Leather Messenger Bags are Cool Travel and Work Gear

Classic men’s belt. An executive pen. A leather pad. A silk tie. If your husband or older brother already has these things, it’s time to think of something more special to give him for his birthday or for Christmas. When you have funds to spare and you’re thinking more along a quality leather item that’s perfect for a man who’s as energetic at work as he is at play, why not get him a messenger bag?

Leather messenger bag for men are gifts oozing with style and prestige. They are therefore perfect for your active business friends and family members who rely on their tools of the trade wherever they are. Any guy who receives this type of gift will be able to rely on it for day-to-day work or for travel. It’s a great gift for people on the move, like artists, reporters, architects, designers, or globetrotting sportsmen who want durable gear that can even fit over a rolling luggage handle.

A leather messenger bag can store expensive gadgets like a top-of-the-line cellular phone, a special leather notebook, and several files and documents. A bigger style can hold a notebook computer along with files and books. Most leather messenger bags have quality hardware and compartments and pockets where users may neatly store PDAs and computer power cords along with other essential stuff. There are guys who simply don’t like bulky. For those who want a simple messenger bag, there are terrific options whose features include two outside snap pockets, a fabric-lined inner section, two open pockets under the flap where a pen and slim phone may be placed, and adjustable shoulder strap.

There are also cool leather messenger bags that may be used for campus. Your teenage nephews or godchildren will surely get a kick receiving a leather messenger bag and backpack combo. A detachable shoulder strap can be kept in the back pocket if the kid wants to wear the bag like a backpack. A front flap and side pockets on the outside and beautiful leather trim are sure to get admiring glances.

For women who love traveling light and getting organized, mini leather messenger bags in cool colors like green khaki or brown can be a nice gift. Choose a stylish type that can carry gadgets like a digicam and cellular phone, cosmetics bottled scent, purse, and even an extra pair of flat shoes along with credit cards in the slots provided, all in one body-hugging and lightweight microfiber travel messenger bag. Whether she’s on a business trip, or planning to see ancient temples, or bring the kids to Disneyland, a fashionable and functional messenger bag with clean lines and plenty of pockets can be a swell travelling companion.

Cufflinks: A Timeless Gentleman’s Accessory

Over recent years, men’s jewelry has had a bad rap. Signet rings the size of saucers, dodgy cheap earrings and unpretty piercings – this has been how most of the more glittering male adornments have been portrayed. So, thank heavens for cufflinks. These iconic pieces of uniquely male jewelry can be elegant accessories, family heirlooms, romantic gifts, status symbols, statement pieces and markers of pure class.

For those already sold on the idea of buying cufflinks, the choice may not be as straightforward as they might like. After all, for every priceless white gold pair, there are a hundred jokey, ‘novelty’ items. The ideal cufflinks should be discreet and whisper quality, not shout. One easy way to judge whether the items you have your eyes on are up to scratch is to do the “James Bond Test”…

The James Bond Test for Cufflinks

This unique ‘test’ consist of three very simple steps which could ensure that you don’t make a mistake in your choice of the perfect cufflinks. It is very straightforward:

1. Would James Bond wear the cufflinks with his dinner suit? A man who has made the tux synonymous with timeless style would of course be very picky about what he wears at his wrist.

2. Would Bond be happy to wear the cufflinks when driving his Aston Martin at 120 mph?

3. Would 007 himself knowingly flash the cufflinks, and a smile, just before he got the girl?

If you can answer a resounding “yes” to the above questions, then you should undoubtedly by them straight away!

How to Wear Cufflinks

1. Understand the French-Cuff Shirt

To the uninitiated it may seem like a tricky thing to wear cufflinks for the first time. But all you need is a dress shirt that has “French” or double cuffs. Such shirts have extra long cuffs with no buttons and holes at the side. Such shirts are truly timeless classics and shirts, perfect attire for business or more formal leisure. These are shirts that in themselves definitely pass the James Bond test!

2. Putting Cufflinks In

Put your shirt on and fold the large cuffs back neatly at the end of the shirt’s sleeve. Next, hold the open edges of the shirt cuff together. Now make sure that you line up the holes of the cufflinks. Pull the cufflinks through the hole and secure it. There are a variety of different ways of doing this, depending on the style of cufflink; if in doubt ask when purchasing. Ensure that the decorated side of the cufflinks face outwards when your arms are down.

2. Matching Cufflinks

There is an art to pairing the right French-cuff shirt with the right pair of cufflinks. Neutral colors such as black, blue, grey and silver go with just about all colors of shirts. Cufflinks with red glass or gems go well with beige shirts or suits. To make the selection process simple, just hold your cufflinks up to the shirts you own to see what will look the best before you get changed for your evening out.

3. Formal Occasion Cufflinks

Cufflink collections that really dazzle need to contain stunning, formal jewellery as well as everyday wear. Diamond or jeweled cufflinks can look fabulous for really important occasions such as weddings and balls. You might even like to choose a pair to match your date’s dress. If you are buying a pair of cufflinks as a special present but don’t know which type to plump for, buy solid gold cufflinks which will go well with practically any suit and give a finishing touch of class to every outfit.

 Cufflinks

Different Styles of Cufflinks

1. Bullet-Back Closure

Bullet-back closures are the most common type of cufflink backings. They are easy to put on because this design features a torpedo capsule suspended between two posts. The bullet is flipped on its axis to bring it through the buttonhole and then be flipped horizontally to secure the cufflink on the cuff.

2. Fixed Backing

A cufflink with a fixed backing extends the cufflink, meaning that the post and backing are the same piece, on the reverse side of the cufflink face. The backing does not move and some are rounded or pointed so it can be tricky to insert them into the holes. But because they have no moving parts, they tend to last much longer over the years.

3. Chain Link

These are an elegant and traditional type of cufflinks, with two pieces linked by a chain. They can be exceptionally fiddly to put on, but at the same time they offer a timeless, classic touch. Also, with this type of cufflink you will be able to see the design on either side of your sleeve. With just a little practice you can find that you love these old-style gentlemen’s cufflinks and you can always ask someone to give you a friendly hand.

4. Whale Back Closure

This style of cufflink has a flat post called a ‘whale tail’ which is attached at the end of the link. To fasten them, flip the whale end so that it lays flat against the post, then insert it into the button holes. After fixing it into the button hole, flip the whale tail end back and secure the cufflink in place.

5. Reversible

The great thing about reversible cufflinks is that one pair can give you two different styles of jewellery, which can make them an extremely handy addition to your wardrobe. There are more than one type of reversible cufflink that you can but the most popular are ones with different, yet complimentary colors. These add a dash of color to any shirt and suit, and they are a very effective type of cufflink.

6. Ball Return

Ball Return cufflinks consist of a gold or silver ball. They are simple to put on and provide you with the looseness of a chain backing pair of cufflinks. The balls on these cufflinks have greater aesthetic appeal than plainer types of cufflinks, to provide a shot of true style through and through.

The Amazing Health Benefits of Drinking Tea

One of the most popular drinks in the world, tea is not just a tasty drink, but a powerful disease fighter that affects everything from brain health to gut health and has been shown to reduce risk of a variety of diseases. Are you getting all the health benefits of tea?

First, it’s important to know that while black, green, white, oolong, and pu-erh tea are marketed very differently, they all come from the same plant, camellia sinesis, above. (For the purposes of this article, herbal “teas,” which do not come from camellia sinesis plant, are not included.) The difference between types of tea comes from how the leaves are processed. But no matter the processing method, all contain powerful chemical compounds like antioxidants, polyphenols, and catechins that promote good health and fight disease.

To get the most benefit, studies indicate that three cups a day is a good place to start, though some studies show that more is better. Brewed tea is likely better than instant or iced tea for health. Just don’t counteract all the benefits by sweetening your tea with too much sugar!

Clear Skin

Tea contains antioxidants and polyphenols, which not only help prevent disease but also fight free radicals that age your skin fast. Some beauty companies have caught on to the benefits of tea and include it in their skincare products.

Many people also swear by tea for helping clear up acne; its anti-microbial properties may be to thank for that.

Weight Control

When it comes to weight control, what doesn’t tea do?

It makes your workouts more effective, for one thing. The catechins in green tea in particular have been shown to enhance abdominal fat loss in overweight adults and to improve exercise stamina in mice.

Tea has also been shown to reduce the stress hormone cortical, responsible for excess abdominal fat.

It also increases your metabolism. All tea contains caffeine and a phytochemical called EGCG (short for epigallocatechin-3-gallate), though green tea contains about four times as much EGCG as black tea. Both compounds help increase metabolic rate, meaning you burn more calories throughout the day.

Diabetes

The incidence of diabetes has risen dramatically over the last 35 years in the US, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes is a disease where the body can’t create enough insulin to regulate blood sugar as it should. High blood sugar can cause damage to virtually all parts of your body and bring on a slew of issues including heart attacks and stroke (see below), nerve damage, vision loss (see below), erectile dysfunction, and much, much more. Keeping control over blood sugar is crucial in preventing diabetes from wreaking havoc on the body.

So how does tea help? By reducing cortical, a stress hormone, for one. And a meta-analysis that looked at data from 1,133 subjects found that drinking green tea was correlated with “significantly” lower blood sugar, possibly due to EGCG.

Lower Cholesterol

A meta-analysis from 2011 showed that green tea helped lower total serum cholesterol and LDL (“lousy”) cholesterol. While green tea looks like the go-to tea for those interested in reducing cholesterol, pu-erh tea is known in Chinese culture to do the same, though studies backing this up are lacking right now.
Cataracts

Cataracts – where the lens of the eye becomes “cloudy” and reduces vision – are a common occurrence among older adults; a full nine out of ten adults between 75 and 85 have experienced cataracts. It’s a natural process of aging. But one study found that both black and green teas inhibited cataracts in diabetic rats.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a disease of inflammation. Several studies have found that tea helps reduce inflammation. Green tea is more effective at fighting inflammation, probably because it contains more flavonoids.

Inflammation causes more than arthritis. Reducing inflammation also means fighting depression, metabolic syndrome, and a host of other problems.

Health Benefits of Coconut Vinegar

Parkinson’s Disease

A study published in 2007 followed 29,335 Finnish subjects and concluded that drinking tea was associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s Disease. (The study also looked at coffee and found that it, too, was associated with a lower incidence of Parkinson’s Disease.)

Cancer

One of the health benefits of tea that makes headlines is its link to the Big C. Tea is full of chemicals that may help fight a variety of cancers, including breast, lung, skin, stomach, liver, ovarian, prostate, colon, and many more. The polyphenols in green tea, including EGCG, and the theaflavins and thearubigins (antioxidants) in black tea especially may be effective in fighting free radicals that would otherwise damage DNA.

Of course, expecting tea to prevent cancer on its own is asking too much, but the beneficial properties of tea make it a better choice than many other drinks, especially sugar-laden soft drinks. (And be careful of the temperature; some data suggests that drinking hot, versus warm, tea can actually cause cancer of the esophagus.)

Cardiovascular Health

A 2002 study found that the flavonoids in tea may reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. (Same for cocoa, which can also be a great source of flavonoids.)

Another study found that three to six cups of tea a day was associated with lower risk of heart disease. (Coffee drinkers who get at least two but no more than four cups a day also saw reduced risk of heart disease in this same study.)

Stroke

Three cups seems to be the magic number for reducing risk of stroke, too. A large study from UCLA found that drinking three cups of tea a day – didn’t matter whether it was green or black – was associated with a 21% lower risk of stroke.
Allergies

Like honey, tea contains chemicals that can help the body fight pollen allergies. A 2007 study found that adults drinking a variety of green tea called “benifuuki” green tea had less severe allergic reactions to cedar pollen. Once again, it looks like the EGCG in green tea is the key chemical here.

Brain Health

Tea is good for both your mind – how you think – and your brain itself. The combination of L-Theanine and caffeine in tea have been shown to improve mood, increase reaction time and attention, and reduce mental fatigue.

As if that weren’t enough, some studies show that green tea may be effective at reducing risk of dementia.

Shoes Showcase: 10 Christmas Party High Heels

Christmas time means many things to many people, but for those who love a little festive fun it means party time! There are few things more thoroughly exciting than sorting through your wardrobe picking out the best possible outfits for your special event. Little black dresses, velour jump-suits, feathery ra-ras, flirty, shiny cocktail numbers there are no end to the options that we can select for a night-time soireé during the festive season. One of the best parts of preparing for a party, however, as any girls girl knows is the time spent picking out the perfect shoes to go with each outfit. Party heels are essential. in fact for a large and growing section of the female partying population, the heels come first!

The perfect shoes always add to an outfit, never detract. They need to add a heavy dusting of the wow factor to whatever you are wearing, be that with sparkly, shiny, or glittery shimmer; bright, bold, enticing colours; edgy or super-girly little details; luxurious, smooth finishes or just a magical je ne sais quoi that makes them, or rather you, stand out.

Here are some of the 10 best styles of shoes to crack out for the festive season.

1. Black, Patent and High Heels

Black is always the new black. Theres nothing like it. It is classic, cool, hard-wearing, and you can wear it time after time without it ever going out of fashion. For truly impressive, shiny happy party heels, go all out with a patent pair. They always look fantastic, whether you pair them up with your best LBD or flash them from under the hem of a long, elegant number. Either way, theyll add a spot of true style to your party outfit.

2. Strappy Metallic Shoes

Strappy heels are fun and flirtatious. Do make sure you have a great metallic pair to seas you through the most wonderful time of the year. As party footwear goes, metallics rock. They catch ever shimmer and flash of lighting so that your feet become a chic and glamorous feature in themselves. One tip though if you are going to draw all eyes to your feet in such flimsy, shiny numbers make sure that you enjoy a good pedicure first, so that your festive feet look their very best.

3. Pretty in Pink Shoes

Everything looks rosy at Christmas, especially when you pop a pretty pair of pink shoes on before you go dancing. Hot pink heels can make an eye-catching addition to an outfit, adding a stylish touch of fun to your look, particularly black or neutral-toned dresses and trouser suits. Go pink, go for feminine and prepare to turn heads.

4.Satin and Sparkle Shoes

True shoe beauty comes in many guises so why not enjoy two of the most attractive features by donning shoes which are both satin and sparkly? The smoooth sheen of the satin adds elegance to your heels, while stunning diamante features ensure that your footwear dazzles. No wonder shoes like these are perfect for partying.

5. 80s Acid Brights

Light up the night sky this Christmas with heels that are as vibrant as the Christmas tree itself. If you are going for acid bright accessories especially if you are doing the 80s party thing this year then you could do far worse than to enjoy a pair of acid bright heels to match. Not everyones cup of tea, but they are bound to get you noticed!

6. Stunning Studded Shoes

Now for something completely different. Metalllic studs can add some serious attitude to any heels, making them appear more edgy, modern and still coolly feminine. Black leather shoes with copper, gold or silver studs can turn a simple dress into a serious fashion statement. As the famous line goes, Tell me about it, stud.

7. Springtime in Winter Shoes

Put a real bloom into your winter step by adding a few florals to your feet. Naturally, flowery shoes tend to belong most commonly in spring or summertime, but they can transform your look into something far more feminime and fragrant when you crack them out for a winter party. Mix it up by wearing, for example, a chic neutral trouser suit put together a look that positively redefines the festive season.

8. Bow Down to Bow Heels

Wrap your feet up all pretty and present them to the party scene this winter by wearing a pair of bows at your heel. This sweet, sophisticated, ultra-feminine look adds a whole other level of festive accessorising to your party outfit.

9. Cheeky Cherry Red Heels

Theres nothing quite like finding the perfect pair of red high heels to make you day. Why? Must be because you realise that they can transform even an otherwise dull outfit into an appealing, head-turning winner as soon as you slip them on. Whether you go patent or suede, medium high or sky-high, youll never regret wearing your seasonal ruby slippers.

10. Classic Black Suede Shoes

When all is said and done, you can always fall back on the timeless classics. Black Suede shoes will make a fabulous and ever-reliable addition to any wardrobe. These are your best bet when you would like to take your look from day to evening with ease, for example, if you are going straight from the office to enjoy some Christmas drinks. They go with anything and will help you to add an elegant finish to your festive party look.

Glamourous Footwear In the SALES!

Totally sold on finding the perfect party heels? Great: now let us give you a helping hand by showing you exactly where you can find some of the most glamorous shoes out there. Here are a range of superb shoes to suit all budgets:

Selfridges A world-class range of of designer shoes. Hurry to catch their 30% off the Autumn/Winter Sale.

Schuh Highly affordable, fun shoes, with some particularly good floral options this season. Catch their sale with up to 70% off.

Office Some eye-catching mid-range shoes, including great strappy numbers and black suede staples. They are currently running a sale with up to 50% off.

So, now youre all set. Simply pick your favourite high heels for the occasion, hail that taxi and off you go. Happy Christmas partying!

De-Stress for Super Skin

You may have accepted that life nearly always has to be busy and therefore stressful… but have you thought about the significant impact that that might be having on your skin? We are all programmed to age faster or slower according to our unique genetic profile. However, rest assured, we also have it within our grasp to influence certain external factors – such as stress linked to our lifestyle; and lifestyle is responsible for over 50% of the appearance of signs of ageing on our skin.

Stress, more and more common in our overburdened lives, therefore plays a major part in the skin’s ageing. How exactly does it impact upon our skin’s health and appearance and how can we de-stress to stay looking younger?

What is Stress?

Stress is a phenomenon of the body that allows humans to react to their environment. It affects more women (37%) than men (24%).

When you are stressed, your body reacts by secreting hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol which stimulate all your vital systems in order that you are ready to face a situation… or flee!

This is the ‘fight or flight response’.

This adaptation syndrome, positive in origin as it was intended to help us to survive, has two negative consequences on the skin. Effectively in case of chronic stress, the body becomes exhausted, precisely because it is permanently hyper-stimulated by these same hormones. The skin, like the rest of the body, suffers from this hormonal deregulation.

The Causes of Stress

Stress can be tied to physical reactions:

1. Extreme temperatures
2. An injury
3. Pain
4. An illness

And to these psychological reactions:

5. An unsettling remark
6. Prolonged pressure (e.g. at work)
7. A painful or upsetting situation
8. A particular fear.

Stress and Signs of Ageing

When stress becomes chronic, it has biological repercussions which impact on the skin, notably accelerating the skin’s ageing. It becomes much duller, thinner and less supple skin with the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots, sagging and more.

Also, as we age, we may acquire crow’s feet, laughter lines and wrinkles of the forehead, the very visible traces of our worries. Stress provokes facial expressions, like frowning, which, through being repeated, marks the skin with wrinkles which we could do without.

Keep Young and Beautiful…De-Stress!
As well as taking long baths, or having relaxing massages, here are a few more de-stressing ideas:

Unwind with Yoga

With yoga poses you bend, tighten, stretch and relax every part of your body. This helps you to relax and stay in shape, as well as with the removal of toxins and waste products deep within the muscles tissue. Moreover yoga helps to still the mind and give greater mental clarity making it an all-round great way to lower the stress levels. Try enjoying a spot of yoga first thing in the morning, so that you begin the day feeling calm and again last thing at night, to relax you and promote a great sleep.

Walk Yourself Calmer

Walking is great for body and soul – encouraging greater mobility, burning fat and lifting the mood. In fact, many regular walkers say it helps to reduce the symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety. Don’t over-stress your body by speed-walking or attacking steep inclines first or all. A flatter walk at roughly 3mph will steadily burn fat and help to get the de-stressing endorphins racing around your system. Plus, all that lovely scenery is good for the heart and soul too.

Try Meditation

There are many studies showing that meditation has many good effects on the body, mind and soul. How to do it? Firstly, wear loose comfortable clothing and find a quiet spot where you will be undisturbed. Sit on the floor on a carpet or mat. Try to sit upright with your eyes closed, legs crossed for about 10 – 15 minutes and just focus on breathing in and out. Breathe steadily in through your nose and out through your mouth, as it gives you something to focus on and to may distract you from your thoughts. You don’t need to say a special chant, unless you want to. Simply stilling your mind as you breathe in this way can have great health and de-stressing benefits, slowing your heartbeat and making you feel much calmer.

Anti-Stress Skin Secrets

Soothing Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is well known for its soothing, hydrating qualities. It is also full of nutrients essential to optimum skin health including vitamin A, C, B and E plus loaded with minerals such as zinc, calcium, magnesium and copper. Not only does it help heal and hydrate, but aloe vera is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial properties that nourish your skin and protect from infections and damage. You can find many soothing aloe vera products of all kinds at good health and beauty stockists.

Scrub Away Stress

Oats and honey can make a delicious, nourishing facial scrub that you can massage in as you scrub dead skin cells – and tension – away. To make one, take some organic Manuka honey and stir about 1 teaspoon of it into the fresh juice of 4 large tomatoes. Add enough oat flakes to make a rough, thick paste and, using your fingertips, scrub this paste onto your skin with light circular motions.

Avocado Soothing Mask

Avocado has many soothing and nourishing properties. Mix three tablespoons of cream, 1/4 ripe avocado and one tablespoon of honey. Smooth the avocado mixture over your face, close your eyes and place two rounds of cucumber on your eyes leave for at least 10 quiet, relaxed minutes, then wipe away with a warm, damp cloth.

Relax Yourself Radiant

There you have it – the foolproof guide to understanding stress, its impact on skin and a few simple ways to overcome it. So now all that you have to do is thoroughly relax,totally de-stress and start looking better than ever.

Baby It’s Cold Outside: Winter Clothing

Temperatures have very much plummeted of late, at least they certainly have right across the UK. The question is – is your winter clothing wardrobe ready? As the wise old saying, originally from A. Wainwright, goes:

“Theres no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”

Which means that well before Jack Frost starts nipping at your nose you need to get togged up in the best winter warmers you can find. Here’s a whistle-stop tour of some of the basics that you will need over the next few weeks and the some of the best places to buy them.

Wrap Up Warm

If you buy nothing else in terms of warm clothing this winter, buy a great coat. There are some superb seasonal offerings all over the high street and online.

So – what is the ideal coat to look for? Allowing for personal taste, there are certain must-haves in a proper coat. It should be well cut, warmly lined, easy to fasten securely and made of a practical material. It should keep out the cold and, a reasonable amount of the wet, and it should, on top of all this, look fabulous!

This year, fake fur collars, dolly black styles and waisted camel wraps are all causing a stir. Better still, there have been a number of great sales on coats from the major retailers. Some of the best can be found at Debenhams, Monsoon and Marks and Spencer.

Leave Your Hat On

Hats can really top off your winter clothing. Whether made of thick wool or felt, they can be an amazing clothing accessory at this time of year. Why? Well, not only do they look good but they also serve a very important function. We lose up to 10% of our body heat through our heads, which is why it is vital to keep our crowns covered during the colder months.

Hats are also handy in helping to protect hair from the harsh, unforgiving elements. Nothing dampens a night out like turning up with your tresses dripping with hail and snow. This season, chunky outsize knits lend a cute charm to winter outfits and of course hats with ear flaps continue to soar in popularity.

When it comes to buying, where do you get that hat? Well for starters try Accessorize and ASOS and go from there.

Hand It Over

Gloves are great: pretty, practical and very warming winter clothing. The hands, like the feet, are physiologically more susceptible to cold, so it makes sense to keep them as warm as possible.

If you are looking out for gloves this year – practical wintry models – then go for lined leather, or woollen. Once again, Accessorize usually offer a comprehensive selection, but for fine leather gloves, take a look at the selection that can be found at Selfridges and, for exceptional, traditional quality, Aspinal of London.

Snug As A Bug

Scarves can get forgotten in the hustle bustle of getting out the door on time, but they really can be a wonderful addition to your winter clothing arsenal. Think about it – what better way is there to keep the drafts well away from your poor neck at the same time as making a very visible fashion statement?

Scarves – meaning in this instance proper, thick, woolly specimens, not pashminas or silk neckerchiefs – can add a lot to an outfit. You can use them to really tie your outfit together by matching them to hat and gloves, or creating a cool colour clash.

Moreover, as they don’t need to ‘fit’ any part of you and are typically hard-wearing, they tend to last and last (unless you lose them), so when looking to buy, think not so much clothing outlay as a sound investment for all your future winters!

With this in mind, why not dress up a high street coat with an incredible designer scarf. Two perennial catwalk favourites include Paul Smith and Armani.

Made For Walking

Boots – what better way to keep feet, ankles and calves both warm and stylishly chic? Knee-high boots have to be favourite for dress and indeed jeans – lovers. Made of leather they are waterproof, warm and they look absolutely fantastic.

Of course, you don’t have to stick to knee-highs. Ankle boots make cute additions to stylish winter clothing and look superb with flared-and-flirty long skirts.

One of the best online retailers, surely, ever when it comes to boots that really fit – all sizes, whether your calves and feet are larger than normal, smaller than normal or average – has to be Ted & Muffy (formerly Duo Boots). Take a good look around their website; they often have special offers and sales too – get ready to love those long winter walks even more than ever before!

More Winter Clothing Treats…

Ear Muffs

Not just for kids, these can be a really fun addition to any outfit. Go all out with bright colours and luxe textures – fake fur are super-cute and they always turn heads.

Super-thick Socks

If you are planning to get all outdoorsy at any point his winter, then you need to make sure that your feet are properly attired with some good, warm socks. You don’t need to stick to boring black either – make your socks an appealing or witty feature as they peek over the top of your walking boots! Why not?

Furry Gilet

For hipsters and those who would like to look cool as they stay warm, yesterday’s winder waistcoat is today’s fur gilet. There are lots out there at the moment, most in glossy fake fur in such enticing colours as teal and petrol blue. If you are not sure they are quite your bag, it might still be worth giving them a try as they can add oodles of style and warmth to an outfit and make a great alternative to a big winter coat on those cold, crisp, bright days.

So, what are you waiting for? There’s no better excuse to shop that the changing of the seasons. As autumn segues into a chill winter treat yourself to the latest version of these timeless classics and you will stay all toasty as crumpets all through the festive season.

22 Fun Fantastic Advent Calendars to Get You in the Christmas Spirit

Why celebrate Christmas for just one day when you can celebrate for 25 in a row? Advent calendars are a great way to build excitement from December 1st right through to Christmas Day. But gone are the cheap advent calendars of your youth; these days, calendars are filled with gourmet chocolates, luxury beauty products, toys, and more. Here, 22 advent calendars to help get you in the spirit of the season.
Advent Calendars With Chocolates and Sweets

Godiva Chocolates Advent Calendar

Advent calendars with low-quality chocolates? So over. Treat yourself to 24 days of gourmet chocolate in Godiva’s calendar.
Price: £23.00
Available in the UK on the Godiva site.

Alain Ducasse Advent Calendar

This beautifully designed calendar serves up daily treats that go beyond plain chocolate.
Price: 40,00 €
Available for in-store pickup in Paris and ships to addresses in Europe from the Alain Ducasse site.

Vosges Haut-Chocolat Calendar of Advent

Gourmet chocolate on the next level. This luxury box features not just decadent chocolate treats, but holiday greetings as well.
Price: $135
Ships to US, Canada, Puerto Rico and the UK from the Vosges site.

La Pâtisserie Des Rêves Advent Calendar

An adorable cardboard Parisian “house” holds 25 treats and is designed to appeal to children as well as adults.
Price: £25
Available by emailing or phoning the contact info found on the La Pâtisserie des Rêves site.

Dylan’s Candy Bar 2015 Advent Calendar

With a tree you can use year after year, this advent calendar features 24 chocolate-filled mini ornaments for decoration.
Price: Now $25 (was $50)
Ships to locations in the US and many other countries, with restrictions; get more info on the Dylan’s Candy Bar site.
Advent Calendars For Coffee and Tea Drinkers

Starbucks Advent Calendar 2015

This calendar doesn’t contain coffee, but rather doles out daily sweets. It does come with a $5 mini giftcard that can be used for a jolt of java, though.
Price: currently $25.18
Available in the US on the Starbucks USA site.

Imperial Teas Advent Calendar of Coffee

You’ll find 25 samples of freshly roasted coffee in a gift box; each sample makes one generous mug of coffee.
Price: £33.00
Ships to locations in the UK and internationally from the Imperial Teas site.

Post Tea Advent Calendar of Tea

Twenty-five teas, including fruit, herbal, green and black teas, from December 1st through Christmas Day make up this advent calendar. Each sachet holds enough tea to make three cups.
Price: £43.25
Ships to countries in Europe from the Post Tea site.

Fortnums Wooden Tea Advent Calendar, Filled

From luxury London store Fortnum Mason, this wooden calendar holds 24 rare teas from India and the Far East. A great gift for the true tea aficionado.
Price: £125.00
Available for store pickup in London, delivery in the UK and to international destinations (subject to restrictions) from the Fortnum Mason site.

Advent Calendars With Alcohol

Craft Beer Advent Calendar
Twenty-four bottles and cans of craft beer ranging from ales to stouts make up this adults-only calendar.
Price: £74.99
Ships to UK addresses from the website.

Master of Malt Spirits Advent Calendars

What’s your drink of choice? Master of Malt has something for everyone – whiskey, gin, rum, tequila, absinthe, and more. Most range from around £100 to £150, but if you really want to splurge, get the £1000 Old Rare Whisky Advent calendar V1 featuring a 60-Year old Single Malt Whisky.
Price: varies depending on the calendar; from £100 to £1000
Ships to locations in the UK and internationally from the Master of Malt site.
Advent Calendars For Beauty Jewelry Lovers

Ciaté London Mini Mani Month

Twenty-four nail goodies including polish, glitter, and treatments to help make your nails look fabulous this holiday season.
Price: $59/£49
Available in the US from Sephora and the UK and international destinations from Boots.

Limited Edition Advent Calendar by Kérastase
Deluxe travel size hair care products plus one full size product from luxury hair care company Kérastase.
Price: £79.99
Ships to the UK from the Kérastase site.

Susanne Kaufman 2015 Advent Calendar

Treat yourself or a loved one to 24 organic treats including body oil, shampoos, and hand soap. These luxurious treats even include a few days of delicious organic tea.
Price: £99.00
Ships to the UK, Europe and internationally from the Liberty site.

The Bearded Man Co Christmas Beard Oil Advent Calendar

So the men don’t feel left out, this calendar is packed with samples of beard oils in fragrances ranging from bergamot to driftwood to tobacco, enough to last the Christmas season and beyond.
Price: £29.99
Ships to the UK, Europe and internationally from The Bearded Man Co site.

Kohl’s Advent Calendar Christmas Charm Set

One necklace chain, one bracelet chain, and 22 Christmas-themed charms pack this fun and sparkly advent calendar.
Price: Now $18 (was $60)
Ships to the US from the Kohl’s site.
Advent Calendars Kids Will Love

Play-Doh Advent Calendar

With five pots of Play-Doh and 24 surprises, this advent calendar is great for encouraging kids to play and be creative.
Price: $14.99
Ships to the US and internationally from Amazon.

Angry Birds Advent Calendar Game

The most popular game becomes a sure-to-be-popular advent calendar: each day contains a piece of the game. At the end of the calendar, all pieces can be used together.
Price: $29.99
Ships to the US and internationally from Amazon.

Playmobil Advent Calendar

These kid-friendly calendars contain 24 boxes filled with toys based on a theme like Fire Rescue Operation, Dragons Treasure Battle, or Santa’s Workshop.
Price: $18-$25/£19-£20
Ships to the US and internationally from Playmobil and to the UK and internationally from Hamleys.

Post Totty Designs Interiors Advent Calendar Charm Bracelet

Add a new charm to the gold-colored bracelet each day of the advent as you discover new treasures hidden in the Nutcracker-themed jewelry box. This fun and youthful calendar is not suitable for children under 36 months.
Price: £19
Ships to the UK and internationally from Not on the High Street.

Advent Calendars That Keep it Simple

If you’re not interested in getting goodies in your advent calendar, you can still take it up a notch by getting one of these beautiful 3D calendars from the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

Unicorn Pop-Up Advent Calendar

The unicorn from the famous tapestries sits in 3D style in the middle of this gorgeous advent calendar. Open a flap each day to reveal a beautiful detail from the tapestry.
Price: $19.95
Ships to the US and internationally from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Store site.

Victorian Christmas Advent Calendar

First set up your stand-up tree, then decorate it with paper ornaments you find behind the flaps each day.
Price: $21.95
Ships to the US and internationally from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Store site.

To Tone or Not to Tone… That is the Question!

No crazy, I’m not talking about working out and getting tone, I’m talking about that one thing most guys don’t use… Toner! As one of the most important steps in the grooming regimen, using a light toner everyday can and will help rid you of some of those embarrassing issues!

​Let’s talk about “What is a Toner?” first… A good toner helps you get rid of any EXCESS oil or dirt that your wash or cleanser may not get. Now, when I say “excess”, I mean that in terms like “left overs” at a dinner table. Think about it like this, when you shave, your ripping skin off the surface of your face. Your eliminating the first line of defense. If your skin isn’t squeaky clean, you might get a little something showing up within the next few hours. Using a toner will make sure that the new skin showing up is as clean and smooth as a baby’s bottom. This will help rid the chances of small bumps or irritations showing up if done correctly.

​So when should you use a toner? I recommend using a toner after you shave or before you go to bed. Now I know there are some mixed feelings… “I thought I was supposed to use an after shave when I’m done shaving…” Well of course you are, but do you want to put an after shave on dirty skin or unprotected skin? Absolutely not! Use the toner when you’re done shaving, wait for it to cool off and dry, then apply your after shave. This will lock in the cleanliness and keep you skin looking smooth and clean throughout the day.

How To Tone

​Toners also have many other uses as well. People with problem skin tend to use toner with salicylic acid so it can help clean up problem areas on their skin. Others use toner to help minimize the size of their pores. No matter which way you spin the bottle, it helps you skin become cleaner than before.

​Some really great toners that I recommend giving a go at is the Sharps Barber and Shop Skin Tuner, this goes for $16.99 and will last quite some time. Its great by not drying out the skin, leaving with a nice cool feeling when you’re done using it. Another is the Jack Black Clear Complexion Solution which goes for $24.99. Yea, I know it’s expensive for a skin toner, but if you know the name Jack Black and men’s skin care, you know you’re getting a great quality product for the price. Either one will do… I just wanted to get you thinking.

​So what have we learned? Using a toner does have positive effects on guy’s skin and does help with our complexion and smoothness. Men’s skin care is slowly evolving… just make sure you stay ahead of the curve.

The 5 Must Have for Men

If you’re planning on hitting that high paying job or landing that huge commission check, keep your odds high by prepping yourself with these 5 items.

Shoes they can remember you by


When sitting down with a client, your shoes can tell a lot about who you are. My recommendations are a nice classic business shoe by Johnston & Murphy. Black and shiny should be the key. Make sure you show them off as well. Letting you clients know that you keep that much detail on your shoes can only multiply when thinking about how you will handle their account. Don’t let dust and scuffs de-rail the big deal.

A watch that rings a name


Sure everyone wants a Rolex… but not everyone can afford one. Make sure your sporting a timepiece that says something about you. Walking in with a retro-1980 Casio isn’t yelling heavy hitter. Your clients like to be impressed with your style and products, let them know you don’t play around. The watch arena can bring on great discussions in a meeting that could potentially help close a big one. What is the watch of choice, go with the Breathings or Corms? Throw your clients for a loop, they won’t know what it is, but they’ll check the internet when you leave.

Man that shirt fits nice


Everyone has gone to a department store to buy a dress shirt from time to time. We all know the routine, 16.5 neck, 32/33 length arms, right? Not here Sally… Man up, spend a few bucks and get a tailor to make you a shirt. Your body does not consist of just a neck and arms does it? So why buy a shirt that only uses those measurements. Buying custom fitted shirts by a tailor such as Tom James can give you the difference between a $100 look or a $1,000 look. Yea you might spend a few more bucks, but the shirt fits like no other and it looks just like you wanted. No more parachutes hanging out the sides of your pants. Get a nice shirt, I promise it will get addicting.

Are those cufflinks


If you are preparing for that big hitting appointment, dress to the “9′s” darnit. Cufflinks are a must when going to see the boss. Let them know you’re ready for what they have to bring. Cufflinks show a style of class, separating you from the normal one button sleeve “jo-shmoe”. Make sure they are not too flashy; you don’t want to “Bling” your client to death. A small and strong shine will let them know that you mean business and want that deal.

Here come the men in black


Suit… The last but final ingredient in a successful businessman is a strong, shiny black suit. Do not go cheap here. Spend that extra dollar for the suit. That suit is your first impression. They’re not looking at your face, hands or hair, they are staring directly at your suit. If you walk into that office in a $2,500 custom black suit, the client that you are working with will know that is an expensive suit. So what you may say… Well, if he knows you are spending that much money to look good for him, you’re sending the right vibes. Clients want to know that you are a clean guy who wants to look good. They like to know that the money that you are making off of them is going to the right places. Show off that suit and let them know that the suit is for closers. Heck, it may just do the closing for you.

All of these ingredients are key for a businessman to be successful in all areas. Not only is it important to have the right stuff, you need to look the right way as well. In our next blog addition, we will discuss the mens skin care side of ingredients. Sure you look good, but do you look great? And remember, when you feel good, you are good.

Man Rules: How to be a Gentleman

In order to be a gentleman, you have to…

Lose the hairs


Groom yourself like you want to be seen. Get rid of those nasty nose hairs that peek out a people when you’re talking. Don’t forget to check the ears and eyebrows as well. You want people paying attention to what you say, not what’s growing from your face.

Speak the truth


Everyone has told a fib here and there… but was it worth it? Tell the truth, it will leave you feeling better about yourself and not having to worry about remembering any lies that you told in the past.

Did you write that?


Here is a closing technique that was taught to me when I first started in the biz… write HANDWRITTEN notes to clients and future clients. It shows that you took the time to actually take a piece of paper and show them you care. It will separate you from the rest of the pack and leave a lasting impression on your future clients.

Coming on or getting off?


So there you are, in a rush to get to the 14th floor for an important meeting. The elevator comes, the door opens, what do you do? Don’t be that guy that runs onto the elevator without waiting for people to get off. It’s not saving you any time and you’re not helping your image either. Wait for people to get off before hurdling yourself in there. People will appreciate it and so will the people around you.

Shake like a man


Don’t be the wrist breaker but make sure your grip is firm. Its the first impression you give when meeting someone and could possibly be a story later on. Make sure you go in with a firm shake and grip.

Ring


When you call someone to chat and you don’t have an appointment with them, make sure its ok and they have a few minutes. Don’t just dive into a conversation without asking “Do you have a few minutes to talk”. It will let you know that they have a few and will let them have the chance to tell you they don’t rather than rambling on without them listening.

How are you?


If you’re asking, you’re also letting them know you’re going to listen. Make sure you prepare yourself for this one… not everyone is having a great day like you.

What Bluetooth?


Listen, if you’re not using it, remove it. It’s one of the most annoying things to see and hear if you’re not on them. People won’t respond to you if you’re wearing one because their most likely thinking you’re talking to someone else.

Why thank you!


Say it and mean it. If someone opens the door for you, say it. If someone pays you a complement, say it. You will be surprised as to how many people don’t use this word. You will also be surprise as to how far this word can get you.

Man you look good


Keep yourself looking good and feeling good. Keep that face shaved and moisturized. Remove those bags under your eyes. Use a body wash that will keep you smelling good all day. All of this and more can be found at any men’s skin care site. Go ahead and give it a try, but don’t forget the first 9 steps too!

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