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Made to Matter: Handpicked by TargetTHE ROCK FATHER has partnered with Life of Dad and KIND Snacks for this promotion. Why? Because he likes to work with people that rock, and they both do.

While our family has things pretty good, one thing we tend to lack on is outdoor adventure time as a complete unit of four. Scheduling is the main issue, between my wife's career and my work (which has changed a bit to where I'm a work-at-home-dad about 80% of the time), the The Rock Daughters™' school and now summer activities. There is always something going on, and while we have a pretty great life, there's a lot of adventures that tend to take place as a unit of three - with my wife and I flip-flopping the "parent at the helm" duties. The biggest challenge of every adventure is simply getting all four of us together at once and without something that "has to be done." That's why I was thrilled to partner with Life of Dad and KIND Snacks on their #KINDMilesMatter campaign - an effort to spend some family time logging some miles on foot, with the folks at KIND donating a box of snacks per mile for an organization of our choosing. Thing is, even here my schedule jammed me up. We were supposed to log miles between June 20 and July 6, and guess what? I was traveling for work for the entire first week of that (a rarity to be gone so long in one run), but it had to be done. 

THE ROCK FATHER loves Mac & Cheese, so he would’ve written about KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Dinner even if it wasn’t a sponsored post for Socialstars #Youknowyouloveit

As parents there are quite a few traditions that my wife and I have carried over from our own childhoods, putting a modern spin on them and sharing with our daughters. Most of those things could be considered more pop-cultural - the movies, the toys, the games but there aren’t many of are traditions that involve food. On the surface, that might seem a little odd, both of us coming from relatively large extended families, rooted in food-centric cultures of Italian and German heritage. Times have changed, as have tastes. And what we know about the things we eat - but one childhood tradition that we have carried on is just about as American as they come and continues to get better with age: KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Dinner.

When the UPS man arrives here at Rock Father HQ each day ("Package Man," as the girls call him), I sometimes receive some... shall we say, "interesting" things. Once in awhile, said items are oddly practical, and pretty on-the-mark for my personal tastes (or lack thereof). One of the latest oddities novelties to arrive is THE GRILL SERGEANT Grilling Apron from Big Mouth Inc. Yes, I have a well-documented Camo appreciation, and I also like G.I. JOE quite a bit. Perhaps it's because I feel like "A Real American Hero" of the grill... or maybe I'm sort of amused by the weird looks that the kids next door give me when I'm wearing it, but I dig this thing.

There's always that saying about "time flying" when you have kids, and the same applies to running this website. It was two years ago this month that I first shared our love for the innovative spill-proof travel mugs and bottles produced by Chicago-based CONTIGO, and here we are again. The folks at Contigo can't stop improving, and thus comes the latest additions to their Contigo Kids line - the 14oz AUTOSEAL® Gizmo Sip Water Bottle, and the 10oz AUTOSPOUT® Flip Chill Water Bottle. Each has its own set of benefits, and the technology packed into each bottle is the same great spill-proof action that my wife and enjoy each and every day in our own bottles and mugs. To get summer started off right, the folks at Contigo have provided me with two of each of these new bottles that we're going to give all of you a chance at scoring. Two (2) lucky readers will receive a prize pack that includes one (1) AUTOSEAL Gizmo Sip and one (1) AUTOSPOUT Sip Chill. Let's rock...

THE ROCK FATHER has partnered with Life of Dad and Pop Secret for the STAR WARS™ #PopWars promotion™ #PopWars promotion, and was compensated more handsomely than a Bounty Hunter working under the orders of Jabba the Hutt for his participation. 

There are few Pop Culture phenomenons big enough to warrant their own section here on THE ROCK FATHER, but the biggest is the one you'll be hearing about from me nearly every day until (and probably after) the December 18, 2015 theatrical release of J.J. Abrams' STAR WARS™: THE FORCE AWAKENS. Of course, it's STAR WARS™, and not just the films, but the entire lifestyle that surrounds it - from the toys and games, to the... well, food. This year, The Force is Strong with my friends at Pop Secret, who along with my brothers at Life of Dad have formed a Rebel Alliance to launch the #PopWars Pre-Popped Popcorn Video Contest, in which YOU can show your true mastery of The Force for a chance at over $1,000.00 in Pop Secret and STAR WARS™ prizes! It's all in celebration of the latest addition to the Pop Secret line of Pre-Popped Popcorn - "Extra Cheesy." Word at Mos Eisley is that it's Chewbacca's flavor of choice, but you won't have to pull the ears off a Gundark to get it!

THE ROCK FATHER loves Mac & Cheese, so he would’ve written about KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Dinner even if it wasn’t a sponsored post for Socialstars #Youknowyouloveit

There’s a lot of benefits to doing what I do, and the warmer months are where that largely becomes apparent. While the Rock & Roll Handbook clearly states that one should never wake up prior to noon, that’s doesn’t exactly work here, despite being “The Rock Father.” With my wife out the door at 6:30am and two little girls to get rolling for school, I’m up early - but working from home means that sometimes I can move “dinner” up a few hours, or just make something special for lunch. Grilled sausage at noon on a weekday, paired with KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese? That can happen.

THE ROCK FATHER™ has partnered with Life of Dad and STOUFFER’S® as a paid Ambassador for the #FitKitchen promotion. As always, opinions are that of James Zahn, though sometimes influenced by his kids.

THE "WINGMAN": Over the years, that term has meant many things to many people, often conjuring images of action - "Top Gun" fighter pilots flanked by other members of their squadron, heading into battle... or sometimes it's that same level of back-up while vying for the attraction of another - like the silly friend in a romantic comedy. Here in Illinois (especially this close to Chicago), it's a totally different life movie, and sometimes a good Wingman is simply an "associate" - something I can assure you that I know nothing about. No matter what the specifics, being a Wingman means being there for support, and right now I have a new Wingman here in my kitchen at Rock Father HQ - STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen Meals. Now, if you've been following me on Instagram (and if you're not, it would be a lot cooler if you did), you've probably seen one of the #AtTheGym selfies I've been posting late at night over the past 18 months. I've been on a mission to get into better shape, and eating better is a big part of that. That's where STOUFFER’S® Fit Kitchen steps-up to assist...

THE ROCK FATHER writes about Star Wars a lot. He also loves Mac & Cheese, so he would’ve written about KRAFT Mac & Cheese Star Wars Boxed Shapes dinner even if it wasn’t a sponsored post for Socialstars #Youknowyouloveit

The Force is strong in this household, but if you’re reading this, then you already know that. Growing up as a child of the 1980s, Star Wars was everywhere, and it’s interesting to see how in 2015 it’s everywhere once more. In fact, we might be living in the best time ever to be a Star Wars fan, and as we’re raising a new generation right now, it’s cool to see that goodness from a galaxy far, far away making it’s way into other aspects of our daily lives… like the dinner table. Like Star Wars, KRAFT Mac & Cheese Dinner has been a regular part of my existence for as long as I can remember… and I imagine that our girls will one day hold it in the same regard.

Returned, these #CerealWars have. General Mills has once again teamed-up with Disney/Lucasfilm to bring STAR WARS fans and cereal enthusiasts some galactic goodness in the form of six classic STAR WARS posters, reproduced in miniature and packed inside specially-marked boxes of select General Mills cereals, including Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Honey Nut Cheerios, Trix, Cookie Crisp and Reese’s Puffs. Fans will recognize the posters as the Original Trilogy "Special Edition" prints from 1997, which were an artistic match for the later Prequel Trilogy. Available now while supplies last, this is just a taste of what's to come, as an all-new STAR WARS CEREAL has just been announced - one that "will stick around and evolve as each additional STAR WARS movie is released." To celebrate, General Mills and THE ROCK FATHER are giving readers a chance to win a prize pack that will include two randomly-chosen boxes of cereal, and an additional STAR WARS mini-poster.  Will The Force Be With You?

Dairy Queen - #GetUpsideDownTHE ROCK FATHER is participating in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Dairy Queen. He has been compensated for his participation.

I remember when Dairy Queen first introduced the Blizzard back in 1985. Yes, it was the year of BACK TO THE FUTURE and THE BREAKFAST CLUB, G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO finally became a regular series, and on a more "rock" note, it was the year that the infamous Senate hearing from the PMRC brought Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider to testify alongside John Denver and Frank Zappa. In the three decades since, much has changed, but the DQ Blizzard prevails and has become a family tradition here at Rock Father HQ, enjoyed with our daughters just as my wife and I enjoyed them with our parents as children. Now, to celebrate 30 years of tasty Blizzard greatness and the 75th "Fanniversary" of DQ as a whole, Dairy Queen is inviting everyone to #GetUpsideDown this month for an Oreo Blizzard, which will be served upside down or your next one is free (at participating locations).

THE ROCK FATHER is participating in a sponsored shop on behalf of #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. Even when it's not compensated by a sponsor, he writes about this stuff anyway. #KidsChoiceDrink.

Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards at Rock Father HQ

The 28th Annual Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards will be broadcast on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 8pm ET/PT, and this year, Capri Sun Roarin' Waters is on-board as the Official Drink Sponsor. Here at Rock Father HQ, the girls and I have already been prepping for the show, and the first thing we did was get our votes in. As you might've already gathered from reading my site (and if you're reading these words now, I assume you've read others), when it comes to Nickelodeon, there are four words that reign supreme for The Rock Daughters (Addie and Finn): TEENAGE. MUTANT. NINJA. TURTLES.

I've been known to say that the "Keurig is one of the greatest inventions of the past twenty years," but as recent history has been showing us, it's more about the single-serve K-Cup itself, and less about the machine and brand. As a regular coffee drinker (something that runs in the family - my Great Grandfather was a professional coffee taster), and one often on-the-go, the convenience of the K-Cup was what held the most appeal, and in that, our machine was glorious. My wife and I loved our Keurig enough that we gave them as gifts, but for our own machine, its days were numbered. At almost the same time that our new iCoffee Opus arrived here for review from Remington Designs, our Keurig was shot - it's demise coming after leaking for several months. My wife was not pleased, and was hesitant to pitch it, even though we had a new single-cup brewer here at HQ. The looming question being - could this relatively-unknown brewer take on the ones from the dominating Green Mountain Coffee Empire?

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