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Friday, December 11, 2015

Husband's Favorite Things (REVIEW)

My husband Benson is known by our friends, coworkers, and church members for researching everything under the sun and having great recommendations for products.  From all sorts of tech items to cleaning agents to methods on how to do something more efficiently, people come to him for advice, hoping he's read up on a bunch of different options--which he usually has.

As part of a men's gift guide, I've pulled together some of Benson's favorite things.  These are items he either owns and are tried and true, or that he has researched and would like to buy come January, as he is currently fasting from shopping for himself until the end of the year.
In "shopping review" style I wanna tell you why Benson loves each of these items.  As some background, Benson values having less.  He doesn't like having more than he needs--of anything, meaning number of products as well as number of features a product has.  Like I've said before, he leans towards minimalism and simplicity.  But he also really values quality and good design aesthetics and design functions.  You'll notice many of these items are slim and tiny, but they're good and well designed!  

DENIM FIT SHIRT - One of Benson's favorite shirts!  Usually Old Navy, Gap, J.Crew, and Banana Republic are too broad in the shoulders for him, but H&M and UNIQLO are just a little too slim.  Everlane fits him perfectly, and particularly this shirt.  He already has it in dark blue, and he's been getting giddy about this dark grey since it came out recently.  But, due to the shopping fast he's been patiently waiting to pounce!

KEY SIZED MULTI-TOOL - He doesn't own this yet, but is super excited about it.  I featured one recently that I thought Benson would like, but later he told me it was cool but he wouldn't use it because, at the size of a credit card, it was too big.  Of course, a few days later he showed me this small key-sized one and was like, "OoOoOOh look at this!"

It functions as a: box cutter, bottle opener, wrench, ruler, and flat head screwdriver.  And it's only $6!  I want one, haha!  562 reviews, and 4.5 stars.  Not too shabby.  

SLIM WALLET - Benson's had a slim wallet for years, but his current wallet is broken and is in need of a new one.  This is the one he's looking into next.  He loves slim wallets because, besides his affection for not carrying around more than he needs, carrying thick wallets in your back pocket and sitting on them is really bad for your back.  Even though Benson wears slim fitting pants, he can fit this wallet in his front pockets along with his iPhone.

Comes in 6 colors.  796 reviews and 4.5 stars.  Worth checking out!  

STAINLESS STEEL WATER BOTTLE -  Benson and I are water bottle hoarders, which is just to say we've owned a ton of different brands.  This one has ceased our pursuit of water bottles and has been our favorite for the last few years.  (Him - years, me - just the last 1.5 years.)  It keeps water cold or hot for very, very long periods of time.  (Up to 24hrs cold and up to 6hrs hot.  And when they say hot, they mean hot, not just warm.)  I can put ice with water in this in the evening, and in the morning there will still be chunks of ice.  It also keeps water tasting clean and fresh.  

I got into this water bottle because I was pregnant in the summer and craved ice cold water.  But, my previous water bottle turned water with ice into room temp in just minutes on a hot day.  I kept stealing Benson's water bottle since it kept water cold for so long, so he finally ordered me my own.

You can get this in different sizes.  Shown above is the 32oz, which I have.  Benson has the 40oz, and there are also 21oz and 12oz bottles.  They come in lots of colors: green, blue, purple, white, orange, black, red.  Also comes with different lid types: screw top, straw, and flip cap. 

They vary in size and therefore in price.  The smaller sizes, like 21oz are more reasonably priced while larger ones (like the one I own and linked) feel expensive, but it's totally worth it!  I have to remind myself that besides being a freaking fantastic quality water bottle, the big ones are more expensive because they are also nearly double the size.  There's also a Lifetime Warranty.  

SO many of our friends have these bottles now!  I mean it--our friends love Benson's recs.

EVERLANE BACKPACK- Comes in 3 colors.  Benson doesn't own this one, because he owns a military grade backpack that is like $300.  (Uhh yeah, rec for another day.)  Didn't think you'd be interested in that one, haha.  BUT, my brother was given a backpack similar to this, which I didn't think he needed or would do much with, but years later he still loves it and uses it all the time.  I personally think the design on this one is even better.  Would make a great gift for any guy who has to tote things around, including baby gear!  

WIRELESS BLUETOOTH SPEAKER - Comes in all black, orange/grey, red/black, and purple/green.  This thing is compact and delivers great sound, and is half the price of its competitors with a better aesthetic design.  It's so easy and convenient to bring anywhere, like to a party, event, or meeting! Just throw it into the backpack above. ;)  1,300 reviews and 4.5 says a lot.

MINI TRAVEL CASE (BLACK)  |  SLIM TRAVEL CASE (GREY) - Benson uses a ziplock bag for his toiletries because he doesn't like how large travel cases usually are.  These two compact cases have Benson's seal of approval.  We got the grey one for our BIL last year and he LOOOOOOVESSSS it.  He still talks about it!  Benson ordered it for himself last year, and though he LOVES its design, his complaint was that it was made of cotton and, "Something that holds messy liquids should be waterproof, not cotton."  WELL, as I was writing this post I checked the product details to see the materials and just saw that it's made of 100% water-resistant cotton on the exterior and water-resistant twill lining on the interior.  I texted Benson just now, and his world is rocked.  How did we not catch that?!

The black one hangs and has more organization, which is a huge plus.  Benson found this a few weeks ago and has been drooling over it.  Why?  I don't know.  It looks like an ordinary bag to me, but maybe it's a nerdy guy aesthetic that I don't get.  Anyway, he was set on ordering it come January, but now that we just found out the grey Everlane one above is water-resistant, WHAT WILL HE DO?  

CITY MAP LINE ART (CUSTOM LOCATION)  |  FOIL PRESSED GEOGRAPHIC ART - Benson is pretttyyy into line drawn maps for some reason.  There are sooooo many on Minted's site!  I featured a line map that you can get made custom to your own city or even your own local neighborhood.  So cool!  (Find them HERE.)  I also featured some foil pressed artwork of the Brooklyn Bridge, though you can get all sorts of bridges and landmarks, city line maps, state maps, and more architectural and geographical types of foil pressed art.  Really, really cool looking!  (See those HERE.)  These types of art pieces are super unique, and with custom location ones are unique AND meaningful!

TOPMAN CHINOS - Benson's favorite pants are Topman Chinos.  Now, warning, I'm not sure this link is the exact pair he owns, but I looked at the tag on his pants and they said "Skinny Chinos" so I think these are right.  They just look sooo bad on the model--both color and fit--so it's making me unsure!  Anyway, the fit is slim for Benson's "bigger thighs" (his words).  They look WAY better on him than on the model.  See them on him HERE.  Another better display is on a different model in olive HERE.

EVERLANE HOODIE - Comes in 4 colors.  Benson doesn't own this one yet either, but it's a great way to help a guy still be comfy, but in a stylish way!  This sweatshirt looks SO good!  (Obviously he and I are huge fans of Everlane for men's clothes.)

CEDAR SHOE TREE - Helps keep shape of shoes.  These aren't necessarily the flashiest gifts to get someone, but when Benson got these it felt like he was a "grown up."  Haha.  Like, you're taking care of your nice shoes!  When you have leather shoes or nicer dress shoes, these help maintain the longevity of shoe so that the leather doesn't get saggy and out of shape when they're not in use.  These can also help stretch out some shoes that are a tad too tight.  They are very inexpensive at $15, but of great quality and very useful.  



There you go--a little peek into Benson's world.  If you're still in search of gifts for any of the guys in your life, it's not too late!  And you can trust that Benson gives his stamp of approval for all of these!

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