LEGO Boost 1

Building Just Got A Lot More Fun With LEGO Boost! {Giveaway!}

Like almost every kid out there, my children love building with LEGO! Over the years, our building habits have evolved from simply putting together the sets from the instructions, to creating whatever pops in to our heads, but the constant is that LEGO keeps us busy and creative for hours at a time.

With my son taking part in the Coding Club at his school, something I am constantly jealous of, I was excited to hear about LEGO’s newest product, LEGO Boost! Boost is a 5-in-1 model that introduces building and coding in one super-charged LEGO set, letting children add sound, movement and personality to their LEGO creations, bringing to life anything they can imagine! The LEGO BOOST Toolkit recently arrived on our doorstep and the kids were very excited to start their #BUILDwithBOOST adventure!

LEGO Boost 3

You can choose to build any of the 5 models, including Frankie the Cat, Guitar4000 and the M.T.R.4. We choose to start with Vernie the Robot as he seemed like a ton of fun! The kids and I had different ideas about how to start our new project, with them wanting to dump all 11 bags out at once, while I wanted a more level-headed and dadly approach. Needless to say, dad won that round!

LEGO Boost 2

After that, we downloaded the free LEGO Boost app and got started on building Vernie! Before we continue, please note that a tablet running iOS 10.3 and newer/Android 5.0 or above is required to build and play with LEGO® Boost™, so make sure your device is compatible by visiting LEGO.com/DeviceCheck before purchasing.

The app was amazing and very easy for the kids to follow along with. Full disclosure here, with 832 pieces, dad helped a little with the building as the kids were so excited to start giving commands to their creation. Plus, I am a giant child, so the opportunity to build with LEGO is still an exciting prospect for me…

LEGO Boost 4

Once Vernie the Robot was complete, the real full began! First things first, the kids absolutely fought over who would get to test him out first, which was ultimately decided by a rousing game of rock, paper, scissors. I was amazed watching as my kids used the LEGO Boost app to learn how to code on the spot and they had Vernie doing all sorts of tricks within a matter of minutes.

LEGO Boost 5

For the last week now, the first thing the kids want to do when they wake up and then get home from school is to play with their new robot friend. I’m usually careful about how much screen time they are getting but I can’t complain about it when they are teaching themselves how to code while also having a blast with their LEGO. Next up for us will be checking out the incredible BOOST BOTS series on YouTube, where we’ll be able to see what is possible with LEGO BOOST for those of us who like to put away the instruction manuals!

LEGO Boost 6

I honestly can’t say enough good things about LEGO Boost and if your kids are into LEGO, or coding, this would make the perfect gift for them! And because I believe in this product so much, I want to put a LEGO Boost in your home this holiday season! Feel free to fill out as many Rafflecopter entries below as you’d like and I’ll be giving away a LEGO Boost kit to one lucky reader!! Giveaway is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: We received a LEGO Boost kit to facilitate this post, however it really is one of the best toys we’ve ever played with!

Win A Maplelea Girls Doll Just In Time For The Holidays!

Our daughter has never really been interested in toys. Of course, we still bought her all the toys and then watched as they mostly went ignored and un-played with. It makes sense considering she spends 20 hours a week in competitive gymnastics, which leaves little time for toys. The one exception to this rule, however, is when it comes to her Maplelea Girls dolls.

She takes her Maplelea dolls, Taryn and Alexi, everywhere she goes and I often wonder whether she is a better parent to them than we are to her and her brother… I kid, of course, but she really, really loves playing with her dolls and I absolutely love hearing the imaginative things she comes up with for them. We even held a big birthday party for Taryn last year, with restaurant singing and all! Check it out!

Honestly, how great was Lonestar for playing along and making our daughter’s night there? Just awesome! As you can see, the love for her Maplelea Girls is very real and we couldn’t be happier that she has something in her life that fosters this kind of creativity. I do have to admit being a little bit jealous though, as Taryn and Alexi have way more clothes than I do…but that’s a story for another time!

Maplelea Girls Doll

I’m so excited to have the opportunity to give the gift of a Maplegirls Girls doll to one of you, to help make your child’s day a little brighter! All you have to do to enter is fill out as many of the Rafflecopter entries you feel like and I’ll choose a winner in a couple weeks. Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Maplelea sent my daughter a new doll (Alexi) in exchange for our participation in this giveaway, which scored me a huge amount of dad cred!

Sears Canada Back To School

Win A $300 Sears Canada Gift Card In Time For Back To School!

There may still be a couple weeks of summer left but it’s Back To School shopping season for parents! Whether you’re sad to see summer come to an end or excited to get back to a structured schedule, you can’t escape the fact that clothing and accessories need to be acquired and I’m going to send you on a Sears Canada shopping spree to help you get it all done!

Sears Canada holds a place close to my heart as my grandmother worked there for years and would take me there on the bus at least once a week for many, many years of my youth. I don’t remember much from those years but I do remember hanging in the shoe department and the fact that she used to have a bag full of used tissues that she’d pull out to clean my face. I know that has nothing to do with Sears, I just wanted to throw it in there…

Where was I?? Oh yeah, I took the kids to Sears Canada this week to do our back to school shopping and while I’ll be writing about the full experience later in the week, I can say that I was amazed at how much stuff we were able to get for the budget we had set. I was also impressed with the Sears private label clothing line, as were my kids, which you can see in the above photo.

So, how do you win this amazing shopping experience?? Simply fill out as many of the Rafflecopter entries you feel comfortable with and I’ll draw the winning name in a weeks time! Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Star Wars Prize Pack Fathers Day

My Top 7 “I Am Your Father” Moments {Plus Giveaway!}

Star Wars has provided me with so much joy over the years, with no line being repeated more than the classic Darth Vader shocker, “Luke, I am your father”. To celebrate the upcoming Father’s Day celebrations, I thought I would share my Top 7 “I am your father” moments! Here we go:

7. That time I told the kids to clear their plates after lunch but they forgot and then went to play outside with their friends and then found the same old half-eaten food on their plates for dinner.

6. When the kids were supposed to shower but defiantly avoided it, so I pretended the shower was broken for a week so they could be the smelly kids at school. Lessons learned.

5. When my son threatened to run away because I wouldn’t let him play on his iPad for an extra half hour and then called his bluff by letting him put his shoes on and walking all the way down the street, only to have him realize it was a bad idea and quickly run back home.

4. The day I became the “Worst Dad Ever” for not buying the toy my kid wanted, 5 minutes before their best friend invited them over for a playdate that they needed a ride to.

3. When I told the kids to bring their toys in from outside in case it rained because I wouldn’t replace them, only to have it rain on their not brought in toys, ruining them for good.

2. When my kids found out they loved sports, so my wife and I took on extra jobs to help pay for the costs of competitive sports fees because we want the kids to have the opportunity to explore their full potentials.

1. The day I realized that I get to wake up and experience something new and amazing with these kids every single day and loving every second of it regardless of whether it’s good or bad.

As you can see, for better or worse, there are plenty of “I am your father” moments throughout the days and I absolutely wouldn’t have it any other way. Speaking of that, check out this amazing Happy ‘I Am Your Father’s Day’ video made especially for the Star Wars fans out there!

How cool was that?! Now I want to hear some of your “I am your father” moments, whether they’re happy, funny or other, and I have a great Star Wars prize pack to give away to help make your Father’s Day that much more special! All you have to do to enter is using the Rafflecopter form below and I’ll pick a winner in a few days.

Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program, but I really am a father…

Subway Panini Delicious

Try The New Subway® Canada Panini On Me!

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that Subway® Canada had unveiled their newest creation, paninis! I took my job of taste-testing very seriously and have now tried each panini multiple times, sometimes fitting in multiple testings in a single day. Now that I have compiled my very scientific research, I am ready to tell you which panini is the one you absolutely must have.

Here we go. Are you ready? The one panini that stands above all others and the only one that is right for you is….well, the results were actually inconclusive. You see, after falling in love at first bite with the Italian B.M.T. Melt panini, I ate it 3 straight times, ignoring the other paninis. When I finally decided to change it up, I went for the Chipotle Steak & Cheese panini and fell in love with that one, too. I’m guessing you can look ahead to where this story is headed…

Subway Panini Kids

Cute picture of my kids for no good reason!

The best panini for you will depend on the kind of day you are having. Maybe you’re feeling extra sophisticated on a certain day and decide to go with the Chicken Cordon Bleu panini. Consequently, maybe you are addicted to cheese, in which case you’d probably want to go all in with the Triple Cheese panini. All this to say that there is no one-size fits all choice when it comes to the new Subway® Canada paninis because they are all great in their own way.

I understand that some of you may be skeptical because change can be difficult, so I’m giving away a $25 Subway® Canada gift card to one lucky winner, and I’ve also been handing out Subway® Canada gift cards to random folks who have been active on my Facebook and Twitter pages! To win the prize all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below and I’ll choose a winner in a few days!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and make sure you let me know what you thought of the all-new Subway® Canada panini experience!

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

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.

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.

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.

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!!!

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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.