle that midday crash by drinking yet another cup of coffee, but what if you could enjoy an all natural treat like barkTHINS? Well, if you’re anything like me you’d probably be a pretty happy camper.

barkTHINS are all natural treats featuring snacking chocolate that provide a satisfying midday crunch. With a lot of varieties under their belt, the barkTHINS family of products offers a balanced way to snacking mostly using rich dark chocolate paired with things like pretzels, sea salt, pumpkin seeds and other goodies. I have had the chance to try a few varieties and they’re pretty good!

By far my favorite combination is the Dark Chocolate Pretzel with Sea Salt bag featured in the picture above. The salty sweet combination is a little taste of heaven. And the dark chocolate flavor is rich, dark and full which made me feel a little less guilty about eating a couple of bark slabs during the middle of the day.  Dark Chocolate Almond with Sea Salt came up second in my list of favorites with Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed coming in a very distant third.  It might just be my personal preference, but pumpkin seeds just don’t do it for me.  But all in all, the barkTHINS line up is a pretty nice way to indulge.

Other varieties include:

  • Dark Chocolate Mint
  • Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut with Almonds
  • Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel with Sea Salt
  • (Dark Chocolate) Blueberry Quinoa with Agave

Overall, I would say that if chocolate is a bit of a vice for you, then barkTHINS is likely going to slowly wrangle you in. I found the varieties I tried to have pretty good quality chocolate even though the pumpkin seed variety is not on my list of favorite things to snack on. That being said, I’m definitely eyeing a few of the other varieties and they might even become part of some holiday gifts for loved ones, because what’s better than gifting snacks you can’t feel bad about?

barkTHINS are available at many major retailers and the listing can be found here.

 

Disclosure: Sample products for review were provided courtesy of barkTHINS.  All opinions listed herein are mine alone and have not been influenced by any party.

3 Ways to Support Movember

MG813 Movember 2014 Primary Logo Type - Stacked - Tangerine

Instead of sharing some of my latest viral obsessions this week, I thought I’d share a little bit about Movember!

Determined to “change the face of men’s health”, Movember was started in Australia to help bring awareness to men’s health issues and help encourage men to get much-needed healthcare.   Every November men across the world grow moustaches, beards and goatees in solidarity to spread the word about men’s health initiatives.

Since its inception, almost $600 million dollars have been raised for men’s health research and treatment for conditions such as prostate cancer and mental health issues.

If you aren’t sure how to support the movement here are three ways to get in on the fun this Movember:

1. Start your own fundraising page.
If you’re feeling particularly drawn and committed to the cause of men’s health, you can head over to us.movember.com to create your own personal fundraising page that you can link to your social media accounts. Grow your own facial hair in solidarity, or if you’re a member of the fairer sex you can start a fundraising page as a “Mo Sista” to show your support.

2. Spread the word.
If you’re unable to donate financially then donate your time and influence! You can share this blog post on social media to let your networks know that you take men’s health seriously.

3. Party it up!
At the end of every Movember the organization hosts these fun, and often hilarious, Gala Partés across the globe. If you’re near a major city they are pretty easy to find. Just make sure you have a pretty epic Movember costume handy.  You may even win a prize!

Weekly Obsessions 11.7.14

If you’re a big fan of TI’s new song, “Where They At Doe?” You might appreciate this funny video clip of a young news anchor in West Virginia dancing during a commercial break. It’s a win for white dudes everywhere. Don’t miss the iPad dance either LOL

Apparently, we’ve been using those little ketchup cups wrong all these years!

And finally, check out this badass porcupine fend off a pride of lions with only the power of his quills.  Apparently, porcupines don’t only shoot out the quills but when an enemy is in closer range they’ll just back right into the predator to stick ‘em.  This is a win for all the little guys.

See you next week!

Fate of Man

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by Ariel Santos

​A man is strong, fearless, and proud. But is a man gentle, supportive, and forgiving? A man is many things, only some of which are celebrated by society and are respected by most other men even less. To be a man one must follow strict guidelines and be ready to prove his masculinity at any given moment. If a man refuses or is unable to follow these economical, physical, and emotional standards, their manhood will always be in question.

Every man living in any society has the boundaries of his manhood tested almost every day of his life. Whether its finding the next meal for his family or being lured into a heated argument or fight with another man, it ain’t easy being a modern-day man.

The societal restraints for boys only get worse as they age, because playing with dolls or wearing dresses would have everyone assuming what their sexuality is going to be. Not only can a boy be criticized by his peers for any out of the ordinary behavior, but he can also be ostracized for what he doesn’t or can’t do. If a boy doesn’t play sports or can’t afford to have the latest pair of sneakers he’ll most likely be targeted by bullies and miss out on many bonding activities. Those memories of being excluded or embarrassed during childhood are just a few of many things a man will never want to discuss but will always be haunted by.

Most guys meet their life-long friends during these awkward years of youth and this is the reason why a man’s inner circle is so loyal and difficult to infiltrate. The same close friends or family you have to trust with those secrets are the same people that will never let you forget them because of social regulations. Those regulations force us to go against our better judgment and even logical thinking to denigrate our friends only to elevate our prestige as a man.

Is it the fate of all men seeking respect and progress in this society to become money hungry robots? Is it the fate of all men seeking respect to die for their pride?

The rules of society apply to everyone, but men have been predestined to control and manipulate.  This predetermined birthright of power and control dictates appropriate reactions to a variety of situations.  Often, these domineering methods conflict with our own intrinsic morals or values. Immoral and illegal procedures are being carried out every day mostly by men; their livelihoods are threatened if procedure is not executed appropriately.

It all comes down to a choice; do we, as men, follow the easy path where many have settled or do we forge our own and risk isolation, persecution or being on the receiving end of such virulent behavior?

Contributor bio:  Originally born in the Dominican Republic, writer and social commentator Ariel Santos moved to New York City at the age of three.  He spent half of his life in what he has described as the “bad part” of Brooklyn but also spent some time living in Queens.  His interests lie in sharing the alternate universe that exists in his head, sharing his most consuming clusters of thoughts and ideas with his readers.  To contact Ariel, feel free to send him an email at addieease3g(at)gmail.com.

Product Review: Wen Men Hair & Body Cleansing Conditioner

By now, most of us have seen those late night infomercials of hairstylist Chaz Dean (with his luscious locks) showing off how wonderful his products are for women of every hair type.  Well, now he’s branched out and launched Wen Men!

Launched in September 2014, Wen Men is a hair and boy cleansing conditioner meant to be men’s version of the ultimate all-in-one product.  The product is infused bamboo, amber, and ginger root to offer a gender neutral scent that can be used from head to toe.

Now, we’ve all seen Dean’s infomercials at least once (if not more), and if you’re like me you’ve been a little skeptical about Wen’s ability to provide cleansing and conditioner properties to kinky-textured hair.  Mainly because their model with “coarse hair” has hair like this:

wen coarse hair

 

Seeing this woman’s somewhat loosely coiled hair didn’t leave me, and I’m sure many others, with a  lot of confidence that Wen was a good fit for afro-textured hair.  If you thought so, then you may find yourself increasingly surprised by this review.

Full disclosure, I have never used Wen hair care products before this review and obviously came in with all of my prejudices about who likely it Wen Men was going to work for thick and densely coiled hair such as mine.  Well, it did!

For me, Wen Men quickly became what the natural hair community likes to call a “holy grail” product.  The ingredients list is filled with natural extracts and oils which makes it an especially ideal cleanser for the colder and drier months.

wen men 2

 

The directions on the massive 32 oz. salon quality bottle encourage a minimum of six pumps for short hair (8 for medium and 10 for long) and I pretty much followed those to a t.  When I first tried Wen Men, I had a medium-sized afro and used about 8 pumps which was more than enough.  Luckily for you, I also got a pretty good trim recently and tried with the standard “short” 6 pump amount and found it equally as impressive. And yes, trust me I have super coily, kinky hair and Wen Men slid through my strands like Nancy Kerrigan at the ’94 Olympics.

 

The formula is creamy and luxurious, which is what you might expect from a 32 oz. bottle that retails for $72.  No, it’s not cheap, but man is this stuff good.  The formulation of oils and extracts helps make Wen Men one of the easiest to distribute products I’ve used since I started rocking a fro years ago.  Within a minute or so after application, the product melted into my 4b-ish type hair and it became incredibly easy to finger detangle.  As this is an all-in-one sort of product, I also took the step to “shampoo” my scalp a bit.  To my surprise, Wen Men cleanses AND moisturizes very well.  And trust me, that’s not something you usually get from products that claim to do it all.  This one actually does deliver on its promise!

My one big negative about Wen Men is its ability to be used as a skin cleanser.  Because there’s no real lather factor, I found it hard to take the product seriously as a good “soap”.  The consistency is so thick and lotion-like it’s hard to imagine that it actually cleanses skin. I know that doesn’t make much sense given how I raved how it cleansed my scalp (which IS skin), but I guess I just still expect tons of suds and bubbles from my body washes and hand soaps.  So as a body cleanser, I can’t say that I truly value Wen Men in that way, even though it smells pretty damn good.

Overall, I have to say that I am incredibly surprised by how well Wen Men works.  It just goes to show you how making snap judgments about products (and people) can often be a terribly inaccurate slippery slope. Truth be told, once I run out of Wen Men, I’m going to be incredibly sad and I might even seriously consider making it my go-to hair care all-in-one product.  At this point, it certainly seems worth it.

For more information and to order Wen Men visit ChazDean.com.

 

Disclosure: A complimentary sample of Wen Men was provided for the sole purpose of this review. The opinions listed herein are mine, and mine alone and have not been unduly influenced by any third party.

Weekly Obsessions 10.30.14

Here’s what’s on my radar this week!

If any of you have been following me on Facebook then you know that I’ve really been enjoying Viola Davis in How to Get Away with Murder. The show is great and has gained a big reputation for a lot of reasons.  By far, one of the most impressive scenes was when Davis’ character removed her wig and makeup at the end of a recent episode (she was previously seen wearing a head wrap to bed, which we never see on TV).   This obviously resonated with a lot of people, particularly Black women, and was even the subject of discussion/celebration on a recent segment on Melissa Harris-Perry’s show.  View the clip below:

Truer words (about living in NYC) have never been spoken

This weekend is Halloween and if you’ve been procrastinating on what your costume is going to be then you may want to go the easy DIY route.  Here are some recommendations from Popsugar for those of you looking to celebrate this weekend.  Be safe everyone!  Conversely, here are some costumes you probably should avoid come Friday…

And finally, a few days ago the video below was released to highlight women having to deal with street harassment.

It spurred a lot of controversy, with some people even suggesting that there is no problem with the comments this woman experienced over the course of a day.  Here’s the thing, I can’t imagine what it’s like to walk down the street and have people constantly referring to my body or the way I look. That’s a problem that guys don’t have.  I would imagine that experience to be isolating, confusing and sometimes frightening (especially if someone continues to walk alongside you for minutes on end = by the way, that makes you a stalker).

Anyway, as guys we need to be more mindful about how our desire to speak to someone does not entitle us a response, period.  So if you see a woman walking down the street and you think she’s beautiful, say “Good morning” and keep it moving.  If she wants to talk to you, she’ll stop and do it. I promise.

On the same topic, Jon Stewart correspondent Jessica Williams (who also has an amazing head of hair) weighs in on street harassment in this humorous clip. If you don’t watch anything else today, it should be this.

 

 

Simply Delicious Fall Recipes

Check out Simply Delicious Fall Recipes

by Jor-El at Foodie.com


Contrary to my recent post “What I Hate Most About This Time of Year” I actually love fall, especially when it comes to food.  I recently joked on Instagram that everyone had made their first pot of chili a few weeks ago when we all felt the first chill in the air.  It turns out I wasn’t too far from the truth!

One of my favorite things to do outside of work is cook so I’ve teamed up with Foodie again to share with you some of my favorite fall recipes in this newest collection.

Some of them are absolute standouts that I have to make every fall, like Sweet Potato Pie.  As a born and bred Southerner (and NYC transplant) I make Sweet Potato Pie almost intuitively but the recipe included in my collection is pretty close to how my mother made it. I’ve added a tweak or two over the years but it’s still doesn’t compare to what mom makes!

Here are the other recipes included in my Simply Delicious Fall Recipes collection:

  •  Libby’s Pumpkin Bread
  • Pumpkin Spice Monkey Bread
  • Hot Cinnamon Today
  • Blue Cheese Crisps
  • Frozen Yogurt with Poached Peaches
  • Pumpkin Quesadillas
  • Simple Savory Beef Crockpot Chili
  • Halloween Candy Bark
  • Greek Yogurt Herb Dip
  • Sweet Potato Pie
  • Roasted Brussel Sprouts
  • Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffin with Walnut Streusel
  • Roasted Root Vegetables
  • Pumpkin and Ginger Soup
  • Simple and Easy Apple Crumble

Happy cooking!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Foodie.com.

Weekly Obsessions 10.23.14 Edition

Here’s what’s on my radar this week!

In his latest Between Two Ferns, comedian Zach Galifianakis takes on Fury star, and one of my personal favorites, Brad Pitt.  The video does drag in a few spots but that last half is hilarious. I just have two words for you…CHEWING GUM. You can view the video at this link.

As a (former) band geek, I’m seriously obsessed by this video of a New Orleans street performer who goes in on this song.  Her voice is awesome and her clarinet skills are just incredible.  Check it out below!

Now to the cute stuff, because you know…why not?!  I’m a fan of pit bulls (largely because they get a bad rap mainly because of irresponsible owners, but that’s neither here nor there) and this video of a rescue is pretty awesome to watch.

And finally, grocery shoppers in Oregon got a little surprise when an unexpected visitor crashed the party…

Until next time!

A modern man's lifestyle guide to hair, health and everything in between.