7 October 2015

Stress Free Business Cards

So today I would like to talk about my blog progression beacuse in a week or so I will be coming in to my tenth month of blogging. 

WOW!

That time has flown by, it really only seems like two minutes ago that I was sat down with the wife just talking about the possibility of me setting a blog up. 

In all honesty it has been one of the highlights of 2015 for me, well , nothing will top finding out we are expecting our second child or my son being as awesome as ever, but it's definitely up there! 

So it was January the first when I set up my email account and my blog and I haven't looked back since.
I will be honest though, I've had my ups and downs with it, like not thinking my blog was good enough because I had a few knock backs from brands when I applied for stuff, but I knew it was something that would happen with me being new so I soon got over that.

So I kept going and after a couple of months I had published a number of posts and I was getting some great feedback.

I also had a few brands approaching me too, saying that they liked what I do and if I would be interested in reviewing some products, which were mainly beard oils, but because I like using them and found writing about them very natural to me I was over the moon.

I just kept doing what I was doing and started to get myself a nice little following and some OK page views, - I was only publishing are one or two posts a week, but that was fine with me, to be honest I really didn't have the time to get them all done but I forced myself to stay awake late a few nights - I was loving  it that much and just wanted to get them finished...even after working 12 hour days and being a husband and a dad.

Not much spare time left over is there.

As time progressed, I didn't feel a need to just rush posts out for the sake of it, so I decided that if I didn't manage to get one out for a couple of weeks it didn't bother me.

I hit a little block at one point but I didn't let it get me down I just started writing again when it felt right. 

I was sent a few invites to events, most of them I couldn't go to because of work but I got to go to a couple and I was always the only guy there...but that wasn't a problem :) 

The events and meets I attended were great, I did feel like an amateur though when it came to the end of the day and everyone was passing around blogger business cards though...but I'm sure I was easy to remember being the only guy there. 

I didn't for a second think that not having a business card was a problem for me until I was at an event in London and there were a few people present from the press and some top selling magazines - people including OK magazine - and a few asked who  I was and what I did and did I had a business card...

It was the first time I felt a unprofessional and it really got me thinking "Do I need some to push my blog in the right direction?" 

It was something I was going to consider, but probably after the baby was born. 

But then, probably just a week after I had this conversation with myself, the Blogger Gods must have been listening in, because I received a wonderful email from the lovely people at StressFreePrint asking if I would like them to make me some business cards. 

Well I'm sure you know what my answer was don't you.

Here came the problem, I didn't have a clue what I wanted them to look like never mind what I wanted putting on them.
I had a long hard think and came up with an amazing idea, why don't I just get the cards to reflect myself?

I like to think my blog is unfussy and easy-going...a bit like me, but gets straight to the point.
I'm not really into bright fancy colours and stuff like that, my blog layout is black and white and it suits me just fine.

ut could I get this to show on the cards?

I'm such a lazy person, so the first contact I had with stress free print was simply "What do you want on your card?" to which I replied "On one side I want my blog logo".

I think my little snapback wearing stick man eye is a big part of my identity, so having that on one side of the card was perfect.

On the reverse I simply said I wanted my name, my social media sites and obviously my email address.

Also my sites web address and a brief explanation of what my site was about. 

And I opted for a simple gloss finish.

Within a day or so I received an email with a draft copy of what my card would look like.

Quick work.

I was shocked, everything had been done for me, and I was really happy with how it looked - I just changed a few things was sent a new draft the very next day.

It was perfect and like I said, it just reflected my blog and myself, which is just what I wanted.

What do you think? 


The cards suit me and my personalty down to a tee, plain and straight to the point.


They are made from a decent thickness of card - but not too thick - and also the gloss finish is great but isn't too shiny.


And this is what 500 of the things look like.

I just need to be invited to loads of cool events now so I can walk around giving them to people, I'm not shy!

Quick question - does anybody remember the Ronseal advert a few years back.

"It does exactly what is says on the tin"

Well if not, it was originally an advertising slogan in the UK, which became a common idiomatic phrase.

It means something is exactly as it appears or claims to be with no other explanations needed.

And it is exactly how I would describe StressFreePrint

Its all in the name

The quality, price and even the delivery time of the cards is amazing.

I would 100% recommend them to anybody who is thinking of getting any printed product.


CARL

I was sent the products for an honest review, all the pictures and views are my own.
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1 October 2015

Non-Iron shirts from T.M.Lewin

Right, if I start this post by talking about ironing please don't stop reading, I promise it's going to get better...well I hope it is anyway.

So who remembers that part of growing up when your parents always had a set ironing day - and when I say day I do actually mean a full day.
Stacks and stacks of clothes on the kitchen units or the sofa, one by one each item gets ironed then either folded up or put onto a coat hanger, and then they were all put in separate piles for each family member to take.

We had five people in my house...there was a lot of ironing...I can only imagine what it was like for anyone with a family bigger than five... 

An actual launderette springs to mind.

So you might think that seeing all of this would have helped embed the "ironing day" rule into me - but nope, I'm certainly not up to those big, waste of a day ironing sessions - no thank you.

In fact I will only iron an item of clothing if I am going to wear it that day and it really needs doing. 

Don't get me wrong I don't dislike ironing - in fact I find it prity relaxing, I get in a little zone by putting my favourite music on and then I just get on with it - my son and wife's clothes usually end up materialising on top of the pile too I must add - but even so, I don't want to do it for hours on end.

By the way, can I just ask why on earth are female items of clothing so hard to iron?

They are always a funny shape or made from so many different materials that you have to change the iron settings about 50 times so you don't burn holes all over the place....

This aside though, I do try to just hang clothes up when they are dry and hope the creases fall out so I can simply stick them on and head out, but obviously this only works with a few things - shirts are a major no-no for this.

But maybe not.

(Here's the exciting bit)

What if you could wash and dry a shirt, hang it up and then just put it on when it was needed without having to touch it with an iron.

The amazing people  at T.M. Lewin have designed and manufactured a product which they believe is the new ultimate non-iron-shirt and will allow you to do just that.

This quote was sourced from their webpage and explains how they've managed to create this -

The secret’s in the technology…

Regular non-iron shirts are good. But put very simply, we think this one is better. The secret’s in the special coating we apply to every inch of the 100% cotton fabric, even the seams. Each shirt is then baked at extremely high temperatures so the technology can work its magic.
We’ve left no stone unturned. Every crease-prone inch of every new Non-Iron Shirt has been treated so all you have to do is wash it, hang it out to dry, and then wear it.

Sounds good doesn't it!

I was lucky enough to have one of the shirts from the non- iron shirt range sent to me so let me tell you how I got on with it and if it really was as "non-iron" as it claimed.




My first impressions of the shirt were that it looks like any normal shirt.
It didn't have any magical aura around it which would stop it from creasing or anything.

Upon trying the shirt on it did feel a little heaver than most shirts I currently have - I don't mean heavy like you are wearing a shirt made of chain-mail, but just a little heavier material wise - quite thick really - which would be perfect for the colder weather I can see us having very soon.


I was going to wear this for a blogger event I was invited to but it was a warm day so I decided not to - instead I just screwed it up and chucked it into the washing basket.
A few days later I put a load in the washing machine...OK, I'll tell the truth...my wife put the load into the washing machine and in went the shirt too.


Later that day I removed the load from the washing machine and hung the stuff out to dry, including the shirt and it was out most of the day. 

Check out the results 




What do you think?

The shirt is almost 100% creaseless.

There were a few towards the bottom but only small and noticeable if you picked the shirt up and give it a full inspection - once it was on you couldn't tell at all.

I only wear shirts on the odd occasion so I know I don't appreciate the idea of a non-iron option being available as someone working in an office who has to wear them daily - I can only imagine how much of a pain it would be getting a fresh shirt ready late at night or early in the morning every single day.

A non-iron shirt would certainly save a lot of time in situations like these.

If I ever do move from a manual laboring job into to the world of office work then I would definitely think about getting a few more from this non-iron section on the website.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and that you have found it useful.

Please let me know in the comments section below what you think. 

CARL
BLOGLOVIN | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

This shirt was sent to me to review but all the opinions and pictures are my own
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