DOODAD OF THE DAY

Cool little doodads I come across

DooDad of the Day: Portrait of a Superhero

December 28, 2012 | By Brent Almond | BABY LIKE, DADDY LIKE, DOODAD OF THE DAY

Okay, so this is the best Christmas present of the year, hands down. My wonderful, long-suffering husband has often complained that I’m impossible to buy for. I wouldn’t say I’m impossible to buy for, but I can be kinda picky. And as a collector of many things, I tend to buy said things for myself a lot. So I understand where he’s coming from.

However, this year Papa genuinely surprised me with this hilarious Superman-ish portrait of me and the kiddo. And JJ was just as excited as me to see us in costume (and recognized us immediately). I admit I teared up a little bit — at both the image and at JJ’s shared enthusiasm. And damn, I’m looking fit!

Want to purchase your own customized portrait? You can get them from AllPopArt.com. There’s quite a large selection, including a bunch of other superheros and even some licensed Marvel Comics characters (Spidey, Hulk, Thor, Cap). However, I think I prefer our Superman knock-off getup, as it adds to the cute/cheesy factor.

Good job, Papa! You’re my hero!

DooDad of the Day: Number Tree Growth Chart

October 19, 2012 | By Brent Almond | DADDY LIKE, DOODAD OF THE DAY

I haven’t done a DooDad in awhile — there’s such an onslaught of cool/cute stuff out there, I sometimes don’t know what to focus on — although I have started throwing some stuff up on Pinterest. But this one comes from someone I actually know, so wanted to give it a special shout out.

Growing Tree growth chart & detail

Designing a growth chart for JJ has been on my (much too ambitious) to-do list, and he’ll probably be 6 feet tall before I get around to it — so I might just have to buy one of these awesome charts from Mixt Studio, owned by Californian designer/mom Marcie Carson. We met a few years ago in Louisville, KY where we were judging a design competition. She was also blogging at the time and hers was one that inspired me to start Designer Daddy, so I’ve kept up with her ever since.

I really dig these because they’re smartly designed and fun, but not over-the-top kiddie-looking. Plus it’s nice to see a kid’s product that’s not tied into a TV show, movie, or — dare I say it — superhero. Marcie gave me a little extra info on the growth charts… and a deal on FREE SHIPPING!

Do they come with any stickers or ways to mark a child’s height?
They are made of canvas, so you can write directly on them with a pen. A Sharpie is best, but even a ballpoint will do.

What inspired the designs?
Most of my inspiration comes from my two children… what they (and their friends) like to play with. I also pay close attention to decorating trends in children’s rooms. All of our designs are playful without being too cutesy.

Do you have any new products coming up soon?
We just added several new growth chart designs, including some cool new themes like 70s beach, retro skateboard, and Guatemalan stripes. Please offer a FREE SHIPPING CODE to your readers: “GoodKarma”


Check out all the styles… and take some time to poke around all the other cool products while you’re there. And be sure and tell Marcie I sent ya.

Back-to-School Giveaway!

August 18, 2012 | By Brent Almond | DOODAD OF THE DAY, FRIDGE WISDOM, LEARNING CURVES

Just in time for back to school — or, for my non-parent / math nerd readers — I’m giving away a pair of numerically awesome goodies! The prize includes magnetic numbers from Mudpuppy and a tin of Fox Run mini number cookie cutters.

The varnished wooden numbers (that come in this awesome storage carton) are exponentially cooler than your run-of-the-mill fridge magnets! They’re bright, bold and funky, and the 40-piece set includes numerals 0 to 9, plus symbols for adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing and equaling. Among their many other gorgeous and creative products, Mudpuppy also makes a matching set of letter magnets.

I also own a tin of these cute-as-pie cookie cutters, and have put them to good use in many attempts to lure my toddler to eat. I haven’t yet used them to make cookies, (And really, who wants a cookie that small? Seems pointless.) but they’re great for using cheese to turn dinosaurs into cars or cars into racecars or whatever shapes these nuggets were supposed to originally be.

In any event, magnets + cookies x numbers = MATH FUN! And anything that helps make math less torturous is tops in my book.

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TO ENTER:
In the comments, share an idea for how you’d use the cookie cutters
OR
Share a word or phrase you can spell upside down with numbers (like on a calculator).
Sorry, “BOOBIES” is already taken — see above.

EXTRA ENTRIES can be earned by posting/liking/sharing on Facebook or retweeting/favoriting/DM’ing on Twitter. I can’t make it any easier for you, sorry.

Winner chosen at random. Contest closes midnight (EST) on TUESDAY, AUGUST 22.

DooDad of the Day: Pedoodles!

April 29, 2012 | By Brent Almond | DESIGNER BABY, DOODAD OF THE DAY, SCRAPBOOKING

We’ve been buying Pedoodles since before JJ could walk, so I figured it was time to give them their props. I won’t go into too much detail about how they’re made or why they’re awesome for lil’ ones’ feetsies (that’s what links are for, folks). But to sum up they’re sturdy but soft (no Frankenstein shoes, like some of us learned to walk in), eco-friendly, and cute as the dickens!

I learned about them through a deal on Zulilly, but you can always buy direct from Pedoodle. Their sizes run from 0-4 years, and while they do change lines from time-to-time, you can often find older styles on Amazon or Buy.com. Here are a few of my favorite styles — for the boys and the girls…

L to R: Brown Trainers, Blue Bumper Cars, Island Hoppers

L to R: Flower Power, Wise Gals, Garnet Girl

Oh yeah, and here’s a mini fashion show of JJ and his Pedoodles in action…

Rockin' a devil/pirate ensemble in Red Bowlers

Easter Sunday dandiness in Brown Trainers

Bumpin' on a log in Reef sandals

And finally, all orders come in these nifty canvas bags (with plastic windows) great for storing the shoes or recycling into a purse or tote to hold those precious action figures, mismatched doll clothes, or grubby handfuls of rocks.

DooDad of the Day: Symphony in B.

March 11, 2012 | By Brent Almond | DOODAD OF THE DAY

B. Toys is at it again, unveiling the next most awesomest toy you your kid just has to have! (It’s at the top of JJ’s list for birthday #3…)

Check out this cute video — proof B. Toys’ latest musical wonder was both kid tested and approved…

JJ’s been a fan of their creations for a while, thanks in large part to the fact that Dad digs their non-primary color palettes and clever toy names. Like the Meowsic keyboard. The B. Zany Zoo activity box. Alphaberry. Parum Pum Pum. Times Square. Toulouse LapTrec. Take It Easel. Wheeee-mote Control. You get the idea.

Learn more about Symphony in B. here, where you can view it in 3-D, and even test out some of the music.

DooDad(s) of the Day: The Red One, The Yellow One, The Green One & The Purple One

March 5, 2012 | By Brent Almond | BABY LIKE, DOODAD OF THE DAY

I’m a sucker for cool packaging and clever copy, a combo that Ella’s Kitchen serves up with savory style. While on the hunt for creative ways to sneak fruits and veggies into JJ’s diet, I came across these cute, little smoothie packets, awesomely named…

and

Lest you think these are run-of-the-mill banana, strawberry, apple or grape flavored sugarbombs, take a closer look at the fruit icon codes at the bottom of each. They include such unique (all organic and no added sugar) combos as mangoes, bananas, apricots + apples (The Yellow One) and blueberries, apples, black currants + bananas (The Purple One).

In addition to the adorable simplicity of the packaging and the smoothies’ nutritional value, the pithy copy peppering the pouches gave me a giggle. First off they’re called “squished smoothie fruits.” And the info on the back reads like the packaging on a child’s doll: “Hello, I’m 100% bananas, mangoes, apricots + apples with a dash of lemon juice.” and “I’m produced for and distributed by Ella’s daddy’s company…” I just love it when the same amount of detail put into a quality product also carries over into its presentation.

And do yourself a favor and check out Ella’s Kitchen’s web site, which features tons of other cool/cute/presumably healthy vittles for kids — things like “Chick-chick Chicken Casserole” and “Mangoes Mangoes Mangoes.” Plus the site is animated with buzzing bees, popping flowers, floating clouds and the occasional mole.

Oh yeah, and JJ LOVES them.

Doo-Dad of the Day: Robot Snack Sac!

January 25, 2012 | By Brent Almond | DADDY LIKE, DOODAD OF THE DAY

Another out-of-this-world deal from Zulily (a site I’ve had to avoid since the holidays — it’s as addictive as crack, and way cuter) in the form of this far out Robot Snack Sac. Touted as a lunch tote, I can also see it filled with all kinds of non-edible goodies for long car rides or trips to the mall, where a satchel full of distracting entertaining educational toys would come in handy. Perhaps these equally awesome wind-up robots Santa gave JJ for Christmas?

Smiling wide and fully insulated, Mr. Roboto measures 7″ x 11″ and comes with 12 of something called “Sweet Notes”, which I assume are little note cards you can leave for your kid to let them know they’re loved and cherished. A little cloying for my tastes — besides, they will know how awesome you think they are when you give them this to carry around. Domo!

Available in a whole slew of other styles (doggy, horsey, monkey, sharky!), Zulily has them on sale ($9.99 – $15.99, normally $16 – $26) until January 27. Otherwise, you can buy them direct from Stephen Joseph, where they have a bazillion other varieties to choose from.

But do they come in adult sizes?

Doo-Dad of the Day: Rocking Sheep

January 18, 2012 | By Brent Almond | DESIGNER DADDY, DOODAD OF THE DAY

Self-described designer/woodworker/craftsman/new father Max Tyrie contacted me recently in hopes I’d give him a shout-out on my little bloggety-blog. I’ve been getting more and more of these kinds of requests, many of which are either unrelated to anything I blog about or just plane lame.

However, these Rocking Sheep (inspired by Danish designer Povl Kjer) are baaa-dorable!

Max creates them in his Los Angeles workshop from Baltic birch plywood, reclaimed scrap wood and real sheepskin.* Go visit his site, read up on additional details, and buy a sheep to support this independent craftsman and fellow designer dad!

Oh yeah, and here’s his test rocker/model, 18-month old daughter Rosie (also baaa-dorable):

*I asked Max about the origin of the sheepskin, and here’s his reply: My Father-In-Law was a sheep farmer in the north of England for many years. He told me the sheepskins were of very little value, and his lambs were slaughtered solely for their meat. So hopefully that would imply that it wouldn’t be cost effective to slaughter a lamb JUST for its skin, and that these skins are a by product of the slaughtering process, and not the main reason for their death.

DooDad of the Day/Birthday Booty: Sip N Spell

November 12, 2011 | By Brent Almond | DOODAD OF THE DAY, LEARNING CURVES

JJ pulled in quite a haul at his 2nd birthday party last weekend, and in sorting through all the booty I thought it would be fun to feature a few of them as DooDads of the Day.

Click to buy online

There are two reasons I’m featuring these awesome little sippy cups: 1) because they’re nutritional and educational, and 2) because they’re made by a company called “Sugar Booger,” a nickname my Mom used to use, and now I use on occasion for both JJ and Cordi (our pooch).

The only downside to the cups is that JJ — who’s in the process of mastering the alphabet — likes to turn the cup around and upside down to read all the letters, invariably dropping the cup. And being made of melamine, it makes quite a big noise (for such a small cup) when bouncing off the floor!

Sugar Booger also makes matching bibs, tablecloths and silverware, as well as a whole lot of other fun stuff through their parent company ORE Originals. Cheers!

DooDad of the Day: Baby Tattoos!

August 24, 2011 | By Brent Almond | DOODAD OF THE DAY

Wondering how to keep track of wayward children during that last trip to the water park? Looking for something hip and sassy to replace the boring name-pinned-to-your-coat for toddler’s first day of preschool?

Look no further… It’s SafetyTat!

Wow, what will they think of next? Seriously. These temporary tattoos come custom printed, as write-on tats, design-your-own, and even versions for adults suffering from Alzheimer’s or severe food allergies. And for those tech-savvy über-parents, new QR tats! Seems a little Orwellian to me… but pretty ingenious.

Additional suggested use: I doubt SafetyTat will ever market them this way, but don’t we all have an “adult” friend who frequently gets lost on their way home from a party? Or wakes up not knowing their own name?