YUM! Delectable Cookies & Bars

Check out Delectable Cookies and Bars

by Jor-El at Foodie.com

In my spare time one of the things that I enjoy most is cooking. Preparing food and making things for friends is a really fun way for me to experiment in the kitchen with a willing group of guinea pigs.

In all seriousness, food has always been a big part of my life and that’s why I love being able to share with you my collections of recipes on Foodie.com.  I routinely use the website to discover new recipes and get inspiration for ideas to bring to my own kitchen, so it’s definitely a treat to share with you all some of the things that have piqued my interest.

This month, I’m sharing with you a collection of cookies and bars, which are among my favorite things to share with my family and loved ones.  I have to highlight one of the recipes on this list because it inspired me to make a revamped version of it earlier in the summer for a cookout with my friends.

brown butter sea salt caramel bars - mane man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Brown Butter Sea Salt Caramel Bars were a BIG hit.  I’ve basically been told that I won’t be invited to any potlucks unless I bring these to every occasion!  These bars are based on the below recipe of Sea Salt Brown Butter Snickerdoodles.  I only have one big warning though, the smell of these things in progress is HEAVENLY.  If you love salty-sweet desserts these are basically perfection and I’m pretty sure I’d want them at my last meal.

Other recipes in this collection include:

  1. *Brown Butter Salted Caramel Cookies
  2. Piece of Cake-Mix Cookie Bars
  3. Snickers Blondies
  4. Salted Caramel Apple Bars
  5. Pecan-Pie Bars
  6. Triple Chocolate Pretzel Brownies
  7. Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies
  8. Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
  9. Homemade Luna Bars
  10. Funfetti Gooey Cake Bars
  11. Date Pecan Bars
  12. Ginger Cheesecake Bars
  13. Muddy Buddies Bars
  14. Superhero Cheerio Bars
  15. Lemon Bars
  16. Gingerbread Cookie Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
  17. M&M Shortbread Cookies
  18. Apple Cider Snickerdoodles
  19. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
  20. Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Bon appétit!

 

 

 

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Foodie.com. The collection is of my own creation and represents some of my favorite desserts to eat and prepare.  Give them a try for yourself!

Weekly Obsessions 12.12.14

Hey folks,  HAPPY FRIDAY…it’s time again for my weekly obsessions!
First off, just a friend reminder that I’ll be joining a great panel Saturday, December 13 at 4 PM for the Loc’d and Loosed natural hair event in downtown NYC.  Ticket sales end at midnight tonight (Friday) so get your tickets now at locdandloosed.eventbrite.com. See you Saturday!
locdandloosed
 I’m all about the Christmas music so I thought that I would share with you this quiz on Playbuzz, “What’s Your Christmas Anthem?” I got this gem (actually one of my favorites!):
If you need a good laugh, I just came across this compilation of videos from Vine superstar Thomas Sanders. Watch him as he narrates people’s lives without their permission. It’s the best thing I’ve seen all week.  I’ve watched it several times over…enjoy! PS…yes, some of them looked staged but they’re still funny nonetheless.
And lastly, musician J Cole took the stage on David Letterman last night for what can only be described as a powerful performance.  Take a listen…

Real Talk at #LocdandLoosed

locdandloosedeventbrite

Hi everyone!  Today, I wanted to share with you an upcoming event that I’ll be participating in this upcoming Saturday, December 13!

Locs Revolution’s Niyya Tenee has helped put together this wonderful natural hair event aimed at connecting the natural hair community and giving us the opportunity to have some fun AND talk about the real issues behind being a part of the community. We’re going to get into some deep issues and you’ll see some demos and other awesome things going on.  It’s definitely not to be missed!

locdandloosed

It’s all going down in NYC on Saturday, and I’ll be featured on a guest panel of creators and natural hair enthusiasts as we delve into “the issues” in the natural hair community.  We’re talking about identity, loc’d hair, fros and all!  I think it’s going to be great and I’m excited to share my perspective as a mental health professional to the conversation.

Tickets are limited so if you’re in the NYC area and looking for something cool to do Saturday then meet us on 27th street in Manhattan at 28 W 27th Street studios.  Only digital tickets are being sold online at locdandloosed.eventbrite.com and cost $20. Tickets are sold online only so don’t miss out.  I hope to see you there!

 

Wouldn’t it be Glove.ly?

glovely classic

The cooler months are finally here which means, ladies and gents…it’s finally glove season!

Finding the perfect gloves for winter is often a difficult task for most of us.  In the age smart phones it’s even more difficult given the need to be able to text your friends when you’re stuck waiting outside your favorite brunch restaurant for them to arrive.  I don’t know about you, but having to take my hands out of my warm clothes to send a “where are you?!” text is not my idea of fun.  That’s where Glove.ly comes in.

Glove.ly aims to provide a solution to frozen fingers with improved technology that actually allows you to send text messages with your gloves on.  And if you’ve ever purchased a bad pair of smartphone-friendly gloves, then you know the struggle.

Glove.ly does a pretty good job about delivering on its  promise.  I got the chance to try out their Classic gloves, which are made from acrylic, and found them to be of the better and more accurate smartphone-friendly gloves that I’ve used over the past few years. And at $19.99, the gloves are definitely cheaper than their name-brand counterparts who fail at doing the same thing.  Plus, the little Glove.ly symbols are magnetized which means your right and left gloves never have to be apart…unless they’re on your hands.

While the Classic gloves aren’t the most stylish gloves one can by, they are unisex and come in a nice charcoal color that pretty much goes with anything.  They also don’t have those odd-looking finger pads that are generally a part of all those smartphone-friendly gloves on the market.  Simply put, they just look like regular gloves.  The one negative, and this is generally more for the men, is that the Classics only come in two sizes: small or medium/large. I don’t have “big” hands so to speak and I find the medium/large size to be quite snug.  It’s just something to think about.

If the Classic style isn’t your thing, Glove.ly offers a range of varieties to meet your needs: Solid, Cozy, Driver, Leather and Rabbit.  And for a limited time, Glove.ly products are currently 25% off with the code TGIBF2014 (for a limited time while supplies last!).

If you’re in the market for some smartphone-friendly gloves, give Glove.ly a shot, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed! I even purchased a pair for a gift so I’m also putting my money where my mouth is.  If that doesn’t say enough then I don’t know what will.

 

Disclosure: Products for review were provided courtesy of Glove.ly for the sole purpose of the review.

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.

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