Shoppers Drug Mart Flu Shot Myths

Debunking Myths About Getting The Flu Shot {Plus A Giveaway!}

I often hear people justify not getting a flu shot by saying something like, “I got the shot and STILL got a nasty stomach bug”! The problem with that logic, of course, is that the 24 hour stomach bug that seems to go around each year is not the flu, and neither is the common cold. We definitely hear a lot of different myths when it comes to getting your flu shot and I thought I would take some time to squash a few of them right now!

Myth #1 – The flu vaccine gives you the flu.

FALSE. Flu vaccinations delivered via a needle are either made with an ‘inactivated’ flu virus that’s not infectious or with no flu virus at all.

Myth #2 – You don’t need to get the flu vaccine every year.

FALSE. Almost half of Canadians (46%) say they aren’t concerned about spreading the flu to others, and the same amount say they aren’t getting vaccinated this year. But pharmacists warn Canadians – “Don’t Miss Out!”. In order to best protect yourself from the flu you need to be vaccinated annually and Canadians can drop in to their local Shoppers Drug Mart any time of day no appointment necessary to get vaccinated this season. Furthermore, the CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for just about everyone 6 months and older, even when the viruses the vaccine protects against have not changed from the previous season.

Myth #3 – You should wait until the height of flu season to get vaccinated so you’re protected for longer.

FALSE. While it’s never too late to get vaccinated, it’s best to receive your flu shot soon after it’s available, likely October. The antibodies delivered via the flu vaccine that protect you against infection take up to two weeks to take effect, and since the flu peaks between December to February it’s important to get vaccinated early so you don’t miss out on those March break plans!

Myth #4 – Pregnant women need to get consent from their doctor prior to receiving the flu vaccine.

FALSE. There is no recommendation for pregnant women to seek consent from their doctor prior to vaccination. However, there are some people who should seek their doctors’ advice prior to being vaccinated, including those who have a moderate to severe illness and patients with a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Those are just a few of the misconceptions associated with the flu shot but there are many more. If you have questions regarding the flu shot, your best course of action is to stop in to your local Shoppers Drug Mart and ask to speak to the pharmacist on duty. They will be able to bust any myths and calm any concerns you might have and give you your flu shot at the same time!.

Shoppers Drug Mart Giveaway!

Alright, for being such great readers and for considering Shoppers Drug Mart for your flu shot needs, I am giving away a Cold & Flu Prize Pack which includes a $100 gift card from Shoppers Drug Mart! This should get you through any sniffles you may come across during flu season and prevent you from having to reuse tissues… This giveaway is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec.

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Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program, which I am taking part in because I believe in the flu shot.

Heart Health

Matters Of The Heart

**This post was written as part of my partnership with BAYER, however it’s as open as I’ve been in awhile.**

In the last week I have eaten ribs, cheeseburgers, fried chicken, chips, soda, more chips and pizza. This is not the path I had set out for myself a year ago when I decided to start taking my health more seriously. That venture had actually started out pretty well, too, as I had been going to the gym regularly and started eating healthier at work.

So what happened? The truth is that I have no idea. While I was doing those things I was feeling great about it. I was enjoying competing in the Fitbit challenges with my friends, my running was bringing me a lot of joy and confidence, and I even hired a personal trainer for a little while. I can’t even remember why I stopped. Usually it’s either because I get sick and derail very quickly or get too busy with work and then get complacent afterward. You can’t deny that it feels good to curl up on the couch to binge watch through your favourite series. I just happen to take that to the ultimate extreme and give up on fitness altogether.

The reason I keep coming back to it though, is that now I have a family to raise and who look to me for a positive example of how you are supposed to live. I should mention at this point that most of the eating of junk I mentioned of the top is done either at work of when the kids are in school as I try not to let them see that side of their dad’s behaviour. Yeah, I know, that’s kind of sad in itself but I share it with you only so you know that through all the happy photos and moments I share, there is also a deep struggle.

I recently had my yearly physical and let’s just say that, outside of this week’s debacle, I have been slowly taking steps to try to reverse the damage I have caused over the last couple years. The aches and pains have started to creep up on me and as a closet hypochondriac, it’s only a matter of time before the anxiety starts kicking in again. With February being Heart Month in Canada, and due to the aforementioned hypochondria, I spent some time reading about the heart.

I found this very cool infographic that showed 11 Fascinating Facts About The Human Heart that’s worth taking a look at. Also, while you may not like to think about it, but it’s also important to be able to recognize a heart attack, which is what happens when a part of the heart muscle isn’t getting enough blood flow. Symptoms vary by individual; common ones include:

• Chest discomfort
• Upper body discomfort (including discomfort in the arms, jaw, neck and back)
• Shortness of breath
• Sweating and nausea
• Light-headedness

Aspirin 81mg Tablets

Another interesting thing I read is that in the case of a heart attack, the longer you wait, the more damage to the heart muscle can occur, so you should make sure you seek immediate treatment. If you think you are having a heart attack, call 911 then crush or chew two ASPIRIN® 81mg tablets – it could save your life. ASPIRIN® 81mg is approved in Canada for emergency use during a heart attack. To make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

So here I sit, tired and overweight, realizing that I’m googling “symptoms of heart attack” and wondering if this will be the wake-up call I need to get my butt in gear. Time will tell but I have a good feeling about it.

**Disclosure. I was compensated for my participation in the Bayer Bloggers program.**

Shoppers Drug Mart Flu Shot 3

Top 15 Things I Miss Out On When I Have The Flu

Nobody likes having the flu. For the past two months I have been encouraging you to head to your local Shoppers Drug Mart to get your flu shot and I will do so again right now. It only takes a couple minutes and could potentially help you fend off this year’s flu virus. In an effort to further convince you to go to Shoppers Drug Mart to get your flu shot, I have made a list of the Top 15 Things I Miss Out On When I Have The Flu. After reading this, I’d like you to consider what you’d miss most if you were to get sick. Enjoy!

1. Snuggling with the kids.
2. Yelling at the kids for accidentally kicking me because they can’t just sit still for 5 seconds while trying to snuggle.
3. Exercise. Although not exercising would help your odds of making the Olympic Couch Surfing team.
4. Food. Nothing tastes good when you are sick so you miss out on family favourites such as Meatball Monday, Taco Tuesday and Pizza Wednesday through Sunday!
5. Kids activities. That megaphone won’t run itself at your son’s hockey games.
6. Work! Haha, just kidding.
7. Jogging…to the fridge during commercials.
8. Sky Diving. What? It could happen…
9. Family activities like apple picking, tobogganing, skating and hardcore wrestling!
10. Playing games, such as Monopoly, with the kids. Actually, on second thought…
11. Re-enacting the last episode of Game of Thrones with my buddies the day after it airs.
12. Crushing the neighbourhood kids in street hockey. Because they need to learn that trophies are earned, not given!
13. Running for Prime Minister. Getting the flu is the only reason I haven’t run for office yet. The ONLY reason.
14. Mascot camp. Stop judging! Like you’ve never wanted to pretend to be a mascot for a week.
15. Taking my middle-aged dads rock band from the garage to the top of the charts!

I’m not sure why anyone would risk missing out on any of these amazing experiences by not simply taking 5 minutes to get their flu shot. To further entice you to pop in to your local Shoppers Drug Mart, I am giving away an amazing gift pack that also includes a $100 Shoppers gift card! Think of all the Kleenex you could buy with that!! Good luck and happy flu shotting!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program, which I am taking part in because I believe in the flu shot.

Dickies Canada Winter

The Greatest Winter Jacket Ever Made!

I don’t do many reviews on the blog anymore, opting for a more humourous editorial style approach, but Dickies Canada recently sent me their Dickies Pro™ Glacier Extreme Puffer jacket to try out and I urgently need to talk about it. I will begin by sharing something completely honest. When I saw the price of the jacket was $79.99 I immediately discounted it as a viable winter option.

Whether it be skating on the outdoor rink, tobagganing or building snow forts, we spend a lot of time outside during the winter, so proper protection from the cold is a must. My new jacket arrived on one of the colder days we’ve had so far this winter so I decided to give it a go on one of our many trips to the tobaggan hill. To be totally transparent here, I brought along my expensive, bulky winter coat just in case the Dickies jacket didn’t do the trick but, spoiler alert, it never left the van and hasn’t been worn since.

Within 15 minutes of getting to the hill I was so warm that I had to unzip my new Dickies puffer jacket to cool off. If I had to describe the feeling, I’d say it was like bringing summer to a winter party. As an active winter outdoorsman, I love how thin the Dickies Pro™ Glacier Extreme Puffer jacket is because it allows me the flexibility to do things like wiping out while surfing on my tobaggan, wiping out on the ice while trying ridiculous deke moves against 8 year olds and wiping out while walking my kids to school when my car doesn’t start because why would it start it’s only -25° outside and everyone wants to walk 20 minutes in that weather… Sorry, this morning was a little rough.

All that to say that while I don’t do reviews anymore, I am in love with my new Dickies Puffer jacket and would highly recommend that you give it a shot before spending $300 on a bulky ski jacket that won’t even keep you as warm as this one. Oh, also, the toque I’m wearing in the above photo is from Dickies Canada as well and is the most comfortable thing I’ve ever worn on my head since that time my husky decided to share my pillow with me one night 10 years ago.

You can check out all the great products that Dickies Canada has to offer by heading to the Dickies Canada website and browsing their selection. They have everything from vests to jeans and everything you need to feel comfortable during the harsh winter weather. I only have these two items to base my opinion on at the moment but if the rest of their gear is anything like this we are going to have a long and happy relationship!

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but Dickies didn’t ask me to review the jacket, I just loved it so much that I went in that direction. Go buy this jacket, now!*

SDM Flu Shot

Simple Ways To Avoid Getting The Flu This Year {Plus Giveaway}

We all get a sense of dread when we wake up in the middle of the night and it suddenly feels like you are swallowing razor blades. The first signs of the flu present themselves in different ways but they are all equally unwelcome. That’s why I have agreed to work with Shoppers Drug Mart throughout the winter months to help provide you with some tips and tricks on ways to prevent and treat flu symptoms! That said, today we are going to cover a few ways to prevent the flu from taking over your household.

Train Your Immune System

There is no 100% foolproof plan to avoiding the flu but having a strong immune system is an excellent way to fight back against the flu’s punch. You can boost your immune system by following these steps:

Get Some Sleep! Your body needs a good 7-8 hours of sleep a night to fully recover. I realize that is easier said than done, especially for parents, as I am currently in the 5-10 range nightly…
Drink Plenty of Water. I know, I know, water is so boring. While that may be true, your body needs it to thrive. You should be aiming to put back 8 glasses of water a day. Also, coffee does not count as water, but nice try!
Eat Healthy Foods. This one seems like a no brainer yet when we find ourselves rushing around, the fast food joints look a lot more convenient. Curb that urge and keep plenty of healthy foods around your house.
Stay Active! This may be the hardest one on the list. If I had a nickel for every time I almost went to the gym, I’d be a very rich man. Get off your butt and get moving. Your body will thank you.

Get Your Flu Shot At Shoppers Drug Mart

– One of the easiest ways to avoid getting the flu and ensuring that you don’t miss out this holiday season is to visit your local Shoppers Drug Mart and get the flu shot. Depending on how well the vaccine is matched to this year’s common viruses, 70-90% of flu cases can be averted through vaccination. Getting your flu shot not only protects you but also helps protect those around you who are more susceptible to getting sick. If you’re nervous, you can always stop in to your local Shoppers Drug Mart for a consultation with a pharmacist before committing to the shot and they will set your mind at ease.

Practice Good Hygiene

Wash Your Hands Frequently. Washing your hands isn’t just for when you are leaving a restroom. If you see a sink, wash those hands. Germs are everywhere, stop giving them a free ride!
Cover Your Face When You Cough and Sneeze – This should be common sense but I constantly see people not covering up when then cough and sneeze. Kids are the worst for this so we taught them to Dab when they sneeze and that has completely fixed the issue. Until dabbing stops being cool, that is…
Don’t Reuse Tissues. Dude, gross.

That’s it, folks. These are easy tasks that can be completed in minutes a day and can seriously reduce your chances of getting the flu. Just to make sure you are all ready for flu season, I am giving away a Shoppers Drug Mart Flu Fighters prize pack which includes everything from cough drops to PC facial tissues and chicken noodle soup, plus a $100 Shoppers Drug Mart gift card!

To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below and I’ll pick a winner soon! Don’t forget to head into your local Shoppers Drug Mart in the meantime to get you and your family protected by getting your flu vaccinations! Have a great day!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rice Krispies #TreatsForToys

A Big #TreatsForToys Thank You!

We just completed another amazing year of #TreatsForToys for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies and I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who participated! I saw so many amazing creations being shared and with each one creating a $20 donation to the Salvation Army, I am confident that a lot of kids are going to have an extra special Christmas because of it!

It was an extra special year for me because on top of being able to help raise money for kids in need, I had the opportunity to bring my kids with me to the CTV Ottawa Morning Live studios to shoot a segment promoting the campaign. It’s always special when I get to share my blogging world with them and they were so excited to see themselves on TV.

I hope you had as much fun as we did on this campaign and I can’t wait to do it all over again next year! Until that time, keep doing good things for others and have an amazing holiday season!!

Cheers!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program.

Peekaboo Beans CTV

Add Some Style To Your Kids’ Lives With Peekaboo Beans

I’m not so old that I can’t remember a good chunk of my school days. When I look back at the pictures, however, there is one thing that is extremely clear. When it came to style, I was running a score in the negatives… It’d be easy for me to blame my parents for allowing me to leave the house in rags all the time but the truth is that my style didn’t get any better as I got older.

Now that our kids are both in school we have been trying to find clothes that not only match their personalities but that also are a little different than everything else out there. When Peekaboo Beans asked the kids if they wanted some new outfits to try out both of them gave a resounding yes and they were really excited when the package arrived. In true kids fashion, here is what happened when I asked them to sit still and pose nicely for a photo of their new outfits… If you look closely you can see his devilish smile through the blur.

Peekaboo Beans Blurry

We did eventually manage to calm down long enough for daddy to get a proper shot in front of the Christmas tree but, in the art of full disclosure, not without some bribery of milkshakes later in the afternoon… What? I never claimed to be perfect! Here’s the “real” photo, haha.

Peekaboo Beans Christmas

The kids loved the outfits, which can be found in the Peekaboo Beans Shop, and they arrived just in time for the kids to wear them in their 2nd ever TV appearance on CTV Morning Ottawa Live! It’s hard not to notice that they have been slowly stealing all my jobs from me and now they look better than I do too! Oh well, it’s tough to be mad at these cute, little faces. If you’re looking to add some style to your kids’ closets, you should definitely head over to the Peekaboo Beans website to see all the have to offer!

Peekaboo Beans CTV 2

Marks Giveaway

Mark’s Is Your One-Stop Holiday Gifts Shop! {Plus Giveaway}

As I get older I find that I am having a harder time finding things to put on my Christmas wish list. At some point you just accumulate so much stuff that the thought of trying to fit something else into the garage becomes more of a nuisance than a gift. A funny thing happened last year as it was the first year I realized that I had made the transition from the kid who hated getting clothes for Christmas to being the guy who only wants new clothes for Christmas. Well, and a big Toblerone…

While I am still working on my fashion sense, I have never had any problem finding clothes I like at Mark’s. As someone who didn’t own a pair of jeans until his late 20’s, there is an overwhelming irony in the fact that my favourite clothing store happens to be the #1 retailer of jeans in Canada, but people change and I have learned to love representing my Canadian heritage by sporting endless denim combos. That, and the fact that Friday is jeans day at work and I didn’t want to be the only one not wearing jeans!

On top of the jeans, dress shirts and sweaters I stock up on, Mark’s is a one-stop-shop for everything else I need to get through the harsh winters we face here in Ottawa. From winter coats and boots to warm socks and toques, Mark’s covers everything on my wish list from year to year and has something to fit everyone’s budget. If you’re having trouble trying to figure out what to get for someone on your shopping list, you definitely can’t go wrong with a gift card from Mark’s.

I took the liberty of putting together my personal wish list from Mark’s, so please feel free to steal my ideas if you’d like. Unless you live near me and there is only one of these left in XL. Then you’ll have to leave it there in case I want to come in and grab it…

Marks Wish List

1. Windriver Nordic Ragg Wool Toque – I have so many toques with sports team logos on them that I think it’s time I class up my collection and this definitely fits the bill!

2. Kombi Timeless Winter Glove – Between shovelling, sledding, outdoor skating and snowball fights, my winter gloves are probably my most important winter accessory and I need something that will last the whole winter.

3. Sorel Men’s Bear XT Winter Boot – I got a pair of these boots last year and it was like walking on clouds when I put them on. If you spend any amount of time outside during the winter, whether it be ice fishing, tobagganing or just chasing kids around, these are the boots for you.

4. Denver Hayes Jaquard Quarter Zip Sweater – I was drawn to this sweater and with a number of holiday parties to go to and how cold it gets here, this looks so warm that there’s no way I could leave it off the list.

5. Silver “Zac” Relaxed Fit Straight Leg Jeans – Hey, after 20+ years of not wearing jeans, I am now addicted to buying them and am definitely a dark jeans kind of guy.

6. Ripzone Color Block Winter Board Jacket – This is a straight up vanity selection. I love the colour and just kept coming back to this coat time after time.

GIVEAWAY!

To get you started on your holiday shopping at Mark’s, I am giving away a $50 Mark’s gift card! All you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter form below and I’ll notify the winner as soon as time is up! Good Luck and Happy Shopping!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program.

Sears Canada KenmorePro Blender

Making Soup With The KenmorePro Blender By Sears Canada! {Plus Giveaway!}

Confession: I am not good in the kitchen. By “not good” I mean that I have no idea what I am doing in the kitchen and outside of university level classes, I’m not sure I will ever get much better. So when Sears Canada asked me to try out their new KenmorePro blender, I politely declined, citing the above cluelessness. They persisted, however, and assured me that even I could whip up a soup using the KenmorePro, so I agreed to give it a shot with the caveat that it could end in disaster.

Sears Canada asked that I use the blender to prepare a soup and I was amazed to find out that the KenmorePro blender not only mixes the soup but also heats it for you! I decided to recruit my kids for this adventure as we have recently started a Cooking With Kids segment on our YouTube channel and they did an amazing job of not only helping me pick out all of the ingredients but also preparing the entire meal from start to finish.

KenmorePro Blender Sears

I loved the fact that the blender came with a recipe book for us to follow along with, although if I’m being completely transparent, here is a list of things I had to google…

1. What is a “stalk” of celery?
2. How do I quarter and onion?
3. What is the difference between vegetable stock and broth?
4. Why can’t children just sit still for 5 seconds?

Alright that last one was just for me but there were definitely some interesting answers on google. As it turns out, making a soup wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought and I dare say that I actually enjoyed my time in the kitchen preparing everything for the blender, which, in my limited experience, performed wonderfully! You can check out all the info and specs on the KenmorePro blender, which retails for $149.97, by visiting Sears Canada!

KenmorePro Sears Canada

To find out how our soup tasted, you’ll have to visit our YouTube channel! Link is in the contest form.

GIVEAWAY!

Because I like you all so much, I am giving away one of these fancy KenmorePro blenders by Sears Canada! All you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter form below and I’l pick a winner by December 14th! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program.

Comparenting Quaker

It’s Time To Stop COMPAREnting Ourselves To Each Other!

As someone who works heavily with social media it is often second nature to make sure that I am sharing the best possible photos and moments that I possibly can, even if those moments are a teeny, tiny bit staged… Even knowing that this is a common practice I often find myself getting jealous over other people’s perfect photos and experiences.

Well, I will compare myself no more! To celebrate the real side of parenting, Quaker is encouraging all Canadian families to join the #stopCOMPAREnting movement. COMPAREnting occurs when you compare your parenting style to other parents after getting only a small glimpse into their world. Social media is a great place to share and get caught up with friends and family but can often leave us feeling insecure about our own parenting methods and habits.

Instead of worrying about how perfect everyone looks on social media, Quaker’s #stopCOMPAREnting movement aims to remind Canadian parents to look beyond the image and celebrate the authentic, real everyday moments. That said Quaker and I encourage you to join us in sharing your unfiltered everyday moments on social media using the #stopCOMPAREnting hashtag. I’ll even go first!

Comparenting Quaker

What you are looking at is my messy old house. Here’s a little blogging secret that I know for a fact happens a lot. When we need that perfect shot of the kids playing nicely together or trying out a new item for the blog, we simply shift the mess from one side of the room to the other. With over 12 hours of kids activities, homework and free play to get to each week, who has time for cleaning?!

See, that wasn’t so hard, now was it? Now it’s your turn! Grab that picture you took that you swore you’d never share of your messy house or unruly kids and pop it onto your favourite social media channels using the #stopCOMPAREnting hashtag. I will guarantee you that other parents will breathe a sigh of relief that they are not the only ones and maybe even decide to share some photos of their own.

Let’s stop worrying about perfection and start supporting each other more through the ups and downs of parenting! Feel free to tag myself or Quaker Canada on social media along with your #stopCOMPAREnting posts and we’ll be there to cheer you on! Quaker, a brand that has been supporting families since 1902, believes that for families to be at their best, we must be confident in the choices we make, so let’s be confident in our decision to stop COMPAREnting!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program.