In Holiday Holiday 2017 Holiday Gift Guide Kodak Mens Mens lifestyle Tech Tech and Gadgets

Life In Person, Not Just On Your Phone: Kodak Printomatic and Photo Printer Mini


We've all been there haven't we?  That peculiar place when our smart phones tell us that our photo wishes have exceeded their capacity to fulfill them.  What do you do when the memory runs out or the storage gets as full as our bellies post a holiday meal at mom's?  Some of you may or may not remember or recall with fondness those large bound books at your grandparent's called albums.  For before albums were only associated with going platinum, the album was what held your familial history and reminded you of that moment when that high or low was captured on film.  There's something sweetly dedicated to be said of still writing things down, picking up a phone to talk and, yes, holding a photo in hand.  I, for one, am still a purist in that way.  For that reason alone is why I loved discovering at a recent Pepcom here in New York City, a couple of convenient tech gadgets that bridged my love of the familiar with my respect for the new.

Kodak, the company synonymous with pictures & cameras and all that great stuff that capture the way we live our lives, has got two products I want to share with you.  First up on the roster is the Kodak Printomatic Instant Print Camera.  This is an amazingly light and handy camera that houses it's own photo lab.  The Printomatic houses ten sheets of quality photo paper at a time and with one touch of a button you can take cool color or black and white photos that slide coolly and quickly out the side of the camera.  There is even a slot for the option to store photos taken on the camera on a microSD card of up to 32GB.  Added bonuses are a built lithium ion battery that charges quickly, an indicator of low battery power, printing in progress indicator and automatic focus and an advanced optical viewfinder T6.  The camera also loads with Kodak Zink Photo Paper that is water and tear resistant and adhesive-backed.  Check out my video at the top of this post and see how quick and easy it is to use:    



Next up is the Kodak Photo Printer Mini.  Some of us refuse to part with our smartphones and the Photo Printer Mini makes it so you don't have to.  You can sync your iPhone or Android devices to the printer over wifi and then have a range of options to control the output of your photos, such as video print, image search and SNS photo, through a free Kodak App.  The app also allows you to edit photos before printing with tools like filters, photo brushes and features a camera option to take photos while in the app as well.  The Photo Printer Mini is also incredibly light and a full color cartridge complete with ten sheets of quality photo paper tucks neatly into a flush side compartment.  See how great the photo turns out in my video below:



If anything at all I hoped I've solved your gift-giving conundrums for at least a few people this holiday season with a pair of gadgets that put the fun of physical photos in-hand back into the holiday festivities.  The Kodak Printomatic Instant Print Camera and the Kodak Photo Printer Mini are both available now at here at Kodak.com and here at Amazon.com.  Classic familiarities meet modern handiness.

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In Alcohol Review Entertaining Holiday Holiday 2017 Holiday Gift Guide Mens lifestyle Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça Wines and Spirits

The Sweet Side of Brazil: Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça


You know the saying that's always retorted when you suggest to someone that they're drinking a cocktail too early? "Well it's two o'clock somewhere ain't it?" or whatever earlier than cocktail hour time it is is mentioned as the justification to imbibe.  When I think of the holidays here in the U.S., the festive spirits/drinks that come to mind are usually brandy for egg nog, red wine for mulled wine, champagne for toasting or bourbon for a hot toddy.  Well this season I had the distinct pleasure of discovering Brazilian Cachaça and while it may not be the quintessential holiday spirit, the flavor had me exclaiming "Well it's the holiday season in Brazil ain't it?".

All that is to suggest that you just may want to add Cachaça to you spirit bucket list and home bar.  The Silver Cachaça from Novo Fogo is an exceptional Cachaça that is distilled in copper pots and made from organic sugar cane grown in the Brazilian state of Paraná.  It's then rested in stainless steel tanks until its ready to be sipped, mixed in the Brazilian national drink the Caipirinha or used as the base spirit in a modified Negroni cocktail.  So let's get to the flavor.  Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça has an herbal aroma similar to that of banana blossoms and you can surely smell the sweet rustic scent of the sugar cane.  The sip ushers in a deep flavor profile that starts off with a warm peppery nod, a tangy almost lemony kick and an interesting briny lingering.  All together with the sugar cane the notes achieve a balance and give off a nice herbal pop that finishes with a faint saltiness to doesn't linger but ends the sip with a clean memorable satisfaction.  

Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça is like a zesty dancing rum with intense flavors that surprise.  With that in mind, I thought about taking a simple rum cocktail and remixing it with this spirit.  I call it the Cachaça Two-Step.

Cachaça Two-Step

3.5 ounces                Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça
1 ounce                     Simple Syrup
1/2                            Lime
1                               Maraschino cherry
1 wedge                    Pineapple

Place the Cachaça and simple syrup into a shaker with ice then squeeze in the juice of the half of lime.  Shake it up for about 20 seconds.  Pour everything (including ice) into a lowball glass and then garnish with the cherry and pineapple wedge.

This is a quick and easy cocktail that marries nicely with the tropical essence of the Cachaça's sugar cane.  The presence of the lime serves to beef up the citrus notes in the spirit and the simple syrup balances out the heat and depth of the flavor profile nicely.

For more information on Novo Fogo and all their complete spirits line-up please visit NovoFogo.com.  Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça is available now at your better Alcohol, Wine and Spirit retailers as as always please remember to drink responsibly.

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In All Natural Cosmetics Holiday Holiday 2017 Holiday Gift Guide Mens Mens Grooming Mens Issues Mens lifestyle Sway

Raise Your Hand If Your Swayed: Sway Underarm Deodorant


It seems that every other day there's a list that comes out, a report that's recapped or statistics that are tabulated that send us deeper into information overload.  What's more is that many of these findings that say 'nay' contradict findings that only years earlier said 'yay'.  So at the end of the day many of us, instead of choosing what to do, decide to do nothing at all.  Information-overload oftentimes leads to disinterest.  Well there are several findings lately that call to question the presence of paraben-filled cosmetics, pore-blocking comedogenic products and aluminum-laden antiperspirants and deodorants.  All this serves as the growing push for more natural product awareness and usage.  In a sense, there's a growing push for products that help to solve and manage problems short-term without creating newer problems for you in the long-run.

Enter Sway, a natural cosmetics company that has two simple restorative products.  Sway offers a natural detox deodorant and underarm dusting powder to help rid you of your anti-persperant/deodorant woes.  In their deodorant, the company uses ingredients like apple cider vinegar, aloe vera juice, rose flower water, tea tree oil, clary sage and West Indian sandalwood oil to treat the conditions of underarm sweat and odor in an all natural way.  The common skepticism is that the strength of certain natural products don't pack the punch of chemically-laden products which is why I had to test Sway out myself.  First, Sway has a soothing herbal aroma and the tea tree oil, sage and sandalwood come through with an intense verdant punch.  It went on smoothly with the roll-on and after 30-45 seconds drying time, then came the dusting powder.  Sway offers the powder for extra added freshness and dryness.  It boasts natural ingredients like arrowroot powder, orange oil and grapefruit oil.  A simple dusting after the deodorant dried and it was time to get dressed to let the test begin.


The result was a good one.  First off, let me just say that I'm a guy and I tend to perspire a lot and Sway stood up to one of my workday's movements and sweat-filled stresses.  I undressed at the end of the night and saw no residue of deodorant, the powder and had no untoward odors.  However, that wasn't the end of the test.  It had to be a week long trial and I must say that by Friday Sway was still as odorless and working fine as the first application days before.  It's formulated to get your underarms used to it after repeated use and, without the alcohol and aluminum, its great on darker skin tones too.  

The Sway Underarm Detox Starter Kit is available now at their website www.LoveMySway.com.  Not a bad gift at all for the holidays or to just keep cool and odor-free while running around for the holidays.

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In Alcohol Review Cocktails Entertaining Hardy Cognac Holiday Holiday 2017 Holiday Gift Guide Mens Mens lifestyle Wines and Spirits

A Hardy Holiday: Hardy Cognac Review


If Thanksgiving was any indication, you may feel that what is to be one of the most joyous times of the year could very well become one of the most annoying times of the year.  Why?  People can have a penchant for spreading gloom and doom just as easily as they can have a propensity to spread mirth and cheer when faced with carolers, family, shoppers and long lines.  For this reason alone, I can't really suggest how to approach your holiday cheer (or holiday regret) without suggesting a sure-shot way to ease into whatever the holidays may bring you.  

If you're old enough to enjoy a nice spirit to combat or revel in the season's on-comings then you've probably already developed some way to deal with the highs and lows.  However, there's always room for satisfying improvements.  Think trading in the heat of a fire for the warmth of a sip and the aroma of gingerbread for the fragrance of a soothing spirit like Hardy Cognac.  

The award-winning tenured Hardy Cognac was founded by the British gent Anthony Hardy in 1863 and is branded as 'combining the elegance of Petite Champagne with the delicacy of Borders'.  What you uncover when first experience Hardy is an aromatic rush with the fresh sweet notes of orange citrus and vanilla mixed with the toasty soothing notes of a delicately brewed cappuccino and tender oaken scent.  You then relish in the brilliant molten amber hue followed by a sip with the relaxing warmth of coffee,  zest of citrus and a distinct sweetness that just creates a full-bodied refined sense of relief.  This is such a nice cognac that lovingly rolls over and gently lingers on the palette which is a plus since the rich flavor is a satisfying key to creating a piquant coziness.  


The sleek and handsomely sculpted bottle of Hardy Cognac and the streamlined depiction of the brand's characteristic rooster ties right in line with their seasoned French luxury and uniqueness.  Hardy Cognac is labored over with craftsmanship and love in Limousin's oak barrels with an aging between 2-12 years.  Discover all the Hardy Cognac varieties at HardyCognac.fr.  It'll serve as an attractive addition to your collection at home and not to mention a welcomed one on those days when, in lieu of a hearth and massage, the toasty warmth of a sip and a soothing stroke over the palette is all you need.   

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In Holiday Holiday 2017 Holiday Gift Guide Mens Mens Accessories Mens Clothing Mens Fashion Mens lifestyle Mens Underwear Pair Of Thieves

Underwear As Überwear : Pair Of Thieves Underwear Review


I've been known to both celebrate and scoff at times about the stodginess of menswear.  While I love the classics involving of gaberdine, tweed and Prince of Wales and the foundations they've laid, I also have a penchant for new perspectives involving bonded nylons, French terry and vegan leather.  One area in particular that men seem to wrestle with being either a maverick or a creature of habit is in choosing their underclothes.  It used to be that most men had their wives buy a three pack that was worn till they bore holes.  Now as men have become way more body conscious, a standard boxer short has found dresser-drawer neighbors in boxer briefs, square-cut trunks, low-rise this, fancy-jock that and in fabrications that pull gents into the tactile comfort zone. 


I have long been that kind of guy who knows that with the onslaught of low-waists, shrunken silhouettes and skinny jeans, my underwear must shrink just as enlightened.  As outer fabrics hug the body closer, social environs such as gyms and casual dating pushed underwear to not be such a hidden thing in menswear.  For years now, I've sought to put some fun into my underwear-sock combo just because I felt that women shouldn't have all the fun and options.  So it's a delight when I discovered a brand that shares in my vision for comfort, color and coolness with options for those days you feel either sexy or slouchy.  That amazing brand is Pair Of Thieves.

What Cash Warren, Alan Stuart and David Ehrenberg initially set out to do was create a better fitting sock.  However, fast forward a few years later and what was wrought was a company that took the aesthetic of fit-fuction and fused that into the category of undergarments to make them better feeling, better looking and better fitting.  And they've done it well!  Pair Of Thieves is a really well though-out brand whose underwear, tees and socks feel so soft against the skin and make for an excellent fit due to the great ergonomic no-chafe seaming, four-way stretch, breathability, moisture wicking and comfy waistbands.  Admittedly, when first introduced to the brand, I slipped into creature-of-comfort mode as I was highly skeptical of any brand tearing me away from my low-rise junk-hugging favorites.  The off-putting thing about a lot of 'popular' mens underwear nowadays is that I feel them under my clothes and that makes me have to worry about them riding up or irritating my skin since I also workout and kind of fall in-between sizes.  When I first pulled on a Pair Of Thieves boxer brief I was sold.  Like sold sold!! The softness was astonishing and I truly did feel free to move and like I was wearing a fabric that wouldn't make my 'car parts' overheat.  Pair Of Thieves also showed me that underwear could be fun again with just as much emphasis poured into design, comfort and fit.  The exuberant prints and the cacophony of colors they offer are just plain cool with a variety that speaks to the mindset of a huge cross section of men.  Their socks, which birthed the Pair Of Thieves brand, also boast a stellar fit as they stay in place all day, fit the foot snugly and then fit the ankle and calf areas securely with clever and great seam design.  Your foot is bathed in softness.


Enjoy these photos and installations from their recent NYC 'Basic Britches' event then head on over to their website PairOfThieves.com and I dare you to take the 'Pair Of Thieves' challenge.  The experience will sell you and you'll want to hook they guys, friends, lovers and co-workers in your life up too.  Just in time for the holidays at that.  



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