An Up and Down Birthday Party For My Son

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

birthday party ideas
Every parent desires for their kids to have wonderful birthday parties that create glorious long-lasting memories. You know the type, parties that spark conversation every time a picture of the event is seen. They don't have to be lavish, or expensive, just the kind of parties that remain in the forefront of the family's minds. The news is filled with parents giving outlandish suarez for their children. My wife and I don't believe that the amount of money spent is what matters. Instead, it's the people that attend, the environment, and the

5 Professions Dads Master When They Have Kids

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post partnering with Pampers. I received compensation, but all opinions expressed are solely my own.

I love that video above made by Pampers. If you have yet to watch it, stop everything you are doing (including reading this post) and watch it now. Seriously, press play immediately. It is such a great reminder about how much things change when you become a dad. We never are fully prepared, but somehow we transform into whatever our kids need us to be. We become the “professionals” in any number of areas. A dad’s job description can never be complete because being a parent is never done. That is why every father should watch that video and remember just how important they are in their kids’ lives. 

In honor of dads everywhere, Pampers is letting me giveaway a year's supply of diapers! Yes you heard me, they have given me the keys to the vault and one lucky reader will not

5 Fantastic Commercials That Show What Modern Dads Are Really Like

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

fathers day

Maybe you've seen the years of commercials that highlight the "dad" who can't seem to get anything right. It seems virtually impossible for a man to actually get his baby's diaper on correctly or even to succeed in dressing his child to go to that big event. This totally makes sense because a dad can certainly build a house but a diaper is way beyond his comprehension. There is no way a dad can dress his child because it's not like dads have been dressing themselves for their entire lives. Every dad I know has grown up on Downton Abbey with personal assistants to dress them.

Thankfully, the perception in the media has started to catch up with what actually happens in many households. I have tried to debunk the myth here on my own blog through fun recipes for their kids, humor, and parenting tips. Modern dads are more involved than ever and place a priority on being a part of what goes on in every area of their children's lives. In honor of Father's Day, here are 5 fantastic commercials from brands who get what it's like to be a real dad today.

1. Dove Men+Care
First Fatherhood Moments
These real dads aren't afraid show their true emotions when they find out they will be fathers. 

3 T.V. Shows I've Passed Down to My Kids

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

There are certain things about my dad that I will always hold dear. Even though he passed away a few years ago, I remember the times we experiencing certain T.V. shows together. I will never be able to watch an episode of the original black and white The Twilight Zone without fondly thinking of my dad. The same goes for anything related to Sherlock Holmes. I even was able to introduce him to my generation's version: Sherlock. He loved it. 

Because of how much I enjoyed sharing these moments together with my dad, I couldn't wait to pass on certain shows to my own kids. Here are three that we've already started building memories with. You can stream them all on Netflix right now. In fact, Netflix actually created a whole section on their website for shows to pass down to your kids called their Family Heirloom area. Check it out HERE.

I'm just going to be honest here. Forget Spider-Man, I always wanted to be Iceman. He was very much underappreciated among this trio of crime fighters. Sure he skated around in nothing but his underpants, but who wouldn't want to shoot ice compared to webs? This show started in 1981 and both of my older kids quickly blew through the episodes. The animation is old school, the jokes are cheesy, but watching this with my kids instantly took me back to my childhood.

5 Fantastic Ideas to Create A French Family Day and Win a Year's Supply of Bread!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post partnering with Brioche Pasquier. I received compensation, but all opinions expressed are solely my own.brioche pasquier
Have I ever told you how obsessed my daughter is with everything French? It turns out that she's not the only one. From amusement parks, to dolls, to TV shows, French culture is everywhere. I love that my daughter wants to learn how to speak French and even dreams about living in Paris one day. She is fearless and always seeks to drink in the adventure surrounding her. Don't believe me? Here is a report she wrote...just because she loves France.
brioche pasquier
Since it is pretty apparent that she's is not alone in her desire to experience everything that is French, I thought I would give other families some tips on how to immerse themselves in some French culture of their own. My family decided to make a day of it and we had an amazing time together. The great thing is that you can use just one idea, or all five. It's up to you, however, just don't skip the food. The French are all about food and I have to agree with them. Just don't be afraid to get a little goofy and have fun introducing a little French into your family!

1. Build Your Own Eiffel Towers
eiffel towers

There isn't much more that screams "France" than the iconic Eiffel Tower. However, you don't have to visit the country to experience the monument in your own home. Just spend a few minutes of fun building your own version. All you need are some toothpicks,

Graduation 2015 Lunch

Monday, June 8, 2015

This is what I like to call the "it's the end of the school year let's see what we have in the refrigerator after a weekend of work and graduation parties lunch." It's also the last week of school for my kids so they both got their own graduation lunches. Since it's the last week of school, and my ingredients were pretty limited, I'll make the directions simple.

The hat is a sandwich made out of whole wheat bread and turkey. The tassel is an all natural fruit roll. I made the background out of cherries. My daughter goes back and forth whether she likes them or not. Apparently today she does because she said she would eat them. 

The "2015" is cut from tortilla with a background of celery sticks and non nut spread to dip them in. The second side dish is a string cheese stick cut into thirds. I then wrapped little pieces of the fruit toll around as ribbon for the diplomas. They sit on a mound of blueberries.

I hope you are able to survive and even enjoy the end of the school year with your kids. Try not to get too stressed out and have some fun before the rush of summer hits.

I made the lunch in an Easy Lunch Boxes container. Please remember to follow me on all my social media channels for more great ideas, recipes, and giveaways!


Lunchbox Dad's Father's Day Gift Guide 2015

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Father's Day 2015
Are you stuck on what to get your dad, or husband, this Father's Day? Look no further than my 2015 Father's Day Gift Guide. Why would you want to give your dad a boring old tie when you have this guide brimming with wisdom and experience? Consider this your map to a successful Father's Day. These are real ideas from a real dad. I have not been paid to make this guide, or promote any of these products, and I have personally tested every one of these gifts. From the foodie, to the tech lover, to the active dad, I have you covered. So study this list and cement your place as the best Father's Day gift giver in the universe...or at least in your family.

Razor Adult and Kid Electric Scooters
Razor e300 e200 e100
What's better than watching your kids smile while they rock an electric scooter? Yep, that's right, dad being right there beside them on his own. Get dad and kids both a scooter to spend some quality time with each other. These awesome rides were so much fun for my daughter and I. Some of the best Father's Day gifts are the ones that the whole family can experience and bond together over. Also, an adult size electric Razor scooter will make your father the envy of every dad on the block.
Price: E100: $116.99 E200: $157.99 E300 $216.99

Wahl Custom Shave, Beard and Body Groomer, and Elite Pro Clippers
Wahl Custom Shave
Let's be honest, it's pretty easy for dad to work hard and let his beard and other body hair grow out of control. However, no one wants to see that. Ever. Seriously that nasty ear hair has got to go. The shaver was perfect for travel and home while the beard and body groomer was really easy to use to keep my beard in line. These Wahl trimmers are surprisingly inexpensive as well. They are the gift that keeps on giving. Your dad gets a great shave and you don't have to look at what's hiding in that unkempt beard anymore.
Price: Elite Pro Clippers $44.96 Custom Shave $56.64 Beard and Body Groomer Price Varies

Sandisk iXpand Flash Drive for iPhone and iPad
Sandisk iXpand

Raise your hand if you have a dad who's phone or tablet is filled with pictures or video. Does he ever have to delete pictures just to take more pictures? The iXpand makes it so easy to take those photos off your phone and put them directly on your computer. You plug it into the lightning port, it tells you what photos have not been moved yet, and it copies them them to the flash drive. Then, you use the USB port to plug it into your computer and complete the process. Even the most technologically challenged dad can figure this out. The iXpand comes in 64gb and 128gb models.
Price $99.99-$149.99

STOK Quattro Grill
STOK Quattro grill
Are you tired of me talking about the STOK Quattro yet? I have mentioned it in a few other posts because it is the most convenient grill I have ever owned. The Quattro has four burners and countless inserts to help lift your dad to grilling greatness. You can insert a pizza stone, kabob/rib rack, smoker, vegetable basket, dutch oven, and more! I'm not saying this BBQ will automatically give your dad a "Rib Festival Championship," but I am saying it will be much more difficult for him to win without one. You don't want to be responsible for costing him Rib Festival glory do you?
Price: $299.99

Virtue 9000 Portable Battery for Phones and Tablets
Virtue 9000 battery
Has your dad ever run out of battery on his phone or tablet while watching the big game, taking photos of grandkids, or watching cat videos? I thought so. There are a million portable batteries out there but none are designed with the look of a vintage calculator or those old handheld football games. Not to mention it is half the cost of many of those other portable batteries and has a great touchscreen power level indicator. It will also completely charge your father's phone in 1-2 hours (9000 mAh) so your dad can get back to watching his cat videos...I mean taking photos of the grandkids.
Price: $24.99

Gourmet Gift Baskets

Bacon. Do I have your attention now? I thought so. I personally read any sentence that begins and ends with bacon. You know that guy that you never know what to get for Father's Day? Yeah that one. Guess what, gift baskets aren't just for the ladies. I had the privilege of trying out two of the gift baskets from I immediately thought of guys I know who would love them. They have microbrew baskets, meat baskets, cigar and beer baskets, chocolate baskets, and more. So where does bacon come in? I'm glad you asked. They even have popcorn tins with flavors like bacon, wings, buffalo, and loaded baked potato. Did I mention bacon? Go ahead and order now.
Price: $19.99-$399.99

Logitech Bemo Social Video Camera
Logitech Bemo
Why not just capture video with your phone? Well, anyone with kids knows the reason why you can't have nice things. You give your kids a camera to hold and they drop it in dirt, cover it with an impenetrable layer of something sticky, or spill your coffee all over it. This video camera is rugged enough to withstand everyday accidents, from kids and parents, plus is simple enough for anyone in the family to use. It connects to an app on your iPhone through bluetooth. The great thing is how is it is to shoot a video, trim it down, add a filter, music, a title, and share it on social media. I did it all in about 2 minutes my first time using the Bemo. It is also portable enough to carry in your pocket when your husband wants to start filming in a matter of seconds before the kids move on to something else.
Price: $129.99

Urban Accents Spice Blends
Urban Accents Spice Blends
If your dad loves to cook but doesn't love trying to pick out the right seasoning or rub, get him a gift pack from Urban Accents. You will immediately move into first position for child of the year. I have been using these spice blends consistently for about a year and I find that all my other spices suffer from loneliness because of lack of use. The great thing is the suggestions on each bottle for when and how to use them. It's like a spice blend guide for dummies. You know how some dads think they are pros at seasoning food, but they are the only people in the family who have that opinion? These are a great start in helping your dad become the cook he already thinks he is in his own head.
Price: $25.95-$150.00

Reliable Pronto Steam Cleaner
Pronto Reliable Steam Cleaner
How fun would it be to get a steam cleaner as a gift, right? I thought the same thing at first. Check this out though. You know how your dad can never get all the gunk off his grill? Is your dad a neat freak about his car? This can clean the BBQ and the gunk off the wheel wells. I have come to the conclusion that the way this works is that they mix black magic, and the tears of a unicorn, in with the water you fill it with. It's the only explanation that makes sense. I steamed the wrinkles out of my shirt. While it was hanging up. I love this thing now. It's the Father's Day gift that your dad never knew he needed.
Price: $99.99

Omaha Steaks
Omaha Steaks
Meat and Father's Day. Just say it a few times. It rolls off the tongue perfectly. It's almost as if you can't have Father's Day without a good piece of meat. Unless you are vegetarian. Then, well, I guess you can eat for the mashed potatoes and let the rest of us gorge ourselves on delicious meat candy. I was skeptical when my wife first ordered from Omaha Steaks. However, you can get some excellent deals and meat that works for any occasion. Mention these two things to your dad and he might just cry because he is so proud of you. Or he may grill you a steak instead. Either way is a win.
Price: Varies based on package you order

Disclosure: I was not compensated for writing about any of the products in this post. I was sent some samples for the purpose of review and other products I paid for myself. All opinions expressed are solely my own. Have a great Father's Day!

Inside Out Joy Lunch and $100 Fandango Gift Card Giveaway!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post partnering with Fandango Family. I received compensation, but all opinions expressed are solely my own.
Fandango Family #FandangoFamily

Who else is extremely excited to see the new Pixar movie Inside Out with your kids? This is one movie that I think will be one a highlight of the summer. The school year is almost out so I wanted to give my daughter a hint in her lunch to what we will be doing later on this month. She loved this lunch and can't wait to see the movie. Inside Out not only looks like entertaining but I read that the director modeled it after his experience with his own daughter. I can't wait to see what I am in for in a few years!

#FandangoFamilyInside Out comes out on June 19, but I will be out of town, so I am planning on taking my kids to see it on Father's Day, June 21. So for a little Father's Day gift to you all I am partnering with Fandango Family to give away a $100 Fandango gift card to one lucky Lunchbox Dad reader. Just enter using the Rafflecopter below, after you check out the recipe to my lunch and the free downloadable Inside Out activity sheets of course. 

I wanted to share some fun Inside Out activities that you can do with your own kids. Of course there is the recipe below for how to make the lunch with or for your children. It features one of the main characters, Joy, but also teases other characters in the movie.
I'm also giving away printable coloring and activity sheets. All you have to do is click the link below and you can download the .pdf files from Dropbox. So have fun getting ready for Inside Out by making the fun "Joy" lunch and doing the activity sheets! 

Fandango Family #FandangoFamily
Red grapes
Green grapes
1 flour tortilla
Sliced turkey
Sliced cheese
Edible modeling dough (black, white, and blue)
1 cheese round in red wax

1. Cut tortilla in the shape of a ping pong paddle. It is a circle with a neck on it. Use this first cutout as a guide to cut an additional shape from the tortilla. This is Joy's head.

2. In the main compartment arrange red (purple) and green grapes. These colors represent the characters Fear and Disgust from the movie. 

3. On first tortilla place turkey (or whatever meat your child enjoys) and cheese. Put second tortilla on top to make a sandwich. 

4. Use edible modeling dough to make the eyes, mouth, nose, and hair. This dough can be bought at many craft stores. You only need a small amount. Joy's facial features are flat basic shapes. Her hair can be made by rolling the dough into small "snake" shapes like you would Play-Dough. The great thing about the dough is that it becomes hard and sticks together once you put it in place. It should not come apart once it has set. Place finished sandwich on top of grapes.
Fandango Family #FandangoFamily
5. In side compartment place blueberries. These represent the character Sadness. Using the a piece of the tortilla, cut out the letters J-O-Y. Put tortilla letters on top of the blueberries.

6. In second side compartment put cherries and cheese round. These represent the character Anger. Using another piece of the tortilla cut out the letters I-N-S-I-D-E O-U-T. Arrange them on top of the cheese. If you are having a hard time getting them to stick, dab the back of the letters with a very small amount of cream cheese on a toothpick, then press them down on the cheese round. The cream cheese acts like paste.

7. Serve to your child and have fun eagerly awaiting the premiere of Inside Out on June 19! You can also discover more movies that give you all the feels in a great post by my friend Brent HERE and learn about the story behind the Inside Out emotions HERE.

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