blogger

I Love it when Children Blog! Introducing the Kids Food Fanatic.


My 9-year-old son’s friend told me today that he is a “food blogger”.  The mastermind behind Kids Food Fanatic, a blog aimed at giving a kids view of restaurants to other kids.  The blog takes into account the food, décor and some other interesting factors.

“Really? Awesome!” was my reply.

So while him and my son were hanging out at our place on a play-date, I decided to check out his blog.  I was immediately impressed, so I decided to interview him for The Urban Daddy (TUD), to help him get more readers and more comments and so he will be hooked on blogging like so many of us have become.  His blog is called Fun Food Fanatic, and he is the Kid Food Fanatic (KFF).

Here is the interview:

TUD: “Why do you blog?  What got your started?”

KFF: “I love rating food, and I want kids to have the feeling they can make good choices about restaurants they want to go to and they know the food there is a great, and kid-friendly”.

TUD: “What was the best restaurant experience you have had so far?”

KFF: “The Works! Then Boston Pizza“.

TUD: “What did you like about them?”

KFF: “The atmosphere. It was very funny. The food was also rock solid delicious. Did you get that?  Rock Solid Delicious.  It was burger galore at the Works.”

TUD: “How do you decide where you go next?”

KFF: “I don’t decide. I grab my notebook and write about where we go as a family.”

TUD: “Have you been to places you hated?”

KFF: “No, not yet”.

TUD: “What is your favourite type of restaurant / food?”

KFF: “I like restaurants with good burgers which have good, fast service. I also like restaurants with creative decorations I can look at while eating.”

TUD: “What if you went to a restaurant and the food was terrible. Would you post that?”

KFF: “I would tell them why I thought the food was terrible. I would say something like, “nice try” and “please do not make that mistake again” and then I would blog it because kids have to know this.”

Big thank you to the Kids Food Fanatic.

His blog can be found here;

or here if you prefer to paste and click on your own.

Please pay him a visit and welcome him to the blogosphere.

The Urban Daddy has Been Nominated for the 2013 Canadian Blog Awards!


Hey!Canadian Blog Awards badge

I’ve been nominated for the 2013 Canadian Blog Awards in the Best Family Blog category and there is a LOT of great competition.

If you have a few, ahem, spare minutes, could you please head over to the page and vote for me. Voting closes February 22, 2014.

As uncomfortable as I am asking, I’m doing so anyways.

The site can be found here;  http://cdnba.wordpress.com/

I also took some time to check out many of the other sites in almost all of the categories and I voted for the ones I thought were the best.  Recognizing others feels great!

Thursday Thirteen: The Urban Daddy Answers His Mail. 13 of them.


Something a little new today.

My Thursday Thirteen this week is going to cover the 13 most commonly asked emails that I have received at realurbandaddy@gmail.com.  I do get a LOT of email and if I had the time, I would love to be able to reply to all of it, and it does take me some time to reply, but I have some left over messages all along the same theme, which I am going to answer here.

Sit tight, get your pen and paper ready – or a Dictaphone if  you have one or even know what it is – and let’s get ready to learn how to reply to tough, challenging emails.  Urban Daddy style.

Thursday Thirteen Autumn

13. Why don’t you blog so much anymore?

Great and most common question.  I do blog as much as before, however, now that I have my own business, a lot of my posts are headed there.  The rest of the post for The Urban Daddy are sitting in my drafts folder.  There is something like 113 of them in there.

Another problem is that as my readership increases I feel some responsibility to actually make sense in my posts.  Gone are the days of 10 readers per day and me writing posts at 1am.  Now I write, edit, review, fact-check, edit then save to drafts.

I’m going to write more… I promise.

You can also find some of my thoughts when I’m too lazy to blog them over at my Facebook page; www.facebook.com/TheUrbanDaddy or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/realurbandaddy.  I’m on Tumblr, Google Plus, Pinterest… Everywhere, but those are the main 3.  Please “like” me and add me where possible.  I always add back.

12. Are you affiliated with that big Urban Daddy website in the US?

Nope.  They did ask me, however, to kindly hand over my social media sites which are in the name “Urban Daddy”.  I politely declined since I was blogging as Urban Daddy before they came to be.  So I asked them kindly to hand over ownership of all their social media sites to me.  I never heard back, lol, but soon thereafter all the URLs which were close to mine were scooped up.

Point taken.

I also get a LOT of pitches and product-testing requests but I politely turn them down if they are not something I would not use, or if they are not going to directly benefit you guys – my readership – but I love to get them from local (Canadian) companies because it’s easy for me to toss something onto my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TheUrbanDaddy) if you have not gone there, go there now and like me.  Please.

11. Why do blog about coffee?

Ohhh.  I love coffee.  But I’m more than just a medium roast kind of guy.  I like adventure, and something different so I’m big into the flavours.  I actually used to test the new flavours at Java Joe’s near my office – a treat for me – which is where I fell in love with Blueberry coffee.  Blueberry coffee, if you didn’t know is huge on the East coast of Canada and in the US, but for some reason has not hit the mainstream here in TO as of yet.

Blueberry is way better than, for example, Raspberry Chocolate coffee, and light-years better than Irish Cream or boring Vanilla Hazelnut.

So now where can you buy this coffee you ask…

Well since you all cannot come over to my house, you will be thrilled to learn that there is an amazing Canadian company called Java Works Coffee(http://www.javaworkscoffee.ca/) , out of Mississauga, Ontario, and they sell coffee and teas to restaurants, offices and – yay – customers through their factory outlet.  So on Friday I dropped in to this store and was blown away with the selection, the staff and the smell when you first walk into the door.  WOW.

I left with some teas and 1lb bags of the following coffees;

  • Blueberry Bliss
  • French Toast
  • Cinnamon Apple Spice
  • Mint Chocolate Chip

After testing them all I can say that each one is better than the next.

10. Do you really like Wrestling?

Yes.  Like it a lot.  And yes, I know it is fake.  I’ve been watching this male soap opera since I was a boy (which is a really long time ago!)  If you gotta problem with that, come see my and I’ll put you in a headlock, then powerbomb you.  :)

9. The best Daddy blogs usually are written by Stay at Home Dads (SAHD). Why?

Funny.  I’ve always felt that the SAHM (Stay at home Mom) blogs are the best, and clearly the Dads are right up there now because they are there with the kids and doing the things that many of us do on a daily basis.  I have always said that I felt no one wants to read a blog about kids from a parent who works full-time unless they are able to spend enough time with the kids, or capture a moment, which will make good print.  I just wish I had more time to read these great blogs…

8. Would you consider yourself a parent expert? Why or why not?

I would and only because I have 3 children and after changing many diapers, and being there for feedings, changings, programs, school, school events, I can honestly say that I sacrificed my career to spend time with my kids and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.

7. Where in the world are you?

I’m everywhere!  LOL.  No really.  I’m in Toronto, Ontario. Canada.  A very large, beautiful city in the best country in the world.

6. How Conservative are your views?

Fiscally conservative – Very.

A lot of my other views tend to learn more towards the centre from the left side.  So I feel people should work for their money, and if they use that money to buy things for themselves, others do not have the right to steal from them, however if people are unable to work – really unable to work, that they should be a social network to allow them to live above the poverty line and be able to contribute to society in whatever ways they can,

5. I see you post a lot about IVF. Is it because you used it?

Actually no.  We were fortunate enough to not need IVF, however from a moral and financial perspective, I feel that governments should fund IVF treatments for those families who want it.  The savings to our tax system would be huge and it’s a really nice thing for governments to do while trying to figure out why infertility is on the rise.

4.  What are some other great blogs you can recommend?

I have actually been meaning to prepare a Friday blog post called the “Friday Follow Five” and use that to go to a favourite blog I follow, then read the first post, and use either the comments on that post or the blogroll on the side to go to another blog, then do the same until I have read and summarized 5 posts and provided details in the post.  In the meantime, please visit the blogs in my blogroll.  They’re amazing.

3.  How long have you been blogging and how long will it take me to get readers?

Well, I’ve been blogging since 2004 and to be honest, make sure you do it for love and not for getting famous because it takes a LOT of TLC to get a blog off the ground.  Essentially, you need to not use my blog as the model, because you need to post frequently, read and comment on other blogs often, build relationships with your readers, and write things others want to read.  Having a pretty blog, and nice title, and the proper length articles is also important…

Good luck!

2.  Your posts are too long.  Some are really off-topic.  Why do you do that?

LOL.  I get this a lot.

They are not off-topic for people who come here randomly looking for specific topics.  I do, however, agree that I am long-winded and I try to fix it, but I just can’t.  I talk this way too.  I have to build up the back-story before I get to the point.

Knowing that I blog under the title “The Urban Daddy” as a Dad in urban-Toronto, would you believe that my most popular post ever has to do with the Secret Menu at Starbucks, followed closely by my evaluation of the Canadian Live-In Caregiver Program.

So as I approach 1000 posts, I can honestly say that I get a LOT of views from the Philippines after Canada and the US.  I would NEVER have expected that back on 2004 when I had 10 views a week.

1.  Why are you still blogging?

I don’t really know.  I think I would feel lost without it and when I look back and see my earlier posts I am amazed at some of the things I have gone through since I had kids.  More importantly, and the real reason to keep it going is because as my kids get older (my oldest is 8-years-old) and they start to ask questions or look for stories about when they were young, I know I can pull up a post and let them read the details.  It’s always a good laugh.

Happy 42nd Birthday to Me. 42 Facts about The Urban Daddy.


Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, February 21st, is my birthday. It’s actually been my birthday since 1971, and I’m not posting this to solicit birthday greetings so please do not feel obligated to do so, but I realized this morning during my drive into the office that in the 8-years that I have been blogging, and the over 1100 blog posts between The Urban Daddy, Intaxicating, and Daddy Knows Sports (which I’m not using anymore) that I have shared very little about myself. So today, in honour of my birthday I have decided to open up my kimono and reveal 42 facts about myself to shed some light into who exactly has been writing these (long) posts for so many years.

So please sit back, enjoy, there is no need to take notes, and for those of you who actually know me, there are some things here that you will not have known and for total strangers who come by frequently, I hope you will still come back. LOL.

42 things about The Urban Daddy.

42. I am not in any way affiliated with UrbanDaddy.com, although many people “like” me on Facebook for this reason, then realize I’m a Canadian Daddy blogger, and they run the other way. That site, for the record, is not a “Daddy” and while it is “Urban”, it is not an “Urban Daddy”. I am.

41. I have a full-time job outside of being a parent, husband, etc. I have been working for 18-years in the taxation industry here in Toronto. I worked at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)for almost 11 years, then I joined the private sector and have moved from a Manager, to an AVP, and now the Managing Director at Tax Solutions Canada, where this great organization of professionals help people who have tax problems work with the CRA.

40. I am a level-3 CGA, but stopped taking courses when my father, who was a CA, gave me some advice.  He said, “Son.  Why are you doing this to yourself?  You’re terrible at this.  Pick a different course of study… Please.”  So I enrolled into graduate school 3 days after our first child Linus was born, and completed my MBA 3-years later.

39.  I was a typical 80′s kid, growing up.  Overweight, bad skin, big plastic-framed glasses and a mullet.  Thankfully I grew out of it.

38.  In middle school I carried my baseball glove everywhere and was too busy with sports to do my school-work.  I told my mother I was going to quit school to be come a professional soccer player – yet I was never good at soccer.  I was also the kid who showed leadership in everything I did yet struggled in school.  When I applied myself I excelled.  I earned 50′s through grade 8, 70′s in high-school, 75 (B+) through University and 85-90′s (A/A+) in Grad school.

37.  I was bullied as a child in public school.  In middle school I was picked on for being Jewish.  In Hebrew school, I was bullied for being over-weight.

36.  After high-school, I lost 50lbs and found my voice.

35.  After our second child, Stewie was born – he was such a difficult child for the first 10-months of his life that I herniated a disc in my back carrying him all the time.  I asked my physiotherapist to please allow me to tie my shoes on my own.  She got me into shape and one year later I ran a 5k race in 33-minutes (without stopping).

34.  I tend to be a little right-wing in my political views, but fiscally conservative, not right-wing extreme in any way.  I’m pro-choice – A woman should decide what she wants to do with her body.  I believe marriage is for anyone and everyone, if they want to, and I don’t care who you marry, or sleep with.  I believe no one deserves to carry guns unless they are protecting people and you have the right to free speech and practice whatever religion you want, until you either insult someone else, or try to convert them to your beliefs.  Like my mother used to say, “Look at your own plate.”  Don’t look at what I’m eating or how I’m eating it.  Mind your own peas.

33.  I’m left-handed and actually started a left-handed club while at University to help get left-handed desks in some of the lecture halls where they were all the way on the left-side of the room.  Personally, I needed to sit front-middle, so I could see.

32.  I have never tried drugs.  Ever.  Not a puff of anything.  That being said, I do think that certain drugs should be legal and taxed.  Take the criminal element away and increase revenues.

31.  I see people as human-beings on one giant planet.  I don’t see race, or colour and I was really embarrassed when working at the CRA where I delivered a lot of training and we had a new employee from West Africa with a VERY heavy accent and I could not for the life of me understand him.  I was devastated.  He kept asking questions and I couldn’t understand him.  That was over 10-years ago, but it stays with me.

30.  I’m a terrible friend.  I never learned what it means to be a good friend and I don’t have any friends from when I was young.  Certainly makes it challenging as an adult, however, we’re meeting lots of great parents through school events.

29.  My voice is a little on the higher-pitched side and I used to mumble sometimes when I spoke very quickly, but I am also just under 6 feet tall and 225lbs, so no slouch at all.  I used to deepen my voice when I answered my phone at the government so people wouldn’t call me Mrs.  I even had a guy tell me he was coming to see me at the Tax Office so he could “kick the shit out of me” because I sounded like a “weak, little man”.  He came.  I greeted him in the meeting room, and he was about 6ft2, 350lbs, but when he saw me he apologized for his actions and within 5 minutes being in the meeting room, he was bawling his eyes out talking about his tax problem.  It’s unfortunate that people feel violence is the best solution.

28.  I have no tattoos, but I have my ear pierced.  I wanted to pierce it so badly when I was 14 but my mother said no, and it wasn’t until my wife convinced me to do it at age 30 when I finally did it.  Now, at my age, I’m not so sure I want or need it…

27.  I’m a great defensive driver.  I let cars out, I wave thank you, I don’t cut cars off and I do the speed limit.  But if you piss me off, Karma will box you in and I’ll be on one side laughing to myself while you stew.

26.  I say “bless you” when someone sneezes.  Anyone.  Anywhere.

25.  I love Canadian music.

24.  My musical influences were Queen and the Police when I was young.  Then Def Leppard, Platinum Blonde, Bon Jovi, STP, Soundgarden, Green Day all the way through Rob Zombie, Saliva, etc.  I like my music loud, hard, with a great beat and no screaming.  I’m also awesome on SongPop.  All genres, any year.  Challenge me!  I dare you.

23.  I support the Canadian Armed Forces – I prefer if there were no wars – but there are bad dudes everywhere and we need our troops to keep us safe.

22.  I’m in awe of my wife for so many reasons including the way she runs our household and has led the raising of our children.  She’s been supportive of all of us and sadly I have not taken her out enough.  She needs so time away from the house, the kids and the responsibilities.  She certainly earned it.

21.  I’m in awe of my children.  They fascinate me.  They’re smart, good-looking, friendly and they laugh a lot.  I find myself looking at them, staring at them amazed at how they are developing and hoping they can stay that happy forever.  They have no idea how nasty the world can be and unless we can create a nasty laser to zap away all the scumbags, they’re going to need to be watched over to make sure they stay safe while they find their way in the world.  Oh, and at 8, 6 and 3, I have a little time.

20.  I am externally motivated so I seek confirmation that I’m doing a good job / staying on track often.  I’ve learned to read the signs so I don’t annoy.  If you want to help me you can “like” The Urban Daddy on Facebook or follow this blog (or follow The Urban Daddy on Twitter).

19.  The glass is half-full.  Always.

18.  My favourite number and the number of my ball-hockey jersey.  I’ve played ball-hockey in a league (not floor hockey in a gym, but ball hockey in an arena – no ice and running) for 23 years and I’m getting better and better each year.  I’m shocked at the improvement, but loving it.

17.  I hate to lose more than I like to win.  In everything I do.  My ball-hockey team was 0-62 before we won a game and it felt okay to win, but when we lose I’m pissed.  That goes to everything I do.  Success and winning is great, but the other side really gets me going.

16.  I used to have no sense of direction whatsoever until my wife taught me how to navigate my way out of a wet paper bag.  Once, in France for our honeymoon, it was getting dark and we were in the countryside driving on a dirt road surrounded by lavender and sunflowers.  I was beginning to worried that we would need to sleep in the car but my wife made me stop, she got out of the car and pointed off to her right, and within 10 minutes we were at the B&B we had booked.  I have no idea how she knew to go that way, but she gets it and I’ve been learning from the pro.

15.  Nice guys do finish last, and after being sick of being passed over and left behind, I’ve brought in a little bad ass / I don’t give a f*ck attitude and it’s helped me tremendously with my confidence and getting things done.  I no longer take sh*t, but I’m still really polite and kind to service people no matter the place or the service.  They’re people too, and deserve to be treated with respect.  But when I have a task to get done for myself, my family or a client, look out.  I play to win.

14.  I’ve realized you cannot pick your neighbours, your family or your nose.  You get what you get and you don’t be upset.  Plus, I’m big into forgive and forget.  I’m just hoping others are too.

13.  I am passionate about things and sometimes that passion can get confused with a lack of patience.  If I know I am right, I will do whatever I have to do to get others on my side and go that way.  I had a keychain as a kid that read; “Diplomacy.  The ability to tell someone to go to hell and make sure they will enjoy the trip.”

12.  I don’t like clutter and sometimes in my odd way to keep my personal space in order, I line up things, like shoes, to keep them neat.  I might be a little OCD on that side.

11.  My father passed away 10 years ago, and my grandfather 8 years ago, right after we went on a vacation to Poland to visit his birth place.  I actually have someone right now who is not speaking to me because “[I] don’t know what it’s like to lose a father.”  I’m not upset.  I feel for them because they said something in a time of grieving which was factually incorrect and one day they’ll realize it and I’ll forgive and forget.  Life’s too short.

10.  I love coffee.  Flavoured coffee, actually, and have been compiling a list of the best coffee in Toronto for 3 years.  My last ranking reached McDonald’s Canada, Tim Horton’s, Country Style and Starbucks Canada.  These brands have amazing marketing and social media practices.

9.  I had bells palsy as a child, which resulted in paralysis of half of my face for almost a year.  I was lucky I recovered 98% of my functioning and only have the slightest sign of the virus when I’m tired.  The left part of my lip is ever so slightly higher than the right side.

8.  I have always had body-issues from being a solid shaped child and for the longest time I refused to take off my shirt to swim even though I love swimming and even though when I was running and going to the gym at lunchtime.  I have been in pretty good shape since the end of high-school.  I will never ever be that 150lb skinny guy.  As it is, my shoulders and back are so big that I need a larger shirt / jacket to fit my shape.  When I was 13-years-old, I fit into a size 56 jacket.  I was in a 42 pant (maybe more – as high as a 48, I’ve blocked this from my memory), but now I’m a size 36 pant and a 46 tall jacket.

7.  I was asked to contribute my thoughts to the OHIP4IVF awareness campaign and realized that I have found a cause that I strongly believe in.  Now I just need to help convince the government the same thing…

6.  I once asked then Toronto Blue Jays General Manager J.P. Riccardi for a tryout with the Jays, at a breakfast with the Blue Jays function.  He must have thought I was nuts, but he asked me this; “Do you have any experience?  Have you ever played ball?”  I replied, “No. But I’m left-handed, I’ve been clocked as fast as 88mph and I’m deadly accurate with a baseball.”  He then thought about it and said to me, “The day I sign a 38-year-old pitcher is the day I need to start looking for a new job.”  Sure enough 3 weeks later he signed a left-handed 38-year-old pitcher from Japan with a career 5.38 era.  Not long after he was looking for a new job.

5.  I did some fundraising for Karen Stintz when she was just getting elected, and we raised a ton of cash to help her out.  She was very appreciative and good to the community.  I hope she can find her way again and help lead the right-wing on Toronto City Council move some stuff through.

4.  After sponsoring 4 nannies over 8-years through the Canadian Live-In Caregiver program - and helping them settle in Canada once they fulfilled the terms and conditions of the program, I dubbed myself an expert on the CLICP.  I regularly post about it and get contributing articles from others in the industry.  As a matter of fact, readers from the Philippines are the 3rd most popular readers to visit here daily – after Canada and the US.

3.  I used to be horrible with money until my wife (probably fiancée back then) taught me a great lesson about impulse purchases.  She froze my credit card and debit card in a block of ice so when I needed it to make an impulse purchase, she said I could do that but I would need the ice to melt on it’s own first.  And by the time the ice melted I didn’t want or need that purchase.  The cards actually stayed in the freezer for almost 7 months while I got my spending under control.  Now… I’m very good with it.

2.  I, um, err, Ahhh, I… Fine.  I like wrestling.  It’s like a male soap opera with strong guys and girls in it.  I like the music, it makes me laugh and and I’m impressed with their athleticism.  Plus, my kids love it.  My daughter wants to be Kane when she grows up.

1.  I made it through the entire day without telling anyone – not one person – that today was my birthday, except the 2500 people who follow this blog, mind you.  This was a first for me, who usually tells anyone and everyone.  Now I feel better.

Honourable mention:  I love escargots, but hate bamboo shoots and water chestnuts…

Just under 46 Reasons why my kids have freaked out, at 3-years-old.


My wife posted a link to an article on Facebook the other day called “46 Reasons Why My 3-Year-Old Might Be Freaking Out“, and this was just after our 3-year-old daughter Boo had an epic 20-minute meltdown.  Once she was done we confirmed the cause of the meltdown was a result of the fact that she wanted the zipper on her fleece sweater zipped up… Who knew?!?

Sidebar:  Forget the terrible two’s, new parents.  It’s the Terrible three’s which will kill you!!!  Am I right?

I loved the article so much I wanted to re-post it, but I also wanted to yank out a few of the 46 reasons which applied to any of our 3 children.

So please, visit the original article, but only after you read this on either Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Tumblr or here on The Urban Daddy’s blog,   Then your next mission is to see which meltdown’s we have I/ had in common.  Then let me know in the comment section so we can all laugh together.

I’ve broken it down by boys (ages 8 & 6 right now) and girl (just turned 3).

Coles Notes Version

Coles Notes Version

Meltdown’s in Common:

His sock is on wrong.

His lip tastes salty.

His shirt has a tag on it.

They are hungry, but can’t remember the word “hungry.”

His brother looked at him.

His brother didn’t look at him.

We don’t understand what he/she said.

He/she doesn’t want to get out of the car.

He/she wants to get out of the car by himself.

The iPad has a password.

He jumped off the sofa and we weren’t  watching.

He’s not allowed to touch fire.

Everything is wrong with his coat.

There’s a dog (or raccoon or monster or dragon) within a 70km radius.

I asked him/her a question.

His brother/sister/mother/father is talking.

The cat is in his/her way.

The inside of his cheek feels rough.

Things take too long to cook.

He has too much food in his mouth.

He sneezed.

He doesn’t know how to type.

His/her mom is taking a shower.

Someone knocked over his tower.

The food won’t stay on his spoon.

… and so much more…

How does this relate to your kids?