Parenting Is Hard. One Ritual Helps Keep Me Going

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I’m usually up around 5 in the morning, and I don’t get much “me time” until 9 or 10 at night; just in time to fall asleep for the last 20 minutes of whatever show my wife and I are “watching.” Being an adult usually means running from one crisis or calamity to another, and it can take a toll.

The suggested solution to this issue is to work out, eat better, practice meditation and all sorts of activities that are, you know, not the sorta thing parents would have a lot of time for. And even if you’re a few months or years into the parenting gig, finding your way back to a routine of self-care is not easy. Even I would start weeks making big promises about getting in three weight training sessions, or swearing off fast food; this proved a great way to end every week feeling like a total loser jerk. When I was offered a monthly sample of Ritual, a daily multivitamin supplement, it seemed like an easy way to fit in something for myself.  

Now, Ritual is a multivitamin supplement with a soft spot for parents. The company gained notoriety with moms for developing a prenatal multivitamin that specialized in transparently-sourced nutrients without all the shady fillers a lot of brands cram into their products. They’ve recently launched a line for men with the same philosophy of scientifically-developed multivitamins, and while that’s all cool, what really intrigued me was the philosophy behind their design: That no pill or powder can make you stronger –– a refreshing angle for someone essentially trying to sell me a supplement. Instead, Ritual emphasizes that foundational health starts with small daily habits. 

If finding time to take care of myself was a challenge, I could manage to take two little pills a day. At least to start, right? 

Now, let’s be clear. Ritual didn’t give me sudden superhuman abilities or mental clarity. I was still groggy in the mornings and exhausted at night – I didn’t immediately start hitting my workout goals. There’s no magic pill. What I could do is stand in front of a mirror every day, open the Ritual container and look myself in the eye knowing that no matter what happened that day, I’d done something to help support my health. Something for myself.* 

So what does Ritual do then? Well, the big goal of a multivitamin is to help fill nutritional gaps in the diet. Yes, Brad, we all know that eating a pure Mediterranean diet that we cooked over campfires made from ancient trees would make us good to go, but the year is 2020, and that’s not in the cards. So Ritual provides key nutrients to help fill nutrient gaps in most modern men’s diets, using transparently-sourced nutrients that you can feel good about putting in your body. 

I take Ritual’s Essential for Men 18+ which is formulated with key micronutrients to help support men’s health –– including heart, brain, muscle, and normal immune support.*  The key differentiators here are their nutrient sourcing and No B.S. formula. For example, they get their Magnesium, which helps support bone health*, from Odgen, Utah. I’m not saying I needed to know my Vitamin K2 comes from Oslo, Norway, but when it comes to supporting heart health it’s comforting to see such transparency.*

At this point, it might go without saying that all of Ritual’s products are vegan-friendly, non-GMO, as well as gluten and major allergen-free. Since their whole thing is about accountability in their products, this commitment to quality isn’t surprising. I’m not even vegan, but I have to agree that it seems like multivitamins should be? I don’t know what goes into non-vegan multivitamins, but it’s not a filet mignon I can tell you that.

I can’t promise that I’ll be hitting my workout goals every week or even rejecting the Dad Tax of all the extra fries that fall to the bottom of the bag. But after a few weeks with Ritual, I believe there’s something to be said about starting small. Sure it’s just taking two little minty multivitamins every day. But that’s a habit that makes it easier to commit to other personal goals. This week I’ll commit to getting up early one day for a run. Next week, I’ll squeeze in a weight training session. It’s not a multivitamin that makes this happen, but if I can show up for one easy Ritual, I can see a path to another, and then another after that.

Heck, even the ritual of taking Ritual has to be flexible!  Mornings are chaotic, I’ve run out of the bathroom and forgotten to take them. It happens. But you just gotta keep committing to your habits. (Sidenote: The delayed-release design of the capsules means I don’t get an upset stomach if I end up taking the multivitamins later in the day on an empty stomach. Little details like that are nice.)

Ritual helps me remember the most important lesson in taking care of myself: you have to show up every day. Real health comes from habits that become ingrained in your behavior as second nature. The most effective way to build those habits is to commit to them actively…as a ritual. If mine, for now, is remembering to take two little minty multivitamins every day, that’s a foundation to build on. 

Ritual is committed to quality ingredients as a key to helping support foundational health. You can learn more about which of their products are right for you here.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Teen Helps Pets Regain Mobility by Building Wheelchairs for Animals in Need

Wheelchairs can mean the difference between life and death for animals with mobility issues. Dogs and cats unable to use their back legs are forced to drag them, causing injuries and infections that could quickly turn deadly. But for animals (and humans, for that matter), wheelchairs are costly. The drastic size difference from one dog to another means that mobility devices must be custom-made – the process is complicated and expensive, but an animal-loving teen from Minnesota is working to change that.

When a high school student named Shaine Kilyun realized how life-changing wheelchairs are to animals who need them, she learned to build them herself. Animal wheelchairs can cost well over $1,000, and as pets grow and require different levels of support, they may need multiple over time. The cost is prohibitive, and some pet owners are unable to give their four-legged friends the support they need.

Shaine watched YouTube videos, practiced the building process, and eventually mastered the art of animal wheelchairs. Last year, she changed the life of a blind 7-month-old Great Dane named Cypress. Cypress’s legs curved and varied in length, so she struggled to walk. After Cypress’s owner connected with Shaine, the teen built a wheelchair that changed the pup’s life. Cypress can now run and play like any other pup, and her human-only paid for the cost of the materials.

“So many dogs get put down because people just don’t think they have a life because they’re disabled,” Shaine told Fox News.

A year after learning the unique skill, the ambitious teen completed 10 custom wheelchairs. Some for dogs, some for cats, one for a hedgehog, and even one for a duck. Shaine plans to continue creating wheelchairs for shelter animals in particular – due to the high cost of wheelchairs, some dogs struggling with mobility are sadly euthanized. With Shaine’s help, several animals have gotten a second chance at life.

To find out more, check out Shaine’s Instagram page. To make a donation, you can do so through Zelle (​​[email protected]).

Ryan Reynolds Announces a ‘Sabbatical’ to Focus On His Role as a Dad

Ryan Reynolds is taking a break from acting. The Deadpool and Free Guy star announced it on Instagram this weekend as he wrapped filming on his new movie with Will Ferrell. He’s taking a break from being a movie star to focus on another role he loves: dad.

He announced his sabbatical with a series of snaps from the filming of his new movie, saying “Not sure I’d have been ready to say yes to a film this challenging even three years ago.”

“Singing, dancing and playing in the sandbox with Will Ferrell made a whole lotta dreams come true.”

Reynolds followed it up by saying “perfect time for a little sabbatical from movie making. I’m gonna miss every second working with this obscenely gifted group of creators and artists.

“These days, kindness matters as much as talent,” he finished. “I’ve been lucky to work with folks who are flush with both.”

He later clarified that his sabbatical wasn’t going to last too long, as he does have a Free Guy sequel to film eventually and a Deadpool movie in the MCU supposedly. He also clarified that he’d be spending the sabbatical working as a parent, not learning a new language or traveling the globe.

And his wife was the first to troll him in the replies to his post, as Blake Lively wrote “Michael Caine did it first,” referencing the recent rumors of the elderly actor’s retirement last week. The pitch-perfect comment received 15,000 likes.

Of course, just because the girl-dad is stepping away from movies does not mean he is going to stop trolling his Hollywood frienemy, Hugh Jackman, either.

@vancityreynoldsSocks to be Hugh.♬ A Million Dreams – Ziv Zaifman & Hugh Jackman & Michelle Williams

Nokia Re-Releasing Classic “Brick” Phone For 20th Anniversary

I was one of the last of my friends to get a cellphone. I don’t remember exactly when it was, but it was the early aughts and while everyone I knew had one, I didn’t feel the need. And then my car broke down on the Mass Pike and I had to flag down a flatbed tow-truck – somehow one was going by – to get home. I got a cellphone after that. A Nokia.

Then, on Marathon Monday, I spiked it into the pavement on Boylston Street when I realized it somehow hadn’t saved the number of the girl I’d spent the afternoon with at the Copley Square Pizzeria Uno. I’m not bitter.

It was a memorable day. Today, we celebrate the 20th anniversary. Not of that day (although we probably should), but of the UK release of the Nokia phone I smashed, which is lovingly referred to as the “brick” phone.

The brick phone, otherwise known as the Nokia 6310, was released in 2001. Key features included a battery that would last weeks, a durable frame (couldn’t withstand a sidewalk spike, tho), and that old Snake game that I actually played quite a bit. It was nothing like today’s smartphones. It had barebones internet access, texting was a huge pain, and the photo quality was a joke. It was basically just a phone, but we LOVED it! To celebrate the anniversary, Nokia is re-releasing a new version in the UK that is built just as durably, with that legendary long battery (which probably lasted because no one was using it to scroll Instagram and Twitter all day long), along with a few updates.

‘That yearning for nostalgia makes the new Nokia 6310 the perfect tonic,’ a Nokia spokesperson said, explaining that the phone has been ‘refreshed and reinvented,’ for 2021, with that larger screen and bigger buttons. ‘With the Nokia 6310, it is all fun and games…you can listen to your favourite news channels, sports games, or music stations on the go with reliable connectivity or play an intense game of Snake!’

‘They don’t make them like they used to is a phrase we’ve disowned,’ said Adam Ferguson, Head of Product Marketing at HMD Global. ‘We recently launched the new Nokia XR20, a life-proof smartphone that in my eyes, is a modern day Nokia 3310 in a smartphone. And now the Nokia 6310 is back and better than ever.’

Okay, but can they bring back that girl’s number? I gotta see if she’s still single.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Is Getting a Ton of New Content This November

During today’s special Animal Crossing New Horizons Nintendo Direct, a wealth of new features were revealed for the ridiculously popular game and will be introduced on November 5th, 2021.  Honestly, it’s way more content than I thought was going to be showcased, with lots of quality of life improvements too.

First up, a free update dubbed “Ver. 2.0” will be available to everyone.  The coveted Brewster will be making his return, serving up all sorts of beverages at the museum.  Harv’s Island is getting an upgrade too, which allows you to open up his island and set up shops for different vendors, and they will sell you the items there instead of having to wait for them to show up on your island on certain days.  Along with loads of new characters, you’ll now have enough storage space for up to 5,000 different items and be able to craft ladders to leave around your island so you don’t have to keep pulling yours out to use.  Check it all out for yourself in the video below.

If that wasn’t enough, immediately announced afterward was a paid DLC called “Happy Home Paradise”.  It will release the exact same day as the update and will cost $24.99 separately or comes packed in with the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscription.

This new DLC is massive, to say the least, with you taking it upon yourself to build dream vacation homes for villagers around the world.  There will be characters on the island that will have various requests.  Once you accept a request, you will be able to pick an island that suits their style and can pick the weather, time of day, and season to also help fit the mood.  You’ll then have to create a vacation home that they love, and you’ll get paid a special currency to spend on new and unique items, only available in the DLC.

Along with all of this, there will be new Amiibo character cards released to purchase as well.  These will include the coveted business cat Raymond.  If I’m able to get a hand on any of these, it looks like I’ll finally be able to add the damn adorable cat guy to my island after a never-ending search.

I thought I was done with Animal Crossing New Horizons, but now it looks like I’m definitely jumping back in this November.

Bindi Irwin Celebrates 6-Month-Old Grace Warrior With Adorable Dad-Daughter Pic

The newest member of the Irwin family recently turned six months old, and her overjoyed parents couldn’t wait to share the important milestone with the world. Bindi Irwin, daughter of the legendary Crocodile hunter, gave birth to Grace Warrior Irwin on March 25. Throughout her pregnancy, Bindi happily shared updates on social media. She invited her followers along to share in her joy and excitement, and the 23-year-old continues to do the same even after Grace’s birth.

The Irwin family eagerly awaited the arrival of Grace Warrior, who would have been Steve Irwin’s first grandchild. Bindi lost her dad at just 8 years old, and throughout her life, she’s worked to keep his memory alive. Grace’s middle name, Warrior, is even an homage to her late grandfather.

“My dad was the first person to create the term ‘Wildlife Warrior,’” Irwin explained in an interview with The Bump. “Being a ‘Wildlife Warrior’ means to stand up and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

To celebrate 6-month-old Grace, Bindi shared an adorable father-daughter photo on Instagram. Her husband, Chandler Powell, grins widely as he holds little Grace – even at 6 months old, she seems to know exactly how dang cute she is. With their faces pressed against each other, both Chandler and Grace look as if there’s no place they’d rather be.

 

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A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin)

“Favourite photo,” Bindi captioned the celebratory pic. “We love you so much,” Chandler responded in the photo’s comment section.

Bindi was over the moon after Grace Warrior’s birth, sharing photos of her happy little family in some of her favorite places. Grace is a regular at the Australia Zoo, the Irwin family’s second home. It’s safe to say that both Bindi and Chandler thoroughly love parenting, and 6-month-old Grace is soaking up both the love and the adventurous ways of her doting parents.

 

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A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin)

“Grace Warrior, we love you beyond description,” Bindi captioned another series of photos celebrating her 6-month old.

Paul: This Man

“This is my stepfather Paul.

This man has been mine and my little sisters stepfather since I was three years old; my biological father died when I was one-and-a-half years old and my mom was pregnant with my little sister.

This man has been such a father to me, it feels odd even calling him a stepfather. I know it couldn’t have been easy to step in as a father to two kids who just lost their father, but Paul rocked it.

This man worked a lot of hours as a machinist with over an hour commute everyday to make sure we had everything we needed.

I credit this man for making me the man I am today. I have been married for 9 years with two amazing sons and I’m even a machinist myself and absolutely love it.

I owe this man so much and can’t tell him enough how much I appreciate him and love him.”

– Jake Robinson

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Rocksteady’s ‘Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League’ Gets a New Story Trailer

The DC FanDome event was in full force this weekend with all sorts of major announcements.  On the video game front, we got another look at the upcoming Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League coming from renowned Batman Arkham Trilogy developer Rocksteady.  It looks like it’s going to be a riot.

Amanda Waller has put together ‘Task Force X’, a team of misfits that consists of Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn, and King Shark.  Their mission?  To literally kill the Justice League.  That’s a tall order considering some of DC’s strongest heroes including Superman, The Flash, and Green Lantern are on a rampage through Metropolis.  Wonder Woman seems to be against the corrupted heroes, so the team has an edge there.  No word on if Batman is going to make an appearance, but Penguin does, and I kinda feel sorry for the poor guy in this trailer.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was announced at last year’s DC FanDome with a short trailer and no gameplay.  That’s still the case with this trailer, but it’s still said to be on track for a 2022 release on PS5, Xbox Series S/X, and PC.  Rocksteady has confirmed that Kill the Justice League will be a first-person experience with the option to play solo or with up to 4-player’s cooperatively.  Each of the four playable characters will have their own special abilities along with customizable weapons to mix and match.

Despite the fact that’s it’s coming from Rocksteady, their next DC Comics game seems to ditch the doom and gloom of the Arkham games in favor of a dark comedy akin to the recent Suicide Squad film.  It’s also taking place on a much more apocalyptic scale compared to those other games as well.  Hopefully, we’ll get to see some actual gameplay soon.

Along with this announcement, be sure to check out our other DC FanDome coverage including the first look at Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam and another intense trailer for The Batman featuring Robert Pattinson.

DC FanDome Delivers First Flash Footage, Looks at Aquaman, Shazam 2

The DC FanDome churned out a lot of hype on Saturday.

It kicked off with The Rock giving us our first look at Black Adam, kept rolling with some behind the scenes footage of the Aquaman sequel, featuring Jason Momoa’s stealth outfit and Black Mantis:

We also got a behind the scenes look at Shazam 2: Fury of the Gods, which features Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu as angry goddesses, as well other mythological creatures wreaking havoc:

Then we finally got a teaser trailer for the long-awaited Flash movie, featuring Ezra Miller jumping across dimensions and encountering multiple Batmans. The footage at FanDome was heavy on Michael Keaton’s version of the caped crusader, with Bruce asking The Flash why, with his newfound ability to go to any universe at any time, he chose to save one.

At one point, The Flash is flanked by what looks like another universe’s speedster (also played by Ezra Miller, and Supergirl (Sasha Calle), as he asks Batman if he’s in on whatever plan they’ve got rolling. Then he finds the Batmobile.

It looks fun, and while there’s no Batfleck just yet, Keaton is always welcome.

The Rock Kicks Off DC FanDome With ‘Black Adam’ Teaser

DC FanDome kicked off today.

The online “convention” that DC uses to promote their upcoming comic book and superhero-based properties, has a bunch of new stuff to showcase. There’s anticipation for footage from the multiversal The Flash, a look at the new Aquaman movie, and some info about the Shazam sequel.

The main event promises to be the new trailer for Matt Reeves’s The Batman, but he’s not the online black-clad hero making an appearance.

Dwayne Johnson has been dreaming of playing a superhero for years, and if his social media is to be believed, he couldn’t be happier to step into the DC world as Black Adam. The artist formerly known as The Rock has been hyping up this project for years, and today he finally got the chance to debut some footage. In fact, the Black Adam presentation kicked off the entire DC FanDome event, and while it’s just a teaser, it looks pretty cool.

The Rock continued to be the ultimate hype man for his dream project – due out next year – tweeting some hype for the Man in Black along with the clip he shared, which features some behind-the-scenes footage – along with the actual teaser. The short clip looks like it could be the beginning of the movie, with The Rock’s powerful Black Adam re-emerging:

Here’s the ominous teaser by itself: