Dear Holly: You Turned 4 Months Old This Week

4 months.

Dear Holly: You Turned 4 Months Old This Week

This week as you turned 4 months old, you discovered your feet. It’s been very exciting for you, as your toes are like a new toy for you.

Sometimes as I’m talking you while you are laying down, you’ll be smiling at me and even talking to me (in your “goo goo” language), and then all of the sudden you’ll just grab your toes and instantly roll over.

Because that’s another thing you’re into these days: Successfully rolling over on your tummy.

Even in the midst of being really tired and ready for me to wrap you up in a blanket for a nap, it’s typical for you to grab your toes and roll over… if for no other reason, to kill time until I get you to sleep.

Something I’ve officially learned about you this week is this: Pink is definitely your color.

Dear Holly: You Turned 4 Months Old This Week

We had you dressed in a blue outfit on Monday and you just didn’t seem like yourself. It was as if you felt out of place.

But every day since then, Mommy has chosen pink outfits for you, and you were back to thriving!

Obviously, I’ve been Instagramming you a lot. One of my recent favorites is from Tuesday, when you decided while I was feeding you breakfast, that it was more fun to play than to eat.

The way you looked at me, it was as if you were so much older than a 4 month old girl. I think you knew exactly how you adorable you were.

Another one of my favorite pictures of you is one that I took of you right before I took you and Jack to school. You held your hands together in a way that seemed to say, “I’ll just be here if you need me.”

I’m pretty sure that everyone knows I’m crazy about you.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your Special Friend, Jenna/Sk8ter Boi/Glue Vs. Ice: The Movie

5 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack: Your Special Friend, Jenna/Sk8ter Boi/Glue Vs. Ice: The Movie

Dear Jack,

You love being grown up. Kindergarten is cool. You were so ready for it.

Every morning, I drop you off at Holly’s daycare; from there, you ride the bus to your school. After just a few days of our new routine, you started telling Mommy and me about a new friend named Jenna.

Apparently, from Day #1 she has taken the initiative to be a special friend to you. It sounds like it all started when the two of you starting walking onto the bus together and sharing a seat.

We’ve yet to meet Jenna; as she apparently shows up after I drop you off each day. But we do know that she’s older; she’s in 1st grade.

Sure, you like hanging out with the boys and girls in your actual Kindergarten class, but undoubtedly, there’s something special about that 1st grader, Jenna.

As for now though, she remains a mystery to your parents.

Meanwhile, I love watching you develop your style and interests. As I took a picture of you last week, I thought to myself, “He looks like a little skateboarder.”

Then over the weekend, Mommy was telling me how you’ve been talking about wanting a skateboard.

In our cul-de-sac, it appears that boys ride skateboards while girls ride bikes.

Here you are, going on 6 years-old, and you don’t know how to ride a bike. But thing is, you don’t seem to care. Instead, you want to ride a skateboard.

As your parents, we’re here to support your interests and talents.

Therefore, our kitchen table is currently covered with different colored pieces of construction paper, in which you’ve drawn the names of each person in our family… in glue.

Wednesday evening after you finished dinner, you looked up from the paper plate with an ice cube on it, onto which you were squirting glue.

You suggested, “Hey Daddy, they should make a movie called Glue Vs. Ice.”

I’m confident you were inspired after this past weekend when you and I watched the straight-to-Netflix movie, Airplane Vs. Volcano.

When I asked you who you thought would win the fight, you confidently replied, “I think it would be the glue that wins, because it would just stick to the ice; but the ice couldn’t stick to the glue- it would just explode.”

Sounds like a great movie to me!

Love,

Daddy

My Theory Proved True on My “You Can’t Insult Me” Challenge, So I Launched an Anti-Bullying Video Series: Bully Backup

My Theory Proved True on My “You Can’t Insult Me” Challenge, So I Launched an Anti-Bullying Video Series: Bully Backup

Two weeks ago, I released a new video on my YouTube channel which invited the free world to attempt to offend or insult me. I had theorized that since I don’t give other people authority over my emotions, it would be scientifically impossible to hurt my feelings.

Not only did I predict correctly, as indeed no one successfully emotionally attacked me, but hardly anyone even tried.

I did have one Internet troll ridiculously attempt to plant doubts in my mind that my wife might leave me for a younger guy, while implying that I was probably seeing other women (or men) on the side anyway.

But clearly, the comment instantly translated into comedy for me. So yeah… officially not offended.

So that got me thinking. Why is it that no one can offend me? Is it simply because I’m wired this way?

The answer is no. I wasn’t always this way. I became this way over the course of my life, as I made myself more and more familiar with what emotional intelligence is all about:

Emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ) is the capacity of individuals to recognize their own, and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.

Five years ago, or even two years ago, it was possible to attack my emotions. Not anymore; not after I simply recognized that I could be 100% in control of my emotions, instead of handing the keys over to people.

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After receiving the clever suggestion from a friend to consider doing a video series on anti-bullying, I figured I would give it a shot.

I feel that what sets apart the theme of my anti-bullying series is that I am attempting to help the viewer focus on psychologically preventing the issues. So far, I have created over 10 videos, currently viewable on my YouTube Channel:

It’s Impossible to Offend Me

Being Offended Vs. Constant Mindset of Forgiveness

The “You Can’t Insult Me” Challenge

Psychologically Outsmarting Bullies

Find Your Allies

People Care about You

Do You Respect Those Who Insult You?

Are You a Victim or Victor?

I Know How You Feel

The Proximity Effect

You Too Can Choose Not to Be Offended

In my anti-bullying series, I challenge my viewers in many ways, in hopes they can ultimately outsmart potential bullies through strategy. To summarize it…

Realize that perceived bullies can’t force you to be offended; you have to allow them first. You have to respect their opinion for it to matter to you.

Be ready to openly acknowledge others’ perceived flaws in you, so that when they “attack”, you’re able to beat them to the punchline, surprising them with your lack of emotional response.

Find and create a network of people from the friendliest people from as many different cliques as you can; who will be there to socialize with and support you wherever you are.

I hope my series helps people. If nothing else, I hope I can remind you today that you too can choose to not be offended.

It is my passion to help the world realize the importance of choosing to live like victors, not victims; which is ultimately what emotional intelligence is all about.

Victors versus Victims

Victor: compliments others

Victim: criticizes others

Victor: embraces change

Victim: fears change

Victor: forgives others

Victim: holds grudges

Victor: always learning

Victim: thinks they know everything

Victor: accepts responsibility for their failures

Victim: blames others for their failures

Victor: has a sense of gratitude

Victim: has a sense of entitlement

Victor: sets goals and develops plans

Victim: never sets goals

For $100, I Will Promote Your Business in a Guest Blog Post and Help Enhance Your SEO (7 Reasons to Hire Me)

So far this year, I’ve had 2 separate businesses approach me about essentially buying ad space in the form of a guest blog post…

For $100, I Will Promote Your Business in a Guest Blog Post and Help Enhance Your SEO (7 Reasons to Hire Me)

By hiring me, I not only helped those companies get exposure and establish authority in their field on an established 3rd party website, but it also ultimately helped increase their SEO (search engine optimization); as Google rewards the link in the bio, and that provides ranking value when people search, especially if there is semantic content surrounding the key phrases.

I could easily and quickly do the same for you.

Not to mention, I would be publicizing your blog post(s) on my social media channels: I have over 1,000 “likes” (followers) on my Facebook fan page, in addition to over 1,100 Facebook friends on my personal account, over 700 followers on Twitter… plus over 400 blog subscribers through WordPress.

The first company to utilize my services this year was Comcast; they ended up hiring me for 3 separate posts:

XFINITY X1 DVR: Taking Entertainment on the Go for Road Trips

Comcast + DreamWorks Animation = Future of Family Entertainment

XFINTIY’s Share App Lets You Stream Live from Smartphone to TV

More recently, Superior Honda hired me to publish their guest blog post as well.

3 Tips for Getting the Best Deal When Buying a Car

I base my $100 fee on the pricing that Comcast proposed to me when they reached out to me. It was worth it to them to hire me for that rate; as was the case with Superior Honda, who was next in line.

So my rate is not simply arbitrary. It’s based on what I’ve been paid 4 times now by 2 different companies this year. That is the rate that the free market has decided my services are currently worth, based on my size and reach.

(For a bit more, you can hire me to write the article myself, instead of you sending me a pre-written guest blog post yourself. I have an English degree from Liberty University, so I am skilled in this area.)

In case you’re considering doing business with me, here is some information about my website, Family Friendly Daddy Blog, that I feel you will find appealing. These are 7 reasons to hire me for the gig:

1) This blog was born in May 2009; making it over 7 years old- meaning that my blog is an established website to link to, which is important for SEO.

2) Visitor traffic on my blog averages around 14,000 views per month. That’s pretty solid traffic for a 3rd party blog. The fact that you’re reading my blog post now proves my blog is effective in reaching new readers.

3) I personally feature no “official” ads on my website (though occasionally WordPress does use discreet banner ads at the bottom of my posts), as my blog only earns money through sponsored guest blog posts. What that means is my blog isn’t flashing ads like Time Square. If you choose me for the job, visitors won’t be distracted by other companies or products when they read your guest blog post. Instead, they’ll be more focused on your brand.

4) For no additional fee, I am happy to include one of your YouTube videos to further reach your potential customers through yet another social media platform.

5) In most cases, I can have the guest blog post up within 48 hours. I will simply invoice you through PayPal the moment I publish the article, after I email you the blog link.

6) I begin every sponsored post with the proper disclaimer, to make readers immediately aware of our independently contracted business agreement. I play by the rules.

7) My rate is pretty decent; as a legitimate 3rd party independent blogger. I feel that 100 bucks is a good deal for the package I offer.

If you’re interested in moving forward, there are just 3 simple steps. Here’s what to do next:

1) Send me an email to nickshell1983@hotmail.com, including your guest blog draft; ideally between 300 to 400 words relevant to a “family friendly” audience. (Please see the standard set by Superior Honda, 3 Tips for Getting the Best Deal When Buying a Carwhich serves as a useful blog post that readers would choose to read anyway. It’s very clever!)

2) Attach at least one related photo to illustrate your blog post.

3) Include a bio line, which will trace you and your company’s website to my blog. For example, at the end of the guest blog post: “Max is a marketing assistant for Superior Honda, a new and used Honda dealership in Louisiana.

That’s it. From there, I will follow up to confirm when the post will go live. Then I’ll send you the link and a PayPal invoice.

Let me know if I can answer any questions about my services. I am Nick Shell with Family Friendly Daddy Blog and I believe I can help your business.

Vegan Confession: I Really, Really Don’t Like Kale

Vegan Confession: I Really, Really Don’t Like Kale

Thirty years ago when my mom was a manager at Shoney’s, I was introduced to kale. It was that nearly plastic-looking leafy thing on the side of my plate, next to my Philly Steak sandwich.

My sister and I would dare each other to eat it. Apparently it was just a garnish to “cleanse the palette” at the end of the meal. Eventually I took a tiny bite of it, only to learn it really didn’t taste like anything.

It was… just there.

Fast forward to April 2013, when I became a vegan. As I found myself converting to the plant-based lifestyle, I looked around me and realized that apparently, I was supposed to love kale.

I would see fellow vegans at Whole Foods wearing t-shirts that read “KALE” in the front, in the likeness of Yale.

For half a second I thought to myself, “Well, I guess I’m supposed to get one of those shirts and join the club.”

But I never did. Because I really, really don’t like kale.

However, I force myself to eat it; ideally once a week.

A couple of days ago, I had lunch at Whole Foods, taking advantage of their “5 for $5” special; where I can get a pound of vegan food, in divisions of 4 ounces.

They had all my favorites: the mushroom salad, the sweet potato and olive salad, and the grilled pineapple salad. For my 4th item, I chose the kale.

It was seasoned nicely and I didn’t mind it, especially because it was paired with cabbage.

Yet still, I only ate it because it’s so full of protein and the roughage is good for digestion.

Perhaps it’s heresy to admit it, but I am a vegan who is not a fan of kale. If you can relate to me on lack of passion for kale, just know you’re not alone.

Throwback Thursday: My “Non-Human” Appearance in 1990

Throwback Thursday: My "Non-Human" Appearance in 1990

Today my sister found an old picture of us when my friend Will Biddle was spending the night, back in the summer of 1990.  Her caption simply read:

“You don’t even look human in this picture! I can’t stop laughing!”

After I saw myself, on the far left, I had to instantly agree. I’m assuming my mom was holding the camera, saying, “Okay, now let’s do a silly picture!”

What you see is the result of that.

I guess I was doing my impression of a Goomba from Super Mario Bros. mixed with Steve Urkel? I’m not really sure.

Standing next to me, in the middle, is my friend Will; who sadly, a few months ago, passed away.

And on the far left is my sister.

In an age where posting current pictures of our own kids on Instagram is the norm, it can also be a lot of fun to do the opposite: To show the world the funny kid-version of ourselves from the 80s or 90s.

This photo is 25 years ago.

I hope this picture brought joy to your life today, as it did mine.

Man, we were some funny kids.

Dear Holly: I Think of You as a Pink Kitty

16 weeks.

Dear Holly: I Think of You as a Pink Kitty

Dear Holly,

You were born to parents who have an olive complexion, yet you undeniably are the color pink, in comparison to us. I like that. It makes sense to me that a baby girl as feminine as you are would be colored accordingly.

And also from the beginning, you’ve had mannerisms that remind me of a kitten.

For example, you’re not much of a crier. When you do cry though, it just sounds more like a little kitten meowing for someone to hold it.

Whenever you play, you are just like a little kitten toying with a ball of yarn, when you see anything you can reach in front of you.

In a complete coincidence, the backpack Mommy pick out for you for daycare features right there on the front of it… you guessed it- a pink kitty!

I should also point out that during these past couple of weeks, you have been transitioning into using your “stand up play center”. Really, you’re still a little too young to be in it.

However, Mommy and I have noticed that despite you not quite having the cognitive skills mastered just yet, your muscles are strong enough to support you.

You are so eager to prove yourself to us. And the talking you do…

There is so much on your mind! Whatever you are trying to tell Mommy and me through all your “goo-goo” language, it sure sounds exciting as well as urgent.

You are simply happy to be alive, that’s for sure.

So despite the chaotic schedule our family has in the midst of Mommy and me both having full-time jobs (and me having a 2nd job of blogging and vlogging) and you and your brother being away all day at school, it is such a blessing to come home and see our precious pink little baby girl and her alien-loving big brother.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: I Think of You as a Pink KittyDear Holly: I Think of You as a Pink Kitty