Last weekend was the Newport Folk Festival which we’ve told you before is the best music festival to bring your whole family to. But assuming you missed it (as we did this year) you can still enjoy some of this year’s memorable sets thanks to NPR Music. Our biased personal favorite set, however, was Ryan Adams performing bluegrass versions of his long list of fan favs as well as Slayer and Black Sabbath covers for good measure. So damn good. There’s also a new Netflix original series debuting today that’s getting a lot of buzz. Think of it as a real life docuseries in the same vein as Friday Night Lights. Do you want to be a better parent? Just read this article and you will be!* We’ve also got a delicious recipe that you can easily knock out this weekend and if you’re glad to put the past two weeks of political conventions behind you then try to get your hands on this new small bath limited release from Stone. At 12.7% ABV you’re sure to forget some of the ridiculousness that occurred (drink responsibly – you’ve got kids now). You’ve gotta…
Hear this: Ryan Adams & the Infamous Stringdusters Live at Newport Folk Festival
via NPR Music.
Watch this: Last Chance U
Read this: Five things that can make you a better parent right now
via the Washington Post.
Eat this: Dark Roast Coffee Pork Sliders
via Tailgate Traditions.
Drink this: Bastard’s Midnight Brunch (12.7% ABV) American Strong Ale (w/ Coffee, Maple Syrup, Barrel Aged Bourbon)
by Arrogant Brewing.
*If only it was that easy.
What makes a song truly great is when it has it’s own atmosphere. Entwined within each note is a mix of emotion so palpable that you can almost touch, see and taste it. Think Robert Johnson’s Crossroad or Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb. Or, how about Blowing in the Wind, Life on Mars, Hallelujia, Valarie, God Only Knows… you get the points. Some music is so beautiful and so meaningful that it deserves the very best output. Sony knows that and thus they invented perhaps the most beautiful wireless speaker we have ever seen. The Sony Glass Sound Speaker looks more like a vintage hurricane lantern than a modern speaker and that is the point. One might never notice it sitting on a porch in Nantucket one August evening next to a glass of wine. The speaker was designed to blend into the atmosphere of your home and enhance the atmosphere of your music. The price tag is hefty for a speaker but for audio buffs and interior design nuts this speaker will be on the top of their must-have list. Let your music glow. read more…
For this #dadhack you will actually want your kids to draw on the walls. No Mr. Clean Magic Eraser required! Here is what you will need:
- A wall.
- A large whiteboard. We suggest a magnetic one like this 6’x4′ Lorell we have in the office.
- Screws & a screwdriver.
- Lot’s of cool accessories. Like these alphabet magnets & these Mickey Mouse Clubhouse magnets & these Crayola Dry Erase Markers and for sure this amazing magnet set from Tegu.
Cover photo via /u/0x7262.
While it feels like the only thing that happened this week was the RNC, it wasn’t and we’re here with your weekly reminder of things you might have missed. For example, Wilco’s back with a great new song you from their forthcoming 10th studio album that you need to hear. Also, Netflix is now streaming one of the most talked about psychological thrillers in years so get the kids to bed early tonight. And while you escape the heat and hide out indoors this weekend, read up on why you lose friends in your 30’s then cheer yourself up with a beer and a watermelon granita (i.e. a no-recipe dessert even YOU can make). You’ve gotta…
Hear this: “If I Ever Was a Child” by Wilco
Watch this: The Invitation
Read this: Why 30 is the decade friends disappear — and what to do about it
Eat this: The Easiest Frozen Dessert You Can Make Without a Recipe
Drink this: Gose with the Flow (4.6% ABV)
by Tin Roof.
If your family is one of the 70-80 million families in America that own a dog or two surely you have had the pleasure of seeing good old Baxter waddle up to the kiddie pool on a hot summer afternoon and rest his belly in the cool water. Summer is for the dogs. Snoozing in the shade of the tree, jumping off the dock into the lake, licking the melting ice cream off the sidewalk, riding through town with their head out the window, resting their jowls on the A/C or airing out their belly for all the world to see their, ahem’s, is there anything better than being a dog in the summer? So why not treat them with something fun from our Dog Days Of Summer Gift Guide? Whose a good boy/girl Wu are, aren’t choo?
Petkin Doggy Sunwipes – ($6) Because Fifi is not immune to UV either.
AutumFall Dog Sunglasses – ($6) Snoopy isn’t the only dog who can rock the sunglasses is he? Make your little buddy the coolest pooch on the block.
Viment Dog Pool – ($36) There is no need for Pookie to be fighting for pool time with little Timmy and Tanya. Get her her own pool and everyone can enjoy the afternoon splash fest in harmony.
It might not happen this summer or next summer but sometime soon dad you gonna realize that you old AF. We’re not really sure how old, old AF is but it’s somewhere between the ages of, “I can do anything, I am invincible” and “I was making chalk drawings in the driveway with my kids and my back seized up and now I am watching reruns of Martin while I lay on the couch icing my oblique.” Luckily some other adults probably had the same problem and invented Walkie Chalk, which to be honest is so simple that we are kicking ourselves that we didn’t think of it first. Walkie Chalk is the perfect sidewalk chalk holder that allows everyone from your toddler to your grandfather to easily and ergonomically partake in the beautiful art of chalk drawing. So all your sidewalk Picassos can save your back and knees and join in on the fun with Walkie Chalk. Oh, and yeah kids love it too!
It’s hard to argue against the validity of our office’s choice for the best children’s book of 2016…so far when it has won so many awards. Add to it the greatly coveted Newbery Medal for 2016 and you can rest assured that this book is an instant classic. Oh, sorry we didn’t mention the what book we have fallen in love with yet did we? Well, you need to buy Last Stop on Market Street right this second. No, really just click the BUY button below and get this book on your doorstep A.S.A.P. Last Stop on Market Street is an amazing tale that follows little CJ and his Grandmother’s trek across the city one Sunday afternoon. The illustrations are amazing and the morals that Matt de la Pena pens about poverty, family and the beauty that surrounds us will fulfill your story times for years to come. Make Last Stop on Market Street the official book of your bedtime routine today! read more…
Do you know where your kids are? No, probably not. They have been outside chasing Pokemon all day and haven’t come home for dinner right? We know you might not know much about Pokemon Go but if you are a Millennial parent chances are you know a whole lot about NES games from the 90’s. Super Mario Bros, Tecmo Bowl, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and more will all be included in the new NES Classic Edition (available Nov 2016). “The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition is ideal for anyone who remembers playing the NES, or who wants to pass on those nostalgic memories to the next generation of gamers.” What could be better than spending a few hours playing your childhood video games with your own children? We have a feeling that all of these games still hold up and your gamer kids will get a kick seeing how good their old man is at playing them. With the NES Classic Edition, you just might have a shot to beat your kids at video games for once. So head to your local Poke Gym and find those kids of yours, dinner is getting cold.
Fully aware of all the terrible things in the news the last couple weeks, we’re going to continue the approach of last week’s Culture Checklist by acknowledging that important things going on in the world that you should be paying attention to, but you’re an adult and don’t need Relevant Dad to tell you how to digest the news. Instead we’ll once again be focusing on some of the good stuff to come out what’s new in culture this past week and hopefully help you find something to enjoy this weekend. First, there are certain artists that, regardless of your taste in music, you should pay attention to whenever they drop new songs. Since it’s kind of a soft weekend for new music anyway we thought we’d include this new earworm from M.I.A. Then follow that up with a new Netflix original series of escapism that dropped today and prepare to stay up late binge-watching after the kids are in bed. Also, we know you’ve secretly been waiting for someone to explain this week’s phenomenon-of-the-moment, Pokemon Go, to you. So, yeah. We’ve got you covered there. Also, we’ve got a great recipe for a killer sandwich and some new bottled nitro cold brew coffee (to help you stay awake for the aforementioned binge-watching). You’ve gotta…
Hear this: M.I.A. – Go Off
Watch this: Stranger Things
Read this: Pokémon Go, explained in fewer than 400 words
Eat this: Charred Caprese Sandwich
Drink this: Califia Nitro Cold Brew
by Califia Farms.
What did Marie Curie, Ada Lovelace, Rachel Carson, Dorothy Hodgkin and Nina Byers all have in common? They all grew up experimenting with Yellow Scope’s science kits for girls. No, not really but if they could have they would have. Because as little girls all of these women loved science as most little girls do. The moms who started Yellow Scope noticed this fact, but they also noticed something else. Around the time girls enter 8th grade they fall out of love with science for a variety of reasons, chief among them is the sexist social stereotypes that market science to boys and not to girls. Something needed to be done so Yellow Scope creators Marcie and Kelly developed science kits, especially for girls. These kits are equipped to run your girls through fun yet rigorous experiments that solidify some of the basic theories of the sciences. We need our girls to become scientists, they will inherit a plethora of problems from us that on;y their scientific minds can solve. So, help them fall in love with science today.
P.S. – Boys love Yellow Scope too…isn’t science fun?!
Nothing really. Right? Wait…you don’t know what an ice cream ball is? It’s okay, neither did we until last weekend when someone brought one to a picnic in the park and we spent the next three hours making ice cream inside of it while lawn bowling! Yaylabs Softshell Ice Cream Ball takes the same concept from your summer camp days in the 80’s when you would shake together some cream, sugar, salt and ice in Ziploc bags but this makes the “making” process so much more fun. You just add the ingredients for your flavor then shake, roll and play your way to fun. This is a perfect summer activity to keep the kids busy for 15-20min and then as an added bonus you get yummy ice cream at the end. The parts are BPA free and dishwasher safe so all you have to worry about is chocolate, vanilla or strawberry!
Culture. “The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.”
I was up way too late here on the East Coast watching the horror play out in the streets of Dallas. This was after staring at my screen all day on Thursday reading about the horrible killings in St. Paul and Baton Rouge as well as the bombings in Baghdad and what were the other things? I can’t remember, which is a problem. When horrific news events begin to stack up one upon another with such aggressive frequency they begin to not mean anything. Yet, they always mean everything in the moment. For 24 hours at least until something just as sinister takes their place in our minds.
Culture. “The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement….” Walking to the office this morning I knew that I needed to create this week’s culture checklist and I spent a lot of time thinking about the culture that we all live in today. On one hand Donald Trump, email servers, violent shootings, terrorism and pop up reminders of grim news greeting us constantly on our phones turning those black mirrors into instant stressors. On the other hand, incredibly moving music, beautiful prose, people perfecting their crafts and sharing their success willfully with the world to consume and adore. These bits of culture are the better parts of us, the most of us, the real us. When the tension is palpable (manufactured or not) it’s hard to see the beauty around us. But we have to try. We here at Relevant Dad wholeheartedly believe that our American culture is still beautiful. So now more than ever – You’ve gotta…
Hear this: NPR Music’s Top Songs of 2016 So Far.
Watch this: The National Parks: America’s Best Idea
Read this: America by Claude McKay
Eat this: Pop’s Pastrami
Via Harry & Ida’s New York City
Drink this: Puff (Limited Release)
Via Sixpoint Brewery
The RD team has all been taking some time off the past few weeks to spend some quality time with all their respective families. Hiking, biking, laying on the beach and filling buckets with sand one tiny plastic shovel full at a time. Needless to say, we have all spent a ton of time in the Sun of late so we cannot endorse the ro•sham•bo baby sunglasses collection enough. These super lightweight cool baby sunglasses are chewable, bendable and can seriously take a beating. We all know how gear for infants likes to be dropped, stepped on, thrown into the ocean and then chewed on for the whole ride home right? Well trust us, our product testing toddlers took these sunglasses through their paces and it is safe to at these ro•sham•bo sunglasses are still standing strong protecting our little one’s precious pupils. Like they say “Families that shade together, stay together”!
Happy 4th of July everyone. We hope you are enjoying the day with your family and friends. When we think of the American Flag we think of THE makers of the best American flags. Grace Alley is an American tradition and you should own one for your home. Happy Independence Day you all.
Happy 4th of July weekend everyone. Summer has officially hit and we could not be happier. We are all taking a few days off next week but we have a great #CultureChecklist for you today. Remember that chillingly awesome piano and organ piece for the first 10 minutes of the GOT finale? It’s now up on Spotify and you can chill out to it all weekend, just don’t pull a Tommen okay? We also want you to rent one of the most important documentaries out there this weekend. “Daddy Don’t Go is a tough but tender journey that illuminates the everyday struggles of disadvantaged fathers.” It is a must watch no matter what your family situation is. We lost a giant earlier in the week. The Ringer has a great piece on how legendary basketball coach Pat Summitt transcended her sport and shook the world. Of course for the holiday weekend, we leave you with an easy to make angel food cake and strawberry recipe and a beer that is peak 2016 Trump era American. You’ve gotta…
Hear this: Light of the Seven by Ramin Djawadi
Watch this: Daddy Don’t Go
Read this: Pat Summitt Transcended Women’s Sports
Via The Ringer
Eat this: Strawberries On A Cloud
Drink this: #Merica!
Can we get the data from Fitbit on the number of calories burned every day by people getting up off the couch or up out of bed to go downstairs to restart their wireless router because their internet is crawling? That number has got to be in the millions right? Just think about how many Frappuccinos that can add up to! Up until recently that caloric number in my house had to equal out to at least an extra scoop of mint chocolate chip at night, at least that is what I told myself on the trips to the freezer. What makes that even worse is that living with slow WiFi had become totally acceptable! Death, taxes and slow internet as the saying famously goes right?
Buffering, router restarting, giving up on trying to load a funny gif, dropped facetime calls with family out of state, we have all become accustomed to waiting or giving up altogether. Things were so bad that we had to choose between keeping our baby monitor on or watching the next buffering episode of Orange Is The New Black smoothly. “Hun, do you have her on?” was a phrase I’d yell from our home office nightly because the internet signal coming from one room away was so bad that I felt like I was 15 again trying to load a picture of Pamela Anderson (hey, it was 1998) on my computer line by line by line before my parents came in.
A little over five months ago I had had enough of this weak signal, so I broke down and bought a brand new router on Amazon and had it overnighted to my house. I made sure it had good reviews and cost me a lot of money because that is the sensible thing one does right? We also changed our ISP in hopes that they would be better, faster and our lives would become easier. Things seemed okay at first but then quickly went back to being that same crappy internet acceptance lifestyle that we had become accustomed to. Looking back things were never better with the new router, it was just a brief psychological lift that we had been experiencing from having something new and shiny to look at. When we switched ISPs we opted for a plan that boasted 150mbps, our last speed test with the old company and router topped out a 4mbps. F-O-U-R. At this point, it didn’t take Benedict Cumberbatch to figure that our house was part of the problem.
One of the great things about working at Relevant Dad is that we spend a lot of out time finding new products that families might enjoy. On a post-it note full of products I had come across one way or another, I had written down eero and underlined it twice and noted next to it “better wifi” and then I had underlined that twice too, which told me through my keen deductive reasoning that eero was something I probably better check out. Call it fate or luck but the same day that I had a realization that my house was not built for a good wifi signal I took another look at eero.com. “Finally, WiFi That Works” were the words that greeted me as the page loaded. Okay, you have my interest eero. Now what. WFB, work from backyard the page proclaimed. Amusing, as if that is even possible! However, I like this idea that WiFi is a system not originating from one point in your house but from three. Multiple access points working together? Well, that sounded like the very thing my house required. If my life were like an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia this would be the point where the theme music begins to play and the title cards would read “The gang gets better internet.”
When my eero WiFi system came I knew from the moment I opened that package that it was going to change our time at home online for the better. Just the attention to detail that went into the packaging was impressive. You know that old adage, “dress for the job you want”? Well, eero comes dressed ready to impress at the MET gala. Each eero access point comes with supremely spooled power cords and slimline outlet plugs. I can’t emphasize enough how impressed I was at the packaging display, it was almost too pretty to disrupt but the lust for working WiFi conquers all. Give me my funny GIFs new wireless router overlords, please!
The setup from top to bottom took me less than 20 minutes, it literally was plug and play. From the comfort of the eero App I selected my personal preferences for the system and worked my way from the home base access point to one in our bedroom and then another in the office. Each step of the way the app guided me through my options. Once the system was up and running I took it for a test drive. Two iPad, two iPhones, one Apple TV, a baby monitor and a PC all were connected and working the network. My speed test topped out at 134 Mbps. I cried. You have to remember that just a week before it was 4 Mbps. What makes eero stand apart from the rest of the field is it’s mesh system that blankets your home with reliable WiFi. Our house works with three access points but the cool thing is we can add more if we want to and it will work even better. Inconceivable! It’s 2016 people, your furnace or central air are no longer the most important systems in your home. Without fast WiFi securely blanketing your abode your family will be left behind. So listen to my cautionary tale, don’t be fooled into buying a better cable package, or a new router with that one extra antenna, run, run, run to eero.com and fix your bad wifi forever.
It has been about two months of using our new eero system and we have had no complaints. The only time that it has powered off was when some guy took a joyride into a telephone pole a few streets over and we lost power for 3 hours. The system has even gotten faster due in part to some sort of magic on eero’s part. Software and security updates to the system to make it safe and efficient happen automatically so we don’t have to worry about a thing. When we have guests over it’s super easy to allow them access to our network through the App. No more yelling “19865356 lower case y k 6785 capitol TXY 1345″ from the notebook you have your network id written down in. Oh, and no more sharing your embarrassing password that you have had since signing up for AOL instant messenger in the late 90’s. It gets better, eero has even introduced parental controls that allow family time to stay family time with no distractions. FINALLY, WiFi that works! Sing it in high everyone! The only gripe that I have and it’s a big one is that all those extra calories I used to burn getting up off the couch to re-start the old solitary router are catching up on my waistline. #NoMoreFrappachinos
When we saw Lunchbox Dad snap a picture of these Galaxy Frozen Yogurt Popsicles we thought it was just a new snapchat filter, but nope here they are for real! Check out how easy they are to make below.
Don’t forget to follow Lunchbox Dad on Snapchat at lunchboxdad and you can find us at relevantdad.com on Snapchat.
We are big fans of minimalist children’s toys here at RD. So when we found The Paloma Teeter Totter we fawned hard. These handcrafted eco-friendly teeter totters are each made to simple perfection for your kids to enjoy endlessly. The Paloma Teeter Totter was the creation of Ink & Wood’s creator Derek Kistner one Christmas a few years back for his niece…Paloma. Ding. It has quickly become one of her favorite toys where everyone is invited for a rock. Tetter totters are nothing new to the children’s toy world but these ones are so perfectly styled they will fit into your house like a modern art piece you want to display, not something you will end up putting on the sidewalk for bulk trash pickup after the kids have grown. Heirloom quality, hours of fun. This is a toy that the whole family can love. “Whether your little one sails the seas from the living room or builds a tiny fort hideout for stuffed friends – this teeter totter is sure to bring hours of joy and laughter.”
When my wife and I were finally alone in the wee hours of the morning after our daughter was born we didn’t know what to do. Was this real? There she was, this beautiful sleeping human that we had created had my wife had given birth to all day the day before. Here we were, this new family, worn out, blissful, and totally unable to calm down to sleep. So, we put on JJ Heller’s album I Dream Of You which is a gentle collection of lullabies not only for a new life but for a new family. JJ and her husband Dave have heard many such stories over the past couple of years of new families in peacefully moments, happy moments and incredibly sad moments in those early days in the hospital playing their music to help families love and grieve. Now they have started a mission to get their album into as many children’s hospitals nationwide because music is love, it is life and it brings us all a little bit closer in times of joy and need. So, for every album that you buy, they will donate one to a hospital in need. – Relevant Dad Shawn (iTunes, Amazon, or shop.jjheller.com) read more…
When it comes to baby number two one of the biggest concerns we hear from other parents is how well the older sibling will welcome the addition to the family. One can never really know how older brother or sister will act once the new baby has finally arrived, but we can do our best to prepare them for the inevitable big day and beyond. London illustrator Lie Dirkx has crafted The New Baby: An Activity Book for Soon-to-be Big Brothers & Sisters, that is filled with tiny chores and activities that the big sibling can take on during the long pregnancy. From helping choose a name to playing dress up with paper dolls and baby clothes he/she will really get a chance to see what life will be like soon. Have them pay extra attention to the how to swaddle page, that skill just might save all of your sanity one day!