These days it can be hard to weed through all of the useless tech and mine those gems that will actually benefit your daily life. When we checked out CES last year one of the new products we bookmarked was the Neutrogena Skin360, a $60 scanner that fits onto your smartphone and scans your face & skin for an in-depth analysis you’d normally find in a boutique dermatologists office in Manhattan. Now, with that technology the company will soon be printing custom facemasks that will offer their users more control about what goes onto their face. Since no two faces are alike and need the same care, these new masks will be zoned (eyes, forehead, cheeks etc). There is no price point for these masks yet and they are rumored to be coming this summer/fall but keep this in mind for your 2019 holiday gift ideas for your wife/partner.
When I became a dad I started saving all the spent paper town and toilet paper rolls in a closet at the end of the hall. I figured that was what good parents did right? Kept those things in case you needed an emergency art project started on a snow day? There they all still sit as my oldest just wants to watch Vamparina on my tablet. This year it is time to take back the paper towel roll surplus and make something amazing. The folks from YOKO (“yock-so”) have teamed up with our parenting pals at PBS Kids and made an opened ended creative building set that integrates into most of the items you have overflowing in your recycling bin. Check out the new PBS KIDS Build It Kit via the link below and get busy building something cool.
If you follow us on Twitter (therelevantdad) you may have seen that we are obsessed with Dax Shepard’s new podcast Armchair Expert. He has upped his game with a new series on his feed called Experts on Expert and his first guest is the amazing Wendy Mogel. Trust us this is a MUST LISTEN. It’s like she knows all of the deep parenting worries that we all have…well, duh, of course, she does she is the expert in this shit. Please take a listen, it will make your day and make you a better parent instantly.
In this inaugural episode of Experts on Expert, the Armchair Expert speaks to author and child psychologist, Dr. Wendy Mogel about human patterns of behavior, the impact of social media on the family and the importance of free-reign grandparenting. Wendy gives advice on how to speak to children and Dax asks for reassurance on his parenting strategy. The two of them breakdown the moral dilemma of behavioral diagnoses, the role of fear and Wendy discusses a study that uncovered the one thing every child wishes they could tell their parents.
Dr. Wendy Mogel is a practicing clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, New York Times bestselling author and international public speaker.
Here is the goal for the rest of the year. Turn off the 24hour news channel because that shit isn’t helping your creeping anxiety, at all. Sure, it’s fun to watch The Handmaids Tale but that also isn’t helping your peace of mind either. We have made it a goal to read more for the rest of the year but what does that mean? If you haven’t picked up a book in a while (like since college awhile) here are five books that we have either read or want to read and so should you. Look, these are five books, you can read five books in six months right? Do it!
The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels by John Mecham ($18)
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear.
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow ($13)
“Well the word got around, they said, “This kid is insane, man!” Took up a collection just to send him to the mainland “Get your education, don’t forget from whence you came, and The world’s gonna know your name! What’s your name, man?” Alexander Hamilton My name is Alexander Hamilton” Read the book that inspired the hit musical that your tweens and wife have been singing around the house for years.
Like Brothers by Mark & Jay Duplass ($19)
These prolific brothers have created some of the most consumed content of the past 15 years but how did they get here? This quirky memoir builds off the bond of these brothers and delivers a fun glimpse into their minds and world. This books makes you want to be a better man and a better sibling.
An American Marriage: A Novel by Tayari Jones ($18)
Listen Oprah loves this book so how dare you not! This beautiful book about a modern marriage is simply beautiful. We read this book at the suggestion of our local librarian and it did not dissapoint. “This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward–with hope and pain–into the future.”
Obama: The Call of History by Peter Baker ($29)
You may have seen Peter Baker on Showtimes hit docu-series The Fourth Estate as he tireslessly weeds through this whole Trump/Russia debacle. Before he was on the Trump beat with the NYT Washington beureau he covered less scandelous presidents including Obama. Sure Pete Souza’s coffee table book is a good look but Peter Bakers dives deeper into the Obama presidency.
Go Climb A Mountain ($188)
Whether heading out for a day hike or scaling a favorite peak, this gift provides a trio of essentials. Matador’s sturdy yet lightweight backpack protects electronics and other contents from the elements. The pocket blanket provides quick ground cover for a nibble (or a nap) and folds back into its diminutive 5″ x 3″ pouch for easy transport. The Leatherman Multi-Tool includes a knife, two pliers, four screwdrivers and the indispensable corkscrew.
Outside the Lines ($82)
A gift set for the right-brained, the curious, the out-of-the-box thinkers, this Grids & Guides Notebook is a fun gift for creative people of all ages. The notebook provides hours of amusement alongside one’s note-taking, as it includes 144 pages of grid paper in 8 different designs, interspersed with a marvelous collection of charts and infographics from the arts and sciences. The Grids & Guides Pencil Set and Blackwing Sharpener are savvy complements. And because we know that whether they use these tools at work or school, they’re bound to get thirsty, we’ve included our favorite beverage tumbler from MiiR. It holds up to 16 oz and will easily see them through a busy morning.
The Caffeinator ($169)
What’s handsome, powerful, and has more energy than you? The Caffeinator can do it all; this gift set includes a bag of Caffe Umbria’s signature Bizzarri coffee, a versatile medium dark roast blend, and a trio of sleek products for the coffee connoisseur. Fellow’s coffee products are gorgeous and easy to use, turning every sip into a truly special experience. The Stagg Double-Wall Carafe and new XF Pour-Over Dripper are the perfect size for 1-2 cups of your favorite blend, while the two coffee tasting glasses add a touch of modern to the morning.
Carnivore’s Delight ($68)
A favorite of grill masters everywhere, this gift brings the heat with the Rub With Love Steak Rub by Chef Tom Douglas, Mustard and Co’s Chipotle Mustard, and The Pike Place Brewing Company’s Kilt Lifter BBQ Sauce. Wildwood Grilling Cedar Grilling Planks kick your grilling game up a notch and experts recommend soaking planks in beer or wine for extra flavor. Finally, throw in a cheeky “I Like Big Butts” kitchen towel from Missy Madewell, and you’ll have first pick of all the tastiest, sauciest, crispiest bits hot off the grill–we guarantee it.
Veni Vidi Vino ($70)
We can’t all be Master Sommeliers, but let us be frank: that course of study is long and arduous, and we’d much rather enjoy our favorite wines on our own time (nevertheless keeping copious notes about that magical Syrah so it’s not forgotten after an indulgent evening). This gift set was made with the oenophile in mind–someone who can get a bit geeky about terroir and tasting notes and wields a corkscrew with great aplomb. The collection features a Moleskine Passions Wine Journal, a multi-duty hinged Corkscrew and an Aerating Pour Spout designed to help the flavor of any vintage flourish and breathe as you pour.
We the People ($98)
If your conversation includes dignified, civil discourse over a glass of whiskey, you might have this gift set to thank for it. This set not only makes a great gift for lawyers, law students, and history buffs, but anyone who appreciates great craftsmanship and creative decor will enjoy these rocks glasses etched with the Preamble to the Constitution, and set of 4 geometric slate coasters.
If you dad doesn’t fit any of these profiles or you want to add to any of these amazing sets just visit the fine folks are knackshops.com and they will set you up.
Step up your shadow puppet routines with this exciting new way to send the kids off to bed. Moonlite is a storytime projector that attaches to your smartphone and uses the flashlight feature to project the illustrations from some of your favorite children’s books onto the wall or ceiling. The accompanying app allows you to read the story as your child lays in wonder seeing the story come to life high above them. Some of the books now available on Moonlite are Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Curious George, Goodnight Moon, Where Is Baby’s Belly Button? and Wherever You Go. This set comes with 5 books read to enthrall your whole family and a charming box that holds everything neatly and can slip onto your bookshelf after you’re done.
Help cultivate your little ones green thumb with this awesome set from Sesame Street. G is the letter of the day that G stands for gardening with this Abby’s Garden Planting Activity Set. This fun set from Green Toys (a Relevant Dad fav) has everything your child needs to take ownership of their very own garden. Included in the set are three pots, seed packs, soil pucks, tools and a charming guide to planting and growing. Your kids will learn about nature and science all the while having a finished product they can be proud of…and eat! Smarter, stronger, kinder as they say.
If you are a Millenial you surely have tried or at least know about the wave of meal box services that have taken over most podcast and Facebook advertising spots in recent years. Have you tried one? They can be great especially for weeknights when you get home late from work or a recital and you don’t want to think about cooking from scratch. But the big problem is there is no way that your three-year-old is going to eat Spicy Polano & Enoki Mushroom Tortas. You know what they might eat though? How about Orange Chicken with Fried Rice or Peas & Cheese Tortellini! Simply put, kid food jazzed up a bit.
Nurture Life is a meal box service that is for your kids and your busy life. You simply enter your child’s age and their dietary restrictions and their team will curate a weekly menu plan for you. Then every week it shows up on your doorstep like some magical food fairy has blessed your house and cured your picky eaters once and for all.
The meals come cold ready to re-heat and in perfect healthy sized portions for your growing kids. You don’t have to worry about reading the sides of mac and cheese boxes to see if there is anything icky inside anymore. The Nurture Life “team of chefs and pediatric dietitian create meals that are designed and portioned to meet each child’s nutritional requirements. We prepare, cook and package all of our meals in our state-of-the-art kitchen, eliminating cross-contamination with the most common allergens.”
What we love the most about Nurture Life’s meals for our toddlers is that we don’t have to worry about them getting all of the nutrients from their meals what we pretend to give them normally. Yeah, you don’t have to pretend that those french fries you threw in the microwave are a suitable veggie. These meals are simply perfect for any family.
As a parent, you are always looking for a way to make bathtime more enjoyable for everyone involved. You have the bath books and a rotating array or rubber ducks that you have to toss when you start squeezing out mold and mildew. Tomy toys have created the ultimate line of toys that will propel your bathtime into fun family play time with Toomies. Tomy sent over some Toomies for us to try as a family and we can not get enough of them. These toys are so fun that we found our 4yo in the tub playing with them when it was dry. Here are some Toomies we love:
The foam cone factory is by far the favorite. You simply add a half cap full of your normal bubble bath and some water into the tank and then pull the lever as you make the most delish soapy soft serve cone you have ever seen. The imagination you kid uses as they sprinkle on jimmies/sprinkles with the included shaker is hilarious to watch. Hand up, dad made a cone in the shower the next morning and found it just as amusing as the toddler did.
The Bubble blast train is similar to the foam cone factory but instead of spitting out “ice cream” as the train choo’s down the track giant bubbles emit from the smoke stack. All aboard for a super fun bathtime with this toy.
The rocket blast fountain is equally fun and useful, your child will learn cause and effect and you will be able to rise that soapy hair with relative ease as they giggle at the water train raining down on them as the rocket blasts off in your tub.
Sometimes you just need to cruise your John Deere tractor over your dad’s foot or repeatedly run into your mom with it while she is sitting on the couch trying to watch, Watch What Happens Live. Of course, we are are talking about the John Deere Monster Treads tractor and gator playset. Yeah, it’s true that gator that you have been wanting for a while is not super affordable…it’s just 6” long and well, a toy. No matter if your kids are princess primpers of wild superhero watchers these toys from John Deere are a load of fun. Tomy sent us over a set to play with and the kids loved them. The massive wheels with super grip treads are perfect for off-roading in your backyard or across the great fields of your couch. Add this set to your toybox so those Avengers or Barbies have a sweet ride when your little one’s imagination is firing at full speed. Oh, the stories they can tell.
Each vehicle features:
- 3 function lights and sound action with LED lights
- All-terrain steering
- Super bouncy tires
- Available at Walmart
If you have a kid under the age of 9 in your home chances are they know all about Nature Cat, the cartoon about the lovable housecat Fred who lives for his backyard adventures but has no skill at being an outdoor cat. One of our favorite brands TOMY has created a cute line of 8″ plush characters based on this popular PBS cartoon and they are adorable. They send us a couple and my girls fell in love with them immediately. “Nae-twer Cat!” These stuffies are the perfect size for your kids to take on adventures in the backyard and are ultra-realistic. They are so close to the actual cartoon it’s like they jumped from the screen into your house. It’s fun to act out scenes from past Nature Cat episodes or make up your own adventures with your family. Check them out and click the buy button below.
The fine folks over at Sweet Valley Organics sent us some of their amazing Organic Dark Chocolate Snack Bites and we can’t put them down. It’s a problem. They are so good guys. We often are looking for a sweet snack after dinner, sure some might call it desert but that word screams ice cream or brownies and those words scream another 45 on the elliptical and who wants that right? That is where these snack bites come in handy. We have been satisfying our dessert craving with these nuts & fruits that are USDA organic, fair trade certified, non-GMO and made with no preservatives. Oh, did we mention that they are all covered in dark chocolate? “Chocolate, it doesn’t just make things tastier, it makes things better-er.” What makes these snacks amazing is that everyone in the family has been enjoying them. Check out the 3yo taste testing the varieties with me.
With the news that the Boy Scouts of America will be allowing girl members in the near future and will drop the word boy from their flagship title, the predictable backlash has started. Don’t let the talking heads on certain cable news outlets and twitter circles fool you into thinking that this move is anything more than a savy business decision. This is about membership, this is about enrollment, this is about money. Period. The added benefit is that the once inclusive BSA is becoming more diverse and progressive. Time does that to institutions, or those institutions are left behind or at worst are forgotten but for the history books.
If you didn’t take the time to read the press statements on this exciting news here is what you need to know. The new look BSA and Cub Scouts will be largely divided into male and female units with the common goal of achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. It is not shocking that the Girl Scouts organization is fervently opposed to this news and who could blame them. Again, one must remember that this move is all about the bottom line, on both sides. So while you absorb the blowback on this news just be thankful that we even have the Scouts for our children to take part in. My years in scouting were some of the most fulfilling days of my life. I made lifelong friends, learned how far I could push my self at a young age and felt proud of who I was and what I had accomplished. Why would I not want that for my two daughters too?
-Shawn from Relevant Dad
Eagle Scout Troop 94 Maine
When you have cut the grass a few times, the flowers have all bloomed and your beer fridge in the garage is beginning to be stocked with light beer you know that it’s almost summer. We have talked in the past about making the most of your yard and this summer should be no different. Here are a few of our new favorite outdoor toys for kids (and adults) this summer.
Wonder Wave ($199)
Wave goodbye to humdrum days! Fun for one (with room for friends), the amazing WonderWave is a creative cascade of color that brightens kids’ days in limitless ways.
Bring the excitement of the amusement park to own backyard. Little ones can push the coaster car up the non-slip step ramp to the platform peak all by themselves to help enhance their gross motor skills
Fun outside inflatable water bouncer includes climbing wall, two slides, and splash pool
Rollors is a super cool new game which combines horseshoes, bocce ball and outdoor bowling. The large wooden pieces included in our backyard game set are easy to grab, making this yard game a great choice for kids of all ages.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the moms in your life said something like that about the thoughtful gifts that you give them year after year? There is an art to giving the right gift, at the right time, to the right person. You have to listen and observe and most of all know what products are out there to be gifted. The folks over at Knack have quickly mastered the art of curating a set of items that will delight the mom you give it to. So, if you want to hear her say “Oh my gooooood, I loooooove this” then take the accumulated knowledge you have learned about your mommas and pair it with the ease of creating a fully customizable set from Knack and have an amazing Mother’s Day. It really should not be this simple to nail gift giving.
The Perfect Coffee Break ($48.00)
When you can’t walk 3 blocks without buzzing by another coffee shop, it’s sometimes nice to get your caffeine fix at home, before the day starts. This gift lays the–ahem–groundwork for a great cup.
For those with a passion for travel, this gift set easily takes her from sightseeing to shopping to an evening strolling a favorite avenue after dinner. The airy Rita Cotton Scarf in shades of blue and gray paired with the PVC Crossbody Bag creates a beautiful fashion statement. We’ve also included a couple of pamper items – Bohéme Amber, Vanilla and Musk Hand Cream and Herbivore Lip Conditioner. Send her off in style.
TLC Gift Set ($62.00)
The porcelain mug is cleverly designed with a faceted surface on either side of the handle, perfect for those who like to embrace their cuppa. We’ve included one of our best selling sweet treats, Cici’s Handmade Lemon Cookies, and a delicious flavor sachet of dried fruits and edible plant leaves that can be steeped to create a relaxing, nutritious drink.
Better Than Therapy ($110.50):
Rough day? Better talk to some wine about it. This is the gift set you turn to when you (or a girlfriend) have had “one of those weeks”–the kind that calls for dimming the lights, turning the tap to HOT, lighting a candle, and dipping into your stash of Chardonnay In A Can to enjoy in the bathtub. Yes, you read that correctly. You see, unlike bathtub gin, bathtub wine is really quite delicious and not at all scandalous (well, not very). Plus, it’s quite an intelligent choice when you consider how much safer you’ll feel without the risk of a slippery wineglass, right? Follow it up with a no-stress coloring session paired with an assortment of eight culinary inspired chocolates.
Someday pretty soon you are going to get into your car after work and the thermometer is going to read 70 and you are going to roll down the windows and put on that fire Songs to Sing In The Car playlist and roll. When the warm weather starts to hit day after day here (Relevant Dad HQ is in New England) there is nothing better than getting home for work with the sun still high in the sky, the kids happy and playing outside and a cold beer to share with your significant other. Spring marks the end of stout and porter season and makes us think of some farmhouse ales, sours and saisons. Here are few that we have been loving or are on our must try list this spring.
Imperial Peach Gose – Southern Tier Brewing Co. 8.3% ABV
This gose will be available in April and it sounds amazing. This limited release is brewed with peaches, chamomile, cardamom and coriander. The few early testers on UnTappd have said it is tart which is perfect for us! “On the palate, the strong acidity is balanced by the inherent sweetness of the peaches and the herbal nature of the extra ingredients” We can’t wait to try this.
A Presentation Of Wild Things (American Wild Ale) – Common Roots Brewing Co. & Plan Bee Farm Brewery 4% ABV
This exciting collaboration from Common Roots and Plan Bee is on our spring must-try list this year. Reviewers have remarked that this all NY sources ingredient wild ale is “slightly tart” “crisp and light” and our favorite “soft and supple”. We love soft and supple.
Carina Peach Sour – Ecliptic Brewing 5.5% ABV
“Loaded with fresh peach flavor, Carina is a sour ale perfect for any time of year. The use of Pale malt makes for a crisp character, while lactobacillus gives Carina a tart and refreshing finish.” Imagine the warm spring setting sun and the taste of this not to sour and even a little sweet brew. read more…
When you are talking about the multifunctional Impact made by Draggin Bags we certainly think so. This fully funded Kickstarter backed bag is just about the most impressive and durable bag we have ever seen. Made from 500d Cordura (that is some strong stuff) and crafted to be nearly indestructible you can rest assured that this bag will be with you for a lifetime. The surface is coated with a water and dirt repellent coating which will leave your bad looking stylish long after the “unboxing” when you receive it. We can’t help but want 20 of these for everything from our tools, our fishing tackle to our toy cars and Lego accessories. You never know when these bags might come in handy. Fill one with the essentials and get out the door dad.
We’ll be honest we had never shopped on Swap.com before we were gifted a credit from them earlier this spring. Boy, have we been missing out. This site is amazing for everyone but especially parents. We have all been there, you know sliding hanger after hanger at the local consignment shop just trying to find something in 4T that is actually worth buying. How often do you leave empty-handed? If you are like us, you get skunked nearly every time.
Swap.com is the site for you parents. It was so easy to find some fun new “used” clothing for the whole family. Yeah, I got some sweatpants and buddy I have hardly taken them off. “Have you washed those yet?” asked my wife last night. Anyways, Swap.com has the type of granular shopping filters that one can only dream of. Do you want something in 6-9mo, gently used, girls, from a group of hand-selected brands like Baby Gap, Hanna Anderson, and OshKosh? You can get that specific. They even have an extensive collection of never worn clothing. We all have those kids clothes that people have given us, you know, the 2T sundress when your girl would be in 2T in December.
Check out all the amazing brands and clothing that your whole family can shop. Where else can you get a toddler dress from Tea, a LulaRoe dress for your wife and a J.Crew Button-down shirt for under $100? Nowhere. Just click on over to Swap and take a look and see what you can find for your growing family today. Save money and shop like a boss.
Use these discount codes EARTHDAY40 and EARTHDAY20. (Good until 6/30/18)
Looking forward to your next vacation is essential to staying sane if you work a 9-5, or have kids, or work at all, or just being a human really. Once you have a couple of kids you find yourself dreaming of mini trips away from them. You at first feel super guilty about it but don’t. It is so important to have alone time with your significant other. (What a weird term significant other is right?) It’s important to have alone time with your kick ass and foxy other. That’s better.
Anyways, we are strong proponents of the weekend getaway, the three-day lover’s retreat, the backpack soiree, which is why we love Pack Up + Go. This unique travel service gives you a brief survey on where you live, your budget, your passions and places you have been. Then the magic happens. They take care of everything for you and the best part? They keep everything a surprise to you. You will get a packet in the mail a few weeks before your trip with some suggested items to pack, the forecast for your destination and where/when to be on your departure day.
“A few days before your trip, you receive an envelope in the mail, which you do NOT open just yet. This envelope contains directions to your accommodation, and your city guide. Since you don’t have time to do research on your destination, we do it for you! We’ll send you off with a curated list of recommendations for everything from cafes to nightlife to rainy day activities. We promise you won’t be bored wherever you go.”
Ummm, does this sound like a parents dream or what? If you check out the testimonials online everyone has glowing things to say about Pack Up + Go. Once we get the littlest out of diapers and formula and can actually afford this service we are sooooo there. If you take a trip through this site please let us know!
We’d say owning this bloom coco lounger for your darling baby is keeping up with the Joneses but we heard that even the Joneses got their bouncer at a liquidation sale at the baby gear depot. How gorgeous is this modern lounger? Your baby will slumber in so much style and grace in this beauty. Sporting a baltic birch wood frame, no assembly required convenience and choice of padded cushion what’s not to envy.