This Father's Day, Enjoy the Little Things...and This One BIG Thing!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Giveaway

Sometimes parents get so concerned with the big picture, that we forget to enjoy the journey that we get to experience with our kids. There is the right school, getting them to soccer practice, and making sure they eat their vegetables, and the little joys get lost in the busyness. This Father's Day I want to remember what makes me smile about being a dad. Here are the top three things that are my highlights in being a dad, once I actually stop and enjoy the ride!

1. Getting down on their level.
I was reminded of this again last night. We are so busy trying to get kids to eat, get them to clean up, and get them to brush their teeth, that we rarely get down on the floor with them. When I clear my mind of everything that I could be doing and just lay down and build blocks, wrestle, or read a book, it absolutely makes my night. I love laying on my stomach on the bedroom floor while my kids climb all over me and listen to me read them a story. "One more book?" They ask. Absolutely.

8 Secrets to Make Traveling With Kids A Snap

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Homewood Suites. I received compensation but all opinions are my own.

There isn't much that strikes more fear into the heart of a parent than traveling with kids. It's pretty much seen as a nightmare situation that many parents consider a hilarious joke when it's suggested. Go ahead, try to suggest a vacation with kids to the next parent you come across. The good news is that traveling with children doesn't have to be terrible. In fact, if you are prepared, a parent can handle anything. Think about it. On a regular basis you handle vomit, lost homework, a shaved dog, multiple meltdowns, and a naked toddler who just tried to make a break for it out the front door...and that's all before your first cup of coffee.

A prepared parent cannot only endure family travel, but they can make it the trip of a lifetime. Whether you are a dad or a mom, you have have it in you to plan a trip that you and your kids will talk about for years to come. As a dad who loves this stuff, I like to call it being a #TravelMANager. Here are a few tips that every dad and mom must know to pull off that incredible trip with their kids.

1. Pack a carry-on for each kid.
Every ticketed passenger can bring a free carry-on so take advantage of that. With many airlines charging for each checked bag, space can be tight and expensive. Not only can you put toys for your kids in their carryon, but you can also put a few extra light clothing items (shirts, shorts, etc.) in the bottom to help clear out space in your checked suitcases.

2. Load two-to-three sealable plastic baggies filled with toys, activities, and snacks.
A good #TravelMANager rule is to fill one zipper type plastic baggie per hour that you will travel. Fill it with toys, small puzzles, coloring books, etc. You can also put some special snacks in there. Every hour, take out another bag for your child to open and entertain themselves with. This way they don't get bored with their toys before the plane leaves the ground, or your car leaves the driveway. Another plus is that they don't have to spend the whole trip staring at a screen.
3. Bring a sealable baggie for garbage and wet wipes.
You can either bring some extra baggies or use ones that you empty out using the tip above. Have you

How to Make a Fun Finding Dory Soup and Sandwich Lunch!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I have partnered with Campbell's Soup for this sponsored post. I have been compensated but all opinions are my own.

The wait is finally over. Ever since I first saw Finding Nemo, I knew it was an instant classic. It is actually my favorite Pixar film of all time. You have Marlin the dad who literally crosses the ocean to search for his lost son. He never gives up hope and learns a tremendous amount about himself at the same time. You meet characters like Bruce the shark and Crush the turtle. However, the fish who stole the show was definitely Dory. Now Dory gets to star in what will be the hit of the summer.

My family is so excited for the movie that I had to create a summertime lunch to celebrate. Once I saw that Campbell's Soup had limited edition Finding Dory soup cans, I knew I had to make it a soup and sandwich combo. The Campbell's Soup not only has fun character labels, but there is Dory, Nemo, and Destiny shaped noodles as well. It pairs perfectly with the easy Dory sandwich idea that I created. See how to make it below and serve it to your kids before you go see the movie!


Ingredients: Campbell's Finding Dory Chicken Noodle Soup, whole wheat bread slices, sliced

How to Create a Fantastic Family Campout in Your Own Backyard

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Papa Murphy's Pizza. I was compensated but all opinions are my own.
Papa Murphys pizza

When I was growing up, I loved camping. The idea of going somewhere out of the ordinary, setting up a fun new "room," and eating tasty food over the campfire just always excited me as a kid. I distinctly remember one time when we arrived at the campsite and went fishing at twilight. It wasn't long before we came back with fresh trout. We grilled it with bacon and the flavor was amazing. Camping is pretty much one of the greatest things you can do as a family. The problem is that there isn't always time to get everything packed up, and set aside an entire weekend to go to the lake.

The thought came to me that we don't have to go out in the woods in order to give our kids some of the experiences of camping. In fact, it's possible to surprise them by doing it all in one day in our backyard! We celebrated an early Father's Day and spent most of the time just relaxing and having fun, without even going anywhere. It was crazy how the kids just loved having a tent in the backyard. They wanted to do absolutely everything in the backyard. Read books. Yep. Play games together. Absolutely. Guess how long the whole "campground" took us to set up? About 30 minutes.

papa murphys pizza

We picked up a few take-n-bake pizzas from Papa Murphy's Pizza. Our family loves them because they are so easy to make and the quality is top notch. Only this time we decided to grill them over our Big Green Egg Mini Max BBQ. We couldn't have an open campfire in our back lawn (something about fire codes), but this was just as good. We just followed the instructions for the oven, and grilled it over a pizza stone. If you have never done this, you are missing out! While our Big Green Egg was heating up, there was time to bring out a football and soccer ball and play some games!
papa murphy's pizza
Cooking the Papa Murphy's pizzas was an easy task. I just placed the pizza, and the cardboard tray, on the hot pizza stone. I rotated the pizza twice while it cooked. You need to keep an eye out to make

3 Times When Changing Your Kid's Diaper is the Best

Monday, June 13, 2016

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Pampers. I was compensated but all opinions are my own.
#ThanksBaby

Diaper changing gets a bad rap. Before you stop reading this post, stay with me for a minute. I'm not suffering from parental sleep deprivation. Yes, sometimes changing diapers requires a hazmat suit, and you would rather pay someone to do it for you, but there are also the other times. Those other times are when you get to spend a few minutes with just you and your baby, focused on each other. It's when time stops, you lock eyes with your child, and the rest of the world falls away. Here are three times when changing your kid's diapers is your favorite part of the day.

1. When you are literally the funniest person alive.
There are those times when it's been a long day and you look down at your child, make an inadvertent funny face, and they think it's the most hilarious thing they've ever seen. So you do it again. Same reaction. Pretty soon it's 20 minutes later and you are still changing the diaper because you both are laughing out loud and don't want the moment to end.

2. When someone actually listens to how your day is going.
Have you ever tried telling your baby everything that has been happening during the day? They sit there, stare at you, and give you a knowing look because they have been there alongside you every step of the way. It's almost as though they can relate. Granted you are speaking completely in baby talk, but you both have connected on a deep level over a seemingly routine diaper change.

3. When your singing is American Idol worthy.
When your kids are older, they are brutally honest about everything from your hair, to your clothes, to your voice. However, when they are babies your singing voice sounds like you just hit #1 on the charts. You change that diaper, sing to your child in that gravely, screechy, yet angelic voice, and they become the president of your fan club. You could sing that same exact verse all day, especially since it is really the only verse you know from that song anyway.


 So remember that even though there are those diaper changing times where you would give up coffee for a week in exchange for getting away, there are plenty of times where you never want the experience to end. Pampers wants those moments to be the ones that you remember and to share your #ThanksBaby moments on Instagram. This Father's Day, Pamper's is giving away prize packs to two lucky Lunchbox Dad readers who watch the video above and then share their #ThanksBaby moments on Instagram. Prizes include a $100 Amex Gift Card, Pampers Diapers, a Diaper Dude Diaper Bag, and much more! Click the link below for official rules and to enter now!

#fatherhood

Lunchbox Dad's Father's Day Gift Guide 2016

Monday, June 6, 2016

Father's Day

Need some ideas for what to get your dad, or husband, this Father's Day? Look no further than my 2016 Father's Day Gift Guide. Why give your dad the same boring present when you have this guide loaded with wisdom and experience? This will help your Father's Day celebration be a success. These are real ideas from a real dad. I have not been paid to make this guide or promote any of these products. I have also personally tested every one of these gifts. 

From the foodie, to the tech lover, to the active dad, I have you covered. So bookmark this list and permanently make a place in the record books as the best Father's Day gift giver in the universe...or at least in your family.

1. Martian Smart Watch
Father's Day

This Martian smart watch can do all the basic things that many of the other smart watches can do, with two big differences. These watches look completely different than any other smart watch I've seen, and that's a good thing. They have a classic analog face, but it also has a separate battery just for the watch. This is brilliant because if the the battery for the smart functions run down, it still functions as a watch and isn't just a brick strapped to your arm. If the dad in your life wants a smart watch that stands out from all the rest, it needs to be a Martian.
Price: Starts at $129


2. Anki OVERDRIVE
Father's Day

Think Mario Kart, in real life, controlled with smart phones. This is the second generation track from Anki. The first one blew my family away with how easy it was to control, and how addicting it became. The OVERDRIVE track takes it further by letting you build your own

Tutorial Video: Learn to Make a Dragon Bento Lunch and a Loaded Avocado Lunch in Two Minutes!

Friday, June 3, 2016

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Chips. All opinions are solely my own.

You can never have too many ideas for lunch for your kids or yourself. This is why I made this new tutorial video. In only two minutes you will learn the secret to making a fun dragon themed bento lunch for your kids, and a tasty Loaded Avocado lunch for yourself. You seriously will be kicking yourself for not thinking of these ideas sooner!

I will let you in on my secret ingredient for both lunches. I used Stackable Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Chips. They are made with no artificial flavors or colors, and are cholesterol and gluten free. The best thing is that my kids (and I) love them! See how I use them in the video above. Hint: I use
 
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