May 3, 2016

Mother's Day Shopping Made Easy

Mother's Day is always one of those days that seem to jump up on you.  It's the same time every year, but you always seem to forget about it until the last second.  I think it has to do with the fact that you think it can't be May already because Christmas seemed like just yesterday.

I've been pretty good in the past with getting my wife something that she would enjoy.  I usually make her a photo album of the previous year and write a poem around it, trying the best I can to match the photos with the words. It's not always easy, and the pressure starts to mount as Mother's Day fast approaches.  Some years I wait until the last possible day to finish it and I end up paying a ridiculous fee to have the whole thing expedited.

This year I got it done early... or so I think.  The book has yet to arrive and as Mother's Day gets nearer I will start to sweat it out.  I wish there was a way that I could order it online and then pick it up on my own later that day.  But alas, creativity takes a while.

I am a big fan of online shopping, but I also don't like waiting for things to arrive.  Sometimes I will keep refreshing a web page to see if my items have shipped.  And then when they are shipped, I refresh the page again to see the item's progress.  It's so annoying.  Two whole days for something that I really wanted that instant?  It might as well be a lifetime.  I wonder where my kids get their impatience from.

I know that I am not alone in waiting until that last minute.  According to my own personal polls, 93% of all men wait until the morning of Mother's Day to get their wives and mothers a gift.  Have you ever seen the card aisle at the drug store on the morning of Mother's Day?  It's a bunch of sad looking men trying to figure out how to make "Get Well Soon" cards sound like they were meant for Mother's Day.

But I found out that there IS another option! Enter Sears and their "Buy Online, Pick Up in Store" option.

My wife is a hard working woman who travels often.  She has a carry-on suitcase that she uses, but it's just big enough that sometimes it's NOT a carry-on, so she needs a slightly smaller suitcase so she doesn't have to check anything at the airport.  When you are constantly flying to a different city for a meeting, the last thing you want to be doing is waiting at baggage claim for you luggage to arrive, or worse have the airline lose your bag and you have to go to a meeting in your yoga pants.

I logged on to to see if they had what I was looking for and fortunately they did.  I had a few different stores that I could choose from.  Being from New Jersey, every town has it's own mall.  You can't go more than 10 miles without finding a Sears around here.  I picked the store that had the suitcase in stock and when I checked out I chose the In Store Pickup option. I went out to run some errands and waited for Sears to text me to let me know that the item was ready.  When it was, I headed to the store and logged into their mobile app.

I pulled into my own VIP parking spot and let Sears know through the app that I was outside waiting and the clock was ticking.  Within two minutes a man walked outside with my wife's new suitcase and I was on my way.  It's a perfect service when you have the kids in tow and the last thing you want to do is interrupt their 53rd viewing of some stupid YouTube video to walk inside a store.  This couldn't be easier.  And bonus for you, if you use the service between May 3rd and May 7th, you are automatically entered to win a $5000 Sears gift card.  That is a lot of luggage.

Find a great gift for your wife or mom this year at  They have gifts for all types of moms:
  • The Fashionable Mom: Apparel, footwear, accessories, beauty and fragrances
  • The Outdoor Mom: Patio decor & furniture, lawn & garden equipment, bikes, swimwear, sandals, luggage, digital cameras and camping gear
  • The Fitness-Focused Mom: Activewear, fitness equipment, headphones, juicer/small kitchen appliances.
  • Master Chef Mom: Kemore appliances, cookware, plateware, cutlery and more
  • The Techie Mom: Smart technology, tablets, cameras, TV’s and more.
It's nice to be done shopping now and not have to wait for something to arrive in the mail.  The pressure is off now... I just hope my wife likes her gift.

DISCLOSURE:  I have partnered with Life of Dad and Sears for this promotion.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


April 4, 2016

The Road Always Leads to Somewhere

Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad and Kia for this promotion.

"Is this a road?" My wife asked?

"I'm not sure," I replied. "The GPS says it is so I'm going with it."

In the back of my mind I thought this was some kind of joke and that this "road" was leading us to somewhere that would certainly lead to our death. I've seen these roads before. They are usually named after the one legged hillbilly with the moonshine still and the collection of shotguns that lives at the end of it.  Only this time we were in rural Cornwall in Southwest England.

The roads in England had been tight up to that point; mainly wide enough for two cars to slowly pass each other, but this road wasn't even wide enough for our ONE car. The thicket of shrubbery was scratching at the side our vehicle and with every passing mile I could only think that I should have purchased insurance on our rental car. I had been on some harrowing roads in Italy and France, but these were unlike anything that I have ever seen.

“Be careful going around that corner,” my wife warned.

“Which one?” I wondered.  “The whole road is one big corner.”

Not having seen a car in what seemed like an hour, I really began to wonder where the hell we were going and why nobody else was following us.  Looking at the map, you could see that there was a town somewhere ahead and the Celtic Sea was no more than a stones throw from our car window.  The only problem though was that we couldn’t see it.

When we are in a new place, we are not ones to take the highway.  We didn’t travel to Cornwall to see a road like we could at home.  The idea is to explore; to see the sights that you would never get to see otherwise.  Here were were on a road that seemed like it would do just that, but the road was so small and the shrubs were so high that our lasting memory was of the road ahead of us and the bushes above us swallowing our little vehicle.

We didn’t regret taking the road to nowhere because in the end every road leads to somewhere.  Sometimes in order to see things that you wouldn’t normally see, you have to go places that people don’t normally go.  In our case, the payoff was huge.

Not every road is going to lead you some place amazing, so you might as well make the ride there as comfortable as possible.  The Kia Sportage is the type of vehicle that is small enough to fit on the tiniest of roads, but also large enough to make the ride to your destination one that you will enjoy.  Wherever the road leads you, ride there in style.

I was fortunate to ride around Washington DC in a Kia during the Dad 2.0 Summit.  I love what they are doing to celebrate dads as everyday heroes.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?