December 4, 2015

Kindness is Contagious

It seems like the only news we hear nowadays is bad news.

With terror attacks in Paris, wars raging in the Middle East, and mass shootings in California, it's hard to realize that there is a lot of good in this world as well.  We don't celebrate the random acts of kindness like we do the random acts of terror, but perhaps we should.  

Good news is boring.

As a news guy I've always worked under the "If it bleeds, it leads" mantra.  Watch the news and there is always a murder or a fire as the top story. It's never about the guy that held the door for the little old lady at the mall.  If you go by what's in the paper or on the nightly news you would think that nothing good ever happens.  But it does.

The world is filled with good people. Some times it just takes a little kick for people to realize that.  For every person filled with hate there are literally MILLIONS of people who are filled with good. But some times we forget that.

A photo posted by @jdubs44 on

Last weekend I was in my hometown of Geneseo, NY driving around looking at all the old sights like I do every time I visit my parents.  I stopped in Cricket's Coffee Company on Main Street and bought a $50 gift certificate.  I told the two workers behind the counter, Mike and Jordan, that I didn't want to use it; I wanted THEM to use it.  I asked them if they could buy people coffee as they came in.  Thanks to them I was able to spread a little holiday cheer in my home town.

I got a message from the coffee house later in the day telling me that thanks to my random act of kindness people began paying it forward and they ended up serving $100 of gifted coffee that day. If that's not proof that kindness is contagious, I'm not sure what is.  You never know what one good deed will lead to until you do it.

A photo posted by @jdubs44 on

I decided not to stop there.  When I got home I went to the nearest Toys "R" Us and bought a $50 gift card. I asked Caroline if she would find someone who could use it a little more than I could.  After looking at me like I was nuts, she of course said she would find someone buying Christmas presents for their kids.  I don't know what happened after I left or who she gave the card to, but I like to think that that person paid it forward as well.  Maybe they didn't buy someone else a $50 gift card, but perhaps they did a little something like holding the door for a little old lady.

Perhaps we don't celebrate the random acts of kindness like we should because they are happening all around us.  We seem to focus on the bad, but forget to realize that people are inherently good. People don't do nice things to draw attention to themselves or to gain praise, they just do it and hope others do it as well.

A photo posted by @jdubs44 on

I've partnered with KIND Snacks and Life of Dad to draw attention to people doing kind things. Their #kindawesome campaign spreads kindness by celebrating kind acts.  KIND has been on a mission since day one to inspire kindness and their hope is that it resonates with parents as they try to instill kindness in their kids.

It's important now more than ever we teach our kids the RIGHT thing, the KIND thing. If you know of someone doing something nice and would like to reward them, hit me up on my Facebook page and let me know.

*I've partnered with Life of Dad and KIND Snacks for this promotion.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


November 24, 2015

My Teams Stink, But I'll Smack Talk Anyway

I haven't had much success with my sports teams lately.  In fact my college football team is so bad (and has been for 15 years) they just fired their head coach... again.  My basketball team had one of their worst seasons last year and look to be equally as bad this year. The head coach is going to serve a nine game suspension, the team is loaded with freshman, and they had a bunch of scholarships taken away.

It's really been a disaster for me, because it seems all of my friends have teams that are doing well.  One guy is a Patriots fan who won't shut up about it, another is an obnoxious Yankee fan who claims he's been that way his entire life, and another is a Rutgers fan for some odd reason.  Fortunately none of us root for Duke, so we can all agree how much we hate them.

Sports are funny though.  It doesn't matter how bad your team is, you are going to defend them to the grave.  Unless of course you are anything like my eight year old son, who seems to have a new favorite team every week.  I'll admit that I have jumped around with my fandom in sports like baseball and NBA basketball.  But there is one thing I will never waiver on, my love for the Syracuse Orange.

I grew up in Western New York and while they weren't my favorite team, they were in my top two.  When I decided to go to Syracuse for college that all changed.  Gone were my allegiances to Nebraska football and North Carolina basketball (can you say FRONTRUNNER?) I was now solely an Orange fan.  After graduation my love for all things Syracuse only grew.

There are four days that stand out in my life... the day I married my wife, the days that my kids were born, and the day that Syracuse basketball won the 2003 National Title.  My wife isn't so certain that they should be placed in this order.  She seems to think that my basketball team winning was a way bigger deal than marrying her.  After all she says, getting married isn't a once in a lifetime thing like Syracuse winning a national championship.

That's the kind of smack talk that I like; subtle, but direct. Talking smack with my friends turns into the same conversation every time.  The Yankee fan always gets ragged on for buying championships, the Patriot fan hears about conspiracies and cheating, and the Rutgers fan... well, you can say pretty much anything to a Rutgers fan because they stink.

I'm always wearing a Syracuse shirt, hat, or hoodie which should be enough to talk smack with, but now there is another way... by wearing your fandom!  Smack Apparel makes doing that easy. They make T-shirts for sports fans who love to talk smack and want the world to know it. It's not a Lexus with a bow on top, but what better gift can you get your smack talker this holiday season?  When they open up their gifts and see a Smack Apparel shirt it won't end up in the crappy presents pile.  They will put the shirt on and talk smack the rest of the day.

I'm going to get my kids a couple of shirts this holiday out of their rookie wear collection... I just have to figure out which team they are actually rooting for.  Sadly it's not my Syracuse Orange.

Smack Apparel is offering free shipping on direct website orders from now until December 31st. They are running a Black Friday/ Cyber Monday special where you can get 25% off your order.  Follow Smack Apparel on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to continue the smack talking conversation.

**This is a sponsored post for Smack Apparel.  I was compensated, but they didn't tell me to root for Syracuse in any way.  My diploma did that.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


September 14, 2015

The Filth Never Ends

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Maytag for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

My kids are filthy.  They are like little dirt balls with feet.  I can’t tell you how hard it is sometimes to get stains out of the baseball uniforms.  If your kids are anything like mine they slide for absolutely no reason at all.  I send my kids to their games with clean uniforms and before the game even starts they have grass stains everywhere and have decided to dump red Gatorade all over their white pants.  Who, by the way, decided that white pants should be a thing that kids should wear to play baseball games?  I’m thinking brown pants or even green pants would be a much better option.

I like that my kids play sports, but sometimes I can’t help but cringe when they fall to the ground or slide into second base.  When they stand up and I see the stain on their knees I know how hard it’s going to be to get them back to their next game with a clean uniform.  I probably should just give up, but I can’t let my kids be the filthiest kids on the ball field.  That would be a direct reflection on me as the primary launderer in my house.

One time my son sat in green gum.  I’m not even 100% sure how he did it because nobody on the team was chewing green gum. But add the gum to the grass stain and the post game I-Cee stain and I thought for sure that I would have to buy him a new uniform.  I struggled with those stains and it took me a couple of washings, but ultimately I came out victorious

Maytag laundry

Filthiest Plays of the Week

Sometimes I like to play a game with the other parents to see which kid has the cleanest uniform.  Of course they have no idea that I am playing this game in my own head and that I win every single week.  I’m good at the laundry (except for my wife’s stuff that needs to be washed at seven different temperatures and on various speeds) but I hate it.  Laundry is something that never ends.  It’s like digging a hole to China.  You can dig and dig and dig, but you know that you are never going to get there. You can do load upon load of laundry, but it’s never going to get done.  Inevitably there is one pile that sits in the corner of your bedroom just taunting you.
Of course playing baseball was just one of many ways that my kids got filthy this summer.  Among the others were:

  • Wiffle Ball
  • Kick ball
  • Anything with a ball apparently
  • Running in the yard.  I swear I've never feet that black before.
  • Building sandcastles at the beach
  • Eating ices. Has there ever been a time where red ices didn't end up on your kids clothes?
  • Pretty sure my kids could get dirty in a pool


I know my kids aren’t alone in the filth department.  What about your kids?  Share pictures of them on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #MyFilthiestPlay for a chance to win weekly prizes plus a trip to the World Series plus a Maytag Top Load Washer and Dryer pair.  I could certainly use a new washer and this one seems like it could do the trick.

Visit Sponsors Site

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


July 16, 2015

How a Bike Brought our Family Closer Together #KINDMilesMatter

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

Like most families we are always on the go. Unfortunately it always seems to be in different directions.  With a busy wife and two kids involved in different activities the family walk has turned into just me and the dog.  Even when we are all together, one kid wanted to ride his bike, the other wanted to ride his scooter, the dog wanted to stop and sniff every mailbox, and the walk was just a pain.

That is until my youngest son learned how to ride a bike.

He had no interest in riding a bike until a few weeks ago.  He was perfectly content with riding his scooter around the neighborhood even though most of his friends knew how to ride a bike years ago. I have always dreaded teaching my kids to ride a bike; I just don't have the patience that it takes.  I look at a kid and wonder why it's so hard for them to get it. I mean there's a phrase "like riding a bike" for a reason.  But I was tired of having my kids going in separate directions all the time so it was time for him to finally learn.

Moments after declaring he was riding home he crashed into a parked car... But I think we've made great progress.
Posted by Daddy's in Charge? on Thursday, June 25, 2015

Now that we all knew how to ride bikes it was time to get moving... and get moving we did.  At first we only rode our bikes around the neighborhood.  We live in a pretty quiet street with not much traffic.  It's perfect for riding our bikes around, but after a while it gets boring.  Fortunately for us we had planned a trip to my parents house in upstate New York and it's the perfect place to go for LONG bike rides.

Our first ride was four miles.  It was a pretty flat trip but it was a good start.  The next day my son Tyler decided that he wanted to go FARTHER so farther we went NINE MILES IN TOTAL. But we weren't done there. I took him on a trip around my old hometown of Geneseo, New York and we biked on the same streets that I used to ride when I was a kid.

A photo posted by @jdubs44 on

We rode 12 miles that day.  I have never ridden 12 miles in my life, and here my son Tyler did it at only 10 years old.  It's really unbelievable to think about.

Of course my younger son, who just learned how to ride, did not want to be upstaged by his older.  He decided that he wanted to go on a long ride himself.  So we did.

A photo posted by @jdubs44 on

We rode seven miles that day.  Seven miles for a kid that just learned how to ride a bike two weeks ago is amazing.  Of course I had to stress out every time that he swerved into the middle of the road or veered off into the shoulder, but since there was no traffic it wasn't too much of an issue.

Not all of our journeys involved our bikes though.  There were plenty of hikes as well.  When you are in Upstate New York there are plenty of places that you can go and find some amazing scenery.

A photo posted by @jdubs44 on

Letchworth State Park

I shared all of this because I have partnered with Life of Dad and KIND Snack Bars who were nice enough to donate a box of KIND Bars for every mile that I moved this summer with my family.  It started off slow as it was only me and the dog who ever wanted to get out for a walk, but once my kids got on those bikes, the miles started adding up.  Thanks to this campaign, KIND will be donating 54 boxes of KIND Snack Bars to my son's elementary school all because I spent time getting exercise with my kids.  What a deal!

KIND turned out to be the perfect snack for those long bike rides as well.  While they weren't the most strenuous of rides (The kids are only 10 and 8, so we won't be doing the Tour de France anytime soon) nothing beat a KIND bar to help us fulfill our hunger afterwards.

If you aren't  familiar with KIND bars, since its founding in 2004, KIND has been on a mission to make the world a little kinder one snack and act at a time. All award-winning KIND snacks are made from delicious, wholesome ingredients and are gluten free and non GMO. KIND currently offers six different snack lines including: KIND® Fruit & Nut and KIND® PLUS, two lines of delicious whole nut & fruit bars; KIND® Nuts & Spices, a line of whole nut & spice bars that naturally have only 5g of sugar or less; KIND Healthy Grains® Clusters made from five super grains; KIND Healthy Grains® Bars, a line of crunchy and chewy granola bars; and STRONG & KIND®, a line of savory-flavored bars featuring 10g of protein.

KIND has partnered with Made to Matter - Handpicked by Target, a program in which Target has selected brands that have supported three distinct pillars (unique collaborative partnerships, innovation, social responsibility) in an effort to offer their consumers better-for-you and better-for-the-world products.

What do you say?  Let's get out with the family and get moving this summer!

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


June 23, 2015

My Son's First Car

My son is turning 11 (?!) in a couple of weeks and we have already started to talk about getting him his first car.  I know it sounds strange to think about something that he won't use for another six years, but these kids grow up fast and before you now it he will be a 17 year old kid driving himself to high school.  The thought of those two things makes me want to cry, but life just doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

The reason that we have been discussing his first car is because my wife has been talking about getting a new car herself.  The timing seems to be about right.  She owns the car for the next six years and then we hand it down to our son when he is ready to drive.  You might think we are spoiling our kids, but even I was handed down a car to use when I was young.  He will have to pay for things like insurance and gas, but a six year old car that will hopefully still be in good shape will be his, assuming he wants it.  And what teen ager looking for a little freedom wouldn't?

I can remember my first car. My parents used to drive nothing but K Cars.  I think my dad said it was because they were easy to fix and the parts were cheap.  After we got rid of our green Chevy Nova and our Ford Station Wagons with the rear fold out seats, it was nothing but K Cars for the next 10 years.  

Ain't she a beauty?

So that's what I ended up with when I got older.  It was this beauty of a wagon with the paneling and also a grey sedan.  Shockingly I have no pictures of that vehicle whatsoever... who would?  This wasn't the coolest car, but when you are 18 does it really matter?  It had wheels and when it wasn't in the shop it got me from point A to point B.  A babe magnet it was not, but it was a conversation piece. There's a sense of freedom you get by having a car, even one as ugly as this one.

The only picture of the two together, what a moment.

The first car that I ever bought myself was a Dodge Neon.  They no longer made the K Car at that time, and this seemed like the next best option.  It was cheap and it was red.  It lasted about seven years until the brakes went and the floor started to leak every time that it rained.  It stunk like mildew because it never seemed to dry out.  My wife and I bought a Volkswagen Jetta after we got married.  I was so sick of driving the Neon that I would take the Jetta work every chance that I got. It was fun to drive.

A couple of years ago when my niece was old enough to drive and needed a car we gave her our old Jetta.  At that point we had bought a new car and instead of getting rid of it, we handed it down to her.  It needed a little bit of work, but for a first car it's been great for her. Not surprisingly 13 years after we bought it, it still runs.

This is the day we took Carter home from the hospital

Perhaps my favorite car that we have owned was the first car that we had as a family, a Honda Pilot.  We brought both of our kids home from the hospital after they were born in this car.  At the time neither of us were ready to get a minivan, but our thoughts on that have changed.  We are now a minivan family.

So I don't know what kind of car we are going to get my wife and in turn my son.  My wife kind of wants a two door convertible, but I just don't think that's practical and I can't send my son to school driving a nicer car than I would be.  Part of me just wants to go and find a 25 year old K car and force him to drive around in that, but my son is way cooler than I was at his age and that wouldn't be fair.

Of course with any vehicle we need to think about safety first. When my son is ready to drive we will have to stress to him that auto accidents are the number one killer of teens in America.  They account for over 5000 deaths annually and the summer period between Memorial Day and Labor Day are often referred to as the deadliest 100 days for teen drivers.

Michelin wants us to know that of the 2.2 million accidents that occur with inexperienced drivers annually, 12% are caused by tire related issues. Driving on under inflated tires or tires with low tread depth can lead to safety issues on the roadways.  Fortunately accidents due to improperly maintained tires can be preventable.  By checking your tire pressure monthly and knowing how to judge your tread depth, Michelin knows they can reduce the yearly number of accidents caused by tire related issues.

So what was your #FirstCarMoment?  I assume it was as ugly as mine was?

Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad and Michelin for this promotion. I have received compensation for my participation, but my first car memories are my own.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


June 17, 2015

What I Want For Father's Day... Part Three

**I was compensated by JCPenney for this post.  All thoughts are my own unless my wife tells me otherwise. #JCPStyleByMyKid #Ad**

This week I have been telling you what I want for Father's Day.  It's all about gadgets and clothes.  I kind of would like some really good beer too, but that's not something that you can send your kids to the store and get.  Kids in a liquor store is kind of sad. So we will stick to gadgets and clothing.

The other day I went shopping with my son at JCPenney to have him pick up and outfit for me for Father's Day.  The shopping experience could not have gone any easier; he was totally into it and so was I.  There were some limitations that I put in place.  I couldn't get anything that would make me look fat, and I couldn't get anything that would make me look stupid.  He struck out on the first two attempts, but he hit one out of the park on the third one.

Maybe we didn't go crazy shopping like we could have, but my son knows that I will only wear certain things, moose antlers being one of them.  If you want to get in on the #JCPStyleByMyKid fun just enter the contest below for your chance to win $50 from JCPenney.  Then go online and get you shopping done or head on down to the mall where you and your kid can pick out an outfit for you (or dad.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to JCPenney for sponsoring this whole collection of posts.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


Daddy's 7 Summer Road Trip Essentials

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FuelTheLove #CollectiveBias

I am NOT a car guy.

Sadly this is one area that I will not be able to pass along my expertise down to my kids.  When they get older I will teach them how to change a tire, but for the most part I will tell them to have roadside assistance on speed dial.

My dad isn't really a car guy either, but he always changed his own oil.  I remember him being under the hood of the car, draining out the old oil, replacing the filter, and filling the car back up.  It looked messy.  There was always a piece of cardboard with a huge oil stain and a bucket with old dirty oil.  I have no idea what he did with that bucket; he could have dumped it in the woods for all I know.

Changing my own oil was something that never interested me.

A lot of it comes down to time and convenience.  I want to instill in my kids that their time has a value.  If you change your own oil, the oil costs around $20, the filter around $5, and then you have to find a place to dump the old oil.  So before you even begin the process you are $25 in.  Throw in how long it is going to take you and it's well over $30.  There are places like the Automotive Care Center at Walmart that change your oil for you cheaper than that.

I've never seen my son so happy to get an oil change

Don't tell the dealership that we leased our car through, but I have been putting off getting my oil changed for a while.  I treat cars like I do my teeth.  Unless something is noticeably wrong with it, I won't take it to the shop/dentist to get it fixed.  Who has that kind of time to wait around?  But with summer here and knowing that we had a few road trips coming up, it was time to take the car down to Walmart because I knew I could drop the car off and pick up a few essentials along the way.

My garage doesn't have all of this

I've taken my cars to other quick service places, but the difference here is that I could drop the car off and go get some shopping done.  Everywhere else I have to sit in the waiting room and read a year old People Magazine.  My son happened to be off school that day, so I let him help me figure out everything that we might need.

As we said good bye to our car we decided to hit the store to pick up a few things that we just HAD to have; or at least HE had to have.

First and foremost you have to have candy.  Nothing helps a kid sit still in a six hour car ride more than a box of candy.  Fortunately there was a big bin of candy right outside of the automotive center.

Second, you have to have games.  You can never have enough games.  I've made the mistake in the past of not bringing along any games.  Just when you think your kid only wants to play on his iPod, they yell out that they are bored and want to play a game.  Have you ever been on Interstate 81 north of Scranton and all of a sudden your kid wants to play a game that you don't have?  Good luck finding a place to get one.

Third, you NEED toys.  I'm not sure how many toys we need, but it seems that we never have enough.  Grandma has plenty of toys at her house, but why would the kids play with them, when they can play with all new ones?

Fourth, SNACKS.  I'm not sure I need to explain this one, but they always need snacks.  The need for snacks is compounded the moment that you pull out of your driveway. You need every variety of snacks that they make.  DON'T SKIMP ON SNACKS.

Fifth, you need highlighters.  No idea why this is the case but apparently my youngest, along with everyone else in his class at school, is obsessed with highlighters.

Sixth, you need movies.  My kids haven't watched a movie in our car since we bought it, but I know that the moment that we forget to bring a movie along they will want to watch one.  Six hours in a car goes much faster when the kids are quiet with their headphones on.

Seventh and probably most importantly, is playing cards.  I have no idea how to play this game, but I know that we have spent too much money on these things. We've all had our obsessions in life and right now my son's obsession is this game. 

Once we were satisfied with our road trip essentials we headed back to the Automotive Care Center where our car was waiting for us. It couldn't have been easier.  Probably the most essential thing you need for a road trip is an engine that is running right.  Had I changed my own oil, I probably wouldn't have tightened all the nuts and bolts and my car would have leaked all over New Jersey.  Thanks to the folks at Walmart and their Pennzoil products I know that won't be the case.  Their conventional motor oil will make my car run smoother and with less friction than other motor oils.  Let's face kids in a car is more than enough friction for any parent.

So you can save money for your road trip essentials, Walmart is rolling back prices all summer long.  From now until September 9th, you can save four dollars off both Pennzoil High Mileage ($35.88) and Platinum Full Synthetic ($45.88) oil changes. That's quite a savings considering their already low prices.

With that savings I will be able to buy ANOTHER pack of playing cards and that deserves a thumbs up!

So where are you going this summer and what will you be taking along?

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


June 16, 2015

What I Want For Father's Day... Part Two

Yesterday I talked about wanting gadgets for Father's Day.  Any shiny, metallic, battery operated device will suit me just fine. I honestly don't care what it does, but I will find some use for it.  What I also want for Father's Day are clothes.  Not a tie, or one of those shirts with the kids hand prints on them, but real clothes that I could wear everyday.

I'm pretty typical when it comes to fashion.  I wear cargo shorts in the summer and jeans in the winter.  I probably should own some fancier clothes for date night, but I will let my wife buy me those.  Wouldn't it be interesting to see what the kids actually think we should wear this Father's Day  I partnered with JCPenney on their #JCPStyleByMyKid campaign to put that to the test.

While we dropped my youngest son off at Jurassic World with his buddy (let's face it, things like this are much easier with only one child around) my oldest son and I went shopping.  I had no idea what to expect or where we were going with this, but the experience could not have been any better.

I'll have to save what we bought for another post, but lets just say it's something that I can wear any day of the week... including Father's Day.

JCPenney has made it real easy to shop for dads like me this Father's Day.  You can head to the store like I did, or shop online in the comfort of your own living room, but what's the fun in that?

*I partnered with JCPenney for this #JCPStyleByMyKid campaign.  I was compensated for my time, but all opinions are my own. #ad

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


June 15, 2015

What I Want For Father's Day... Part One

I will take one of these
Like any dad, what I want for Father's Day is a gadget.  I don't care what the gadget does, but if it's something that you plug in or has a battery, chances are I will use it.  I could use anything for the grill, a new weed whacker, something related to golf, or video equipment.  If my gift has to access some satellite or a wifi signal to operate more efficiently then that's a huge bonus.

In my past life (sometimes now life) I was a television news photographer.  I love to tell stories using video.  Part of the reason that I started this blog was to continue telling stories after I became a stay at home dad.  Much like TV news was my creative outlet in the past, this blog became the place for me to express myself artistically.

While I no longer work in video for a living, that hasn't changed my passion for it.

I have never considered myself to be much of a writer.  I always thought that I was someone who captured moments and brought them to life.  Whether it's through the written word, still photos, or using video this blog has always been more than just me sharing article after article after article. I'm not a newspaper or a magazine.  To me certain stories can be told with only words, but this is a visual world and video is a necessity.

Surprisingly I don't own a fancy production style video camera.  I find them to be bulky and unnecessary most of the time. My iPhone can capture most things that I need and my GoPro is there for everything else.

You might think that the GoPro is only used to record surfing videos or skiing videos but it's not.  When my brother in law got married last year I noticed that he didn't hire a videographer to record the day, so I stepped in with my GoPro and gave him this video as a surprise gift.

Bradley and Ivan's Wedding from John Willey on Vimeo.

Needless to say, everyone cried... which is kind of the point to these types of videos isn't it?

At the time that I shot this video, I was kind of shooting it blind.  My older model GoPro isn't equipped with an LCD monitor like the current version is.  I was able to link it to my phone using wifi and Bluetooth and the GoPro App, but still I had to look down all the time to make sure I was recording what I wanted to.  Of course you know with the GoPro, the video is going to look awesome with it's 1080p60 video and 8mp photos.

So this Father's Day, one thing that I want is a new GoPro Hero+ LCD so I can shoot video a little easier.  I want my wife and kids to head down to Best Buy and pick up a GoPro Hero+ LCD.  Not surprisingly, the cameras are in store just in time for Father's Day.  To make things better you get a free 32GB Extreme Plus memory card valid from 6/14- 6/20.  Also you can get a $50 Best Buy gift card with the purchase of a GoPro Hero4 Silver or Hero4 Black from now until 6/20/2015.

How about it?

I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.  All opinions are my own

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


March 16, 2015

Clean as a Whistle

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MySignatureMove #CollectiveBias

I don't get out much.  I take the kids out to the bus stop, maybe go to the grocery store, drop off my wife's dry cleaning, really not much else.  I'm not one to make plans with other stay at home parents, so the only person that I am really trying to impress is my wife... and my wife travels a lot.  When she is out of town on business there is NO REASON for me to take a shower.  It's not that I don't want to, it's just that if my stench gets too bad to where even the dog won't go near me, I'll just load up on some deodorant and I'm good for another day.

Some days my smell is too much and the boys plug their noses

If I know that I am going to run into someone, or I have to go to the kids school for an extended period of time, or my wife is coming home, THEN I will jump in the shower.

I always have a hard time figuring out what brand of soap and shampoo I should buy. I don't want something too girly that I am going to smell like rose petals, I don't need anything peachy, and I certainly don't need to smell like an ocean breeze.  More often than not I'm grabbing whatever my wife uses and I will smell like lavender for a few hours until my natural smell takes over.

These are usually my choices. Who wants to smell like a fluffy cupcake?

I get weirded out buying shampoo and soaps.  It's like if I make the wrong decision then the cashier is going to judge me.  She will give me that weird stare like she's asking me if I'm sure that's the kind that I want. Buying them is kind of a big deal.  I mean, this is what you are deciding that you want to smell like for the next month at least.  One wrong purchase and you could end up smelling like someone's 95 year old grandfather instead of a clover filled meadow.

I usually head to some big box retailer like Wal-Mart and get my shampoos. Since I am so concerned what people will think of me about my soap purchase, I will buy 15 other things that I don't need to disguise that one thing.  I never walk out of there spending less that $100 and the only thing I went in there to buy was shampoo. Fortunately today I knew what I was looking for.

I went in looking for Irish Spring.  Every now and then I get that old jingle stuck in head.  The old commercials are classic.  It's usually some guy walking down a dirt road in the middle of Ireland whistling and then someone whistles back.  That was me today in Wal-Mart, except nobody whistled back.  They kind of looked at me like I was nuts.  Irish Spring could not have been easier to find.

Since my wife is back from her business trip to Florida, today is the day that I had to shower. Between you and me... I hadn't showered since Saturday, but nobody else needs to know that. So I grabbed all of my soaps including the exfoliating scrub and the signature body wash.

To the shower I went.  

This wasn't any normal lathering.  I grabbed the "man sized" exfoliating scrub and dumped a half gallon of the 3-in-1 Signature Body Wash on me and it seemed to do the trick.  My boys were no longer holding their noses and the dog actually wanted to play with me.  Most importantly though, my wife enjoyed the smell.

Clean as a whistle!

Not that I would ever force you to buy a certain body wash over any of the others... I know how picky we can all be, but I think I have found one that works for me AND my family.

Purchase one of the new Irish Spring Signature products and get $5 off a VUDU purchase! Take a picture of your receipt and then go to to upload your receipt.

So how long can YOU go without showering before you can't stand being around yourself?

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


February 25, 2015

My Most Treasured Map

I've always had a fascination with maps. Ever since I was little I can remember unfolding them and just staring at them wondering about the places that they represent. My grandparents had a lot of maps, they came as inserts in the National Geographic magazines that they collected. Places on earth that were so foreign to me, I could spread out on a table and imagine what took place in that little part of the world.  I could look at a map for hours perhaps wondering where they will lead me.

They are nothing more than a bunch lines and symbols, but to me they've always meant so much more. Whenever I look at a map I wonder about the people. Who are they? Where they might work. What route they might take to get to that job. How far they might have to go to the grocery store. I like to explore a map and let the stories unfold in front of my eyes. You see a piece of paper... I see the greatest story ever told.

A map is my Harry Potter, it's my War and Peace, my To Kill a Mockingbird all folded into one. The stories that can be told in a map are endless.

I’m reminded of all this as I stare out of an airplane window at 35,000 feet.  The snow covered ground below looks like a white tile floor from up there. What will be a stream or a river in the spring time after the snow melts are just little lines meandering through endless valleys.  Roads run off into the distance, where they end I do not know, but I'm sure there is a story there.  From 35,000 feet the Earth looks like one big beautiful map.

This past weekend I feel like my maps came to life.  Dads from all of the world — places that I have only dreamt about — came together to share their stories with me. No longer did I have to imagine what the people and places were like.  I didn’t have to take out a map of Canada and wonder. I got to actually talk to people from Ottawa, Calgary, and Fredricton. Sydney was no longer foreign to me. Ireland was sitting across the table sharing a beer. New Mexico, Florida, Los Angeles, Chicago, Indianapolis, Portland… every single place had a story, and every single place was just as I imagined, which is to say, not much different than where I live.

The Dad 2.0 Summit was like giant map of the world that I could unfurl.  In one corner you get a story about a guy who has been on the road with his family for the past year. Along a fold  there is a dad who struggles daily with depression, and from somewhere in the middle is a stay at home dad with twin boys who battles with the feeling of being isolated. I knew these stories going in, but I really didn’t know the men behind them.  Like places on a map, I knew where they were from, but I had never actually visited.

The world is a little smaller now than it was last week.  I may not physically know the places each dot on a map represents, but I no longer have to imagine what it's like to live there.  I can look at my map now and know exactly where John lives, where Lorne lives, where Bill lives, where Jeff lives.  The maps no longer tell me where I want to go... they tell where I've been.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?