24 August 2015

Mark Wright - The Grosvenor Gent

On Monday the 27th of July I took my first blogger trip to London, in fact it was my first trip down since I went with school a lot of years ago.

To be honest when I first got the invite I wasn't sure that I was going to attend with it being so far away but I already had the day booked off work so I decided to say yes.

But then I realised it would mean me getting the train down, alone, and then having to brave the tube for the very first time

 " All by my self "  

I know what you are thinking! 

How super brave of me :)

My train journey was fine, I only had one change and the tube was OK too - I don't know what I was so worried about.  

Someone even tweeted me whilst I was in the Leeds train station saying that they had spotted me.

With me heading down to London super early and the event not starting till 6.30pm I had plenty of time to have a look around and I even managed to slip in a important meeting whilst I was there...but I will tell you guys more about that in the near future.

Anyway, I had a good nosey around London and found so many cool places to eat and drink, but me being me I headed for my favourite place - Subway - and yep, I went for it - I only get foot-longs.

But let's move on to the more important stuff - the event itself.
It was held at the Grosvenor Casino Barracuda 

Very nice I know

And was set up to help launch their new social media campaign entitled 'Grosvenor Gent'

The casino have teamed up with none other than television personality Mark Wright who they believe  is the ideal man to bring the campaign to life. 

A series of top tips and 'How To' videos, all hosted by Mark. will run on the casino's social media sites for several weeks starting on 6th August.

In the videos, Mark will share his casino-based advice and will cover everything from casino style to casino etiquette to the ideal things to look for when choosing a suit and even how to make a good first impression.

Here's a preview of one of the videos:

At the event itself, Mark was to be chatting to us about the things within the videos and answering a few of our questions.

Obviously I know who "Mark Wright" is - I'm sure most people do.

He's on TV shows, is in most magazines and I'm sure everyone has seen his wedding pictures by now, but did I really like him?

Well I didn't dislike him - I don't really dislike anyone - but I know I only really came around to him when he appeared on I'm A Celebrity where you got to see him for what he actually is - just a normal guy.

And I was pleased to have the opportunity to actually meet him in the flesh to see if my opinion was right.

The event was held in the White Room of the casino - it was a fairly swanky VIP style set-up really with a few of the more popular casino games set up plus a small seated area where Mark would be having his chat.

There was a nice little bar in the corner with a selection of drinks - which I gladly sampled - for once I wasn't driving so it was only right that I had a couple.

Before the talk began I had time to speak to a few of the guests there - some being from the press, some staff members - and everyone was really nice, I could have chatted to them for ages to be honest I felt that much at ease and comfortable.

I was asked if I wanted a few trail games on the roulette table and I was actually really keen to have a go - I've never been to a casino properly before, I was invited to go watch the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight a few months ago, but as far as gambling I had no clue so I gladly took the opportunity to have a crash course on the starter tables.

I really enjoyed playing the games and think I know the basic rules now - the guy who took us through everything was amazing and didn't even get annoyed with my six million questions asking how much would I would have won if we were using actual money.

Not that I would have been putting chips down the way I was if it had been real money, but it wasn't so I was just throwing them down...oops.

After all of the game playing fun we were invited to sit down and wait for the talk to begin.

Mark arrived, looking as smart as ever in an amazing looking suit which I wouldn't mind having myself actually.

And I have to admit, he is a very good looking guy - his hair and skin were perfect, and his teeth...can a guy have teeth envy??

They were perfect!

Mark explained to us what it means to him to be asked to be the face of the campaign and be called the 'Grosvenor Gent'.

He gave us tips on dating, male grooming, men's fashion, how he likes to place bets when he's in the casino himself and things like what he likes to wear when he visits casinos and how much fun you can have there, whether it be with the lads or on a date with your partner.

He mentioned he likes to do a lot more of this now and spoke about how being a gentleman isn't just about looking the part it's also about being polite and well mannered - things he explained he believes stemmed from his childhood and the way he was brought up.

He let us in on his icon and role models too - the people he looks up to for fashion and looks inspiration and I can actually see this persons style in Mark...who else could it be but Mr David Beckham himself.

The talk with Mark was more along the lines of an informal chat between friends.

The interaction from him towards everyone in the room was really good and easy-going, there were even a few jokes thrown in and he had the whole room in laughter at one point.  

Mark really did come across well - he was very well spoken, very polite and definitely had all the attributes to be called the...

 'Grosvenor Gent' 

I can totally see why he is the face of the campaign. 

Once we had wrapped everything up I had a brief chat with Mark before making a run for it up Baker St to get my tube in time for my train.

But hopefully I'll be back at the casino before too long...I have a twenty-five pound chip that needs using...

Check out my small clip of Mark explaining how he likes to place bets below:

If you are keen to learn what other tips Mark has to offer please visit (here)

I hope you enjoyed this post, if so let me know in the comments section below.

If you don't already, please click on the social media links below and give them all a follow too.



13 August 2015

How do you cope under pressure


I can honestly say pressure isn't something that gets to me really - I'm not the type of person who finds themselves stressed out or on the edge of buckling under it anyway.

And that's not to say that I don't experience it, I do quite often, especially with the job that I do.

But I really do think I'm just too laid back and would much rather take everything in my stride than worry.

As I said, with the type of job that I do I'm often always on the go - usually from very early in the morning to late in the evening.

I have long, long drives to fit in and very often have to do a lot in a short space of time to make sure the demands from customers are met.

Part of my role is to make sure I manage, instruct and teach some of our newer, less-experienced engineers, which often has the most amount of stress linked to it...

And I also have to meet, greet and sometimes sweet-talk some of our potential customers

And all a lot of the time on very little sleep.

But I don't let the pressure of any of it get to me - what's the point - it just brings nothing but stress and headache - two things I really can't do with.

But let's take a little look at you.

How well do you think you react to pressure?

Do you think you're the type of person who would buckle under too much of it?

Well, Goldsmiths are giving you a chance to test yourself on this subject...and then win a really good prize by doing it too.

Goldsmiths have launched a game which tests reaction times and tells you if you've got reactions of a F1 or a Go-Kart driver.

Its a really fun game and works far better on a touch screen phone or tablet, it does work on a computer but I don't think you will be getting a very high score.

Its a simple game all you have to do is hit the pads when they light up.

My highest score is 19...let me know your highest score in the comments of even tweet me a screen shot, I would love to know if you can handle the pressure.

Goldsmiths want you to try out their reflex testing game (play by entering the link below) and submit the highest score you get from it to the raffle copter entire at the bottom of the post


You could win a £150 Goldsmiths voucher by having a go

Yep - one hundred and fifty pounds!

That's hardly pressure buckling stuff is it

But that's not all, there is another, very easy way to improve your chances of winning too:

Enter the competition by following me on Twitter (link here) and use the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

See how well you react to pressure and good luck with the prize winning!


12 August 2015

A right pain in the neck

Hey guys 

About a month ago my personal training sessions came to an end and I was feeling fitter than ever.

Being at the ripe old age of 33, keeping fit is a must really - especially with me having such a manual, physically draining job - I need to be in top physical condition to be able to put the hours of hard graft in that I do.

But because I work for such an amazing company - it really is great - they also pay for me a gym membership at my local gym, which is conveniently located next door to our head office. 

Obviously the bosses know that keeping their engineers as fit as possible makes the standard of work we put out a lot higher and also keeps a happy workforce.

Win - win all round

But that's not all - with us being in the middle of the six week holiday period right now it means just one thing for me...the start of pre-season rugby training.

And let me tell you, it isn't an easy thing to take part in trust me - I mean there are even hill sprints involved - whats all that about?!

I struggle to sprint on flat ground never mind up a hill

So we have the gym 3 to 4 times a week and rugby twice a week, all of that is certainly going to take it's toll on my body at some point - and let me tell you, it really does hurt.

To help my body recover I drink protein shakes twice a day when I train and find that they really do help although they don't do a thing for all of the bumps and knocks my neck and shoulders take.

Being a rugby player for so many years combined with the occasional stint with other physical sports hasn't been all too easy for me - I think I've always had  a few problems with my back and neck ans I regularly use a hot water bottle for bed to try and ease the pain a little bit.

But I can't really get away with walking around during the day, hot water bottle strapped to my neck can I (that's not to say I haven't tried it...) so this is where my main problems are - particularly when I'm working. is when I'm at work and my neck is feeling a bit sore I suffer the most.

So what was solution?

Well for me I found that Nuronfen Express Heat Patches work a treat.

These products are great for muscular pain and I have found that they really do help to soothe my muscles after a work out or a tough rugby session.

The patches contain natural minerals which, when exposed to air, provide up to 8 hours of therapeutic heat making them perfect for me when I'm out at work.

The patches specifically target

* Backache
* Muscle pain
* Neck and shoulder pain

And all without any need for medicines.

The patches are designed to help in two ways -

* they increase the blood flow to the painful areas
* they relax tight, sore muscles

I found these patches really easy to use - just make sure the sore/painful area is clean and dry first then simply remove the protective film and apply it to the area in need of relief.

After 5 minutes or so the patch should begin to warm up and will reach its effective temperature after around 15 minutes.

So how did I get on?

The main area causing me problems was the lower part of my neck and this is the place I used the patch.

I just followed the instructions with no issues at all - but also, don't worry if you stick the patch on the wrong area - they comes off really easily and still stick back on when re-applied, and then I sat back and waited for the magic to happen.

After 5 minutes it did start to warm up and just as the instructions said, after 15 minutes it was kicking out a nice bit of heat, but nothing uncomfortable in the slightest - there is no burning sensation at all.

I have to admit that I felt a little bit strange with it on my neck, but not too bad - it was worth it anyway.

If you're thinking that this is some sort of instant pain relief then you're wrong, it took a good hour for me to notice any difference in my pain levels, and then about 2 to 3 hours before I noticed a good standard of relief.

Despite this though, I was still quite impressed, and in fairness the heat did last a good 7ish hours and  it did soothe me and got me all ready for a good nights sleep, which I got but, however when I woke up, the pain was back again.

Story of my life.

So now for the real test began - how would it help me get through a day at work?

So before I set off I used the second patch in the packet and stuck it in the same place, then off I went.

The patch did a great job with pain relief but it kept falling off which was annoying but I put it down to the fact that I have a very active, physical job and am always up and down ladders, kneeling down, fixing stuff - I have to get in some right old positions sometimes, so I'm not surprised it didn't stay put all day really.

I did think about getting out the electrical tape at one point but I couldn't do it and make myself look that silly now could I...

Well, yes i could actually - I tried it, and yes I did look very stupid indeed so it didn't last long.

 But for sitting still in the van on a long drive - the patches proved to be perfect.

I would definitely recommend them to anyone who suffers with neck and back pain as I do but I would say to use them when you aren't going to be very active, they are much more suited to the sit down and relax moments.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and it has helped you a little bit


I was sent the products to review but all photos and opinions are my own

6 August 2015

Did Mankind Give Me Mojo back ?

Hey guys 

I hope you are enjoying this so called summer we are supposed to be having.

I'm currently having a little time off work, we were going to try get away for a week but with the baby arriving in ten weeks time we decided to just get a few things sorted around the house and try go out on a few day-trip type adventures.

I haven't really been out much doing any sort of socialising meaning I haven't had a proper chance to dress my self up or make my self look anywhere near half-decent, it's mainly been a shorts and t shirt kind of a holiday.

Saying that though, I have made sure to keep up with my grooming routine and also I've had a good play about with some new hair products I've found landing in my possession...not that anyone has really had a chance to witness my hair creations - I've just been at home really. 

But I'm still very lucky to have had the products sent to me - I love finding new gems and trying them out to see just how well they will cope with my really thick hair - I've only really come across a few products so far that can actually keep it styled and held properly throughout the day. 

Having such thick and heavy hair with a natural curl means I really need products with a high hold factor to gain the style I want, but it often means, on the more lazy days, that I end up going out with a huge, untouched afro...

The latest product I've been using are called Mojo and the brilliant people at Mankind sent me them to review
(You may have heard of Mankind before in my blog when I featured the Neville beard oil)

Mankind is an amazing site and has a whole load of different products on offer - seriously you need to check them out (here) - you will not be disappointed. 

I was sent two products from the Mojo range.

My first thoughts when I opened thee products was,"Wow" - they looked really high end with brilliant attention placed on the packaging.

It's a really thick glass container with a thin metal lid and I've really not seen anything like it before, especially not with any of the hair products I've ever seen or used before.

Personally I think this range of products would be well suited to a shelf in a high class salon or barbers.

I was just hoping that the contents do the packaging justice...

The first product I tried out was the Mojo Clay 

This is a medium hold hair product so I wasn't too sure if it was going to keep my hair how I liked it -  but there was only one way to find out.

The directions say that this is better to use when it is applied to damp hair - great - this is how I usually use hair products anyway.

I found the clay to be very thick and took a bit of rubbing between my hands to get it to the right consistency before I could apply it to my hair.

The scent of the clay was great - really unexpectedly fresh...I kept going back to for another quick smell

I must admit, this wasn't the easiest product I've ever used and it gave me a kind of Sonic The Hedgehog look at first.

I also found it gave my hair a lot of added volume, which really isn't something I need at all, so I had  little mess about and tried to get the product to work with my hair.

I wet my hair a little more and this seemed to settle the style down a little bit and eventually gave me the look I was after.

I then went about my daily duties to see how long the hold lasted for and I was impressed to find that it did hold for about six hours...when it started to drop, giving me a "Peter Andre Mysterious Girl Video" look...

...OK back in 2004 when everybody wanted that look, not so much for 2015 and my 33 year old image...

So, onto the next product...

The Mojo Fibre Shaper

This has a lot stronger hold factor than the clay but is a lot easier to use because its not as thick.

The product rubbed together in my hands perfectly and was a lot easier to run through my hair which was a bonus.

Once again I found the scent really fresh and it reminded me more of a of pomade - it definitely had a bit of a shine to it.

The mega elastic fibre technology it has is designed to add texture and to help shape your hair allowing the style you want to be achieved quickly.

So did it work for me?

 Bearing in mind that this is more suited shorter styles of hair - something mine certainly isn't.

Well - it kind of did and kind of didn't really,

It didn't let me achieve the look I was going for because my hair is obviously too long for it to hold properly, but what it did do was to make my hair look quite cool...in a totally different style than the one I was after...

I did find it left my hair looking a little greasy though...but in a way this just helped with the shine, so I didn't mind all too much.

I found both of these products to be very different.

They both have their own qualities and limitations and I was pleased I had a chance to mess about with them - I even tested them out to see how they behaved when used both together.

I knew that the clay would give me a fairly good hold and shape but would add too much volume, whilst that the fibre shaper would give me a nice shine that I could use to contain the volume created by the clay... 

I found these results to be really good, although my hair didn't hold for as long as I would have liked, I did get the overall style I wanted - good enough for me.

I am in no doubt that the products would have worked far better if my hair wasn't as thick or as long so I would strongly recommend them both to anyone with this style of hair.

Hope you liked!

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