Casual shoes from Burnetie

Burnetie sent us one of their Ox Light casual shoes and we were impressed by the quality and comfort. These low tops with a canvas body with rubber sole sports a classic design that has been updated to make the shoe lighter and more comfortable. The white stitching also adds to the styling. Canvas shoes with white runner soles have become very popular and the Ox Light model would be a great option for spring or summer, or even winter if you’re lucky enough to head south for warmer weather. The shoes come in black and red as well and they look great with shorts, jeans or casual slacks.

For consumers interested in sustainable products, Burnetie recycles their rubber waste and makes their outsoles with 50% pre-consumer recycled rubber.

Check out the Burnetie web site for an excellent selection of shoes for men and women. You’ll find classic looks like the Ox Light shoes we tried along with trendier options as well. The prices are very affordable and you should find some great gift ideas for the holidays.

  

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Coolibar clothing protects you from the sun

With vacation season around the corner many of us will be escaping to warmer climates as we approach the holidays and winter. While we all love the sun, we’re all more aware these days of the need to protect ourselves from harmful rays. Coolibar products are designed to provide relief and protection from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. Coolibar uses specially developed fabrics for their clothing and they are independently tested for their Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF), which is a rating for fabrics that is similar to the SPF rating for sunblock. Their products achieve a UPF of 50+ which means that the fabric will block 98% of the sun’s UVA and UVB radiation.

We tried out a button shirt like the one above, along with a t-shirt, swimming trunks and hat. All of the products have a cool and casual style and are very soft and comfortable. The fabric stretches and is perfect for outdoor activities. The clothing is designed to move moisture away from the skin as its woven with smooth, ultrathin polyester microfibers. The feeling is much different from cotton clothing but it’s still soft and comfortable.

Check out the various styles for men, women and kids at the Coolibar site and you’ll probably find some great ideas for you holiday shopping.

  

App of the Week: Bastion

Developer:
Supergiant Games

Compatible with:
iPad

Requires:

iOS 5.1

Price:

$4.99

Available here

As the Summer of Arcade kicked off in 2011 for Xbox Live, one of the headline games was a title called “Bastion.” Like just about every other indie title ever made, it arrived without much hype and drew little more than curiosity based on the tantalizing art style. But as soon as it hit the marketplace, both critics and fans found themselves completely immersed by a game that realized that sometimes there is an inherent value in style over substance, if you happen to be the most stylish thing in the room. It went on to post impressive sales figures, and find itself on short lists everywhere for game of the year.

And now it’s coming to iPad.

If you never got to experience “Bastion” originally, it’s a story of a protagonist known only as the kid who awakes one day to find that an event known as the “Great Calamity” has wiped out just about everything he’s ever known. His only hope is to search out a communal safe haven, known only as the bastion.

“Bastion” is an action RPG in the style of “Diablo.” From there, it immediately defies categorization. Letting the simple and addictive style of the genre take care of that burdensome concept known as gameplay, “Bastion” instead focuses its considerable efforts on…well just about everything else. You’ll immediately be drawn in by the games art style, which features well rendered hand painted environments and characters. Color has seemingly abandoned video games as a whole, and to call “Bastion’s” style a breath of fresh air contradicts the fact that the only way to really describe the look of the game is breathtaking.

Coupled with this graphical onslaught is some of the best sound design ever put in a video game. This is mostly due to the games gruff narrator who manages to comment on just about everything in the game, whether scripted or otherwise. What initially seems gimmicky, and could get annoying, instead becomes vital as it contributes to the game a unique storytelling style that reminds you of a storybook fantasy tale. When not being entertained by the narration, you may take the time to notice that the music is not only appropriately atmospheric, but also stands well on its own accord.

For its critical transition to the iPad, little is lost. All of the game’s content is available, and looks and sounds great. The controls could have been an issue, but by using a minimal amount of touch buttons, the developers have managed to make things as painless as possible, and after the first few levels you will rarely find yourself fumbling with the controls. In fact, the only reason I couldn’t recommend the iPad as a platform for “Bastion” is because when everything in the game (the addictive action, the stunning look, and the encompassing sound) all come together, it’s very easy to get swept up in the title and thus lose track of the world around you, making “Bastion” something of a public hazard. Also, much like the original title, you may find yourself wishing that you had an invisible narrator commenting on your every action through the day, only to be continuously disappointed there isn’t one.

There doesn’t exist enough games with the simple beauty of “Bastion,” and there are even fewer on the iPad. In 2011 “Bastion” for the 360 was a candidate for best game of the year. In 2012, it’s still got enough going for it on the iPad to be my app of the week.

  

Time for summer deals on men’s wear

Regardless of your wardrobe needs, we’ve reached the mid-point of the summer season, and this is a great time to head out (or boot up) to look for deals on clothes. You’ll find sales everywhere, regardless of whether you’re a college kid looking for casual styles or a professional looking for suits and other business attire. If you hit the malls you’ll see sales everywhere, but of course that applies online as well. One of the fastest growing segments of online sales includes men’s wear, particularly in the luxury segment as retailers target men with disposable income. They’re used to buying online so this is a natural progression.

As usual, you need to do your research if you’re looking for deals, but pay attention to quality as well. Don’t just look for the cheapest items. If you’re looking for urban styles try these coupon codes for Drjays.com. If you look at the Drjays.com website you’ll see tons of great styles that will fit in on casual weekends or on college campuses.

If you’re looking for suits you have tons of options. Of course you can go with the big-name brands, but you can save a ton of money if you also consider other options. For example, Men’s Wearhouse has its annual suit drive. They’re looking for “gently used” professional attire like suits, shirts, pants, skirts, sports coats, dress shoes, and ties. So you can’t unload a dingy old suit, but you can bring in a suit with wider collars that’s now a little out of style, unless of course you work in a law firm or on Wall Street, where old-school suits never really go out of style. You get a coupon for 50 percent off if you donate so it’s a great deal and the stuff you donate goes to charity. Check out this store as you can get suits that track the newer, slimmer styles. If the suit fits well, few people where look for the brand label!

  

T-Shirts at WornFree

We’re always looking for great T-Shirts, so we were very happy to receive some samples from WornFree.com. Their shirts inspired my music greats like Bob Marley and Joe Strummer and the designs are some of the best we’ve seen.

The Bob Marley classic from above was included with the samples sent to use. Apart from the cool design, the first thing we noticed was the super-soft, pre-washed and shrunk all cotton feel of the shirts. The comfort and fit were excellent so we were very happy with the product.

Browse through the selections of t-shirts, hoodies and sweats and it’s like browsing through the classic rock section of your music collection, with designs inspired by John Lennon, Joey Ramone, Iggy Pop and so many more.

The collection is so cool that we added it to our Father’s Day Gift Guide for the dad with excellent taste in music and t-shirt design!

  

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