#DadsRun4Boston

#DadsRun4Boston

I am not a runner. Heck, I can’t tell you the number of times that I have committed to going back to the gym, only to have it fall apart after a half-assed effort. That said, I am lacing up some running shoes to take part in the #DadsRun4Boston initiative.

A year ago today, terrorists killed three people in the Boston Marathon bombing. Among those killed was an 8-year-old boy named, Martin Richard. After a couple of days of Boston being under siege, the terrorists then killed an MIT police officer, and proceeded to turn the streets of Watertown into a war zone. People were ordered inside their houses and entire towns were shut down as law enforcement worked diligently to find the man responsible, which they eventually did.

The bombing left hundreds of others battered and scarred, both physically and emotionally. In the days leading up to this year’s marathon, the dads are coming together to show our support by going for a run and sharing a picture on social media, using the hashtag #DadsRun4Boston. You don’t have to run far, but we are encouraging you to get outside and show your support in memory of all of those affected by the tragic events of last year. Then, snap a pic, pop it on your favourite social media channel and use the #DadsRun4Boston to show your support.

Or, if you’re physically unable to run, consider donating to The One Fund (the official organization helping bombing victims). But use the #DadsRun4Boston hashtag when you do. Special thanks to Charlie Capen and Aaron Gouveia for their efforts in putting this together.

Thanks and we can’t wait to see all your pictures!

National We Day

Sometimes Inspiration Hits When You Need It Most

Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend my third We Day event. I went into this We Day thinking that I had seen all there is to see when it came to the Free The Children event, and I left with something I hadn’t realized I needed. Personal inspiration.

Life has been busy lately. With family, a full time job, part time job and a blog to look after, I had started to feel overwhelmed on an almost daily basis. In essence, my time had become small units of monetary value and I was having trouble seeing it any other way. Family was still number 1, always, but every other aspect of my life was suffering and I was too busy to notice it.

Enter, We Day. This was by far the largest We Day I had been too, almost quadrupling last year’s Ottawa attendance. As I sat and listened to speaker after speaker share their stories as the 16,000 children in attendance screamed and flashed their strobe-like wristbands, I was transported back to the place I was in a year ago. That place was one of kindness and love, where the prevailing thought on my mind was making sure I left the world a better place than I entered it.

I got to hang out with my inspiring friend and We Day speaker, Hannah Alper. I met another amazing youth in Vishal Vijay and had the chance to speak to two amazing local girls from Huntley Centennial Public School, named Isabelle Poulin and Chelsea Wilken, who were all doing their part to create a positive change in our day to day lives. Listening to these children speak and share why kindness was important to them, reminded me of what was important to me.

When I got home that day, I immediately re-launched Kindness Canada, as it had been on the back burner, and started re-organizing my life. I realized that I still have time to do all the work that I was doing, but I plan on doing it smarter so that I have more time to focus on the things that are most important to me. Those things are my family, my health and my commitment to making the world a better place, one smile at a time. I guess this sounds cheesy but it’s how I feel, so I’m not sure how else to word it.

The We Day movement is something that I knew nothing about a year ago, and yet I have no idea where I would be without it. Everyone from the founders to the PR team and speakers are all amazing people and it just reinforces the benefit of building a strong community. I realize that the event was created to inspire children to change the world, but it has changed my world, multiple times over. Please do yourself a favour and check out the Free The Children website and the videos within it. They will change you in a very good way. Also, keep an eye out for Hannah and Spencer West as they embark on the We Create Change Tour, which started this week.

Here are some shots from the National We Day event I just attended. It’s not the same as being there but it’s still pretty cool!

We Day Speakers, Isabelle Poulin & Chelsea Wilken

We Day Speakers, Isabelle Poulin & Chelsea Wilken

Simple Plan frontman, Pierre Bouvier, rocks the We Day stage

Simple Plan frontman, Pierre Bouvier, rocks the We Day stage

 

Hannah Alper and Vishal Vijay give their powerful presentations.

Hannah Alper and Vishal Vijay give their powerful presentations.

Power In Numbers

Power In Numbers

 

 

 

Skylanders

Win A Giant Skylanders Themed Easter Basket!

Hey you! Yeah, you. See that basket filled with Skylanders goodness up there? Do you want to be the heroic parent that delivers this to their child? Well, it’s your lucky day because the fine people at Skylanders HQ have tasked me with finding this basket a good home. Here’s what you get:

Skylanders Giant Easter Basket
· 3DS starter pack (Skylanders SWAP Force game)
· Springtime toys – 4 characters
· Mega Bloks set
· Monopoly game
· Gill Grunt pillow
· Blanket
· CSS Egg with tattoos/stickers
· Book
· Dangler
· Slap band
· Topps trading cards
· Battle packs/adventure packs
· Stickers
· Stationary
· Markers
· Roller stamp markers
· Journals

I don’t really have much more to add. Skylanders are awesome and please don’t tell my son that I am the only one who is not allowed to win this… This is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec, and closes at midnight on Friday, April 18th. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I accepted a copy of Skylanders Swap Force in exchange for facilitating this giveaway. I would have rather had the whole basket but figured I’d share with all of you! You’re welcome ;D

April Fools Day

Some Of The Best Moments Go Uncaptured

It was April Fools Day yesterday, and while I am not someone who partakes in any of the festivities, my son’s class put together a fun little prank for the kids to play on the parents after school was done. All the children giggled and joked about fish on their way out of the school, as us parents went about our busy day’s, oblivious to the inside jokes. Upon arriving home, I felt a tap on my back and realized it was just my son dishing out some random hugs, as he is prone to do. Being the amateur prankster that he is, his giggling started almost immediately and I knew something was up. I reached for my back and pulled off the paper fish, shown above, as he quickly yelled, “Happy Fools!”, not fully understanding its meaning. The laughter that ensued was infectious and heartwarming. It was one of those moments that you wish you could capture in a bottle and keep forever.

We quickly tried to get him to try it again, this time with my wife filming his reaction, before realizing that it wasn’t going to be the same the second time around. In this age of digital devices and advanced technology, we often try to capture moments as they happen, sometimes at the expense of enjoying the actual moment itself. That’s not to say that we are bad parents for wanting to capture as many moments as we can, but while I was enjoying the original moment with my son, the thought of grabbing my phone hadn’t crossed my mind and that is something I have been striving for. I may not remember that moment forever but I know that I enjoyed every second of it while it was happening and I plan on doing much more of that in the years to come.

Side note, the video we took of my son recreating the April Fools moment was actually pretty funny in itself and I’m still kind of glad we did it.

Ottawa RedBlacks Ticket Pack

Win 1 of 5 Pairs of Home Opener Ticket Packs To The Ottawa RedBlacks!

There is a buzz in the city of Ottawa right now as we prepare to welcome a new CFL franchise to town! The Ottawa RedBlacks, led by owner Jeff Hunt and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, will make their long awaited debut at the newly redesigned TD Place (Formerly Frank Clair Stadium) on July 18th against the Toronto Argonauts. Ottawa hasn’t had a CFL franchise since the Renegades folded in 2006 and there is a very different and extremely exciting vibe this time around.

Due to the overwhelming demand, tickets to the Home Opener are only available by purchasing season’s tickets or by taking advantage of the Home Opener Ticket Pack promotion that runs from March 22nd to April 5th. The Home Opener Ticket Pack includes a ticket to the home opener, plus two other games of your choice throughout the RedBlacks season. The packs start at $69 apiece.

Lucky for you, the Ottawa RedBlacks have given me 5 pairs of Home Opener Ticket Packs to give away to all of you! Throughout this week I will be hosting a “Giveaway a Day” and awarding a pair of ticket packs to one lucky fan each day of the week throughout my various social channels. That said, make sure you are following me on my Facebook and Twitter pages because there will be giveaways specific to those networks throughout the week!

Enter Today To Win on CanadianDad.Com!

To enter right now for a chance to win a pair of Ticket Packs, simply leave a comment below and tell me who you think will win the 2014 Grey Cup? I will draw a winning name on Friday at 4pm! Good Luck!

In the meantime, you can head on over to the Ottawa RedBlacks Official Website and grab your tickets today!

*Disclosure: I received tickets to the Ottawa RedBlacks in exchange for my participation in this promotion.*

Congrats to Shawn M for winning the RedBlacks Home Opener Pack! Thanks to everyone for playing!

Tims2

How Tim Hortons Gave One Classroom The Gift Of Creativity

The list of traits I want to pass on to my children is extremely long. Near the top of that list, however, is that I want my kids to be able to express themselves creatively. That said, I was excited to find out that my son’s kindergarten class had decided to re-arrange their play area, and was even more excited to find out that they had voted to turn it into a Tim Hortons drive-thru station. If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you will know about my love for everything Tim Hortons.

In essence, what this did was combine two of my favourite things, in creativity and Tim Hortons coffee! I decided to reach out to my local Tim’s restaurant to see if there was anything they could do to help out and I was pleasantly surprised with not only how quickly they said yes, but also with the amount of stuff they contributed to the kids’ new play station. There were hats, toques, balloons, Tim cards, cups, carry trays and even name tags that read “Owner”, which my kids loved.

The kids all had a blast with their new Tim Hortons drive-thru and one of the parents even told me that it was her son’s favourite part of the whole year so far because of all the cool stuff in there. With that, I would like to extend a huge thank you to the management and staff at the Tim Hortons on Carling Avenue for making these kids’ lives a little more exciting and a lot more creative!

Tims1

Tim Hortons Drive Thru

Princess Story

Children Telling Stories #1 – The Princess and the Underpants

 Something I have noticed about my children is that they love performing for a camera. Whether it’s dancing, singing, telling stories or making up new languages, they always ask to be taped and then come running to watch and laugh at the playback. I’m guessing they get their narcissism from their dad and I think it’s great! I’m always happy to let my kids express their creative sides and these stories have become an important part of our bonding process. That said, I have decided to publish some of them in a segment called, Children Telling Stories, and will hopefully be posting one story a week.

In this week’s story, my daughter tells the story of the magical princess, who ends up in a waterpark after taking a magic carpet ride and needs to clean some underpants. Enjoy!

Hot Wheels Ultimate Track - Front 2

Win Big in the Hot Wheels® Canada Track Builder Challenge!

I’m not going to lie, I geeked out a little bit when I was asked to become a Hot Wheels® Connector Club Ambassador. I didn’t even really know what that meant but saw the words Hot Wheels® and flashed back in time to my days as a young car collector. With my kids entering their creative years, the Hot Wheels® track builder sets are a perfect addition to our household.

In an effort to encourage learning and creativity among young children, Hot Wheels® Canada has launched the Track Builder Challenge.

The Hot Wheels® Track Builder Challenge is a cross-national competition, designed to inspire creativity through play based learning, and educate children on how to build exciting, original and creative tracks. With the emergence of so many new electronic devices these days, the ability to get hands on with something like this is extremely exciting for me and the kids. 

To launch the six month program, an interactive track exhibit featuring Canada’s first Ultimate Track will be live at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) from March 8 to 16, 2014 during the Gallery’s March Break drop-in program. The Ultimate Track is comprised of over 1000 pieces of track and connector and stretches over 625 feet in the 25×25 exhibit space. If you can’t make it out to the exhibit, you can still watch all of the action by checking out either of the live feeds on the Hot Wheels® Canada website!

In addition to the exhibit, a new Hot Wheels® Track Builder Challenge nationwide contest will be housed on hotwheels.ca. Kids can learn from the Track Experts in the Tips and Tricks section, and then have the opportunity to submit their best Hot Wheels tracks for a chance to win a custom built track in their home, and a Track Party hosted by Hot Wheels®.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, my kids and I have a Hot Wheels® Track Builder Challenge to win! You can head over to the Hot Wheels® website to enter to win but you’d better bring your “A” Game because we are ready! Most importantly, just have a great time building and watching your children excel beyond your wildest dreams!

Hot Wheels Ultimate Track - FrontHot Wheels Play Tables