Choosing summer footwear for men

Many guys would disagree with me, but I refuse to wear flip flops and I simply will not wear sandals. I cannot quite explain what my issue is, but I find both styles of footwear very unappealing.

That said, selecting summer footwear has become easier as I have become older. You’re probably wondering why? Well, the honest answer is my opinions on summer footwear have, if anything, softened with age. I can regularly be seen wearing styles I would never have considered in my youth, such as deck shoes and penny loafers.When it comes to choosing summer footwear, I can be a very difficult individual to please. I am, by my own admission, incredibly fussy.
Not everyone will agree with my uncompromising approach to footwear. I am more than willing to accept this. To use break-up terminology, it’s me, not you.

Some years ago, I used to work in Canary Wharf in London. There was a Jones Bootmaker outlet in the shopping centre and I would regularly stroll past, eyeing up the shoes and boots in the window.

I was recently re-introduced to the company. This isn’t a brand I have generally associated with casual footwear but I was fascinated to see it had a festival footwear section for men on its website. It featured trainers, loafers, canvass shoes etc. In short, I was very impressed and have a few items in mind I may buy over the coming weeks.If there is one thing I have learned, however, it is to wear appropriate footwear in the summer months. I recently spent a few days in Melbourne, Australia where summer is just coming to an end. Wanting to limit the amount of luggage I travelled with, I wore the one pair of shoes throughout my stay.

They were a fantastic pair of brogues. Alas, they were completely inappropriate. During my brief stay my feet got incredibly hot and I got massive blisters that, a month later, have only just healed!

What advice do you have when it comes to buying summer footwear? Are there any styles you try to avoid? Please leave a comment below, I’d love to know what you think.


The year of the moustache and buzz cut for men. These retro grooming trends are making a big comeback. Here’s how it all works out for the guy who wants to be up with the latest physical fashions:

The bushy Tom Selleck mustache has never really gone out of style, but what’s kept it down for most men is the fact that it’s hard to grow a good mustache that is filled in and has body like Magnum’s. With today’s new and improved hair toners and thickening creams, as well as the ease of dying a pale ‘tash, anyone can have a lusty soup strainer under their nose in a matter of months.

The buzz cut is a logical choice for the man who wants to make the statement that hair is not what it’s all about. Buzz cuts work well for guys who exude self confidence the way a maple oozes sap in the spring. It’s especially popular this year with star athletes.

And men this year are discovering that a good dermatologist is a must, to keep their skin from sagging and becoming sallow and pockmarked with micro acne scars. Grooming conscious men should visit a licensed dermatologist as often as they visit the dentist – at least twice a year.


It’s back to school season, end of summer vacation season, and I’m-about-to-go-on-maternity-leave season!

Can you say FREEZER MEAL time?

As I started to do some research around freezer meals for my upcoming maternity leave, I was shocked at the lack of freezer meal recipe options that were exciting to me. The internet has many freezer meals, but not all of them are OMG-amazing.

Here’s what I consider freezer meals that I (or you!) would actually love:

Freezer meals that are healthy – in other words, made with real food.Freezer meals with actual vegetables in them – maybe even some vegan and vegetarian options.Freezer meals with no-cook prep.Freezer meals with no advance thawing required.Freezer meals made with fun, bold, interesting flavors that we would actually be excited to eat. Like, it has to be at least as good as a takeout pizza, otherwise you know it’s game over.So in my quest to be well prepared for healthy meals this fall, I decided to go through my own recipes on Pinch of Yum and see which ones could stand up to my Freezer Meal Test.And good news! I found 12 recipes that are big on flavor and nutrition AND excellent as freezer meals! (Actually, I found about a bajillion, but I only had the time and energy to test 12. I’LL BE BACK THOUGH.)

So that list? All my research and notes and testing? That is what you’re getting today! All 12 recipes, ready to prep, freeze, and save your (and my) life.

1: print all the recipes.
Click here to download the Freezer Meals List with all 12 freezer meal recipes.Poof! Now you can make them ALL this weekend! Or make four this month, four next month, and four the following month. Or make just one at a time! However you wanna do it.

^ This is the exact document that I use religiously when doing freezer meal prep. It has all these recipes ready to go for ya! I find it extremely useful to have everything printed out in a consolidated format for grocery ordering, prepping, etc. I keep this in my kitchen and refer to it often, even if I’m only making a few of these at a time.

The best detox crockpot lentil soup

Because I see you, hungry reader whose life is crazy right now, who has a hard time finding the time to cook even though you love food, who opens the fridge to grab a quick lunch to take to work in the morning rush only to find NOTHING that seems good enough, who made New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier that have gone by the wayside since that self-gifted box(es) of chocolates for Valentine’s Day, who values the big bowl of comfort food pasta above all else, who is not asking for much other than GOOD FOOD that is made for REAL LIFE. I see you. I know you think I’m not watching because I’m on the other side of this computer-ma-jig, but I’m watching (um, in a not-creepy and not-literal way – just felt like I should clarify. pls don’t leave.).

So since I see you and understand you because I am just like you in these feelings, today I honor you (us?) with this super cozy, big-time nutritious, easy to prepare soup.

This is called Detox Crockpot Lentil Soup, which means nothing scientifically as you’ll notice that my bowl of DETOX soup is topped with a few thick chunks of Parmesan cheese and served with that addicting crusty-warm miche bread. Right, about that. We did sneak a few detox foods into this soup (kale, onions, garlic, carrots, and olive oil) and anyways, in my book, the best kinds of detox foods are the ones that ACTUALLY TASTE GOOD.

And while this soup tastes good without the extras, it tastes BETTER with them. Cue the bread and cheese.As is my goal with most recipes I make for Pinch of Yum, this crockpot lentil soup was made for real life. Because it’s literally for my real life.

We’re starting with a solid base: onions, garlic, carrots, celery, spices, salt, and broth.

Then we’re getting awesome by adding butternut squash, which partially melts into a creamy textured miracle, lentils (always lentils), and yellow split peas because WOW color.

After all this simmers up into the best house smells and then we do the magic thing that takes it over the top: puree a portion of the soup with that olive oil to form a velvety emulsion that then gets added back into the soup. YES PLZ 4EVR.

I ended mine with a spash of sherry and red wine vinegar because I’m currently having a moment with tangy foods.

Importance of Youth Empowerment

India is a country teeming in youth, with 70 % of people below the age of 40 years. While 34% of India’s Gross National Income is contributed by the youth; there is a dire need to develop this percentage. In fact, youth today, is a major resource for not only development of financial prosperity but for social changes as well. Despite holding such importance, millennial often face hurdles on a daily basis, with their energy still not being channelized in the right direction. This challenge is not restricted to the Government, but also to the entire private section in the country.
The need to empower youth for a better tomorrow is connected both, to the financial elevation as well as increment of the standard of living. Awareness is a key factor for this empowerment, with guidance towards developing a wholesome outlook of life. Youth empowerment in any development is imperative not only for national development of an entire country but also for personal development of an individual. Youth empowerment is pursued by promoting youth rights, youth activism and in community decision making. Empowerment is necessarily a process of inculcating values to equip the learner lead a life that is satisfying to the individual while being in accordance with the cherished values and ideals of the society. At present it is the most effective mean that society possesses for confronting the challenges of the future.Here are a few reasons why Youth Empowerment is essential-

• Poverty eradication: Youth empowerment can help reduce the rate of poverty to a significant level.

One of the keys to empowering the youth is with skill development. When a youth is equipped with essential skills, he can utilize them to feed, assist others, and even invest for future use, aiding the nation economically. This will in-turn contribute to the increase in employability and add to the GDP of the nation.

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Here they are! The meatballs of the hour – that are, actually, not meatballs.

Because they are VEGETARIAN MEATBALLS! Made without beans (we’re going rogue!) and made instead with cauliflower and brown rice and quinoa.

I know, right? Sneak-ayyy.

As much as I love a good MEAT-ball meatball from time to time, today we’re talking about these little vegetarian meatball nuggets of powerhouse nutrition that are inspired from the (here comes the weird zone) spicy cauliflower burgers I made and loved a few weeks ago.

The breakdown is that they’re made with cauliflower, brown rice, quinoa, oat flour, eggs, and a nice big pinch of garlic and spices. And they don’t require hours of prep. That’s it! It’s just simple, straightforward, SUPER YUM plant-based goodness in the form of vegetarian meatballs made weeknight-dinner-friendly, because real food that matches real life is where it’s at.
There are a few things that I think we can all approve of with these vegetarian meatballs:

INGREDIENTS: Basic, whole, wonderful –> Cauliflower / Brown Rice / Quinoa / Garlic / Spices / Eggs / Oat Flour (which is nothing more than just old fashioned oats crushed in your food processor or blender). Also – no beans. Which is kind of nice, right? since a lot of vegetarian meatballs are bean-heavy. All hail the versatility of cauliflower!
TIMING: 30 minutes. The cauliflower is not high maintenance here. Just a quick simmer in some hot water to soften it up, and then as a bonus on being speedy, you can use those amazingly convenient garlic brown rice quinoa packages from Seeds of Change that you buy en masse at Costco – you know the ones, right? – and then your cauli and your rice and everything else gets pulsed around in our favorite appliance of all time THE FOOD PROCESSOR in order to make the mixture. If you can enlist the help of a few vegetarian meatball rollers (this is why people have children, right?), you will have vegetarian meatball dinner on the table AND vegetarian meatball stockpile built up in your fridge in no time.

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Sometimes people ask me what we actually eat for dinner since, you know, we have a food blog, I cook a lot, there’s always a ton of food around here, that sort of thing.

Okay, friends? In all honesty? Here’s the breakdown of our weekly dinners:

We have a little sushi place within super- accessible distance from our house that has become our go-to of all go-tos for a happy, lazy takeout dinner. I haven’t tried this yet, but I am so tempted to order THE REGULAR every time I call in our order because we’ve called in at least once a week for the last 52 weeks straight and our order has never changed. 3 Dynamite Rolls plz!I mean, good on you, brave sushi souls who buy the raw fish sushi takeout for lunch from those little plastic containers that they sell at fancy grocery stores, but over here in the middle-of-the-road sushi camp we are feeling a little weird about that for some reason (some reason = ummm RAW FISH) so when we do sushi takeout, we stick with things like the very safe, very regular Dynamite Rolls.

Dynamite Rolls: the ones with tempura shrimp, avocado, and cucumber rolled in with that sticky white rice and a sheet of roasted seaweed and topped with spicy mayo and roe. The ones that my dreams are made of.

No raw fish. Tons of flavor and texture. Very safe for takeout and perfect for middle-of-the-road sushi-ers and just begging to be adapted into sushi bowls.

So this recipe? It’s a healthy bowls + dynamite rolls = SUSHI BOWLS and it is my ultimate fave. Rather than tempura shrimp or raw tuna or something, we are going for a kind of soy-glazed tofu as the protein of choice because, TBH, ain’t nobody got time to run around to another grocery store to get special sushi fish for a Thursday night dinner.


Vehicle theft costs the UK billions of pounds every year. Modern-day vehicles come equipped with multiple built-in security measures, but adept criminals work their way around these defenses easily with the use of modern tools and experience. With the ongoing keyless crime wave, owners of newer vehicles have already been worried that their vehicle might be the target of a relay theft. To make things worse, the ever-increasing rise in the number of overall vehicle theft in the last few years forced vehicle owners to resort to alternative solutions to bolster the security of their vehicles. For this very reason, almost every car owner enhance their vehicle’s security by adding a car tracking device to their arsenal.

Car theft rates have risen by a record 56% in the last year. According to ONS, over 85.000 cars were stolen in 2017, up from 56.000 the previous year. The growing issue of keyless theft contributed to most of these crimes, but it doesn’t change the fact that vehicles aren’t as secure as we might think. Theft attempts have also increased from 153.000 to 196.000 last year according to England and Wales police records. However, car owners aren’t completely helpless against these prolific criminals. Drivers can enlist the help of vehicle tracking devices and use their theft prevention and recovery mechanics to protect their vehicles.

With the latest innovations in the field of GPS and improvements made by the tech companies, car tracking systems transformed into one of the most sophisticated security systems on the market. Simply by installing a car tracking device, drivers significantly reduce the chances of a vehicle being stolen by using the effective tools offered by GPS technology. Car tracking technology allows vehicles to be tracked anywhere even if they are hidden away in a remote location. Prominent features like geofence zones, sensors and live tracking ensure that no one can so much as move a vehicle without sending multiple alerts to the vehicle owners.

Fluffiest blueberry pancakes

Today is dedicated to super basic, super fluffy, bursty blueberry pancakes, and here’s why.

It’s blueberry season, but not for much longer! Let’s MOVE, people!
It’s back to school season, which means lazy weekend mornings are every kind of special right now.
You can fancify pancakes all you want, but can you really ever deny a butter-soaked pancake laced with maple syrup and dripping with hot blueberry juices? If you can, you are probably not human.
You guys are not going to believe this, especially if you’ve watched the Bjork In The Kitchen segments on our Instagram stories, but BJORK was the person who first made these pancakes for me. He went through a phase (it was definitely a phase as it seems to be done for now) where he would make pancakes for me on Saturdays, and in his very professional pancake research and extensive testing – LOLS – he came across this unfancy recipe on AllRecipes for a really good batch of standard, fluffy, buttermilky pancakes.

And do you know what? They are so good that they have permanently become our standard pancake recipe.

These are THICK, so if you don’t like thick pancakes, we might be in a little fight right now. They are just the right amount of sweet and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The first few times I ate them, I ate them completely PLAIN. As in, no butter, no syrup, no nothing. DO YOU EVEN HEAR WHAT I AM SAYING? They were so good that I was eating. them. plain.So we were already making these a lot. Sans blueberries, sans syrup. Just plain old LIFE CHANGING pancakes.

But now that we have a Costco membership and are trying to fill our faces with all the nice organic fruits that are filling up our fridge, I have been unable to keep the fistfuls of blueberries out of these pancakes this summer.


A successful manufacturing company within the food industry enlisted our help to implement improved financial tracking and process control to deliver a  million bottom line benefit.

In common with many companies facing increasing complexity and tighter margins, and all the ‘easy wins’ long since taken, it was time to tackle the real issues: micro-management, inaccurate standards, poor process control discipline, misleading performance reporting, personnel changes and skills deficits, and a lack of real understanding of what to do next.

Through introducing a revised labour schedule, restructuring the day, and introducing operational reports providing useful and timely KPI’s, the company now has factual information and real statistics to act upon for the first time. Staff coached by our on site team felt empowered and found that they now had the time to make improvements which included:
A reduction in direct labour costs by 5 pence per kilo, equating to savings per week
Incorporating an Applied Acumen labour planning module provided savings of £66k in just one area alone
Process control enhancements generating annualised improvement in meat yield by over
Customer complaints down by 8%

 of measured, bottom line savings delivered and sustained, with a more focussed, driven and enthusiastic workforce.Through introducing a revised labour schedule, restructuring the day, and introducing operational reports providing useful and timely KPI’s, the company now has factual information and real statistics to act upon for the first time. Staff coached by our on site team felt empowered and found that they now had the time to make improvements which included:

A successful manufacturing company within the food industry enlisted our help to implement improved financial tracking and process control to deliver a £1 million bottom line benefit.

In common with many companies facing increasing complexity and tighter margins, and all the ‘easy wins’ long since taken, it was time to tackle the real issues: micro-management, inaccurate standards, poor process control discipline, misleading performance reporting, personnel changes and skills deficits, and a lack of real understanding of what to do next.