Posts Tagged ‘ Dads ’

Grooming Dad: Handmade Soaps from Tanner Goods and Maak Soap Labs

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Parents Magazine, Maak Soap Lab, Tanner Goods

I love when I find a great product that’s made by hand, and it really shows you that sometimes you can’t beat an artisanal item. About a year ago, Maak Soap Labs and Tanner Goods, out of Portland, Oregon, joined forces to create a line of soaps that capture the scent of Cascadia. They ended up with two outdoorsy smells, Upland and Wildwood. They are both made from all-natural ingredients and scented with oils from plants that are indigenous to the region. One added bonus of the bar soaps is that they’re airplane friendly. No liquid means no hassle from the TSA.

Saying they smell good might be an understatement. I kept them on my desk for several days just to make sure I could take a whiff when I needed a “trip” to the mountains. After I finally used the soap for it’s intended purpose, I was pleased with the lather and how the scent didn’t intensify with the water. Plus, my skin felt clean, not dry, after rinsing.

Overall, I think that both scents are worth your while. Wildwood (the green one) is more piney smelling than Upland, but both are very fresh so it’s really up to your personal preference. You can find these handmade soaps at Tanner Goods, where they retail for $9 a bar. You can also read more about their process here.

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Grooming Dad: Interview with Brian Robinson, President of Zirh

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Grooming Dad ShavingI recently had the opportunity to ask the President of Zirh, Brian Robinson, a few questions about men’s grooming. He’s a dad of two boys (ages 10 and 3) and one girl (age 7), and his family lives in Westchester County, N.Y. Here’s what he had to say:

Q. What made you decide to found Zirh?

A. ”In the mid ’90s, the concept that men would take care of themselves to the same extent as women was foreign. I believed that men were looking for efficacy and price was of secondary importance if the product performed. Most important in my thought process was to demonstrate the product on the men so they could see the difference. Men’s skincare has come a long way since then, but the majority of men are still using soap and water so there is still a huge upside.”

Q. Whats the optimum morning regimen for a man? What step can’t be forgotten?

A. ”The optimum regimen consists of a good cleanser to wipe away dirt and dead skin cells. Every other day I suggest supplementing a cleanser with a gentle scrub. Then, I would finish off the routine with a moisturizer, preferably with SPF. The step that can’t be forgotten is exfoliating. There are different ways to do it through cleansers, scrubs, or peels, but revealing new, fresh skin helps you look younger and more vibrant.”

Q. If you had to choose a product that dads couldn’t live without, what would it be?

A. ”I would recommend Zirh Shave Gel, which is a unique shave gel in that it doesn’t lather up when applied. This way, you can see where you are going, reducing cuts, and abrasions. It also helps with sculpting for those with goatee’s or shaped beards.”

Q. If you had to give one ultimate grooming tip to a guy what would it be?

A. ”Shaving during or after a shower is a fantastic way to get a better shave!!!”

After hearing Brian’s thoughts on skincare, I got a chance to try a few of the products he suggested. I first tried the Zirh scrub, and I found it to be very effective. The thing I like most about it is that the particles were so small and it made me feel like I was getting an even exfoliation. The aloe vera in the scrub also helped moisturize my face, leaving it feeling fresh.

Next, I tried the pre-shave oil and the shave gel. I was a bit nervous about trying something new with five days worth of scruff on my face. I applied the oil after my shower (it was very slippery), and it didn’t take much to cover my beard. Then, I waited the suggested one to two minutes before applying the shave gel. Once the shave gel was on, it looked like I had absolutely nothing on my face but some moisturizer and I started to worry about possible razor burn. After the first pass of the blade, I was surprised to find a smooth, non-bleeding cheek. The smooth shaving continued until I finished without a single knick. So besides my initial nervousness, this shave gel worked incredibly well. I can definitely see how it would be useful if you shaped your beard.

You can find all of their products at The products I tried: scrub, $20; pre-shave oil, $18.50; and the shave gel, $15.

If you have any personal shaving tricks up your sleeve, please let me know in the comments below. They might make their way into a future post!

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Grooming Dad: A New Twist on an Old Style

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Paul Mitchell has created a new line for men called Mitch, and it’s a great addition to an already praise-worthy brand. The line is geared for men that like slick design and clean–not overpowering–scents. I recently tested the Double Hitter 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner, and it really knocked it out of the park. The shampoo has a clean soap smell. It also has amazing lather, worthy of any sudsy shampoo commercial. After rinsing, my hair felt clean, but not dry–definitely a plus for having the conditioner in the same bottle.

I also tested two of the styling products (well, I tested one and had a dad test the other). I currently have the Don Draper haircut so I tried Barber’s Classic Pomade, which has moderate hold and high shine. It worked easily into my hair and provided enough hold to keep my hair in place while still having some flexibility. It is very lightly scented and kept my hair looking shiny all day. My dad tester used the Clean Cut styling cream, which has medium hold with a semi-matte finish. He goes for the natural disheveled look, and this cream worked well for him. He said it was easiest to use when his hair was dry and that it held his hair up all day without looking styled.

Overall, these products from Mitch stepped up to the plate and did exactly what they said they would. The Double-Hitter shampoo retails for $15.50, and both styling products go for $16.99. You can find these products and the rest of the line at a local retailer by visiting

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Some Schools Planning to Drop ‘Pink Slime’ Meat
The lunch lady won’t be serving up “pink slime” anymore at several school districts around the country.

Huggies Diaper Ad Backfires Among Dads
Many fathers say depiction of clueless parenting is offensive.

Having Small Babies May Raise Heart Risk in Moms
Women who give birth to small, full-term babies may have an increased risk for heart disease decades later, new research shows.

Houston Mother Must Pass DNA Test to Be Reunited with Son
A Houston mother was headed to court Thursday hoping to be reunited with her son eight years after she reported her baby boy was kidnapped.

Popular Easter Egg Hunt Scrapped Due To Behavior Of Parents
Parents’ bad behavior has prompted city officials to cancel an Easter egg hunt.

Mom Elissa Simonson Gives Birth On Sidewalk Outside Minn. Hospital
Elissa Simonson didn’t quite make it to a hospital for the birth of her third child. But, she was very close.

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‘Show Dad How,’ An Illustrated Guide for New Dads

Friday, June 24th, 2011

bean-show dad howNew dads, now you can learn how to prepare for fatherhood with “Show Dad How” by Shawn Bean.  Bean, the Executive Editor of Parenting magazine (often confused with Parents magazine) and his staff put together this 156-page, illustrated guide to help dads through the toughest, most puzzling challenges of baby’s first year and beyond. 

Divided into three sections (Prep, Deal, Play), the book offers a mix of practical and tongue-in-cheek advice for every situation: how to pack a diaper bag, decipher the color of baby poo, and serve green eggs and ham as a meal.

For new moms, there’s even a “Show Mom How” illustrated guide.

Read more about new fathers on

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Homemade Gifts for Father’s Day

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Father’s Day is this Sunday, and we have plenty of ideas to make the #1 dad in your life feel extra special.

Nothing quite says “I love you” like homemade gifts the kids spent time putting together.  We have 12 Father’s Day crafts that moms and kids can make — from a super neat desk organizer to a personalized paperweight.  Print a “Greatest Daddy in the Galaxy” certificate or create a royal crown to make dad king for a day

If there’s a new dad in the house, alleviate his new father fears with these tips and teach him the how to be an awesome dad.

Handmade cards are also great to give, like these printable Father’s Day cards kids can color and decorate. 

Happy Father’s Day!

More Father’s Day ideas on

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New Study: Two Types of Fathers in America

Friday, June 17th, 2011

A new study released by the Pew Research Center have found there are two dominant types of fathers in America: fathers who are actively involved in family life vs. fathers who are not because they live apart from the kids.

According to, the Pew study found that today’s fathers are more active in their kids’ lives than 50 years ago, but fathers who live outside the household have also more than doubled since the 60s.  Those who live with their families are more in tune with their kids, with 93% talking to their kids a few times a week, over 50% transporting their kids to activities, and 9 out of 10 eating a few weekly meals together.

Education, income, and race are still factors that determine fatherhood – white fathers with higher education and incomes usually lived with their familes.  Only 21% lived apart.  Even though 44% of African-American fathers lived apart from the family, they were still the most active group of fathers who lived outside.

Another Pew survey revealed that 69% of the survey takers believe fathers living in the house contribute to a child’s happiness.  Not surprisingly, it’s important for fathers to be actively involved with their families, no matter if they’re living inside the house or not.

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Men Can Breastfeed, Too? No, But….

Monday, October 11th, 2010

When I used to work right next to a smoker, I noted his frequent, sanctioned breaks to head outside and get his fix. I joked that I should pretend to be a smoker, too, even though I’d never touched a cigarette,  just so I can go outside, get some air, and enjoy the same benefit every hour or so. The European Union Court of Justice has applied that thinking to breastfeeding now, according to Time magazine: If moms can do it–and get work breaks for it–than dads deserve the same consideration, and to deny men that right is sex discrimination.

Cue the punchlines. I am sure Letterman’s writers are all over this one. And even as an always-harried dad who covets any time to myself that I can grab, I hardly need to point out the absurdity of the idea.


Scratch beneath the surface, and, according to the Time report, the supposed men’s breastfeeding break was not actually that: “Rather, the ruling is intended to make the early infancy period less stressful for both mom and dad. Even though it’s called breast-feeding leave, the court ruled it should really be thought of as “time purely devoted to the child’,” Time says.

Perhaps we should set aside the wisecracks and take note of what a family-friendly policy really is, one which truly values kids, understands the stresses of working parents (male and female), and treats fathers and mothers as equals–and equally deserving of support and protection–in raising their children.

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