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Mountain Orchards

The Curious Case Of The Flintstones & Other Tidbits

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

As my kids were arguing over their daily Flintstones vitamin the other day, it occurred to me that it was funny how the Flintstones have seemed to outlast their competition from back in the day. Seriously, think about it. My kids have no idea who the Flintstones are and will likely never see an episode of it in their lifetimes, yet here they are, fighting over the orange one, Barney I believe, as though they’ve watched the show their entire lives! I also wonder how Barney got the best tasting one and if that bothered Fred at all. It must have, right? In any case, we bought the FLINTSTONES Active Kids® Gummies to try to curb the arguing, so we’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, summer seemed to end a little too quickly this year but we’ve been lucky over the last week or so to have summer-like temperatures back in Ottawa, so we have been taking full advantage. We had an amazing day apple picking at Mountain Orchards today, a yearly tradition, and only got lost in the corn maze 4 times, a new record! Being the prepared fly by the seat of my pants dad that I am, I completely forgot to pack the sunscreen but my beautiful wife had my back and happily let me know that she grabbed a new bottle of Coppertone® Clearly Sheer® sunscreen at the pharmacy right before we left. Did I mention that she is beautiful and talented?

Kids Apple Picking Mountain Orchards

Speaking of corn mazes, they should look into getting Claritin® or AERIUS®, or both, to sponsor those things because the amount of sneezing, itching and crying that was going on could keep them in the allergy relief business for an eternity! In fact, the only reason we escaped the maze was because the guy in front of us kept sneezing into the wind so we switched directions. He could still be in there for all I know!

Now I’ve talked myself into a circle and have no idea where I was going with any of this! I guess the point of this story is that while I’m sad the Flintstones ended because Fred got jealous of Barney, the important lesson here is to make sure you do something that gets you turned into a vitamin so you will live on in children’s lives forever!

Flintstones Vitamins

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

Dad Springfree Trampoline Slam

Who Says Dads Can’t Have Fun On A Trampoline?

Ever since having children I’ve wondered when the age will hit that I don’t feel like behaving like a child anymore. When I see the kids at the splash pad or out on the baseball diamond I instinctively want to join in on the fun, ignoring the fact that I may have lost a few steps.

While we were discussing the addition of a new trampoline from Springfree Trampoline Canada, I was mostly thinking about how much fun the kids and their friends would have but there was also a little piece of me that was excited to have a trampoline of my very own to jump on as well. Now, when I say a little piece of me, what I really mean is that I did all this for myself and the fact that the kids are having fun with it is a cute side note.

The trampoline couldn’t have come at a better time as I have really been lacking in the physical activity department lately and I’m pretty sure I have jumped on it every day since it arrived at our house. There’s just something about feeling like your flying that I can’t get enough of. Luckily for me, I have a beautiful young daughter who has been there to motivate me by reminding me daily to be careful because I am dangerously close to the suggested weight limit for the trampoline and she doesn’t want me to break it… Thanks, honey.

So, to all the dads out there who think the fun has to end just because we are getting older, I say get those shoes off and start jumping! In fact, hit the splash pad, shoot some hoops and play some tag with the kids, too. There’s no law that says we have to grow up at a certain speed. Have fun with your kids while your bones still allow it!

If you do happen to be in the market for the greatest trampoline on the planet, I’m also excited to announce that as a special offer just for you guys, if you order a trampoline from the Springfree Trampoline Canada website, you can use code SpringInto150YYZ4 to get a tgoma game system (RV $399.00) absolutely free! tgoma is an interactive Smart Play attachment for your Springfree trampoline that allows you to use jumping power to play different games, both educational and fun!

Disclosure: I was provided a Springfree Trampoline in exchange for my participation in this program.

Springfree Trampoline Basketball

With These Kids, Everything Is A Competition

Having never owned a trampoline, and knowing how competitive my kids are, I was curious to see how they would possibly find a way to compete against each other with our new trampoline from Springfree Trampoline Canada. In the first 5 minutes of jumping on the trampoline, they had already invented 3 new games and haven’t looked back since.

Making their lives a little easier was the fact that we ordered a few add-on accessories for our Springfree Trampoline, including an attachable basketball net and the tgoma interactive game system. The basketball net is pretty self explanatory and I have to admit that it has me bouncing on the trampoline more than I expected to. The tgoma, however, is a really neat device that has the kids laughing and jumping for hours so far.

The tgoma system is cool because it is controlled by four sensors on the Springfree mat which connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to a tablet. Using the body as the controller, the sensors track movement creating an outdoor interactive Smart Play experience. The games built into tgoma range from fun and educational for the kids to fitness programs for the adults.

Tgoma Springfree Trampoline

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing I was before we actually tested out the tgoma system, which is that we spend so much time trying to get the kids to put the technology away, so why would we encourage them to go outside and use it. My only response to this is that you have to try it to fully understand how great it is. Watching my kids jump on the trampoline while also solving math problems is amazing. It works multiple parts of their brain while also keeping them active and having fun all at the same time.

We’ve had the Springfree Trampoline for a couple of weeks now and not only is it the safest trampoline I’ve ever jumped on as a bigger guy, but my family has never been so active during the lazy days of summer. So, yes, the Springfree costs a little bit more than the average trampoline but the safety, longevity and quality you get out of them really makes it worth the investment.

All this said, I’m excited to announce that as a special offer just for you guys, if you order a trampoline from the Springfree Trampoline Canada website, you can use code SpringInto150YYZ4 to get a tgoma game system (RV $399.00) absolutely free!

Now if you’ll excuse me, my daughter challenged my to see who could do the most jumps in 5 minutes, which is something tgoma can track! Happy Jumping!!

Disclosure: I was provided a Springfree Trampoline in exchange for my participation in this program.

Summer Canonball

Summer Is Here & It’s Time To Get Outside!

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

In the age of electronics, we’ve been pretty lucky when it comes to making sure our kids get enough outdoor time. Both kids ended up loving sports, which keeps them outside from morning until night and makes this dad a happy camper. I figure if the only downside to this is that they sometimes don’t want to come inside, that’s a trade-off I’ll take.

While we aren’t much of a classic outdoors family, with the camping and hiking and whatnot, we love spending time outside together. With that said, here are a few of our favourite summertime activities!

1. Baseball

Baseball Kid

I can’t tell you how happy I was when my son decided he wanted to try baseball as one of his activities. I played competitive fastball my entire youth and while I purposefully didn’t push my son into it, I’m excited that he discovered a love for it on his own. That means I get to coach, which also means I’m using muscles I hadn’t used in a looooong time. Luckily for me, I have discovered ALEVE® Back & Body Pain, because I’m not sure how else I’d be able to get through running up and down the baselines for 5 tournament games in one weekend!

2. Soccer

Girls soccer

While my son chose a sport I was familiar with, my daughter has gone in the opposite direction. As if 16 hours of gymnastics a week wasn’t enough, she also decided to excel at soccer. I will admit that when I was a kid the baseball kids were trained to dislike soccer, I really love watching her fly up and down the field like a bolt of lightning. It’s also kind of nice to not know anything about a sport because I can pay more attention to my daughter and worry less about the rules.

3. Glamping

KOA Family Cabin Camping

I mentioned earlier that we are not a campaign family, but that doesn’t mean we don’t hit a campground for the weekend on occasion. In our case, however, we choose to book a cabin at nearby KOAs so it feels like we are camping without the uncomfortable feeling of a deflated mattress at 2am! The only real downside to this is that my wife is an allergy sufferer and occasionally needs to pop one of her Claritin® Allergy tablets to get through the day’s events, but then we are back on track!

4. Water Fights

KOA Ivy Lea Wet Wagon Ride

Whether it’s just us with water balloons or the entire neighbourhood with water guns, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a good water fight! That is, as long as the people getting soaked know that they are in said water battle…

5. Trampolining

Trampoline Kid

We are officially a trampoline family now and I have never seen the kids want to be outside more in their lives. Seriously, they wake up and before I can remind them to brush their teeth they are outside jumping in their PJs. Even on the hottest days of summer so far they are out there, jumping and melting in the hot sun. You can imagine how eager they are to stop jumping to come and get their sunscreen on… Luckily we found the Coppertone® Sport Sunscreen Continuous Spray SPF 30 which not only gets them back on the trampoline in minutes but also handles the sweat with ease and holds its SPF for at least 80 minutes of activity.

There’s so much more we love to do in the summer but this covers the major items on our yearly checklist! How about you? I’d love to hear what your favourite summer activities are, so feel free to go ahead and leave them in the comment section!

Get Outside Bayer

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

Altitude Sports Puddle

These Boots Are Made For… Everything, Apparently!

Kids are funny creatures. They are completely opposite from us grown-ups in that they don’t seem to care about things such as fashion, common sense or practicality. Okay, they are unlike ‘most’ of us grown-ups…

My son recently received new Bogs rubber boots from Altitude Sports and I was very excited about it. There’s something special about watching a child splash through puddles in rubber boots. It helps remind us of the freedom we once enjoyed as children to do whatever we pleased. The smiles on their faces as they thrash their way through the rain are enough to tell a thousands stories.

As it turns out, what I saw as a simple and practical pair of puddle jumpers meant something completely different to my son. Sure, he still loves splashing in puddles with them but much like a new pair of running shoes, his new boots came everywhere with us! Without further ado, here is my list, in no particular order, of the strangest things my son used his new rubber boots for.

Baseball Practice

Altitude Sports Baseball

*Jose Bautista also plays in rubber boots! (*Not true)

Street Hockey

Altitude Sports Hockey

Everyone knows rubber boots are best for running…

Jumping on the Bed

Altitude Sports Bed Jump

Are my kids living the dream, or what?

Soccer

Altitude Sports Soccer

Actually the rubber boots are good for unleashing crazy kicks in this case.

As you can see, my children are just as weird as yours and I couldn’t be happier about it. Having structure is cool but sometimes you just need to throw on a pair of rubber boots and jump on a bed, am I right? Please tell me your kids do this kind of stuff too…

I should also mention that Altitude Sports is a 100% Canadian company and my transactions with them have all been amazing. Their discount website, The Last Hunt, has some incredible deals from brands like Salomon and The North Face and you should definitely check it out if you don’t mind wearing the previous season’s gear.

Don’t forget to visit Altitude Sports at their Facebook and Twitter pages to say hello and to let them know that you support a solid Canadian company!

TropicanaBottledSummer Prize Pack

Win A Tropicana Summer Prize Pack! #TropicanaBottledSummer

The summer of winning continues here at Canadian Dad HQ and next on the list is the sweet prize pack above from Tropicana! On top of the fun summer toys in the prize pack, Tropicana have even thrown in a $50 PC gift card to get your next BBQ off on the right foot! Also, while I have you here I would like to admit that I singlehandedly drank all the Tangerine Lemonade that Tropicana sent me to share with my family. No, I am not proud of myself. Yes, it was so good that I would probably do it again. Go buy some for yourself and you’ll see what I’m talking about. While your out, you should definitely also try Tropicana’s new Watermelon Fruit Drink because it is the perfect compliment to any summer outing.

Back to the business at hand, all you have to do to enter is fill out as many of the entry methods as you feel like in the Rafflecopter form below and I’ll draw a winner on July 17th. Giveaway is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec (I’m so sorry, Quebec, I am a huge Montreal Canadiens fan and this stings every time). Go get it, folks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received compensation for my participation in Tropicana’s campaign. That said, I actually hid in the garage at one point and drank the Tangerine Lemonade straight out of the bottle so my wife and kids wouldn’t see me…

Merrell Socks Sandals

The Hypocrisy Of The Foot Pic

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I am not a huge fan of the pictures of other people’s feet that seem to invade my internet feed on a daily basis. I could never figure out what it was about a picture of a foot that made anyone think, “I need to share this amazing foot picture for all the world to see!”. For the longest time I was beating on the #NoFeetPics drum…until now.

You see, I recently agreed to work with one of my favourite stores in Mark’s on their #ForAllWalks campaign, which required me to try out some shoes from their new line. Being someone who has never owned a really nice pair of sandals I was excited that Mark’s had their Merrell Kahuna III Sandal on the availability list. Once the sandals arrived my wife correctly pointed out that in order to properly discuss them, I was going to have to take a picture of me wearing them… A FOOT PIC, NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

I quickly started running through alternative options in my head. I got away with it in my first post by pretending to use them to swat at wasps, which I did actually do. Then I thought, socks and sandals, but I think we can all agree from the cover photo that this is a way worse option. I came to the conclusion that the only way I can come out of this with my head held high is to do the thing that I have been railing against for years.

The bright side to this conclusion is that I really love the Merrell Kahuna III Sandal so if I have to post a picture of my feet, I’m happy to do it while wearing them. Side note before we get to the finished product, these are truly the most comfortable and versatile sandals I have ever owned and have become my go to footwear whenever we are running out of the house to go play outside. Alright, without further ado, I present to you a picture of my feet!

Merrell Sandals Feet Pics

I’d like to thank Mark’s for including me in their #ForAllWalks campaign. All of the shoes I had the chance to try out have been amazing and have really opened my eyes to the importance of investing in good shoes. I highly encourage you all to head on over to the Mark’s website and check out what they have to offer. You can also interact with the Mark’s social channels by visiting them at their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program but I truly dislike all of the feet pics that have infiltrated the internet. I mean, they’re feet, people! Feet!!!!

Share and Inspire With #GoodNewsMonday – 4th Edition

It’s that time of the week once again and fresh off a vacation, I have a lot to be thankful for. My family took off to the Hamilton area this past week to spend time with family and to take in African Lion Safari, which the kids loved. We also spent time visiting different playgrounds and relaxing on the beach. All in all, it was a perfect vacation and that’s my Good News for this Monday morning.

How about you? What Good News do you have to share with everyone on this summery Monday morning? Leave your answer in the comments below and have a great week!

My Summertime Reading List and Subliminal Father’s Day Wish List

#cbias

As a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community, I was asked to pick out a few of my favourite Summer reads from Chapters and share them with you as part of a #cbias campaign. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client, Chapters.

Only in the past few years have I become more interested in the joys of reading. I realize that sounds weird coming from a grown man but I was so into sports and video games that I never really had time for it. Now with kids, age and gravity all changing the way I looked at the world, I decided to try it out and couldn’t believe what I had been missing out on.

I still remember the exact book that dragged me back from my Hardy Boys days and into and new era of appreciation for books. It was Mo Hayder’s “Birdman” and it is a gruesomely amazing detective thriller. The kind that you never want to put down and that wakes you with nightmares so realistic that you’d swear you were living it. I have read all of her books since and was excited to snag one of her newer ones, “Hanging Hill”, on my latest trip to Chapters.

#cbias

Since that first Mo Hayder book, I have been sampling every genre I can think of in order to find a few that fit. As it turns out, I haven’t been able to narrow down the field too much because there are so many incredible titles throughout all genres. If pressured, I could probably cut it down to murder mysteries and biographies but it would be painful to leave the others behind. The biographies have really been growing on me lately, especially after reading “Always Looking Up” by Michael J. Fox and “Home Game” by Michael Lewis.

With Father’s Day just around the corner, I was excited to see that Chapters had dedicated three separate displays to books for Dad. On one of the displays I found what I believe to be a jewel in the rough, so to speak, in Mike Adamick’s “Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects”. I consider myself to be a novice crafter but this book looks to challenge me to step outside of my home made light sabers and to step up my game to the next level of Fatherhood!

#cbias

Not to be outdone, the kids love a good trip to Chapters as well because on top of the incredible play areas they have set up, they know that a book store is the one place where Daddy can’t say no to a new purchase. I’m not saying I bribe them but the promise of new reading material is an excellent way to get them to behave while Daddy shops for his literary needs.

#cbias

I have to admit that I may have gone a little overboard on my latest shopping trip but it’s a long summer and once I’m in the beach chair it’s really hard to convince me to get back out of it. Yeah, I’m kind of lazy, wanna fight about it? Sorry about that. Anyway, here is what my shopping bag full of summer reading looks like. Do you recognize any of these titles?

#cbias

Finally, I imagine that we all have a favourite place to read, whether it be in bed, on a park bench or on the beach, and I am no exception to that rule. There is nothing I love more than heading up to the cottage, grabbing a copy of Barbie’s Princess and the Popstar and curling up on a deck chair with my best gal.

#cbias

We had a great time on our shopping trip to Chapters and you can see everything I checked out, which includes my subliminal Father’s Day Wish List, over on my Google+ page! Also, I’d like to know, do you have a favourite genre, author or book? Give me your suggestions in the comments so I can expand my summer library. Happy Reading, My Friends!