Breaking News: “Manliest Vegan on the Internet” Rides Skateboard to Target for Carrot Juice; Refuses to See Himself as a Hero

It was a lazy Saturday afternoon in Spring Hill, Tennessee when Nick Shell, 36, drove his family in a 2017 Toyota 4Runner to the local “weigh and pay” frozen yogurt shop, Sweet Cece’s; after his wife suggested it would be fun.

Joined by his parents who were visiting for the weekend, he carried in his 1 year-old daughter as his 6 and a half year-old son ran ahead. As the Shell family walked to the back of the shop, deciding which flavor they each were in the mood for, Nick noticed that unlike any other time he had ever been to Sweet Cece’s, the dairy-free option was temporarily unavailable.

He kept this information to himself, though his wife soon took notice, asking him, “Oh no, are they out of the watermelon sorbet for you?”

Allowing his entire family to get their own frozen treats, he waited until after everyone was settled in at the table before he whispered to his wife, “I’ll be right back. I’ll just go pick up something at Super Target across the street.”

He pulled open the hatch door of the 4Runner, where he had been keeping his skateboard for just an event such as this. Within minutes, he found himself at the Super Target entrance.

His family, back at Sweet Cece’s, were not even halfway through their treats, when he returned with a bottle of Bolthouse Farms 100% carrot juice in hand.

“My name in Greek means victorious. I find a way to be victorious in everything I do. I will not allow myself to be a victim. So when I saw that Sweet Cece’s was temporarily out of my vegan option, it did not affect me emotionally. Instead, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to use my skateboard and catch up on some Vitamin A from carrot juice. Some might even refer to me as a hero, but I refuse to see myself that way. I’m just a regular guy who did what any decent manly vegan would do in that instance,” Shell strangely explained.

After clarifying to him that no one was referring to him as a hero, Nick Shell then continued to speak about the incident, but I had to sort of tune him out. He kept referring to himself as “the manliest vegan on the Internet,” even though in the same breath, he admitted no one has ever questioned him on that title.

If you see him in public, it’s best you just smile and nod, while slowly walking away, backwards.

Otherwise, he may offer to let you take a selfie with him for your Instagram account, as he pressures you into tagging it:


2017 Toyota 4Runner 3rd Seat Space and Car Seat Placement (Videos Included)

This past weekend while my parents were in town, everyone was able to comfortably ride in the 2017 Toyota 4Runner: that’s 4 adults and 2 kids- we even had room for one more person!

I drove, my wife sat shotgun, our daughter sat behind me, my mom sat next to her (with an empty seat between), and then in the 3rd row seat, there was our son and my 5’ 11” dad.

So to be clear, there are 2 seats in the front row, 3 in the 2nd row, and 2 in the back; which totals 7 seats.

If you had to, you could actually fit 4 kids’ car seats in the 2017 Toyota 4Runner; parents up front, younger kids in the 2nd row, and older kids in the 3rd row.

Let’s talk a little bit more about the space in the 3rd row. I’m 5’ 9” and my dad is 2 inches taller than me. We both, at times, rode in the 3rd row seat.


We were just riding around town so it wasn’t a big deal. But obviously, it’s not something an average-sized full grown adult would want to do for a long ride-trip.

It’s that paradox where if I sat up straight in the 3rd row seat, I would have to sort of tilt my head forward, but if I slouched down in the seat, my knees would hit the back of the 2nd row seat.


However, I would imagine that for a long road trip, the largest riders would likely also most likely be the ones driving or riding shotgun to begin with.

Obviously though, a 5’ 2” female adult would likely have no issues whatsoever fitting in the 3rd row seat.


I am so grateful that I just happened to have the 2017 Toyota 4Runner the weekend my parents were in town. It was no problem hauling everyone around in it.

Thanks for checking out my blog today!

Dear Holly: Your 1st Visit to the Louisville Zoo

1 year, 1 month.

Dear Holly,

As part of our 9th wedding anniversary celebration, Mommy and I took you and your brother to Louisville, Kentucky in the outstanding 2017 Toyota 4Runner.

While this made your brother’s 3rd time to this zoo, it was your first time to experience it.

The highlight this time ended up being when we got to see the bear taking a fun swim. It was like he was just showing off; like a cartoon bear! The exhibit was built around a 2 story tall tank.

We started out seeing the bear from the bottom floor of the tank. As you can see, you and Mommy marveled at the sight!

Your brother asked, “What if this tank burst open and we had to swim with the bear?”

After a few minutes of taking it all in, we went upstairs and saw the swimming bear from a higher perspective. It was almost like he was smiling at us as he swam!

Being that your current animal obsession is birds, you obviously loved pointed each one out to me, whether it was an owl or a parrot.

When it came time to see the gorillas, I’m not sure you were convinced it was even an animal! After all, you’re used to me sometimes dressing up in my Chewbacca pajama onesie as a joke.

So yeah, you may not have been impressed by the gorilla for that reason, but at least your brother was.

Speaking of the gorillas, perhaps one of my personal favorites parts of our visit to the Louisville Zoo was when we all individually got our pictures taken in front of the “How do you measure up to a full-grown gorilla?”

Your picture is hilarious, as you’ve obviously so small and cute compared to the outline of a gorilla! Meanwhile, I was the best match to the gorilla- which I guess is a good thing?



Dear Jack: The Mad Rush to Get You to Your 1st Violin Lesson on Time!

6 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

Today was a pretty interesting day…

This morning was an exciting in itself, as it made the first morning that you and your sister got to ride in the 2017 Toyota Highlander we are driving this week. With almost with no words necessary, you immediately adopted the 3rd row seat as your own.

Your sister was jolly as usual, enjoying the view up at you from her 2nd row seat. You loved how I let you out; through the back hatch door, so you could just jump out.

But while it was a good morning, it ended up being sort of a strange afternoon…

I received a call from Mommy while I was at work, which was unusual. She explained she was stuck in stand still traffic on I-65 and that it would be impossible for her to be able to pick you up in time from your school, then take you to your first official violin lesson. (A couple of weeks ago you got fitted for your violin, but today was the big day to actually start learning how to play it.)

Mommy told me your violin lesson would be beginning at 4:00. That only gave me 40 minutes from that point to finish up at work, drive to your school, then rush to the music academy where your lessons would be taking place.

Normally, to drive from Cool Springs to Spring Hill, on a good day, would take a solid 45 minutes… if I was lucky. But because the Interstate was essentially shut down, I would have to take the back roads instead; which only increased the challenge.

By the time I was pulling out of the parking lot, it was 3:25 on the dot; that gave me just 35 minutes to get your to your violin lesson on time.

It take a miracle to make this happen!

With a little bit of high tempo inspiration from Metallica pumping through the speakers (because, of course, who else?!), and the power of the 4Runner’s V-6 engine, I took advantage of my ability to make it through every about-to-change-from-green-to-yellow traffic light.

I can honestly say I didn’t speed, because in Nashville traffic, that’s just not an option: there are too many cars in front of you even if you tried. It must have been because I left work at an unusual time, far enough ahead of rush hour traffic, that I was able to achieve the impossible:

At 3:58 PM, with 2 minutes to spare, you were flying out of the back hatch of the 4Runner!

I still think that we must of cheated the laws of physics to get there on time, but somehow, we arrived with moments to spare!

And what can I say? Hey, you’re a smart kid. You soaked up every word your violin teacher, Gabrielle, had to say.

Tonight, after Mommy read you a bedtime story, you impressed her by giving her a violin lesson of her own.

So yeah, it was a pretty interesting day.



I am So Excited about the 2017 Toyota 4Runner I Get to Drive This Week!

“Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire!”

Those were the magic words I spoke, which caused my 2004 Honda Element to mysteriously morph into a 2017 Toyota 4Runner 4X4 Limited V6.

It’s like how Cinderella’s pumpkin turned into a wondrous carriage pulled by horses. Only way cooler.

So for the next nine days, until the clock strikes 11:30 AM on July 6th, I will get to be the proud driver of this undeniably tough (yet charming) machine of glory.

In the dozens of vehicles of featured on my blog over the years, my very favorite was the Toyota Tacoma. So obviously I have been looking forward for months now, knowing that a Toyota 4Runner was being delivered to me this week; as I find the two vehicles to be similar to each other.

This thing has the elegant look of a Storm Trooper, yet the unpredictable great power of Darth Vader.

Seriously, I am going to be so cool this week.

I’ve already had several co-workers stop me and tell me how jealous they are.

This 4Runner taps into a pocket of my psyche that I typically keep subdued on my blog.

After all, I’m the Family Friendly Daddy Blogger. Readers have certain demographic expectations of me:

Take lots of cute pictures of my kids while telling cute stories about them. Rinse and repeat.

And that’s what I will provide for my readers over the next week or so, as we enjoy some awesome upcoming adventures, being the Chip and Joanna Gaines kind of family that we truly are.

But this is me, breaking the 4th wall, to say, “I am a conservative husband and father living in the Suburbs… hear me roar!”

I suddenly feel so in control.

So powerful.

So… alive.