Schick Hydro 5

Schick Yourself & Feel Great About It!

The truth is that I’ve been tired lately. Working multiple jobs while trying to coach and be there for the kids as they take part in multiple activities. It’s our own fault for letting them try all the sports they wanted to all at once instead of making them choose one or two. My fault or not, it’s still tiring and with that comes sacrifices, some in the form of personal hygiene.

Before you avoid me like the plague, I still bathe, wash my clothes and brush my teeth, most of the time… My beard game, however, has been bordering on Jabba the Slob for the last couple months and I finally decided to take charge! I kept telling myself that I was a trendsetter and that disheveled dad was the new baby face. I wore the uneven patches of gray throughout my facial hair like a badge of honour after winning another battle over whose turn it is to shower next. The hair in my armpits bec…nah, I’m kidding, who cares about that!?

Of course, all of this is ridiculous and really comes down to simply being too lazy to shave. I considered it excellent timing from the folks at Schick that made me realize just how lazy I had become. They asked me to take the new Schick Hydro® 5 razor for a test drive and even invited 50 of you to try it out as well. More on that later, though! The new Schick Hydro® 5 system has an upgraded Hydrating Gel Reservoir which hydrates throughout each shave, a larger Guard Bar for increased skin stretch, and reduced Blade Span to minimize skin bulge which all help to get a smooth shave – all the while with the signature Flip Trimmer for hard-to-reach places. How could I say no??

So, I shaved, and suddenly being clean shaven after months of slobbery felt pretty darn good. Everyone in the house was excited for the change, especially my children who said they were tired of my beard scratching their faces. Who knew that taking some time to clean yourself up could feel so good? Well, I guess a lot of people who do it regularly knew that, but still! Of note, the Schick Hydro® 5 razor did an amazing job! Even with the thick weeds I had growing on my face it never jammed up once, which has been a problem with different razors for me in the past.

How To Get Your Hands On The New Schick Hydro® 5 Disposable Razor

As I mentioned earlier, I am not only giving away the new Schick Hydro® 5 razors for 50 people to review on Amazon.ca, but also an opportunity for one of those 50 people to win a $100 prepaid gift card! Here’s what I need from you to make that happen.

1. This is open to anyone living in Canada, excluding Quebec.
2. To leave a product review, you must have an Amazon.ca account and have purchased an item in the last 6 months.
3. Send an email to me at winwithschick@canadiandad.com with your Name, Email, Home Address and Phone Number. I will send the 1st fifty people the new Schick Hydro® 5 disposable razor along with instructions on the how to enter the $100 draw.

That’s it! Make sure to get your name in by June 23rd so you don’t miss out!!

*Disclaimer: This program is only open to age of majority residents of Canada (excluding Quebec). To participate, you must have purchased an item on Amazon.ca within the last six months; otherwise, you will be unable to leave a review. All participants will receive a Schick Hydro® 5 disposable razor as featured in this post.” Full Rules Here.

Altitude Sports Puddle

These Boots Are Made For… Everything, Apparently!

Kids are funny creatures. They are completely opposite from us grown-ups in that they don’t seem to care about things such as fashion, common sense or practicality. Okay, they are unlike ‘most’ of us grown-ups…

My son recently received new Bogs rubber boots from Altitude Sports and I was very excited about it. There’s something special about watching a child splash through puddles in rubber boots. It helps remind us of the freedom we once enjoyed as children to do whatever we pleased. The smiles on their faces as they thrash their way through the rain are enough to tell a thousands stories.

As it turns out, what I saw as a simple and practical pair of puddle jumpers meant something completely different to my son. Sure, he still loves splashing in puddles with them but much like a new pair of running shoes, his new boots came everywhere with us! Without further ado, here is my list, in no particular order, of the strangest things my son used his new rubber boots for.

Baseball Practice

Altitude Sports Baseball

*Jose Bautista also plays in rubber boots! (*Not true)

Street Hockey

Altitude Sports Hockey

Everyone knows rubber boots are best for running…

Jumping on the Bed

Altitude Sports Bed Jump

Are my kids living the dream, or what?

Soccer

Altitude Sports Soccer

Actually the rubber boots are good for unleashing crazy kicks in this case.

As you can see, my children are just as weird as yours and I couldn’t be happier about it. Having structure is cool but sometimes you just need to throw on a pair of rubber boots and jump on a bed, am I right? Please tell me your kids do this kind of stuff too…

I should also mention that Altitude Sports is a 100% Canadian company and my transactions with them have all been amazing. Their discount website, The Last Hunt, has some incredible deals from brands like Salomon and The North Face and you should definitely check it out if you don’t mind wearing the previous season’s gear.

Don’t forget to visit Altitude Sports at their Facebook and Twitter pages to say hello and to let them know that you support a solid Canadian company!

Quaker Chewy Super Grains

Why Didn’t You Eat Your Lunch??

We have asked our children this question on an almost daily basis for this entire school year. I have no idea what it is about the lunches we are packing that repulses the children so much but it seems the one thing we can count on in our house is a less than half eaten lunch when they get home from school.

When prompted about their decisions to neglect their lunches we have received a number of different, yet equally unsatisfying answers, that range from “They didn’t give us enough time!!” to the half-mumbled version of “I don’t know” that sounds kind of like Tarzan’s roar if he were to do it quietly and curtly. It is a frustrating daily exercise that we have tried to fix in a number of ways but still seem to be losing the battle.

Much like the rest of you, we have very active kids who compete in multiple sports and activities. I’m actually at a loss on how to explain to them that they need this food in order to fuel themselves throughout the day, as everything we have tried seems to go in one ear and out the other. Actually, if you guys have any tips, please feel free to share them in the comments because I am all ears! All this said, we have found a few items that the kids will eat no matter how little time their dictators, oops, I mean teachers give them.

The latest such items are the new Quaker Chewy® Super Grains granola bars, which were sent to us by Quaker for the kids to try out. In the last week since we have been sending them in the kids lunches, they are the only empty compartment in the lunch bags when they return home and the kids would eat them all in one sitting if I left them out in the open. The things I didn’t tell the kids are the reasons why I am happy they are eating them. The Quaker Chewy® Super Grains granola bars are made in a peanut-free facility and combine super grains like whole grain oats, brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, sorghum, and barley to deliver 8 g of whole grains, 5 g of protein and 2 g of fibre. Remember the mention of fuel earlier? This is at least some of the fuel they will need to get through their afternoon activities.

Quaker Chewy Super Grains Kids

I will admit that the lunch time battle is far from over but I will definitely take these small victories as they come. I mean, my kids are enjoying both the Oats & Chocolate and Oats & Honey flavours of the Quaker Chewy® Super Grains granola bars. That’s a win in itself for my picky eaters and we are now one step closer to an empty lunchbox at the end of the day. Now if only we could force them to eat their fruit…

How about you? Do you have picky lunch eaters? How do you deal with it? No, seriously, please help!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program but I did in fact have to hide the granola bars because my son is a granola monster who would hide in his room and eat them all in 2 minutes…

Dad 2.0 Summit

A Brief History of the 2016 Dad 2.0 Summit (Now With 10% More Canadians!)

I spent this past week in Washington, DC taking part in the 5th Dad 2.0 Summit. This being the first Dad 2.0 that I wasn’t speaking at, the first thing I noticed is that my anxiety level had dropped dramatically. Don’t get me wrong, I love speaking at this conference but I get myself so worked up for imminent failure that I can’t let myself relax until I am off the stage, so it was nice to have that calm feeling the whole time. Of note, imminent failure has yet to happen…

The hotel for this year’s event, Mandarin Oriental, was the classiest one to date and this fact became evident to me after my first night there. I drew the short straw on night one and slept on the floor, however the Mandarin provided me with a ton of pillows and comforters to make a bed with. When I entered the room after the cleaners had been by, I noticed that they had remade my makeshift floor bed for me, left me some slippers and folded my previously worn clothes for me. The only thing missing was the towel swan! On top of that, they had what can only be described as the “greatest promo video ever” playing on the television sets in each room. Check the link and I promise you’ll be amazed.

Oddly, one of the highlights of the Dad 2.0 Summit over the years for me has been the unrelated karaoke night that usually happens. Last year in San Francisco was a very light, yet extremely fun, group of people and so I expected this year to be about the same. Imagine my surprise after a couple of us planned the outing to find about 40 people waiting in the lobby, all excited to join us for a night of fun. We laughed, sang and danced, and I’m thankful to everyone who showed up!

There were also a record number of Canadians at the event this year and it was great to see so many of my countrymen and women representing what they do. If you are looking for great Canadian content, here are some links to these fine people! Mike & Andrea Reynolds, Mike Vardy, Justin Connors (also my roommate extraordinaire), Buzz Bishop, Dai “the Moose” Manuel, Andrea Nair, Mike Granek, Matt Clarke, Stewart Reynolds! I’m still buzzing and apologize if I’ve missed anyone. I promise you will be added!

Dad 2 Canadians

Just a few of the Canadians in attendance at Dad 2.0!

Finally, it isn’t lost on me that the reason I get to attend Dad 2.0 every year is because of the sponsors. I am now going to take a minute to show them some deserved love in the hopes that they continue to want to support fathers from around the globe by sponsoring future conferences. I can’t mention everyone but there were a few that really stood out to me so I’ll give you the bullet points on them.

  • Not to play favourites but I look forward to the Lee Jeans booth every year and they certainly didn’t disappoint. More than just being able to walk out of the room in a brand new pair of jeans, Lee creates an amazing experience by offering couches, beer, basketball and an amazing staff who take the time to connect with the attendees. Relaxing in the Lee Lounge has become a Dad 2.0 staple.
  • A new sponsor to the event this year was photo app company, Memory Web. They were so new in fact, that they launched their business just before the summit began. We deal with a lot of PR firms, which is great, but I really thought it was great that the actual owners of the company were there running the booth and their pride in their company shone through in my discussions with them.
  • I couldn’t talk about Dad 2.0 Summit without giving a great deal of credit to the people at Dove Men+Care. These guys have been title sponsor of the event as long as I’ve been attending and they bring it to a new level each and every year! Outside of the amazing barbershop they set up each year, they sponsor meals, speakers and create a mad rush for the tons of product they bring each year. On top of all that, they truly respect and understand the importance of good fathers and that is evident not just at the conference but also in the work they do with the dad community throughout the year.
  • Best Buy took us out on a wicked drone experience in the Virginia countryside and the laughs on the bus ride alone would have been worth the trip.
  • The LEGO night out at the Smithsonian was outstanding and the interactive games they had planned at the event made it a night to remember! You are looking at one third of the LEGO Duplo Bridge Building Competition champions, baby! Getting the whole room to belt out “Oh Canada” was a career highlight for me, too! They also have some great stuff coming down the pipe for dads so keep your eye out for that!
  • KIA added a new wrinkle to their test drives this year by offering professional headshots and the lineup was 6-7 deep at all times, proving that we all want to be made to look pretty!
  • Meta Wellness brought Michael Strahan to the event. Enough said! (They also had an awesome snack bar that I frequented on a “regular” basis. Get it??)
  • In the “memorable moments” category, the folks at Kidde Fire Safety had one of the more interactive displays as they allowed us to compete in a firefighter challenge to see who could get geared up from head to toe the fastest. If you want to see me struggle with this challenge you can head over to the HowToBeADad Facebook video

There were so many more great sponsors, which you can find on the Dad 2.0 Sponsor Page, but these are the moments that stuck with me.

KIA Headshots

My Professional Shots from KIA

I’ve decided to split my recap into two posts so that I can talk about my personal takeaways, and there were many, separately. For those of you reading this who were or are on the fence about attending the Dad 2.0 Summit, not only is it excellent for meeting the people in the dad community and also for personal growth and development, but the connections you make here are invaluable.

Thank you to Doug French, John Pacini and the rest of the Dad 2.0 team for another excellent event!

2015 Canadian Dad Holiday Gift Guide

Canadian Dad’s 2015 Holiday Gift Guide ~ Kids Edition!

Welcome to the 2015 edition of the Canadian Dad Holiday Gift Guide! This guide is all things that my kids have put on their Christmas lists and I’m excited to share them with you! Please take a look at what’s hot in their eyes this year and feel free to leave your child’s wish list in the comments section. Happy Holidays!!

Furreal Friends Daisy Plays With Me Kitty Hasbro

 

 

Furreal Friends Daisy Plays-With-Me Kitty

My daughter is obsessed with Hasbro’s Furreal Friends at the moment. She walks her Furreal dog more than most people walk real dogs and I’m guessing the Daisy Plays With Me Kitty will be no different.

You can grab your very own Furreal Friend by visiting Toys R Us!

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Hasbro Playmation Marvel Avengers Starter Pack Gamma Gear

Playmation Marvel Avengers Starter Pack

It would be a lie to say that I am not as excited as my son is about Disney’s Playmation. This is the closest we will ever get to becoming actual superheroes and that’s more than good for us! Power Activators bring missions to life with over 20 different enemies so you can fight along side your favourite Avengers!

For more information on the Playmation Marvel Avengers Starter Pack, visit Hasbro’s Website!
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LEGO Creator Toy & Grocery Shop LEGO Creator Toy & Grocery Shop

LEGO just feels like a childhood rite of passage, doesn’t it? Both of my kids spend hours creating the most amazing things and take special pride in the creations they come up with in their own heads. That said, it’s always nice to start with a fresh set and my daughter has asked us for this LEGO Creator Toy & Grocery Shop so her LEGO Friends have somewhere to buy food…
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LEGO Ninjago Ronin R.E.X.

LEGO Ninjago Ronin R.E.X.

Back to LEGO for a minute, my son and his friends love LEGO Ninjago so much that they’ve even started to play it outside with the actual LEGO. They each pretend to be a character and run around the yard completing missions. My son’s favourite character, Kai, is a part of this very cool LEGO Ninjago Ronin R.E.X. set he has asked for this Christmas.
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Maplelea Sparkling Ice Taryn

Maplelea Sparkling Ice Taryn

My daughter’s Maplelea doll, Taryn, may just be her favourite thing on the planet right now. She brings it everywhere she goes and treats it as if it is her own child, which is really fun to watch. This year she has asked us for some new outfits and seeing as how she is just learning to skate, we got her the Sparkling Ice outfit, which comes with the dress, tights, scrunchie, skates, skating bag and more. She is seriously going to flip out when she opens it!

Visit Maplelea’s Website for more information
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My Amazing Penpal

My Amazing Penpal

This one is one of the more unique things you will find this year and my kids have loved it so far! Your kids get a new package every month and it leads them on adventures through various countries where they’ll learn about its traditions, foods, animals and much more! My kids also love the online games available with their memberships. 

Visit the My Amazing Penpal Website for details!
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Mattel Monster High 17 Inch Tall Freak Du Chic Gooliope Jellington Doll

Monster High 17 Inch Tall Freak Du Chic Gooliope Jellington

Where was Monster High when I was a kid? This is my daughter’s newest love and I can’t say I’m upset about it. Just look at Goolliope Jellington for instance. She is a circus orphan that oozes, literally, chic! The best part is that my daughter lets me be more creative with Monster High than she does with her less undead doll collections…

Check out the entire collection over on Mattel’s Website!
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Kidizoom Action Cam

Kidizoom Action Cam

Probably the gift I am most excited to give my kids this year is the Kidizoom Action Cam from Vtech. My kids love making videos and while my old digital camera has been great for them, this action cam is going to open so many possibilities for them and I can’t wait to see what they come up with. Just picture seeing what your kid sees while playing hockey or even just playing outside with their friends. It’s going to be a blast!

For more info on the Kidizoom Action Cam visit the Vtech Canada Website
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New PLAYMOBIL NHL Hockey Theme

New PLAYMOBIL NHL Hockey Theme

We are officially a hockey crazy house so anytime I can get my hands on NHL licensed toys that will actually get played with, I jump at the chance. Playmobil’s new hockey themed arena lets my son imagine that he is in the NHL and winning the Stanley Cup as the Montreal Canadiens! What? It’s going to happen eventually! Anyway, this promises to provide hours and hours of hockey fun!

Check out the Playmobil Website for products, colouring sheets and online games!
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Sphero Darkside Ollie

Sphero Darkside Ollie

If you haven’t seen a Sphero toy in action yet you should go check it out right now. These tiny machines are controlled by you on your smartphone or tablet and have a ton of tricks that you can make them do. I like to call toys like these “friend-makers” because all the kids will gather around when your child plays with Ollie. 

For more info and demo videos, check out the Sphero Website
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Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Pack

Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Pack

We’ve been huge Skylanders fans in this house since before Skylanders was cool! Adding vehicles into the mix has brought the game to a new level for my son and he hasn’t stopped playing it since getting it for his birthday. Now if only someone could explain to me how Kaos keeps getting away…

Check out the Skylanders SuperChargers Website for more info!

That’s it for this year’s edition of the holiday gift guide! Please feel free to share in the comments what your kids are asking for this year. It never hurts to have a few more ideas under your cap!

Disclosure: I received a few of the items in this gift guide but all items included are things my children have actually asked for this year.

Sport Chek Bauer Vapor

Hockey, Hockey, Hockey, Hockey. Hockey All The Time!

I’m not exactly sure when it happened but my son went from lukewarm about playing hockey to being an absolute monster who eats, sleeps and breathes the hockey life. I made a promise to myself that I would not push him to do anything he doesn’t want to do as far as hobbies go but if I’m being completely honest, I am so excited that he loves hockey so much.

I’m not just talking about playing ice hockey, either. This kid loves watching it on TV, playing road hockey in our free moments, mini sticks in the basement, practicing his shooting and possibly my favourite of his addictions, collecting hockey cards and stickers! No, seriously, I have a collecting problem that might actually need professional help…

There’s something about the fraternity of hockey that I can’t help but love. I love the smells associated with hockey. Yes, even the stinky hockey bag smell. I love that I get to lace up my skates next to my son and take to the ice with him. I love watching the kids grow and develop their skills. I love knowing that I may have had a small part in their development. I love watching the little puffs of breath in the air after a hard fought shift. I love hockey so much that I don’t even mind getting up at 4:30 in the morning for the 6am practices. You know, within reason.

Now that I am a grown man with a job and his own money, there is something else I love about hockey season. Shopping for hockey stuff! With last season being my son’s first in hockey, we opted to go with used skates in case he decided that he didn’t like it. In retrospect, that was probably a bad idea because the skates were fitted to someone else’s feet and he never really grew into them. This year we went all out and grabbed him some brand new form fitted Bauer Vapor X900’s from Sport Chek and the difference has already been night and day from last year. Just look at his concentration above!

A funny thing happened that day at Sport Chek. The goal was get in, get skates and get out, but that is not exactly how it ended up going down… You see, my wife saw the FitBit Charge and snuck it into the shopping cart. I can’t claim innocence either as I used my new found title of assistant coach as reason to purchase a brand new coaches tracksuit. But I mean, c’mon, it was worth it, right? My scratch and save card says yes!

Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful hockey season!! Don’t forget to pop in to Sport Chek to check out their awesome hockey selection! You can also visit them on Facebook and Twitter for more contests and great deals!

Sport Chek Coach Gear

Looking all coach like with my new Under Armour threads from Sport Chek.

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program, however I did in fact spend it all in a single trip to Sport Chek. But man do I look good now!

Nike Running SportChek

Back To School Also Means Back To Fitness

This is a tough thing to admit but I tend to make a lot of excuses when it comes to my health and well being. No matter how often I think about being active, I always seem to have an excellent reason to do the exact opposite of that. Take this past year, for instance. I was working out at my local GoodLife Fitness at least 4 times a week and started training for my first 5K in the Canada Army Run. How many times do you think I’ve gone running from that day to about a week ago, almost a full year later? Zero! That’s right, in some twisted trick that my brain played on me, I had completed my goal and therefore had nothing left to prove. Even my time at GoodLife has been reduced to once a week, which is completed unacceptable.

Now that the kids are back in school and I have realized just how many hours there are in the day, I have decided to pick myself up off the couch and get my butt moving again. I figure one of these days it’s going to click, so as many times as I get off track I think it’s equally as important to keep fighting for consistency in my exercise regimen. I also decided that I couldn’t keep running in the discount running shoes I had been using, so I turned to Sport Chek for some assistance and decided on the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 running shoes. Between the sole support and the mesh uppers, these shoes make it feel like I am running on top of clouds. Look at them up there in all their orange glory!

Just so you don’t think I’m a selfish monster, I also let my wife and kids pick out some new shoes. Besides, back to school seems like a special enough occasion to warrant some shiny new kicks, right? That and the fact that my kids have been running with me to keep me motivated. My wife, who has also been joining me on this exercising adventure, went with the Nike LunarGlide 7 women’s running shoes and I could tell by the spring in her step that she made the right decision. The kids? Well, my daughter saw the Skechers Twinkle Toes shoes, glittery with light up ability, and practically started shaking with excitement. My son chose the Under Armour Micro-G Velocity shoes because of the colour… Kids, am I right? I told both children that they could pose any way they would like to show off their new shoes and, go figure, they both decided to wear the shoes on their hands instead of their feet. Again, kids.

Under Armor SportChek

Under Armour Mirco-G Velocity Kids’ Grade-School Running Shoes

Skechers Twinkle Toes SportChek

Skechers Twinkle Toes Sport Chek

And there you have it. I have now successfully run 5 times in the last two weeks and I am starting to get that confidence back in my stride. Here’s hoping it sticks around but as you all know, I won’t be afraid to admit it if I get knocked down again. I would also like to say thanks to Sport Chek for helping me select my awesome new running shoes. I expected the price to be obscene and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was going to cost me an arm and a leg for excellent quality equipment. You can find out more about what’s happening at Sport Chek by checking out their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program, however I did in fact fall off the health wagon again and the shoes really do feel like what I imagine clouds to feel like.

SCENE Debit Card Scotibank

It’s Movie Night! And It’s On The House!

Last week I told you all about the Scotiabank SCENE debit rewards card and this week I am going to demonstrate the value it brings by taking you through our latest family trip to the movies. I’ll be calculating how many SCENE points we earned in just one night, which includes dinner at a restaurant, the actual movie tickets and some snacks.

For the benefit of this exercise we chose to go see Disney’s Inside Out for a second time because we all thought it was amazing. Our evening began with a trip to our favourite restaurant, Boston Pizza, where the kids love the handouts because they are more than just a simple sheet of paper with some crayons. Seriously, at one point last year they were giving out these amazing Velcro mini pizzas and the kids played with them for months! When all was said and done, and because I like to have an adult beverage when we go out, our meal came to approximately $70. At 1 point for every $5 purchased with the SCENE debit card, we earned 14 SCENE points.

Next up it was movie time! I’d say it was hard to get excited to see a movie for a 2nd time but Inside Out was so good that I was actually excited to go again. I’m not entirely sure my kids grasped the full concept of the movie but they love the angry guy and that’s good enough for me! Now, let’s talk tickets! The total cost of the tickets was $46 for the four of us and because we get 1 point for every $1 spent at a Cineplex theatre, we got 46 SCENE points. I am a firm believer that you can’t watch a movie without popcorn and also that you can’t eat popcorn without a drink, so we spent another $40 on snacks which gave us another 40 SCENE points!

Ah, but there’s a twist here! By pairing my SCENE debit card with my regular SCENE membership card, we were able to collect an additional 700 SCENE points through the bonuses offered! In one family outing we earned a total of 800 SCENE points just by pairing our SCENE debit card with our regular SCENE points card. By the time Disney’s The Good Dinosaur comes out this winter, we’ll be leaving our wallets in our pockets!

This is just a small example of what you can expect from the SCENE debit card. Once you add groceries, gas and morning coffee to the mix, you are going to have so many free movies and popcorn waiting for you that the movie theatre staff are going to think you work there! You’re using your card anyway, right? Why not get something out of it?

PS – I’d also like to say a huge congratulations to Mark Hoffberg, who was the winner of the Cineplex movie passes from the previous post!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this campaign. That said, I am actually a giant nerd who needs to see every single superhero movie coming out in the next 5 years, so I kind of need these points…

Scotibanks SCENE Debit

Enjoy More Movies With The Scotiabank SCENE Debit Card

“Would you like to use your SCENE points to pay for your snacks, sir?”

I looked at the cashier, slightly baffled, wondering if she was talking to me. My family loves going to the movies and I have always handed over my SCENE card without really thinking about it, until this visit. I marched confidently back to our seats with my FREE snacks, proudly explained to my wife what had happened and waited for her to proclaim me a hero!

“That’s nice, honey. Did you get the straws??”

You can’t win ‘em all, I guess… Either way, I was excited at the prospect of spending less money at the movies, which is a concept I’m sure we can all get behind. While scoping out the SCENE website, I noticed that Scotiabank had a SCENE debit card and I immediately got that tingly feeling that is usually reserved for special holidays such as Christmas and Back to School.

With the SCENE debit card you can earn SCENE points on all your purchases which means that you will be enjoying free movies and more throughout the year! Just check out some of these benefits!

• Earn 1 SCENE point for every $5 you spend on debit purchases
• Earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 you spend at Cineplex theatres or online at cineplex.com
• Redeem points for free movies and more!
• Earn 1 point for every $5 you spend at Sport Chek

Look, I’m not one to tell you what to do but if you love movies as much as we do, this card is a no brainer! Not convinced yet? Check out this handy Scotiabank SCENE Rewards Calculator to see exactly how many free movies you could see by opening an account and getting the SCENE Debit Card! All I’m saying is that there are a LOT of superhero movies coming out next year and this would definitely help lighten the load on your wallet.

To send you off on an even happier note, I am going to give away a pair of Cineplex movies passes so you can feel for yourself how great it would be to pay for your tickets with SCENE reward points!

To enter, simply leave a comment below and let me know either what your favourite movie was this year or which movie you are most looking forward to seeing in the theatre! I’ll choose a winner next week!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this campaign. That said, I am actually a giant nerd who needs to see every single superhero movie coming out in the next 5 years, so I kind of need these points…

KOA Family Cabin Camping

You Can Glamp If You Want To

I have a lot of great memories of camping with my family when I was young. We used to go camping at least twice year but often times more. Heck, my parents even drove us all the way to Walt Disney World and we camped instead of staying at one of the resorts. It occurred to me this summer that my young family had yet to embark on our first family camping trip, until now!

We decided to book at the 1000 Islands/Ivy Lea KOA for a number of reasons. First, it’s just over an hour from our house in case things went horribly wrong. Second, they rent cabins with bunk beds for the kids and we thought that sounded fun (and it was). I actually wrestled with the idea of tenting because staying in a cabin felt like we were breaking the rules of camping. That, and the fact that the price difference between tenting and cabin certainly isn’t negligible. In the end I have no regrets as this was one of our best family trips yet!

Due to my superior planning skills and attention to detail, I did little to no research on the Ivy Lea KOA prior to us arriving on site. You can imagine my surprise and excitement as the first thing we saw as we pulled into the park was a gigantic jumping pillow! While I understand that the jumping pillow was put there for the children, I also noticed there was no rules posted against the older campers taking part in the fun…

Dad Jumping Pillow KOA

Here are a few other things I didn’t know about the Ivy Lea KOA. They have heated pools with a water slide. There is an adults only jacuzzi, which I frequented often. There is an arcade. The bathrooms are in immaculate condition, which was important because our cabin didn’t have a bathroom in it. Most importantly, they have a full time activities director whose job it is to keep your children busy and having fun. Every morning we would walk up to the main office and check out all the cool activities planned for that day. As you can see for yourself, there was never a shortage of things for the kids to do.

Ivy Lea KOA Activities

I think my favourite activity was the wet ‘n wild wagon ride in which all the kids grab water gun and load onto a tractor pulled wagon. The tractor then weaves through the campground as an epic water battle takes place between the young riders and the campers who choose to take part. It was so much fun trying to sneak up on the kids and it was great to see how many people took part in the fun.

KOA Ivy Lea Wet Wagon Ride

This was such an amazing family getaway that we actually booked another KOA adventure before the end of summer! I should also note that the staff at the 1000 Islands/Ivy Lea were absolutely incredible and really go out of their way to make sure that everyone has an incredible experience. If you are looking to go camping with your family but don’t feel ready for tent life, I can’t recommend the cabin experience enough as it was a great intro to the outdoors.

Finally I’d love to give a shout out to GMC Canada for allowing us to test the GMC Acadia on our KOA adventure! It was great timing, too, as I’m not sure how we would have done it without all that extra space. We packed that thing to the max and it still drove like it was on the clouds. My kids were actually quite upset when I told them we had to take it back because they loved the 7 seats and the fact that I didn’t have to pack stuff on top of them like the rest of our road trips… I kind of miss it, too.

I’ll leave you with a few more pictures of our KOA experience and strongly encourage you to check one out for yourself.

KOA Ivy Lea Water Slide

KOA Tie Dye

GMC Acadia