Chicago’s Best of Brunch | Spring 2017

Brunchin’ is a habit – seriously. I’m not sure when ‘brunch’ turning into verb, but it’s safe to say that brunching is one of Chicago’s most coveted pastimes. Long gone are the days when brunch was considered just a meal. Now it’s a full blown lifestyle. I mean, a menu that allows you to order pancakes with a side of bacon AND a turkey club with french fries? What more could you possibly want in a meal?

After reading the Chicago Tribune’s 2017 Reader’s Choice Dining Awards, I felt inspired. It’s been a while since I changed up my dining routine and decided to give a few of the Trib’s best brunch spots a try. Even if you’re not a brunch enthusiast as myself, these Chicago spots may just change your mind.

Longman & Eagle

This nostalgic restaurant takes you back to the early days of Chicago’s social scene. And not early 1970’s early. I mean early as in 1800s early. A much simpler time when travelers sought a hearty meal, pale ale, and a place to rest their head under one cozy roof. Where strangers became friends and a new city became home. AKA an inn.

Longman & Eagle takes a look back into this concept with sleeping quarters and obviously, nationally renowned food options. The menu is a delicious combination of good ol’ fashion food and a sprinkle of New Age flare: Fried Chicken & Waffles, Sunnyside Duck Egg Hash, Cinnamon French Toast, Wild Boar Sloppy Joe, and a personal favorite – Beef Shank au Poivre with truffled potatoes and a sunnyside egg.

Longman and Eagle courtesy of ChiFoodCravings Instagram

Fried Chicken & Waffles from Longman & Eagle // Courtesy of @longmanandeagle via Instagram

WHISK

Ok, this restaurant’s slogan is “brunch by day, burgers by night” so this one automatically made it to the top of my list. WHISK’s menu is not for the small-minded (or the ‘small-stomached’). If you have a big appetite and you’re ready to do some damage – this place is for you. Each item on WHISK’s menu sounds better than the next. And there is something for everyone.

While a majority of the menu is southwestern-inspired, it offers a wide variety of other dishes as well. WHISK’s chefs take traditional brunch dishes and add their own personal flavor for one of a kind plates. Whether you’re in the mood for something savory like a Chorizo Omelette or something extravagantly sweet like Snicker’s Stuffed French Toast (yes, that is a real thing), WHISK’s menu won’t let you down.

Whisk Chicago courtesy of Whisk Instagram Well-Tailored Life

Chilaquiles from WHISK Chicago // Courtesy of @whiskchicago via Instagram

Mortar & Pestle

This rustic, feel good joint is a must-try. Their menu is far from cookie cutter, but in the best way possible. With a collection of traditional plates with globally inspired flavors, Mortar & Pestle’s food is phenomenal. From Foie Gras French Toast and Alaskan King Crab Benedict, to a Bavarian chicken dish and a good ol’ Patty Melt – this eclectic menu will not disappoint.

Well-Tailored Life Mortar and Pestle courtesy of Mortar and Pestle Instagram

Foie Gras French Toast // Photo courtesy of @mortarandpestle via Instagram

Publican Anker

Okay I’ll admit, this one isn’t on the list. But it’s my favorite brunch restaurant of all time. The food. The people. The vibe. Every inch of the Publican Anker’s homage to 20th century timeless fare is on point. Just pay them a visit and you’ll see what I mean.

Well-Tailored Life Publican Anker courtesy of Publican Anker Instagram

Mackerel Toast with Soft-Boiled Egg from Publican Anker // Courtesy of @sarahischi via Instagram

While I have yet to make it to all of the brunch spots on the Chicago Tribune’s list, you better believe I will. Don’t forget to VOTE for your favorite restaurant spots for the Chicago Tribune’s 2017 Reader’s Choice Dining Awards!

PS – Sugar Hills Bakery & Cafe will be starting their very won BRUNCH in the next few weeks!! Follow our account on Instagram to stay up to date! @sugarhillschi

The Art of Layering

Spring is the season of layers. Seventy degrees and sunny one day, 30 degrees and sleeting the next. Ya never know what you’re going to get – especially in this city. Which is why layering your look is vital to transitioning your wardrobe from winter to spring.

Men – I’m sure this idea of ‘layering’ your outfit is rather bewildering. And I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “What’s the point?” I’ll give you two reasons, my friends: practicality and style.

On an average day, you usually see only one visible layer on a male: a shirt, pants, and if it’s cold, a jacket….

Sorry that outfit combo was so dull I dozed off. But really, why does a majority of our gender refuse to be anything more than “basic”? Because gentlemen, we are far from basic. Mastering the art of layering isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. It’s all about combining functionality and aesthetic. Basically, you want to be warm and comfortable without looking like a hobo.

Start with a breathable fabric – a cotton graphic tee or long sleeve shirt – then add thicker pieces. Throw on a denim button up or zip-up hoodie, then slip on a cool leather jacket. Not only will you be warm, but you’ll look cool too (no one can resist the temptations of a leather jacket).

Jacob Neminarz of Well-Tailored Life

Or take some advice straight from the NYFW runways: lightweight trench coats, denim jackets, and technical outerwear, to name a few. But my favorite layering advice for this season? Fabric blocking. Rather than color blocking, fabric blocking has so much more dimension. Plus it looks sick. Corduroy, velvet, shearling, suede, and innovative tech gear are fabrics that should be in your closet.

Most importantly, layering helps to add a little color or pattern to your look. The rich monochrome colors of winter are over. While it’s not quite time for the bright neon colors of summer, it is a good chance to start slowly working your wardrobe up to that. And if you’re not into the whole color thing, I am happy to report to that this spring is all about earthy tones. Shades of green and stone were huge on and off the runway. Paisley is the perfect pattern to transition into spring. Pick up some cropped trousers to let those ankles see a little sunlight and a beanie to keep warm. And of course, pair everything with a cool pair of sneakers.

I gravitate towards bomber jackets, trendy raincoats, and denim jackets – these are ideal for layering! Shop some of my picks:

Men’s Scotch & Soda Bonded Trench Coat • Scotch & Soda • $245

Men’s Barbour Holton Quilted Bomber Jacket • Barbour • $249

Todd Snyder + Champion Cotton Bomber Jacket in White • $348

Diesel Indigo Denim Nhill Jacket • Diesel • $200

Ami Alexandre Mattiussi Shearling-collar denim jacket • Ami Alexandre Mattiussi • $310

Wallace & Barnes MA-1 bomber jacket • J.Crew • $178

Sophnet Roadmaster 4-Pocket Jacket Black • Belstaff • $750

Ornamental Conifer Limits Leather Jacket • Lucky Brand • $950

Comfort is key in Spring 2017. If you incorporate functional fits, mixing fabrics and warm neutrals, you’ll be ready for the sunny days to come.

Keep It Brief: Underwear You Want To Show

Underwear is undoubtedly a very personal choice for any man. But gentlemen, if our boxers or briefs are going to show, we might as well make them something to look at. Regardless if you are a boxer or brief kind of guy, whatever you choose to wear should be comfortable and add to your confidence. If you look good, you’ll always feel good, that’s my motto.

I know all of my readers have impeccable taste, but are your skivvies as on trend as the rest of your look? You’re in luck because I’m sharing some of the sickest underwear lines.

Check out these 3 brands below – I promise, you’ll thank me later.

2(X)IST

This is the most underrated underwear brand of all time. 2(X)IST has been around for nearly 25 years and is an essential in my closet. The styles are meant for men who actively live their lives by pushing the boundaries with confidence. But more importantly, the comfort level is phenomenal. It’s like wearing your birthday suit. Don’t believe me? Then try them for yourselves. Shop here –> a few of my favorites.

Armani

While they’re mostly known for suits and evening wear, Armani carries some of my favorite briefs. From fit and pattern to style and color, they are seriously amazing. Although a pair is a little pricey, the quality + comfort 100% justifies the purchase. Treat yourself, men. Shop here –> best pair.

Calvin Klein

Alright so everyone knows about Calvins – and if you don’t you have some serious catching up to do. But they’re my favorite so I couldn’t resist. When it comes to underwear, no one does it quite like Calvin can. The Calvin Klein brand has become a statement. And one that I am happy to make. Shop here –> SHOP

Talk To The Art: Affordable Art Sites

Plain and simple: no room is complete without art. It’s just four walls and some furniture until you add a few inspiring pieces that bring it to life – give it it’s own voice and personality. I am very a visual and expressive person (if you haven’t noticed). I speak my mind and have no shame in doing so. And I think that’s exactly what art does. It speaks without any words – its confidence can’t be shattered.

Moral of the story – I really like art. However, I understand that collecting art is an expensive investment, especially if you are looking at valuable, original works and hoping to purchase them right off the wall.

Luckily, there are so many online art boutiques and sites that offer unique and affordable pieces. No matter your preference, artist or collecting style, I can guarantee you can find artwork from these sites that will suit your space. Switching out artwork in your home, office, or storefront, is one of the simplest ways to redecorate in a pinch. If you are an aspiring collector or you are hoping to refresh your walls, I have gathered my favorite places to browse (without putting on pants) and purchase art work.

Society6

If you haven’t heard of the site Society6, don’t talk to me. It’s the sickest site for all things art and home decor. Thousands of artists from around the world sell their original art as fine prints, apparel, tech and home accessories. I love knowing that I am supporting an  international community of talented creatives. This site is perfect for eclectic styles and likes to switch up their art collection frequently. They offer a massive assortment of affordable prints to create the perfect gallery wall. They also offer a membership program to loyal customers.

Minted

Minted is another wonderful site that supports independent and emerging artists from around the world. I especially love this site for large prints. Masculine, eclectic, pastel, mixed-media, you name it – Minted has just about everything you can think of. The site  constantly holds design competitions where the community casts a vote on which pieces should be sold. This results in an infinite collection of work to browse through at an affordable price.

One Kings Lane

Okay, so this one is pretty well-known. But still just as awesome! If you’re a newbie to the art world, One Kings Lane is a great recourse for starters. They offer style expertise from their professional design team and offer a lot of great design inspiration. Everything from black and white photography and watercolors to mixed media and eclectic works, One Kings Lane has something for everyone.

Artfully Walls

Another great web spot for inspiration, Artfully Walls is amazing. This site is great for the art collector novice and enthusiast alike. They have a crazy huge collection of unique pieces from around the globe. Plus if you’re a huge app person – their app makes mobile shopping ridiculously easy!

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Precision Human Performance: A Lifestyle

For those of you who know me, know that fitness is a HUGE part of my life. Not because I want to lose weight or gain muscle (although that’s definitely a bonus), but because it jumpstarts my mind and body for the day. It boosts my energy, clears my thoughts, and lays a solid foundation for the hours that lay ahead.

But recently I started experiencing severe pain in my shoulder. While at first it started off as discomfort, over time it has become nearly debilitating forcing me to skip my morning ritual. For someone who is as active as I am, not being able to begin my day with the one thing that kept me balanced was extremely discouraging.

I soon found out that it wasn’t just a pulled muscle, but a torn rotator cuff. Surgery seemed to be my only option and I knew my shoulder would never be the same. Until I was referred to Precision Human Performance. Let me tell you – this gym has saved my shoulder. Precision isn’t just a gym, it’s a lifestyle.

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My first session was an Evaluation so the PHP team could get a better understanding of my injury. I met with Michelle Amore, one of the gym’s owners and co-founders. BTW – she’s a bad a**! I was skeptical at first, but once Michelle and I had talked through my injury, I could tell she understood my pain more than anyone else. And the best part – she knew how to make it better.

My next visit to Precision was with with, Ryan Kroth, PHP’s Managing Partner. Since Michelle had discussed my situation with Ryan, he already knew the basics. So this next session was a strength and flexibility assessment for Ryan to determine the severity of my injury. Through a series of mini tests and resistance training exercises, Ryan was able to not only evaluate the extent of my shoulder pain, but also come up with an in-depth game plan.

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During this assessment, I learned more about my body than I ever had before. The key to everything really is precision. I was working muscles I never even knew I had. Focusing on simple tasks that I would usually breeze by, made all the difference in the world.

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Once Ryan thought I was ready to get to work, we hit the floor. Our goal was to “knock on pain’s door,” as Ryan would say, without ever actually stepping through. It was all about introducing my injury to the smart way of training. It’s not pushing yourself past your limits. It’s recognizing those limits and learning how to work through them in a healthy way.

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Maximum strength and maximum longevity need to go hand in hand. Sure lifting 200 pounds is cool, but if you’re doing it the wrong way, you won’t be able to life 20 pounds in 7 years. You want to lay the foundation and build on it over a period of time to maximize your fitness longevity. And that is what the PHP way is is all about.

I can rant and rave about Precision and training the ‘smart’ way for hours, but it won’t convince you as nearly as well as the PHP team can. Because they’re goal is to help people. Help them to reach their goals and maximize their potential, without causing injuries. I urge you, give it a shot.

Strengthening the shoulder and aiding my injury will take time, but I know PHP will guide me through it the entire way.

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@PrecisionHumanPerformance

Photography by: Patrycja Zak of Good Time Photography Chicago

NY Men’s Fashion Week: Street Style

Alright guys – fashion may not be your forte, but it is most certainly mine. And New York Men’s Fashion Week 2017 did not disappoint. Top designer collections made their way down the runway, while influencers and industry icons rocked the Manhattan streets in style. Social media has revolutionized a new aspect of fashion week. The streets have become nearly as influential as what’s walking down the runway. If not even more.

If you want the low down on what fashion trends are cool right now, just look to the streets. Street style allows consumers to see the current trends of the moment, while the runway shows forecast future fashion movements. The sidewalk is where the real style derives from.

Layering, bold prints, and muted colors defined this year’s street style. These looks showcased a ton of cool graphic tees, sneakers, camouflage prints, and loose fitting pieces layered together to create a laidback and casual look. Over sized coats and bomber jackets were everywhere. Several men accessorized with bandanas that gave off Western, all American, workman vibes.

On the street and runway there were a ton of looks that paired sport coats with shorts. The mixing of tailored wear with casual, vacation pieces was a huge style trend this year. Which I am a huge fan of. Refreshing “resort wear” that is relaxed yet chic definitely set the tone on the streets as well.

I rounded up some of my favorite looks from NY Men’s Fashion Week street style. I hope you can pull inspiration from these looks – I know I did.

Jetsetter: 4 Warm Weather Getaways

I just arrived back in Chicago after a quick trip to LA and I’m already missing any temperature above 60 degrees. Guys, I don’t know about you but I am officially over this whole winter thing. Wearing 4 layers under my parka just to walk down the street is really starting to put a damper on things. You’d think I’d be used to Midwest winters by now.

As my brain is physically craving the sun, spring feels so close yet so far.  So I’ve come up with a new game plan. Why deprive yourself of a little Vitamin D when you can hop on a plane and jet set to just about any tropical place in the world. But if you can’t just ditch town for a few days, I found that the best way to combat vacation cravings is to bight the bullet and book your next getaway. Bring your SO or plan a guy’s trip. It’ll give you something to look forward to and hopefully distract you from the plummeting temperature.

I’ve rounded up my top 4 favorite destinations to ensure sun-kissed tans and ocean views that will get you to get through these next few months. But don’t forget your carry-on essentials (check out my carry-on essentials guide).

St. Barths

This French-speaking, Caribbean island is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches (16 to be exact). If that alone doesn’t sell you, then read on.

If you are a first time traveler to this unique spot, I have a few recommendations to keep in mind. The island’s vibe is casual and laid back with a Parisian flare. There’s an array of awesome hotels to stay at – and did I mention 16 beaches? I would recommend the newly renovated, Hotel Le Toiny St Barth. This hotel offers a selection of villas with breathtaking views of the island. For a casual, “no shoes” required lunch spot, O’Corail is a local favorite. There is so much to explore on this island, it is truly paradise. And definitely not below zero.

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South Beach Miami, Florida

Blue skies, sandy beaches, and the best DJ mixes. Miami will leave you feeling recharged. There is so much to explore in this high-energy city. Spend at least one day away from the pool and head over to the Wynwood Art District and experience Miami’s modern art scene. The endless graffiti murals bursting with color make for the perfect photo op.  If you don’t have at least one Instagram-worthy selfie to document your vacation, did you really go? (Kidding! Kinda…)

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Lanai, Hawaii Islands

As you can imagine, this island is ridiculously beautiful. It frequently is overlooked from the other Hawaiian Islands. But that’s what makes it so perfect. While the tourist population is crawling the other islands, you can enjoy some actual peace and quiet. If you are looking for a quiet and relaxing getaway, this island is definitely for you.

At this point you should be 100% sold, in which case you’ll need a hotel. I HIGHLY recommend, the Four Seasons Resort in Lanai.  If you can picture perfection, this resort is it.

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Malibu, California

You already know Cali holds a special place in my heart and Malibu is quintessential Southern California cool. California is one of my absolute favorite places to visit year round. Another laid back destination, with the best organic eats, farmers markets and surf shops. The culture is so different in the best way possible. Plus, Malibu sunsets are like a scene from a Nicholas Sparks movie – seriously breathtaking.

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If you haven’t already booked a flight, I applaud your self-control. Becuase I already booked a flight to California next month. If I never come back, don’t be surprised!

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Find Happiness From Within, Not From Others

1. Don’t compare yourself to others.

Growing up, I constantly compared myself to others. I analyzed their success, their looks, their personality, their skillset, and saw something that I wish I possessed. I found myself losing these inner-battles with my low self-esteem and in turn, I was losing myself. When good things came my way – no matter how hard I worked for them – I felt unworthy and undeserving. I was self-sabotaging my own happiness. I was never good enough for myself.

It wasn’t until I recognized this that I was able to being rebuilding my self-esteem. Over time, I found solace in mindful thinking, yoga and meditation, and began to find my lost soul. This re-construction (as I like to call it) allowed me to lay a foundation of a calmer me so I wouldn’t react with anger, sadness or jealousy when I reverted to my old ways. When I was at my lowest, my guard, self-security and happiness was stripped from me. Being able to repair those wounds has helped me to form a positive mind frame and thicker skin. I have totally built a more balanced and nuanced perspective towards my surroundings and towards myself.

I have made a lot of mistakes in my past. For years, those mistakes I was so ashamed of haunted my thoughts as I incessantly over-analyzed them. After I realized how paralyzing this was, I found the strength to forgive myself and view my mistakes as a lesson learned. The lessons I have learned have allowed me to move forward, let go of what can’t be changed and focus on the present.

2. Be confident

I have always struggled to believe in myself. After being diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder, my entire life was put into perspective. Every question I had about why I behaved the way I did or thought the things I did, made so much more sense. So I started to take actions to change that.

First and foremost, I recognized my weaknesses and accepted them. I stopped trying to analyze them or ask why I wasn’t better at this, better at that. I started implementing balance in my everyday small tasks. I may not be able to control every outcome, but I can control the way I live. Rather than living in a state of mess and chaos, I find order in my daily chores. Every morning I make my bed, I always wash the dishes after a meal, do my laundry every other day, and make sure my apartment is immaculate. Chaos ensues more chaos. Being clean helps me to restore balance. Maybe your balance consists of something different, whatever it may be, embrace it. These small tasks give you a feeling of control. It’s hard sometimes to do this after a 12-hour work day, but you have to push yourself. Procrastination is a grave in which dreams are buried. Always push to make changes. Small steps. Always know that you can handle whatever life throws at you next and find strength in your convictions.

If someone criticizes you, channel that into something positive and let it be an opportunity to improve. Accept it with grace and appreciation. Learn from everything and be inspired by others. Be confident in your potential. It takes practice to be confident but that practice will make you whole.

3. Not everyone will like you.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a people pleaser. My opinions may be strong, but I like to make people happy. Recently one of my oldest and dearest friends began to drift away from me. She stopped including me in her plans and left calls and texts unanswered despite my attempts to save our friendship. This happens in life of course, but it’s been a struggle for me to accept. It just didn’t make sense. I needed the validation of her friendship. But one day, I stopped reaching out. Realizing that you can’t always change the way people think of you, I’ve stopped worrying about how she views me. It was emotional poison that I didn’t need to dwell on.

People come and go – it’s a part of life. And despite how long you’ve known them, they’re relationship has touched your soul and will always be a part of you even after they’re gone. Understanding this has helped me more than I can explain. It has given me peace of mind and has allowed me to just let certain people and situations go.

Our friendship has run its course for now and that’s ok. Everything happens for a reason. Accepting that not everyone will like you and still being confident in who you are, is the start to building a strong self-esteem. There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you if you don’t take anything personally.

4. Learn to say ‘No, thank you!’

I was always afraid to say no to people. I would jeopardize my own boundaries to make someone feel better even if I didn’t agree with them. I know it’s hard, but something you just have to do it. Saying no to things you don’t believe in or won’t bring you happiness, can give you strength.

My entire life, I’ve always been a helper. Helping my mom in the kitchen, helping my employees to understand something – I find joy in helping people. And that has contributed to my feeling of self-confidence. It’s a part of me. But doing something about your core beliefs leads to self-destruction and guilt. Trust me, in the long run it is better to say no to doing something that doesn’t agree with you. In the end, your emotional well-being will be sacrificed.

Everyday brings joy and struggle. Enjoy the joy, but also ironically enough, enjoy the struggles because they are coming your way for a reason. The challenges you face will  shape you, guide you and, most importantly, teach you a lesson. So when life throws some obstacles in your way, don’t take them personally. The struggles we go through are apart of life – everyone has to deal with them. How you deal with your struggles can either make you stronger and make you miserable. This choice is on you!

 

Mental Detox: 7 Ways to Stay Positive

The January Blues (n.): a form of sadness or depression brought on by gloomy seasonal weather and the 2017 Presidential Inauguration (kidding…kind of).

If you think you are experiencing the form of seasonal affective disorder I described (and possibly made up) above, you are not alone. The sun has been hiding for weeks, the holiday hype has worn off, work is slow, and logging into Facebook is like watching a Presidential Debate, only much nastier (if that’s even possible). Our country is at odds and while we have made great strides in the last 8 years, it feels as though we are taking one  giant step back.

But at the same time, we are also uniting. Maybe not in the way we had hoped, but in a different way. Change does not lie in the hands of one man, but rather a group of people united by a belief.

My point is – regardless of your political views or if you have any at all, this time of year somehow always feels a bit bleak. Sometimes we all need a detox from the negativity in our lives to make room for positive growth. Even if your moodiness is due to the weather! Make these 7 changes in your day to day life and you’ll be feeling a little lighter on your feet in no time.

Exercise

I didn’t step into a gym until I was 30 years old. Now, I don’t know what I would do without it. And not just because it keeps me in shape. When you exercise it releases ‘feel good’ chemicals called endorphins that help you to relieve stress and boots energy. Regular exercise can help you rewire the brain in very positive ways – for your body and mind. At least 30 to 45 minutes a day should be dedicated to exercise. Trust me, you’ll see what a difference it can make.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Plain and simple: stop complaining. Constantly worrying and overwhelming yourself with negative thoughts is like a dehabilitating disease. It can overpower you and cloud your entire outlook on life. Worrying is like a vicious cycle. Remember that making yourself miserable will never change the outcome. Just focus on what’s right now. That is what is important. Focus on how you can make a situation better. As someone who is a constant worrier, I have developed my share of exercises. Whenever I have an obtrusive and negative thought, I take a moment to recognize it. I then try to change that thought into something positive and let it go. Don’t feed on it. Don’t analyze it just let this go.

Eat Healthy

This is a tough one that I often struggle with. As you all know, I own a bakery. AKA all day long I am surrounded by the most delicious desserts and cakes. Building my will power has been quite the task. However, I am not saying to cut out unhealthy foods all together. I am saying to save it for your cheat day. Try to balance it all. What you put into your body can drastically change how we are feeling. We often use food or alcohol as a way to cope with our emotions. This will never make you happy. I mean it may for few minutes or even a for a night. But then you feel guilty and even worse than before causing you to self medicate with these things yet again. Another vicious cycle. Try to avoid the temptation by switching your focus. Remember – your body is like a  temple. It only deserves the best.

Take a Deep Breath

When you are feeling anxious or stressed, breathing deeply and slowly is one of the best remedies to help regain focus and positivity. When you recognize that something bothers you, try to disconnect, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Even if just for a minute. You will see how wonderful that can be. It will totally change your focus and bring you back to a more positive reality.

Hit The Snooze Button

I know how hard this one can be. Trust me. Being an entrepreneur, every minute feels like an enormous challenge – who has time for sleep?! It’s extremely hard sometimes to disconnect after an eventful and challenging day. But without a good night’s sleep, you won’t be on your A game the next day. Our body needs sleep. Remember to stay away from your phone. Plug it in away from your bedroom. In the avalanche of social media and email notifications these little sounds can be annoying and distractive. If you have a TV in your bedroom put on a sleep mode so it can turn off otherwise your sleep will be distracted and interrupted.

Social Media Detox

Social media can be an amazing tool to see what’s going in in your friends and family lives. But it also can be mentally deteriorating. While many posts are positive and uplifting, others are hurtful and unnecessary. Especially when it comes to political views. These posts can trigger insecurities, unhappiness, and destroy your positivity. Sometimes a break from social media is good for our minds. We aren’t distracted by factors we can’t control. We are able to live in the present. Once you return to the social media world, it is important to stay away from negative posts and messages. Keep your negative feelings to yourself. If someones posts something you don’t agree with unfollow them (unless they are your Grandma or something). If someone doesn’t bring anything into your life, unfriend and let it go.

Maintain Your Daily Routine

Sticking to a regular routine as much as possible is crucial to fighting sadness, fatigue and depression. Try to engage step by step taking one task at the time. Focus on current actions. A routine demonstrates that you are not only capable of getting though the day, but you complete the day feeling productive.

Photo by: Patrycja Zak of Good Time Photography
@goodtimephoto

Manly Moisturizing: Hydrating Skincare Tips for Winter

Ever wonder how a woman’s skin is always so smooth? My fellow males, I’ll let you in on a little secret: never – I repeat, NEVER underestimate the power of a moisturizer. Think of our skin as a pair of leather shoes. Try wearing those babies for a few months without conditioning them and see what happens. Over time, even our Salvatore Ferragamos lose their shine and end up covered with cracks, deep crevices, and general wear. And calfskin is much more resilient than our skin.

My point is, our skin – especially in the winter – needs ample hydration. Whether we admit it or not. For men, it takes very little to make a big improvement. Even the toughest dudes need a little pampering. Here I’ve rounded up some quick and easy tips to master the art of hydrated skin – and the best products to maintain it. I promise, they’re a step up from your bar of soap.

Throw Some Shade, Add SPF

Moisturizer is the anchor to keeping your skin healthy – it minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, strengthens the skin, and makes it more resilient to outside factors. Throw in a little SPF and you’re also reducing the risk of skin cancer, precancerous change, and premature aging of the skin. Basically, by choosing a daily moisturizer without SPF you’re being just plain stupid.

My Picks:

Anthony Oil Free Facial Lotion, $33

Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer, $48

Eye on The Prize: Eye Cream

Sadly, the skin around our eyes doesn’t lie. While you may tell everyone at the office that you went to bed at a reasonable hour last night, the bags under your eyes are saying otherwise. This area is also one of the first to show unwanted signs of aging – dark circles, crows feet, sagging. Luckily, eye cream was invented to ward off Father Time, The Sand Man, and last night’s The Office-binge on Netflix.

My Picks:

Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer, $20

Origins GinZing Eye Cream, $30

Lather, Rinse, Repeat (With Moisturizer)

The best time to apply lotion is when your skin is in a humid environment. And what better occasion to lather up on the moisturizer than after a steamy shower? A combination of hot water, bar soaps, and dry air can take a toll on our skin. By putting on lotion immediately after we hop out of the shower, we are locking in that hydration and avoiding the dry air.

My Picks:

Lubriderm Men’s 3-in-1 Lotion, $7

MenScience Advanced Body Lotion Ultralight, $22

Put Your Skin To Rest: Night Time Routine

Just like you brush your teeth every night before bed (I hope), moisturizing should be held to the same standard. While we sleep, our skin is in reparative state – aka it’s sleeping like the rest of our body. And because of this, our skin isn’t exposed to environmental stressors that age the skin. By adding a moisturizer to our night-specific skincare routine, we are repairing skin, while reducing oily skin and breakouts. Basically, just moisturize dude.

My Picks:

Baxter of California Night Cream AHA, $26

Clinique Turnaround Overnight Revitalizing Moisturizer, $40 

Tieless: How To Wear a Suit With No Tie

A suit and tie go together like cookies and milk. Like peanut butter and jelly. Or like Kim and Kanye. Ok so we’re still not sure about that last one, but you get the idea. It’s a combo that’s just works. But that doesn’t mean a suit can’t go solo every once in a while. Sometimes a guy needs a suit without the pomp and circumstance of a tie – loosen it up a bit.

Here are some tips to keep in mind next time you decide to go tie-less. Remember: sometimes going solo is for the best. Justin Timberlake did it, and look at him now.

How To Wear a Suit With No Tie

Shirt is Key.

The shirt you choose to wear underneath is the key to rocking this look. Make sure the shirt portrays the look you’re going for. If you’re going the more casual route, opt for a chambray button down. Looking for something a little nicer – you can never go wrong with a pressed white oxford. Per usual, I wanted to make a subtle statement, so I went with a The Kooples shirt with a black trimmed collar. Which leads me to number 2….

jacob-neminarz-of-well-tailored-life-wearing-the-kooples-jackeand-shirt

Pay Attention to the Collar

While it’s really all about the shirt, don’t overlook the collar. The collar will be another indication of the look you’re going for. You would never wear a button down collar to a black tie, but you would if you were getting cocktails with a date. Just like you would never wear a stiff collar to a bar.

jacob-neminarz-of-well-tailored-life-wearing-the-kooples-jacket-and-the-kooples-shirt

One or Two Button Drop?

How much you unbutton your sport coat or shirt is a direct correlation to how casual you’re trying to be. For the shirt, never go more than 3 buttons. It’s just common knowledge, dude. Button up all the way for a button-upped look. The more chest you show – the more laid back you’re trying to be. Or the more you’re trying to charm. Kidding. Kind of. Regardless – keep your undershirt hidden. Please.

Same goes with your suit jacket. Except unlike your shirt, it is socially acceptable to have it completely unbuttoned. This is the definition of casually cool.

jacob-neminarz-of-well-tailored-life-wearing-the-kooples-jacket-with-hugo-boss-pants

Pant Color

If you’re trying to look trendy and easy-going, mixing it up with your pants is the way to go. Try out different colors to see which combos you like best. I’m always a big fan of the navy jacket / grey pants combo (or vice versa). It’s really personal preference.

jacob-neminarz-of-well-tailored-life-wearing-the-kooples-jacket-and-hugo-boss-pants

Focus on Accessories

If you’re feeling a little bare without the comfort of a tie, try emphasizing other accessories; shoes, cuff links, socks, scarf, etc. Since you’re down an accessory, going for a bolder one is cool.

There you have it, my friends. Now you can master the art of the tie-less look! Like some of my look? Shop this look below.

jacob-neminarz-of-well-tailored-life-wearing-the-kooples-suit-jacket-and-boots-of-new-york-shoes

Boss Hugo Boss Genesis Slim-Fit Wool Trousers, Light Gray • HUGO BOSS • $195

Men’s To Boot New York ‘Mac’ Wingtip • To Boot • $395

Men’s The Kooples Trim Fit Contrast Collar Poplin Shirt • The Kooples • $97.98

The Kooples – Fitted Suit Jacket w/ Pocket Square Men’s Jacket • The Kooples • $411

jacob-neminarz-of-well-tailored-life-wearing-the-kooples-jacket-the-kooples-shirt-hugo-boss-pants-and-boots-of-new-york-shoes

10 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Actually Keep

I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but you know how the holidays can be. Hope you all didn’t miss me too much! In light of the New Year, I want to dedicate to today’s post to resolutions. I’m not talking about crazy and impractical goals like “I am NEVER going to eat chocolate again.” Alright for some people that may be plausible, but you get the picture.

After the holidays robbed our bank accounts and added 5+ pounds onto our physiques, New Years could not come at a better time. While NYE is a celebration of the passage of time and coming of a new year, it also gives us the chance to hit ‘reset’ on our lives. But by making unrealistic goals, you will only let yourself down. We need goals that we can rely on and better ourselves from.

A year ago, I was in a very different place in my life. I felt lost and disconnected from who I wanted to be. On January 1st, 2016 I vowed to workout everyday, pursue my dreams, and live an overall more rounded life. And I did just that. Not only did fitness become a part of my daily regimen, but I also started Well-Tailored Life.

This year, let’s reach our goals together. Check out my list of New Year’s Goals You Can Actually Keep below and join me in my 2017 resolutions. Let’s do this!

10 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

  1. Write a happy thought every morning when you wake up
  2. ‘Unplug’ for at least 1 hour a day to reflect.
  3. Turn off all lights when you leave your home
  4. Put away $20 a week to save up for something
  5. Opt to take the stairs instead of the elevator
  6. Stop procrastinating and make a To-do list
  7. Spend more time with family
  8. Drink 8 glasses of water a day
  9. Get more sleep
  10. Learn something new everyday