THINGS DAD DIGS

Reviews, stuff daddy likes

Frightful Family Fun at Kings Dominion

October 20, 2013 | By Brent Almond | THINGS DAD DIGS, THINGS MY KID DIGS

The last time I was at Kings Dominion was about a dozen years ago. I recall the faded Hanna-Barbera characters on the parking lot signs, a Nickelodeon play area for the kiddies, and a whole section devoted to the “Wayne’s World” movies. Having not been a parent then (and never a “Wayne’s World” fan) I assumed that was my final visit.

But then I got an offer for the whole family to check out King’s Dominion’s Planet Spooky Halloween shindig, and decided it was time to give it another try.

We met up with blogger pal Oren and his family and jumped right in to experience as much Planet Spooky as we could cram into a day.

SPOILER ALERT: Planet Spooky is really Planet Snoopy tarted up with all manner of Halloween goodies. In addition to the 18 rides normally found in the “world’s largest Planet Snoopy play area,” (There’s more than one? Who knew?) it features a pumpkin painting patch, petting zoo, foam pit, pedal tractors, a hay maze, live shows and more. We either participated in or passed by every one of those  except the “and more”… Unless the “and more” was winning a stuffed Rasta monkey while playing whack-a-mole. In which case we did do it all.

Here are the highlights, in pictures (and a few more words).

woodstock

Spinnin’ and smilin’

READ FULL ARTICLE >>

Want a fun new way to teach animal sounds to your baby? It’s probably not this.

September 5, 2013 | By Brent Almond | THINGS DAD DIGS

The only thing that could make this video more stupid/awesome is if it’s NOT a joke.

 

Thriller meets Gangnam Style meets See n Say Farmer

Thriller meets Gangnam Style meets See n Say Farmer

Bård Ylvisåker and Vegard Ylvisåker, AKA “Ylvis,” hail from Norway. Land of gnomes! And trolls! And apparently foxes and horses that communicate via Morse code.

These freaky furries also have a talk show, soon to start its new season. This video is a promotion for that. I may have to talk to my local cable company about adding TVNorge to our package.

I’m not familiar with Norwegian comedy, but knowing the country to be relatively peaceful and fair-minded, I can only assume Ylvis’ “The Fox” is a joke. But let’s just assume for a moment it’s not, and these guys are really insane, and that our coworkers or children or pets won’t mind us cranking this to eleven for a dangerously dumb dance party.

Watch. Listen. Repeat. YOU’RE WELCOME.

My Starbucks VIA Moment: Afternoon Cup

August 14, 2013 | By Brent Almond | THINGS DAD DIGS

If I had to list two things I HAVE to have to get me through the day, they would be the internet and caffeine. Between being the dad of a toddler and running my own business from home, I am at high risk for being isolated and/or completely worn out. Usually simultaneously.

On the internet (as you’ve seen me mention here before) I’ve found a great community of fellow dads to combat my isolation. Some of them are also bloggers. Some are also gay dads. A rare and fabulous few are fellow GDBs* — gay dad bloggers. Many of these fellows hang out at Life of Dad, a great site for meeting and interacting with other involved/informed fathers. And these guys also like to have fun. And give stuff away. Remember the Cheetos masterpiece I created? That was for them.

So now Life of Dad is hosting a very cool contest promoting Starbucks VIA. Click on over to read all the deets on how to win Starbucks cards! And not some mamby-pamby $5 stocking stuffer. We’re talking $500, $200 & $100 of caffeinated awesomeness for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.

The main thing you have to do is create a video on Vine or Instagram showing your own daddiefied Starbucks VIA Moment. Take a look at my mini masterpiece I call “Afternoon Cup.”

AFTERNOONCUP

(P.S. Full disclosure, I’m not much of a coffee drinker — but I’m at Starbucks regular as clockwork to pick up my daily Venti black iced tea. So I’m hoping tea is next on Starbucks’ list of VIA products. But I HAVE tried a few of their Refreshers, and the Strawberry Lemonade and Very Berry Hibiscus both lived up to their name — refreshing as all get out! So what am I gonna do with all the VIA coffee I used in my video? Well, Papa is a coffee fiend so will be enjoying these on his drive to work. Plus stocking stuffers!)

*As far as I know, I just now coined this acronym. I think I’ll make a t-shirt.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free, as well as monetary compensation for creating my video and promoting it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions are mine and/or JJ’s.]

Father’s Day Proud Papa Gallery of Greatness

June 12, 2013 | By Brent Almond | MAKING MEMORIES, THINGS DAD DIGS

Some of the best things about being a child are the boundless energy, unbridled imagination and a future filled with endless possibilities. The best thing about a child’s art is that it contains elements of all these things… and that every work is a masterpiece.

In honor of Father’s Day, I asked my dad friends to submit their kids’ artwork. Whether it was something recent, something old, or commissioned specifically for this collection, the only requirement was that the papas be proud of it. What I received was an avalanche of awesomeness. Drawings. paintings and sculpture bursting with energy, imagination and endless possibilities. And lots and lots of color. If you know me and my design work, you won’t be surprised if I “borrow” a color palette or two for future projects.

Curating this collection was no small feat, and after considering several options, I chose to group them by subject matter. This creates a nice mix of age, gender and medium in each batch. I realize there are a lot of pieces here, and that most of you probably get bored at art galleries (I know I do)… but please look through the entire gallery. This is spectacular work with some very hilarious, touching — and even rage-filled — back stories.

So welcome to the inaugural* FATHER’S DAY PROUD PAPA GALLERY OF GREATNESS (brought to you by Starbucks). Enjoy the exhibit, and please touch the artwork — it’s even more awesome zoomed in!

Artwork credits key:
Title of work

medium
Artist name, age
Father of artist (links to their website/blog)
Artist’s (or artist’s dad’s) description

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

HANDS + FEET

 

almond2
Hola Hand

pencil, crayon on paper
JJ, 3.5
Brent Almond
While he clearly got some help writing “Hola,” the hand trace and vibrant, Latino colors are all him. Definitely going to nick this palette for my next logo project…

.

READ FULL ARTICLE >>

Creative Father’s Day Gifts for the Creative (and not-so-creative) Dad

June 10, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, THINGS DAD DIGS

Still at a loss about what to get Dear Old Dad for Father’s Day? Yes it’s the thought that counts, but Dad can recognize a cliched gift when he sees one — especially if he’s the creative or handy type. So forget the grill, take back the tie, hide the hammock… here are three great books to get your favorite father’s creative juices flowing. Or at the very least something to read on the can.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

AWESOME

FOR THE CRAFTY DAD READ FULL ARTICLE >>

Kids Battle Cancer Through Design

May 19, 2013 | By Brent Almond | THINGS DAD DIGS

I’m always amazed and inspired by the artwork children create. Even more so when it’s for a worthy cause.

Earlier this year Ouchies Bandages sponsored an art contest where kids from around the country submitted designs with messages of hope and healing to battle pediatric cancer. Ouchies’ CEO, Ian Madover explains, “Kids with cancer get pricked many times a day, and we thought it only makes sense to put the two together.”

Hundreds entered, thousands voted online, and five winners were recently chosen to be featured on the new line of bandages to be released this summer, as part of the Ouchies for Others campaign. 100% of the profits will be donated to three national pediatric cancer care organizations.

Below are the winners, whose artwork will be featured on the Fight Against Pediatric Cancer line of bandages:

winner3
Tenia Richardson Age 9  Michigan
“Love is Cure”
I believe with enough love you can cure anything to make a brighter day. READ FULL ARTICLE >>

A long time ago in a gallery far, far away….

May 3, 2013 | By Brent Almond | THINGS DAD DIGS

Happy May the Fourth from Designer Daddy!

Concepción Studios is a California-based graphic design studio that specializes in vintage-style prints, posters and photographs for its music industry clients. They’ve worked with the likes of Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, MUSE and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, merging 60s-style design with contemporary irony and whimsy.

Yet it’s the studio’s Etsy store that drew my attention on this most blessed of holidays. The shop features, among other things, an out-of-this-world collection of Star Wars-inspired prints. Let’s take a stroll through the gallery, shall we?…

My favorite is this set of Princess Leia and Han Solo silhouettes. Click to enlarge and read the obvious, yet hilarious, captions.

HANLEIA

.

READ FULL ARTICLE >>

Happy Earth Day: Let’s B Global!

April 22, 2013 | By Brent Almond | THINGS DAD DIGS, THINGS MY KID DIGS

I recently checked in with B, toys, my favorite toy creators on the planet, and they asked me to try out their brand new-ish Global Glowball. Being the clever person I am, I thought it would be a perfect way to celebrate Earth Day!

globe

Looking at the Global Glowball (Their toys just have the most awesome names, don’t they?) online, I was immediately intrigued. B. toys always has top-notch playthings: colorful but not garish; creative, never predictable; exciting without being over-the-top-in-your-face. And of course all their packaging is recyclable or recycled [BONUS EARTH DAY POINTS].

READ FULL ARTICLE >>

Dora’s Back: And Gets Even Realer

March 20, 2013 | By Brent Almond | THINGS DAD DIGS

You might remember a video I posted a while back — a trailer for a hilarious (but disappointingly fake) live-action Dora the Explorer movie. Well, it’s one step closer to fake reality, as College Humor has posted part 1 of the 3-part saga, Dora The Explorer and The Destiny Medallion!

While it lacks some of the first-time funny punch of last year’s Infinity Orb, it’s great seeing Dora, Boots and (swoon) Diego back in acción. And I can only hope Horatio Sanz will return as the annoying and abused The Map. (BTW, have you seen him lately? ¡Aye chihuahua!)

ALERTA: this installment is a tiny bit NSFW. And certainly NSFT (not suitable for toddlers).

COME BACK NEXT WEEK FOR PART 2!

from geeksaresexy.com

from www.geeksaresexy.net

Giveaway: Printcopia Canvas Prints!

March 19, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, MAKING MEMORIES, THINGS DAD DIGS

PRINTCOPIA-LOGO

One of the perks of being a blogger for any length of time is getting nifty stuff to review. Even better is when it’s something that you genuinely end up liking. Such is the case with the canvas print from Printcopia I was asked to create and review for a very cool giveaway that YOU need to enter! (details below)

Not surprisingly, I’m pretty picky extremely anal about what goes on the walls of my house or office. No “off-the-rack” posters, prints or artwork in this Designer Daddy’s personal gallery. Yet that’s not to say I only buy expensive artwork. My main requirement is that it has a story — a painting by my favorite local artist, a framed poster from a trip to Prague, or a charcoal sketch I did in college — it’s gotta be personal, otherwise it’s just decoration.

However we don’t have many photos on the wall. We’ve got plenty scattered throughout the house on bookshelves and dressers; but even more odd, we don’t have more than a couple of photos of our son on the wall… or anywhere. I’ve posted a bazillion on Facebook, Instagram and my blog, and I’ve got a folder in iPhoto for every month since he was born. But since becoming parents, getting photos actually printed, picking out a frame, etc. just takes time we ain’t got.

This is what excited me about Printcopia. It was a way to put up a photo of JJ along with the artwork on the wall and have it fit in — not just in size, but in quality.

I’ve had one photo print made before through another company, and while the quality was good, it only came in one size/shape — square. Printcopia can do square plus a bevy of other sizes ranging from 8″ x 8″ to 30″ x 40.” And not just canvas prints, but also sleek acrylic prints, framed prints, panoramics, decorative wall decals, and yes, even old school photo prints. Images for all of these can be uploaded from Facebook, Instagram, or your desktop/photo library.

But my favorite feature was being able to choose any color I wanted for the edges of the canvas. As a designer, having the ability to customize the details is vital (I’m a dork like that). For my print, I chose a favorite from our trip to Italy. Our living room (where the print now lives) has a warm, bright color palette, so being able to sample the orange in JJ’s shirt and make that the border color was pretty dang awesome.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

NOW ABOUT THAT GIVEAWAY…
I’ve partnered with several other parent bloggers so we could get a bigger booty.
The winner will receive THREE canvas prints:
one 8″ x 10″
one 11″ x 14″
one 16″ x 20″

Keep in mind Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are coming up. Enter this contest (and win)… Shopping for your spouse, parents or in-laws? Done. And WAY better than smelly soap or a tie.

 

jonflower

Original photo

 

jonpic1

Printcopia canvas print, in our living room. The only thing I Photoshopped out were the crayon marks on the wall. (Canvas is 16″ x 20″)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

a Rafflecopter giveaway

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The giveaway runs for two weeks (ends 11:59pm April 2nd), and the winner will be contacted within 7 days. If you have any questions, email orenmil@bloggerfather.com. Oren (AKA A Blogger and a Father) headed up this contest and will be responsible for prize fulfillment. Contest is open to US residents, 18 and older.

(PS: Printcopia has several sister sites that sell car magnets, banners, and bandit signs.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...