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Three Things to Bring on a Road Trip – Always

Three Things to Bring on a Road Trip – Always

This post was made in partnership with Kleenex® Wet Wipes. All opinions my own.

We travel a lot as a family, and sometimes getting to our destination is hard work. Often we find ourselves schlepping luggage to the car, getting everyone on the road without losing something, and attempting to reach our destination in one piece. That’s why we know there are three things to bring on a road trip in order to keep our sanity. Good music, a strong supply of snacks, and Kleenex ® Wet Wipes are all on our must-bring list.

We use Kleenex (R) Wet Wipes when we travel, especially during the cold and flu season. Germs are part of the deal, but we just keep them away!

 

 

Three Things To Bring on a Road Trip

Even when we’re on an easy road trip, it’s not always easy. Sometimes the road is too curvy, one of the kids turns a little green, and we have to pull over. Or perhaps *someone* gets a little peckish, and without immediate snack gratification things can turn ugly quick. Often we are in and out of the car to get gas, or water, or to use the restroom.  Maybe it’s  to capture that perfect Instagram moment from the scenic view point. An easy clean-up is often needed – and that’s where the Kleenex ® Wet Wipes come in handy.

We keep a pack of these babies handy in the car. Who knows when there might be a spill to clean up on aisle seven?

Whatever the agenda and combination of elements, it seems we are invariably in need of something while traveling in the car. That’s why there are three things to bring on a road trip in our family, and they are part of our packing routine without fail.

A Solid Playlist

Whether listening through the car’s sound system as a group or individually through headphones, our family loves good music.  Especially on a road trip, music helps provide the soundtrack to the views we are enjoying through the car windows. If there isn’t a good view, a solid playlist can keep the family entertained. When the kids were little, we would listen to Disney tunes and all sing along. Now with occasionally surly teens, we sing and they grunt while rolling their eyes at the horror of our embarrassing actions.  Nonetheless, good tunes make the trip go faster and we reach our destination with our happiness (relatively) intact.

Lots of Snacks

Beware that moment when Dad passes the point of no return on the hungry scale. I’ll admit, it’s not pretty for anyone in the near vicinity. That’s why our family is always prepared with snacks for the road trip. Sophia loves her fish-shaped cheddar crackers, and Ava always craves spicy rolled tortilla chips. Both of these tasty treats are super messy and leave fingers orange and greasy. Triton usually goes for something healthy like and orange or some almonds. And Jon (me) is usually the one that needs a food fix fast, preferring an energy bar or some trail mix to do the trick before things go badly. Our whole family knows to bring snacks along for Dad to help him avoid The Dark Side.

Road trips can be dirty business, and we keep ourselves heading in the right direction with Kleenex (R) Wet Wipes to keep the germs at bay.

Kleenex ® Wet Wipes

We are extra careful about germs when we travel. Occupying a permanent spot in our car’s glovebox, Kleenex ® Wet Wipes are along for the ride – any ride – no matter what. We learned this early, when the kids were mere babies in their car seats. We’d pull a Kleenex ® Wet Wipes from the pack to clean up their dirty little hands and faces, keeping the kids free of germs as we continued on our way. Now that the girls are teens, our family still loves our road trips. Instead of messy faces and crumbs, we end up with greasy hands, door handles and car upholstery. It never fails.

We always feel safe with Kleenex ® Wet Wipes, because they’re thick, soft and clinically proved to wipe away 99% of all germs on skin without harsh chemicals. Now available in three unique varieties, they are dermatologist tested, hypoallergenic and contain no alcohol.

Totally safe for face and skin, Kleenex (R) Wet Wipes make clean-up easy on a road trip.

But we don’t stop there. Because we are in and out of the car at various rest stops along the way, who knows what germs might be picked up along the way. Kleenex ® Wet Wipes are perfect for wiping up not only hands, but luggage handles, mobile devices and other things we touch over and over again. After all, their motto is Kleenex ® Wet Wipes are Made for Doers™ and that describes our family pretty darn well – not afraid to get our hands dirty and wanting them to be clean again, fast and easy.

Pit Stop Before the Road Trip

Before we head out, we make a quick stop at Walmart to pick up a pack or two of Kleenex ® Wet Wipes, and you can too. Target is really a great spot for one-stop shopping, because you can purchase all three things to bring on a roadtrip from our list.

Regardless of the destination, near or far we need our basic three things to bring on a road trip.

Come to think of it, we’ll be getting on an airplane soon and that’s another great place to use our Kleenex ® Wet Wipes. Those tray tables and arm rests on a plane can be full of germs, and a quick wipe down will keep us heading towards our destination with no worries and high expectations.

Travel on!

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 


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Life Lessons Learned from Star Wars

Life Lessons Learned from Star Wars

Ever since I was a teenager seeing my very first Star Wars movie, I’ve been a huge fan and avid follower. Whether you’re a lifelong fan of the series like me, or a newfound Jedi, Star Wars has captivated audiences for decades. There are so many life lessons learned from Star Wars that can help anyone from the age of Solo to A New Hope.

young Han Solo

I loved this Han Solo movie – don’t have a clue why some people did not.

Life Lessons Learned from Star Wars

Here’s a few our family lives by:

Just do it!

You can learn a lot from the old wise ones. Just look at Jedi Master Yoda, who brought us such worldly advice as “Do, or do not. There is no try.” The line in The Empire Strikes Back reminds us that we should go for our dreams and goals. Stop saying you’ll try and just make it happen. This lesson can apply to adults and children alike. We remind our children that practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does make permanent. Practice skills that are difficult whether they are athletic, academic, or musical. Practice can help you and your child improve and just get things done!

Yoda a wise Jedi

Yoda is a very, very wise Jedi Master.

Family is not always who you expect.

I’m not just talking about the unexpected declaration of a father in a dark mask of evil. Family can come in many forms. For Luke, family came in the form of Yoda. He was an elderly teacher who gave the young Jedi confidence and the ability to save the galaxy. He also had another mentor in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Even Han’s right hand “man” Chewbacca may not look like family. But he was a loyal companion and family from beginning to end. There are friends that come into our lives that may not be blood but are just like family. Hold those people close to you always.

Chewbacca

Chewbacca is the best friend everyone wishes they had.

Girls can be princesses and warriors at the same time.

Padme Amidala, Princess Leia, and Rey are just a few of the female characters in the Star Wars series that remind us that princesses and admirable women. They are not just pretty faces in frilly dresses. The Princess titles (for Amidala and Leia) and the warrior spirit (for Rey) transcend traditional female roles in the movies. Most movies in the late 1970s (when the franchise started) did not portray women as fighters or warriors. Star Wars paved the way for female empowerment. They may not yet be saving the galaxy, but we tell Sophia and AVa they can stand up for their own rights and be anything they want to be.

Don’t judge someone until you get to know them.

Some of the best characters in Star Wars don’t necessarily look like they would be the loyal, loving companions you’d expect. When Han Solo first meets Rey, he doesn’t realize her impact on the future of the galaxy. As he gets to know her, he understands her loyalty. Rey also learns the same about Finn, the former stormtrooper and resistor. Many of the characters in Star Wars prove that loyalty to family and friendship is what really makes a person (or Ewok) someone you want in your life.

There are so many life lessons learned from Star Wars that we can apply to real life. If you haven’t watched the movies, start with the original, A New Hope and watch in the order they were released. You’ll be happy you did!

Darth Vader

There are even some good lessons to be learned from the Dark Side.


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Thanksgiving Dinner From Omaha Steaks Comes Early This Year

Thanksgiving Dinner From Omaha Steaks Comes Early This Year

* This post is sponsored by Omaha Steaks, and we’re grateful to be Brand Ambassadors for America’s Original Butcher.

When you travel as much as our family, sometimes the schedules don’t work out in traditional ways. This year we will find ourselves in Puerto Vallarta on Thanksgiving Day, probably eating turkey tacos on the beach somewhere. Thanks to our friends at Omaha Steaks, we’re able to enjoy our turkey now rather than pining for it on the actual day. For our family, the holiday comes early this year because we can order Thanksgiving dinner from Omaha Steaks.

sliced Thanksgiving turkey on platter

Sliced so beautifully, this Thanksgiving turkey from Omaha Steaks tasted just as delicious as it looks.

The kids gave me the weirdest look when I said I was making turkey and all the fixings for dinner. “What are you doing making Thanksgiving dinner now?” they asked. Well, this dinner and tradition are important to us. It’s important to give thanks and be grateful – any time of year. And this holiday is a reminder of that. Especially now with so many complications across the globe, Thanksgiving has taken on even greater meaning.

So I cooked a turkey!

Thanksgiving Dinner from Omaha Steaks

Our friends at Omaha Steaks made this meal super easy for us. They made the whole thing hassle-free with their “build your own” Thanksgiving Dinner options, and I love them for this! Whether you are Team Ham or Team Turkey, they’ve got your covered. Heck they even have beef roasts if you’d like something less traditional.

Thanksgiving turkey dinner with Omaha Steaks

Our Thanksgiving turkey from Omaha Steaks turned out perfectly cooked and ready to carve.

However, my favorite thing is the full meal options. Saving a tremendous amount of work in the kitchen, Thanksgiving dinner from Omaha Steaks can provide you with the entire meal. Not only did we get a 10-pound turkey that was oven ready, but the sides as well. From the many choices, I went for the traditional sage stuffing and smashed red potatoes on the side. And yes you can get a ham if you prefer that, or even a big beef roast. But turkey is the traditional feast, and we went for it.

carving Thanksgiving turkey on the dinner table

After carving this bird, the Thanksgiving vultures descended for a feast. (And by vultures I mean our family).

There’s an entire Whole Basted Turkey Thanksgiving Feast package for $129 that includes:

  • Whole Basted Turkey – 10 lbs.  |  serves 8
  • Green Bean Casserole – 2 (12 oz.) pkgs.  |  serves 4
  • Sage Dressing – 2 (11 oz.) pkgs.  |  serves 8
  • Smashed Red Potatoes – 2 (10 oz.) pkgs.  |  serves 4
  • Pumpkin Pie – 8 inch  |  serves 6

I modified our order slightly. Instead of pumpkin pie (which my kids don’t love) we opted for Sticky Toffee Pudding. I must say this might very well become another family tradition, since the kids went crazy for it!

Omaha Steaks even supplies the Thanksgiving pies! (Although I love their Sticky Toffee Pudding even more).

Avoid the Scary Supermarket Rush

One of the very best things about this whole arrangement getting Thanksgiving dinner from Omaha Steaks? Not having the fight the supermarket rush. Last year as the day approached, the stores got crazier and people got wackier. I literally watched a fist fight practically break out over a parking spot at our local supermarket – and that was between two moms!

From the comfort of my living room couch (and take my word, it’s very comfortable) I am able to order Thanksgiving dinner from Omaha Steaks from their website with ease. The entire process can take as little as 5 minutes.

Thanksgiving dinner on plate

Thanksgiving turkey dinner and all the goodies. Why does cranberry sauce look so weird and taste so great?

Last year, it took me hours to shop, collect all the ingredients and make all the food. This year, I popped the turkey into the oven to cook. The rest of the side dishes were put in the oven about a half hour before the meal, and we were ready to roll.

Cooking the Thanksgiving Dinner from Omaha Steaks

I like a flavorful turkey, and the Thanksgiving turkey from Omaha Steaks comes prepped and ready for me to stuff and spice as desired. I stuffed ours with fresh rosemary, sliced lemons, garlic and onions. And butter of course – lots of butter inside and under the skin.

turkey ready to cook in a bag

Omaha Steaks even sent an oven bag and instructions on how to cook our Thanksgiving turkey.

From there, I placed the prepped turkey inside the cooking bag supplied by Omaha Steaks in my order. I’ve cooked turkeys in the bag on various occasions to differing degrees of success. This time, it came out perfectly cooked, tender and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Delish.

Plus there was enough leftovers for sandwiches!

Now, answer me this. Why oh why does all this hard work go into creating a delicious Thanksgiving meal, only to serve it all with canned cranberry sauce? It defies logic, but honestly our family prefers the cranberry sauce this way. Sliced, mashed or straight from the can, it still makes the perfect accompaniment to this Thanksgiving dinner from Omaha Steaks.

Thanksgiving table decor idea

When visiting Omaha Steaks, they shared ideas about how to set a beautiful Thanksgiving table.

 

 

 

 

 


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Las Vegas for Art Lovers

Las Vegas for Art Lovers

Las Vegas has more to offer than great hotels, shows, food and of course gambling. In fact, Las Vegas is a place for artists and art lovers to gather and fall in love with the brilliance of modern art. From the lights of the strip to its architectural brilliance, visit Las Vegas for art lovers and the city’s landscape of art inside and out.

 

Bellagio Resort & Casino Las Vegas fountains

The Bellagio fountain are an art form themselves.

Las Vegas for Art Lovers

Here are a few places to check out in Las Vegas for art lovers:

Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art

Our family has spent hours watching the mesmerizing fountains at the Bellagio Hotel. The last time we were there together, we practically had to pull the girls away from the sidewalk kicking and screaming. When that gets old, go inside the hotel to check out the art gallery. It’s complete with premiere pieces and rotating exhibitions from around the world. The gallery has hosted works from the likes of Picasso and Warhol, as well contemporary artists like sculptor and eclectic artist Yayoi Kusama. The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is the perfect place to take the whole family when the neon lights of the strip get to be a little much.

man looking up at glass flowers on Bellagio Las Vegas ceiling

Triton was particularly amazed at the glass flowers on the ceiling of the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

And how about that collection of artistic glass flowers on the lobby ceiling in the Bellagio main entrance? That creation by famed glass artist Dale Chihuly is a modern masterpiece. It’s called Fiori di Como, and is the artist’s interpretation of Italian flowers in the spring.

Neon Museum

Speaking of neon, art can take more forms than just paintings that adorn museum walls. The Neon Museum is a great example of non-traditional art. This non-profit museum houses and restores iconic Las Vegas neon signs. It’s amazing to see some of the old school marquis signs from the Vegas Strip, so close you can walk up and touch them. Some in this collection are so OG that you’ll have to watch scenes from old movies to even remember where they stood. Actually, the museum is very good at explaining the importance and history of each neon piece of art. This place is a goldmine!

Vegas neon sign

Las Vegas is chock full of neon art, practically anywhere you look.

The Arts Factory

The arts in Downtown Las Vegas range from showcases of masterpieces to stunning shops. The Arts Factory is a nondescript building from the outside, but when you walk inside you’ll be mesmerized. There are scores of  tenants that bring together art, entertainment, and even cuisine for a perfect artistic experience. Gaze on the photography of local artists in Perception Gallery, grab a drink between galleries at the The Urban Lounge, and check out Peace N Art Studio, a collaborative gallery of ecletic art. There’s something for every artistic taste at The Arts Factory.

black and white wallpaper of playing cards and other items

This cool wallpaper pattern at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas is truly art in and of itself.

Metropolitan Gallery Las Vegas

The MGLV is more than just a place to view local artists. With more than 17,000 square feet of space on Fremont Street, MGLV is the perfect place to apply to exhibit your own work. If you’re an art creator (not just an art lover), you’ll love this hidden gem in downtown Vegas. It also has space to host individual art for shows and sales (after application and fee). For the visitor, it’s fun to see what local artists are creating in Las Vegas. A nice way to mingle with real people outside of the casino world.

blank canvases are still art

Sometimes art does not framed the way we expect.

CityCenter

Vegas’s CityCenter is a work of art in itself. The architectural design of CityCenter, complete with gorgeous staircases and glass exterior, is home for a large public space of fine art. International artists’ pieces adorn CityCenter to make the 21st century space one of Vegas’s favorite art destinations. Here you can find stunning works by Frank Stella, Henry Moore, Jenny Holzer, Richard Long and more. It’s impressive how the curators have placed art in ways to highlight the architecture of the buildings.

Art for Everyone

Whether you’re a budding artist, born with a paint brush in your hand, or an appreciator of fine art, Las Vegas is a great destination for art lovers. Check out the casinos, sculptures, and galleries that fill the Strip and downtown Las Vegas.

view Las Vegas strip at night

The view of the Las Vegas Strip from our room on the 65th floor at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas – not too shabby.

Las Vegas itself is an art form in an of itself, and we had fun finding a little piece of creativity everywhere we looked. Let us know what you find there – we’d love to add new places to our list!


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Learning About the Different Cuts of Steak

Learning About the Different Cuts of Steak

*This post was sponsored by Omaha Steaks, and we are proud to be Brand Ambassadors for America’s Original Butcher.

Recently, we’ve been learning about the different cuts of steak. After spending time with the good people at Omaha Steaks at their headquarters in Omaha, we left there schooled on all the cuts of meat that qualify as different steaks in the carnivore’s repertoire. There are many nuances between one cut of steak from another. For example, why the filet mignon is so tender. Or why certain steaks are more expensive than others to butcher.

Omaha Steaks master butchers

Don’t let this friendly pose fool you. I’m holding some sharp-ass butcher knives, ready to carve this meat!

It’s eye-opening to realize how many options there are! Learning about the different cuts of steak is something best taught by a true butcher. So we went straight to the best.

America’s Original Butcher

Harkening back to the old days when people went to the butcher shop several times a week to pick up the finest meats, Omaha Steaks has introduced Custom Butcher Services. Thanks to this new service, you can connect with Omaha Steaks and order cuts of meat to your specifications and liking. Want filet mignon steaks that are 5 inches thick? No problem. Or perhaps you’d like a giant King Cut T-bone steak weighing in at 48 ounces (3 pounds of meat)? They’ve got you covered. Maybe you’re having a special party and want to serve steaks cut in the shape of the State of Texas? Absolutely can be done (and has, for a customized order recently!)

Omaha Steaks is known as America’s Original Butcher for a reason. They’ve been known for butchering the best steaks in US for more than 100 years.

Learning About the Different Cuts of Steak

Being onsite at the Omaha Steaks facilities was a huge eye-opener. The professionalism and pride each team member exhibits is so impressive and inspiring. Now I can understand why meats from Omaha Steaks are so widely respected! The quality of each cut is impeccable, and created with love. They took time to teach us about the different cuts of steak. Where the steak comes from on the cow creates big differences between them in taste and flavor. Fact is, I like them all:

Filet Mignon

Widely viewed as one of the finest cuts of steak available, filet mignon is the one you probably order in restaurants when you want to be fancy. So tender you can cut it with a fork, this cut is from a muscle area that isn’t used much.  The result is a soft and very lean cut of meat with a very mild flavor.

platters of different types of steak from Omaha Steaks

These platters display all the cuts of steak we sampled at our Steak Tasting Party.

Top Sirloin Steak

One of the top cuts and highly sought after, the Top Sirloin Steak comes from the loin area of the cow. It’s extremely lean like the filet, with a little more chew and meaty flavor. It’s usually butchered in a square-ish shape.

New York Strip Steak

Much beloved for its impressive look on the plate, the New York Strip Steak is half of a T-Bone steak. The cut on other half of the bone being the Filet). It might not be as tender as the filet, but it makes up for it in texture and flavor. The Strip also tends to be a less pricey cut than some others, but packs a lot for the money.

Ribeye Steak

The Ribeye Steak is my favorite for flavor and texture, and I guess a lot of others agree. This is one of the most popular cuts because of its marbling – the description used to describe the look of fat interspersed into the meat. This bit of fat melts in cooking, and flavors the beef like fine butter. So delicious!

Raw New York Strip Steak, Top Sirloin Steak, Filet of Prime Rib steak

The marbling in the Strip and Prime Rib steaks is very visible in comparison to the lean Top Sirloin steak.

T-Bone Steak

Mentioned earlier, a T-Bone Steak is  literally divided by a T-shaped bone. On one side on the bone is a New York Strip Steak, and the other is a Filet Mignon. This can be a large meal best suited for someone pretty darn hungry.

Flat Iron Steak

The Flat Iron Steak is best served in slices, since it can be more tough than the others but still full of flavor. The cut comes from the shoulder area, which is a pretty active muscle – thus the tougher chew. We like the sliced Flat Iron Steak in salads and stir fry dishes.

Flank Steak

A larger cut of meat, the Flank Steak can be hard to cook properly. We like it best when marinaded in lime and spices, and grilled quickly. This steak cooks fast, and should then be sliced against the grain for best enjoyment. For some reason, we love Flank Steak in the summer with corn on the cob and watermelon.

Don’t Try This at Home

While in Omaha, I even got to try my hand at butchering a steak myself! Let me tell you, it’s not as easy as those butchers make it look. An extremely sharp knife is necessary, along with the decision to cut in one fell swoop without hesitation. All that without chopping off your fingers in the process. Put that together with the pressure of cutting each piece of meat in identical and equal parts, and it becomes a highly skilled endeavor. The steak I cut was supposed to measure at 10 ounces, and mine weighed in at 15. Oops!

butchering meat with Omaha Steaks

My butchering lesson with the experts from Omaha Steaks was such a blast!

Serve It Up

After all that butchering, we were off for a field trip to the corn fields of Iowa to see the cows and their wholesome feed. To be honest, this city boy has never set foot in a real life corn field. IN IOWA NO LESS! I loved our visit to the Hough Farms.

Omaha Steaks steak and fries at farm dinner

The steak I butchered, served up with some delicious thrice-fried potatoes. Full circle from butcher’s cut to my plate!

The day ended perfectly with a barbecue on the lawns at the farmhouse. Omaha Steaks chefs had cooked up the steaks we had cut for ourselves earlier, and boy were they delicious. I’m not sure whether it was the quality of that cut of meat, or my expert butchering (ha!). For whatever reason, that was just about the best steak I have ever tasted.

Host a Steak Tasting Party!

Here’s a fun idea – host a steak tasting party for your friends and family. We just had a dinner party at our house with some friends, and I ordered five different cuts of steak from Omaha Steaks Custom Butchers Services. They worked with me over the phone, creating the perfect order by customizing the size and cut of each steak to fit my needs. Out friends had a blast tasting each kind of steak, and comparing the flavors, textures and favorites. Here are some details about our Steak Tasting Party, if you’d like to host your own.

people sampling steak at steak tasting party hosted by Omaha Steaks

Our friends dug right into tasting the various cuts of steak to determine their favorites.

Now I know what to order from the custom butchers services at Omaha Steaks. How about you?

 


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Wooden Watches A Favorite Fall Accessory

Wooden Watches A Favorite Fall Accessory

*This post was sponsored by JORD Wooden Watches, and the experiences and opinion expressed here are our own.

There’s something innately interesting about a watch made from wood, especially as the leaves change and the branches become more visible in the Autumn weather. The colors this time of year lend themselves naturally to the warm tans, browns and blacks of wood. Because of this, wooden watches are a favorite fall accessory for both men and women. And particularly 2Dads!

men's wooden watches for Fall

Dressed up or down, the JORD Ebony and Iron Hyde Series is a great men’s watch for all seasons.

Now, most of my friends know I’m kind of a watch collector. Just like some women like a closet full of shoes, I’m the kind of man that likes a collection of signature watches. People often ask me to show them what unique timepiece is on my wrist for the day, and I’m proud to show them off. Although there are a few really nice ones in the bunch that could be considered valuable, I think they are all of great value simply because I lovingly picked each one.

JORD Delmar Zebra wood watch

We love the chunky design and interesting Zebra wood tones of the JORD Delmar men’s watch.

So it’s natural that I would want to add wooden watches to my collection. And since I came across the collection at JORD, I’ve found so many I love.

And you can love a JORD wooden watch too! Enter our drawing for a chance to win $100 to shop the JORD collection of men’s and women’s wooden watches! 

*The contest will close 11/11/2018 at 11:59pm CST. Both the $100 and the 10% off codes will expire on 12/09/2018.

WOODEN WATCHES ARE A FAVORITE FALL ACCESSORY

Whether I’m searching for the perfect men’s watches or women’s watches, I like the option of wooden watches more than anything for the Fall season. The warm natural tones of wood go nicely with clothes that celebrate the colors of Fall, which makes wooden watches a favorite fall accessory.

Driving has never been so stylish! My JORD wood men’s watch makes me smile on my morning commute.

I’m partial to the stripey Zebrawood and White Carbon JORD Watches Delmar Series, which is a standout because of the unusual wood grain and striking color combo. With a super chunky wooden band, my Delmar watch looks great with a sport coat during the workday. On the weekend, it looks just as cool with a sweater and jeans as I bop around town. Because we live in San Diego, I think my JORD Delmar watch is popular because of its surf and beach vibe.

Another one of our favorites is the JORD Ebony and Iron Hyde Series watch, and Triton’s been sporting that one to work and play. He likes the black-on-black finish, and the sleek design that looks both conservative and edgy at the same time – just like him.

JORD ebony wood watch at work

Even at work with a business suit, the JORD ebony and iron wood watch looks smart and fashionable.

Of course, since we wear the same size we can wear both JORD wooden watches interchangeably. Benefits of being 2 dads, y’know.

A LIFETIME OF WATCH COLLECTING

Ever since I was a little kid, watches have always fascinated me. I can remember my first watch – it was a Timex with a NASA astronaut theme and a really cool watchband. Wish I still had that baby now!

Over the years, I’ve amassed quite a collection. My timepieces range from my dad’s old fifties styles that you have to wind by hand, all the way to several nice watches by renowned jewelers. All in all, I must have about thirty in my collection. Each one tells a story, and I can remember wearing them and feeling so cool – regardless of the watch style, Hell, I even remember rocking a white Swatch Watch when they were all the rage. (That is one I did not keep!)

Add to your own collection! 

Enter to win our drawing for a chance to win $100 to shop the JORD collection of men’s and women’s wooden watches!

*The contest will close 11/11/2018 at 11:59pm CST. Both the $100 and the 10% off codes will expire on 12/09/2018.

Wooden Wrist Watch


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Halloween at Our House is a Thing

Halloween at Our House is a Thing

Halloween at our house is a Thing, and always has been. Since the kids were babies, we’ve hosted a big Halloween party at our house and it gets rowdier every year. As the kids have grown, the candy frenzy has died down but the tradition lives on. The tradition of Halloween celebrations morphs and changes, but All Hallows Eve is always a night to remember at the Bailey-Klugh household!

Dead Panda and Dead Alice in Wonderland costumes

Dead Panda Bear and Dead Alice in Wonderland costumes were our kids’ themes in 2011.

The Tradition of Halloween Celebrations Begins

At first it started as an opportunity for some of our friends to bring their babies over so we could take them trick or treating together, pushing strollers along the sidewalks amid the older kids who ran around like lunatics. Now our kids are the lunatics, hopped up on candy, sugar and teen drama. We parents now enjoy each other’s company, toasting with a glass of wine and chowing down on Jon’s White Chicken Chili recipe with cornbread.

LGBT family with Halloween costumes

We’ve had some pretty elaborate get-ups. Look how small the girls look in this photo from 2012!

The party has grown a bit – last year there were close to 50 adults and kids roaming around the house. Still, the love of Halloween and the lure of Butterfingers keeps them coming back each year. It’s our thing, and we love it.

Decorating the House

Skull Halloween table decor

Spooky skulls, bones and test tubes make our Halloween table extra fun.

Over the years. we’ve collected a fair amount of Halloween decorations to adorn the house. In fact, there are now 5 bins worth of paraphernalia that we scatter about the property – inside and out. The kids used to freak out over some of the stuff, especially the ghoulish face that emerges with a scream from its spooky coffin. Even now, it still brings a slight discomfort to their faces. Of course this makes us laugh, and then they get mad.

Halloween decor with skulls, Indian corn cobs and black crow

A little Dia de los Muertos inspired, these bowls are filled with mini Indian corn cobs, skulls and adorned with a spooky crow.

Halloween Costumes are a Specialty

Last year, Triton and I decided to dress like the Grateful Dead. Get it??? Dead?  Yeah, so that was fun.

Grateful Dead Halloween costumes

Halloween costumes are a tradition in our family, dating back to way before our kids were born.

Another year we had a Little Mermaid theme going with some close friends, and Triton was – wait for it – King Triton. I was Prince Eric, our friend Erica was Ursula the Sea Witch, and our friends Julie and Nick came as a cross-dressing Ariel and Sebastian. That was pretty epic, considering Nick is a giant ex-military special forces dude (he looked awesome in his Ariel tail and red wig!)

children in costume on Halloween

What a crew for Halloween 2010! But who is that kid in all black – he is creeping me out.

Last year, we had a Game of Thrones theme going. You’ll have to wait until that night to see what our costumes are this year, but I must say they are pretty epic. Maybe it helps that Triton works for a Halloween company called InCharacter Costumes, but we still put most of the pieces together ourselves, scavenged from the bins of years past with a few new extras.

The girls? They will probably dress as pretty teen girls this year, carrying a brown lunch sack and extorting candy from the neighbors – just as it should be. Other parents with their cute little babies in strollers can dodge around them now.

So, what are YOU going to be this year????

gay couple Hawaiian costumes

Oh remember those Halloween parties before we had kids, and we had abs and tans and all our hair? Yeah, well.


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Gifting With Easy-To-Use Happy Cards, Everybody Wins!

Gifting With Easy-To-Use Happy Cards, Everybody Wins!

*This post was sponsored by Happy Cards, and the opinions expressed here are our own as always.

A darn good idea, these Happy Cards. By bundling like brands together on one gift card, Happy Cards create gifting opportunities for people like us that don’t quite know what to get someone. The Happy Cards line of curated gift cards feature multiple brands, and are perfect for gifting on special occasions to specific recipients, such as women, men, kids, teens and foodies. Simply put, Happy Cards make great gifts for the entire family.

Happy Teen gift cards, Sephora, Regal Cinemas, Barnes& Noble, American Eagle, Jamba Juice, Dave & Buster's and Nike.

Happy Teen gift cards can be preloaded with a variety of gift amounts ranging from $20 to $500.

We love the idea of Happy Cards, because we can send a gift to someone knowing they will use the card at places they enjoy. No more random gifts from Aunt Sally that you will toss as soon as she leaves the house. In our case, our lucky teen daughters were the guinea pigs and the Happy Teen Cards concept was a huge success in our family. 

AND NOW YOU CAN WIN A HAPPY TEEN CARD TOO!

         Official Rules

Ava and Sophia were excited to each try out the Happy Teen cards, with options to spend a preloaded dollar amount at American Eagle Outfitters, Barnes & Noble, Dave & Buster’s, Jamba Juice, Regal Cinemas and Sephora. Knowing our daughters, we predicted they would want to make a bee-line for American Eagle Outfitters and Sephora immediately. And we were right.

Happy Teen gift card at Sephora

Ava checks out the glam at Sephora as she shops with her Happy Teen gift card.

Happy Cards Make Great Gifts for Everyone

Other cards in the Happy Cards line are targeted to audiences with brands that fit them best, such as:

  • Happy Lady: Bed Bath & Beyond, The Cheesecake Factory, Sephora, Spafinder and more
  • Happy Kid: buybuy BABY, Gymboree, Jamba Juice, Regal Cinemas and more
  • Happy Teen: American Eagle Outfitters, Barnes & Noble, Dave & Buster’s, Jamba Juice, Regal Cinemas and Sephora
  • Happy Guy: AutoZone, Buffalo Wild Wings, Burger King, Dell and more
  • Happy Eats: Buffalo Wild Wings, Dave & Buster’s and more
  • Happy Bites: Burger King, Jamba Juice, Peet’s Coffee and more
  • Happy Dining: The Cheesecake Factory, Red Lobster, Texas de Brazil and more
American Eagle and Happy Teen gift card

Score! A new pair of jeans and a top from American Eagle are added to Sophia’s closet, courtesy of the Happy Teen gift card.

Easy to Use

Just like any debit or gift card can be used at the register, the Happy Cards can be used at point of purchase via the card reader or manually entered by the sales associate. At both Sephora and American Eagle Outfitters, the girls just slid the card through the check-out unit. The purchase amount was automatically deducted from the card’s total, leaving a balance left on the the card for future purchases.

Happy Teen gift card at American Eagle Outfitters

The Happy Teen gift card came in handy for Sophia as she shopped at American Eagle Outfitters.

Sephora Wins the Prize

Sophia spent some of her card first at American Eagle Outfitters, and then the rest at Sephora. Ava chose to go all in on Sephora, and both girls had tons of fun on their shopping sprees. They got to pick out what they wanted without the hassle of returning an unwanted gift.

Sephora bag, beauty products and Happy Teen gift card

Some of the loot from the girls’ epic Sephora raid, using their Happy Teen cards to stock their makeup drawers.

Sophia ended up with a pair of jeans and a top from American Eagle, and some makeup from Sephora. Ava spent her Happy Teen card on all sorts of makeup things at Sephora. We waited patiently nearby, completely out of our element. There is NO WAY either dad could have known what to buy these teen girls at either store. These cards are a real lifesaver!

WIN A HAPPY TEEN CARD NOW!

Courtesy of 2DadsWithBaggage, enter to win a Happy Teen card by Thursday, November 1, 2018. One winner will receive a $50 Gift Card.

Happy Cards make great gifts, and are available at gift card kiosks in Kroger, Safeway, Albertsons and other locations nationwide. They are also available for purchase online at HappyCards.com or GiftCards.com.

teen girls at mall with Happy Teen gift cards

And they’re off and running! Sophia and Ava are ready for their shopping spree with Happy Teen gift cards. Ready. Set. Shop!

Happy Card Sweepstakes