GIVEAWAY: Drive Your Way to Delight with Auto Insurance at!

I’ve heard it said that driving a car is easy—it’s just everybody else on the road that you need to worry about!

Drive Your Way to Delight at! — Little Man Behind the Wheel of a BusIn the three years I’ve driven so far (because once you’ve hit 30, it’s time to start taking adulting seriously), I’ve seen some things. I’ve learned to wish ill upon those who do sudden lane changes with nary an indication, clearly believing their claim to the road stronger than anyone else around them. I’ve learned that even though the streets are crawling with police who’re more than ready to levy hefty fines for distracted driving, there’re still far too many who take the law as a suggestion and not an iron-clad rule, giving us more traffic accidents than one might expect. Though I keep learning things about the ever-shifting rules of the road every time I find myself behind the wheel, I consistently find there’s one thing I’m thankful for above all else—good auto insurance.

Getting the Right Auto Insurance—Or, “Why I Don’t Ask My Banker to do my Acupuncture, or My Butcher to do Landscape My Yard.”

Drive Your Way to Delight with Auto Insurance at! — isure logoWe often take our auto insurance for granted, thinking it something we grab on a whim after buying a car. We don’t get into the weeds of our decision—how much the deductibles are, what our policies cover… we too often choose fairly blindly, relying on inexpert advice from our family and friends to choose the safeguards we’ll rely on when things go south.

But just as I wouldn’t ask my accountant father to take a look in my mouth if I get a sudden toothache, why get insurance advice from people poorly suited to the task when services exist that’re designed to best suit your needs?

isure’s a company precisely fitting that description, an Ontario insurance brokerage that’s focused on getting their clients exactly what they need to live lives as stress-free as they’re supposed to be.

Drive Your Way to Delight at! — A Grey Sky Over Toronto

In a country where the weather can change more often than we do our underwear (which I hope is at least daily for y’all out there), there’s plenty to consider when your rubber hits the road. Are you willing to pay more upfront to get more from your insurance when you might need it, or are you looking for accident forgiveness that unfortunate first time things go awry? Or maybe you’re a young driver whose demographic belies just how safe a driver you are, and you’d actually benefit from giving your insurance company more information about your driving habits to lower your rates.

There’s no such thing as “simple” insurance at all.

Which is exactly why isure helps their clients navigate through their insurance policies to avoid potential pitfalls. They write blog posts on ways to save money when choosing an insurance policy. They broker deals with and run comparisons against more than 25 different insurance providers, to make sure their clients get what they need. It’s always the fine print that gets us, so why not have someone in your corner who’ll hold the magnifying glass, making sure you won’t regret it later once you’ve signed on the dotted line?

I guess that’s just my long way of saying: If you don’t know your way around auto insurance, go get someone who does. You can even visit their site to get a free auto insurance quote online, comparing rates to give you the best premiums for what you need!

Drive Your Way to Delight at! — Little Ma Playing with Construction Vehicles at the ParkBetter yet, to show that they’re not all talk and no action, isure wants to help you drive away from cookie-cutter auto insurance with a Drive Your Way to Delight giveaway, featuring a $150 Visa gift card for one lucky winner here at the blog! As with all contests here, it’s open to Canadians aged 18+ and living outside of Quebec, and while only a couple of steps are required for entry, there’s plenty you can do to increase your odds of winning—just check out the widget below!

isure Drive Your Way to Delight Giveaway

isure — Making Auto Insurance WAY Easier. The Rest is Up to YOU.

Drive Your Way to Delight at! — Little Man Giving His Friend a Push in a Toy CarIt’s no news to many of us that life is hard. With the exception of the very fortunate, we spend our days trying to eke out a living, often grinding away in unforgiving jobs, never really getting ahead of the bills and taxes.

isure won’t solve all your woes, but taking control of the things meant to protect your future is a step in an excellent right direction!

Good luck to all who enter, and until the next, I remain,

–case p.

Disclaimer: I’ve partnered with isure to bring you content focused on insurance and the things you should know to keep on top of making the right decisions in your life, avoiding pitfalls that are easy to fall into if you don’t get the right guidance.

It’s indeed sponsored content, but I’m a huge advocate for covering your bases when it comes to protecting the lives of those who matter most to us, so for me it’s a perfect fit. I hope you’ll continue to check these posts out!

GIVEAWAY: Building a Smarter Home with TELUS, Part One — The Things You Detect with a Nest Protect

There’s nothing sexy about smoke detectors—we put them in our homes and often forget about them until we cook smoky food without remembering to turn the exhaust fan on or start enjoying our fireplaces with the chimney closed. (That said, you should check your smoke detectors at least once a month to make sure that the batteries are fresh and that the detector can detect if you find yourself in a situation where mere seconds make all the difference.)

Smoke—and these days, carbon monoxide detectors—often play merely a background role in the life of a modern home, just something we expect to be there rather than tools to be kept up to date, ensuring we’re doing everything we can to take care of our homes.

But what if your home got ravaged by a fire tomorrow? Have you taken the necessary steps to protect the things you hold dear if the unexpected happens? Are your valuables in a fireproof safe and your files stored in another location should your computer get torched in the process? Do you have your possessions catalogued in an inventory and made sure you know what your home insurance covers? When it comes down to it, too many of us are woefully unprepared for the curveballs life’s all too ready to hurl at us, and we need to be smarter about the tools we keep around us if things go wrong.

And that oft-overlooked ancient smoke detector collecting dust on your ceiling’s an amazing way to start.

Building a Smarter Home with TELUS, Part One — The Things You Detect with a Nest Protect — Nest Protect Lifestyle Shot Daughter Safe and Sound

“In the 1970s, it would take almost 30 minutes for a fire to take over a room. Today, it can take less than 5.”

— Source: Underwriters Laboratories

It’s scary how quickly things can go wrong. In a quest to make things cheaper to manufacture and accessible to everyone through mass production, we’ve turned our homes into fire traps. The fires burn faster, the smoke’s more toxic, and the longer we continue relying on outdated technology to keep us safe, the more we leave ourselves open to calamity happening without a way to defend ourselves in time.

The second-generation Nest Protect is packed with features to give you a leg up against disaster, and if used in the right way, it can do far more than just detect smoke.

Building a Smarter Home with TELUS, Part One — The Things You Detect with a Nest Protect — Nest Protect White Mounted on Ceiling

The industrial-grade smoke detector is just part of everything the Nest Protect has to offer—if you’re one of the 90% who fail to check their smoke detectors monthly, imagine a smoke detector with a built-in microphone to quietly test its horn monthly at a time of your choosing, and you need to do little more than key your preferences in on the Nest App to make it happen. Or putting the days of an overly sensitive smoke detector far behind you, with one you can hush with a press on your phone instead of frantically waving at it with a dish towel until it gets the picture. In an age where our phones may as well be extra limbs, having devices like the Nest Protect connected to them doesn’t just make sense—soon enough, it’ll likely become the norm.

A recent study commissioned by TELUS found that smart home technologies are on the rise—while 61% of people believe that they’ll definitely benefit their lives, only 34% currently own a smart home device. But that gap’s looking to shrink—with 63% of people predicting they’ll own at least one smart home device by 2018 (with half that crowd thinking they’ll own three or more), the world around us will continue to morph to accommodate the possibilities that simply didn’t exist before smart home technologies began making their way into the mainstream.

Building a Smarter Home with TELUS, Part One — The Things You Detect with a Nest Protect — Nest AppThink of a smoke detector capable of telling you when things are awry at home, with every family member able to get alerts through their Nest Account no matter where they are? Or one that knows how to react based on how bright the fire is to know if it’s fast- or slow-burning? One that checks its batteries and sensors 400+ times a day; whose carbon monoxide sensor lasts a decade; can tell the difference between smoke and steam (for y’all who love your long showers); and will broadcast immediate evacuation steps to your phone in the case of an emergency so you can get your family out safely—and quickly.

It’s time for us to stop fixating on the smoke detectors we used to know and start looking to a future that’s a lot smarter.

So if you’re up to the challenge of making your home a tad more intelligent (and I’m pretty sure you are with 57% of people believing smart home tech will save them money, and 44% believing it to increase security and safety), then I’ve got news for you—thanks to TELUS, one lucky reader will walk away with a battery-powered Nest Protect to watch over their home, with a retail value of $130 CAD! As with pretty much every contest on the blog, it’s open to Canadians living outside of Quebec aged 18+, and will run until May 18, 2016 @ 11:59 PM! Many will enter and it’s simple to put your name in the running, but you’ll stand a far better chance if you take advantage of the options available for extra entries! Good luck if you choose to enter!

Casey Palmer x TELUS Nest Protect Giveaway

Landing Page (Automatic)

The Nest Protect — A Great Way to Keep the Things You Care About Most Safe From Harm’s Way

Building a Smarter Home with TELUS, Part One — The Things You Detect with a Nest Protect — Nest Protect Lifestyle Shot Kids at PlayIt’s a brave new world out there.

With technology continuing to evolve, so do our expectations for what’s possible from our devices. Don’t be surprised to eventually see insurance companies giving reduced premiums for households linking security cameras to their smoke detectors that can automatically record video in the case of an emergency. Or if you suddenly find smart home devices integrated into your kids’ school curriculum, like advising them to get a thermostat that speaks to their smoke detectors, shutting off the heating system in the case of a fire so the smoke doesn’t spread further!

In a world where the challenges change faster than we can keep up, it’s the little tools like the Nest Protect that at least point us in the right direction.

If you want to see the Nest Protect for yourself up close and personal, feel free to check it out at one of TELUS‘ “Connected Experience” stores in the Cadillac Fairview Toronto Eaton Centre or Edmonton’s Southgate Centre. And if you don’t happen to live near, don’t worry—TELUS has more Connected Experience stores in the works, and they’ll be introducing their smart home portfolio to 50 retail locations across Canada this year!

All that said, I hope I’ve inspired you to think about the steps you can take to build a smarter home. With enough in our lives that’s utterly irreplaceable, it’s worth the investment to make sure we protect the things we care about—before we regret not having done so sooner.

Hope to see you on the right side of the smart home revolution!

Until the next, I remain,

–case p.

Disclaimer: As compensation for this post, TELUS sent over a battery-powered Nest Protect to review and see how it could make our home a little smarter! But since we need a wired version to replace our current system, I decided to pass the device on to you—but believe you me, when we move to our forever home, I’m installing these suckers all over the place! Good luck if you choose to enter 😁

The Art of Marketing Toronto 2016 — What’s Left to Learn at The Art of Marketing?

It’s been over five years since I first hit up The Art of Marketing. My life was far different back then—with no kids, a fledgling blog, and my experience with “marketing” limited to how I saw my newfound friends carry themselves on Twitter, I was doe-eyed and utterly unaware of the depth there is to the marketing world… the people I met and the things I learned would prove formative in sharing the #BloggerLife I built for myself, with lessons that I still use today, and ones still relevant that I’ve yet to implement!

But that was five years ago.

In an industry that ages at a dog’s pace, I’ve learned many lessons since, and while I don’t hold any credentials in marketing from any post-secondary institutions (if you must know, my background’s in economics, math and stats bundled into a Business degree from York University), I know much more about the game today than I did when the decade started.

In the nearly 2000 days since my first The Art of Marketing, I’ve read a lot of books, attended a swath of conferences, and exhausted a multitude of hours going from site to site, learning how to best hone my craft. The things I learned in 2011 were good for young Casey the blogger, and got me into analyzing my traffic, refining my stories, and figuring out what I brought to the table to continue becoming a better creator—but what would I learn today?

If you haven’t figured it out by this point in the post, you’re only fooling yourself, as it’s only when we refuse to stop adapting—refuse to stop growing—that we’ve nothing left to learn, because we refuse to let ourselves.

And that, my friends, is why what there’s left to learn from The Art of Marketing is everything.

The Art of Marketing Toronto 2016 — What's Left to Learn at The Art of Marketing — Speakers' Images (Morgan Spurlock, Stephen Shapiro, Adam Garone, Bethany Mota, Avinash Kaushik)

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but the stories you tell.”

— Seth Godin

On Tuesday, June 14th, The Art of returns to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre once again with The Art of Marketing, a speaker series covering various aspects of the trade, with its Toronto 2016 edition headlined by Morgan Spurlock, the same man who shocked the world with his docudrama Super Size Me, illustrating the effects of fast food on our all-too-fragile human bodies. It’s the kind of series that attracts everyone from the new intern looking to wet their feet in their field to the C-suite executive, looking to the experts to keep abreast of the latest trends. It hasn’t failed me yet, and if you’re on the fence about going, I don’t think it’d fail you, either!

In fact, if this event is up your alley, get on it quick—the Early Bird pricing for tickets ends Friday, April 15th, where you can save $100 per pass. I mean, you can still buy tickets after, but I promise you’ll be kicking yourself! So keep those shins safe if I’m going to see you on June 14th and click the link to see everything that The Art of Marketing has to offer!

The Art of Marketing — An Investment in Taking Your Brand Places it’s Never Been Before!

The Art of Marketing—the place to go if you not only want to learn a thing or ten from those who add the walk to their talk, but also if you want to find other people in this fair city as serious about their marketing game as you are; so much so that they don’t see the ticket price as a cost, but instead the price of admission to network with like-minded individuals who could be the very thing they need to take their efforts to the next level!

In any case, I’ll be there on June 14th, notepad in hand as I see what Morgan Spurlock, Bethany Mota, Avinash Kaushik, Adam Garone and Stephen Shapiro have to tell me!

Hey, maybe we’ll even cross paths!

Until the next,

–case p.

Disclaimer: The Art of compensated me for this post with a complimentary pass to The Art of Marketing’s Toronto 2016 edition, and I look forward to bolstering my knowledge some more with the speakers it offers. Hope to see you there!

GIVEAWAY: Saying “Yes” to the Mess — How Swiffer Helps with the Hot Mess of Parenting

As Dad to two rapidly growing boys, I can tell you it doesn’t take long for your well-manicured home to look like every kid from the block’s been through it with toys everywhere the eye can see, dust congregating under the furniture, and nary a refuge left from the chaos with a toddler who will find ways to get into everything imaginable, no matter how many lessons you try to teach or stern warnings you give.

But it’s through all this chaos—perhaps as a necessary evil—that we see our son develop and understand his environment in ways he’d never interacted with it before. He wants to help sweep the floors. Make the bed. Beat the eggs. Wash the dishes. He’s beginning to realize that yes, there’s a time for play, but that ultimately he’ll be responsible for cleaning up after his own messes, and it’s amazing to see him progress from a baby who needs constant care to a little boy who can start pulling some of his weight around the house.

And it’s through this transformation that the Palmer family can start saying yes to the mess.

Saying "Yes" to the Mess — How Swiffer Helps with the Hot Mess of Parenting — The Messy Nursery

Perhaps we—as a society—have grown a little too particular about how we keep our homes and the people and things within them. Though I know that even Sarah and I have fundamental differences in how we keep up the home and the chores we consider priorities, I know that I’ve come to appreciate why striving to keep the home in order is a great mindset—even if our toddler doesn’t see it the same way.

How do you teach a 2-year old logic? Cause and effect? That there’s a place for everything and that everything goes in its place? With a little over 28 months under his belt, there’s little in our 1000-square foot bungalow that Little Man won’t get into, and the battle to teach boundaries and cleanliness is one slowly fought, some days feeling like the home will stay in a state of physical turmoil forevermore.

But there’s something to be said for routine and repeatable actions—as of late, after he’s played enough, he’s started cleaning up after himself. He knows which toys belong in which container, learning to put things away in the sets where they belong so everything will be there the next time he wants to play with them!

And it’s not limited to his playthings—maybe it’s through seeing both parents take active roles in domestic duties like scrubbing the floors after dinner or doing the laundry several times a week, but it’s clear he doesn’t want to be left out from the action, looking to help with household tasks whenever we’ll let him!

Which makes it amazing that Swiffer’s products are so easy to use—even for the toddler who may see dusting as a fun-filled activity, completely unaware that all the while we’re merely grooming him to become a well-adjusted adult who knows how to maintain a home when his turn comes.

But let’s get back to the point.

Saying "Yes" to the Mess — How Swiffer Helps with the Hot Mess of Parenting — Little Man Loves to Clean with SwifferWe say “Yes to the Mess” in Casa de Palmer because we—like 70% of parents*—feel that letting kids make a mess encourages their creativity. And like 97% of parents*, we think our kids will learn even more from cleaning up a mess. And though I’ll deny my son’s outlandish requests many a time because of the mess it’d end up making (not unlike the 68% of parents* who’d do the same), you’d better believe I’ve long since learned to keep a bevy of Swiffer products in places that’re easy to reach when the inevitable mayhem rears its ugly head!

So how about you—would you say Yes to the Mess? If so, why not share your own experiences with Swiffer on Twitter with this handy button?

Or maybe you’re already a Swiffer user and want to leave a review of your favourite product over at the Swiffer website so they can continue developing products that help busy people like you and me keep their homes livable with minimal effort!

Saying "Yes" to the Mess — How Swiffer Helps with the Hot Mess of Parenting — Swiffer Products to the Rescue!But there are those of you out there who’ve yet to experience the Swiffer Effect for yourselves, and to you I say “You’re in luck!”, for one lucky winner will walk away with several Swiffer products to call their own, because no one should be stuck cleaning like they’re still in the ’50s—modern lives call for modern measures, and tools like the Swiffer Sweeper and the Swiffer WetJet are sure to do the trick! (Contest open to Canadians outside of Quebec aged 18+. Contest runs until April 15, 2016 at 11:59 PM.)

Swiffer Say Yes to the Mess Giveaway

Saying Yes to the Mess with Swiffer — How You Let Kids be Kids and Learn to Live With It.

Saying "Yes" to the Mess — How Swiffer Helps with the Hot Mess of Parenting — The Messy Play KitchenAs our kids grow up, I’m pretty sure saying Yes to the Mess will be a regular occurrence—from a three-boy family myself, I’m plenty experienced in the hijinks that my sons will get into, and you better believe I’m glad that I’m raising kids in an age where technology makes it possible to still keep a positive lifestyle despite the sheer volume of things on my plate. The Mess will find its way to your home one way or another—it’s best that you find ways to say yes to it now and learn to deal with it as a regular part of your life, not trap yourself in some idealized fantasy land where things stay tidy forever.

In any case, Swiffer’s got your back. Swiffer will be there to help in those moments when you look around, thinking there’s no possible way you can clean everything up. Swiffer will be there when you’re short on time with company coming over, trying hard to make it look like you don’t spend all your time living like a total slob, having gone three weeks already without even touching your laundry hamper. But most of all, Swiffer’s there to be as flexible as you require, handling the spills, the smears and the dust you’ve given not-so-temporary residence in those hard-to-reach places.

If you’ve yet to say Yes to the Mess, consider giving it a second thought, because at the very least, there’s a brand out there that can help you make the most of it.

May you become the master of your messes and not their slave!

Until the next, I remain —

–case p.

Parents are invited to share their own experience with @Swiffer using #YesToTheMess.

*According to the Second Annual Swiffer Cleaning Index

Disclaimer: I received compensation for this post as a member of Swiffer’s Swiffer Fanatics, a collective of content creators who share the Swiffer Effect with others through blogs, videos, and in-person activities to show people how to get the most out of their clean!

The Clorox Disinfecting ToiletWand — Learning to Love the Scrub

Growing up, scrubbing the toilet was the one chore that’d make me want to pull my hair out. There’s nothing glamorous about it – there’s little else in the house used explicitly to dispose of the most disgusting parts of us, and as I shared the bathroom with my two younger brothers, it was never a task I looked forward to every weekend, my trusty brown bucket filled with soapy water and an old sponge by my side.

Now, years later, as a homeowner and parent myself, I better understand why we need to keep the house as tidy as we can—with two little guys having their run of the place, their little hands and mouths can get into anything (and I mean anything), and I’d rather spend my evenings tucking them into bed safe and sound, not rushing to the hospital because they got some germs in their bodies that really shouldn’t be there.

But awareness is one thing—with less time available than ever before, I’m happy for anything that’ll save me some time without compromising on quality… and that’s where Clorox’s Disinfecting ToiletWand Toilet Cleaning System & Refills come in to lend a hand!

What is the Clorox Disinfecting ToiletWand and Why Does it MATTER?

The Clorox Disinfecting ToiletWand — Learning to Love the Scrub — Clorox Disinfecting ToiletWand Toilet Cleaning SystemPeople don’t always understand why I choose to work with some of the brands that I do—where’s the glamour in something you use to clean the filthiest part of your home? But real life? It’s not about glamour. It’s not about catered events, sponsored trips or the swag that show up in the mail—it’s all those routine things that make up who we are, setting the tone for everything else happening in our lives. Though they differ in shape and features depending on your geolocation, we all share a need to cringe when we’re forced to use a filthy one.

Now—I don’t know how often you get around to cleaning your toilets (it should be at least once a week, you filthy animals), but that there commode can get grungy. The feelings I have for visitors who leave the seat up notwithstanding, the Clorox Disinfecting ToiletWand gets through tough stains, killing 99% of germs and bacteria with its disposable head refills that come preloaded with Clorox toilet bowl cleaner. The spongy head bends and scrubs in even the hardest places to reach, like beneath the rim, where you’ll find the grossest build-up. And unlike your standard toilet brushes that sit festering in pools of stagnant, filthy water, rarely cleaned or replaced, its storage caddy’s easy to use and not an eyesore like more traditional methods. If you’re looking to improve this porcelain part of your life, you can get the cleaning system and refills for under $4 apiece, available at a number of grocery stores and big-box retailers!

The Clorox Disinfecting ToiletWand, or How I Learned to Love the Scrub.

The Clorox Disinfecting ToiletWand — Learning to Love the Scrub — Clorox Disinfecting ToiletWand Toilet Cleaning System PlacementIt’s said that cleanliness is next to godliness, or—for Christians like me—something we should all aspire to. In 2016, it’s not easy to do regular maintenance on our lives—as we make everything around us more convenient, it’s allowed us to just put more on our plates, making us perhaps the busiest generation known to humankind yet, and life shows no signs of slowing down. But $4 is a meagre sum to pay for a little more time in your schedule and a little less strain on the brain, so why not invest some pocket change in a better life for yourself and the seat we spend more time with than we’d probably care to admit.

Good luck to everyone with the chores in your life—if you’re looking for me, I can tell you where I won’t be: hunched over the porcelain throne like a sucker while trying to clean the grimiest spots that never see the light of day.

The Clorox Disinfecting ToiletWand Disposable Toilet Cleaning System—learn to love the scrub!

Until the next,

–case p.

Disclaimer: In addition to the Clorox Disinfecting ToiletWand Disposable Toilet Cleaning System and Refills, Clorox was kind enough to send me a HomeSense gift card to help improve my home! Which I immediately used to buy some new clothes at Winners, but that’s an entirely different story.