Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, family, money, Parenting, Recommends, The Urban Daddy, travel

Sunwing’s 5 Fun Family Vacations (with Kids)


I came across an email which was entitled; “Creating Back to School Memories NOW!” and I’m a huge fan of anything which creates fond memories for us, as parents, and especially for the kids.

Since we’re never really sure when an opportunity for vacation might pop up, I thought I would re-post this fun list from Sunwing.ca, just in case it could inspire us in the future or inspire one of you.

If you’re looking to take a family vacation this summer that won’t break the bank, grab the kids and Join the Club!

From slime to surfing, Sunwing has rounded up some amazing experiences that are bound to make your little one’s friends jealous come back to school this September. Plus, Kids Clubs are free and part of your all-inclusive package, and the best part, they’ll ensure the kiddies are occupied all week long, you are voted “the best parent ever,” and that you get in some time to relax under the sun.

Here are five extraordinary experiences in the Caribbean to check out this summer:

Get Slimed at Nickelodeon Hotels and Resorts Punta Cana

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Prepare to get slimed and partake in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle slime-making classes! Kids can get up close and personal with their favourite Nickelodeon characters including SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer. The resort’s Kids Club also features a mega-ball pit and two-storey slide. When the children are not at the Kids Club, the whole family can join in on the Nickelodeon experience: from breakfast with Dora the Explorer, to meeting the splash mob of characters at Aqua Nick water park, to grabbing a selfie with all your favourite characters at Character Central.

Be a Zookeeper for a Day at Memories Holguin Beach Resort
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Kids can look forward to Zoo Day Tuesdays at this resort in Holguin, Cuba. Hop on a fun carriage ride to the petting zoo as part of the daily Kids Club program. Other highlights include a Friday talent show for kiddies to express their creativity, water games and meet-and-greets with favourite characters, Toopy and Binoo. While the kids are being entertained, parents can look forward to sipping on tropical cocktails on the beach or trying out some exciting water sports such as windsurfing, kayaking and snorkelling.

 

Splash-tastic Fun at Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Spa and Resort

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Get ready for some fun in the sun in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico! Boasting its own pool and waterslide, the Mini and Teen Club at the Family Club section has everything needed for endless water fun. The property’s daily program of activities run until the evening so parents can take advantage of the many onsite, à la carte dining restaurants with options that include Italian classics, sumptuous seafood dishes, authentic Mexican dishes and more.

 

Live like a Cowboy at Jewel Runaway Bay Beach and Golf Resort

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Visit the Red Ruby Ranch in Runaway Bay, Jamaica, where little ones can pretend they’re in the Wild West with activities that range from horse grooming lessons and hay rides to bonfires and laser tag. After dropping off the kids at this Kids Club, parents can work on their swing at the Championship golf course (green fees are complimentary) or enjoy a game of tennis. Afterwards the whole family can cool off in the onsite water park, the largest in Montego Bay.

 

Surf it Up at Royalton Bavaro Resort and Spa + Big Kid Fun

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Surf’s up in Punta Cana! At this newly opened resort, the entire family can experience the ultimate surf machine ‘FlowRider’ and practice catching waves. When the family has dried off, enjoy meet and greets with favourite characters Max & Ruby™. For the teens, a hangout club includes all the latest video games, flat screen TVs, snooker tables and more. A phone charging station makes sure they won’t miss a beat posting their fabulous vacation pics on social and making their friends jealous. They can even call their friends for free with the Royalton app and access to free Wi-Fi. While taking a break from the kids, parents also enjoy their own downtime, relaxing as they float down the resort’s lazy river or savouring a cocktail at one of the eight bars.

 

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Posted in Caregiver, Community, Daddy, family, Parenting, Recommends, Toronto

Live-In Caregiver Solutions: Wee Care Placement Agency – February SALE!


For everyone asking me for a sample nanny contract – the government has removed their online version – I now have one available!  I reached out to Robyn Zeldin who operates the Wee Care Nanny Placement Agency here in Toronto and she provided me with a sample, and can provide you with one as well.wee care logo

We used the Wee Care Nanny Placement Agency for all of the sponsoring, paperwork and requirements of the Canadian Live-in Caregiver Program for the 3 caregivers that were under our care. Robyn and her company are great – especially through the hiring our first nanny – because not only did they do all the paperwork, but they made sure we were compliant with the programs’ requirements, they prepped us for the interview with the government and helped us set up our home to welcome our caregiver.

When we had questions, concerns or issues, we turned to Robyn and her company.  When the caregiver’s had questions or needed clarification on things, they turned to Robyn and her company.

They really matched our family with the perfect caregiver – our last caregiver was with us for 6-years until she went back home to get married.

Wee Care was also able to help with part-time and temporary placement, as well as with the contract, do’s and don’ts and pretty much everything else.

When you’re in business over 20-years, there is a good reason for it!

I’ve referred friends to Robyn at Wee Care for LMIA processing because, to be honest, it’s a giant pain in the butt to do especially with young children, and Robyn’s team quickly and happily took that over that headache and processed all the documents with Service Canada. They’re a one-stop shop!

Here is their website: www.weecareplacementagency.com

Find them on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/Wee-Care-Placement-Agency

They also have a company called In A Pinch@ www.inapinch.ca which offers babysitting services – a couple of hours or a couple of couple of months.


SALE

For The Urban Daddy readers, Wee Care Nanny Placement Agency is having a Family Day Flash Sale on their services from this Friday, February 12th, to Monday February 29th.

For $700 + HST, they will advertise, complete and process your LMIA application.

Call them at 416.789.3070, or email them at weecare@rogers.com.

 

Posted in Recommends

(Happily) Sponsored Post: Dove Men + Care Pro-Moisture Shave Cream


I’m not much of a fan of the sponsored post concept for a couple of reasons, the most obvious one being that I find it difficult to put my name behind a product that I have not used, or do not use without making it feel like I’m just copying a press release.  The other reason is because, generally it’s a lot of work trying to organize my thoughts to make the post sound like you need to run out and grab this product right away, if that is the intent of the post.

But when the kind folks behind the Dove Men + Care product line came to my rescue a couple of years ago, I told them I would be happy to speak about their products at any time… Just because.

What happened was – caution personal information following – I got a red rash in my armpits after a ball-hockey game a couple of years ago, and being a dad with work, household expectations and putting my well-being last, I waited a couple of weeks (okay months) before going to the doctor for the antibiotic cream.

What came out of that appointment was a promise made to my doctor to stop using that great smelling antiperspirant with all the chemicals which was inflaming the rash, and to find and start using a natural deodorant so I could heal and not smell.  (YAY!).

So the Dove Men + Care deodorant became my go-to choice for all those great reasons and it’s still my brand of choice.  It’s great and the smells are subtle and don’t make me smell like I’m going to a rave at night or that I drank some cologne and it’s now seeping out of my skin.

Then came a couple more Dove products to try, in the face-care area, which always concerns me because I’ve had eczema since I was 14-years-old, so whatever I use on my face has to be mild but get that oily glow off of my face so it looks like I’m clean.

Then a couple of months ago, Dove Men + Care reached out to me regarding a brand new line of shaving creams.  I was absolutely interested since the regular cheap foams have a ton of terrible products in it, and being that I’m meeting clients daily, I have to shave at least once every couple of days.

Then this came in the mail for me;IMG_1829

 

It contained a cool old-school razor, plus a couple of tubes of this funky shaving cream that was the consistency of tooth-paste.  I was a bit nervous at first to try it, but once I bit the bullet, I was hooked.  It’s been great for my sensitive skin, and it’s in a shower-friendly tub, so that was great as well.  I’ve tried both the Sensitive and the Hydrate formula’s and they are equally as effective.

The added bonus, I have discovered is that because it comes in what they call a “low-foaming cream” I actually have to rub it into my face which means my stubble is that much softer and as we all know, a smooth shave means less pulling out of hair and thus less nasty rashes and ingrown facial hairs..

So I am writing this post as a consumer who has bought these products and who has used them and continues to use them.  I recommend you give them a try!

Find everything you could want and more right here; http://www.dovemencare.com/

 

Posted in Daddy, family, Life, Parenting, Recommends, urbandaddyblog

A Better Way To Teach Children The Alphabet: The Gamers Alphabet. Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!…


A better way to teach your children the alphabet!

The name of this book is “Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!: A Gamer’s Alphabet”, yet I preferred to reverse part of it in the title so that it read “A Gamer’s Alphabet: Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!…”  I felt the parent who knows a thing or two about video games would catch on much quicker that this book is a great new way to teach your child(ren) the alphabet while also teaching them a thing or two about the $75 billion dollar industry that is video games (Worldwide figure – only $24 billion in North America).

As well, how many times can we tell our kids that A is for Apple and B is for Banana and C is for Capitulate (meaning to surrender under agreed conditions, AND a SAT word, no less), etc.  We’ve got to expand our children’s knowledge beyond the traditional ABC’s, and here is how!

The author, Chris Barton and artist Joey Spiotto put together a vividly illustrated guide-book packed with lucid definitions that even the most video game challenged reader can understand. Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!: A Gamer’s Alphabet is the ultimate guide for players, non-players, and aficionados.  It is colourful, informative and an “entertaining visual history and a glossary of gaming”.

The book provides a solid understanding of terms that have made their way into everyday language, from “RPG” (Role Playing Game) to “mod” (Where a modification is made to the hardware or software of a game that the developer of the game had not intended).  Kids learn, and parents learn.

With lessons in modern vernacular and allusions to games every parent remembers, this book intermingles education with nostalgia for a compelling read at any age.

I have a copy and I think you should get one as well.  Pretty pictures.  Great information, and my kids love it (actually I think one of them has it right now…)
 AttackBoss2
Here is some information on the author and on the illustrator;

Chris Barton is the author of the New York Times bestseller Shark Vs. Train and the Sibert Honor-winning book, The Day-Glo Brothers. In addition to those picture books, he is the author of Can I see Your I.D.? True Stories of False Identities, a young adult nonfiction thriller. His upcoming books for young readers include The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch, Pioneers & Pirouettes: The Story of the First American Nutcracker, and Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super Stream of Ideas. Chris lives in Austin, Texas. For more information, check out: www.chrisbarton.info.

Joey “Joe-bot” Spiotto has worked as a concept artist on video games such as “Dead Space” and “The Sims.” He frequently creates for Warner Brothers, Electronic Arts, Telltale Games, Gazillion, and many more. His tee shirts sell on Teefury.com, and his work is shown in the high-profile Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles, CA. “Joe-bot” has been featured in The A.V. Club, Paste, Kotaku, and many other prestigious magazines. He lives in Southern California. To read more about Joey, visit: http://jo3bot.com.
Posted in Community, Recommends, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

2014 Toronto Modern Home Tour Rolls Back Into Town, June 7th, 2014 + Giveaway


Have you ever seen a brand new home that was different and you knew that you had to get inside and check it out?  I know I have, and that was the main reason why I posted some information last year on the Modern Home Tour when it came to Toronto, and offered tickets to my readership.

The show is back in town, information can be found here; http://modernhometours.com/event/toronto/ and I have a complimentary wristband for someone (+1) to attend the event.

The Modern Home Tours give people a chance to explore and view some of the greatest examples of modern architecture right in their own city via self-guided driving tour, while local architects get a day in the spotlight.

Six homes throughout Toronto have been accepted and confirmed for the tour. They include:

• Artist Charles Pachter’s home, studio, and galleries –Pachter Hall and Moose Factory– in Toronto’s Chinatown district. The home and studio buildings were designed by Teeple Architects and built in 2005, and have won the Ontario Association of Architects Award of Excellence, a Plachta Award, and the Design Exchange Award.

• The “Driveway House,” designed by Spaces by Rohan, which is a small home in Little Portugal built entirely in a space that was previously a driveway for two cars that features radiant floors, interior walls of glass, roof-top cedar deck/patio, and 95% LED-based lighting inside.

• A new three-story, single-family house, designed by Weiss Architecture & Urbanism Limited and built on a typical long and narrow Victorian lot near Dovercourt Park, that presents a solid and stately front façade utilizing traditional Toronto red masonry, but impresses visitors with its surprisingly light and airy interior.

• A modern renovation and addition, by LineBox Studio, to an existing residence in Swansea originally built in the 1920’s that focuses on maintaining a balance between old and new, while adopting a green building design in sustainable matter

• One of Toronto’s “Tiny Town” mini-homes (just 566 sq. ft.), designed by LineBox Studio, that embodies a “hard loft” style with an industrial aesthetic and flexible floor plan, which creates an open and spacious feel in the home, despite the small footprint.

• The “Linear House” in the East York neighbourhood, designed by Nano Design Build Inc., that is considered to be the epitome of super-modern geometric linear design, featuring continuous, clean lines that define the space throughout, creating harmony, flow and balance.

In addition to the homes featured on the tour, attendees can visit the tour’s designated ‘rest stop’: the STACKLAB showroom (http://stacklab.ca), a Toronto-based multidisciplinary design and fabrication studio, led by Jeff Forrest. Complimentary refreshments will be served and tourgoers can browse some astounding examples of modern furniture.

Art City in St. James Town (http://artcitytoronto.ca/v2) has joined the tour as the local non-profit partner. They will help staff the event and use the tour as a fundraising vehicle.

Full details for the tour, plus an always-current roster of homes with photos and details can be found here on the event page: http://modernhometours.com/event/toronto.

If you want to be in the running for a wristband, please like and share this post on a blog, through Facebook or Twitter and you can use the blog URL, or my Facebook page or Twitter page to share.

Act fast, as the event is this weekend!