Posts

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

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

Days Inn Dad Ad

Days Inn Canada Falls Short With New Dad Ad

I have been a part of the online dad community for a little over two years now. In that time, I have learned to value my contributions to my family and have become a far better and more attentive father because of it. I have also become more aware of the way fathers tend to be portrayed in the media and have even been fortunate enough to be a part of a community that is striving to, and has succeeded in, changing the dumb dad stereotype. In fact, according to a recent extensive study by 8 Bit Dad’s, Zach Rosenberg, fathers are being portrayed in a more engaged and positive light, more and more every year.

Unlike my American counterparts, however, it is extremely rare for me to see a commercial where the dad is being portrayed in a negative light. That changed this week after I saw the new commercial from Days Inn Canada. The commercial shows a sad child sitting alone in his room, wishing his father was there with him to read his bedtime story. It then cuts to the father, who is excitedly lounging alone in his hotel room, and sings the line, “And on the brighter side, dad’s watching mixed martial arts”. It gets worse from there but this is about the point in the commercial where I checked out and thought of a million different scenarios they could have gone with that would have made this commercial a viral sensation. First and foremost, why not have the dad reading to the kid over the internet and showing the love that I know most dads feel for their children. That would have been something I would have been proud to get behind and shared immediately. It would have even been enough to get my future business, at least once. And look, I’m all for Me-Time, as we all need it, but mixing it in with the sad child just made it look like the dad was happier outside the house than in it.

Not that fatherhood has ever been the way that the Al Bundy’s of the world would have you believe, but things are different now than they used to be. For a father to be a more engaged member of the overall household and child raising duties is not the exception anymore, it’s the norm. I’m sure Days Inn Canada thought this was harmless fun and others may see this as me being a whiny dad, but I think it’s important for them to know that it’s okay to go against the stereotype and to create a new mold.

What are thoughts on the commercial? I know we all see things differently, so please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

All this said, I would love to invite Days Inn Canada to have a conversation with us dads, so we can talk about what our version of fatherhood looks like for future commercials. In the meantime, I invite you to take a look at how the face of fatherhood has changed in just the last 1000 days. Video is courtesy of the folks at the Dad 2.0 Summit.

I’m not the only one who feels this way. Check out these posts from Buzz Bishop from DadCamp and Justin Connors from Life in 140.

Keurig Machine Giveaway

Win a Keurig K70 Platinum Brewing System

Coffee might be the most used and discussed word on social media and rightfully so. I can still remember the exact day my love affair with coffee started. It was October 6th, 2003 and my life hasn’t been the same since! I was a late bloomer and didn’t get started until I was 25, which is probably a good thing because I would have gone broke spending $3-$5 a day in my early 20′s.

When I got my first Keurig, I had no idea what to think. It looked like a robot that dispensed coffee and we have since become good friends. I named him Roger. He’s good people. Where was I again?? Oh yes, the giveaway! How would you like to win a Roger of your very own?! Well, look down, I’ve made it super easy for you. Also, you don’t have to name your machine, Roger. It was merely a suggestion and you are free to name it anything you want. Like, Chris, for instance. That’s a great name that doesn’t get nearly enough credit.

The Grand Prize is the Keurig K70 Platinum Brewing System shown above (Model not included). I also have a secondary prize of some K-Cup variety packs in case those of you with Keurig’s want to take a stab at this. The giveaway ends Wednesday January 28th at midnight and is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec. Sorry, Quebec…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sidney Crosby Tim Hortons

I Was In Tim Hortons’ New Commercial! Well, Almost…

Thanks to Tim Hortons, I recently had the opportunity to do something that I would have never imagined possible. I was invited to attend the taping of their new commercial (linked below), where I had the chance to act as one of the cheering fans in the stands during a hockey game. The commercial starred Pittsburgh Penguins’ star and recently named Team Canada member, Sidney Crosby and it was incredibly cool to see him in action.

In planning this post, I wanted to share every single minute detail about my time at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, but I felt like I might be a little more excited about the day than you all would be. That said, I still wanted to share some of my observations of the event. First off, for anyone who has ever dreamed of a life in show business, let me tell you something. The amount of work that went into every shot you see in the commercial is beyond anything I could have imagined. Those skaters, including Crosby, must have jumped the boards about 50 times each in the 4 hours it took to record that scene. In fact, at one point in the commercial, you see a man lifting a young skater over the boards. Multiply that by 50…

One of the best parts of the experience, other than the unlimited amount of Tim Hortons coffee, was that I got to share it with two of my blogging friends in Sharon DeVellis & Shannon Mischuk, two women that I respect very much. Oh yeah, and when got to meet Sidney Crosby! We went in to this with no expectations as to what was going to happen, so when we were told that Crosby agreed to take some time out of his schedule for some one on one time with us, we were very excited. I have to point out that between Sharon, Shannon and their young sons, I think I was blushing the least as Sid chatted with us.

Overall, the experience was amazing and I can’t thank Tim Hortons enough for inviting me to be a part of it. I would also like to thank my good friend, CL Buchanan and her family, for serving me an amazing home cooked meal and also for taking me to the very first Tim Hortons location! Now, without further ado, here is the all new and very patriotic Tim Hortons commercial, starring Sidney Crosby. PS – Although you can’t see any of us in the actual commercial, I can assure you that we were there and that we were some of the best fake goal cheerers you will ever see!

Now it’s your turn to meet Sidney Crosby! Entering the contest is simple – Canadians can visit the #JumpTheBoards app on Tim Hortons Facebook page where you can enter daily until January 25, 2014. On the app, you can also watch and share Tim Hortons newest commercial to ‘fill’ the Tim’s virtual arena and help create the largest virtual audience for Canada’s favourite game.

Good Luck and thanks for reading!

Disclosure: While Tim Hortons didn’t pay me for this experience, they did cover my travel expenses to Hamilton. Also, I did get paid by the actors union, because of my amazing acting chops!

Cake Boss Buddy

An Evening With The Cake Boss!

Last night I had the pleasure of being invited by Canadian Tire to hang out with the one and only Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro, as he launched his new line of bakeware, which will be exclusively available at Canadian Tire. The new line is designed to give people at home the chance to bake like boss and create their own masterpieces! The night was amazing and I even had the chance to sit down one on one with Buddy to ask him a few questions.

At the event, Buddy teamed up with Ottawa Senators head coach, Paul MacLean and Paul’s daughter, Erin, to show off some basic techniques that can be done by the every day non-baker. It was a light event with a lot of laughs, especially when Buddy offered to hire Paul MacLean if the Sens ever decided to let him go.

cake boss paul maclean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview With The Cake Boss

I was also excited to have the opportunity to sit down with Buddy before the show started, to ask him a few questions. Here is what he had to say.

Q: What advice do you have for kids who dream of someday opening their own bakery?

Buddy: Definitely go work in a bakery first, just to make sure that you love it and get as much experience as you can. If you decide that this is the life for you, go to culinary school and aim for your dreams. The business part of this is covered by working at a bakery. They don’t teach you about the business side in culinary school, what it’s like to live and work in a bakery and really see the ins and outs of the real environment.

Q: Any advice for dads who want to be more hands on in the kitchen, to show their kids that it’s cool to try new things?

Buddy: Part of the reason I decided to do this product line with Canadian Tire is to make it easy for anybody to get in to the kitchen and get baking. It’s actually not that hard to do and I’m hoping to give you things that are achievable. We want people to go cake decorating and feel excited about it. For you, I’ll say that fondant is a lot easier than butter cream, especially when you are starting out, and that’s why we did videos with it.

Q: I saw your hockey cake you made for the draft and wondered what is your favourite/hardest project that you’ve worked on?

Buddy: Yeah, the hockey cake was a cool one and, you know, Canada! But definitely the coolest one I have done is the transformer cake. From a challenge standpoint, out of everything I’ve done, the transformer sets the bar on how far you can take a cake.

Q: You are a part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, but you also founded the Momma Mary Foundation and I was wondering if you would talk a bit about what that’s all about?

Buddy: The Momma Mary Foundation is something I started in lieu of my mom having ALS. What we do is we take donations and do fundraisers, to give money for research and to people that can’t afford treatments. We’ve worked with Mass General in Boston, ALS Worldwide and different things. We take the money and give it to organizations that we feel are really trying to make strives in it. It’s especially important to pass that down to my kids and the charity is close to my heart because of my mom having it.

Q: How often does a cake need repairs upon delivery?

Buddy: Oh man, I can remember last year, we got a call that a cake that was sent out to Louisiana had tipped over. We had to spring in to action and get down there to fix it. But, for the most part we only have a few incidents a year and have been pretty lucky in that regard.

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Buddy couldn’t have been any nicer and he even recorded a video greeting for my mom, who is a huge fan of him and his family. His speech about how cake decorating gave him the confidence to go after his dreams really resonated with me as I am currently chasing a dream of my own. He also hopes to open up his own shop in Canada sometime in the next year or so, which is exciting. I had a great time meeting Buddy and want to thank Canadian Tire for the invite and for the very cool samples of some of Buddy’s new products. If you guys don’t a cake post from me in the next 3 months, feel free to call me out as a failure!

Buddy Cake Boss SensCake Boss Canadian Tire

Avril

Keep Holding On & Support Women’s Healthcare ~ #WCHFRaiseUrVoice

Just because Movember is over, doesn’t mean it’s time to pack it in the good deeds for another year. That’s why I am happy to be working with the Women’s College Hospital Foundation in spreading the word about their new initiative!

Women’s College Hospital Foundation has teamed up with Canadian singing sensation, Avril Lavigne, to create a cover of her hit song, “Keep Holding On”, featuring the voices of Canadians from across the country. The remixed song has been released on iTunes, and the proceeds from every download go toward supporting Women’s College Hospital and the future of healthcare for women.

I downloaded the song myself this afternoon and haven’t been able to stop listening to it. It gives me that goose bumpy feeling every time the chorus of voices kicks in, and to know that it is also helping women in need is extra gratifying. The song only costs $1.29 and every single download helps support an amazing cause, so I hope you will head over to iTunes and purchase a copy today!

About Women’s College Hospital Foundation

Women’s College Hospital Foundation is dedicated to supporting Women’s College Hospital as it revolutionizes health care for women. The first stand alone ambulatory care hospital in Canada, Women’s College Hospital is dedicated to advancing the health of women and improving health-care options for all.

Working together with patients, family members, staff, physicians, volunteers, community members and corporations, we raise, manage and invest funds to support the Hospital’s current and future priority needs. Our donors contribute generously to help build our new hospital of the future, advance research and pioneer state-of-the-art programs that address the unique needs of women and their families.

Disclosure: I was compensated by Entrinsic for my participation in this program, but the song, Avril and the cause are all amazing.

ShopWise Logo

Why Simply Shop When You Could ShopWise?

In case you hadn’t noticed, I am a guy, and as such I am held to a certain standard of cluelessness when it comes to holiday shopping. Well it just so happens that I am smarter than the average bear and located the ShopWise app on my iPhone last week. I am always a little skeptical about apps that are supposed to make shopping easier but I knew from the first featured special that we were a match!

ShopWise Chips

For some background, the ShopWise app, which is offered for free by the Yellow Pages Group, was designed as an everyday shopping app to save you time and money. The app is free to download and ShopWise also just launched their new version 2.0 here in Canada. I figured the app would be good for Christmas shopping only but I have been using it all over the place for everything from restaurants to kid’s clothes. My favourite feature has to be the interactive map that shows you all the deals in the area you are actually in at that moment. It’s genius, and also a little dangerous in the sense that there always seems to be a Dairy Queen in there…

ShopWise Map

On to the shopping portion of the app! We had decided to get our son a scooter for Christmas this year but hadn’t found the right deal yet. Low and behold, two days into my new app adventure, I saw this amazing 40% deal on scooters at Toys R Us! I had never felt more like a bargain hunter and it got me itching to see what else I could save on.

ShopWise Scooter

For my next trick, I got a little fancy and decided to search the word, Disney, to see what would happen. I never got past the first featured item because it was an incredible deal on overstock Halloween decorations, and because that holiday happens every year, the decorations are pretty much always good, in my mind at least. Not to mention that smaller things are great stocking stuffers because the kids love everything Disney!

ShopWise Disney

Last but not least, the toughest person to shop for on my Christmas list, my wife. She is not the best at getting me a detailed list, so I am usually in charge of picking out my own gifts for her. With the ShopWise app, I simply went to the Find button, hit Apparel, and voila, I had two options right in front of me. The one I think she needs and the one she probably wants. I’ll let you figure out which is which.

ShopWise Clothes

Did I mention that the ShopWise app is free?? There’s really no reason for you to NOT check this out and I’m telling you that you will find it incredibly useful. The ShopWise app is available in the iTunes store, on Android and also for Blackberry.

If all that wasn’t enough, if you own an iPhone or an iPad, ShopWise is giving away a $100 prepaid shopping card to one of you just before the holidays! Simply download the ShopWise app and fill out the form with your email address in the “Help” section of the app. Then you can enter the giveaway using the form below. Good Luck!

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Disclosure: This post was
and I received compensation for my opinions on this product.

KC White

Introducing Kindness Canada!

I’m excited and proud to announce a project that we have been working on for a few months now, that is finally coming to fruition. The new website is called, Kindness Canada, and is hopefully going to be a place that will inspire the kindness in everyone.

The initial goal is to start off small by asking you all to submit your stories of kindness, either in written or video form. I don’t know if you are like me but I know that every time I read an uplifting story, I get inspired to want to get out there and do something kind for someone else. And that is the goal of Kindness Canada. It is to take the every day kind acts that we see and hear about and turn them into an inspirational and interactive storybook for all to read.

We have also created The Big List of Random Acts but need your help in filling it out. You are invited to submit your random acts of kindness and each week we will add a new random act to the list.

There is much more in the works for the site, including events, random act blitzes and finding a way to start giving back. In the meantime, I hope you will consider submitting your kindness stories, posts about what kindness means to you and your random acts, so that we can turn this into something inspirational and spectacular!

I would like to give a quick shout out to the people who made this vision a reality. Our Kindness Ambassadors are Rebecca Stanisic from A Little Bit of Momsense, Amber Rehman from Fatekeep and Patricia Oliver from Positively Pampered Patty. Finally, a very special Thank You goes out to the man behind the web design of both this page and the Kindness Canada page, Mr. Shawn Merrikin of Shawn Merrikin Web Design & Hosting. Without him, I would completely lost and that is not just lip service, as I would be quite literally lost…

All that’s left to do is to let the Kindness Revolution begin! You can check out the Kindness Canada Website and also follow us on Twitter @KindCanada and our KC Facebook Page. I hope you enjoy the new project as much as I have enjoyed putting it together!