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The Gentlemanly Guide - Updated for the 21st Century (Part 2)
The Art of Gifting
As part two of our investigation into what makes a good guy and an all-round gentleman, we want to look a little closer at how you handle gifts. Gifts are, by their very nature, nice things to do. Everyone likes getting gifts – until someone hands them something impersonal, useless, tasteless or just downright weird. To help you out in the old-school art of gifting, here are some useful tips for you to put to work.
When used properly, these should make a telling difference to not only how you give gifts, but how you gauge what makes a good gift.
• First off, make it truly a meaningful gift – as in you WANT to give them it. If you are buying a gift out of duty or because you feel like you have to, then you are off on the wrong foot. If you don’t want to be out looking for gifts, you’ll mentally settle on stuff that you wouldn’t normally have bought just to end the quest.
• Know why you are buying them the gift. If it is someone who has just accomplished something, it should be a commemoration of that achievement or something to help them really take that achievement and do something with it. Now that does not mean you have to go and buy someone a car for passing their driving test, but you can be a bit more personable with your gift and get something out of it.
• Ask them indirectly. Strike up a conversation about things you know they like and ask open-ended questions; let them roll with it. Let them keep going and just make some mental notes; sooner or later they’ll be all “Oh I was thinking of getting X….BUT….” and then you can step in and get it for them.
• Always try and buy ahead of time, as when you don’t - you get hit with the timeline to get a gift in without much time left. If you are short on cash, it means you’ll be short on ambition or ideas. It will make you settle for a decent but not spectacular item, and we want to avoid that as much as we can.
• Never get them what they would expect – bears at Valentine’s Day, chocolate at Christmas, flowers at Anniversary events etc. are a no/no. If you do them, make them a goofy little side-gift before something that shows you know them and that you care.
• Lastly, don’t repeat the fatal mistake of buying it again. If you got someone an album, for talking sake, and they loved it, don’t just buy them another album from that band. It shows a lack of imagination, and you want to show them that you know them more than just basic yes/no interests.
As a gentleman, it can be hard to put all of this into action – but it should not be impossible. Using the above, though, you can make the art of buying gifts for people a whole lot easier to plan out and decipher.
Pasta Savvy
10 Rules & Tips
No intro, let's jump straight into this.

1) Don't cut long pasta before or after cooking them.
Breaking them seems to make it easier to cook since you won't have them sticking out of your pot.
But long pasta is supposed to wrap around your fork. It's the least messy way.
Imagine eating a bowl of short strands spaghetti!

2) Salt it while it's hot
Always cook pasta in salted water. Chuck a fistful of rock salt to boiling water before adding the pasta. Remember, the pasta itself is the foundation. So no matter how delicious the sauce is going to be, your dish will taste flat if the pasta is bland.

3) Don't overcook them beyond recognition.
Cook the pasta until it's al dente. Properly cooked pasta allow the sauce to stick to it (assuming the sauce is cooked well, so it's thick and doesn't drip or splatter).

4) Rinse free.
Don't rinse cooked pasta in water or coat them with oil
You would want the sauce to coat the pasta, wouldn't you?.

5) Dress, and not drown.
Remember, the sauce is a condiment. Just like you won't drown your steak in English Mustard. Go easy and don't waterboard your pasta with sauce.

6) Learn to twirl.
Simply twirl your long pasta you are having with a fork. You may use a spoon to help to mix the pasta, sauce and cheese, or as a guide for the pasta to the fork. But don't twirl your long pasta on a spoon. And PUT THE KNIFE DOWN.

7) Keep it tight.
If the bundle you twirled look too big to fit in one mouthful, drop it and make a smaller bunch. Cut stray strands with your teeth.

8) Don't slurp.
You are not at a Ramen-ten. So keep it quiet.

9) Sauce pairing.
As a general rule of thumb: Use meat sauces for short pasta, and seafood sauces for long pasta

10) A something extra.
Try cooking your pasta in Brodo (broth) for added flavour. If you have been to Bologna, you may realise their pasta tastes a little different - tastier if you ask us.
At the table
Part 1
Whether you with your friends, your colleagues, potential employer or your beautiful date, as a modern day gentleman, there are rules that you should adhere to when you sit down for a meal.
Every meal should be an occasion - you come to the table to have great food, great drinks and a great time; At the end of the meal, you should leave the table feeling satisfied and most importantly, knowing your parents would be proud of your table manners.
We think we are all aware the importance of being on time and chewing with our month closed, and surely at some point in time, we were taught that the napkin belongs to our lap, not the shirtfront.
So besides keeping our elbows off the dining table, sitting up straight and not playing with your food, what else?
We have compiled a quick list, some of us might still be doing it out of habit, but we live, and we learn. You're welcome:

1) No headgears at the table - that and don't wear sunglasses indoors (unless you have a legitimate medical reason)

2) Don't chomp on ice - you are there to eat FOOD. If you are on a weight loss regime, hit the gym.

3) If you enjoy the food, compliment the host. You can smack as many lips as you want when you are alone - just not in public.

4) Does half chewed food look appealing to you? No, we didn't think it would, and neither will the people dining with you, so don't talk with your mouth full... and don't pick your teeth at the table.

5) If you need to leave the table, say excuse me - you don't need to explain why. Your companions don't need a visual image while enjoying their Chilli con Carne... and if you need to blow your nose - excuse yourself.

6) Try not to belch or burp at the table - we are all happy to smell our food only just once. But if you absolutely need to, use your napkin to at least muffle the sound.

7) Say please and thank you, especially to servers. AND don't argue with them, unless you want a little something extra in your food.

8) Don't wolf down your food - what's the hurry?

9) Keep your belt buckled even though you just had an extravagantly large meal - it is creepy if you unbuckle your belt at the table... what's next, your pants?

10) and finally, a life motto that we have heard plenty of times and it applies at dinner in a little more literally: Don't bite off more than you can chew.

P.S. Put your phone down
INGREDIENT FOCUS: Bamboo
Bambusa Vulgaris Extract
Bamboo Extract
Bamboo is prized throughout Asia for its versatility. In Chinese Medicine, it is known to help to accelerate the healing of infection. Studies have shown that bamboo has inhibitory effects on some infectious bacteria, and as an anti-irritant, it is a great ingredient to provide soothing and calming benefits.

Bamboo Extract is rich in beneficial compounds like flavones, glycosides, phenolic acids, and amino acids which help to restore the appearance of healthy hair and skin. It also plays a key role in moisture retention and aids in clarifying the scalp and hair, as well as strengthening the hair fibre.

It is known to even skin tones and improves the integrity of hair and skin. The antioxidants present provide protection from harmful free radicals and UV-induced damage.
Bamboo Extracts also contains high levels of natural silica, which is one of the key elements to help the body to absorb minerals and support collagen production.
Ingredient Focus: Barbary Fig
Opuntia Ficus-indica Extract
Barbary fig is a valuable natural rejuvenating remedy for the skin. Also known as Prickly Pear, Barbary Fig is extremely high in Antioxidants, Essential Fatty Acids, Amino Acids, Vitamin E and Vitamin K. Its exceptional hydration properties make it beneficial for all skin types, and works especially well on dry, mature skin.

The fatty acids in Barbary fig extract help to increase the firmness of the skin as well as keeping the pores tight.
The high concentration of linoleic acid makes the skin impermeable to pollution, while Vitamin E & K plus a variety of antioxidants such as Betalains (with a higher level than Acai, Beets, Blueberries, Gogi, or Pomegranate) protect the skin against free radicals, providing protection from environmental stress.

This anti-inflammatory cocktail also stimulates new cell growth, calms redness and soothes inflammation – an invaluable support for skin repair after trauma such as micro-cuts from shaving.
Ingredient Focus: Green Coffee Bean
Coffea Robusta Seed Extract
Green Coffee Bean extract is known to be an effective anti-inflammatory in skincare products. It also has excellent skin-softening and moisture retention properties.
Green coffee beans are seeds of the plant Coffea Robusta. Since these beans have not been roasted, they retain significant levels of bioactive compounds that are typically lost due to intense heat treatment.

They possess more than ten times the antioxidant content of green tea; high levels of Polyphenols, Chlorogenic Acid and Ferulic acid all contribute to rapid cell regeneration while reducing the damaging effects of free radicals and eliminating environmental toxins. This helps to decelerate the ageing procedure and helps with dull and acne-prone skin.

Other compounds such as Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, Theophylline, Epigallocatechin Gallate plus a variety of fatty acids and esters can also be found. They are essential in maintaining skin health and keeping the skin moisturised and nourished.