2021 is already starting to present challenges for every business owner, limiting many to
working from home whilst others have to implement a lot of measures within their workplace
to make it safe.

Whilst some business owners are left with nothing but time on their hands until their
premises reopen in February or March, others are preparing to provide their business with a
new look. Among the chief areas are replacing older worn-out carpet laid floors with
something that is easier to maintain and gives a positive vibe throughout the office.
Wood Effect in the Office

Hardwood floors throughout the office is not a new thing, in fact, they have offered up a
calming sensibility for decades throughout an office.
However, they do tend to suffer over the years with every spilled drink or scratch from a chair
movement which is expensive to replace, which is why they tend to get left in that state for
long periods. With luxury wood effect vinyl flooring you have a perfectly replicated flooring
solution that has technologies at play to prevent scratches and stains, as well as moisture
resistant properties to protect the underfloor.
Stone Effect

Real stone in an office environment is a powerful look but it does fall to problems of chipping
and scratches over time.

This is an area that can be fully replicated with the lowest price Amtico flooring also, and
provides exactly the same qualities as the wood effect whilst providing a fully authentic look
where people would not know the difference. By installing tiles with the use of an adhesive
you will not fall victim to any loose fittings coming away and ruining the look of your floor,
common mistakes with stone flooring.

By choosing from multiple collections, you can even mix and match between stone, slate
and marble effect to create a sense of style unique to your business.
Quick Installation Before Reopening

Even the cheapest Amtico Spacia flooring in the UK does not require weeks to fit an office
space, nor does it require a professional.

If you feel the need you can have it installed by yourself if up to the task as each section can
be cut to a measured size. Depending on if you choose planks or tiles it is a relatively simple
exercise either way.

By dedicating a bit of time to making your office an easily maintained and stylish place to
return to, the best investment moving your company forward is in vinyl flooring.

Well, what a year 2020 has been...
I can not believe it's 2021 already and we are still in a lockdown, it only seems two minutes ago that the first lockdown was declared and we were all hoping this would be done and gone and we would be seeing some sort of normality by now.
It seems though, that no one knows what's going on or what tier we are in, or what the rules are.
After the Christmas we have all just had to - not really getting to see people or share any special time with our loved ones, it's certainly hit a lot of people's mental hard - mine included.

Let's hope we can see some positive stuff in 2021 - well, after January's lockdown is over that is - and we can all begin to have an amazing year...fingers crossed...

Anyway, sorry for the doom and gloom start but I promise you that's it  - it will only be positive, happy talk from here!

So let's talk about Christmas, to be honest, it was actually the best Christmas we've ever had although it didn't really seem like Christmas at all.
It's normally the time of year when you spoil your loved ones rotten and your household gets filled up with those amazing goodies, toys, tech, skincare, sweets...

Over the last few years myself and my wife have kind of taken a step back from treating ourselves and we cut back on what we get others in our family too - money is kind of tight and we have two beautiful, amazing children who we want to spoil and treat, so the main chunk of our money goes on them - and you know what, good, because they deserve it. 

Myself and my wife always get a little bit of money to share from family plus the odd toiletry set, but seeing our children really happy and enjoying Christmas is what really makes our Christmas.

So with the money we normally get we do try to get a little for ourselves in the January sales - I mean why pay full price in December when a week later you can buy more because things are a lot cheaper. 

One of the main things we wanted to treat ourselves to was some sort of skincare products for us both - neither of us have really looked after our skin in the last year and we can really tell too - we are getting old!

You may have seen some of the past posts I have published around Christmas time featuring products I love on my Christmas Gift Guides.

We were very much in luck when Boots - our skin saviours - came to our rescue and asked if we wanted to review some products from their online store...perfect timing or what.

It was the perfect opportunity for us to treat ourselves to some amazing products - the selection on the Boots website is huge and we were spoilt for choice with the amazing brands and deals featured. 

If you have read my blog before, you will know that I am a bearded bloke and love nothing more than looking after my beard but over the last year it's had no pampering at all other than washing.
I used to treat it to oils, balms, conditioners - it had the works - so I wanted to add something like that back into my skincare routine.
And also my eye bags are getting so bad so a little something for them seemed to be a must.

Boots have such a great selection of products for everyone and I headed over to the men's gift set collections and two bundles really stood out to me for what I wanted to achieve. 

This bundle contained four amazing products that will definitely get used regularly and the name L'Oreal doesn't need any explaining really - it is a well-known, reliable brand, and is why I chose these products. 

In the set there is a 300ml bottle of stress resist relaxing shower gel which will definitely ease my body's tension after a hard day's graft at work.
It is suitable for both body and hair too - a must for a man with a beard - and it has a lovely, fruity fragrance that leaves you feeling refreshed after a shower.

Then there is the vita lift anti-ageing daily moisturiser, perfect for the fight against the five signs of ageing - all of which are finding me now I've hit that grand age of 38!
This product has been a godsend and 100% one of the key products in my skincare routine now.

One of the main things that made me want to start looking after my skin was how bad my eyes are beginning to look.
It was only when I was asked to take a photo of myself for a work ID badge that I noticed my eyes were really bad and I decided that I really needed to do something about them.
This was one of the main reasons why I chose this collection because it had eye cream that I really wanted to use.
I've only used it for just over a week now and I haven't noticed massive changes just yet but I'm hoping it will iron out my wrinkles and fine lines and just make my eyes look a lot lighter...and less old...

Last but not least is the stress resist 48hr roll-on deodorant - personally, I don't use roll-on's but my son happily took it off my hands and is really happy with the product and has even asked if I would buy him some more when this runs out - which is always a good sign. 

I was then lucky enough to be able to choose myself another gift set from Boots...

This is an amazing collection of the finest male grooming products I have seen in a long time, and it contains more than enough for any mans skincare routine - it also has a product I can use on my beard to keep it looking and feeling and looking super fresh.

I'm not going to go into the fine details about these products because this post would be far to long.

But, within the bundle, there is an energising face wash and facial scrub which when used together make a great combination to use after a day at work getting covered in all different sorts of muck and oils, all causing damage to my skin. 

Next up there is a 200ml energising face & body wash which has a really lightweight formula meaning you don't have to spend hours in the shower rinsing the lather off, making it perfect for a quick morning freshen up in the shower before work. 

Now that's the body washed, let's move on to the aftercare products.
First up the face, beard, and stubble moisturiser - like I said above I've really neglected my beard over the last year so this product has been a breath of fresh air for me and it's unbelievable the about of comments I've received about my beard since I started using it.
I've even been asked if I dye my beard because it looks a little darker now and much healthier - I've been throwing the product recommendation around loads!

I wouldn't say my skin is really dry but after using the face wash and scrub within this set it's feels nice to put a bit of moisture back into my face and neck area.
The gradual tan moisturiser is perfect too for this and because it has a slight tint to it it means I get a real healthier look to my skin.

And last but not least, a product which I should have been using daily for the last year and that is the No7 energising eye roll on. 

I first used an eye-roller on my wedding day over nine years ago because I was with my Mum and she told me to use hers so my eyes wouldn't look tired on my wedding photos, afterwards I said to myself I wanted to get one for myself.

I've actually used a few different ones in the past but for some reason, it's a product I always forget about and can go months, maybe years, without picking one up- crazy!

Well, my number one plan in 2021 is to try not to forget about it and try use or daily. 

The No7 eye-roller is just as good as the ones I've used before and you can definitely feel the three balls it has really massaging the skin under my eyes when using it, and fingers crossed this works in conjunction with the other skincare products and I will start seeing some fantastic results.

Well, that's me and my skin sorted with those Gifts For Him, now let's move onto someone who truly deserves treating, and that's my wife, Simone. 

I'm not going to go into details but after the year she has had having to hold things together at home with our kids through the pandemic, she 100% needs some lovely gifts so she can pamper herself. 

She had a look at the Gifts For Her section and initially picked a Clinique moisture surge set.

I remember way back when, she did use to use a few Clinique products, but, as with everything, she dropped down to a lot less expensive products  - I think she jumped at the chance of having a little luxury back in her skincare routine. 

She told me that her skin often feels really tight, so anything that gives it more moisture and a bit of a fresher look she is all over.
The overnight mask is fantastic and she told me it has really made a difference.
The under-eye cream and the face cream, she uses daily and is loving the moisturised, fresh feel of her skin because of them.

The second product was again, a product from her past - a rather pricey (I was a bit shocked actually!) Benefit Gimme Brow.

Simone doesn't leave the house without a bronzer and a brow and this product was the first she leaned towards when this opportunity came our way.

She told me it has always been a favourite of hers and it makes her brows look full and fantastic and it lasts all day too.

A real confidence booster!

So yes, as you can see, a few little treats really do go a long way in making people - especially people who don't usually get them - feel a little better and a little happier about themselves.

Thanks lots Boots for making 2021 a little more easier to take...

This post is in conjunction with Boots UK, but all thoughts are my own

If I can take something positive out of 2020, it's that as a family we have made changes to look after ourselves a lot more. We haven't made massive changes but the little ones we have, they've made a massive difference. 

Our family consists of myself and my wife Simone, my just turned 15-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter. 

I have always been an on and off the gym type of person. One month I'm all for it but then the next month I just can not be bothered at all. I think a lot of this is down to my diet and energy levels to be honest - when I'm at the gym I love it but it's that actually getting to the gym I struggle with.
And then there are the aches and pains I suffer from the few days after I actually get to the gym - something I put down to me being the ripe old age of 38, oh this and the fact that my diet is really poor, I know I definitely needed to make some changes and get some more goodness into my system.

My son is 15 and plays rugby - he is coming to the age where the games he plays are becoming really physical so - before lockdown hit - he had been going to the gym, not only to stay fit but also to improve his physical strength.
It was such a shame when the gyms closed because he had been putting in so much effort and had really started to notice improvements. 

When the first lockdown was announced, was it back in March? It's been a long year...
The gyms closing was a real kick in the backside for both me and my son to get organised at home because we both had been going to the gym quite regularly and had a good routine in place and we really didn't want to lose all of our progress.

We had to decide what to do next - we didn't have much exercise equipment in the house and definitely have a lack of space (and cash!) to own our own things - especially when the prices of equipment - even second-hand equipment - rose by a lot, even on Facebook selling sites. 
Luckily a family member offered us a bar and some free weights and we managed to get some dumbells and resistance bands really cheap - it wasn't much but just enough for us to get some sort of workouts done.

Anyway, as I said my diet just wasn't right, especially with what I wanted to achieve, so my wife - who already uses My Protein for a few products and supplements to help her with her workouts - asked me if I wanted her to order some products to help me and my son to feel physically better in ourselves, to get us motivated and to help us recover faster post-workout, allowing us to be better set to try our best at our new home-workout routine.
And with me been furloughed I had plenty of time on my hands and - most importantly diet wise - I couldn't be tempted to eat rubbish food throughout the day...Greggs is my downfall. 

In all, I think I was on furlough for two months and myself and my son did about five workouts in the garden each week.
We made a makeshift bench from a hop-up I had in my van and we mixed the workouts up and always made sure we had our multi-vitamins and cod liver oil in the morning and we would end our workouts with a nice protein shake. 

We were quite lucky really that we had some really nice weather but those home workouts weren't a patch on the gym workouts we were used to doing - we were made up when the gyms finally reopened - and my son was over the moon when his rugby team started training again.
He was fit and feeling strong due to his "I WILL do this" lockdown attitude, which gave his confidence a massive boost. 

And I wasn't feeling too bad myself either which was a first for a long time but we both definitely wanted to up our protein intake through the day and not just have protein in our shakes or main meals. A few weeks later I had a rather nice email arrive in my inbox from no other than My Protein themselves asking if I was interested in checking out and reviewing some of the new protein bars which had just dropped and some of their other products...!

Like I said above, we have used a fair few My Protein products in the past (and present!) so having the chance to work with them on my blog is a dream come true. 

So let's get to the bit you have all been waiting for ...the products...

First up...

My Protein has combined two of their most loved treats - cookies, and brownies - into one single high protein snack.

Before I tasted these I knew they were going to be amazing...white chocolate, marshmallow, a cookie dough base, a brownie style protein dough topped with a low sugar caramel coating!...how was I not going to like these!?

All of these in a protein bar seems a tad wrong doesn't it, but let me tell you it's really so right.
The flavour, the texture both make it seem like you are treating yourself to a real "naughty" snack, 
Some protein bars I have had in the past have been a little dry and stodgy - not these though, not at all - 14G of lovely tasting protein - you're definitely on to a winner.

Actually, the only issue I had with these was that my son loved them as much as I did so they didn't last too long.

The next product was another bar - this one is the My Protein Whipped Duo Chocolate Fudge.

Even though these are my least favourite of the two that I reviewed they are still a really flavoursome packed bar.
This one has 11 grams of protein per bar and the chocolate-fudge combo is a definite winner, it has a super-soft texture which almost melts in your mouth too.

I found this bar perfect for me straight after my dinner at work when I would normally want to eat something sweet - they really helped with my sweet tooth cravings through the day in the work van.

It's 100% a treat without the cheat! 

The third product was something I could certainly start my day with.
For many years now breakfast has been my biggest downfall - I'm always in such a rush in the morning and end up just grabbing something from a fast-food place on the way to my first job - usually a Greggs or a McDonalds's.
I mean, yes they taste great but I would instantly regret it an hour or so later.

I have tried meal replacement shakes in the past - they were great for weight-loss but I would start to get really hungry an hour or so after one which just leads to me eat something I wasn't meant to be having - totally defeating the object of having a meal replacement diet on the go.

The My Protein Protein Pancake Mix pancakes were a dream for me - I'm a massive pancake fan and must admit I do make a great pancake (my Yorkshire puddings are famous in Bradford ;) )

Myself and my son have both had these pancakes for breakfast a fair few times now and both of us are really impressed with them - the blend of high-quality protein from the milk and egg, the cookie and cream flavour is really good and the ease of simply adding milk, giving them a quick whisk and sticking them into a frying pan takes just minutes.
I mean even my lazy morning self manages to get it done. 
I like my pancakes quite thick and fluffy - with added strawberry and blueberries - and these honestly do make a great, slow-digesting, fast breakfast - perfect for my lifestyle. 

The pancakes come in nine amazing flavours too and we can not wait to try out the chocolate and cinnamon, and sugar ones - they both do sound amazing.  

And then (yes, there's more!) last but not least on the menu is something I've never tried before and have only used a couple of times - I wanted to use the full course but with the gyms closing tfor the second time I didn't manage to finish the course as I thought there wasn't much point with my lack of exercising being forced again (no furlough this time, so day time, home workouts were out of the window)
I'm not sure if I could get the best out of them doing my home workouts either really.

I wish I could tell you more about them but I just hope when things go back to normal I can get the most out of them again and can let you guys know what I thought of them properly.

The Thermo-X contain My Protein's ultimate weight-loss formula of essential vitamins and minerals.
They consist of all-natural plant extracts which all help you really focus your weight-loss goals.

For me, well I wasn't trying to lose a mega amount of weight but I was using them to give me that extra boost when training and to help with endurance.

As a family we have really enjoyed the products and the extra protein we are getting is such a bonus - especially when everything tastes so good.
We will carry on ordering our usual supplements and powders from My Protein but may now throw a few new items into the basket to try every now and again too - and knowing they always have some sort of deal on, well it's great. 

Do you use My Protein products? If so, what are your favourites? 

This post was in collaboration with My Protein, all images and opinions are my own 

Recent controversies on Twitter aimed at Harry Styles and his gender-curious fashion sense have hit the headlines in recent days, and for an interesting reason. It seems as though the discourse surrounding what ‘masculinity’ actually is has become blurred. Some still hold onto it as the bloody-and-roaring ambition of the Vikings and in the hard-won, rugged, natural adventuring of our ancestors - to use a couple of intense examples.

Others say masculinity is something every man defines for himself, and they are nearer to the truth. Harry Styles may wear dresses, for instance, but he is certainly no less of a powerful figure for it, and would likely outdo many of us in the romance department thanks to his charm. That said, you can defend Harry Styles, and new forms or interpretations of masculinity taking form, and also STILL pay respect to how masculinity was and has been classically viewed in the past. In other words, you can see the late Sean Connery and Harry Styles as men worthy of respect. However, it does seem that an overcorrection has taken place, and classic masculinity, of the type you may see in classic issues of GQ, is in disrepute.

If that’s the kind of masculinity that works for you, that’s fine, too. There’s no need to feel ashamed of being wherever you are in the spectrum. In fact, for lack of trending articles popularizing that concept now - let’s consider what ‘classic’ may mean in 2020.

A Flash Of Nobility & Class

A worthwhile flash of nobility and class is worth investing in from time to time. You might find that spending time behind the wheel of an Aston Martin Vantage not only grants you access to a beautiful and highly practical car, but also that your feeling of occupying a James Bond role, and all of the cultural sharpness that emphasizes, can be a great deal of fun. Who said that classic teenage fantasies shouldn’t be answered? If you can focus on something like this, be it a rented, financed, or purchased option or experience, you’ll no doubt enjoy that flash of nobility and class you’re looking for. No matter if you find it through a track day or in a fine dining restaurant, it’s nice to feel how a little refinement can be from time to time.

A Sense Of Rugged Adventure

A sense of rugged adventure is also quite worthwhile. You can find this by traveling, or by exploring an area that you may not be familiar with. Spending time in a European town, solo-traveling, or spelunking with friends can be a great means of finding your adventuring spirit, which may have gone unused for some time. A sense of rugged adventure not only helps you feel more active and engaged but, through osmosis, you will begin to inspire your peers in the same breath.

Taking The Lead & Feeling Strong

You don’t have to feel like you’re ‘taking the lead’ to be masculine, but it can be nice to flex some of your leadership and willingness to define your terms from time to time. This might involve organizing an impromptu night with your partner, completely surprising them. It might mean taking the first step in having that difficult discussion with a friend. It could simply mean deciding not to take your excuses as gospel anymore, and going for that morning run. You’d feel infinitely better, no doubt. So - no matter how your masculinity is defined, don’t be afraid to explore it, even if it does harp back to our classic understanding of this quite powerful mode of living.

With this advice, we hope you can reconnect or re-express your classic masculinity, without shame, should you wish to.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig