Protect Your Garden from Slugs!

I enjoy gardening. I’ve even thought about going hard core and getting into aquaponic gardening. It’s a good way to get outside, do something with my hands, and, if I’m successful, I can provide my family with some fresh produce throughout the summer. This year I went with cucumbers, zucchini, squash, and snow peas. My kids have enjoyed some fresh cucumber salads, zucchini bread, zucchini pancakes, and the occasional handful of fresh peas (if my wife and I don’t get to them first). The garden has been going pretty well…

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Advanced Technique for Catching Vomit

It starts with a runny nose and a lot of sniffles during the day. You know it’s coming, but you just don’t want to believe it. You make the kids stay away from milk and dairy and anything else you’ve heard an old wive’s tale about that might be linked to increased mucus production. Eventually, the time comes that you have to send your kids to bed with a wicked head cold. So you send your kid to bed, prop him up with all the pillows you can, maybe put…

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Labors of Love

Tales from the Dad Side - brag vest

There are plenty of things dads do for their kids that are labors of love, things that we do for our kids that maybe they don’t really think about or don’t fully appreciate. These are things that we dads (and moms) do because we love our kids and while we don’t expect them to recognize the efforts we make now, we hope that one day in the future they’ll look at it and realize all the effort we put into something on their behalf. These labors of love can take…

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Dandelion Wine for the DIYer with Weeds

Tales from the Dad Side - dandelion wine

I’m a big fan of DIY projects, especially if they’re a little unusual and double especially if they involve trying out foods that are tied into the natural world around us. So when life fills your front yard with dandelions, what better way to put them to use than to make dandelion wine? Now, this isn’t something that your kids can partake of when it’s done, but it’s certainly something they can help out with. I certainly don’t condone underage drinking and my kids have not, nor will they, be…

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Smart Thermostat Saves Money – FTW!

Tales from the Dad Side - Nest

Every homeowner knows that you’re pretty much constantly doing something to your house, be it making a repair, changing decor, or making an improvement. The latest of the home improvement projects that I’ve put in is a smart thermostat. We’re still getting used to it, but this new gizmo satisfies my wife’s desire for new gadgets and satisfies my desire to save money. A smart thermostat saves money by learning the habits of your home and adjusting accordingly to run your furnace more efficiently. Since we moved into the house,…

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Toilet Trouble is Flushing Fun!

Have you every shot your children’s great grandma with toilet water? I have! About a week ago the older two went to my mother-in-law’s house for a sleepover and when they came home they had a new game: Toilet Trouble. Toilet Trouble is a new game from Hasbro that, much like the original Pie Face is basically Russian roulette for kids. In Toilet Trouble players spin a plastic roll of toilet paper that tells them how many times to pull the flush handle. The bowl of this little plastic toilet…

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It’s Making Slime with Borax Time!

Tales from the Dad Side - Making Slime with Borax

Apparently, making slime with borax is all the rage among the kids today! The kids make slime in school, they make slime with their friends, and they ask to make slime at home. It’s slime time all the time! What time is it? It’s slime time!!! And making slime with borax is really easy to do! My kids have been home on Spring Break and they’ve been asking us when they can start making slime with borax. So, on a dreary midwest afternoon we made a couple batches of slime.…

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Fidget Toys for Fidgety Boys (and Girls)

Last December I took my 10-year-old to see Star Wars Rogue One with my best friend growing up. The movie was incredible, but my 10-year-old didn’t stop shifting around in his seat the entire time. It drove me a nuts and I felt a little bad for the guy sitting on my son’s left. He’s always been fidgety like that (just like me) and has problems sitting still, just like a lot of other kids (and some adults) I know. If I’ve got a quarter in my pocket I’ll take…

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Dinosaur Dig Kit is Surprisingly Engaging

Tales from the Dad Side - Dinosaur Dig

For Christmas my 10-year-old got a dinosaur dig kit, actually a couple of them, and they’ve been sitting in his room waiting for a day when he needed something to do. So last weekend, when his friends weren’t around and he was at his limit for video game time and there just wasn’t anything he wanted to do, we told him to go up to his room and get one of these dinosaur dig kits. Dinosaur Dig Kit The dinosaur dig kit is pretty simple. It comes with a small wooden…

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Simple DIY Gardening Project

Tales from the Dad Side -- Seed Packs

In addition to all the things I do on a day-to-day basis, a few years ago I began volunteering as a leader in my son’s Cub Scout Pack. This means that, among other things, every month I need to coordinate a meeting for about 25 scouts and assorted siblings and provide them with some kind of activity. For our next meeting I’ve been working on a simple DIY gardening product to welcome spring. This simple DIY gardening project uses some pretty basic stuff and will easily transition to a pot…

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