Flying High with Trevor Aldridge

Flying High with Trevor Aldridge

Pilot Trevor Aldridge has done it all. He’s flown fighter jets, commercial planes, aerobatic planes—he’s achieved just about everything you can in the world of aviation. He’s also a dad to two. He sat down with BinkyBro to tell us how he reached the heights of his career.

Trevor, as a pilot, you’ve basically lived the dream of almost every little kid. How influential were your parents in your career path?

They were my mentors along the way. I grew up poor from a broken home, but there was lots of love. Even as a kid I knew I wanted to achieve something big, and I always had the emotional support of my family.

I imagine that was just the beginning of a long road to becoming a pilot . . .

Exactly. I was the first in my family to go to college. I was in the Air Force ROTC at Texas A&M where I got a degree in engineering. After graduation I got a spot as a pilot at Sheppard Falls Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. That’s where I learned how to fly F-15 Eagles, and I flew those for a long time.

I got married right out of college and my wife and I had lots of moves during my time in the Air Force including countries like Japan and England, but the constant was flying. Eventually I joined the Thunderbirds Air Force team.

Wow! What is the process like to become a Thunderbird pilot?

You need lots of letters of recommendation and a pilot history and career with no blemishes. Even then, you can apply over and over and never hear back. The third time I applied, I told my wife I didn’t want to have any regrets so I went for it again. When I applied we had just moved to England and my little boys were three years old and 1 year old. England was our dream location. But right after our move was finished I was called to join the team. So we moved all over again. It was a pretty crazy time in our life. 

One thing that is surprising to some about the entire process is that you don’t actually have to have any experience flying an F-16 when you apply. That seems to catch some people off guard who aren't familiar with the aviation world.

What is the process like to learn the actual airshow demo?

That process is intense. When I first arrived they gave me about three to four flights to get familiar with the F-16. After that, you fly with the flight lead for 20 or so flights to get more exposure to the demonstration. Eventually the team works its way to about 100 successful demonstration flights before the show season ever starts.  It’s a rigorous schedule, but such an honor.

What’s your favorite part of being a Thunderbird?

Definitely getting to talk to middle school and high school kids. They know what they want to do after high school, but they often don’t know how to get there. One thing I love about being a pilot is that no matter where you come from, everyone starts off the same. What matters is what you do and how hard you work.

You have two boys—if they show interest in being pilots, what will you do as a dad to support them?

Whether they want to be civilian or military pilots, my recommendation for anyone is to use high school to get ready mentally and physically to push yourself and to not quit. Playing a sport builds grit and physical toughness, and the team aspect is important as well. Find a sport and be the absolute best in it.

It’s the same academically—school might be boring, but if you want to be successful, you have to discipline yourself. Most fighter pilots are engineers, but it’s not a requirement. Some come from political science or criminal justice backgrounds. Something to consider is that you often have a better chance of getting a scholarship with a technical degree.

What about kids who are interested in airplanes, but have less experience around them?

Ask your local airport if they have part-time jobs available. Immerse yourself in the culture in whatever ways you can. Most flight schools have opportunities for teenagers to help out with sweeping or something basic.

Thank you so much for your time, Trevor! Before you go, tell us about your YouTube channel.

My YouTube channel is to get the next generation pumped about aviation. It’s great for kids who don’t have a lot of experience around airplanes.

And one last thing, we gotta know your call sign.

Dozen—the name of my YouTube channel is actually Dozen Duzit.

That’s the coolest. On behalf of BinkyBro, thank you for your service!

July 01, 2022 — Matthew Fisler
Riding Spicy with Christian Peper

Riding Spicy with Christian Peper

Christian Peper is a pro mountain biker from Utah. He’s the founder and instructor of a complete online course, ride.SpicyHe sat down with us to tell us how he got into biking and some advice for parents of young riders.
June 20, 2022 — Matthew Fisler
Everyday Earth Tones

Everyday Earth Tones

Earth tone clothes are in for you and your kids. Neutrals have been trending for a few years, and now the style is expanding into warmer, earthy tones. Specifically, earth tones are hues that contain brown; but more loosely, earth tones are any colors found in nature. That could mean burnt orange, evergreen, rusty red, sandy tan, or even a murky blue.

That’s definitely our ~vibe~ at BinkyBro and we’re ready to fit your little binkybros and binkybabes in this trend that goes with anything, and can go anywhere.

Surf

These Breakwall Swimmies are a neutral, natural tan and white checkered pattern. They are a euro fit that are not only trendy, but growing-boy friendly—size up if your little guy is taller or in between sizes and the shorter length will work longer. (Restock coming very soon!)

Another boys swimsuit in an earth tone is our Catarina Swimmie. These trunks are a solid tone in a darker, muddy brown. The BinkyBro in your life can throw on a shirt on top to wear around town or to the pool or beach. Other Swimmies in earth tones are the olive green Papakolea Swimmie and the Cangu Swimmie in an adorable sea turtle print.

Now that you have the trunks covered, keep the sun and surf out of his eyes with our matted Barney Patrol sun hat. This classic wide-brimmed lifeguard hat is made of 100% natural straw—what’s more earthy than that?

Snow

Earth tone clothes may seem more like a beachy sunset lewk than après-ski, but you and your little ones can rock earth tones all year round. Match your little one in our Tahoe Evergreen beanie that comes in sizes from infant to adult large. For brown tones, there’s the Tahoe beanie in trendy Tan or Camel colors.

Any earth-tone beanie will pair perfectly with our cozy crew neck sweatshirts and thermals. Think warm thoughts in The Canyons crew neck sweater in this Sage color that gives desert greenery when you’d do anything for a warm oasis. The Canyons sweater also comes in earthy Brown and Tan.

BinkyBro’s thermals are perfect for colder temps and under snow gear. Our Timberline thermal long-sleeve shirt in Olive will fit the lodge aesthetic after a day teaching them to “pizza” down the slopes. For a cooler take on earth tones, try our Timberline thermal in muted blue.

Skate

Our snapback caps come in over 50 colors and patterns, many fitting an earth-tone palate. The Bintangs Snapback is a brown corduroy fabric that looks like it was plucked from your favorite VSCO filter.

The BirdRock Snapback is in a mustard twill that will stand out at the skatepark. BinkyBro’s leather logo on the front will ground this cap and tie it into any wardrobe. Pair one of these snapbacks with our olive-gray Miramar tee for a complete, earthy look.

For your BinkyBabe, we have our Honu cap in a dark olive color, or the burnt-orange Moana toddler cap with an embroidered setting sun. Don’t forget a pair of shades like The Phoebe goldenrod yellow that will make her look like the flower child she is.

No skater is ready to hit the halfpipe without the right socks on their feet. This three-pack of socks in Charcoal Palms fits the aesthetic, or in Peach Leaves for a sunnier, more floral take on earth tones.

An earthy capsule collection for your BinkyFam is a perfect way to match your little ones and make it easy to choose an outfit for them. There’s no such thing as clashing when they’re decked out in earth tone clothes. 

No matter where you go or what the activity is, BinkyBro will keep your kiddos comfortable and stylish!

June 14, 2022 — Matthew Fisler
Summer Hair Care Tips for Kids

Summer Hair Care Tips for Kids

It’s almost the season to play all day and ask questions like Does the pool count as a bath? Between sun, surf, and the pool, summer can be a doozy for hair. Managing kids’ hair is already a battle. Then throw sweaty, chlorinated tangles into the mix? You’ll find yourself Googling: “How to give an at-home buzz cut” in no time. 

Do yourself a favor and incorporate a few of these simple summer hair care tips for kids into your summer routine (or lack thereof) for more manageable locks and less tantrums for everyone.

Do: Get kids a pre-summer trim

The first of our summer hair care tips is to take your kiddos into the salon for a good summer trim to start the summer off right. This is the best way to combat tangles from the get go. When it comes to managing tangles, healthier hair and the less to work with, the better.

For a DIY option, The Haircut Box is a direct-to-consumer haircutting kit with everything you need to cut hair from your own home. There’s a box for girl haircuts, a box for boy haircuts, and a box for both. There’s even handy haircut guides you can buy or download from the site.

Do: Consider your child’s hair type

Is your child’s hair fine? Is it thick? Is it textured? Answering those questions and figuring out products and a haircare strategy that works best for their hair is key. Knowing their hair type will help you find the right products to keep their hair healthy and knot-free.

Your child’s hair might be  a completely different texture than your own, so doing a little bit of research about their hair type will help you know how to manage their hair best while maintaining your sanity, and it can give your child confidence as you teach them how to take care of themselves and love their hair.

There are great resources and media for teaching kids to love their hair, like the Oscar-winning animated short film, Hair Love, available on YouTube, and its accompanying picture book.

Do: Brush out tangles in the bath

For those rare summer days your kids do get a proper bath, brush out stubborn tangles while there is conditioner in their hair already. That will help coat the strands for less breakage and less pain on their end. (And less screaming in your ears.)

Try this Shea Moisture Kids conditioner for hair of all types. And make sure you use a wide-toothed comb or a detangling hair brush like this one from Crave Naturals. Detangling hair brushes are truly a godsend for parents who have gone to hell and back while brushing out their kids’ knots.

Do: Use leave-in conditioner

Whether your child’s hair is straight, wavy, or curly and textured, leave-in conditioner will help manage tangles before they start by coating the strands of hair with conditioner.

This leave-in conditioner from Cantu Care for Kids can be applied after the bath when your child’s hair is still wet. Avoid the crown of their head and start by applying on the ends and brushing it through their hair with a wide-toothed comb or your fingers. You can let their hair air dry or style as usual.

Do: Find the right detangler spray

When knots do appear (and they will), having the right detangler spray on hand is a must. Also from Cantu Care for Kids is their top-rated Conditioning Detangler spray. And it’s at an affordable price point of under eight dollars. This detangler spray will work on all hair types.

Another favorite summer hair care tip is the Honest Company’s Conditioning Detangler spray—every scent smells amazing and it will work particularly well on fine hair types. Another is Sun Bum’s 3-in-1 spray that acts as a leave-in conditioner and detangler, and it also works for adults with color-treated hair.

Don’t forget to check out BinkyBro’s sun hats that will keep heads and hair protected from hot, summer rays. (Yes! Even hair can get sunburned!) And most importantly, don’t sweat the small stuff this summer—keep the tangles away so you can focus on living your best life with your kids!

June 01, 2022 — Matthew Fisler
Calling All Skaters with Shaun Hover

Calling All Skaters with Shaun Hover

Shaun Hover is a pro skateboarder, the founder of Calling All Skaters, a Christian ministry for skateboarders, and a dad to three young kiddos. He spoke with us about exposing his kids to skating and how he has balanced, and blended, his career with having a family.

How did you first get into skateboarding?


I grew up near Detroit as the baby of my family. I started riding at 12 and I was hooked from the first time I landed a tre flip 


How involved were your parents with getting you into skating?


They were involved in that they were totally down with it. I got some of my neighbors into skating and they would have to sneak out, but my parents were supportive. As I got more into filming and skating, they didn’t stop me. I would go into downtown Detroit all day as a 16 year old so I could skate with better dudes and they didn’t get in the way.


What were some major breakthroughs in your skating career?


My first sponsor was a local skatepark, Landslide Skatepark, and they got me DC shoes. From there I got board sponsors, shoe and clothing sponsors, and things started flowing. I started winning skating contests when I was about 20 years old and I got out of Michigan and moved to Los Angeles.

What does your career look like nowadays?


For the last 12 years I’ve been traveling, speaking in churches and to youth groups, and teaching Bible school. I founded an organization called Calling All Skaters that is a youth Christian ministry for skateboarders. I’m passionate about ministry, skating, and supporting my wife so she can have the career she wants.


What are you most proud of in your professional career?


What I’m most proud of professionally is that I’m still progressing at 35 years old—23 years in and three kids deep.

That is a serious accomplishment. Tell us more about how you balance what you’re doing while having kids.


I have a daughter who is 6, a son who is 2, and a daughter who is 1. There is nothing better than having a kid. Giving my wife as much time as possible to work has allowed me to have an awesome connection with my kids.


To manage my time, I try to only spend time doing things I won’t regret. I will never regret time spent skating, serving my wife, and it will always be worth it to spend time with my kids. My wife, Jess, has a YouTube channel and her time is valuable. She manages building an online community while supporting me and our kids too.

Are your kids interested in skating yet?


Right now I’m focused on exposing them as much as I can. I want them to be around skating and comfortable with it. Skateboards are everywhere and always available. I take all three of them to the skatepark—strollers and all.


That’s great advice. Are there skating products you recommend for kids?


Definitely give them fingerboards. My kids love to play with them while we watch skate videos. My six year old has a penny board, which is the world’s safest skateboard. Even scooters are great and a part of the learning process. Getting on the skateboard at a rubberized playground or on the grass is a safe way to start.


What would be the next step if your kids show a lot of interest?


Skating is so different than it used to be. It’s in the Olympics! Parents used to think skating couldn’t be a career and that’s all changed. I would hate to take away the essence of skating by becoming a skate mom or dad, although I would want my kids to excel.

 

YouTube is a great place for kids to learn skills. There are also people who give one-on-one lessons. The best way to learn is to go to the skatepark when they’re ready and encourage them to find friends who skate at a similar level. It’s an organic way of making friends and naturally pushing each other to improve.


You get your crew; you film; you post videos online; you get better and better. That’s what skating is all about.


Shaun, thank you so much for your time and words of wisdom. BinkyBro is cheering you and your family on.

Go Give Shaun Hover a follow!

@Shaunhover

May 20, 2022 — Matthew Fisler
Best OC Beaches for Families

Best OC Beaches for Families

At BinkyBro, we live by surf / snow / skate. With summer around the corner, we’re packing up our cold-weather snow gear and setting our sights to the West Coast. (Best coast??) Few places epitomize surfing culture more than Orange County, California. And there are few places with more easily accessible family-friendly beaches for the groms to learn to surf. But what are the best OC beaches for families?

Whether you’re an OC local or you’re headed there this summer for the surf, sand, (and maybe Disneyland while you’re at it), hit up these top Orange County beaches for kids and families. We’ll start south and work our way north up the PCH.

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1. Doheny State Beach, Dana Point
 
Named after an oil tycoon, Doheny State Beach was California's first state beach. It is also one of its most popular because of its day use as a surfing beach with a robust surfing history and community. It’s also popular because of its southern-end campgrounds with some sites that are just steps away from the beach. This beach is popular for families with kids because of the tide pools and a visitor’s center with an aquarium on site.


Salt Creek Beach Park, Dana Point
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With an expansive lawn and cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, there’s not a prettier beach in the OC. But even more than a ‘Grammable locale, Salt Creek Beach Park in southern Orange County has some of the best surfing along the coastline because of an offshore reef.

Your kids will love the protected tidepools and the large beach, perfect for setting up shop for the day. Parking is a breeze with a large parking lot—you can even pay a few extra bucks to take a tram directly down to the beach if you’re not up for the schlep. No trip to southern Orange County is complete without a stop here.

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3. Baby Beach, Dana Point
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Also in Dana Point is paddleboarding oasis (and aptly named), Baby Beach. This beach gets its name because with its serene waters and soft sand, it’s the perfect for the youngest of BinkyBros and BinkyBabes. This southern Orange County spot has views of Dana Point Harbor, iconic West Coast cliffs, and picnic shelters for an easy beach day with the fam.

4. Crystal Cove State Park, Laguna Beach
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This California state park is encompassses 3.2 miles of protected Pacific coastline. It’s  a short drive north of Dana Point on PCH toward Newport Harbor. There are actually four different beaches in the park that each have their own vibe.

The draw to Crystal Cove isn’t just the wide, sandy beaches, but the unique campsites and backcountry wilderness. Your visit to Crystal Cove State Park could be a day at the beach or a weekend camping adventure.

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5. Little Corona del Mar Beach, Newport Beach
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Also known as Poppy Avenue Beach to locals, the walk to this beach does not have any stair steps, which makes it wagon and stroller-friendly—a must for families with kids. Even better is there is a public restroom. (Can I get an Amen?!)

Little Corona is protected by cliffs and rocky reefs that make this a relaxing place for parents who don’t want to worry about strong waves and surf. A bonus is that this protected beach is one of the best spots for diving and snorkeling. Buoys keep the water free from boats and jetskis to protect the reef, snorkelers, and little swimmers.

No matter which OC beach you explore—or heck, why not all of ‘em?—keep your babes covered and cool with the right gear. Our wide-brimmed Barney Patrol sun hat is a beach classic that will keep the sun off their hats and shoulders. They’ll play all day in comfort wearing our Tamarindo sunglasses in polarized wayfarer-style Citrus or a gender-neutral, blacked-out round shape.

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Beach on, BinkyFam.

May 18, 2022 — Matthew Fisler
Advice for Parents from Pro Snowboarder, Elena Hight

Advice for Parents from Pro Snowboarder, Elena Hight

Elena Hight is a professional snowboarder, a two-time Olympian, X-games gold medalist, and an advocate for environmental protection. She was kind enough—kindness is her thing—to share with us some words of wisdom for parents who want to get their kids involved in snowboarding and other lifelong sports.

At what age did you start snowboarding?

I started riding when I was seven years old when my family moved from Hawaii to Tahoe. As a lifelong surfer, my dad made sure when we moved to the mountains that snowboarding was one of the first things we learned to do together.

How involved were your parents with getting you into boarding?

Snowboarding was definitely a family sport. We would all go to the mountains together on weekends. My parents would take me to little local contests and we would ride together as much as we could.

How much do you think your parents contributed to your success?

I wouldn't be where I am today without their support and sacrifice. They supported my dreams from a very young age and it took a lot of sacrifices on their end. Not only financially, but they spent all their time and energy to help me pursue snowboarding. 

How involved were you with gymnastics or tumbling?

I loved gymnastics, even before snowboarding. Gymnastics gives you such a good understanding of your body and air awareness. Those early years of practicing in a safe gym helped me progress later on my snowboard.

 

How did you get your first sponsor?

My first sponsor was Burton. The local Tahoe rep saw me riding one weekend and gave me a snowboard when I was eight. He continued to support me until I turned 13 and began to work with the global team manager at Burton. That early support of gear made a huge difference in my career.

 

What do you envision as phase two of your career?

I retired from competing four years ago and have been focused on riding in the backcountry and filming. Big mountain snowboarding is a completely different style of riding. I am loving the new challenge and this next chapter.

 

What advice would you give parents who want to get their kids into lifelong sports like snowboarding?

I really believe the best thing parents can do for kids is slow play the sports you want to do with them. Introduce them to those sports, get some outside support like a coach or lessons to get them up to speed, and then make the days you spend together doing those sports really fun and memorable. Treats and friends always help! Don’t push too much and allow them to develop a love of it on their own.

 

What about parents who want to get their kids into snowboarding competitively? What does that process look like?

Find a local team or coach that can help develop skills and has some knowledge of how the competitive space works. Be prepared for ups and downs and some long days on the mountain cheering them on!

 

Thank you for your time, Elena! We can’t wait to follow this next exciting phase of your awesome career.

May 05, 2022 — Matthew Fisler
Playing It Cool—5 Recs for Your Next Family Road Trip

Playing It Cool—5 Recs for Your Next Family Road Trip

Warmer weather is here and school’s almost out for summer. Along with the long summer break often comes long family road trips. Whether you’re driving near or far, having something to watch or listen to that the whole family can enjoy will make the journey feel allllmost as good as reaching your destination. (Minus the gas station bathroom breaks, of course.)

If you want to avoid Blippi on repeat, here’s five recs for your next family road trip. Your future sanity will thank you.

1. WATCH - Ask the StoryBots on Netflix

Download a few episodes or stream this show from Netflix. Ask the StoryBots answers the questions you don’t quite know like, “Why is the sky blue?” or, “How do cell phones work?” But seriously though?!

You won’t feel bad about this screen time and you’ll be fighting summer learning loss without opening a workbook. With appearances by celebrities like Jason Sudeikis, Snoop Dogg, and Ali Wong and some genuinely catchy-yet-not-annoying songs, everyone from parents to toddlers can enjoy episodes from any of the three seasons available.

2. WATCH -  School of Rock on Amazon Prime

It’s hard to believe, but School of Rock starring Jack Black is almost 20 years old. Dive into nostalgia and introduce this Millenial classic to a new generation by renting or buying and downloading it via Amazon Prime. The original songs are unavailable to stream on Spotify, but you can keep your hands on the wheel and sing along while your kids rock on in the back seat.

School of Rock’s rating is a mild PG-13, so it’s just right for tweens and teens, and some of the more mature jokes might fly over littles’ heads. It can be a drag to find something everyone enjoys, and this will check a lot of boxes.

3. LISTEN - The Earth Rangers Podcast

You have your beloved podcasts, and now your kids can have one for them with The Earth Rangers Podcast. Earth Ranger Emma solves mysteries and learns about animals throughout the world in this podcast that will engage road trip warriors of all ages. With a library of over 50 episodes, you’ll run out of gas before running out of content.

4. LISTEN - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Audible

Long gone are the days of the “books on tape” our parents listened to—streaming or downloading audiobooks for kids and adults alike is an easy way to revisit and share childhood favorites with a new generation.

Most classic books are now available on Audible, but it can be tricky to know which are appropriate or interesting for a wide audience. Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory works for kids as early as four and as old as you are. Some classics aren’t as exciting as you remember, but Charlie and the Chocolate Factory holds up and gives you a reason to watch the movie(s) on your drive home.

5. LISTEN - 90s/00s Road Trip Playlist on Spotify

Scare yourself (and your children) with how many lyrics you can remember to the songs that raised you. You may not remember to put the milk in the fridge—hello, mom brain—but sure, why not every word to “Mr. Brightside”? 

Everything aughts is new again and your kids will be the coolest come fall when they know the “oldies” . . . like The Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. You may need to skip a few songs for mature content, but hey, that’s nothing you didn’t do while listening to your music on road trips with your own parents.

Need recs for what to put your little bros in for your summer road trip adventure? Check out BinkyBro’s Toddler Thermals that will keep them comfy in their carseats for hours. Our Romper for easy road-side diaper changes that will put you on the road again.

April 29, 2022 — Matthew Fisler
A Chill Mom's Guide to Being the Leprechaun

A Chill Mom's Guide to Being the Leprechaun

Can we talk about this new leprechaun tradition? Where a small, imaginary green man comes to your house and plays pranks or leaves gifts for your toddler, like it’s second Christmas or something?!

A quick Pinterest search will flood your feed full of ideas like “10 easy leprechaun traps,” most of which require too many trips to the craft store (aka one). There’s a recipe for St. Patty’s Day Popcorn, in which step one is to spend two hours picking all of the shamrock hats out of a box of Lucky Charms. 

The absolute cutest, and also who has the time?

We’re all about being fun moms, meaning moms who are having fun. But as soon as something becomes all fun for kids and all stress for mom, count us out.

Out of curiosity, we took to our Instagram polls last week to ask whether y’all are into this leprechaun thing, and were happy to find most of you were like “yeah, no.” 

Shop the snapback in Green Room

But the truth is, sometimes holidays can bring a much-needed break to the rhythm of daily mom life. We just wanna make them work for us instead of the other way around. 


So, we bring you The Official Chill Mom’s Guide to Leprechauning, aka 3 traditions we saw on Pinterest and simplified wayyyy down. We’re also throwing in some of our fave green gear because a little bro in new swag is always something to celebrate.

Tradition 1: Dyeing Food Green

Green pancakes. Green mac & cheese. Green potato soup. These are just a few of the internet’s suggestions for ways to stress out your March 17th. They’re also assuming we all have food coloring stocked in our pantry, or that we know where it is. We do not.

The Chill Mom way? Serve food that’s ALREADY GREEN. Here’s the menu: 

Breakfast: Spinach smoothie

Typically they’re like ew Mom what are you drinking? But today you get to tell them it’s leprechaun juice, and YES they can have as much as they want. 

We like this recipe because it calls for just 4 ingredients you most likely have on hand. 

Snack: All green fruit or veggie board

Include foods you know your kid already likes, then throw in a new one or two you’ve been wanting them to try. Maybe the leprechaun’s favorite food is broccoli, and maybe today is the day it becomes your toddler’s too?

Dinner: Swap spaghetti sauce for pesto.

Pick your go-to pasta shape (bowtie at our house) and swap your usual red for green. Grab the good stuff at Costco, the cheap stuff at any grocery store, or go all out and make your own.

Or just shop the Tahoe beanie in Olive Green

Tradition 2: The Leprechaun Mess

So the idea here is you make a huge mess somewhere in the house and say the leprechaun did it. Then the next morning you tell your kids to clean it up, and it’s…fun for them? 

While intentionally making a mess is not something we get, it’s not hard to see what the Chill Mom would do instead: just don’t clean up. 

Yes, starting now we declare March 16th Embrace The Mess Day. That pile of laundry? Leave it unfolded. The mountain of toys? Who cares! Tomorrow when your kids wake up, you can point out how messy that mysterious “leprechaun” is, turn on this Leprechaun Playlist, and see what happens. 

Best case scenario: you get more cleaning help than usual. Worst case: you got a day long break from cleaning! Win, win.

Or, just shop the Crew Neck Sweater in Sage

Tradition 3: Leprechaun Santa

According to Instagram, some Moms have turned this random day in March into another day your kid expects to be left gifts by a mythical creature. 

Again, we love the idea of adding something special to an otherwise long month, but we’re only barely recovered from December over here.

So what’s a Chill Mom to do? Identify a need your kid already has and present it as a gift from the leprechaun. 

Rainbow Gift Idea

-Art supplies like these washable bath crayons, or a refresh on school supplies for an older kid. 

-Their very own bag of rainbow goldfish.

Green Gift Idea

-Something your kid needs, but may not necessarily put on a wish list, i.e. pajamas, socks, or the best snack gadget ever.

Grab it in green and voila - it’s a gift worthy of the leprechaun. 

Gold Gift Idea

- A big old pile of Rolos may not technically qualify as a need, but it’s sure easy to grab from any gas station or grocery store, and looks just like treasure.

Feeling Chill? 

We hope so! While any of these ideas will require more effort than the average Thursday, hopefully they’re simple enough to deliver maximum fun for minimum stress. 

And in case you’re feeling extra lucky…

Shop the Snapback in Tourmaline or the The Cangu Swimmie.

Our swimmie collection is a great way to retail-therapy your way through the last cold weeks of winter. Here are a few green faves to get you excited for sunshine. 

Shop The Padang: light green with a classic coconut pattern

Shop The Islands: a pale peach/pink covered in tropical palms

Shop Anchors Point: seafoamy green meets anchors away

 

March 16, 2022 — Matthew Fisler
Passing on His Passion

Passing on His Passion

Rob Kelly is a professional surfer, polar bear plunge expert, and new dad to son Kash. (He also happens to be a Binky Bro fan--which is acceptable!) We were lucky enough to chat with Rob about his love of his sport and why it’s important to him to help pass that passion on to his toddler son.

Kash wears the Tahoe in Evergreen

So you grew up in Pennsylvania, which is not exactly the surf capital of the world, right?

Yeah definitely not. But I got lucky enough to spend the summers in Hawaii with my uncle who taught me to surf out in front of Waikiki.  

Sounds amazing. So were your parents surfers as well?

Actually no. But once they saw how much I loved it, they became super supportive. They found out that you could surf in Jersey Shore, so we started going there more. Later they ended up buying a home in Ocean City so we could surf every weekend. Eventually we moved there and just never went back.

Wow - so at that point was everyone into surfing or was the move mostly to support your career?

I would say it was about supporting my brother and I in something we loved. I’d always seen surfing as something that could be a career but for my parents, especially at that point, it was more just to make us happy.

Did they ever get into surfing?

Yeah, it was awesome to watch them get into it in their fifties. My Dad has become a pretty avid surfer and goes almost every day, even in the winter.

Rob’s wife Shannon with Kash, wearing the Tahoe in Gray

Oh I love that. So at what point did you start competing? 

I think I was 12 or 13. One day we happened to show up at the beach when there was a competition and my mom found the director and begged him for a spot. She was persistent enough they agreed to put me in, even though it was halfway over.

And how did you do?

Oh I was dead last. Haha but that kind of inspired us to learn more about the competition series. We started entering events and really competing. Pretty quickly it started to click for me. After a couple seasons I climbed the ranks enough to catch some local attention, then when I was 16 the Billabong tour came to town and I got a sponsorship. 

Your mom sounds pretty great. On that note, let’s talk parenting. You have a new son, right? 

Yep, a 7 month old boy named Kash. 

Can you tell us a bit about how becoming a parent has changed you? 

Mostly I think my motivation has changed. Before, I wanted to surf every free minute I could get because I loved it and wanted to be the best. That drive is still there of course, but now it’s also about wanting to maintain this lifestyle so I can spend more time with my family than I might be able to in a traditional 9-5 job.  

Really it motivated me to look at my career and think, what do I want long term? I’ve been fortunate to work with American Wave Machine, which is a company that makes artificial waves for places like BSR in Texas, and I still work with Billabong. I’ve never felt like I had a real job because every aspect of surfing is so fun to me, but now I really appreciate that added flexibility benefit. I’m super lucky to have that.

Is it important to you to pass down your passion to Kash? 

Definitely. I can’t wait to get him into the water. I mean it doesn’t need to be anything serious, he doesn’t have to go pro. But the dream is for me to eventually be able to take Kash with me when I travel to surf so we can make those memories together, even if it’s not in a competitive or professional nature. 

Do you have any tips for parents looking to get young kids into the water?

Comfort is number one. Kids need to be warm, feel safe, and be with someone they know and trust like their mom or dad so that the first few experiences are relaxed and fun. We’ll probably start with Kash in the AWM wave pool out in Jersey to give him the best chance of enjoying it early on. 

As far as starting to actually teach a kid to surf, the best way is to lay them flat on a surfboard boogie board style, and just ride on there with them until they’re old enough to start standing up. Again it’s really about making sure they’re comfortable and having fun early on so that surfing feels like a positive thing they want to come back to.

Can we talk about your daily ice baths real quick? What’s that about?

Haha. Well I’ve always been a cold water surfer, since that’s what was available to me. But during the pandemic when no one could travel or compete, I got even more into it. I started a YouTube series with some other east coast surfers where we’d explore new surf spots that were really off the map. 

Then after having a kid, things changed again. It was harder to pick up and go fly somewhere to chase a wave or spend three hours a day at the gym, but I still wanted a way to challenge myself physically and mentally. 

I made a New Year’s Resolution to and it’s just kind of continued from there. I would post videos to keep myself accountable, and it surprised me how many people would respond saying it inspired them to stick to their resolutions, whether they were surfers or not.

Love that. Any last thoughts you want to share about parenthood or surfing? 

I mean I’m learning as I go, but my goal is to have the same kind of energy my parents had. Looking back now I can see how even my Mom fighting to get me in that first competition, it was a small thing but it fully changed the course of my life. 

If Kash doesn’t want to surf or chooses something I’m not experienced in, I want to use my parents’ example and throw myself into whatever he’s passionate about. I mean, we lived in Pennsylvania and our passion was surfing. It wasn’t as easy as driving five minutes to the local baseball field, but they made it happen. I look at the sacrifices they made to support us and just want to make sure I do the same thing for Kash.

Thanks for your time Rob. BinkyBro wishes you, and Kash, an epic winter.

 

March 03, 2022 — Matthew Fisler
One Beanie--Styled 3 Ways

One Beanie--Styled 3 Ways

Okay is it just us, or is white the trickiest color to pull off? As an adult there are all these weird rules about which calendar dates you can or can’t wear it, and for your toddler there’s always the question of, “how long before it gets ruined by ketchup stains?”

(hint: not long!)

No one gets this more than boy moms, for whom stains are about as regular an occurrence as breathing. If it sometimes feels like your little guy’s clothes might as well be single use, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone! Don’t get us wrong, we are all about keeping clothes out of landfills as long as possible, but sometimes our boys realllllly put our love of the planet to the test. 

So what about when it comes to the white beanie? It’s certainly not as stain-prone for a kid as, say, white jeans or a white tee. But we’ve also heard from some of you that the color can be tough to know how to style.

 We’ve put together 3 different approaches to styling the white beanie, inspired by our binky bro fam. We love nothing more than seeing how you’re styling our stuff, so please - keep those insta tags coming! 

1 - Simplify The Baby Shoot

2 - Top Off White Kicks

3 - Paired With A Graphic Tee

1: Simplify The Baby Shoot

Can we have a moment of silence for all the newly postpartum moms trying to plan newborn photoshoots right now? You’re wearing diapers, barely sleeping, and haven’t brushed your hair in recent memory. And now you get to scour Instagram for the perfect photographer, then the internet for the picture-perfect outfit!

Can we offer a kind word of advice? Simplify it.

The truth is, your little one is precious and will look precious whether the outfit is the perfect shade of baby boy blue. 

 Instead, look at what you’ve got on hand. Try any neutral onesie, shirt + top combo, or swaddle, and add a white beanie.

You’ll maintain that angelic newborn aesthetic, while also adding just the right amount of personality. After all, your newborn isn’t like the other newborns. It’s a COOL NEWBORN. And it’s got the hat to prove it.  

Bonus perk: Added warmth means a cozy baby, which means less crying and more coos. It’s a win, win. 

2: Top Off White Kicks

Few ‘fits exude as much swag as a little dude in white sneaks, are we right? Daniel taught us this years ago.

Whether you’re team Nike, Adidas, or Chuck Taylor, the right pair of white kicks can take your little guy’s style from A to OMG. 

Topping the look off with a white beanie adds a sort of bookend effect – the eye is drawn to both parts of the outfit, making both stand out more than either would on its own. Plus it’s a super simple way to add some warmth in the winter and early spring months.

This simple style tip will have strangers saying damnnnn, baby whenever you stroll by. 

3: Pair With A Graphic Tee

When added to a full look, a stark white accessory can at times can look just that – too stark. Especially if there are other neutrals (think tans, browns, grays)  involved elsewhere in the look, white can almost clash. 

The solution? Pair your white beanie with a graphic tee that uses white text.

Even when most of this outfit is brown/tan/neutral, the white beanie still works because of how it interacts with the text on his shirt (the baby blue eyes certainly don’t hurt either!).

Here’s another example where the text itself isn’t white, but the look is white-based. The bright, graphic elements of the sweatshirt and socks make the white beanie pair perfectly.  

Bottom line: we’re always suckers for a clever graphic tee, and adding a white beanie can make its message stand out even more.

One Last Thing –

We can’t resist mentioning what we might love most about the white beanie – it’s EPICALLY GENDER NEUTRAL. 

Grab one for your little boss babe, or pass it down from gender to gender without any fuss.

Still Unsure About the White Beanie?

We get it. Not every color is for everyone, and that’s why we offer lots of color ways each season. 

If you’re looking for a neutral runner-up, we love Tan (a warm oatmeal), Gray (a classic) or even Mauve (a fashion-forward statement). 

We’re curious - which of these style approaches feels the most ‘you?’ Let us know in the comments! And as always, if you’re looking for more swoon-worthy style inspiration, come join us on Instagram.

 

February 15, 2022 — Matthew Fisler
5 Hacks to De-Grinch Gift Wrapping

5 Hacks to De-Grinch Gift Wrapping

This Holiday Season

The house is decorated, you’ve got a snapback or beanie for every little bro on your list. You even made it through that school party where you were somehow expected to dress your toddler up as Buddy The Elf.

Now all you have to do is spend twelve hours cutting, taping, wrapping, and ribboning! The essence of Christmas joy, right? 

Wrong. Very wrong. 

Guys - we named our company *Binky Bro,* aka we are not down for stressful Christmases (or stress in general tbh). And though your pre-parent self may have simply thrown everything in a gift bag and stuck it under the tree, by now we all know that’s a great way to ensure Christmas comes early (and not in a good way).

 So we’ve put together 5 parent hacks to simplify gift wrapping and hopefully help you enjoy the busiest month of the year. 

#1: Make An Evening Of It

Wrapping gifts one at a time as they arrive from Amazon.com, I mean--The North Pole, is a sure way to feel like you never stop wrapping. Much like the neverending sinkful of dishes, gift wrapping is more survivable when done in one fell swoop.  

Our hack? Make it a party. 

Grab some wine and chocolate covered JoJo’s, re-watch A Christmas Prince for the twelfth time, and go to town. Bonus: including a husband, sister, or grandma will make it even more fun! 

(Yes, there are three of these. Yes, we have seen them all.)

#2: Ditch The Gift Tags

 Instead, use different wrapping paper for each family member. 

We’ve all been there – your kid’s unwrapping a gift you were sure was for him, but then the box opens and it’s like OH WAIT THAT WAS FOR YOUR SISTER *cue tears.*

Trust us - your mom brain has enough to juggle this December without keeping track of which red and green box belongs to who. This Christmas, give it the gift of ditching gift tags.  

Short on paper? Shop these multi-packs:

Classic Christmas wrapping paper

Gold Neutral Wrapping Paper

Modern colorful wrapping paper

#3: Go Green With Furoshiki Wrapping

Love the planet? Got some spare fabric lying around? We’re big fans of the Japanese wrapping method called Furoshiki.

Why we love it:

  • No need to stock up on scissors and tape (but in case you do)
  • Better for planet earth
  • Harder for toddler hands to unwrap pre-Christmas

At first glance, yes, it looks like you have to be Martha Stewart herself to pull this off, but we’ve found it surprisingly easy to do, especially thanks to these handy tutorials: 

Gift Wrapping with Fabric

Five Ways To Furoshiki

The Folding Lady on TikTok

#4: Upcycle Empty Wrapping Paper Tubes 

Where are all our boy mamas at?! You guys know the empty-wrapping-paper-tube-swordfight is bound to happen, so our official advice is to LEAN IN. 

Hold on to your empty wrapping paper tubes for the moment when (not if) you’re stuck home bored on a snow day.

Will you wonder why you bought Christmas presents when a tube of cardboard provided hours of entertainment? You absolutely will. 

BUT it just might get you through a day of Christmas break, so praise Santa for that. 

#5: Stock Up For Next Year This Year

It’s our personal belief that no Christmas budget should have to include ‘wrapping paper’ as a line item. And while you can always get it for cheap at your local dollar store, the cutest stuff hangs out mostly at Target

So when you’re out making post-Christmas returns or grabbing something for dinner that isn’t candy, swing by the holiday aisle and see what’s for sale. 

Just remember to grab enough prints so you can repeat Hack #2 next year!

Bonus Hack: The Gift That Needs No Wrapping

All hail the gift card! Possibly the only last minute gift you can buy that will still make them squeal with delight. 

Why we love it:

- Requires zero wrapping 

- Guarantees they get what they want

- No shipping time required - send it right to their inbox

Ours come in $25, $50, $100, $150 increments and can be used for anything on the site. 

Yep that means everything from kids’ thermals, to backpacks, to a swimsuit for that spring break vacation that’s coming way sooner than you think. 

Well on that note, we’ve grinched about gift wrapping for long enough. Now we wanna hear – what gift are you most excited to give this year? Tell us in the comments!

- The BinkyBro Family

December 21, 2021 — Matthew Fisler