29 June 2016

Getting The Garden Summer Ready


A couple of weeks ago the weather we were having was amazing.

The sun was out when I got up each morning at 5.30am, and it carried on shining all day right up until about 10pm, it was so good that it spurred me on and I couldn't wait to finish work to got out in the garden.

I've been trying to get it looking really nice for a while now so we can all sit out in it and enjoy the sun.

Over the last few years I haven't really 9lly done much in it to be honest and my decking was starting to fall apart, my grass was on it's last legs and looked a bit like Homer Simpson's head of hair.
There was a big pile of junk sat waiting to be scrapped in the top corner and the fence around the garden boundary was so rickety and full of gaps it offered no privacy at all it was just ready to fall down.

Having no garden storage meant that the usual garden essentials had found home in the small garden playhouse too - a place Willow would love to play when she's a little older.

I had to take action and get it sorted. 

So I spent three weeks digging up the old grass, turning over the soil and laying new turf.
I re-built the fence making it look better and stops people gawping in.

I got rid of all of the junk and even built a massive garden shed - from scratch - which was quite a big job but I managed it, with a bit of help from my ten year old son that is.

It was really nice spending quality time with him, teaching him about different tools and what is used for what job...he got bored halfway through as usual and went off to shoot some hoops but he was soon back over offering a hand if I asked.

The garden was starting to look perfect and my new lawn was growing really well, it really makes me want to enjoy spending time relaxing in it feet up on the deck chair with a bottle of beer.

I think the main reason to get the garden looking better was to allow us to have lovely BBQ teas.
Every year we talk about having them but we never do but this year there is nothing stopping us and I have seen the perfect BBQ -  it's only a small one but it's really quite quirky and will fit in with my family perfectly.

It's the Grill Sergeant from Paladone and I can just picture the scene now - some juicy steaks cooking away whist the kids are having fun splashing around in the padding pool.

We may even be able to invite some family round now that we are no longer embarrassed about having a scruffy garden - have ourselves a little party.

I'm not sure the new next door neighbours will be happy about the music blasting out of the waterproof speakers but they'll live.
I did have a normal bluetooth speaker set but it got soaked after a water fight got a bit out of hand and didn't make it.

And now I've finished the back garden and made it all family-ready I know I will have to get the front garden looking just as nice.

I don't know what it is about gardening bit it's quite relaxing, yes, it's really hard work but there is no better feeling than just sitting in the garden chair, watching Willow in her ball pool and Charlie practicing wrestling moves with his inflatable John Cena figure knowing they are enjoying the work I've put in. 

What are your summer plans at home? 

CARL
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17 June 2016

Dads Duties

Just to give you a heads up guys, in this post I'm talking about doing my Dad Duties.
I know I don't blog much about that part of my life but it is my number one priority and I think it's about time I wrote a post about it all.

Saying that I'm not actually going to talk about my kids that much, because I want to talk, a little bit more, about me.
I mentioned in one of my latest posts that I don't really have much free time to blog anymore due to my family expanding and having to work long hours.

And that's still the case.

But what exactly are my "Dad Duties"?

Well as you know, I'm a married man and my wife is still on maternity leave right now so she spends all day with our beautiful daughter and is now able to take Charlie to and from school.

Willow is now eight months old and is a super active baby, so the "every mans dream" of coming home to a spotless house and tea on the table is not something that happens very often.
Don't get me wrong I don't mean that my house is a tip, I just mean stuff like the washing, ironing, polishing and vacuuming aren't always done.

But Willow is very time demanding right now and wants attention all the time - she doesn't give the wife a minutes rest in the day,only maybe when she naps.

And these naps are around two to three times a day but will last at a maximum around twenty minutes which isn't any time at all really is it to fit things in to.

So this is where my Dad Duties come in to play.

When I get home from work I make sure I try to sort out things that may need doing which is usually the hoovering.

As Willow is so active but can't yet crawl - we think she will be before the month is out - she tends to get from A to B by rolling around and doing a little shuffle about with her head on the floor.

I like to give the room carpet a quick once over so I know that Willow can carry on with her army rolls without a stray piece of fluff ending up in her mouth.

We have two cats too you see and at the moment Willow does spend a lot of time on the living room carpet so that really needs to be spotless.

Does my vac do the job though?
Does it really pick all of the dirt, dust and hairs off of the carpet?

I know the silly vac I used to use had a tendency to spits stuff back out when the filter was a little full,  which meant constantly having to change and empty it.

We still do need to invest in a new, reliable one though.
One which has good reliable suction because once Willow does start crawling, the carpet will have to be extra clean all of the time.

Something like the Karcher Tough Vac sounds good - it seems to be a brilliant multi-purpose vac and would definitely lift all of the unwanted things from my carpet...in fact take a look for yourself in the video below




CARL
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This is a sponsored post but all words and opinions are my own
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9 June 2016

Premium Mankind Gift Box Giveaway


A couple of months ago I posted about a fab Mankind grooming box which was packed full of amazing goodies.

From skincare to beard care to hair care - it had the lot.
(If you missed my post you can find it here)

Not only is there the great variety of products they are all from leading brands within the male beauty industry too - some I have heard of and a lot that I haven't.

But I really like the idea of them - I'm the sort of guy who really hates shopping and I always end up walking away with half the things I intended on buying.

A box of goodies pre-picked for me is just what I need.

There were some real gems inside too, a few of which I wouldn't have ever picked up without this.

And this month's premium Mankind grooming box is just as great



The collection contains:


A Clinique for Men Face Scrub and Moisturising Lotion


The face scrub is actually my favourite item from this box, it really helps to wake me up in the morning which I'm sure has something to do with it containing menthol.

I also like the fact that it lifts out ingrown hairs with it's chemical formula and a bit of manual exfoliation and I'm sure you can imagine how many times I've relied on this to help me out with my beard.

The moisturiser is perfect for using after the scrub and it really left my face feeling hydrated and really smooth.

They are such a great combo.

There is also a Lab Series Maximum Comfort Shave Cream and a Lab Series Multi Action Face Wash included



I haven't used these products as of yet but the reputation of the Lab Series products speaks for itself.
I'm sure I will be giving the face wash a good test in the near future...but I think I'll maybe be gifting the shave cream to a friend...the beard is going nowhere right now.

  There is a Bumble & Bumble Surf Travel Size Shampoo and a Bumble & Bumble Conditioner.



Again, I have never used or even heard of the B&B range before but I am really glad I know about it now - my wife has told me they are a brilliant brand.

My hair is really thick so when I use hair products I need to use quite a lot of it to really make sure it covers my hair and makes it look how I want it to.

To wash my hair I usually need loads of shampoo but I found with this stuff I only needed half as much as usual to get rid of the product build up in my hair.

As you can see, the box really is great - there is an amazing £60 worth of products included.

So what would you say if I told you that you could win one for yourself, or for your partner or to treat your Dad on Father's day?

I know I'd definitely be happy if I unwrapped one of these anyway.

The lovely people from Exante Diet have teamed up with the amazing people at Mankind and are offering one of my lucky readers the chance to get their hands on one.

And all you have to do is enter the competition below.

The winner will be randomly selected when the competition ends...

How easy is that!
And trust me, you will not be disappointed with the products.

And make sure you look out for my review of some tasty Exante Diet products in the next week or so.


WIN a Premium Mankind Box worth £60


CARL
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8 June 2016

Zeos Skincare For Men

It seems as though its been an eternity since I last wrote a post focusing on male grooming, in fact I think it has actually been near on a year now.

Wow - has it really been so long since I had a wash...

 I'm just joking but I bet you've got a picture in your head of me looking all filthy with a massive over grown head of hair and a scruffy looking beard now don't you.

Well I'm sorry to disappoint - just because I haven't been blogging about all things grooming it doesn't mean that I haven't been looking after myself and using my grooming products. 

In fact it is totally the opposite, I've been using more products than ever and my beard and hair are looking mighty fine too I must say, but I'm not here today to talk about hair or beard products, today is all about the skincare!

If you've read any of my past posts about skincare then you will know it is kind of a sore subject with me because depending on what I use my skin it, sometimes start to play up which is why when I was growing up I only ever washed my face with water.

Just before Christmas the lovely people from Zeos For Men sent me over a box full of goodies from their skincare range to try out on my sensitive skin.


But before we look t the products, let me first tell you a little about about Zeos.

Well I will actually let Zeos tell you all about what they do - I don't think I could word it better myself...

Back in 2014, ZEOS® started a revolution in hassle-free male grooming – helping to reveal the man inside. Our innovative warm waxing kit has helped men – and those who appreciate them – across the UK to enjoy taut, fuzz-free skin for weeks, achieved in the comfort of their own home with a professional salon finish at a fraction of the cost. While the guys out there just couldn’t get enough of our kit, we spent the year exploring where to go next with our ethos of giving men the right products, designed for them and containing the stuff they need to feel better, look better and play better.
We have pushed forward with our ethos of giving men exactly the right products, designed for them and containing everything they need to feel better, look better and play better and the grooming revolution continues with QU3 – our new first line urban defence system for the male face and body. This is a pared-down, stunningly fuss-free range that is powered by a high tech blend of Resistem™ with natural vitamins E and B5, in sharp, contemporary packaging.- The Award winning ZEOS® QU3 range with Resistem™ Helping you to take on the city
The products I received were from the QU3 Range - skincare technology for urban living and the range consists of four products

Face and Body Moisturiser

Face Scrub and Face Wash

Hair and Body Shower Gel

When I initially began using the products I was in a great place - my daughter had just been born, I was feeling super motivated about my health and was hitting the gym most days which helped me feel brilliant - I was starting to see changes in my body shape, my legs were becoming more toned and I even noticed a little weight loss.

It was the first time in years that I had felt really good about myself. 

The gym sessions I was doing were quite intense and it's safe to say that my body was really taking a beating.

However because I had these four grooming products in my gym bag I made sure that after each session I spent a good 20 minutes grooming my self which really helped and improved my mood more. 

With each gym session I would have sweat dripping off of me from everywhere and I'm sure you know yourself, if you don't wash correctly after doing anything like this then your skin will really suffer.

I found my face, arms and legs would become really dry so the body moisturiser is a must.

I didn't use the face scrub everyday, it was more to be used a few times a week because it was really quite harsh - which I suppose is a good thing on one hand yet on the other, my sensitive skin wouldn't have thanked me if I went overboard with this.

I found the scrub to have a really nice aroma and it left my face feeling fresh and it most definitely stripped away all the muck and grease that built up after a tough day at work.

It's a great exfoliating product and was great at removing dead skin and hydrating my face with the added shea butter it has within.



I used this face wash twice a day, once in a morning, either before before the gym or at the gym after a workout.

I liked how this product helped to "de-zombify"myself in a morning - it was a great kind of a morning pick me up.

We've all seen the adverts where people are washing their faces and it cuts to a massive wave which smashes against someones face to symbolise it's freshness and this is what this product is like.

With natural vitamins E and B5 included it really helps the face feel regenerated and leaves it with a real natural, fresh glow.

Like I said above, I have been going to the gym quite a lot so the hair and body shower gel didn't last too long because I used it in record time, it really is that amazing.

Another factor in how it went so fast is that my gym buddies - the ones that laugh at my stack of products - borrowed this from me once and then again every day after.

Just like the face scrub and wash it is totally refreshing on the body, I didn't wash my head with it because if I don't use the correct shampoo I can get a lot of dandruff, but I did use it to wash my beard and it was fine and left it feeling very soft, which is  must.

Now last but not least let me tell you about the face and body moistriser.
It too contains shea butter which left my skin feeling really soft and hydrated - I can get dry patches on my arms after a gym session but not after using this moisturiser,

All four of the products work great together and I would definitely recommend them.
I have used every last drop of all four of these and I will definitely be getting some more when I have reviewed the big stack of skincare products still sitting behind my bed... not a bad problem to have right?

I hope you have enjoyed this post and if you're looking to get yourself or your partner some skincare products then I strongly recommend the Zeos range.

CARL

I was sent the products for my honest review.

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