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THE ROCK FATHER: THE POP CULTURE MAGAZINE FOR FAMILIES THAT ROCK.

Giveaway: Win The Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage II!

THE ROCK FATHER is a Step2 Brand AmbassadorAs a Step2 Brand Ambassador, my kids and I get to check out a lot of great new toys (here's the latest) - but there's no way we could possibly check them all out. Fortunately, I've met the other Step2 Ambassadors, and between the 10 of us, we've pretty much got the full line on lock. On a recent trip to Step2 HQ in Ohio, we took a look at the Neat & Tidy Cottage II - the enhanced, latest version of of the popular playhouse - complete with a charming exterior the resembles stone and wood, and plenty of built-in play features to give your kids (and the neighborhood) endless tools for quality, imaginative play. My friends and fellow Step2 Ambassadors Thrifty Nifty Mommy and Viva Veltoro have teamed-up to host a giveaway for the Neat & Tidy Cottage II, and now THE ROCK FATHER is in on the action, sharing your chance to win one of these great playhouses below!

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STAR WARS REBELS: SPARK OF REBELLION gets release dates for TV and DVD!

The much-anticipated STAR WARS REBELS has a release date release dates. The all-new animated series will debut with a one-hour movie entitled STAR WARS REBELS: SPARK OF REBELLION as part of a multi-platform launch across television, digital and DVD with the rollout beginning on September 29th and completing with the DVD release on October 14 (pre-order it now). Check out the synopsis, the new "Art Attack" short (funny enough, that was the title of my first short film back in 1989), and all the rollout dates and details below...

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Chicago: The Joffrey Ballet to hold Open Auditions for Children for THE NUTCRACKER...

Last year, my wife and I were invited to attend the opening night performance of THE NUTCRACKER by THE JOFFREY BALLET in Chicago. If I were to describe the show in one word, "magnificent" would be it, and for those wishing to let their children have a chance to be a part of this Chicago tradition, your chance has arrived. The folks at The Joffrey Ballet just sent over details on open auditions for this year's production...

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Back-to-School: Five Tips to ROCK THE LUNCHBOX with Healthy Foods...

Rock the LunchboxLast year, I covered ROCK THE LUNCHBOX here on THE ROCK FATHER in a move to share some healthy options for kids' lunches. For 2014, ROCK THE LUNCHBOX (a joint effort by Annie's, Applegate, HONEST Kids, Organic Valley and Rudi's Organic Bakery) is bigger than ever, and their 2nd Annual Lunch Box Report Card revealed that the needle has really moved toward "healthy," as 72% of kids now think it's "cool" to have healthy foods packed for school lunches - but there's still a need to shake things up with variety and excitement. With that in mind, ROCK THE LUNCHBOX partnered with Amelia Winslow of Eating Made Easy for some helpful tips on how you can ROCK your kids' lunchbox in the coming school year. Check 'em out below...

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National Lemonade Day: Recipe - Hornitos Tequila EL PADRE #ForGrownups

National Lemonade Day is tomorrow (August 20), and for those of you looking to celebrate with a rockin' lemonade with a little extra kick, the folks at Hornitos® Tequila have just the thing. They hit THE ROCK FATHER with a special recipe #ForGrownups, one that just might be "the ultimate adult lemonade" - the EL PADRE. With the quick and simple recipe I'm sharing with you below, you should be able to break out a classic spiked lemonade at home.

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WWE: Stephanie McMahon takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge #SmackDownALS #StrikeOutALS

WWEHaving now taken the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and having made a donation to the cause myself, I'm not sure how many more videos I can post about it... but since her husband Triple H already stepped up, it's only appropriate to share the challenge video from WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon. Shot last night after her victorious match against Brie Bella at WWE SummerSlam in Los Angeles, Stephanie took on a full garbage can of ice to answer the challenge of Maria Menounos in an effort to raise funds and awareness for The ALS Association in their efforts to combat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) aka "Lou Gerhig's disease."

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Listen: "Glycerine" from LULLABY VERSIONS OF BUSH by Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star...

While the folks at Roma Music Group already have LULLABY VERSIONS OF SOUNDGARDEN hitting the streets this Tuesday as part of their TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE ROCK STAR line, they've actually got another EP ready for the nursery that I'd overlooked - LULLABY VERSIONS OF BUSH (Amazon | iTunes). Yes, Gavin Rossdale and the gang are getting six of their most popular hits reworked into nursery-friendly jams for baby. Come to think of it, Rossdale's a father of four and his wife was already lullabied back in 2011 with TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE ROCK STAR: LULLABY VERSIONS OF GWEN STEFANI AND NO DOUBT. Preview "Glycerine" below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

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The Rock Father takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to #SmackDownALS #StrikeOutALS #IceBucketChallenge

Earlier this week, right after posting a video showing WWE COO Triple H participating in the "Ice Bucket Challenge," I told my wife - "It's coming. Someone will challenge me to do this." What I didn't expect is that it would be her sister - my sister-in-law, throwing down the challenge... a challenge that arrived this afternoon. To do this proper and help to raise funds and awareness for The ALS Association in their efforts to combat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) aka "Lou Gerhig's disease," I promptly ran over to Home Depot to grab a 5 gallon bucket, but also hit the ALSA website to make a cash donation - something I encourage you to do as well. I'll show you mine... but will you show me yours?

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Back-to-School: Shopping for Fall Fashions at Gurnee Mills #GurneeBTS

Gurnee Mills: A Simon CenterI keep saying it, but I still can't believe we have a kindergartner here this year. Essentially, if you've been reading THE ROCK FATHER for awhile, you've seen Addie growing up, and while last year we were shopping for Pre-K, this year it's officially time for Back-to-School in preparation for "big girl" school - kindergarten. Gurnee Mills here in Lake County has always been a regular haunt for us, and this year we've teamed-up to show off some of the great fashions and supplies available at the largest value and outlet destination in Illinois (which is in the midst of a remodel and now boasts a fantastic "full-price" wing), by sharing our own Back-to-School shopping experience. This past week, my wife and I took the two girls (Little Finn is in on the action, too) to get decked out for Fall...

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Review: Disneynature BEARS (Blu-ray)

Released theatrically in-time for Earth Day this past April, Disneynature BEARS is a rarity when it comes to animal-based documentary films - one where the subjects of the film - the whole animal family - [SPOILER ALERT!] make it through alive. For parents, that means some worry-free viewing when it comes to enjoying it with the little ones, despite a little bit of peril here and there, which should be expected when dealing with (and teaching) nature.

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Review: The Home Depot Handyman Workbench by Step2 (Toys "R" Us Exclusive)

Step2 Brand AmbassadorAt some point in the past year, both of my girls - five-year-old Addie, in particular - started displaying a real interest in doing the things that Mommy and Daddy do. Then, around six months ago, Addie started requesting a tool box and a drill, constantly telling me, "I want to build things like you, Daddy," triggering my fairly easy-to-melt heart, and after seeing it a few times, the purchase of a Home Depot toolbox that's part of an exclusive line of products sold at Toys "R" Us. Fast-forward a few months, and as part of my gig as a Step2 Brand Ambassador, we received The Home Depot Handyman Workbench - one of a few new items for Fall 2014 that Step2 has created for TRU for that same exclusive line. It's funny how things work out sometimes, and this new arrival to our State-of-the-Art Toy Testing Facility (our house) really hit the sweet spot. Check it out, in-action at Rock Father HQ...

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Review: MUPPETS MOST WANTED (Blu-ray)

Download Muppets Most Wanted Recipes & Secret Identity It's long-been established that I've been a fan of THE MUPPETS practically since birth, having seen THE MUPPET MOVIE (1979), THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER (1981) and THE MUPPETS TAKE MANHATTAN (1984) on the big screen, not to mention being a regular viewer of whatever Muppets goodness I could catch on television - from SESAME STREET and THE MUPPET SHOW to FRAGGLE ROCK, MUPPET BABIES and EMMET OTTER's JUGBAND CHRISTMAS, just to name a few. I've even counted myself as a big fan of 1999's generally unappreciated MUPPETS FROM SPACE, so when The Muppets became a part of The Walt Disney family, I was excited to hear they'd be headed back to cinemas after a 12-year absence with 2011's THE MUPPETS. Thing is, as a parent, I don't get to hit the theatre nearly as much as I'd like to, and thus I ended up buying it for my little ones on Blu-ray, and when MUPPETS MOST WANTED rolled around this year... I missed the big-screen experience once again. That's ok, though, as the folks at Disney sent us the film on the just-released Blu-ray Combo Pack, and my girls are now old enough that by the time the next sequel rolls around, we'll be able to see it in the theater as a family...

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Chicago: DISNEY ON ICE presents PRINCESSES and HEROES comes to United Center...

The Feld Entertainment productions of Disney On Ice have become quite a tradition for us (I saw my first show back in 1981, which I wrote about here), and now as a Feld Family Ambassador, I'm always happy to help spread the word when they come back through Chicago. Disney On Ice presents Princesses and Heroes skates into United Center (get tix), September 10-14, 2014, bringing to life 10 action-packed scenes that feature a whopping 52 Disney characters for one of the most exciting shows they've ever had! Check out the full details below...

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THE ROCK FATHER is proud to work with the following Companies, Allies and Organizations:

PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent) Blogger The Rock Father is a member of the Sprout Kindness Crew The Rock Father is a 2014 Step2 Ambassador! Toy State Test Driver The Rock Father is a Weave Made Media Influencer2014 Fox Home Entertainment Insider - Blogger of the Month NETFLIX Stream Team - 2014 member Life of Dad Social Fabric USFGmemberbadge

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