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    Every year, on my birthday, my wife takes me to the record store and we pick out a new album as my official birthday present. It's something we did by coincidence the first two years we were together, and it's become our little tradition to make the day special and add to our LP library...the only physical media we keep in the house anymore, save for books.    

    This year, I picked Lighght by Kishi Bashi. I've been playing it around the office this week, but I keep going back to this guy. It's not the big single from the record, but, my goodness, it's a catchy one. Make sure you give it until at least 1:20 before making up your mind. 

    He's stepping left and right, cha cha.  

    Any new music you think we should know about? Let us know in the comments below.


    [top image via Consequence of Sound]

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    You know those days when you have stuff, and you need to move it? Like, the errand-running days: exchange movies at the library, go to the post office, stop by the hardware store, go snatch a six-pack to take to your buddy's house tomorrow...those kinda things. A backpack would be overkill and your messenger bag or brief case is too small. You need a haul-anything tote.

    I like this simple leather and canvas DIY option by Renske Solkesz. The brown and white is gender neutral enough, though you could go with an unbleached canvas all around, or add some olive drab for a more masculine look. 

    The "yin-yang" style top is pretty cool, and allows for the single handle, though you could go for two if you'll be hauling extra-heavy stuff. 

    Get the full how-to: Renske's Minimalist Tote Bag 


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    created at: 06/05/2013

    Happy summer, ManMakers. Those three months where the days are long, and the weekends are time to just grab a bag and go. So, this is our handy guide to traveling: tips to plan, pack, and explore so you can get the most out of your trip.

    It starts like this: you plan a trip, request your vacation time, make a few arrangements, the you leave everything to the very last minute, and panic ensues. Yep. We've all been there. And...this is why we have created our nifty little guide to help you get all of those details sorted out. Take note!

    Weekend getaway 101


    - Flying to your destination: Hipmunk is a great site to find deals on airplane tickets. Love how it categorizes the search results by agony and price (brilliant, right?). There's also Kayak, which shows you the cheapest flights found by other people, perfect for those with a flexible schedule. 

    - Drive to your destination: If you're going away road trip style, make sure to get GasBuddy on your smartphone. This app will give you the cheapest gas prices on the go. If you're still unsure whether you should be driving or flying, then go to Travel Math, a site that calculates the best way to get to your destination (based on time, cost, distance, etc.).

    - Book your accommodation: airbnb is honestly one of the best tools to book accommodation. There are tons of different options to choose from - cabins, apartments, single rooms, you name it. But, if you are more into hotels, Price Negotiator is perfect for finding deals. 

    - Map your points of interest: Google map any attractions you want to visit before hand, make sure to check schedules for museums, parks, and restaurants, and then save them in your favorite places so you can easily navigate later, as well as visit all the spots in a region or neighborhood. Use Any.DO to make quick notes and reminders so you don't forget any of these details.


    Weekend Getaway 101


    You may think this is the least of your worries, but we've all spent time scrambling to figure out what to bring.

    Before you pack

    1. Lay out every single item of clothing you're taking. Then get rid of one thing in each category.
      Do you really need that many shirts? Get rid of any "just in case" items. Those never get used, and you know it.
    2. Cover the basics. It's only a weekend.
    • 1 casual shirt,
    • 1 pair of shoes
    • socks and underpants
    • dark jeans (you can dress them up in case you go out) and a belt
    • 1 jacket, sweatshirt, or sweater,
    • 1 dressy item for going out to a nice dinner
    • toiletries (unless you're staying at a hotel where they're provided. Then just a toothbrush and paste and medications)
    • Accessories:one book, phone charger. Leave everything else at home. 

    Pack it up

    1. Odd shaped items go at the bottom of your suitcase or backpack (shoes, windbreaker, etc). Save space by stuffing your socks and clean undies in your hat (plus it'll help to keep the shape). 
    2. Roll your jeans, t-shirts, and shirts and add them on top.
    3. Fill any gaps with the rest of your items (e.g. belts, watches, ties).
    4. Any delicate items go on the very top, snuggled in between your garments.


    Getaway 101


    Even though we love the feeling of having a Lonely Planet guide while traveling, they can be heavy and take too much space. Instead, stuff your phone with apps and you'll be set for success.

    • Wallpaper Magazine City Guides: You can either buy the printed version or you can download the app. Either way, these guides are a must-have for any design-savvy traveler.
    • Everplaces:nothing like getting some local advice. This app has tons of reviews and recommendations written by locals. Best of all, it has a design-y twist and you can find lots of cool spots.
    • Wi-Fi Finder:Need a cyber fix? Use this app to find the nearest WiFi network, super handy when you want to quickly upload some pictures to your Flickr account or fire off a few emails.
    • Trapster: Getting a traffic fine while on vacation definitely sucks, with Trapster you can find police "traps" to avoid getting a ticket, not that you would, but just in case (shhh, don't tell them we told you about it).
    • SitorSquat:Let's face it, when you're traveling the last thing you want to do is having to spend money and time lining up at a store, just you can use their washroom. SitorSquat can tell you where to take your business on the go. Phew!
    • Average Cam Pro:if all you're using to take photos is your phone's camera, then you should get Average Cam Pro. This app is great to take photos at night (including starry skies!). If you have a mini tripod take it with you, if not, just place your phone on a flat surface and let the app work its magic.

    Travel light, travel often. Got any extra tips or apps of your own? Share them in the comments below!

    Bon voyage!



    This ManMade post was originally published on June 17, 2013

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    created at: 06/30/2014

    Harry Love is a professional musician, DJ, and collector. Which means...he had a lot of records. Like a lot of records. Records in his studio, records in the hallway, records in the bathroom, records he had to move aside to make toast.Which might be okay if Harry lived alone, but he shares his space with his family, including a toddler. So, the folks at IKEA got involved and gave Harry a full studio makeover. 

    Watch the video below to see the results: 

    The video comes from a cool blogpost on about hacking IKEA furniture for music studio use, including desk ideas, storage, and hacks for making 19" racks from a nightstand or a $10.00 side table.

    Check out the full piece and all the ideas at: Ikea Studio Hacks: Build Your Creative Space on a Budget – Audio Racks, Speaker Stands, Desks, and More!



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    Skateboard decks are designed to support one's bodyweight yet be flexible to absorb changes. Meaning, they're kinda ideal for making other stuff to play this swing project. Ben from Homemade Modern took a cue from and whipped up this adjustable swing how-to that'll work for kids (standing included) but can handle an average adult as well. 

    The use of the skateboard deck adds a sense of style and intentional design, making this guy look at home in any yard, whether you have kids or not. I'm digging it.

    Get the full how-to: EP35 The Skate Swing




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    Where I live, it's working on its way towards 100° today. It doesn't tend to get or stay that hot, so hardly anyone, including me, has air conditioning, and folks just tough it out on these rare days when the temps really crank.   


    And today, I'm toughing it out with this cool build process of creating a custom snowboard from scratch from Experiment with Nature. I don't actually know how to snowboard, but I will gladly stare at snow-covered mountains and drool-worthy workshop shots. 

    The process began when they "set to work on the table saw cutting down the bamboo and poplar into strips that would later but joined together to create the cores of the boards. The slats were then milled down to a consistent and specific thickness. Bamboo was placed at the center and edges of the core due to its water resistance, rigidity, and flex. Poplar placed in between the bamboo reduced the weight while maintaining strength and pop."

    See the full process at Experiment with Nature: DIY Snowboards



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    created at: 07/01/2014

    Some days are everyday cocktail days. Straightforward, two or three ingredient drinks that taste great and require little prep work. 

    But some days are special cocktail days... Days where a little extra effort makes for all the difference. Days like Fourth of July on a Friday that happens to make for three-day weekend. Which is totally happening this year.

    For that very occasion, Maker’s Mark® decided to step it up a bit and create the The All-American, a boozy, bacon and bourbon number crafted using bacon-infused Maker’s Mark® and is the perfect way to pay tribute to US Independence Day, and they're sharing their recipe with the ManMade readers.

    created at: 07/01/2014

    The process begins with a few strips of bacon, which is enough to infuse an entire bottle of bourbon. 

    1. Cook 3-4 strips of thick bacon, enough to yield 1 ounce of fat (eat the bacon after!)
    2. Once bacon fat has cooled to room temperature, pour in to a storage container
    3. Add 750mL Maker’s Mark® Bourbon, cover and freeze overnight
    4. Using a fine mesh sieve, strain bourbon in to a new container removing large bits of bacon
    5. Lastly, double strain your bourbon back in to the bottle. Enjoy! 

    Then, you can use it in any bourbon cocktail that can benefit from a savory punch, like an Old Fashioned or Sazerac. 

    But for this Independence Day, Niccole Trzaska of The Liberty Bar, NYC crafted up this recipe: 


    The All American
    Niccole Trzaska, The Liberty Bar, NYC

    It does not get much more American than the All-American! Show your American pride and sip this boozy cocktail is crafted using bourbon, bacon and maple – all produced here in the US of A, cheers! 


    • 1 ½ parts bacon infused Maker’s Mark® Bourbon
    • ¼ part Crown Maple Syrup
    • 3-4 dashes Angostura Bitters
    • Strip of cooked bacon for garnish


    In a rocks glass stir bitters and Crown Maple, top with bacon infused bourbon. Add ice and garnish with a strip of cooked bacon.

    created at: 07/01/2014

    Enjoy, and Happy Independence Day!


    [Note: this is not a sponsored post. I though the recipe sounded fun, and I'll think I'll try it soon. I thought you might like it, too.] All photos: Phillip Romano.



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    Truly amazing barbecue - the transformation of tough, chewy cuts into something tender and juicy and full of smoke flavor - is a true artform. And like all craft, it involves a healthy does of science and technique as well. NPR's The Salt blog references an episode of It's Okay To Be Smart, where the host visits famed Texas barbecue chef Aaron Franklin. "The latest grilling gadgets, they both agree, aren't the answer to good barbecue. And science suggests they may be right.. And science suggests they may be right. Gas grills offer the advantage of speed: They heat up quickly and make it easy to serve hungry family members and guests in a jiffy. But what you end up sacrificing is tenderness in the meat — that's achieved only when you slow down the cooking." 

    Fascinating stuff for a Independence Day weekend. Heres's hoping yours involves plenty of low and slow.


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    leather lounge chair DIY

    Another great IKEA hack, gentleman! This time a classic, stripe-y beach chair gets flipped into a modern lounge chair, while keeping things affordable. 

    The finished project chair is fit for a reading room or even as a statement piece next to your couch, and requires no more than good sewing skills and a few tools. 

    You could make a few of these chairs for your patio as well, and since they fold, you can store them away easily once summer is done.


    If you want to save some money on leather (which could be the most expensive material in this DIY), you can pop by a fabric store and check their "odds and ends" leather bin, lots of times they have long enough pieces that can be usable for this project. Alternatively, you can also stitch several pieces to create a quilted look.

    For full instructions and list of materials check out Kristi Murphy's blog: LEATHER COUCH CHRONICLES #3 - TURN A BEACH CHAIR INTO A CHIC LEATHER SLING BACK CHAIR

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    Scissors are a simple tool. When the work, they work beautifully, doing exactly what you ask, as they've done since you learn how to work a pair in Kindergarten. Ernest Wright & Sons of Sheffield, England is one of the last remaining hand-manufacturer of scissors - high-quality shears crafted from the best materials and designed for a lifetime of use.    "The Putter" is a wordless look at Cliff Denton, a craftsman at the shop, and the process he take to create a stunning pair of scissors by hand. The film title comes from Denton's role - literally, a "scissor putter-togetherer."

    I need to get a pair of these.

    via and screenshot: Core77



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    created at: 07/08/2014

    Remember as a kid, when a movie came out, and everyone saw it? Standing in line in the heat, drinking from your matching collectable cup from whichever participating fast food restaurant. People in the Batman logo t-shirts, or listening to the big hit song from the soundtrack...on the radio?I guess that still happens, somewhat. I'm sure there are still kids meal toys and lines on opening weekend. But when our summer movies are just sequences cities getting blown-up again and violent comic book heroes, they're more designed for grownup nerds and international audiences than for whole families lining up to see Ghostbusters.

    Still, summer movies are an essential part of the season, and The Dissolve have released their latest list in the Dissolve Canon: the fifty greatest summer blockbusters. 

    The lineup begins: 

    Blockbusters have become such an integral part of the way we talk about films that it's hard to believe they haven't always been with us. But while there have always been big movies-lavish productions designed to draw crowds and command repeat business-the blockbuster as we know it has a definite start date: June 20, 1975. That's when Jaws first hit screens in the middle of what was once, in the words of The Financial Times, a "low season" when the "only steady summer dollars came, in the U.S., from drive-in theaters." It's summer, after all; why go to the movies when you could be outside? Jaws changed that. Star Wars cemented that change. And now, the summer-movie season is dominated by the biggest films Hollywood has to offer.

    The team still gives Jaws the number one slot, and while there's some notable misses, there's still nothing like seeing a movie in the summertime. 

    Check out the full list: 50-3130-11, and the Top 10[The]



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    created at: 07/03/2014

    If you find yourself with a day off this holiday weekend and a bit of free time before the festivities really start, take advantage of the opportunity to get something done: like cleaning out your car. (Presuming, of course, you own a car. Same goes for bikes or even your day bag where you stash your bus pass.)   Like fireworks and grilling, washing your car in the driveway is a summertime ritual. But, as Valet asks, "but do you really have the time for the whole bucket of suds and a wax job?" Of course not, there are barbecues to attend. Instead, "get a gleaming ride in minutes with a few key products and a roadside car wash." 

    15 minutes, that is. 

    Devote the first 8 minutes to the exterior, including some prep work before you actually drop quarters in the machine. Then, detail out the interior and vacuum. Repeat every month or two, and you'll never have to devote an entire day in the driveway again. 

    Detail Your Car (In 15 Minutes)




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    Our love for beer is sincere and it grows stronger every year (and so does our beer belly, but it's so worth it.) Like whiskey or quality tequila, it can be perfect just by itself, in a glass, alongside a meal and preferably outside.

    ManMade Guide to Beer Cocktails

    But beer's unique flavor profile - bitter, sweet, acidic, malty - as well as its texture and carbonation also make it a great backbone for cocktails. And in this ManMade Guide, we're giving you the basics to make the perfect beer cocktails.

    The concept of pairing booze and beer is an ancient one, and has been kept alive in neighborhood pubs everywhere in the beer chaser and especially the Boilermaker - a shot and a beer. Here, we're adding other flavors to bring the two together in perfect harmony for a seriously refreshing mixed drink.

    Let's get started. 

    Manmade guide to beer cocktails


    Spirits: Almost anything will work, but we recommend starting with bourbon, vodka, tequila, rum, brandy, or gin, and fortified spirits and liqueurs like vermouth and Curaçao. All of these spirits are used in moderate quantities so they don't kill the beer flavors completely; they're supposed to complement each other, not blow you away.

    Mixers: you can choose from a wide variety of mixers for your beer cocktail.

    • Juices: anything citrus, really - lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit you name it. Citrus juice will cut through any strong beer notes and will add a super refreshing twist. Cranberry and pomegranate can also help to add a gold balance of sweet and tart.
    • Sweeteners: most common ones are simple syrups made at home, agave nectar, and maple syrup. But go aasy on the sweet factor! You don't want your drink to taste like cough syrup.

    NOTE: To you keep the flavors balanced, most spirit quantities shouldn't exceed 2 oz. per cocktail.

    Beers: combinations will vary depending on which kind you use. 

    • Strong Beers: stout, porter, and alike are best combined with other full bodied spirits.
    • Light Beers: best combined with fruity mixers. Avoid any strong spirits that might dull the taste.

    Tools: No need for anything crazy other than your regular bar tools.

    • Shaker: for spirits and juices, not for the beer!
    • Strainer
    • Frosty glasses
    • Wide spoon: for gently pouring mixes (you'll see why below).

    Manmade guide to beer cocktails



    To get you started, try a few of these classic recipes to learn basic ratios and techniques. Then, you can experiment with whatever you have in your fridge and home bar. 

    Black velvet - a Manmade guide to beer cocktails

    Black Velvet:

    This is the "poor man's" version of the original Black Velvet cocktail, which combines beer and champagne, in this case we are substituting the pricey bubbly for prosecco, which is more affordable and tastes just as good in a cocktail. 


    • 5 oz cellar-temperature stout
    • 5 oz chilled prosecco (or any other bubbly wine)

    Also have a chilled glass and a spoon ready.

    Instructions: Gently pour the stout in a chilled glass making sure not to foam (tilt the glass slightly and keep the neck of the bottle close to the edge). Fill the glass half way through, then using the spoon, slowly and carefully pour the prosecco. Make sure the spoon stops the prosecco from splashing to hard otherwise you won't get that nice ombre effect.

    Black Velvet - Manmade guide to beer cocktails

    Beer French 75


    • 5 oz chilled lager
    • 1 oz gin
    • 1/2 oz simple syrup
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon

    Instructions: Pour lager in a tall glass. Add gin, syrup, and lemon juice. Gently stir. and garnish with lemon twist


    The Peg Leg 


    • 4 oz light ale
    • 1 oz guava juice (look for in in a can in the Asian or Latin America aisle under the brand name Jumex)
    • 1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
    • 2 oz spiced rum
    • Garnish: lime wedge

    Instructions: Combine all ingredients except for the beer in a cold glass. Top ingredients with beer and gently stir. Add lime to garnish and enjoy.


    Summah Shandy:


    • 1 light beer (lager or pale ale)
    • 1 carbonated lemonade or lemon-lime soda (we recommend a less-sweet "natural" soda)

    Instructions: Pour 3/4 of the beer in a chilled glass. Fill remaining 1/4 with lemonade or soda. Swirl to combine.


    Pale-oma: (get it?)


    • 2 oz. blanco or reposado tequila
    • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
    • 2 oz. grapefruit juice
    • 1 oz. simple syrup
    • Pinch of kosher salt
    • 4 oz. pale ale

    Combon the first five ingredients and shake with ice to combine. Pour into a tall glass with ice, and add pale ale. Add straw and stir to combine. 


    If you have any favorite combos, let us know! We're totally hooked on these refreshing combos. 


    If you dig this post, please feel free to Pin it or share on your favorite social media and bookmarking sites.

    created at: 07/03/2014 



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  • 07/07/14--12:00: How to Fold a Pocket Square
  • Mr. Porter,  an online men's style shop, teamed up with Drake’s of London Creative Director Michael Hill for this helpful video on folding pocket squares. Mr. Hill (he seems more like a "Mr. Hill" than a "Mike," right?) offers four options for folding the same pocket square for four different looks: business, eccentric, casual, and elegant.    I'm not sure if I can pull off all of these, but it's nice to have all the styles side-by-side, and I appreciate the video format over step-by-step images or a diagram. 

    Check it out: 

    [via Everyguyed, top photo from Casual Madness]




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    It seems like heresy, especially in the height of grilling season and particularly the day after Independence Day weekend, but if you want to make truly amazing burgers at home, don't ever let them touch the grill. Well, touch the grill directly, that is. You can still cook outside using a grill as a heat source, but the patty itself should be cooked on that ManMade favorite: heavy duty cast iron.

    The New York Times took to "Deconstructing the Perfect Burger," and the results? 

    "But the answer is simple, according to many of those who make and sell the nation’s best hamburgers: Cook on heavy, cast-iron pans and griddles. Cook outside if you like, heating the pan over the fire of a grill, but never on the grill itself. The point is to allow rendering beef fat to gather around the patties as they cook, like a primitive high-heat confit."

    Primitive high-heat confit? That sounds like burger-making magic to me. Read the full piece, and check the helpful video, at The New York Times: Deconstructing the Perfect Burger



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    created at: 07/07/2014

    This sharp DIY furniture project is not only made from easy-to-find materials you can snag any any big-box style home improvement center, but the total cost for supplies hovers around $75. And for that reasonable sum and a couple of hours of work, you can net yourself one of these:      

     Mandi says, "This midcentury modern-inspired side table is only moderately difficult to build, so it's a good project for beginner woodworkers who are looking to kick it up a notch. You have plenty of options to customize this table to fit your own needs (coffee table, night stand, side table), and of course you can use different joinery techniques, though I opted for a relatively simple pocket-hole technique which I'll show you in the steps below."

    Get the full how-to at [one of my favorite craft and DIY sites] A Beautiful Mess: Midcentury Modern Side Table DIY



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    created at: 07/08/2014

    Before the era of everything-is-made-of-plastic sewing machines, these helpful tools were created from long-lasting materials designed to stand up to any project and the test of time, namely: metal. And the cases, while usually covered in some once-stylish but now worn vinyl are often made from wood.Which does make it heavier than a modern machine, but it also makes things quite easy to refinish. 

    Instructable-r Seamster recently restored this vintage Necchi machine and figured it needed an updated case to match. He says, "I recently restored this lovely old Necchi Supernova sewing machine, but couldn't bring myself to put it back into its ratty old case. The case was beat up and looking pretty sad, but I could see it had some potential.These are the steps of how I stripped it down, fixed it up, and refinished it into something a little more suitable for the machine that was going into it."

    It's a pretty specific project, sure, but there are lots of good tips here for removing the old paper, sanding and filling the wood, and a cool stenciled two-toned finishing technique that keeps the brand name on the case - keep that one in mind for your next project

    Check out the full transformation: Refinish an old wooden sewing case []







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    created at: 02/12/2013

    Hi there, ManMakers. I'm excited to share some cool news: we're having a great 2014, and in order to build on that success, we want to bring on some new voices. So, ManMade is putting out a special call for new contributors. 

    Job Description: is seeking 1-2 regular contributors. This is a paid, freelance position (though the possibility of an internship is available.) We're seeking crafters, makers, designers, writers, and other creatives who are passionate about the handmade scene, men's style and decor, goods and gear, and the DIY lifestyle. Potential areas of contribution: how-to projects, fashion and style, guides and reference posts, and general men's lifestyle content. We're looking for someone with a clear voice, strong writing skills, and excellent taste. DIY and photography skills a plus.

    If you're a fan of ManMade and familiar with our aesthetic, please get in touch.

    Please send all inquires by email to, with the subject "New ManMade Contributor Position." Please include a statement about your experience, why you think you're a good fit for this position, and, if available, a resume or links to your other work.


    Thanks! This is gonna be awesome.



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    created at: 07/09/2014

    There's no such thing as "too many camping chairs" or outdoor seating. Seriously, the more the merrier, particularly if they fold flat for storage and especially in the summer.

    The Merry Thought has put together a new DIY post with detailed instructions to create this great lounge chair.

    I love that it's compact enough to carry around without too much hassle, and plenty customizable. You could paint in any color you want - which may be wise if it'll have prolonged exposure to water.

    Usually this type of chairs sell for around $250-300, but to make your own should definitely cost you less than $100. Way less if you already have some of the materials. 

    Can you picture yourself by a bonfire roasting some s'mores or at the lake reading? Yeah, we can totally see it, so you should go make one! Tick Tock, summer's here.

    DIY camping chair

    To get the full list of materials and step by step instructions, visit The Merry Thought.


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    Each Wednesday, I post some of my favorite can't-miss links, images, and otherwise mindblowing goodies from across the web.

    Some thoughts on getting the most out of your barber and summer haircuts...which are, mostly, centered on not trying to do much here. Sometimes straightforward conveys more personality than you think. 

    created at: 07/09/2014

    A cool slideshow on the making of some iconic American photographs, including this shoot of James Dean.


    How to Make Your Own Backyard Climbing Wall


    An interesting take on The Myth of the Alpha Male 


    For you summer sippers, here are Michael Dietsch's picks for the best affordable rum for cocktails




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