The Pop Ups are a great band. Period. The fact that they make records and a live show that both kids and adults can groove to is just icing on the cake.
Check out this article by the New York Metro highlighting the killer acts out there!
Gathering the family at your place is a wonderful feeling of welcoming, love, and togetherness. It also brings on the stomach turning stress of frantic cleaning, hiding all the clutter, and those brief moments of wishing you gave it all up to live like the Amish with one outfit, a shovel and a candle to your name.
Here in NYC the feeling is no different. It happens about 4 times a day. But my friends at Apartment CPR are experts in bringing the best out of your space. They have been turning small spaces into true sanctuaries for 4 years and know exactly how to bring the holiday spirit into your home while also sharing the gift of sanity.
Here is a list of easy projects that don't cost much more than last night's take out, and can be done in those last couple of days you have left before everyone arrives.
Click any of the pictures to find similar items on Amazon to get you started!
1: Don't forget the meaning of the season. Christmas is about family and tradition, so don't get overwhelmed by the hub bub. Find a few meaningful traditions that your family will remember for years to come.
2: Keep it simple. Less is more! A well done tree or mantle piece is all you really need to bring the Christmas spirit to your home.
3: De-clutter before decorating. Your Christmas decor should replace some of your existing year round items.
4: Find a cohesive color scheme. Use a palate that works with your exiting home decor. Just because Red and Green are traditionally everywhere doesn't mean you're stuck with those two colors. Green can be your "neutral' then play off it with colors that speak to you.
5: Use simple wrapping. Use brown paper packages tied up with string or stick with the same wrapping paper to make the tree area seem less cluttered and more cohesive.
6: Pile on the texture and metallics. Use them as pops of excitement against your above mentioned palate.
7: Set a budget and stick to it! Not every decoration has to be store bought. Here are a few Apartment CPR DIY's:
-Paper garland cutouts mounted on fishing line.
-Strung Marshmallows sprayed with a metallic glitter.
8: Get the family involved. Decorate the tree together, create your own ornaments that will become family treasures.
9: Think outside the box. Not all homes have room for a tree. A wreath is a great substitute or build a "tree" of your own. To replace the pine tree smell, a great scented candle or diffuser will do the trick.
10: Get inspired, Pinterest, magazines and other forums are a great way to hone your design skills. If you don't have the time to do the decor the way you want, or don't know how to excute the ideas ask for help! Apartment CPR does just that! www.apartmentcpr.com Let us take the hassle out of your holiday!
The holidays should feel like a chance to enjoy company and relax, not a chore. Find a few things you and your family love and stick with them. Then with a little time to organize you can have a great holiday hosting routine down for every year.
***Still need to finish you gift shopping? Get it done with DaddyO's gift guide for Dads, Lads, and Lasses (& Moms too)***
Amazon is counting down to Black Friday and adding new offerings every day. Here is a quick list of the early Black Friday deals! It's short and sweet to let you grab the best items across your list.
Big Ticket Deals:
Entertainment deals are what everyone looks for during Black Friday. Here are some of the top discounts you can find right now.
32" LED TV, with ROKU built in: $179
Upgrade your TV game with fantastic picture and color quality and stream all the shows you watch right on the device.
Complete Bond 22 Film Collection: $139
Seriously???!! Every Bond film ever! This is bound to make someone you know a VERY happy person. (Might be you.)
ROKU 3 Streaming Media Player: $87.49
Get you binge watching on with the ROKU player and never miss a episode again.
Playstation 4 Bundle w/ Star Wars Battlefront: $349
The hottest console with the hottest game. You can go see the film and then play the game. What a wonderful world we live in.
Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer: $279
This is the time of year to get this mixer. It is an outstanding kitchen tool and will last you a lifetime. Take advantage of this opportunity.
Make the kids happy:
Check off that list while saving some dough. Every day there are great deals of kids toys from tots to teenagers. You'll find what they want right away.
Nintendo 3DS: $189
Keep your eye out for this to get a price drop on Black Friday. I have seen kids both young and old playing with their 3DS. It is a tough little device with a vast library full of games including educational and learning games.
Eye Found It, Disney Board Game: $14.77
It's always nice to spend some playing time without a screen. A fun searching game within the Disney universe.
Fisher-Price Monster Machines Monster Dome Playset: $22.14
OK, I want to play with this too. You will make some kid very happy when they unwrap this bad boy.
Lego Mini Minecraft: $40.99
Minecraft is HUGE and LEGO has brought their creative expertise to let kids' imaginations explode with this set.
Portable Hammock: $24.77
Children love having their own cool place to hang out. This hammock will be a hit, if they can get you out of it first.
Bluetooth Headphones: $52.99
Go anywhere without getting caught up in cords.
Talking Minions Bob w/ Teddy Bear: $41
You know at least one person who is bonkers about the minions. This is a fun gift.
Origami Fun Kit: $18.97
Another great activity with no screen time. There are so many amazing creations in this kit, and you'll have a very happy origami artist on your hands in no time.
Heavy Duty iPhone 6 Case: $23.99
You got them the phone now protect the heck out of it.
Selfie Stick: $11.95
Only a matter of time before this request came in, right? Get it for a great price and smile for holiday selfie time!
Great Deals for your wife:
Forgotten Cotton Infinity Scarves: 2 for $30
Check out these fantastic scarves. My wife loves them. Extremely comfortable, warm and fashionable. This isn't an Amazon deal, but it is a GREAT deal! This shop is a favorite and when you see what else they make, it will become yours too. Handmade in the USA.
Swarovski Teardrop Necklace: $13.95
Don't let the tree be the prettiest thing in the room. ;-)
Swarovski Snowflake Pendant: $18.90
Bring some sparkle to those snowy nights.
Women's Snow Boots: $40
You know good snow boots are worth every penny. These are a great pair at a great price and will make every outdoor adventure comfortable.
Fur Lined Riding Boots: $40
Just cause it's cold outside doesn't mean you have to sacrifice a fashion statement. Check out these bold boots that will keep in the warmth.
So now you're set to snag some terrific deals during and around Black Friday. Get that gift list taken care of so you can spend some quality time enjoying the holidays!
Welcome to the club! You are now part of a wonderful family and a member of committed brethren of men aiming to raise healthy and happy children while managing the daily tasks of being a loving husband and respectable man. Congratulations!
I know you are feeling more proud, more love, and more joy than you have ever felt in your life. I also know when there is even the tiniest of breaks in the day, you are feeling the most dread you have ever felt in your life. What to do, how to do it right, when to do it, should you do it, why do you even do it, and what does it cost to hire someone else to do it. :-)
There are many books on the topic of new fatherhood and you should read them . But I wanted to put together a short list of the immediate bits of knowledge that you will need to help you through the next month in your efforts to keep another human being alive.
1. Keep a log.
A notebook (paper or digital) is a great place to log when you feed and change the baby. Keeping track those first few weeks will be important to make sure your child is doing well and acclimating to living in this new world. You can also write down questions for the pediatrician to ask them when you bring your kid and your notebook to your appointments. Trust me, sleep deprivation will sap your memory so write down anything you want to remember.
2. Sleep when the baby sleeps
Seriously. I know you are going to want to use that time to catch up on email, update your Facebook, or even just watch T.V. DON'T.
SLEEP. NOW. That little 30 minute nap will make you such a better person and allow you to get through the rest of your day. Everything else can wait.
3. Control the legs during a diaper change.
Have you ever had to actually hog tie a squealing pig? Imagine you are trying to put a pair(s) of pants on a squid. (I'll give you a sec to let that image manifest)
But first you have to change it's diaper.
Those little legs can be everywhere in an instant and so can the contents of the diaper when they kick it all around.
The best method is to take one hand and grab both their ankles and lift up raising their butt off the changing mat. Now you can use your other hand to remove the diaper and wipe them down. You'll be a pro at it in no time. It's a simple trick, but it prevents you from have THAT story.
4. When the baby is crying, check off the list.
Here is the list:
- Change the baby. (diaper and outfit, if needed)
- Feed the baby.
- Comfort the baby. (swaddle, rocking, holding, carry)
- Whatever specific task your child may require.
- If you have done everything to make sure the child is fed, clean and comfortable, then you may just need to let them cry it out.
Put them down where they sleep and let them be. Come back in 30 minutes and try the list again.
5. Baby helpline.
Here is a baby helpline you can call with questions. Set your phone to voice dial it if you can. Yelling "Call Babyline" at your phone while holding a distressed baby will make your life a lot easier! I also have it set to "Call Batman", but nothing has happened yet...
Here is the number to the Hoag Hospital Babyline. (PST) You can call and leave a message and they will call you right back.
6. Stress management.
Yoga, workout, bike ride, swim, walk, run, meditate, etc.
Whatever you need to do to give yourself even just 20 minutes of focused YOU time built around relaxing and calming your body and mind DO IT! Let your partner have that time and they will give it to you.
Keeping a human being alive is immensely stressful and it will get the better of you on more than one occasion. You must find a way to manage your anger, exhaustion, depression and frustrations in an effective way. It is not the child's fault that they cannot take care of themselves or even know what they need. It is your task as a parent to take the higher ground and put the child's needs first while caring for your own well being in a positive way.
Here are some good online resources:
10 minute Yoga Flow
20 minute workout
7. Buy diapers? Good. Now buy twice as many.
Whether you are using cloth, G Diapers, disposable, or old t shirts, it doesn't matter. You will need more than you think you need. Babies will go through a lot of diapers. Below is an Amazon link to a ton of 'em. 216 diapers for $36 with Prime and there in 2 days. Amazon will become your very best friend.
8. Help your partner
It is not easy for dads. It's not easy for moms either. Make sure you are helping in whatever way you can. This is a team effort. Take out the trash, walk the dogs, clean the kitchen, clean the bathroom, vacuum the living room, make the bed, make dinner, buy the groceries, order take out, watch a movie she wants to watch, bring her food and drink while she is breastfeeding, clean the bottles.
Anything helps and you will be surprised how efficient you become at all of these tasks. You can get a lot done in 20 minutes of focused effort.
Become the man you know you can be - all capable, all caring, all powerful.
9. Ask for help.
It took me a little bit before I let myself reach out with questions and concerns I had. Maybe pride stopped me, maybe naivete, maybe I just never found the time. But when I did I found a resource in my friends, family, neighbors and online that helped answer simple and even complex questions. Never be afraid to say "I don't know, but I will find out". It will save you.
10. Enjoy this.
This is a beautiful time in your life. You love this new human and feel like you have never felt when you hold them in your arms and look into their eyes. Yes it can be tough, but loving and raising a fantastic person makes it all worth it. Take lots of pictures, go on walks as a family, and enjoy just being together. You'll be great.
- Daddy O