Energizer Camping

Camping In The Comfort Of Your Own Home? {Plus A $500 Gift Card Giveaway!}

As we excitedly planned our camping trip for this upcoming weekend, I decided to set up our tent in the living room to make sure all the pieces were there. I walked away for maybe 2 minutes and when I returned I was shocked to see that the kids had already filled the tent with their blankets, pillows, books and stuffed animals, and had settled in for the night.

Not one to stifle their creativity, we decided it would be fun, and very inexpensive, to host a camp-in! The timing was great as well because we had been planning a backyard camp-out to celebrate Energizer Canada’s #EnergizeYourSummer campaign but the weather has been less than favourable here the last couple weeks, so we had been putting it off.

We read stories, made shadow animals, sang songs and laughed until the kids looked ready to pass out. In true sibling fashion not everything was sunshine and roses, but once my daughter got her vision back after having a spotlight pointed in her eyes, the kids were all love and snuggles once again! Seriously, though, check out how deliberate the boy was about pointing it directly in her eyes… Yikes!

Energizer Camping 2

You may be noticing that I was not in the tent with the kids. The simple, hard truth is that the kids decided that adults were not allowed in their fortress of solitude, so I was forced to sleep in my comfortable queen size bed instead. Bummer. We listened to the kids giggle and play together for about half an hour before they finally fell asleep but I could have listened to them having fun together for a lifetime before making them sleep.

On the kids request we decided to leave the tent up for a few more days so they could have more camp-ins together. I mentioned Energizer® before and that’s because I couldn’t believe how much we relied on batteries to power our camping adventure and to keep us safe while out in the dark. They also make a wide range of great lighting products for the outdoors, such as flashlights, headlamps, and lanterns that we will be using on our upcoming trip!

Giveaway!

Here is your chance to win a $500 Walmart gift card so you can stock up on your favourite Energizer® products before your next camping trip! To get you started, I thought I’d share some of our favourite camping products from Energizer®!

Energizer® Vision HD Headlight

Energizer Vision HD Headlight

 
 

This has three headlamp light modes: White spot light, white flood light & spot and flood together, along with dimmable to control brightness and run-time (only with all LEDs on).

It is also up to 4X brighter than standard LED technology, pivots to direct light where you need it and includes 3 AAA Energizer MAX® batteries. If you’ve ever had to use the washroom in the dark, you’ll be glad you had the Energizer Vision HD Headlight!

 
 
 
 

Energizer® Ultimate Lithium Batteries

Energizer Ultimate Lithium Batteries

 
 
 

Energizer® innovation strikes again! New enhancements make Energizer® Ultimate Lithium™ batteries THE best and longest-lasting disposable AA batteries.

The provide superior performance in extreme temperatures from -40F to 140F degrees which is great for use in all seasons. They also hold power in storage for up to 20 years, are lighter weight than alkaline batteries and are leak proof!

 
 
 
 

There are so many more great Energizer products that are perfect for camping, including Energizer MAX® Batteries, and you can check them all out by visiting Energizer.ca!

Alright, on to the giveaway! I am giving away a $500 Walmart gift card and all you have to do to enter is fill out as many of the Rafflecopter entry options below and I’ll contact the winner when I have the name in hand. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec. Happy camping!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in the #EnergizeYourSummer campaign.

Dance With Dad

The Changing Face of Masculinity

For the longest time I associated masculinity solely to World’s Strongest Man competitors like Mariusz Pudzianowski and Magnus Ver Magnusson, and I don’t think I was alone in that belief. Times have changed quite a bit in the last few years, for the better, in my opinion and I think it’s great that my children will have a new example of what masculinity means as they grow up.

I’m always cautious with statements like the one above because I don’t want to take away from the excellent male influence a lot of us, especially myself, had growing up. My point is that society as a whole is more accepting of a version of masculinity that doesn’t solely revolve around fixing cars and chopping down trees and I love it. A 2014 study commissioned by Dove Men+Care showed that 9 out of 10 men globally believe masculinity has evolved since their father’s generation, and that showing care is a sign of a man’s real strength.

That’s a hard stat to argue with no matter how you look at it. I can’t imagine a world where I would have to feel self-conscious about consoling my son with a hug after a loss in the big game or dancing down the street with my daughter. Those are actually the moments where I feel the most like a man, as opposed to when I’m cutting the lawn or paying bills.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all the new superhero movies as much as the next guy but I think there is room for all kinds of heroes in the world, not just the ones with super physical strength. My main goal is to achieve hero status in my children’s eyes by showing them that you can be both tough and caring at the same time without worrying about what others think of you. Only time will tell but if the results to this point are any indication, I’m hoping to earn my cape by the time they are out of high school.

Just in time for Father’s Day and with 94% of men saying it is important to be a caring father, Dove Men+Care is paying tribute to the moments in real Dads lives that demonstrate how their care, rather than traditional physical traits, truly defines them as a hero. Dove Men+Care has created this amazing ‘My Dad, My Hero’ video that features real dads’ lives and shows what real strength is all about when it comes to being a father. Please enjoy the video and then keep reading below for an exciting giveaway!

Giveaway!

How great was that video? I thought it would be fun with Father’s Day on the horizon to giveaway a special package from Dove Men+Care. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post and let me know what your favourite moments with your kids are. Good Luck!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in the ‘My Dad, My Hero’ campaign but I am truly thrilled at the way the public’s views on masculinity have changed.

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.

Gordie Howe

My Moment With Gordie

They called him Mr. Hockey and for good reason. The only professional hockey player to play the sport in six different decades and one of the greatest ambassadors you could ever ask for, Gordie Howe was and still is hockey. As news of his passing spread across the hockey world today, I was reminded of a particularly fortunate experience I was able to share with him.

In the early 90’s my father signed me up for the Stars Hockey Camp in Guelph. It was 2 weeks away from home where I would stay in a dormitory with complete strangers and while I was completely terrified about it, I also really wanted to go. Luckily for me, my father signed up for the adult hockey camp and was around for the entire 2nd week, which was a very welcome sight.

One of the main draws of this particular Stars Hockey Camp was that we had the chance to learn the game from some current and past NHLers. My group had players like John Tonelli, Chris Chelios and of course, Gordie Howe. This wasn’t just them coming out for 5 minutes, signing autographs and leaving, either. They were very serious about this and stuck around the whole time to teach us as much as they could.

After one of our sessions I was able to stick around to watch my dad’s group take to the ice with Gordie Howe. While Mr. Howe was trying to talk to the guys at center ice, one of the goalies had skated a few strides out of his crease and began to heckle Gordie, going on about how he’d never put a puck pass him. Calmly, Gordie took a step back from the group and nonchalantly flipped a puck from center ice over the goalie’s head and into the net. The group on the ice cheered wildly as the goalie hung his head in shame and returned to his coach. Gordie added a “You happy now?” before returning to his group and it something I will never forget.

Had that been the end of my camp experience I would have gone home a very happy kid, but there was still one more surprise waiting for me. While eating lunch in the cafeteria with my dad the next day, a man approached our table and asked if he could join us. I can really begin describe the looks on our faces as we looked up to see Gordie Howe standing there but I’m guessing he had a small chuckle inside to see it. Just imagine one of your idols asking if they can sit and eat with YOU instead on the other way around and then capture that face.

My dad and I were the envy of the entire camp that day as we sat and ate lunch with Mr. Hockey. The thing that struck me as most amazing about Gordie Howe was that he could have stayed in the back and had lunch with the other stars but he chose to come out and have lunch with the campers. At lunch that day he answered all of our questions, told us stories, asked about our lives and signed autographs for anyone who approached him at our table, and he never once made us feel like he didn’t want to be there.

I count myself lucky to have had this experience and am not sure I truly appreciated it until years later when I learned more about how truly great Gordie Howe was, not only as a hockey player but also as a human being. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

Bees Matter Honey Bee

Why Bees Matter More Than You Think

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that up until a few weeks ago, my knowledge of the honey bee was limited to two things. The first was that I was secretly afraid of them and the second was the Honey Nut Cheerios mascot… What? I said I was embarrassed by it!

The funny thing is that I can’t even figure out where my fear of bees came from. I don’t remember having a particular traumatic experience with them as a child, yet every time I see a bee, I walk the other way. Sadly, it seems my son has caught on to this trend and is now terrified of anything bee related.

I saw a recent opportunity to partner with the folks at Bees Matter as a great chance to educate myself and my children on why we should learn to embrace bees as opposed to be being afraid of them. I only got as far as the first line on the Bees Matter website that reads, “One out of every three bites of food that we eat is made possible by pollinators like honey bees”, before I realized how wrong I had been about the importance of honey bees.

In reading more about the life of the honey bee I noticed that one of the biggest challenges they face is finding enough pollen to feed their communities. The Bees Matter ‘Buzzing Gardens’ program allows you to order a free seed kit to start a Buzzing Garden of your own. My 6 year old daughter, who has one of the kindest souls I’ve ever known, pronounced “Daddy, don’t be afraid of bees. We have to make a garden so we can save all the bees!! Pleeeeeeaaase!!!!”. While I didn’t have the heart to tell her the honey bees would be just fine, I also couldn’t say no to her pouty face and our seed kit is now on the way!

Bees Matter Fairy Garden

I’ll be sharing our Buzzing Gardens journey with you all as we plant the seeds and wait for the bees to arrive but in the meantime, I highly encourage you to head over to the Bees Matter website and order your own free seed kit. If my children’s excitement is any indication, you could have a really fun summer project on your hands!

Disclosure: This blog post is sponsored by Bees Matter and compensation was received. I am entirely responsible for the contents of and the views and opinions expressed in my blogs and posts and not the sponsor mentioned above.

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…

Scotts Miracle-Gro

The Lawn Struggle Is Real – Scotts Miracle-Gro To The Rescue!

Let me set the scene. Your child goes over to a friend’s house and comes home gushing about how much fun they had playing on the lawn and then having a picnic. Your child then asks if they can invite a friend over to do the same at your house and you have to let them down because your lawn looks like a disaster site that is not welcoming to, you know, people of any kind.

To say I am lacking in the lawn maintenance skills department would be a gross understatement. I have never been able to figure out how to keep my lawn weed-free and growing the way my neighbours do and I’m getting tired from the struggle, so when I got the offer of help from the people at Scotts Miracle-Gro, I jumped at the chance!

As you can see from the above photo I have my work cut out for me but I have accepted the #ScottsWeedBGon Challenge and I’m hoping to finally create a lawn that we can use and be proud of as a family. I have already using the Scotts® Turf Builder® Green MAX™ Lawn Food as it gives my grass a deeper green within 3 days and also helps to provide the nutrients needed for a healthy lawn to develop strong roots that can help to crowd out weeds. As you can see I also have a lack of grass in certain areas, so I will be applying some Scotts® Turf Builder® Grass Seed in hopes of growing a lawn my kids will be happy to play on. Finally, the Scotts® EcoSense Weed B Gon 5L Ready-To-Use Spray with Wand Applicator will help kill my weeds without harming my lawn, and the battery powered applicator makes applying it a breeze!

Now, I’m not exactly sure what the dress code is for this type of work but I think this should just about cover it, right??

Scotts Gardening Gear

I don’t really want to do the challenge alone though, so I invite you to come along with me and I’ll even make it worth your while! Simply snap a photo of the weeds in your yard, post them to Instagram with the hashtag #ScottsWeedBGon and tag both myself (@CanadianDadBlog) and Scotts (@ScottsMiracleGroCanada) and I’ll be handing out some great coupons for some Scotts Weed B Gon!

In case that wasn’t enough for you, you can also head over to the @ScottsMiracleGroCanada Instagram page now until May 31st and enter to win a $250 IKEA gift card, plus a phone consultation with lawn & garden expert Frankie Flowers! Yeah, I know, you’re welcome!

Please follow along on my social channels as I share my #ScottsWeedBGon journey to a better lawn and don’t be afraid to visit the Scotts Facebook and Instagram channels for tips and inspiration for your next project!

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

Baseball Diamond

Baseball Season Is Upon Us

I’m struggling to express the joy I felt when our son let us know that he wanted to give baseball a shot this year. Having played ball for my entire youth and well into adulthood, I was excited to have the opportunity to help him on his way to baseball mediocrity as my father had done for me.

We are two weeks into the season and things seem to be going according to plan. The kids love kicking their feet around in the dirt, creating mini dust tornadoes and making it impossible for anyone to see what they are doing, as we did in our youth. Wrangling twelve 7 & 8-year-old boys and getting them all to pay attention at the same time is always a fun challenge but you learn to appreciate all of their individual quirks and mannerisms. That said, one of the many perks of volunteering to be on the coaching staff is that you can always keep your own child inline and paying attention!

True to the chaos that is parenting, right before the season started we realized that our son had no proper baseball equipment. Flashing back to my youth I can remember the excitement of my dad bringing me to Canadian Tire because I always new I was about to get some new gear. The only downside to shopping when I was a kid was that we were at the mercy of the stock on the store shelves. We live in a slightly different time now so I was excited to present my son with the new Canadian Tire WOW Guide so he could pick out the items he wanted and then I had them ordered right to our store.

Canadian Tire Baseball

Tell me this kid doesn’t look like a seasoned baseball player now! Through the Canadian Tire WOW Guide, we were able to score him a new Troy Tulowitzki glove, a Raptor baseball bat, a new Rawlings baseball, new cleats and an amazing Easton bag to carry it all in. I loved watching his face as he flipped through the WOW Guide and excitedly circled all the things he wanted. I obviously had to shave the list down as he circled about 6 pages worth of sports gear but it reminded me about the fun of going through catalogues when I was a kid.

I highly recommend that you grab the WOW Guide from your local Canadian Tire store or check it out at Canadian Tire’s website. The guide covers everything from lawn and garden and home décor to power tools and tires, plus you can use the Canadian Tire app to hover over the products you love in the WOW Guide to unlock dynamic digital extras like videos, how-to’s and DIYs. Well, what are you waiting for?!

Canadian Tire WOW Guide

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program, however I used that money to buy more baseball gear from Canadian Tire because I have no self control.

20160502_233019

A Star In The Making

“It goes by so fast”. Ask any parent something they wish they’d known before having kids and that quote will be in there every single time. It sounds cliché but it’s so very true. One minute you’re teaching them to skate and the next they are skating circles around you. My daughter is no exception to this rule. To put it bluntly, she’s amazing. Every new task she takes on she does it to the fullest of her ability. Can’t do a cartwheel at gymnastics? She’ll do 500 cartwheels in one week until she masters it. In the last two weeks her coaches in gymnastics, dance and figure skating have all come to us to say that our daughter should be in their competitive programs.

While my first reaction to this news was an indescribable sense of pride, the next was one of worry because even forgetting the costs of these programs, there is not enough time in the week for her to possibly compete in multiple competitive sports. I also struggle with the fact that at 6 years old, how much do we really want to put on her plate? When asked what she wanted to do our daughter didn’t hesitate as she made figure skating her top choice. Coming from a life of team sports, this is a whole new adventure for me. Private coaches, booking ice time and not being able to volunteer are all things I will have to get used to but I can’t wait to watch my little girl grow into a beautiful skater and I can guarantee tears the first time I see her doing a routine.

We had the chance to take our daughter to see the Investors Group Stars On Ice show this weekend so she could see what the payoff could be for all the hard work she’s about to put in. While we couldn’t get too many pictures due to the dark lighting during the show, I can assure you that she was dazzled by the skaters and especially the jumps! She may not know who Elvis Stojko, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir or Joannie Rochette are but they definitely captured her attention and made her want to skate even more.

For my wife, who was also a figure skater as a child, having the opportunity to see Kurt Browning skate live for the first time was a dream come true. She posted a short video of Kurt’s performance on Facebook mentioning how exciting it was to watch him skate, and then got a message from a friend who was currently sitting next to Kurt on a plane heading out of Ottawa. The friend said that Kurt had just watched her whole video because it was a new routine and he’d never seen himself doing it yet. Then he shared this picture…

Kurt Browning

Kurt Browning giving my wife a thumbs up!

Needless to say, my wife hasn’t been this excited since the time Jann Arden called her on her birthday. It was a perfect way to cap off an amazing Stars On Ice show! After seeing the smiles on my two favourite ladies faces after the show it is impossible for me to not recommend that you check it out with your family. It is especially great if you have young figure skaters in your house. For more information on upcoming shows and tickets you can check out the Stars On Ice website. Oh, and Kurt, if you ever want to talk fatherhood, I’d be happy to conduct that interview (insert winky face here). I promise not to let my wife hijack the call…

About Investors Group Stars On Ice

Founded in 1986 by skating icon and Olympic Gold Medallist Scott Hamilton, the Stars on Ice Tour originated in the United States. In 1991, Stars on Ice began to tour Canada and has now played nearly 300 shows in the past 25 years. Past tour performers include Kurt Browning, Jamie Salé & David Pelletier, Kristi Yamaguchi and Elvis Stojko. Investors Group Stars on Ice presented by Lindt is produced by IMG, the global leader in sports, fashion and media. For more information about the tour, visit www.starsonice.ca. Keep in touch with Investors Group Stars on Ice presented by Lindt on Facebook: www.facebook.com/starsonice Instagram: www.instagram.com/starsonice, and on Twitter: twitter.com/starsonice.

Disclosure: My family was provided tickets to this event.