Google Home x Modern Day Dads

By November 30, 2016 Everyday

This post is sponsored by Google.

“I need another arm, I need another brain, I need another me!” I think to myself as I’m being stretched every which way. Help with homework, turn on some music, someone wants to know if they need a jacket or not as they rush out the door. It’s a blessing and a curse being the “go-to” guy for everyone’s questions and requests.

If only I had a little help, a personal assistant for example, for the times my wife needs me to stop what I’m doing and add milk or eggs to the grocery list. If only I had someone that could answer what 756 divided by 9 is (it’s 84 by the way), or what the capital of Iran is (Tehran) or even someone who could play a trivia game with my wife and oldest as I rush to catch my toddler before she does a face plant off the couch onto the tile.

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Those “if only’s” turned into a “look what I’ve got” as soon as I received Google Home. Google Home provides a helping hand to make my day-to-day a little bit easier and I could use all the hands I can get. Everything from enjoying music, to asking questions, managing tasks and even controlling my other devices, like my Nest Thermostat, Google Home is the ultimate assistant for the modern day parent.

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I try to not let the stress of the day to day get me down, but Google Home is a major help in a very big way. Any time I can shave a little time off of my routine is much appreciated and Google Home does just that.

When my kid wakes up and shouts down the stairs if she should grab a jacket or not, I no longer have to get dressed and go outside to see, a quick “OK Google, what is the weather today?” will give us a full report immediately. Turning on tunes to keep the little one occupied is just as simple as saying the words “OK Google” followed by the radio station I want to hear. When my oldest is bored, she and my wife can play a quick game of trivia with Google Home keeping them on their toes and entertained at the same time.

No more of my wife asking me to drop everything so I don’t forget to add to our grocery list, now Google Home can help me make a shopping list, hands free! Turning up the air is as simple as saying the words, no more darting across the house to the Nest thermostat. Literally, this is a life saver and exactly what I need around the house.

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With customizable bases it’s a great fit for any home with a sleek and stylish appearance. Hi-fi sound and far field voice recognition keep it ahead of the game, playing audio that is crisp and clear and able to understand your voice from across the room even with music playing.

If you need an extra helping hand around the house for the little thing, Google home might be the perfect thing for you.

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Google is also offering 6 months of Free YouTube Red with every Google Home purchase.

More info on Google Home here.

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How to Argue

By November 15, 2016 Everyday

Not knowing how to argue can be at the core of many marital problems and there is a right and wrong way to do it.

By practicing patience and thoughtfulness even when in the midst of an argument, you will notice that the daily bickering that can plague marriage will become less and less in frequency and severity.

It can be helpful to consider a different communication styles that men and women typically have.
Men generally tend to think in terms of solutions. I often times catch myself wanting to tell my wife to get to the point. I don’t realize that perhaps she just needs to vent about an issue without me trying to be the Mr. fix it. Offering solutions is a way for us to show our wives that they can rely on us for our help. Many times I would find myself absolutely baffled when my solution isn’t accepted. I couldn’t understand why she would want to talk about a problem if she didn’t want a solution.

When bickering and arguments come up I had to start realizing that understanding must come before me offering my advice. I had to let my wife know that I fully understood and empathized with her dilemma before offering my solution. Often times a solution wasn’t even needed so much as she needed a good listener.

A good thing for husbands to do is to practice listening. Next time a problem comes up just try and resist the urge to give advice. Focus on what she is saying.

For wives, especially if you have a husband that think in linear terms, say what you need. Sometimes you really do have to spell it out. Asking your guy to listen and understand the situation before offering advice is key. Consider that husbands offering solutions aren’t trying to be insensitive, we are trying to ease your burden. Instead of getting pissed off, remember that we are just trying to help.

We try to treat others the way we want to be treated, however we have to consider how our partner would like to be treated. As husbands we need to be willing to listen, and as wives it can be important to hear solutions once in a while. When you’re meeting in the middle both parties will benefit.

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Dad on the sidelines

By November 12, 2016 Everyday, Parenting

Some of my fondest childhood memories looked much like this. Slapping down pieces of plywood and finding creative ways to hurt myself. I have a body that is riddled with bumps and scars that I am proud of, blessed with the ability to tell you we’re almost to each and everyone came from.

This is a picture of my good friends son hitting a makeshift launch ramp in front of his house. I have no doubt that he will remember this day well into old age. He also is lucky to have his dad right behind him, cheering him on.

Now in my 30s, the risk versus reward scope seems a bit narrower than it did when I was young. That’s not to say I don’t routinely make sure that my balls are still attached by riding my skateboard off of something totally insane, and and I think that is absolutely necessary. Checking my pulse, if you will.

Most of us “Modern Day Dads” are fortunate to be able to participate in stuff like this right alongside our kids. Be it skateboarding, BMX, martial arts, weightlifting, soccer, football, and so on, we are in a unique time where dads are just as rad as their kids.

The role of the dad on the sidelines is starting to fade out. Just as much as our kids need us to be right by their side, we too need them to remind us what it means to be a kid again.

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Things To Do In Daytona Beach For Your Fall & Winter Break

By November 9, 2016 Everyday, Travel

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of DaytonaBeach.com. All opinions are 100% mine.

Living in Florida definitely has its advantages. Considering I get to wake up every morning in a place where most people vacation, I definitely consider myself lucky. When vacation time on the school calendar for the kids comes around, we really are at no loss. However, it still is nice to be able to take a weekend away from my responsibilities of home and have a vacation where you really can get back and relax. Fall Beach Escape planning has just gotten a whole lot easier. Whether you are looking for some Warm Holiday Fun or just want to take it easy while enjoying the perfect weather, the choice is up to you.

With a young baby and an older child who predictably asks if we are they are yet every 30 minutes, we don’t take too many long trips. This has led to us doing many vacations in and around the very state we live in. Though there are many prime destinations for us to enjoy as a family, if you can be as laid-back and enjoyable as Daytona beach.

This fall when a little time frees up on the calendar, my family and I are making it a point to visit Daytona Beach and get away from the confines of our own town however beautiful it may be.

Daytona Beach is one of the most perfect “fun in the sun” type destinations. That said, that doesn’t mean it is only a summertime spot. In fact, as a Florida resident I have learned that some of the best adventures our off-season and away from the crowds of tourists.

This holiday season, Daytona Beach is going to be our fall ocean escape. With awesome fall art festivals, shopping for my wife, A myriad of dining choices, golf courses, infamous tattoo shops, popular motorcycle events,and a number of other attractions that only a spot like Daytona Beach could offer. Weekday Getaway Deals just got a whole lot easier to plan and you need to book soon to take advantage of this amazing weather.

So while many parks are planning and uncomfortable holiday time sitting around the dinner table arguing about politics and pretending to like your aunts casserole, we will be enjoying an ocean front experience and one of the most laid-back yet thrilling spots I can think of: Daytona beach.

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The Perfect Chord

By November 8, 2016 Everyday

If your child finds the perfect guitar chord, the one that sends shivers up their spine, the one that makes music accessible…tell them to turn it up. It opens a world of possibility. Encourage it, even if you only hear out of tune sounds and an off beat melody.

When your child puts paint to paper, it’s not too important if you see the next Monet or not. Most of the world’s greatest artists are never understood or liked anyway. Support the vision that they see when they are moved to create.

When their skateboard trucks finally lock into a grind, or when a flick of their foot finally lands them on top of a kickflip, be there to give them a “hell yes!”, not the smug look of a coach, disappointed it wasn’t clean enough for them to have gotten a “10” in the olympics.

Once I was told “I always thought you could have been a….”. Well it doesn’t really matter what they thought I could have been, what matters is that if they had told me then, it might have been the push I needed to have actually been it.

Look, I don’t believe everyone needs a ribbon for participation. I don’t think every kid gets a medal, but if we don’t encourage and build up our kids, who will? If everyone that played a guitar chord “wrong” never made music there wouldn’t be punk, or hardcore or hip hop, or ART.
There are enough people in the world to tell our kids they don’t deserve the number one spot. There are enough people in the world to let your kids know that they won’t get an award for participation, but our kids only have us as parents and if we spend more time building them up and nurturing their interests, it’s surprising how much that encouragement means to them and how many successes it will lead to.

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We have to raise children who are defenders and protectors, not bullies.

By November 3, 2016 Parenting

Every time I post something about #bullying there’s always at least one person that says something about “kids need to toughen up these days” or “blah blah generation of pu$$ies” or whatever regurgitated Neanderthalic nonsense.
My question to those tough guys is, is an 11-year old girl who beat brain cancer tough enough for you?

I used to think that way as well though. I’d tell my kid it certainly was fair for playground justice to prevail when some of her caretakers were too inept to address bullying. Not all kids are made to be heroes though. Some kids just want to be left alone to be creative, artistic and sensitive. The solution shouldn’t be passed off as if the victim should change their personality because some worthless little brats, whose parents have zero accountability for how their kids treat others, bully someone to suicide.
Let me guess? She should have taken a boxing class and knocked her tormentors down one by one, then faced the consequences of expulsion because no one would come to her defense, her side, and she should just suck it up and fight back?

What’s the excuse? The accountability lies on squarely on the parents who raised other 11 year olds capable of literally bullying someone to death.

I’m all for an eye for an eye, I’m all for mustering up all your strength and bravery and finally socking a bully right in the eye, I’m all for street justice 9 times out of 10.
For the kids who’ve had it enough, who can’t, won’t, don’t defend themselves, we have to be their advocates. We have to raise children who are defenders and protectors, not bullies. We have to raise kids who stand up for others, so maybe the weak and broken down won’t have to muster up courage when their is none left.

For this, there is no excuse. Talk to your kids about bullying, about protecting, about helping, about caring for others…don’t humiliate them for not being brace enough, or strong enough, because that isn’t their job. Their job is to be a kid, it’s our job to make sure they can be one.

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Dad’s Secret Potty Training Trick

By November 2, 2016 Everyday, Parenting, Sponsored, Tips & Tricks

Thank you Cottonelle® for sponsoring this post. Stay tuned to the Cottonelle Facebook page and Brit Morin’s site “Brit + Co” for more great tips and tricks.

I will never forget the look of frustration on my wife’s face. She had been trying for weeks to get my daughter to sit on the potty and to no avail. She had tried everything. It really was cute to see the dedication she had to this task and all the hard work she was putting into it. She checked out all the tricks and tips, and tried everything under the sun. She used rewards, she used toys, and she even sent my daughter on the potty in front of the television only to have her get up at The exact minute she actually needed to use it. In the midst of all this potty training for us, my wife had to go away for the weekend on a business trip. Half joking I told her that I would have my daughter potty trained by the time she came back. I certainly don’t think that she had any inclination that what I was saying what to be true anymore than I did.

After she had left however I thought it would make for a pretty good challenge and was up to the task. Seeing what already had not worked, I figured out almost everything not to do and had no idea where to start. I racked my brain not worked, I figured out almost everything not to do and had no idea where to start. I racked my brain and finally came up with a plan that was a bit of a joke at first but ended up getting the job done with some tough love. My daughter had some cartoon character under pants that were meant to be a reward for her eventual potty training. Covered in her favorite cartoon character she really was looking forward to wearing them and couldn’t wait to finally be a “big girl.” I decided she could go ahead and wear them. I told her that she was a big girl and that was the end of it. I gave her brand new underwear and you could see how proud she was when she put them on. She was delighted in herself and felt very very cool. I then let her know that she could wear them all she wanted, but if she went to the potty in them I would throw them away. No more mistakes, no more being a baby, she was a big girl with big girl underwear and if she didn’t make it into the potty in time, she would have one less pair of her favorite character underwear. I guess I didn’t really expect it to work, especially after all her fussing and pleading with me that my solution wasn’t fair.

Not even 10 minutes later she walked up to me and told me she needed to use the potty. She sat down and there it was. Her first time by herself on the toilet. I had to laugh at myself thinking that it was too good to be true. Weeks and weeks have gone by with elaborate attempts by my wife and this just seemed all too simple. However she repeated the process again and again, every time not wanting to lose her favorite underwear. We laugh about it now, but truth be told, sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. I wasn’t as creative by any means, or even half as patient as my wife have been with the process but I guess sometimes that’s what you need. A little tough love and the next thing you know the problem was solved. Now if I could just get her to clean up her room, that would be a real amazing task.

Cottonelle® has teamed up with lifestyle expert Brit Morin to provide families with even more ways to save time and space. They created this video to help.

With Cottonelle® Mega Roll with CleanRipple Texture, there’s more inside than meets the eye. Each holds 4 rolls in 1† to unroll a mega surprise. More sheets in each Cottonelle® Mega Roll means less changing the roll and less hassle. That’s one mega convenience.

We got a chance to try out the Cottonelle® Clean Care* Toilet Paper and pretty much fell in love immediately. It is a must-have when dealing with little ones!

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†comparing number of sheets to leading Ultra 77-ct. roll

I was selected for this opportunity and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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The Child’s Mind.

By November 1, 2016 Health & Fitness, Parenting

Her new favorite saying is “what is it?” as she points to something along our walk. Today I had the luxury of talking about squirrels, speed bumps, and dog crap.
I’ve always really enjoyed this age where the world is so brand new and everything is a wonder, as if somehow I am vicariously living through her.

In martial arts I was introduced to the concept of Shoshin, which means “beginner’s mind” or “child’s mind.” It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.

On these walks I’m always reminded of the child’s mind, and how helpful it is in our adult lives to keep an open mind and enjoy each day for what it has to offer.

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