This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Mobile Shop. All opinions are 100% mine.
You may not appreciate the great phones out there until you see what others can do with theirs. It could be that their phones are good at taking wide-angle photos. Or maybe they rock phones that offer cool augmented reality and 3D photo capabilities. In any case, if you feel stuck with your phone, it may be time to consider a new one.
But how do you choose? If you’re not a tech blogger or don’t obsessively follow news about the latest devices like I do, the number of features and specs out there can be overwhelming.
Which is why you can luckily find someone to do all of the hard work for you.
The Mobilist™ — The Smartphone Expert You Didn’t Even Know You Needed!
Allow me to reintroduce you to the Mobilist™—a smartphone expert at The Mobile Shop who can give you the unbiased advice you need to get the phone and plan you want.
That’s the thing about The Mobile Shop—you’re not tied to one kind of phone from one single carrier; you can get your hands on a wide selection of smartphones from major carriers in the same place you get your groceries! And there’s no shortage of places to check them out—found in numerous Loblaws, Fortinos, Zehrs, Atlantic Superstore and Real Canadian Superstore locations across the country; they offer not only great value but the opportunity to earn PC Optimum points on select phones and plans!
And at the centre of it all is the Mobilist™, who can give you advice on the things you might not even think about to make sure that the phone and plan you get are the right ones for you. Like getting the most storage you can on a phone versus unlimited space in the cloud because you’ll just use most of that space for photos. Or maybe you’re looking for more power without overdoing it on size. Whatever the question, there’s a Mobilist™ who can help answer it for you—you just need to take that first step and get thee to The Mobile Shop to make it happen!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ebates.ca. All opinions are 100% mine.
Many of you are likely going about online shopping all wrong. To that, many might say, “But Casey—virtual shopping in 2017’s so easy… how could I possibly get it wrong?” And yes—we have made it easy. As we speak, the very way we shop online is changing, with biometrics and complex algorithms replacing numerous credit cards and passwords. All this to say, it’s easier to spend our money, yes… but imagine how much farther that spending money would go if we learned to make it work for us?
Let me tell you about a little site called Ebates.ca. Well—”little” is a gross understatement; it’s a great place to start your online shopping, offering cash back for everything you buy from more than 750 stores! It’s easy to use, free to sign up, and just takes one extra step to get more value from the shopping you already do! I mean, even for someone like me with a gajillion things on the go, it’s as simple as making ebates.ca your homepage so you sign in every time you shop!
Just to show you how good it is, let me show you how it works with some of my summer shopping list!
Now that summer’s finally upon us, it’s time to get your summer look on, too! It could be a fresh ‘do, new clothes, or even some new accessories! While we shed the layers away on every other part of our bodies, it’s a perfect time to think about what goes on our faces! SmartBuyGlasses wants you to remember that prescription or no, a great pair of glasses of help bring it all together!
Getting Dope Optical Fashion with SmartBuyGlasses — How it All Works
I’ve spent a long time developing my bespectacled look, wearing specs as early as the 3rd grade. And they’ve come a long way since then—no longer do you need to visit your optometrist, leaving with frames ill-suited to your face. The sheer variety of styles and materials we have eclipses what we could get in the ’90s, and though many today choose to go the way of contact lenses and laser correction, there’s still something about a great set of frames that can help a face stand out.
So this summer, why not consider giving SmartBuyGlasses a try? As a leading online eyewear retailer, they’ve got more than 30,000 pairs of designer sunglasses to choose from, and offer affordable prices so you can look fly for less! They’ve even got various ways to shop, including their summer shopping guide and a Virtual Try-On service that uses your computer’s camera to show you just how well your frames fit before you buy! In 2017, we’ve so many tools to help you get the look you’re going for—why not make the most of them?
SmartBuyGlasses — From Ermenegildo Zegna With Love.
As we make our way through summer with family travels aplenty to look forward to, I’m glad to have a pair of frames like the Ermenegildo Zegna ZC0001s to do it with. Harkening back to Dwayne Wayne’s flip-top sunglasses from A Different World, it’s just what my wardrobe needed to offer something different for my boys and me alike!
With school a wrap and prime vacation season upon us, make sure you get your most stylish game face on and check out everything SmartBuyGlasses has to offer! Your visage will thank you for it!
I doubted myself for a while there, but I’m finally at the point where I think I’ll actually close The 2013 100 in time 🙂 I’ve already promised myself that I’ll be a lot more organized in 2014, not forcing posts out in the last few days of the year like I am now. I look forward to what’s coming in the year ahead. Trips, more things to learn about fatherhood, telling better tales… but let me save all that for the last post. For now, let’s get into 81-90!
In the time I’ve been gone, I’ve changed jobs, Toronto was hit by a blizzard and Burger King’s Twitter account got hacked in a gloriously hilarious fashion.
That’s the best you could do in four days, Toronto? Shoot.
I’ll tell you all about my trip soon enough; until then, there are other stories to tell and photos to share 🙂 I hope you enjoy the madness I was up to leading to the trip, and the many stories I’ll have to share from the trip itself!
But let’s start with another trip — one that found me and some close friends in Buffalo, NY….
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TeamTrolling Does America
When you have a good thing going, you’ve gotta let it grow and not see it burn out. We can form strong friendships with others, but developing those relationships involves a dedicated effort as you get to know each other, share experiences and better understand one another through spending more time together.
6:30 am of Saturday, February 9th (i.e. the day right after Snowmageddon and the Ford Blue Party) marked the beginning of TeamTrolling Does America, the trip Marcel, Justin, Lily, Sarah and I would take across the border in pursuit of “shopping and cheesecake” (word for word, that’s what we told border security)! After Snowmageddon 2013, the road conditions weren’t the best (especially in Mississauga, you cheapskates), but — despite some horrid route choices — we were able to get all of our passengers together and into Buffalo, NY to get our shop on!
Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls
I mean, could you imagine me walking in the room wearing these? IT ALMOST HAPPENED, PEOPLE!
If I had unlimited money, I’d shop at Cole Haan, Calvin Klein and Express ALL THE TIME.
Justin and Marcel make a new friend at the booth giving toothbrushes away. Best moment: Justin: “Sir, can we get a photo?” Marcel and Case: *cough* “MA’AM” *cough*
The Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls are by far the better shopping centre. While there’s nothing particularly glamorous about Buffalo, NY, don’t let the run-down exterior throw you off — there be deals in this little shopping complex!
Compared to the later trip to the Walden Galleria, we all found more stuff we were happy with at this stop!
Our first stop would see the start of a theme for the day — Casey running around looking for juice. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is wicked fast, but the use of an LTE network to make it that quick drains a battery like a vampire at a blood bank. By the time we’d made our way to Hamilton to grab Justin, the battery was already half gone. So it was pretty lucky that there were posts in the Fashion Outlets’ food court with outlets!
That were only there for show.
Thus, with no steady stream of power to work from, I was all over the place, trying to find my next fix so I could take advantage of the Rogers Day Pass for data over the border. I’ve since bought a Mophie Juice Pack for my phone, but having to constantly look for extra power at the time was painful.
Power in Numbers
Team up with friends to get the best deal possible through volume purchasing.
e.g. Sarah and I both hit Cole Haan up separately and spent $230 combined. Already getting awesome deals on our purchases, it would’ve been even BETTER if we’d shopped together, because they were giving $50 off on purchases of $250 or more. So coordinate where you can!
Learn how to park, damnit!
The parking lot of the Fashion Outlets was atrocious. Justin covers how bad it was than I do below:
Fools trying to park diagonally, man. DIAGONALLY.
Justin wonders just how many pretzels the average American actually NEEDS.
I feel like I need to live in a border town so I can take advantage of the cheap and constantly make my way back over the border in a stupor. By foot, of course.
They sell beer in America. BY THE PINT. FOR THREE DOLLARS. IN 24-HOUR GROCERY STORES.
This may have been the single greatest product we saw in TOPS. Needed a better slogan, though, like: “Marley’s One Drop Coffee! It’ll get you IRIE!!!”
I couldn’t tell why you’d want cookies in the shape of dogs instead of… regular cookies.
When a grocery store is so massive that it needs a DIRECTORY, you know there’s a lot of stuff in there.
I find it hard to blame America for its obesity problems when there’s so much DELICIOUS afoot
Everything’s bigger in the States. Everything.
We got to TOPS expecting to find cool flavours and snacks that never see the light of day in Canada, but the labyrinthine building that held it all totally caught us off-guard!
We definitely saw the power of population density at play with lower prices, massive variety and no pesky 5¢ charge for plastic bags!
BURGERS AS BIG AS YOUR HEAD
The burger that Sarah and Lily shared — it’s a cheddar burger, not a cheeseburger, Lily!!!
Melted cheese and unseasoned ground beef. Not my thing!
The fries were decent…
Justin contemplating the rest of the trip to be had
It was massive, it was delicious and the combination of the two made for an AMAZING nap afterward.
I tried some of the sauce that these chicken wings were basted in, and I was happy that I didn’t order them!
I often try to find the intersection between the two, but they’re not ALWAYS the best bedfellows!
Maitre’d? Front-door host? Hell to the no. Sign your damn name up and we’ll call you when we’re ready!
The best sign EVER for pretty much ANYONE using social media
I may be exaggerating — slightly — but the side trip to Grover’s for food was worth it — Justin heard of it from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I wasn’t a huge fan of the cheeseburger soup (yes, you read that right), but the Cattleman burgers that the boys each ordered hit the spot.
Never ask what the difference between a “cheese burger” and a “cheddar burger” is in America lest you immediately be branded as an outsider and treated like a second-class citizen
Always, always, always be as hungry as possible when entering an American dining establishment. We take it for granted that portion sizes are ridiculously massive south of the border. If you don’t have the tummy room for it, don’t do it.
If you have a child screaming/crying like it’s a banshee freshly escaped from hell, there is something wrong. Please go to the car with said child and see if you can sort it out. (Note: regular crying? Totally cool. We totally should’ve recorded these banshee screams so you’d know how bad it was!)
The Walden Galleria
If you haven’t been to Walden in a while, I wish you luck if you step foot in there.
Dimly lit, map-free (far as I could see) and utterly massive, the Walden Galleria was a shopping nightmare compared to the awesome that was the Fashion Outlets of Niagara. It looms like a shopping dungeon on the horizon, with twisting and turning roads and a confusing parking layout to top it all off.
I’d eventually buy a thing or two from the Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW) and Banana Republic, but it was little return for the hours spent wandering, re-tracing steps and being generally envious of how cheap American prices are compared to those north of the border.
The Cheesecake Factory
The second-most delicious cheesecake that I’ve tried from The Cheesecake Factory.
The MOST delicious cheesecake I’ve eaten from The Cheesecake Factory! OH MY GOODNESS, so DELICIOUS!!!
Though tired and beaten, we did eventually make it to The Cheesecake Factory to try some of the cheesecake we’d been hearing so much about. Remember what I said earlier about things being bigger in the States? You should’ve seen Lily’s Cobb Salad:
That’s no salad. You can’t call it a salad when it’s as big as your head!!!
But we still had jokes to tell, a waiter to inadvertently insult about both his age and his height, and the need to rest our feet after the long day we’d had!
THE END OF DAY WRAP-UP
When your Mom asks you to buy some bread in the States and bring it back over the border, there’s only one answer you can give her…
I’ve been FIENDING for this since I first tried it at my friend’s in Green Bay, WI back in 2010. Soon. SOON I shall CONSUME!
This Gatorade cost only A DOLLAR OR TWO. It would’ve needed a second mortgage in Canada!!!
It was a good day in Buffalo — here’s the grand sum of it all!
Despite all the junk we’d be eating in Buffalo, it was good that SOMEONE had our best interests at heart!
These boots are made for walkin’! And walkin’ very STYLISHLY I should mention!
Good sweaters only last so long, and if you only wear black — hot tip: it’s time to diversify. Here’s my step in the right direction!
When drinks are so cheap, why not get two?
Normally you can only find this at Christmas in Toronto, but in Buffalo they have it ALL YEAR LONG.
After getting a pair of Adidas Sambas stolen from my porch, a pair of Penguins seemed to do the trick to replace them!
We closed the day off with the long trek home and a hassle- and duty-free border crossing (Hot Tip: be honest and cross your fingers for a nice and lenient border guard); but more importantly, we proved — for the first time — that Trolls can get along for long stretches of time and not lunge at each other’s throats!
If a close group of friends can do a day in the States without a problem — what will tomorrow hold?
Tell your wife, tell your kids, tell your husbands:
One thing I didn’t anticipate when planning to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro is that the gear would cost nearly as much as the trip itself!
Usually, Sarah and I try to be a bit frugal with our decisions, checking whether we need to get top-of-the-line items in all circumstances. (Hint: When it comes to clothing and tech, the answer is almost always yes.) But with this trip, I sense that the difference between getting passable and great gear is a little closer to the difference between life or death, so I told Sarah that I was willing to pay whatever I had to to make sure that I’d be back in one piece.
I just didn’t realize how much that cost would be.
Take a look at this checklist. It’s the guide we’re using to make sure we have everything we need for the climb. At first, it might not look like a lot, until you go into a store — in our case, Mountain Equipment Co-op — and start asking questions.
When moisture-wicking socks cost $23 a pair, I’ll leave it to your imaginations just how much it’d cost to buy anything made up of more fabric than a pair of socks (i.e. most everything else on the list!)
Some people have asked — why didn’t we just rent? But we thought about that too, and because of how moisture-wicking fabric is made, the coating that keeps you from getting soaked in sweat (something you don’t want to happen when you’re exposed to the elements in tents at sub-zero weather) does erode over time, so the only way to be certain of getting good-quality gear is to buy it new.
The small comfort I can get from all of this is that it’s a purchase I don’t see us making again anytime soon (if ever). Jackets for every seasons and reason, clothes that’re lightweight yet warm — it’s moments like these where it’s good to live in Canada, where I’m sure I’ll find a use for all of these.
Tell your wife, tell your kids, tell your husbands:
One of the things about getting married is that you’ll have to transition to a new lifestyle. New ways to look at things. New places to PUT your things.
One of my favourite things that I brought with me from my parents’ place is my old IKEA bookshelf. I remember paying a pretty penny for it (or what seemed like a pretty penny when I was still a student): it’s tall, it’s sturdy and it’s carried the load of my voluminous collection of books for years.
When we’re young, our parents often lie to us. They mean well, but the wrong lies can often limit our preparation for the big, bad world out there.
“You can be anything you want to be if you just put your mind to it” — TRANSLATION: If you’re 5′, SURE you COULD be an amazing basketball player, but it will take a LOT more of your mind to hone the extra skills needed to surpass your 6’6″ opponents than it would for them
Or how about “It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game” — TRANSLATION: In our highly competitive world, there are certain rules to need to play by. And you’ll be loved by your parents regardless of how you perform in the world — but probably moreso if you’re successful and not under your parents’ roof forever and a day consuming all of their resources
But there’s one that’s driven many of our actions for quite some time and won’t stop anytime soon: