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The Do’s and Don’ts of Chainsaw Use!

Over the past few months, I have been talking to you about how I like to use my STIHL Lithium-Ion Chainsaw to get things done. We have talked about getting your yard ready for summer and gone over tips on how to be a helpful neighbour, but now is time for the most important lesson of all! Here is my definitive list on the Do’s and Don’ts of owning a chainsaw.

STIHL Post 3 Bubble Wrap

Do NOT – Protect yourself by wrapping yourself in bubble wrap. Bubble wrap is excellent for shipping fragile items in the mail. I use it all the time and, in fact, this may not be the only time I have wrapped myself in it… That said, bubble wrap is a terrible choice when it comes to protecting yourself while using your STIHL chainsaw.

DO – Use tested and approved protective chaps. As you will see in this video, STIHL’s protective chaps were made with specific fibers to withstand an accidental touch on your leg. You definitely don’t want to leave anything to chance when thinking about safety while using a chainsaw. Along with protective chaps, STIHL recommends also wearing safety gloves, a protective helmet, protective gloves, safety shoes, and protective eyewear.

STIHL Canada Juggling

Do NOT – Attempt to juggle chainsaws at your child’s birthday party. As awesome as your kids may think you are for doing this, that will take a very quick turn when they realize that you do not even know how to juggle balls yet, let alone chainsaws!

DO – Use your chainsaw to clean up your yard before attempting to juggle balls at your child’s birthday party. On second thought, just don’t do any juggling at your child’s birthday. Nobody wants to see that; however, all the kids will be excited to have a nice clean yard to play in before the cake comes out!

STIHL Canada Careless

Do NOT – Leave your chainsaw lying around when you are finished with it. I get it, yard work can be tiring, but the job isn’t completely finished until everything is put away properly.

DO – Store your chainsaw in a dry, ventilated and safe place, away from kids’ curious hands. I’m not sure what more needs to be said here. Keep your chainsaw away from your kids’ toys and make sure it’s in a safe place where it won’t get ruined.

STIHL Canada Scare Kids

Do NOT – Scare your children by jumping out from behind the shower curtain while wearing a hilarious mask and carrying your chainsaw… Hilarious? Definitely! Safe in any way whatsoever for anyone involved?? Definitely NOT! I can’t stress enough that you should never, ever do this under any circumstances!

DO – Teach your children that you are a responsible adult who takes the appropriate safety precautions when getting ready to use your STIHL Lithium-Ion Chainsaw on the tasks that it was designed for.

And that wraps up my definitive list of Do’s and Don’ts for proper chainsaw use. I hope you found it helpful, along with my other posts this year, and I highly encourage you to look into STIHL’s line of lithium-ion chainsaws as mine has absolutely cut my yard work time in half this year. Yep, I closed with a chainsaw pun. Deal with it!

*Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this campaign.*

Onlia Winter Safe driving Week Kit

Why Are We All In Such A Hurry?

*Thank you to Onlia.ca for sponsoring this blog post. Read on to find out how you can win $1,000 just for getting your car ready for winter!*

I’ve been sitting on this post for a while, wondering if I should wade into these waters, but the more I see it, the more frustrated I get and want to get it off my chest. So, here it is. What is happening on the roads these days?! I’m serious. At least three times a day I see someone either blowing through a stop sign in our residential school zone, driving while staring at their phones, not clearing the snow off their car, flying passed stopped city and school buses, and 100 other dangerous maneuvers. In an effort to what? Save 3 minutes off your trip? Is that really worth the possibility of hitting another car, or worse, a child on their way to school?

The truth is that I don’t like waiting at lights or behind buses either but guess what? That is a part of the deal when you get behind the wheel! I know what you’re thinking and the answer is, yes, I did just create a catchy new rhyming slogan for drivers everywhere, and yes, you have my permission to spread it far and wide!

Look, my point here is that we need to take a step back and evaluate if we are doing the best and safest job we can while we are behind the wheel of our cars. I’m certainly no exception and am constantly striving to better my driving skills, especially when the kids are in the car with me as they have grown accustomed to pointing out every tiny flaw in my game.

With December 1st to the 7th being Safe Driving Week here in Canada, Onlia, a brand new and innovative digital insurance company, is changing the game when it comes to promoting and rewarding safe driving habits. Onlia’s safe-driving mobile app, Onlia Sense, rewards users for being a safe and distraction-free driver by providing gift cards and other incentives! The Onlia Sense app uses telematics and GPS to assess your driving habits and gives you a report after each trip. You can get all the details and get your free online quote by visiting Onlia.ca today!

Onlia Winter Safe driving Week Kit

Onlia is also calling on all Canadian drivers to ensure their vehicle is properly maintained and prepared for safe winter driving this season so that together we can help ensure our roads and communities are a safer place. Share your tips and suggestions for how you have prepared for safe winter driving by uploading a photo or video to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, tagging Onlia and using the hashtags #OnliaCA & #SafeDrivingWeek for your chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree!! That’ll get you a very nice new set of winter tires!!

Don’t forget to visit Onlia.ca to get a free quote and to read more about how Onlia is changing the way insurance is done by giving you all the tools you need to be as safe as possible while you are on the roads!

Quaker Joy of Warmth Snowsuit

Bring The Joy Of Warmth To Those In Need This Winter

I’m just going to go ahead and admit it. I take for granted that my family is fortunate enough to have the means to stay warm throughout the winter. I also often take for granted that we have enough food on our plates, among other luxuries. That’s not to say I don’t try to do my part to help those in need, but simply that I sometimes get stuck in my cocoon and maybe don’t do as much as I should to give back.

According to the Angus Reid Institute, for one in five Canadian families, proper winter clothing has been a luxury they can’t afford This means that your child that your child may have friends at school who are suffering silently, while playing it off like they are “too cool” for winter clothes or that they just don’t like playing outside in the winter.

Quaker Joy of Warmth

Last week I was approached by Quaker® to see if I’d like to partner with them on their #JoyOfWarmth initiative and after reading about it, I couldn’t have been happier to say yes! The Quaker® brand has been warming Canadian families with hot oatmeal since 1902. This year, they want to help Canadian families in-need feel the #JoyOfWarmth by providing their children with winter coats to help stay warm during our cold Canadian winter.

On top of Quaker® working with Boys and Girls Clubs in Canada to provide new winter coats to children from families inneed, during the month of November, when you share the hashtag #JoyOfWarmth and tag @QuakerCanada on your public Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profile, Quaker will provide a bowl of warm oatmeal to a child in need at Boys and Girls Club locations across the country, to a maximum of 100,000 bowls! Now that’s a lot of oatmeal!!

Quaker Joy of Warmth Oatmeal

I think we can all agree that tweeting, posting a photo or a Facebook post are all very easy things to do to create such a huge impact. I would also like to challenge those of you with the means to do so to pick up an extra snowsuit this year while you are out shopping for your kids and donate it somewhere you know that it will go to a child in-need this winter. Imagine not being able to play outside because your parents couldn’t afford warm clothes. Every single piece of warm clothing makes a huge difference in a child’s life!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Quaker® but this is a very important cause that we can all contribute to that will make a huge difference!

Greener World Fertilizer Feeding 2

Your Family Aren’t The Only Ones In Your House Who Need Feeding

Fall is a special time of year for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer and all the amazing weather it brings, but Fall is when I can finally crush the neighbourhood kids at a handful of sports without overheating. What? Don’t act like you don’t enjoy dunking on a trash-talking 10-year-old!

If there’s one area of Fall that I have slacked on in recent years, it is lawn maintenance. Two years ago, I actually bought everything I needed to get my lawn ready for winter, but then got caught up in a month-long game of road hockey and totally blanked on it. Last year’s excuse was that I got lost in the mess that was my garage and just never got around to it.

Greener World Fertilizer Leftovers

This year, however, I was challenged by Greener World to take my lawn maintenance seriously and to actually get things done. And…..I DID!!! They provided an amazing list of tips & tricks, as well as the reasons why each step was important, which really helped this novice lawn keeper. I realized I did even know basic things like the fact that a healthy lawn produces more oxygen, naturally crowds out weeds, and helps prevent disease and insects. While I feel shame for not knowing more about maintaining my own property, it’s never too late to learn, right? Even just videos like the one below are extremely helpful for those just starting out with lawn maintenance.

I’m not going to get into the science behind fertilizing your lawn because, let’s be honest, you don’t come here for science lessons! You can get all that amazing info on the Fertilizer Canada website. What I am going to do is share a couple of the tips that helped me understand the process a bit better.

1. Plants need food (fertilizer) 3-4 times a year and a good way to remember when to feed is by using the following Canadian holidays: Easter, Victoria Day, Labour Day and Thanksgiving.

2. It’s important to get right fertilizer for the season you are in. You can also grab a soil test kit at your local hardware store, so you can narrow down your fertilizer choices. (Make sure to grab a spreader while you’re there!)

3. Make sure to follow the instructions very closely. You don’t want to dump the whole bag of fertilizer on your lawn as it will do more harm than good. Most bags of fertilizer will have very detailed instructions about exactly how and when to feed your lawn, including important but easy to miss details like which spreader setting to use. I suggest studying them closely before you begin.

Greener World Fertilizer Settings

4. Sweep up the excess fertilizer from your driveway and walkways so it doesn’t run off into the storm drains.

5. Store the remainder of the fertilizer for future feedings. Make sure to keep the package sealed and the fertilizer dry. In case you are not interested in keeping it lying around in your garage all year, ask a neighbour if they’d like to use some. The woman that helped me at the hardware store mentioned that 1 bag can last a fairly long time if you have a smaller sized yard.

Greener World Sweeping

The most important things I have learned from this experience are that it is never too late to learn something new, taking care of your lawn is way easier than I thought it was going to be, and feeding your lawn is far more important that I had previously believed it to be. I’ve already got my next lawn feeding alert set on my phone and hope you’ll join my challenge to take better care of our lawns moving forward!

For more information on lawn care and proper fertilization, visit GreenerWorld.ca!

*This post was sponsored by Greener World*

What Is On YOUR Great Canadian Bucket List?

This post has been sponsored by Intercontinental Hotels Group.

While 6 in 10 Canadians have admitted to creating one, a Bucket List is something we write out as something we aspire to achieve, even though at least 91% of us are fairly confident that our dreams won’t become reality. A recent survey conducted by Intercontinental Hotels Group shows that, naturally, cost is the overwhelming reason why most people feel like they won’t be able to cross items off their bucket lists.

Blue Jays Game Toronto

Catch a Major League Baseball Game With The Blue Jays in Toronto!

Now, before you nod your head in disappointed agreement and lock your lists in a drawer, IHG and bucket list expert Robin Esrock have a few tips on how you can make your bucket list items a reality! After reading their tips, you should also check out IHG’s Great Canadian Bucket List to grab some ideas to add to your own list!

o Don’t let the list weigh you down – you are more likely to do things when you write them down, but don’t let your list get so long that it weighs on you. Focusing on too many goals can be distracting, so if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, you’re probably being overly ambitious. Start with a shortlist of 10 aspirational bucket list goals, and grow it slowly over time.

o Start small and local – don’t feel you need to take weeks off work to travel to the ends of the earth to have bucket list experiences. Begin with a place or activity you’ve always wanted to experience in your town, city or province, and then slowly branch out from there.

o You don’t need to spend a fortune – Think outside the box when it comes to cost-efficient solutions to making your bucket list goals a reality. For example, if your bucket list experience requires you to travel, turn it into an epic road trip too by opting to drive instead of fly. Or, look for budget-friendly hotels to stay in, like Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express. Start collecting points – like IHG Rewards Club – that you can use to redeem for hotel stays.

o Dream big, but be realistic – Bucket lists should be personal, fun and inspiring, and realistic too. Break your list down into short- and long-term goals. Include goals that are easier to achieve than others. If they are all difficult to accomplish, you may get discouraged because you’re not making progress as quickly as you like. Also, think of experiences you actually do, as opposed to chance encounters with a celebrity, for example.

My favourite advice here was to start small and local. When you start with an achievable goal, it helps make the loftier goals seem attainable! After reading IHG’s Great Canadian Bucket List, I decide to make a Canadian Bucket List of my own! Did I steal a couple of IHG’s items? You bet I did! Are a couple of these patently absurd? Absolutely! That’s why they call it a bucket list though, right?! Here you go!

1. Canada Day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa

Parliament Hill Ottawa

This one has nothing to do with cost as it is actually in my hometown. My issue is that I find the size of the crowd daunting. That said, I watch on TV every year and find myself wishing I was there with my family. Maybe next year we’ll treat ourselves and book a room at the Crowne Plaza Gatineau-Ottawa so we can make a weekend out of it!

2. Hit the Water at West Edmonton Mall

Edmonton Water Park, Edmonton, AB - Courtesy of Edmonton Mall

My whole life I have been hearing about how amazing the West Edmonton Mall is. I’m not huge on the shopping but that waterpark is something to behold! I will put this list item under the “very possible” category of attainability. The Holiday Inn Express® & Suites West Edmonton-Mall Area is the perfect place to stay if you want to be close to the action!

3. Dog Sledding in the Northwest Territories

Dog Sledding

Dog sledding seems like one of those exhilarating experiences that you would never forget. There are many places that you can find dog sledding tours but being it is such an important part of NWT’s culture, this would be my first choice of destination.

4. Watch the Polar Bears at Assiniboine Park

Assiniboine Park - Winnipeg, MB - Courtesy of EWM

I didn’t even know this was a thing until I read IHG’s Great Canadian Bucket List but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. There’s something fascinating about having the opportunity to see polar bears doing their thing under the water. PS – If you bring your kids, the swimming area at the Holiday Inn Winnipeg – Airport West is amazing!!

5. Throw Out 1st Pitch at Blue Jays Game

Toronto Blue Jays 1st Pitch

Yes, I understand how ridiculous this sounds. Throwing out the 1st pitch is generally reserved for someone who has actually accomplished something huge in their life. That said, I still have time to accomplish great things, or, you know, maybe win a contest to throw out the first pitch… In the meantime, I’ll be at the Intercontinental Hotels Toronto Centre because it’s right in the heart of Toronto’s Family Fun district!

6. Whale Watching in Cape Breton Highlands, NS

Whale Watching

Known as one of the best places to whale watch in Canada, I can’t help but think this would be a once in a lifetime experience. On top of that, Cape Breton sounds amazing all by itself!

That’s it for the short version of my bucket list, but I’m curious to hear what would be on your Great Canadian Bucket List! Feel free to use mine and IHG’s lists as a reference and leave your answers in the comments section below! Remember, there’s no dream too big to at least write down! And don’t forget that with 177 hotels across Canada, you should definitely visit IHG.com to start planning your bucket list experiences today!

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!

Psoriasis Happiness Report

When Being The 5th Happiest Country Isn’t Necessarily A Good Thing

An unexpected, but welcome, effect of my post about cancer is that I am being asked more to speak about the process and encouraging more people to get checked out. Leading up to the day that I finally went to get my skin checked, I had spent months in physical pain and spent an equal amount of time hiding my skin patches with bulky clothes and avoiding pools, even in the hottest weather.

Thinking I had psoriasis, I was growing more miserable by the day and definitely wish I had sought out treatment sooner. I also wish I had a good reason why I lived with this for so long without mentioning it to a doctor, but I do not. While it turns out I didn’t have psoriasis myself, those living with the disease will tell you it is no walk in the park.

Psoriasis affects about one million people in Canada and a recent World Psoriasis Happiness Report conducted by the LEO Innovation Lab and LEO Pharma, in partnership with the Happiness Research Institute, shows that while Canada ranks fifth on the world psoriasis happiness scale, that doesn’t mean those people are actually happy. While psoriasis is a condition of the skin, it has a huge impact on people’s emotional, mental health and well-being.

Imagine not being able to enjoy the summer weather or being too self-conscious to go play with your kids in the pool. It’s no wonder that while the average Canadian rated their happiness at 7.3/10, psoriasis sufferers in Canada rated their overall happiness at 6.1/10, a full 17% lower! I can’t stress enough that you go to your family doctor or dermatologist if you think you may have psoriasis.

Trust me, it’s not worth the stress and lack of self-confidence to continue ignoring your symptoms, whether it’s psoriasis or any other illness. With psoriasis, specifically, it’s a chronic condition that requires continuous treatment, not just attention when there’s a flare-up as I did for over a year.

Take your happiness back and talk to your doctor about the different treatment options out there. Psoriasis is highly treatable by topical treatments applied directly on the skin, such as creams, lotions, ointments, gels and foams and some may advance to oral systemic or biologic therapy, which may also be used in combination with topicals.

If you’re interested, you can read the first-ever World Psoriasis Happiness Report here: https://psoriasishappiness.report/. It provides analysis of findings from online surveys completed by more than 120,000 people in more than 100 countries who live with psoriasis, including more than 2,250 Canadians.

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, however the message remains the same. Get yourself checked if you feel something is off. You’ll be thankful that you did.

Canadian Dad McCain Potato

More Than Just A Potato

I will freely admit that, prior to this year, on the list of things I am fascinated by, potatoes would have had a fairly low ranking. That has all changed, however, after spending the majority of the past year with McCain Canada, learning the ins and outs of their business. Not only am I now up to my ears in potato knowledge, I have gained a tremendous amount of respect for the farming community and everything they do to ensure my food goes from farm to fork in the safest and healthiest way possible.

My final adventure with McCain Canada for the year took place a couple weeks ago as we visited the beautiful town of Florenceville-Bristol, New Brunswick, which is not only the home of McCain Canada Headquarters but is also known as the French Fry Capital of the World! The purpose of our trip was to tour the McCain plant and also to visit a local McCain grower to see how the potatoes were harvested.

Before we visited the McCain plant, we made a quick stop for lunch at the Potato World Café and Museum, where I had the greatest sandwich I have ever eaten in my life. I don’t really need to say more than Apple, Bacon, Caramel, Grilled Cheese sandwich, do I? It sounded strange to me at first but that sandwich, paired with the crispiest sweet potato fries I’ve ever had, were an amazing start to the trip.

Potato World

Our tour guide, Tammy, knew more about potatoes than I know about anything and I loved seeing all the awesome artifacts in the museum. My favourite fact from the museum tour is that the potato was discovered by Spanish explorers in the 1500’s and became a common food at sea for their sailors when it was discovered that potatoes prevented scurvy. Of course we now know that potatoes are a huge source of potassium and fiber, and I’m thankful they have fended off the scurvy all these years later!

Our next stop was the McCain plant and while we were not permitted to take any photos inside the plant, I can assure you that I looked amazing in my hair and beard nets, along with my hardhat, goggles and jumpsuit. All jokes aside, I was very impressed with how serious McCain is about keeping a clean environment, free of contaminations, and thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

Having a chance to watch the potatoes go from the truck to the conveyor belt and then following them through the washing, peeling, cutting, cooking, freezing and bagging process was really interesting. I was definitely impressed with how little amount of the potatoes get wasted as they have incredible procedures in place to get every bit of goodness out of each potato. There were so many other amazing parts to the tour, however the batter waterfall and steam peeler were definitely two of my favourites.

The following morning we headed off to visit the farm of Eugene Antworth to watch the harvesting process in action. Side note, my son’s favourite toy as a child was a small harvester tractor and I was unprepared for the delight I would have in finally seeing one in person. The little things. We had the chance to talk to Eugene about the challenges of potato farming, one of them being the fact that it was late September and the weather was pushing 40 degrees at 10 in the morning, which meant they would have to shut down the tractors before lunch time to avoid spoiling the potatoes.

McCain Antworth

I noted a hint of pride as Eugene introduced his son, Ethan, who works on the farm and would be driving the harvester for the first time in his young career. Eugene’s other son is currently in school and will join the family business upon completion of his studies. It was a story similar to that of Stan Wiebe’s, who I had the chance to meet during our planting trip in Manitoba during the spring. In talking to Ethan later on I could tell that he was happy to be a part of the family business, as opposed to feeling pressure to follow in his dad’s footsteps.

It was overwhelming to hear Eugene and Ethan talk about everything that goes into growing a well-nurtured crop. Even with the advancements in technology in the industry, growers like the Antworth’s have spent countless hours developing a value-based program in order to maximize the potential of their investment and use modern cultivating practices, follow crop scouting reports and modify their weekly schedules so they can provide the maximum benefit to the crop. The Antworth’s and their crew were absolutely amazing and the views from their farm were second to none.

McCain Antworth View

My takeaway from this year-long partnership was far different than I had expected from the outset. I came away from these experiences with a new appreciation for the food I have the privilege of enjoying and for the growers who help put it on my plate. I was unaware of the role technology played in the farming process and I believe it was Eugene Antworth who told me that the advances of technology in the agriculture field are greater than that of any other field. It was fascinating to watch as tractors guided themselves across fields and drones were used to check on the status of the crops.

Learning about the McCain products by touring the actual factory and seeing the step by step quality assurances in place was extremely reassuring. Also, knowing that McCain frozen grocery potato products are trans-fat-free and many are low in saturated fat and sodium is equally as reassuring as my kids love their potato products.

The biggest takeaway for me, however, is that no matter where we went, the common theme was family. From the Antworth and Wiebe farms to Potato World and from Grama’s restaurant to the McCain factory, it always felt like we were part of a big family. Everyone treated us with the utmost kindness and seemed genuinely happy to have us visiting their place of business. Having been around and still growing after 60 years, it would seem that having a strong, caring family is the true secret to McCain’s success.

Canadian Dad Hold McCain Potato

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in the McCain Farm to Fork campaign, however I wish everyone could take the tours we had the chance to take as they would be guaranteed McCain fans for life.

Audible Canada

If You Love Books, You’ll Love This News!

Here’s something about me that you may not have known. While I love a good book, I’ve never really been a fan of sitting there and holding the physical book in my hands. Call me lazy if you want but I know who I am and that’s just not something I’m interested in doing.

I’m an audio book kind of guy because it allows me the freedom to work and listen to my favourite books at the same time. And yes, the term “work” occasionally means lying on the couch and staring at the ceiling but I don’t see why we have to get into all of that… Access to audio books has been a challenge but they still have books on CD at the library even though I feel like a dinosaur when I check them out.

So I was very excited this week when I found out that Audible, an Amazon company, was launching a unique and dedicated digital storefront for Canadian consumers as of September 13th! As a fan of listening to audio versions of books, I am pumped to know that I can now visit Audible.ca or download their new Audible.ca app for iOS or Android and be listening to my favourite books anywhere I go!

I also think it’s very cool that Canadian customers will be able to check out curated Audible playlists from leading Canadian voices like Margaret Atwood, George Stroumboulopoulos, Julie Le Breton, and more, as well as offering the best spoken word content from Canada and around the world. Hey, I figure if a book is good enough for Strombo, it’s perfect for me!

I had the opportunity to test out the Audible.ca service and wanted to share my original Playlist with you! Without further ado!

1. Game of Thrones, baby! ~ by George R. R. Martin

Game of Thrones Audible

That’s right, number 1 on my list had to be Game of Thrones! I am not ashamed to admit that I have seen every episode of this show more than once (maybe 3-4 times) but the thought of picking up those huge books was daunting.

Now I have access to the entire collection, which I am fortunate enough to be able to listen to while I am at work. Sure, I may know what’s going to happen but I’ve been wanting to hear the deeper details since I first watched the show!

 

 

2. Ready Player One ~ by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One Audible
 

This is probably my favourite book of all-time. I have read it approximately 5 times already and it is one of the few hard copy books I bring with me everywhere I go.

With Spielberg’s movie adaptation coming out soon, my love for this one can only go up!

 

 

 

 

3. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth ~ by Chris Hadfield (Canadian!)

Chris Hadfield Astronaut Audible

 

I don’t know of a single Canadian who wasn’t completely captured by Chris Hadfield’s adventures in space. He has a charisma that is infectious in the best possible way.

The second I found out he had a book I purchased it and the rest is history. To hear this book read in his own voice is definitely going to be a treat and I highly recommend that you download a copy today!

 

 

 

4. Waging Heavy Peace ~ by Neil Young (Canadian!)

Waging Heavy Peace Audible

 

What can I say about Neil Young that hasn’t already been said? I grew up as a musician and Young’s music was the standard I used when thinking of the kind of artist I wanted to be.

It didn’t quite work out for me in that field but I still lean on Neil Young’s music in good times and bad and he remains one of the greatest to ever hit the stage.

 

 

 

5. In This Moment ~ by Karma Brown (Canadian!)

In This Moment Karma Brown Audible

 

Another Canadian author rounds out my list of must-reads and I am a huge fan of Karma’s work! She is an incredibly smart writer whose books will draw you in and make you not want to put them down, or turn them off, as it were.

With 3 books currently available on Audible.ca, you will thank me for passing Karma’s name along to you!

 

 

 

That is just a fraction of the books I have already downloaded and with membership starting at only $14.95 CAD per month, including 1 credit/month, I will be reading a ton more before the end of the year! What are you waiting for? Go download the Audible.ca app right now and get started!! You can also visit the Audible Canada Facebook page and the @Audible_CA Twitter account for more news and details!

Oh! Also, make sure to leave a comment letting me know what your top 3 book choices are going to be!

Happy Reading!!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program. That said, I am absolutely addicted to audio books and love that I can listen to them on the Audible app now!

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