This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
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Dear Diary,

Growing up, everyone teased me when they met my father. He wasn’t your traditional dad. He rocked a Stephen ponytail, sported brand name sweat suits and sneakers, listened to the same rap music blaring from my car radio and cracked jokes with my friends. People were surprised at how down to earth he was. He wasn’t a big disciplinary and often left (what I thought were) major decisions about going to the mall and hanging out after curfew to my mother. Although he had a laid back way of parenting, he was the anchor in my life. Still today, I go to him for wise advice and insight. So as father’s day approaches, I reflect on the many messages he has passed on to me, especially when we would sit on my beachfront balcony for hours on end.

Years ago, I picked up and moved to the Cayman Islands for a television reporting job. Although I relocated overseas, it wasn’t a surprise to my family. I was a water baby–I probably swam before I walked. Every year, we headed to the beach for vacation. And when I was in college, my father, sister, uncle and I became certified scuba divers. So when I moved to the Caribbean, my father followed. He said he would help me settle (maybe that’s what needed to be said to receive permission to leave my working mom behind.) Retired, he fished, sailed and swam daily. And at night, we broke bread, grilled his catch and drifted into long conversations.

Here are some of the lessons I learned:


When life gets tough, push on to the next phase. After every storm, there’s a rainbow–a reminder that things will get better in time. When I became a single mom, he encouraged me that it wasn’t the end of the world. In fact, it was the beginning! I received the best gift in my daughter. And no matter what happens, I have the strength to push on and go beyond my expectations.


When I’m afraid to step out on faith, my father encourages me to set sail and follow my dreams, no matter how far fetched my dreams seem. He tells me that no matter where I am, I am always in his heart and always a phone call away. Because of that, I’ve travelled around the world, not afraid to submerge myself into other cultures. I’ve also learned that life is a journey not a destination. I’m constantly redefining myself and setting bigger goals, thanks to my dad.


My father has always made a big splash, no matter where he went. He’s just as comfortable talking to a company’s custodian as he is interacting the CEO. He always tells me that you can make the best impression by being kind, compassionate and respectful.


And last but not least, my father taught me to value family. You can lose friends, lose money, lose your house, lose your job or if you’re like me lose your memory, but you’ll always have your family. So, they should be your most prized  possessions.

My dad doesn’t put a big value on material things–he never asks for anything and tells us not to buy him presents!  But it’s that time of the year–Father’s Day! I headed to Macy’s Downtown–my favorite location due to the iconic clock.

But since he loves the sea and since I’ve since moved back to U.S. soil, a water themed gift seems quite fitting. I can celebrate his special day and out lifelong journey of love with the new Nautica Life fragrance.  My dad is pretty manly—he’s a fisherman and construction worker, so when he wears cologne, it’s fresh and woodsy and has a masculine aura. The aromatics match his woods and water boy personality.

This deluxe gift set is yours for only $65.00, a $128.00 value. The set includes a 3.4 oz Eau de Toilette, a 2.5 oz Aftershave Balm, a 2.5 oz Shower Gel and 1 oz Eau de Toilette.

So DFTM Fam–What are you getting the anchor in your life? What has your father or the significant male in your life taught you about love and adventure? Be sure to pick up a gift set and enter to win a $4,000 Cruise Vacation Package! Plus, you’ll have a chance to win a Nautica Men’s Fragrance Gift Package for the other man in your life! Meanwhile, read more father-daughter journeys on the #NauticaforDad website. 

Nautica for Dad

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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