A Father's Day Experience + a Giveaway

Isn't it amazing how life comes around full circle once we "grow up"?  Way back when, I remember thinking about how uncool my parents were and how they didn't know anything (because teenagers know EVERYTHING, haha!).  Now I know that they were just trying to raise us, teach us morals and give us the foundations we would need to tackle this thing called life.  There are certain things that I've had to figure out myself, but I know my parents did the best they could.

As I raise my two kids, I realize just how much my dad did for us on a daily basis.  From the time I was five years old, I was a competitive gymnast.  This meant many practices, gymnastic meets, volunteer hours and commitment - not just from myself, but from my dad.  His shifts at work changed quite often (mornings, days, nights), but he always made sure he was present when he could be.  If he wasn't working, he was driving me wherever I needed to be or he was at the bingo hall volunteering or at the bottle drive, car wash, selling raffle tickets / chocolate almonds / his life (?) - you name it!  And let's not get started on those late night pick ups at 12:15am when my shift ended at my local grocery store at 16/17 years old (poor Dad!).

Whatever I needed, I knew I could always rely on Dad.

I initially intended to document a day of experiences with my Dad for this post, but we ended up running behind and didn't get to meet up until later in the evening.  Despite the change of plans, we were able to score Dad (and hubby) an in-store experience and new fit gear from Sport Chek!

Dad is normally a fairly laid back guy, so (as you can imagine) he was completely out of his element when I told him he was going on a shopping spree.  I just assumed he knew why we were meeting up, but when I told him he could get something for himself, he was beyond himself (growing up, Dad would always say by 'assuming' you're making an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me' - typical Dad joke, I know)!

We browsed around the shoe department and tried to make Dad 'cooler' by making him try on a pair of Pure Boosts, but that kind of failed haha!  I could tell hat he wast trying to convince himself that he truly needed another pair of runners.  After circling the store a few more times, Dad received a Fitbit lesson from one of the electronics specialists and he was sold!  Nothing like a little nudge and a challenge from his daughter (did you know that you can 'challenge' your friends through the Fitbit app?).  And off he went with his new Fitbit Charge 2!!

Since Sport Chek is our go-to shop for Father's Day gifts, I've put together some budget friendly gift ideas for the amazing dad / grandfather / step-dad / special man in your life just in time for the big day!

1. Fitbit Charge 2 | 2. Adidas Training Pants | 3. Nike Sandals | 4. Jason Mark Essentials Kit | 5. GoPro HERO5 HD Action Camera | 6. Nike Aerolayer Jacket | 7. Nike Flex Distance 2-1 Shorts | 8. Under Armour Sport Wireless Headphones | 9. GT Mountain Bike | 10. Adidas Pure Boost Runners

{win it!}

Father's Day is just around the corner and Sport Chek is generously offering one of our Canadian readers a chance to win a $75 gift card to help out with those gifts for Dad!  To enter, please follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway is open to Canadian residents only and ends Friday, June 16, 2017 at 9pm PST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  All opinions in this review remain my own and do not reflect the opinions or views of Sport Chek and/or their affiliates.  We received a form of compensation from Sport Chek in order to complete this review.  Note that SwankMama does not accept responsibility for sponsors that do not fulfill their giveaway duties.  Winner will be contacted via email and will have 24 hours to respond, otherwise, a new winner will be chosen at random.


Unleash Creativity with The WayZoo Colouring Book

Being a working mother, blogger, personal stylist, nurse, cook, housekeeper, personal assistant, dictator (okay, a mom), I constantly get asked how I do it all.  Well, I don't.  My time at work is a vacation and without the support from my extended family (namely my mother-in-law and my brother), there's no way both hubby and I could do this parenting thing.

All the while, I'm fighting this continuing battle with technology - both with myself and my kids.  Our consistent rule is no electronics at the dinner table or during the nightly bedtime routine.  These are the times when real conversations happen.  I'm also trying to incorporate more arts and crafts into my children's lives - colouring being one of them.

When the popular online furniture and décor site Wayfair.ca reached out to me about their new free printable colouring book, The WayZoo, I hoped onto the creativity train immediately.  Ever since Zoë was old enough to hold a crayon, she was busy expressing her feelings and imaginative nature through her drawings, and ever so careful to stay within the lines when colouring (now, not so much, but definitely pretty impressive for a two year old at the time).  After printing The WayZoo Colouring Book on our home printer, the kids were able to choose which pages they wanted to splash colour on and Zoë got to torment her older brother by drawing her little stick figures all over his finished products.  Ah, the benefits of being the youngest!

So, as your kids are channeling their inner Picasso's, make sure you submit their artistic creations to Wayfair.ca for a chance to win one of five art supply prize packs including an easel, chalk, markers and paint!

HURRY!!  Contest ends Monday, March 6, 2017 and is open to legal residents of Canada (excluding Quebec).

Disclosure:  All opinions in this post are my own and is in no way sponsored by WayFair.ca.  The contest is separate from SwankMama and SwankMama has no legal obligation to fulfil the contest.



Winter Refresh with Garnier Whole Blends

Disclosure:  Although this post has been generously sponsored by Garnier Whole Blends, the opinions and language are my own.

Every Mom can attest to this, I’m sure:  a 10-minute shower is like a brief, but long vacation.  You shut the door in hopes of getting those precious few minutes to yourself and pray that you won’t be interrupted by those little fists banging at the door screaming, “Mommy!  MOMMY!!  MOOOOMMMMMMYYYYYYYY!!!!”, as if in the two minutes you’ve been in the washroom, the world suddenly came crashing down.

I’ve been fortunate enough that my children do leave me alone in the washroom for the most part.  I’m sure it’s mainly because I put the fear in them early on that unless it was a matter of life or death, if they dared to knock on the door and bother me while I was taking that 10-minute shower, all hell would break loose! (not really, but it seems to be working just fine haha!).  As any mother knows, just 10 minutes of peace and quiet can do wonders for our sanity (can I get an AMEN?!)

Now let’s get to the good stuff.  This past Vancouver winter has completely wreaked havoc on my hair.  I’m talking Flyaway Central!  We’re normally used to mild winters with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark, but once it hits the minuses (Celsius, that is), Vancouver is in a state of emergency while the rest of our country mocks and laughs at us.  I tried absolutely everything to get my flyaways under control – conditioners, deep conditioners, leave in conditioners, styling creams, serums, you name it!  If they claimed to banish flyaways, I tried it!  

Well, I thought I did!  That is, until I was introduced to the NEW Garnier Whole Blends Moroccan Argan & Camellia Oils hair care line from Garnier.  Why Moroccan Argan & Camellia Oils extracts?  Both are rich in Omega 6 and Vitamin E – a perfect combination for dry, dull hair. 

I’ve used Whole Blends products before and couldn’t wait to try the newest addition to their Whole Blends product line.  And let me tell you – It didn’t disappoint!  The infused blend and rich aromas of Moroccan Argan & Camellia oils made my hair feel softer and healthier, and the Marvelous Oil leave-in oil was the icing on the cake!  Not to mention, it made my hair smell AMAZING (just ask my kids)!!  Plus, flyaways?  What flyaways?

The one thing I love about the Whole Blends line is that the products are paraben-free and contain only natural extracts.  Each blend is focused on a unique hair action such as healing, protecting and nourishing, which means there’s a perfect blend for all hair types!  Plus, Garnier has just introduced a NEW Legendary Olive blend with virgin-pressed olive oil focused on replenishing dry, depleted hair.

Want to get your hands on the NEW Garnier Whole Blends Moroccan Argan & Camellia Oils?  Head over to Garnier for a coupon and find your perfect blend online or in store.  Plus don’t forget to join the upcoming Twitter party on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 7pm EST for a chance to win some of my favourite Garnier Whole Blends products and more fun prizes!


Last Minute Gift Ideas For the Guys in Your Life

Is it just me or are guys just hard to shop for?  I feel like every Christmas and every birthday, I'm faced with the same dilemma when I'm trying to shop for presents for hubby or my dad.  I don't need anything, they say, but what I really want to know is what they really want.

When Mark's asked me to put together a blog post about the best gifts to give the awesome dad's in our lives, it brought me back to my childhood of giving my dad socks and underwear (that my mom would buy) every birthday and Christmas, haha!  That can get kind of redundant, no?

If you're not familiar with Mark's (formerly Mark's Work Warehouse), they carry outfits suitable for everyday wear and are considered Canada's top jean retailer with brands such as Levi's, Silver and Buffalo.  With such a range of variety, it's time to make Mark's your one-stop shop for your last minute gifts for your dad, hubby, brother or uncle.  Choose from a huge selection of jeans, dress shirts, sweaters, shoes and outerwear - there's something for every guy on your list!

Personally, I'm loving these complete outfits that the Mark's team has put together:
Shirt | Jeans | Wallet | Watch | Belt | Socks | Boots

A gift guide wouldn't be complete without a few personal choices picked out by moi:

1. Boots | 2. Jeans | 3. Socks | 4. Pyjamas | 5. Belt | 6. Never Iron Shirts | 7.  Robe | 8. Slippers | 9. Scarf | 10. Winter Jacket | 11. Beanie | 12. Gloves | 13. Ugly Christmas Sweater

And, thanks to Mark's, I was able to add a pair of boots to hubby's shoe collection!

Who else is doing their last minute Christmas shopping today (insert raised hand emoji here)??  

Happy Shopping!

Kristina xo

Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Mark's.  All opinions in this post remain my own and do not reflect the opinions or views of Mark's, and/or their affiliates.  We received a form of compensation in order to complete this post.