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Canadian Dad Podcast - Bobs LoLo

Canadian Dad Podcast: Ep. 8 – Canadian Children’s Recording Artists, Bobs and LoLo

I was so excited to have the opportunity to speak to Canadian children’s recording artists, Bobs and LoLo. My kids have been huge B&L fans for a long time and I still get their songs stuck in my head all the time.

In this episode we talk a lot about Bobs & LoLo’s new Christmas album, Wave Your Antlers, and the process behind the recording and filming of the album. Just as a side note, the album is really great and my kids have really enjoyed listening to the first single Chris Moose, mostly because at one point he “shakes his caboose”, which the kids find hilarious.

We also talk about B&L’s numerous Juno Nominations, what it was like meeting and sharing a stage with the likes of Fred Penner and Sharon, Lois & Bram and we also spend a few minutes comparing notes on how little we all know about using Pinterest.

It was great talking to Robyn and Lorraine and you can easily see why they are a great fit for the children’s music scene in the joyful and passionate way they discuss their music.

Canadian Dad Bissell Vacuum

Canadian Dad & Agent Bissell in The Attack of the Evil Dirt Twins

I was asked by the fine folks at Bissell Canada to review their Multi-Surface Expert™ canister vacuum cleaner. So, instead of the usual sponsored post you are used to, my family and I decided to mix it up by creating a trailer for a new movie, “Canadian Dad & Agent Bissell in The Attack of the Evil Dirt Twins”!

For the record, the vacuum was incredible, and especially for a family that has been searching for something that works for years. I’m a huge fan of the canister system and it actually picks up dirt off my floor! It was also perfect for hardwood, tile and carpet, which is a huge bonus for me. For more information on the Bissell Multi-Surface Expert™, you can visit the information page on the Bissell Canada Website.

So, without further ado, here is my family’s big screen debut!

Disclosure: Bissell Canada provided us with the vacuum cleaner to facilitate this “review”. I really do love it and love even more that my kids got to have fun with it.

Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy

New Marvel ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Trailer!

This is just a short one to share the new trailer for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy movie, due out in August! I just assumed that everyone who reads Canadian Dad is just as excited about this movie as I am. Enjoy and I’ll see you at the theater!

Hot Wheels Ultimate Track - Front 2

Win A Hot Wheels® Prize Pack & Join The Track Builder Challenge

Part of my duties as a Hot Wheels® Connector Club Ambassador is to demonstrate how easy it is to grab some random pieces of track and turn them into a masterpiece. I recently teamed up with my children in order to create our entry into the Hot Wheels® Track Builder Challenge! PS, you should totally enter because the Grand Prize includes Hot Wheels® coming to your house and building a giant indoor track! 

Check out this video to see we managed to come up with and keep reading to see how you could win a Hot Wheels® Prize Pack!

Pretty awesome, right?! We had a blast building and the kids have changed it up a bunch of times since then. I want to give you the opportunity to spend some time building with your children and have managed to get my hands on a really cool Hot Wheels® Prize Pack that includes:

  • Hot Wheels Playset
  • Basic Cars
  • Colour Shifter Car
  • Monster Jam Truck
  • Curve & Launch Track Building Set
  • The Quick Kick Loop
  • Digital Speedometer

All you have to do to enter is follow the steps below and I will hook up a winner on April 30th! You must be a resident of Canada to enter and I wish you the best of luck! And, don’t forget to enter the Hot Wheels® Track Builder Challenge for your chance at more great prizes!

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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!

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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…

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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!