Around this time last year, I was feeling weighed down by both my age and my weight. The strain of my mental and physical health was taking a toll, and I was becoming increasingly less social. So when my husband asked what I wanted to do for my 50th birthday, I half-heartedly suggested a trip. I was in no mood for a big party, to be the center of attention, to spend hours around other people pretending to be upbeat and happy.
Then somewhere along the way, I took some much-needed steps to resetting my life. As these steps grew into leaps and bounds, I gained confidence, got excited about life again, and determined that I did, in fact, want a party. Inspired by a friend’s 90s-themed birthday, I decided to show these Millennials how it’s done and throw the most bodacious 80s-themed party ever!
If I’ve learned anything these past nine years of fatherhood, it’s that pampering yourself, partying with friends and blowing off steam are VITAL to being an effective, happy and sane parent. Having also been in a creative slump, this birthday party became a great outlet for me to flex my design muscles in fab, fun ways.
If you were there, thanks for celebrating with me! If not, here’s a taste of how much fun I had turning 50… and here’s to 50 more!
[click all pics to enlarge]
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WANNA’ BE STARTIN’ SOMETHIN’
The invitation was going to se the tone — and hopefully get folks excited to come — so the pressure was on for it to be beyond tubular. A few selfies, a little retro font hunting and a bit of Photoshop later, and voilà!
With the release of The LEGO Movie on DVD/Blu-Ray, it’s got me reflecting on all the great music to come from kids’ movies in the last year. Three songs in particular have delighted children and adults alike… that is, until they bored holes into our brains from repetition. I’m of course talking about “Everything is Awesome,” “Let It Go,” and “Happy.”
During the Disney renaissance of the late-80s/90s, songs from the Mouse House’s animated films were all over the radio and the charts. “Beauty and the Beast,” “A Whole New World,” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” all cracked Billboard’s top 10; and between 1989-1999, 15 songs from Disney films either won or were nominated for Oscars. Yet since that heyday, I don’t recall a time when songs written specifically for kids’ movies have had such an audible impact as the three in question.
So… between “Everything Is Awesome,” “Let It Go,” and “Happy,” which one is the best? Or perhaps a better question, the least annoying? I decided to break it down scientifically to give you an objective, definitive and 100% fact-based answer. I took into account several factors, then gave points for each category to reach my accurate, foolproof, final results.
TRUE STORY: Several months ago I was daydreaming about how awesome it would be to have a club geared towards gay parents. A place where Daddy & Papa, Mommy & Mama and their broods could meet friends, drink (responsibly, of course) and swap recipes for organic mac & cheese. There’d be a rec area for the kids to stack Legos, watch their stories or generally just tumble about. It would have a chill room to feed, change or put youngsters down for a nap. And of course there would be DANCING.
Then a couple of weeks ago, a friend texted me a link to something called Baby Loves Disco. My head just about exploded. A dance party? In a club? That we can take our kids to?!? Somebody read my mind and invented The World’s First Club for Gay Dads: Baby Loves Disco! I quickly banged around the internet, contacted BLD, and scored an interview… and a giveaway! (see below)
To clarify, Baby Loves Disco isn’t really (or at all) just for gay dads. In fact it’s been around since 2004, and for a long while was primarily populated by moms and their kids. But still, the best kid-friendly thing to come along in a long while, I’d wager.
I know Papa and I grow weary trying to think of fun, creative — and most importantly — energy-burning activities for JJ. I’ll admit a lot of weekends we’re exhausted, out of ideas and default to the same worn-out options as a lot of parents. Playground… museum… zoo… mall… SNORE. So yeah, we’ve got tickets for our first Baby Loves Disco party locked down. Did I mention a giveaway? (see below)
BABY LOVES DISCO 101:
- The “Original Family Dance Party” for parents and kids ages 6 months to 7 years
- Held at top-notch nightclubs in six cities: New York, LA, San Francisco, Chicago, Philly and back in DC after a 3-year hiatus!
- REAL DJs, REAL music* – from classic disco to modern Top 40 and dance music. No Barney, no Kidz Bop, no <shudder> Wiggles.
- Not just dancing. There’s also dance contests, crafts, kid-friendly spa services, goody bags, healthy snacks and juice boxes for the kids, and a cash bar for the adults.
- Chilled-out “crawl area” where the non-walkers can relax away from the all the dancing feet.
- And of course, changing stations
Check out the NYC party in action:
Designer Daddy is here to HOOK. YOU. UP. I’m giving away a Family Pack of 4 Baby Loves Disco tickets, valued at $55! The tickets are good for any BLD party in any of the six cities listed above, for any remaining show in 2013. Visit BLD’s web site for dates and locations.
Date and location must be specified at time of winning notification. Contest ends Saturday, September 14 at midnight. NOTE: the first shows of the season are in DC and NYC on Sunday, September 15! But don’t worry, there are multiple shows in all cities. Now enter the Rafflecopter thingamajig below and dust off those boogie shoes!
The only thing that could make this video more stupid/awesome is if it’s NOT a joke.
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.
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.
Tonight’s dinner coaxing tactic consisted of telling JJ to pretend he was a magician and make all his food disappear into his mouth. He took that ball and ran with it, as each bite/performance consisted of not only yelling “Abracadabra!” before shoving the food in, but then getting up, doing a little dance and running around the kitchen. For. Each. Damn. Bite.
Entertaining and exhausting, as usual. He’ll be here all week, folks.
Dinner last night. Brought to you by Red Bull.
I’m sorting through my thoughts about our recent trip to visit JJ’s birthparents. It’s taking me longer than I’d planned… In the meantime, please enjoy this montage of JJ performing what appears to be a one-man “Thriller” flash mob at a fountain in downtown Salt Lake City.
Ah, the thrills of summer!
[It was hard to fit so much cuteness and hilarity on the page, so please click each row to enlarge.]
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!
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].
Are you already having Olympics withdrawal? Wishing Cut Copy would release some new music? Wondering what funky-ass clubs Stefan has been frequenting this summer? Completely befuddled as to when (if ever) there will be new episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba!?
If you answered “yes” to more than one of these questions, you are my new SUPER BEST FRIEND!
As our first SUPER BEST FRIEND activity together, let’s watch a brand new Yo Gabba Gabba! called “Olympics!” It features musical guest Cut Copy and SNL’s Bill Hader doing “The Rainbow Drop” with the Dancey-Dance bunch. I imagine there’s going to be some Olympics-related weirdness as well.
It airs Sunday, August 19th at 8:30pm on Nick Jr. See you there!
JJ (and Daddy and Papa, too!) is back in full health and grooving to some mid-90s deliciousness in the form of Dubstar. A great soundtrack for chillin’ in the crib or dancing around the nursery floor.
This is one of my favorite CDs from this time period (thanks to Mikey B for introducing me to them) with a mix of laid back and uptempo dance tracks, sung by the celestial Sarah Blackwood, and JJ seems to dig it, too. Dubstar has since said goodbye, but Sarah can still be heard in the girl group, Client.