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Our Favorite Denzel Washington Movies

Denzel: Best Actor Ever.

Denzel Washington is one of our favorite actors, if not our absolute favorite. When you view his career one thing stands out: the consistent, forceful performances. Denzel rarely, if ever, “phones it in.” Its as if he’s incapable of being lackluster. Add to that his flexibility: he’s played flawed heroes (Man on Fire, Manchurian Candidate, Flight), more “pure” heroes (Remember the Titans, Book of Eli, Glory, Equalizer), villains (Training Day, American Gangster), historical figures (Malcolm X, The Hurricane) and very much “human” roles (John Q, Taking of Pelham 123, He Got Game). In fact, he’s been nominated for an Academy Award eight times, including two wins for his performance in Glory (best supporting actor) and in Training Day (best actor).  If you’re bored on a Friday night, you could do much worse than find a good Denzel flick to stream. Peter and I have been talking about doing a Denzel Marathon for a while, which would include back-to-back-to-back-to-back viewings of our favorite Denzel flicks. Here’s all of our favorite Denzel movies, in order based on release (it is honestly too hard to decide which one is better than another, so we decided to go with chronological order).

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Power nutritious breakfast

How to Eat a Super Nutritious Breakfast & What to Buy

Over the years, I’ve experimented with various types of breakfasts, hoping to find the sweet spot between something that tastes good, is easy to make, and gives me the nutrients and energy to start my day off right. In this post, I’ll be sharing my “go-to” breakfast that I eat at least 4-5 times a week.

The Ultimate English Muffin

The centerpiece of my breakfast is the English muffin. My preferred brand of choice is Vermont Bread Company’s Organic & Natural English Muffins. I’ve tried all the different varieties (Whole Wheat, Golden White, Honey Wheat, Multigrain, etc.) and my hands-down favorite is Spelt. Spelt is species of wheat that’s been around for a long time and known for being an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber. Its taste is not as distinctive as whole wheat, so it becomes a nice canvas for whatever I put on top.

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Feet Mobility Exercise Tools to Prevent Injuries & Run Better

I ran my first half marathon last year. Before last year, I had never run a race longer than 3.1 miles. I put in a good four months of training and even hired a running coach to guide me.  I was very proud and loved the experience. But one thing I didn’t like was the pain I endured in my feet and ankles towards the end of my training. I had a nagging pain right under my right big toe that wouldn’t go away and after some 5+ mile runs, my ankles would always be very sore. During my training last year, the pain became unbearable at certain points that I had to take a week off before I could start again.

This time around, I resolved to approach training in a smarter way. I did some research on injury prevention and came across a fantastic book by Crossfit San Francisco founder and physiotherapist Kelly Starrett. It’s called Ready to Run and I can’t emphasize how impactful this book has been for me. In many ways, it’s not only helped me to become a better runner, it’s helped me to rethink the way I move and live my life everyday.

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Rishi Turmeric Ginger Tea

Tea Season is Here

One of my favorite parts of autumn and winter is that it’s tea-drinking season. During the warmer months of summer, I rarely crave any warm drinks (except coffee), but the moment it dips below 50 degrees, I’m all about the tea.

One of my favorite teas is Rishi Turmeric Ginger. It’s got a yellowish tint with an herbal, spicy flavor and makes for a great nighttime drink since it’s caffeine-free.

These are the ingredients:

  • organic ginger root
  • organic turmeric root
  • organic licorice root
  • organic lemongrass
  • organic orange peel
  • organic lemon peel
  • essential orange and lemon oils

I typically get about 2-3 steeps out of a bag before the flavor runs out, and since it’s caffeine-free, I don’t mind refilling my mug with hot water over and over again.

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Grove Ave Starter: Jumpstarting Your Day

Getting Started With Starter

About a year ago, my friends and I began working on a new company called Grove Ave (fair warning, this is a bit of a cross-promotional post). The other two guys who regularly write for BuysWithFriends, Andy and Pete, are also working on Grove Ave. We put out a free e-book that helps people become more productive and we have a second e-book on the way. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that we really value our time and our freedom, both of which greatly inform whatever purchases we make. So, we began to think about the following question: what kind of product could we come up with that would help people save time every day? It took close to a year to formulate but we finally did it: we created Grove Ave Starter, a combination energy and immunity booster. I took it for a month and now I’m ready to talk about it. How did it go?

Picking up Starter after a year's worth of research and development efforts
Picking up Starter after a year’s worth of research and development efforts

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An Epic Review of the Dyson V6 Trigger: A Supercharged Handheld Bagless Vacuum

The Backstory

We have two really cute cats, Percy and Portia. Unfortunately, I’m mildly allergic to them (although I’m dangerously allergic to trees and grass, a problem I developed after my first Iraq deployment… something about the trees at Fort Bragg). My doctor told me to get rid of the cats, but they’re definitely part of the family and there’s no way I could ever give them up.

You can follow these two cats on Instagram
You can follow these two cats on Instagram

So I decided to place several more portable air filters in the house, increase the filtration in our A/C system, start immunotherapy for all of my allergies, and buy a serious vacuum to help reduce the amount of cat dander floating around. We’ve had some not-very-effective vacuums before, even from well-known brands like Daredevil, so I wanted to do my homework and avoid repeating those experiences. How did my vacuum search go?

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Guest Review: Tom’s Experience with the DJI Phantom 4, one of the best drones on the market

NOTE: this is a special guest post from friend of BwF Tom Hickey. Tom recently bought a DJI Phantom 4 and wanted to let everyone know about his experience with this really cool drone. If you’re interested in guest posting, shoot us an email @ buyswithfriends-at-gmail.com

My Journey to Getting a Phantom 4

By: Tom Hickey

My friend and avid outdoor adventurer Supriya told me I should get a drone. I told her it was ridiculously expensive. My wife told me that drones were exciting and that we should get one. I told her we didn’t need one- no one needs a drone. Apparently both these people know me better than I know myself because I ended up buying a Phantom 4 from DJI. How did my experience go? Read on to find out!

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Music and Alexa on the Go: An Amazon Tap Review

Reviewing the Amazon Tap: Another Piece of Amazon Hardware

Amazon continues to build out its surprisingly successful hardware line. From with the Amazon Echo, which we previously reviewed, to the very successful (to the point of selling out) Amazon Echo Dot (which I wasn’t able to get in time), Amazon recently produced their own UE Boom– inspired speaker, the Amazon Tap. Regular readers know I really like the convenience of having speakers in conveniently placed areas around the house. The Tap basically replicates the Echo’s abilities in a package that you can literally take with you. So I took the plunge for the speaker (it seemed a bit expensive at its regular price of $129) when the price dropped down to $69 ($50 Prime Day deal and $10 off any item you order off of Echo). All it took was saying to Alexa: “Alexa, order an Amazon Tap” and two days later it was in my hands! So how did my two month road test go? Was it worth it?

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Childhood Cereals

Top 5 Childhood Cereals

Once a year I get an intense craving for cereal and we’re not talking about the healthy kind. When I crave cereal it’s for the really brightly colored, artificially flavored, super sweet kind. Well the craving came around again this year and instead of getting one box, I decided to take a walk down memory lane and buy 5 of my favorite childhood cereals. Let’s see if they’re still as good as I remember.

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America the Beautiful Pass: Your Ticket to the National Parks is the Greatest Value in America

A Pass to See America’s Greatest Natural Treasures

nps-2016-news

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service. America’s 59 National Parks (called America’s Best Idea by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns) are located in 27 different states. Some of the scenes in these parks are so iconic that they can be found on state license plates (for example, Delicate Arch in Arches National Park is on Utah’s). Chances are, you live near a National Park. You may even go frequently. While the parks themselves are an undoubtedly great value, the $20-25 entrance fees can really add up.

Over the last decade or so, I’ve had the great fortune of being able to visit many parks. Right before my first overseas deployment, I was fortunate enough to visit the Grand Canyon and Badlands National Parks. For a good friend’s bachelor party, we hiked Angel’s Landing in Zion. After my second deployment to Iraq, my wife and I went to Acadia. The landscapes in all of these places are just astounding. With so much noise intrusion and pollution in our everyday lives, the golden silence just a mile from the trailhead is priceless.

I had heard of a mythical thing called an annual pass that would allow you access to these parks a few years ago. I never had the presence of mind to buy one (our trips to the parks were intermittent and we would always forget about it until we got back) and so I made it a point to research the pass before our most recent vacation this year. I discovered that for just $80, you can get a pass that will allow you unlimited entrance into the whole range of National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges. Per the National Park Service:

“A pass is your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. Each pass covers entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges as well as standard amenity fees (day use fees) at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A pass covers entrance, standard amenity fees and day use fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas (or up to four adults at sites that charge per person). Children age 15 or under are admitted free.”

We were planning to visit several parks during our 2016 road trip and so I went online to the USGS website and purchased the pass. Five business days later I had it in my hands. So how did my trip go? And was the pass worth it?

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