Posts Tagged ‘dove’

I Went to Dad 2.0 and All You Got Was This Lousy Recap

It was four hours past the the day I turned 41, and I stumbled into a dark hotel room covered in the smells of whiskey, Texas, and things best forgotten. The night had grown stale and suddenly quiet. I threw my clothes on the floor and I fell asleep immediately.

The morning found me relatively fresh and thankful for it. I was at the Dad 2.0 Summit in Austin, Texas, and I had a reputation to live up to — the drinking was only part of it.

The other part was crying in public, which is something of a running joke among those that have seen me speak on the topic of parenting. Turns out I’m a freaking sap. (Also a sap, Robert Candelino of Dove Men+Care, a sponsor and speaker that lost it on stage. I’m only bringing it up because a) it was quite touching, and b) hello? When Doves Cry). Luckily, I managed to forgo my own tears this round (barely), much to the chagrin of those that enjoy such things. Rest assured, I didn’t let them down on the drinking.

But it wasn’t all beer and bourbon.

The Dad 2.0 Summit was an amazing meeting of parent bloggers and brands — a public place for parent relations, which sounds weird now that I typed it, but I’m leaving it in. Somewhere in the distance that’s what she said.

Blogging conferences seem to appear at just the right moment. I have been in this space for a long time by most standards, and I find that my passion for it tends to wax and wane like so many moons and other things that cows jump over. It is safe to say that recent events and the lack thereof had me on the wane. There was thought of turning away.

I am as unemployed as I have ever been, leaving me embarrassed, stressed, and flirting with depression. I thought about skipping the conference. It was only due to a series of phone calls with an impassioned Doug French, one of the founders of Dad 2.0 (also, John Pacini), that I somewhat reluctantly decided to make the trip despite the funds involved and the lack of them coming in. I’m glad I did.

I was greeted by familiar faces (lots of the DadCentric team!) too numerous to mention here (plus I know I would forget someone and subsequently feel like a jerk), and many new faces that became fast friends. What can I say, I’m a people person.

There were engaging conversations about parenting, dads, writing, media, brands, and peanut brittle. Who decided it was a holiday thing? Peanut brittle is awesome all year.

There were things to do, things to learn, and things that I will never forget. There were also plenty of things that didn’t apply to me at all, which is fantastic, because they were presented in an open and honest manner, allowing for curiosity and contemplation when needed, or judgmental silence where warranted.  And sometimes I was just looking toward the distance and thinking about my family.

I managed to find room in my bag for a big box of Legos and pinned my newfound focus next to the heart on my sleeve. I had gone to Austin in hopes of finding what I wanted, a job, which didn’t happen, but I came home with something equally important (though less help financially) — I came home with what I needed, and that feels pretty damn good.

No, it wasn’t peanut brittle.


This is the only picture I took. It is the only picture I needed.

(My roommates Muskrat & Chad performing Unchained Melody Remix: Ghost in the Machine)

And a couple of photos that Charlie took so that he could enjoy me at his leisure:

Here I am blowing (save it) out the candle on my birthday cake thing which I then shared with the 10 other bloggers at the table. Yes, I’m eating soup and salad. I believe I have already established that I am sensitive like that. Special thanks to Bruce and Charlie for buying my birthday lunch!

And this is what Andy (Betadad), Charlie (How to be a Dad), and I do when we sit outside a gas station for two hours waiting on a cab. Yes, we were posing for album covers. So what? The band is called DadShart. We’ll be touring this spring. Mostly smooth jazz.




For the purpose of total transparency, let me say that I stole the following thank you list of sponsors from John Cave Osborne. Literally, I broke into his blog when he was out grilling eggs or whatever the hell they do in Tennessee and just took it. He had it coming.

Much thanks to  the sponsors of Dad 2.0Johnson & JohnsonKinect for Xbox 360HondaLGZatarain’sCLRDoveLegoPhilips NorelcoScottsMiracle GrowShot@life.orgSpareOne, and Tide.

I didn’t steal this part (but I would have): I would also like to thank my fellow panel members: Andy, Jason, and Mike.

Also, I got shot. Thanks to Stacy for reminding me of what was, obviously, a very dark time for me.

Don’t worry, I’m okay. Relatively.

Photo by Caleb, who was, as always, exceptional.


Products I Like That You Might Also Enjoy — Now in Post!

This is going to be a long one. No, that’s not what she said. It was me. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, people.

Anyway, what I’m trying to type is that it is once again time to clean out the ol’ review closet. That means you’re all winners. Except there isn’t a giveaway. Remember, someone famous once said, “I’ll only review stuff that is worth reviewing,” and I said it on this very blog. What does that mean to you, the winners? I’m glad I pretended that you asked, because the following items are things that either I, or a member of my family, enjoyed, and as such we believe that you, or a member of your family, would also enjoy them. It’s all about the giving.

She did say that one.

Now, stuff:

Did you know that Duran Duran is touring in support of a new album? The record is called All You Need is Now, and OH. MY. GOD. that is so true. The new stuff is actually really good, but a recent show in L.A. proved that the old stuff holds up pretty well, too.

Also holding up well? Duran Duran. Seriously, the guys look better than they did when I was a kid (at which time they were also kids). It was like watching Brad Pitt and the Cloonettes up there (which, by the way, should totally be a band).

If you get a chance to see Duran Duran in concert you should do it. Tell them I sent you, I’m sure they’ll remember me. On a side note, don’t yell, “Rio!” over and over. They’ll get to it.


When I opened the Freaky Pets box I knew I was in trouble. There was one cute little toy in there, just chillin’, and two cute little boys behind me, not chillin’. I braced myself for the fight.

Luckily, my children tend to surprise me from time to time, and this was one of them. They actually shared the Freaky Pet, which is a plush creature that turns inside out — yes, inside out, and goes from cute to “cranky” in about three seconds flat. Also, online virtual world.

Did that just blow your mind?

Kids can personalize, train, and care for their Freaky Pets online. They can even connect with friends online and play games with them too! The plush pets and 3-D game combine the timeless fun of collecting stuffed animals with age-appropriate content online. It’s the future, folks. And the future is now.


I took that picture with my iPhone. Now it’s hanging on the wall in our living room. No, I didn’t nail my phone to the wall (although, thanks to AT&T I’ve been tempted on several occasions). I went to Easy Canvas Prints and had the photo placed on canvas — hence their name. It was easy — more hencing.

All you have to do is pick the picture of your choice, upload it to their user-friendly site, and then pick from a few options (size and so forth). It took me all of five minutes. Of course, the hard part is picking the photo.

If you know me in real life you know that I look like a caveman, but smell like a clean caveman, and that’s because I’m a firm believer in twice-weekly personal hygiene management. Thanks to Dove and their line of men + smell good, I’m turning heads where I used to be wilting flowers.

The Dove® Men + Care™ line is formulated specifically for men who prefer a mild, unscented body and face wash that clinically fights dryness better than regular men’s body washes. Clinically, people. That’s like WebMD and shit.

It’s also hypoallergenic and is created without dyes and fragrances for sensitive skin, not that any man has that. Dove says that their new deodorants and antiperspirants are designed to last 48 hours, but I’ve had the same stick for weeks. The stuff works.

If you’d like to know more about man smells you can read skincare tips from Dr. Benabiothe, who is apparently an expert on such things, or tweet Dove Men + Care at @dovemencare.

If you know me in real life you know that I look like a caveman, a ruggedly handsome caveman, that’s because I stole that last part from Castle (and the first part from the Dove review above). It’s an awesome show on ABC staring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic as a writer and detective, respectively, that work together to solve crimes, create bestsellers and stir sexual tension. And it’s really funny.

Season Four just started on the TV box (which I don’t have, but I watch it on Hulu!), and Castle: The Complete Third Season just came out on DVD, which I do have, and I watch it accordingly. Still funny. Also, parenting skills.

FastPencil and Mercer Mayer have a new book called Mercer Mayer’s Little Monster Fun and Learn Book, which is better than it sounds. The book emphasizes early education and provides readers with learning fun in ABC’s, counting, and enjoying bedtime.

We received a copy in the mail today and the boys were immediately drawn to it. In fact, Atticus read the entire thing aloud to Zane over a bowl of Monsterpolitan cereal. IT. WAS. A. MONSTER. PARTY!

I’ll be reading the book again this evening — especially the part about enjoying bedtime.

Like Mercer Mayer on Facebook. I bet he’d like that.


And last, but not least, right before we moved I was sent a box of Green Lantern stuff. The graphic novel was fantastic, but not appropriate for my boys (definitely PG-13), and the animated version on DVD was equal on both accounts. However, the toys were unimaginative and not very well made, which seems wrong because Green Lantern is all about imagination. And staying in school, kids. Plus, the live-action movie looked so bad that I didn’t even see it. Still haven’t — and Green Lantern is one of my favorite heroes.

They did send Green Lantern rings though, which are so freaking awesome that I’m writing about it anyway. Darkest night and all that:

And there you have it, friends, reviews of things that I reviewed and more or less enjoyed (or my family more or less enjoyed them).

Disclosure: All of the items were sent to me by their respective manufacturers or PR Firms at no cost to me. The opinions, obviously, are my own. Please note, despite my having a bit of fun with the products I am very grateful for having had the opportunity to review them, and I thank those that thought enough to send them to me. San Dimas football rules.



The Wednesday Review! Contents Include Tidbits & News!

Hello, and welcome to a new feature which I’ll most likely only do once, the Wednesday Review! The Wednesday Review is where I review some products that were sent to me for said reviewing. I have a whole policy on this, which you can find here, but mark me, I don’t review something unless I like it. If I don’t like it then I wrap the item in newspaper and pass it off as a gift to one of my backup friends on their respective birthday and/or religious holiday. Unless it really sucks, then I’ll tell you all about it, because that’s my obligation to you, the reader.

If you read the fine print on the side of the box you will also undoubtedly be aware that this first, and possibly only, edition of the Wednesday Review! also includes tidbits and news! Contents may have shifted, but probably not.

First the tidbits and the news. I’m not really sure how to tell them apart, so tidbits and news will be lumped together for your reading enjoyment:

  • I got a new job! Actually, I got more than one, but only one is live and it’s a big deal (especially to my previously starving children). I’m now on staff over at BabyCenter as part of their FameBaby site. As a matter of fact, I just welcomed myself. In public.
  • You may recall me talking about my friend Troy Olsen and his new single.  Well, he’s doing great. Since my post, but not because of my post, he has been featured on iTunes twice. He’s also been all over some country charts and his Summer Thing video is popular on CMT.
  • The lovely Dan Hughes and his band of merry men and women are currently underway on their epic walk for a cause. The Hadrian’s Walk is an amazing undertaking and I’m truly sorry that my finances prevented me from being a part of it.  Yes, I know, we’re taking the family to Walt Disney World this summer, but a) the total cost of airfare, park tickets and accommodations for the four of us going to WDW is less than the airfare alone would have been for the two of us to fly to England, and b) holy crap, this vacation is biting me in the ass.
  • Adventure Time With Finn and Jake is freaking killing me. It’s probably not good for kids, as they talk about death, kidnapping, farts and being sexy, but I let mine watch it anyway. They can’t hear anything over my laughter.
  • I sell wine! Well, not me personally (although I used to sell wine personally at Cost Plus World Market many moons ago), but rather the Clever Girls Collective, of which I am a member — this despite my being neither clever or a girl, but I am collective and WINE!  There are deals and grapes and fancy descriptions and if you buy 3 bottles the shipping is FREE! Yes, free.

In closing (of this part), I have super, big and awesome things in the works that I can’t expand on at the moment because super, big awesome things didn’t fit in the title of this post, however, trust me, they are all that and more and I’ll be spilling as soon as possible, or as the kids say, ASAP.

This is turning out to be a really long post.

Okay, reviews! Reviews of stuff that I received for the sole purpose of reviewing! But only the things I like! Yes! You’ll see the crap I didn’t like on your birthday. Wrapped in newspaper.

Games from Hasbro: True story, until a few months ago we had a version of Chutes and Ladders that featured Dora the Explorer. The kids loved it and then subsequently broke it through a series of high kicks. We never had a version of Operation, but the neighbors did and the kids called it Surgery and it was good.

Enter the good people at Hasbro. They sent me two (2) games to review, a Toy Story 3 (and here’s my thought-provoking review of the film, free of charge) version of Chutes and Ladders and an Operation game that features Shrek. Needless to say, they’re a big hit.

The ladders go up, the chutes go down and everyone has a friend in me.  Also, Shrek has eaten things that would make the dog blush.

Please note, while I did not receive it there is also a Toy Story 3 edition of Connect 4, which can only mean one thing: sequel!

Okay, this is the part where you’re going to think I’m just angling for Hasbro to send me their entire Star Wars line (which would be awesome), but it’s the truth. Can you handle the truth? My kids freaking love these games, and here’s the weird part, we play them together as a family and we all have fun and there is NO TELEVISION REQUIRED, but sometimes we keep it on to watch the Daily Show.

Take that, video games and sexting!

And now for something completely different.

Man-bathing from Dove: No, they didn’t send me an actual man bathing, rather they inspired me to be one. Dove sent me a collection of their new (and first!) product line made exclusively for men: MEN+CARE.  To be clear, this is for men only, and if my wife is reading this she should consider herself warned. MEN+CARE has been known to grow hair on test animals. Of course those test animals were hairy men, but still, it could happen.

Perhaps you’re familiar with their “Wakey, Wakey” ad. Please note, there is no implication whatsoever that “wakey, wakey” should be followed by “hands off snaky.” You see, Dove is trying to market to men, not break them.

The items sent to me include the Active Clean shower tool, which is dual sided in case you’re entertaining, or even if you’re kind of boring. This isn’t your wife’s shower tool.  Insert crude joke here.

They also sent me Body and Face Wash as well as the Body and Face Bar. If you’re so dense as to have to ask the difference between the two, the wash has MICRO MOISTURE, duh. How the hell did you read this far? I swear.

The point is, the MEN+CARE line is made for men and it cleans deep and smells good. For the first time in years I can walk out of the shower not smelling like caramel butter and coconut mango. The guys in the locker room are ecstatic.

In fact, I just used it. Lean in and take a whiff. That’s man clean, baby.

And so, four hours into this post and I still have items left to discuss.  I think that I’ve guaranteed the return of the Wednesday Review! Or maybe not.  I like to keep you on your toes (and reaching for the stars).

Thanks for playing.

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