Casey Palmer is a Canadian Dad from Toronto, ON looking to raise his multiracial family of four in an urban environment that never quits. Between tech, food and travel, it’s an awesome life in the making.
And then you have the parenting situations that play out in slow motion. Like when your kid’s about to fall and smash their head on something hard. Or when they’re about to break something you can’t afford to replace!
But for me, one moment that happened recently was my two-year-old’s ill-timed attempt to enter the tub while a little something emerged from his bum! Fortunately, I got there right in the nick of time, scooping the offending material with a wipe so we could avoid further disaster, but that’s just the thing about parenting—you’ll never need as much as the world says you will, but when you do need something, you need it!
And that’s especially true for something like Kandoo Flushable Wipes, offering little hands precisely what they need to clean themselves up to 30% better than they would with regular toilet paper.
Kandoo Flushable Wipes — Because Potty Training’s Already Frustrating Enough for EVERYBODY.
That’s right—the cat’s out of the bag—for the rest of 2018, I’m joining the Kandoo Kouncil, a team of parent content creators always looking for better ways to do everything we do anyway.
And on this council, the name of the game is potty training.
Anyone who’s been at the parenting game long enough knows potty training’s a pain in the… well, in the butt. You bribe, you negotiate—but teaching toddlers both how to use the potty and encouraging them to use it every time is usually frustrating. And then there’s the toilet paper—they mean well, but it gets all over the place. They either take too much off the roll or don’t wipe well enough, and it can make the experience just as frustrating for your little ones as it is for you.
But that’s what makes Kandoo Flushable Wipes so awesome—they’re flushable, biodegradable and easy to use! With no rolling or ripping required, they dispense at the push of a button and give kids the tools they need to feel empowered and independent, no matter if they’re at home, out camping, or halfway across the world.
Making Potty Training One Less Thing Your Kids Need to Worry About. There’s ALREADY Enough Out There!
Kids are resilient, but they’re not indestructible. We need to build them up so the world won’t break them down, and potty training’s just the first in a life full of challenges that’ll fly in their direction.
Just like our parents didn’t have tablets and gadgets to keep us occupied as kids, they also didn’t have Kandoo Flushable Wipes. You don’t have to imagine an easier way to potty train—you just need better tools.
Good luck out there, fellow parents—I’ll catch you on the flip side!
Until the next, I remain,
Disclaimer: As noted, I wrote this piece as a member of the Kandoo Kouncil, seeking out better ways to keep our kids clean with the help of Kandoo Flushable Wipes and Boogie Wipes! All thoughts and opinions remain my own, but you should get your hands on some!
“Be kind to yourself,
Be true to yourself,
And always move forward.”
— Drekken Pownz, Chatting with Casey, Episode Seven: “SEE Each Other.”
When my friend Marie Nicola heard I was doing my podcast, she congratulated me on putting something together with such high production value but thought me nuts to do it without the help of a producer.
And she was right. She’d know—having run The Nat & Marie Show with Nat Atubanos for years—that podcasting’s quite the fickle friend.
You need to be in the groove—people can spot uninspired drivel a mile away, and if your heart’s not in it, it’s probably not worth posting. You need the time and space to record because no one wants to listen to a podcast with an unnecessary background soundtrack. The mechanics of podcasting aren’t hard in themselves—anyone can hit record on a mic and post the audio online—but to make a podcast worth listening to is another matter entirely.
So—a little older and wiser than any time I’ve tried this before—I’m creating to give myself the space to grow a team. No one can do everything on their own, and as much as I logically know that, it’s time my actions start showing that too. It’s a massive work in progress, but keep your eyes and ears open for more details as I figure it out!
Chatting with Casey Episode Seven — The Story Gets Better.
As for today’s podcast, he’s back! After we left his story on a cliffhanger in episode six, Drekken Pownz still had plenty to share about his past and where he’d like to end up in the future!
His story stands alone—where most guests come on the podcast to talk about something specific, Drekken came on to just… talk. Podcasts go very differently when you’re conversing for the sake of conversation, and that’s what makes this episode successful.
So sit down, strap in, and get ready for some great storytelling—Chatting with Casey episode seven is underway!
Thanks for listening, and until the next, I remain,
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Mobile Shop . All opinions are 100% mine.
Now that I’m a Dad myself, I’ve started seeing fatherhood in a whole new light.
Getting the right gift for anyone takes a lot of effort. Handmade stuff is super cute from young children, but as they grow older and become more about themselves, the effort on those gifts starts to wane with results that are sometimes… not so stellar.
With three sons who weren’t the most adept at gift-giving, I can’t count the number of ugly sweaters, gaudy ties and gift cards to the hardware store my Dad racked up over the years. My Dad wore a uniform of white dress shirts and dress pants six days a week for work— how much of that did he possibly need? But now, as I raise kids myself, I understand the value of practical gifts that add value to his life instead of ones I got “just ‘cuz.”
And it being 2018 and all, one gift that keeps on giving is technology—specifically the kind that goes wherever you do.
The World’s Catching Up — Smartphones and Semolina in the Same Shop? Oh, My!
With a couple of decades under its belt, the cellphone’s no longer this device ill-understood by the generations that came before us. My parents use social media to keep up with what I’m up to (at least that’s what I tell myself), and both have smartphones of their own to play with. I think too many people my age don’t give our parents nearly enough credit, grossly underestimating how ubiquitous smartphones have become for users of all ages.
So ubiquitous, in fact, that you can now pick up new smartphones and accessories from the grocery store.
You read that right—you might not have known this, but The Mobile Shop locations are found at participating grocery stores where PC products are sold, offering a full selection of smartphones and plans from all major carriers to give you great value! In hundreds of locations from coast to coast, The Mobile Shop offers trusted advisors who’ll show you the best phone plan that meets your needs. You may even be able to earn hundreds of PC Optimum points! So whether your Dad’s the type who wants nothing to do with this new-fangled technology or the guy who helped you build your own computer as a teen, The Mobile Shop has the right fit for you.
The Mobile Shop — Because A Smartphone’s a Great Thing to Get The Man Who Has Everything!
The world isn’t as clear-cut as it used to be. We buy cleaning supplies from the place once just sold books and rent movies from what used to be a search engine. We define masculinity differently than we did before and realise that everyone needs their own tools and resources to truly express themselves.
So this summer, I’ll be making the memories that we’ll look back on decades from now, and what better to do it with than my smartphone?
It’s 2018, y’all—time to make sure you have the device that gives you exactly what you need. And it couldn’t be more convenient with The Mobile Shop.
You’ll never know how messy your home can get until you have little creatures making themselves comfy in every nook and cranny. Some people have pets. Some, small children. But whichever you have, the same thing’s invariably true—thy create a mess wherever they go. Crumbs. Toys. Spills. Stains. It’s a daily ritual to get on my hands and knees after dinner and clean to keep our kitchen looking presentable.
For context, this is what I got in one clean from a staircase we vacuum EVERY WEEK.
But this need not be my reality—there are far better ways. And that’s what Dyson’s looking to show me with their Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute, the latest in their long line of powerful cord-free vacuums!
Now, this is far from my first Dyson rodeo. We’ve got a Dyson Animal DC 61 in the house; another Dyson v7 Car + Boat in the car; and two fans—a Dyson Pure Cool Link for my house, and a Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Link moderating temperatures in my sister-in-law’s portable where she teaches. Sarah even tried the Dyson Supersonic at one point to see how different it was from the traditional hair dryer!
But we’ve never used a Dyson like this.
Vacuuming can be a bit of a chore, and most traditional vacuums don’t help much; they’re not great at tackling the ever-changing landscapes of our homes! Tricky corners and hard-to-reach ledges become dust bunny social clubs, and you can either break your back cleaning them or silently suffer air quality that’s less than stellar.
But that’s where the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute switches things up! With up to sixty minutes run time on a single charge and a V10 digital motor that’s both smaller and more powerful than its predecessors, the V10 Absolute’s looking to make vacuuming great again! Whether you use it as an upright or handheld or vacuum on hardwood, carpet or tile, the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute may be the versatile solution you’ve been looking for!
The Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute — Just Because You Can’t See It Doesn’t Mean It’s Not There!
We’ve come to expect more from our appliances than ever before, looking for convenience on top of power, and enough functionality to make the purchase worth it.
This new relationship with our appliances in mind, Dyson completely redesigned their vacuum line to come up with the Cyclone V10 Absolute. They’ve officially cut the cord on investing in developing bulkier vacuums that keep you tethered to the wall so you can have machines that clean better, dig deeper, and leave you with the home you didn’t even know you could have.
Disclaimer: As mentioned above, Dyson Canada did indeed hook the Palmer family up with a Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute to review and keep. Which is good, because these kids make messes faster than I can pick ’em up!
And then sometimes you need to take a step back and handle your ish.
With Father’s Day come and gone for 2018, I was finally free to take stock of everything going on in the rest of my life, and it was a mess. A to-do list 270 items deep. Friends and family whose voices I hadn’t heard in months. Things were hectic, and I quickly remembered I couldn’t be a good husband, father, son, brother, friend, employee, churchgoer and content creator all at the same time.
So I took the time to handle a few things and while they’re still far from perfect, being able to find some time to get back to the podcast’s always okay by me!
But enough with the preamble—let me tell you why episode six is so good.
About Chatting with Casey Episode 6 — Everybody Wants to be Fabulous
First off, I got my friend and fellow parent Jemmie Robles on the show to chat about co-parenting over a meal at Scaddabush. And as a single parent co-parenting not with the father of her daughters, but with his wife, it opened my eyes to the variety of parenting styles and situations out there!
But also, it’s Pride Month, and I had the honour of interviewing my friend and fellow entrepreneur Drekken Pownz on his life journey being gay and Black in the Greater Toronto Area. (Spoiler alert: It was not easy. The Black community’s history with the LGBTQ community has not exactly been amazing.) This episode details his journey until he’d reached a rather low point in his life, with the rest to come next week!
In short, I’m floored that this podcast’s letting me share so richly in the stories of others, and it makes me feel like I’m working toward a goal that I had from my earliest days of blogging—to become an Oprah Winfrey for a new generation.
The power of great storytelling is so important to me, and I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did making it!
That said, enjoy the weekend ahead, and until the next,
“Happy Father’s Day to the single mothers out there doing both jobs.”
Oh, I get it. And I agree that we should celebrate single Moms for everything they do to raise their kids—it ain’t easy; I have a hard enough time with two of us in the house. But let’s not diminish the efforts of the Dads who work hard to be worthy of their children’s love by treating Father’s Day like Mother’s Day II.
Real talk—we haven’t embraced the idea that we’ve got single Dads at home managing everything despite that it’s a growing demographic. I don’t see anyone wishing them a Happy Mother’s Day because they’re doing both jobs. And it doesn’t even reflect the modern family anyway—are you saying that same-sex couples need to decide what roles they’ll play? Why can’t you have two Moms or two Dads instead of trying to force them into a model that’s not as universal as it once was?
I’m down with celebrating single Moms and everything they do. But I’m going to do it on Mother’s Day. You know? The holiday we celebrated just over a month ago? The second-largest holiday for card giving in the entire year? I mean, it’s already hard enough for Dad to be taken seriously in a world convinced we’re all sub-par—let’s not continue pushing that narrative just because it’s easier to believe that “all men ain’t shit”.
Happy Father’s Day — It May Be the One Day We Recognise Great Dads for What They Are.
Single Moms don’t have it easy—no single parent does. But let’s not diminish the fact that they’re fighting tooth and nail to make sure their kids want for nothing, regardless of whether there’s a man in their lives. And let’s think beyond this idea of “Mom jobs” and “Dad jobs”.
This Father’s Day, I’m celebrating the various men I’ve met who’ve shaped my life and those of so many others, just like I did with the women in my life on Mother’s Day. And I hope after reading this, you might choose to, too!
Happy Father’s Day to my fellow Dads and father figures, and until the next, I remain,
If there’s one thing we know about Toronto, it’s that our weather is not consistent. May felt like July. Early June felt like March. It threw everyone in the city for a loop, its people feebly trying to make plans in a climate that wouldn’t play nice.
And it can suck—Toronto has a short enough summer as it is, leaving us longing for the sun on our faces and open spaces in all those months of BRRR.
But one thing you don’t need to give up is your grill.
A staple of just about any summer celebration ever, the grill brings people together. It connects with something deep and primal within ourselves, preparing food in ways that other methods never seem to meet.
But it’s so dependent on the weather. Some unexpected rain or a dip in the temperature quickly makes for uncomfortable grilling, so you’d better have a Plan B for when the weather sends your party plans plummeting south.
Friends—let me tell you all about the Hamilton Beach 4-in-1 MultiGrill—the small kitchen appliance that’ll give you a backyard barbecue feel even when Mother Nature has other ideas.
The Hamilton Beach 4-in-1 MultiGrill — Because Flexible Lives Need Flexible Solutions
The 4-in-1 MultiGrill isn’t overly complicated—choose your cooking plates, configuration and how hot you need it, and Bob’s your uncle!
Its name comes from the four ways you can use it—as an indoor grill, double griddle, combo grill and griddle, or a splatter-free bacon cooker that promises crisp bacon with every use! It gives you 100 square inches closed and 200 square inches open, and since the interchangeable plates and drip tray are all dishwasher-safe, it means you don’t need to worry as much about the post-barbecue clean-up, either.
We’ve already tried it out a couple of times! I cooked up some all-beef hot dogs I’d picked up from the Paramount Barber Shop to rave reviews from the boys, and Sarah even took it in to work for a branch-wide breakfast, satisfying dozens of her coworkers with delicious pancakes and bacon! So if your day’s looking grey, don’t fret—there’re other ways to get your grill on, and Hamilton Beach wants you to try them out!
Rain Got Nothin’ on Me — The Hamilton Beach 4-in-1 MultiGrill
As the world transforms around us, we need new thinking around the appliances we use to get things done. Fewer people live in homes with backyards. Fewer people are cooking for large families! So if you’re looking for a grilling appliance that’s as flexible as you need it to be, try the Hamilton Beach 4-in-1 MultiGrill! It’ll surprise you!
Good luck cooking out there and until the next,
Disclaimer: I wrote this piece as a Hamilton Beach Ambassador, a program that’s getting me back in the kitchen to beef up my adulting skills like a real Dad. Let’s get it!
It took me nearly thirty years to realise how good a man my Dad is. That he did literally everything he could to give us the life he couldn’t have, sparing none if his time, energy or resources to make it happen. And now that I’ve got my own kids, I appreciate it all so much more, hoping my kids can come to that realisation with me a whole lot sooner.
But there’s the million dollar question to all Dads—are you your kids’ superhero, or are you the guy they love because they should?
I might not always be my sons’ favourite, but the smiles on their faces when I get home each day don’t lie. The joy I hear as we horse around tells me I’m doing something right.
Almost made me wonder why I didn’t have kids sooner.
But in any case, I’m grateful that my parents paved the way for a life where I regularly hang with my kids—it gives me the opportunity to keep being their superhero!
Kids should draw a picture of their Dad as a superhero, using whatever artistic skill they can muster
Once the drawing is complete, take a photo of this it, or maybe scan it in—whatever it takes to get a digital copy. (Mom can do it too in case Dad’s unable to make it happen!)
Take said picture and upload it to social media, tagging @MarksCanada and using the hashtag #SuperheroDad along with it.
And that’s it! Mark’s will review the entries and select a few to win some stellar prizes, like a $500 Mark’s gift card! Or an in-store Mark’s shopping experience with Canadian country star Brett Kissel. Or even a round-trip experience for two to catch the CFL Grey Cup! Who knew that a kid’s drawing could go so far? The contest’s open ‘til Sunday, June the 17th—yes, Father’s Day—so get those entries in while you can!
Are You Your Kid’s Superhero? Then Let’s Celebrate That!
We won’t always immediately know the impact our actions will have on our kids at first. What may look like an epic fail to us may turn out to be an amazing memory for our children, so it’s up to us to bring our best as parents and keep making that happen.
Good luck to you Dads out there, and make sure to enter—you can always do better at Father’s Day!
Everything falls a little behind when it comes to Father’s Day.
On the third Sunday in June each year, Father’s Day falls smack in the middle of a million other things. The first glimpses of summer for those of us too used to dealing with winter. Wrapping things up in the last days of school, especially if you have exams. Or if you’re the busiest Dad Blogger in Toronto, it means trying to fit thirty hours into 24-hour days, realising that while trying to do everything might be possible, it probably isn’t healthy.
With plenty of content this week showcasing my life as a Dad, I wanted to try something a little different for Father’s Day. With the help of some of the contacts I’ve made so far, I put together a couple of interviews looking at different aspects of fatherhood. ROGUESTORIES’ Gloria Chik talked about the Flight Pack, a modular toiletry kit for travel that’s both super-stylish and functional. And Chris, a Wish Dad with the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, who let me know all about the organisation and what it means to him and his family.
My goal is to get us thinking about fatherhood in ways we normally fail to consider—I feel like this episode’s a step in the right direction!
The problem with eating delicious meat is that lesser cuts just don’t taste the same once you have!
When Paramount Fine Foods invited myself and a few other tastemakers to the grand opening of their Yonge & Eglinton Paramount Butcher Shop location (pun intended), I expected good food. I’d hit my share of butcher shops over the years, so I figured my taste buds were ready for whatever might come my way.
I couldn’t be more wrong—they most definitely were not.
Based on the success of their award-winning Mississauga location, Paramount sources exceptional halal meats from local farms so that only the best cuts make their way to your dinner table. And that’s halal meat in the strictest sense. The animals have all-natural diets. And raised humanely. Food that’s tasty, healthy and consistently fresh is Paramount’s standard, and it makes a heckuva difference!
The whole story behind the Paramount Butcher Shop started ten years ago when the founders saw the need for a higher-end Lebanese restaurant as customers’ palates grew ever more discerning. In the decade since, they’ve 75 locations and growing, offering their clientele true halal cuisine at a quality that’s hard to find elsewhere!
See, the food was so good that their customers wanted the same cuts and ingredients at home, but couldn’t because many halal butcher shops just weren’t up to snuff! And so, seeing a gap between supply and customer demand, Paramount extended their services to butchery for clients demanding nothing but the best.
What it’s Like Shopping at the Paramount Butcher Shop
So what’s it like?
The first thing that struck me when I stepped in was how pristine it is! All the food’s displayed to show how delicious it is, giving even the most amateur chef enough inspiration to make an excellent meal! Amidst a barrage of chicken, lamb and beef, we quickly understood how skilled Paramount’s butchers are, using their talents to create exceptional experiences that’ll make you wonder just what you’ve been eating all this time!
But despite all that, the real magic lay in the back, thanks to the power of the Himalayan Salt Wall!
Acting as a natural air purifier for the meats they store within it, the Himalayan Salt Wall seals off the room where Paramount ages its beef, offering cuts up to sixty days aged for maximum deliciousness! It draws humidity out, creating the ideal controlled environment for the ageing process. To demonstrate just how delicious this beef could be, Paramount had William el Dbaissy on hand—their corporate executive chef—who showed us a quick way to get the most out of our meat!
Great quality. Products marinated from scratch. One-on-one personalised service that treats each guest like a client, not just a customer. Welcome to the Paramount Butcher Shop—if you didn’t think meat could blow your mind, try it for yourself!
Why it Only Takes One Visit to Get Hooked to Paramount’s Food
Not all meat is made equally.
If you’ve ever wondered why you pay more for the meat at a steakhouse than you would at a grocery store is that so much goes into choosing the perfect piece of meat to make that dish.
Cut. Yield. Fat. Colour. There’s far more that goes into creating delicious meat dishes than the average consumer would ever think of, and these are the kinds of things the staff at the Paramount Butcher Shop keep in mind every time they make the right choice for you.
Life’s too short to fill yourself with inferior food. Find someone who can show you the way to better meat—the team at the Paramount Butcher Shop is an excellent step in the right direction!
Enjoy barbecue season, and until the next,
Disclaimer: As noted, I was invited to the Paramount Butcher Shop for an exclusive dining experience before the grand opening of their Yonge & Eglinton location. I ate delicious food and took home some goodies for the family to try! All thoughts and opinions—as always—are entirely honest and entirely my own.