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Kids are Meant to be Heard and Not Just Seen with the VTech Kidi Star Karaoke Machine™!

I’ve never understood the deep discomfort that people have with karaoke, one of my favourite activities from my days before kids. Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose”. Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It”. I used to rock on Magic Mics from the Philippines and shoot for a perfect score with every performance.

Kids are Meant to be Heard and Not Just Seen with the VTech Kidi Star Karaoke Machine™! — Taking a Picture with the VTech KidiBuzz

We worry too much about what others will think. That we might not sing the greatest or that we’ve forgotten a few of the words in a song. Karaoke is meant to be fun, yet societal pressure builds it up as more than what it is. And a lot of that comes from what we pick up as kids—whether the people around us bolstered our confidence or just broke it down. We need to give our kids the space to enjoy their lives, and I feel like I’m doing that with the VTech Kidi Star Karaoke Machine™.

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Chatting with Casey Podcasts

Chatting with Casey 0013 — It Takes Two to Tango in Friendship

It’s always nice to take a break from our lives and spend a little time on vacation, but when you own your own business, you need to plan for that.

Eight Tiny Reindeer, Two Great Friends, One Awesome Episode!

One thing 2018’s taught me is that I need to get ahead of my schedule if I ever want to spend any time apart from it.

Chatting With Casey 0013 — It Takes Two to Tango in Friendship — Rob, Casey and Carlos

The last third of this year’s had me hustle to get everything off my plate, knowing that as soon as the holidays finish, I have substantial obstacles ahead. So I’ve been working days, weeks and even months ahead to create my best content to avoid ever being backed into a corner again.

And this podcast episode’s no exception.

Recorded on November 15, 2018, after plenty of texts back and forth between Carlos Diaz and myself, Chatting with Casey episode 13 started up with a misbehaving SD card, quick sprints to Shoppers and Rexall, and the hope that one day I get myself a studio so I can do these conversations justice.

But regardless, it was a great convo between Carlos Diaz, Rob Tinkler and myself, and I hope you’ll be ready when 8 Tiny Reindeer debuts this Saturday—may you enjoy listening to it as much as these guys did making it!

But for now, you can hear all about it on the podcast!

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Blog

The 2017 100 Wrap-Up — 31 Successes.

Several weeks, a few dozen photos and four thousand words later, we’ve finally made it—the Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad 2017 wrap-up, filled with stories aplenty of 365 days spent in my not-so-orthodox life.

The 2017 100 — 31 Successes. — Leather 2017 Planner
Kelly Jean

After wrapping the year up on a quiet note (because two sick children under five will do that to you), I still felt it necessary to do this. These year-to-year changeovers offer a lot of perspective for me—with so much happening all the time, I often forget what I had for breakfast, so I write everything down. And if the height of the pile on my desk is any sign, 2017 was quite the year. But it’s also the time where I’m the most transparent, looking back objectively at everything I’ve done and celebrating successes, owning up to failures, hoping all the while that I’m somehow growing from the process.

But yeah—let’s do this as we did in 2016: look at the year in excruciating detail, figuring out what’s worth taking with me into 2018 versus what just don’t feel part of my world anymore.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me present—the 31 things I did well in 2017! Let’s get it!

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Blog

The Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad Christmas Gift Guide… for Kids!

With Christmas ’round the corner, we’re finally at that point where influencers show you the hottest toys and what you should spend your money on this Christmas. You’ll see posts full of affiliate links galore as we sell our pound of flesh… but I don’t want to take that route.

The Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad Christmas Gift Guide... for Kids! — Palmer Family Christmas Tree

Christmas is a strange time for my Christian family.

While we don’t want our kids to feel like outcasts in school when we choose Christ over Claus this December, we find it essential to make Christmas a time to spend with family, friends and our church community as we get ready for another year of challenges and celebrations ahead.

But you’d better believe we’re still going to get them some toys.

The Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad Christmas Gift Guide for... Kids! — Swerve PR — Toys Galore

This Christmas marks the first year we can start moving from toddlers’ toys to ones I might want to play with, and I plan to take full advantage of it!

Despite Sarah’s qualms over the space in our home versus how much I review, I’ve been blessed to check out many of this season’s new toys up close and personal these past few months. From tech to STEM to collectables and more, I’ve hand-picked some toys that I think you’ll find dope for the little people in your life.

So let’s get to it!

(And don’t you worry—for those of us in a rush, I’ve created links to all the product below for easy access!)

Xbox One S Minecraft Limited Edition Bundle
The VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX2
VTech Touch & Learn Activity Desk Deluxe
The VTech Zoo Jamz Stompin’ Fun Drums
VTech 4-in-1 Stroll & Grow Tek Trike
#StikBot Farm Movie Bot
Tumblstix
Spin Circuits
The PAW Patrol Sea Patroller
The Etch A Sketch Freestyle & The Etch A Sketch Joystick
Hatchimals Glittering Garden
Mayka Toy Block Tape
Tangles
The Original Fidget Cube by Artsy Labs

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Blog

The 2016 100 Wrap-Up, Part 2: 46 Things I DIDN’T Do But Still Very Much WANT To.

So somewhere in my crazy mind, I’d convinced myself it’d be a good idea to write my wrap-up for The 2016 100 all as one post, because I’m always so curt with my posts, of course. A few days of working on it quickly killed that idea, and here were are with the second part of my wrap-up, covering the things I didn’t get around to in 2016, but still plan to manage this year, as well as my reasons why.

(Note: You will see these in some form in The 2017 100, so you know—don’t be too surprised.)


What I Didn’t Do, But Still Want to Do Next Year

7) Stop biting my nails — Ugh. What I probably need to do first is reduce the amount of stress in my life to get a better chance of dropping this disgusting habit. I had a good run early in the year, but hey. Maybe I’ll have better luck this time!
8) Get rid of the wedding thank you cards I never sent — I don’t think those past thank you’s are getting sent. It’s just… not something I’m doing. Instead, I think I’d love to start sending Christmas letters with some personalisation. I’m not a complete jackass, guys, but there needs to be a point where we agree to move on.
13) Sort out my old TD employee RSP — Any outstanding finances in general, really: part of being an adult is knowing how much your insurance will pay out. What your benefits cover. What’s in your stock portfolio. 2017 Casey Palmer needs a better handle on all this kind of stuff!

The 2016 100 Wrap-Up, Part 2 - 46 Things I DIDN'T Do But Very Much Still WANT To. — A Cluttered Casey Palmer Workspace

14) Consolidate everything down to a single notepad — I mean, you don’t see the magic happening, but my desk and dining room table are plastered with pages of notes as I draft out my posts. Will it happen? Maybe. Do I want it to? Oh heck yes ?

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Blog

Make Your Mark on Fashion this Winter — The Mark’s Christmas 2016 Gift Guide

I feel like people have Mark’s all wrong. For a long time, people thought Mark’s carried “Dad clothes” like it was a bad thing. But in 2016 as a Dad with kids of my own, I can tell you Mark’s has a lot more up their sleeves than you think!

Winter’s a bit different for the Dad of a toddler, knowing that he could lead you virtually anywhere. Anywhere. Thigh-deep in snow, traipsing through mud… everything’s an adventure when you’re three, and parents have no choice but to tag along for the ride—wherever it goes.

Which is why you need to dress for the occasion!

Make Your Mark on Fashion this Winter — The Mark's Christmas 2016 Gift Guide — Sorel Men's Glacier XT Winter BootAlong with a new winter coat and making sure to layer up, I made sure to suit up for whatever winter might throw at me with a pair of Sorel Men’s Glacier XT Winter Boots ($179.99!) Built to handle even the most treacherous Canadian winters, it rocks features like:

  • protection against the elements to the tune of a bone-chilling -73.3ºC
  • water- and wind-resistant coated uppers and waterproof rubber shells
  • 13mm-thick inner lines with an Omni-Heat™ reflective lining to keep your tootsies toasty

And if you haven’t yet prepared for the big chill (#ShameOnYou), there’s plenty available at Mark’s to keep your warm, like the DH3 HYPER-DRI HD1 Water-Repellent Double Breasted Coat with Fooler ($229.99) paired with a WindRiver Reversible Plaid Beanie ($19.99) and a pair of WindRiver Deerskin TMAX Gloves ($44.99.)

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Blog

Febreze’s 12 Stinks of Christmas — Keep Fresh for the Holidays!

And then somehow we found ourselves in peak 2016 holiday season, filling our December calendars as we start getting comfortable with 2017 being right around the corner.

Despite it all being meticulously documented (I am a blogger, after all,) it feels like just yesterday our second son made himself known through an unexpected delivery at home.

But November it is, and while you’d think I’d be content with juggling the day job, evening activities, and the things filling our weekends to keep the boys entertained, we still find ourselves hosting groups by the dozens for Sarah’s delicious holiday dinners.

Febreze's 12 Stinks of Christmas — Keep Fresh for the Holidays! — The Christmas Dinner Table at Casa de PalmerThese dinners don’t plan themselves, though—on the occasions we’ve got ourselves an army to feed, you suddenly find there’re rooms to clean, things to fix, and with a toddler running amok any time he’s awake, crumbs, spills, and stains found in places you’d never expect. And sure, you can try to get things back to the pristine state you knew when you first moved in, but let’s be real—you can clean all you want, but you’ll never quite get it back to that day one fresh.

At least, not on your own, anyway. And that’s why this holiday season, you need Febreze to save the day!

And they’ll tell you exactly how they’ll do it.

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Blog

The Month That Was… November 22nd – December 26th, 2015.

It’s been the hottest minute since I put out a Week That Was, so much so that I needed to roll ’em up into a month’s worth of material to catch up on the stories! A bit of a fail, I admit, but when you’re simultaneously preparing for Christmas, scribing a lively giveaway series, and trying to keep the rest of your life in order, things are gonna fall between the cracks. But with Christmas over and done with and the new year just around the corner, I’m jonesing to start 2016 with a clean slate, taking everything I learned this year to push the blog in exciting directions!

But enough jabbering about the future when you’re here for the past — let’s take a look at my last five weeks and all the antics that took up my time!


Any blogger who writes a post like this asking “Where do I start?” obviously doesn’t store enough of their moments on Google Photos. Scrolling through a quick search of 11/21/2015-12/26/2015 gave me everything I needed, and jeez was it a lot!

Though I don’t quite know how I made it this far through 2015 with my sanity intact, November was closing itself off solidly with events like Read for the Cure courtesy of TELUS (where we sat in the closest possible seats to the authors thanks to their status as Platinum Plus Sponsors and Ian Brown gleefully called my wife a “little shit”*), and emceeing DECA’s Festival of Lights, an annual event in my ‘hood to help ring in the holiday season by lighting the trees on the edge of East Lynn Park. I made a new friend — a potential Dad blogger who was visiting town, and reassured me there’re others out there looking to parent how I parent through an enlightening conversation! I won a FitBit Flex and promptly gave it to a coworker, knowing I couldn’t make as solid use of it as some of my gym-going colleagues could; I succumbed to the hype and tried Hot Star Large Fried Chicken to discover it was little more than that — a bit of pounded white meat covered with tons of breading and even more hoopla; and we continued tradition, getting Little Man a snowboarding Elmo to hang on the tree amongst the various Christmas accessories we’d ordered in to jazz up Casa de Palmer!

November was busy, without a doubt, but there’s no way I was ready for what’d come next.

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Blog

GIVEAWAY: A Case Cringle Christmas, Day 5 — Helping Kids Connect with VTech!

You don’t realize how little space you have until you become a parent.

Now — my house is by no means puny: at 1000 square feet, I’ve been in Maasai huts a lot cozier, but we need to stay realistic about how much we can fit in our home. With a 2-year old running around and another little one on the way, when we’re not buying him the cool toys we come across in our daily travels, he’s never wanting for anything with his Grandmas, Grandpas and plenty of aunties and uncles to lavish him with gifts when they see him.

In short, Casa de Palmer’s already plenty stocked to keep Little Man entertained.

So when the VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Ultimate RC Speedway came in the mail, I did what any rational parent whose house is already filled with too many toys would do… I hid it from him and stuffed it in the trunk so we could keep it at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s as a permanent fixture.

A Case Cringle Christmas, Day 5 — Helping Kids Connect with VTech! — VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Ultimate RC Speedway — Packaging

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Blog

DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2013 100 Wrap-Up 51-60: Tradition, Tailoring and Tilling My Land

What’s struck me so far as I write these year-end wrap-ups is that I’m dealing with the list of a maniac. At 100 items, that’s 3.65 days to get each item done, or 8,760 hours.

But if I sleep 6 hours a night, that’s suddenly 6,570 hours.

And with a 40-hour work week (not including my 3 weeks of vacation), that brings us down to 4,610.

Put in a couple of hours per day to eat, shower and other essentials and you’re suddenly down to 3,880 hours, or a mere 161\frac{2}{3} days worth of time (or perhaps, a mere 8 hours per weekday, with the hope that the weekends don’t find themselves suddenly overloaded) to do 100 things. And that’s, of course, on top of going out with friends, being a good family man, and perhaps finding time to do things that were never on the list in the first place.

Unless you’ve somehow bought yourself the luxury of unlimited time, a list of 100 goals is best achieved when attainable. You can’t be everywhere at once or do everything at once — sometimes we need humility and a reminder that there’s simply only one of us!

It’s what we do with that one that makes all the difference.

So let’s chalk this up to a learning experience. Let’s figure out what really matters, what’d be nice to do, and what’d be inane to expect with a wife and kid at home, needing me to play my role as a father.

Once more unto the breach!