Inspiration from ink on paper. No lie.

By concretin_nik April 17th, 2014

With theGoogle and thePinterest, it’s hard to believe you can actually get inspired to craft by a book! Seriously, ink on paper! I know, crazy talk, right? But you can! Mike Adamick has authored not one, but TWO awesome books of inspiration. I have his first book, “Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects” which includes all the instructions you need to build stilts, a rope swing, superhero capes, even homemade ice cream and at least 20 other projects. I know I’m not going to do every project, but there’s more between these covers than plans and instructions. Before Mike gives you the first project, he writes about his family in a chapter called, “How to Raise All-Around Crafty Geniuses…” That info alone is priceless. (Though I did get my copy free from Mike himself).

I blame my craftiness on my parents. My Mom is a seamstress (by hobby and necessity, not by trade) and my Dad worked at a cardboard box factory. So, genetics. Yea, I’m REALLY partial to creating with cardboard. Clean, unbent, large sheets of corrugated cardboard is like gold to me. I have no problem claiming a title of CardboardCraftNinja. (See substantiating evidence below.) Kid’s got a double oven. Boo yah!

You can keep your plastic play kitchen.

Mike’s book inspires me to do even more with my son. When TheBoy grabs the empty egg carton before it hits the trash and says, “Hey Daddy, I’m gonna make something with this!” I swell with pride as he runs off with it with wonder in his eyes.

You can check out both of Mike’s books of awesomeness on Amazon. “Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments” is sure to provide hours of mad scientist family fun! And “Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects” has some fantastic creations, perfect for Summer. Get yours and inspire yourself. Inspire your kids. Have fun!

Concretin Nik, his drill, and Mike Adamick's book.


Our Kind of Show: The Clorox Ick Awards

By Daddy Clay April 4th, 2014

Historically, “Ick” has been under appreciated. In the context of raising kids, Ick is an integral part of the experience, essential to bonding. Our children know instinctively that their parents love them because we don’t flee at the sight of their massive Ick. Now, finally, Clorox is casting a spotlight on Ick.

After all, the best parts of our lives are those everyday moments – true, spontaneous and imperfect. Unfortunately some of these moments are downright icky, but Clorox is here to help you laugh through the mess.
Clorox and famed improv group, The Second City Communications, are teaming up for the first ever Clorox Ick Awards, a live interactive experience celebrating life’s ickiest (and funniest) moments. And you can be a part of the show.

The Clorox Ick Awards is your “reality” award show, honoring those situations and experiences that we can all relate to. Your real-life, real-time submissions will inspire The Second City Communications’ icky improv sketches, which will be shared live on Twitter Wednesday, April 9 from 6 – 10 p.m. ET. There are even rumors that a SNL alum may be joining the festivities (Hint: this person is the only SNL cast member ever to have the privilege of going to college with Daddy Clay).

The hilarious dudes from How To Be A Dad will be hosting the proceedings on Twitter, with an assist from DadLabs for the first hour, so don’t miss a minute of the action! The Clorox Ick Awards on happening on Wednesday, April 9 from 6-10 p.m. ET. Join the conversation, share your Ick Awards nominations, win prizes ($2500 worth!) and watch The Second City Communications’ hilariously icky sketches on Twitter using #ickies.
Have a hilariously icky moment you want to nominate in advance? Share it using #ickies and “tune in” to see if it is featured in an improv sketch from The Second City Communications and visit and sign up for Clorox’s email newsletter to learn more about how Clorox can help you laugh through the mess.

Disclosure: Hard to believe, but we are being compensated to spend time cracking up at the Ickies. This sponsorship has in no way compromised our commitment to celebrating the disgusting grandeur of fatherhood.

Equal Opportunity SuperHero Meh

By concretin_nik March 31st, 2014

We all know I’m a Super Hero fan. I’m no Super Geek and won’t go ballistic on a movie production if they don’t follow the original comic storyline. To. The. Letter. I mean come on, we’re supposed to buy the idea that glasses and wardrobe change are a sufficient disguise for Superman and Wonder Woman? If it’s entertaining, I’m in. If my kid digs it, I’m REALLY in… so my frustration continues… because even with Super Hero toys and a t-shirt or two, he still says, “I’m really not into them. They’re ok.” Not Marvel. Not DC. *crushyourDadwhydon’tya*

But it’s not for lack of exposure. He digs the toys we have, and he’ll mention them when he sees Super Hero shows/images/random sightings, because he knows I like them. “You’ll like this toy aisle Daddy, it has Super Heroes.” (Such a sweet kid.) But even throwing a Cheerios promo in the mix of fantastically abnormal humanoids apparently isn’t gonna do it. Don’t think for a second that’s gonna stop me from trying! How else am I going to justify buying thousands of dollars worth of action figures!? (Seriously, I’m asking!)

If YOUR kid digs comics and DC Heroes, check out specially marked boxes of General Mills cereals through April for exclusive in-box comic books featuring various Super Heroes from the iconic DC Comics Justice League. And if you’re a serious collector, there is a bonus issue only available at Target.

Special Edition Comic and Cheerios

Get this...

The boxes will have Super costume pieces ready to cut and wear printed on the back.

The back of the Cheerios box.

Cut these out... Be Super!

Get in on the action and share your photos tagged “#SuperHeroing” on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Wasn't easy, but eventually got him to humor me. *sigh* #SuperHeroing

Disclosure: DadLabs was not compensated for this post, though I did receive the Cheerios and the Superman shirt free. But the story of angst above is all mine. –Concretin Nik

Avengers Assemble! Redefined

By concretin_nik February 18th, 2014

TheBoy doesn’t dig super heroes like most little boys. Much to my dismay. I mean, it’s ok, kids like what they like. But his lack of any obsessiveness with super heroes also means I don’t have an excuse to buy action figures like I have been counting on for the last 6 years. My action figure desires are somewhat quelled by his fondness of My Little Ponies. (MLP for you hipsters.) At least they do have small plastic action figures, even if they do have hair and are presented in pastels and rainbows. I can still work with this. Crafting playsets out of cardboard and making stop motion movies gets us playing together, and sparks his imagination. And that’s the whole point of action figures (for me anyway). Perhaps the citizens of Equestria will be gateway figures to more ‘core toys like Star Wars, Batman, and The Avengers. Hope springs eternal.

Hasbro has perhaps come through for me with Super Hero Mashers. These are action figures with extremities that have the interchangeability of Legos. Want to see what Spiderman would look like with Iron Patriot’s head? You can do that. Want a hero with the smash power of the Hulk, yet wears the drapes of Thor’s mother. Tada! Easy. (Didja catch that Avengers reference?)

Hasbro Super Hero Mashers

The All American Super Hero Mashers

I received a package of 2 Mashers. Let me first say that on both figures, the elbow joints took some serious elbow grease (see what I did there?) to get moving, as they were locked up out of the box. They loosened up enough after a bit o’ working them back and forth. Other than that, these seem like toys with a cool design that your 11 year old will dig, but are also durable enough that your 5 year old won’t destroy them.

They sent me a Fourth of July set, if you will, of Iron Patriot and Captain America. So the typical mishmashing of trading out arms and legs didn’t produce a particularly dramatic result, though TheBoy was already laughing and having fun. (Score 1!) But let’s see if we can’t come up with something even more fun. Enter… IRON PRIMATE, and CAPTAIN MONKEYPANTS!

Our Mashups

Gorillas be super patriotic, yo! #mymashup

We laughed and laughed and made gorilla noises the entire time. I’m not sure these will ever get switched up again. Thank you (again) Hasbro! The Super Hero Mashers are a hit in the Cretin house!

You can get in on the fun and share your mashups on Facebook and Instagram tagging with #MyMashUp.

Disclosure: I received the toys free from Hasbro in exchange for my honest review and opinion. –Concretin Nik

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