How to Have the Perfect Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is coming up soon, gentlemen. That means you have plenty of time to plan the perfect Valentine’s Day, buy a nice gift, get reservations for dinner, or even cook something yourself (maybe practice it first). Even if you don’t have tons of money to throw on this day, just doing something to show you remembered can go a long way.

We’ve got some ideas to help make your Valentine’s Day experience great, from gifts to recipes to homemade ideas.

What to Cook
If you’re going to take a stab at cooking for your loved one, here are some recipes you can try to really woo your significant other.

lobster colorado Lobster Colorado (via Allrecipes.com)

parm

Chicken Parmigiana (Via Allrecipes.com)

duck

Pan- Seared Duck Breast with Blueberry Sauce
(Via Allrecipes.com)

red velvet trifle

Red Velvet Trifle (Delish)

lava

Red Velvet Molten Lava Cakes (Spache The Spatula)

Gifts to Buy

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For the Wine Lover
Club W Subscription

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For the Coffee Lover
Blue Bottle Coffee Subscription

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For the Avid-Reader
Kindle Paperwhite

Gifts to Make

Jar of Compliments
Get a mason jar, or mug, and fill it with little slips of paper with compliments about your significant other.

Coupon Book
This book will be filled with little coupons your significant other can redeem. Suggestions include: “1 ticket for a romantic dinner”, “1 ticket for a long massage”, etc.

Bake Something!
Who doesn’t love sweets? They’re even more sweet when they’re made by someone you love. Try making some cupcakes, cookies, truffles, or whatever their favorite treat may be.

Scavenger Hunt
This may take a bit of time to create, but it will be worth it! You can do it just in your home, at a park, or all across town. They will have to follow the clues to find the next clues and end up at some special place. Don’t be surprised if they ask for some clues. Tip! Try adding in special places you two have been together like “Go to that place where we first met” or “That place where you spilled your coffee”.

6 Good Books for Men

It’s important to keep reading, you can never learn enough. If the last book you remember reading came from a high school or college English class, it may be time to pick something up. If you’re too busy to sit and read, download an audiobook for the gym or the car. There’s no excuse not to read at least one book a year.

hands-hand-book-reading

Now, the problem if you do enjoy reading is what book to pick up. The library and bookstores are filled to the brim with them, it can be tough to find something you will be satisfied with. We have some great recommendations for guys that are ambitious. That means the guys (like you) who want to do something, be a leader, start a business. Or maybe you just admire ambitious people. You’re going to like at least one of these books guaranteed.

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr. 
By Ron Chernow
You know him as the oil baron and one of the most famous last names in the US. Besides being extremely fruitful in business, he started to become more open-minded and generous as he gained more success.

The 48 Laws of Power
By Robert Greene
This is a classic. You just have to read it to get what its all about. “Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, The 48 Laws of Power is the definitive manual for anyone interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control.”

Meditations
By Marcus Aurelius
This is a favorite of those that abide by the stoic philosophy. Many people I admire call it one of the best books they’ve read. It was written by a man who was likely one of the most powerful of his time. He talks about self-discipline, humility, responsibility, and more.

The Power Broker
By Robert A. Caro
In opposition to Marcus Aurelius, Robert Moses whom this book is about, was powerful but also a jerk. He was driven, ambitious, and had smarts, but he was not compassionate and it turned him into a monster.

How to Win Friends and Influence People
By Dale Carnegie
Alright, I had a hard time picking up this book at first. A friend bought it for me, but I thought the title was so cheesy. I didn’t want to be one of those people who read self-help type books. But I was so wrong! The ideas and advice in here seems so common sense, but it seems like not many people abide by them. I use some of these ideas in my daily life that’s how much this book impacted me.

Status Anxeity
By Alain de Botton
It’s the problem you don’t think is a problem. You’re ambitious and want to be on the top, what’s wrong with that? Well ambition is both good and bad, as it is a huge source of anxiety and frustration. This book will help you manage your ambitious tendencies and

Grooming Tips for Men

You’ve got the fashion part down, what else is there to looking good? Sit down while we take you through the world of male grooming. I’m sure you’re familiar with the constant trips to the barber for trims, but what other grooming practices do you participate in regularly? Do you wash your face? Moisturize? What about using specific hair products? If you’re one of those guys who doesn’t really think about this stuff, you may want to start.

According to Neutrogena, we touch our faces 10-12 times an hour. Who knew!? It’s not just touching your face that is the problem, it’s all the other things our hands touch during the day right before they touch our face. You probably know about the amount of germs on common things you touch. By touching your phone, pillowcase, and hair you are transferring oil and bacteria to your skin. The best way to get these things off your skin is by cleansing twice daily. This means getting a good facial cleanser to wash with in the morning and before you go to bed. This will keep your skin healthy and your pore clear.

At least once a week, use an exfoliating scrub. This will remove the layer of dead skin from your face and help get moisturizer in deeper.

As for the rest of your skin, you should be paying attention to your hands and feet. You use them a lot each day and probably don’t pay them much mind. Start using a hand cream if you are noticing calluses. If the calluses are really hard you may need a pumice stone or callus shaver. Just make sure when using these that you don’t touch the soft skin around the hard spots.

As for your feet, you may have calluses there too. Get a pumice stone to heal those too. If your feet a dry and cracked, invest in some lotion (even Vaseline) to keep them hydrated daily. Make sure the lotion doesn’t have alcohol as it can further dry your feet.

As for your hair, if you have short to medium hair you should be using a paste to help hold it in place. For longer hair, use a styling cream to weigh it down. You should be shampooing your hair twice a week, otherwise you can end up with oily hair or a very dry scalp if you do it too often. You likely also don’t need conditioner if you have short hair. It’s mainly beneficial for those with curly, long, or coarse hair.

When it’s time to brush your teeth, you better do it! The last thing you want as you age is to start having bad teeth issues. Using medium or hard bristles can cause gum recession and eat away your teeth’s enamel. So try using a soft bristle. Also brush your tongue! A tongue scraper should be a part of your daily grooming gear. There is a lot of bacteria on your tongue and it’s the primary cause of bad breath. Then lastly, you have to floss more. I know it’s painful but unhealthy gums can lead to serious issues.

Get those nails trimmed. It doesn’t take long, but it’s a good idea to get in the habit of trimming your nails once a week.

Daily
Wash and Moisturize Face, Body
Brush teeth, floss, use tongue scraper
Brush & Style hair
Moisturize Feet and Hands

Once a Week
Trim Nails
Exfoliate the face
Trim hair (body, facial, and head)
Shampoo (or twice a week)

Different Beard Styles

Beards are in! I’m declaring that for 2016 the beard is still going to be in style. I don’t see them going away anytime soon. So if you have been wanting to grow one, there’s never been a better time to do it. The problem for some guys may not be “Should I grow a beard?”, it is probably “What beard is right for me?”. It’s a good question because there are plenty of beard styles out there. It depends on your personal style, face shape, and especially your ability to grow one.

sunset-summer-hipster-pipe

Birch Box recommends the following styles based on common face shapes…
– Square Face: Keep hair fuller on the chin, shorter on the sides.
– Round Face: Grow hair longer on the bottom, shorter on the sides.
– Oblong or Rectangular Face: Keep the sides fuller, and the bottom shorter.
– Oval Face: Oval faces are a middle ground between the other shapes, so most styles will work well.

Now here are some beard guides to help you find that perfect look.

Beginners Guide to Styling & Growing a Beard – Real Men Real Style

Growing a Manly Beard – Art of Manliness

Beard Grooming Tips: 8 Ways to Optimize Your Beard – Birchbox

How to Trim Your Beard – Grooming Lounge

Designing a Neck Line for your Full Beard – Beards.org

Which is the Best Beard Style for You? – Beard Trim & Groom

A Man’s Guide to Beard Styles – Men’s Journal

The Best Beard Styles, and How to Get Them – Men’s Journal

The Details Guide to Trimming Your Beard – Details