Parenting Is Hard. One Ritual Helps Keep Me Going

A Dad Considers Ritual Multivitamins

I’m usually up around 7 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.

This post was sponsored by:
Ritual

Teacher Creates a Community Library in Her Garage Amid COVID

teacher creates garage library
(Facebook/MissMartin's Neighborhood Library)

An elementary school teacher in Texas had basically accumulated a personal library for her classroom over the years. Then earlier this year COVID-19 caused her school to move to remote learning. With the closest public library inaccessible for most of the community, she wanted to help fill that void and keep kids interested in reading. And that’s why she started a community library, with more than 2,000 books, in her own garage.

Teachers are amazing people. We see reminders of this constantly, as they go above and beyond for their kids. We see it in the teacher that carried a student confined to a wheelchair on a field trip. We saw it when teachers all over the state of Alabama donated sick days to a colleague caring for his infant with cancer. And we see it in the everyday actions teachers take to help kids learn.

In this case, Jennifer Martin had witnessed reluctant and nonreaders blossom into avid readers after having a positive experience with books, so that’s why she got to work on her garage library. A friend built the shelves and Martin moved in her massive collection of books for kids of all ages.

Since opening the library, they have had more than 60 kids check out books (they can get two at a time, on the honor system). More importantly, it’s a chance for her to connect with her students, and for kids to connect with each other (with masks and social distancing rules in place).

“During this challenging time, it’s even more important to provide opportunities for connection,” she told The Dad. “And there’s really nothing like seeing a student’s excitement about getting a new book!”

Martin has run into some hurdles, such as figuring out the best way to sort the books, but she has been blown away by the support from friends, colleagues, parents, and community members. She said she’s had students she taught 10 or 20 years ago who have been donating books through Amazon or even visited the library to make a donation. Some have even come back to help volunteer at the library.

The library continues to add new titles to the mix, including more Spanish books and continues to thrive. 2020 has brought unique challenges, but it’s also seen more than a few people rise to meet the challenge and help other people.

“Reading provides an adventure for the reader, and now, more than ever, we need adventures,” Martin said.

This Condo’s For You, Listing Showcases Florida Home Covered in Bud Beer Cans

Beer House For Sale
(Facebook/KearneyAndAssociatesFlorida)

Say what you will about 2020 but it’s provided us with some pretty unique real estate opportunities – like a beautiful home that has a complete jail in it. Now a condo for sale in Florida (of course) has come on the market that is completely covered in beer cans. Not, like, post bender empties that haven’t been cleaned out, but more like a meticulous crafting project that included a copious amount of beer drinking (the best kind of crafting!).

We can all agree Dads love beer, whether it’s drinking with your dog, or even enjoying your last beer with your kids. Dads happily embrace the dad bod that comes with a beer hobby, some dads even drink a Dad bod beer.

The listing agent thought the seller had found a unique wallpapering, without realizing it was more like a unique lifelong obsession. The original tenant, who has passed away, was a huge fan of Budweiser and spent years working to cover every single wall and ceiling (except for the bathroom) with beer cans.

Budweiser shared the images of the condo on it’s Facebook page, saying “The perfect house doesn’t exi—”

The home was owned by a Navy Vet, who spent 16 years consuming enough product for the job. The 2-bedroom condo in South Florida is for sale for $100,000, although to sweeten the deal, Budweiser is offering free beer to whoever buys it (as long as they don’t renovate).

Tom Hardy Rumored to be Next James Bond

Tom Hardy as Next James Bond?
(Getty/Andreas Rentz)

So is Bond gonna wear a mask and have a strange accent now?

No Time to Die, the latest Bond flick, and purportedly Daniel Craig’s last as the super spy, has been delayed by the coronavirus, but it will come out eventually. And as soon as it does, people will be clamoring to know who will replace Craig as 007. In fact, the speculation has been rampant for years, fueled but the fact that Craig has long seemed frustrated with the part and even said that Spectre was to be his last before returning for this next one.

For years, people have floated Idris Elba’s name as a potential replacement. They’ve also mentioned Tom Hiddleston and the dude from Showtime’s Outlander. But according to a story from the Vulcan Reporter the producers of the Bond series have already auditioned and selected the next 007: Tom Hardy.

Hardy is a notoriously quirky actor, who seems to relish the challenge of playing roles where he wears a mask or alters his voice (see Bane, Mad Max, Taboo Island, etc.). So it might be hard to imagine him as the suave secret agent. Until you remember him in Inception.

Free of any strange character accouterments, Hardy was a dashing member of DiCaprio’s dream designing crew, and he was totally convincing. This is the Hardy that makes sense for Bond, and would probably be a great one. He’d even carry on some of the sense of danger Craig’s Bond has brought to the series in a post-Bourne world.

Not sure how real the Vulcan Reporter’s report is, so right now it’s just a rumor, but it’s a pretty good one. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to be confirmed before No Time to Die shows itself, and we don’t even know when that will be.

Hopefully, the pandemic has helped Hardy get the mask-wearing out of his system because this sounds like a good idea to me.

What do you think? Does the prospect of Hardy as James Bond leave you shaken or stirred?

Healthcare Worker and NFL Mom Gets Honored on Madden Cover

Miles Boykin Mom on Madden
(Twitter/MBoykin814)

Over the summer, Baltimore Ravens receiver Miles Boykin tweeted that his mom finally discovered he had used her credit card to pay for his Xbox live membership and that she had been paying it for the NFL player since he was in SIXTH GRADE! But, with some help from Xbox and EA Sports, he made up for it by helping his mom, a healthcare hero, become the first female to grace the cover of Madden.

Madden reigns supreme when it comes to sports video gaming (personally, I’m an NBA 2k and FIFA guy, but you can’t deny the Madden popularity over the years), even if the fabled Madden curse has become but a footnote in history thanks to Patrick Mahomes. And NFL players today, like Boykin, grew up playing Madden.

Still, it’s always funny when a professional athlete with a multi-million dollar contract has his mom paying for his Xbox live membership. He tried to intervene and take over the payments, but she said she might as well just keep picking up the tab.

Boykin appealed to Xbox for help. And they came through, in a big way.

Boykin’s mom, Felicia, is a healthcare worker, so Xbox and EA decided to help Miles show his appreciation for her. She not only received an Xbox Game Pass (so she’ll finally stop getting charged for Miles’ subscription), she also got a copy of Madden with herself on the cover, which will also go to some of her healthcare hero colleagues (along with new Xbox consoles).

Miles also takes the chance to tell his mom how much she’s meant to him and his development.

“You’ve always been there. You helped me become the man I am today and I will forever be grateful to you. I would give you the world if I could and you would still deserve better,” he said. “You not only supported my passion for football but also my second love of gaming.”

She also received a custom Xbox One controller, a pair of new Nike Air Zoom Pulses, and a pair of custom cleats for Miles to wear with her image painted on them.

It’s a great way for Miles to repay a parent, and I will now consider this the threshold for all kids going forward when it comes to recurring subscription fees.

National Museum Helps Oldest Living World War II Veteran Celebrate 111 Birthday

Lawrence Brooks and Victory Belles
(YouTube/The National WWII Museum)

As people who have the privilege of enjoying the freedom and safety of life in the US, we owe a huge amount of gratitude to veterans. Veterans sacrifice their own safety, time with their families, and sometimes their lives to ensure that we are able to live our own lives in relative safety.

Veterans are essential to the sense of security we have living in the US, and we do what we can to show how much we appreciate them. Actor Gary Sinise created a foundation to support veterans and their families in 2011 and continues to provide assistance nearly a decade later. Earlier this year, a 104-year-old veteran received over 70,000 Valentine’s Day cards, from people around the country who wanted to make his day a bit brighter. Now, the world’s oldest World War II veteran is getting the birthday celebration he deserves.

Lawrence Brooks, a veteran who served during World War II in the 91st Engineer Battalion, has been celebrating his birthday at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans since he turned 105. Due to the pandemic (what else is new), the museum had to put together a safe and socially-distanced celebration – and they absolutely did not disappoint.

According to a post they shared on Instagram, the museum arranged a performance by a vocal trio called The Victory Belles, a military flyover, a birthday cake, and nearly 10,000 birthday cards they collected from a national card drive.

 

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The National WWII Museum celebrated the 111th birthday of Mr. Lawrence Brooks, a New Orleans native and the oldest known U.S. veteran of World War II, at his home last Saturday. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we arranged a socially distant birthday celebration. The Victory Belles, performed a series of numbers including “Happy Birthday,” and Mr. Brooks enjoyed military plane flyovers courtesy of the @aeroshellaerobatic and @bigeasywingcaf. We additionally presented Mr. Brooks with a cake and nearly 10,000 birthday cards that were collected as a result of a national card drive. #WorldWarII #worldwar2 #WWIIVet #happybirthday #oldestlivingwwiiveteran⁠ ⁠ Click the bio link and then this image to watch the full video.

A post shared by The National WWII Museum (@wwiimuseum) on


The museum’s vice president, Peter Crean, told FOX News after last year’s celebration, “We absolutely love Mr. Brooks. We’ve told him, ‘As long as you keep having birthdays, we are going to keep having birthday parties for you here.’”

Though circumstances didn’t allow for Brooks to celebrate at the museum itself this year, Crean kept his promise by bringing the celebration to Brooks’s home. The 111-year-old smiled from his porch, surrounded by balloons, a birthday banner, and everyone who came to celebrate with him (from a safe distance). Though Brooks lost his wife Leona in 2005 to Hurricane Katrina, he is surrounded by the love of his five children, 13 grandchildren, and 22 great grandchildren.

Brooks told FOX, “I’ve started to think about not having many birthdays left. But I’m not worried about it, because God has let me live this long already. I think it’s because I’ve always liked people so much. Oh yes, I do.”

Let us throw our birthday greeting onto the ever-growing pile – happiest of birthdays Mr. Brooks, and thank you for your service.

Relationship Argument Leads Couple to $177K Lotto Win

Argument leads to lottery win
(Courtesy Virginia Lottery)

Relationships aren’t easy. There’s always going to be disagreements, arguments, and fights about those arguments. That’s a healthy part of the relationship (assuming those fights aren’t WWE-style), as ignoring problems can just make them worse. For one Virginia woman, having an argument with her boyfriend paid off with a lottery win and hopefully, they don’t argue about splitting it. because the payout was substantially more than the $1 jackpot we previously reported on.

Like, literally, in real money, not in relationship building or coming to a better understanding of each other. Chyanne Creel got into an argument with her boyfriend and they decided to go for a drive to cool off.

When they stopped for gas, she sent her boyfriend inside to buy some snacks (essential) and some lottery tickets (why not?). One of the scratch-off tickets hit the grand prize of $177,777. She won almost $200K because of this fight.

There are some important lessons we can all take away from this. She didn’t elaborate on what the fight was about. Was it about improperly loading the dishwasher? A disagreement about the distribution of household chores? Could they not come to an agreement about what to watch on Netflix?? Who knows what the magical elixir was here? So, the take away is to ignore what popular literature would tell you about not sweating “the small stuff.”

Instead, sweat it, sweat it all. Never miss a chance to argue or fight, and make sure to chase every single argument with a lottery ticket. This is a proven path to success both financially and in a relationship. Is she grinding your gears because she’s hogging the remote? Don’t hold back, because that could be what brings a massive influx of cash into your lives.

I mean, sure, she hit the big prize on odds that were greater than one in a million. So yeah, it may take some time for this path to bear fruit. But even if you don’t deliberately go searching for an argument, at least you know in the back of your head, should you find yourself in a fight, there is more than one way to make-up and get lucky.

Daughter Saves Dad’s Taco Truck With a Tweet

Twitter Taco Plea Saves Dad's Business
(Instagram/taqueriaeltoritoofficial)

The global pandemic has crushed huge swaths of the economy, decimating entire industries. Few have been hit as hard as restaurants, travel, and entertainment. We’ve lost thousands of great, independent restaurants and dive bars, the places that give communities character (along with great meals and memories). And some shops have needed some extra help to stay open in these brutal times.

One of these was a taco truck in Texas. A young woman in Texas had been checking in regularly with her dad, as his taco truck business began to slow to a crawl. One day, after hearing he had only made $6 during a 12-hour shift, she decided to try and help the best way a young person can: by posting about it on social media.

His daughter Giselle posted: “Hey Twitter!! I wouldn’t normally do this, but my dad’s taco truck business is struggling, he only sold $6 today. If you could retweet, I would appreciate you so much!!”

And retweet they did, as it quickly went viral, getting more than 10,000 RTs. And it worked, as he has had more business than he can handle.

His daughter tearfully posted a thank you after customers came in waves until he was sold out. He’s been working ferociously since, as his daughter’s plea to give her dad’s cooking a chance has been heard far and wide.

She said her dad doesn’t understand social media, but “is so grateful for everyone who is spreading the word.”

“COVID has been a nightmare for small businesses, thank you for putting a smile on his face,” she added.

 

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Tortas Cubanas made FRESH to order 💕

A post shared by @ taqueriaeltoritoofficial on

It’s a sweet story of a daughter’s love for her dad helping save his business, but the broader takeaway is just how hard this time is on a lot of people, and the only path forward is for communities to come together to help those who need it most in any way they can.

This LEGO ‘Brickroll’ Is Never Gonna Let You Down

Lego Brickroll
(YouTube/Domy13)

The 80’s was overflowing with great music. With songs like Take On Me by a-ha, Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”, and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” still making regular appearances nearly 40 years later, it was undoubtedly a golden age of music. There was one song, however, that has withstood the test of time no matter how freaking hard we’ve tried to avoid it. Some might even say that this particular song is never gonna give us up. Of course, we’re talking about Rick Astley’s iconic “Never Gonna Give You Up”. It’s a fine song, it’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect to emerge from an era fueled by Garbage Pail Kids and cocaine.

Over time, this song transformed into its own beast. Meme culture got its sticky little hands on it, and now it’s virtually inescapable. You’ve likely heard this song way more times than you ever intended to, clicking completely unrelated links only to be hit with the ol’ “bait-and-switch”. The sweeping phenomenon known as the “Rickroll” has been going on for well over a decade, with no sign of slowing down.

Astley himself eventually accepted his meme fame, using a float to Rickroll anyone watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2008. In another live-action Rickroll, Astley showed up at a Dave Grohl show and the two proceeded to duet Astley’s inescapable song to over 60,000 fans.

Most recently, a new take on the iconic Rickroll has us conflicted. On the one hand, it’s still a Rickroll – but it’s so impressively done that we kind of love it. If we’re going for accuracy, we should clarify that it’s less of a “Rickroll”, and more of a “Brickroll”. Specifically, a LEGO Brickroll.

In his first Youtube animation, a user named Domy13 created an entirely Lego-based recreation of the iconic ‘80s music video. The detail is incredible – in fact, Domy13 was so confident in his Lego rendition’s accuracy that he even posted a side-by-side comparing his animated version to the original. Regardless of how tainted your opinion of the Astley hit may be, this video is well worth a watch.

Now do Freebird!

Cowboy-Hat-Wearin’ 94-Yr-Old Great Grandfather Conquers Water Slide

Great Grandfather Conquers Water Slide
(Facebook/michaelandmichelle.graham)

Sometimes in life, you just gotta go down a cool water slide into a pool. And if you do it when you’re in your 90s, the levels of badassery are compounded. It was a 94-year-old great-grandfather in Oklahoma who did just that, in a video that has since gone viral and, as the kids would say, “won the internet.”

It’s a cute video, as the family helps up him the ladder and cheer him on the entire way. One of the family members shared the video and said “When your 94-year-old Papa says I’m going down the water slide that means he’s going down the water slide! I love him so much and hope to be half the man he has been through his life.”

He later told the Today Show that he had some trouble explaining to his grandfather why so many people watched the video.

“I said two things that I see. One is people were really excited to see someone of your age still active and doing things. Then the other is there’s been lots of comments, how much people can see the love in the family. And that’s always been a big part of our life. He is the patriarch of the family and everybody gets together and has each other’s back.”

And you know what, he’s pretty much nailed it. It’s not the type of video that’s going to start a conversation or change the way things are done. It’s not going to cancel a celebrity or force a brand to make some serious commercial. It’s just a fun moment, captured by a family and shared with the world, to give you a smile as you scroll through your phone, working your way through another day.

The world doesn’t have enough of those short, joyous moments, so sharing them wide and far is important.

I guess if you wanted to extrapolate some sort of inherent life lesson or assigned meaning to it, you could say, when life presents you with a water slide into a pool, just enjoy the damn slide.