365 Days of T-Shirts: Day 17 – The Peanut Shirt

I’ve been eating a lot of nuts as of late. I love nuts, all kinds of nuts. My favorites include cashews and almonds. My least favorite nut is probably the peanut. I mean, they’re good if you haven’t had one for a long time, but after that, they become a bit boring. So what do you do when you’re stuck with 3 pounds of mixed nuts that include a lot of peanuts in the mix? Well, you play with them of course.

Day 17: The Peanut Shirt

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Los Angeles Trip Day 3

Day 3 T-Shirt of Choice: FFB Eleprint by Fur Face Boy

On this day, we visited the happiest place on Earth: Disneyland. I haven’t been to the land of Mickey since I was about 8-9 years old, I can’t exactly remember how old I was. This was Michelle’s first time, so I was pretty excited for her. We had planned to start the day super early, 6 am early, so that we could have enough time to drive to Anaheim and arrive at Disneyland before opening (9 am). That didn’t happen. We woke up at around 9 am, and left our hotel at around 11:00 am. It turned out to be the perfect time to leave.

I’m sure that many of you have been to Disneyland already, so I won’t bore you with every little thing that we did there. However, I would like to point out a few observations.

1. Parking is super efficient. Seriously, why can’t the parking at my University be as efficient as Disneyland’s?

2. The Monte Cristo Sandwich at The Blue Bayou (New Orleans Square) is heavenly. It’s cheesy, meaty, sweet, and savory. TIP: One sandwich is big enough to split between two people. If you do choose to split, you can pay an extra $12 so that they plate it for two people and they’ll also add sides for each person.

3. Peter Pan’s Flight is way too short.

4. Someone randomly gave us fast passes to Space Mountain, so of course, we took advantage of those tickets. Man, I’m not a roller coaster guy because I nearly hurled on this ride! I’m not too sure how I didn’t end up with a seizure on this ride. The lights were cool though!

5. The 9 pm Fantasma show was a bit meh.

6. The Fireworks show that followed Fantasma was very whoa – it was impressive. TIP: It’s best seen on Mainstreet facing Snow White’s castle.

7. The beignets in New Orleans Square are good (but not as good as the beignet’s you’ll find in New Orleans), especially when paired with hot cocoa.

8. I finally got to ride the Submarine Voyage (since renamed Finding Nemo’s Submarine Voyage) after a 20 year wait! I remember as a kid wanting to go on this ride but no one wanted to go with me. Finally!

9. Favorite Ride? Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Mind. Seeing the big rolling of rock at the end was the icing on the cake.

We ended up leaving Disneyland at … gasp … closing! Neither of us thought that we’d stay until 11 pm. But time really does fly when you’re at Disneyland! The drive back to Los Angeles went by pretty quickly, and at the end of the hour long drive back, we awarded ourselves with a Los Angeles staple: Pink’s Hot Dogs.

By the time we arrived at Pink’s, we were both quite hungry. How hungry? Well to put things into perspective, I ordered a Mulhulland Drive (10 inch hot dog smothered with cheese, bacon and grilled onions), a signature chili dog, and an order of chili cheese fries on the side. The hot dogs were good, but I am not so sure that they were worth the wait in the cold. The next time that I am in LA and have to choose between Pink’s and Wurstküche, I’d probably pay a visit back to Wurstküche.

Threadless + Thermos = Threadmos

It seems that Threadless is experimenting more and more with mediums not related to T-Shirts. First we saw the release of the Threadless themed Griffin iPhone cases, and now the ubiquitous T-Shirt site has hooked up with another big name – Thermos. Now, you’ll be able to find some of your favorite Threadless designs plastered on Thermos branded bottles and lunch bags.

I originally saw these pop on the Threadless 365 Days of Awesome Flickr account, just days before Christmas. I found it a bit weird that they would release such a new product so close to Christmas. I would have definitely bought a couple of these had they been available before I had got all of my Christmas shopping done!

Both the bottles and the lunch bags are priced at $14.95 and are available for purchase exclusively at Target. Yep, that means you can head on down to your local Target store and (hopefully) find a nice stock of Threadless branded Thermos items.

Oven Fresh Dreams: Where Dreams Are Made

You remember my friend Carlos J. EasyBake, right? He not only makes wonderful baked goods, but is also the purveyor of some damn sexy T-Shirts. Carlos has really been pumping out some awesome stuff with the Oven Fresh Dreams “Collaborate & Dream” Series. Oven Fresh Dreams isn’t a clothing brand per se, but OFD does collaborate with some of the best indie designers. You just need to look at his recent collaborations with Reuben Levi of GRITS Apparel, Nick Automatic and Filipino designer Chad Manzo to see how serious OFD really is. The latest OFD shirt is called Gritty Dreams and was a collaboration between a friend that he made while living in Houston, Texas.

“Levi (GRITS designer & owner) & I have been good friends for several months now. We met through mutual friends while I living in Houston. We instantly gained respect for each other during one of my weekly dinner parties. The “Gritty Dreams” collaboration shows the connection between the New York City & Houston lifestyles. It also symbolizes the bond I made with Levi & Houston. We are both dreamers, who know how to keep it trill & you can too!” – Carlos J. Easybake

The Oven Fresh Dreams X GRITS Apparel tee, Gritty Dreams comes in two colorways. The New York Knicks colorway (top) is available at Oven Fresh Dreams for $20, while the Houston Oilers (bottom) colorway is available over at GRITS Apparel for $25.

Below are two sneak peeks at some upcoming Oven Fresh Dreams pieces. The purple Star Wars / Legend of Zelda mashup was designed by Filipino artist Chad Manzo. Below that, is the second Oven Fresh Dreams X Nick Automatic collaboration tee. I’ve got their first collab tee, and trust me when I say that I want version 2.0.

I’ll keep you guys updated and let you all know when these two go on sale. Keep an eye out! Now, go bake stuff.

Sistine: Live and Let Live

You can say that at times I can be pretty jaded by overhyped emails notifying me of a new clothing brand or a just released seasonal line. I get a lot of these emails and most of the time, the hype isn’t worth the product. Sistine, a progressive streetwear and lifestyle brand based out of New York is different. I checked out their site and was blown away by their unique designs. It’s almost as if their T-Shirts deserve to be framed and hung on the wall of an Art Gallery in Manhattan.

Sistine’s winter collection is called Live and Let Live and it features 8 eclectic designs with a splash of pop. Imprint and I Am Not Young Enough To Know Everything are two of my favorites from the winter collection.

Imprint is inspired from Hermann Rorschach’s classic inkblot test. For the most part, I think psychoanalysis is utter bullshit but for some reason I’ve always been fascinated by the Rorschach inkblot test. It’s used by psychoanalysts as a tool to record and analyze a subject’s personality characteristics and emotional functioning using psychological interpretations. I’ve always wondered what I would say if presented with inkblot test.

I Am Not Young Enough To Know Everything is a quote from the great Oscar Wilde. It’s a reminder that the older you get the more you realize just how little you know.

I also have to mention a design from Sistine’s summer release. The shirt is called Stay Hungry Stay Foolish. The quote originally appeared on the back cover of the Whole Earth Catalogue in 1974. It’s memorable to me because Steve Jobs famously referenced this quote in his iconic 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University. Stay Hungry Stay Foolish. I live by those words.

If you love fashion and you dig art then I highly recommend that you checkout the rest of Sistine’s winter line. The shirts are priced on the high end at $36 a piece, but hey, can you really put a price on a well thought out piece of art? Nah, don’t think so.

Bad Diet + My Cookie Addiction

It’s the COOOOKIE MONSTEEER! Bad Diet by Glenn Jones of Glennz Tees has been a popular vote getter for some time now and is finally available as a T-Shirt. I have to admit that I can totally relate to this T-Shirt because I love a good batch of cookies. In my house, whenever there is a fresh batch of cookies, I transform into a cookie eating machine. Or, whenever there are Chips Ahoy or Oreos in stock inside the pantry, I can guarantee that they wont be there for long when I am at home.

I’m not sure about you, but different cookies provide me with different cookie vibes. Let’s say for instance that I want to feel nostalgic, then I’d go with a tray of store bought Chips Ahoy. If i’m feeling especially nostalgic, I’ll zap a couple of Chips Ahoy cookies in the microwave for a few seconds. I used to love doing this as a kid. And if I’m feeling daring and nostalgic then I’ll pick up a bag of Chewy Chips Ahoy!

Sometimes when I’m at the mall, I get cookie urges. The only place to go is Mrs. Fields. The standard chocolate chip cookie is my favorite but if I’m really craving chocolate then I’ll go for a chocolate chocolate cookie.

If I’m feeling like eating a “Hawaiian” cookie then I’d have to drive myself all the way to Kailua town and order a pound of assorted cookies from Chip and Cookie. The founder of Chip and Cookie was the original founder of Famous Amos cookies. Yes, Wally Amos (founder of Famous Amos) sold the brand to the Kellogg Company and then years later started Chip and Cookie in Hawaii. If you’re ever in Hawaii, I recommend checking out Chip and Cookie, they serve up excellent bite sized cookies. Think Famous Amos before Famous Amos became mass produced.

Of course, nothing beats a home cooked batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies. Moms always make the “best” cookies and my mom is no different. Although she’s been using pre-made store bought dough more often, every once in a while she’ll bake a batch from scratch. These are the best. Fresh baked chocolate chip cookies made from scratch and with heart trump anything that can ever be bought.

Photo by Flickr user Lara604.

Co-Tee TV Episode 76: Electric Oceans D&A, Akumu Ink and Bats

In this episode of Co-Tee TV I wear the Trident Logo Tee from Electric Oceans and review Starved by Akumu Ink, a brand that was started in 2008 and is based in Canada. The Akumu Ink team consists of Joey the illustrator/designer and printer, and Dora who takes care of customer service and all the business side of things. If you love horror with a nightmarish twist, in the style of Alfred Hitchcock and Tim Burton, then Akumu Ink is definitely worth checking out.

Fur Face Boy sent me an insane amount of T-Shirts from their Series 3 Line. I will be featuring the shirts throughout Co-Tee TV Episodes 70-79 so definitely keep an eye out for even more Fur Face Boy in the coming weeks! See Episode 70 of Co-Tee TV for the Fur Face Boy full review.

You can also watch this episode on Vimeo, Viddler, YouTube, blip.tv and download and sync all episodes to your iPod, iPhone or iPad by subscribing for free to Co-Tee TV in the iTunes Store.

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Coty’s Thoughts:

Starved by Akumu Ink. Pros: The included cardboard was a nice touch to keep the packagage flat and rigid. The custom Akumu Ink was the neatest tag I’ve ever seen! It was fully customized to look like a morgue tag and even featured my name (as the name of the deceased) and had my place and reason of death (which incidentally was starvation, which is also the name of the T-Shirt). They did an excellent job at extending their theme to their custom hang tag. I absolutely love the design, it is very much reminiscent of vintage Hitchcockian imagery. All T-Shirts are printed in house by Akumu Ink co-founder, Joey. The print itself is soft to the touch and very comfortable when worn, despite being a very large print (it doesn’t weight the T-Shirt down one bit). Cons: My only criticism is that I wish that they would have removed the original neck tag, especially since they sewed in their own custom neck tag. Other than that minor detail, I love the T-Shirt! Price: $21.99.

“The name Akumu is Japanese for Nightmare. We love taking the concept of creating hand drawn images based on our nightmares. As the brand has grown over the last few years our artistic style has evolved into this nightmarish scratch board look. Past designs can be found in our RIP section.”

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Trident by Electric Oceans D&A. Pros: I love that Electric Oceans made the effort to package the T-Shirt in a separate plastic bag from the plain manilla opener – it helps to guard against mishaps during shipment. Trident is also tagless and instead features a screen printed neck label instead, which is always nice. The T-Shirt itself is nice and soft, though it is on the shorter end when compared to your typical American Apparel blank. The ink print is slightly on the heavier end, but because it’s text you can’t really tell. Excellent price point. Cons: The T-Shirt packaging is a little bit of a miss for me. The shirt itself is individually packaged in its own plastic bag to protect it during shipment but the outer mailer is just a simple document type manila envelope. If you’ve got a sexy tee then you’ve got to be sure that the packaging is somewhat sexy as well. The included business cards seem a little generic, they don’t include the Electric Oceans logo and the graphic doesn’t seem to reflect the brand. Price: $12.

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Also mentioned in this episode:

Tridents

Hawaii’s Weed Smoking Population

Electric Oceans Barber Shop

Canadian Stamps

American Apparel Going Bankrupt

If you want to send me a product to review, please feel free to do so. You can find my information in the contact menu above. Thanks!


Cute microbes on sale

The Seal of Dreams

Dreams are a funny thing. For some people, dreams tend unravel quickly. For others, dreams take some time and come true at the most surprising of moments. For Carlos J. EasyBake, Oven Fresh Dreams is a dream in progress that was born out of his passion for baking, tattoos and T-Shirts. Oven Fresh Dreams was inspired by clothing lines such as Paul Frank, Johnny Cupcakes, and Benny Gold, with the hope of intertwining the t-shirt, tattoo, and baking community.

I had the opportunity to meet up with Mr. EasyBaske on a recent visit to New York and he invited me to meet up with him at the bakery that he works at. We chatted about out common interests: T-Shirts and food! It was awesome to learn that Carlos was a foodie like myself and I had a great time picking Carlos’ brain on all things food and restaurant related in NYC. We even had a chance to stop by a few of his recommended dining spots, and of course, they were amazing experiences. The one thing that I did get from my visit with Carlos was that his passion for the things that he loves (baking, tees, family) is 100% pure.

The big dream for Carlos is to one day open his own bake shop, and fuse T-Shirt and skate culture into it. The Seal of Dreams T-Shirt is an indication that Mr. EasyBake is taking the right steps into the right direction. He has done a great job at branding Oven Fresh Dreams so far (he has over 1600 fans on Facebook) and has made connections with some amazing people within the T-Shirt community, like Nicolo Nimor of Nick Automatic, who designed one of his first collaboration tees.

“This shirt represents the dreams we carry with us every day. Oven Fresh Dreams is much more than a baking, lifestyle company. It’s a movement that embraces individuality & achieving anything we put our minds to. By wearing this shirt you’re letting everyone know you’re not afraid to take risks because you’re a dreamer!”

The Seal of Dreams is printed on a white American Apparel tee and is available now from Oven Fresh Dreams for $15.99. Go pick one up now and start to make your dreams a reality!

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Oven Fresh Dreams

Toronto/New York Trip Day 3 + 4

Day 3 T-Shirt of Choice: Yeti Kong by Gama-Go

NYC Neighborhoods Visited: JFK Airport, Theater District, Midtown West, and Midtown East.

The third day of our vacation was more of a transition day than anything else. The day started early, very early. We woke up at around 6am and then left the hotel at around 7:30 am and caught the subway to the airport. The nearly 1.5 hour subway ride, really cut into our 9:35 am board time, especially since the trains had to be rerouted. In fact, after all the customs work, we just made it to our terminal with a few minutes to spare before the gate was closed. Whww, disaster averted!

The one hour flight was faster than it would take for us to catch the shuttle from JFK International Airport to our hotel in the Theater District. The shuttle ride was nearly 3 hours long, and at times, it felt like we were going in circles. When we reached Hotel Mela, I was pleasantly surprised to find that we were situated right in the heart of Times Square on 44th street. Times Square is literally a few steps away from our boutique hotel. Awesome!

Having missed breakfast, both me and Michelle were starved. On the recommendation of a few of my Twitter followers, we stopped at the Shake Shack on 44th street (how convenient!). The place was packed to the max. They say that this is the closest thing the East Coast has to In-N-Out. I had the ShakeShack Burger and Michelle had the ‘Shroom Burger. Both were out of this world good. They were both really, really, really good burgers. But at the end of the day, I still have to say that Hodad’s in San Diego is still my favorite burger destination on Earth. Still, a very good burger.

Shake Shack

Shake Shack

After that we ventured around Times Square for a little bit and did some shopping. Michelle found a Sanrio Luxe store and she was engaged for a good 30 minutes. Sanrio, she loves to buy that stuff for her friends.

Bryant Park was filled to the brim with New Yorkers and tourists alike. Every nook and cranny of the park was being utilized for something, from the ping pong table to the carrousel to the petangue area. If I lived in New York, I could absolutely see myself copping a chair, coffee in hand  and reading a book for hours at a time.

Bryant Park

Once we had our fill of Bryant Park, we walked to both the Chrysler Building and then the Empire State Building. There’s something about the art deco design of The Empire State Building that draws me to it. I love the architecture of that building – it’s stunning, much like NYC.

Empire State Building

Before we headed back to Hotel Mela, we stopped by the flagship Macy’s store on 34th Street in Herald’s Square. This is the world’s largest department store, and with 10 extensive floors, I believe it. In fact, the first floor was so large that it alone was overwhelming for the two of us. In fact, overwhelming might be an understatement.

Day 4 T-Shirt of Choice: Easier Said Than Done by Ugmonk

NYC Neighborhoods Visited: Upper West Side, Central Park, Midtown West, Midtown East, Upper East Side, Theater District

We kicked off our morning by stopping at the famed Barney Greengrass for breakfast. This spot came highly recommend by Anthony Bourdain so it was a must visit. Located on the Lower West Side, Barney Greengrass is famous for their sturgeon and salmon, so you know what I had to get for breakfast – sturgeon and salmon! The dish that I ordered featured nice portions of both sturgeon and Nova Scotia salmon as well as big serving of scrambled eggs and a perfectly toasted bagel on the side. Both the sturgeon and the salmon are served cold. I’ve never eaten salmon with eggs for breakfast before, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Coupled with the bagel covered in cream cheese, this unique New York breakfast made for a pleasant surprise. After eating my meal I proclaimed that I could eat this dish every day for breakfast for the rest of my life and be happy.

Barney Greengrass

After the amazing breakfast at Barney Greengrass, we ventured off to explore Central Park. Explore might be an overstatement because Central Park is so large that it is almost impossible to explore its entirety in one visit. So we staked out 5 areas of Central Park that we had to see, including Belvedere Castle, Shakespeare Garden, Graywacke Arch, Bethesda Fountain, and Strawberry Fields. We spent about 3 hours inside of Central Park, but, we were able to see everything we wanted to see, and then some. My favorite area of the park by far was Bethesda Fountain – the size of this Central Park attraction is incredible.

One Million Acts of Kindness

While walking along the Lower West Side we spotted this awesome bus of kindness.

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That’s me at the top of Belvedere Castle and overlooking Central Park and the Lower East Side.

While exploring Central Park, we went from West to East, and by the end of the park we had reached the busiest area of 5th Avenue. Apple’s flagship glass cube store had an outrageous line outside. For what you ask? The iPhone 4. Yep, nearly a month after its release, people are still standing in crazy lines to get their hands on one. Nuts.

The big piano in FAO Schwartz was another must visit destination, but alas, there were just too many kids clamoring to jump on those giant piano keys. It’s okay though, I had a chance to play chopsticks ala Tom Hanks from Big, the last time I was there.

Leaving 5ht avenue, we made a stop at Dylan’s Candy Box. I’ve never been here before so when I stepped inside this over-the-top candy store, I was blown away. They seriously have every candy you could ever want. And that was just the first floor. I was dumbfounded when I found out that they had two more floors of candy loving goodness. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, Dylan’s Candy Box is a must visit destination in New York City.

Dylan's Candy Box

Just a block from Dylan’s Candy Box was a restaurant that I had been wanting to visit for quite some time, Serendipity 3. Now, I’ve experienced the Serendipity magic once before in Las Vegas, but, there’s nothing like visiting the original. All I wanted was the Frozen Hot Chocolate but we ended up ordering some lunch as well. The Frozen Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate (I changed my mind and went with Peanut Butter instead of straight up chocolate) was amazing. The only thing about Serendipity 3 is the ridiculous wait time. If you do decide to make a stop at Serendipity 3 I recommend that you check in and then venture off to Dylan’s Candy Box to burn some time. But whatever you do, order the Frozen Hot Chocolate.

Serendipity 3

Before I had my Frozen Hot Chocolate, I had a Ftatateeta’s Toast. It was pretty awesome.

Serendipity 3

By the time we finished up at Serendipity 3, it was about 4 pm. We decided to catch a taxi to Rockefeller Center to purchase tickets to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, especially since it was raining and we had done a lot of walking already during the day. We chose the Top of the Rock over the Empire State Building because both me and Michelle checked out the Empire the last time we were each here. After we grabbed our tickets, we headed back to our hotel to rest for a bit and freshen up for the evening.

At this point of the day, my feet were killing me! I can’t tell you how good it feels to kick off my shoes after a long day of walking and trekking. Needless to say, the two hour rest was much needed. Much needed! But there was still a few hours left in the day so we decided to make the best of it. Unfortunately, it started to rain so out came the umbrellas. The first stop was the Top of the Rock. For $20 you get a nice, 360 degree view of New York City, from three different levels. The brightly lit city is definitely something to gawk at. Ironically, the most obvious structure noticeable at the Top of the Rock is the Empire State Building.

Carmine’s was our dinner destination. It’s a family style Italian restaurant with very large portions. Michelle and I ordered the chicken marsala. For dessert, we headed back to the Shake Shack on 44th for the chocolate custard and chocolate shake. Decadence is our middle name.

After dinner we again explored Times Square. At night, Times Square is such a busy beast. Navigating the waves of people and yellow taxis is all part of the experience. And what an experience it has been so far!

The Allergy Collection

I’m so glad that I don’t have any weird allergies. I would be so sad if I were allergic to peanuts because that would mean no peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! There was a time when I thought that I was allergic to shelled seafoods like clams, crab and … gasp … lobster. In fact, I went through much of my teen years bypassing those foods because of a previous allergic reactions I had to clams as a child. Fearing for my life, I stayed away.

All of that changed, when, during a visit to New Orleans for a conference, my advisor from an old lab at the time, insisted that I try the raw oysters that he had ordered for our group of budding scientists. Since this was his favorite eating joint in The Big Easy, he didn’t let us order, instead, he ordered every type of seafood on the menu. My worst nightmare had come true. Nonetheless, I sucked it up (literally) and ate those oysters. AND oh my god my life had changed forever. The allergic reaction that I had expected never came and so I ate and I ate and I ate. I indulged in a decades worth of seafood in a single night. Let’s just say I made up for lost times. Ever since then, I’ve been a fan of all seafood varieties!

In any case, I thought that story would be the perfect way to segue into The Allergy Collection by the Los Angeles based design company, Jeeto. Their latest collection of patches, stickers and yes T-Shirts allow you to tell the world that you suffer from severe allergies! The collection covers peanuts, gluten, dairy, eggs and tree nuts. But alas, no seafood.

The T-Shirts from The Allergy Collection are priced from $18.95 to $19.95 and are available now from Jeeto. And by the way, these are available for the kiddos only. T-Shirt sizes available in 0-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-24 months, 3 year, 4 year and 5/6 year. Infant one piece sizes available in 0-6 months and 6-12 months.

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