Daddy Diary – Coping With a Child in the Hospital

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Seriously, it is a parent’s worst possible fear: A son or daughter experiencing some form of illness or malady. As a parent, you diligently guard and try to protect your child from any hurt, harm, or danger. Unfortunately, as mere mortals, as best as we might attempt, we cannot shield our children from everything. And at the 16 month mark of my little girl’s life, Stephanie and I have 3 emergency room visits and 2 hospitalizations under our belt with our ladybug. Trust me, our unexpected trips to the hospital with our little one elicited heart palpitations and surely gave rise to a few more gray hairs. Nevertheless, all is well, and we are all back home doing just fine. As a father, you will definitely enjoy some great moments with your offspring. However, there are going to be some not-so-great moments like hospital visits. Here are a few key points to remember if you find yourself dealing with such an experience. I am no expert, but hopefully some of these points will help. And if you have some advice of your own, please share. Continue reading

Style & Substance – Fear of the White Dress Shirt

J Crew Cotton Linen

J. Crew Cotton-Linen Button-Down

In all seriousness, when employing the services of a white dress shirt during moments of formal dress, well, the exercise should be relatively  foolproof. Given its blank slate demeanor, a gentleman would be hard-pressed to unearth complications when coordinating varying elements of his ensemble. However, there are some gentlemen that opt for the most unusual colors when selecting a dress shirt. Burnt orange. Neon green. Hot pink. Well, perhaps the white dress shirt is overwhelmingly too simple. So simple in fact, a gentleman can be misled into a train of thought wrought with complexity. And then again, perhaps, a simple white dress shirt screams boredom. Allow me to present this appeal: Step away from the loud dress shirts and embrace the unspoiled benefits the white dress shirt has to offer. It is a clean canvas that a gentleman can practice his sartorial art upon without fear of a fashion calamity. It’s safe. It’s readily available. It’s timeless. It should play a vital role in your wardrobe. Gent Hint: Since we are approaching warmer weather, select a lightweight fabric such as poplin, linen, or a cotton/linen blend would be just what Mother Nature ordered. Gent Hint II: Skip the necktie and opt for a button-down dress shirt without the neck apparel.

Review – Vince Camuto – Solare

Vince Camuto SolareWell, it is certainly that time of the year. It is that time of year when spring is well underway, summer is right around the corner, and Father’s Day is on the horizon. Therefore, this perfect storm of events have given rise to a prominent influx of grooming review requests from my friendly public relations connections. This month has been especially busy, as two unexpected trips to the emergency room with my daughter, all within a 2 week span, have accelerated the rate of gray hairs growing in my beard. Alas, the life of a parent. Nevertheless, between trips to Beaumont and still fulfilling my employment duties at Trinity Health, I was able to carve out some much-required time to shower, groom, and test products. And thus, let the reviews begin! Today, we are placing Vince Camuto Solare under the examination light. Launched this year as a follow-up to Vince Camuto Homme – which I enjoyed immensely – Solare arrives with the promise of introducing creativity and vitality into a gentleman’s grooming lifestyle. Let’s see if it delivers on that promise.

Observations

Top Notes: French Lavender, Juicy Mandarin, Red Apple

Middle Notes: Cardamom, Wild Sage, Pimento Leaves

Base Notes: Sensual Musk, Tonka Leaves, Cashmere Woods, Creamy Blonde Woods

  • Vince Camuto Solare swiftly commences with a sharp burst of citrus that is unabashedly sweet and fresh. The notes of sweetness endure for a surprisingly extended length of time before finally settling down into the middle portion. Fleeting hints of apple will be the last distinct note you will be able to discern before the top notes are finished.
  • Now the middle section of Solare shares the same sweetness as the introduction, but not as sharply defined. Its temperament is slow and steady. Nevertheless, the tandem of the top and middle notes work in concert to comprise a majority of the scent’s dominant smell.
  • Given its sweet nature, Solare appears slightly fade over the course of the day. And given that fact, a gentleman can be seduced by the thought of dispersing additional applications – please don’t. Solare will adhere to your clothing far longer than it will to you. Therefore, I recommend addressing your pulse points – the neck and wrists – with a spritz of 4-6 hits. Depending on your body chemistry, a gentleman could perhaps apply a little more. I would steer clear of spraying your body unless you don’t mind the scent sticking to your clothing.
  • Now, as sweet as the top and middle notes were, the bottom notes carried the same theme, but with darker undertones. There is a faint woody flavor present, but not really overt. And if a gentleman decides to bathe himself in Solare – as I previously warned against – those undertones will be overwhelming and haunt you – and your clothing – for the rest of the day.
  • Vince Camuto Solare is best suited for light casual affairs where a gentleman might find himself around a pool or body of water. The atmosphere should be as clean as possible, as heavy scents, such as the smoke from a barbeque grill, will surely overpower Solare. Solare is a fun fragrance; energetic, yet sublimely subtle.
  • Vince Camuto Solare 3.4 oz $70.00 – Available at Vince Camuto, Macy’s,Von Maur or any fine men’s department store.
Gentlemen’s Standard Approved
 

Style & Substance – Eton – The Floral Pocket Square

Eton Floral PSTo be absolutely certain, the much-anticipated arrival of pleasant weather will necessitate the process of temporarily jettisoning apparel indicative of fall and winter seasons. And with that short-term separation, a gentleman will surely divert his sartorial selections toward men’s accoutrements that welcome the sensibilities of spring and summer. Assuming that the venerable necktie will be rarely beckoned for professional utilization – depending on your lifestyle – a pocket square is a viable alternative that lends unique character to the dapper gentleman’s breast pocket. Now, extending beyond the mere practice of rocking a standard pocket square in lieu of a necktie during the summer, I want to take the time to endorse the pocket square bearing a floral design. Fun, lively, and charismatic; a floral pocket square pops with gentle personality. It is an understated way to inject some softness into a masculine demeanor. Stock up on a few and employ when needed.

Review – Viktor & Rolf – Spicebomb

V&R SpicebombSo, during a much-required respite from the daily grind of work, I was partaking in a leisurely stroll through Von Maur for lunch when my nose detected an alluring fragrance cascading through the air. With my interest sufficiently piqued, I inspected the surrounding area to ascertain where the unexpected scent was emanating. Traversing my way across the department, I eventually landed near a glass sales counter where select fragrances were housed for display. A fellow gentleman shopper was a smidgen overzealous with his testing technique and blanketed the men’s department with the contents of Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb. Fortunately, by the time the scent gravitated and dissipated towards my section, I was able to receive much gentler notes than the initial blast radius. And speaking of blast radius, I would be remiss if I did not mention the cologne’s presentation – an imitation hand grenade. Sure, the display leans heavily on the adolescent side, however, that should not discourage a gentleman regarding the contents. And the contents…

Observations

Top Notes: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Elemi, Pink Pepper

Middle Notes: Cinnamon, Saffron, Chili

Base Notes: Leather, Tobacco, Vetiver

  • The introduction of the top notes is resoundingly deep and spicy. The warm scent can definitely be characterized as a heavier fragrance, but it is not too heavy to be deemed as overwhelming.
  • Slowly transitioning into the middle notes, the distinct presence of cinnamon, accompanied with faint hints of vanilla, can be appreciated for an extended period of time.
  • The scent settles nicely with sweet tones of tobacco and leather. However, the fragrance begins to slowly disappear after a few hours. Honestly, I wish the cologne’s finale lasted a bit longer.
  • Given that fact, a gentleman will be tempted to administer a few extra applications in the beginning. I would strongly dissuade a gentleman from taking such extreme measures. Given the relative strength of the top notes, applying too much in the beginning with aspirations of attaining a long-lasting ending will only result in a headache inducing nausea.
  • Therefore, I recommend dispensing 4-5 sprays from your glass replica hand grenade, and reserving its utilization for moments that don’t require an extended performance – a late evening engagement would suffice. Trust, it is a seductive scent, but don’t expect it to last from the early morning to late evening.
  • Spicebomb 1.7 oz  $90.00 or 3.4 oz $110.00 – Available at Nordstrom, Macy’s, Sephora, Von Maur or any fine men’s department store.
Gentlemen’s Standard Approved
Disclosure: TGS was not financially compensated for this post. Item was purchased for personal use. The opinions expressed are completely my own based on my experience.

Black Thought

carter g. woodson 2“Real education means to inspire people to live more abundantly, to learn to live with life as they find it and make it better.”

– Carter G. Woodson

To be absolutely sure, a gentleman’s life earns new significance when he not only identifies his purpose, but he also cultivates that purpose into something tangible that benefits other individuals. It is tragically irresponsible when an accomplished gentleman attains a certain degree of success, only to be miserly and penurious with his blessings. For the blessed gentleman that enjoys prosperity and favor, it is critical that he utilizes his influence to encourage, empower, and educate the under-served, often neglected sects of our society. When benevolence and compassion no longer exists in the hearts and minds of men, the quality of life for both the fortunate and less fortunate gradually diminish. And the best quality of life is something we should all strive to achieve – for everyone. So, operating within your domain of achievement, I urge the gentleman to re-purpose his purpose and seek to promote excellence and success in the lives those whom are underprivileged. And going forward, hopefully, they will perform the same charitable act for someone else.

The Standard #3

harlemThe knowledgeable gentleman comprehends that his image does not begin with how society views him. Rather, the gentleman’s image begins with how he sees himself. He alone determines and dictates the manner in which he is presented to the world. When he gazes into the mirror, the reflection of greatness should readily greet him. It does not begin with the clothing he chooses to attire himself in, nor the vehicle he selects to navigate city streets. Not the place of employment where he makes a living. Not the amount of money presently residing in his bank account. Why? Well, because character starts with his self-worth. His esteem is not erected upon a mountain of biodegradable materialism – subject to decay and waste. No, the gentleman’s image is based on gentlemanly fundamentals that are concrete and certain. Virtue. Honor. Principle. Forthrightness. The Gentlemen’s Standard.

#YourBlackLifeMatters

i-am-a-man-protest1In the interest of clarity for the audience, this blog entry is not an affront to the current nationwide slogan Black Lives Matter. Because, despite some stubborn reluctance to accept historical reality, the systematic campaign that has been waged against Black Americans in this country, to undermine and dehumanize our lives, is ample justification for many to cry out that their black lives do in fact matter. And although this hashtag propelled slogan has attained growing popularity over the past year – to be quite candid here – this modern battle cry is suitably applicable for nearly every decade of the black experience here in the United States of America.

Continue reading

Standard Recommendations – The Nose Hair Trimmer

Panasonic TrimmerA gentleman’s grooming regimen usually entails the obligatory cadre of routine bathroom rituals: the fundamental shower or bath, the brushing and flossing of teeth, hair management, and the required application of moisturizers and deodorant. However, there are certain grooming requirements that largely go undetected or ignored. And as a gentleman ages, these grooming requirements can become problematic if left neglected. Case in point: A few months ago, I was experiencing a slight tickle inside my right nostril. Quickly surmising that I needed to blow my nose, I proceeded to relieve my nose of any mucosal debris, but alas it did not resolve the issue. Further inspecting my nose in the mirror, I was horrified to discover a long strand of hair swaying back and forth like a kite in a gentle wind.

Panicking, my mind raced – how many people had I spoken to with this unsightly, giant hair hanging out my nose? The resolution was simple: Go forth to a department store and purchase a nose hair trimmer. Sure, I incorrectly thought only men that served in World War II required the use of such a device, but now was not the moment to be prideful. No one would have to know what goes on in my bathroom – although now you do – just as long as I didn’t have hirsute nostrils come the next morning.

So there, I present to you an embarrassing moment in my mid-adult years. If you have this issue, trust, it only takes a few seconds to address, maybe once a month. The investment – the money and time – pales in comparison to the notion of having Cousin It camping out inside your nose. A gentleman can go all out and spend up to $50.00 for one or be frugal and procure a trimmer from a discount department chain such as TJ Maxx. I remember my electronics instructor from 11th grade, he had hair protruding from his both ears and nostrils. Not to mention that his chest hair was on a jail break from his dress shirt, but that is another blog post. But, anyway, I cannot allow myself to go out like that. You should not either.

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