Live with Kelly Co-Host Contest, Top 40 Contender: 2nd Video/Next Deadline, October 5th

Live with Kelly Co-Host Contest Top 40 Contender: 2nd Video/Next Deadline, October 5th

I am so grateful for everyone who has been helping me out by liking, commenting on, and sharing my 1st video; since I made it to the Top 40 for Kelly Ripa’s Co-Host for a Day Contest, last Friday. After all, my chances of winning are definitely based on how the free market (that’s you) reacts to my video on Kelly’s website.

On October 5th, we’ll all find out if I made it to the next cut; to the Top 20. So in addition to how well my 1st video does based on the public’s views, comments, likes, and shares, my success in the contest will be based on my newest assignment:

Make a video to showcase my ability to demonstrate how to do something in 60 seconds or less, which also features my personality.

I would have chosen to feature my adorable 5 month-old daughter in the video, using the angle on me being a daddy blogger.

However, no one under the age of 18 was permitted in the video.

So I decided the next best choice was for me to feature my “Manly Vegan Protein Smoothie” which I invented 3 and a half years ago, and have been drinking every day since then.

I chose this for a couple of reasons…

It gave me a reason to feature my Rubik’s Cube coffee mug. Who wouldn’t think that’s cool?

Plus, there aren’t a lot of vegan males out there. Being such a rare demographic makes me stand out from the crowd.

But ultimately, it’s not about a smoothie; it’s about me selling my personality in 60 seconds; to prove that I can be both classy and quirky.

So on October 5th, we’ll see if I’m worthy of the Top 20. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Remember that n the meantime, here’s a reminder of how you can help me out, if you haven’t already:

  1. Click on this link to visit the LIVE with Kelly Facebook page
  2.  Once you’re there, “like” my video
  3.  Next, leave a comment on it, telling everyone how you know me and specifically why I would be the best choice
  4. After you’ve done that, share that link, promoting me as your top choice on your own Facebook page
  5.  Also, tweet that same link on Twitter as your choice: @nickshellwrites

Dear Holly: Your New Animal Party Bouncer by Fisher Price

5 months.

Dear Holly: Your New Animal Party Bouncer by Fisher Price

Dear Holly,

We ended up with some money still left on our baby registry for you at Target, so this weekend Mommy and I took you and your brother to figure out what exactly to spend the money on; as we knew we would like some sort of device to keep you occupied each night while we eat dinner at the big table.

It didn’t take long at all before Mommy and I found exactly what you needed: The Animal Party Bouncer by Fisher Price. At about $30, the price was right on budget, by the time we also accounted for the $7.50 for the required size D battery; which I couldn’t find in anything less than a 4-pack.

Dear Holly: Your New Animal Party Bouncer by Fisher Price

(Though once we got home, we realized we already that size battery upstairs in the supply closet.)

I assembled your new bouncer while Mommy made lunch. By the time our vegan quesadillas were ready, I had finished putting it all together.

And yes, it was a success!

Mommy and I were able to actually eat lunch without having to get up. You were entertained by the “fun bouncy action and removable toy bar” as well as the “gentle calming vibrations”. I like how your own body movements cause the bouncer to softly bounce.

Dear Holly: Your New Animal Party Bouncer by Fisher Price

Though we haven’t had the Animal Party Bouncer long enough to try this part out, it apparently is also “soft and comfy for soothing and snoozing”. I look forward to you being able to fall asleep in it easily while in your bouncer, which would seem to be an easier and more natural way for your to nap instead of Mommy or me picking you up and going through all the motions of getting to fall asleep for naps.

Dear Holly: Your New Animal Party Bouncer by Fisher Price

And since the Animal Party Bouncer can hold up to 25 pounds, I know you’ll be able to use it for a while before you outgrow it. (You’re still in the 25th percentile for your weight; yet the 82nd percentile for your height.)

I’m not sure who’s going to like your new seat more: you and your parents.



Dear Holly: Your New Animal Party Bouncer by Fisher Price


Dear Jack: Your First Bicycle Ever- Christmas Came Early, Again

5 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack: Your First Bicycle Ever- Christmas Came Early, Again

Part of Christmas came early while we were at Nonna and Papa’s house a couple of weeks ago when they surprised you and your cousin Calla with your very own bikes for when you visit. This is your very first bike… it’s a big deal!

You and Calla got to work right away, driving down Nonna and Papa’s new driveway. I helped you as Uncle Andrew helped Calla.

The main thing you really needed my help with learning how to use the brakes. It took a few tries before you were able to get the muscle memory down of peddling backwards to stop.

You learned the hard way when we made it all the way into the neighbor’s yard across the street and almost crashed into a tree, as I saved you just in time. But you learned how to brake.

However, your main concern wasn’t to learn how to ride a bicycle, but instead, to race your cousin down the driveway.

“Calla, I’m beating you!” you repeatedly taunted.

She kept reminding you, “It’s not a race, Jack. I’m just having fun.”

Then when she eventually was in the lead, you declared, “Calla, all you care about is winning!”

You even became concerned that Dana pushing Cousin Darla in the stroller would beat you in a race. You didn’t take them lightly.

However, the spirit of competition ceased once the two of decided to take a break and jump on the trampoline; which is another Christmas gift that Nonna and Papa gave you and Calla early this year before the weather gets too cold.

When you got back to school the next Monday and one of the teachers asked you how your weekend was, you immediately responded with a big smile, “I got a bike!”

Needless to say, you are very happy about your very first bike, as well as the trampoline, for you to enjoy whenever you go to visit Nonna and Papa’s.



Dear Jack: Your First Bicycle Ever- Christmas Came Early, Again

My Reaction to the Chicco “Performance Review” Video, By Guest Blogger Jill Shell


This is a special blog post by Jill Shell, the wife of the man behind Family Friendly Daddy Blog.

Let me just start by stating the obvious: being a parent is hard work.  Anyone who has been lucky enough to have a child, or perhaps two or three (or more), can testify to this.  It is a full time job with endless responsibilities, long hours, restless nights, and well, you get the picture.  Tack onto this a job outside of the home and you bring life to a whole new level of “crazy.”  Our family welcomed a beautiful baby girl to the world 5 months ago and have been learning to get into a new groove of life with two working parents, a Kindergartner and an infant and it hasn’t been easy.

My Reaction to the Chicco "Performance Review" Video, By Guest Blogger Jill Shell

Before taking maternity leave, I worried about everything: about leaving my duties in the hands of others; about missing too much; about not being missed; about being replaced; about meeting the needs of two children at once; and mostly about returning to work and the numerous anxieties of leaving my kids and having to perform as if I hadn’t just brought another human being into the world.  It was a whirlwind of thoughts and angst that was building up in me, but seemingly it dissipated as the baby arrived and we began a new routine at home.  My focus was on my family and I was getting good at balancing the caring, the cooking, the cleaning, and everything in between.  When, alas, my four months was quickly coming to an end and the reality of being a working mom set in.

I’ve been back to work for 5 weeks now and it was harder than I could have ever imagined.  For the first three weeks back, it seemed like I could get to the middle of the week still afloat, but by Wednesday evening, I felt like the world was caving in on me.  Every minute of the day was spoken for and it was rush, rush, rush through it all.  I found myself day dreaming about any other way I could support the household income and raise my children at home.  Then it happened.  The transition period ended and it feels like we’ve gotten to a new level of “normal.”

As I look around, I see lots of families, moms and dads, in the same boat and it’s comforting to know that more people are there supporting you and watching you succeed, rather than waiting to see you fail.


After watching the Chicco “Performance Review” video which is part of their #NeverStopGrowing campaign, I love the response from Jess’s co-worker, Aaron, in the video where he sincerely tells her that he has no idea how she does what she does.  Because the truth is, Jess probably doesn’t even realize half of the tasks she takes on and completes.  She’s doing what she needs to do.  She’s found her new normal and with the help of her family and co-workers, realizing it’s a natural fit.

Dear Jack: How You Got Papa to Buy You a Fursians Stuffy at Addie Kate’s (with No Words Exchanged!)

5 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack: How You Got Papa to Buy You a Stuffy at Addie Kate’s with No Words Exchanged

Dear Jack,

As we walked down the closed main street of my hometown of Fort Payne for their annual Boom Days festival, you saw that I was catching up with some classmates I haven’t seen in 17 years. You knew it would be a while; as you stood there holding Papa’s hand and while Nonna held your baby sister.

So you discreetly tugged on Papa’s arm, asking him to go with you to Addie Kate’s, a store across the street.

I saw this happen peripherally, thinking to myself, “Why would Jack want to go into that store? It doesn’t look like there’s anything for kids in there.”

About 20 minutes later, you and Papa emerged from the store. Turns out, Addie Kate’s does have something kids would want.

You proudly lifted up a new “stuffy”… a Fursians snow leopard named Slushy, with a huge tail but tiny legs.

“Look at what Papa got me!” you excitedly announced, as Papa stood next to you attempting to hide a smirk.

Papa explained, “Yeah, and he didn’t have to even ask me for it. He just looked around at the stuffed animals, picked up the one he liked the most, and looked up at me with those eyes. Then I walked up to the counter and paid for it.”

I couldn’t stop laughing, yet I wasn’t surprised.

It is hilarious to imagine that whole process.

You then admitted, “Daddy, I saw some stuffed animals in the window, from the street where I was standing.”

Your plan worked: See toy. Take Papa into store. Speak no words. Exit with toy.

Yes, you are a clever boy. I’m guessing from the moment we left Nonna and Papa’s house for downtown, that you had already reminded yourself to look for an opportunity to find a toy for your grandparents to buy you. I have to give you credit for your dedication to a plan clearly worked.



Ian Yates: Awaken to Love

Ian Yates: Awaken to Love

Earlier in the summer, British Christian musician named Ian Yates reached out to me from Liverpool, England; where he’s from.  He asked if I do a giveaway on my blog for his new CD and album: Awaken to Love.

I checked him out on YouTube and liked what I heard. In fact, several of my blog posts here on Family Friendly Daddy Blog were written while Ian’s album played as inspiration.

Over the past couple of months, I have really enjoyed listening to his new album. This week, he mailed me 2 other copies to give away today, so let do me do that right now…

If you are one of the first 2 people to leave a comment on this blog post (not on Facebook) and live in the continental United States, I will reach out to you and get your mailing address so I can send you your copy.

Update: One is now accounted for, by Adrianne Smth. But there’s still one more available…

Our Family Will Be Seeing “Disney on Ice, Dream Big” in Nashville Next Month, Will You?

Our Family Will Be Seeing "Disney on Ice, Dream Big" in Nashville Next Month, Will You?

Back in 1989, nearly 30 years ago, I got to see Disney on Ice. I remember getting a special souvenir sword that lit up.

Now in 2016, my own children will get to see the magical event as well. My wife is particularly excited, as she’s always heard about Disney on Ice but has never experienced it.

And, for one lucky reader out there today, they will also be able to see Disney on Ice: Dream Big!

Karen Stanley was the first person to leave a comment on this blog post and therefore won 4 free tickets to the show for her family! It will be at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN; from October 6th through the 8th, 2016.

Congrats to the Stanley family!

Thanks for reading my blog today. You never know when you might free tickets…