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LEGO Boost 1

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

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

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

LEGO Boost 3

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

LEGO Boost 2

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

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

LEGO Boost 4

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

LEGO Boost 5

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

LEGO Boost 6

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Rice Krispies #TreatsForToys

A Big #TreatsForToys Thank You!

We just completed another amazing year of #TreatsForToys for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies and I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who participated! I saw so many amazing creations being shared and with each one creating a $20 donation to the Salvation Army, I am confident that a lot of kids are going to have an extra special Christmas because of it!

It was an extra special year for me because on top of being able to help raise money for kids in need, I had the opportunity to bring my kids with me to the CTV Ottawa Morning Live studios to shoot a segment promoting the campaign. It’s always special when I get to share my blogging world with them and they were so excited to see themselves on TV.

I hope you had as much fun as we did on this campaign and I can’t wait to do it all over again next year! Until that time, keep doing good things for others and have an amazing holiday season!!

Cheers!

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

Marks Giveaway

Mark’s Is Your One-Stop Holiday Gifts Shop! {Plus Giveaway}

As I get older I find that I am having a harder time finding things to put on my Christmas wish list. At some point you just accumulate so much stuff that the thought of trying to fit something else into the garage becomes more of a nuisance than a gift. A funny thing happened last year as it was the first year I realized that I had made the transition from the kid who hated getting clothes for Christmas to being the guy who only wants new clothes for Christmas. Well, and a big Toblerone…

While I am still working on my fashion sense, I have never had any problem finding clothes I like at Mark’s. As someone who didn’t own a pair of jeans until his late 20’s, there is an overwhelming irony in the fact that my favourite clothing store happens to be the #1 retailer of jeans in Canada, but people change and I have learned to love representing my Canadian heritage by sporting endless denim combos. That, and the fact that Friday is jeans day at work and I didn’t want to be the only one not wearing jeans!

On top of the jeans, dress shirts and sweaters I stock up on, Mark’s is a one-stop-shop for everything else I need to get through the harsh winters we face here in Ottawa. From winter coats and boots to warm socks and toques, Mark’s covers everything on my wish list from year to year and has something to fit everyone’s budget. If you’re having trouble trying to figure out what to get for someone on your shopping list, you definitely can’t go wrong with a gift card from Mark’s.

I took the liberty of putting together my personal wish list from Mark’s, so please feel free to steal my ideas if you’d like. Unless you live near me and there is only one of these left in XL. Then you’ll have to leave it there in case I want to come in and grab it…

Marks Wish List

1. Windriver Nordic Ragg Wool Toque – I have so many toques with sports team logos on them that I think it’s time I class up my collection and this definitely fits the bill!

2. Kombi Timeless Winter Glove – Between shovelling, sledding, outdoor skating and snowball fights, my winter gloves are probably my most important winter accessory and I need something that will last the whole winter.

3. Sorel Men’s Bear XT Winter Boot – I got a pair of these boots last year and it was like walking on clouds when I put them on. If you spend any amount of time outside during the winter, whether it be ice fishing, tobagganing or just chasing kids around, these are the boots for you.

4. Denver Hayes Jaquard Quarter Zip Sweater – I was drawn to this sweater and with a number of holiday parties to go to and how cold it gets here, this looks so warm that there’s no way I could leave it off the list.

5. Silver “Zac” Relaxed Fit Straight Leg Jeans – Hey, after 20+ years of not wearing jeans, I am now addicted to buying them and am definitely a dark jeans kind of guy.

6. Ripzone Color Block Winter Board Jacket – This is a straight up vanity selection. I love the colour and just kept coming back to this coat time after time.

GIVEAWAY!

To get you started on your holiday shopping at Mark’s, I am giving away a $50 Mark’s gift card! All you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter form below and I’ll notify the winner as soon as time is up! Good Luck and Happy Shopping!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

#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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

#BestGiftsBestBuy

Best Holiday Gifts From Best Buy! {Plus Giveaway!}

It should come as no surprise that Best Buy is first place I visit when I start to put together my wish list for Christmas each year. Between the video games, headphones and cameras, I could spend an entire day in one of their stores and never get bored. Knowing how much time I spend there, Best Buy has asked me to share my wish list with all of you and to find out what gifts you are drooling over this holiday season! So, here is my super amazing, ultra fantastical Christmas Wish List!

Call of Duty: Black Ops III

Call of Duty: Black Ops III

I have been playing and loving the Call of Duty series since the very first edition. In fact, I used to be the guy with the bluetooth earpiece that would be playing against other folks online and trash talking like there is no tomorrow! Unfortunately my skills have been in decline over the last few releases but I still love the campaign portion of the game and always leave it set to super easy!

Here is the link to Call of Duty: Black Ops III!!

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Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera Kit

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera Kit

We had the opportunity to play around with one of these cameras last summer and my children loved that the pictures came out right after they took them. In the age of digital, this blast from the past has grabbed my children’s attention and made its way onto their lists!

Check out the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera Kit for yourself!
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GoPro HERO4 Waterproof HD Sports & Helmet Camera GoPro HERO4 Waterproof HD Sports & Helmet Camera

A GoPro has been at the top of my list ever since I had the opportunity to see what it could do about a year ago. I can’t stop thinking about how cool it will be to attach it to my daughter’s bike or my son’s hockey helmet to get a glimpse of what life looks like through their eyes.

Here is the link for more information on the GoPro HERO4 and other GoPro products!
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Guitar Hero Live Bundle

Guitar Hero Live Bundle

Guitar Hero used to be one of my favourite games, so I was sad when they decided to take a little break. It’s more than just smashing on a guitar for a few minutes at a time because we like to involve the whole family with multiple guitars and singing along with all the songs. Furthermore, the song selection is out of this world!

Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself over at Best Buy’s website!
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Disney Frozen Karaoke Machine with Lights

Disney Frozen Karaoke Machine with Lights

For those days where don’t feel like playing a guitar but also want to sing the entire soundtrack to Disney’s Frozen, there is this awesome Frozen themed karaoke machine that my daughter flipped out about upon entering Best Buy.

Ummm, what are you waiting for?? Go get this Frozen Karaoke Machine right now!
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Power Wheels Disney Frozen Jeep Wrangler

Power Wheels Disney Frozen Jeep Wrangler

While we are on the subject of both my daughter freaking out and Disney’s Frozen movie, I present to you something I would like to buy for her solely for the fact that I am jealous this wasn’t around when I was a kid. I’m sure if we put this under the tree on Christmas Day she would give me a ride, right??

I’m not going to lie, the Power Wheels Disney Frozen Jeep Wrangler isn’t cheap but think of the smiles and the new level of parental coolness!!
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Star Wars Darth Vader Cool Wall Toaster

Star Wars Darth Vader Cool Wall Toaster

Was this on my list before I went to Best Buy? The truth is no, it was not. Does that mean I can’t want to add a little bit more awesome into my life, especially on the heels of one of the biggest movie releases of all time? I think not! I’m not sure what else I can say about this product other than STAR WARS TOAST!!

Don’t pretend you don’t want a Star Wars Darth Vader Toaster in your life!
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Misfit Shine Fitness Tracker

Misfit Shine Fitness Tracker

This was the toughest decision on my list because I knew I wanted a fitness tracker but there are so many different brands out there all claiming to do the same thing. After reading reviews, comparing prices and experience one of them for myself, I think the Misfit Shine delivers the most bang for your buck and actually looks pretty stylish!

You can check out the Misfit Shine Fitness Tracker and other fitness trackers over at the Best Buy website or in store.
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Sphero BB-8 App-Enabled Droid

Sphero BB-8 App-Enabled Droid

A couple things about the Sphero BB-8 App-Enabled Droid. One, I want this for me and not for my children. I make no apologies for this. Two, I don’t want it just because it is the hottest toy of the year. It is the hottest toy of the year because so many grown men and women want it. So, people who are reading this, if you feel like sending me one of these, I am not going to complain…

Just look at this beautiful Sphero BB-8 Droid and tell me you don’t want it roaming around your home at all times!
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Giveaway!

I could truly run this list for another 50 items but these are the ones at the very top and things I thought you all would enjoy. To get you started on your way to some great gifts from Best Buy Canada, I am giving away a $200 Best Buy gift card! Giveaway is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec and will be emailed to the winner once confirmed. Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in the #BestGiftsBestBuy programs and used that money to buy my daughter the Frozen Karaoke Machine!

2015 Canadian Dad Holiday Gift Guide

Canadian Dad’s 2015 Holiday Gift Guide ~ Kids Edition!

Welcome to the 2015 edition of the Canadian Dad Holiday Gift Guide! This guide is all things that my kids have put on their Christmas lists and I’m excited to share them with you! Please take a look at what’s hot in their eyes this year and feel free to leave your child’s wish list in the comments section. Happy Holidays!!

Furreal Friends Daisy Plays With Me Kitty Hasbro

 

 

Furreal Friends Daisy Plays-With-Me Kitty

My daughter is obsessed with Hasbro’s Furreal Friends at the moment. She walks her Furreal dog more than most people walk real dogs and I’m guessing the Daisy Plays With Me Kitty will be no different.

You can grab your very own Furreal Friend by visiting Toys R Us!

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Hasbro Playmation Marvel Avengers Starter Pack Gamma Gear

Playmation Marvel Avengers Starter Pack

It would be a lie to say that I am not as excited as my son is about Disney’s Playmation. This is the closest we will ever get to becoming actual superheroes and that’s more than good for us! Power Activators bring missions to life with over 20 different enemies so you can fight along side your favourite Avengers!

For more information on the Playmation Marvel Avengers Starter Pack, visit Hasbro’s Website!
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LEGO Creator Toy & Grocery Shop LEGO Creator Toy & Grocery Shop

LEGO just feels like a childhood rite of passage, doesn’t it? Both of my kids spend hours creating the most amazing things and take special pride in the creations they come up with in their own heads. That said, it’s always nice to start with a fresh set and my daughter has asked us for this LEGO Creator Toy & Grocery Shop so her LEGO Friends have somewhere to buy food…
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LEGO Ninjago Ronin R.E.X.

LEGO Ninjago Ronin R.E.X.

Back to LEGO for a minute, my son and his friends love LEGO Ninjago so much that they’ve even started to play it outside with the actual LEGO. They each pretend to be a character and run around the yard completing missions. My son’s favourite character, Kai, is a part of this very cool LEGO Ninjago Ronin R.E.X. set he has asked for this Christmas.
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Maplelea Sparkling Ice Taryn

Maplelea Sparkling Ice Taryn

My daughter’s Maplelea doll, Taryn, may just be her favourite thing on the planet right now. She brings it everywhere she goes and treats it as if it is her own child, which is really fun to watch. This year she has asked us for some new outfits and seeing as how she is just learning to skate, we got her the Sparkling Ice outfit, which comes with the dress, tights, scrunchie, skates, skating bag and more. She is seriously going to flip out when she opens it!

Visit Maplelea’s Website for more information
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My Amazing Penpal

My Amazing Penpal

This one is one of the more unique things you will find this year and my kids have loved it so far! Your kids get a new package every month and it leads them on adventures through various countries where they’ll learn about its traditions, foods, animals and much more! My kids also love the online games available with their memberships. 

Visit the My Amazing Penpal Website for details!
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Mattel Monster High 17 Inch Tall Freak Du Chic Gooliope Jellington Doll

Monster High 17 Inch Tall Freak Du Chic Gooliope Jellington

Where was Monster High when I was a kid? This is my daughter’s newest love and I can’t say I’m upset about it. Just look at Goolliope Jellington for instance. She is a circus orphan that oozes, literally, chic! The best part is that my daughter lets me be more creative with Monster High than she does with her less undead doll collections…

Check out the entire collection over on Mattel’s Website!
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Kidizoom Action Cam

Kidizoom Action Cam

Probably the gift I am most excited to give my kids this year is the Kidizoom Action Cam from Vtech. My kids love making videos and while my old digital camera has been great for them, this action cam is going to open so many possibilities for them and I can’t wait to see what they come up with. Just picture seeing what your kid sees while playing hockey or even just playing outside with their friends. It’s going to be a blast!

For more info on the Kidizoom Action Cam visit the Vtech Canada Website
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New PLAYMOBIL NHL Hockey Theme

New PLAYMOBIL NHL Hockey Theme

We are officially a hockey crazy house so anytime I can get my hands on NHL licensed toys that will actually get played with, I jump at the chance. Playmobil’s new hockey themed arena lets my son imagine that he is in the NHL and winning the Stanley Cup as the Montreal Canadiens! What? It’s going to happen eventually! Anyway, this promises to provide hours and hours of hockey fun!

Check out the Playmobil Website for products, colouring sheets and online games!
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Sphero Darkside Ollie

Sphero Darkside Ollie

If you haven’t seen a Sphero toy in action yet you should go check it out right now. These tiny machines are controlled by you on your smartphone or tablet and have a ton of tricks that you can make them do. I like to call toys like these “friend-makers” because all the kids will gather around when your child plays with Ollie. 

For more info and demo videos, check out the Sphero Website
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Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Pack

Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Pack

We’ve been huge Skylanders fans in this house since before Skylanders was cool! Adding vehicles into the mix has brought the game to a new level for my son and he hasn’t stopped playing it since getting it for his birthday. Now if only someone could explain to me how Kaos keeps getting away…

Check out the Skylanders SuperChargers Website for more info!

That’s it for this year’s edition of the holiday gift guide! Please feel free to share in the comments what your kids are asking for this year. It never hurts to have a few more ideas under your cap!

Disclosure: I received a few of the items in this gift guide but all items included are things my children have actually asked for this year.

Kinder Surprise Advent Pack

How Would You Like A Kinder Surprise For The Holidays?

You may remember back in September that I talked about my role as a Kinder Dad. In that post I talked about how much I enjoyed “borrowing” my children’s Kinder Surprise Eggs. Well, now instead of borrowing their chocolate, I am passing it on to you guys!

That’s right, after my children fell asleep last night, I stole all of their Kinder Surprise Eggs, their Kinder Advent Calendar and some other goodies, packaged them up and got them ready to be shipped to one of you! Here is a detailed list of the things you will be receiving from my children if you are chosen as the winner.

The prize pack (ARV $34) includes:

One KINDER® Advent Calendar
One KINDER® Hollow Santa with SURPRISE®
One KINDER® SURPRISE® 100g Christmas egg
One KINDER® SURPRISE® MAXI 150g egg

Shazam! That’s a lot of awesome all rolled into one! All you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter form below and promise that you will not tell my children that I gave you all their chocolate! Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in the #KinderDad program. Also, I did not steal my children’s KINDER eggs because I am not a monster. Okay, I have maybe ate some of their chocolate in the past but only because I felt they had too much and that it could upset their tummies. Otherwise, I do not make a habit of stealing from my kids. Often.

And This Is Why We Don’t Do Spins Near The Christmas Tree!

Kids Dancing

My kids love to spin. It doesn’t matter where we are or even if there is music playing, they just spin. I try to be a good parent and warn them of the dangers of spinning next to free standing objects but I can’t be expected to watch them every single second, right??

The following is an outtake from the “Dads sing Mariah Carey” video for the Life of Dad website. You’ll want to ignore the singing and pay attention to my son at the end of the video…

Also, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

To Wrap, or Not To Wrap: That Is The Question

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I recently posted on my Facebook Page, asking advice about whether or not you wrap the presents from Santa Claus. I had never heard of not wrapping them but the thought of cutting 6-7 presents off the wrapping table was intriguing to me.

I think the most comments I have ever received on a Facebook post was around 16, so when this one hit 70, I knew that it was a topic that needed further exploration. From reading through the comments, I also realized that there were no official operating procedures when it comes to Santa’s gifts. I tried to reach Santa but was told that he was too busy to comment. Understandable at this time of year.

We have always wrapped the presents from Santa in a special wrapping paper and will most likely continue this tradition, but I really enjoyed reading through all the different opinions on the subject. I even liked the ones that criticized me for posting about how Santa Claus may not be really real because their kids might walk behind them and see their computer screen! I’m sure it was done in jest.

Here’s a quick “wrap-up” of some of the responses I received. Pun intended.

* No presents from Santa, only stockings.
* Wrapped, with Santa’s gifts having different paper.
* Presents from Santa not wrapped and bundled together in a specific spot.
* Big items unwrapped, all others wrapped.
* Santa’s elves are tired and lazy, so Mommy and Daddy wrap them.

Now it’s your turn! Does Santa wrap the presents he leaves for your kids, or are they left unwrapped for them to enjoy right away?

Cheers!