4 December 2017

Male Grooming With Murdock London

It seems like an eternity since I last posted something male grooming related and the only reason for this is I haven't been taking care of myself.

Not at all.

Winter is our busiest time of year at work and because of this I haven't had a minute to myself lately - my life has just been work, work, work - oh and taking my son to rugby on a weekend too - if I wasn't working of course.

My beard got all out of control due to neglect and I've only just managed to get it sorted out - check out this little video I recently published testing out my new electrical shaver.

My skins feels old, which I'm not sure even makes sense but when look in the mirror all I see right now is "old".

It's getting alittle out of control really.


Don't get me wrong I don't want you to think that I haven't been washing myself or anything because I have - I don't stink or anything - I just haven't been following my usual, quite time consuming (when you have no time spare) grooming routine.

But this all changed a few weeks ago when the guys over at Murdock London sent me a few of their fantastic male grooming products to try for me to let them - and you guys too of course - know what I thought about them.

First though let me tell you a little bit about them which may be very helpful if you didn't already know anything.

Now if you are really into your grooming products you may know of them already, especially if you are from London you may know of their barber shops which are dotted around the capital. 

I know for sure if I lived down South then I would definitely have paid them a visit by now but being a Northerner it's quite an impossibility really.

So, in 2006 the first Murdock London barbershop was established in Shoreditch and it offered grooming treatments for gentlemen with really good taste who were dissatisfied with unisex salons and high street barbers.
They wanted to create a grooming experience inspired by the grand heritage of St James.

'Barbershops but tailored for modern, style-conscius men'

And when I first received the products I could see this style conscious element running through them straight away - my initial thought when I opened the box was that everything looked very luxurious, from the packaging to the bottles and the tubs the products were housed in - it was all very high end.

Then, when I opened up the products the scent of them (at the time I didn't know the price of any of the items) just screamed luxury and I knew instantly that they were going to cost a little more than your average products.
(and, after research, I was correct!)


In total I was sent five products, I can only give you my honest opinion on three because I haven't used the the two shaving products as I am currently reviewing some others and haven't had chance to use these yet, but don't worry, I am quite sure they will feature on another post just after Christmas.

So first up two products that I have been using to style my hair.

I don't know about you but when my hair is styled I feel like a different person, my confidence is high and I just feel really good about myself, so having the correct products is a must.

My hair is quite thick and I have a natural curl but I do like to wear my hair slicked back a little, so to achieve this I need products which are going to have a really good hold and ones which (normally anyway) have no moisture to them.

I find I need to use a couple of products at once to create the hold that is required to last me through the day too.

And the two products I have been using from the Murdock London range are the Sea Salt Spray and the Matt Mudd.

Now I've used quite a few mudds before but I've never used a Sea Salt Spay, so this was quite new to me.

The Sea Salt Spray contains tangerine, orange and lemon oils and obviously sea salts which is why the spray smells so nice - it's almost a smell you wish you could eat.


You can apply the spray to wet or dry hair - I used it with dry hair and then I used a blow dryer to comb it through.
I found this helped to straighten my hair giving it the pushed back look I was after and I did this a few times to get it as straight as possible and also to get rid of any excess moisture left over (otherwise the curls/frizz comes back full force). 



Then I added alittle of the Matt Mudd - which has a high hold rate and should only be used on dry hair.
Once again I combed it through to give my style the shape I wanted and then added a little bit more at the end to give it a final finish.


I'm really happy with the products, the photo above was taken around eight hours after using them and whilst my hair wasn't as slicked back as it was at the start of the day, the hold was definitely still there. 

Up next is a product I have had a bit of love-hate relationship with over the last few years and this is beard oil.

If you have been following my blog for a number of years then you will know that I used to write about beard oils loads and I will still say that the products did help me with my beard growth journey but because I had so many of them I just became bored with them and stopped using them for a while.

So now, if a beard oil features on my blog then you guys will know it's because I really like it. 


The Murdock London Beard Oil is just like the other products in the set - it looked great, it smelt great and looked full of quality.

Now the oil itself contains apricot, jojoba, organic argan and sunflower oils with extracts of calendula flower. 

The oil has a light weight formula, hand crafted for over two years to ensure a rich, conditioning and nutritive treatment is created.

I've used this oil a few times now and it does do what any good beard oil should - it gave my beard a good look by helping it hold its shape when I gave it a brush, it gave a slight shine and also conditioned the skin under my beard, helpingto keep the itch at bay and also helping leave me with no dry skin.

I found it washes out quite easily with the beard shampoo I have been using too.

Have you ever used any of the Murdock products?

Are you looking for a gift for the man in your life?

If so I highly recommend heading over to Murdock London and checking out the other products they have to offer.

CARL
BLOGLOVIN | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM
Products sent for an honest review, all opinions and photos are my own 












SHARE:

11 November 2017

Opinions On Band T-Shirts


Let me ask you a question - if someone wears a band t-shirt and they don't know who the band is, does it bother you 

Being a blogger I am stuck in the middle of so many different opinions when it comes to fashion and I know that there are a few mixed opinions surrounding this subject. 

My opinion is no it doesn't bother me and this is simply because fashion for me is more about how you feel when you are wearing something rather than what it actually is that you are wearing.

I bet you're thinking "what a random start to a blog post" but I do have reasons behind it. 

A couple of weeks ago myself and my son were invited out for a spot of lunch and a visit to the pictures.
My son being the age that he is, he wanted to dress up for the occasion and asked if he could wear one of his new jumpers. 

The jumper in question was a Run DMC number, and as we were walking towards the event venue he looked down at it and asked, "Is Run DMC a good make?"


He's at a stage now where he will only wear branded clothing and I actually think he was just making sure that what he was wearing was branded so when I explained that Run DMC wasn't actually a clothing brand but was an old school Rap/Hip-Hop group he was a bit shocked.
We had a conversation about band tops being really fashionable and he was reassured that he looked good and was happy in what he was wearing.

We carried on the conversation a little and he asked me where he could get similar tops from, so we had a look when we got home and I told him about EMP who have a really great selection of band tops, a few which he became quite interested in.

Brilliant for us to know with it being quite close to Christmas and having no other ideas about what to get him.

It wasn't only the tops he was interested in either on the EMP website, he took quite a liking to a lot of the gaming novelty accessories, in fact, there was quite a few stuff that I wouldn't mind for myself.

What are your thoughts on band t-shirts and tops? 


CARL
BLOGLOVIN | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM
COLLABRATION POST 
SHARE:

6 November 2017

What Kind Of Suit Are You

Welcome back to another post and another fashion related post at that.

You'll probably know by now that I've got a fair few posts on here about suits and the kind of suits that I like to wear so with this post, well I wanted to make it a little different.
And whilst I know people's blog posts are normally all about them and what they like, this post delves into the likes and loves of other people.

Through writing this blog I have made quite a few online friends, a few of which I have met up with and a few of that have become really close "real life" friends too, so it's only fair I include them in a post or two - I recently asked them what type of suit they like to wear and why.

There are so many different styles of suits on the market at the moment and I know there is something there for every taste and preference.

You could be a skinny fit suit fan like me or could prefer a more traditional suit like a Masonic Suits from Suits Men or even prefer a rather crazy, wild, colourfully patterned suit and I'm sure there would be no trouble in all of those bases being able to be covered.



Up first is David - and don't forget to check out his blog - Davey Granger...


"Any type of suit looks 2000% better if it’s fitted; make sure your trousers aren’t all crumpled around the ankle and that your jacket buttons aren’t about to bust.

In terms of style, I love a classic two-piece suit in darker tones with a patterned tie or a patterned suit with a plain tie"

Next up we have Dan from  Life Of Dan who I luckily met through blogging and he is now one of my best mates...

"When it comes to suits I always choose fit over fabric, I find tailored suits look too box-like and skinny suits make me look too top heavy. I always opt for a slim fit suit and when possible, a three-piece.

After that it's fabric, I love muted toned suits in either autumnal colours or a rich navy. I try to keep to more natural fibres like cotton as they are more breathable and I usually pair my suit with a white shirt for a classic look.

In terms of accessories, I always go for a nice pair of shoes and a matching belt,
then a tie and a pocket square for a pop of colour.
And let's not forget a nice pair of socks, I hate seeing guys in suits with a pair of sports socks on!"

And next, we have Charlie who blogs over at Modish Male...


"It's all about finding the right fit for your body. From skinny to tailored, make sure you're wearing the correct fit which compliments your body!
Also, do NOT forget to wear a belt as it finishes the look"

Up next is Mark from The Honest Father and whilst he doesn't actually blog about fashion he is currently looking for his perfect wedding suit for next year and you should definitely swing by his blog...


"I like a tailored fit suit – one that gives some shape and doesn’t just make me look like a tube of Pringles. I’ve never been a fan of tweed – though I’m revisiting that for my wedding suit shortlist!
I’d also never go anywhere near a shiny suit – why would people do that? Nobody wants to walk the streets looking like a sea lion.

I’ve always had two standard colour suits for work – grey and navy blue. I plan to mix this up a bit soon, introduce some new colours, styles and materials and break the restrictive mould I’ve put myself in. I recently tried a Tuxedo on and loved it, though I’ll end up wearing it for going to the shops because it’s the only opportunity I’ll get!"

And last but not least is my main man Arran who has just become a father to the very cute Joshua, and he blogs over at Halo Of Thoughts...

"I’ve only ever worn a suit once, due to you needing them to be fitted to your body type no matter what style you have. Having previous body confidence issues I hadn’t wanted to wear them but this is something I now feel I could do."

I really love how we all have such different views on suits but that we all do kind of agree on the main points - that comfort and making sure you feel confident in what you are wearing is key.

I'd love to know what sort of suit you prefer to wear or love to see your man in.
Let me know in the comment section below.

CARL

BLOGLOVIN | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

* collaboration post 
SHARE:

22 October 2017

Vremi Products Review And Giveaway

What's in my routine?

Well on a normal working day I will get up around 5am along with my wife and daughter, our son gets up about an hour later and gets himself ready for high school and I know some people reading this may think "God that's early" whilst others will feel my pain.

And for those people who rise at a similar time as us, many will go to bed early to try and counter their lack of sleep - but nope - not us.
We go to bed between eleven and twelve every evening - there is just so much to do once the kids are in bed, which means if we are lucky we get a good five hours kip!

It's definitely something which our bodies seem to have grown used to and don't get me wrong sometimes it's a real struggle but because we are parents it's something we just have to do.

Getting up early isn't new to me though - I've done it the last nineteen years, since the day I started in the industry I work in.
Long working shifts aren't a stranger to me either - I work in the service and repair industry and I only finish work each day once the jobs stop coming in.
I'm also on 24hour standby one in every four weeks so on an average week I can work between fifty and sixty hours, more on my callout week.

My wife, on the other hand, is now a stay at home mum who is run off of her feet from the moment Willow wakes up to the moment she goes to bed.
Willow has just turned two and wow is she one active kid and one who doesn't often have a daytime nap now either - she's not "a bad kid" at all but definitely, an attention needy one and wow does she demand that attention - all day.

I do feel really bad sometimes when I have to work late and don't manage to see Willow before she goes to bed and also at not being able to lend a hand with her at tea time or getting her ready for bed but being the only worker in the household now, I have to do the hours when I can so we can afford to live and pay those stupid bills.

I hope you don't think I'm crying the poor tale, I just wanted to share with you a small piece of what our life is like as it leads me on to showing you the one thing that helps us battle through.

And that is COFFEE



Coffee is the first thing I consume in the morning and probably the last thing at night too - I love it.
I love the taste of it, the smell of it and even the look of it.

I take mine with milk and one sugar - recently gone down from two sugars - I love it extra milky and I'm a massive fan of a latte.

But there is one thing I hate about drinking coffee and that is when someone makes me a brew and they use cheap coffee - I can smell it a mile away.

I'm not a snob at all, I just know what I like and that isn't cheap coffee. 

I have had fallouts with Simone in the past when we have been a bit skint and she's bought a cheaper brand, trying to tell me its one which I like...she knows not to bother penny-saving in the coffee area anymore - I sulk far too much.

I normally have instant coffee but it has to be a good instant coffee, and, like I mentioned above, my time is limited so the quicker the coffee the better.

Over the last few months I have grown partial to an espresso or two- something I've not always been a fan of in the past, but after working on an Italian run site a few months ago and them bringing me an espresso every hour I definitely grew fond of them and actually became a big fan.

Luckily I now have the perfect tool to aid me with my new Espresso Love and that's the Vremi Stovetop Espresso Maker  



It's a classic Italian coffee maker - perfect for espresso lovers like me - and it only takes around five minutes to make them so it's perfect for me to use in the morning before I rush off to work.



It will make six small espresso shots and has a capacity of 1.4L.

All  I do is fill the bottom compartment with the correct amount of water needed, then add my pre-ground coffee into the filtered compartment, pop it on the ceramic hob and let it work its magic.

Easy.

I always add a little drop of milk into mine just to take away the bitterness and I have to say this is definitely my most used item in the house now...well, maybe second but only to my Playstation.

Now, thats the coffee lovers sorted out, let's move on to something which I will use most likely once or twice a year around Christmas time.

If you follow me on one of my social media channels then you may know that I'm not the biggest drinker in the world and that it's not often I partake in alcohol drinking anymore - don't get me wrong, I've done my fair share in the past but since I have had kids it is something which just doesn't interest me anymore.

The only time I really drink is if it's a special occasion and I am out, or if it's Christmas and maybe a bottle of prosecco or buck fizz with our meal is being opened and even then it will only be a glass or two so you can imagine just how much gets wasted.
Thinking about it, I don't think there has been any other sort of alcohol in our house for the last two years.

But I have found a solution for the opened-prosecco-wastage-problem...well Vermi have.

Not only do they make a great espresso maker they also make this handy Wine Preserver and Vacuum Stopper Set



So, one of the main reasons that bottled alcohol spoils is because of oxygen entering the bottle once it is opened - this isn't a problem when the full bottle is going to be drunk in that sitting - but if you're only going to have a glass or two then the oxygen is going to spoil it.

But this is where the Vremi Preserver comes in handy because it effectively sucks all of the air back out of the bottle leaving a topin place, creating a vacuum, meaning the drink remains perfect for another few days.



All you need to do is place one of the stoppers into the bottle hole and then place the pump over it and pump away.
The stopper also has a date mark on them so you can keep track of how much life the bottle has left.

I think out of both of the Vremi products the espresso maker will get used more by the Baker Bunch.

However I do think both of these products are a great value buy - and the stopper set will be perfect at Christmas parties - and because I like them both so much I am going to give you the chance to win your own.

All you have to do is enter the giveaway below and it will end on the 13th of November.

Good Luck Guys




CARL
SHARE:

4 October 2017

Taking Time Out With My Cat


This post is probably going to be a little different to any other post I have published before but seeing as I class myself as a "lifestyle blogger" and the post topic is something within my life, then why on earth not mix it up a bit.

I post fairly often about my family, fashion, male grooming, tech and a whole host of other subject areas but I have never actually mentioned the fifth member of our family before. 

I wish I could still say the fifth and sixth members, but sadly we lost one of our beautiful little cats, Peaches around a year ago now to a rare form of that ever horrible "C" word.

It was a very sad time in our household and it took us a long time to get over it - she is still sadly missed by us all and especially by her brother, Mario - our lovely fifth family member.



The cats were inseparable - we adopted them together and together they stayed until the end.
Mario was, and still is, so laid back and loves being picked up and cuddled, whereas Peaches was the hyperactive cat who loved her cuddles for so long and then she had enough and hated being near anybody. 

They certainly were the cutest two-some around.

We always had other cats come to visit them too, it was so funny, they would just sat at the back door, waiting, kind of looking like they were knocking for our two to pop out and play.
But Mario and Peaches, the ever funny duo, just didn't want to know, they were happy being in each other's company so I suppose you can imagine just how much of a culture shock the loss was for Mario.



Like I said this was all around a year ago and since then the changes we have seen in Mario are amazing.  I don't know if it is down to all of the extra love he receives from us - especially from his biggest fan - Willow - who is mesmerised by him.
She follows him around the house...even though most of the time he is just running away from her and all of her loudness, but you can tell that he does love all of the attention really.

He now entertains (to an extent) the little cat crew he has acquired who will come to chill out in the garden with him and they still all come and sit on the doorstep waiting for him to come out to play.

Actually, I really wish I could show him more attention but because I work long hours and then come home and spend time with the kids until bedtime, time with the fluffball is limited but I know the small things I do for him he likes.
He knows when the kitchen door opens between five and six o'clock in the morning he's there, waiting for me all happy and excited because he knows it's breakfast time.



And yes, that is usually my morning job and whilst cleaning out cat bowls and making sure all the old cat food is thrown out might not be the best of early morning duties seeing the little furry little thing running rings around my legs because he's so excited for his grub food makes it all worthwhile.

We definitely do have a very demanding cat and to be honest, he gets away with it - he will only eat a certain make and type of cat food and will only start to tuck in to anything when we have placed down a handful of cat treats too.

He's always been the same and so was Peaches, -fussy - even when we first got them as babies they would only ever eat one certain type of Kitten Food.

But we don't mind the fussiness (the fussy, expensive price tag we mind a little more) and we love spending time with him, pampering him as much as possible.

He certainly doesn't miss out on any of the love or attention cats deserve just because I work, my wife is now a stay-at-home-mum who not only gets to spend all day with our beautiful daughter but also gets to spend a lot of time with Mario too.

It's so important to have a bit of time with your cats and whilst I know they love doing their own thing and we won't see him for hours at a time, they know where they are loved and I suppose half of the time they pop back because they've missed you (the other half because they want their food) and I really noticed this last week when we spent a lot of time with Willow being admitted to hospital.

Simone stayed with Willow in the hospital and I was at home a bit more doing my Dad Duties with Charlie, making sure he had everything ready for school and that he got to his bus on time before rushing backwards and forwards to the hospital.
When I was at home I spent quite a lot of time making sure it was nice and tidy for Simone and Willow's return and it was during this time at home when I noticed how much Mario wanted attention and to play during the day.
I don't know if it was simply because he wasn't used to me being at home throughout the day but he wouldn't leave me alone and do you know what, I really enjoyed it. 



And I know this sounds quite selfish of me but it was nice to have a little Dad and Cat time during the day - obviously I wish it had been under nicer circumstances - but this has all changed again now Simone and Willow are back home - he's all over them two again.

But it was definitely fun whilst it lasted.



What's your relationship like with your cats?

How do you spend time together?

CARL
BLOGLOVIN | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

“This post is a collaboration with WHISKAS®, but all thoughts are my own. Check out their website for more information on their cat food and their YouTube channel for fantastic Kitten Kollege videos.”
SHARE:

30 September 2017

SixPad - My First Impressions

I think it's been a while since I posted anything tech related on the blog and I've got so much planned tech wise - introducing you to my gaming setup and the games I'm really enjoying playing etc - but I keep forgetting to stop and write the posts because I'm too busy "researching" for them by playing the games.

So I decided that in this blog post I would talk about a piece of technology I have been using now for a few weeks and tell you a little bit about it and what my first thoughts of it are.

And this piece of technology isn't gaming related at all.

But because I've decided that I really would love to be labelled as a "tech blogger" someday branching out into anything and everything "techy" is the way forward and over the next few months, I will be upping my game, getting some good tech-related content out and this post is the perfect place to begin.

If you follow me on my social media channels then you may have seen that recently I have lost a little bit of weight which will hopefully continue until I hit my goal weight (I will be posting about my weight loss journey quite soon, so look out for that)

Anyway, as part of this journey, I not only wanted to lose weight but I wanted to tone up too and begin to re-build any muscle I may have once had - and this is where my love of tech stepped in.

I joined the gym, which I did am managing to go around three to four times a week at the moment.  I haven't been putting my self through the most gruelling of sessions just yet though but I have been doing a steady routine combing a little cardio and some light to medium weights with the odd little abs workout thrown in.

I've never really been the type of person to spend ages in the gym solely working on my abs which is why I can safely say that I haven't had a six pack since I was, oh about sixteen.

To be honest the whole process just bores me and after about ten minutes doing a few sit-ups, I'm more than ready to move on to the bike for 30 minutes.

And here is where the technology plays its part. 

A few weeks ago I was sent a SIXPAD Abs Fit



The SIXPAD is a piece of advanced EMS training equipment that targets the abdominal muscle's, helping to build core strength and providing a safe, comfortable and highly effective twenty-three-minute workout.

And if you don't know what EMS stands for you are not alone - I'm not embarrassed to admit that I didn't have a clue either - it stands for...

"Electrical Muscle Stimulation"

Quite self-explanatory really.

I am a busy guy but I figured I could quite easily spare just 23-minutes a day to stick on the SixPad and let it give my abs a nice workout



So what did I think of it to begin with?

Well, my only ever experience of using one of these types of products isn't a good one really - it was years ago and all I can remember is that when I strapped it around my waist I thought I was wearing the WWE world championship belt it was so large, bulky and uncomfortable.

I remember putting it on for about five minutes that was that, I just didn't like it at all and let us just say, it really didn't help me get my "slender" body.

The SixPad is the total opposite of this and I was actually really surprised at how slimline and cool looking it was - like some sort of futuristic technology and even the packaging looked great. 

The designer certainly got this spot on.

So now that I was impressed and drawn to the product, how did it actually work?

Well, I found it really easy to use.
I simply stuck the product to my abdominal area and switched it on - yep it really is as simple as that.

I pressed the + sign a few times to increase the intensity level so I could feel it pulsing my abs more, giving it a nice, stronger workout.
I wouldn't say I felt any discomfort at all at any time and the sticky pads used to keep it to my skin were really adhesive and held really well - walking around wasn't a problem in the slightest.

Over the next few days, I did play around with the intensity levels more until I found the maximum level I felt I could handle whilst still (weirdly) kind of enjoying it at the same time.

Yes, honestly, I really did enjoy my midriff having its own little dance while the SixPad went to work.

So, long-term plans?

Well, I've been using it now for a couple of weeks and I do really like it.
I'm not going to lie and tell you I now have an amazingly toned six pack -I wish - but what I will say is that everything below my man boobs has really started to tighten up a little and I honestly feel tonnes better than I did a few months ago.

I've also been a bit adventurous and because the SixPad is so slim and lightweight I have started doing little household tasks and nipping out into the garden whilst the machine was in motion - I'm getting a better body whilst loading the dishwasher or preparing the breakfast - it's great.

And it's really not noticeable under clothing either (clothing type will obviously determine this though) and even when we had visitors I could still stick it on and enjoy the workout whilst socialising.



And here's a quick summary of the SixPad's key features:
• Daily training program of 23 minutes to tone and define your abs
• One touch operation with automatic warm-up and cool-down stages
• A slim, ultra-light, cordless, and unisex design for training on the go
• 15 Intensity levels allows you to tailor your work-out
• MTG's proprietary waveform with a frequency of 20Hz, the proven optimum frequency for muscle training
• MTG's proprietary waveform with a frequency of 20HZ, the proven optimum frequency for muscle training.
• Our advanced gel sheets last 28-30 training sessions

I will be publishing five weeks so look out for that, and hopefully, if the SixPad has worked some magic, I should have some before and after photos to show too.
I will also be telling you more about the product and what the brand aims to achieve too.

If you have any questions about the product, feel free to ask me in the comments section below and I will try my best to answer.

CARL
BLOGLOVIN | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM
Item sent for review, all words and pictures are my own
SHARE:

4 September 2017

Globenfeld Daytimer Mens Watch

I was browsing through Twitter the other day and I randomly stumbled over a tweet about Harry Styles and how he has managed to bring the whole men wearing two rings on one finger back into fashion and this got me thinking...why on earth do I hate wearing jewellery so much?

I replied to the tweet with the statement that I wasn't a fan of wearing jewellery at all and I got quite a few responses stating that I'm by no means alone - and it wasn't just the guys who felt this way either.

In fact, I hate it that much I don't even wear my wedding ring anymore - I think it lasted a few months if that - which my wife is actually fine with, by the way...I think.

I've never been one to wear chains, bracelets or anything like that, I just don't see the attraction in it, and to be honest, I don't bother when ladies wear it all either.

The only accessory I do enjoy wearing is a good watch...but even then it will only be for a special occasion - I think a fancy time piece works really well with a suit.

And then add in a pair of braces, a tie and perhaps a pocket square and you have a very statement making, less-is-more kind of an outfit.

And recently - to a lovely family wedding I attended - I put on a really rather fabulous watch which matched and set off my blue suit to perfection.



I obviously don't wear it that often but that doesn't stop me thinking it is one of the best-looking watches I have ever owned.
Usually, I would opt for a full black watch, thinking it would match more things in my wardrobe, but this, well this is not only different but it goes perfectly with my blue suits.

The blue leather strap is really comfortable to wear and it doesn't irritate at all really.
I really like the contrasting coloured stitching on the strap too -  it works really well and adds a lot of detail too.
The buckle is of high quality too which is a must - the more robust the better if you ask me. 


The watch is built to handle any challenge thrown at it - it has a triple function dial which is housed inside of a scratch proof and shock resistant glass face. The watch actually only weighs 78g so it's not only just for smartly dressed occasions but could also be worn for long periods throughout the day and for sporting activities too.

I wore it with quite a smart casual outfit in a recent post shoot too and it really complimented that outfit too.




A lot of my family and friends have actually commented on just how nice this watch looks and that they really love the colour of it and the fact that it is different and really stands out. 

What do you think of it? 

CARL
BLOGLOVIN | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM
Item sent for review, all words and pictures are my own
SHARE:

1 September 2017

Why I Love Online Shopping

Am I the only one out there who hates shopping?

Come on, you've got to admit, online shopping is far better.

I remember years ago, back in the days when I had no money worries, no bills - apart from paying my parent's board money - I used to love shopping. I had just started a job, I was an apprentice but got paid an OK wage for a sixteen-year-old lad.
I was paid weekly so I gave my board money to my Mum or Dad, got a 20 pound top up for my phone and the rest of my wages were play money.

On the Friday I would head down to town and buy whatever I wanted, whether it was the latest album or a new pair of trainers and a hat to had to my collection.
It was amazing, shopping with no worries at all. 

Then I met Simone...no more treating myself to the finest of things anymore, nope, instead the shopping trips turned into shopping for her to find a new outfit...no wait...I mean new outfits for our nights out over the weekend.

But it wasn't all bad because we had a bit of a Saturday tradition worked out - at the time Simone worked at New Look and I would always go to pick her up in the afternoon after her shift and we would head to one of the little market cafes to grab a spot of lunch.

This is really bringing back some fond memories - I do miss those egg custards.

And then all of this changed too because along came the kids!


Obviously, kids take up a lot of money which means shopping for myself is no longer a priority but they also are a right pain in the backside when you take them shopping -they are almost as bad as me.

I think this having children stage was the point where I began to really hate shopping, myself and Simone used to fall out quite a lot because I would just mope around the shops with a face on hoping she would get the hint that I didn't want to be there and would eventually give in so we could go home.

And it worked too.

But obviously, we have to shop - for food, for clothes, for house things, but anything for an easier life.

Around this time online shopping was starting to blossom and more online market places became available selling anything and everything I could possibly need.

No need to chase Willow out of the supermarket bakery anymore - the food shop can be done from my sofa.


No need to listen to Charlie huffing and puffing, wanting to be anywhere but wandering the shops' ladies jeans section with his Mum - the denim choices can be made from the comfort of our living room

No need for me to have to put my snapback obsession on hold because "they are too expensive and the kids need new shoes" - I can make cheeky bids and pay a whole lot less than I would in a shop.

And this is why the internet and the amazing world of online shopping will win hands down every time for me - easier, cheaper and a lot more hassle free than visiting the shops themselves.

Anything for an easy, stress-free life.

CARL
SHARE:

28 August 2017

Why I Go All Inclusive

Is it just me or has the six week school holiday just flown by this year?
It only seems like yesterday that my son broke up from primary school and began his six weeks of fun, preparing himself for his new adventure towards secondary school.

When we talk about him going to secondary school it sounds so weird because to us, he is still our little boy...only he isn't that little anymore.

We did try plan to take him away as a treat on a holiday abroad this year but after pricing it up and totting up the pros and cons of taking a 19-month-old baby away with us, we decided not to bother.

But then after a lot of thought, we decided we had to do something but would stay in the UK instead - it would be financially better and we figured we would find it easier taking Willow away by car than we would by plane.
She's not a bad toddler at all but she sure is one very active toddler who doesn't like to sit still for any amount of time, but the car seat does seem to chill her out a little.

So the plan is that next year we will go on an amazing summer holiday.

Willow will almost be three and Charlie would have just finished his first year at high school so the break will be definitely needed.
And we are going to, one hundred percent, be looking at an all inclusive package holiday with a lot of amazing activities for kids - and if possible, some sort of water park built into the complex too.

If the kids are happy and having fun then that means myself and Simone will be happy and will be having a great time too.



We are the sort of parents who like to go and have a really nice, stress-free holiday which is why we would always choose an all inclusive holiday

The thought of not having to do any sort of cooking for our breakfast, lunch and tea, plus having drinks and snacks on tap when every we want them is so handy - I mean you know what kids are like, "Mum...Dad...Can I have a drink? An ice cream? A snack?" every five minutes - it can certainly get a little expensive and that's not even thinking about the cost of dining out for most meals.

I know a lot of people would say, "just go self-catering, do a big shop and just cook yourself - that will be even cheaper", but for me, that isn't a holiday.
I know loads of people would love doing that but if I'm on holiday I want to do as little as possible and spend any time I have simply relaxing.

Our "we must have" holiday next year is going to be so important too because our last holiday abroad was a massive six years ago now.

We traveled to Corfu and yep, it was, of course, an all inclusive holiday - it was amazing.
There were plenty of choices when it came to meal times and whilst I wouldn't have said the food was mega amazing it definitely was good enough for the Baker Bunch.

Charlie befriended a few other kids who all loved playing together day and night so it seemed that he was always hungry - the all inclusive aspect was brilliant because he didn't have to come and get money from us every time he wanted a snack or a drink, he just visited the bar himself.
We did check on the about of times he did go and grab something but having it there without having to use money every time was great.


I definitely would recommend all inclusive type holidays -they have been easier and hassle free for me - but I know every family is different and love to have their own little adventure on their summer break.

What are your favorite holiday types?

Are you a relaxer like me or do you love to get in the kitchen and prepare your own food?

I'd love to know in the comments below.

CARL

BLOGLOVIN | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

Collaborative post 
SHARE:

10 August 2017

Turtle Bay - The New Menu

Firstly I want to apologise because this post may make you very hungry.

I know I'm not the biggest food blogger about, but I do love talking about food, I mean who doesn't!
There isn't a food which I don't like, I will eat anything and the more of it there is the better.
In fact, I'm craving all the food at the moment as I am on a weight loss plan, but I will save all of that for another post.



Like I said I do like most foods but there is one type of food which I could eat for every meal, every day.

I love the texture, I love the flavours, I love that kick of heat it gives out and I especially love the variety of different dishes it offers.

The food I am talking about is Caribbean food.

And my favourite place ever to eat Caribbean food is...the amazing Turtle Bay!
If you have read my blog before you may have spotted that I have been there quite a few times before, my first event visit was amazing and actually I was lucky enough to be one of the first ever people to eat at the, then not even open, Huddersfield restaurant.
Check out my post here

Then, I was invited over to the Leeds restaurant to try out the full dining experience with my family, and you can read about this experience here.

I have actually been quite a few other times too after that, and I have tried quite a few different dishes.
And then, a few months ago I received an email asking if my and my family wanted to go back again to the Huddersfield restaurant to review their all new Summer menu - I don't think I've replied to an email quite as fast as I did to that one.

I must admit I had a bit of a selfish parent moment because I didn't want to take our youngest, Willow, with us - she's at the age now where she eats whatever we are having but as soon as you take her anywhere then she's in adventure mode and definitely will not stay sitting at the table for long - and I wanted to be able to savour the meal...

I know, selfish right.

I really wanted to enjoy the food and purely for the purpose of an in depth review, her Nana said she would watch her for an hour or so.

We did, however, take Charlie who loves Caribbean food as much as myself and his mum do.

Now let me get down to the important bit...the food.


Normally when we go to a restaurant we order a different starter each for the sole reason that we can all have a taste of each other's, but this time we were blown away the vast amount of variety on the Just Jerk Sharing Platter. 

Just look at the photo, if that doesn't make your mouth water then nothing will.

We had pork ribs, sweet corn fritters, beef patties, jerk marinated wings and to top it off there was a plate of spiced popcorn complemented by a nice salad with herb mayo.

Everything was cooked perfectly, well seasoned, packed with flavour and tasted as good as it looked,.

I only had one issue and that was I wished I had ordered one just for my self.


For my main I ordered the Bajan Beef Cheeks which was from the new menu - the beef was so soft and tender, kind of melt in the mouth.
It came with okra, potato and the fluffiest steamed rice you can imagine. 

Once again as I have come to expect from Turtle Bay it was packed out with flavour and with every mouthful you got a different flavour hitting your tongue

I demolished the lot and could have easily eaten another bowl full, I'm not sure if that's because I was still hungry or if it just tasted that good I wanted more!


Simone ordered the same as me and loved and ate every last forkful too.


Charlie ordered the Slow Cooked Beef Ribs with sweet potato fries.

He said it was amazing and I can second this because I helped him finish it. 


Now let's talk about the pudding, this is the amazing Passion Pie and we ordered it with 3 spoons.

Just look how bright and vibrant it looks, it kind of sums up Turtle Bay on a plate.

It is such an amazing place to eat at, the atmosphere is great and there is always a great vibe due to the sounds of the Caribbean coming from the speakers.


The lovely selection of drinks - some alcoholic, some (one!) not also helped with the chilled, relaxed vibe too...delicious...and those cocktails - very rum packed.

I hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I did eating the food

CARL


Inveted to review, all pictures and opinions are my own.
SHARE:
Blogger Template Created by pipdig