Posted in Canada, Coffee, Daddy, family, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

Dads / Moms… Is it just me?


This is a question for the Dads and Moms out there in cyberspace.  Is it just me, or is it necessary to identify yourself as a parent when you approach another father / mother with small kids and offer assistance?

This morning, for example, I’m waiting for a client in my local Starbucks and it’s fairly busy in the store when in walks a mother carrying a baby in the bucket car seat in one hand and holding hands with a toddler in the other hand.

She orders her coffee, buys her daughter a treat and then finds the only open table which has one chair placed beneath it.  She places the bucket on the table, and sits her daughter in the chair.

Seeing this, I know that there is a bit of space at the large rectangle table in the back and I could totally go there to work, so I get up, and offer her my chair.

She politely denies.

Then I start thinking… I’m in my 40’s, and what’s left of my hair is pretty grey, I’m in a grey suit, and I don’t wear my wedding band because it doesn’t fit my finger (hello 1st child 25lb weight gain – 13 years ago) so maybe she politely declines because I’m a creepy guy offering her a seat.

Then I remember that creeps don’t wear suits.

Work with me here…

So I tell her it’s okay, she can have the seat because I’m going to sit in the back.

Then the panic in her eyes leaves, and she says that she appreciates the offer but she’s waiting for her coffee then she’s jetting out of here to a play date.

That told me 2 things;  Firstly, she recognized that I’m a parent too and I totally understand how brave she is with a child in a bucket and a toddler – just leaving the house should be commended.

Secondly, she might not have panicked if I had started with something like this; “Hey, would you like to use my seat? I’ve been there – have 3 of my own – you might be more comfortable, even for a minute, knowing your kids are safe and you can wait comfortably with them.

Or is that worse?

Am I reading too much into this?

Or being approached by a stranger, the default is to reject, not to engage and protect the kiddos.

Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts.

 

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Posted in events, family, news, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Toronto Event: July 28th Paella Party



Toronto EVENT LISTING

Turn Up The Heat With Patria & Weslodge’s Paella Party

WHAT:    Experience the taste of Spain in the heart of King West! Patria and Weslodge have joined forces to throw the ultimate paella party on Saturday, July 28th for guests in the neighbourhood.

In partnership with Aperol, you can enjoy $5 aperol spritz from Weslodge as well as $5 paella from Patria on Weslodge’s patio

WHO:         Patria and Weslodge

WHEN:       Saturday, July 28th, 2018

Time:  11:30am to 3:30pm       

WHERE:    Weslodge Patio @ 480 King Street West. Toronto.  M5V 1L7.

WEBSITE:   weslodge.com / patriatoronto.com

Posted in Canada, Daddy, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Thursday Thirteen, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

Thursday Thirteen – 13 Things You Should Never do in a Coffee Shop


I spend a lot of time on the road as a result of my business, and that means a lot of time in coffee shops working, drinking coffee and eating coffee shop food.

I’m a huge fan of Starbucks for making the space and WiFi available for entrepreneurs and I find the Second Cup comes in a very close second.

Spending time in these places means that I see a lot of people come, go, and stay at these locations and I know what the 13 things that people do at coffee shops that you should never, ever, do!

Yet, I see these, almost daily.

Here are the 13 Coffee Shop WTF’s

 

  1. Watching videos without ear phones! OMG, people do this all the time!  They watch movies, or stupid YouTube videos and loudly because the coffee shops are loud.  Just last week, I swear, 3 construction workers were watching porn…
  2. Playing games without ear phones – what’s worse than listening to some idiot watching a movie really loudly?  Listening to someone playing a video game loudly.  The shooting, or the music or the pings, and beeps… AArgghh.
  3. Dancing – On more than one occasion, I have seen men, random men, get up and start dancing in the middle of a coffee shop, in the middle of the day, and it’s most often older men, and not young men.  Then, as quickly as they get up, they sit back down and continue with their day.
  4. Singing – Yes, people with headphones on, usually sing along with their music, and knowing that coffee shops are generally loud with music and conversation, its safe to hum along, that is until the music goes quiet, the buzz dies, and their voice rises.  Then they’re entertaining the entire place, or giving us all reason to put in our ear plugs.
  5. Leaving your cup at the table – This is a dick move!  You buy a drink, take up space, then just get up and leave your stuff everywhere.  It’s usually a guy-move, the odd girl does it too.  I honestly feel like getting up, grabbing their stuff, following them, and handing it to them and saying; “Dude!  You mommy isn’t here to pick up after you.  Put your garbage in the garbage, and never do that again!”
  6. Being a dick, then asking for someone to watch your stuff – So what makes someone a dick?  Aside from the items identified above, and the ones below, there are other obvious signs that someone is a dick, such as dragging the chair out, even though it is really loud and distracting, then slamming your stuff on the table, having loud conversations, letting your phone ring without answering it (it can be silenced) or by the way you treat others.  Then after causing destruction, you get up and ask the entire table to watch your stuff so you can use the washroom?  No, so you can go outside, have a smoke, then come in smelling like an ashtray… No less that 4-times and hour…
  7. Not showering / putting on deodorant before sitting all day, in the sun – Then please, come in and sit beside me, so I can’t breathe!  Then take off your shoes… Barf.
  8. Really smelly perfume / body spray / Cologne – Remember those scents which you used to love?  I was always a HUGE fan of Maki.  I’d smell it and then spin to see who was wearing it.  I had a girlfriend when I was younger who wore it which brings back great memories.  In the present, however… People are sensitive to scents, so coming in to public place smelling like you have drunken half a bottle of perfume / cologne, and it’s oozing out of your pores, is cruel.  Especially those scents your grandmother used to wear 40-years-ago.
  9. Walking in to the mobile order area and just taking a drink  – This is not cool any time, but it’s so much worse if you then telling the guy you’re with that you’re doing it, or worse, taking a drink, then taking a drink of that drink and then putting it back…
  10. Being a pervert – It’s summer.  We get it, it’s hot, people wear less clothing – men and women – so don’t leer, drool, comment, make faces, gestures, etc. It’s gross and inappropriate.  I especially feel this applies to the old men who sit there with their wives, and take it to an extreme… Watching people come and go is one thing, but checking out peoples asses as they walk by, and leering takes it to a whole different level
  11. Joggers – I’m a huge fan of joggers, and I respect the effort you make to run for that long, but if you want to come in and grab a drink, after a 45-minute run, in your teeny-weeny running gear, and you’re smelly, and sweating all over the chair, and table, you might want to run home first and then come and perspire over everyone.
  12. Farting – Here’s the deal… people fart. I get it. But if you’re in public and listening to really loud music / TV, etc., and you think you are letting a little one slip out, it’s really a very loud blast which echos because of the curvature and texture of the seat you are sitting on.  That is not cool, and when you wonder why everyone is looking at you…
  13. Being creepy – There are creepy people and then there are creepy people.  The guy / girl who stare at you like they want to steal your stuff, or ask you out are common.  You learn to watch for them, but the guy who is leering at the 10-year-old girl across the coffee shop like he’s trying to picture her naked crosses a line!  Or, the guy with the cell phone taking random pictures or videos of people in the place, or who keeps dropping things to see if any of the women are wearing skirts, takes creepiness to a whole new level.  To that person I saw this; Everyone knows what you are doing!  We want you to leave, get help, and never do that again.

 

What have you seen in a coffee shop which either grossed you out, or found to be inappropriate?

 

 

Posted in Community, Daddy, family, Food, health, Parenting, Recommends, The Urban Daddy

Our Morning Smoothie: Simple, Healthy, Delicious.


Last month, the kind folks at Almond Breeze reached out to me and said this;

“Hey Urban Daddy!  Are you familiar with Almond Breeze?”

I replied with this; “Familiar???  Absolutely!  In fact, my oldest son and I have a smoothie for breakfast EVERY morning, and instead of using milk, we use unsweetened Almond milk from Almond Breeze!”

“No way”, was what I got back.  “Would you share the recipe for your audience, and we’ll send you some Almond Breeze.”

“Ummm, yeah!  Of course!”

So because we received chocolate almond milk, vanilla almond milk, regular almond milk and unsweetened almond milk, this constitutes a paid post, or compensated post, and as such I must (and I am) declaring it to be so.

The cool part, is that its already something we use, and enjoy, and have been using for years since we cut back on our milk.

Here is our breakfast every single morning;

Into the blender goes the following ingredients:

2 cups Almond Milk, from Almond Breeze.  I like the unsweetened, my son likes the sweetened ones, and before we got to make our first smoothie, he had polished off the chocolate Almond Milk, and by the end of the week, the Vanilla was gone too.  It’s high in protein which helps him as he swims competitively and needs to keep all that muscle on…

I digress… Back to the blender.

1 large banana

a handful of ice cubes

a table spoon of peanut butter

and that’s it!  Blend it on the smoothie setting, and drink and enjoy.

Sometimes, we add, protein powder for him, and a huge handful of spinach for me.  Sometimes I’ll pour in some left over coffee, add a touch of honey and some fibre, but the main ingredients remain the same and it is SO yummy, and fills me until noon.

 

So here are the facts about Almond Breeze which I did not know – so likely you did not know either…

  1. Almond Breeze is like a family themselves as they are owned by the Blue Diamond Growers who have been in the almond business for more than 100 years.
  2. Almond Breeze is one of the only brands to grow their own almonds

So let’s think about this for a second from the context of parenting and being a family.  Our family doesn’t have a family business which is passed on from generation to generation where the newer generation learns from the older generation and does that work with pride in order to keep up the quality and the respect the family name has earned.  There is a lot of pride, but also a lot of pressure!

It also surprised me – but makes a lot of sense – that this is the only almond milk producer who makes their own almonds.  I’m sure it’s a technical process and finding the right almond for the milk must be difficult as it has to be tasty, not spoil quickly and must be in an area where it leaves the smallest carbon footprint to make the product in order to keep the price reasonable.

It makes me feel comfortable knowing that the almonds are coming from a place where the growers actually care about the product because it’s not just the brand which is on the shelves, but it’s also the growers and their families.

Posted in Canada, Coffee, Community, Daddy, disaster, family, government, health, news, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Thursday Thirteen, Toronto

WTF is Going on? 13 WTF Events from The Urban Daddy: Thursday 13.


This has been a WTF kind of week!  I had so much going on that I had to take all my notes and throw them into a Thursday 13 list, of 13 WTF Moments.

  1. North and South Korea peace – WTF?  Does anyone believe that peace is going to change the way poor North Koreans live?  This guy in North Korea had his brother poisoned…

  2. Now I’m CERTAIN that Donald Trump is going to take credit for North Korea coming into the fold and agreeing to de-militarize, and seek peace with South Korea.

  3. Bill Cosby – Guilty – WTF took so long?  He was a great role model and changed the way TV portrayed African Americans, however, he drugged women and raped them.  That cannot be forgiven.

10.  Am I the only person who works out of coffee shops when meeting clients and who always checks his earphone when listening to something on the phone or computer to make sure it’s the earphones I am hearing, and that I’m not annoying the rest of the shop?  3 times this week patrons were listening to crap with their headphones on, and the sound was blaring out of their device.  They kept cranking up the volume until I had to notify them…

9.  I’m creating the Coffee Shop Police Etiquette Program

8.  Remember when a former Toronto Mayoral candidate threw a sexual harassment complaint against TVO host Steve Paikin, and instead of firing him, TVO hired an investigator to determine the legitimacy of the complaints?  Turns out no proof was found to substantiate the claim.  Good on TVO for getting on top of this right away (pardon the pun) and now what happens to the host, Paikin, and complainant, Thompson?

7.  Why do people bring food into coffee shops, then proceed to sit there – chow down their meal – then leave without buying anything?  More importantly, why does it always appear to me that these people have either really huge amounts of food, or are extremely messy and chew with their mouths open?  Is this a subtle way the coffee shop is trying to tell me to buy more food / drinks or leave?  They have this guy in the back and they sick him on patrons?  Better him, than the mouth-noise guy, the guy with the disgusting mouth noises, or the dancer who – no matter the weather – is wearing a tank top and just gets up and starts dancing…

6.  There is a “thing” for men who cannot get “laid”?  Is this real?  When I was growing up, if the girls didn’t look at you, you changed.  Your clothes, your hair, your weight, you got better educated, you learned to be a better person…  Clearly, for Millenials, this is WAY too much work, so it’s better to complain to others and then kill innocent people.  Enough already!

5.  With a Provincial election coming, FINALLY, in Ontario, and the Liberal government preparing for the crash, word comes out that a policy they created has come back to bite them in the ass.  LOL.  They created a policy where the Auditor General would review the books and records of the government prior to an election and confirm the amount of surplus or deficit the government has.  Well… The Liberals said the deficit would be only $2-3 billion dollars, but the AG said, nope.  It’s closer to $11-billion.  Thanks for the lies, deceit and for bankrupting this province!  See ya, Libs!

4.  I have a GREAT piece on minor hockey corruption coming shortly.  A must read!

3.  I agreed to coach my eldest son’s baseball team again this season, and I only had one request of the league… As a die-hard Toronto Blue Jays fan, please, please, please do not make us the Yankees again this year.  I cannot for the life of me say, “Go Yankees”.  I can’t.  Like the Fonz cannot apologize.  Guess what???  We’re the Spankees again this year.  UGH.

2.  A 23yo Quebec mother was charged with 2nd degree murder after her 2-year-old daughter was stabbed to death, then her body dumped in a garbage can.  I don’t know what to say about this other than what kind of a person takes a child’s body and dumps it in the trash… Words cannot describe…

… and the number One WTF Moment from this week…

  1. Toronto – my city, my home, streets from where I grew up, worked and where my family lives and works… The tragedy, the senseless violence.  Such and evil human being.  Thank goodness for the residents of Toronto who tried to stop this lunatic, or save the victims, or pull people out of the way… Toronto the good, overshadowed Toronto the sad.