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Introducing The Amazing People Gala!

As this blog continues to grow and find it’s identity, I am learning more and more that I have the ability to make small impacts in people’s lives and it is something that brings me great joy. I recently attended the launch event for something called the Amazing People Gala and now feel the need to share about it.

I had no idea what this gala was all about, but after watching a few of the videos from the previous year’s event, I had a feeling that it was going to have a positive impact on me and I couldn’t have been more right! The Amazing People Gala is pretty much exactly what it sounds like but with a charitable twist. Last year’s gala honoured almost 50 Amazing People and raised enough money to build not only one, but two schools in Nicaragua, through local charity, SchoolBOX.

About SchoolBOX

SchoolBOX is an Ottawa Valley charity, based in Almonte,  that has built 44 classrooms to date in Central America for children in horrific poverty. The power of education is the focus. It started when the founder, Tom Affleck of Almonte, gave a Nicaraguan child a pencil and notebook, the only tools she needed to attend school.

Since 2006, SchoolBOX has accomplished the following (As per October 30, 2013):

  • 49 classrooms built
  • 2 classrooms with major renovations and overhauls
  • 63,249 education packages delivered to students and teachers
  • 349 International Volunteers
  • 15 Mini Libraries created
  • 13 Soccer Dreams Tournaments

About The Gala

The launch from this year’s Amazing People Gala left me speechless, and inspired by all the honourees and volunteers. I love that they are featuring local Amazing People and shining a light on everything that is good in our community. The Gala takes place on February 22, 2014 at the Ottawa Convention Centre and tickets are available by visiting the Amazing People Gala’s Page. Based solely on what I’ve seen so far, I can pretty much guarantee that you will leave this event more inspired than you could ever imagine.

Get Ready For Microsoft Canada’s #SummerSwitch Program

Nokia Lumia 920

It’s Baaaack! Due to the great feedback from the Windows Phone “Holiday Swap”, Microsoft Canada has decided to start up a “Summer Switch” program. They have asked me to nominate two bloggers to swap out their smartphones for the Nokia Lumia 920, to see how they like the Windows Phone’s functionality.

Before we get to the nominations, though, I have a few updates from my final review of the Holiday Swap Program. A recent update to the Twitter application has made the functionality a lot better and although there is still no Instagram available, the Windows Phone is slowly becoming my go to device. I was unable to completely switch over at the end of Holiday Swap due to contractual obligations, but that time is almost up and I have some decisions to make. In the meantime, I’ll be mentoring the new recruits and hopefully be learning a bit from them as well.

Now, with further ado, watch the video below to see which two bloggers I thought would be perfect fits for the Summer Switch Program.

There you have it. I’m happy to report that both Julie (Sober Julie) and Rebecca (A Little Bit Of Momsense) have accepted the challenge and can be found by tracking the #SummerSwitch tag on Twitter, or by following them on their blogs. Good Luck, Ladies! Have fun with it!

Skylanders Giants Digital Homework Pack and Giveaway!

Skylander Giants

Alright, I admit it. I am hopelessly addicted to Skylanders! From the moment I found out what it was all about, I was itching for my son to get involved with it. Much to my delight, he brought it up first and in my most Dadly voice I told him I would think about it. Secretly I was jumping for joy on the inside! You see, I have a a very addictive collector side to me that I haven’t been able to use since I was a young hockey card collector and I can’t wait to dig into this thing.

I’m incredibly happy to have teamed up with Activision to be able to share a new downloadable Skylanders Giants Homework Pack, that aims to help your child educate YOU on their favourite characters and introduce you to the wonderful world of Skylanders! You can download a digital copy of the Homework Pack by CLICKING HERE.

The Homework pack features five chapters of fun – one for every week day:

– Monday: History (Skylanders story – SSA and Giants)
– Tuesday: Science (elemental sources)
– Wednesday: Characters (character’s abilities, strengths and weaknesses)
– Thursday: Technology (practicalities of what and how to buy and play)
– Friday: Art (to include dot-to-dot and drawing of key characters)
– Quiz sheets at the end of each chapter testing parents on what they’ve learned that day
– Reward charts to stick on the fridge door with a Skylanders sticker that children award parents once a chapter is complete successfully.

GIVEAWAY

But that’s not all I have for you! I am also giving away a Hard Copy of the Homework Pack that will be accompanied by one of the popular Skylanders characters! I don’t know which character but it doesn’t really matter, does it?!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment and tell me who your child’s favourite Skylander is. It’s as easy as that! Does your child have 5 favourites like I do? That’s okay, list them all! Giveaway is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec, and will close at noon on Sunday, May 19th. Good Luck!

Also, you can follow the Skylanders on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you don’t miss any of the news and action from inside the game!

Congrats to the winner, Alanna Smith!

The “I Want Candy!!” Giveaway From Big Sky Brands

 

 

 

 

 

I get a lot of email requests asking if I want to do product reviews and giveaways. A LOT!

For the most part (about 98% of the time), I politely decline and move on with my day. Sometimes though, a sales pitch is too powerful for even me to decline. I’m talking about those brilliantly crafted campaigns that leave you stunned and wanting to know more about them! This is a story of one of those times.

The message I received read: “We would like to send you some candy”.

The rest is history! The brilliant company that sent me this glorious pitch was Big Sky Brands and I was happy to be working with them.

For those of you who do not know, Big Sky Brands are the masterminds behind some truly amazing candy, such as:

* Jones Carbonated Candy

* Sunkist Citrus Burst

* Yogen Fruz Smoothies

* Maple Ice Mints

There are so many more but the more I type, the less time I have for eating candy….

I spent a weekend analyzing and tasting the candy that arrived at my doorstep and am ready to give my verdict. They were all amazing! My favorite were the Jones Carbonated Candies, as they seemed to get better as I ate more and more. I also love that all their candy comes in tin casings, which I though was very cool, almost hipster cool but not quite.

Now that I’ve enjoyed the candy for a week, I thought it would be cool to let you enjoy some as well! All you have to do is enter below and all 4 of the candies listed above could be yours! Good Luck!!

And before you ask, I am not advocating feeding your children candy. In fact, just to nail that point home, I did not share any of this candy with them or my wife. Sometimes Daddies need to enjoy the finer things in life too!

Contest is open to Canada Only (Excluding Quebec)

Cheers!!

Happy Father’s Day To All The Proud Papa’s Out There!!

It’s finally here! The day us Dads wait for all year long! On behalf of all of us here at Canadian Dad (really, it’s just me) I’d like to wish all the wonderful Dads out there a very Happy Father’s Day!

That’s all.

What? You didn’t think I was gonna write some long winded post on Father’s Day, did you?? Instead, here’s a bunch of pictures of me with my kids! In case your Sherlock Holmes senses aren’t flowing, the above photo is of me and my Dad. He was accepting the award for lifetime achievement in volunteerism. Not a bad role model to have.

Enjoy your day Dads, you have earned it!

Phineas & Ferb: The Perry Files

Last week I was able to bring you a great giveaway of a copy of the new Phineas & Ferb DVD “The Perry Files”. Now that I’ve had a chance to watch it, I thought I’d share my thoughts about it.

In short, the whole family loved it!

I spent 5 days telling my son we would watch it, as he impatiently waited for the day to arrive….When the whole family got sick last week, we popped in the DVD and pretty much watched it the whole way through in one sitting!

That’s how good this show is. Fun for the kids and even for us as parents. The main thing I was worried about was whether it would be suitable viewing for my kids. The last thing I want is for my kids to hear the word “stupid” or “idiot” repeatedly and then have them saying it all the time. After watching the DVD all the way through, I’m happy to report that it was family friendly and we will be watching again…and again….and again…well, you get it!

I think my favorite character is Perry. I love how they treat him like a toy but then he transforms into a secret agent to fight the notorious Dr. Doofenshmirtz!!

Don’t forget to check out the amazing bonus features as well! They include:

· Nerves of Teal: Do you have nerves of teal? Then OWCA (Organization Without a Cool Acronym) wants you! See if you have what it takes to become like Agent P in this spy recruiting video.

· Platypus Tour: Take a look inside the Platybus, the traveling Phineas and Ferb exhibit that toured North America.

In the end, my recommendation is to go pick up this DVD for your kids, especially if they are already into Phineas & Ferb! The Perry Files definitely helped us laugh our way through another bout of the flu and that’s enough for me to give a nod of approval! Go pick up your copy today!

Thanks to Walt Disney Motion Pictures Canada for allowing me to review this very cool DVD!

Cheers!

The Pez Potty Training Method

No. I didn’t start a job with Pez. I can’t imagine a world where I would be lucky enough to work in a Pez Factory.

My daughter has recently begun Potty Training and as most parents will attest, the best way to keep them interested in this monumental event, is with incentives.

My son, who was brilliant beyond his years, held out for Diecast Cars from the Cars the Movie. That meant we were paying a whopping $5.99 per poop! If this were possible in the real world, we would all be billionaires!

Eventually, the balance of power shifted back to us, after we convinced him that stickers were just as cool as cars….

Now it’s my daughter’s turn to lower our diaper bills and we made sure to be prepared this time! We knew she loved two things, stickers and candy. After all, what little kid doesn’t love those things?

The stickers were first and failed miserably. They’d fall in the potty, end up on my socks & we never seemed to have the one sticker she really wanted!

That’s when we introduced her to her first Pez dispenser. It was Belle from Beauty & the Beast, a character she was very familiar with, even as a 2 year old. Little Girls and princesses, you know!

In a move much like her brother had pulled, she quickly conned us into giving her waaaaaay more candy than a 2 year princess should ever eat! We had been giving her a candy every time she said she had to go to the potty. You can probably guess what happened next…..

Every 30 minutes she would scream “Pee Pee Potty!!!”, “Pee Pee Potty!!!” and we’d trip over each other like the ice cream man was outside, to get her on the potty! Only to find out that she was using us for the candy. At one point, she even stopped taking the candy out of the dispenser herself, instead opting for the “Daddy Do It!” approach, which I totally fell for.

We eventually caught on to her little game and adjusted the rules for dispensing candy. She would receive 1 candy for what we deemed to be “legitimate” attempts and she would get 1 more candy upon completion of the transaction.

We are proud to report that it has now been 2 full weeks with only one or two accidents and we couldn’t be prouder of our little monkey! We have saved a ton in diapers and wipes, with our only major expenses being Pull Ups and Pez Refills!!

Way to go Girlie!! We’re so proud of you!

And Thank You Pez!

Did you use incentives to help your kids Potty Train? I’d love to hear what worked/didn’t work for you!

Cheers!

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The Never Ending Knock Knock Joke

 

 

You’ve heard it a million times before, “Knock, Knock!” “Who’s There?” and so on and so forth.

Rarely, if ever, are they funny enough to warrant even a phony giggle. Even the dirty adult ones aren’t overly funny.

That all changes when the joke comes out of the mouth of a small child, doesn’t it? We roar with laughter as the punchline rolls out, as if it’s the funniest thing we’ve ever heard in our lives.

The funny thing about it, for me at least, is that the laughter is completely genuine. Something about the fact that your child understands the humour in it, is comforting and hilarious at the same time.

Almost as if you have done your job as a parent by teaching your kid the lighter side of life and that being funny is okay.

That brings me to today’s post. My son, at age 4, has learned his very first Knock, Knock joke. In true child form, he immediately forgot it, which brought on this video of him reciting what may be the longest Knock, Knock joke of all time.

Enjoy!

PS – He was trying to do the one that ends with “Orange you glad I didn’t say Banana”. I tell you this because there is no way you would have guessed it from this….

Way to go buddy! Better than Daddy could do!

Cheers!

5 iPhone Apps My Kids Can’t Live Without

Yeah I know, over dramatic post title, right? Well, you try writing a blog and figuring out how to get people to read it, OKAY!

I’m sorry, it’s 1 o’clock in the morning and I have put this one off all day due to being lazy at work.

Still friends? Good!

Back to the point of the story, my kids are ages 2 and 4. I occasionally let them play on my iPhone, as does my wife, and I thought I’d share with other parents out there, the games that keep the kids occupied, while also stimulating their minds…..sometimes.

I get it. Letting the kids watch TV and play video games is lazy parenting. Well, I have some news for you: I’m Not Perfect!

Every now and then, while waiting for our food at a restaurant or after a really tough day at the office, I’m cool with passing the iPhone to one of the kids for a couple hours minutes. It keeps them occupied and in some cases, can even help out in an educational way.

So without further ado, I let you in on the iPhone Apps my kids love to play!

#5 – Talking Bacteria John by Out Fit 7 Ltd. – This is probably the most ridiculous App I’ve ever seen but the kids laugh harder at this one than any they’ve played so it makes the list. It provides no educational or emotional value, unless you count laughing as a value. It’s basically a bunch of blue blobs floating around that repeat everything you say and you can feed them donuts. They also have an infectious and irritating laugh that keeps you coming back for more!

#4 – Sesame Street: The Fix-It Shop by Sesame Workshop Apps – It’s got some cool features like stories and recording and blah, blah, blah. My kids love the coloring book feature on this app. My daughter will play this until I yank it out of her screaming hands! The only issue with this one is that she doesn’t know how to change colors, so she asks every 30 seconds…

#3 – Shape-O by Bellamon – Now we’re getting to the good stuff! This puzzle game is really incredible and I’m so glad my son loves it! There are tons of puzzles, where you not only place the pieces but also have to match the letters in the word before you can move to the next puzzle. This is a great one and I highly recommend it!

#2 – Garage Band by Apple Canada Inc. – The funny thing about this one is that it was MY app for my band. We are able to share new sounds and vocals through this app and it’s very useful for our music. And then my kids heard me playing on it and stole it from me. Now my son and daughter fight tooth and nail to see who is going to get to pay drums and keyboard and guitar! I secretly love that they love the music because that’s something I can share with them. It came out of nowhere but this one is great for kids to make and record music.

#1 – Angry Birds by Rovio Mobile – Was there any doubt about this one? It’s the classic time wasting game and the kids love it! I don’t even know what to say about this game that you don’t already know. Addictive is the word I would use to describe it. Like I always say, “When in doubt, Kill some green pigs!”

 

That’s it for my list. I wasn’t paid by any of these companies, nor do I ever plan to be, lol. My kids just love these games and I thought other lazy parents could benefit from the recommendations.

Honorable mentions to Flick Home Run, Cars 2 & Talking Tom & Ben News. All great in their own way but just not quite loved enough to make the Top 5!

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to share your favorite apps in the comments section!

Cheers!

I Can’t Wait For @Disneyland To Open #CarsLand This June!

I want to start by saying a couple things here. First, I have no affiliation with Disney, Disneyland, Pixar, Mickey Mouse, Owen Wilson, Lightning McQueen or any other Disney entity. I’m just really excited about this new park they are opening. Cars is my favorite Disney movie so this one looks like a dream I once had, where I was in the movie!

The Second thing is that I will most likely never be able to afford to take my family to this theme park. That doesn’t mean I can’t still be excited about it and live vicariously through those who are actually going to experience it!

I first heard of Cars Land around Christmas of last year and thought it was a joke at the time. That was until I started Google searching it and found hundreds of images of blueprints. I was amazed at how much it looked just like the real Radiator Springs.

As more and more clips come out, my excitement level rises higher and higher! I have failed so far in my attempts to convince my wife that we NEED to go here. Understandably, once we are able to afford it, our family will most likely travel to Disney World instead, which will be fun as well. I guess. It’s definitely cheaper than a family trip to California, so I get it.

Seriously though, look at the photos and videos! They’re all there! Flo’s V8 Cafe, The Cozy Cone Motel, Mater, McQueen, Fillmore, Sarge!! It’s an overload of awesomeness and I can’t stop torturing myself with the videos and images that are out there! The best tour I’ve found so far is the one provided by my buddy Mater on the actual Cars Land website.

Out of respect and fairness to my wife, I have not showed my son any of the pictures and videos that I have been watching. That would be like using WMD’s in my fight to get my family to Cars Land and I’m not going to do it! I’ll just keep picking away until it simply becomes the thing we HAVE to do! In the meantime, I will watch my videos and read the blogs of the lucky families who get to roam the streets of Radiator Springs!

I think I’ll leave you with a couple of my favorite Cars Land videos to date. The first one is great because it explains some of the amazing features the new park is going to have. The second one is for me, lol! I hope you enjoy them as much as I have and maybe I’ll see you there someday!

KACHOW!