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Sips, Eats & Rewards

NY Lifestyle Blogger

NY Lifestyle Blogger NY Menswear Blogger NY Lifestyle Blogger NY Menswear Blogger NY Lifestyle Blogger NY Lifestyle Blogger NY Lifestyle Blogger NY Lifestyle Blogger NY Lifestyle BloggerThese days I rarely carry cash on me. I use my debit card and credit cards for everything. So when using a card, I want to make sure I pick one that has the best incentives and rewards. When the wife and I are out shooting on the weekends we tend to eat out a lot, kind of as a reward for the work we’re doing, and to make it feel like more of a nice day out rather than just a work day. I recently came across the Uber Visa Card and saw that when dining out, you get 4% cash back*! Besides restaurants, it also includes takeout, bars, and even Uber Eats. That would make me feel a lot better about having ice cream (LOL).

With the Uber Visa Card you can also get 3% back on hotels and airfare*, 2% back on eligible online purchases*, and 1% back on everything else*. I love cards like this because if you pay your balance off on time every month, this is just like free money! Now you can take this card and then find other sites that also offer cash back and double your savings.

Cash back is just one of the perks. The Uber Visa Card also offers $600 phone protection if you pay your phone bill with the card*. Honestly, this alone is going to get me to apply for the card. I always have my phone bill on autopay with my credit card, and I also misplace my phone about 5 times a day. It’s a guarantee that eventually I’m going to lose my phone (LOL). This phone protection gives me a little piece of mind.

I also love that there are no foreign transaction fees*. I travel outside the U.S. at least 2 times every year and I’m always turned off when credit cards charge you these extra fees. They make me feel like I’m being taken advantage of and usually make me cancel the card and look for one without extra charges like these or annual fees. Guess this card is officially in the running for my new go-to credit card!

* Terms Apply. Please review the FAQS and Rewards Summary for important information about program benefits and features listed above and the Terms and Conditions for full details about the rewards benefits (such as how points are earned), interest rates and account fees and terms for this particular offer before applying.

Reviews Style

Casually Cool in Sweat Tailor

Men's Lifestyle Blogger | BlueCollarPrep

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I’m all about being comfortable and reppin’ that casual everyday guy look. However, that doesn’t mean I want to rock my beat up sweatpants and a sweatshirt when I leave the house. I love finding cozy alternatives like a pair of baggy, soft denim jeans or a nice fitting pair of stretched chino pants like the ones I’m wearing here from Sweat Tailor. They might be called stretch chino’s but they feel just as comfy as sweatpants! The best part is you would never even know unless you felt them. So comfortable!

I feel like for a minute I was wearing a lot of neutrals, especially a lot of olive greens, but lately, I’ve really been trying to add some more bright colors into my wardrobe. Maybe it’s the warmer weather that’s finally starting to come around that has me craving some color. Sweat Tailor’s Hibiscus Salt Washed Crew really is the perfect shade of pink and I LOVE the way the color is darker around the seams, which gives it that worn-in vintage look. The salt wash not only gives it that distressed vibe, but also makes the tee super soft…and be right up there with the comfort level of the chinos. I hate a stiff feeling tee…and this one feels and falls just perfectly on! Did I mention I love the color?

I love basic pieces like these that can be added into any outfit and can be used to either dress it up or keep it casual. As my style evolves, I’ve become more and more into having an entire wardrobe of quality fitting basics that I can easily swap in and out with different looks to keep my outfits versatile. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good stand-out, loud piece from time to time for that wow factor, but having pieces like these from Sweat Tailor is definitely a must!

Reviews Travel

In The Fast Lane (Program) With Uber

Uber

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Everybody has the dream of becoming their own boss. Making your own hours and not having someone to answer to? What could be better than that! Uber (a ride request app) not only gives consumer’s a convenient service but it’s also giving people an opportunity to be their own boss and have a career (either part time or full time) that’s flexible with their schedule. I had the opportunity to meet one of Uber’s drivers and learn a little about him, how he became a New York City Uber driver and what it took for him to get there.

Tahir is from the good old Bronx, NY, and until recently was a computer consultant who actually lived in China for a year. Like many of us, including myself, he wasn’t happy with his job. He finally had enough and decided he wanted the benefits that Uber offered and the freedom of being his own boss, so he decided to become an Independent Uber driver. I don’t like to say he is just an Uber driver, because it makes it sound like he’s an employee of Uber, but in fact he is an Independent Contractor who works for himself. I was surprised to hear that he wasn’t nervous about making such a change in his life considering he has no background experience in driving and was leaving his career for it. I know I would have been completely scared. Luckily, it was everything he expected it to be. Now with that being said, he knew what he was signing up for and was ready to put in the work to meet his financial goals.

I was really surprised to learn that the requirements to become an Uber driver in New York City is a little different and requires some extra steps unlike most other US cities. In NYC every Uber driver and vehicle must have a Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) license and registration. Tahir explained that it does makes complete sense though, considering all of the yellow cabs there are in the city and the fact that it’s the law for them to have the same qualifications. Luckily, Uber helped Tahir and helps all of their NYC applicants through the process to make it as streamlined as possible, and even helps them save a little cash as well, with their Fast Lane program.

Tahir told me how he went to the NYC Uber driver support location, the Greenlight Hub, and they walked him through filling out the TLC application. He was able to sign up for all the licenses and courses while he was there so that when he left, all of the paperwork was complete and he knew everything that needed to be done going forward. Since he was ready to take the TLC course, he signed up right there while filling out his paperwork. Normally courses cost over $800 but through Uber’s Fast Lane Program, it only cost him $500. And that’s not the only cost. It also cost nearly $3000 for a TLC registration! In order to help drivers afford the registration cost and obtain a vehicle, Uber partners with local dealerships that have cars that are pre-registered with the TLC registration. Tahir was able to lease his car and pay weekly, instead of having to take out a loan and come up with the 3K. There are other options as well for getting a car, but for Tahir at that time, it’s what worked best for him. Additionally, for information on Rideshare Insurance & which companies offer it click here.

I can totally see how becoming an Uber driver was a good fit for Tahir. Just sitting and chatting with him, it felt like I’ve known him forever. He’s super personable, easy to talk to and understands the hustle needed to hitting his weekly numbers. Uber also gives incentives to their drivers to help them meet their goals. He also told me that he was taking courses to become a nurse and that being a driver allows him to be able to have the flexibility to take courses and still work full time. When I was going for my degree, I also worked full time. I think if Uber was around while I was in college, I definitely would have thought about driving while in school. Tahir told me how he plans on continuing driving even after he achieves his goal of becoming a nurse. He told me he has several friends that are nurses and still drive for Uber as well. If you’re looking for something full time or just some extra cash, it does seem perfect. There’s not too many jobs out there where you can make your own hours and work as little or as much as you want!

Thanks again Tahir for taking the time to meet with me. It was a pleasure getting to know a little about you and learning about another field that I knew nothing about. Uber is lucky to have a participant such as yourself! Start that Instagram account 🙂 and good luck with that nursing degree! (This post is written in partnership with Uber, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Family Home

Valentine’s Day Gifting For Your Man With ProFlowers

ProFlowers

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Valentine’s day is one of the many days you get to show your love to that special someone in your life and is also one of the largest flower sending holidays. But let’s be honest…for the most part, it really has become a day for the man to buy his wife some roses and some jewelry. 90% of women have reported receiving flowers, and 53% of men report never receiving them. For some reason flower gifting is often perceived as a man’s chivalrous duty. Do women not think men want to feel the love too? Shivalry should be shared!!! My wife is a prime example of just that, and it all started the very first day we met. I was at the bar, that my wife worked at, with my friends and I was on the dance floor doing my thing to J.T. (Justin Timberlake). LOL When my wife saw me tearing it up, she had no choice but to make the first move and came up and started dancing with me. From that day on, it was history! Here we are now, 15 years later…married, house, kid, dog and all! Even though she made the first move, and still does with certain things from time to time, I must say, I am somewhat of a lovey dovey husband, and also love surprising her with special gifts, or just constantly telling her how beautiful she is, even when she just wakes up with hair a mess and retainers in mouth. LOL This Valentine’s Day, we partnered up with ProFlowers, and my wife flipped the script on me again by surprising me with this beautiful Golden Pothos Tabletop Plant from them. She knows I love the greens! And I’m really loving the idea of gifting a guy a plant for Valentine’s Day. It definitely falls in line with the same vibes as surprising your lady with some flowers, except a little more masculine 🙂 Not to mention, I’m trying to cut back on the chocolates! I love that this one comes in a geometrically modern pot and I love the grey & gold color combo. There was also a little more thought behind gifting me this plant. I actually have really bad allergies, so she opted for this plant from the ProFlowers Breathe Happier™ Collection – it actually has air purifying properties! Besides adding a little life and style to our room, it’s going to make me breathe a little happier too. Plus, this one is also easy to care for, which is much needed in our house, because our thumbs are not very green. It’s perfect on my nightstand, right near my head while I sleep. Thanks boo…I love it! Ladies, definitely consider making the first move this Valentine’s Day. ProFlowers has a great assortment of flowers, plants or sweets for your sweety. We may not show it, but like I said, us guys like to feel the love too from time to time! Take the initiative and surprise us! Fellas, this does not (and I repeat), does not mean you don’t spoil your significant other too. Make sure you always one up her no matter what! 🙂 And if you’re not in a relationship, I say spoil yourself! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Reviews Style

#SamSummerFriday with Sam Adams

BlueCollarPrep

BlueCollarPrepBlueCollarPrepBlueCollarPrepBlueCollarPrepBlueCollarPrepBlueCollarPrepBlueCollarPrepBlueCollarPrepBlueCollarPrep Summer is here! And, what’s better than a summer weekend? How about the increasingly popular summer Fridays perk, or a full Friday off to kick-start that weekend?! Sam Adams gave my wife and I the opportunity to have a summer Friday on them! When I found out that in 2016, Americans failed to take 662 Million Vacation days I was in disbelief. How are people NOT using all of their vacation days?! I usually take more than I’m allotted at my job! (LOL) How can we work at full function, be creative, and not be irritable with our co-workers if we don’t take time to do anything but work. In fact, a recent study commissioned by Sam Adams showed that more than two-thirds of survey respondents (69%) feel more creative and productive after a few days off work for vacation or a long weekend. Give me any opportunity to get out of work early to have some fun and have a cold one and I’m there. I’m not lazy by any means, I bust my butt during my work hours, but I value my free time and love having fun and spending time with my family. My wife and I took the day to have a little mini #SamSummerFriday vacation within 30 minutes from our house. You don’t have to go on a major trip for you to feel like you’re on a vacation. Any place with some sort of recreation, good food, drinks & good music can instantly take me away from reality. We hit up this super cool mini-golf place where you can play 18 holes, all while walking around with a Summer Ale from the bar! I love mini-golf, and so does my family, but adding a couple cold ones to the game really elevates the experience! You can also enjoy bumper boats, volleyball, and arcade games, again, all while putting some back (WIN!). Once we finished up mini-golf, we headed over to the Poughkeepsie waterfront restaurant, Shadows on the Hudson. I’ve actually been here for a couple of great weddings and even spent a couple nights cutting up the dance floor with wifey, but never actually ate here! I will definitely be back. Their tuna tacos were out of this world, their lobster roll was seriously spot on, and their crab cakes were amazing. During our dinner of apps we got to enjoy the beautiful views of the Hudson River and Mid-Hudson Bridge, all while washing it down with summer’s finest, Sam Adams Summer Ale! The crisp lemon notes of the beer were an excellent completion to the buttery richness of our seafood dishes. This really was the perfect Summer Friday. We had incredible weather, and got to spend time together away from work and away from the everyday grind, with some of our favorite activities, topped off with good food and more importantly good beer! Thank you Sam Adams for reminding us it’s ok to step away, take advantage of the benefits you’re entitled to and have a mentally uplifting day to escape reality and recharge! I’m telling you, I’m always more motivated on the job when I can step away and leave the work at work. Find that balance and give yourself the break you deserve!

For those of you in DC, SF, Tampa, LA and Boston in particular, this reminder is especially for you…you’re the worst at taking your vacation days according to a study from Project: Time Off! To combat that, Sam Adams is taking matters into their own hands, by hosting an exclusive summer “Sam Summer Friday” parties in those cities to help encourage you all to take more time for yourselves to refresh and recharge. Workers in the cities I mentioned can nominate their offices through Twitter using #SamSummerFriday to win an exclusive opportunity to attend the Sam Summer Friday party. For official rules including how to enter, visit www.samueladams.com/samsummerfridays.

Style Travel

G.H. BASS MAINE TRIP (LOOK 3)

BlueCollarPrep

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As beautiful as Vinalhaven, Maine is, there actually wasn’t much to do being that it was the off season. In trying to explore new places, Nathan thought this little bridge would be fun to hang out on for a little bit. We took the opportunity to take some shots, hang off the side of the bridge, look over and spot fish and buoys and throw some rocks in the water. Nathan was obsessed with buoys on this trip and he was on a mission to find one that he could bring home and keep. We eventually found one for him that we bought when we stopped in Portland on the way home. I decided to try something a little out of my comfort zone with the wide legs…a style that’s not really my norm, but I’m a big fan of. I’m honestly still not really sure if I liked the way the overall outfit worked out or if I’m just not used to seeing this kind of look on myself, but I wanted to try something different! I went for a military inspired look with this fantastic olive Diesel jacket….one of my go-to colors right now! I’m always inspired by the military look. I paired it with a pair of wide-leg khakis that have a high crop and a high waist. I decided to play with the style and show off my white American Apparel socks with these classic black laced G.H. Bass shoes (unfortunately, they’re no longer available online). I love the combination of all the neutral colors and how all the pieces worked together to give it the style I was looking for. Looking back, I wasn’t 100% in love with the fit of everything and feel like I should’ve went with a more fitted white tee. I would love to hear any comments on the look: Did you like it? Would you change it? Have you ever thought an outfit looked good in the mirror, and then saw yourself in photos and didn’t think it looked as good? Curious to hear your thoughts! (P.S. My wife thinks I’m nuts and thought it looked equally as good in the photos as it did at the time lol) I am really digging how these laced up weejuns can go with almost any look though! They’re a nice change than going with your normal slip-on weejuns. I really dig the details at the ends of the laces on these…I really feel like small details are what separates a basic piece with a quality piece. My wife was actually also rocking a pair of G.H. Bass weejuns. They’re the Jaclyn Tassel Weejuns in Black and White. So jealous of these! They actually do make them for men’s with a crepe sole, but were out of my size! 🙁 I’m hoping they get them back soon though because that’ll definitely be my next G.H. Bass shoe that I pick up!

Family Reviews Style Travel

SKATEPARK SUNDAY WITH BROOKS HERITAGE

BlueCollarPrep

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When it comes to sneakers, I have always been into vintage style running sneakers. When I saw the Brooks Heritage Men’s Beast 1, it immediately took me back to the 90’s…which is a good thing, because I loved that era! I feel like I haven’t been skateboarding since then, so when I put these on, I figured let’s really bring it back and grab Nate and my board and hit the skatepark. I threw on some black comfy joggers and a black oversized jersey shirt, to keep it comfy but cool. I went through a phase were I didn’t wear socks with sneakers at all, and now any chance I get to add socks to my look I’m on it. I figured a plain pair of white socks would really bring out the 90’s vibe with these Brooks Heritage Sneakers. And, since I’m probably going to skate like s***, I might as well look like a boss (lol).  I have to admit, I was pretty stoked and nervous to get back out there. I haven’t been skateboarding since forever, and even back then I wasn’t even that good! 🙂 It was actually pretty fun cruising around and I definitely think it’s something I’ll be doing more often. My son, absolutely loved it! I was able to put him on the board hold his hands and pull him around the park. His balance was so on point, I was even able to pull him up and down the ramps and quarter pipes and he was fearless. Being back at the park definitely brought back some memories. There’s not as many photos of myself actually skating, because lets face it, there were very little that were blog-worthy (lol). Overall, I really dig the vibe the Brooks Heritage Men’s Beast 1 kicks gave my outfit. I’m a big fan of the way they bring out the retro in their line. You can never go wrong with a pair of vintage looking sneakers!

Family Style Travel

G.H. BASS MAINE TRIP (LOOK 1)

BlueCollarPrep

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I was lucky enough to get invited to one of my favorite shoe brands’ fall photoshoot in Maine (G.H. Bass). I couldn’t have been more excited to take on a road trip like this. We opted in to drive rather than fly so we could make some stops in Maine to explore on the way home. The shoot took place on an island off the coast of Maine, called Vinalhaven (ferry required). The night before the shoot we drove to Rockland, Maine, where the ferry departs from, and stayed at a quaint little Bed and Breakfast, with a cute little room and delicious food – it was my first time eating stuffed french toast and it was YUMMY! The next morning we caught the ferry, which was pretty exciting since it was my son Nate’s first time on a boat – he was in awe! I have to admit I was pretty excited myself, as I had never been on a ferry before, especially one I could drive my car onto. We sat on the top deck the whole way – we couldn’t believe how gorgeous the views all around were on the way to the island. Once we reached the island we met up with the crew, who had already been there shooting the day before. We followed along to one of their shoot locations – a beautiful rock quarry that has a cool story with it’s ties to Brooklyn – the granite mined there was actually used for the Brooklyn Bridge! It’s a huge hangout in the summer – where you can actually go swimming – it was way too cold when we were there but I would’ve loved to have done some cliff diving and rope swinging if I had the chance! It was super fun exploring around with my wife and son….I’m a little jealous of my wife’s boots – I really dig the G.H. Bass Kerry Boot (she’s rocking them in one of the pics). I’m a firm believer that boot season is all year round – if you can get creative with your outfit! I’m also a huge fan of monochromatic looks. I paired the Combat GH Bass Ranger MOC II Lyndon High Boot with a pair of hiker style shorts, an olive t-shirt, an olive parka and an olive 5 panel hat. To throw in a splash of color, I picked up a pair of pink tube socks with you guessed right, olive stripes…lol. The Ranger MOC is probably one of the most comfortable boots or dare I say shoes I have ever worn. The saw tooth sole helps with that and also gives the boot that little bit of edge that I like. The height of the boot is perfect and I like to wrap my laces around the top of the boot before tying. It’s definitely a boot that looks great but you also don’t feel like you have to pamper them and can take them off the pavement! And we did – with a tons of exploring. Stay tuned for look #2!