Movember

image copyright Movember.com

Movember is like a walkathon, but instead of walking, men grow our their facial hair to help raise money and awareness for prostate cancer. I first heard of Movember 2 years ago when a friend grew some gnarly facial hair throughout the month of November. Because he did it to raise awareness about a disease that had affected her father and taken the life of a family friend, she supported him. Still, she was incredibly happy when December 1st arrived and he reverted to his clean-shaven self.

According to the Movember website, “Via the moustache, Movember aims to fulfill its vision of having an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health by continuing to spark conversation and spread awareness of men’s health issues each year.” I was really happy to learn about this effort. Prostate cancer rates are on par with breast cancer rates (according to the American Cancer Society, in 2008 the incidence rate for breast cancer in women was 2,632,000 and prostate cancer was 2,355,000), yet the general public receives very little education about this disease. Men’s health issues, in general, are far behind women’s health issues in terms of awareness. Movember is a fun way to get the conversation going.

a satisfied MAN moustache pomade customer

Here’s how it works. On November 1st, participants can register at Movember.com with a clean-shaven face. Throughout the month, these men grow their mustaches, or other facial hair, into whatever configuration they are able to. During this time, they seek sponsorship for their efforts. As the Movember website points out, “Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November. Through their actions and words they raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.” On November 30th, Mo Bros celebrate their month-long efforts by throwing a Movember party or attending one of the galas held around the world by Movember, for Movember.

Money raised during Movember is donated to the Prostate Cancer FoundationLIVESTRONG and Movember’s awareness and education program. You can see a detailed accounting of their fund allocations on the Movember website. To find out more about how you can get involved, check out the Movember website.

In honor of Movember, Thrillist has created a wonderful Movember Grooming Guide that includes Herban Lifestyle’s MAN Grooming Set and The Modern Man, Portland, OR, our new brick and mortar friend!

nifty mustachioed pouch made with repurposed fabric by UnraveledRevelry

Meet The Modern Man, Our New Brick and Mortar Friend

image copyright The Modern Man

Portland is one of my favorite places in the world, and now I have yet another reason to visit. Last month, The Modern Man, Portland’s newest barbershop opened its doors. The Modern Man is a gathering spot with a delightfully retro feel. And I am thrilled that they have asked to carry my MAN grooming products, which I have to say, look right at home with their late 1800s/early 1900s decor.

They offer gentlemen’s hair cuts in every style you can imagine, classic hot towel shaves, beard trims and mustache trims. They also carry an assortment of men’s grooming products including cologne, aftershave, mustache wax, gels, pomades, shaving kits, shoe polish and more. And they sell a variety vintage oddities for that special guy on your gift list.

Another reason to love The Modern Man is their commitment to community. They offer free VIP service to any man who is out of work and/or homeless who needs some grooming for a job interview. Isn’t that the cat’s pajamas?

image copyright The Portland Mercury

To learn more about The Modern Man, and see the staff in action, check out this great video on Thrillist. There is also a wonderful article on The Modern Man in The Art of Manliness. Also, both The Modern Man and Herban Lifestyle are featured in Thrillist’s Movember Grooming Guide!

You can also check out their Facebook fan page to see more photos and hear the latest news. The Modern Man is located in Portland at 5018 NE 22nd Ave, Portland, OR 97211.

Join Us at DC Craft Mafia’s Monster Craft Mash on 10/29!

[October 29, 2011, 12:55pm – the organizers of the Monster Craft Mash have announced that the show is being cancelled due to predicted snow in DC tomorrow. They will be organizing another Spring Fling in a couple of months, and I will be participating, so please stay tuned for more info!]

I hope you can join us at DC Craft Mafia‘s Monster Craft Mash! It will be held on Saturday, October 29th, from 11:00am – 5:00pm at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, at the corner of 15th St. and P St., NW, Washington, DC.

There is an amazing list of vendors, offering a wide array of crafty goodness from gorgeous jewelry, to beautifully designed accessories, unique home goods, exquisite paper goods, delicious bath and body products, and so much more.

For more information, visit the Monster Craft Mash Facebook page, or DC Craft Mafia’s website.

Getting my Green Geek on at the Solar Decathlon

The following post is by Katie Peige, Herban Lifestyle’s Sustainability Associate

This year Washington, DC hosted the Solar Decathlon for the fifth time since its inaugural competition in 2002. Since then, the competition has been held every two years, allowing students two years to take their proposed ideas and turn them into reality. Twenty college teams compete at the Solar Decathlon where have the opportunity to win several different contests including Most Affordable, Best Architecture, Best Engineering, and Best Communications. Teams ultimately compete for the top honor of winning the solar decathlon, which is determined by the team with the most overall points determined by diverse criteria. There is also the coveted People’s Choice Awards, which adds an additional layer of fun and really makes the students shine when they are giving the public tours.

I originally planned to hit the whole competition in a day but gave myself the backup day of Sunday just in case I could not get to it all. I am so glad I did. Saturday was a mad house and the lines were quite long, so after about two hours I only saw about four houses and I was starving (the venue ran out of food) so I decided to return the next day.

I am so glad I came back. I was determined to see all of the nineteen homes, an endeavor that took me about six hours over the two days. After six hours and two days the houses start to blur in your mind and it is hard to remember which awesome detail or technology went with which house. After a bit of review thanks to the handy dandy information the teams handed out, my people’s choice award went to Maryland.

Image source Treehugger.com

Rather than basing my choice on the engineering, I to admit that I picked my favorites based on which ones I could see myself moving into the next day. Maryland won hands down for my People’s Choice Award vote, mainly because I am from Maryland and have a serious affection for anything that promotes the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Maryland’s house, dubbed Watershed, not only produces all of its energy but also has an impressive water management design complete with a green roof. Instead of all the water going down the drain and eventually to the sewers, the greywater (wastewater that does not contain biosolids such as feces or food) gets diverted to the greywater treatment wetlands where the plants break down the nutrients and remove pathogens allowing the now clean water to be used for plants elsewhere around the house. There are countless reasons why I love this house, there are so many cool features such as their interior design (complete with the taco bed/table) and amazing engineering features such as the Liquid Desiccant Waterfall system which absorbs humidity from the air. I highly suggest checking out 2011.solarteam.org to check out all the amazing features of Watershed.

photos of a taco bed

There are several design features I would like to highlight briefly for the other homes. I really enjoyed the small spaces and was inspired by how comfortable these small houses were. I was especially fascinated by the ways teams hid the beds (Murphy beds, taco bed/table/, giant drawer).  I loved Middlebury’s house and was very impressed since they do not have a school of architecture. All of their furniture was made from locally harvested Vermont wood or reused pieces such as a really cool old trunk that they were using as a coffee table. One of my favorite highlights from this house was the idea of having a greenhouse in your kitchen, so if you needed basil, for example, you could just turn around and pick some and throw it into your simmering pot. Appalachian State, the Solar Homestead, was stunning as well. It seemed to have the most space and felt very homey. My favorite part was the kitchen/living room area due to their clever way to cover up the kitchen. If you have guests over for movie night, just cover it up with a movie screen!

Greenhouse in the Middlebury kitchen

New Zealand’s house was drop dead gorgeous. The house is called First Light because New Zealand is the first country to greet the new day sun. One of my favorite features of this house is the use of recycled sheep’s wool (an abundant renewable resource for New Zealand) as insulation. Tidewater Virginia’s Unit 6, was super fun and well decorated. I loved the sliding bookcase that doubled as a bedroom door, and the students played it up pretending there was a special book you had to pull to reveal the secret chamber. Interestingly, Tennessee’s team used Solyndra’s solar tubes that collect light from every angel instead of the sun shinning directly onto a panel, pretty sweet technology, too bad Solyndra is now in the headlines for a scandal.

After spending two days at the Solar Decathlon, I was sad to leave – there was still so much left to learn! I was so jealous of these students, and it made me miss school terribly. By the way, I went to Arizona State University, and I was shocked that there was not one school represented from the sunny dessert areas such as Arizona or New Mexico. I am just going to cross my fingers that Arizona State will be at the next Solar Decathlon; I know I will be, I would not miss it for the world.