Posts by category: Sponsored

My Sons Stink. Help me #HeroClean! (Okay, I might need it too…)

My Sons Stink. Help me #HeroClean! (Okay, I might need it too…)

green-box-products-02-1Digging through the box of products sent to me by my new friends at Hero Clean, there was one product that really sparked my interest, and that’s their Odor Eliminator spray.

Because, lets face it, my boys stink.

Their room stinks, their beds stink, the piles of stuffed toys they sleep and sweat with nightly stink, their bathroom stinks, their shoes and boots stink, and their car seats stink. If it’s this bad when they’re 8 and 6, how bad is his going to get when they’re teenagers, right? I mean… they won’t be in car seats then, I hope, but… well you get the idea.

One of the most clever things to me is how much thought went into the scent of Hero Clean products. They wanted to avoid the overly sweet or floral scents so ubiquitous in cleaning products, but without falling into manly ridiculousness (does anyone really want a bacon scented house? I mean, with no bacon to go with it?) just what should these sorts of things designed with men in mind smell like? I think they really struck something right when they settled on using juniper.

Why juniper? Well, at least in part because it’s the primary ingredient in gin! The result is more of a subtle cologne, rather than overpoweringly floral or even bleachy smells.

Beyond the smart use of scent, Hero Clean also ups the smarts by using real science to deal with the problem of odors, particularly those caused by hormones specific to male biology. Hero Clean’s Odor Defeater Technology contains probiotic microbes that activate on contact with odor-causing bacteria, pushing the odor out and creating a barrier to further bacterial growth. SCIENCE!

Hero Clean Odor Defeater Technology

Hero Cleans Odor Defeater technology works to use probiotic microbes to eliminate odors.

And so, armed with my new odor defeating weapon, I dropped the boys off at school, and set out on an Odor Eliminating Mission around the house.

Taking out the odor coming from the pile of worn shoes in the closet.

Taking out the odor coming from the pile of worn shoes in the closet.

vid_monkey

Monkey, my youngest son’s constant night-time companion, gets targeted for Odor Elimination.

The result? Well, I’m going to lie, my boys aren’t the only ones who create some pretty intense odors around here, and I may have done a second round targeting my own stinky gear. This stuff works, guys.

One more thing I want to mention that I love about this line of products: 7% of all Hero Clean product’s net profits are used to support our nations veterans through the IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America). That’s awesome.

If you would like to try Hero Clean products for yourself, they’re available now at select Ace Hardware, Wegman’s, Runnings, and Target stores.


Disclosure: I received compensation for trying out Hero Clean and letting you know what I think of it. All opinions are my own though, as always.

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Mystery Spots, Me, and #HeroClean

Mystery Spots, Me, and #HeroClean

ddbshirts

I may have an obsession with this particular message t-shirt…

I am a man who wears a lot of t-shirts. I’m also a man who does a lot of laundry. So you could say I know my way around washing t-shirts.

And yet, I have a problem: spots.

Mystery oil spots, to be specific.

Y’know, the ones that seem to show up on your clothes after they’ve been washed? Those.

Bane of my existence. Where do they come from? I have no idea. I’m not gonna lie, I’m certain I’ve created my fair share of stained shirts because of the one-two punch of being a pretty messy cook, and having a belly that is known to protrude from time to time. But these aren’t the remnants of dripped food. These are mystery spots. And no matter how much I spot-treat, they always seem to come back.

And nothing is worse than having someone come over and want to talk about my snazzy Dads Don’t Babysit shirt, and then noticing that I have a bunch of oil spots stippled across my belly.

So when Hero Clean sent me a bunch of their new products to try, I was eager to see if their laundry detergent could do a better job.

What’s Hero Clean, you ask? Hey, thanks for asking!

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Kelley Blue Book Announces 2017 Best Buy Award Winners

Kelley Blue Book Announces 2017 Best Buy Award Winners

You may remember that this past summer I was invited to be one of the #KBBDads, a team of fathers who was brought together by Kelley Blue Book to help them choose their Best Dad Car. We travelled to southern California, where we test-drove vehicles and got the low-down on how KBB evaluates cars for their listings from the very people KBB editors that have now compiled and announced their 2017 Best Buy Award Winners. Kelley Blue Book is the trusted resource for new and used car buyers, available 24/7 to help people make the best possible buying decisions, and I’m proud to help them share their yearly favorites.

Check out this fantastic video about the process used to determine the winners!

2017 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award Winners

“After carefully analyzing a wealth of data and conducting extensive vehicle testing and evaluation from the hundreds of models available for the 2017 model-year, we chose this elite group of 12 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award winners because they proved to be the top in their class this year,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com.  “Kelley Blue Book editors went to the unprecedented choice of honoring the Honda Civic as the Overall Best Buy for the second year in a row because of the Civic’s unsurpassed all-around value.  It turns in very high marks in objective measures like resale value and cost to own, yet it also is a supremely satisfying car to drive and live with every day.  We believe the 2017 Civic is an exceptional value and remains the Overall Best Buy for the second year running.”

Overall Winner: 2017 Honda Civic

hondacivic1280

kbb-bba-logoToday’s compact cars are roomier, safer, more comfortable and tech-savvier than ever, and the recently redesigned Honda Civic is the undisputed king of the category.  Boldly styled, famously refined, supremely efficient, satisfying to drive, comfortable and loaded with appealing features, the Honda Civic is the first vehicle to be named our Overall Best Buy two years in a row.

Small Car: 2017 Honda Civic

hondacivic1280-2

kbb-bba-logoThe Honda Civic’s current run of Best Buy recognition spans two generations and now three model years.  Last year’s redesign earned it both a Best Buy Award and the top spot on our list of favorite new cars of the year, and it remains just as impressive and dominant in its second model year.

Mid-Size Car: 2017 Honda Accord

hondaaccord

Honda’s famously dependable mid-size sedan is a resale value standout, keeping overall ownership costs low.  But the Accord also is satisfying to drive and thoroughly refined, qualifying it as a well-rounded package and earning it a second Best Buy Award.

Full-Size Car: 2017 Chevrolet Impala

chevyimpala

kbb-bba-logoThe Chevy Impala remains as roomy, comfortable and value-oriented as you might expect.  But it’s also a design and tech standout, mixing stylish sheetmetal with an attractive interior and an impressive list of in-car technologies including Apple CarPlay and wireless phone charging.  A strong combination of purchase price and resale value help it win its third Best Buy Award in as many years.

Luxury Car: 2017 Audi A4

audia4

kbb-bba-logoThe totally redesigned Audi A4 claims this year’s Luxury Car Best Buy title with an elevated mix of tastefully modern exterior and interior styling, advanced but friendly technologies, excellent driving dynamics and lower overall ownership costs than some key competitors.

Sports/Performance Car: 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster

porcheboxster

kbb-bba-logoWith a newfound emphasis on fuel economy, connectivity and everyday usability, the revamped 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster has effectively broadened its appeal while retaining the world-class dynamism for which the nameplate is renowned.

Electric/Hybrid: 2017 Toyota Prius Prime

toyotapriusprime

kbb-bba-logoThe Prius lineup expands again for 2017, this time with a distinctly styled and outfitted plug-in model that delivers 25 miles of pure electric range, 640 miles of total full-charge/full-tank range, and a 133 MPGe rating that’s the highest of any electric car of any sort currently available.  Combined with the lineup’s well-documented history of reliability and low ownership costs, the Toyota Prius Prime wins our Electric/Hybrid Best Buy of 2017.

Small SUV/Crossover: 2017 Kia Sportage

kiasportage

kbb-bba-logoKia’s class-leading warranty coverage remains, but everything else about the Kia Sportage is all-new for 2017.  Its Best Buy Award-winning strengths include the bold face and sleek rear end, attractive and functional cockpit, roomy rear seat and practical cargo area.

Mid-Size SUV/Crossover: 2017 Honda Pilot

hondapilot

kbb-bba-logoFresh off a complete redesign last year, the newest Honda Pilot has it all – including its second Best Buy trophy.  It’s not only the roomiest and most practical SUV in the segment, it’s also comfortable, pleasant to drive and loaded with features that serve drivers and passengers alike.

Full-Size SUV/Crossover: 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe

chevytahoe

kbb-bba-logoOffering a combination of style, comfort, economy and value that’s positively unmatched in market appeal, the Chevy Tahoe is the best-selling SUV in the segment and now a back-to-back-to-back Kelley Blue Book Best Buy for the third year running.

Luxury SUV/Crossover: 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC

mercedesbenzglc

kbb-bba-logoOne vehicle at a time, Mercedes-Benz continues to build its most appealing lineup in years.  The exterior designs are intrinsically appealing, while the interiors are as rich as ever but far more contemporary and desirable.  Class-leading safety and convenience technologies also are part of the story, as is the persistent prestige of the three-pointed star.  The GLC embodies every bit of the automaker’s rediscovered style and swagger.

Truck: 2017 Ford F-150

fordf150

kbb-bba-logoRadically redesigned with an aluminum-intensive architecture two years ago, the Ford F-150 has been named our Pickup Truck Best Buy ever since.  Beneath the groundbreaking construction are a variety of advanced engines and transmissions, and a long list of clever features and appealing technologies.  This year it adds one more trophy to its growing collection with its third consecutive Best Buy Award.

Minivan: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

chryslerpacifica

kbb-bba-logoChrysler’s all-new Pacifica minivan doesn’t just replace the long-running Town & Country, it blends luxury and practicality like no other minivan before it.  Luxury-level dash design up front is complemented by rear quarters that offer all the utility you expect in a minivan, but with uncommon design sensibilities.  It’s also a pleasure to drive, helping it lock up a Best Buy Award in its first year on the market.

“Vehicles in all segments are becoming better-equipped with more safety and tech features every year, so the competition is stiff for which models will take home a prestigious Best Buy Award,” Nerad said.  “Kelley Blue Book Best Buys represent the highest level of quality and value of all vehicles available in the American market.  With 90 years of trust in providing the auto industry with data and several decades of providing car shoppers with valuable information, Kelley Blue Book takes great pride in providing a significant consumer service by identifying the new vehicles that our experts believe to be the absolute best-value choices for new-car shoppers.”

For more information and news from Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com, visit www.kbb.com/media/, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kelleybluebook (or @kelleybluebook), like our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kbb, and get updates on Google+ at https://plus.google.com/+kbb.


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Life of Dad and Kelley Blue Book. I have received compensation for this post; however, all opinions stated are my own.

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“Dada! Cowboys and astronauts don’t skate, they ride horses and spaceships!” Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment PDX

“Dada! Cowboys and astronauts don’t skate, they ride horses and spaceships!” Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment PDX

“Hey boys, what would you say if I told you we’ve been invited to go to a show and see CARS, skating on ICE?”

“Hehehe Dada, you’re silly.”

“No, really! Cars! On skates!”

“Really?”

“Really! And that’s not all. There will also be a cowboy and an astronaut on skates too.”

“Hehehe, Dada! Cowboys and astronauts don’t skate, they ride horses and spaceships!”

“And did I mention that, if we’re lucky, we might get to see some mice skating too?”

“Mice don’t skaaaate!”

“Oh? Well, we’ll see about that.”

So that’s how I broke the news to my kids that we’re going to see the new Disney On Ice present Worlds of Enchantment show, that is coming to Portland next week, from October 20-23, 2016 at the Moda Center!

woe_wide

We’re really excited about this. The only big live show they’ve ever been to before was the Marvel Universe LIVE show we all got to take in last year, and they are primed and ready. Sure, there’s no web-slinging this time, but the fact that they actually get to see cars on skates has their imaginations bursting.

cars-finalWhile I don’t do it much now, as a Canadian, I, of course, grew up skating. Whether it was at hockey lessons, or on the rink that was constructed each winter at the local park, skating was a part of life once the weather got chilly.

We don’t get to do that here in mild, drizzly Portland (although my wife has fond childhood memories of watching the infamous Tonya Harding practice at the Lloyd Center Mall skating rink!) but if I can’t skate myself, I can do the next best thing and watch professionals do it better than I ever could.

I’m stoked!

Watch for the review of the show from myself and my kids next week!

See this post for more details on times and tickets.


Disclaimer: In exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog Feld Entertainment is provided me with complimentary tickets to the show. All opinions, however, are my own and those of my kids!

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Disney on Ice is coming to Portland!

Disney on Ice is coming to Portland!

Last year I was stoked to get to take my boys to see Marvel Universe LIVE. They had an amazing time. So I was equally excited to be able to tell them recently that we’ll be heading back to the MODA Center in October for a new show, this time, on ice!

Much more later, but for now, here’s more info on the show and how to get tickets…


cars-finalDisney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment features beloved characters from The Little Mermaid, Frozen and Disney•Pixar’s Cars and Toy Story 3.

Life-size Disney•Pixar’s Cars characters – Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater and the crew – take their high-octane personalities and amusing antics to the ice.

Using custom animatronics, their eyes and mouths move with every twist and turn on the frozen highway. Each car has moving eyes and blinking eyelids. They are able to talk and actually drive on the ice. Mater even drives backwards!

disney-on-ice-presents-worlds-of-enchantment-420x225_q85_cropThis show brings together all the fun, humor and warmth of the hit Disney•Pixar film Toy Story 3 as Woody, Jessie, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang hit the ice in a high-energy jam-packed adventure that will take audiences to the edge of their seats and beyond.

The show includes the most exciting moments from the number one animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen.

Audiences of all ages will enjoy seeing their favorite characters from the animated film including Anna and Elsa, along with Olaf and Kristoff, live on ice and will love to sing-along with all of the popular songs. Anna and Elsa share their heart felt story of true love between two sisters.

The Details

WHEN:
October 20 – 23, 2016
Thursday, October 20 7:00 PM
Friday, October 21 7:00 PM
Saturday, October 22 11:30 AM, 3:30 PM & 7:00 PM
Sunday, October 23 12:30 PM & 4:30 PM

WHERE:
Moda Center – One Center Court, Portland Ore. 97227

TICKETS: Ticket prices start at just $23 each*

[box]Discount Opening Night tickets available for as low as $15 each (not valid for VIP/Front Row premium levels).[/box]

Tickets now available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or visit the Moda Center/Rose Quarter Box Office.

*prices subject to change; additional venue/ticketing fees may apply


Disclaimer: In exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog Feld Entertainment is provided me with complimentary tickets to the show. All opinions, however, are my own and those of my kids!

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Sausage-Stuffed, Bacon-Wrapped, Maple-Glazed BBQ Turkey Breast

Sausage-Stuffed, Bacon-Wrapped, Maple-Glazed BBQ Turkey Breast

One of my strongest childhood memories was our family trip in 1985 to Orlando, Florida; our first pilgrimage to Walt Disney World. We did a lot of fun things, saw a lot of amazing sights, and ate a lot of good food. As one does on such a trip. And the strongest food memory I have?

Smoked. Turkey.

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Marvel Universe LIVE in PDX (Review)

Marvel Universe LIVE in PDX (Review)

My boys had a tough decision to make this morning, after they’d finished breakfast and had to get dressed:

Which superheroes would they be dressing up as to go see Marvel Universe LIVE?

My youngest opted for Captain America, muscle-bound, and carrying his trust shield/Frisbee with him everywhere he went.

My oldest opted for Spider-Man, but — ever the practical one — after wearing the mask for a short time he figured it blocked his view too much, and (wanting to be able to see every bit of the show)decided instead to wear his Spider-Man-print Hawaiian shirt, and attend the show as Peter Parker in disguise.

These tough choices decided, we packed up and headed to the Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, found our seats, and waited for the show to begin.

I think if there’s one word I would use to sum up the Marvel Universe LIVE experience, it would be this:

Spectacle.

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To Yo-Kai! The Cause of, and Solution to, All of Life’s Problems

To Yo-Kai! The Cause of, and Solution to, All of Life’s Problems

As my kids get older, their choices in entertainment have gotten more complicated. They went from simple, charming shows about shapes and colors, to memorizing every member of certain super-teams and the complex histories of them all. But one thing that hasn’t changed is that they love things that are weird.

I first heard about Yo-Kai Watch when the good people at Hasbro were kind enough to send me some episodes of the new hit show, and a bunch of the assorted toys that tie directly to the show. They had one request: have your kids and their friends watch and play, and let us know what they think!

And let me tell you, when it comes to weird, Yo-Kai Watch delivers.

Don’t believe me? Let me explain the premise:

A young boy named Nate accidentally discovers the existence of mischievous spirits, called Yo-Kai, when he releases one from imprisonment and they are bonded together. Yo-Kai, it turns out, are everywhere, but are invisible and cause all sorts of mayhem. Nate is given a special watch that allows him to see them, and even summon these spirits to help when needed. The Yo-Kai help get him through the misadventures during his day, many of which involve stopping the mischief caused by the more trouble-making Yo-Kai.

CheeksqueekOkay, so I know that doesn’t sound that weird, yet, I know. But that’s because so far I haven’t gotten to the Yo-Kai named Cheeksqueek who has a head the shape of a butt. He can’t stop farting, and his special ability is making people fart.

In addition there’s the adorable cat-like thing that keeps pushing people in front of a bus, and a poodle with a man’s face. Also, a plot that surrounds the singular embarrassment of being known to have taken a poop at school. Seriously.

Oh, and hey, did I mention that Yo-Kai, a product of Japan (of course) is so popular in its home country that the movie version beat out Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the box office?

Here’s the trailer for the show, which gives a good idea of what it’s all about:

As I said, the show is weird. Like, capital W Weird if you’ve never seen really weird Japanese anime. So if you’re like me and my lovely wife, you’ll probably at some point find yourself asking out loud to know one in particular “What did I just watch?” But it’s also surprisingly funny at times, incredibly over-the-top, and we all enjoyed the episodes we watched a lot. The music was catchy, especially.

yokai_watching

The best part though, at least for us, is definitely the toys and how well they integrate into the show. Just like Nate, the kids each donned a special Yo-Kai Watch, and were able to “summon” their favorite Yo-Kai by inserting special medals (called “Medalliums”) to activate unique sounds. Also included were small toys of the various Yo-Kai themselves, and a nifty binder where you can keep your collection of medals as it grows. There is also an app (available for iOS and Android) that allows you to interact with the Yo-Kai you’ve collected.

This is a really cool collect-and-trade sort of thing, and I can see why it’s becoming so popular.

Yo Kai Watch watches

We had a great time with our Yo-Kai Watch watching party!

Yo-Kai Watch can be seen on Disney XD, and if you want to know more about Yo-Kai, you can find them all over social media and the web here: Yo-Kai World | Yo-kai Watch on Facebook | Yo-kai Watch YouTube | Hasbro on Twitter

Disclosure: I was sent a box of Yo-Kai Watch toys and a screener DVD, and am being compensated for this post. All opinions are either my own, or those of the watch party attendees.

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Four Things About Marvel Universe LIVE That Will Blow My Kids’ Minds!

Four Things About Marvel Universe LIVE That Will Blow My Kids’ Minds!

In just a few more weeks, our family will be eagerly racing to the Moda Center here in Portland, for one of the most anticipated activities we’ve ever done — the Marvel Universe LIVE show.

I’m so excited, because I know this is going to absolutely blow their minds. Why? Well…

1) All of Their Favorites Will Be There

My sons have inherited their father’s ability to learn every detail about his favorite things, especially when it comes to superheroes. As a result, they doesn’t have one or two favorites, he has dozens. Due to various issues involving who has the rights to which character though, the Marvel movies can’t get them all in one place on the screen. But in this show? Every one of them will be making an appearance.

Avengers-Assemble-Image-courtesy-of-Field-Entertainment

The Marvel Universe LIVE show features not only the headliners from the Avengers movies like Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor, but also Spider-Man, and the X-Men, as well as characters like Captain Marvel who have yet to make the move to the big screen, AND many of these heroes’ respective villains. It’s going to be quite the party!

2) High Flying Heroes

falconTwo of my preschooler’s favorite heroes are Iron Man and Falcon, and in this show he will get to see both do what they do best — take to the sky in high-flying, high-speed action.

Marvel Universe LIVE has the largest and most sophisticated flying system of any live touring show, and I cannot wait to see his face when Falcon swoops overhead!

3) Stunts, Stunts, and More Stunts

captainamerica_motorcycleIn addition to the aerial stunts, Marvel Universe LIVE features incredible, up-close stunts by some of the best in the business, including car chases, motorcycles, and even people on fire. Yes, PEOPLE ON FIRE.

I can’t wait to hear my oldest try to figure out how they manage to pull all of this off. This will be a pretty big change from the last time my kids were in the Moda Center and watched college basketball.

4) Something New

lokiOne of my favorite things about this show is that it isn’t just rehashing the Marvel movies with live actors. Marvel Universe LIVE features a unique, authentic storyline all of its own that draws inspiration from both the beloved films and TV shows AND the comics where these characters were born.

I can’t wait! Can you tell?

Portland, OR Show Details

Marvel Universe LIVE runs in Portland, OR at the Moda Center (One Center Court, Portland Ore. 97227) from Thursday, March 3 – Sunday, March 6

  • Thursday, March 3 @ 7:00 PM
  • Friday, March 4 @ 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, March 5 @ 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
  • Sunday, March 6@ 1:00 PM & 5:00 PM

marveluniverseTickets

Prices range from $25, $35, $50 (VIP) and $75 (Gold Circle)

Kids (ages 2-12) tickets available for only $15 each on select performances* 

Opening Night special discount tickets available for $20 for select seating**

Tickets are available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or visit the Moda Center Box Office.

For Group sales, please contact the Rose Quarter at 503-963-4400.

Tickets may be subject to service charges, facility and handling fees.

*kids discount only valid for Fri 7pm, Sat 7pm and Sun 5pm shows on select seating
**not valid for premium VIP/Gold Circle levels


Disclaimer: In exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog Feld Entertainment is provided me with complimentary tickets to the show. All opinions, however, are my own and those of my kids!

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Marvel Universe LIVE Is Coming to PDX!

Marvel Universe LIVE Is Coming to PDX!

My kids are huge fans of All Things Marvel. From the cartoons, to the comics, to the movies, they’re developing encyclopedic knowledge of the characters and storylines like nobody’s business.

SO when I found out that the new show Marvel Universe LIVE! is coming to Portland (check out the full schedule of cities here), I was ecstatic. We’re taking the kids, and they have no idea what’s in store.

Marvel Universe LIVE! is an original story that features the largest assembly of Marvel super heroes and villains ever, including Spider-Man, the Avengers, X-men, Loki, Doc Ock, Green Goblin, and more. There are slso car and motorcycle stunts, and even people on FIRE. Seriously!

There are 7 shows in Portland at the Moda Center between March 3 and March 6, with tickets ranging from $25 to $75. Kids can get $15 tickets for some performances. Looking for a great deal? There are also $20 discount tickets available for opening night!

Avengers-Assemble-Image-courtesy-of-Field-Entertainment

Watch for more information and a review of the show soon!


Disclaimer: In exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog Feld Entertainment is provided me with complimentary tickets to the show. All opinions, however, are my own and those of my kids!

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My Mother’s Eggnog

My Mother’s Eggnog

Family traditions are funny things. We follow them for years, and often have no idea why.

Nothing hammers that home like getting married and having to navigate the combining of old traditions, even as you make traditions of your own with your partner and family. It often means taking a long look at the traditions you have, and why, and which are worth continuing. And no time of year has more tradition than Christmas.

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A Red Car, Four Strapping Lads, and an Exploding Tire

A Red Car, Four Strapping Lads, and an Exploding Tire

Do you remember your first car? Of course you do. It’s one of those things you never forget, right?

I always hear about kids being given their first car as a gift, like these teens meeting this milestone in this new ad from Michelin USA

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#FitKitchen Tries Out for the Role of my Kitchen “Wingman”

#FitKitchen Tries Out for the Role of my Kitchen “Wingman”

If there’s one thing people know about me, it’s that along with being a dad, singing, and drawing, one of the things I love most is cooking. I write here and on my Facebook page often about the recipes I love, and the new foods I’ve discovered and want to try making at home. One of the “perks” of being an at-home dad is that I am responsible for most meals, which means I often get to cook the things that I want to cook for the family.

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I Want Milk for Father’s Day

I Want Milk for Father’s Day

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my six years as a stay-at-home dad, it’s that establishing — and honoring — routine can save your sanity. Whether it’s a scarily complex bedtime routine, a daily walk, or a weekly family movie night, kids do really well when they feel like they have some comfort in knowing what’s in store.

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A Good & Honest Easter

A Good & Honest Easter

As parents we like to have a plan, but a huge part of being a parent is thinking on your feet. Sometimes it’s how to answer a difficult question posed by a kid. Sometimes it’s figuring out how to clean up a major diaper blow-out with no wipes on hand. Sometimes it’s explaining to your curious toddler why that nice police officer just pulled you over. Sometimes it’s navigating the unspoken social contracts on playground. Sometimes it’s just doing whatever you possibly can to get your baby to sleep.

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Wow, The Book of Life looks amazing! [#BookofLife Prize Pack #Giveaway]

Leave it to Guillermo del Toro to produce an animated movie that looks unlike anything I’ve ever seen before in a major production. I just love the look of this movie, foregoing the recent “as photo realistic as possible” trend in animation and instead drawing deeply on the rich mythology and visual style of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) to make something truly unique and beautiful.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what director Jorge Gutierrez has put together. Word is that when he started work on this film, he said to his designers and animators that his goal was to have the final movie live up to the incredible conceptual art that he so often saw in “The Art of…” books for many movies, but never seemed to make it to the final screen. From the looks of things, he has succeeded.

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Foodie Friday #ShroomTember: Mushroom-Stuffed Ricotta Gnocchi w/ Mushroom-Herb Browned Butter

Foodie Friday #ShroomTember: Mushroom-Stuffed Ricotta Gnocchi w/ Mushroom-Herb Browned Butter

All of my life, I have hated mushrooms.

My memories of mushroom-aversion run deep and wide, all the way back to that traumatic time as a kid when my gag-reflex over being forced to eat the mushrooms on my plate got me into what I thought was some terribly unjust trouble.

Over the years though, I came to start appreciating mushrooms’ culinary uses. Contrary to my long-standing belief that it was their ability to “absorb” flavors that was supposed to make them great — a claim I always found dubious — I found instead that they were actually an excellent source of flavor themselves.

Eventually I would find out why, when I came to be familiar with the concept of umami, the so-called “fifth taste” beyond those of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Sometimes it’s explained as “savory,” but the Japanese word actually translates to give a meaning more like “deliciousness.”  Umami is something found in foods which are high in glutamates, and one of the highest glutamate foods is, as it turns out, mushrooms. With this knowledge — and frankly, having married a woman who loves mushrooms — I was happy to begin experimenting with using mushrooms in my cooking. As it turns out, they’re actually really good when given a chance. Who knew?

A few weeks ago, my friends at Life of Dad approached me about joining them as they help the Mushroom Council celebrate Mushroom month this September. Or as they are calling it: #ShroomTember.

Their request? Come up with a quick and easy mushroom recipe, and encourage others to do the same, for a chance at winning $500 for the best recipe.

I’m more than happy to oblige!

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The Summer #EarthtoEcho Movie Prize Pack Giveaway!

The Summer #EarthtoEcho Movie Prize Pack Giveaway!

When I think back to when I was a kid, science-fiction movies were my fertile imagination’s bread-and-butter.

Sure, there was Star Wars, which of course I loved. But it was about grown-ups who lived far, far away, a long time ago. What I really loved were those great standalone movies where kids (like me!) got thrust into the adventure: The Last Starfighter, Flight of the Navigator, Explorers, and of course, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.  As I’ve grown up, new movies that play on the same theme have rocked my socks off, like The Iron Giant, and Super 8.

When I started seeing trailers for Earth to Echo I could tell it was exactly the sort of movie I would have gone gaga over when I was a kid. I’m so looking forward to watching it with my boys when they are old enough. Tucker has been enamored ever since he discovered that one of the characters is also named Tuck. 🙂

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I Interviewed my Preschooler about Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

When I was asked if I would be interested in making a fun video interviewing my son about space to help celebrate the release of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey on DVD and Blu-Ray, you can bet I jumped at that chance.

And fast.

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This is the #PowerofDad

This is the #PowerofDad

From even before the time my boys were old enough to start brushing their teeth, we’ve had a little routine around our house about how we get it done before bed.

And like most things around here, it relies on a fun and memorable song. My wife and I being who we are, we even throw in some harmonies:

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