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This feature is brought to you in collaboration with Pentel of America. Ready to make your artwork POP?

There's so many wonderful things about being a parent, but for me one of the highlights is being able to look upon our daughters as they explore their own creative endeavors. Imagination is a powerful thing, and as a grownup storyteller there's always a burning desire to return to a simpler time - a time during childhood where it seemed that anything could be possible, and the simple act of putting a pen to paper could bring forth colorful new creations, new worlds and new adventures. Of course that is still possible, the difference being that now I prefer using my words to do those things, putting the duties of artwork in more capable hands when the professional need arises. But creating art is a soothing thing with so many benefits, whether you're drawing or coloring the experience can be magical. 

Published in General News

This Back to School Special Feature is brought to you in collaboration with Music & Arts...

The "summer slump" is real, and it doesn't just have to do with what we as parents think of as the subjects in which kids normally tend to fall behind during the mid-year break. There's always a lot of emphasis on kids forgetting what they've learned, particularly in areas like reading and math, but even electives can fall off - and sometimes those are harder to get back into when the time comes. I know that this is true, and that's because we're living it right here at our house. Even if it's an activity that kids love to do - like playing a musical instrument - there's so many things vying for attention and the skills get a bit "rusty." That's certainly in no way a slight to the other activities as kids need time for free play and to have adventures - but now that the school year is upon us, it's time to get things back on track! In our house it's guitar and recorder that have the focus right now.

Published in Music News

This Back to School feature is brought to you in collaboration with pediped footwear.

It seems like the kids just got out of school (and really, they did), and while we've had a busy summer that's been filled with adventure, we're now staring down back-to-school season. The summer's seem shorter all the time, and soon the school bell will ring and the kids will be rockin' the halls once more. This also means that it's time for back-to-school (BTS) shopping, an experience that can be both fun and daunting for kids and parents alike. BTS shopping is an investment in our kids, and in just a few short years of having little ones in elementary school, we've learned the importance and occasional disappointment in what we buy. Shoes are a big part of that investment, especially for families with more than one child. You want your kids to have shoes that are comfortable, healthy, stylish and you want them to last. pediped has a mission of comfort, quality and style - and in that order, and for 2018 they're a #RockFatherBTS pick! 

Published in Fashion

I originally planned on posting this on August 15. I wish I would've, but more time-sensitive things got in the way over the course of the past two weeks. Most of this has been written, sitting as an unpublished draft awaiting release to the public for the purpose of standing up for what's right. For standing up for the power and glory of all-things pumpkin spice!

You see, it's that time again. As the kids are back-to-school, your favorite (and not-so-favorite) retailers are gearing up for the holidays. In fact, it seems that there's more holidays than ever these days (every day is a "National _____ Day" of some kind), but as we look toward the end of the year, it's the "Big Two" that always loom large: Christmas and Halloween. In many cases, "Christmas in July" is more than a simple advertising promotion, and chains like Hobby Lobby are locked, stocked and ready to rock with the festive gear as early as June. As we hit August, familiar shades of orange and black start popping up with increasing frequency as Back-to-School departments are flipped in preparation for the most glorious day of the year, October 31. And, just as signs of the holidays begin to appear, it's time once again for chronic complainers to start whining about what they deem "too early" (online it's usually done with excessive CAPS and !!!), and likewise many media outlets to start running what's basically a stock article at this point about "Christmas Creep" and the like. Newsflash: none of this is new, and the true problem lies in the complainers and their ridiculous "outrage."

Published in James' Journal

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Snyder’s-Lance. All my opinions are that of James Zahn, The Rock Father™. #pmedia #Pop4Captain http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Are you ready for adventure? This summer, Captain Underpants took a flying leap from the printed page of the best-selling book series, landing on cinema screens to the delight of families everywhere. Now, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is coming home on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD September 12, and now is the perfect time to pre-order the movie from Walmart and make plans for an epic early fall movie night. I've got a few tips to help you make the most of it, with snacks from Pop Secret and Lance, along with some free printables that the kids will love!

Published in Movies, TV and More

Warner Bros.' The LEGO Batman Movie has proven to be one of 2017's biggest hits - a follow-up to 2014's The LEGO Movie, but one with perhaps even more appeal to families that embrace the desire for adventure. Like it's predecessor, our kids have had a desire to take the film with them, and that's something we've seen from the start. When General Motors showed off the Chevrolet version of The LEGO Movie Batmobile at The Chicago Auto Show back in February, my oldest daughter was right there rockin' her LEGO Batman backpack. When a LEGO Batgirl costume popped up at Walmart - the girls had to have it. And by summer, the movie was available on Digital HD, and the girls insisted that it be added to the iPad for the road. In fact, on our June trip to the lake house in Wisconsin, we traveled with a LEGO Batman pack. 

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