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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.

On January 1 of this year, I launched the 2014 Fitness Challenge here on THE ROCK FATHER. After years of leading a lifestyle that wasn't exactly great for my body, I started a gradual change three years ago when I quit smoking, and this year the time finally came to really start leading a healthy lifestyle. I've changed my diet, count calories, and now hit the gym 4-5 nights per week. One important change has been making sure not to skip breakfast (which I have a habit of forgetting to eat), and in doing so, I've rekindled my love of cereal - something that started last Fall when I first mentioned trying Silk Almondmilk after not drinking any kind of milk since 1989. Recently, the folks at Silk got in touch about their new Silk Almondmilk Blends - and one of them fit right into my routine: Protein + Fiber. Can Almondmilk rock? I say "YES!"

G.J JOE or COBRA? Autobots or Decepticons? Coke or Pepsi? Angels or Demons? Empire or Rebellion? Throughout the course of time and mankind, there have many been epic battles that have raged on and become the subject of infinite debate. Is there a "right" or "wrong" answer? Probably not, but whichever you prefer will ultimately become your "right," and besides - everyone knows that COBRA rules. Last week, however, I dropped myself smack-dab in the middle of two longtime rivals, PAT'S KING OF STEAKS and GENO'S STEAKS - both located directly across from one another in South Philadelphia. You see, I dig a good "Philly Cheesesteak" - but I'm from Chicago, and up until now, I'd never had the chance to take the cheesesteak challenge for a legit Philly Cheesesteak. While this doesn't really fall inline with my fitness challenge, I made an exception (and hit the hotel gym later) to choose my side.

Independence Day... The 4th of July... Americans dig their celebrations, and along with it, the grownups in the crowd do enjoy a tasty beverage on occasion, myself included... from time to time. I've featured a few brews here on THE ROCK FATHER in the past, and while I've covered beer and wine, I don't think I've ever covered whiskey in the past, but that changes today with some news that landed here at Rock Father HQ about AMERICAN BORN MOONSHINE. See, as a kid - my knowledge of runnin' moonshine came courtesy of the Duke boys - yep, THE DUKES OF HAZZARD - who were known to toss some of Uncle Jesse's signature recipe in the trunk of their bright orange Dodge Charger, and proceed to run from the law a bit. So why AMERICAN BORN MOONSHINE now? Because the makers officially enter California today... the 4th of July... and they've got a massive event schedule spread across the State.

Last Fall, I had the opportunity to visit one of my favorite companies, when I took a trip to Orrville, Ohio and spent a few days at Smucker's HQ. The folks at The J.M. Smucker Company have been producing some great things over the years, and for me, the down-home goodness just rings pure Americana when I think of it. Last week, Smucker's unveiled their new Smucker's Fruit-Fulls by turning the Flatiron District of New York City into a full-blown apple orchard, and to kick things off in-style, they brought along a familiar face when it comes to their brand - Willard Scott, the iconic weatherman and birthday well-wisher from NBC's TODAY Show. Did you know that Willard is down with THE ROCK FATHER? Take a peek at the Instagram video below...

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media® and Klondike, but all my opinions are that of THE ROCK FATHER. #weavemade #KandyBar #ad http://my-disclosur.es/RgFrEH

We're four days into summer, and what I can tell you without hesitation is that our schedule here is hectic. Our days start at 7am, and Addie is in the midst of a two-week, half-day "Broadway Beginners" Theatre Camp five days a week, during which Little Finley and I have some one-on-one time until we have to go get big sister. Then, we spend most of the day playing hard - but three nights a week, we have Pee Wee Baseball. Guess who's coaching the team? Yep, this guy. Factor in all the on-the-fly adventures we get into, and by the mid-evening, everyone is beat. The girls are.... I am... and my wife sure is by the time she gets home. To cap off a good day, there's sort of a rule that if the girls are really good all day, they can have dessert - a "Sometimes Treat," as we tend to call it (something I've touched on here before) - but not every night, hence "sometimes." The kids love ice cream... and they love candy... so when I came across the new Klondike Kandy Bars at the local Jewel store, I snagged some as a surprise for the right moment.

Last month, I revealed the limited-edition TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION BIG RED cans right here on THE ROCK FATHER. Now, with the release of the latest installment of the Michael Bay-directed franchise hitting theaters this Friday, the folks at BIG RED Soda are asking "How Will YOU Prepare?" There's a guy in the video that waxes a Decepticon symbol into his chest hair... that doesn't seem like a bad idea.

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