21 March 2016

Pizza at The Potting Shed

This might be the silliest question ever, but, who likes pizza? 

Well I bloody love the stuff and could honestly eat it every day.
Pizzas are definitely my go to meal when I'm at home and nothing has been put on for tea, I simply go to the freezer and pop one in the oven.
Or even better, I ring the local takeaway, who may actually know me on first name terms.

And I'm not very fussy about which one to order either, I just want one with as many toppings on possible so I normally go for a meat feast, with added spice, but if I'm sharing with my son I'll be nice and only get the spice on one side. 

So what's your favorite topping?
And what's the strangest thing you've ever had on a pizza?
Mine was an egg simply because I saw it on a cookery programme when I was younger and just wanted to try it.

So yes, as you can tell. I like pizza a lot. 

You can probably imagine then just how excited I was when I received an invite to go to the Potting Shed in Bingley which is only about twenty minutes away from house.

One Sunday afternoon around two months ago, (yep that's right two months ago, slap my hands, there's a bad blogger in the house, but I've been so busy with the new baby and working long days, plus all the rugby packed weekends with my son, but it's here now) we headed over to Bingley.

Myself, my wife, son and little baby Willow all went to enjoy a lovely afternoon out.
Three of us love pizza and the other, well, she only loves milk right now, but I'm sure that will change one day.

The place was quite busy when we arrived and we had a slight panic at how we were going to find a table because we had the pram with us but we spoke to the manager and he sat us at the back of the place which had a bit of room to park the pram. 

Our table was this quite cool up-cycled door covered with a sheet of perspect, it was really striking really and certainly gave us something to talk about...my son asked a million questions about how it was made, why it was used etc.

The Potting Shed had a really cool feel to it and a great atmosphere, I'm not actually a fan of quiet, sit down meals so this place suited me perfectly. 

So ther I was, out with my little family, the Potting Shed was lively, the menu looked great, but what else could I ask for...well live football was on whilst I ate. 


Our seats at the back of the venue looked out over the amazing beer garden and I could certainly visualise being back there on a hot Summer's day.

Mixed fruit cider and a BBQ...yes please

Now let's get on to the the most important bit, the food,

Like I said it was a while ago that I attended and it was actually National Pizza Week so I thought it would be rude if I didn't order a pizza.

I decided to go for the Meat Feast, my son picked his favourite, the Pepperoni pizza and my wife chose a healthier option of the roast chicken kebab.

We also got a side of sweat potato fries - standard procedure when our son is with us - he loves them.

My wife told me that the kebab was amazing, the chicken was succulent and and the vegetables were roasted to perfection, you can see from the photos how amazing it looked.

I can tell you how nice my son's Americano was too, because I helped him finish it.

It was cooked to perfection and packed with cheese and pepperoni.

My meat feast was amazing and it had the biggest chunks of chicken on it which I could only describe as being like Sunday dinner chicken in taste - I didn't leave a single crumb on my plate. 

My son described the sweet potato fries as the best he's ever had, which he politely told the manager too, he even wanted me to order some to take home with us.

I would strongly recommend you take a visit to the Potting Shed if you ever are passing through Bingly, not only does it serve great food but the place is amazing and the staff are equally as nice. 

Great food, great staff, great setting, live sports, kid friendly, pool tables, and plenty of beer. 

It gets a big thumbs up from me.


I was asked to attend to review, all pictures and opinions are my own 

New technology for blog progression

When I first started blogging, about a year ago, I remember joining a Twitter blogger chat and one of the questions asked was about blogger work space, or where the main area is that you do your blogging.

I recall there being a good mixture of answers and a few people sent in photos of their blogging areas, some sent photos of lovely little rooms with a desk and room for a PC, book shelf and more, whilst others sent pictures in of just a laptop on their knees sat on the sofa in front of the TV.

I was one of the people with my laptop on my knee - my house isn't big enough for any sort of a desk set up unfortunately.
If I'm honest, my house isn't even big enough for us, especially now that we have a five month old baby alongside our ten year old son.

But I would really love to have a spare room one day complete with a fancy desk and an even fancier PC so I could do all things blog wise - maybe even put a little bit more into my YouTube channel.
Plus my son is always talking about wanting a place where he can do his own YouTube videos now, ones where he can play and record his favourite games, like Minecraft.

I've got this vision in my head what I would want it to look like as well, all white complete with a white desk, white wooden shelves and some really colourful plants potted around.
It would be such a relaxing space and, most importantly, it would be such a nice space to take blogging photographs.

But at the moment this is just a dream but who knows what can happen in the future.

At the moment I'm just sat on the sofa, laptop on my knee and that's fine with me, well, apart from my actual laptop being so out dated and running at speeds slower than a turtle...but I shouldn't grumble, it does the job but I'm definitely on the look out for a new one, possibly from the new Dell XPS range.
The XPS laptops are designed to be some of the best with the highest resolution displays and exceptional build.  They also contain unique material and really powerful features and these sound a whole lot better than the prehistoric thing I'm using now to type up this post. 

To be honest I am a little bit embarrassed of mine, I certainly wouldn't be taking it out of the house that's for sure, which is a real shame because I love to spend my dinner breaks at little coffee shops and I think it would be a perfect time for me to get a little bit of blogging done through the day, making use of the free WiFi on offer.

A total missed opportunity due to my lack of technological advances.


 ‘this post is in collaboration with Del' but all views are my own


18 March 2016

Smart Occasion With Burton's Menswear

I know what you're thinking, "Carl, how many suits do you actually own?"

Well I have to say it's actually about six now, and I'm planning on getting many more too.

When I started on this blogging path a little over a year ago I spoke quite a lot about how I wanted to start to smarten up my image and I have to say I think I'm well on the way to being successful.

I know I've mentioned this in quite a few posts but I really do feel so much more confident in myself these days and when I wear a nice, smart suit this is maximized.

And well, with the warmer weather approaching, wedding season will be upon us in no time, meaning that suits - high end, well tailored suits - will be very much in demand.

But finding that all important suit, he one that is "just right" is sometimes really quite difficult.
However I don't think I'll be struggling in this area because those brilliant people at Burton's Menswear invited me to be involved in their  #SmartOccasions campaign which meant they sent me this amazing three piece suit...

If anybody wants to invite me to a wedding this year then can you please arrange your colour scheme around the colour of my suit - I'm all sorted now you see and I really wouldn't want to clash, taking any of the all important attention away from the groom...

So, let me tell you a little bit about it - I won't go into too much detail though because a picture paints a thousand words after all...and I have a fair few of those to share.

The suit is quite a slim fitting style in a subtle yet striking light grey colour.
The three piece detail is brought right up to date by the sleek, stylish cut giving it all a really modern feel but still keeping with the very elegant and timeless feel.

The material is very comfortable and light - perfect for a Summer wedding.

To add a little bit of detail, I decided to team the suit with a dark grey tie and a matching pocket square which I feel just adds a little bit of an edge to the whole look and finishes it off perfectly.

And then to top off any fabulous outfit you have to have an amazing pair of shoes and anybody that knows me will know that I like my shoes and actually now own some fairly amazing ones.

These tan leather formal shoes complement the suit perfectly.

I actually loved wearing this suit - even on a not very warm morning in Yorkshire.

I felt comfortable, at ease and not at all stuffy in the slightest - what else do you need dressing for a formal occasion...

And the only place to go, on a day like this was to the very beautiful, slightly rustic-photograph-creating Shibden Hall to take some snaps - let me know what you think.


This post was in collabration with Burton's Menswear, all photos and opinions are my own 

9 March 2016

Gothic Romance featuring Moss Bros AW15

Anybody out there think they live a bit of a double life?

Slightly strange question I know but I actually think that I do!

I'm a married man and a father to two amazing children - my boy is 10 years old and my baby girl is a little over 4 months old now.

For so many years now me and my wife have given up on having any kind of a social life because we just want to be with our kids...plus the money we would spend on a night out we would much rather use to spend on them.

Day-to-day I work as an automatic door engineer and I've done the same thing since the day of my 16th birthday, and I'm now 33.
Obviously you can imagine that in recent years the work has become a little repetitive and if I'm honest I find it really quite boring really.

It's certainly not a job full of glitz and glammor, it's just me, everyday, in my steel toe capped boots, worn out work pants and hoodie, driving around in my red work van fixing faulty doors for hours on end.

But it is a job.

Saying this though I wouldn't say my life is boring in the slightest, me and my little family have loads of fun.

Family life. Work. Bills.
Just an "ordinary" carry on.

But then we have this "double life" situation that I mentioned.

It all started back on January 1st 2015 - the day that I began my blog.

In the space of a year I have been places and met people that, without a blog, I never would have.
The opportunities presented to me have been amazing - far greater than anything I could have ever imagined myself doing - ever.

I've discovered that I have a real love for fashion and have tried to delve a little deeper into this world by posting these types of posts on my blog.

Everything is an experience, something new and something different.

And something I never thought I could ever be involved in.

I like a whole lot of different styles from sporty to casual and then on to the very smart which is a style very new to me.

Previously, the only suit I owned was my wedding suit - and that is around 4 year old now.

Suits were never "me"...but now, as a part of this "double life", they seem to be a bit of a fixture.

Last Summer I was invited to a fairly huge fashion event in Manchester which had a theme of "Blues Hues" (find out more click here)

It was a brilliant event and the guys in charge from Manchester Fashion Industries must have enjoyed my post because I received another invite not too long after inviting me to the up and coming "Gothic Romance" event.

Initially I must admit that I was slightly put off by the theme, not because I thought it was rubbish or anything, but because I didn't have a clue what to wear.
(remember, these things are new to me!)

And then this is where my luck began to shine - I was asked along to the Moss Bros store within the Trinity Centre, Leeds to have a personal shopper experience in an attempt to find me the perfect Gothic Romance appropriate suit.

Well, I needed to fit in with all the celebs and the other amazingly dressed guests and models in attendance didn't I.

If I picked anything up from that first event it was that image really is everything and standing out and making a statement is key.

So off I popped to Leeds with my camera man in tow, well, camera boy really...my 10 year old son.

I took with me the only item I already had for the event which were these amazing black and white "Gatsby" brogues and wanted something to work with them.
These shoes are really something special and they certainly got a lot of love when I posted a picture of them on my social media sites and were sent to me by the brilliant people from London Brogues.

Once we hit Leeds and arrived at the store we were greeted by the store manager Marcus and had a chat about the event, about me, my blog and what I was looking for.

I basically told him what the theme was, that I wanted to stand out and left the rest up to him,

I tried on a few different jackets but none really stood out and I was hoping the suit jacket would be the focal point of my outfit. 

The manager asked me to wait a minute and off he went, returning with one of the most stylish jackets I had ever seen and I knew I had to have it.

 It was genuinely like nothing I had ever worn before, or have even thought I would ever wear.
And then I was told that it had only just arrived in store the day before, I was sold.

It was amazing and "it" was the Moss London slim fit black velvet jacket from their Moss London Collection.

Even the printed lining - the stuff on the inside - was really special too


To show the jacket off perfectly I then opted for a simple, stylish pair of plain black trousers and a crisp white shirt with simple black buttons - only a small detail but a detail that really helps tie everything together, helping the shirt look really sharp.

I added a fairly large bow tie too to complete the classic look.

I found the whole personal shopping experience brilliant, it wasn't something I was treated to because "I'm a fashion blogger" this is a service every Moss Bros shopper gets and it was really like I was talking to a good friend when I was with the manager, I was made to feel that comfortable.

And that was me, all set for the event and very much suited and booted.

What do you think of the outfit?

But where did I wear it?

Let me fill you in about the event.
It was run by Mcr Fashion Industry and was held at the San Carlo Fumo restaurant - it was a perfect venue for this event.
Everything was decorated perfectly with dark floral decorations and atmospheric candles on all of the tables - it definitely suited the whole Gothic Romance theme.

As I arrived the cocktails were already flowing and some of the guests were sat down eating and I have to admit the smell of it made me really hungry but, being the guy that I am, I was saving myself for the kebab on the way home.

The room was full of people looking amazing and everyone kept to the theme perfectly - the guys were wearing sharp suits, some simple, some black, some black and white and some with a gothic pop of colour thrown in (really dark reds and purples) and I have to say, the ladies didn't look too bad either.
But I'm not all that bothered with women's fashion so I'm not even going to try and explain to you what they were wearing.

Similar to the last event, the fashion show was amazing and the garments on show were fabulous - all of the models were from Vanita Model Management and the guys were wearing suits and knitwear from Diverso, a brand new to Manchester, whilst the women wore stylish, bespoke dresses from the latest collection of designer Sarvin.

 I won't flood this post with loads of photos from the night because there was hundreds but if you watch the short video you will see just how great everyone looked.

After the show their was an after party held at The Milton Club but I didn't go this time -I had to get myself home to my then pregnant wife but I've been told it was great.

And so, attending these events is really something totally different to what what I would do in my everyday life and this is what I mean about having a double life.
I must admit though, I do sometimes feel a bit out of place but once I get going and start mingling, chatting to people I feel a lot more comfortable and less like I'm pretending...especially when I bump into other bloggers.

But a lot of my confidence really does come from the things that I wear and to look at me, in my amazing Moss Bros suit, well you would thing I was somebody really important, not little old Carl, the Automatic Door Fitter from Bradford.

And as promised, here is the short video from the brilliant night

I hope you have enjoyed this post and I would love to know If you have a similar story to tell, about living a double life.

Please leave me a comment in the section below if you have.

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