26 November 2015

Mankind Grooming Boxes

It's not long now until Christmas will be upon us - I bet you're all excited to see what Santa brings you aren't you, I know I am.

I think I've been a good boy. 

Well I must have done something right because I received this brilliant parcel recently which really made my day.

I know what you're thinking...

I'm one lucky guy!

And this wasn't any regular parcel either. 

This was an amazing box of goodies from the people at Mankind.

If you don't know who Mankind are then I suggest you visit their website (here).
They have everything you can imagine a guy would ever need from skincare, hair care, fashion - even technology is covered.

I've had so many products in my bathroom from Mankind, and I must like them because I'm running low on everything because I use them so much.

 I think this must be why I got a tad excited when I opened the new parcel- time to re-stock my collection.

Just look at them all.

I could almost hear the contents of the box let out a sigh of relief when I took the lid off because there
 was so much crammed inside.

Straight away I spotted a few names of brands inside who I know make amazing products - I couldn't wait to dive into them.

So let me tell what each product is and how I got on with them. 

First is the Korres Fig Shower Gel which came in a 250ml bottle

The first thing I noticed about this product is the smell.
It smells amazing and has to be one of the nicest smelling shower gels I've ever used.

The aroma of freshly cut figs is something quite stunning really - I know my wife loves it and now i can see why.

The product is very kind to skin and moisturises really well - the wheat proteins form a protective film on the skin too.

I'm looking forward to purchasing some of the other Korres products.

Next up is the  Men-u D-Tox 'deep clean' clay mask

If you're a guy and you know anything about male grooming products then you will know that
Men-U are up there with the best of them.
I didn't get chance to use this product because I am currently reviewing another brand as part of my skincare routine and I'm not one to mix and match.
Once I'm done with that then this product will be getting used for sure, and I'm sure I will not be disappointed.

Up next is something a bit different, a product which has never featured on my blog before - 

It's only a small bottle but the flavour is really hard hitting and it definitely gets rid of nasty tastes in the mouth giving you super fresh feeling breath.
This is perfect for taking around with you - there is nothing worse than being paranoid about your breath when talking to people.

 Next we have a Redken working wax maneuver hair styling product

This product is perfect for my hair now I've had it cut quite a lot shorter than normal.
It offers full flexibility - perfect for my work life because I'm forever taking my hard hat on and off when I'm on construction sites.
It lets me reshape my hair back to the style I want which keeps me looking tidy at work and it also has a nice scent.

There really is so much stuff to cram into this post!

Up next, my favourite product of the whole box.

I can not put into words how much I love eye serums.
It's a product I use every day without fail and even take them to work with me.
I have about 3 others but I have to say this one is by far my favourite. It's a unique rescue serum for tired eyes which is made specifically for men and it works by reducing puffiness and the appearance of dark circles.

Then, last but not least we have

This is another product I haven't used yet but I've used other products from the range in the past and they didn't disappoint
This is formulated for everyday use and provides lasting hydration to the skin.

I did also get a shave cream in the box but I will not be using that - this beard is going no where - so I'm unable to tell you how good it is, but if you do shave then here it is

AB Crew Shave Cream
If you do use the product let me know what you think of it.

And so, if you think this box of goodies was amazing as I did then just wait for the box that is available for you yourself to purchase from the Mankind website on Black Friday.

I have been told that it is going to be extra special, so I suggest you take a look - I know I will be!


20 November 2015

Becoming The ultimate Gentleman, Guest Post

A Guide to Becoming the Ultimate Gentleman

Bowtie, Dress Shirt, Cufflinks, Fashion, Gentleman, Guy

If you are an average man then it is a pretty safe assumption that you are able to dress yourself properly and that you scrub up not too badly. While this all well and good, how many of us actually want to be considered average? Failure to stand out from the crowd can ensure that you are stuck on the side-lines as a meagre spectator, watching life slowly pass you by as others feast on life’s rewards.
How often have you been out and about on the town and seen a dapper-looking bloke who is attired in the latest threads? What’s more, he even seems to have that haircut that you have always wanted but simply never knew how or what to ask for.
Unfortunately for us men, we are required to educate ourselves in all elements of style and sophistication, basically it just doesn’t seem to come naturally to us. Luckily though, it is indeed possible to educate oneself and ingrain gentlemanly traits that will last you a lifetime.
Fortunately for you this guide to being the ultimate gentleman can be considered to be something of a cheat-sheet and will enable you to impress with minimal effort over the upcoming Christmas period.
Gentleman, Watch, Style, Shirt, Male, Iphone

Every Second Counts
There comes a time when a man finally realises that every second in his life is crucial and that it needs to be accounted for; this usually occurs around the time that you start work and have a host of responsibilities forced upon you. When you need to ensure that every second is spent valuably, what better place to keep track of it than on your wrist?
Basically, you need to start a watch collection. While this seems like something that is relatively straight-forward, it needs careful consideration if you are to be the envy of others.
The first consideration needs to be the amount of money that you wish to spend on starting and developing your watch collection. Unless you are able to spend around £3,000 to £10,000, you aren’t going to be able to afford something that would be considered to be an investment piece. Ensure that you take some time out to do your homework and consider all of the available options. You need to be completely sure that you love your watch, there is nothing worse than splashing the cash and then realising that you don’t actually like it.
Less is often more in these situations and it is better to go down this route than opting for something that is too flashy or extravagant. Go for something simple and you will be able to wear it with a variety of clothing and on multiple occasions. If the watch is too big for the cuff of your shirt to fit over it then it is too big, it’s as simple as that.
The next decision is whether you want you want your watch to be automatic, or if you want to wind it up yourself. This isn’t such a big deal, but you need to remember that your watch will stop working if you don’t wind it up. If you do decide to go down the manual route, then a watch winder by the likes of WOLF would be an ideal purchase and is the tell-tale sign of a true gentleman.
Finally, you need to decide on what style of watch you wish to purchase. There are various options available but deciding on vintage is a good idea, it takes a bit more time to be able to find one which is suitable but when you do you will realise that it was time well spent. If you are looking to pick up something that is unique and stylish, then consider heading to a local flea market.


Make Sure That You Don’t Inflict #GiftFace
While the concept of #GiftFace is something that is a relatively new phenomenon, it is has actually been around for thousands of years (probably). It forms part of Harvey Nichols Christmas 2015 marketing campaign and focuses on avoiding that “thanks for disappointing me” face that we often see around the Christmas tree each year.
Despite the fact that you like to believe that you are up to date with the latest fashions and trends, the truth is that you actually more than likely have absolutely no idea what to buy your younger brother or cousin this year. As you hark back to your younger days of receiving the latest PlayStation, or dare I say, a Mega-Drive, you may realise just how out of touch you are with today’s youth.
Being a gentleman means that you are able to effortlessly be up to date with the latest fashions and trends across a variety of different age groups. Unless you are naturally aware, then this is going to have to be something that you keep up with by yourself.
As you would expect, there are still the yearly trends dominating and dictating what you should be buying this Christmas. The latest craze for boys is quadcopters; if you aren’t too sure that these are, then these are basically miniature drones that you can fly and record images. Yes, I am sure that it is as fun as it sounds. On the other hand, if you are tasked with buying a gift for the fairer sex, then you need to invest in a pixel bag.
Sort Your Barnet & Face Out
There is no better feeling than walking down the street and having knowing that all eyes are on you. It is a major confidence booster and can ensure that there is an extra spring in your step and you perform better at work, university, or whatever you do.
We all know that fashions change ever so quickly and that there is always a haircut that everyone seems to have. While it can be tempting to simply follow the herd and do what the others do, this is possibly one of the worst ideas that you can have. You need to ensure that you keep your hair looking fresh and unique. If you have the same haircut as everyone else, then how can you claim to be a gentleman? A gentleman is something of a trendsetter, not a follower; as soon as the others start adopting your hairstyle, you should be moving onto something else.
There are various places to take inspiration from when deciding on a new style, but remember that you need to go for something that actually suits you and makes YOU feel good. That is what is important here, this all about your own self-confidence and not what you think others want to see; a gentleman is confident and calm in his own skin, which will ensure that you exude the right vibes to others.
Deciding whether to opt for a beard or not is a question that has plagued men for centuries and centuries. Luckily for us, beards are well and truly in; if you are one of those men who has difficulty in growing one, then there is no better way to say this than, unlucky!
As you are aware, there are various beard styles that can be employed by the modern gentleman, but it is better to keep it simple. Ideally you should be looking to go for a full beard that is kept trimmed regularly. When I say regularly, I mean at least once a week, not every few months. It is also important to keep your beard nicely shaped and ensure that it doesn’t venture down onto your neck too much, this is also an excellent way of enhancing, or creating, a strong looking jawline.

Invest In Your Threads
Most men are now aware that it is a fact of life that they are unable to skimp when it comes to buying clothes. It is perhaps true that thirty to forty years ago you could get by without spending more than a few quid on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. Now, however, you are expected to make an effort with your appearance and the fairer sex expect you to take a passing interest in the clothes you wear.
Again, this is a matter of personal preference and you need chose a style which you are comfortable with, it is too easy to tell when someone has gone for a style that is simply not them and they look ever so out of place. Basically they just don’t look comfortable in their own skin and this is a major turn-off and is certainly not behaviour which constitutes a gentleman.
There are various sources of information if you are looking for a bit of advice and have no idea where to even begin. A mistake which is often made is to opt for clothing that is bright and screams ‘look at me’. It has long been a belief within certain circles that ‘peacocking’ is a guaranteed way of seducing an individual. However, in reality you will earn nothing but a few sneering laughs and provide the entertainment for whatever party you find yourself at; you should aim to buy clothing with colours that could be considered understated, this a classic look for men and is a guaranteed winner.

Again, and this cannot be stressed enough, avoid any fads of fashions that are copied by the majority as this is not the behaviour of a gentleman.


17 November 2015

Denham The Jean Maker

A few weeks ago I was delighted to be invited along to the new Denham jean store in Leeds.
The store is located in the Briggate retail district and the main doors open onto the main street which is a prime location on what is probably one of the main shopping streets in Leeds.

It's been a while since I last visited Leeds so I thought I'd make the most of it and go for a hair and beard trim first at my favourite chop shop - I mean you've got to look your best for an event, right?

I actually didn't think I would make it to Leeds to be honest, I had a little dilemma that morning, I didn't know which shoes to wear.

 I know, drama or what!

Do you like this photo - I almost look like I know what I'm doing don't I.

I feel like I have to try to look my best when attending events like this, I'm not a vain person but I feel a lot more comfortable when I feel I'm dressed well.

Anyway, the brand Denham was very unfamiliar to me and I was intrigued about the event, in particular to learn more about them. 

Denham was founded in Amsterdam in 2008 by not only a Englishman but one who is a proud Yorkshire man like my self named Jason Denham.
Jason is now known as "the jeanmaker" and after reading this post you will understand why and will agree with me that he has earned that name.

Denham have stores located all over Europe and even have some dotted around the world in places such as New York and Sydney, so why choose Leeds next?

Like I said, Jason is a proud Yorkshire man so why not, and Leeds is probably one of the fastest growing places in Yorkshire for shopping, so it makes sense really.

The store houses two floors you can find menswear items on the main ground floor and you can find the lady's clothing range in the basement.
I find this quite cool to be honest because it's normally us men who have to travel up or down some stairs to get to our section in the shop, but not here,

I didn't really venture through the woman's section - I was more focused on the offerings for myself if I'm honest - and because I was the only male blogger in attendance I had my own free reign of that section to take loads of nice photos of some of the amazing items on sale.

Not only do Denham produce and sell some amazing jeans but all of the other products for sale were quite amazing too.
I don't think I saw one item which I wouldn't wear, which is really strange for me, just ask my wife I'm very picky sometimes with my clothing.
Denham have definitely got it right with this collection, everything they have on sale is right on trend.

Looking at the photos you will notice that there is a theme going on throughout the store with all of the scissor designs and there is a good reason and story behind that - scissors, jean making, cutting fabric is kind of the obvious explanation but another reason is that Jason is an avid collector of scissors and the older the better.

He apparently he has a huge collection and searches eBay and other selling sites quite a lot and if you look closely on every single pair of jeans made by Denham you will find a scissor symbol made up of 691 stitches, that attention to detail really is amazing and it shows that they really do care about every item made.

The shop is really special, it's very minimalist but everything inside really stands out, you can even have a coffee whilst you shop too which I think is a nice touch...and it's very nice coffee too I must add.

I think this coat is great by the way - it stood out to me a mile.

So, not only is Denham a great shop, but it also has something really special to offer too.

There is a private wardrobe area which can be booked out and is totally separate from the store.
If you are the sort of person who likes to shop but who hates busy stores and the hassle of waiting in queues for the changing room then this is perfect for you.

This service is free of charge and the private room is kitted out with refreshments so you can come in with friends, sit back, relax and try on fabulous clothes in a nice, calm, relaxing manor.

Perfect for a girl or boys day out - you can even get picked up from your home and be driven to the store in total luxury, but obviously this part of the service will cost you.

I think it's a great idea, book in, give your sizes and the sort of stuff you are after and it will all be sat waiting for you when you arrive. 

Perfect if you ask me

I was lucky enough to be treated to a pair of jeans whist I was at the store, but me and denim have a bit of a history, so I felt sorry for the sales assistant who was assisting me. 

My problem with denim is that I just never feel comfy in it, I can honestly say that in my whole life I have only felt comfortable in one pair of jeans, and that was over 15 years ago.
I had just left school and had started a job straight away so was earning quite good money for my age and I spent the majority of it on clothes, which is how I found my perfect pair of jeans costing £180 pounds.
(I'm not going to tell you the make of the jeans but the symbol was like a funny shaped MacDonald's sign)
They were so comfy and almost felt too soft to be jeans but that's just how I liked them. 

And this particular pair of jeans lasted me over 10 years.

As I got older, I settled down and had a son which stopped my excessive spending.
I began buying cheaper clothing and this is where my fall out with denim started, I began spending no more than about £40 pound on a pair of jeans and I used to hate wearing them - none of them felt good, they were too stiff and the shape was all wrong so I only wore them when I really had to. 

So back to trying some on in this shop.

It didn't take too long before the shop assistant pointed some out to me after a brief chat about what sort of styles I liked and what problems I had faced in the past.

Unfortunately they didn't have my size, the waist was fine but the leg was too long.  I was asked if I wanted to use the tailor service which the store offered, they told me they would take the legs up to fit my leg perfectly, but I would have to call back in a hour or so to collect them.

I think this is a great service but unfortunately I didn't have the time to wait so we looked at some other styles and found the perfect pair, they were so comfy and fit perfect around my thighs, which normally is a pain area for me because I have big thighs because of all of those years of rugby. 

The jeans were £155 and got me to thinking that I've only had two pairs of jeans in my life that I have enjoyed wearing and each was quite expensive, but I think you get what you pay for.
I will be thinking twice about the jeans I buy in the future and will definitely pay a bit extra than normal to get the perfect pair from now on. 

To be honest I could talk all day about Denham and their brilliant range but if you are wanting to find out more about them or check out the full range of products, male or female, then I strongly recommend visiting the webpage
(found here) 


5 November 2015

Turtle Bay Huddersfield

Being a blogger you get so many fantastic opportunities whether it be a product review, a blogger event or a fashion collaboration or reviewing an amazing restaurants. 

I will admit I have been a lucky guy in the last 11 months and have been invited to do a lot of the above, some more than others. In fact I've only ever done one restaurant review, which I really really enjoyed.

So this is why I was over the moon when I was sent an invite to attend an event at the new Turtle Bay which was due to open in Huddersfield on the 29th of October.

Luckily, I was on paternity leave due to my baby girl being born on the 15th, so I knew I could definitely attend.

When we attended, the restaurant wasn't even open - in fact the builders had only just handed over the keys to the manager the day before.

The place looked amazing!

It has a great vibe and the designers certainly got it spot on with the decor - I really can't wait to attend the venue when it is busy with the music is in full swing, I bet the atmosphere is amazing.

The bar area was situated at the heart of the venue and was fully stocked with some lethal looking alcoholic beverages - beverages you would certainly want to sample when indulging in the out of this world flavours the food brought to the table.

One of my all time favourite drinks is a can of trusty old Red Stripe and I made sure I sampled a few...

Now - the food.

Caribbean food is something which not only have I grown up with, but it is something I still enjoy fairly regularly now because part of my wife's family originally come from the Caribbean.

When we are invited to a family party I often get treated to a few tastes of the Caribbean, my favourite being salt fish fritters, they are amazing, I keep forgetting to ask for the recipe to try and make them my self.

So, lets get back to the event.

Now I wasn't there to simply fill my face - oh no - this event had a bit of a twist, I was there to partake in a Caribbean cookery masterclass too.

The masterclass was hosted by Turtle Bay's development and training chef Colin Scott, he spoke to us about the history of Turtle Bay, which is a fascinating story...

Around 4 year ago the founders of Turtle Bay were a little fed up of all the same kind of restaurants being accessible on the high street and decided they wanted to change things to get something a little different out there.

Then, whilst on a trip to one of the amazing Caribbean islands, obviously after a few glasses of rum and sampling some of the most delicious foods the island has to offer, they came up with an idea...

"Lets open up a chain of Caribbean restaurants"

And so the idea was in motion.

We were then spoke to us about all of the spices used in all of the dishes on the menu which "Colin designed'' himself

And then we were told all about the histories behind the dishes we were going to sample, which were the Curry Goat and the Jerk Chicken.

So lets start with the Curry Goat.

Useful fact - Turtle Bay will only ever use goat in their dishes, a lot of other places will have goat on the menu  but many use mutton - I do have all the useful facts don't I!

If you've ever had goat before then you will know that it is a fairly tough meat, but this was so different, it just melted in my mouth and had a really nice little kick to it.

With the sweet potato and sweet onions in the dish too it instantly sent my taste buds flying - it was amazing.
The dish was served with thyme-infused basmati rice 'n' peas, which was really light and fluffy and packed full of flavour, everything complemented each other perfectly.

I made sure the Dutch Pot it was severed in was scraped clean, I'm not one to waste food.

Now, the Jerk Chicken

Did you know the traditional Jamaican Jerk is a method of cooking pork?
Nowadays though chicken, seafood and beef can be seasoned in this way as well.

We were all invited up to the grill to watch the jerk chicken go through the final stage of cooking

As you can see from the pictures it looked amazing but let me tell you the smell of it was out of this world.

The jerk chicken was served with a side order off sweet potato fries.

I was totally in shock with the heat of this dish, I've had jerk before but never like this!

The chicken was soft and tender, this was not just on the legs and thighs but also the breast too.
The jerk seasoning which the chicken was covered in was amazing, even though it was mega spicy it was addictive and I had to dive back in and have more.
Once again I had a sweet element to the dish with the sweet potato fries which did help to control the heat a little.

This was by far my favourite dish of the two and I can not wait to head back when the restaurant opens and try the jerk ribs and jerk belly pork.

The Turtle Bay chain is expanding massively and should have over 50 in the UK by next year, so keep your eyes open there could be one opening up near you soon.

But in the mean time, check out their web page (found here) for more information and to check out the full menu.

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