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For all of my friends in Chicagoland... If you're looking for some unique fun with your family this weekend, take a look at JUMP AMERICA in Gurnee, Illinois. Located not far from Rock Father HQ up in Lake County, JUMP AMERICA is the premiere Trampoline Park that offers Family Fun Night every Saturday from 6-8pm. Family Fun Night includes 2 hours of jumping for 4 jumpers plus one 18" pizza (cheese, pepperoni, or sausage), and 4 beverages all for $45. Check out the video below to learn what JUMP AMERICA is all about...

I haven't mentioned it here on the site before, but while certain "other" lines of hair care products for men seem to get all of the press, last August, the folks at AUSSIE had a bunch of their AUSSIE MEN products sent to Rock Father HQ, and I've been using them ever since. I've used the shampoo and conditioner, the gel (which I love), and the texturizing wax (which smells great). I haven't seen much in terms of advertising for it, but I dig the Aussie Men stuff that I've been using. That said, some news just hit my inbox about another new product line, but it's an offshoot of AUSSIE KIDS that features Nickelodeon's DORA THE EXPLORER. This is actually the first-ever licensed product offering from the folks at Aussie. Details below...

When people find out that I'm an at-home Dad, there's often an image that comes to mind that is not quite accurate, and is largely fueled by the "TV depiction" of stay-at-home and work-at-home Dads: A group of four or five guys standing around a park with outward-facing babies dangling from their chests. If this happens anywhere, I have not witnessed it, nor been a part of such a gathering in the past 4+ years of my career as a parent. When I have seen babies worn by other parents (and sometimes myself), the big question has always been "which way is the right way - inward or outward." It's been the subject of vigorous debate among parents, but the folks at Boba Family just might have the answer, and that answer is inward.

Tuesday, October 15 2013 23:18

Review: MicroTouch One Classic Safety Razor

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This is unheard of. At no point in my 20+ year career reviewing things have I written and posted a review of a product on the very same day that I first tried it. They say there's "a first time for everything," and this is it... because the product in question is a razor, and it arrived today, and was used today. The experience is fresh in my mind, so here we are. Honestly, I just needed to shave today, and the MicroTouch One Classic Safety Razor arrived just in time. I last shaved on October 1st - I know this because I had a flight to catch the next day, and was getting prepped for it. It's not really any great mystery that I'm sorta bad when it comes to shaving. It's expensive, and just one more thing to work into my routine, and I skip it far too often. Having already found one razor that I love this year, the prospect of trying another was intriguing, and when the folks at Idea Village asked if I'd be up for going old-school, I had to accept.

dunkinmugupOctober is here, and with the best month of the year comes a time of fear, days and nights filled with dark and delicious Witches' Brew. I'm talking about coffee, of course (using "Witches' Brew" for dramatic effect), and as many of you know, coffee fuels my lifestyle here at Rock Father HQ. Chasing around a four-year-old and a 15-month-old can at times be... terrifying, and I'm all about the coffee goodness to help get me through. But what frightful images can you conjure up with your favorite brew? That's what my friends at the J.M. Smucker Company, makers of Dunkin' Donuts packaged coffee (available where you by groceries) are asking you to do. It's the return of their "Mug Up" contest, a chance for YOU to win some killer prizes.

The Rock FatherI'm in year three of doing The Rock Father already, and up until now, I've never posted an open call for anything. Since I know I have a lot of creative artists and PR folks that follow what I do, I'm throwing this out there - along with the reason why...

With Fall comes new Fashion for the little ones, and today my friends at gDiapers have officially unveiled their Fall 2013 Collection of super-cute eco-friendly diaper covers and matching outfits. As in the past, gDiapers and The Rock Father are celebrating the new release with a rockin' giveaway. We're giving parents a chance to WIN their choice of the gLotus Dress and gPants, or the gVeggie Tee and gPants!

I'm currently living in the calm before a technological storm. Those who know me well (or read this site regularly) know that I'm critical about the over-connectivity that modern kids have, a plethora of "devices" and "screens" lurking in every corner. I'm big on imaginative play - in keeping the youngest of kids away from the tech and apps as much as possible (it's all about careful moderation), and while my girls aren't yet old enough to truly understand what a computer does and could be used for, I know that eventually a technological terror will be on my hands. With that in mind... and seeing so many of the neighborhood parents dealing with kids and devices, I like to stay ahead of things and stay mindful of the future. That means making sure that the family will be safe online, and ESET Smart Security 6 is one of the tools in my digital arsenal.

It's funny how things work out sometimes. A few weeks back, we made a stop at Gurnee Mills to check out the first completed wing of their ongoing remodel. Among the new stores, I spotted one that caught my eye: RUUM American Kid's Wear. The store was fantastic, and only a few days old when we made our first visit. Colorful, and staffed by a friendly bunch, we ended up leaving with outfits for both of our girls (a treat from my Sister-in-Law). I was so immediately impressed that I actually started following RUUM's social networks before we were even done checking out. I tweeted a photo that I'd posted to Instagram - my daughter, Addie, trying on a cute little biker jacket. The folks from RUUM (pronounced "room," btw) noticed, and then asked if I'd like to go back there to explore their store in a more formal capacity as part of my Back-to-School Coverage here on The Rock Father. Mission accepted.

Well, it's official. Addie is signed up for her "fours and fives" Pre-K for Fall. I just got it all taken care of this past week, and now our first Back-to-School season is officially official, and we're getting ready to rock. Last year was "twos and threes" preschool, and while we kept her going through summer in "Duckie Day Camp" (same place, same teachers, largely same class), Back-to-School shopping should be an exciting part of the Fall ritual - one my wife and I both enjoyed as kids. A new stop for us this year was Gordmans, relatively new to our area, but known for their savings of up to 60% off the competition's ticketed pricing. Read on for our experience, The Rock Father's "unexpected" connection to Gordmans, and your chance to WIN a $1000 VISA Gift Card and a $100 Gordmans Gift Card to help with your Back-to-School Shopping!

This is the first year that we've done a real "Back-to-School" here at Rock Father HQ. Sure, Addie just turned four, but she's in "Pre-K" - coming out of "twos and threes" Preschool and getting into the "fours and fives." I registered her yesterday and paid the first month (this stuff is getting expensive), and we did some Back-to-School shopping. As I'm re-experiencing the school world again through my daughter, I can't help but think back to my own school days... and some of the mishaps and misadventures that took place. Including the preventable Mix-Up.

Tuesday, August 06 2013 12:57

Back to School: The CRAYOLA Color Explosion...

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Not long ago, I walked into Walmart and found my attention immediately grabbed by a colorful display that reached out to me and said, "Come here, Dear Consumer! Come, Rock Father! Explore my explosion of color!" Now, it didn't actually have a voice, but I'm anthropomorphizing it anyway, if only because it got me into trouble when I came home. This display, prominently-featured at the front of the Back-to-School department, was touting a new line of "Colors for Every Occasion" by CRAYOLA, and damn if I didn't let the "Collect Them All! (While Supplies Last)" tagline grab the crayon-loving kid in me. But it's for my children.

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