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Last week, I shared some thoughts on the redesigned Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop Travel Mugs and how the #1 selling line of spill-proof travel mugs was able to improve upon what I already thought was perfection. Well, the #BestGotBetter, and after deeming the new mugs "Rock Father-Approved," Contigo and I have teamed-up to get one lucky reader hooked-up with a four pack of 16oz mugs (ARV $85!). With Fall pretty much here and the season for Pumpkin Spice upon us, it's a great time to refresh your mug selection with the best of the best!

For over a year, I've been singing the praises of Contigo and their crazy-good line of travel mugs and water bottles. As an on-the-go Dad with two little girls, there's a pretty good chance that we're rockin' some Contigo products whenever we're out and about. I'm a big coffee guy (I tend to mention that), and one of my personal favorites has been the AUTOSEAL West Loop (yes, named after a geographic region of Chicago) Stainless Travel Mug. It's always been the best spill-proof mug out there, but how can you improve on perfection? Well, the best got better, and Contigo just proved that. The secret is in the lid.

Regular readers of THE ROCK FATHER know that I'm a big fan of The J.M Smucker Company. Smucker's is an American tradition, so when I had a chance to visit their headquarters in Orrville, Ohio last Fall for their Holiday Traditions gathering, I jumped at it. While I had a great time and learned a lot (want a killer Brussels Sprouts recipe?), I couldn't help thinking that my family would like to visit there as well, so on our first-ever Great American Road Trip series, I took my wife and daughters to The J.M. Smucker Company Store and Cafe for a late lunch and a little bit of shopping as we made our way back to Illinois last month.

I love to think that there was a time - a time not long ago, just over a century ago - when you could build something in America that was able to become such a success, that an entire town could be named in it's (and your) honor. That happened when Milton S. Hershey created a "company town" that became known as Hershey, Pennsylvania, or "The Sweetest Place on Earth" back in 1894. Now, in addition to boasting the birthplace and main manufacturing hub for the Hershey's brands of chocolate-based goodness, Hershey, PA also includes a ballpark, arena, a theme park, and the original HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD. As part of our first Great American Road Trip series, my wife and I took the girls the Chocolate World last month to experience it as a family.

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 Homegrown, 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...

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.

Since at least 2008, I've been writing about the General Mills Monster Cereals every Fall, and since 2011 or so, I've done so right here on THE ROCK FATHER. Last year, General Mills finally caved in and took my advice, not only issuing COUNT CHOCULA, FRANKEN BERRY and BOO BERRY in Retro boxes exclusive to TARGET stores (I have a set of empty boxes here in my office), but they also brought FRUTE BRUTE and YUMMY MUMMY back from the dead. For 2014, the news comes a bit earlier than usual (this post's been on my "to-do list" since last week), but the General Mills Monsters are back - bringing back the core trio, but sadly the Mummy and the Brute are staying in the Crypt again this year. This year's exciting news is that General Mills has finally dumped the embarrassing CGI depictions of the characters that have been featured on the mass-market boxes for a few years, instead bringing forth new versions crafted by the skilled team at DC Comics. Let's take a look...

Alright, by now it should be no secret that I'm sort of an energy fiend - the type of guy who's up more than he sleeps, chasing around two little girls, having constant adventures while juggling work and their care - and generally I end up needing an occasional boost throughout the day. I'm up early and up way late, and once in awhile find myself dropping a 4-calorie 5-Hour ENERGY shot into the mix - either by itself, or mixed with a favorite beverage. The latter might seem more appealing for some, as the 5-Hour ENERGY shots can be strong in flavor, and the folks that make them know this. As such, they've launched their Yummification Contest in which YOU can take a shot at creating a yummy beverage that incorporates a 5-Hour ENERGY shot into the mix. Added bonus? 5-Hour ENERGY has teamed-up with THE ROCK FATHER to give you the chance to win a fantastic Prize Pack that includes a sample assortment of 5-Hour ENERGY shots and a $25 Visa Gift Card! Want to learn more? Take a peek and enter below...

#PretzelGuys is brought to you by Snyder's of Hanover and Life of Dad, LLC. THE ROCK FATHER was compensated for his involvement.  Virtual Metal Fingers! \m/ \m/

It's been a summer filled with adventure for my family, and with each special journey comes the preparation of a supply pack. For the most part, I usually reload my Camo-style Diaper Dude Diaper Bag with snacks, diapers, sunscreen, insect repellent and an assortment of extra clothing items for the kids - and this generally serves me well for those away-from-home adventures, whether it be the park, the zoo, the mall or wherever our search of fun and excitement will lead. But sometimes there's adventure to be had in our own backyard - right here at Rock Father HQ, and that means changing things up a bit... putting the Diaper Bag to aside and stocking the Guitar Case with some special treats for the girls - like America's Summer Favorites from Snyder's of Hanover.

Support Alex's Lemonade StandOn Wednesday, August 20, RED ROBIN will celebrate National Lemonade Day by helping to give back in support of ALEX'S LEMONADE STAND (ALSF) in their efforts to raise awareness to finding cures for all childhood cancers. Friends of THE ROCK FATHER are encouraged to stop by their local participating Red Robin restaurant on the 20th, where the Red Robin crew will host lemonade stands to serve Freckled Lemonade samples to guests and collect donations to support ALSF. Those who donate $5 or more will be given a yellow bracelet as a token of appreciation. Now, to help get the word out, Red Robin has team-up with THE ROCK FATHER for a giveaway, where you'll get a chance to score a $25 Red Robin Gift Card for helping us spread the word about Alex's Lemonade Stand!

Smucker's ToppingsAs we approach "The Dog Days of Summer," families looking to cool off and kick-back can always look forward to some quality time together while enjoying some frozen treats. This year, my friends at The J.M. Smucker Company are coming out of National Ice Cream Month with a full assortment of seven new Smucker's Ice Cream Toppings, and if being a parent has taught me anything - it's that kids love to top their ice cream. This weekend, the girls and I had a little #SundaeFundae party here at Rock Father HQ, emphasizing the ability to "Top it Your Way" with any of the new flavors that the folks at Smucker's sent our way. While having a party here is fun, we're spreading some of that summer goodness to all of you, and as such, THE ROCK FATHER and Smucker's have teamed-up for a #SundaeFundae Giveaway in which YOU could win the ultimate party pack to enjoy with your family!

Back when MTV Cribs was a big thing, there was an episode where MOTLEY CRUE drummer Tommy Lee was showing off with great excitement "The Starbucks" in his house. I love coffee... and I too, wanted a Starbucks in my house. But then the Keurig came out, and practically overnight, most of America seemingly had a Starbucks in their house. It's gotten more affordable to live the "Rock N' Roll Lifestyle" over the years, and another thing I'd always had my eye on where those dedicated beverage coolers you typically see under bars and such. Now, the folks at NewAir USA have not only made that item affordable, but they also sent me one for review, and in turn helped me realize a dream I've long held onto. Yes, caffeine fuels my day, and now I have it closer than ever.

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