CD Podcast 15 - Mike Reynolds

Canadian Dad Podcast: Ep. 15 – Father, Speaker, Cross-Stitcher, Mike Reynolds

Today on the podcast I speak to Mike Reynolds from On the show we cover topics such as:

– Body Image for Men

– Mike’s switch from to

– Mike’s new found love of Cross-Stitching

– Speaking in New York on the Changing Face of Maculinity

– Mike’s t-shirts for Charity Venture

– The hopeful revival of our Creative Minds Podcast

You can visit Mike’s Everyday Girl Dad Project on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

I hope you enjoy the show and please feel free to leave a very kind review if you see fit! 😀

Canadian Dad Podcast 14 - Casey Palmer

Canadian Dad Podcast: Ep. 14 – Fatherhood Writer, Casey Palmer

Today on the podcast I speak to Fatherhood writer, Casey Palmer, from On the show we cover topics such as:

– Finally meeting in person at the Dad 2.0 Summit

– Casey’s Live From the 3.5 Project, which began as a Black History Month feature but grew into a something much bigger

– Our thoughts on the dad blogging space in Canada and if blogs are on the way out

– What we hope our platforms will do to inspire our kids creatively.

– Casey’s time at the Parenting 101 Conference in Kelowna, BC

You can catch Casey on his blog, Twitter @CaseP, Facebook MrCaseyPalmer and Instagram CaseyPalmer

I hope you enjoy the show and please feel free to leave a very kind review if you see fit! 😀


Do You Believe In Disney Magic?

Last week I had the good fortune to have been invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration in Orlando, Florida. Like most attendees, I brought my entire family to the conference, which took place for 3 days at Coronado Springs Resort in Walt Disney World and then 3 days at sea aboard the Disney Dream cruise ship.

Now, before I continue, let’s address the topic of the conference title. You may not know this but I am not a mom and neither were the other 7 dads in attendance. Do I wish the conference were called Family or Parent Celebration? Sure, that’d be swell. That said, I recognize a couple things here. First, there are 190 or so moms in attendance and 8 dads, although I know more dads were invited. This is essentially the mom to dad ratio in blogging, so I get it. Second, they did an amazing job at saying both moms and dads while on stage all week, and I was never made to feel out of place, so I’m over it.

Let’s move on.

DisneySMMC Chewbacca Family

Dad’s Favourite Character Meeting Of The Week!

The reason for this story is that I went into the conference stressed about how I was going to balance attending sessions with spending quality time with my family. On top of that, I had seen how excited people were about attending and I was feeling guilty because I didn’t understand why everyone was so hyped up. I mean, we’ve been to Walt Disney World before and it has always been fun, if not hectic, but this was a next level excitement that I hadn’t felt since Joe Carter hit the homerun to win the Blue Jays the World Series in 1993!

DisneySMMC Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Next Level Excitement On The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride

It wasn’t until the tail end of the opening conference session that I started to understand it. Disney Parks & Resorts Director of Corporate Citizenship, John Breckow, took to the stage and talked to us about Disney’s charitable efforts, with specific emphasis on the Make-A Wish Foundation. He spoke so sincerely about their efforts that you could tell this wasn’t just a Disney executive trying to sell you on why they are great. He really cared about helping kids and I joked with him afterward that no one had ever made me cry that many times in such a short period of time but the stories were so powerful that you couldn’t help but well up. The larger message of his presentation was that Disney tries to say, “Yes”, as much as humanly possible and this was proven to us multiple times throughout our trip.

Dad Dancing DIsneySMMC

Letting Go And Being Part Of The Show At Animal Kingdom!

After John’s presentation, I felt like I was in a trance for the rest of the week. You might know me as a happy-go-lucky dad on the blog but the truth is that I can be a grump at times and things that might normally have bothered me on this trip were quickly brushed aside as I was able to focus only on the good that was happening around me. Essentially what happened was that I was able to revert back to seeing Disney through a child’s eyes, while also enjoying watching my own children’s excitement as their father, if that makes any sense? I felt just as excited to see characters like Mickey, Minnie, Sully and Chewbacca as my kids were and it felt great to allow myself to feel that type of childish joy.

Dad Mickey Minnie DisneySMMC

Hanging With Mickey & Minnie at #DisneySMMC

I’m not going to get into every minor detail of our trip in this post but wanted to leave with this message. Visiting Walt Disney World is a once in a lifetime trip for a lot of families and you will get a lot more enjoyment out of your stay if you allow yourself to see the parks through a child’s eyes. Buy the memory maker package and jump in to the character pictures with your kids. Ride “It’s A Small World” 20 times, sing along each time and make sure to do the actions on the restaurant signs while you are in line for it. Be a parent who is also a child at heart and your experience will be a magical one!

Snoring Dad

Snores On A Plane

I don’t get out much. In fact, I generally take one trip a year to wherever the Dad 2.0 Summit happens to be. I’m not a huge fan of flying but I tolerate it because it sure beats driving 4 days to get from point A to point B. That said, something happened on my latest flight that I feel I need to talk about, even though it is potentially embarrassing. I mean, transparency is the deal I made to you all when I started this blog, right?

Let me set it up by saying that I have been battling illness since Christmas and going into my trip to New Orleans for the conference, I was feeling pretty drained. I got through the first couple days with no issues but the night before I was set to leave, I was up all night, even having to find a pharmacy at 2am to grab some meds to help me sleep.

Some other things you need to know about me. I am incapable of napping. It’s true that while most people, especially parents, can lie down and pass out in seconds, I have never been able to have a nap regardless of how tired I might be. Oh, and this is important, I’ve been told by multiple sources that I snore, even though I have firmly denied this claim as fake news.

I was all set to come home on Sunday afternoon when we hit a bit of a snag. Our already delayed Delta flight out of Detroit had landing gear issues after taking off and had to return to the airport. This was stressful enough and then we found out that we wouldn’t be able to leave again until around 3:00am. For someone who was not feeling the greatest, this was not the news I wanted to hear. As much as I tried to get comfortable in the terminal, it just wasn’t happening.

When we finally boarded the plane again, I must have passed out right away in my seat because I was woken up by the gentleman in the seat next to me. He mentioned that I was snoring VERY loudly and just wanted to make sure I was aware. I looked around, stunned, and saw the smirks on a couple passengers faces. Instead of being mortified, as you might imagine, I laughed it off and made sure to keep my eyes wide open the rest of the flight.

I only wish I was able to channel whatever it was that allowed me to nap on this occasion so I could use that for future nap attempts… I’m sure it had nothing to do with it being 3am and having been awake almost 24 hours.

Hockey Kid

It’s Not About Me. It’s Not About Me. It’s Not…

Letting go of things is hard for me, but with the help of my kids I’m learning. My son is a fairly athletic kid. He actually reminds me a lot of myself at his age. Good at everything but not quite a superstar at anything, yet. It’s a good spot to be in.

He plays house league hockey and has been having a lot of fun, which is the point, right? I used to sign him up for extra skating sessions and camps but this season he told me he doesn’t want to do any of the extra stuff because he doesn’t enjoy it. He said he still loves hockey, just not the extra things.

Although I fought him on it a little bit, I ultimately respected his wishes and stopped booking extra stuff. I guess I just see that he has so much potential and want him to be able to unleash it as he grows. The thing is, he’s happier without it, and it took me until this season to realize that that’s enough. In fact, that’s everything.

MVP Hockey

All smiles with his MVP award!

I didn’t get picked as a coach this year, so I get to watch from the stands. I find myself holding my breath with anticipation of my son’s next turn on the ice. He works so hard out there and makes me proud every single shift. I’m serious, between his work on the ice and his sister’s in the gym, I’m ashamed of the amount of time I waste in my daily life.

The point here being, we all want our kids to be the best at the things they choose to love, but it needs to be on their terms. We stopped doing the extra ice times and yet he is still excelling because he loves the sport and works his tail off. Sure, it took me a while to figure it all out but I’ve arrived at the point of acceptance and it has been a fun ride watching him smile out there!

I’m never more proud than when other parents come up to me after a game to let me know that they think my son played great. If only he was this enthusiastic about his homework…

Diabetes Heart Disease

My Heart Matters: The Connection Between Diabetes And Heart Disease

Throughout the years, I have gone from a competitive athlete to a good rec league player, and now find myself doing very little physical activity paired with a diet that is almost too embarrassing to talk about. Between shift work, kids’ activities and a busy extra-curricular schedule, there are a lot of factors I could blame this drop on, but the truth is that it is almost 100% laziness on my part and that’s something I have resolved to work on in 2018.

It wasn’t until recently that I really started feeling the effects of what I’ve done to my body over the years. Extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, sore muscles even with no activity. It has been a strain on my life and has been affecting my time with my family. Even with the threat of type 2 diabetes creeping in, I have still managed to let things go way too far. I’m guessing those suffering from the disease would give me a good slap, especially considering approximately one in two people with type 2 diabetes will die of heart disease (which includes heart attack, heart failure and stroke). According to new research, almost half of Canadians, myself included, were unaware of this connection and therefore their risk.

Let’s do this, more as an exercise to scare myself into shape, but also so that you can understand just how serious type 2 diabetes can be. Here are just a few of the stats I read about on the website My Heart Matters, and only as it pertains to the link between diabetes and heart health.

– People with type 2 diabetes can also experience heart problems such as heart attack and heart failure.
Studies show that people with diabetes may develop heart disease 10 to 15 years earlier than people without diabetes, but only 50 per cent of Canadians with type 2 diabetes are aware of this fact.
47% of Canadians with type 2 diabetes believe there are no medications that control blood sugar levels and heart disease, while there are diabetes treatments that can reduce the risk of having a heart-related event or dying from heart disease.
While controlling blood sugar is important in managing diabetes, it may not be enough to protect the heart. The good news is that recent advances have been made in managing the risk of death from heart disease in people with diabetes.
People with diabetes are over three times more likely to be hospitalized for heart health problems than people without diabetes.
While 96 per cent of Canadians with type 2 diabetes see their doctor at least once a year, many are not having conversations about their risk of heart disease.
Only 38 per cent of Canadians with diabetes are aware that heart disease is the number one cause of death for those with diabetes.

Every one of those is a sobering fact and my hope is that it’s enough to get me moving before I have to start really worrying about it. Knowing that type 2 diabetes is something that can be avoided is definitely a motivating factor and while I likely won’t document my entire journey to health, I can guarantee that it will be taking place.

For those already dealing with type 2 diabetes, when they understand the risks that come with diabetes they are better positioned to take preventative steps to reduce the risk of heart disease. Canadians living with diabetes have plans for the future, which include improving their health & lifestyle (73 per cent); travelling & exploring (61 per cent) and spending more time with children or grandchildren (36 per cent), so it’s critical that they speak with their doctor about steps they can take to help manage their risk of heart disease.

You can read more about the links between type 2 diabetes and heart disease by visiting the My Heart Matters website and taking a simple assessment to learn your risk of type 2 diabetes-related heart disease. It may be uncomfortable for you, but it’s far better than the alternative for ignoring it.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by an alliance of two of Canada’s leading research-based pharmaceutical companies . I was compensated for my time in writing about this important topic.

Tough Kid

Toughness Comes In All Sizes

I can still vividly remember the high school gym class where I suffered my first, and only, major injury. We were learning to play rugby, a bad idea to begin with, when I took a hit in the back from one of the rougher kids in the school. He fell on my knee and I felt a distinct popping sound, only to find out later that day that I had torn ligaments in my knee.

It was an especially bad time for this particular injury as I had worked my way into the 2nd of 4 tryouts for the Team Ontario fastball team, with a chance to tryout for Team Canada if you made it. I’m under no delusion that I would have made Team Canada but the option was most definitely gone now.

What I remember most about this time was how I started feeling sorry for myself. I stopped rehabbing as hard as I could and spent a lot of time sulking around while my friends and teammates had another championship season. Because they felt bad, I received an invite to the final Team Ontario camp the following year but by that point I had already given up on myself.

I tell this story because last week my daughter broke her arm while training at gymnastics and it felt very similar to my story, with one minor difference. She’s been training 20 hours a week at the gym for the last year and was to have her first competition this coming week, so the timing couldn’t have been worse. We were devastated for her because she works so incredibly hard, as do all the girls, and we weren’t sure how she was going react to not being able to compete. If I’m being completely honest, we were also sad that we wouldn’t get to see all her hard work pay off in competition.

Broken Arm Gymnast

The difference between my story and my daughter’s is the way she has handled everything so far. While there have been a couple moments of frustration at not being able to do something she was used to doing, she has generally been all smiles and remained our happy little warrior. In fact, one week after the break she was back at the gym on her regular schedule, with a modified workload from her coach. We were nervous about letting her go back so soon but she begged and the doctor said it was fine, so we caved.

I have never been more proud of her than when a man approached me at practice on her first day back and asked if that was my daughter out there training with a cast in a sling. When I replied yes, he congratulated me on raising such a tough daughter and it opened my eyes to just how strong she is, both physically and mentally. Her love for this gym and motivation to be great at this sport is something that I carry with me every day.

She may not have gotten this strength from me but I am learning a lot about toughness from watching her, not just through this, but in general with the way she carries herself. She is absolutely a poster child for the fact that strength comes in all sizes.

Beautiful Gymnast

Rogers Huawei P10

Ringing In The New Year With A Giveaway From Rogers & Huawei Mobile Canada!!

Happy New Year!! After a much needed break from the internet, I am happy to be back for another amazing year of writing, videos and hijinx!! First things first though, I wanted to help you get your new year off on the right foot by bringing you a number of different giveaways on my various social channels!

Thanks to my friends at Rogers, I have a pile of goodies to share with all of you and I can’t wait to give it all away! I’m starting things off right here with the biggest of the prizes by giving away the Huawei P10 smartphone and accessory kit, courtesy of Huawei Mobile Canada!! That’s right, you didn’t get that new phone you were hoping for this Christmas? No worries, Rogers and I have you covered!

Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll be bringing home with you as the winner of the giveaway! I’d love to take the credit for this but it is all Rogers and Huawei Mobile Canada’s doing, so be sure to thank them!

All you have to do to enter is fill out as many of the Rafflecopter options as you’d like and I’ll select a winner in a couple weeks! The giveaway is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec. Good luck and all the best in 2018!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bayer Winter Health

Do You Have A Healthy Holiday Action Plan?

This post is sponsored by Bayer. To make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

If you don’t have a plan to keep your health on track this holiday season, you’re not alone! Busy holiday schedules can make it feel almost impossible to maintain even the simplest healthy routines.

Try keeping a simple list of your top health goals for the winter. Make sure to write it down on paper where you and your whole family can see it and track their progress. Start with simple goals- achieving something small can give you the boost you need to stay motivated! Need some goal inspo? Keep reading for my top 5 healthy holiday goals.

My Healthy Holiday Action Plan Goals:

1. Try a winter-friendly workout

• Why not beat the winter exercise slump with a new workout tailored to the colder temperatures? If you’re someone who typically gets active outside, try an indoor activity like aqua aerobics, indoor rock climbing or an indoor group exercise class. Challenge yourself to find one new workout a month, or list your top three and cross them off once you’ve given them a try!
• Don’t be too hard on yourself if a cold temporarily puts a wrench in your workout goals. Just make sure you get back on track once you’re rested and recuperated. If lingering nasal congestion is an obstacle, try a nasal saline-spray to clear your sinuses. hydraSense® Daily Nasal Care products are100% naturally-sourced seawater that is clinically proven to reduce and relieve your nasal cold symptoms. hydraSense® Daily Nasal Care products can be used alongside your other oral cough and cold medications.

2. Focus on fruit

• Ok, this one should be on everyone’s list this winter! Farmers’ markets and apple picking orchards may be closed, but that’s no excuse to cut back on those l vitamin-packed fruits. Eating a variety of fruits is fun, so why not challenge yourself to eat the rainbow?
• Frozen fruits are an easy-option if you struggle to keep fresh in the house, but make sure to check for added sugars. While it’s easy to track your own fruit intake, it can be harder with kids. Not sure if your little ones are finishing their apples and getting their vitamins? Try supplementing with FLINTSTONES® multivitamins. You’ll love that they’re the #1 brand choice of pediatricians. They’ll love that they come in delicious chewables or gummies!

3. Drink more water

• You know water is important, but it can be harder to remember in the winter when you’re not feeling hot and sweaty. There are many great apps out there these days to help you log your water intake. If you’re looking for something with a fun twist, try Plant Nanny. When you drink water, you help an adorable plant friend grow!
• Don’t let this one drop when you’re not feeling well. Getting enough liquids is especially important when you’re sick. Try adding a vitamin-C tablet to your water. Redoxon® Tablets give you ten oranges worth of Vitamin C*, which should motivate anyone to drink up!

* Redoxon® is not meant to replace food.

4. Schedule your sleep

• Bedtimes aren’t just for kids. The best way to get your sleep back on schedule is to pick a consistent time to hit the pillow. Write it down so you can track how often you’re making it to bed on-time. If you’re consistently going to bed too late, think critically about what’s making you miss the mark.
• One of the major bedtime derailers is your cellphone, so limit screen time one hour before sleep.

How will you challenge yourself and your family to take on healthy goals this winter?

This post is sponsored by Bayer. To make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

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 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!