A Little Traditional Shaving

IMG_0570Growing up I did not have my father around to teach me how to shave. I also didn’t have YouTube or the Internet so it was up to myself to learn the in’s and out’s of the blade. I would say that middle school me (yes, I started shaving early) did a pretty good job at keeping myself straight. As I grew older I didn’t take shaving as seriously and let it go for months at a time. In high school I started to rock a goatee for most of those years and then eventually in college I started keeping it clean again.

During all that time I used regular store bought disposable razors. You know the ones, triple, quadruple, octoblades with contouring angles and gel to help keep the stroke smooth. At some point I picked up an electric shaver, which I still have, but only used a handful of times. I am not a fan of the pre-electric shave lotion, and then the after shave lotion to battle the irritation. Plus charging! It just got tedious just to get a quick shave in, so I went back to the store bought disposables. Those are what I have been using for the last decade or so, that is until recently.

MenEssentials.com sent me over a few products to check out in exchange for this review. Happy to oblige, I was sent a Merkur Solingen 23c Double Edge traditional safety razor, some Lea Classic shaving cream, and a MenEssentials Razorsafe to put my used blades in. I will have to admit that I was a little nervous about using the new safety razor. I had never used anything like this and not having the strip of gel or the contour maneuvering like I was used to starting giving me second thoughts about trying this out.


Putting fears aside I gave it a shot anyway. I loaded up the included sample blade, started lathering up some of the Lea Classic shaving cream and got to work. Immediately I was impressed. One of the problems I typically have with disposables is that they get clogged up so fast and just rinsing them off doesn’t clear out all of the straggly hairs. The Merkur handled this perfectly. A quick rinse and I was back in business. While I didn’t time myself so I’m not 100% sure on this but it felt like my shave time was a lot faster as well. Sure, this doesn’t have the contour maneuvering but I don’t think you really need it after using the Merkur for a little over a week. My face feels and looks great and I feel like I get better accuracy when lining up the edges of my sideburns. I give the Merkur a ten out of ten. No wonder it is listed as one of the best selling safety razors on the planet.

menessentialslogoAs for the shaving cream. Embarrassingly enough I’ve used my wife’s shaving gel for several years now and have been pretty happy with how it works with the disposables. Lucky for her, I will no longer be using that cut-rate stuff anymore. The Lea Classic shaving cream leaves my skin feeling incredible. Getting that clean, fresh feeling after a shave is incomparable to many of the other brands I’ve used. After using Lea Classic I’m actually finding it hard to want to try another cream. In my opinion it is just that good.

The MenEssentials Razorsafe hasn’t been used yet, and I’m not exactly sure when I will be dropping my first used blade into it. Whenever that might be, at least I know that I can drop these blades into this metal box and not have to worry about my children’s hands grabbing a blade out of the trash can like they could with a disposable. These blades are sharp and can hurt those little fingers, so it’s important to have a game plan for getting rid of these other than just tossing the used blades in the trash. The Razorsafe is very inexpensive and the perfect item to add to your MenEssentials order.

MenEssentials provided St. Louis Dad with these products as compensation in exchange for an honest review. Please visit MenEssentials.com for more shaving tips, shaving products, and more!

A Crafty Halloween Haunted House

IMG_0655The Halloween season is here, except for the fact that the St. Louis Dad household is seriously missing out on the scary, ghouly, and ghastly decor. I took to remedy that problem over the weekend and put together a haunted house. But first we needed some supplies. So we went to one of the Halloween stores that have nothing but Halloween stuff. After freaking out the kids with their mechanical displays we walked out empty handed. It’s not that we didn’t like what we saw. Everything there was really cool… and expensive. We just figured making some decorations would be more enjoyable. So instead, right down the plaza where we already were at was a hobby store. We went in, walked around for what seemed like forever, picked up some supplies, got home and got to work.

For this project I picked up:

A cardboard house
Various paint colors (black, brown, charcoal, nickel finish, pumpkin orange, and moss green)
Stock board

I already had:

Mini popsicle sticks
Halloween stickers
and some other stuff

So I started out by cutting off the round ends of 48 mini popsicle sticks with my snippers so they can be used for shuttering up the windows. Next, I figured I would start painting the house. I started with the roof, then moved onto the outside of the house. It took two coats of paint to really get a good color. For the outside I used a brushed nickel color and for the roof just plain black. Inside the house was painted pumpkin orange.  I mixed a little black with charcoal for the shutters and used the moss green for my grass. I originally painted the stock board green for my grass but once it was dried it warped the board. It didn’t look good so for now the house stands alone with a rickety fence that will hopefully surround a graveyard soon. I just need to figure out my yard situation first.  A little light was added inside the house to give off a haunted flickering effect.

Check out the gallery below to see how my haunted house came together! Got a cool Halloween idea to share? Comment below!

Thank You St. Louis Magazine!

STLMag-Dad5Earlier this summer I had the pleasure of talking with Stefene Russell from St. Louis Magazine. She and her editor thought it would be great to feature St. Louis Dad in their fall family issue. I was super excited and very nervous to take part in the interview. I had set the interview up for a Friday afternoon a little after lunch time. I had the day off because of my work schedule and thought it would be perfect timing. Little did I know I was wrong.

Originally I had planned on having my wife watch the kiddos while I did the interview. This would be helpful so I can concentrate on the conversation. Unfortunately my wife needed to work that day at the last minute. As someone who has a hard time saying no to work, i.e. money, I told my wife to go and not to worry about it, I got this I told her.

Then the a/c went out. Of course it was one of the hotter weeks of the year and the a/c service techs would be running in and out of the house all day replacing our entire system. So on top of tending to the kids, I was making sure everything the techs needed was made available, along with sweating my booty off (as Abby would put it). Either way I was going to make it through this interview. About thirty minutes before I was to start the interview I laid Alex down for his nap. I got him to sleep and felt that I was in the clear to handle this like a professional. Boy was I wrong… again. Alex woke up literally two minutes before the phone call and I rushed to keep as calm and relaxed as possible.

During the interview Stefene could tell that I had a lot happening on my side of the phone, she was an ebullient professional who showed extreme patience with me needing to pause to get Abby or Alex a drink, cartoons, etc. I want to express sincere gratitude for featuring me on their website and magazine. I never expected any sort of recognition for writing about my kids and a few products. I gotta say it makes you feel good to be a dad.

Curious what St. Louis Magazine had to say about St. Louis Dad? Click here to find out!

StLouisDad.com Instrumentals Vol.01

StLouisDad.com Instrumentals Vol.1

One of the many things that I did before I became a dad was create mixtapes, remixes, and some instrumentals. Over those years I have grown quite the collection of instrumentals that are not being used. So I had the brilliant idea of giving them away royalty free. Some instrumentals do have samples that have not been cleared, so it would be your responsibility to clear those with the original artists if you plan to commercialize these instrumentals.

StLouisDad.com Instrumentals – Vol.01 will be released under a Creative Commons license. Read more about the specific license attached to these instrumentals here. If you have any questions about any of the instrumentals I can do my best to answer them, just send me an email.

This first download features five instrumentals with a variety of sounds. Project 005 has a great Halloween feel to it. Very spooky! Please comment below or email me with a link to your project if you use one of these instrumentals. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did making them and be sure to subscribe and follow me on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook to find out when Vol. 02 will be released!

Listen to a sample of this download!