Disney Pixar’s Brave Passes The Ultimate Test

I was fortunate enough to find my way to a screening of Disney/Pixar’s new movie “Brave” in 3D. I had seen about a thousand clips of it with my kids but had no idea what we were in store for as the movie began.

Let’s start with the actual trip to the theater. I went with my 4 year old son, his little girlfriend and her Dad. We got there nice and early, as anyone who has ever been to a screening knows, the lines fill up very early!

We had our dinner’s while standing in line, placed our cell phones in the brown paper bags (because I usually bring my buddy and our kids to the movies with the intention of taping it on my iPhone…) and 3 trips to the bathroom for my little guy….he gets scared in theaters and it makes him have to pee (a Lot).

My son is what you would refer to as a scaredy cat when it comes to watching movies. He hates witches, bad guys & any kind of frightening character, to the point of not wanting to watch anymore. I thought bringing his friend along would be a wise move in attempting to keep him interested.

In case you are one of the few who haven’t seen the clips for this movie yet, here’s a peek!

I’m proud to report that with the exception of a couple of scenes with the ancient bear Mor’du, my son got through the movie relatively unscared! There is a witch in the movie but Disney did a great job of getting away from the traditional scary witch for a sneakier version. Personally, I appreciated that fact as I never understood why they had to make these kids movies so frightening.

The other thing I enjoyed is the relationship the female lead, Merida, has with her father. I thought it was cool that they portrayed them as best friends, which is something as father, I can only hope for with my daughter someday.

I’m not going to ruin any of the story in this review, I just wanted to share my experience from the screening. I have read a lot of reviews from this movie, some good, some bad, some very, very strange, but my personal feeling is that this is an excellent movie for the whole family. The stunning animation alone is worth the price of admission as I feel it’s one of Pixar’s best to date.

Oh Yeah, I almost forgot! In true Pixar form, my son decided that he was going to dress as Finn McMissile for this trip to the movies. One thing I’ve learned is not to bother arguing if he wants to leave the house in costume, lol, Kids Will Be Kids! Plus, he’s just like his Dad!

Brave opened June 22nd and if you haven’t seen it yet, I urge you to check it out as you won’t be disappointed!

Cheers!!

The “I Want Candy!!” Giveaway From Big Sky Brands

 

 

 

 

 

I get a lot of email requests asking if I want to do product reviews and giveaways. A LOT!

For the most part (about 98% of the time), I politely decline and move on with my day. Sometimes though, a sales pitch is too powerful for even me to decline. I’m talking about those brilliantly crafted campaigns that leave you stunned and wanting to know more about them! This is a story of one of those times.

The message I received read: “We would like to send you some candy”.

The rest is history! The brilliant company that sent me this glorious pitch was Big Sky Brands and I was happy to be working with them.

For those of you who do not know, Big Sky Brands are the masterminds behind some truly amazing candy, such as:

* Jones Carbonated Candy

* Sunkist Citrus Burst

* Yogen Fruz Smoothies

* Maple Ice Mints

There are so many more but the more I type, the less time I have for eating candy….

I spent a weekend analyzing and tasting the candy that arrived at my doorstep and am ready to give my verdict. They were all amazing! My favorite were the Jones Carbonated Candies, as they seemed to get better as I ate more and more. I also love that all their candy comes in tin casings, which I though was very cool, almost hipster cool but not quite.

Now that I’ve enjoyed the candy for a week, I thought it would be cool to let you enjoy some as well! All you have to do is enter below and all 4 of the candies listed above could be yours! Good Luck!!

And before you ask, I am not advocating feeding your children candy. In fact, just to nail that point home, I did not share any of this candy with them or my wife. Sometimes Daddies need to enjoy the finer things in life too!

Contest is open to Canada Only (Excluding Quebec)

Cheers!!

Celebrate Father’s Day With A Giveaway From Crown Royal

I couldn’t think of a better way to ring in another glorious Father’s Day, than to co-host a giveaway with my friends over at Life of Dad.

But this is not just any giveaway. No! It’s one that is near and dear to my heart. My father, who passed away in 2007, may have been one of Crown Royal’s biggest fans. He wasn’t a heavy drinker by any means, but he loved everything Crown Royal had to offer. He had the cool cups, the bottle openers, the glass mirror, all of it!

I couldn’t think of a better way to honour him this Father’s Day, than to give you the thing I bought him every year since my licence said I was legally allowed.

But that’s enough about me, let’s hear a word from our sponsor!

Crown Royal XR is the second variant in the Crown Royal Extra Rare Whisky Series made from the remaining whiskies of the renowned LaSalle Distillery in Montreal.

The new liquid was crafted with a celebration in mind – whether celebrating the birth of a child, helping a buddy christen that new boat or simply enjoying the fact you finally made a pot of chili to rival your old man’s, there are certain moments in life so special, they warrant a drink as rare as the moment itself.

Developed by Crown Royal Master Blender Andrew MacKay, the exquisite 80 proof blend (40% ABV) is crafted with a small reserve of the final batch of LaSalle whiskies to create a refined fusion of dried fruits and honey in a harmonious balance with the spicy notes of Canadian rye. The finish is exquisite with an elegant touch of cocoa and brown sugar.

You can get more in for on this and other Crown Royal products over at their Facebook Page as well.

Now, Are you ready?

The Terms and Conditions are listed below but here’s some basic ground rules. The contest is open to Canada (Excluding Quebec) and the USA (excluding Hawaii & Alaska). You must be 21 years of age or older to enter.

Good Luck and please remember to always, always, always Drink Responsibly!

5 iPhone Apps My Kids Can’t Live Without

Yeah I know, over dramatic post title, right? Well, you try writing a blog and figuring out how to get people to read it, OKAY!

I’m sorry, it’s 1 o’clock in the morning and I have put this one off all day due to being lazy at work.

Still friends? Good!

Back to the point of the story, my kids are ages 2 and 4. I occasionally let them play on my iPhone, as does my wife, and I thought I’d share with other parents out there, the games that keep the kids occupied, while also stimulating their minds…..sometimes.

I get it. Letting the kids watch TV and play video games is lazy parenting. Well, I have some news for you: I’m Not Perfect!

Every now and then, while waiting for our food at a restaurant or after a really tough day at the office, I’m cool with passing the iPhone to one of the kids for a couple hours minutes. It keeps them occupied and in some cases, can even help out in an educational way.

So without further ado, I let you in on the iPhone Apps my kids love to play!

#5 – Talking Bacteria John by Out Fit 7 Ltd. – This is probably the most ridiculous App I’ve ever seen but the kids laugh harder at this one than any they’ve played so it makes the list. It provides no educational or emotional value, unless you count laughing as a value. It’s basically a bunch of blue blobs floating around that repeat everything you say and you can feed them donuts. They also have an infectious and irritating laugh that keeps you coming back for more!

#4 – Sesame Street: The Fix-It Shop by Sesame Workshop Apps – It’s got some cool features like stories and recording and blah, blah, blah. My kids love the coloring book feature on this app. My daughter will play this until I yank it out of her screaming hands! The only issue with this one is that she doesn’t know how to change colors, so she asks every 30 seconds…

#3 – Shape-O by Bellamon – Now we’re getting to the good stuff! This puzzle game is really incredible and I’m so glad my son loves it! There are tons of puzzles, where you not only place the pieces but also have to match the letters in the word before you can move to the next puzzle. This is a great one and I highly recommend it!

#2 – Garage Band by Apple Canada Inc. – The funny thing about this one is that it was MY app for my band. We are able to share new sounds and vocals through this app and it’s very useful for our music. And then my kids heard me playing on it and stole it from me. Now my son and daughter fight tooth and nail to see who is going to get to pay drums and keyboard and guitar! I secretly love that they love the music because that’s something I can share with them. It came out of nowhere but this one is great for kids to make and record music.

#1 – Angry Birds by Rovio Mobile – Was there any doubt about this one? It’s the classic time wasting game and the kids love it! I don’t even know what to say about this game that you don’t already know. Addictive is the word I would use to describe it. Like I always say, “When in doubt, Kill some green pigs!”

 

That’s it for my list. I wasn’t paid by any of these companies, nor do I ever plan to be, lol. My kids just love these games and I thought other lazy parents could benefit from the recommendations.

Honorable mentions to Flick Home Run, Cars 2 & Talking Tom & Ben News. All great in their own way but just not quite loved enough to make the Top 5!

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to share your favorite apps in the comments section!

Cheers!

I Can’t Wait For @Disneyland To Open #CarsLand This June!

I want to start by saying a couple things here. First, I have no affiliation with Disney, Disneyland, Pixar, Mickey Mouse, Owen Wilson, Lightning McQueen or any other Disney entity. I’m just really excited about this new park they are opening. Cars is my favorite Disney movie so this one looks like a dream I once had, where I was in the movie!

The Second thing is that I will most likely never be able to afford to take my family to this theme park. That doesn’t mean I can’t still be excited about it and live vicariously through those who are actually going to experience it!

I first heard of Cars Land around Christmas of last year and thought it was a joke at the time. That was until I started Google searching it and found hundreds of images of blueprints. I was amazed at how much it looked just like the real Radiator Springs.

As more and more clips come out, my excitement level rises higher and higher! I have failed so far in my attempts to convince my wife that we NEED to go here. Understandably, once we are able to afford it, our family will most likely travel to Disney World instead, which will be fun as well. I guess. It’s definitely cheaper than a family trip to California, so I get it.

Seriously though, look at the photos and videos! They’re all there! Flo’s V8 Cafe, The Cozy Cone Motel, Mater, McQueen, Fillmore, Sarge!! It’s an overload of awesomeness and I can’t stop torturing myself with the videos and images that are out there! The best tour I’ve found so far is the one provided by my buddy Mater on the actual Cars Land website.

Out of respect and fairness to my wife, I have not showed my son any of the pictures and videos that I have been watching. That would be like using WMD’s in my fight to get my family to Cars Land and I’m not going to do it! I’ll just keep picking away until it simply becomes the thing we HAVE to do! In the meantime, I will watch my videos and read the blogs of the lucky families who get to roam the streets of Radiator Springs!

I think I’ll leave you with a couple of my favorite Cars Land videos to date. The first one is great because it explains some of the amazing features the new park is going to have. The second one is for me, lol! I hope you enjoy them as much as I have and maybe I’ll see you there someday!

KACHOW!

The Age Of Electric Is Here! My Day With Ford Canada (#FordOttawa)

If you can get passed the handsome gentleman holding the sign, you’ll notice that in behind there is a beautiful looking ride.

That is the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid Energi. From what I was told, there are only 7 of these in the world, so of course I had to touch it!

I was invited by Ford to come and test drive some of their new energy efficient cars and to learn a little more about their upcoming projects. They had sandwiches, drinks and other things, like cars.

I was lucky enough to test drive 2 of the vehicles on hand. The first was the 2013 Escape with EcoBoost Engine. This is the most fuel efficient small SUV on the market. You have to keep in mind that my current leases are up this year, so the last time I went car shopping was 6 years ago.

Things have certainly changed. From the Keyless Touch Starter to the Microsoft Sync system, the Escape was definitely fully loaded. I enjoyed the reverse cam and how the side mirrors had blind spot indicators that old you if anyone was next to you. This was the vehicle I came to see. With a 4 piece family, we need something with a lot of room and that provides the safety my family deserves. The Escape did not disappoint.

I stuck around after my test drive because there was no way I was leaving without trying out the 2013 Focus Electric. It also gave me an opportunity to enjoy a couple more sandwiches. Did I mention the sandwiches yet?

Where do I start with the Focus Electric? It’s one of 6 new electrified vehicles that Ford will deliver over the next two years. Zero emissions? Gas free? It’s such a surreal concept but it’s happening. You notice it from the moment you press the touch starter and hear nothing. I thought the car hadn’t started but my Ford expert assured me it was go to go!

As I pulled out of the parking lot, I noticed something else. The car itself made no noise while driving it either. No engine sound, only the faint sound of the tires on the pavement. It drove like a hot knife through butter, totally smooth and effortless. I was very impressed with this drive and was glad I waited around for it. The only issue I could see was that without gas, you would need to charge this vehicle a lot, especially on longer trips.

Overall, I had a great time at the event and met some great new people. If you get a chance, head on over to Ford Canada’s Website and check out all the new Fuel Efficient vehicles they have in store for you.

Cheers!

PlasmaCar Review & Giveaway from @PlaSmart (US/CAN)

One of the things the amazing people at PlaSmart said when they agreed to let me do a review and giveaway of one of their PlasmaCars, was that I should only use photos or videos that I took myself.

As you can see from the image above, it looks as though I didn’t follow their instructions very closely….

Unfortunately (or fortunately), I can assure you that those 4 PlasmaCars all belong to me! You see, my wife runs a daycare in her spare time (LOL, kidding honey!) and we have 6 kids in the house at any given time.

Even with the 4 PlasmaCars, we still have fights over who gets to use them! The point is, these are probably the greatest toys ever made! Seriously, the kids (and Daddy) love them and use them literally everyday. On top of that, they are perfect for all ages!

My son even took his out in the snow this year because he was tired of waiting for winter to end. True story!

I’m so proud to be able to bring you this amazing giveaway, where PlaSmart will send the winner a PlasmaCar of their very own! All you have to do is use the RaffleCopter form below and I’ll notify the winner by email. Please read the Terms & Conditions before entering so we don’t have to do the awkward rules dance later!

With that, I leave you with this short video of my 1 year old daughter enjoying her PlasmaCar! Proof that they are suitable for all ages, lol. Good Luck!!

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Super Mario For A Day Courtesy Of Costume Discounters

I was thrilled to be contacted by the fine people from CostumeDiscounters.com to see if I’d like to review one of their products.

Clearly, as a Dad blogger and the owner of adorably cute children, they knew that my kids would look great in any of their costumes.

Unfortunately, they didn’t know that I am also a lover of wearing costumes, so I threw them a curve ball and ordered one for myself! Here’s the proof:

I have to say, the costume showed up in record time and all in one piece. My dealings with the fine folks at Costume Discounters were nothing but spectacular and I absolutely recommend them for all your costume needs!

Back to me for a minute though….I wanted to really test out the costume so that my review reflected the product and wasn’t just lip service to a client. I decided to test it out to see how it worked in real life situations.

You know, things like pretending to drive while playing MarioKart on the Nintendo Wii:

I also put it to the ultimate test by making dinner for my family. Spaghetti, a Mario specialty! From scratch too!

The costume passed all other tests it was given and is still in tip top shape and ready for my son’s Mario party next weekend. Seriously, I’m using it to entertain all the children at my son’s birthday party. Don’t worry, I’ll post videos!

In all seriousness, everything at CostumeDiscounters.com is of the highest quality and I dare you to find a place to get your costumes for a cheaper price (making your own doesn’t count!). For real, if you find an identical costume for less on the net, they will match the price AND give you an additional 20% off!!

Make sure to check out their Facebook Page for more great deals and information.

Thanks to the staff at CostumeDiscounters.com for providing me with the costume in order to facilitate this review.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I have a long day of plumbing ahead of me and I’m out of here! (I think that’s still Mario’s profession…)

Cheers!!

Win A #RogersSmartHome Monitoring System Valued at Over $1500 (Ontario Only)

With a young family and hectic work schedule, it’s important for me to know that my family is safe while I’m not there. I came across a commercial for the new Smart Home Monitoring Systems from Rogers and was very impressed with the attention to detail they’ve included. The Rogers Smart Home Monitoring System allows you to see who’s at your door, even when you’re not there, just by checking your smart phone or tablet*.

From now until May 16th, you can enter to WIN 1 of 5 Smart Home Monitoring Systems from Rogers. Each prize is valued at over $1500 and the contest is open to Ontario Residents Only. Enter Here Today!

The best part about this contest is that you can earn Extra Ballots simply by sharing with your friends and family so be sure to SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!!

Here are some of the amazing features of the Rogers Smart Home Monitoring System :

    * Real-Time 24/7 Monitoring,
    * Instant Customizable Alerts,
    * View & Control Your Home Remotely,
    * Ability to Automate Sensors, Thermostat, Lights & Appliances,
    * Save Energy & Money,
    * Much, Much More.**

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It’s so easy to enter. All you have to do is visit the Contest Page and complete these 4 easy steps:

Page 1: Enter the contest by providing your contact information
Page 2: Answer a “what’s important to you” question (Don’t worry, there’s only 3 boxes to click)
Page 3: Check the boxes that apply to you (4 survey questions)
Page 4: Share & Share some more! Increase your chances of winning by sharing via social channels & email (there are simple share buttons for Facebook, Twitter & Email) but you can share it other places as long as you use your PURL (Personal URL).

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Each Prize is valued at $1,518.83 and includes:

* 1 Touchpad
* 3 Door/Window Sensors
* 1 Motion Detector
* 1 Key fob
* 1 Security Camera
* 1 Thermostat
* 1 Lamp Dimmer Module (including professional installation)
* Monitoring Service for one year

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If you’re still not excited about the Rogers Smart Home Monitoring System, have a look at this video and I promise you’ll change your mind!

*Works with any smart phone/tablet, please visit the Rogers website for more details.
**System connected by wires and via cellular.

Disclaimer: Canadian Dad or those affiliated with this blog are not responsible for any changes Rogers may make, choosing the winner or shipping this prize. I have been hired by a marketing company on behalf of Rogers Smart Home to share this contest with you.

Spring Cash Giveaway! Win $108 USD

This Lil Piglet and Tales of a Ranting Ginger, together with a group of fabulous Canadian bloggers are proud to present the Spring Cash Giveaway starting April 2nd at 12:01 am EST to April 9th at midnight.

Enter to win $108 US cash via PayPal. Anyone with a PayPal account can enter to win this cash prize; open worldwide!

PLEASE NOTE: YOU MUST HAVE A PAYPAL ACCOUNT TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE PRIZE!

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