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Mike Valletta

Storyteller. Photographer. Traveler.

Month

May 2012

LMFAO Party Rocks Your Tuesday!

Another dreary day is on tap for the tristate area! It’s time to spice it up on Tune Tuesday by throwing a little LMFAO in the spotlight. This song will get your day jump started in the right direction, even before the first sip of coffee with it’s explosive amount of energy to have you pushing the pedal to the medal!

Just remember to apologize to your neighbors in the cubicles for party rocking.

You Can’t Cage Up a Social Butterfly

As a bachelor, I don’t spend a lot of time at home. I’m on the go nearly every waking minute. In fact, you can pretty much consider my home nothing more than a mere rest stop, though even that may be giving it too much credit! So, what does a single guy like me do for food exactly? Well, I could tell you honestly it’s not rotting away in the fridge or getting stale in the cupboards because both are bare! Okay, so maybe there’s a can of chicken noodle soup in there somewhere but that’s about the extent of that. Oh, and a bottle of wine on the dining room table, but food? Nope. You just won’t find much edible in my comfortable bachelor pad in the middle of rural northwest Connecticut.

Since I’m on the go so much, going out to eat is a near must. I do admit, I spend quite a bit of money on food expenses, but I do manage to eat healthy by eating at places that promise me a good meal. One of my favorite places is Panera Bread. I’m so glad we have one in our sleepy little upstate town! Since there’s no Starbucks in town, I’ll easily compromise. Panera is a fantastic place to go when you’re a bachelor in part because not only can you enjoy a hearty meal, but you can sit a while and take a load off while you engage in people watching and spending quality time with your iPad or Nook. I’m a huge nerd at heart, I’ll admit it! Spending time at a place like Panera while sitting back on the computer around a room full of people is every nerds best day. After all, who really wants to sit alone at home and eat dinner when you can be out and about around people. I’m a social butterfly, looking at four walls is not for me! It’s sort of like locking some normal person up in a padded room, eventually it will just make them go nuts and they’ll have to stay there.

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Monday Motivational: Never Give Up Goes Viral on YouTube

Monday. It’s the most hated day of the week. For many, it’s the return to work or school, or even worse, both! Whatever is so daunting about Monday, there’s a video that has recently gone viral on YouTube of a man who transformed his life and embraced the positives rather than the negatives. It’s a video that’s sure to make your Monday a whole lot brighter!

(Sadly, it’s still Monday though.)

Music Review: Justin Bieber Grows Up!

Am I too old to have a “Bieber Fever”? Probably, but Justin Bieber has come out with this hot new track that’s totally addictive and gets your heart pumping. It’s one of those songs that you listen to at a club. A whole new kind of Bieber, and with his newly released video, we can now see just how grown up he has become.

Take a listen!

Every Guy Needs a Man Bag

As a guy who is always on the go, it’s of vital importance to have everything I need with me at all times. There’s the iPad to blog and catch up on emails and school assignments, then of course is all the accessories that a guy will ever need for any last minute dates like cologne and face products. Of course, those are just a handful of items that I carry around, I’m obsessed enough to be driving in a rolling mens beauty section of a local department store!

So, what is a guy like me to do? The answer: the man bag. That’s right. I recently broke down and purchased my first, and fairly inexpensive, messenger bag to store all the items I need on a daily basis so I can conquer my day out on the town.

At first, I was skeptical. How many men these days actually carry one you ask? Apparently, more than I thought! The man bag has become an important component to the modern mans style. My skepticism quickly vanished while talking to my friends who also sported them while doing business around town. After all, spending hours away from the bachelor pad requires that you have everything you need at a moments notice, and you always have to stay fresh even when you’re out and about so keeping everything tightly organized in a man bag is the most sensible solution.

Now, if only they can lower the price on the bag I really wanted at Coach.

What to do When the Gloom Just Won’t Leave

In case you haven’t noticed, or have been living under a rock, it’s been very gloomy here in the northeast this past week. I haven’t found even a hint of sunshine. I’m now beginning to wonder if I should get the supplies ready to build an ark. If this is what Seattle is like, I don’t think I want to go there anytime soon!

So, what is one to do with so many gloomy days? Go shopping of course! This week, many area malls have been packed with shoppers looking for a bit of retail therapy to get them out of the misery that is our current weather pattern. A bit of sunshine can be found in the malls as shoppers rake in the deals off the sales racks.

My problem: I love to window shop. I don’t exactly shop and spend, I’m more of a shop and dream kind of guy then shop for the deals from my phone. Still, spending quality time in retail paradise this week has been far better than spending time in, well, the not so great outdoors.

I hit up a few of my favorite places to shop this week which are pictured below. Here in Connecticut, I love the Danbury Fair Mall as high end shopping comes alive in New England’s largest mall. The Palisades Mall in West Nyack, NY just outside of the city is my first choice to shop as there are four stories of non stop fun. At the Palisades, you can rock climb, roller skate, work out at the gym, catch a movie, wine and dine, and even explore the seemingly endless supply of stores.

The last stop of the week was at Clinton Crossings Premium Outlets in Clinton, CT just along the Connecticut shoreline. It is the place to soak up the deals! Designer names, at not so designer prices. That’ll make a gloomy day a lot brighter!

Why I Love Getting a Haircut

Most guys could go weeks without getting a haircut. In fact, I know plenty who go months before a clipper even comes close to their head. As a self proclaimed metrosexual, I like to keep up on appearances, so every 2 weeks I am faithfully at my favorite salon in the Farmington Valley, Zinc.

Zinc offers an incredible atmosphere. It’s sophisticated, yes, but calm and inviting at the same time. It’s one of those places that you go to really treat yourself. The space is filled with lush floral arrangements and tasteful artwork. If you ever needed some time to unwind, Zinc has got you covered!

The salon treats both men and women and offer a variety of services. For $25, I can get my hair cut and shampooed and walk out feeling like a new man ready to conquer the day. Zinc even knows what products to use to coordinate with it’s hospitable environment. The products they use have soothing aromas so you get a spa atmosphere without the spa prices.

Just take a look at the file photos from the salons website below. Would you ever want to leave? Now you know why I love getting a haircut!

Tune Tuesday: You Are a Cinema!

Ever hear a good song that just makes you want to get up out of the drivers seat of the car and just start dancing? I know I’m not the only one with such a passion!

Today, I heard this song called Cinema on the David Guetta station on my Pandora. I wish I could have put it on repeat for the entire duration I was in the car! I had this weird image that my car suddenly became a mobile nightclub complete with laser lights and bottles of champagne.

Am I the only one who thinks like that when club songs come on?

Express NEXT: Possibly the Hottest Rewards Program Launched

Every so often, we come across a rewards program that is so innovative and cool that we just have to share it with our friends. One of my favorite stores to shop, Express, has come out with a rewards program that does just that. It’s called Express NEXT. While the NEXT program isn’t new to the company as they have always offered it for their credit card holders, it is new for the everyday customer that doesn’t wish to have a credit card. The NEXT program is entirely free, you even get to carry around a cool flashy card that gets sent to you in the mail. No, it’s not a credit card either, though their credit card line still exists with the program.

With Express NEXT, members are rewarded for purchases that they make in store, but that’s not the only way you get rewarded. With Express NEXT, members can get rewarded by what they do on their social media accounts! Members of the program can take pictures and upload them to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and earn points for it. It’s an entirely new way to look at rewards program, and Express has certainly taken a leadership role in brand loyalty and with how customers are rewarded in the social media age.

Stop by your local Express store to get started!

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