Posts

Cool Gifts Dad Fathers Day

9 Gifts Dad Would Love To Receive This Father’s Day!

Father’s Day is right around the corner and that means it’s that time of year where my family ignores my request of not getting me anything and present me with some very cool personalized gifts. I actually love that they don’t go the traditional route of just getting me a new tie and actually put some thought into the gifts they give. Anyone who has ever seen their child’s face light up with excitement as they watch you open their personalized gift knows what I’m talking about.

It got me thinking about all the cool little shops out there that help people like myself come up with great personalized gifts and then I stumbled onto Etsy and got lost for hours in a sea of very cool custom gifts. It was so cool that I decided to make a list of the Top 9 things I would love to receive as gifts for Father’s Day. I hope you enjoy the list and please feel free to let me know what you do for your husband/father for Father’s Day!

9. Custom Softball Art

Etsy Custom Softball Art

This one is kind of sentimental for me as my father and I had a very strong bond in large part due to playing softball.

8. Superhero Art

Superhero Art

This one is kind of selfish but I love anything superhero related and it’s nice to pretend sometimes!

7. Custom Watercolor Art

Custom Watercolor Art

This one was just so cool and different that I had to include it on the list. I would love to hang this in my office.

6. Hero Dad Desk Block

Dad Hero Block

Are we back to the hero theme? Yes. Do I feel bad? Nope!

5. Master & Apprentice Shirts

Master Apprentice Shirt

This one is kind of self explanatory, no?

4. Custom Wallet Insert/Keychain

Custom Wallet Insert Keychain

I keep my wallet pretty lean and this is one of the coolest original gifts I’ve seen. See what I did there?

3. Custom Beer Carrier/Opener

Custom Beer Carrier Opener

If you’ve ever carried three beers over to your neighbour’s house, you’d understand why this is so cool.

2. Personalized Scotch Glass & Case

Custom Scotch Glass Dad

I was sold on this one based on the case alone, so to get an amazing custom glass with it is outstanding!

1. Kids Art on Mug

Custom Kids Art Mug

I’m actually so excited to walk around my office with my kids at on a mug that I may buy this before Father’s Day!

I hope you enjoyed my list and possibly grabbed an idea or two for your own husband or father. Please note before you buy anything that these are Etsy affiliate links but I hand picked all of these things because I love them and any purchases you make help support these great home made businesses. Happy Early Father’s Day!

C

GoodLife Begin DadFit

Project #DadFit – New Beginnings

Here we are again at this old familiar territory. Things were looking up for a while. I ran my first official 5K, was working out and running 5-6 days a week and even started eating healthier. I had never felt better in my life, mentally and physically, but I have let it all slip through my fingers. Now I sit here on the couch watching Real Housewives of (insert city here) because I’m too lazy to bother looking for the remote control, and I am not proud of myself at all.

All is not lost, however. I have faltered and regained footing before and I know that I can do it again. In fact, my new beginning starts today! My family were excited to welcome a video crew from GoodLife Fitness to our house this month so that I could share my story and struggles with staying fit. It’s not always easy to talk about our shortcomings but I do so with the hope that it will inspire me to work harder and possibly strike a chord in others who are dealing with the same struggles.

The GoodLife Fitness video is about Beginnings and I am really happy with how it turned out. Today is Monday, April 27th and on top of being my daughter’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Baby) this is the day that I begin my journey to a better me.

Halloween Candy Not Healthy

Project #DadFit – The Long and Winding Road

To say that I have been struggling lately would be a gross understatement. What started as an ambitious attempt to sculpt myself into a model of fitness, has now become a weekly struggle to even pack my gym bag. I’d love to blame Halloween for this but it started well before that.

The funny thing is that I was doing so well. I was 6 weeks in to my workouts, completed my first 5k run and had started eating better on a daily basis. Then we got some bad news, which had me working longer hours, followed by some even worse news and then I let the whole thing slip away. As it stands, I have not worked out in over two weeks and my nutrition level is at a zero, unless coffee and pizza have some sort of nutritional value.

Now, this is NOT a ‘woe is me’ post and in fact, it is quite the opposite. As I sat on my couch last night, drinking a beer, eating leftover Halloween candy and generally feeling disgusting, I remembered what it felt like when I crossed the finish line at the Army Run and how great it felt after completing my first week of the P90X3 program, and I immediately got up, packed my gym bag and left it at the front door.

Life dishes out all kinds of different scenarios and it is up to us to choose how we are going to handle them. In this instance, I have decided to choose my health over feeling sorry for myself. There is no failing, there is only road blocks to navigate until you get to the next check point and I intend to get there running.

Dad Kids Goofy

Fatherhood

“Daddy, can I have ice cream?”, my 4 year old daughter asked, at ten in the morning while in the checkout line at Costco.
“Hmmmm, I guess so”, I replied. She was home from school because of a fever the previous day, so I figured we could both use the treat.
“HOORAY! You’re the best daddy ever!!”, she shouted as she hugged me in the middle of the store.

While I’m not sure that most people would award me the “Best Daddy Ever” trophy after feeding my child an ice cream cone at ten in the morning, it certainly made me feel special. Plus, no one else knew why she screamed that, so I just pretended that I bought her a pony or something. The point here is that as each day goes by, I get a greater sense of how lucky I am to call myself a father to these two amazing kids.

There are so many times in the day that I catch myself awestruck with their many quirks and qualities. Even the smallest things can strike me in a way I hadn’t anticipated. Hearing my daughter sing along to a song when she thinks no one else is around, knowing that if she saw me she would surely stop. Watching my son bond with his new hockey teammates in a setting that would make most adults cringe with fear.

Life can be friggin’ hard, man. You have to worry about money, time, health and everything else that being an adult and parent brings. Being a father is the thing that saves me from my own mind and lets me focus on the fact that there are two little people that need me to be a man for them so they can grow into their full potential. How can you think about financial struggles when your daughter wants to shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it off, shake it off? Who has time to beat themselves up over skipping a workout when you and your son are engaged in an epic Pokemon battle?! Not me.

Any time I lose focus on what’s important in life, my kids are always there to remind me with open arms, and for that I feel extremely lucky.

Canadian Dad Podcast - Jeff Bogle

Canadian Dad Podcast – Ep. 4 – Writer & Kindie Music Expert, Jeff Bogle

Jeff Bogle from OWTK.com joins me on th podcast to talk about the importance of giving our children a taste of a variety of different art forms, especially when it comes to the type of music we listen to. 

There is a while kindie music scene outside of the Frozen soundtrack and the Wheel on the Bus and Jeff takes us through some of the best in the business. He also offers his services in helping you find a kindie band that blends your genre of music with topics that kids can really understand. 

I also strongly enoucrage you to check out Jeff’s podcast on iTunes, The OWTK Kid’s Music Monthly Podcast.

Father Son

I Still Remember

I rubbed my daughter’s back last night as she cried in her sleep and wondered how many times you did that with me. I can still remember climbing in to your bed when I would get scared and have vowed to never deny my children that luxury.

I think about how proud you must have been when I scored a big goal or made a nice catch. My kids do those things now and my heart swells with pride. Some people say not to over praise your children but I can never seem to stop myself. I wish I’d had the chance to trade these stories with you.

I remember how cool and calm you were when I’d get hurt. I channel that energy now when I see my children in pain, even though I am filled with nothing but panic. I’m guessing this is what all parents feel.

I wish I could ask you silly questions, like whether you smiled the way I do when we coloured nonsensical pictures for you, as my children do for me.

I still see the effects of the work you did to make our community a better place to live and hope I can live up to your level of commitment. There are so many times where I feel like I don’t have the energy and wonder how you accomplished all that you did. Because of you, I work harder so that my kids will see me as a difference maker someday.

You let me be my own person and make my own mistakes, while also giving me the chance to make up for those mistakes without violence or rage. Like the time I “borrowed” that money of your dresser… I’m still learning patience and I wish I had you here to tell me that it gets easier.

I remember a lot great times, which is what I hope for my children when I am gone. Even when I think about the tougher times, I find so many lessons that I can apply to my parenting today.

There are so many things I never got to say to you, so instead I make sure to say them to my children every single day.

Although you may not be here to lean on, I am doing my best with what you left behind so I can be the kind of father my children deserve. The kind of father I had in you.

Fearless Kid

Fearless

“C’mon, dad! Let’s go exploring!”, she yelled as she ran into the small forested area we would soon refer to as “The Jungle”. She didn’t need me to follow along but invited me anyway, which was nice. Though you wouldn’t know from the fearless way that she leaped into the woods, part of me wanted to believe that my presence made her feel safer in there.

We ran through the jungle carrying sticks, just in case we ran into trouble, and popped out at an old wooden bridge that covered a small stream. I tried to explain to her that this was the bridge I used to hide under with my friends when I was her age, but she was way ahead of me in making her way underneath. She’s adventurous, this one. Just like her dad was at that age. We played troll under the bridge for a few minutes, with her insisting on being the troll even though I was perfect for the part, before moving on to the next adventure at a nearby park.

As we walked down the pathway to the park, I felt like I was walking through my past. We passed the creek where I used to catch frogs, the baseball diamond where I found out that I made my first competitive team, the high school where I broke out of my shell, and the park that I spent countless hours pushing my limits. You’d think twenty plus years would have had their way with these places but they all looked exactly the same as I had left them.

Exploring is tough work, so while I didn’t get the chance to stop and take in all the memories that were crashing around in my brain, I did relish the opportunity to create a new memory with her in a place that meant so much to me in my youth.

We left the park, walked through the baseball diamond across from the high school, crawled under the bridge and ran through the jungle back to our original starting point. “Did you have fun exploring with me, daddy?”

More than you will ever know, sweetheart.

Terra20

Father’s Day Gift Ideas, Plus Enter To Win a $100 Gift Card From Terra20!

After the Super Bowl and the release of any super hero movie, Father’s Day is the day that dads everywhere look forward to most each year. Because it’s not customary for dad to get flowers and chocolate, like our motherly counterparts, we usually have to dig deep in order to find something that we really want. Something that says, I did a good job as a dad this year and now I am going to accept this award in exchange for that job well done.

Of course, I am kidding about the award. In my house, I am more than happy to completely disconnect from the digital world and spend the entire day enjoying the company of my wife and children. We usually find a cool local trail and spend the day outdoors, which is all I really need. Inevitably, my wife will ask if there is anything I want, I will say no, then she will tell me that they are getting something anyway, so I’d better pick something.

I mentioned recently that I am a big fan of supporting local businesses, so I decided to check out what terra20 had to offer and have listed my top 3 picks below. Just as a side note, I could have listed the entire House of Marley line but decided to cut it down to three things…

House of Marley Lively Up Harvest Messenger

House of Marley Lively Up Harvest Messenger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As someone who suddenly finds himself doing a lot of travelling, I realized that carrying my computer and notepad in an old softball duffel bag is probably not the best idea. This House of Marley Messenger Bag is at the very top of my list, so if my wife is reading this, you know, me likey!

House of Marley Chant Portable Audio System

House of Marley Chant Portable Audio System

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a chance to play around with the House of Marley Chant Player when I visited terra20 last summer and fell in love with it. It stows away anywhere and connects to your mobile device with amazing sound quality. This is the perfect gift for the dad who does a lot of work outside.

Barefoot Books Kid’s Kitchen

Barefoot Books Kid's Kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While this may seem like an unorthodox choice, learning to cook is something that I have had on my list for a while now. The thought of being able to learn to do so with my kids is something that brings me a lot of joy. I can’t promise that I won’t burn the pancakes but I’m willing and ready to give it a try!

WIN A $100 TERRA20 GIFT CARD!

That’s right, terra20 is building a father’s day gift guide and are offering a $100 gift card for your assistance in putting it together. How do you enter, you ask?

Men, you need to browse the terra20 website for a few of your favourite items that you think would make perfect Father’s Day gifts. Ladies, either ask your man to do this or pick something you think he would love from the terra20 site.

Once you find your favourite item, leave a comment below with a link to that particular item and you will be entered in the draw! It’s that easy!

Giveaway closes Sunday, May 18th at 6pm and is open to residents of the Ottawa area, excluding Quebec. One winner will be drawn at random from eligible comments and will win a $100 terra20 gift card to be picked up at one of the two store locations. *In addition, if terra20 is chooses your gift suggestion to be in the gift guide, you may be contacted by Canadian Dad about your comment being included. By entering you recognize that: there is no guarantee that your suggestion will be in the gift guide, and in the case of more than one person suggesting the same item, no specific attribution will be required on the part of terra20.

Men Get Pregnant Too

Books For Parents: Men Get Pregnant, Too by Kenny Bodanis

It occurred to me while I was reading “Men Get Pregnant, Too”, by Kenny Bodanis, that there aren’t a lot of books out there for dads. I noticed this as I nodded my head along with the stories Kenny tells in the book and found myself wishing that there had been something out there like this prior to my having children. Kenny Bodanis is an award winning, Canadian blogger and radio & television parenting columnist, who lives with his wife and two children in Montreal.

My favourite thing about “Men Get Pregnant, Too”, which shares the same name as Bodanis’ blog, is that he doesn’t hold back in the stories he tells. Another thing I enjoyed was how he added pet peeves and tips for men who are about to enter into fatherhood, such as

“Plug in. Have answers. Be interested. Not for everyone else but as a reminder to your spouse that her husband is excited to be a dad.”

Reading this, I wished I had a time machine so I could go back and do it better.

Kenny also talks at length about the different emotions and stresses that fathers face and tries to help encourage dad to own those emotions. This is also something that I failed miserably at with my first child and didn’t figure out until I started writing about my experiences as a father. It’s important that dad doesn’t completely take a back seat during the pregnancy and Bodanis does a great job of explaining why that is so important.

With Father’s Day right around the corner, I can’t think of a better gift for dad than this book. It really covers almost everything you are going to come up against and does so in a light-hearted and very relatable voice. Men Get Pregnant, Too is available in both paperback and kindle versions on Amazon. You can also check out Kenny Bodanis on his Twitter and Facebook pages.

Pretty Little Girl

She Has No Idea How Loved She Is

The animated and believable way in which she can tell a story about fictional princesses who can fly and who also turn into magical mermaids with super strength.

She has no idea how loved she is.

When she bats her eyes and asks for five more minutes of colouring before bed, after I’ve already given her five more minutes three times.

She has no idea how loved she is.

When she gives me the twentieth drawing she’s done that day and says, “This one’s just for you, daddy”.

She has no idea how loved she is.

Having to scold her when she’s misbehaved, because that’s my job as her father, but having it hurt so much to do so.

She has no idea how loved she is.

Listening to her beautiful voice sing when she thinks no one is listening.

She has no idea how loved she is.

Getting lost in her eyes as she recounts her day.

She has no idea how loved she is.

The way she instinctively plays with my hair while I read her bedtime story.

She has no idea how loved she is.

The passionate way in which she loves her friends and family, and at such a young age.

She has no idea how loved she is.

Watching her play “family” with her dollies and all I can think about is that someday those dolls will be real people.

She has no idea how loved she is.

The pride in her eyes when she does something she’s never done before.

She has no idea how loved she is.

Her career choice, when asked: Superstar

She has no idea how loved she is.

The way she understands and practices compassion for others.

She has no idea how loved she is.

It’s my little girl’s birthday today and yet I feel like I’m the one who got the greatest gift. Happy Birthday, Baby!