Wildly Important Goals

How are you ever going to get somewhere if you don’t know where you are going?  ANother example, going for a drive without having a destination in mind.  Sure you might see some nice things along with way, and there is something to be said about going on instinct and feel and at times this can turn out to be the most awesome adventure.

My time away from a career and spending all this amazing time with my children has been like going on that long drive without a destination in mind, and yes I have seen and experienced some pretty amazing things over the past several months.  Time that I would not trade for anything, but now that we are a good month into 2018 I’ve started to feel the call back to work, being productive and being a little social as well.

IMG_4230.jpgMy exercise for the week in my men’s mental health group is creating a wildly important goal, and leads you through the process of getting it accomplished within a certain time frame.  We will be doing this exercise twice, the first time through as kind of a test run if you will to completely understand the process, and then again over a longer period of time.  I’ve decided to use the first run through for my side hustle as advertised below, my online bakery.

The past week I have been using Facebook and Instagram to advertise, and the business has gotten some great exposure.  One of the ads has more Instagram likes than I have ever gotten before, but this has not yet translated into any orders.  The site only has Valentine’s Day cookies for sale, as this is the next holiday I am looking to capitalize on but there are many other special days throughout the year, and countless baby and bridal showers, birthdays, special events, you name it…  I would very much like my website to reflect all the cookies (with photographic evidence) that I can make.  When I counted I actually have about 180 different shape cutters to use.

IMG_4223.jpgI honestly believe that some Valentine’s Day orders will be coming, and us men are notorious for waiting until the last minute to take care of things, I would like to be ready for repeat and referral business after Valentine’s Day has come and gone with products ready for the rest of the year.  I believe that one sale leads to two more, and then five and so on, I really do and I want to be ready for WHEN that happens.

I am sending out my first package through the mail today to see if the product survives, I have packed them safe and secure and now it’s on the post office shoulder not to destroy my work’s of art.  Years in the comic book business should help with this!  But over the next four weeks I will be baking and decorating a portfolio of cookies, and I really look forward to it!  A month from now I will have an awesome website, my decorating skills will have improved ten times over and I will be ready to turn my side hustle into a full blown business.  I cannot wait… well two more minutes anyways before the timer in the oven goes off.  Hmmmm, delicious!

North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!


2017 Top 10 ~ Baking, baking and more baking (#7)

Despite the occasional box cake mix, and lets get the joke out of the way right off the bat, I love to bake.  It comes from being my mother’s faithful kitchen assistant growing up and helping her in the kitchen, that love of baking has really blossomed over the past six months.  There was a run there for a few years when I was really into making cupcakes, and would often involve Emily and Megan in these projects.

It only makes sense to me to serve up my children delicious creations from my own kitchen as opposed to store bought delights filled with an endless number of preservatives.  Jennifer and Austin also love to help out in the kitchen everytime that we make cookies and it is another great way to spend time together as a family.

The one item I seem to make most these days is Banana Bread, and I’ve been slowly perfecting the recipe over the past few months.  Most weeks I make at least two, and a few times I’ve made as many as five in a single week.  The kids devour them (I give them to neighbors) and even as I type this Megan is asking when I am making another one as it is her favorite snack…

Beauty of a blog post, it can be paused and picked back up (banana bread made, and in the oven!)

Ahh now I can smell the deliciousness in the air of a banana bread baking away in the oven, amazing.  Always a great smell in the house when I have something cooking.  The other reason that I love baking so much is that I find it very relaxing and a chance to practice some mindfulness.

I can turn everything off and forget about the rest of the world for a few minutes when I am making a tasty treat.  The whole process can be equated down to Love vs Science , a post I have recently written about.  I have always been a very scientific baker as it helps sooth my OCD a bit, however I have recently been schooled in the ways of baking with love (not the love ingredient I previously mentioned) but actually LOVE and being slightly less concerned about perfect measurements across the board.

After some debate I had to agree that cookies made with love rather than pure science seemed to taste a bit better when eating them.

Some other items I have been working at perfecting are homemade pies and Sugar Cookies.  My favorite pie would be a good old fashioned Apple Pie with a slight taste of cinnamon.  Granny Smith apples seem to work best based on their texture and slight tart taste which plays great against all the sweetness of the sugar you would add.  I’ve also made my first Peach pie, Cherry pie, from scratch Pumpkin pie and even a Chocolate Pudding pie a few weeks ago.


I am also in the process of working on getting an online baking company up and running with the help of Patrick and Kristi we have had a few orders and I look to dedicate a section of my blog site dedicated to this venture next week.  This has been focused around Sugar cookies and Kristi has taught me a tremendous amount about how to properly ice these cookies, as well as continuing to bust my chops about using a boxed cake mix.


2017 A Year in Pictures

It would seem that a lot of bloggers like to recap the year, as many of the sites that I follow and read have done this recently.  I also happen to think it is an excellent idea to take note of where you have been, so it can help you focus on exactly where you want to go.  I spent a part of my morning scrolling through my recent Google photos from the last few years and I present to you Ed Dillon, A Year in Review picture style.

January 2017

The year started off still at my old house with the hopes of listing and selling it while the real estate market here in Barrie was going a little bananas.  Austin has his 3rd birthday, with Darth Vader himself even delivering his present.

February 2017

As we got closer to listing and selling our house, our favorite game quickly became lightsaber battles as Austin was discovering the magic that is Star Wars.  I also started to contemplate buying a new Jeep this month.

March 2017

The kids started swimming lessons, I ordered my Jeep which was custom built for me in Ohio and shipped North after the assembly was completed.  Megan as always, loves to take selfies on my phone every chance that she gets.

April 2017

Lot’s of quality time spent with the kids, and we got ready to move into our new house at the beginning of May.  My Jeep also arrived with only 3 km on the odometer.  Oh that was so sweet…

May 2017

Was able to get the golf season off to a great start in May, finding some beautiful Ontario Trilliums in bloom.  I would take the roof off of the Jeep every single chance that I could, despite what might have been questionable weather to some.

June 2017

I enjoyed the beautiful outdoor weather as much as possible this month, taking the roof and the doors off whenever possible.  It was one of Austin’s favorite things to do, he had a little too much fun in there if you ask me.  On Father’s Day the kids asked if they could paint me, not quite what I had in mind but it was awesome.

July 2017

I turned 45 in July and I had one of the best months of my life.  It started with a Road Trip to Chicago and St. Louis for some ball games and then back to Canada, to pick up my daughters and a great camping trip up in Ottawa.  I started to build my recreational room at the front of my house aka MAN CAVE.  I even found a four leaf clover this month!

August 2017

This month saw a great trip to see Monday Night Raw, the pool table arrived and the games room was decorated and completed.  I played lots and lots of golf often getting up at the crack of dawn and playing a few rounds in a day.

September 2017

The kids went back to school and by the end of the month I was unemployed by choice.  I really wanted to spend as much time at home as I possibly could.  After almost 21 years working for The Keg I needed a break as I was emotionally and physically spent.  I started to bake a lot, and dove into my children as much as I could.

October 2017

Jennifer’s birthday lands on Halloween and that will forever be an extra special day around here, and always lot’s to do in preparation for it.  I played as much golf as possible while the weather was still nice, and continued the trend of baking more and more.

November 2017

This month just went by far too quickly as all month’s seem to do when you are having the time of your life.  Despite some hiccups with Emily, who turned 16 this month I enjoyed spending time with my kids all month.  I had all my old Keg friends over for a dinner on the eve of Survivor Series, and there were only two of us left standing.  What a great night!

December 2017

The year ended on a bit of an emotional roller coaster, but a lot of great lessons were learned.  I am in the process of getting an online baking company started, focusing on Sugar Cookies.  I lost track of the number of loaves of banana bread, and pies I’ve baked this month and of course Christmas morning is always magical around my house.

2017 was quite the year for me.  From where I started at the beginning of the year, what I was able to learn along the way.  The changes I saw in my personal and professional life, what I thought was important at the beginning of the year has changed by the summer months, and completely changed again by September.  The last few months I have been on a mission of self discovery and growth, and I am very excited to see what 2018 brings.

I’ve met an incredible lady who inspires me to be my very best, I have improved the relationships with all my children and I’ve started down a few roads back into the workforce in new and exciting directions.  2017 was such a year, and I suspect that 2018 will be even for so for all the right reasons!

Happy New Year everyone.  All my best wishes to you and your families in 2018!

Too much turkey…

And there goes Luke’s hand, as Darth Vader slices it off in the epic fight scene at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, I’m watching my fourth Star Wars movie of the day.

“No. I am your father.”

Perhaps one of the most mis quoted Star Wars references, as most would say, “Luke, I am your father…”  What started around noon with The Force Awakens, Rogue One, A New Hope and now Empire, with of course Revenge, er Return of the Jedi still to come.

See the real Star Wars fans will appreciate the above paragraph, and the other 99.9999999% of you will think I’m nuts, but that is okay!  This is what single guys do when they don’t have any kids at home as I’ve found myself today.  In the fun snowfall of Christmas Day I had the extreme pleasure of watching my four children experience the magic that is Christmas morning.

I always have such fond memories of my days as a child and the excitement to the build up of Christmas, it was my favorite time of the year.  Christmas hands down every time, I guess my parents did a great job of making sure that it was a magical time of the year and I’ve tried to do the same for my children.  This was my first Christmas as a single man, and (aside for some wrapping assistance, thank you) I had to do everything myself.  Funny what you take for granted in a couple, that you have to take care of on your own.  However I love this stuff, and I think I rose to the challenge pretty well this year.  Let the pictures speak for themselves…

And while my face may not have shown it that morning, I was feeling it inside.  I feel I took on just a bit too much with kids school functions, sugar cookie orders, my own Christmas baking, a full Christmas dinner at home on Christmas Eve and then driving my kids back to their mom’s houses in the blizzard.  The Jeep did what she was born to do and I zipped through with easy and control and a feeling of safety.  I love my car.

I had an emotional Christmas Day that ended much better than I thought it might, surprising what can happen when your open and honest.  While there is a mountain to climb, and a shit storm of things to figure out, it shall at the very interesting and the time of our lives to quote an old favorite song of mine…

This morning, I ate cookies for breakfast (thank you Mrs. Kershaw your Christmas treats where delicious as always) and I haven’t had them in several years.  I guess it was a thank you for driving out the girls from Barrie to Orangeville, I really don’t mind and that had become a Christmas tradition for me now.  Ha ha that’s kind of cool as I just realized that… As I type this the Imperial March from the end credits of Empire is playing and it’s epic!!!!

During that drive I get the listen to some great music, sing aloud take all the back roads I can find and just make it an awesome experience.  This year I killed it and everything about that drive was great.  Mrs. Kershaw even packed me leftover turkey, and with today’s feedings my turkey meal count stands as follows.  Dec. 23rd two plates turkey dinner, Dec. 24th two plates turkey dinner, Dec. 25th one plate turkey road snacks dinner, and one plate home leftovers, Dec. 26th two plates turkey dinner…

That is eight turkey dinners in a row.  What is wrong with me?  I’ve still got two more meals tomorrow to finish that bird.  I mean I like me a good protein but ten turkeys plates in a row is asking a bit too much, no?

In between the Star Wars marathon today I’ve been playing a lot of pool today as well, and I have to say I’ve found a recent mental clarity when shooting a rack that I feel I’ve improved by 200% in the past month.  I cannot wait for my buddy Ryan to get out her soon so I can dust that poore boy, he won’t know what hit him.  Ryan I’ve considered my measuring stick if you will, he is a 29 year version of me.  So when 45 year old me can beat him in golf this summer, and now pool well I am doing okay, ha ha!


I cannot tell you the number of comments and compliments that my Man Cave gets as it rocks the entrance to my house, and I love it.  It encompases everything about my childhood growing up and all of my current loves and interests.  I even take all my baking photos on top of the pool table…  It is my everything room and brings me such peace when I get to be in there, it has so many different feels and vibes to me all dependant on how you want to set the mood, just like a Transformer, just like my Jeep.  Anyone sensing a theme here?  Yes I am just abid kid at heart, and wouldn’t have it any other way!  I’ve got a few more games of pool to get to, as I continue to search for that perfect rack and run the table, as that day is getting close…

I can feel it, small goal of mine to see it happen in 2017.  Happy Holidays everyone!