Family Day, President’s Day and a Birthday


Hectic last few days here in The Urban Daddy household with Family Day yesterday and, ahem, my birthday, today.  The only significance here in Canada about President’s Day is that our friends and family south of the border get to see how we Canadians, at least here in Ontario get to enjoy 15 degree (60 degree fahrenheit) weather in February!!!

I hate my birthday.  I love celebrating other people’s but hate the attention.  I also find my birthday to be very emotional when hundreds of people take the time on Facebook, LinkedIn, and through email to take the time to wish me well on my birthday.  I wish that I could do the same to each and everyone on their special day, and I wish I could personally thank everyone for taking just a moment out of their equally hectic day to send me a greeting.

To everyone who did, you are incredible people and I’m thankful to know you.

To those who wanted to but couldn’t / didn’t get around to it, I am equally thankful that you took a second of your day to think about me.

To those who thought about me today, or tomorrow, or the next day, I appreciate the thoughts, and you rock!

My birthday reminds me of a friend from ball hockey, who has only 6 posts on his Facebook page over the last 6-years and it was me, every year wishing him a happy birthday.  I actually ran into him, and he said that he doesn’t use Facebook, but he got the message each and every year and it meant a lot to him that I took the time to write something even though there was no activity from the previous year(s).

Hey… Everybody needs to be loved, just a little, right?!?

Oddly enough my birthday today started with cards and hugs and kisses from my kids (that really was all that I needed), but then my wife and kids blew me away by giving me a paid of green glass cufflinks that I saw in Murano (or Burano) Italy last summer, that they bought for me.  I love the colour green and I wear cufflinks and it was the most thoughtful and kind gift I could have received.  My wife rocks!!!

Then… Our former Nanny, and part-time house cleaner came at, 8am, with a chocolate cake and after I blew out the candles, we ate cake – I guess our new family tradition!

A fun way to start a birthday, and another hectic day.

So how did you celebrate Family Day / President’s Day?

We were going to go to the Auto Show, but headed to our neighbours for brunch and ping pong (I LOVE ping pong!!!) and then came home and everyone got to work.  My wife had marking to do, the boys worked on their science fair projects and my daughter finished up her Spirit of Math homework and prepared for her Spirit of Math test that evening.

Factors, Prime and Composite numbers, perfect squares… Phew.  I’m re-learning so much!  Thankfully both my boys are really strong in math, the eldest incredibly brilliant in math and they were able to assist her where needed.

Toss into that day, some hockey skills, and the 2 previous days of hockey and swimming and it made for a busy, busy weekend, without the opportunity to go anywhere special other than to see family and friends, and to hang out with the family.

Now it’s back to work, and off to a great start to the week.

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Family Day 2017: GTA Home & Reno Show


The GTA Home & Reno Show is returning February 17-20th and has activities for GTAers of all ages.

Family Day Fun at the GTA Home & Reno Show

It’s never too early to get the kids involved; home design and fun-filled activities for all ages this Family Day

Grab the kids and head to The GTA Home & Reno Show for a Family Day event that’s fun for all ages. This year’s show is ‘fam’ packed with activities and learning opportunities for the young and young at heart!

Family Day Highlights:

  1. Time for the little ones to discover the wonders that await in their backyards! Join Master Gardeners as they teach your budding green thumb to plant, see a bean sprout and learn what birds and insects they can find in their garden.
  2. Kids can ‘putt’ their golfing skills to the test at the Backyard Greens Golf.
  3. Free daycare available on Family Day Monday, February 20th. Drop the little ones with us while you check out some of Canada’s best contractors, suppliers and design experts.
  4. Discover how Curb Appeal Active Kids Play Space can create magical spaces for your unique outdoor lifestyle.

 

Show Dates/Times:

Friday, February 17:                                        10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Saturday, February 18:                                   10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sunday, February 19:                                      10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Monday, February 20 (Family Day):          10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Venue Name:                                    The International Centre

Venue Address:                                6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, ON

Website:                                             www.gtahomeandrenoshow.com

Cost:

Adults                                   $15.00

Seniors (65+)                      $13.00

Youth 13 – 17                      $13.00

Children 12 and under      FREE

 

We attended the show last year and it was a blast!

Family Day 2017 at the Art Gallery of Ontario.


agoKite-making, skipping ropes and short films, oh my!

Kids take over the AGO for Family Day

 

WHAT:          On Monday, Feb. 20, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) once again transforms into the Kids’ Gallery of Ontario (KGO), with a jam-packed line up of artful activities inspired by the ongoing exhibition Francis Alÿs: A Story of Negotiation. Programming highlights include kite-making and bubble wrap-bursting, Gallery tours, family yoga, exciting interactive performances by the SOAR children’s skipping team and a screening of Small Cave, Big Cave, a new short film written by two Toronto seven-year-olds.

For more programming details and information on how to book discounted family passes, visit http://www.ago.net/family.

WHEN:          Feb. 20, 2017

Activities take place from 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.; please visit ago.net/family for a complete schedule of activities and times.

WHERE:       Art Gallery of Ontario.  317 Dundas St. W. Toronto, ON

TICKETS:     Admission is free for AGO members and children five and under. A special discounted family pass is available for advance purchase at www.ago.net/family for only $39. A family pass admits two adults and up to five youths (ages six to 17). Individual tickets are $11 for youth ages 17 and under, $16 for seniors and $19.50 for adults and can be purchased at ago.net, in person and over the phone at 416-979-6648.

 

The Absolute Best Hockey Instructor on the Planet: Dusan Kralik’s Creative Hockey development


I just signed up my middle and only child who plays hockey for March break hockey camp with the absolute best hockey instructor on the planet, Dusan Kralik, and his Creative Hockey Development program.

My son, you see, is entering his 3rd year in organized hockey, his 4th year skating at all, and all of his improvements have been due to his desire to get better (certainly not to my pushing him) and because Dusan is an amazing human being.

Dusan, has a very lengthy background in hockey, and he would have been a fantastic pro player if it wasn’t for injuries.

Instead of moving past hockey, Dusan moved to Canada from his native Slovakia and wound up playing on my ball-hockey team where we won a whole bunch of championships.  Playing with one healthy hip, Dusan was magical in the arena, and when I finally got to see him on the ice, I was in awe.

He’s incredibly talented, unbelievably gifted, and he’s trained many, many current NHL players whom you might have heard about – Subban, Tavares, the Tanev brothers, just to name a few.  In fact this past April, he trained Conor McDavid prior to the World Cup.

If he can train them, he can train my son.

Dusan is not just an on-ice genius, as he has presented at International Coaching Symposiums, has had many a conversation with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and each summer he travels to Carolina to train the Carolina Hurricanes prospects.

Dusan, is a future GM in the NHL, so it’s best to get him while he’s still training!  Dusan travels worldwide to train – I know he trained the Israeli Hockey team, as well as the men’s and woman’s hockey teams for Seneca College.

His website is under construction, but I strongly recommend you follow him on Facebook, here; https://www.facebook.com/CreativeHockeyDevelopment/

If I’m lucky, he’ll let me assist at the camp as I did last year with some of the coaching (not on ice), or I’ll just look forward to watching the expert work his magic with a bunch of wide-eyed kids.

 

The Amazing South Street Burger Co. Experience


My kids and I were invited to attend a local South Street Burger Co., for the launch of their “Dinner Just got Better” campaign, which was fantastic and quite informative.

Back on October 28th, South St. Burger launched a new creative campaign that distinguished the brand as the ‘better’ dinner choice, focusing on their commitment to best-in class burger customization, fresh, high-quality ingredients and top-notch sides as essential differentiators in a highly competitive market.

This event proved that to be true, and then some…

We learned that South St. Burger’s core philosophy is “Better Burgers. Fries. Shakes.”  We also learned that there is no need to compromise for ‘fast,’ when it comes to eating well.  We learned that the toppings are fresh, the food so tasty and the shakes get both adult and children’s approvals.

Jay Gould, the founder and President of South Street Burger Co., said “We know our target is strapped for time at the end of their day, but keen to find ‘better’ meal options for their families that include fresh ingredients and don’t compromise on taste.”

The campaign highlighted all the ways South St. Burger makes dinner ‘better’ – from its fresh, 100% Angus beef, additive-free burger raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics, to its gourmet topping combinations and use of garden-fresh ingredients, to fresh-cut fries and hand-scooped milkshakes.

Does it make a difference?  Hell, yes.

Can you taste the difference?  See above.

Is it worth visiting again, and again and again.  Yup.  So very worth it.

I’m sure you have seen their eye-catching product photography and cheeky headlines, such as ‘A burger a day keeps the Kale away’ and ‘Like Frozen Burgers? Keep Walking’ on their Facebook, or Instagram pages.

So, I took my middle child to the event because, well, he LOVES his food, and not just in that – he’ll eat large quantities of anything, kind of way – and for a week prior to the event he kept checking in to ensure we were still going, and the night of the event, when it was time to create our own burger, he already knew how many toppings were available and what was good on the menu to eat with the burger because he “researched” that.

So we made burgers, had professional pictures taken of them, and then ate, ate, ate.

My son’s has a knack for building the perfect burger – he called it the “Boss 2.0” and it photographed well, but tasted even better.  The food was incredible and we learned what differentiates South Street Burger Co. from all the rest, and that is the quality of the products they serve.

Our experience was so pleasant that we’ve been back every week since then for a burger and have not been disappointed in the quality of the burgers or the quality of the toppings.  It really opened our eyes to what we should expect in a burger and gave us a few locations to visit and eat well.

ABOUT SOUTH ST. BURGER
South St. Burger serves premium food in a contemporary, loft environment. The menu features fresh 4oz and 6oz beef patties made with 100 % Angus beef, are additive free, and raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics. Grilled chicken breasts, veggie burgers as well as Oktoberfest sausages and all-beef hot dogs are also on the menu. Sides include hand-cut french fries and poutine, and hand-scooped milkshakes made from real, premium ice cream. With 30 traditional and gourmet condiments, from dill pickles to dijon horseradish, guacamole and mango chutney, customers can personalize their orders at no extra charge.

Premium toppings include a selection of five real cheeses, grilled ginger glazed pineapple, Applewood smoked bacon, and sautéed mushrooms.

There are 35+ restaurants in Canada including six franchised restaurants in Alberta; plus a location in Dubai. South St. Burger was recently named one of Canada’s Best Managed Private companies for their fourth year in a row.

For more information on South St. Burger, please visit http://www.southstburger.com.

With great food, healthy food and great press like that, how can you not give SSBC a try.  You won’t be disappointed.

Disclaimer: Along with the pleasure of being introduced to SSBC, we ate like royalty and were give a gift card to return to the restaurant.  My son, has a new favourite place to eat and he lights up whenever he sees a restaurant because he knows he might have the opportunity to eat a delicious meal / snack.