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"It's the most... wonderful time... of the year..." — Andy Williams, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" (1963) *** Despite being around for 118 years, I don't know whether we ever made it out to the Original Santa Claus parade before. My mother might've taken us when we were young, but as someone who stopped believing in Santa from a very young age, it was never something that rated very highly on my radar for the holiday season. But those were in the years before I had a family of my own and things like the Santa Claus Parade made sense to explore as a part of my holiday season again. So, when @HarbingerIdeas invited us out to visit the 118th Original Santa Claus Parade from the Snowman Zone on one of their "Reindeer Islands" in the middle of University Avenue, it seemed like a good opportunity to bring the kids up close and personal with a true Toronto STAPLE. After all—you couldn't get a whole heap of people to put a parade together 118 times if it wasn't something worth SEEING, right? But it was a good thing that they sent us a care package to suitably prepare us for the parade, because it was -14°C out and my kids and their cousins didn't exactly LOVE the cold. However we were feeling, though, it was nothing compared to the procession of people in front of us, with everything from marching brands to ballet dancers and elaborate floats putting on an EXCELLENT show! We don't know how they managed to march for HOURS without the layers we had on keeping US warm, but march they did and we were all VERY grateful for it! So, a big thank you to everyone who made the #SantaClausParadeTO a reality—in such an uncertain time where we've had to do away with so much from the Before Times, sometimes it's good to be part of something that makes us feel a little more "normal". We'll see you at the next post! —case #gifted #santaclaus #christmas #santa #merrychristmas #christmastime #xmas #winter #christmasiscoming #christmasspirit #christmasmood #christmasmagic #december #holidays #christmasvibes #christmascountdown #santaclausiscomingtotown #holiday #happyholidays #family #parade #celebration #christmasparade #holidayparade #kids #familyfun
It's a weird feeling when your kids get old enough to start making significant decisions for themselves without needing to consult you about them WHATSOEVER. This past Friday, my eldest's teacher coordinated the Remembrance Day assembly for his school and sought out volunteers to read out a passage on Canada's indigenous peoples and their influence on the world wars, and my kid took it upon himself to raise his hand to join the team to read it in front of the 450+ students in his school! We only happened to find out about it when he said an impromptu prayer for courage while reading in front of the school one night at dinner and we had absolutely no idea what he was talking about! 😂 It was a good reminder that our kids are capable of some pretty amazing things if we give them enough building blocks to succeed and then... just get out of their way. It's important to support them wherever we can and to give them guidelines to work with, but it's also important to remember that we can't live their lives for them, and will continue to surprise us with their choices as they grow up—in good and bad ways alike! In the end, he did a great job, not missing a beat as he read through his section. I was impressed that he not only managed to read through it all without any trouble but also keep his composure for such a sombre ceremony! I hope to have many more moments like this in the future, even if they're from a few steps away as I see my kids continue to try new challenges for themselves! —case #proudfather #love #fatherhood #dadlife #father #dad #fatherandson #parentlife #fatherlife #parenthood #fatherslove #fathers #daddy #fatherson #family #lovemyfam #prouddad #publicspeaking #publicspeaker #leadership #motivation #speaker #confidence #speech #speaking #inspiration #publicspeakers #remembranceday #lestweforget #remembrance
IT'S SOMEBODY'S NINTH BIRTHDAY!!! *** Despite everything we've been through these last nine years of parenting, over time you start to lose the details behind WHY everything happened. Why did you have that fight? What drove you to that decision? As the years go on, it's the moments with the greatest impact that start to stand out the most, and with your kids, it always goes back to that very first moment where your life would change FOREVER. I was in a very different place when our eldest first came into the world, believing the lie so many men are told that a baby would ruin their life and that I should do everything in my life while I could because once I became a parent, there'd be no going back. But he didn't ruin my life at all. Sure, his personality and emotions are larger than life, and his snappy replies get under my skin because they remind me of myself more than I'd care to admit, but he's only ADDED to my life, making me arguably a better man than I was before I had kids. At nine, he's really starting to come into his own, the kind of kid who's always making new friends and starting to show more understanding of his responsibilities. He'll dive into his homework without prompting. He shows more interest in wanting to be able to help. He's not the little kid we used to pick up after for so much of the last decade—he's becoming his own person, and we're here for it. Happiest of ninth birthdays to you, kiddo—looking forward to celebrating it with you and many more yet to come! —dad (+ mom) #bday #birthday #happybirthday #love #happy #family #photooftheday #celebrate #instabirthday #celebration #instabday #happybday #son #father #dad #boy #kids #cute #smile #familytime #myson #myboy #dadlife #fatherhood #parentlife #dadlife #parenting #dadsofinstagram #daddy #blackfatherhood
It's that time of the year again, where the Palmer family fixes up, looks sharp, and gets our annual family photos taken by none other than Meghan Gilmore from @oliveandivyphotography! Meghan's been taking photos of our family ever since our youngest's newborn photos back in early 2016, and I enjoy looking at them each year to see how much we've grown since then. And our youngest was ESPECIALLY well-behaved this year after remembering that I posted a profile photo a couple of years back with just his older brother in it as he'd been causing so much trouble that it was impossible to get a good shot with them and me together. All said, it's good to mark another year of growth in this family—ESPECIALLY vertically as far as these kids are concerned—and we'll see what's in store for the year ahead! We'll see you at the next post! —case #familyphoto #family #familyphotography #photography #familytime #love #familyphotoshoot #familyportrait #familyphotos #photooftheday #familyfirst #familylove #familyportraits #familygoals #portrait #photoshoot #photo #familylife #kids #familyiseverything #familyovereverything
October 30th, 2022 marked the seventh @scriptus_toronto_writingshow, a place where pen-lovers can come together from all over the Greater Toronto Area to dive into pen culture and see what vendors from all over the area have to offer. Held in the @torontolibrary's Toronto Reference Library's Bram and Bluma Appel Salon, I went to my first one in 2019 after my friend's @amruthakris and @sharonr2017 got me into the culture, and there's been no turning back ever since. But this year made it QUICKLY apparent that pen-lovers were STARVED for another Scriptus after a few years away, flooding the Salon with barely any room to move in the first hours of the show! It'd eventually calm down enough for me to take some of it in for myself, but it was heartwarming to see that the analogue world had made a bit of a resurgence after all those months of COVID lockdown! This year's haul was a combination of things I was interested in adding to my collection, things that would add a little flair, and things that I'd flat-out REGRET if I didn't get them. From @wonderpens: * @pentelcanada EnerGel liquid gel ink pens * Fountain pen and ink bottle washi tapes from @TheCoffeeMonsterzCo * The 2022 Diamine Inkvent Calendar (bought SPECIFICALLY after missing both 2019 and 2021!) * and the exclusive @DominantIndustry Wonder Pens Ginger Chicken ink, released in honour of the shop cat Chicken! From the rest: * A @ZebraPen_Canada Sarasa Grand rollerball pen from @PaperPlusCloth plus a pack of regular Zebra Sarasa rollerballs to feel the difference * A Raccoon wooden magnetic bookmark from @MayCraftTribe * A "F*CK" enamel pin from Vii Yu aka @UncannyViolet for when I'm feeling more... "intense" 😂 * A @TWSBI Diamond 580 Iris fountain pen from the fine folks at @PhidonPens * And, of course, who could forget the show-exclusive Diamine Rushbrooke Blue ink? As chaotic as it was, it was good to see Scriptus up and running again—there's only so much you can appreciate from a basement office! I hope you enjoyed my haul, and we'll see you at the next post! —case #fountainpen #fountainpens #fountainpenaddict #fountainpennetwork #penaddict #fpgeeks #pen #fountainpengeeks #ink #fountain
Friend 1: "Man, it's November 6th and it's almost 20°C out there today! I'm going to the beach!" Friend 2: "I'm going on a hike!" Friend 3: I'm hitting a PATIO!" Me: *SIIIIIIIGH* #chores #housework #home #dadlife #family #sunday #chore #weekend #funny #dadlife #dad #parenting #fatherhood #dadsofinstagram #parenthood #daddy #father #dads #parentlife #parents #fathers #holidaylights #christmaslights #christmas #holidaydecor #holidaylighting #outdoorlighting #lights #holidayspirit #christmasdecor #xmaslights
Every now and then, I'm reminded that I'm raising human beings who have bits of me sprinkled into their being, and that I shouldn't be so SURPRISED when they do things that remind me of ME. *** This summer, we did our annual picnic with a group we've been friends with for fifteen years and counting, going down to the Toronto Islands to soak up the sun and let our kids run free in larger spaces than they were used to on the mainland. Along with frisbees, soccer balls and enough food to share around, one thing I bring each year is my camera to take a group portrait for everyone to remember the moment, and every year, I try to make it a little EASIER to get those photos taken. This year I set my camera on a tripod and connected it to Canon's Camera Connect app for live shooting and just let the photos FLY from afar, letting anyone pose for whatever photos they wanted after we got the group shot done. And that was when I came across THIS—a photo of my eldest posing in a way that looked EERILY like something I'd already seen before. It was the same expression I'd had on my face nearly twenty years prior, cap and smirk and all. It wasn't prompted. I wasn't even paying attention when he DID it. It was just my kid doing what came to him at that moment, apparently true to Palmer form 😂 How about y'all? Any funny "a-ha" moments that you get from your kids? I'd love to hear them! Catch you at the next post, —case p. #fatherson #love #father #fatherhood #family #dad #fatherandson #dadlife #fathers #daddy #familytime #fathersontime #fatherslove #parenthood #son #fathersongoals #fatherlife #parenting #fatherlove #kids #dads #minime #twinning #cutekid
What a HALLOWEEN, y'all. In a chaotic day that was TRULY for the books, we made it through an unexpected last-minute costume change, a stern interrogation by staff while shooting photos of the kids' Halloween Parade for their school yearbook, a makeup job that was only somewhat satisfactory with the tools at my disposal, and a bonus round of trick-or-treating from children who'd ALREADY done so in TWO OTHER CITIES over the weekend and took us well until almost THREE HOURS LATER to get it all done! But Harry Potter and the LEGO Knight... I mean Spider Sorcerer... I mean scary skeleton... had a killing with their candy and are already ready for 2023. Time to start a Pinterest board with all the family costume ideas, amirite? See you at the next post! —case #halloween #spooky #halloweencostume #october #spookyseason #pumpkin #jackolantern #jackolanterns #halloweenmakeup #happyhalloween #makeup #trickortreat #love #halloweendecor #scary #creepy #harrypotter #costume #skeleton #kids #pumpkins #halloweeneveryday #cute #fun #halloweendecorations
"...We're working hard We're striving for perfection, 'cause (That's the way we're livin') Perfection's hard, that's why we're working overtime (That's the way we're livin' for you)" — New Edition, "That's the Way We're Livin'", Heart Break (1988) *** Trying to find balance was a lot easier before I found an extra twenty people to watch over at work. I thought I was busy BEFORE, with my spreadsheets and process maps galore, but this role has taken "busy" to an entirely new level, and I don't think there's any turning back after this. However, as busy as I've been with this management role, it doesn't mean that I've stopped working on everything ELSE going on in my life. In fact, it's only made time that much more PRECIOUS, so I need to make sure I'm using every spare moment I can find towards things that will actually make a DIFFERENCE! Which is why as I close in on completing the manuscript for my very first book, I've been working at putting all the building blocks together to help it be as successful as possible when I finally release it into the wild. And not least of all in that regard is making sure it has enough digital profile to cut through the white noise of the internet when the time comes. And that's why I'm VERY happy to announce that as of this past week, I've been VERIFIED on GOOGLE. What that means is that it's become MUCH easier to find my work online! If you search my name on Google, one of the first results will be a link to the Google Knowledge Panel they've given me with links to my website, information on the new book and the social media profiles I use most! It's not something you can just apply for and took me a good four tries to set up correctly once the opportunity came up, so you'd better BELIEVE that I'm going to try and make the most of this now that it's here! Hoping to celebrate with news that the manuscript's done VERY soon! See you at the next post, —case #lifestyleblogger #lifestyleinfluencer #blackblogger #microinfluencer #contentcreators #tdotbloggers #torontobloggerscollective #yyzblogger #torontoinfluencer #canadianinfluencer #canadianblogger #torontoblogger #blackcreatives #blackinfluencers #blackinfluencer
So I visited one of my alma maters today. @utschools — known as "UTS" for short — is a private school offering gifted education on the south side of Bloor between Spadina and St. George. With a highly-competitive entrance exam taken by most at 11 years old, the school only accepts around a hundred students per year, which lends to a very intimate community for the six years the kids will end up going there. It was in UTS where I really came into my own, whether it was all the time I spent drawing a comic involving everyone in my grade and THEN some ("The UTS Chronicles"); writing a long-running series for The Cuspidor, our school newspaper (the tales of the Funkmaster); or just all the time I spent in class, with friends, or showing my house pride in Althouse, where I'd grow to become the Deputy Prefect before leaving at the end of my fifth year. It was a very hectic time in my life that would teach me a LOT in the process, but I look back on much of my time there with fondness, and exploring UTS following an EXTENSIVE renovation brought a number of memories back. And, of course, it was great to reconnect with old classmates and my friend @annuprints who put up with a lot of my teenage shenanigans as my art teacher back then and still remains one of my favourite people today. We can be so busy looking forward that we forget to look back, but it's good to spend the time examining where we came from. It's a part of you, whether you like it or not 😂 We'll see you at the next post! —case #highschool #school #education #memories #UTSStories #toronto #lifestyleblogger #lifestyleinfluencer #blackblogger #microinfluencer #contentcreators #tdotbloggers #torontobloggerscollective #yyzblogger #torontoinfluencer #canadianinfluencer #canadianblogger #torontoblogger #blackcreatives #blackinfluencers #canada #ontario #torontolife #yyz #blogto #tdot #thesix
To quote @kanyewest from Watch the Throne's "No Church in the Wild", "Last night was mad real." *** I had the distinct pleasure of joining my friends @scotchfullyyours and @jillianmara last night for dinner and dessert, who came to my neck of the woods to celebrate their anniversary! Doug and @daddy.porter kept me sane through the harshest days of Ontario's COVID-19 lockdown through their weekly show #BrothersInBooze, which has seen me be anything from an active audience member to a Canadian co-host over the years, so it felt only fitting to celebrate the years of friendship (with more to come) with a nice dinner at @plantayorkville followed by some cheesecake at @ndlg.to and an impromptu tour of the stretch of Bloor Street where I did a bunch of my growing up in my teenage years. Doug even brought me some @duclawbrewingco @smuttynosebeer + @sacoriverbrewing beers to try out! It's all too easy to fall into the trap of the things we need to do day to day and not make time for things that matter, but without knowing the next time they'd be in town, this was one thing I was really glad we could make happen! —case #friendship #friends #friendshipgoals #friendsforever #happy #life #fun #friend #smile #family #memories #happiness #cheesecake #beer #toronto #lifestyleblogger #lifestyleinfluencer #blackblogger #microinfluencer #contentcreators #tdotbloggers #torontobloggerscollective #yyzblogger #torontoinfluencer #canadianinfluencer #canadianblogger #torontoblogger #blackcreatives #blackinfluencers
Fellow Canadians, I have a little bad news—we only have a few days left of summer! We've had our time for some fun in the sun, but it's time to get back to regular life and routine... but that doesn't have to be a BAD thing. What fall lacks in beach time and escapes from everyday life, it brings at least ONE thing I really enjoy—building a wardrobe that really lets me EXPRESS myself, from my head all the way down to my TOES. With fall fashion in mind, @TheShoeCompany is a one-stop shop for accessible family footwear, offering styles suitable for anyone no matter their walk in life. With a kid in grade four, he's old enough that he's starting to worry about how he presents himself in the world, so it's the perfect time to help him find the gear that works for him! It's 20% off of kids' footwear till Monday, September 12th (exclusions apply)! Good luck getting ready for the fall! Until the next, —case p. #ad #shoecostyle #fallfashion #fashion #fall #ootd #style #fallvibes #fallstyle #fashionblogger #autumn #fashionista #falloutfits #instafashion #fashionstyle #streetstyle #outfitoftheday #autumnvibes #love #onlineshopping #styleinspo #falloutfit #womensfashion #shoes #sneakers #converse #shopping #outfit #stylish #clothes
Taking a lunch break to hit up a @tiff_net panel for #TheWomanKing at #TIFF12 featuring @violadavis @johnboyega @thuso.mbedu @lashanalynch & @sheilaatim thanks to Twitter Canada. No big deal 😂 #tiff #film #toronto #torontointernationalfilmfestival #filmfestival #cinema #movies #movie #actor #torontofilmfestival #films #canada #photography #fashion #love #director #shortfilm #festival #filmmaking #actress #tour #entrepreneur #redcarpet #blackexcellence #blacklove #blackgirlmagic #blacklove
"Starting all over again..." — Mel & Tim, "Starting All Over Again" (1972) It seems almost hilarious now, but there was a time where the school years were so predictable that I could tell you how many days the kids had left until they finished high school, but with the last two years being what they were, we were glad that they had a school to go to at ALL. When we finished the last school year, we had a grade three kid who was coming into his own and a senior kindergartener who was tired of having long outgrown a play-based program since he was basically the oldest kid in the class. I've read all these posts of kids who were dreading their first day of school, doing everything they could not to go, but I think my kids had had ENOUGH summer and were more than ready to go back to THEIR lives instead of the ones we put together for them throughout the summer. It's the first year that they're both in the big kid yard and left to make their way for themselves, and I just hope that we've taught them enough that they have an amazing school year ahead. Grade 4 and Grade 1, 2022. We're looking forward to whatever's in store! #firstdayofschool #backtoschool #school #kids #education #firstday #dadlife #love #startingschool #schooldays #primaryschool #schoollife #family #firstdayofschooloutfit #parenting #students #Grade4 #Grade1 #parenthood #parentlife #lifestyleblogger #lifestyleinfluencer #blackblogger #microinfluencer #contentcreators #tdotbloggers #torontobloggerscollective #yyzblogger #torontoinfluencer #canadianinfluencer
Summer Is Over *** "Days in the sun And nights in the rain Summer is over, simple and plain..." — Majid al Maskati on Drake's "Summers Over Interlude", Views (2016) *** Every time I come back from our family vacations, it feels like I'm starting all over again. Sure, it's nice to get away from the city and spend some time out in nature, but being connected has become such an integral part of my life that things just don't feel as right WITHOUT it. Five weeks of travelling with family, seeing your country by train, plane and automobile might be the right fit for SOME people, but for me, it just made me feel like I was falling farther and farther behind, no longer able to keep up with everything the world was throwing at me. And it was a LOT—not only was I a year into the most difficult job I'd had to date, it also had me pushing the boundaries of what remote work could look like, seeing me manage my team from hundreds of kilometres and multiple time zones away in places like Calgary, Alberta and Thunder Bay. I'd spend my days in Arrowhead Provincial Park not making memories with my family but biking between their visitor's centre and my campsite with my laptop, a stack of notes and as much food as I could carry in my backpack, using every speck of sunshine I could find to work on my book whose deadlines kept nipping at my heels. Just because my family wanted to go on vacation didn't mean that the world was ready for me to do it, TOO, and I'm still trying to figure out the balancing act that'll make it all WORK. But Labour Day weekend always marks a shift for Canadians—a return to routine after months spent maximizing every second of the sunshine before the summer's gone. And my return to routine means getting back to the basement and sharing the thoughts that people have come to know me for. With any luck, next summer will possibly see me AHEAD instead of constantly feeling like I have to catch UP. We'll see you at the next post! — case p. #selfie #me #smile #myself #happy #life #boatlife #lakelife #dadlife #lifepost #labourday #laborday #vacation #vacations #summervacation #summer #summervibes #travel #summertime #nature #holiday #familyvacation