Spring into Sam’s Club for this season’s hottest picks

Spring into Sam’s Club for this season’s hottest picks

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sam’s Club. The opinions and text are all mine.

I grew up going to Sam’s Club to purchase big, oversized food, of course they had other stuff but I rarely paid any attention to it.  That’s just how I shopped, when Sam’s Club reached out to show me some of their newest products for this Spring/Summer of 2019 – I jumped at the chance to see what was new… and boy are these things epic.

There were a ton of items that were shown to me at the showcase and I wanted to share what I thought were the best in each category.

For me the summer is all about BBQing outside with friends and family, Sam’s Club has this incredible Member’s Mark BBQ Smoker Grill hybrid.  I totally fell in love with this one. First the price is under $600 which is a great deal for a grill but to add the smoker (which used wood pellets and is fully digital) is a now a steal. Best part there is also an IR grill, which will give you that perfectly seared steak.

While you’re grilling keeping the little kids occupied will be easy with the Pirate Ship Sprayer Pool.  If your kids love pirates or just want to cool off this will be a win.


For those with older kids (over 21) and those adults that like to party this could be the hottest pool item of the season.  The Waterproof floating boombox with cupholders and pong tray… what an incredible way to bring the music to the pool area while adding a fun game.

For those that want to head to the beach it’s always hard to lug the chairs, blankets, cooler but this backpack cooler was super chill (and a great way to give you a free hand). Consider this your sneak peek at an awesome item you will be able to find in the club mid-June!

Finally I wanted to talk about Sam’s Club food beyond the awesome ready to heat and eat Gyro meat from Kronos! Did you know that Sam’s Club offers USDA Prime meats in all locations now? What started as a pilot programs has now been rolled out to all clubs. Prime is the highest designation that the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service assigns to red meat. Trained graders evaluate cuts of meat and categorize them as prime, choice or select based on an official grading standard that assesses tenderness, juiciness and flavor. Cuts that grade prime have the highest levels of marbling.  The prices I heard were like 1/2 of what we’ve paid at our typical butcher shop recently.  I got to talk with Sam’s Club own chef Dan Concepcion, who talked about how great the steaks were and gave me some tips to how to prep for a better BBQ this summer.

Be sure to visit Sam’s Club or check out samsclub.com for all of these and other great finds!



Wild Kratts LIVE 2.0 in NYC this weekend!

Wild Kratts LIVE 2.0 in NYC this weekend!

Wild Kratts LIVE 2.0 – pulls into NYC this weekend with an awesome show!

All-New Action-Packed Touring Production Brings the Stars of the Emmy-Nominated Hit PBS KIDS Series to Kids and Families at the Beacon Theatre

It’s going to be WILD! Young fans and their families nationwide are in store for even more adventure on the creature trail when the world-famous Kratt Brothers hit the road with an all-new stage adventure! Wild Kratts LIVE 2.0 – Activate Creature Power!, the theatrical production starring Martin and Chris Kratt, based on the Emmy-nominated hit PBS KIDS series, will bring audiences along on a “wild” ride with a dynamic mix of live-action and animation. The stage show will be at the Beacon Theatre on Saturday, April 13 at 2pm and 6pm. For information on how to purchase tickets, visit www.wildkrattslive.com. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster.com, or at (800) 745-3000 (tickets are not available at the Box Office the day of the performance.)

“We are so excited to introduce our new live stage show and meet our fellow ‘creature adventurers’ in cities across the U.S. this fall,” said Chris Kratt, creator, producer and co-star of the Wild Kratts series and co-founder of The Kratt Brothers Company. “Wild Kratts LIVE 2.0 is perfect for explorers of all ages. It features all the excitement and interactive elements that Wild Kratts fans love, plus awesome new Kratt Brothers twists and turns to keep them on the edge of their seats.”

In Wild Kratts LIVE 2.0, Chris and Martin take to the stage to activate new Creature Powers and go “off to the creature rescue!” With some help from Aviva and the rest of the Wild Kratts team, who will be animated and on screen at the Tortuga HQ, the brothers confront a comic villain and once again save the day, sharing fascinating tidbits about some of the world’s most amazing creatures along the way.

Audience members are encouraged to bring along their animal knowledge and participate in the action right from their seats by calling out answers to the questions posed by the Kratt Brothers during the show.

Since their original Wild Kratts LIVE! touring show launched in 2014, Chris and Martin have performed to wildly-enthusiastic crowds of hundreds of thousands of fans – many of them sporting their own Creature Power Suits, just like the Kratt Brothers do in the popular series – in more than 135 cities across North America.

We’ve got a 4 pack of tickets up on our Facebook page giveaway! https://facebook.com/dadarocks



Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Disrupt Aging from AARP. All opinions are my own. #ad

I grew up playing 3 sports a school year in some cross between baseball, basketball, soccer, wrestling, track&field. Like any young boy no matter what happened I bounced back the next day (thankfully I never had a broken bone).  I have 18 months till I hit 40. 40 years old. DEEP BREATHE. FORTY YEARS OLD…. Ok I’m slightly panicking about this one.

If I’m brutally honest with myself I dont know that I’m completely happy… Dont get me wrong – I married an amazing women who gave me 3 out of this world children. Career has had starts and stops and I know I should be happy to work for an organization but there are moments when its tough and then you think about jumping to be self employed (but those thoughts are far from every day)…. the thing that weighs on me is about housing. We’re renting and that kind of bums me out – cause I always thought by 40 we’d own something.

So I’m trying to fight back against the thoughts that age is a limit or that I’m old… Sure I will be eating more healthy, going to see doctors (more so then saying I will and putting it off for as long as possible), going to push myself out of my comfort zone, make sure we’re planning more fun family outings (get out of the routine), seeing my mom and dad and stepfather more, seeing my grandmothers who I’m lucky enough to still have, and trying to hit that big goal of owning some property (somewhere – and I think thats become a new key for me).

I think its important to always keep in mind that there’s data supporting the statement that the average child in the US has a 50% chance of living to at least 104. I want to make sure I raise good children, to make sure they’re good people, cause they might be here a while.

And really whats old?  Certainly not 30 or 40 is 50 really that starting point –  I know many 50 year olds that act younger then some 25 year olds…. I really think age is just how you feel…. and maybe its time to disrupt that feeling.

My father certainly isnt OLD… well he’s certainly older then I am, and we’re certainly having very different discussions (actually in a weird way its the other end of the spectrum of the conversations I’m having with my son about puberty) we talk a bit about planning, goals, wishes and wish lists in many ways they’re the same just a generation apart.

For more information about AARP and the work they’re doing to reshape our conversation about age, please go check out AARP’s website and social media channels:

Cause in the end you’re only as old as you feel.

Save your photos and memories in your own personal cloud with ibi

Save your photos and memories in your own personal cloud with ibi

I was asked to review a new device called ibi thanks to my friends over at Kidzvuz.com. They know I take a lot of photos and videos of my kids. They also know I have lots of thoughts about data privacy, there’s a lot going on today and one thing we know is that our data is out there but does it have to be? Is there a solution that keeps your data on your device? There is now.  Meet ibi. How about creating a private space for you to keep all your photos, from your phone, from your cameras, from your online accounts (Instagram, Facebook, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box and more) all in one place.

ibi comes with 2 TB of space which can easily hold about 500,000 photos. That’s a lot of photos… and when you have a collection that large, you’ll need ways to find your photos, which ibi makes super easy with its search by keyword. You can also search by a location. If your photos have geotagging they’ll pop right up. Or you can look by a calendar view. Once you find the photos you can create a private feed  – just for your family and loved ones… or you can create an album and keep it private (say that class trip you went on the other day). Lastly you can create shared albums letting your friends upload their photos, perfect for a wedding, baby shower, or other special day.

ibi also comes with multiple ways to view your content beyond the mobile app. There’s a desktop app that makes it easy to manage your photos (and add new ones with drag and drop interface).  Friends don’t even need to download an app to view your pictures. If company is over, you can stream videos via Chromecast or Roku TV.

I’ve been pulling data off old external hard drives that we haven’t plugged in for years to make sure we’re putting all the data in one place and ibi has been a fantastic assistant in organizing all those photos and videos. 

Want to learn more about ibi? visit the website: meetibi.com  Or just check it out on Amazon.


Disney’s The Little Mermaid is out of the vault and its time to bring her home on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital

Disney’s The Little Mermaid is out of the vault and its time to bring her home on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital

In honor of its 30th anniversary, two-time Academy Award-winner “The Little Mermaid,” dives into the highly celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection with all-new bonus features and a sing-along mode. We also have a really cool activity sheet for you to print out for your kids.

The Signature Edition of “The Little Mermaid” [amazon] showcases its award-winning musical score and iconic songs such as “Under the Sea” and “Part of Your World” with a sing-along mode allowing you to accompany this beloved cast of characters on their journey.   Never-before-seen bonus features bring legendary composer Alan Menken and some of Disney’s most recognizable leading ladies together around a piano to reminisce, sing and celebrate “The Little Mermaid.” The latest installment of “Stories from Walt’s Office” compares Walt and Ariel’s love of collecting treasures. Viewers will also receive an inside look at the “The Little Mermaid” cast in their original recording sessions, explore hidden treasures and fun facts from the film, and enjoy a special performance of “Part of Your World” by a cappella singing sensation DCapella. Plus, fans will have access to hours of additional classic bonus features!

“The Little Mermaid” [amazon] is the seventh title to join the Walt Disney Signature Collection, which includes groundbreaking films created or inspired by the imagination and legacy of Walt Disney, featuring timeless stories and characters that have touched generations. The film takes its place alongside “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Pinocchio,” “Bambi,” “The Lion King” and “Lady and the Tramp.”



  • Sing-Along Mode – Sing along to the movie in this  sing-along version of the film.
  • Alan Menken & the Leading Ladies Song – From the voice of a mermaid to the tunes of a muse, the music of Alan Menken has scored the soundtrack for some of Disney’s most iconic leading ladies. Join Alan, Jodi Benson (Ariel), Paige O’Hara (Belle), Judy Kuhn (Pocahontas Singing Voice), Lillias White (Calliope) and Donna Murphy (Mother Gothel) as we celebrate the music of their films in honor of the one that started it all … “The Little Mermaid.”  In this discussion, the ladies will share their memories of musically creating their characters with Alan, discuss what it means to be part of the Disney Princess/leading lady legacy and create new memories as they sing with Alan around a baby grand piano.
  • “What I Want From You…Is YOUR VOICE” – Enter the recording studio and get an inside look at the cast of “The Little Mermaid” in their original recording sessions.
  • Stories From Walt’s Office – Gadgets & Gizmos – Like Ariel, Walt Disney was a collector of many different things from miniatures to early mechanical characters that inspired the invention of audio-animatronics. We take a look at some the collections that Walt kept in his office in the third episode of this series.
  • #TreasuresUntold – Join Ruby Rose Turner and Olivia Sanabia from the Disney Channel Original Series “Coop and Cami Ask the World” as they take a deep dive to explore some hidden treasures and fun facts about Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”
  • DCapella “Part of Your World” Music Video
  • Classic Bonus Features – revisit four exciting bonus features from previous releases including:
    • Deleted Character: Harold The Merman
    • Under The Scene: The Art Of Live Action Reference
    • Howard’s Lecture
    • Audio Commentary With Ron Clements, John Musker and Alan Menken


  • “Part of Your World” – A 30-Year Retrospective – Songwriter Alan Menken and Jodi Benson, the acting and singing voice of Ariel, sing the epitome of Disney “I Want” songs “Part of Your World” and discuss its impact since it was first heard 30 years ago.
  • Classic Bonus Features – Over 3 additional hours of previously released classic bonus features including Deleted Scenes, Easter Eggs, Music Videos and more!

Bottom line The Little Mermaid is a Disney classic movie one that I grew up on, one that my family has enjoyed watched dozens upon dozens of times.  My girls love Ariel and pretty much every time we’re at a beach they act and play as Ariel. While some might debate the value of this movie in our modern culture, but its a fairy tale, its a story, and one that can be shown and enjoyed and at some later point discussed and used as an example.

Goosebumps 2 scares up some fun at home

Goosebumps 2 scares up some fun at home

GOOSEBUMPS 2 is now available on DVD/BluRay, and Digital HD. Slappy the devious ventriloquist dummy returns to run amuck, in this second installment of the family-friendly franchise based on R.L. Stine’s beloved book series. Standing in Slappy’s way is a terrifyingly talented cast including Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs), Madison Iseman (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), Jeremy Ray Taylor (It), Caleel Harris (Castle Rock), and Chris Parnell (Rick and Morty), with Ken Jeong (Crazy Rich Asians).

This sequel is set after the original Goosebumps movie (which you dont need to see – this sequel works totally as a standalone but there are some nice throwbacks to the original).

Be careful what you wish for. With their after school junk business, best friends Sonny and Sam hope to find treasure in other people’s trash. But when cleaning out the old Stine house, they open a locked book that frees a supernatural nightmare – Slappy! Now, with the help of Sonny’s sister Sarah, they’re in a race against time to get the sinister dummy and all the creatures he’s brought to life back into the pages before he unleashes total pandemonium!

Based on the beloved Scholastic book series by R.L Stine, GOOSEBUMPS 2 is for everyone… We watched this movie with my 3,5,10 year old children and each of them found something about this movie they really enjoyed.  The 3 year old loved the gummy bears, my 5 year old thought the movie was spooky (but in a really good way) she loved the School scene, my 10 year old loved how they made it really part of the Goosebumps universe, as he is a fan of the books.

Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Bonus Materials Include:

  • Gag Reel
  • Three Deleted Scenes:
  • Five Featurettes
    • “Thrills & Chills – The Making of Goosebumps 2”
    • “Meet The Monsters”
    • “Science With Slappy”
    • “Junk Brothers – Call Now”
    • “Slappy’s Audition”
  • Three Slappy-Oke Sing Alongs

GOOSEBUMPS 2 has a run time of approximately 120 minutes and is rated PG for scary creature action and images,
some thematic elements, rude humor and language.

We also have a great at home experience of making Gummy Bear Slime…

Kids and tech its a hard balance #VZParent

Kids and tech its a hard balance #VZParent

Kids and technology isnt easy to find a balance, we have always been the family where the kids have old hand me down iphones… and its only recently that we started discussing what features we can put in place to limit screen time.

This holiday season I’ve partnered up with Verizon to share some of their resources that will give parents some ideas of the cool technology thats out there… Verizon has a great section of their site thats “The parents’ guide to kids and tech.” Sure it covers which of Verizon unlimited plans makes sense for your family, but it also covers some really cool products that I can happily say work really well.

Have you heard of the GizmoWatch? I found this to be an incredible product for my son when he was in the 3rd and 4th grade, still too young for a typical cell phone (in my book) but did need a way to communicate with us when he was having a playdate or at an after school event.  This smart watch is also a GPS locator and a phone (that is limited list of names they can call – you can control who the child has access to call from the Gizmo app. They even came out with a new Mickey Mouse 90th Anniversary Edition (verizonwireless.com) that I know my middle child would love to get.

I also really loved this article on Balancing trust and safety: How parents can monitor their teen’s digital activity as its now something we’re working with Marc. I’m so excited to see Verizon offer up resources to help us parents in this digital world.

So what other useful resources have you read for helping parents with kids deal with the digital world?

The Ultimate Tech Holiday Gift Guide #VZParent

The Ultimate Tech Holiday Gift Guide #VZParent

Every year its a bit harder to shop for people there are sooooo many amazing choice of what products to pick up for who and where… Worry no more because I’ve partnered up with Verizon to bring you an ultimate gift guide for anyone that loves technology.  Most of these items can be found in store but all these items are available right now on their website.

Wireless headphones are a must these days…Some phones dont even have a headphone jack anymore, so here are two choices: over the head and in-ear.

For the in-ear headphones:  I’ve been crushing hard on these Bose SoundSport Free, they’re completely wireless. Comes in three colors Orange/Navy, Black, and Navy/Citron (my personal favorite). Shop from Verizon.

For the over the head: You cant wait on a subway train during rush hour and not see at least two or three of the Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II on people’s ear.  The noise cancellation feature is some of the best around and will turn a large noise subway car in to a little more then a mumble and imagine taking that on a flight. Shop from Verizon.

I carry one almost everywhere I go these days cause no matter how new my phone is that battery never lasts long enough… sure I’m a power user on instagram and twitter all day long but by 6pm if I have plans to go out at night I’m needing to recharge my phone.  the mophie powerstation plus 6000 with Switch-Tip Cable is perfect for both android and apple products and will give you two additional charges. Shop from Verizon.

Now if you’ve gotten a new phone in the last year or so you’ve heard it has the ability to charge wirelessly but it comes with a cord to charge… so rarely do people splurge on a wireless charging pad which makes them a great gift.  mophie charge stream pad plus is optimized for Apple, Samsung and other Qi–enabled smartphones. Shop from Verizon.

I’m sure by now you’ve seen someone with a smart watch but this year apple announced that their watch no longer needs a phone to connect to the internet (sure an additional monthly fee for a smart device will apply) but thinking that you can call from a smartwatch that is now fully waterproof is pretty amazing. I love how this version comes with an enhanced heart rate app too.  Shop from Verizon.

These are just a few of my favorite things and you can find a ton more great gifts over on Verizonwireless.com and in the Verizon stores this holiday season.  PS. if anyone gets me anything off this list for my holiday gifts, you win 😉

Lucasfilm’s Solo: A Star Wars Story blasts on to your home screens

Lucasfilm’s Solo: A Star Wars Story blasts on to your home screens

Solo: A Star Wars Story is out on  DigitalMovies Anywhere, 4K Ultra HD, and soon on Blu-ray.

Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo befriends his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and meets the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.

The film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Paul Bettany.

If you didnt catch it in the cinemas then I highly recommend you catch it at home.  I really loved the movie, thought it played really well with the history we’ve learned over the years in Star Wars episodes 4,5,6 and now in episodes 7,8.

As a special treat one lucky fan will be receiving the Blu-ray combo pack.

How to win it:  Leave a comment with your favorite Star Wars character.

Contest ends 11:59 pm EST on September 24, 2018. Limited to US residents only. Must be over the age of 18 to enter. Winner chosen at random.

Visit the official SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY site: http://www.starwars.com/films/solo

Voice Originals: When In Rome is a board game you play with your ALEXA SPEAKER

Voice Originals: When In Rome is a board game you play with your ALEXA SPEAKER

Voice Originals: When In Rome is a board game you play with your ALEXA SPEAKER! Yep, you heard me right.  It’s a whole new way to play with and interact with Alexa. This game is so much fun and great for the whole family. My kids loved listening to Alexa ask the questions, and I’m not gonna lie, it got a little competitive in my house very quickly last night!

Let’s get to the important stuff, When In Rome is the first in a series of social board games that are powered by smart speakers. The first of its kind in the world, actually. In the game, you split into two teams and fly around a board game travel map to 20 different cities. When you visit a new city, Alexa will introduce you to a real recorded local who asks a question about food, culture, customs, etc. You get points for correct answers and can earn fancy souvenir items from new friends, which help you advance in the game.

When In Rome is a really cool way for the whole family to learn about all different parts of the world, and even about our hometown New York. That’s right – there are some tricky questions to this game that! And after 5 plays with the family, we still haven’t hit any repeats, which is a refreshing for a trivia game.

While my kids are a bit on the younger side – the suggested age is 13 – my wife and I were able to help them out. It also helps that the whole game is run by Alexa! That’s right! There’s no rulebook, no need to keep track of the score and no reading question cards. With When In Rome, Alexa tells you how to play, asks the questions and keeps track of the score. While I was a bit skeptical in the beginning, it was enjoyable to have Alexa guide gameplay and not have to reference a rulebook or score card.

Here’s the best part, since the technology is already being used in tens of millions of homes, When In Rome retails for just $30! Great value. If you want to pick up your own copy of Voice Originals: When In Rome, you can go to Amazon or www.VoiceOriginals.com.  Dont forget you need to own an Amazon Dot (but for a few extra dollars you might go with the Dot kids edition) or Echo to play.