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This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media® and Rubbermaid. All opinions are that of James Zahn aka THE ROCK FATHER. #weavemade #FallFixUp  http://my-disclosur.es/RgFrEH

Having not lived anywhere but the Midwest on any year-round kind of basis, I can't be certain but tend to think that Fall fix-up and Spring clean-up are two things that have a parallel relationship only for those who live in regions that go through a proper four-season cycle. In the Fall you get the place all cleaned-up before winter, and then after the snow melts, you've got a whole load of surprises to clean-up in the Spring. But I love it. It's a chance to refresh things, and I'm ahead in the game this season.

Published in Gardening

THE ROCK FATHER is a paid 2014 BuyCostumes Halloween Brand Ambassador

And like that, Labor Day is finally behind us and #OrangeTuesday has arrived! What is Orange Tuesday, you ask? It's the new Black Friday - the official start to the Halloween Season, and that day is today. It's true, I'm an unapologetic fan of Fall and Halloween (I was an October baby), and my little ones are turning out to be as well (that picture up top is Addie at just 14 months back in 2010). In fact, as far as I'm concerned, Halloween is the #1 Holiday of the year with Christmas it's only A-list partner (my wife said I couldn't mark the boxes with Easter & Valentine's stuff as "B-List Holiday Decor"). 2014 is particularly special, as the folks at BuyCostumes have invited me to join their crew for the next ten weeks - bringing you more frightfully-good seasonal content than ever before, with spook-tacular goodies from BuyCostumes peppered on top of my already fang-tastic treats for the year. Yeah, I'm a bit punny - but it's Orange Tuesday, so let's celebrate with a jump on the Halloween Shopping Season. Are you ready?

Published in General News

When it comes to toys, the name LEGO easily stands as one of the most iconic - a name that most would include in a count-on-one-hand list of the must-have toys that every kid should own. LEGO transcends generations, making those perfect little bricks not just great for kids, but for grownups, too (or "kids" of all ages) - capturing the imagination at a young age, fostering creativity and inspiring Makers for countless builds to come. Now comes LEGO JUNIORS, a new line of building sets that help bridge the gap between the DUPLO (for kids 1½-5) and the traditional LEGO realm by presenting kids ages 4-7 with easy-to-build models and simple instructions that can be created with minimal (or no!) help from parents, letting little Makers build something else: confidence.

Shop RUUM American Kid's WearWhen I last checked-in from our Back-to-School shopping adventure at Gurnee Mills, there was one store left that I wanted to hit - one that's been a staple of my seasonal fashion coverage for kids for over a year now, RUUM American Kid's Wear. What's become crystal clear over the past year is that we have one very fickle young fashionista in five-year-old Addie, who will quickly accept or reject an outfit or item (even ones that Daddy and Mommy really like), but 2-year-old Finley is a little more easy-going, at least for now. With new Fall collections (including Modern Rocker, Woodland and Back to School) in-stores and online at RUUM.com, the folks at RUUM invited us into their store to grab a few more outfits for the girls, and with $100 in Gift Cards and some additional cash from The Rock Father, here's what went down...

Published in General News

The Rock Father is a member of the Netflix Stream Team"Daddy, why do you always watch movies late at night?" That was a question posited by oldest daughter a few days ago. "I can hear the noise from them coming from your office." She's got me there, and just solidified why I should be wearing headphones after hours. See, lately I've been streaming movies to my laptop while I do work from the desktop... including right now, this very second as Adele sings the theme song to James Bond's SKYFALL to my right, while I type these words and see them appear on the screen to my left. While my days have been spent largely preparing for the start of school this week, my nights are filled with work... and lately, action. Explosive action, the kind that just seems right for the end of summer, and in the time-honored tradition of action flicks finding their audience on home video, Netflix is keeping that torch raised high. For my August column as a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam, here's some of what I've been watching this month... and these picks are #ForGrownups only. 

Published in Movies, TV and More

THE ROCK FATHER is a Step2 Brand AmbassadorAs a Step2 Brand Ambassador, my kids and I get to check out a lot of great new toys (here's the latest) - but there's no way we could possibly check them all out. Fortunately, I've met the other Step2 Ambassadors, and between the 10 of us, we've pretty much got the full line on lock. On a recent trip to Step2 HQ in Ohio, we took a look at the Neat & Tidy Cottage II - the enhanced, latest version of of the popular playhouse - complete with a charming exterior the resembles stone and wood, and plenty of built-in play features to give your kids (and the neighborhood) endless tools for quality, imaginative play. My friends and fellow Step2 Ambassadors Thrifty Nifty Mommy and Viva Veltoro have teamed-up to host a giveaway for the Neat & Tidy Cottage II, and now THE ROCK FATHER is in on the action, sharing your chance to win one of these great playhouses below!

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