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.

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!

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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.

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!!

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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!

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

Disney Moana

Disney’s Moana Review

I took my daughter to go see Disney’s new feature film, Moana, and we both absolutely loved it! While it may not have the same powerful soundtrack that a movie like Frozen had, Moana was fun and exciting from start to finish while also having an amazing message that even my 6 year old could grasp.

Besides Moana, who is a strong, ambitious and bright young girl, my favourite character was Maui, who is played by The Rock, Dwayne Johnson. His arrogance made for some hilarious scenes but his kindness keeps you rooting for his character throughout the movie. As you will see in the video from our experience, my daughter’s favourite character was Moana’s grandmother who is another bright spot throughout the movie.

The one thing that always strikes me about Disney’s movies is that there always seems to be an underlying message for viewers to think about. Whether it’s a strong political message in a movie like Zootopia, which I was lukewarm about, or the emotional roller coaster that was Inside Out, Disney seems to to want to make more than fluff piece movies that you will forget about in a week or two. Moana was no different as it delivers a strong message about the environment and the effects of taking from the land without giving anything back.

I really hope you get a chance to check out Moana because outside of Big Hero 6, this was my favourite Disney offering in a long time. Yes, I enjoyed Frozen, I am not a monster, but this one had so many great scenes that we will definitely be buying the DVD when it comes out so we can watch it over and over again! Feel free to check out the video I put together of our experience at the screening and I’d love to hear what you thought of Moana once you get a chance to see it!

#TreatsForToys Baseball

The Rice Krispies #TreatsForToys Program Is Back! {Plus, A Giveaway!}

I’m so excited to announce that I am teaming up with Kellogg’s Rice Krispies for a 3rd year in a row to work on their Treats For Toys program! The concept of this program is as simple as Make, Share, Give! You Make a toy-shaped Rice Krispies treat with your kids, Share it at TreatsForToys.ca or on social media with the hashtag #TreatsForToys and Kellogg’s will Give $20 to the Salvation Army to go towards providing a toy to a child in need this Christmas.

Understanding that it can be difficult to come up with ideas, I have included the recipes of the toys that my daughter and I created in our kitchen laboratory! You can also head over to TreatsForToys.ca to check out all the amazing creations that others have come up with. Just think, if everyone in a family of 4 uploaded or shared a toy-shaped treat, that would provide 4 toys to children who would otherwise receive nothing this holiday season. There’s no baking required either, so I encourage you to get your kids involved!

As promised, the recipes we created are listed below and after you get through those I have included a fun giveaway for a Treats For Toys gift pack! So, have some fun in the kitchen and feel free to head over to my Facebook or Twitter pages to share your creations with the #TreatsForToys hashtag!

Treats For Toys Christmas Smileys 2

Treats For Toys Prancer's Pumpkins

Treats For Toys Holiday Homerun

* © 2016, Trademark of Kellogg Company used under licence by Kellogg Canada Inc.

#TreatsForToys Giveaway!

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

Best Buy Toshiba 55 4K TV

Home Entertainment Essentials From Best Buy {Plus $100 Giveaway!}

Last week I shared some home entertainment system tips that were provided to me by a Best Buy blue shirt associate. Today I’m going one step further by recommending specific products that caught my eye while also sending one of you off to Best Buy with a $100 gift card burning a hole in your pocket! Let’s get started then, shall we? Here is my list of Best Gifts from Best Buy!

Toshiba 55″ 4K UHD LED TV

Best Buy Toshiba 55 4K TV

 

It all starts with the TV and after having used the 49″ version of this TV for the past week, I can say that I am extremely impressed. My family’s favourite feature so far is the ability to stream our YouTube and Facebook videos directly to the TV with the push of a button.

Check out all the features here!

 

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Sonos PLAY:5 Wireless Speaker

Best Buy Sonos Play 5

 

Having great sound is what will set you apart from the rest of your friends when it come to home entertainment systems. The thing that caught my eye about the Sonos sound system was not only the ability to buy separate pieces as you can afford them but also the fact that you can connect your devices to this system via wifi.

You can learn more about Sonos here!

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Bose SoundTouch 120 Home Theatre System

Best Buy Bose Home Theatre
 

Looking for the ultimate home theatre experience? Let me introduce you to the Bose SoundTouch 120 Home Theatre System. This system almost blew me out of my local Best Buy and in the best way possible. 

Check out the specs here but bring a paper towel for your drool!

 

 

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PlayStation 4 500 GB NHL 17 Bundle

Best Buy Playstation 4 NHL

For the gamer in your life, which in my house happens to be me, the Playstation 4 NHL bundle has served me well for months now and I highly recommend you give it a try. Guys, you may want to check with your wife before hooking this up to your main system but that’s where it belongs!

Check out the PS4 Bundles Here!

 

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PlayStation VR Launch Bundle

Best Buy Playstation 4 VR

If you’re going to get a PS4 anyway, you may as well look into grabbing the #1 item on my Christmas list year in the PlayStation VR headset! I’ve seen enough videos on YouTube to know that this device will provide hours of fun on your big screen TV.

Here are all the details on the PS4 VR Headset

 

 

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Google Chromecast Ultra

Best Buy Chromecast Ultra

 

Let’s say you went against my recommendation and bought a TV without Chromecast built in, the Google Chromecast Ultra is a simple way to use your mobile device to stream your favourite TV shows, movies and more to the TV. And while streaming, you can still text or call without interrupting what’s playing or draining your battery.

Check out what else the Chromecast Ultra can do!

 

 

 

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Now, I believe I mentioned something about a giveaway, didn’t I?? To get you started on your way to a new home entertainment system from Best Buy, I am giving one lucky reader a $100 Best Buy gift card! All you have to do to enter in fill out the Rafflecopter form below and cross your fingers! Happy Shopping!!!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program, which involved playing with all sorts of cool electronics!

Best Buy Home Entertainment Toshiba

How To Create The Ultimate Home Theatre Experience

One of the top items on our holiday list this year was a new TV for our living room as our current model is about 6 years old and the advancements in home entertainment in that time have been beyond anything I could have imagined. Not wanting to make the wrong decision, we worked with Best Buy to set up an appointment with one of their Blue Shirt associates and home entertainment experts, Ryan, and he helped us throughout the process.

I wanted to share some of his tips with you because it was all new to me so I figured there were more of us, less technology savvy, people out there… Honestly, had I not asked for Ryan’s help, we would have walked out of Best Buy with a mishmash of things that don’t belong together. That said, here are some of his top tips for outfitting your home entertainment system!

Good Sound Is Key!

As great as TV technology is these days, if you want a true home theatre experience, you need to up the ante when it comes to sound. I always used to walk right by the sound aisle because I knew I’d be spotted for the fraud I was while pretending to look impressed by it all. Ryan taught me all about the differences and importance of the various components of sound, pointing out that the sound bar was where the magic happens, while the sub woofer played in important role in the projection of bass. I admitted to him that I had received a surround sound set a few years earlier and had no idea what the sub woofer did, so I just left it unplugged next to the TV… Shame.

Obviously, the sound set from Bose was incredible but it was the Sonos system that caught my eye. I liked the ability to purchase pieces as I had money for them as opposed to having to shell out all the money at once. I also liked that you could connect your mobile devices to any of the pieces through wifi so you could play your music from anywhere in the house.

To Make It Great, You Must Calibrate!

That’s right, I said calibration. Let’s just be honest here, I had no idea what this meant as Ryan talked about it until he showed me the difference. You see, when most people see a TV with bright, vibrant colours, they are immediately drawn to it. In most cases, however, you are not watching with the colours or clarity you were intended to see. Best Buy offers a service where the Geek Squad will come to your house, with all their fancy equipment, and calibrate your new TV for you in the room that you are going to place it in.

What this does is sets the colours and clarity around the specific natural lighting that your room contains. Oh, and don’t worry about losing the calibration due to power outages or other errors because the Geek Squad saves your settings and can easily re-calibrate for you!

Miscellaneous Odds & Ends

Here are a few other tidbits of information I got out of my visit to Best Buy!

1. Make sure you measure your living space before purchasing your TV and TV stand. You don’t want to have to worry about these details while you’re in the store and then pick the wrong sized things.
2. Grab a couple extra HDMI cables and a power bar. Do you know how annoying it is to excitedly set everything up only to realize that you need one more cable??? I do…
3. Don’t be afraid of buying open box items. Not only is this one of my secret strategies, but the store clerks also emphasized that open box does not mean faulty. It is almost always because someone returned it without even trying it and you could save major dollars by taking it off their hands!

That’s all for today’s lesson! I hope it proves helpful for you when you are ready to redesign your home entertainment space. Oh, I almost forgot, here is the TV we ended up with!

It’s the Toshiba 49” 4K UHD Smart TV and we can’t wait to get it fired up! I’ve been told that 4K is the wave of the future so I’m excited to see what it brings. I also love the fact that the TV has Google Cast built in to give us easy instant access to apps like Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify!

I highly encourage those of you in the market for a new home entertainment setup to stop into your local Best Buy and ask for one of their experts to walk you through all the options. Thanks to Erin and the Best Buy team for making this such a great experience for us!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program but my wife is loving watching The Bachelor on this giant new TV so I am definitely 100% satisfied with my experience!

Subway Sandwish

Celebrate #NationalSandwichDay on November 3rd with SUBWAY® Canada!

As a family who always seems to be on-the-go, we spend quite a bit of time in SUBWAY® restaurants, which is why I am so excited to be partnering with them for National Sandwich Day! Through this initiative, SUBWAY® will donate more than 303,000 meals to Food Banks across Canada. To put it into perspective, that’s more than the number of children across the country that rely on food banks every month.

As we work our way into the holiday season, food banks are working overtime to make sure that they have enough stock on their shelves to meet demand. With more than 550 food banks and 3,000 affiliated programs, Food Banks Canada will help more than 1.7 million Canadians this year. With food bank usage up 26% since 2008 and almost 80,000 people visiting food banks for the first time each month, now is that time for us to step and make a difference.

Go ahead and let all that data sink in for a minute. Oh, I should also mention that even donating just $1 can help to provide 3 meals to Food Banks Canada.

This year I will be bringing my kids with me to visit our local food bank, for a number of reasons. It gives them the opportunity to learn about volunteerism, which I believe to be one of the most important things we can do to help build our communities, while also helping them understand that not everyone is as fortunate as they are.

This is where you come in! For every sandwich purchased with a drink for National Sandwich Day on Thursday, November 3rd, SUBWAY® Canada will donate a meal to Food Banks Canada. But that’s not all. In addition to donating a meal, participating sandwich shops will also give the purchaser a second sandwich of equal or lesser value for free! So don’t forget to mark Thursday, November 3rd in your calendar and head out to your local SUBWAY® restaurant to do some good and to have your #SandwishGranted!

Win a $50 SUBWAY® Gift card!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To help you on your way to #NationalSandwichDay I am giving away a $50 SUBWAY® Canada gift card! All you have to do to enter is fill out as many of the Rafflecopter entries below and I’ll draw a winner before the big day! Good luck!

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