27 May 2015

My adventure out in Joe Browns clothing


Monday afternoon day off work, what would you do?

Well, let me tell you what I did.

It was a fairly dull morning but by the afternoon the day was starting to brighten up so I decided to head out.
I'm from Bradford in West Yorkshire, which isn't always the most glam of places but slowly-slowly the town centre is improving, with a new shopping complex being built complete with an underground project involving all of the tunnels which lie beneath the city being turned into a market place full of cool little shops and bars.

Its safe to say the future is looking bright for us Bradfordians.

What people don't seem to realise about Bradford is that it is full of rich history and has a lot of hidden gems.

And that's where I headed on this day off, to one of those hidden gems so full of history - to Saltaire.

Saltaire was built in 1851 by Sir Titus Salt, a leading industrialist in the Yorkshire wool industry.
The name of the village is a combination of the founders last name and the name of the river.

The village is packed with amazing buildings, full of culture and history.

Obviously the village has been updated over the years with shops and pubs but they are all housed in the old buildings, as the village is listed as a World Heritage Site and the government has a right to protect it.

So where did I visit and what did I wear?

Well I headed to the river side which has some amazing views, wearing pieces from the Joe Browns mens range.

The Boat House Inn is a lovely place and is always worth a visit.
It wasn't too busy when I arrived due to it being early afternoon but there was still a great atmosphere - and the food was smelling awesome too.

But I refrained and grabbed a quick lemonade...


I was wearing the Fun In The Sun T-Shirt, and as you can see, it's a nice, fresh tee - it definitely has the perfect name.

I love the print - palm trees, sandy beaches and surfing the waves...I wouldn't mind doing a bit of that myself sometime soon

After The Boat House Inn I headed out into the the village - it was a bit nippy now, so I teamed the t-shirt with the Summer Chill Jacket

The blue and orange really complimented the t-shirt and with it being a really light jacket it was pefet for the changing weather - enough to keep off the chill but still OK when the sun made an appearance.

There were a few rain drops falling too, so the jacket got fully zipped up and the hood was pulled up - to protect my hair of course...

I'd definitely say this jacket is an all rounder, perfect for spring, summer and autumn weather.  


After my walk was cut short by the rain, I dove another local pub - The Hop

The Hop - formally known as The Old Tram Shed - once again kept with the rich history of Saltaire and was crammed with loads of original features.

 I took the jacket off and sat down for a nice relaxing plate of chips and a shandy, may I add the chips were amazing, proper home made ones...YUM!


I wore a nice plain pair of vintage straight jeans which go great with the Fun In The Sun t-shirt creating a nice casual look.  I finished the outfit off with the comfiest pair of boat shoes ever.

I got chatting to one of the locals at the bar, he was around late 60's in age - and he was in love with these shoes!

Chips wolfed, I found a nice quiet corner and had a little relax and a read of the paper. 

The Hop is definitely a place you can comfortably express yourself through your fashion, it's such an upbeat, trendy place that you could look sporty, casual, smart-casual and even super smart and not look out of place at all. 

 

The boat shoes have great versatility and look great moving from a nice casual outfit with jeans to a nice pair of smart, blue, chino style pants and a long sleeved shirt.

The Perfect Placket Shirt is really light and not too clingy which was perfect for a hot bar with the sun shining through the large front windows, and by large I mean large.
As I said before The Hop was formally know as The Old Tram Shed so the windows at the front of the building are the openings for where the trams used to enter the building - a long, long time ago.

This particular shirt also comes in four different colours but the blue and white one goes perfect with the trousers and shoes,

 I love this look



The Washed To Perfection Trouser  are perfect for creating a smart-casual look.
The material and feel of them is really quite hard to describe - it's like a mix between chino and linen making them feel really light which is perfect for me - I don't like to feel too restricted.

With the weather being a bit hit and miss outside, when the cloud covered, the temperature dropped too.

Feeling a little cold, I had the Twist Of Life Blazer to throw on too when I felt the need


This blazer totally makes this outfit stand out I think.
Busting with quality and style, the sleek and comfy blazer would add a great twist to any sort of outfit really, instantly smartening it up.

You could wear it with jeans and chinos, even the right colour smart trousers too - to be honest you could be really adventurous and style it with most things.

The blazer is packed with detail with the different coloured buttons on the sleeve and the Joe Brown logo on the pocket. 

Like I said before, The Hop is certainly a place you can express yourself fashion wise, I mean just looking around at the people who were in the bar at the time, 

There were couples sat together having a few lunch time drinks in joggers and hoodies, there was a large group of office workers sat around a table in smart suits and dresses, there was even a guy sat in ripped skinny jeans and a worn, faded black t-shirt looking all trendy with his top-knot, beard and tattoos.

How could I top these looks?

By transforming myself into a distinguished gentleman of course.

This Stripe Me Up Blazer  is definitely a stand out piece and it had people turning their heads when I walked into a room that's for sure. 

I've never worn anything like this before but I felt so comfortable and definitely in my element with it on.

Like the cream blazer this was packed with lots of detail with it's stand-out red and white pocket square it totally grabbed people's attention and straight away said, "Look at me!"

A couple of members off staff even said that I looked very dapper, which is a word that has never been associated with me before...which was very nice. 



I think this blazer, waistcoat, shirt and jean combo look great together and help create an adventurous, stand out, smart-casual outfit.

The blazer is so versatile though, it would easily top off any smart outfit, even with no waistcoat and just a shirt and tie.

The outfit really suits the style and decor of the bar, and also looks really smart styled on a bearded guy ;)

Do you agree?


I wore the blazer with the Crisp Classic Shirt - which is a must have item in any male wardrobe - it's just one of those shirts that will go with anything.

 

The Deadly Dapper Waistcoat is a fine little number and looks great with or without the blazer. 

As the day went on, the weather took a dramatic change, all the clouds disappeared and the sun was beaming.

So I decided to take a walk down to the canal. 



When the sun is out, it means only one thing for me - get the legs out!

Put on some shorts, pumps, shades and a t-shirt. 

And you can not go wrong with a pair of Check Me Out Shorts 

Also a nice bag to carry all of my blogging equipment around is an essential lately.

Please let me know what you think of the outfits and what you think of Saltaire in the comment section below.

And check out Joe Browns website for to check out there full men's and women's ranges found (here)
If you don't already follow my social media please click on the links below


CARL
BLOGLOVIN | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM


All items off clothing were lent to me by Joe Browns for the day, but all views and opinions are my own.
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21 May 2015

The start of my personal trainer sessions

Hey guys I would just like to tell you what I've been up to over the last few weeks. 

If you follow me on my social media then you my already know but if not, let me tell you. 

I've been invited along to my local Reebok fit hub in Leeds to do a four week stint with a personal trainer. 

In that four weeks I will have four separate sessions, each on a Saturday morning and also get loads of support and set exercises that I can do throughout the week.  

When I was asked if I wanted to attend the sessions there was no hesitation in me saying Yes. 

And let me tell you why. 

Although I have always been a very active guy, playing rugby, football, attending the gym on and off, I've never been a super fit person, never letting it take over my life. 

But about 4/5years ago my fitness took a really big blow.
I took a bad knock in a rugby game and my leg, from my knee down, bent in a way it shouldn't. 

I took a trip to the local A&E to find out what had happened - by this time my knee was about 5 times bigger than it should have been. 


To cut a long story short, after a few months of going back and forward to the doctors and specialists, I had to have key hole surgery to find out the full extent of my damage - I was told my ACL AND my PLC ligaments in my knee were totally ripped. 

I was put on the waiting list for an operation for around 6 months. 

I then had my operation, which was thankfully a success and then I completed 12 months of rehab and this was one of the hardest times in my life.

I was committed to getting my knee better and back to full strength though so I put a lot of hard work in and it really payed off in the end.




I went back to playing rugby about 5 months after finishing my rehab and luckily have never had any more knee problems - in fairness it felt stronger than ever.

I stopped playing rugby around December last year, and since then my fitness levels have totally dropped - I get tired just walking up and down the stairs - not a good thing now I have my second child on the way. 

I'm really hoping these personal training session can kick start me into getting back to a decent level of fitness. 

And three weeks ago I attend my first session with Stacey Jacques

        Stacey is a fitness professional and also an ambassador for Reebok UK.

I knew I was going to be in safe hands.

We met at the fit hub located on Kirkstall Road in Leeds.


I was fairly nervous at first i have to admit but was made to feel really comfortable by Stacey straight away.

We had a little chat and after five minutes she had pointed a few things out about my stance, posture and a few other things i needed to improve - she definitely knows her stuff.  

Another lady joined us too and we grabbed our mats and off we went, on a little jog to Kirkstall Abbey.
It was a really warm day too so I was advised to get a big bottle of water...apparently I would need it all...

We arrived at our location in the abbey grounds and set up our mats.  

Another lady joined us and we began our warm up and stretches before the hard work began.


We did all sorts of stuff and Stacey explained everything to us as we went along - what the exercises were and why we were doing them for example. 



I've got to admit it was really hard work and half way through I was dizzy and had a slight head ache - I was dehydrated so I carried on drinking my all important water and then got back to it.

The girls all cheered me on too which was really nice and the High Fives were handed out to everyone by Stacey which really spurred me on to finish the session. 


We then had a nice walk back to were we met up - I couldn't have managed anything more, my legs were like jelly.


We then had a cool down session with more stretches and off I went.

Over that week I was given some exercises, stretches and a few other things to complete by Stacey which I kept up to - and I was advised to keep up my water intake. 

I was unable to attend the next Saturday morning session but I did a few things at home, I also went to play touch rugby on the Friday night for my cardio session. 

I carried on doing the same things the following week and I was really starting to feel great - I particularly noticed a big difference in the muscle definition in my legs which was great. 

The next Saturday morning seemed to come around so quick - I couldn't wait for the session to start - and I made sure I had taken plenty of water on board this time.

The session began and once again myself, Stacey and two other ladies set of on a little jog back to Kirkstall Abbey.

We did a little warm up and some stretches before we started our interval training, this time the intervals were a lot longer than before but I felt better in myself and the constant "Come on guys you're doing great" from Stacey and the girls really pushed me through to the end of the session. 

It was so much harder than the first session but I felt great after. 

We again took a nice jog/walk back to the hubb and did our cool down stretches again.


I can not wait for the next session 

To learn more about Reebok’s free fitness classes, check class availability, and sign up, please visit: http://fitness.reebok.co.uk/FitnessEvents/Events-landing/


I will be doing a post when my sessions end with all my progress too.

CARL
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17 May 2015

Exante diet


Hey guys 

So who's on a health kick at the moment?

I bet 90% of you put your hands up, but how many of you are finding it hard to stick to like me?

I started blogging just after Christmas and did a post about getting healthy, you can find it (here)

Well, I totally failed to keep it going and I don't know what happened, I was well up for it.

At that time I was 14 1/2 stone, now I am just over 15 stone.

So lately I have been trying to work out what went wrong and how can I change it.

I got it down to a couple of things, I stopped playing rugby which meant I stopped training twice a week, I stopped going to the gym which I would do maybe two or three times a week.

But one of my main problems was that I always skip breakfast due to me getting up really early for work.
So when 9am arrives, I was absolutely starving and would normally got the biggest, unhealthiest breakfast I could find, if you follow my twitter you may have seen a few pictures of these. 

This, I think, is the main reason for my weight gain.

So how could I tackle this problem.

I could get up that bit earlier and make some breakfast, but surviving on only five hours kip a night as it is, this wasn't an option, and to be honest I never feel that hungry so early in a morning.

I needed something I could quickly make in a morning and take with me and consume a bit later on.

Did I find the answer to my breakfast problems when I was asked to review some for the products The Exante Diet Plan had to offer?

Yes, I reckon I did.

I had never heard of Exante before but after looking through their website I realised they have everything I could ever want in a diet plan and more.
All the products are packed with all the protein, vitamins and nutrients my body could need too.

The items I was looking at were from the shakes and bars sections on the website.

First, let me tell you about the shakes.


I had a good selection of these to try, two that came in bottles and three in sachet form.


The 2 in bottles were perfect for me as I ran out of the door, all I had to do was add 200ml of water and give them a good shake and they were ready to go.

So on the first day I started using them, I got up and did my normal routine but instead of having a 10 minute chill on the sofa before setting off I had 8 and spent two minutes making up my morning treat.

I didn't drink it straight away I took it to work with me which was perfect with it having it's own bottle.

The first one I used was the very vanilla flavour which definitely takes after its name- it was very tasty.
I'm a big fan of vanilla protein shakes so I knew I was onto a winner with this one.

The powder mixes perfectly with the water, we've all had those shakes before which are full of unmixed powder........Yak!

The consistency was perfect for me but you can always add a bit more water to make it a bit thinner.

The second day, I made up the velvety chocolate shake but I had my doubts about this one because I've never really been a fan of any type of chocolate shakes, but me being me, the type of guy to try anything, I gave it a go.

Wow - it was amazing and to be honest it has got to be the tastiest shake I have ever had.
It was super smooth and full of chocolaty flavour.

Over the next few days I also tried the sachets but I had a problem as I don't have a protein shaker.

Instead of waiting and getting a shaker later that day I came up with a cunning plane.

Why not just re-use one of the bottles from the shake and go.

I glad I used my initiative the day before and saved them -  you never know when things come in handy do you.

I emptied the sachet into a jug added 200ml of water, give it a quick mix with a fork and then poured it into the bottle and was all ready to go to work.

Once again the flavor was really nice and but it didn't come close to my new favorite velvety chocolate one.

I was a bit concerned - would a shake keep my hunger locked up until lunch or would I be tempted to get something unhealthy?

Honestly, I wouldn't say I was 100% full but I didn't feel the need to grab anything else, which was a winner for me.

The shakes are something I will definitely think about using again in the future.

Now let me tell you about the bars


I didn't use the bars as a breakfast replacement I just took them to work with me for a mid-day snack or a quick lunch if I was having a busy day at work and didn't really have time to stop for anything.

My favorite out of the four was the Hot Cross Bun flavor one.

All 4 of them start off really stodgy and the flavor doesn't really hit you straight away, but after a couple of chews, there the flavor is, and once you get used to the texture the stodginess goes and they become a bit lighter.


 Once again they definitely do fill you up - perfect for me because normally at this time of the day I could easily devour a bag of crisps and a few chocolate bars.


I don't know if I lost any weight using the Exante products but I didn't put any on which is a big bonus.

I did notice I had a increase in energy throughout the day which was amazing, especially working long twelve hour days.

I was also sent a Mayple Syrup Pancake Mix 


Again, this was really easy to make.

Just add the mix to a bow,l add 100ml of cold water and mix.
Once the powder is all mixed, you just cook like a regular pancake.

This is where I made a big blogging mistake.........I ate it all without taking a picture....oooops.

I blame it on the fact that it looked so good - I couldn't resist.

It tasted really good also.

I love how the Exante items were so easy and effortless to make, they fit in perfectly with my busy life style.

I would definitely recommend them to anybody in my situation, or anybody looking to start a full dietary plan.

CARL
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8 May 2015

In the studio with WY finest


You may of seen my latest Vlog featuring a few snippets from my visit to the DubWhy studio, to do a interview with a couple of local rappers.



If not then check it out (here)



I've been following rap music since I was really young, which was hard due to the language used in most rap songs.
 My first album I got was Snoop Dog, Dog Pound which I had to hide from my parents, I didn't think they would appreciate me singing about sipping gin and juice as well as a few other things I shouldn't of known about at my age.

But as I got older my parents were cool with the fact that I listened to this type of music,which made me very happy. My Dad was really in to his rock music and my mum was a big fan of all sorts, including Reggae

I was a fan of all of the music in my household, and I still listen to a few of the old classics.

Enough of my life story I will save that for another post.



I've been following UK-HipHop for a couple of years now, I just love how raw it is,there's too many songs out now that are are too over worked, especially rap and hip hop songs which are in the charts.
They are more like pop songs now.

When I think of rap songs I think of NWA and stuff like that, not dudes dancing around flash cars with a wad of cash in there hands. Also using auto tune to make them sound half decent.
I tend not to listen to songs like that.

 I need to hear a raw tone and emotion in a voice to pull me in to a song.

I think this is why I'm in to UK hip hop so much.

So let me introduce you to the 3 guys I went to interview.

Robin Rizla.........Rapper/Producer


Robin is the guy who I set this interview up with, we've been chatting a while now through social media.
When I learnt he has producer a of the songs I've listened to over the last few years I was impressed, hes a top producer, and also a sound guy.

Chatting to him and watching him perform in the studio was an eye opener, hes got his own original sound and flow and he will spit bars which other wont, basically because he doesn't give a dam, but to me that's what rap music is about.

You can hear and feel the emotion in his lyrics, and can tell a lot of his words are from life experiences.

This is a great trait to have as a rapper...... just look at Eminem.

For me he is a big part of helping the West Yorkshire music scene grow.

Sandy Minto........Rapper/Big Time Barber



If u follow my blog u will know about Sandy already if not check my post out (here)
 He is the guy who sorted my hair out on my adventure to King Koby Chop Shop and did a great job may I add.

But I'm here to tell you about his rapping skills not cutting skills.

Sandy has one of the smoothest flows I've heard in long time, that's why his vocals from the Superzero track produced by Robin will feature in the into and ending of all my Vlogs.

watching him in the studio was awesome he makes rapping look easy, hes also such a funny guy.

But when in the studio he adds a bit of seriousness to it and this helps him to smash any track he is recording.

You could listen to is voice off beat and think its on a beat because of his natural flow.

He was in and out of the studio in a flash laying down some amazing verses for some up and coming tracks, I can not wait for these after hearing the rough samples, I can not wait to see what Riz does to them.

hes also got some amazing tattoos. I think is tattooist should hook me up for a blog post, so if you reading this..... hook a brother up ha ha.


Madantiks..........Rapper



To be honest I haven't heard much about him till I started doing a bit of research for this interview, but wow what a hidden talent.

It was so nice meeting him at the interview, I've never known anybody so laid back apart from my self of course.

I love how his Yorkshire accent really stands out when hes rapping, its really original and his tone stands out a mile, when his songs come on you definitely know its him, which is a good thing if you ask me.

I definitely need to check out all of his tracks and can not wait for his new stuff to come out, apparently hes got a back catalog from 1867 so we should be seeing loads in the future.

I got a great fun vibe from all 3 of the guys at the studio, and I could tell they love what they do.

I would describe them as like what you would get if you mixed Pro Green (with a Yorkshire accent) and all the members of Dirty Sanchez.

Amazing pen game with a Don't give a crap attitude.

#REALRAP





Please watch this little vid of them spitting a fresh 16 each on beat, followed by a little interview so you can find out a little more about them and find out what they have coming out in the future.

Don't forget to subscribe to my youtube for more things like this in the future, and please let me know what u think in either of the comment sections.

WARNING!

people maybe offended by words and content, please note these are the views of the artists and not mine so if you are easily offended please don't watch.


also check out there music on Youtube

And follow them all on twitter and Bandcamp

Robin Rizla  = Bandcamp
Sandy Minto = Bandcamp
Madantiks = Bandcamp



CARL
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6 May 2015

Mayweather vs Pacquiao at the Grosvenor Casino

The words "Carl" and "Casino" are not words that have never been used in the same sentence before I don't think...well until a couple of weeks ago that is, when I was given an invite to Grosvenor Casino in Didsbury.

But this wasn't to be any usual night in the casino - it was a night, at the casino, to watch The Big Fight

Mayweather VS Pacquiao


You would be right in thinking this sounds amazing, I did, but there were a couple of problems: 

1: I don't really follow, or even like boxing
2: I've never been to a casino before
3: I don't live in Manchester

But me being me I was right up for it, so I said yes!

To be honest this was the first event I would go to where I knew male bloggers were going to out number the lady bloggers.




I wonder why!


So let me tell you a little bit about the Grosvenor casino chain.


The Grosvenor Casino is one of the largest casino brands around, with over 250 casinos in the UK alone.
And then there is the online casino business to consider - a place where you can play hundreds of your favorite games in real time games or you can even download them to your desktop

I think I felt a bit nervous travelling across to Manchester and back again in the early hours of the morning, but if it meant I got to meet up with some new blogger people then it was a price I was willing to pay.

Let me fill you in on my adventure into the unknown...

I arrived at the casino at about 12.30am to what I can only describe was like a queue for a night club.
Naturally I did the "Do you know who I am" bit to the bouncers - ha ha - no not really, I just explained that I had been invited along to blog about the event, and little did you know, he opened the door and let me straight in.

It took about 10 mins to sign up for my free casino membership and then up the escalators I went, where I was greeted by a member of staff and escorted to the VIP area to meet the other bloggers who were already there.

The casino was absolutely packed, like I said earlier, I'd never been to one before so I really didn't know what to expect - the place had a real buzz about it

And I liked it

Me and a couple of the other bloggers soon headed towards the bar to grab a drink and we waited about 10/15 minutes to be served which is understandable due to the number of people in the casino.

The bar was fully stocked with probably every drink you could imagine - which is awesome if you're a big drinker - which I'm not - so an ice-cold shandy it was for me.

It was amazing to chat with the other bloggers and press whist waiting for the fight to start, everyone was really friendly.

And then to top everything off we were treated to a huge amount of food, brought to us from the casinos food menu.




I will be honest, it tasted even better than it looks........and it does look amazing.

The atmosphere was fantastic during the boxing.

The picture was perfect on the big screen which made it easy for us (and for those who had paid) to watch, but for those who where just at the casino to play on the games there was also a number of televisions dotted around so they didn't miss out, which I thought was very cool.

The venue is perfect for these types of events. and I was glad to know that there will be plenty more going on, including the big football matches, rugby and all other sorts of sporting events after those too.

There may even the occasional ex professional guest speaker having their say... 

The only down side for me was that we were unable to have a go of the "learn to play" sessions of any of the games but this was understandable because of the amount of people at the venue on the night.


And of course, we had our very happy winner...

 I hope you have enjoyed this post, feel free to follow me on my social media links below and also on my new YouTube channel found (here)
Please subscribe

CARL
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