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Ray Ban people, it’s time to switch it up this summer

May 6th, 2014 No Comments

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I always think of Warby Parker as a hipster, Brooklyn brand.  You know, skinny guys in tight, cuffed jeans, with fitted button downs and cool shades.  I use their instagram in client pitches all the time because their gallery is so well curated to convey the lifestyle.  HOWEVER, the truth is, WB frames are approachable for everyone.  They modernize vintage styles making them versatile and easy to wear.  Then, they price them reasonably.

I would say if you’re a Ray Ban person looking to add a little flare to your face, WP is your answer.

Today they launched their Summer collection that includes 9 new frames and 4 new colors.  ”You’ll find bookish silhouettes in surf-inspired hues and classic styles in beach shack shades.”

Price is simply $95.  Click here to shop.

Like TOMS shoes, for each pair sold, a pair goes to someone in need.

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What is the best Happy Hour deal…for your health?! Nutritionista answers.

January 25th, 2012 No Comments

This is my favorite mid-day snack!

Right after I took this picture, I wondered, “What is the healthiest bar snack option?”  To me, this seems like it, but the chips are fried and the beer is full throttle.  Although it is a dark beer, which is less caloric than light ales if you can believe it.   Instead of guessing, I emailed Leah, aka Nutritionista who used to contribute regularly to MTM, for the numerical answer.

She responded like a champ!  Read the cold hard facts below.

HAPPY HOUR HEALTH QUIZ

by Nutritionista

Recently, Mary presented me with three common happy hour options and asked a simple question: Which is healthier? I’ve written about how to have a healthy happy hour before, but this seemed like a fun and challenging happy hour dilemma to tackle. Here are the choices Mary gave me:

  • Glass of wine and a bread basket with olive oil at an Italian restaurant
  • Sliders and light beer at a sports bar
  • Skinny margarita with chips and salsa at a Mexican Restaurant

First let’s establish portion size. I went with 3 5-oz. glasses of red wine and 3 smaller pieces of crusty white bread with 1/2 tbsp olive oil for the Italian restaurant, 4 small sliders and 3 12-oz. light beers for the sports bar, and 25 chips + 6 tablespoons salsa and 3 skinny margaritas for the Mexican restaurant.

The first thing most people would probably be tempted to do is look at the calorie count for each of these options. You might be surprised to know that the approximate calorie counts for each happy hour pick are pretty similar: around 850 for the Italian restaurant, 745 for the sports bar, and 745 for the Mexican restaurant. Yes, you could save around 100 calories by avoiding the Italian option, but calorie count isn’t telling us much here.

So let’s go beyond calories, since I don’t think they tell the full health story anyway. The Italian happy hour choice not only has the most calories, but it also has the most carbs by far — around 95g compared to 50g for the sliders and beer and only 35g for the Mexican meal. But that low carb count in the Mexican happy hour might be due to some artificial sweetener in the margaritas — and I definitely don’t think artificial sweetener is healthy. But if you don’t want your blood sugar to spike, stay away from the Italian happy hour with all that bread! White bread has pretty much no redeeming nutritional qualities anyway.

Looking at protein, the sports bar meal packs the most punch, with 30g compared to 16g in the Italian meal and 11g in the Mexican meal. The sports bar meal also has the most fat (presumably from the burgers), which you all know I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing. No, the beef in those sliders is probably not very high quality, but the fat will still be more filling.

If I had to give a final verdict, my vote goes to the sliders and beer. It will be far more filling than either of the other options because of the protein and fat. If you want to kick the health factor up a notch, eat your sliders open-face and cut back to two beers. That brings the calorie count down to around 545 and the carb count down to 20g.

If you can mix and match, go with 1-2 glasses of red wine (a healthier option than beer) with 2-3 open-faced sliders. That’s around 400 calories, 15g carbs, and 15g protein. It would also be pretty satisfying because of the protein/fat, and keep you from walking away feeling bloated. Not a bad option!

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Strengthen Not Thicken Your Core on The Bosu

September 5th, 2011 No Comments

After the holiday there’s no doubt you’re probably motivated to get back in shape.

No matter how many times a trainer tells us that we can’t get rid of fat in one area (“spot reduce”) and too many crunches make our tummies thicker, we still crunch away!

Using a bosu for your crunches will present  new challenge so you increase your strength without doing all the reps.  I asked a former MTM Trainer, group fitness director at fit Houston, and new mommy! – Kelley Davidson – to show us how to start on the bosu and the steps to increase the challenge as you get stronger.

“Hello Everyone! It’s nice to be back with you!   I’ve created a core routine that starts easy and gets harder so you can find where to start for your strength level.  Even the first exercise is a challenge! Don’t get frustrated, just breath.  Remember to keep pulling your navel to your spine with each exhale.

It looks easy at first glance, but I warn you, it’s a ton of core work just to find your stability on the BOSU. Once you do, you’re in for a core burn like you’ve never had before.

  1. Start with your behind on the “front” of the BOSU (near the ground) and then lay back until you feel like you are perfectly horizontal.
  2. Slowly lift your feet off the ground until only your middle back is on the BOSU.
  3. Hold on to those legs to start with.
  4. Take 10 breaths and release.

Once you are balanced there (this may take a while), let go and stretch up like you want to touch the ceiling.  Keep your chin tucked slightly and belly button pulled in.

Take another ten breaths pulling in that core with each exhale. Release.

If that’s still easy, let’s add movement:

Extend the right leg and left arm.  Come back home and try the other side.  Try to do 10 on each side.

Once you have that down, extend both arms and both legs.  NOT EASY!!! Hold here for 10 breaths and release.

When you are a crazy core bosu master, add the movement extending arms and legs and then pulling both in at the same time.

This exercise should be very intense as there is no “rest” position, so start with just a few reps of each.  Once you can perform each movemet well, try for 10-15 reps of each.  Remember, it is important to go slow and move with control.  Notice your core is working overtime to keep you from tipping forward and back as well and side to side.

Remember to keep a positive attitude while trying to get into position on this one- don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself :)”

 

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Come on, Irene!

August 28th, 2011 No Comments

-Andrew Woj, The Straight Guy Stylist

While Mary braved Mexico City’s nightlife in Jean Paul Gautier, I put on my very finest hurranista (or is it hurricanisto?) fashions fit for a night out with Irene and her tornado warnings, winds of up to 40 mph, and heavy rains that have only just begun.

  • Polo Ralph Lauren striped oxford
  • Columbia anorak jacket (actually a child’s XXL that fits my short little baby t-rex arms perfectly)
  • Levis “shorts” (less fabric to get wet while you stomp through puddles)
  • Hunter boots
  • Billy Reid camp socks

Now that Irene is a bit closer in my direction , I’m going to switch it up to a pair of my most comfortable underwear and a big sweatshirt while I lay low.  Hope everyone is safe!

Fall fashion, now!

August 16th, 2011 No Comments

-Andrew Woj, Straight Guy Stylist.

It’s hot.  Sometimes you can’t even get out of the door in the morning before breaking a sweat.  So for someone who loves cardigans, jackets, coats, boots, and knit hats so much, what am I supposed to do when the temperature is well above 90 degrees?

This week, as I was counting down the days until fall, I had the idea to liven up my otherwise expected summer wardrobe of sweat-friendly outfits.  Looking at the Spring/Summer 2012 collections, I picked out these two looks from Ovadia’s collection to work into my closet now – a year ahead of time!

The pop of color in the first look is unexpected, fresh, and daring while the simplicity of the second look is approachable by men of all levels of style…though I wouldn’t run out and buy a pith helmet any time soon.

Fresh take on a French look

August 9th, 2011 No Comments

– Andrew Woj, The Straight Guy’s Stylist

This week, reader Joe asks:

“I’ve seen pictures of celebrities and men on fashion blogs with small colored knots in their lapels.  What is your take on the look and more importantly, what the heck are these?”

My take on the look.

GO FOR IT!  This is a great way to be a little more individual, especially when wearing a suit or jacket in the summer.  A tiny splash of color, like the yellow you see above, can knock an otherwise completely neutral look up a notch and out of the ballpark.

What is it exactly?

The small knots you see are actually cufflinks.  Also called “monkeys fists” or “turk’s head,” this alternative to the cufflink was introduced by the Parisian shirt maker Charvet in the 20th century.  Not only is it more affordable, but it’s a bolder statement than a traditional metal cufflink and certainly more appealing than any novelty cufflink.  Traditionally made from silk, they are now more mass produced in materials like polyester and cotton.

One stop shops

You can tie the knot on a relationship with these guys by picking them up in a number of places.  Brooks Brothers offers a set for $9 and you can pick from a virtual rainbow of colors.  You can pick up a dozen in assorted colors on Ebay.  Just slip two through your shirt cuffs or put one in the buttonhole in your jacket’s lapel and voila!  The look is achieved.

Ask more questions about men’s fashion and style by emailing me at andrew@morethanmary.com

Photos via the Brooks Brothers blog.

Saturday steal!

August 6th, 2011 No Comments

-Andrew Woj, The Straight Guy Stylist

The laceless twist on this classic Bass shoe style makes it an absolute must-have for fall. I walked away from these twice now, but the price point has officially become irresistible!

Available in a great range of sizes and two colors for only $25, Urban Outfitters is worth giving a gander. And don’t worry – if laces are more your thing, it comes with a pair that you slip through yourself.

For new music, seek out the mashup.

June 15th, 2011 5 Comments

– By Lindsey Rae, MTM Indie Rocker

It’s shaping up to be a long, hot summer, and I’m sweltering through the work week in my charmingly sticky home office.  I don’t know about you, but when it’s this hot outside, I’m sticking with things that are light and effortless.  This goes equally for beer and clothing, and it goes at least double for music.  I’d been looking for something fun and a little frothy to suit my summertime energy, never quite satisfied with anything on the radio or the heavy drops and complicated beats of my friends’ beloved dubstep, until finally I came across what I didn’t know I was looking for: the mashup.

What’s a mashup?

Typically composed by remixing two or more distinct tracks by different artists, the mashup (often called Bastard Pop) puts a little spin on familiar tunes, giving fresh life and relevancy to even the most overplayed Top 40 hit.  Mashup DJs like to pair songs that juxtapose themes and interplay lyrically in order to say something new, tempering genuinely complex artistry with what seems to be a simplistic urge to do something genuinely amusing. The standard “A vs. B” mashup format places the vocal track of one song against the instrumentation of another.  This is, naturally, only the beginning.  DJs are ever more ambitious, sampling elements from as many original tracks as they can find, and often including original elements (such as a beat or bass line) of their own creation.

For the milquetoast version of a mashup, look no further than the FOX television show Glee, which has produced some cute pairings of songs like Rihanna’s “Umbrella” with “Singin’ in the Rain” from the Broadway musical.  The true spirit of the mashup, however, thrives on wicked dance beats and a solid sense of irony and the witty song titles.

Where can I find it?

The dilemma I’m running into is that as a new fan of this genre, I’m not overly familiar with the etiquette yet, and so I can’t be sure of whether it’s okay to link you directly to the myriad sources of excellent mashup music.  Bastard Pop, like many other art forms that have developed out of the explosion of new entertainment technology in the last decade, has seen its share of struggles with the law.  Mashup artists are part of the ongoing debate surrounding copyright and fair use – that is, the checks and balances system set up to defend first amendment rights in the face of copyright law.  DJs see what they do as transformative work – the owners of the original material, typically, do not.

At present, it seems that the two sides maintain safe distance with an unofficial understanding – the DJs do not charge for the distribution of their music, and the record labels leave them to do their thing.  There does not currently appear to be an issue with downloading and sharing the tracks themselves, but I haven’t found anything explicitly stating that a person either should or shouldn’t link out to distributors of these tracks.  I’ll err on the side of caution.

A Few To Get You Started

Excellent mashup music is easy to find with your fancy Google skills, and it’s all available to download for free.

  • DJ Earworm’s United State of Pop (Don’t Stop the Pop), which was heavily played on Top 40 stations around New Year’s;
  • Girl Talk (pictured above), a popular DJ who’s finishing up his North American tour this month;
  • Bootie parties, which take place all over the world;
  • Any of the excellent work from DJs from Mars, DJ Tripp, DJ BC and plenty of others.

If you have any you love, please leave them in the comments section below!

A word on copyright

As a music lover and a personal friend to more starving artists than I can count, I wholeheartedly believe in an artist’s right to protect his or her property.  Infringement upon intellectual property rights hurts not only the millionaire artist and the Big Bad record companies – it affects everyone involved in the creation and distribution of the work.

Out of respect for the artistic community, I will never link to illegal material, nor will I provide copies of copyrighted material without permission.

The ongoing debate regarding fair use and other intellectual property issues is a good thing.  It means that artists can feel free to do what they believe in, and it means that our voices as consumers and constituents are heard.  I won’t publicly take a side on the politics of this issue, but I will say this to my readers: go with your gut, as long as you’re not breaking the law.

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