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Tuesday, June 20 2017 09:59

The Legend of the Lucky Charms

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Presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and General Mills #LuckyCharms

When it comes to the world of breakfast cereal, the halls of General Mills are legendary. Within the sacred confines of this breakfast behemoth lies secrets that children and families have been trying to unlock for decades (like where Sir Grapefellow and Yummy Mummy are hiding). Behind each door, a pathway opens to incredible new worlds inhabited by mythical creatures,iconic monsters and colorful characters each of whom have played a vital part in creating memorable breakfast experiences for generations.

Thursday, June 15 2017 00:00

Coffee & Rock: Ready to Roll for Father's Day

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This #ShouldBeOnACoffeeMug feature is brought to you in collaboration between The Rock Father, The J.M. Smucker Company and Life of Dad.

June is an important month around here, but it’s also a slightly weird one. Being that Father’s Day sits around the mid-month mark, that’s usually a signal for a huge influx of pitches I start getting from companies looking for some last-minute coverage in hopes of reaching families before the annual celebration of Fatherhood. Most of those don’t resonate with me, and some are fairly ridiculous -- many of them coming from folks I don’t hear from during the rest of the year. It’s almost like having a second birthday.  You see, I don’t need a “day” to celebrate what I am and always will be, but Father’s Day does hold some additional importance here - significance well-beyond selling greeting cards, novelty ties and coffee mugs (but remember that last one). I flipped the switch on this website on Father’s Day seven years ago. And our youngest daughter was born on Father’s Day weekend back in 2012. In life, there’s certain things that are ever-present, and for me, coffee is one of those things. Yes, coffee… and there’s familial importance. You could say that there’s “coffee in my blood,” but the more accurate a statement would be that it’s actually in my DNA. A close relationship with coffee has a lineage in my family, and that’s something that I’ve written about before. My great grandfather… my father’s grandfather, my grandmother’s father… he was a coffee taster by trade. My first name was his middle name.

This special feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™, Cheerios and Life of Dad.

Parenting is a balancing act. It doesn’t matter whether your’re a dad or a mom, being responsible for the lives of little human beings can be a daunting task. It’s a gig that goes in waves and cycles, with each passing year, a flip of the calendar that simply shuffles the deck to bring in new challenges - just as the kids take on new activities. Here at Rock Father HQ, our balance includes a corporate gig for my wife (a 40-mile commute twice a day, five days a week), a weird schedule for me that now involves travel roughly once a month, and then balancing those responsibilities with our girls. Two school schedules - one in full-day, one in half-day - plus all the other things like ballet, gymnastics, swimming lessons, girl scouts, theatre camp… and whatever else might happen to plug itself into the mix. It sounds like a lot because it is - but we love it, and we make it work, but that deck is always stacked, and the right balance is key. When something gets out of whack (and it has… many times), the whole thing can come tumbling down for a reset. Just like a stack of wooden blocks… or a well-balanced stack of delicious Cheerios.

I'll fully admit to being a Craver - a loyal follower of the delicious sliders served-up at White Castle. Apparently there's some folks who are a lot more hardcore than I - and for more than a decade, there have been more than 75 "Craver weddings" held at various locations across the country. Now, White Castle is making it a bit more official, and they're launching their first national wedding contest to award one happy couple the ultimate Royal Wedding in Las Vegas and a luxurious five-night honeymoon in Belgium. Want to get married at White Castle in Las Vegas? If you're craving marriage, then this one is for you...

Friday, April 28 2017 23:13

There's a New MOTÖRHEAD Beer on the Way...

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A lot of bands both current and past have had beers brewed in their honor of late, and I've sort of developed an affection for those limited-edition drinks. In fact, I have some Megadeth and Iron Maiden beers just a few feet from me here in the office at Rock Father HQ as I type these words about the latest brew to be inspired by MOTÖRHEAD. It's not the first beer to be licensed by the band, but the first in a series from Amplified Ale Works. The MOTÖRHEAD Born to Lose IPA is described as "a boldly aggressive West Coast-style IPA, befitting of the band's loud, aggressive style."

Living in the suburbs of Chicago for most of my life (and making a slingshot from far south to far north), I'm still occasionally pleasantly surprised by finding great new areas to explore. Until this month, I had no idea what a vibrant scene could be found in Downtown Naperville, a city located about 30 miles west of Chicago, and about an hour south of Rock Father HQ. After dropping the girls off at Grandma's for the evening, my wife and I set out for an adventure - one anchored by dinner at The Craftsman by Two Brothers. I'd had a long-standing invitation* to check out what Two Brothers has been doing, not only at The Craftsman, but also at their Brewery and Tap House in Warrenville, but simply hadn't had a chance until now. From what we saw in Naperville, I can tell you that there's some impressive things afoot for foodies and beer lovers alike.

A baby food company wants you to get it on. Indeed, more of that can equal more mouths to feed in the long run, so it makes good business sense to encourage said activity. This is something I know well, as I've often joked to my wife that my entire current career path is completely based on the fact that we got it on at some point back in 2008, the end result being the birth of our first daughter in 2009, and thus, my being dubbed "The Rock Father." This site... these words... they wouldn't exist had it not been for my prowess, probably on a couch or something. Turns out, that's not completely the point of Plum Organics' Do Your Part(ner) campaign. Check this out...

Sunday, February 05 2017 20:35

Life Hack: Bonding with Children and Maximizing Time

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Presented in partnership with Life of Dad and Cheerios...

My wife and I talk about it often - time (specifically, lack thereof) being a big issue for us as parents. As kids, we heard grownups talk about "time flying," but until you're actually an adult and a parent yourself, you just don't realize it. From a scientific standpoint, time is the same - but there has to be a correlation between size and time. When you're a little kid, the days seem to go forever. When you're physically bigger, the days seem shorter. There's also a chance that I made that up, but time is most certainly an issue. We want to spend time with our kids - time that increases the bond between parent and child - and that means utilizing our superior time management skills to "get stuff done," while still being there for our kids. What I'm saying is that I'm not opposed to eating breakfast in the shower. I get to save time by watching the girls brush their teeth, while I get clean and save a step by doing it fully-clothed. Seriously, just watch the video...

I have always been an unapologetic meat-eater. I've heard all sides of the debate for and against, and I choose to remain carnivorous in nature. What many don't realize is that I'm the only true meat eater in our house. The Rock Daughters™ have never eaten beef, fish or pork. The exception is poultry (chicken/turkey), but the girls have never had a bite of the others, and it's because they've followed my wife. Similarly, filmmaker Kevin Smith has a daughter, Harley Quinn, who has also followed her mother's path - but to the full-blown vegan side of things. The folks at Farm Sanctuary sent over a video that features the duo discussing #CompassionateMeals, and I feel it's worth sharing. If anything, it is food for thought...

THE ROCK FATHER™ has partnered with Life of Dad and Idahoan® Foods for this promotion. Is he the #KingOfSoup? That’s for you to decide…

I have a long-standing mission to eat better, and make more food at home. Over the past few years, I’ve gotten a lot better at it, learning to cook as I go, firing up the grill even in winter, and making a constant attempt to bring that restaurant flavor to the kitchen at Rock Father HQ. When my wife and I used to go out on a more frequent basis (the pre-parenting era), I was a big fan of steakhouses. Actually, I still am - but the trick was always that my wife is a non-meat-eater. She loves the potato soup, though, and until recently, I couldn’t properly pull it off at home… but that just changed.

Wednesday, December 28 2016 22:31

Cooking-Up Memories with Pampered Chef Kids...

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This Rock Father Kitchen feature has been brought to you in partnership with Pampered Chef

As we close the book on 2016 and enter 2017, now is the perfect time to make a renewed commitment to cooking at home. Personally, I always avoid saying that anything is a "resolution," but I do like taking stock of things and refocusing for each new year. Eating at home is important, and like so many, we do stray the path, but always come back to teaching our children the joy and importance of making their own meals (and memories). The Kids' Cooking Set by Pampered Chef is a new addition to our kitchen, and one that embraces kids' seemingly natural love of two things: pizza and cookies. 

THE ROCK FATHER is a Folgers Preferred Partner...

When it comes to seasonal beverages, fall and winter tend to be my favorites, and coffee leads the charge. For the latter, nothing beats the warmth of a "Peppermint Mocha" during the holiday season, yet how exactly to make one is something of a debate. There's no shortage of recipes available for coffee drinks that have a dash of mint and chocolate, but most of them tend to be time-consuming, sometimes messy, and generally more complicated than they need to be. So what do I deem to be the Rock Father-approved way to bring a Christmas coffeehouse classic home for the holidays? After some trial and error in the kitchen here at Rock Father HQ, I'm going to share with you my recipe for the The Simplest Peppermint Mocha Recipe to Make at Home, and it starts with Folgers Coffeehouse Blend

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