Weekly Obsessions 9.19.14

Here are this week’s latest obsessions…

I’m a little late, but I previously shared this speech by NFL commentator James Brown that really resonated with me about domestic violence.  It’s really one of the best discussions on intimate partner violence that I’ve seen in a while.  The fact that it aired before a prime time game makes it even better.  Well done, sir, well done.

Recently, natural hair blog Black Girl with Long Hair featured me on their list of 5 Men with Crushworthy Natural Hair.  It’s such a great list which includes some guys who were previous features here on MANE MAN. Thanks for the shout out BGLH!

And finally, if you’re in the NJ, NYC or Staten Island area you should find yourself eating at Potatopia after 4 PM. The restaurant (which I love) is running a promotion where all month-long (September is National Potato Month) you can receive a $4 meal after 4 PM at any Potatopia location. It even includes a small fountain drink!  Do yourself a favor and check it out, it really is delicious.  And is there any better way to carb load than to eat a deliciously stuffed baked potato?

potatopia collage



A Guys Night Out with Rockport

One of the hardest things (see: #firstworldproblems) about going out and socializing, is for me, deciding what to wear.  As a guy, we often have limited options to choose from and have less acceptability in attending a function wearing a glorified t-shirt.

That’s why it’s always fun to take advantage of a guy’s night out every once in a while, but that’s no excuse to look like a slob (especially in a place like New York City).  One of the things I actually like most about style here is how everyone manages to have this  cool work/sleek/stylish/comfortable wardrobe that seamlessly transitions from days at the office to happy hours to date nights.  I guess it’s because we’re often running right from one event to the other.  I’m not entirely sure that’s a good thing, but that’s neither here nor there.

I’ve found the perfect style combination for me that usually includes dark jeans, a button up shirt, some chukkas and a nice jacket. Substitute a blazer or cardigan for the jacket and a polo for the button-up shirt and you pretty much have what I wear 90% of the time.  Yes, sadly I’m not that inventive.  I do try and switch up colors a bit from time to time, however.

guys night out

If you can’t tell, I’m all about comfort and function.  If a shirt hugs just a little too tight I’ll toss/donate it.  If my shoes hurt my feet I’ll never wear them.   That’s one of the reasons why I’m really glad to have partnered with Rockport shoes for this post. Their Parker Hill Desert Boot comes with ADIPRENE technology which basically means you feel like you’re wearing tennis shoes/sneakers but with the look of a boot. They are just awesome.

So for me, guys night out can consist of drinks, likely some carb-heavy food and maybe a movie.  Sometimes that plan devolves into  a variety of things, but hey I guess that’s one of the down upsides of living in the Big Apple with so many options.

That’s a quick look at my guys’ night out style.  Check back here on the blog soon with a really special offer from Rockport. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Rockport shoes.

Book Review: Jack Icefloe Jackson’s Romance for Men

jack iceloe jackson pandora's boxRomance for men? Well, sort of. This book (I can’t bring myself to call it a novel) is the brain child of Hollywood writer/producer Dean Lorey and is not for the faint of heart.

Romance for Men: Pandora’s Box is without a doubt, the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read. The book follows the author, Jack Icefloe Jackson, on his journey to save the world. Yeah, really.  Jack is tapped by President Obama to “meet with” Pandora  before her infamous box destroys the world.

But what exactly makes this book “romance for men”? Well, Jack Icefloe Jackson only ever has one thing on his mind, which is also central to his mission, ironically. The book is graphic, distasteful and completely inappropriate. It’s pretty much what you might expect from a book that refers to itself as romance for men.

The book’s genius lies in its satire and ability to make even the filthiest of guys uncomfortable at times. I was even a little weary of reading it on my daily commute because even the cover is just so…Icefloe.

Chances are that if you don’t like being politically correct (or embrace that part of yourself) you’ll likely enjoy what Romance for Men: Pandora’s Box has to offer. It’s definitely for mature audiences only and would probably make the perfect gag gift for your buddy on his next birthday. Admittedly, I reluctantly say that it am a little curious as to what Jack Icefloe Jackson encounters on his next journey in “SUCKubus”.

For more depraved, explicit and horrifically inappropriate stuff, you can visit icefloejackson.com.

Disclosure: A sample copy for review was provided courtesy of the book’s publishing and marketing team for the sole purpose of this review.

Weekly Obsessions 9.5.14

Here are this week’s latest obsessions…

If you haven’t seen this adorable video by now, chances are you’ve been overwhelmed with other responsibilities, but just take a look as a little tyke gets his hearing aid and can really hear his parents’ voices for the first time.

And now because bathing suit season is over, I wanted to share with you this incredibly sinful delicious collection of recipes by Buzzfeed, “27 Salted Caramel Desserts That Will Make Everything Better”.  I made a rendition of a recipe that I hope to be sharing on the site soon!

Watch this woman beast a flying garbage bag at the U.S. Open.  I love the commentary and crowd reaction.  PS…nice hair!

And finally, the world just lost one of its funniest truth-tellers, Joan Rivers.  While I didn’t always agree with all her jokes, she is one of a few comics that can get me laughing out loud on a consistent basis. Check out this nice little tribute to her life’s work:

A Good Ol Fashion Rant

It’s very appropriate that this post is coming to you in the middle of Fashion Week because I’ve been holding on to this one for a while. Let’s go down the rabbit hole, shall we?

I AM TIRED WITH FASHION’S OBSESSION WITH VANITY. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking, “isn’t fashion all about looking good and well…vanity?” Well, yeah. But I’m not upset about looking good. It’s the vanity part that really gets me going.

If you shop at inexpensive big box stores or chains like (Old Navy, Gap, H&M, Banana Republic, etc…) then you’ve likely felt the pinch too, especially if you’re a dude and of a particular body type.

Vanity sizing, which I’ve written about before, is now firmly a big part of shopping for men. For guys like me, we have found ourselves having a harder time finding clothes that fit like they used to, especially amid America’s current obsession with “slim fit”.

So I’m going to say it now. Slim fit is not for everyone. But if you’re shopping at those big retail chains you probably wouldn’t know it judging by the racks of clothes staring at you in the face. Classic cuts like “regular” fit or “straight” fit are increasingly more difficult to find so sometimes I find myself having to choose slim fit but a size up, and this is no fun.

Some guys have beer guts, athletic legs and sizable backsides. And some guys don’t. This post isn’t a tirade against super slim men, not in the slightest. I’m just a little concerned.

I know that this territory of grossly inaccurate sizing and inability to find clothing that works for you has long been a female phenomenon/problem. Trust me, that’s not lost on me. Now I’m finding myself, along with a bunch of other dudes, I’m sure, right in the same boat. And it’s annoying…really annoying.

A New Way to Say Hello

Today I bring you my experience using hello oral care products. Read on for the review!


Hello products were created to offer customers reasonably priced, vegan and cruelty free oral products. Hello prides itself in offering tasty and delicious options to create a more enjoyable daily experience, and that’s exactly what initially drew me to their products.

The product line has a variety of flavors for each of their product offerings: mojito mint, supermint, and pink grapefruit mint. Luckily I had the opportunity to sample all three!

The small breath sprays are handy little canisters (see above) that fit just about anywhere. They’re perfect for a purse or work messenger for easy access.

I was able to try the breath spray in all three flavors and I would have to say the mojito mint was my favorite. It’s pretty reminiscent of the cocktail, but like all hello products, its alcohol free. Pink grapefruit has a slightly sweeter and brighter flavor while supermint boasts a particularly powerful serving of minty-goodness.

The real surprise was the Supermint Mouthwash which was infinitely more powerful than the breath spray, so much so that I actually felt a pretty solid “burn”. That quickly quelled my fear that hello products wouldn’t be effective dental care because of their pleasant taste. Needless to say, I was impressed.

Overall, I have two words to describe my experience with hello oral care…surprisingly delicious. And trust me, that’s the last thing I thought I would say about an oral hygiene routine.

To learn more about hello, you can visit them on the web at hello-products.com.

Disclosure: This is a post sponsored by the folks at hello oral care. Products were provided for the sole purpose of the review and have not been unduly influenced in any way.

Carb Overload! Perfect Pasta Dishes

Check out Pasta Overload: Perfect Pasta Dishes

by Jor-El at Foodie.com

Have you been looking for the perfect pasta recipe to try?  Look no further! Here are 12 Perfect Pasta Dishes that you should make tonight!

Like most people, I’ve long had an unhealthy obsession with pasta. Sometimes I try and convince myself that I’m due pasta because I try to run regularly but I know in my heart of hearts that’s usually just a silly excuse to go into full-fledged carb-beast-mode. But that’s neither here nor there.

Today, I’m sharing with you some of my favorite pasta recipes, which include everything from light summery salads to incredibly rich and indulgent cheesy-pasta fests.  Hey, they both have a perfectly valid place in the world, right?!

I’m a Southern boy at heart so I would be remiss not to include a classic southern mac & cheese recipe although since relocating to NYC years ago, I have to say I don’t eat it nearly as much as I used to. Yes, there are restaurants that serve it here, but there’s nothing quite like mom’s mac & cheese that has way too much butter and cheese, right?  Nonetheless, it’s still my much welcomed go-to for pot luck dinners so I must be doing something right.

Here are some of the best/most intriguing pasta recipes around. While I haven’t made all of them, several have found their way into my tummy over the years and the rest, well, they’re on my short list of things to cook up.

Here are the recipes included in my collection:

  • Artichoke Spinach Cannelloni with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
  • Chicken Picatta
  • Missouri Toasted Ravioli
  • Roasted Vegetable and Spinach Lasagna
  • Ranch BLT Macaroni Salad (SUPER easy and good!)
  • Rotini Salad with Kalamata Olive Dressing
  • Easy Lasagna
  • Classic Macaroni Salad
  • Baked Ziti Casserole
  • Classic Southern Macaroni and Cheese
  • Creamy Philly Beef Stroganoff
  • Pesto Pasta
  • Pasta Salad (made with Rotini)
  • Easy Tuna Casserole


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from my friends over at Foodie. Check out their site for a plethora of recipes that you can collect on your own.  There’s tons of inspiration!

Stimulate Your Senses with FOCUS by Coffee Blenders

Coffee Blenders Line

If you’ve read my previous post about battling caffeine addiction, then you probably have a good idea about how much I love coffee.

Ever since I was a kid, I remembered enjoying emulating my parents and drinking coffee on Sunday mornings with my French toast. Doesn’t that sound delicious?!

As I’m in caffeine recovery (now only drinking 1-2 coffee drinks per week!) I was all too excited to give Coffee Blenders FOCUS coffee a try.

FOCUS is a 100% Arabica coffee from the folks at Coffee Blenders. FOCUS is aimed at improving cognitive performance, but does it really work?

I was beyond skeptical that FOCUS would actually have any effect on my mental state so I actually tried it out for the first time on what was supposed to be a Saturday filled with a lot of lounging and light reading.

I used my Keurig K-cup French Press and brewed my first cup. To be honest, my first cup was a little too weak for my taste when I brewed it with 8 ounces of water, but since then I’ve made cups with between 6-7 ounces of water. Remember, how much I said I like coffee?  The real question is, did it help me focus?

The kicker is, I ended up feeling energized enough that I ended up writing 3 posts within the next hour or so. Now that may not sound like much, however when I set my mind to a  lazy day, I’m incredibly adept at meeting my goal. I created three posts and polished off some additional work for Brash.com as well. So it turns out there is a little something special about this coffee!

The proprietary ingredient is Cereboost which is actually American Ginseng. Apparently American Ginseng is a potent and fast acting root which helps improve memory, cognitive performance and helps you manage cold symptoms. Not bad.

While you can only brew one cup of FOUS at a time, if you’re anything like me, that may be all you need to give your day a quick jump-start. And with the addition of Cereboost, you may find that the lethal combination of caffeine and American ginseng might just be what you need to get your day off to a productive start or midday pick-me-up.  To find out more about FOCUS, you can visit www.coffeeblenders.com.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  Products for review were provided courtesy of Coffee Blenders for the sole purpose of this review.

Weekly Obsessions 8.22.14

Pentatonix covers Ariana’s “Problem”, Pierce Brosnan is horrible at Goldeneye with Jimmy Fallon and I learn I’m the last of a “dying Black breed”.   These are my latest weekly obsessions!

I came across this gem of “25 Thing that Prove You Are  The Last of a Dying Black Breed.”  This hit me right in the feels!

I was never particularly good at shooting games (still not good, by the way) so I was happy to come across this video of Pierce Brosnan of Goldeneye fame take on Jimmy Fallon in a quick battle.  It looks like Pierce and I are pretty much on the same level so now I feel a little better.

Pentatonix released the first single off their upcoming EP PTX: Volume III and it’s a cover of Ariana Grande’s “Problem”.  It has a different vibe but still very good. Give it a listen!

6 Reasons You Should Be Watching FouseyTube

fouseyTUBE. DOSEofFousey. Yousef Erakat.  He’s one of my favorite YouTubers around and here are six reasons you should be watching him.

fouseytube shopping

1. He has a good time shopping.

Fitted hats and cool gear is all you pretty much see fouseyTUBE rocking in his videos and it’s clear that he makes an effort when it comes to his appearance. Yousef is always lined up, looking sharp and sporting his trademark thick eyebrows. When it comes to grooming, he’s definitely got something good going on there. Anyone know what products he uses?

fouseytube eyebrows

2. Look at them brows..just look at ‘em.

fouseytube yoga pants

3. He’ll pretty much do anything for a laugh…

fouseyTUBE is best known for hilarious (usually juvenile) prank videos which have garnered millions of hits on YouTube which is no easy feat. It certainty takes hard work. His videos are often pretty funny, sometimes just plain silly but always entertaining.

In addition to his ability to flex his comedic chops, Yousef also has a conscience. The YouTube extraordinaire raises awareness with this videos on social/political issues. He’s also hit big numbers with his The Public Rape Experiment (Trigger warning: Includes a story of sexual assault and related themes throughout the video) and The Kidnapping Children Experiment (Trigger warning: Depicts fictitious kidnapping scene), proving that he’s got a lot more to offer us than a few good laughs.

4. His laugh is a hilarious dolphin like dream. No seriously, I dare you to resist its power.

fouseytube ahmed

5. He tortures his has good friends.

One of the great things about fouseyTUBE is that you often see his friends join in on his growing YouTube journey. You often see them being pranked, and them occasionally pranking fouseyTUBE himself. What’s great is that you get to see a close group of guy friends who really just like to enjoy each other’s company. You can tell there’s a lot of love between them and that’s very cool to see in his videos.  In addition, his parents also occasionally make the cut and they’re pretty awesome too.

fouseytube depression

5. He talks real and is healing right in front of our eyes.

Earlier this year Yousef disclosed that he battles depression. The startling admission seemingly came out of nowhere for us but in his declaration, you can see his earnest desire to work hard to get better. And with the stigma surrounding mental health, he shows us that men of color, and middle eastern men in particular, also have emotional challenges to face in life.

Yousef vlogs daily on his second channel DOSEofFousey and you can catch up on all of his earlier vids on his fouseyTUBE channel. I hope you’ll be watching, I know I will!


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