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Lists aren’t easy. We know because it was hard setting a limit when we reviewed five of Alaska’s foremost rivers. It’s probably impossible to narrow down the country’s best fly fishing to just 10 locations, but we’re giving it our best shot.

1. Manistee River, Michigan

Its 200-mile run through the northern regions of the state’s lower peninsula ends at Lake Michigan. The river produces great salmon, trout and steelhead action especially downstream from Tippy Dam. We really enjoy the year-round crystal clear water.

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2. Penobscot River, Maine

Let’s swing east to the west branch of this river known for its world-class salmon fly fishing. The 11-mile stretch between Ripogenus Dam and the Abol Bridge presents some of the wildest angling available. We strongly suggest this one for fishing, not relaxing.

3. Connecticut River, New Hampshire

New England’s longest river offers more than 400 miles of fly fishing adventures. Whether you drift or wade, cast your luck, and sharpen your skill chasing trout, salmon and sturgeon. The Connecticut always looks its best when it’s wearing fall colors.

4. The Florida Keys

Obviously, this one isn’t a river, but we really recommend the action off Key Largo. Bogie and Bacall would definitely approve and join us for some of the finest saltwater fly fishing in the Western Hemisphere. We sound prejudice because we are.

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5. Little Red River, Arkansas

As we head back up and across the country, we have to stop in north central Arkansas. Since their introduction in the mid-1960s, ‘bows and brownies have earned their reputation as the state’s favorite sporting fish. Be sure to try the river’s stretch between Greers Ferry Dam and Pangburn.

6. San Juan River, New Mexico

We love the high country and endless plateaus in northwestern New Mexico. We go crazy for huge river trout below Navajo Dam. The San Juan River makes it on our list because it consistently produces fish in one of the American West’s most beautiful settings.

7. Glenwood Spring, Colorado

We’re including one more non-river location. This is the Rocky Mountain State’s center for amazing fly fishing action. The Colorado and Fork rivers roar through town, the area enjoys 300 days of sunshine every year, and even winter fishing is fun in Glenwood Spring.

8. Yellowstone River, Montana

You know it’s the longest undammed river in the country. You know the headwaters are filled with cutthroats. You know downstream teems with huge populations of big ‘bows and brownies. We know we’d hear from you if we didn’t include this one.

9. Snake River, Idaho

Head for the Snake’s south fork, and enjoy year-round fly fishing just 45 minutes from Jackson Hole. We favor the canyon run through Magic Valley for cutthroat, brownies and rainbows. The scenery is breathtaking wherever you fish on this legendary river.

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10. Kvichak River, Alaska

From Lake Iliamna down to Bristol Bay the Kvichak River is spotted with some of the best fly fishing lodges in the world. The river flows wild and wide and did we mention that the world’s largest red salmon run happens right here every year? Enough said.

You might not agree with all our choices, but you have to admit it’s a pretty good list. It’s certainly reason enough to keep expanding your angling horizons and checking locations off your fly-fishing adventures list.

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foster children There are lots on uncertainties that circulate around foster parenting. It’s widely believed that marital status, age and personal experience are the deciding factors in whether you are allowed to foster a child. We spoke to Lorraine* to gain a better insight into the world of fostering and to have all of the common myths and truths brought to light.

Can I become a foster parent if I’m single?

There are certain qualities that a foster parent must possess, lots of patience, empathy, supportiveness and a big heart, but surprisingly having a partner is not included in the list! Foster children are working through what’s called a transition period when they are placed into care – this is a period where they will be waiting to be either reunited with their birth parents, or placed with the right “forever family”, so it is an extremely difficult time for them that will require the upmost sensitivity – if you can provide a stable and loving environment for the child, that will cause them as little trauma as possible, then you could be the perfect candidate. So it doesn’t matter if you’re single, married, male or female.

Lorraine* is a single mother of 3, who began fostering a little over 7 years ago and hasn’t looked back since.

Can I foster if I have my own children?

One of the most common misconceptions about fostering is that people who have their own children are not suitable foster parent candidates. When speaking to Lorraine, she said “I have experience of being a parent, with 3 sons of my own I believed that I had the experience to benefit a child’s needs”. If you have your own children, it demonstrates that you are able to provide a stable and loving environment that a foster child needs. Also bringing a child into a home that already has children, who they can speak to, play with and learn from, can actually help them to acclimatise to their new home better.

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Am I too old to foster?

If you are 25 years of age or older you can be a suitable candidate to foster. As long as you are of sound health both mentally and physically, then you can foster a child regardless of how old you are. Lorraine* began fostering when she was 48 years old, she is now 55 and is planning to continue to foster.

Do I have to be qualified to become a foster parent?

Before you are allowed to foster a child, there is an extensive process that you have to go through. You will be paired with a social worker who can visit you up to 10 different occasions – in this time they will complete the Form F Report, which is an in depth assessment of your family history, medical records and overall suitability to foster a child. If you pass the initial stages of the fostering process, you will also have to attend a 3-4 day course, which will prepare you for all of the different challenges that being a foster parent will bring. Lorraine* told us that “nothing can fully prepare you for the challenges and difficult times that you will be faced with as a foster parent. I have looked after so many children and teenagers during my time and every experience is different. This is such a rewarding life choice, and as long as you remain patient, open minded and supportive, you can really make an impact on the child’s life”.

Lorraine* fosters through a private fostering agency called Lorimer Fostering, but you can also foster via your local fostering authority.

*Lorraine’s name has been changed to protect her identity and that of the children in her care.

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kids-tobagganning-in-winter Kids of all ages love to ride the toboggan down slippery, snowy hills


Well, its finally happening…

The cool, crisp air of yet another onset of winter has finally arrived. While it would be easy to light the fireplace and snuggle up inside for another long, cold winter— rather than retreat inside, we should actually be spending more time outdoors. Walking, hiking, playing, skiing, snowboarding, learning, exploring discovering and even… napping. Yes, napping. Outside.

kids-nordic-skiing Nordic (or Cross Country) Skiing is a great way to have fun, get fit and actually enjoy winter.


While it is easy to think that winter is long, and cold and hard to endure year after year, it really is more of a state of mind than a set of circumstances we have to endure. When you take the time to actively engage in activities that force you to dress up and get outside and move around for extended periods of time, winter can actually be really fun. If you set your mind to it, it becomes a great opportunity to seek out and find ways and things to do that build resilience, shorten the season, and put you in great shape emotionally, physically and mentally.

Outdoor learning is alive and well in Sweden – a priority even. The team at the Swedish think tank Movium has been able to advance a national agenda in support of outdoor play and learning, mobility and independence.

girls-nordic-skiing Get the kids outside skiing early on in life and you will give them a gift that lasts a lifetime.


Here in Canada, we see signs of movement in that direction. More schools and school boards are encouraging play and learning outside and creating school grounds that are healthy for kids living in cities.

girls-jumping-winter Running, jumping and all around tomfoolery in the powdery snow is a great way to burn off steam and get plenty of fresh air. Dress them up right and they won’t even notice its cold outside.


Cam Collyer, Director of Programs at Evergreen, shares what Canadians can learn from outdoor education around the world…

backyard-hockey Back Yard Hockey rinks are a bit of work in the fall, winter and spring, but well worth the effort if you can get a cold enough winter in your area. Here in Toronto, it is hard to believe we can actually do this in the city, but it is possible if you roll up your sleeves and are dedicated to the cause.


What are you waiting for? Bundle up the kids and get outside!

 

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Tips on Creating Inspirational Spaces for Kids

by Richard Carmichael November 24, 2016

It always seems that a good part of every weekend is spent working on some home improvement project. Either we’re replacing the leaky kitchen sink, fixing the upstairs toilet that keeps running, or the usual sort of stuff like cleaning the gutters and raking the yard. Sometimes we guys get lucky and can work on […]

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Growing things together with your kids outdoors

by Jennifer Altrogg March 24, 2016

If you’re anything like me, I’m on some level always feeling that I’m not spending quality time with my kids like I want to. But at the same time, I’m also somewhat incapacitated. Between work, the stuff on the calendar, and meeting the kids’ basic needs, I often collapse at the end of the day […]

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Outdoor Adventure Show Is Made For Kids

by Rob Campbell February 26, 2016

Fresh back from the 2016 Outdoor Adventure Show in Toronto, I can report the attraction was designed with young families in mind and it really is a great place for Heads-Up Dads to spend Saturday with the kids.  It’s cost effective too. Adults pay $14, and children age eleven and under get in free. There’s […]

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The Perfect Family: A Nanny’s view…

by Sara Dawkins February 25, 2012

As a nanny, you learn to work in less than perfect conditions. Bratty kids, angry parents, broken homes are all par for the course. But what happens when you finally find that perfect family you’ve been looking for, or, in most cases, they find you? What does a perfect family look like? A perfect family […]

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How to financially support your child’s cost of living while attending University

by Daniel Somers February 5, 2012

With tuition fees alone for a three-year undergraduate course expected to reach £24,000 or more in the UK ($30,000 – $75,000 or more in Canada and the US) the cost of a university education for many may prove suffocating without some kind of financial aid provided by us as parents. Tuition fees are only the […]

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on Teaching Gratitude to Children

by Shirelle January 16, 2012

Hi Dads! I am so thrilled and excited to be here with you all, and to be able to write for HeadsUpDad. In fact, I feel so grateful about it that I think I’d like to write about Gratitude. Gratitude and Appreciation are enormously important qualities for parents to instill in their kids, but most […]

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Tips On Safe Toys For Children Under Eight

by Ruth Wilgress September 12, 2011

Canada is a very safe place to live and raise children. And it keeps getting safer and safer. Statistically there are not as many drunk drivers anymore, and hardly anyone I know smokes nowadays.  But that trend toward safety isn’t happening in kid’s toys. Buying toys comes with a lot of choices. There are so […]

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FLOWING WITH THE GOOD GUYS

by Richard Carmichael August 3, 2011

It was with great sadness that I read about the recent Norwegian terrorist attacks. A tragic ordeal for any country to have to experience, yet there was a point in the story where I found one Norwegian’s comment to be equally absurd as the attacks were cruel. A woman’s response to the killings was, “Why […]

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Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

by Christine S July 20, 2011

Waiting in line at the Scotiabank Theatre in downtown Toronto to see the latest (and final) film from the Harry Potter franchise, I was dumbfounded by the number of, well…adults in line to see the summer blockbuster. Granted, I was waiting for the 9:30 PM showing, and you never see too many kids downtown, but […]

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How to save money when having a baby…

by Maria Rainier July 14, 2011

Saving Money on Baby Having children can be expensive. When you’re just starting out with a baby, it can be easy to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on new baby gear, clothing, diapers and other necessities. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money with a little planning. I am expecting my first […]

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How to be “good” at waiting…

by Don Christensen June 29, 2011

  “Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worse kind of suffering.” ~ Paulo Coelho Imagine never waiting for anything again. Ever. For sure, life would never be the same, but not for the reason you think. Realistically, to wait is to suffer. The suffering can come in […]

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Toxic Chemicals in personal skin care products?

by Richard Carmichael June 24, 2011

I have been doing a lot of gardening over the past couple of months and it has been great. Lots of fresh air, hard work and I am learning a lot. It’s killing my hands though. Shovelling, digging, gettting dirty, washing, getting dirty. Washing again has taken its toll. I use a lot of moisturizers […]

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How to: Urban Back Yard Farming for Rookies…

by Richard Carmichael June 24, 2011

What’s this world coming to? I have been thinking for the past few years that the amount of pesticides, herbicides and other toxic chemicals in food is getting out of control. Genetically modified foods, mass enterprise farming and the demise of the small family farm all over the world makes me sad. I read an […]

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Men’s Health : A Decade by Decade Primer

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D June 19, 2011

Happy Father’s Day to each and every one of you! I sincerely hope that you enjoyed a wonderful day that was all about YOU! How appropriate to reach out to you now with a new post this month, because not only is June representative of Father’s Day, it just so happens to be Men’s Health […]

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8 Super Cool Summer Camp Ideas for Creative kids:

by Richard Carmichael June 16, 2011

Design Camp at the Design Exchange (Dx) in Toronto Every year as parents we scramble to find interesting stuff to engage our kids with over the summer holidays. For the lucky ones, its the trek to the cottage, for others it is a week or two away from the heat of the city up North […]

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How to Motivate Your Child…

by DanielaBaker May 28, 2011

without comparing him or her to others As a father, you have an important role in your children’s development. You can be a strong motivator when it comes to their intellectual, emotional and physical development. Unfortunately, many dads go about motivating their kids in the wrong way. They are excited to help their children grow […]

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Environmental Consciousness and Bargain Shopping: Intertwined

by Richard Carmichael March 16, 2011

A marriage of eco and commerce?? or just a more ethical way of doing business? We’ve all heard of Groupon, LivingSocial, Dealicious, Dealfind, Webpiggy, and a host of other deal of the day sites promising terrific savings on restaurants, botox injections and hair removal, but have you heard of ethicalDeal? (affiliate link) Do you think […]

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The Father Study…

by Richard Carmichael March 3, 2011

  Calling all fathers of newborns and children one year old or less… A study out of Loyola University and Erikson Institute in Chicago is looking for fathers of babies under one year of age to complete an online questionnaire about their experience of parenting a baby. This anonymous questionnaire takes about 20 minutes and […]

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Find your Whey to optimum muscle rejuvenation

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D February 16, 2011

Which “Whey” Do I Go? Just enough knowledge to choose the better protein for you! Before I knew any better, nothing was worse than walking into my local nutrition house for protein powder, to be bombarded by a multitude of gargantuan, colorful plastic barrels— all promising variations on the same theme: muscle growth, faster recovery, […]

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Tips to help your kids to the head of the class

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D January 7, 2011

Greetings my favorite Dads! I sincerely hope that you have each enjoyed a fabulous Holiday season and are looking forward to a happy and healthy New Year! You guys are typically the first on my mind when it comes to the various materials I compile to discuss on my blogs, and I know that we […]

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Teach Your Kids About Beauty With Lenzr’s Photography Contests

by Rob Campbell November 29, 2010

We’re often told that it’s not the destination, but the journey. Teach your kids how to find beauty in the unexpected, and it can prove to be an invaluable lesson for them. Growing up, one of the greatest things that my own dad has taught me is that beauty is in the eye of the […]

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Lest we forget…

by Richard Carmichael November 11, 2010

Graves of personnel from the Edmonton Regiment killed in the battle of Ortona, 7 January, 1944. We pause to honour the fallen on Remembrance Day “The lessons learned from these terrible conflicts must never fade from our collective consciousness,” Lieutenant-Governor Donald Ethell (Retired Colonel) My generation grew up in a world that was oblivious to […]

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ZERO TO HERO… One woman’s tale about male infertility

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D October 21, 2010

Dearest Dads, Well, it has been a while since my last post, and I do apologize. Professionally, I seem to always be busy, I’m sure we have that in common right? While it’s my mission to deliver as much fun and informative fitness chatter as I can to keep you healthy and fit, today I […]

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Fall Harvest – Turn Losses into Gold?

by JamieList October 12, 2010

The bad news is in, and the equity markets are up, but still down from two years ago this fall.  Investors are reeling from constant negative news, and are deeply concerned about the general state of the economy.  Some of these fears are well founded, as the world economy is going through a period where it […]

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When A Highschool Hockey Program Goes Hollywood

by Rob Campbell September 19, 2010

Educators will tell you that having a winning sports team can inject efficacy and enthusiasm into an entire student body. There’s a buzz in the halls, and a new energy in the classroom, because it’s myth making and on some level each school victory makes everyone feel special. Kids remember where they were when it […]

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Lenzr Photo Safari For Kids – 3 new photo contests for iPads

by Rob Campbell August 19, 2010

Challenge your kids with cool photography assignments! A great activity that will engage their creative side, develop new skills and give them something fun to focus on this fall. Visit Lenzr.com and choose a photography assignment. Lenzr challenges people of all ages and skill levels to upload specific images for a safe and friendly web […]

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Cardiovascular Health and You: How to shop for your Heart!

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D August 12, 2010

Hey favorite Dad of mine… I thought I might start this post with a bit of trivia… Most men love their stats right? But I bet you didn’t know that just over 30% of all deaths in Canada are attributed to cardiovascular disease huh? Ok, stop the depressing me Shawna!! (I know… I can hear […]

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Bet the Farm – Or Lock It In?

by JamieList August 4, 2010

I was recently asked by a client whether they should re-finance their mortgage, and if so, how should they do it. Since there is no way to predict the future, that is a difficult question to answer.  However, the most reasonable way to approach that question is to look at it from the perspective of risk.  […]

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Eyebrow Grooming: to pluck or not to pluck…

by Sean Beckingham July 25, 2010

Every day when you get up in the morning and every day before you go to bed, you look in the mirror and you don’t notice it. With each new day, like the great Glaciers, the two bushy areas above your eyes have been creeping ever so slowly towards mayhem. Then you see it. For  […]

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Management Fees – Are you paying for Bondage or Advice?

by JamieList July 15, 2010

Each year, Canadians decide how and where they will invest.  Other than asset allocation, the fees that are paid will likely have the largest impact on their account.  For some, fees will be paid to an advisor involved at some point in the process.  That advisor might be a planner or a broker who takes […]

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Eat Often—Lose Weight!

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D July 13, 2010

show it in, in messy fist-fulls, originally uploaded by mufftycub. Eat often and watch the pounds drop off… Sound too good to be true? Hi guys! I hope you’ve missed me! This busy trainer of yours has been flying by the seat of her pants! That’s not to say that I have not been thinking […]

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Yay—Summer is here!

by Richard Carmichael July 7, 2010

Yay—Summer is here!, originally uploaded by HeadsUp_Dad. Well, if you haven’t already noticed, summer is in full swing. Heat waves, power outages, traffic jams, highway construction, air conditioners, cold beer on the patio, burgers on the barbeque, weekends up at the cottage, beach time, camping trips, outdoor adventure, family fun, summer holidays! We have been […]

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Daughters gone wild—Tilt: The Movie

by Richard Carmichael July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day! And now for something completely different… Basically we’re looking for opinions (or information, or personal, real life experiences) about how fathers can connect with teenage daughters, especially when those teenage daughters are starting to get into things like drinking, drugs, or sex—daughters who have gone ‘a little wild. ‘Specifically, we’re hoping to […]

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Watch a Movie, Send a Kid to Camp

by Richard Carmichael June 25, 2010

At Hospice Toronto, where I was doing my original hospice and paliative care training, one of the presenters mentioned that the movie “Departures” would be really good for us to see in order to get more insight into the kind of work that Hospice is trying to do in our communities all across Canada. While […]

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Letters to my Father: Just a Word of Love

by AngelDavies June 20, 2010

On January 25, 2007 I lost my father, Christopher Davies, to spinal cancer. I think about him often, usually at times in my life when I don’t know what to do in a difficult situation and at times when I’d normally turn to him for his help and wise advice. Times like now. He was […]

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Fathers Day Tribute: Sunday Morning Rock Star

by Julie Keck June 17, 2010

Every Sunday morning at the Keck house, an epic battle was waged. No, it wasn’t my parents trying to drag my sister and me out of bed; we were up at the crack of dawn eating generic puffed rice (gag) and sitting in front of the TV watching the Three Stooges and wrestling. You know, […]

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This father’s day, we’re going fishing!

by Kim Samuelsen June 10, 2010

Do you remember when I’d write you poems like these for Father’s Day? And I was probably about 7 years old Dancing around when you’d come home from work… Ever since I was young, I have loved going on fishing trips with my dad, even if it meant getting up at 6AM. It’s been a […]

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Letters to my Father, a Fathers Day Tribute

by Richard Carmichael June 10, 2010

Greetings to you a week from Father’s Day: Love your Dad? Despise him? Miss him? Want to reach out and say something in a public place to reward his greatness, let him know what’s on your mind or even the score? Have something to say but can’t because he is gone? This month, we wonder […]

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Lenzr Celebrates 50 Year Old Dads In Time For Father’s Day

by Rob Campbell May 29, 2010

The 50 Going On 15 photo contest on Lenzr is set to collect, display and eventually grade a wide selection of photos of people, mostly men over 50 years old doing outrageous things like they were still teenagers. Is your father or anyone you know between the age of fifty and sixty years old? Do […]

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3 Fat traps to avoid on the job…

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D May 29, 2010

You may not believe it, but your job may be weighing you down. Learn how to master these Fat Traps and you will thank yourself for it. Hello Handsome! I hope this post finds you and all of my favorite dads well and happy! Maybe you guys have noticed that my previous posts all had […]

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The Child Care Expense Derby

by JamieList May 18, 2010

My wife and I earn similar (but variable) incomes, and so each year we engage in what we call the “Child Care Expense Derby.”  We have the government to thank for that.  Every year I am a bit suprised by who it goes to (“and the winner is…”), but I am glad for the opportunity to […]

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3 safe and healthy ways to decrease body fat

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D May 17, 2010

Do you want a tight and ripped body? Read on to learn 3 Safe and Healthy ways to Increase Muscle Mass and Decrease Body Fat I purposefully did not include these “muscle builders” in my discussion of healthy supplement options for you, because talking about muscular performance, endurance and muscle repair truly deserves undivided attention. […]

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Mothers Day Gift Ideas at HeadsUpDad

by Richard Carmichael May 7, 2010

MothersDay.at.headsupdad, originally uploaded by HeadsUp_Dad. With Mother’s Day bearing down hard (this coming Sunday fellas) many of us busy Dads cringe at the thought of it. Not that we don’t love our moms and significant others, we all do, but the fear that grips us as we start to think about what to get is […]

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Sustainable Family Fun in Toronto: The Evergreen Brickworks

by Richard Carmichael May 3, 2010

Brickworks_DV107, originally uploaded by HeadsUp_Dad. The weatherman was not so sure about how the day was going to unfold, but this gang of boys and one girl was not to be dissuaded by the weather map’s ambiguity. It was Saturday afterall, and the weekend warrior’s eco-adventure awaits. Another opportunity to seek out a deeper connection […]

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Protecting your Estate: Where there’s a Will…

by JamieList April 28, 2010

To love what is lovely, but will not last There are a variety of things that we don’t like to do. Taking out the garbage comes to mind, as a task that is unpleasant, but absolutely necessary to the proper functioning of a household. So it is with a legal Will. Many families, particularly young families, put […]

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Technology makes Private Schools better than Public Schools

by