Father’s Day is Coming… Ahem… Chapters Indigo!


As mentioned probably a zillion times already, I’m a huge fan of anything Canadian, and I am a supporter of life-long-learning, which is why I recommend looking into Chapters Indigo for Father’s Day options. http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/

The folks at Indigo even prepared a great selection of cottage / BBQ / Father’s Day suggestions which were inspired by the great outdoors and life at the lake.

Tabletop items and pillows are adorned with an Indigo-exclusive canoe print. Retro-inspired trays, drink dispensers and mason jar mugs bring a vintage touch to home décor, while summer cookbooks offer tasty meal ideas for those warm summer evenings.

Check out our their Flickr page here and Father’s Day Suggestions!

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Thursday Thirteen Returns! The 13 Items Parents MUST Keep Away From Children


I know what you are thinking already… You have just clicked through and dammit, you want to be educated and impressed by 13 items which MUST be kept away from kids, and you do NOT want to see the same obvious items that other bloggers include, like; fire, axes, switchblades, or acid on this list.

Good. You must read on!

None of those even made this list.

What did make this list, are 13 things which new parents really need to keep away from their children, and trust me when I say that us, experienced or established parents, are nodding along in understanding. You will be amazed with this list, and you will want to follow it! Each and every item on this list!

You’re welcome.

So sight tight, and be prepared to be educated. In The Urban Daddy household we don’t just quiz each other about mathematics for fun, we also drive mummy and daddy crazy by taking these items… often.

Here is THE list of things to keep out of the hands or sight lines of children at all times:

13) Paper – new paper, coloured paper, paper from the recycle bin, paper with bills on it, or from our offices. If it’s paper, then it must be okay to draw / colour / fold / crumple or pour liquids on. Once children understand they can do this, it does not stop at scrap paper. They will colour or write on calendars, important papers for the office, papers for school, items belonging to others and so much more. If they want paper, give it to them in a controlled setting. Don’t let them see where it came from.

12) Band-Aids – “I have a boo boo” means, I want a Band-Aid. The worst part is finding the wrappers and peels all over the house and when you need a Band-Aid finding the box empty, and only Hello Kitty or Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles available. They take them to their rooms, they cover their body with them.

11) Money – It is very important to teach children about money. I have a lot of posts throughout my blog relating to this very topic. But be careful because once they realize that money is a scarce resource and that you have to EARN it, they always find other ways to get money, like taking it from their siblings, from you, family members and searching the earth for money. Just last week my kids were peeking under the vending machines at the RINX sports complex in Toronto and yes, they came up for $4.55. Still… My 1923 penny has disappeared as has the toonies in my “hidden” drawer…

10) Elastics – I made this a completely separate item, not included in officer supplies, because elastics, like paper clips often disappear and are found tied together, in one long massive strand, usually when I really need one. The kids play with these and ultimately use them as weapons. Best to keep away.

9) String – My oldest has always liked tying things together. From as young as I could remember, but when he was 3 1/2, I came out of the family room to see his toys being lifted from the basement all the way up to the top floor via a make-shift pulley system he had created. It’s never ended. Pulleys, zip-lines, clothes lines, he has created it all. He has also set up booby-traps for his brother and sister and tied every piece of string from the lacing toy together time and time again. If there is string in the house, at one time it was tied tightly to his next adventure.

8) Zip Baggies – Not for the reason you might think – choking hazards – but rather because once my kids found out how useful Ziploc baggies were, we could not keep track of them. Toys were zipped together, rocks, dirt, bugs, garbage, and especially paper, all stuck in baggies. Even when I hid the baggies, they found them and used them all up.

7) Kleenex – First it’s 5 Kleenex to wipe their nose, then they get older and it’s a box of Kleenex because it’s fun to pull them out. Now I cannot find a box of tissues anywhere in my house when I need one! I could, however, open up a drawer and find 1000 loose ones sitting there…

6) Dental floss – Flossing is VERY important, and pulling floss out of the container is a LOT of fun. Putting it back…. Not so much. I’ll never forget the site of my wife’s late cat, Lucie, walking down the hall with a piece of her poo trailing her by about 3 feet stuck on a piece of dental floss she had eaten. I had to pull out the other foot… UGH.

5) The hiding spot for anything – If it’s hidden they find it, and they go back regularly to look for more.

4) How to erase from a PVR – My mistake because I came downstairs one night after everyone had gone to sleep to find all of my wrestling that I had recorded gone and the PVR full of kids TV shows…

3) Tape – First they tape paper, then more paper then they ask to borrow the tape and we say, “fine just go get it” and then it’s over! They tape toys, the floor, the walls, each other and viola… No tape. And it’s not just scotch brand tape either… Watch as they use duct tape in the same manner (mine have not, yet).

2) Staples – See tape above. The only difference here is they do not use it on each other but there is nothing worse than walking on the carpet and getting a staple rammed into the bottom of your foot. It’s happened so many times I’d rather not say anything except that the staples and the staples are in different places, and they must use it in front of us on the wood floor.

1) Passwords / passcodes, anything confidential that you don’t want them to know or repeat to strangers, it’s best to leave alone. They don’t understand the importance of being quiet here and they announce information to everyone and anyone.

Honourable mention to shampoo and soap because a new bottle one week is empty the next but no dirt has been removed from their hands… Funny how that works.

What is dangerous in the hands of your kids?

Blogging Tips – Learn What Brings People To Your Blog: Life’s a Jouney. My blog is a Destination!


My immediate response to the question, “How do you get readers to come to your blog?” is “I don’t know!” And I really did not know, because I was too busy / interested in writing for myself and for my family than worrying about what I should write for everyone else. Back in the day, no matter what I wrote, or how I wrote it, I still maintained a very low repeat rate of readers.

I didn’t blame them either.

But as I started to look more closely at the posts which attract the most attention and those who take the time to comment – see what they are commenting on – I came to the same conclusion. After looking back through almost 1100 blog posts here at The Urban Daddy, the statistics tell me that my blog is a destination, not a journey. What I mean is that visitors regularly come here for a specific post, thought, idea or opinion, and not as part of their daily “must read” routine.

I’m okay with that.

And you should be too, if you see the same pattern while looking through your blog stats.

At least people come, right?

Every day or so I look at my blog stats to see how people get here and where they come from. I am not overly concerned with what they do when they get here, but it helps to see if traffic is coming from somewhere other than the main social media sites where I am linked to, such as my Twitter feed, Facebook page, Google + profile or directly here through a reader.

My views and unique views have more than tripled over the past year to year and a half, and regularly people will comment to me that they have read / read my blog and that they enjoy it. It still humbles me, to be honest, and in the back of my mind, I wonder what else could they possibly say?

“Hey man, I read your blog and it sucks. It’s terrible!”

Only once, so far (at least to my face).

I liken this exchange to one someone would have when seeing an ugly baby (yes, some do exist). Would you lie and say, “Aww, what a cute baby” or would you instead be truthful and just not comment on the baby’s looks and say something like, “Aww, what beautiful eyes he/she has.”

A friend of mine once came to my defense at a Dad’s wing night when he said that he likes reading my blog (and I appreciate it, I really do) and then he listed several posts over the years which he felt connected with him. I sat back and listened as someone else at the table said he occasionally reads my blog – but only when he has nothing else to read. I’m good with that too. It’s direct, and honest, and I prefer honesty over a generic “I love your blog” comment because it puzzles me to think that so many people could even care about the things I write about. I know, it’s me, not you.

This is exactly how you should be handling your blog, no matter how big or small, or how you feel about it. Take the compliment, know that you can do better, and do it. Trust me when I say that if you go offside on your blog, you will hear about it right away!

Now, back to my point…

More than half of my daily readers come from search engines. They come here as a destination via a search for something quite specific, and usually have nothing to do with being a Daddy blogger. The majority of that traffic comes to learn about Captain Lou Albano, the McRib, Rob Ford, The Starbucks secret menu in the Philippines, the Canadian Live-in Caregiver program and other non-daddy related stuff like that. If I ignored this information and continued to write about my kids and my family only, I would have a wonderful memory for when I’m older, but no one would see it. At least this way, I get some feedback on issues relating to parenting or politics, and I can be a little adventurous and learn for other people’s thoughts, opinions and comments.

So really, life may be a journey, but my blog’s a destination. Don’t be worried if yours is as well. Enjoy it and keep writing!

My 775th post – for all readers for all seasons.


Welcome to my 775th post.  If you’re a blogger you will know this is a lot of writing, covering 8 long years.  If you are not a blogger, trust me, it’s a lot of writing.

The thing is, I’ve been getting a lot of traffic in the last couple years, and some very kind accolades here and there, but both of them are from all over the place, as are most of my posts. 

So for my 775th post, I want to make sure I cover off as many visitors as possible by touching on some of my most popular topics;

If you’ve come to read about politics, I can confirm that those on the left in (downtown) Toronto are still way off base in thinking that this financial crisis was “created” by Mayor Ford so that he could solve it to look good.  False.  Look at Greece.  Run by socialists and on the verge of bankruptcy.  Look at the TTC.  In effort to cut costs, the Mayor and the TTC chair Karen Stintz cut some routes and there was backlash, so the public spoke that we needed those routes and a $0.10 fare increase was added instead and the public… Back in an uproar.  You cannot have it both way, folks.  I’d love to help the poor, keep all social programs, have amazing snow removal, etc., but someone has to pay for this and I can tell you I’m already taxed up to the top of my head.  If you think you’re not paying enough taxes, then you can pay more and help those in need.  I’m maxed out, thank you.  If I don’t have enough disposable income, then I cannot afford to go out, buy things, eat out, and help re-distribute my income to those in need.  It’s the way the world works… Get over it.

If you’re here to read about coffee, then let me tell you about this great coffee I tried recently at a place called Neighbours.  It came highly recommended from one of my awesome readers and I was really surprised how nice it was.  Not too bold, not too weak, and the cool thing about the location I went to was that they have flavoured coffee mate and that removed the need to have flavoured coffee.  I didn’t put any in for my first cup and I probably won’t for my next one, but it was very nice!

If you’re here to read about parenting, then you’ll be pleased to know that I am the “Daddy 101” blogger for Pink and Blue Baby.com. Cool, eh?  I find this site really useful, and I have a ton of great stories and baby / toddler / kid tips from almost 7 years of being a daddy and 3 beautiful children.  For example, just Wednesday was my son (Linus’) 7th birthday party and we had a Lego party.  It was great.  The Lego ninja had the kids sitting in 4 teams of 4 and they raced to build a Lego tower, then the built a Lego candy house.  The hour flew by.  After the hour the kids ate Lego candy blocks (thank you Bulk Barn) and Lego cupcakes that I made and my wife decorated so beautifully.  Pizza, grapes, whole wheat pretzels and air popped popcorn round it all out.  It was totally worth it.

For 5-year-old Stewie, we had The Magic and Comedy of IncrediBrent, Toronto’s birthday musician and Brent was amazing.  The kids loved him, the parents loved him and he interacted with the kids so well.  He was a pleasure to deal with and have in our home and I would totally have him back for any future kids parties.  His web-site is www.incredibrent.com.

For Berry’s 2nd birthday party – you saw the Hello Kitty cupcakes in a previous post – we had Applefun Puppetry, www.applefun.ca, and Mike was also spectacular.  He had all the 2-year-old’s participating and his show was so clever and funny that he had me in stitches.  I’ve seen him a couple of times before but that did not stop me from being completely engaged.  Worth the price of admission.

If you’re here to hear my views about food then I can recommend Java Joe’s for catering because they have added some new sandwiches and they are killer.  Spicy chicken and their steak and hot peppers goes great with their chicken Parmigiano and eggplant Parmigiano.  The coffee is great – some organic too – and they have these wickedly heavy brownies and skor brownies.  Find the location at Leslie and West Beaver Creek, call and speak to Randy.  Tell him the Urban Daddy sent you.  He’ll like that!

So I’m not sure what else to cover at this point in time, except to say thank you to all of you who take the time to comment and who tell me you’ve been following along with my posts at home.  It means a lot to mean and it always makes me wonder what’s so interesting that keeps people coming back.  But I like to tell stories, I’m proud of my family, and I like to write, so there.  I’m going to do it if 200 people come to read or 20 million (LOL).

Feel free to subscribe to my feed, or like me on Facebook.  If you are reading this through my actual blog, then go on the right side, check out some of the amazing writers on my blogroll, and further down you will see the link to my Facebook page and some other sites that have featured me.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year to all of you from all of us!

Warren aka the urban daddy.

@urbandaddyblog