Holidays

The Off the Beaten Path Holiday Buying List for the College Gentleman

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In honor of the upcoming holiday, I thought I would break my normal stream of consciousness to bring all of the girlfriends, mothers, aunties and sisters out there a little yule tide help in searching for a special something for their favorite male undergrad (or heck… grad student as well!).

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 Dave Brubeck Quartet- Jazz Goes To College

While the current generation may be stuck on Young Thug and Iggy, jazz was the controversial genre of your parent’s day; so much so that in 1954, universities across the country initially refused to let Dave and his quartet perform on their campuses. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and Brubeck embarked on a four month tour, playing at 90 universities and junior colleges across the country. While Wolverines should enjoy this pressing (five of the seven songs are from the University of Michigan show) this album is certainly an intro course for students looking for a little something more than what the radio is offering.

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Tweed Football from The Lodge Goods

Dorm football: a male, freshman sport played by bored first years in the dormitory hallway. Usually proceeded by the phrase “What’s the worst that could happen?”. Often followed by an impromptu trip to the emergency room and write ups of all participants. While wrapping a football in Harris Tweed won’t necessarily make taking a spiral to the face feel any better, at least it looks cool.

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 The Hunt Duffle Back from Hershel Co

Because you promised yourself you’d hit the campus gym on a regular basis in the new year. Because you promised your parents you would visit more next semester. Because mentally, you’re already on spring break. And because carrying your clothes in a backpack or a black trash bag isn’t sexy.

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 Hunter Original iPhone case

Recently, my overpriced Lifeproof Case proved that despite its name, it actually was susceptible to life. So the wife and I took a trip to the Apple Store in search of a new case to protect my fragile iPhone 5S. Our sells associate laid out a few options similar to my previous case, but my eyes couldn’t see past this hunter green case by Hunter Original (yes, the same Hunter Original that makes your rain boots). As I held what would be my new case, my wife remarked “Chose your case wisely. Its not always about fashion” to which I would respond “Dear wife. It is ALWAYS about fashion.”

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Duckboots by LL Bean or Sperry if you want them by the 25th

Marketed as the “original antidote to wet feet”, this boot is a multi-faceted piece of any man’s wardrobe. Whether marching through January snow on your way to your 9:00 class or sloshing through April rain puddles on your way to finals, these classic boots will keep those feet warm and dry from hustling on campus to hunting in the marsh. The only problem is that the LL Bean version of these boots are SO popular, they are currently on back order to about March. Sprerry however, makes a version that is just as tactical, fashionable and more available.

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 Gentlemen Only Intense by Givenchy

A man’s scent is like his calling card. I’ll never forget my first bottle of cologne; a bottle of Curve purchased with my meager McDonald’s paycheck in high school. As you mature, so does your palette. Soon you’ll have your clean, fresh and sometimes fruity scents for the spring and summer while you look to musky, woodsy scents for the fall and winter. Gentlemen Only Intense is the older brother of the original Gentlemen Only that will deliver masculine elegance right from your neck to your girlfriend’s nose.

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Archer Season 5

If you’re not watching Archer by now, all I can say is that you are missing some of the best television around. The Simpsons and Family Guy may have lost their bite a long time ago, but this spy comedy keeps its teeth sharp. Season 6 premieres in January so what better way to spend your holiday break by binge watching the world’s most inept spy agency become the world’s most inept drug cartel.

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Colligate needlepoint belt from Smathers and Branson

We are about nine months away from the next college football season which of course means, we’re about the length of a full term pregnancy from the next tailgate. In a sea of hoodies and fitted baseball caps, a needlepoint belt featuring your school’s logo is a discrete yet unique way to show your pride. Pair it with a tucked in Oxford and a gameday hat, and your ready for all of the barbecuing, co-ed flirting and carrying on the tailgate has to offer. Smather’s and Branson offers all conference belts for the ACC and SEC as well as a good listing of individual schools as well.

Fall Fashion For Fellas – The Knit Tie

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knittieThough it had only been a total of five months, the length from July to November seemed like an eternity. All of the calorie counting, the five mile jogs, the back breaking bootcamp classes; all instrumental in your loss of 40 pounds. Not only did you shed the weight of a 15 foot canoe, you also lost one full inch on your neckline meaning you could finally accomplish the singular fashion goal you’ve pursued for the past year; you could wear a bowtie.

When your neckline was 18 and a half inches, your neck itself was a tad too big for the prep staple and the bow you created by following the How To Tie a Tie app on your iPhone was too small. Now however, you had more than enough slack to obtain the look you were going for. Your giddiness would soon evaporate though, when you attended your chapter’s formal meeting and realized that about 90% of the room had adopted the bowtie as their primary neck wear. You see, bowties used to be a novelty; something that drew eyes when you walked into the room. With preppiness now in vogue however, the bow is as common as the boat shoe.

Continuing the search for your neck’s individuality, you uncovered something interesting on The Tie Bar. Silk, yet not smooth and sleek but knitted and full of character. Not sharp and pointed at the end but squared and unique. Although Jake, the chapter historian may not “get” it, James Dean, Sean Connery and The Beatles sure did as all of these esteemed gentlemen have donned the knit tie. And while the knit tie isn’t something commonly seen in the 2014 quad, knits have their collegiate roots as they were all the craze on Ivy League campuses in the 1960’s; so much so that student athletes at Harvard had unique knit ties to distinguish which team they belonged to.

Think of it as a more fashionable lettermen’s jacket. The knit tie is a utility player on your fashion team. Just as it’s a conversational addition to a causal oxford, cardigan and jean combination, it is also at home with a black suit (Example: Bond. James Bond). The fratty masses may keep the bow tie; the knit is just vintage enough, just Ivy enough, just different enough to work.

Essentials for a Relaxing, Pamper Night!

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With the end of the semester getting closer and closer, you may be a bit stressed. If that’s the case, it’s time to ‘treat yo’ self’ to the relaxing night you deserve. Do it solo or have a group pamper night with friends! Here’s what you’ll need!

  1. Candles

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There’s something about candlelight that is so magical and relaxing. Pick up some candles in scents that you love and put them around your room. You don’t have to light them all at once, so pick one or two scents that compliment each other and put them wherever you like. If you’re in a dorm that doesn’t allow candles, you can get a flameless wax burner for a similar effect.

  1. A Face Mask

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There are so many different face masks out there to choose from, so find one that you think will be good for your skin and smells nice. They have masks for dry skin, breakouts, oily skin, blackheads, stress relief, redness, etc. You name and it probably exists. You’ll feel like you’re getting a facial at a fancy spa, without the hefty price tag!

  1. Scented Lotion

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There’s nothing better than soft skin that smells amazing. There are scented lotions that smell like just about anything you could possibly think of, so find some that you love. A great place to start searching is Bath and Body Works. Their selection is huge and you’re bound to find something you love. If scented lotions aren’t you’re thing or you’re allergic, there are some great, unscented lotions out there so don’t feel like you have to be left out on this one. Find a hypoallergenic, sensitive skin friendly lotion that is really moisturizing and you’ll be goo to go.

  1. Hot Chocolate or Tea

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A hot, delicious beverage is a great addition to your pamper night. You can make your own hot chocolate or tea or pick some up at your favorite café. If you like specialty flavors, like peppermint hot chocolate or chai tea lattes, there are mixes you can buy to make at home—part of the fun is in making it yourself and there’s something ultra relaxing about making your own hot beverage!

  1. Relaxing Music

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Just put on a playlist of your favorite mellow music and you’ll instantly feel relaxed! You can also find some great playlists on Pandora and Spotify if you want some help finding the perfect soundtrack for your pamper night.

  1. A Good Book or Magazines

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Pick up that book you’ve been meaning to get to or revisit your favorite book! If you’re a pop culture junkie pick up some new issues of your favorite magazines and get your celebrity gossip fix!

  1. A Cozy Blanket

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This one is pretty self-explanatory: wrap yourself in your favorite cozy blanket while you drink your hot drink and read your book!

  1. Comfortable PJs

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Comfortable pajamas are an essential here, because pamper nights are all about comfort. Ditch the jeans and let yourself truly relax!

3 Cancelled-Too-Soon TV Shows for Your Next Netflix Binge

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1. Freaks and Geeks

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This Judd Apatow creation is a cult classic comedy from 1999. The show only lasted one season (18 episodes) and then it was tragically cancelled! The show was the start to many stellar careers. The cast was made up of some of your favorite actors including James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, and Martin Starr. Set in a high school in Michigan in the 1980’s, the show mixed comedy with high school drama seamlessly and was a truly incredible, however short-lived, series. Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, Joe Flaherty, Becky Ann Baker, Busy Phillips, and Samm Levine round out the cast. (Available on Netflix)

2. Undeclared

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Another Judd Apatow creation that came after Freaks and Geeks, this comedy left high school behind and went straight into college. This show also only lasted one season with 17 episodes completing the series. The show focuses on a small group of college freshmen in the early 2000s (when the show first aired). The show starred Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen, Charlie Hunnam, Carla Gallo, Monica Keena, Loudon Wainwright III, and Timm Sharp. Jason Segel, Kevin Hart, Amy Poehler, and Busy Phillips also make multiple appearances. Even the guest stars list is impressive. It includes Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Simon Helberg, Felicia Day, Martin Starr, Tom Welling, and Fred Willard to name a few. (Available on Netflix)

3. Arrested Development

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Arrested Development actually lasted 3 seasons in its original run before returning for a 4th and final season exclusively on Netflix on May 26, 2013, 7 years after the ending of its 3rd season. This comedy starred Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Wil Arnett, Michael Cera, Jessica Walter, David Cross, Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat, and Jeffrey Tambor. The cast makes up the dysfunctional, formerly wealthy Bluth family whose patriarch (played by Tambor) is in prison for fraud. His son, Michael (Jason Bateman) takes over the family business and, as a result, the family. The hilarious sitcom falls under the category known as “cinema verité” which is a documentary-similar style—think Modern Family, The Office, Parks and Recreation, etc. (Available on Netflix)

Fall Fashion For Fellas – The Hoodie

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You remember the moment you laid eyes on as if it were yesterday. You had just received your acceptance letter in the mail, concluding one of the most anxious two to six weeks in your young existence. Elated and beaming with pride, your mother drove you to the college bookstore, furnished you with her credit card, and told you to “pick a few things out”. Alongside the baseball cap with the school’s initials embroidered in Old English and the overpriced binders with the official university seal on the front, you chose this item as well, thus beginning one of your most valuable relationships. To your classmates and teachers it was a just hooded sweatshirt but to you, it was a dauntless declaration of your upcoming future. Once you made it to campus, you were rarely seen without it. You wore it when you assisted in tearing down the goalpost after the “upset of the century”. It was on your back the night you first snuck into the campus bar. It kept you warm as you rode on the back of a wagon at your first sorority hayride. While you relished in its casual side, the effortless way it complemented your jeans and sneakers, you also found it had a fashionable side as well on the day you paired it with an oxford, rep tie and chinos. Through years of dinnertime pizza runs to the student union, tailgates and autumns watching the leaves cascade in the quad, it was a utility player in your wardrobe; always ready for service in a moment’s notice. As you now live your business casual life, listening to Vampire Weekend in your cubicle while daydreaming about a short time that was so long ago, you can’t help but wonder; which girlfriend’s dorm room did you leave it in.

5 Movies Coming Out This Semester!

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Gone Girl (October 2)

Gone Girl is based on the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn who also wrote the adapted screenplay. The psychological thriller follows the life of Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and his missing wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike). Why did Amy Dunne go missing? Did Nick kill her? You’ll have to see the movie (or read the book) to find out! The film, directed by David Fincher, also stars Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, and Sela Ward.


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The Judge (October 10)

Directed by David Dobkin, The Judge has been described as a comedy-drama. The film tells the story of a lawyer (Robert Downey Jr.) returning home for his mother’s funeral after years of living away from his family. He comes to find out that his estranged father (Robert Duvall), who is a judge in his hometown, is a suspected murderer. Downey Jr.’s character must then represent his father in court when he is put on trial. The film also stars Vera Farmiga, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard, and Billy Bob Thornton.


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Fury (October 17)

Fury is a war drama set in Nazi Germany during the last month of World War II. The film chronicles Wardaddy, a U.S. Army sergeant, and his five-man crew as they go on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines in a M4A3E8 Sherman tank named Fury. The film stars Brad Pitt as Wardaddy, as well as Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal, Jason Issacs, and Scott Eastwood.


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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (November 21)

One of the most anticipated films of the year, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is based on the first half of Suzanne Collins’ novel Mockingjay from the smash hit series The Hunger Games. Francis Lawrence returns as director after a successful directing job on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Willow Shields, and Jeffrey Wright all return to reprise their roles. The film also stars Julianne Moore and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.


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The Interview (December 25)

This comedy centers on TV tabloid host Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen). After scoring an interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, who is a fan of Skylark’s show, they are recruited by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong-un. Rogen and longtime collaborator Evan Goldberg direct the film, so it is sure to be hilarious! The duo also co-wrote the screenplay with Dan Sterling. The film also stars Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park as Kim Jung-un, Timothy Simons, Charles Rahi Chun, and Rob Lowe (as himself).

How Technology is Changing Entertainment

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When we were kids, watching television programs and movies was less user friendly than it is today. There were too many steps involved. You had to physically go to Blockbuster, or your nearest rental store, to rent a new movie only to find it unavailable because too many people had already taken it out. If you wanted to view a movie on Pay-Per-View, you had to wait for the movie time to be available in order to call and order it. This seems absurd nowadays due to how easy it has become to watch whatever you want, when you want.

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As technology progresses, the internet becomes more than just a place to do research. It becomes a domain for apps, games, movies, books and so much more. We have just merely scratched the surface on the potential of the digital world. The revolutionary movie streaming programs, such as Netflix and Hulu, offer instant gratification for whatever mood you’re in.

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What can attest for the future of digital programming? With the way technology is evolving these days, it would seem that everything will go digital; making DVDs, video game discs, and even paper books obsolete. There’s no way of telling what’s going to happen to these companies that supply us with our entertainment needs today; either they’re doomed or they’re going to embrace the digital age and evolve with it. Only time will tell.

The Wonderfully Creative Abilities of a 3D Printer

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3D printers are not a new concept but they are considered uncommon compared to the everyday printer. Some of us may have never even heard of them. The name, 3D printer, is pretty much self-explanatory. It has the ability to create solid 3D objects by methods of continuously adding layers until the desired shape or object is achieved. How can we make this high tech printer useful for everyday college kids? Let’s take a look.

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Musical Instruments- Guitars, flutes and other instruments can now be made of plastic and surprisingly, I heard they are functional! Music class will never be the same. Now take that plastic guitar and rock out in-between classes.

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Art- Sculptures and other forms of art can be replicated or designed from scratch. Bring your newest creations to your next art class or build upon them by adding paint or other creative touches.

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Science- A truly unique use for a 3D printer would be in any of your science classes. Replica skulls and other bones for research can be made.

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Fashion Design- Even though the objects made are from plastic, that hasn’t stopped anyone from creating new wearable fashions. Shoes, furniture and decorative items have been created using this method.

Pumpkin Spice Everything

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‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice! Whether you find it in your latte, candles, or cupcakes, you’ll find something dunked, sprinkled, or drizzled with pumpkin spice. Here are a few ways to pumpkin spice up your life the DIY way!

 1. Pumpkin Spice Whip Dip

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This yummy fall favorite only requires 4 ingredients! The recipe is super simple and easy so get mixing and prepare to be the life of your next tailgate party!

2. Pumpkin Spice Latte

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Never spend five dollars on a latte again with this super tasty DIY pumpkin spice latte! Get all the yummy taste with fewer calories.

3. Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies

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Try these super soft and fluffy pumpkin spice honey cookies that will leave you yearning for haunted hayrides, sweaters, and crunching leaves

4. Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

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Start your day off right with pumpkin spice pancakes! This healthy recipe is sure to be a yummy treat for a cool, crisp autumn morning.

How do you get your pumpkin spice fix? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Shows to Watch This Fall

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Now that September is upon us, lots of shows will be returning with new seasons. New episodes of your favorite shows are a great treat to look forward to throughout a stressful semester!  Don’t know where to start?  Here’s a short list of some great shows coming back for all new seasons to help you get started!

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1. Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation will be returning for its 7th and final season.  The Emmy and Golden Globe nominated NBC comedy stars Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari, Rhetta, Nick Offerman, Jim O’Heir, Rashida Jones, and Rob Lowe.  The show centers on the Parks and Recreation department of the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana and is in documentary style.  Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, who also created the US version of The Office, created the show.

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2. Modern Family

Modern Family returns for its 6th season on September 24th at 9pm on ABC.  The acclaimed comedy series has won several Emmys and Golden Globes for its first five seasons and is consistently well received by critics and audiences alike.  The show stars Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould, Rico Rodriquez, and Aubrey Anderson-Emmons.

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3. American Horror Story: Freak Show

The 4th season of the FX hit returns October 8th at 10pm with a whole new set of characters.  Each season of the show has its own story, completely separate from each other, so each season functions as a miniseries.  Much of the cast, however, typically stays the same.  This season stars Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, Denis O’Hare, Jamie Brewer, Emma Roberts, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Gabourey Sidibe, Michael Chiklis, Wes Bentley, Finn Wittrock, John Carroll Lynch, and Patti LaBelle.

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4. The Vampire Diaries

This CW show is back for its 6th season on October 2nd.  The finale of season 5 was very emotional and fans of the show are eager to see what comes next.  The show stars Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, Kat Graham, Candice Accola, Steven R. McQueen, Matt Davis, Michael Trevino, and Zach Roerig.  What happened to Damon and Bonnie at end of season 5?  Tune in to find out!

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5.  The Big Bang Theory

This CBS show is the #1 comedy on television and it returns for its 8th season on September 22nd.  Led by Jim Parsons, who has won 4 Emmy awards and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Sheldon Cooper, the show is well received by fans and TV critics alike.  The show also stars Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Melissa Rauch, and Mayim Bialik.

 What shows will you be watching this Fall?  Let us know in the comments!