I reckon time is something we all wish we had a little more of.
Whether it's more time in bed, more time with the family or even more time to just chill out and be on your own.

Yeah, I do wish I had a little more time but to spend getting things sorted around the house.

I'm currently trying to make more time for some major home improvements but it's proving to be a real struggle right now. I'm quite a hands-on guy and the improvements I am doing would be a lot easier if I could get someone in to actually do them for me, but that's just not an option, it would cost an absolute bomb and I just don't have that sort of money.

So I'm searching for time to get it all done myself which means I'm only really getting stuck into it when I take time off the day job - weekends are a struggle too at the moment because Charlie plays rugby both on a Saturday and a Sunday and then combine it all and look at the bigger picture and it means we really don't get to have much family time as a four right now either.

A little extra time would be a big help at the moment - if anyone has any going spare I would really love to borrow a bit...

But it hasn't all been about rushing, about being busy and hasn't all been that bad - not really - a couple of weeks ago I received a really nice little timepiece to wear...
I mean it wasn't exactly the kind of time I've been searching for but it was really nice and I was more than grateful to have it sent my way


It was an all black, lightweight little number from a fab company called AlienWork

I've not actually had the chance to wear it out yet (what with all that working and DIY type stuff) but I have had it on my arm and it's a really nice fitting watch, it's so lightweight and feels like it is made really well.
I was also impressed with how strong and durable it appears and it is made from a very high-quality Japanese stainless steel.

It also has an easy to use adjustable strap, which is awesome, so when my son decides he wants to steal it, it will be easy for me to adjust back to my size.



The watch has a nice, plain design and it oozes style and sophistication - it's also a unisex design so it will really appeal to everyone.
I think it will go well with most outfits I will wear and I'm sure it will be featured in a fair few future fashion blog posts I have coming up too - actually I think I will try styling it with a few different outfit choices so you can see just how versatile it really is.

If you have read my blog before then you may know I'm a massive fan of an all black watch.  I don't wear a lot of jewellery usually so when I do, I like to wear a watch that feels comfortable and fits well and this is exactly what this AlienWork quartz watch does.



Receiving this watch really did make my day so now, whilst I go and outfit plan, it's my chance to try and make your day.

How would you like the chance to win an AlienWorks watch for yourself?



Well, good news - you can - and all you need to do is enter this brilliant competition using the form below and remember, the more entries you have the more chance you have of winning.

So good luck, and if you do win, I hope you like the watch as much as I do.

Win an Alienwork Quartz Watch #1


CARL


I'm not going to lie, the title of this post may be a little mis-leading but no matter how I spin it, writing a post about what I wear to cover up my nuts is never going to be something I have practice in or will be something I do often.

And so thinking of a fitting title was quite a hard thing to do because the post subject was so different for me. 

Plus there was the fact that I just couldn't see me being able to have a full post worth of opinions about them - I mean every pair I've owned throughout my life so far kind of do the one same job.
Of course, they may look a bit different, they may feel a little different and the quality of them will most likely range depending on the brand and the price of them.

But at the end of the day underwear all do the same thing...

Anyway, undie talk, here we go.

I have to say, I'm honestly not too bothered about what I wear under my trousers, joggers or shorts at all - it could be a pair of Calvin Classics from the local market or a pair of authentic Apparel from Primark - they serve a purpose and if they do their job that is fine with me.

I'm exactly the same with the clothes I wear actually, I mean of course it's nice to wear fancy, designer clothes but I don't get caught up with having to wear crazy amounts of labels (I leave that to my son nowadays) and if you have read my blog before...

 (If not, why not?)

...you will know that I am quite passionate about wearing independent labels, especially ones that are up and coming and not a lot of people have heard of them before.
I like to be a little different in the things I wear and judging by the interaction these posts get I think a lot of my readers enjoy that style of clothing too.

Probably because people like to learn, to discover, to see new things they haven't spotted before and then if they find it and think it looks good, well they naturally want to find out more.

I'm a little bored and past people who only wear established branded clothing anyway - there's nothing wrong with it but it's just not really me.
I do own a few expensive branded clothes but not many - and most of the things I do have are about twenty years old and were purchased back when I was a single lad.

But, yeah, independent labels are where it's at for me right now and others with similar tastes are the types of individuals I want to make it a mission to seek out and follow. 

Right so by now you're probably thinking where am I going with this post - from undies to branded labels - well let me tell you...

A couple of weeks before Christmas the guys over at Body Branded sent me over a selection of Ben Sherman socks and boxers and wanted me to post my thoughts about the items here on my blog.

I know, I know - I thought the same too, "new socks and undies before Christmas?  What on earth could my family buy me now?!"

Wise up Carl, you're 35 now - you can never have enough socks and undies...good job really as it's the only gift I get these days.

Oh, and maybe a chocolate orange...

So, Body Branded started out as just an idea - an idea to provide underwear from some of the most iconic brands online.  They have a vast range of different products to which they are always refreshing and adding more lines to too.

Like I said, I'm not too fussed about branded clothes these days and the last time I wore anything Ben Sherman was years ago and I think it was a shirt, which if I remember rightly, I teamed with a nice Petroleum jumper from the local Jean Junction store.

You see, even back then I had all the makings of a fashion blogger... :)

But now I have it and gave sampled it, how does the Ben Sherman gear compare to my normal, very cheap and cheerful undercrackers?

Well, you can definitely see and feel that they are made of a better quality material and the shaping is a lot better too...which is something you kind of expect with the higher price tag I think.

They feel a whole lot better whilst wearing them to the others too, even taking into account they are a little tighter fitting than the normal ones I wear, despite both being the same size.

I've found that they feel better on too when I'm working in them, bending over and reaching to fit things - no builders behind showing here and now, rather than the usual Calvin Classic sign covering my arse crack there is a much better looking Ben Sherman one in it's place.

All of the items were a really nice fit and will be getting worn on a regular basis too.
I will 100% be heading to their website when I'm in need of some more undergarments that's for sure.




CARL

Well, I hope you are all enjoying the 6 Nations coverage from the last few weeks - I know I am.
The Scottish beat us - which is more than a little gutting - but I'm still quite upbeat about the rest of the games England have lined up and I'm sure they can go unbeaten from now on and finish in the top spot.

I know watching the games on the TV isn't quite the same as being there in person, enjoying some of the Twickenham Hospitality but I will take watching it in HD on my 50-inch curve screen TV for now but I'm hoping that one day soon I will have the opportunity to head down to the stadium with my son and share some great, amazing, live rugby memories with him watching brilliant England. 

If you follow me on any of my social channels then you will already know that I am a massive rugby fan and still do play from time to time, well when I can find the time away from work that is.
But even if I don't manage to play myself I still get my rugby fix each and every week because my twelve-year-old son plays both codes all year round.

He plays League throughout the Summer and then Union during the Winter and he's been doing this since he was about five - so that's a lot of rugby watching.

However, throughout all of this time, he's never been all that interested in sitting down to actually watch the game and he doesn't really follow a team either.



In fact, the only time we really get to watch games live, where he is really enthralled and into the game is when we go on our annual "lads and dads" rugby tour, and on Saturday - which will be the 3rd of March - we will be heading off on this year's trip.
We are Leicester bound first and then on Sunday, we will be going to watch the Wasps vs London Irish.



Maybe one day I'll get to go on a "daughter and dads" tour too - Willow loves playing with Charlie's rugby ball and sometimes even asks us to put "RUG-A-BIE" on tv too.



I'm all for her getting involved and her Mum will let her follow any path she wishes hobby wise...although I think she's hoping there will be pink and tutus involved in the sporting activity Willow chooses to pursue...

Anyway, during our previous year's tours, we have been down to watch Worster and have also travelled up North to watch the Newcastle Falcons, both of which were fantastic experiences and I have learnt a lot of things from them both. 

One of the main points was that you really have to wrap up warm and wear plenty of layers on tour, and this is definitely going to to be the case this year due to all of the snow The Beast From The East delivered to us and especially seeing as how the temperatures have been hitting the -6 mark over the last few days. 

Another tip I picked up was if you are travelling with a group of kids (as we obviously do) then make sure there is a really good selection of sweets and snacks on hand.
I know some stadiums do not allow you to take your own in but it's definitely worth checking out before you head to the match because it can cost you an arm an leg just for a few treats in the stands.

This year though, I know for sure that I will be taking a lot more photos of the whole weekend.
It's one thing I have forgotten to do the last few games I have been to with my boy and it's missing memories that can never be reclaimed.

I am a firm believer of when you spend time with your special ones there is nothing more important than capturing the moment forever, then the moment is saved, accessible to look at and talk over again and again.

Priceless really.

Are you going to any of the games this year?
If not, what is your favourite memory of going to a game in the past?
Let me know in the comment section below.

CARL
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Sponsored post, all words and images are my own 
Game on! Why We Love to Play the Lottery 

As much as we would like to think that genders are equal in modern society, and even though it might not be politically correct to say it, when it comes to gaming and gambling there are significant differences between the sexes. 

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation in Australia determined that "men were significantly more likely than women to gamble for social reasons or for general entertainment, while women were more likely to gamble for charity or because gambling relieved stress, loneliness and boredom." 

Men, it is said, are more likely than women to take risks. This is why, studies suggest, that men tend to favour sports betting, horse racing, and online gambling. This tendency can also explain why men play more poker than women, and on the other hand, why women are more attracted to other types of games, like bingo. 


But with the lottery, it seems that we all want to play the game. When the American Powerball lottery offered a record-breaking jackpot of $1.58 billion in January 2016, or when the other big American lottery Mega Millions offered its own incredible jackpot prize of $656 million in March 2012, there was a mad rush on ticket sales. Even those who had never previously purchased lottery tickets were eager to take a chance on winning such a huge, life-changing prize. 

Imagine what we could do if we won the lottery. Buy a new home. Travel the world. Go wild with a new sports car. Or two. If we would use our lottery windfall wisely, we would ensure our family’s financial security for a generation or two. 

The odds of winning a lottery jackpot are quite low, infinitesimal in fact. To win Powerball you would have to beat odds of 1:292,201,338, while in the UK, you only have a 1 in 1:45,057,474 chance. But winning the lottery doesn’t necessarily mean winning the jackpot. Lotteries offer a wide range of secondary prizes and the odds of winning one are significantly better. Many lotteries stage supplementary raffles, increasing the chances of winning a prize in a lottery draw. 
Whatever the odds, as insurmountable as they may see, we are not dissuaded from purchasing tickets. According to studies, 70 percent of UK adults play the lottery on a regular basis. And the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries determined that Americans spent a total of $70 billion on lottery tickets in 2016, more than they spent on sports tickets, books, video games, films, and music combined. 

Statistics aside, whenever lotteries offer incredible jackpot prizes, there is no difference between gender, age, or financial standing – we all hurry to purchase our lottery tickets. We know that if we don’t play the game, we won’t have a chance of winning the prize. 


Playing the lottery gives us a chance, as small as it might seem, of winning something very big. It’s a game we all want to play, so game on!

CARL
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