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Earlier this year, a package arrived here at Rock Father HQ containing two ShtankOut! Plush Toys. But were they really "toys," or are they a deodorizer? It's a strange concept that brings a few different elements into a new product, self-described as an "adorable plush clip-on toy that doubles as an odor eliminator – Perfect for smelly sports bags, lockers, backpacks and more." So what's the reality as experienced here in The Rock Father's State-of-the-Art Toy Testing Facility (our house)?

Earlier this month, you might recall that I featured some of my favorite local eateries right here on The Rock Father. That post was a small part of a larger initiative - a "Blog Hop" involving a group of bloggers that are part of the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community. These writers set out to feature local restaurants in the United States and Canada, as well as some selections from our friends in the United Kingdom as well. If you're up for some reading that will get your mouth watering, check out the roundup of posts below. You might find some new favorite bloggers to add to your daily reading!

A group of bloggers from across the U.S. and Canada have teamed up to profile some favorite local eateries as part of a "Blog Hop" presented by the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community. I threw my hat into the ring to represent Lake County, Illinois - a vast area in the far Northern Suburbs of Chicago, and the semi-hidden home of Rock Father HQ. In fairness, there's no way I could pull off an assortment for the whole county (too many towns, too many great places), so I zeroed-in on 10 Favorites - each holding a special place in my heart for an assortment of reasons. Are they "the best?" That's subjective, but these are some personal favorites... and you'll find that I lean toward a specific type of Chicago-style fare...

Back in March, the folks from O-Cedar got in touch to ask if I'd like to try out one of their new O-Duster Robotic Floor Cleaners. I like O-Cedar, and I have a mop from them that works just fine. I've also owned a few of their brooms over the years, so I figured I'd give it a go in the interest of seeing how it helps a busy at-home Dad like myself keep up with the fuzzies and grime that often collects on our laminate flooring. How did it fare? Well, I could end this quickly by saying that it's taken me three months to share some thoughts, and that my O-Duster was also recently sold on my garage sale... or I could go into further detail. Yeah, I'll go deeper...

The folks over at Oral-B are getting into the Father's Day spirit with a new video that celebrates the "Power of Dad." With over 115,000+ views on YouTube in just 24 hours, the video is a certified viral hit, and one that The Rock Father can get behind. Check it out below...

Hyland's Dad AmbassadorSpring has "officially" been here for just about a month now, but it's not officially here. I believe that the seasons are timeshifting, moving into other months as a result of Global Climate Change. After all, it's April 19 and as the Spring flowers (Tulips and such) are still trying to emerge from the cold soil outside Rock Father HQ, we had an icy mix of snow flurries, sleet and hail today. That said, when Spring truly breaks, Spring Allergies will be in full-effect, and we're prepared. As a Hyland's Dad, I've been using Hyland's Baby Products here for over three years now (with both daughters), and have begun using the "adult" line from Hyland's Homeopatic with increasing frequency. To get you prepared, I'm highlighting a few items worth stocking up on, while providing a $1 Off Coupon from the folks at Hyland's.

April is Earth Month, and now the results of the Green Real Estate Survey (conducted by the National Association of Realtors) have been revealed. Among the data are new numbers confirming that parents are showing increased interest in "Green Homes." Of the respondents that currently live in a Eco-Friendly Home, 66% have children. I'd love to turn Rock Father HQ into a full-blown Eco-Friendly establishment, but conversion doesn't come cheap... so we do what we can. Check out some stats via the infographic below...

I've officially entered "Spring Cleaning" mode here at Rock Father HQ, and that means that beyond my daily routine, I'm also starting to deep clean the things that don't get regular attention, and I'm trying out some new products. As a work-at-home Dad, my days are largely occupied by the kids. Things can get messy, and since much of the cleaning falls under my direction, I'm always on the lookout for less-toxic options where available. When the folks at New Jersey-based Native Organics asked me to to try out some of their new products, I was certainly interested in giving them a shot.

Calling all gMoms and gDads, or anyone interested in more eco-friendly diapering options for their little ones. The folks over at gDiapers have just launched their limited-edtion Global Love gPants, "a soft vanilla diaper cover artistically designed with 'fill the world with love' in blues and greens, colors reminiscent of our planet." The gPants from gDiapers are super-cute diaper covers with 100% biodegradable* disposable inserts. Look at the new one below.

Baby's DreamI have a theory that all babies are born evil. If you know me well, there's a chance that you've already heard it. If not, I've probably mentioned it in passing, and will likely do so again. As much as I love babies, the Cliff's Notes version would be that babies are a pretty violent and sinister bunch. They hit, they kick, they scream and they sometimes go all EXORCIST on you by spraying you with questionable fluids. Yes, babies are born evil, and we have to teach them to be nice. For those that agree with me, it appears that the folks at T-Shirt Hell are celebrating my theory with the release of their "Baby Dreams" T-Shirt. Sweet dreams are made of Global Thermonuclear War...

Tuesday, February 26 2013 22:49

ONE DIRECTION becomes FATHEAD wall graphics... #1D

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Fathead, the makers of massive pop-culture wall graphics (whom I've worked with on The Rock Father in the past) have made good on an old clue by releasing a series of wall graphics based on pop sensations, ONE DIRECTION.

Hyland's Baby - 2013 Dad AmbassadorThe Rock Father has just been chosen to be one of a few Dads representing Hyland's Baby as an official 2013 Brand Ambassador. When they approached me about the gig, I was excited because we're already a Hyland's house. As 8-month-old Finley is teething right now, Hyland's Teething Gel is already a staple of daily use, just as it was with Addie three years ago. National Tooth Fairy day is coming up, and the folks at Hyland's are unveiling their new character, the Hyland's Tooth Fairy. She doesn't have a name just yet, and that's where you come in...

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