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What are you getting Dad this year?

Father’s Day is just around the corner, and if you’re anything like me, you may start to think about what you’re going to get the dad (or dads) in your life in a day or two. For your sake, I hope you already have this thing buttoned up. But if, despite your best intentions, you are still in a holding pattern, I may be able to lend a hand.

Disclaimer--I am a first-class, top-notch, award-winning procrastinator. Case in point, I have been planning to write and post this blog for two weeks now. To be fair, this is only due in part to the fact that I am decision-making impaired. I know I am not alone in this. I am part of a larger group of people--no longer I; it is we.

Some of what we face as people who put things off until the last minute is the same as what regular people face; we get busy and sidetracked with work, school, kids--life. And here we are again with just over a week to go, empty handed, empty minded with nothing to give our fathers, husbands, or baby daddy’s on Father’s Day.

I’m afraid it’s not too original, but I’ve put together a list. This is not one of those ultra cool top 20 never before seen or heard of must have wtf is that but I have to have it for my dad lists. The research on that would have to have been started several months ago (refer to personality disclaimer). I spoke with some of our staff to get some of their ideas.  And although I did take the easy way out on this, the results are useful and practical. You may not get that ever-so-useful link to a bow tie made from some recycled, free-trade, gluten-free, vegan-friendly (in case you want to eat it), environmentally-safe, organic wonder material, but if you’re looking for some real-world suggestions that range from $ 0 to Sky, take a look.

Take him fishing. If your dad is a fisherman, this is a great suggestion. Of course the length to which you participate in this depends on you and your relationship with your dad, but there are many great options and opportunities here. Tammy’s suggestion, for example is low dollar investment but yields high returns. She plans to take her dad out on her paddle boat on the family pond for an afternoon of fishing. Add a few cans of beer or a bottle of wine, depending on taste, and the fish don’t even have to bite; it’s a recipe for a perfect day. As with any recipe, you can season to taste; from Tammy’s tranquil family pond to ocean fishing Hemingway style and everything in-between, if your dad is a fisherman, what have you got to lose? 

Go to a concert. My first thought when Whitney suggested this was "Nope." My dad and I don’t have the same taste in music, and the only type of concert that came to mind, at least initially, was the Hollywood Bowl style--you know the kind... packed with bodies and noise, never mind the loud music. But if you dial it back a bit, lower the sound, take it local, and thin the crowd, I believe my dad and I just may have some common ground after all. We could both twang out to some bluegrass; we are Appalachian-Amercicans after all. Regardless of taste, concerts take on all shapes; from small local venues to the Sydney Opera house, music with dad sounds like a winner.  

Take him golfing or to go a ball game. I can't attribute this to one person as several people actually suggested it. If you have the type of dad who is into golf, you know that this one can get tricky because when someone really loves golf, it’s best not to get involved. However, if dad has a more casual relationship with the sport, get out to the driving range, hit some balls and have a blast. As for baseball, if you’re lucky enough to live near a major league park, the cost is still reasonable, even if you throw in a few dogs and some beer. Minor league parks can be just as fun. Take a mit; maybe you’ll catch a foul ball--instant souvenir. Play ball!

Take a hike. No surprise this suggestion came from our outdoor enthusiast, Shelley. It doesn’t have to be a hike, but getting outside for some fresh air and a bit of exercise is the fundamental idea. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find the type of trail or path that suits your own particular, or peculiar, fancy. For example, from my front door, if you head west for 10 miles, you can park your car and join fellow hikers on the Appalachian trail; if you head northeast for about 5 miles, you can walk a nature trail rife with wildflowers, birds and butterflies--complete with markers and descriptions.   

When I approached our staff in preparation for this blog (yes, only moments before I began to write it), I asked each of them what they would get their dads for father’s day if money were no object. The results were unexpected. I am a bit of a smarty pants myself and I can’t say for sure how I would have answered, but unsolicited, each and every one of these people--metaphorical blank check or pile of money in hand--chose to spend time with their fathers; most of them chose to do so at a relatively low cost. It takes a lot, but I was both surprised and impressed.

As for me... I'm still considering my options. 

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Love YourSelfie

 

Everyone is familiar with the term “selfie”. This slang definitely shortens the drawn out version of “using the front facing camera on my cellphone to take a picture of myself”.

Today’s society is taking more and more selfies, no matter what the occasion may be. Out with friends, family gatherings, reunions... or maybe to show off the flattering fit of a new outfit. While some people may frown upon the practice and consider it an act of self-adoration, we feel the exact opposite.

What’s wrong with some self love? Embracing the image your were given is something to be treasured. Far too many of us forget to take some time to love ourselves; to look in the mirror and pick out something we like about our appearance. Yes, the person on the inside is what matters most, but that inner person can shed some flattering light onto the outside.

Maybe your energetic personality widens your smile a little more. Perhaps your soft heart makes your eyes more gentle and kind. Or maybe your sense of humor brings out the dimples in your cheeks each time you laugh. There are so many things about the inner you that shine light upon the outer you.

We want to know what it is you love about yourself. Take a second to think about it. What unique characteristic makes you who you are?

This might be a little strange, especially for a blog post, but we are asking that you to drop your selfie along with a few sentences telling us something you love about yourself and why. Your smile? Eyes? Hair? Beard? Whatever it may be, embrace it- and always remember to take some time to love yourself on occasion!

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Playoff Beards

Tonight kicks off the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Loyal fans of the participating teams will begin practicing traditions and performing rituals in hopes of bringing their men to victory. One of these traditions includes ditching the razor and growing what is known as the, "playoff beard".

The playoff beard was introduced in the 1980's by NHL teams competing for the Stanley Cup. On the opening day of the first round series, players began growing out their beards and continued to do so until they faced elimination or tasted sweet victory. This practice became a fast growing tradition in which fans began to participate. In 2009, the NHL launched a campaign called the “Beard-a-Thon,” which encouraged fans to let their beards grow for charity.  Even after all these years, that tradition still stands. In fact, it’s pretty much a given to grow a playoff beard if your team is competing for the Stanley Cup. Over the weeks to come, the faces of hockey fans will be naked no more.

This growing tradition (haha, get it?) isn’t something that is practiced only by hockey players and their fans. Players and supporters of teams in the NFL and MLB now participate at playoff time. We don’t blame them… we’re firm believers that beards bring luck, too :)

If you are an NHL superfan and wish to follow each game, you can see the schedule here. For those that like to keep track of each series and eliminations, click here for a printable bracket.

We hope you enjoy following the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year. May your team play hard and your beard grow long!

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Pucker Up!

For those that don't know, Granny Vicars isn't a name that was crafted by a creative spark in our minds. She was an actual person, and our great grandmother. She was an Appalachian medicine woman from Roane County in our home state of West Virginia. In true Mountaineer spirit, granny lived a simple life with no plumbing or running water. She cared for her family with the gifts mother nature offered, and that was all she needed to do so. 
Meredith, Chief Operating Officer and the brains behind many projects here at Mountaineer Brand, was inspired by the history behind our granny and suggested we create our family care product line in her honor. It was a brilliant idea and such a great way to bring recognition to our family roots, so we made it happen. 
In 2014, the first Granny Vicars' products were created. Lip balm and hand salve were the precursors to what is now a complete line of products for 100% natural family care. It has certainly grown quickly, and we are very grateful for the support that made it's growth possible. 
Now that you have a brief history of Granny Vicars, we have some exciting news. In our Family Care Collection is a combo pack with three delectable flavors of lip balm- spearmint, peppermint, and our personal favorite, licorice. This trio is becoming a quartet with the scrumptious addition of cherry, and we promise, you'll love it. 
We will soon be removing the original three pack from the website, but we think it should go out with a bang. While supplies last, it's all yours for only $10.95. Being that a single lip balm retails for $5.00, this is quite a deal. To get this special bargain, simply enter code BUY23 at checkout. You can click here to go directly to the product link. 
Pucker up, folks. Granny's deal won't last long!
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5 Reasons You Should Spend More Time Outdoors

Life is busy. Really busy. After a long day at work, there's nothing more inviting than your comfy couch and favorite sweatpants (trust me, we get it). As tempting as it may be to dive into your relaxing routine, science proves that it is actually more beneficial (and even more relaxing) to spend some time with mother nature. It may sound like a chore, but there are many reasons why you should give it a shot and make it a part of your daily routine. Plus, we're pretty confident you'll come to enjoy it! Here are some of our favorite reasons to lace up your shoes and get outside.

Improve Your Mental Health

Everyone needs a good change of scenery. According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan, getting out and experiencing the beauty of nature is proven to improve your overall mental well being. Just a simple breath of fresh air can reduce the symptoms of depression, lessen perceived stress, and increase positive emotions. We can all spare 10 minutes of our time to improve the way we feel--physically and emotionally.

Strengthen Attention Span

A study was conducted on two groups of children diagnosed with ADHD. One group played inside, the other outside. The conclusion was that the children who spent time outdoors showed a significantly less amount of symptoms associated with ADHD. As some of us know, children are not the only ones that experience attention disorders. The Journal of Experimental Psychology says that regular walking outdoors increases your level of productivity and creative thinking. So, gather the family and go to the park or play a game of catch in the backyard. This will be beneficial for everyone!

Sleep More Soundly

Ahh, this is something we all need! Mark Rea, director of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute says that a morning walk around the same time each day will help you maintain a more consistent circadian rhythm. Consistency is very important here. Your body will recognize your routine, giving your brain a clear signal that it’s day time.

Become More Optimistic

It's fair to say that for most people, visually appealing things give us a sense of happiness in some way or another. How about a more positive outlook on life? Three scientists from VU University in Amsterdam conducted a study that concluded exposure to natural landscapes made people more optimistic. Grab a fishing pole and a cooler and head to the lake for more positive vibes in your life.

Be More Generous and Kind

Friendly people are so much more pleasant to have around. Kindness and generosity go a long way when it comes to developing stable, trusting relationships with people. A series of experiments conducted in 2014 found that exposure to nature increased positive emotions that led to pro-social behaviors. These people seemed to be more generous, trusting, and have a more pronounced willingness to lend a helping hand.

Look at all those benefits that a little fresh air will provide! Daily life can be quite stressful, so take a little bit of time to relieve the tension in your life, even if it's just 10 minutes per day. We're going to practice what we preach and do the same. So, what do you say? Let's do this together!

 

 

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