Sears Canada KenmorePro Blender

Making Soup With The KenmorePro Blender By Sears Canada! {Plus Giveaway!}

Confession: I am not good in the kitchen. By “not good” I mean that I have no idea what I am doing in the kitchen and outside of university level classes, I’m not sure I will ever get much better. So when Sears Canada asked me to try out their new KenmorePro blender, I politely declined, citing the above cluelessness. They persisted, however, and assured me that even I could whip up a soup using the KenmorePro, so I agreed to give it a shot with the caveat that it could end in disaster.

Sears Canada asked that I use the blender to prepare a soup and I was amazed to find out that the KenmorePro blender not only mixes the soup but also heats it for you! I decided to recruit my kids for this adventure as we have recently started a Cooking With Kids segment on our YouTube channel and they did an amazing job of not only helping me pick out all of the ingredients but also preparing the entire meal from start to finish.

KenmorePro Blender Sears

I loved the fact that the blender came with a recipe book for us to follow along with, although if I’m being completely transparent, here is a list of things I had to google…

1. What is a “stalk” of celery?
2. How do I quarter and onion?
3. What is the difference between vegetable stock and broth?
4. Why can’t children just sit still for 5 seconds?

Alright that last one was just for me but there were definitely some interesting answers on google. As it turns out, making a soup wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought and I dare say that I actually enjoyed my time in the kitchen preparing everything for the blender, which, in my limited experience, performed wonderfully! You can check out all the info and specs on the KenmorePro blender, which retails for $149.97, by visiting Sears Canada!

KenmorePro Sears Canada

To find out how our soup tasted, you’ll have to visit our YouTube channel! Link is in the contest form.

GIVEAWAY!

Because I like you all so much, I am giving away one of these fancy KenmorePro blenders by Sears Canada! All you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter form below and I’l pick a winner by December 14th! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program.

Comparenting Quaker

It’s Time To Stop COMPAREnting Ourselves To Each Other!

As someone who works heavily with social media it is often second nature to make sure that I am sharing the best possible photos and moments that I possibly can, even if those moments are a teeny, tiny bit staged… Even knowing that this is a common practice I often find myself getting jealous over other people’s perfect photos and experiences.

Well, I will compare myself no more! To celebrate the real side of parenting, Quaker is encouraging all Canadian families to join the #stopCOMPAREnting movement. COMPAREnting occurs when you compare your parenting style to other parents after getting only a small glimpse into their world. Social media is a great place to share and get caught up with friends and family but can often leave us feeling insecure about our own parenting methods and habits.

Instead of worrying about how perfect everyone looks on social media, Quaker’s #stopCOMPAREnting movement aims to remind Canadian parents to look beyond the image and celebrate the authentic, real everyday moments. That said Quaker and I encourage you to join us in sharing your unfiltered everyday moments on social media using the #stopCOMPAREnting hashtag. I’ll even go first!

Comparenting Quaker

What you are looking at is my messy old house. Here’s a little blogging secret that I know for a fact happens a lot. When we need that perfect shot of the kids playing nicely together or trying out a new item for the blog, we simply shift the mess from one side of the room to the other. With over 12 hours of kids activities, homework and free play to get to each week, who has time for cleaning?!

See, that wasn’t so hard, now was it? Now it’s your turn! Grab that picture you took that you swore you’d never share of your messy house or unruly kids and pop it onto your favourite social media channels using the #stopCOMPAREnting hashtag. I will guarantee you that other parents will breathe a sigh of relief that they are not the only ones and maybe even decide to share some photos of their own.

Let’s stop worrying about perfection and start supporting each other more through the ups and downs of parenting! Feel free to tag myself or Quaker Canada on social media along with your #stopCOMPAREnting posts and we’ll be there to cheer you on! Quaker, a brand that has been supporting families since 1902, believes that for families to be at their best, we must be confident in the choices we make, so let’s be confident in our decision to stop COMPAREnting!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program.

OCR Academy

Why Do Kids Have To Climb Everything??

I’ve written previously about how I have to work extra hard to bury my inner helicopter parent and as my kids are getting older I am finding that fight gets harder every single day. One of my biggest triggers is with the kids’ constant need to climb everything they see, so in an effort to fight back against my brain I decided to take them to a controlled climbing environment by visiting the OCR Academy here in Ottawa.

I foolishly thought that by letting them climb things that were meant to be climbed, my mind would be at ease. I was wrong. I spent the first 20 minutes following closely behind the kids, not wanting them to do anything without me being right there as a safety blanket. As I watched them fly through the obstacles I started to realize that they could handle themselves just fine, and even the times they fell it wasn’t so bad. A funny thing happened when I started letting them do their own thing, I got to actually relax a little bit and really enjoyed watching them push their boundaries. Who knew? I even managed to get comfortable enough to shoot some video and have shared our experience below.

How about you? Do you still have helicopter blades hidden underneath your hat or are you perfectly okay letting your kids explore on their own? Let me know in the comments here or on our video!

Disney Moana

Disney’s Moana Review

I took my daughter to go see Disney’s new feature film, Moana, and we both absolutely loved it! While it may not have the same powerful soundtrack that a movie like Frozen had, Moana was fun and exciting from start to finish while also having an amazing message that even my 6 year old could grasp.

Besides Moana, who is a strong, ambitious and bright young girl, my favourite character was Maui, who is played by The Rock, Dwayne Johnson. His arrogance made for some hilarious scenes but his kindness keeps you rooting for his character throughout the movie. As you will see in the video from our experience, my daughter’s favourite character was Moana’s grandmother who is another bright spot throughout the movie.

The one thing that always strikes me about Disney’s movies is that there always seems to be an underlying message for viewers to think about. Whether it’s a strong political message in a movie like Zootopia, which I was lukewarm about, or the emotional roller coaster that was Inside Out, Disney seems to to want to make more than fluff piece movies that you will forget about in a week or two. Moana was no different as it delivers a strong message about the environment and the effects of taking from the land without giving anything back.

I really hope you get a chance to check out Moana because outside of Big Hero 6, this was my favourite Disney offering in a long time. Yes, I enjoyed Frozen, I am not a monster, but this one had so many great scenes that we will definitely be buying the DVD when it comes out so we can watch it over and over again! Feel free to check out the video I put together of our experience at the screening and I’d love to hear what you thought of Moana once you get a chance to see it!

#TreatsForToys Baseball

The Rice Krispies #TreatsForToys Program Is Back! {Plus, A Giveaway!}

I’m so excited to announce that I am teaming up with Kellogg’s Rice Krispies for a 3rd year in a row to work on their Treats For Toys program! The concept of this program is as simple as Make, Share, Give! You Make a toy-shaped Rice Krispies treat with your kids, Share it at TreatsForToys.ca or on social media with the hashtag #TreatsForToys and Kellogg’s will Give $20 to the Salvation Army to go towards providing a toy to a child in need this Christmas.

Understanding that it can be difficult to come up with ideas, I have included the recipes of the toys that my daughter and I created in our kitchen laboratory! You can also head over to TreatsForToys.ca to check out all the amazing creations that others have come up with. Just think, if everyone in a family of 4 uploaded or shared a toy-shaped treat, that would provide 4 toys to children who would otherwise receive nothing this holiday season. There’s no baking required either, so I encourage you to get your kids involved!

As promised, the recipes we created are listed below and after you get through those I have included a fun giveaway for a Treats For Toys gift pack! So, have some fun in the kitchen and feel free to head over to my Facebook or Twitter pages to share your creations with the #TreatsForToys hashtag!

Treats For Toys Christmas Smileys 2

Treats For Toys Prancer's Pumpkins

Treats For Toys Holiday Homerun

* © 2016, Trademark of Kellogg Company used under licence by Kellogg Canada Inc.

#TreatsForToys Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program.

Best Buy Toshiba 55 4K TV

Home Entertainment Essentials From Best Buy {Plus $100 Giveaway!}

Last week I shared some home entertainment system tips that were provided to me by a Best Buy blue shirt associate. Today I’m going one step further by recommending specific products that caught my eye while also sending one of you off to Best Buy with a $100 gift card burning a hole in your pocket! Let’s get started then, shall we? Here is my list of Best Gifts from Best Buy!

Toshiba 55″ 4K UHD LED TV

Best Buy Toshiba 55 4K TV

 

It all starts with the TV and after having used the 49″ version of this TV for the past week, I can say that I am extremely impressed. My family’s favourite feature so far is the ability to stream our YouTube and Facebook videos directly to the TV with the push of a button.

Check out all the features here!

 

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Sonos PLAY:5 Wireless Speaker

Best Buy Sonos Play 5

 

Having great sound is what will set you apart from the rest of your friends when it come to home entertainment systems. The thing that caught my eye about the Sonos sound system was not only the ability to buy separate pieces as you can afford them but also the fact that you can connect your devices to this system via wifi.

You can learn more about Sonos here!

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Bose SoundTouch 120 Home Theatre System

Best Buy Bose Home Theatre
 

Looking for the ultimate home theatre experience? Let me introduce you to the Bose SoundTouch 120 Home Theatre System. This system almost blew me out of my local Best Buy and in the best way possible. 

Check out the specs here but bring a paper towel for your drool!

 

 

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PlayStation 4 500 GB NHL 17 Bundle

Best Buy Playstation 4 NHL

For the gamer in your life, which in my house happens to be me, the Playstation 4 NHL bundle has served me well for months now and I highly recommend you give it a try. Guys, you may want to check with your wife before hooking this up to your main system but that’s where it belongs!

Check out the PS4 Bundles Here!

 

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PlayStation VR Launch Bundle

Best Buy Playstation 4 VR

If you’re going to get a PS4 anyway, you may as well look into grabbing the #1 item on my Christmas list year in the PlayStation VR headset! I’ve seen enough videos on YouTube to know that this device will provide hours of fun on your big screen TV.

Here are all the details on the PS4 VR Headset

 

 

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Google Chromecast Ultra

Best Buy Chromecast Ultra

 

Let’s say you went against my recommendation and bought a TV without Chromecast built in, the Google Chromecast Ultra is a simple way to use your mobile device to stream your favourite TV shows, movies and more to the TV. And while streaming, you can still text or call without interrupting what’s playing or draining your battery.

Check out what else the Chromecast Ultra can do!

 

 

 

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Now, I believe I mentioned something about a giveaway, didn’t I?? To get you started on your way to a new home entertainment system from Best Buy, I am giving one lucky reader a $100 Best Buy gift card! All you have to do to enter in fill out the Rafflecopter form below and cross your fingers! Happy Shopping!!!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program, which involved playing with all sorts of cool electronics!

Shoppers Drug Mart Man Flu Shot

Can We Talk About The Man Flu For A Minute?

The man flu is a joke that has been around for ages and will likely never die. The joke is that we, as men, don’t know how to handle being sick so we over exaggerate our sniffles, lock ourselves away in our rooms and expect to be waited on hand and foot. If I’m being honest, the locking in the room part of that equation is absolutely true, but I have never expected, nor demanded, anything from my spouse while I was sick.

Recently, however, science has shown that there may be something to this so called “man flu” that completely excuses us from further ridicule. Gooooo, science! You see, scientists claim they have found that men suffer more because they invest in their spirit of adventure at the expense of their immune system. Or in other words, we don’t take care of ourselves and get sicker than our female counterparts, who are much smarter than we are. Still, science! This article explains it far more eloquently than I can.

Further to this news it is said that across a range of animal species, males tend to be the “weaker sex” in relation to immune defenses, usually because of hormonal differences. This has been supported by more recent studies, which suggest estrogen has anti-viral qualities that provide women with greater protection against influenza.

What I’m really trying to say here is that while man flu may be a thing, science shows that it is actually very natural and that you should definitely cut us some slack the next time we are sick. At least I think that’s what science was trying to say… In the end I think we can all agree that getting your flu shot is one of the best ways to avoid getting the flu and I highly encourage you to stop in to your local Shoppers Drug Mart and get your flu shot today! Getting your flu shot not only protects you but also helps protect those around you who are more susceptible to getting sick.

Okay, I’m done, you can run over to Shoppers Drug Mart now to get your flu shot! Oh, and if you feel like sharing, please tweet @CanadianDadBlog a picture of you getting your Shoppers Drug Mart flu shot using the hashtag #SDMFluFighters and I’ll hit you with a virtual high five for your bravery!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this campaign.

Best Buy Home Entertainment Toshiba

How To Create The Ultimate Home Theatre Experience

One of the top items on our holiday list this year was a new TV for our living room as our current model is about 6 years old and the advancements in home entertainment in that time have been beyond anything I could have imagined. Not wanting to make the wrong decision, we worked with Best Buy to set up an appointment with one of their Blue Shirt associates and home entertainment experts, Ryan, and he helped us throughout the process.

I wanted to share some of his tips with you because it was all new to me so I figured there were more of us, less technology savvy, people out there… Honestly, had I not asked for Ryan’s help, we would have walked out of Best Buy with a mishmash of things that don’t belong together. That said, here are some of his top tips for outfitting your home entertainment system!

Good Sound Is Key!

As great as TV technology is these days, if you want a true home theatre experience, you need to up the ante when it comes to sound. I always used to walk right by the sound aisle because I knew I’d be spotted for the fraud I was while pretending to look impressed by it all. Ryan taught me all about the differences and importance of the various components of sound, pointing out that the sound bar was where the magic happens, while the sub woofer played in important role in the projection of bass. I admitted to him that I had received a surround sound set a few years earlier and had no idea what the sub woofer did, so I just left it unplugged next to the TV… Shame.

Obviously, the sound set from Bose was incredible but it was the Sonos system that caught my eye. I liked the ability to purchase pieces as I had money for them as opposed to having to shell out all the money at once. I also liked that you could connect your mobile devices to any of the pieces through wifi so you could play your music from anywhere in the house.

To Make It Great, You Must Calibrate!

That’s right, I said calibration. Let’s just be honest here, I had no idea what this meant as Ryan talked about it until he showed me the difference. You see, when most people see a TV with bright, vibrant colours, they are immediately drawn to it. In most cases, however, you are not watching with the colours or clarity you were intended to see. Best Buy offers a service where the Geek Squad will come to your house, with all their fancy equipment, and calibrate your new TV for you in the room that you are going to place it in.

What this does is sets the colours and clarity around the specific natural lighting that your room contains. Oh, and don’t worry about losing the calibration due to power outages or other errors because the Geek Squad saves your settings and can easily re-calibrate for you!

Miscellaneous Odds & Ends

Here are a few other tidbits of information I got out of my visit to Best Buy!

1. Make sure you measure your living space before purchasing your TV and TV stand. You don’t want to have to worry about these details while you’re in the store and then pick the wrong sized things.
2. Grab a couple extra HDMI cables and a power bar. Do you know how annoying it is to excitedly set everything up only to realize that you need one more cable??? I do…
3. Don’t be afraid of buying open box items. Not only is this one of my secret strategies, but the store clerks also emphasized that open box does not mean faulty. It is almost always because someone returned it without even trying it and you could save major dollars by taking it off their hands!

That’s all for today’s lesson! I hope it proves helpful for you when you are ready to redesign your home entertainment space. Oh, I almost forgot, here is the TV we ended up with!

It’s the Toshiba 49” 4K UHD Smart TV and we can’t wait to get it fired up! I’ve been told that 4K is the wave of the future so I’m excited to see what it brings. I also love the fact that the TV has Google Cast built in to give us easy instant access to apps like Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify!

I highly encourage those of you in the market for a new home entertainment setup to stop into your local Best Buy and ask for one of their experts to walk you through all the options. Thanks to Erin and the Best Buy team for making this such a great experience for us!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program but my wife is loving watching The Bachelor on this giant new TV so I am definitely 100% satisfied with my experience!

Subway Sandwish Kids

On #NationalSandwichDay, Teach Your Children To Give Back

My daughter dressed up as a witch for Halloween this year but was sad when she saw other witch costumes with a broom as an accessory. Her older brother came rushing into the house looking for scotch tape, which I provided to him and then watched him run into the backyard to rummage through an old wood pile. Luckily for him, our lawnmower had broken down because the next thing I knew he was presenting his little sister with a stick that had very long grass taped to the bottom to form a broom.

The point of this story is that kids are never too young to learn about the power of kindness and we as parents need to nurture that side of them from an early age. I had plans to bring my kids to volunteer at our local Kanata Food Bank to celebrate #NationalSandwichDay with SUBWAY® Canada but they are unfortunately too young to be volunteers. Instead we decided to put together a care package that we will drop off to the food bank together and that way I can still give them a quick tour of the facilities and explain to them why the food banks are so important.

What Is National Sandwich Day?

National Sandwich Day

Today is a big day at your local SUBWAY restaurant as they celebrate National Sandwich Day! For every sandwich purchased with a drink on National Sandwich Day, SUBWAY Canada will donate a meal to Food Banks Canada. But that’s not all. In addition to donating a meal, SUBWAY will also give the purchaser a second sandwich of equal or lesser value for free!

Food Banks Canada will help more than 1.7 million Canadians this year and your help is needed more than ever. You can help your local food bank in many ways, by donating money or food, volunteering your time or even just spreading the word on social media or even simpler,this year you can also head in to your local SUBWAY restaurant on Nov 3rd, you know, today, grab a sandwich and drink, and talk to your kids about how fortunate they are to be able to enjoy that experience.

Well, why are you still reading this post? Grab your family and get out to your local SUBWAY restaurant to enjoy 2 for 1 sandwiches while also helping Food Banks Canada!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program.

Subway Sandwish

Celebrate #NationalSandwichDay on November 3rd with SUBWAY® Canada!

As a family who always seems to be on-the-go, we spend quite a bit of time in SUBWAY® restaurants, which is why I am so excited to be partnering with them for National Sandwich Day! Through this initiative, SUBWAY® will donate more than 303,000 meals to Food Banks across Canada. To put it into perspective, that’s more than the number of children across the country that rely on food banks every month.

As we work our way into the holiday season, food banks are working overtime to make sure that they have enough stock on their shelves to meet demand. With more than 550 food banks and 3,000 affiliated programs, Food Banks Canada will help more than 1.7 million Canadians this year. With food bank usage up 26% since 2008 and almost 80,000 people visiting food banks for the first time each month, now is that time for us to step and make a difference.

Go ahead and let all that data sink in for a minute. Oh, I should also mention that even donating just $1 can help to provide 3 meals to Food Banks Canada.

This year I will be bringing my kids with me to visit our local food bank, for a number of reasons. It gives them the opportunity to learn about volunteerism, which I believe to be one of the most important things we can do to help build our communities, while also helping them understand that not everyone is as fortunate as they are.

This is where you come in! For every sandwich purchased with a drink for National Sandwich Day on Thursday, November 3rd, SUBWAY® Canada will donate a meal to Food Banks Canada. But that’s not all. In addition to donating a meal, participating sandwich shops will also give the purchaser a second sandwich of equal or lesser value for free! So don’t forget to mark Thursday, November 3rd in your calendar and head out to your local SUBWAY® restaurant to do some good and to have your #SandwishGranted!

Win a $50 SUBWAY® Gift card!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To help you on your way to #NationalSandwichDay I am giving away a $50 SUBWAY® Canada gift card! All you have to do to enter is fill out as many of the Rafflecopter entries below and I’ll draw a winner before the big day! Good luck!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program.