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Saturday, June 14th, 2014
By Caitlin Ultimo
Any first-time parent surely can identify with the urge to snap dozens upon dozens of photos throughout their child’s early years. “Oh, look he’s smiling,” turns into: “Oh, look he’s smiling holding a cracker/a cell-phone/the cat (Sorry, kitty, for his awkward grip — we have to get this shot!).”
Well, Dave Engledow took his new-dad camera readiness even further. While Mom was on deployment in the Army, Engeldow and their new daughter, Alice Bee, staged (with the help of Photoshop) hilarious photo shoots. He began by sharing the photos on Facebook, accompanied with comedic essays, as a way to alleviate his fears as a new dad and poke fun at them. Starting at Day 3 and concluding with Day 918, his outlandish photos (some featured below) included scenes of Alice Bee helping him shave and the two of them breaking a sweat while lifting dumbbells together. Eventually, his photos were combined into one hilarious book, “Confessions of the World’s Best Father.”
Engledow is just one of a few parents who have opted for creative scenes in place of stiff photos. Jason Lee, a wedding photographer, started taking one-of-a-kind portraits of his two girls back in 2006. Because his mother was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and his daughters caught colds too frequently to be around her, he began a blog for the grandmother to see the humorous and whimsical pictures. Heather Sphor, who also had two kids, decided to document her infant’s, Jamesie’s, days because his older sister, Annie, had just entered preschool. Annie wanted to know what Mom and Jamesie did while she was in class, so Sphor decided to document Jamesie’s daily adventures, from searching for Cinderella to exploring the Wild West.
One of Engledow’s many unforgettable photos appears on Day 66, which shows him holding Alice Bee in one arm like a football while his other arm squirts bottled breast milk into his coffee cup that proudly displays the label, “World’s Best Father.” He noted, “Apparently, fathering is not going to be quite as easy or glamorous as it looks on TV.” With Father’s Day right around the corner, plenty of new dads will agree that even though fatherhood isn’t always glamorous, it sure can be fun!
What are some of the creative ways you make parenthood interesting?
Photos: Originally appeared in “Confessions of the World’s Best Father” by David Engledow. Used with permission of Gotham Books, an imprint of Penguin Books USA.
What’s your parenting style? Take our quiz to find out what type of parenting you are!
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Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
Father’s Day is just around the corner, and we had the chance to interview Dr. Allan Peterkin, a facial hair expert and author of three books on the subject: One Thousand Beards: A Cultural History of Facial Hair, The Bearded Gentleman: The Style Guide To Shaving Face (co-written with Nick Burns), and One Thousand Mustaches: A Cultural History of The Mo. Here’s what he had to say…
What are your thoughts on the ever growing trend for men and facial hair? Are we in a cycle like fashion?
We’ve definitely seen facial care come in and out of fashion. We’ve been on this particular wave since the 90’s and within five years I think the pendulum is set to swing the other way—right back to the preppy, clean shaven, Mad Men look. It’s an up and down: moustaches, beards, etc. were once a look relegated to rebels and eccentrics, but now they’re really accepted as mainstream. I think the moustache was probably the final hurdle to surpass, and I’ve think we’ve largely gotten there.
If a guy has a beard, how should his regimen differ from that of a guy with a shaved face? Aside from the need to shave every day…
Men really need a baseline level of care that transcends facial hair. Beard or no beard, guys need to wash their faces and moisturize every day, at least twice a day. Because men’s skincare needs are different from women’s, companies are making new products designed specifically for men’s skincare needs, like the new Dove Men+Care Face Range. Guys can follow three easy steps: cleanse with face wash, shave, and finish with either moisturizer or a gentle post shave balm—a really simple way for the everyday guy to step into grooming.
What are the difficulties of maintaining facial hair?
The biggest difficulty of maintaining facial hair is the upkeep. Guys think that once they grow a beard, the work is done—but it’s really just the opposite. Guys need to clip and trim their facial hair, and keep the margins clean (the lines that define the particular style). It is also important for guys to wash and condition their facial hair to maintain moisture and keep it soft.
What styles of facial hair have you tried? What was your favorite?
I’d say since college, I’ve done it all! I’ve had mustaches, a goatee, beards… you name it, but, I think my favorite look has to be stubble. Like a lot of guys, I’ve experimented and been influenced by pop culture—and I think this post-modern era is great because men can experiment in a way they never have, and try a lot of different looks.
One caution, though, is to consider your face shape! Mutton chops just don’t work for everyone—and while I’d love to have a ‘stache, it just doesn’t work for me.
What is your #1 advice for men and their face?
Guys need to care for their skin on a daily basis and utilize the right products: wash your face on a daily basis to keep it clean and fresh, use the appropriate technique when shaving, and choose a moisture rich product (I prefer a gel) to avoid irritation. Lastly, protect and moisturize, whether you choose to shave or not, with a product like Dove Men+Care Hydrate Face Lotion that contains SPF to protect your face from harmful UV rays. So many of us grew up with the mentality that we need to tough it out—if it hurts, it’s working—but grooming isn’t meant to be torture.
If you still need to find dad something for Father’s Day, try the Dove Men Care Father’s Day Gift Pack. It has everything dad needs to keep his face clean and moisturized, and for only $10 can you think of a better deal? Pick it up at your local drugstore for a done-in-a-flash Father’s Day gift that won’t collect dust on the shelf.
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Monday, June 10th, 2013
Editor’s Note: In a post for an ongoing series, Dr. Harley A. Rotbart, a Parents advisor, will be guest blogging once a month. He will be offering different advice, tips, and personal stories on how parents can “savor the moment” and maximize the time they spend with kids. Read more posts by Harley Rotbart from this series.
As a dad and a pediatrician who has worked with families of all types and sizes for more than 30 years, I want to tell you about a great book written for moms that dads should read, too. After all, why should moms be the only ones who know the secrets for turning chaos to calm?
From Frazzled to Focused: The Ultimate Guide for Moms Who Want to Reclaim Their Time, Their Sanity, and Their Lives is written by Rivka Caroline, a Florida-based time management and organization expert who juggles seven kids, a speaking and consulting career, and graduate school. I discovered this book when the author asked me to review it for a possible endorsement because of my own time management book, No Regrets Parenting.
I loved Caroline’s book, and endorsed it with this quote: “From Frazzled to Focused is a brilliant blueprint for recapturing minutes, hours, and days otherwise lost to inefficiency and disorganization. This book will change your life.” Yes, it’s that good. But notice nowhere in that endorsement do I mention moms — or, for that matter, dads. This is a really wonderful book for moms and dads because efficiency, effectiveness, prioritization, and systemization are gender-neutral goals. This is not a book full of platitudes and bumper stickers. Instead, it’s a concise, organized, and focused 180-page playbook with an action plan for achieving, de-cluttering, and systemizing your work and home life.
Whether at home or at work, these From Frazzled to Focused guiding principles and recommendations apply to all parents:
- Switch from doing it all to doing most of it (and know that’s okay)
- Lack of time is actually a lack of priorities
- 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of your time and effort
- Work expands to fill the time available for its completion
- Create a “to don’t” list
- Streamline your home and your head
- Avoid decision overload
You’ll learn when to “do,” to “delegate,” and to “delete.” And deleting some of the items crowding your thoughts and your desk may be the most important paradigm of all for many of us. You’ll come to recognize that “practice makes good enough,” that perfection isn’t the be-all and end-all. This realization is really liberating.
Dads can particularly benefit from Ms. Caroline’s advice for systemizing, and her supermarket analogy is spot-on: When you go grocery shopping, you put more than one item in your cart at once so you’re not constantly driving back and forth to the store. Get ahead by always thinking, “What can I do now that will make things easier later on?” Batch your tasks, and block out chunks of time for doing them — returning phone calls and e-mails, paying bills, and filing should be done in batches, not piecemeal as the e-mails or bills arrive. Although the second half of the book is devoted to specific spaces in your home, taking control of those spaces isn’t just mom’s work; dads live in those spaces, too. Both Mom and Dad can use the principles in this book for equally effective rethinking of the workplace and the work mentality.
So, with Father’s Day approaching fast and the usual panic setting in about buying yet another necktie, take this message from Caroline’s book to heart: “Last-minute problems are a lot easier to take care of when they aren’t actually happening at the last minute.” Get this book for Dad. Do it now, while you’re thinking about it, so you don’t have a last-minute problem on June 16.
Happy Father’s Day!
Dr. Harley A. Rotbart is Professor and Vice Chairman of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado. He is the author of three books for parents and families, including the recent No Regrets Parenting, a Parents advisor, and a contributor to The New York Times Motherlode blog. Visit his blog at noregretsparenting.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@NoRegretsParent).
Image: A busy daily schedule book via Shutterstock.
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busy dad, clutter, dad, Dads, father, Father's Day, fatherhood, fathers, Harley Rotbart, harley rotbart series, holiday, Holidays, No Regrets Parenting, organizing | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Holidays, Must Read
Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
It’s a very lucky family tree these days that doesn’t have a least one of its branches spliced by a split-up. We have several divorces in our extended family, and now that our ever-curious kids are old enough to notice (4 and 5), I’ve had to explain several times why certain grandparents are unattached and other relatives are out of the picture all-together. Tricky stuff. So when I got an invite for a screening of HBO Family’s documentary, “Don’t Divorce Me,” which touchingly follows several preschoolers and elementary schoolers as they cope with their parents’ split, I RSVPed yes. You’ll blink back tears, but also come away with real-life ways to help your kids cope in the wake of an event that truly does rock their little world. My favorite tip (from a tween who hadn’t cut her hair since before her folks called it quits): Let your children hold onto their memories. “Don’t Divorce Me” airs Thursday September 21 at 6:30 p.m., and might be the most well-spent 30 minutes of your day.
Click here to watch the trailer.
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Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
FDA: BPA Banned in Baby Bottles
The federal government announced Tuesday that baby bottles and sippy cups can no longer contain the controversial chemical bisphenol-A, or BPA. The American Chemistry Council asked the FDA to phase out rules allowing BPA in those products in October. (via Associated Press)
Sports Promote Healthy Weight in Teenagers
New findings published in the journal Pediatrics are among the first to demonstrate that walking or riding a bike to school actually has an impact on weight gain among high school students. Also, playing on at least one high school sports team, but preferably two or more, can significantly lower the likelihood of obesity in teens. (via NY Times)
Dads’ Jobs Linked to Birth Defect Risks
Certain jobs held by men in the months before they conceive a child may increase the risk of birth defects, a new study suggests. Many of these occupations included environments where workers are commonly exposed to solvents. (via MSNBC)
Mothers Who Have Heavier Babies May Be at Increased Risk of Breast Cancer, Study Finds
A hefty birth weight may put mothers at more than twice the risk of breast cancer compared with a woman who had a comparatively smaller baby, according to preliminary data from two studies, published Tuesday in the journal PLoS One. (via CNN)
Autism Survey for Parents May Catch Disorder Early
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A survey, called The First Year Inventory, given to parents when their children are 1 year old may help identify kids at risk of autism, a new study suggests. (via MSNBC)
American Chemistry Council, autism, Babies, baby bottles, birth defects, birth weight, breast cancer, Dads, FDA, health, jobs, Parents Daily News Roundup, Sports, teens, weight | Categories:
Thursday, June 14th, 2012
I’m a huge fan of “Once Upon a Time,” and if you watched the show as avidly as I did each week, you’ll recognize actor Raphael Sbarge in his dual role as Jiminy Cricket and psychologist Archie Hopper. The show, which has been renewed for a second season, is centered on the power of storytelling and finding the extraordinary truth in ordinary fairy tales.
Here, in an exclusive essay for Parents.com, Sbarge writes about his own roles as father, storyteller, and entertainer for his two kids. He shares how making up bedtime stories (such as The Adventures of Seymour and Alice) helped instill imagination, creativity, and a love for books. Just in time for Father’s Day, read an excerpt from the essay below.
I have two children, a son and a daughter. Django is now 7 and Gracie is 9. One problem I had when they were younger is that a book for one child wasn’t necessarily for the other, and bedtime was a precious window. I discovered one day, quite by accident, that I could make up my own stories. These stories would invariably come from a kind of free association, as random and ridiculous as whatever would occur to me in the moment, like the tale of a female pillow that had lost her owner and decided to find him. Or a bird that woke up one day and was able to talk to humans but would occasionally lose control and speak bird again.
But I really hit pay dirt with my ongoing series, The Adventures of Seymour and Alice, about a brother-and-sister adventure duo that would often get lost and find themselves in fantastic and perilous circumstances, yet by ingenuity, gumption, and a deep desire to help one another, would always find their way home. Click here to read the full essay by Raphael Sbarge.
Follow Raphael Sbarge on Twitter (@RaphaelSbarge) and on Facebook (facebook.com/officialraphaelsbarge).
Photo Credit: T Love Photography by Tena Fanning
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bedtime, bedtime stories, celeb dad, celebrity dad, dad, Dads, fatherhood, once upon a time, parenting, parenting advice, parenting style, raphael sbarge, Storytelling, telling stories | Categories:
Entertainment, GoodyBlog, Holidays
Friday, April 27th, 2012
This week, I had an interview with Curran Dandurand, one of the founders of Jack Black and her husband Jeff. Here’s what they had to say:
Q. What made you decide to found Jack Black?
A. “We saw that there was a big void in the market and an opportunity to cater to men. Men as a consumer group were really underserved when it came to high-quality, male-oriented personal-care products. Additionally, we saw that men were changing their attitudes and behaviors regarding skin care and taking care of their appearance. Men’s magazines have helped build awareness and educate guys about the importance of good skin care and grooming. Baby boomers wanted to fight the aging process and younger guys were very receptive to using all sorts of personal-care products to enhance their appearance.”
Q. Where is your company and family based?
A. “Our company is based in Carrollton, Texas, which is a suburb of Dallas. Our family lives in Plano, Texas.”
Q. How many kids do you have, and their ages?
A. “We have two kids: a son, age 20, and a daughter, age 17. Both grew up in the business and have seen what entrepreneurs have to do to build a successful company and the many sacrifices that have to be made. They’ve helped out in a number of ways–when they were 5 and 7 years old they would help with inspecting and sorting product. Now they work as summer interns in operations or marketing…wherever they are needed.”
Q. What type of guy are your products aiming for?
A. “Our products are designed for men that appreciate quality and want something that works extremely well and works fast. Jack Black customers span all age groups, geographic locations, and lifestyles. The common denominator is they want visible results without a lot of extra effort, complication, and fuss.”
Q. If you had to choose a product that dads shouldn’t live without, what would it be?
A. “I would say our Double Duty Face Moisturizer SPF 20 because the single most beneficial thing a guy can do for his skin is to protect it against the damaging rays of the sun on a daily basis. We’ve incorporated the sun protection into the daily moisturizer and after-shave products so we’re keeping his morning routine quick and simple. Eighty percent of what we see as visible “skin aging” is due to incidental sun exposure–the kind you get from just going about your daily activities, like driving to work, getting the mail in, driving your kids to basketball practice. UVA rays are the aging rays that cause wrinkles and discoloration, while UVB rays are the rays that burn the skin. So you need a daily sunscreen that offers broad spectrum protection to shield both types of rays. By using a multi-purpose product that incorporates the broad spectrum SPF into a daily moisturizer/after-shave conditioner, a dad is doing a very important thing to preserve skin health and prevent premature aging–and it only adds a couple of seconds a day to his morning routine.”
Q. Are there any ingredients we should avoid in our skin care?
A. “I would suggest avoiding artificial colorants and heavy fragrances, as well as alcohol (appears on the label as SD Alcohol or Alcohol Denat) in facial skin-care products. These ingredients can be irritating when applied to the face and eye area.”
Q. How do you convince a man that skin care is important?
A. “I think that men understand that looking good can be a competitive advantage–both in their professional and personal lives. A better groomed guy is going to get the job or the promotion over an equally qualified but poorly groomed candidate. Taking good care of your skin is part of being on top of your game and presenting yourself in the best possible way. You can spend hundreds of dollars on a suit or shirt you wear for a year or two, but you have your face your entire life and people see it every day. It’s worth investing a little time and money to take care of something this important to your overall appearance. Plus, there is a real health benefit to protecting the skin from sun damage. A little extra effort to take care of your skin can yield significant appearance and health results.”
I also tried the Double Duty Face Moisturizer this week, and I’m impressed. I don’t like the smell of sunscreen, so moisturizers with it always make me nervous. Fortunately, this product didn’t have that beach smell at all, and it was surprisingly light. As you read, it’s very important to protect you face from the sun’s rays, and this moisturizer will do that and more. You can find it at Jack Black’s website for $27.
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Beauty, GoodyBlog, Health & Safety, Shopping & Gear, Time for Fun, Your Life
Friday, April 20th, 2012
I recently had the chance to interview Jenny Balding, the Redken for Men consultant, about men’s hair and styling. Here’s what she had to say.
Q. Guys usually seem to get that strange “I just got my hair cut” frizziness. Are there any tips or techniques that help make your style look fresh from day one?
A. “There really shouldn’t be any frizziness after a good haircut, but if there is, guys should try not to shampoo their hair every day so they can create a ‘lived-in’ look. Use a little putty or paste to calm down any fly-aways, like my favorite Redken For Men Outplay Texture Putty, for example. This will really help if your hair tends to get puffy. For longer locks that get puffy, try a little Redken For Men Loose Ends Liquid Pomade.”
Q. Most guys have short hair…how necessary is it for them to use conditioner? Are there benefits for conditioner beyond just keeping long hair healthy?
A. “The only male clients I recommend NO conditioner to is if they have fine, straight hair. It will make it too soft and flat. Conditioner is great for taking the puff out the hair and controlling frizz, however short your hair is.” (Try new Redken For Men Cool Finish Invigorating Conditioner.)
Q. When shampooing and conditioning, is there a preferred amount of time you should leave the product in your hair?
A. “If you have a lot of product in your hair, shampoo twice and leave the first lather on for 2-3 minutes to get through any heavy wax type product. Also, if you have thick and/or coarse hair, leave the conditioner on an extra few minutes to really moisturize the hair.”
Q. As a woman and a professional stylist, what are your thoughts on men with grey hair? And if a guy is still hanging on to his youth, what can you tell us about Redken’s Color Camo Treatment?
A. “I think men going grey or who are grey usually look really great in fact! If they feel like they have to disguise some of the grey, though, Redken Color Camo is perfect for this. It really takes the edge off the grey and only takes 5 minutes at the shampoo bowl in the salon, so it’s very discreet. It fades naturally and doesn’t fade to a warm reddish tone that so many colors for men do.”
Q. If you had to choose your favorite male celebrity haircut right now, who would it belong to?
A. “If I had to choose, it would be David Beckham, as it’s a more commercial version of the style that actor Michael Pitt had his hair in the HBO show Boardwalk Empire. That haircut heavily influenced many of the looks from 2011 through to 2012, and it continues to inspire. Whether it’s messier on top or smooth and slick and parted to one side, it is a very versatile look.”
Q. What do you feel will be the next big haircut trend for men?
A. “I think this trend (à la David Beckham’s cut: shorter on both sides and longer on top) will continue for the rest of 2012, as it can be tweaked in various ways. It’s such a good look for most guys, and depending on their hair texture, you have it designed and styled accordingly. For example, maybe a guy would choose to go not quite as short on the sides and more texture on top, but the ‘old-school’ 1920′s feel is still there.”
Q. Finally, do you have any non-evasive techniques or products you’d recommend for a dad with a receding hairline?
A. “Of course! Redken INTRA FORCE, our breakthrough anti-thinning line for men and women that just launched last year. It’s a three-step system that helps eliminate DHT and nourishes scalp and hair to visibly improve the appearance of thinning hair in just 30 days. And it really works.”
I also had the chance to try out the new Redken Invigorating Shampoo and Conditioner for Men. I liked how the product smelled like peppermint, which is a hard smell to beat when it comes to feeling clean. Plus, it has the added benefit of making your scalp tingle. You can find the shampoo and conditioner at a licensed Redken salon by going to Redken’s website. The shampoo is $11 and the conditioner is $12.
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