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A few weeks ago, I was watching some terrible Food Network Thanksgiving special that featured an interesting trivia factoid before commercial break: Did you know during the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt officially moved Thanksgiving to every fourth Thursday of November to grant consumers an extra week of Christmas shopping? It sounds capitalistic, but the extra week actually boosted revenue for a number of struggling businesses and took the economy out of the red and back into the black (hence, Black Friday).
In spite of the strain on my checking account, I love gift giving and happen to be really good at it (my repertoire of satisfied gift recipients could probably attest to this). Therefore, I decided to share my wealth of knowledge for those of you struggling for ideas this holiday, especially if you’re buying for members of the opposite sex. As a disclaimer: I realize I’m single and by no means an expert on the male species. However, I do know these are gifts my male friends would probably like and if I were a guy, I would probably want these things too. The girls’ list was much easier to compile – jewelry and Ryan Gosling are fool-proof keys to a woman’s heart.
For Him
For Him
1. Stormwalking iPhone case via Society 6
2. USB Robot Flash Drive via USBGeek
3. Izola “To My Health” flask via Stag
4. Whisker While You Work Mug via ModCloth – Though Movember is over, this coffee mug can remind all the clean-shaven men that facial hair is not only a statement, but also a respectable look.
5. The Grantland Quarterly collection – Don’t be alarmed. These thick hardbacks are not novels, but rather cool compilations of articles and graphics from the sports and pop-culture blog, Grantland. These would make great coffee table books that double as more durable and collectible magazines.
6. Original Ray-Ban Wayfarer in “Music” Rare Print
7. Metallic Lego iPod Speakers via Speakhype – A rad stocking stuffer, but I don’t believe they’re compatible with the iPhone 5’s yet. Sorry, bros.
For Her
1. The Cats of Friends Sweater via ModCloth
2. Love Bunnies ring holder via Urban Outfitters
3. OliveYewJewels Gold initial necklace via Etsy
4. Feminist Ryan Gosling by Danielle Henderson via Barnes and Noble and
5. Colour Me Good Ryan Gosling coloring book by Mel Simone Elliott via Urban Outfitters – Hey girl, Ryan Gosling will make your Christmas wishes come true.
6. “Man with the Golden Gun” nailpolish from OPI Skycall collection: In honor of the Skyfall movie, OPI released a series of James Bond themed nail polishes. The limited edition “Man with the Golden Gun” polish contains flecks of 18K gold leaf. Treat yo’self.
7. Donni Fly scarf in Tangerine via Donni Charm – Bitches love scarves. They’re versatile, inexpensive and trendy fall/winter staples. Its hard to go wrong with a scarf. Also, by buying her a scarf, you’re avoiding the potential disaster of buying her a garment that’s too big or too small. If it’s too big, she’ll be offended that you assumed she was bigger than her actual size. If it’s too small, chances are it will end in tears. Scarves are an easy one-size-fits-all all solution, so I’d recommend playing it safe.
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Thanksgiving is such a special time of year; it’s the only holiday that is solely dedicated to spending quality time with your friends and family and appreciating what those people mean to you. No presents, no costumes – just people sharing a meal and reflecting on what they’re thankful for. Thanksgiving is also an opportune time to remember how fortunate we are and give back to those who aren’t as lucky. As a sad result of Hurricane Sandy, a lot of people won’t have the warmth and comfort of a traditional Thanksgiving this year. I just wanted to share a few great ways to give back to some great causes that I personally care about. Every little bit counts and sometimes, giving time is an even more rewarding way to make an impact.

Shwood is one of my favorite up and coming brands in eyewear. Their sunglasses add an organic and modern twist to universally classic frames, but still look cool and effortless. To lend support to those affected by Hurricane Sandy, the company launched the Shwood Recovery Initiative and released these rad limited edition shades – the classic Canby in Santos Mahogany. Each pair has the Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum” engraved on the frames – meaning “Many uniting as one,” signifying communities coming together in times of need. Proceeds from these shades will be donated to the American Red Cross.

Circa Survive was one of my favorite bands growing up and frontman Anthony Green has always been one of my favorite vocalists because of his unique voice and beautiful lyrics. Originating from New Jersey, the band and many of their loved ones were directly affected by the storm so this week, the band released a Hurricane Sandy Benefit EP, in which all proceeds go towards hurricane relief efforts in the Northeast. Listeners can pay what they want for the 5-song EP at a minimum of $4. What a beautiful way to give back.

A cause that strikes very close to home for me is breast cancer. When I was in high school, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and it was one of the most difficult and painful ordeals my family has ever experienced. Thankfully, my mom’s a fighter and a survivor and her strength inspires me every day. One organization that I’ve been impressed with over the years is Keep A Breast. Since I was only a teenager when my mom was diagnosed, I appreciate the youthful and fun spirit of the Keep A Breast organization and their dedication to educating young people about early detection and prevention. Rather than hosting yet another 5K, Keep A Breast partners with artists and musicians to target young people and mobilize them. I smile when I see teenage skateboarders wearing “I ❤ Boobies” bracelets because it gives me hope that future generations will hopefully live in a cancer-free environment.

What are you thankful for this year?

I think there’s an inverse correlation between age and excitement about Halloween, which is to be expected. After all, trick-or-treating isn’t socially acceptable for young adults (or even high school students in my humble opinion). However, there is a charm in the youthful spirit of the holiday and in spite of the reasonable amount of effort required to think of a clever ensemble and assemble such a costume, I still love the holiday and probably always will.

Here’s just a quick series of macabre, yet tasteful things I’ve found that should ignite the Halloween spirit in you as you dress up, entertain and celebrate over the next few days. Common themes are skulls, skulls and more skulls.

DECORATE AND ENTERTAIN
Hypothetically, if I were a hostess ghostess with the mostest and enjoyed cooking, entertaining and picking up red solo cups the morning after my hypothetical (haunted) house party – I’d decorate and serve these things.

If you haven’t noticed, I really like skulls, morbid as they are. Obviously, these items would be appropriate Halloween decor, but I’d argue that some of these items could adorn your place year round.

I love painted pumpkins – they’re such a cute, easy spin on the traditional carved pumpkins which require a significant level of skill, patience and artistry. Painting pumpkins is an easy and tasteful way to decorate and be festive minus the time and mess; plus you have more freedom with the size and shape of the pumpkin as well as with the designs, patterns and colors you choose.

WEAR

PARTY


Doesn’t this Dada Life show look like a fucking party? They’re going to be in Houston next Tuesday, so if you live in the area, I’d definitely cop a ticket, rock a banana costume and rage.

*Most images originated from Etsy and Pinterest, click-through for original sources and where to buy.

I consider myself a pretty big fan of electronic music, but I don’t think I’ll ever understand rave culture. I’ve been to a handful of EDM shows and festivals over the past few years, but Nocturnal Wonderland is by far the most overwhelming example of rave subculture I’ve ever experienced.


This past weekend, I attended my second Nocturnal Fest, which occurs annually in a very isolated area of central Texas. Though this festival is about an hour and a half from Austin and other metropolitan communities, promoters Insomniac Events still manage to book impressive artists every year. For instance, some of the major names on this year’s lineup included Tiesto, Steve Aoki, Calvin Harris and Royksopp – these guys frequent Ultra Music Festival stages and have song samples on Kiss FM – odd that they’d agree to come to a shitty town miles away from civilization.

The community of rave enthusiasts in attendance is overwhelming because there’s always an abundance of ironically dressed people. People wear sunglasses hours after the sun sets. Girls bare their midriff and their cleavage, but pair their skimpy undergarments with massive furry boots. Everyone’s wearing neon and accessorized in an assortment of beads, glow bracelets and glitter and the origins for these wardrobe trends is still beyond foreign to me. My friends and I took a conservative route by dressing in bright, ridiculous, but ultimately normal clothes –

I still had a great time spectating. The level of talent present at the festival is enough reason to make the commute and regret it the next day after hours of walking, dancing and drinking. I also crossed Tiesto off the bucket list of DJs to see; his sample of Joy Formidable (video below) was the highlight of my evening (that didn’t end until 6 am).

It’s possible that I’ll never truly understand the subculture because I’ve never “rolled” on whatever mind-bending drugs these crazy kids take nowadays. The kinds that cause grown men to suck on pacifiers. But I will say – I will never get tired of seeing bros wearing these ridiculous RAGE trucker hats.

New Ray-Bans

Hope you all had a wonderful extended weekend. If you had to work yesterday, I’m assuming your employer hates America.

I spent my Monday off shopping, reading, watching the new Denzel Washington movie and basking in beautiful 60 degree Austin weather. I copped this gorgeous pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers with blue gradient frames and lenses. They’re the perfect accessory to match my collection of mustaches I wear when going incognito.

Cop your own pair at Nordstrom!

Here are a few tracks to kick-start your shortened work week:

Pimp Sunglasses song of the week:
A-Trak – Ray-Ban Vision feat. CyHi Da Prince

Denzel Washington is a pimp song of the week:
Jay-Z and Kanye West – No Church In The Wild feat. Frank Ocean

President is a pimp song of the week:
Young Jeezy – My President feat. Nas