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 SportChek 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

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 SportChek 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 SportChek 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.

Are We There Yet

Are We There Yet??

You know, I used to think it was a myth. Something our parents joked about in the same way that they had walked to school barefoot and uphill, both ways, in the snow! After a summer of road tripping with the kids I can now confirm that, “Are We There Yet?”, is not only a real thing but it seems to be my children’s favourite question.

I’m never really sure how I’m supposed to answer this question in a way that stops it from being asked again so I decided to ask you, the reader, what you say to your kids when they inevitably spit it out. I have compiled your responses and this is what you came up with. For those of you with more thoughts on the subject, please feel free to leave them in the comments section!

I say “Yes, we’re there. We’ve been there for 10 minutes. See Grandma right there? Why are you still in the car?” ~ Gina

We did a lot of driving this summer. At one point I truthfully replied “we will be there in 14 hours”…the honesty didn’t go over super well. ~ Jennifer K

I find myself responding like Papa Smurf “Not far now” “Not to much farther” and then “It’s far, very far” ~ Chantal

When you and your brother were little..we would say 3 hours! Seemed to work for you ~ My Mom…

We like to put on the gps and they can see the arrival time therefore it has quieted the are there yet questions ~ Teresa

“We literally just left the house fourteen seconds ago.” ~Lori Anne

“No.” ~ Jennifer P

I want to thank everyone who took the time to contribute an answer to my conundrum. I will likely slip back into my smart alec ways but it’s good to know that there are other options out there!

In an effort to ease the stress of the never ending “Are We There Yet” chant, I wanted to give you the opportunity to have your vehicle’s gas, maintenance and insurance all paid for a full year by entering the Schick “Drive Free For A Year” contest!! All you need to do to enter is click on the previously mentioned link, follow the easy steps and Schick could be paying your gas, insurance and depreciation for a whole year! You can also visit the @FreeYourSkinCA Twitter handle for more specials and details about the contest. *Drops Mic*

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in the Drive Free program.

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…

Quaker The Recital Giveaway

Win A Quaker Prize Pack Including $250 In Gift Cards!

To celebrate my participation in Quaker’s campaign for their “The Recital” video, they are letting me give away this amazing prize pack to one lucky reader! This campaign has been really eye opening for me in that it has got me thinking about how easy it is to fall into a routine with our kids. Don’t get me wrong, routines are great and all but I think we still need to step outside the box every now and then to show our kids that it is okay to take risks.

I hope you enjoy this giveaway, picture above, and also take a minute to watch and share The Recital video again. I really love the new trend of emotional marketing, especially when it involves dads! This giveaway is not open to residents of Quebec and I’ll select a winner on September 24th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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
• 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

Barilla Cooking With Kids

Let Me Tell You A Secret About Picky Eaters

My kids hate food. Alright, that seems a little drastic. It seems as though my children dislike more food than they like. Any parent with a picky eater understands the frustration of slaving over a healthy family meal, only to have 50% of the people at the dinner table refuse to eat any of it. Stories such as, “It has green things in it” or “I like it but don’t want to eat it right now”, are mainstays in our house and it seemed as though all was lost, until recently, that is.

I think I may have discovered a loophole in the system and it happened while I was working on my last blog post for Barilla pasta’s Share The Table campaign. I had the kids help me cook the meal that night, which included things that they normally would decline to eat. You know, things like whole grain pasta, tomatoes, all other vegetables… When I mentioned to the kids that food always tastes better when you make it yourself, they couldn’t wait to finish their plates!

Ever since then I have tried to make an effort to get the kids involved in the meal preparation and I have to say that I am running at about a 75% success rate, which is outstanding! No more whining about spaghetti or lasagna having too many vegetables in them because the kids are controlling which and how many veggies are going in. They are also beaming with pride as they help serve the food to the table for family and friends. Win-Win!

Speaking of winning… You still have time to enter Barilla’s Share The Table contest where you can win 1 of 3 trips for four to Italy!! My bags are already packed in case you win and can’t think of anyone else to bring with you. My Italian is quite weak, in fact non-existent, but I smile a lot and don’t sleep walk, so there’s that! Please also check out the Barilla Share The Table website for some great tips and tricks on how to make mealtime a meaningful experience in your house.

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in the Barilla Share The Table campaign.

Schick Drive Free

How Would You Like To Drive Free For A Year?

I bet you thought I was joking with a title like that, didn’t you? In case you hadn’t realized it before, owning a vehicle can get pretty expensive. Between rising gas prices, insurance and depreciation, I often think I’m going to need a second job just to afford staying on the road. The folks over at Schick® understand this reality as well and decided to launch the Schick® Drive Free For A Year giveaway so that one lucky driver could stop worrying about car bills for a whole year! Seeing as how that person cannot be me, I wanted to share this news with all of you in hopes that one of you are named the winner. Imagine how great it would be to drive me all over the place as a thank you for sharing this amazing contest with you? I know I can’t wait!!

I can feel how excited you are getting right now so I’m just going to cut right to the chase. Here are the steps you need to complete in order to win:

Step 1 – Look for participating products in your favourite stores. Then, check for a yellow “Drive Free for a Year” sticker. Also, you can win without making a purchase by writing a 50 word essay on “Why Schick® is my Preferred Brand” and mail it to: The Schick Drive Free for a Year Grand Prize Draw and Instant Win Promotion (Request for No Purchase unique PIN number), Dept 3112, Box 9500 Lakeshore West PO, Oakville ON, L6K 0G4. Let’s be honest though, it’s much easier to stock up on razors, am I right??

Step 2 – Visit the Schick® We Set You Free website, click on the Drive Free tab and register for the contest. It’s quick and easy – takes only 5 minutes. Or, if you’re already registered, just sign in.

Step 3 – Now it’s time to enter your PIN. Be sure to check that it’s a yellow “Drive Free for a Year” sticker. You could win great prizes instantly (over 2400 of them) – plus every PIN is an entry into the Grand Prize draw to Drive Free for a Year!

To sum that all up, buy the product, enter the code, win stuff! You can visit the Schick® We Set You Free website for more details and don’t forget to follow the @FreeYourSkinCA Twitter handle for more info and giveaways during the Drive Free campaign!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program, however I seriously considered turning it down after realizing that this blocked me from entering. I also seriously expect one of you to drive me around if you win…

TropicanaBottledSummer Prize Pack

Win A Tropicana Summer Prize Pack! #TropicanaBottledSummer

The summer of winning continues here at Canadian Dad HQ and next on the list is the sweet prize pack above from Tropicana! On top of the fun summer toys in the prize pack, Tropicana have even thrown in a $50 PC gift card to get your next BBQ off on the right foot! Also, while I have you here I would like to admit that I singlehandedly drank all the Tangerine Lemonade that Tropicana sent me to share with my family. No, I am not proud of myself. Yes, it was so good that I would probably do it again. Go buy some for yourself and you’ll see what I’m talking about. While your out, you should definitely also try Tropicana’s new Watermelon Fruit Drink because it is the perfect compliment to any summer outing.

Back to the business at hand, all you have to do to enter is fill out as many of the entry methods as you feel like in the Rafflecopter form below and I’ll draw a winner on July 17th. Giveaway is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec (I’m so sorry, Quebec, I am a huge Montreal Canadiens fan and this stings every time). Go get it, folks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received compensation for my participation in Tropicana’s campaign. That said, I actually hid in the garage at one point and drank the Tangerine Lemonade straight out of the bottle so my wife and kids wouldn’t see me…

Merrell Socks Sandals

The Hypocrisy Of The Foot Pic

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I am not a huge fan of the pictures of other people’s feet that seem to invade my internet feed on a daily basis. I could never figure out what it was about a picture of a foot that made anyone think, “I need to share this amazing foot picture for all the world to see!”. For the longest time I was beating on the #NoFeetPics drum…until now.

You see, I recently agreed to work with one of my favourite stores in Mark’s on their #ForAllWalks campaign, which required me to try out some shoes from their new line. Being someone who has never owned a really nice pair of sandals I was excited that Mark’s had their Merrell Kahuna III Sandal on the availability list. Once the sandals arrived my wife correctly pointed out that in order to properly discuss them, I was going to have to take a picture of me wearing them… A FOOT PIC, NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

I quickly started running through alternative options in my head. I got away with it in my first post by pretending to use them to swat at wasps, which I did actually do. Then I thought, socks and sandals, but I think we can all agree from the cover photo that this is a way worse option. I came to the conclusion that the only way I can come out of this with my head held high is to do the thing that I have been railing against for years.

The bright side to this conclusion is that I really love the Merrell Kahuna III Sandal so if I have to post a picture of my feet, I’m happy to do it while wearing them. Side note before we get to the finished product, these are truly the most comfortable and versatile sandals I have ever owned and have become my go to footwear whenever we are running out of the house to go play outside. Alright, without further ado, I present to you a picture of my feet!

Merrell Sandals Feet Pics

I’d like to thank Mark’s for including me in their #ForAllWalks campaign. All of the shoes I had the chance to try out have been amazing and have really opened my eyes to the importance of investing in good shoes. I highly encourage you all to head on over to the Mark’s website and check out what they have to offer. You can also interact with the Mark’s social channels by visiting them at their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program but I truly dislike all of the feet pics that have infiltrated the internet. I mean, they’re feet, people! Feet!!!!