girly stuff

The Macaroni Incident

March 29, 2014 | By Brent Almond | LEARNING CURVES

As I’m thick in the throes of wedding planning, I thought it would be a fun to share some witty words from a fellow dad and superhero lover. Yet Charles Baserap is more than your average fanboy. He writes comic reviews at, regularly attends cons (he can grow some killer Wolverine mutton chops) and he named his second child Alexander “Lex” Xavier. That kid is destined to be powerful…and bald.

Yet this tale is about Charles’ daughter, who’s the same age as JJ. They too share a love of superheroes, and of being a source of both wonderment and worry for their parents. Enjoy!

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When my first child, Anastasia, was about three and half, I picked her up from daycare and it was like any other day. Sure, she was acting a bit moody, but that’s what toddlers do. Terrible twos? That’s just an alliterative smokescreen. That phase starts before they’re two and continues well after. I think I finally outgrew mine at about seven…teen. But the point is that I was able to see something wasn’t quite right with her and she told me her nose hurt. I asked if she bumped it and she meekly said yes, and I thought that was the end of it. Kids bump their noses—and feet, and heads, and everything else they can—all the time. It happens. Then we got to the car and I could tell she wasn’t being completely honest so I asked her about her nose again and she finally fessed up—“I put a piece of pasta in my nose and it got stuck.”


Ban Bossy? A Suggested Alternative

March 13, 2014 | By Brent Almond | QUICKPIC, RASPBERRIES

Enough has already been written about this whole “Ban Bossy” business, so I’m going to suggest an alternative:

gary busey ban bossy

However, if you’d like to read some actual commentary on the subject (which certainly seemed to stir up the interwebs a bit), please check out one of the articles below from some of my fine, fellow parent bloggers. And lordy they sure are a bossy bunch!

Donna Biroczky / Dangerous Cupcakes “Like a Boss! Not a #banbossy Fan”

Jeff Bogle / Out With The Kids “Dad Bloggers React to #BanBossy with More Words Worth Banning”

Doug French / Laid-Off Dad “Join Me to Ban ‘Lean’”

Aaron Gouveia / The Daddy Files “Why I Won’t Ban Bossy”

Joel Gratcyk / Daddy’s Grounded “Its Not Okay To Be Afraid Of A Word, I Will Not #BanBossy”

Alan Kercinik / Always Jacked “What #banbossy Says to Boys”

John Kinnear / Ask Your Dad “There Are No Bad Words… OK, There Are Some – I Don’t Know if Bossy is One”

Dave Lesser for TIME “Dad: I’m Going To Keep Calling My Daughter Bossy”

Kadi Prescott / Media Actually “My Two Cents: The #BanBossy Social Campaign”

Jessi Sanfilippo / Shuggilippo “Slap My Ass and Call Me Bossy”

David Vienna for Huffington Post “Why I Won’t Ban ‘Bossy’”

David Wallach for Chicago Parent “Chicago Dad to Sheryl Sandberg: Don’t Tell Me How to Talk to My Kids”

Jessica Watson / Four Plus An Angel “What You Can Call Me”

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Become a fan of Designer Daddy’s Facebook page, and I promise to never, ever ban you.

¡Adios Dora!

April 17, 2013 | By Brent Almond | RASPBERRIES

Like many other third installments of a trilogy, the finale of Dora The Explorer and The Destiny Medallion was a necessary — and muy disappointing — conclusion to the watered-down joke that started out so promising.

How do you say “LAME” in Spanish?

So what film trilogy conclusion is YOUR least favorite? Tell me in the comments.

Dora’s Back-er: And Gets Even Realer-er

March 29, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DESIGNER DADDY

As promised, here’s Part 2 of Dora The Explorer and The Destiny Medallion! Still not as good as the original concept trailer, but it was fun to see Benny the Bull in human form, and the explanation of B.A.C.K.P.A.C.K.’s acronym was worth a chuckle. Yet while Part 3 looks promising with an appearance from Grumpy Old Troll, if The Map never shows up I’m afraid this whole exploration was por nada.

PRECAUCÍON: As with Part 1, this installment is a tiny bit NSFW/NSFT (not suitable for toddlers).

In somewhat related news (and a subject I’m SURE you’ll read more about on this blog in a week or so) our family will be attending the annual White House Easter Egg Roll! This is a pretty freaking huge/exciting/awesome deal. The Mother of all Easter Egg Festivities. Plus, our gal Dora is gonna be there, so that will be muy egg-celente.

If you can’t join us on the South Lawn with Dora, Bo, and various other celebrities, you can at least download the 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll Children’s Activity Book HERE.

Hop on back next week for the (hopefully) thrilling conclusion!

Dora’s Back: And Gets Even Realer

March 20, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DADDY LIKE

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).




Valentine’s Day Super Quickie Giveaway!

February 13, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DADDY LIKE

It’s Valentine’s Day, and who doesn’t love a quickie? I guess because I’ve become so world famous, a company called BellaVita contacted me to see if I wanted to try out their new leather iPhone 4 Wallet, write up a review and give another away. Sweet, huh?

Like most other iPhone owners, mine is pretty much an extension of me. I do it all with my precious iPhone — eat, sleep, use the, um, facilities (When else am I gonna catch up on my Words With Friends games?) And I’ve had a custom case for mine for quite a while — why would I want/need another?

Well, for one, mine’s getting pretty beat up. I’ve had it for a couple of years, so it’s getting scratched and the colors are fading. Plus it’s a bitch to get off of my phone — all kinds of weird dirt and other gross stuff gets down in there, so I need to clean it once in a while. Plus the screen is always exposed, and is definitely starting to show signs of wear, little scratches, etc.


Click to see larger, if you're man enough.

This nifty, gen-u-ine leather iPhone Wallet helps with a lot of those issues. It fully encloses my phone, so it doesn’t get scratched or smudged or stuff spilled on it. And in case you were wondering, yes I can still feel it vibrate or hear it ring just fine even with the cover closed. It’s also helpful to keep closed if I’m using my phone as an alarm at night, but don’t want to woken up when I get some random alert and my screen lights up. Additionally, while it holds the phone nice and snug, it’s also easier to remove for cleaning than my hard plastic case.

The most unique feature is that whole wallet part. I’ll be honest — I can’t fit all my crap into the room allotted for wallet “stuff.” Perhaps I need to carry less crap (very likely). But how I found the wallet feature useful was for when I want to carry a scaled down version of my crap. Whether it’s to the gym, walking the dog, to the movies, or to a party or club where I don’t want to carry a coat — I like to be able to just grab my driver’s license, a couple of credit cards and some cash. Normally I’d just fold it over and leave it loose in my pocket; or if I’m going to the gym I’ll put a rubber band around it (I know, I’m classy like that). But this iPhone Wallet thing has been a great solution for those situations. It holds it all together in one place, I don’t have to bring my humongous wallet, and it doesn’t look as tacky and homemade as a rubber band! :)


Fiery Red Wristlet, you are SO sassy!

The product I tried is the iPhone 4 Wallet ($55, Amazon) in espresso brown (I guess they’re trying to market to dudes). The one I’m giving away is the Fiery Red Wristlet. While that sound waaay girly, I actually prefer the red color (shocker), and may get one myself and just not use the strap. But I’ll let the winner make that decision with theirs. Speaking of winners…

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1. Read the review (which you’ve probably already done, so you’re almost done!)

2. Enter by leaving a comment (here, on Facebook or on Twitter) telling me your favorite iPhone app.

3. Share this post (via Facebook, Twitter or anything really) for additional chances to win.

4. If you aren’t yet a fan or follower, Like the Designer Daddy page on Facebook or Follow me on Twitter for yet MORE chance to win. Am I making it easy, or what?

5. Cross your fingers!

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Contest closes at midnight (EST) on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013. Winner will be notified (and announced) the following day.

Check out all of BellaVita’s products by visiting their web site or Facebook page.

The Injustice of Being Wonder Woman

January 28, 2013 | By Brent Almond | LEARNING CURVES, RASPBERRIES

Last year I reached my pinnacle of Fatherdom by forcing the hand (at least in my mind, anyway) of toy giant Fisher-Price into producing an Aquaman figure for their Imaginext line. But in my original suggestion posted on FP’s site, my request was for both Aquaman AND Wonder Woman. At that point, the only female character they featured was Catwoman (a villain) and I thought it a travesty DC Comics’ most powerful female — and arguably 2nd most powerful hero, period — wasn’t already included.

Fast-forward a few months and… Great Hera! The collection now features two new females: Harley Quinn (another villain) and my girl Wonder Woman! The photo on the Fisher-Price site (above) looked pretty nifty, sporting a healthy glow, super chunky bracelets and of course wielding her “Magic Wope!” So I snapped one up.

However, here’s what the actual toy looks like:

Pale skin; bubblegum pink lipstick; smooth, flat face; a blank stare… Yup, she’s a blow up doll.

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit. But I’m not completely off base, am I?

Prior to this figure, I’d found a couple of iterations of the Amazon Princess that, while smaller than the Imaginext toys, were acceptable alternatives. JJ didn’t like playing with them, though — the legs didn’t bend, making it impossible for them to sit and frequently difficult to even stand. But compared to the new one, these feisty figures displayed more of the strength and confidence that Wonder Woman embodies — check out that “Don’t F with me, fellas!” expression or the fierce, full-body armor* and pokey sword!

Why is having a well-rounded Wonder Woman action figure so important to me? Aside from wanting my son to grow up appreciating, admiring and yes, even emulating smart, powerful women, Wonder Woman’s also the one superhero he’s actually met!

Contrary to appearances, Lynda Carter is not my child's biological mother.

Lynda Carter emceed the AIDS Walk in DC a couple of years ago, where we got to meet her briefly. This photo is proudly displayed in my office among my animation cells, prints and action figures. Having watched bits of the 70s TV show on YouTube, JJ sees this now and boasts, “That’s me and Wonder Woman!”

Am I being overly picky about a 3-inch toy? Sure. Will my son’s vacant-looking action figure influence his opinion of women as he matures? Probably not. Could Fisher-Price have taken a couple more passes at the design and given her a less pouty mouth, possibly made her a bit tougher-looking? Definitely. As the only female superhero my son plays with, Wonder Woman should hold her own — not only against Clayface, Dr. Doom and the other bad guys, but alongside Superman, Batman and Hulk as the powerhouse she is. Not the inflatable plaything this version resembles.


Friday Fun: Dora Gets Real

June 29, 2012 | By Brent Almond | DADDY LIKE

If you’ve ever endured even a single episode of Dora the Explorer or Go, Diego, Go! then you MUST watch this hilarious (but disappointingly fake) movie trailer. From the frequent geniuses at College Humor.

Great job by Modern Family’s Ariel Winter, playing against nerdy-middle-child type. And I must say, Diego is looking muy hermoso.

Know of any other funny spoofs of annoying kids shows? Please share!

DooDad of the Day: Pedoodles!


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 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.

Happy 100th Birthday Girl Scouts!

March 12, 2012 | By Brent Almond | DESIGNER DADDY, LEARNING CURVES

The Girl Scouts turns 100 today (Congrats, ladies!) so I thought I’d share a project I did a bunch of years ago for them. I know I say this about pretty much everything I post here, but it really WAS one of my favorites. And it’s the closest I’ve ever gotten to illustrating a children’s book.

Follow the Reader was an activity book for the Daisy Scouts (K-1st grade) meant to encourage parents to read to their kids and generally take a more active role in their learning. It was chock full of word games, matching activities, and cute-as-pie illustrations (if I do say so myself). The biggest challenge was that the book was also bi-lingual (English/Spanish) which meant 2x the type in an already jam-packed layout.

Like the Girl Scout organization itself, the book was about as inclusive as you could get. There were kids of every skin tone, all shapes and sizes, a girl with leg braces, one in a wheelchair, even a couple of girls NOT in dresses!

However, after having already completed most of the illustrations, the Girl Scouts decided they wanted to add a little girl with a hearing aid. The only problem was that none of my people had ears! So, I created one little girl with an ear so it could show a hearing aid.

I remember thinking at the time (2002) that it would be cool if they showed a girl with 2 mommies or 2 daddies. Back then it seemed a bit far-fetched, but I’d like to think that if I were hired to do an update they’d include such a family.