The Toro SmartStow Recycler Mower Offers Power & Easy Storage

Toro-Smartstow-Mower
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Now that summer is here I find myself having to mow my yard again weekly and sometimes even 2X per week. With that in mind and with the fact that my push mower that I currently had was 13 years old and on its’ last legs. It still mowed, but was very difficult to start and did not mulch as well as it used to. With that in mind I was excited to start my search for a new mower and the more I read, the more I found that Toro was the way to go. Toro has a great reputation and though I had never owned a mower from them, I do have a Toro snow blower and it is almost 2 years old and still works amazingly well.

Toro-Smartstow-Mower

I was lucky to be asked to try out the new Toro Smartstow Recycler Mower and to share my experiences with you. With that in mind I put together the below video to explore this a bit more. I will say from the start though that this mower was so easy to put together. It took at most 10 minutes to put together. Once together and filled with gas and oil, the mower started with such ease. In the past I had to pull over and over again, and it was such a breath of fresh air to be able to start it in one short pull.

The mowing ability of this Toro mower was superb. I did have to make a few adjustments to the deck so that I was not giving my lawn a buzz cut, but once I did, the mower cut very well and the self-propelled aspects of the mower had a lot of go power. I have yet to use the bagger, but found it very easy to connect and disconnect.

Toro-Smartstow-Mower

The other thing that I appreciated with this mower was how easy it was to store. The handle on the mower easily unhooks allowing you to make the mower take up much less room. It even allows you to hang the mower in the garage to make sure that you are not taking up floor space in the end.

All-in-all I have been very impressed with this Toro mower and I know that you will be too.


 

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Grilling Pizza With @Pillsbury Makes Dinner Fun

Grilling-Pizza
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When you are looking for new ideas for dinner with your family Pillsbury has just unveiled a great new way to make a kid favorite, pizza. Whenever we have made pizza as a family in the past it always was the regular way, using Pillsbury crust and baking it in the oven. However, as it is getting warmer, I spend a lot more time using the grill and I love finding new ways to be able to make fun items on the grill as well.

That being said, I was excited when I read the following watched the below video that explained the steps to take to grill a pizza.

In watching this, I decided to try this out for myself. I found that the instructions were clear and it really did only take about 20 minutes in all. The biggest thing that you need to be wary of was to watch and make sure that you did not burn the crust by having the grill too hot (I did this on my first try). Once I learned my lesson I found that as long as you watch this, you are easily able to make a crust that is nicely toasted and grilled exactly the way you want it to be.

 

Once you do grill your pizza, you then top it with the toppings that you want. We went a bit traditional with half being cheese (for the kids) and half have sausage, pepperoni and onion. Be aware the the more toppings that you put on the longer that it may take to cook the entire pizza!

Overall, grilling pizza was fun and something that the kids could really get into making themselves, which is always fun, as I tend to find that the food they help make, they eat! I also liked knowing when was going into my pizza and having control to the ingredients itself.

If you have never grilled pizza before, I highly recommend it!

Below is my quick video showing the process I used to make our pizza!

 

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Coastal Dog Offers Style & Comfort

I participated in a Blogger Activation on behalf of Dad Central Consulting for Coastal Dog. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and to thank me for participating.

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Coastal Dog, a Massachusetts swimwear company that makes its swimsuits in the USA, has designed a line of anti-chafing swimsuits to help Men and boys alike. Made with a nylon Lycra blend compression short instead of the typical mesh lining, Coastal Dog swimsuits prevent the skin irritation that occurs after hours of time spent in the surf and sand. The style and cut of a Coastal Dog swimsuit evokes that timeless beach lifestyle and all profits from their sales go directly to charity.

For myself and for most guys I have always dreaded looking for new swim suits, even though I love to swim. Much of this surrounds the fact that they are not always comfortable, but they also tend to cause irritation that I am never a fan of. When I heard about this new company I was excited to see what they were like and to see whether they could live up to what they claim.

I tried out one of their suite and have to say that they are unlike any swim suit that I have ever tried. With the fact that it does not use the traditional mesh that most suits use. Instead the inside of the suit is most like bicycle shorts. That being said the swim shorts are very comfortable and fit me perfectly.

The other thing that I was very impressed with was that the company gives any profits made to charity. Most companies would never consider this, but this socially responsible company does.

If you like me are looking for a swim suit that is comfortable and cuts back on the irritation that typically comes with swim suits, this is definitely the suit to try.

For me, I will be heading to a lake house in late July and we have a family membership to our local pool, so this swimsuit will be given a BIG workout, and I for one am looking forward to it!

I highly encourage you to try it for yourself!

 

coastal-dog

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Design Your Own Flying Machine With Guillow #giveaway

Guillow-airplane
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Anyone who has opened a Guillow‘s model airplane kit in the past 88 years (!) knows that each model is a small but faithful replica of an airplane widely known for action in wartime or present-day popularity. Not anymore! Guillow’s designers have decided to let youngsters create their own flying machine with the help of their 35-part Airplane Design Studio being launched this month. At $24.99, the sky is truly the limit when youngsters get their hands on building something from scratch and then watching it soar.

Each Airplane Design Studio includes building struts, rubber motors, landing gear, propellers, large wings, small wings, tail/pilot parts, glider and prop bodies. Lightweight balsa wood allows planes to fly smoothly in the backyard or across the basement. Over 35 parts in all gives kids an unlimited arena to think, construct and beam with pride when play is done. The handy tray and boxed kit make cleanup a snap.

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For me, I am always looking for kits that will challenge my kids while still allowing them to have fun. This set was perfect for them as they get to design their own planes, making them so that they are air worthy, while at the same time decorating them to make them unique and their own. I received my kit yesterday and from the moment I got home my oldest was jumping off the wall about the new kit that I had received. Not knowing what she was talking about I looked and was pleased to find this kit to be as user friendly as it was. While there are a number of parts to the kits, I will say that for Diva-J, my 9.5 year old, putting together the kit was a snap.lo

I was a bit disappointed that there were not more defined instructions that were shared in this. We ended up looking at the pictures and figuring it out though and what we made seems to be working perfectly.

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It took a bit of trial and error when it came to flying/gliding the planes, but my daughter was not dissuaded, even my the inclement weather that we had. After flying her plane for a while she actually came back in and designed two other planes and tried these out too. I was amazed to see that with each flight and each design she was gaining more confidence and learning more about her plane and herself, without getting frustrated by her failures.

We were very impressed with this kit as well as with the product itself. my family will definitely be looking for future sets to try out at home soon!

Giveaway

How would you like to win this for yourself or for your family? All you need to do is fill out the below form to be entered.  The contest will run for two weeks and will end on May 29, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner must be a resident of the U.S.

Winners are chosen at random, if you want all your chances counted, make sure you leave individual comments, not all of them in one!

Winner has 48 hours to contact me or another name will be chosen.

 

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Goodyear Tires Make Driving Safe & Fun!

Goodyear-Tires
It was raining the day that I went to get a brand new set of Goodyear Eagle Sport tires.  I had been waiting for some time for my new tires to arrive, and could not wait to try them.
I visited Reeves Wheel Alignment in Owosso, Michigan, an authorized Goodyear tire center.  Reeves is well known for good service. There I spoke with Roger to arrange for my new tires.  Roger proved to be very knowledgeable about tires, having over 20 years working as a service agent.  He assigned me a service technician who has an equal amount of service time, so between the two of them I knew I was in very capable hands.
Goodyear-Tires

My New Tires Getting Balanced and Ready to Go!

I arranged for a time to have my new tires installed, which Roger told me would take about 45 minutes.  I showed up at the appointed time, and Roger and his technician were ready to go.  In very short order the tires were off.  I was permitted to watch the entire process, including the tire balancing and rotation.  I noted that actually this part of the process took longer than both separating the old tire from the wheel, and mounting the new.  He explained to me the entire process as well as the equipment that was used to make sure my tires worked correctly.  He even was able to show that one of my wheels was a bit “off.”  It didn’t spin quite perfect.  To his trained eye it was noticeable, but he said it still was safe.  He just cautioned me to keep an eye on it.
Goodyear-Tires

The Car With New Goodyear Tires!

He mounted my new Eagle Sport Tires, and told me that he had filled them with Nitrogen gas.  He informed me that Nitrogen is used to inflate race cars in NASCAR races.  Nitrogen gas does not escape the tires like oxygen does, and it does not hold moisture and promote rusting like Oxygen does.
About 45 minutes later, I was out on the road, and I was glad to note that it was still raining!  Normally I don’t like to drive on rain slick roads.  I was in an accident once caused by hydroplaning.  That’s not an experience I care to repeat.  But I was glad this time, because it gave me a chance to really try out these tires while puddling was taking place on the road.  I am pleased to report that the tires really bit down when I applied the brakes for a panic style stop. I do feel I was able to stop faster even without the ABS kicking in. That means my wheels were doing more stopping than skidding, which also means the Eagle Sports were gripping the road. Living in an area with lots of children and roving animals, I do feel that this is an important feature for my tires. I was able to drive at 55 on the roads, with no hydroplaning, and stop with no trouble.  For you men reading this, I felt that my handling of the vehicle also improved, like I had put a new set of cleats on my shoes.  I had to deal with lots of curvy roads were I live and these tires definitely enhanced my experience of driving.
Goodyear-Tires

Don’t These New Goodyear Tires Look Awesome?

The ride was smooth and “felt soft.”  I have bought many tires over the years and have had more than my share of tires that felt like the treads were made out of stone.  The shaking and vibration they produced is passed through the steering system to may hands.  These produced no such trouble, and felt like a nice new pair of soft shoes for my car!
I also noticed that the ride was quiet.  There was none of what I consider the normal sounds you hear when you drive on asphalt or concrete.  Of course I tend to drive on “cheap and good tires.”  With these I didn’t have to turn the radio up quite so loud to cover the road racket.
I don’t hesitate to recommend this product.  Guys will like the improvement of the performance and the ladies will like the better stopping power and grip on the road.  And everyone will like being able to hear less road noise and more radio!
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VO5 Men’s 3-in-One Gives Men Great Hair Care Products


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VO5

Now men have their own personal reasons to love the legendary Alberto VO5® brand, with the introduction of VO5 Men’s 3-in-One, combining VO5 shampoo, conditioner and body wash in just one, no-clutter, out-of-the-shower-quick bottle.   Five essential vitamin-enriched VO5 Men’s 3-in-1 provides convenience while delivering the outstanding performance and value that the iconic, born-in-Hollywood brand has long provided smarter shoppers.

 

VO5 Men’s 3-in-1 represents another first, in extending the brand’s proprietary five-essential-vitamin formula beyond hair care to body care.  Available in masculine scents such as Ocean Surge and Fresh Energy, VO5 Men’s 3-in-1 offers guys a clean feeling from head-to-toe.  And with a suggested retail price of 99 cents for 12.5 fluid ounces, men’s morning routines just got simpler and more affordable.

 

“Consumers love the superior performance and value that VO5 hair care products deliver, and we saw an opportunity to extend VO5’s secret five-vitamin formula to the male segment,” said Nina Riley, VP Marketing at High Ridge Brands, owner of Alberto VO5. “VO5’s Men’s 3-in-1 is a phenomenal product that satisfies men’s need for a time-saving, head-to-toe shower experience.”

 

VO5 Men’s 3-in-1 products are now available nationwide.  For more information on Alberto VO5, please visit www.vo5haircare.com.

 

The VO5 5 Essential Vitamins

Alberto VO5’s formula is a proprietary blend of five essential vitamins (E, H, C, B5 and B3) that help nourish, moisturize and hydrate your hair and skin.  That’s the secret of VO5!

 

My Take on the Product

These new VO5 products were great! I loved the fact that they gave me triple protection leaving my hair and body both looking and feeling great. On top of this it has a great scents too and with the fact that you use the scented product on your whole body and not just in specific parts. By allowing for this you are saving time and money which for this frugal dad it is a lifesaver. All-in-all this was great and I highly recommend the product to any dad out there!

 

Giveaway

How would you like to win a VO5 Men’s 3-in-One Prize Pack for yourself or for your family? All you need to do is fill out the below form to be entered.  The contest will run for one week and will end on May 2, 2014.

Winner must be a resident of the U.S.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners are chosen at random, if you want all your chances counted, make sure you leave individual comments, not all of them in one!

Winner has 48 hours to contact me or another name will be chosen.

 

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eKids Captain America Technology Offers Great Sound Quality!

eKids Captain America Technology Offers Great Sound Quality!
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With Captain America: The Winter Soldier now being in theatres, eKids, a sister company of iHome Audio has introduced some amazing new technology for kids that connect kids, not only to the movie, but also to some great technology.

eKids Captain America Technology Offers Great Sound Quality!

The eKids Captain America Over-the-Ear Headphones feature an adjustable headband and soft ear cushions, while the Noise Isolating Earbuds are compact enough to throw in the carry-on for summer travel! The Rechargeable Character Speakers are also very travel-friendly and lightweight, hooking up to any MP3 player or laptop to play movies and music.

eKids Captain America Technology Offers Great Sound Quality!

The items vary from $14.99-$24.99 and are available at eKids.com.

My Take on the Products

I have been a fan of Captain America for years, and now with the movies out, a new generation is also getting connected to this great American icon. On top of the movies though eKids has come up with a HUGE line of products that allow kids to connect with their favorite characters (from super heroes to Mickey Mouse and more!). I was lucky enough to be able to try out a few of the items above to share my thoughts on with you today.

I tried the headphones that you see at the top of the screen and the wireless speaker above. First off, I have to comment on the artwork and design of the products. both were well done artistically. I loved the color scheme and its connection to Captain America. That being said there were a few details that I loved on these products. For example, the shield that is on the side of the wireless speaker was a great touch and something that I would not have expected to be there. On the headphones, I loved how the color scheme worked throughout the product itself as it added to the overall consistency with the theme.

Best of all for both of these items was the sound quality that you received. The headphones truly canceled out outside noise and in trying them on my oldest daughter, they fit her perfectly. My youngest has a smaller head and the speakers did not fit her as well (but not many headphones do). The wireless speaker was easy to set up and the rechargeable battery held quite a bit of life (more than I had expected) before needing to be recharged. As in most rechargeable technology, they encourage that you run the battery all of the way down before recharging, so keep that in mind as you use this.

All-in-all the design and sound quality were definitely things that sold me. On top of this though, in reviewing the website, I have to say that I was VERY Impressed with the selection that eKids offers, as I was not expecting the breadth and depth of products and characters that were represented. If you have yet to see these, I encourage you to check out the eKids website today!

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ThinkFun ( @thinkfun ) Games Makes Learning Fun!

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About the Games
Zingo!® Time-telling
A Fun Way to Learn to Read the Clock
In this time-telling version of the ThinkFun Games popular Zingo! game, players learn to read the hour and minute hands on an analog clock and make the translation to digital time. With two levels of play, it’s perfect for familiarizing young players with the clock and a great educational game for them to grow with. A wonderful way to turn challenging time-based math into a fun game for the family!
Ages:

5 and up

Players:

2 – 6

Features:
  • 1 Zingo! Zinger with Easy Cleanup!
  • 32 Hour Tiles
  • 32 Minute Tiles
  • 6 Double-sided Zingo! Cards

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Square By Square Board Game

ThinkFun Games challenges you to learn about spatial relationships as you assemble 14 puzzle pieces together to build each challenge. When you are done with the 60 challenges, get creative and use the pieces to build your own patterns! Ages 5 to Adult.
  • Includes: Game Grid with Storage Drawer, 60 Challenge Cards, 14 Puzzle Pieces, Game-Go Bag
  • Sharpens visualization skills
  • Encourages spatial reasoning
  • Great game for practicing perseverance
  • Fun pattern building game for kids

ThinkFun-Last-Letter

 

Last Letter Card Game

The Classic Last Letter Game with a Creative Twist? This is ThinkFun Games’ take on this simple last letter game will inspire creativity, laughter and quick thinking? Race to come up with and blurt out a word from one of the picture cards in your hand? Think fast and remember that your word must begin with the last letter of the word previously called? Get rid of your cards first to win! Unique illustrations will spark imagination and allow for endless opportunities for new words – so simple yet so trick it might render you speechless!

  • Ages 8 to Adult, Multiplayer
  • Includes 61 Illustrated cards with original artwork
  • Travel-friendly storage box
  • Nostalgic last letter concept and “seek and find” play pattern appeals to the whole family
  • Game invented by Joe and Dave Herbert

 

My Take on the Games

 

Giveaway

How would you like to win one of the above games for yourself or for your family? All you need to do is fill out the below form to be entered.  The contest will run for one week and will end on April 30, 2014.

Winner must be a resident of the U.S.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners are chosen at random, if you want all your chances counted, make sure you leave individual comments, not all of them in one!

Winner has 48 hours to contact me or another name will be chosen.

 

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Lee Jeans ( @LeeJeans ) Offers More Than Jeans!

Lee-Jeans
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When it comes to my daily routine, I come to find that I need to dress well, and typically in a professional manner. With that being said I am always on the lookout for companies that have great looking close that will fit in well with the professional attire that I need to be wearing a daily basis. Typically I have to go to men’s stores to find the type of clothes that I am usually looking for.

 

At the recent Dad 2.0 Summit, I started to have conversations with Lee Jeans about the different type of products that they offered men. I was under the misinformation that Lee Jeans only provided men a choice of jeans (in a number of different varieties). Boy was I wrong! In having a more extensive conversation and in examining the company website I found that Lee offers not only jeans, but also semi-dress pants and a number of different colors. I love that the factor that you could order right off of the website and get a wide variety of colors and sizes that will match almost any person.

Lee-Jeans

I ended up ordering two different styles of dress pants that came in my size (which is not always an easy thing to find for me). In receiving the pants, I came to find that they were very comfortable and fit perfectly. There is a bit of give in the waistline which is nice as well.

 

Best of all though was how good the pants ended up looking when I put them on. As having impressed with the quality of construction as well as the fact that you can either get pleats or not.

 

As you can see the pictures that I included in this post-, the pants look great and they also fit in well with either formal or casual attire.

 

All in all, as I mentioned in my previous post-about my experience with Lee Jeans, he will be very impressed with what you get from his company. This is not the Lee Company that I knew as a youngster, instead, they have redefined themselves and have definitely won my business for the future and I am sure that they have done the same for others too.
 

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Easter Brings Out New PEEPS #peepsonality

Peeps

With warmer weather on the horizon and longer days filled with sunshine ahead it’s time to officially THINK SPRING! What better way to share that spring has sprung than with PEEPS!

 

This year PEEPS® Easter offerings include:

  • PEEPS® Marshmallow Chicks (in colors: yellow, purple, pink, orange, green and blue)
  • PEEPS® Marshmallow Bunnies (in colors yellow, purple, pink, orange, green and blue)
  • PEEPS® Party Cake Flavored Marshmallow Chicks
  • PEEPS Chocolate Dipped Marshmallow Chicks
  • PEEPS® Chocolate Dipped Mousse Flavored Marshmallow Chicks
  • PEEPS® Chocolate Mousse Flavored Marshmallow Bunnies
  • PEEPS® Large Marshmallow Bunnies
  • PEEPS® Chick in a Hollow Milk Chocolate Egg
  • PEEPS® Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Chicks (Individual Size)
  • PEEPS® Rainbow Pop
  • PEEPS® Sugar-Free Marshmallow Chicks
  • PEEPS® Peepsters® (bite sized chocolate candies filled with sweet marshmallow crème)

 

These delectable treats can be found nationwide at grocery and mass retailers, PEEPS & Company retail stores or at: www.peepsandcompany.com.

PEEPS-2014-Infographic

This year we have put together some fun materials including our product fact sheets, PEEPS® Fun Facts infographic and some Easter recipes that we hope will spark some creative ways to incorporate PEEPS® this spring! Also check out our website, www.marshmallowpeeps.com, to see fun ways our fans use PEEPS® in recipes, crafts and artwork sharing their own #peepsonality!
My Take on the PEEPS

When I received the box of peeps last week, I was completely shocked to see the breadth and depth of PEEPS that were available. I know the colorful birds that we always see around this holiday, but there were so many other varieties that were sent (as you can see in the image above). Of course we were thrilled as this opened up so many options for Easter Baskets (which will be a ton of fun this year) as well as for making some cool desserts too.

I jumped over to www.marshmallowpeeps.com to check out the recipes that they had and the first one I saw was perfect for a treat for my youngest’s kindergarten class as we had all of the ingredients. I ended up making the PEEPS Rice Krispies Treats and not only were they pretty easy to make, but they were delicious (I had to taste them too!).

All-in-all these Easter treats were so much fun, and I have to say how much I am impressed with the wide array of choices that you get when you are looking at PEEPS. You no longer are looking at only the little marshmallow birds.

So as you get ready to fill your Easter baskets, I highly encourage you to grab some of these amazing marshmallow treats for your family (and yourself)!

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