Myth Busting In An Organic-Obsessed World

DISCLAIMER: I’ve partnered with Johnson’s® for this post but all opinions are my own.

For those of you who don’t know, I live in Los Angeles — which is way different from the east coast where I was born and raised. Other than being a city filled with sunshine, beaches, and crazy traffic — it’s also a city that’s obsessed with organic products.

It doesn’t matter if it’s organic fruits, organic vegetables, organic toothpaste, organic diapers — if you can ingest it, apply it, or wear it, there’s a good chance that an organic version is available somewhere in LA. As an LA dad who hangs out with other LA parents, I started believing the whispers at social gatherings:

“Oh, I only pack organic snacks in my son’s lunch.”

“Do you use that new organic sunscreen? It’s amazing.”

“If it’s not organic, my family won’t buy it.”

You get the idea. Organic products are viewed as safe, good, and healthy, while anything else is deemed as “dangerous” for ourselves and our children. Other parents may try to make us feel guilty if we’re NOT using those kinds of products. Finally, I took a step back to realize something: my family used JOHNSON’S® products on me and my two brothers when we were babies, toddlers, and children — and we all turned out just fine as adults (one is a Harvard graduate excelling as a corporate executive, another is a best-selling author, and then there’s me — your friendly, neighborhood, Daddy Doin’ Work).

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And yes, I still use JOHNSON’S® products on myself today, especially the shampoo (yeah, I said it — I still use shampoo. Gotta keep my dome clean. JOHNSON’S® doesn’t tout itself as being an organic brand, but that doesn’t mean their products aren’t safe – they are the pioneers and leaders in the industry. Over 90% of baby skincare research comes from JOHNSON’S®. I’ve been to their headquarters myself, met with the people in their labs and research centers, and feel confident saying that they hold themselves to stringent standards when it comes to safety.

That’s why it’s important to dig a little deeper when it comes to the organic vs. non-organic debate. Did you know that yummy blueberries naturally contain Parabens? Or that apples, bananas, and carrots (to name a few) naturally contain formaldehyde? But I bet that news wouldn’t stop you from having your kiddos munch on those fruits and veggies, right? Of course not. I’ll go out on a limb and state that you probably ate them as a kid and still do today (I know I do). Another fact is out of the thousands of cosmetic ingredients used around the world, less than 2% meet JOHNSON’S® rigorous standards for baby products — and yes, many of those ingredients are actually natural. JOHNSON’S® uses both natural and non-natural ingredients, but the most important thing is they want to put safe products on the market.

I know all of this is true because I spent time in JOHNSON’S® headquarters recently and asked a ton of questions to the scientists who work there. They were honest, smart, and (most importantly) they’re parents. Just by being around them I could tell how passionate they are about their work. Nobody in the building knows more about what their ingredients do than these ladies, and they are 100% committed to making safe products for their babies and ours.

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I even had an opportunity to make some lotion on my own to see an abbreviated portion of their process. It was extremely eye-opening, informative, and fun.

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It’s too easy to feel pressured by the buzzwords of organic and all-natural products without truly understanding if they can help your family. That’s another reason why I believe strongly in Johnson’s® because they make it easy for parents due to their transparency on their Behind the Label page. No need for an advanced chemistry degree, because every ingredient they use is listed in alphabetical order with its purpose in plain English.

As mentioned before, I trust JOHNSON’S® because it was the brand used on me and it’s the brand I use on my kids.

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If you’ve followed me for a while, you probably know that nothing in the world is more important to me than my two young daughters. Do you think I’d do anything to jeopardize their safety in any way? Of course not.

Do your research, be informed, and decide what products are right for your family — because at the end of the day, it’s important to realize that not all natural ingredients are good and not all non-natural ingredients are bad.

The one thing needed for an amazing family vacation

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Holiday Inn. The opinions and text are all mine.

OK, so there are a probably a hundred things that contribute to an awesome family vacation, but hear me out on this. A few days ago, my family went on a trip to Mazatlan courtesy of the good folks at Holiday Inn hotels and we had the time of our lives.

First off, I have to talk about our room. I travel a lot and I’ve stayed at a lot of hotels, but I can confidently state that I haven’t stayed in one as nice as the Holiday Inn resort in Mazatlan.

Our room had a separate space for the kids with bunk beds, a TV, and a door! A DOOR! Meaning they can sleep and/or entertain themselves without me having to hear them or see them. I mean, we all need a little break from our children at times, right? The folks at the Holiday Inn brand absolutely understand that.

But of course, that’s not all. The view of the beach from our balcony was spectacular during the day…

…and even more spectacular at night — which gets a big thumbs up from me.

Then there’s the pool. Oh man…that pool was amazing. We spent a lot of time enjoying the crystal blue water.

And this photo pretty much sums up how relaxed we were.

As phenomenal as those things were (and they were pretty phenomenal), the best part of our vacation centered around the amazing customer service we received while we were at the resort.

My youngest daughter’s birthday was on July 9th and all we really expected to do was enjoy some family time at the beach and pool. And we did just that.

But that’s when the resort’s team members decided to throw a surprise party for her and we were all pretty floored by it (especially her).

Beyond the birthday surprise, Juan (the General Manager) and his team always ensured that every need of ours was met. They knew when we needed something before we asked, they were super-friendly, and they totally understood what it’s like to travel with kiddos.

When it really comes down to it, now that I’m a dad, I find that I gravitate towards anything that will make my life easier. And do you know what makes my life easier? Good customer service. Having fancy rooms, beautiful beach views, and amazing Mexican food are all outstanding, but the thing that I think about first and foremost was how well we were taken care of.

I believe it was Maya Angelou who said, “At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” Quoted for truth.

I think the best proof of this is a photo of my daughters with Juan right before we left to go home. They aren’t the kind of kids who will smile around strangers or allow themselves to be picked up by them. They truly felt a connection with Juan due to the great service he provided for them and he felt like an extension of our family.

Even on the flight home, my oldest asked when we would see “Senior Juan” again. Hopefully that will happen very soon.

Needless to say, this was a trip that my family will remember for a lifetime and it all comes down to the service we received from the Holiday Inn resort’s staff. Because all of the perks in the world don’t mean much unless you’re treated well.

 

Doin’ Work with Marvel Universe Live!

Let me start by saying that I’m a huge superhero nerd. I’ve been reading comic books since…well, since I could actually read. Marvel characters have always been my favorite, and as a dad of two daughters, words cannot describe how happy I am that my girls are superhero fans just like their old man.

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The Day I Realized I Didn’t Want To Be A Dad

It was a typical evening in my household. I was reading one of my books to my two young daughters, which I wrote about the joys of fatherhood. But there was no joy or excitement on this night. I was a page-turning zombie, waiting for the book to end.

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Who is Doyin, Anyway?

A faithful SDW (Subscriber Doin’ Work) named Alexandra sent me an email a while ago that caught my attention. She said many things, but one sentence read, “I know a lot about your passion for being a dad, but I really want to know more about you (hopes, fears, insecurities, quirky stuff). Care to share some nuggets with me?” No, it didn’t come off as creepy or weird, and she’s right – I need to do a better job of opening up completely. Hopefully by the time we’re done here you’ll learn more about me than you ever thought (or hoped) you would.

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Wanna Feel Good About the World? Go on a Cruise

One thing I try to do as a dad is introduce my kids to new stuff all of the time. New food, new places, new experiences, and new people. To me, I feel that’s a great way to learn more about what this great world has to offer.

But here’s a startling statistic. Did you know that close to 40% of Americans have never moved away from their hometowns? It’s hard for people to identify with different cultures, races, or ethnicities if you see the same people everyday, right?

The best way to become more accepting and tolerant of people that are different from us are to enter their environments and see how they live. In doing so, we’ll realize that we are all way more similar than we are different.

That’s why I was so happy when Carnival recently offered to take my family on an 8-day Caribbean cruise in January. Our travels took us to the Dominican Republic, Aruba, Grand Turk, and Bonaire — and we met a lot of interesting people, but it’s not just about those locations. My family had the opportunity to meet a lot of amazing people from all walks of life on the beautiful and brand new Carnival Vista as well.

First off, Carnival has a lot of diverse restaurants from steakhouses, Asian cuisine, Italian at Cucina del Capitano (my personal favorite), and much more. My kids were able to experience fine dining from different cultures without leaving the ship.

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And as far as the people are concerned, my daughters enjoyed dancing, swimming, eating, and playing with people from various backgrounds while on the ship. Did my girls care that those people didn’t look like them? Of course not. They just wanted to have a good time and that’s exactly what they did. It was beautiful to witness.

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I certainly don’t have the answers to all of the world’s problems, but I feel that one potential fix is to ensure our kids hang out with as many people as possible who may not look like them, try new foods, and go to new places. Carnival checked all of the boxes for us on our recent cruise and we are so thankful for that.

This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind. Head on over.