Thanks to Weekend Box Club, we were sent a small pack of Snazaroo Face Paints to review. At £2.99 they are a great way of entertaining the kids, but also a great way of causing an anxiety attack as they lunge face first towards your brand new sofa covered in paint. We are no strangers to Snazaroo; they have always been our brand of choice. The paints are thick enough to last and not wash into each other, but thin enough to actually paint on the face. They dry quickly so layering is easy, and the kids didn’t get too restless by having to sit and pose for hours. The only issue is that the brushes are always too thick for fine detail, and in these little packs you only get one brush. I’m sure a professional could use edging to create thin lines with a thick brush, but for the average layman you’ll only manage thick stripes. Frustrating when your child wants intricate lines being drawn, such as the veins of a butterfly’s wing or the eyelashes of the latest favourite emoji. Thankfully the set we received to review was the tiger set. Simple, big stripes.
I constantly see “what I’ve learned” blog posts popping up on my social media feeds; I read some of them, mainly from bloggers who I respect but also some that I’ve never heard of just to get a different perspective. One consistent point that people raise is that you will go into a slump at some point, you’ll question what you’re doing and wonder why you’re bothering with the linkies, the commenting, the staging, the reviews, the networking, and promotion, and getting very little in return. Their advice is always the same. Take a breath and remember why you started blogging in the first place; go back to basics and very much like Rocky going to Apollo Creed’s gym after losing to Mr T, or a similar simile for how Stella got her groove back, you need to find that spark or hunger that made you put finger to keyboard in the first place. Unfortunately I’m a miserable bastard and I’m in a really deep slump in the parent blogging world that I fear there is no getting out of. Here are five things, then, that I’ve learned since starting blogging 4 years ago.
When me and Vikki got together 12 years ago, I was in the process of leaving the Army and moving to Spain. She decided to commit fully to the relationship after knowing me for only 4 weeks, and moved with me; we stayed there for about a year before returning […]
I have a chair. When I first saw the chair, I knew I had to have it. It was different, it was unlike any chair I’d had before, so I went all in and invested in it.
I love my wife. I love my family. But do I love them as much as I love my boss. I scoffed and said of course I love my family more than my boss or my job, but then I thought about it a little. And you know what? It now appears as though I love my boss more than I love my wife. Here is the evidence.
I’ve seen quite a few of these ‘free pass’ lists, or for my American friends ‘hall pass’ lists. You know the ones; you and your spouse agree on a list of celebrities, that if the chance ever arose, they wouldn’t mind you shacking up with.
The problem I find with these lists are that they’re too predictable; they’re always filled with the Megan Foxes and Jennifer Anistons of the world. They really aren’t my cup of tea. So here is my list, in no particular order, of the 10 women, who if they ever decided to get with a fat, bald, broke, grumpy father of 2, then I’d happily cook them eggs in the morning.
One thing I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older, is that what constitutes socially acceptable manners is changing. I’ve criticised parents for failing to set an example for their children, but what makes me think my way is right? How very arrogant of me.
What was becoming a father like for you? Harder than you imagined? You’re not alone, fatherhood was the most difficult thing for me to adapt to.
Do you like barbecuing? Are you an indoor grill convert? My review of the Tefal OptiGrill and question whether it’s time to throw away the barbecue once and for all.
What do you do to entertain your kids when they’re bored? Apparently giving them an iPad isn’t the done thing, so I’m getting crafty with Chalkola chalk pens instead.
Are online relationships real? Are the friends you have online real friends, or are they simply an escape from your lack of “real” friends.
When is an internet troll not a troll? Here I outline why the common uses of the word troll are simply not true, and to encourage you to be more robust when considering people who have openly contradicted or questioned their outlook.
Saying goodbye is a big part of military life, but no matter how many times we do it, it never gets easier to say goodbye to friends and family.
I’ve been married for 9 years now, so am by no means an expert. To some, I may as well still be on my honeymoon. I’ve read loads of blogs like this one by Naomi (aka Tattooed Mummy) about the secret to a long and happy marriage, and the common […]
Humbug I say, but what say you about Christmas? Do you enjoy it or loathe it. Take part in the Christmas Tag and let everyone know.
I feel trapped. I feel caged by my own fear and circumstance. I hate it. I hate feeling this way. It stops me from enjoying my life as it forces me to focus on the bars that surround me. I hate my job. Not dislike it, find it inconvenient sometimes, […]
In light of my recent post defending Prince William’s struggles in parenthood, I thought I would share some of my feelings on life as a husband and father, and to show him that he’s not alone.
To all those people criticising Prince William, I say fuck you.
There’s nothing certain in life but death and taxes, but what goes through the mind of someone who believes they are about to die?
Take a peek behind the curtain, here’s a few facts about me that you didn’t ask for or probably care to hear about.
I hear many people talking about whether to have a vasectomy or not. In order to give context to a decision, I thought I’d share my vasectomy story.
Described as having everything a man needs for a smooth and comfortable shave, I would be foolish not to review the Cornerstone shaving system.
When you’re a parent to a couple of young children, expect to be participating in a lot of activities that they like and not necessarily things that you enjoy, including watching a bunch of kid friendly shows and movies that the kids love to play over and over again. Spending this much time in front of the television gets in the way of completing daily tasks and routines like exercise, but when your daughter insists that you watch her favourite cartoon with her, you can’t exactly say no. The only way to avoid your transformation into a couch potato is by incorporating a workout into TV time.
I used to look at my past and shudder. I did some terrible things that only youth would let you get away with. I deliberately avoid people and places that link me to the past because I’m ashamed to introduce my present to it, but recently I’ve been looking at it with exceptionally rose tinted glasses. Every now and again I look back and rather than recoil with disgust I actually miss it. I miss the fun and reckless abandonment. I miss the spontaneity and care free attitude towards life.
Life is hard, retirement shouldn’t be. There are two things you can do to enjoy retirement more: either live longer or retire earlier. Here’s how to do both.
My kids get bored very easily but they react to the boredom very differently. Olivia will tend to just sit in silence, or cuddle up to me and let the time drift away. George becomes agitated, energetic, hyperactive, craves attention, demands inspiration and becomes all consuming. There are a few things that seem to appease my kids when boredom begins to set in, these are their top 5.
When you buy a present, dad deserves much more than just another tie. But finding the right thing is much more complicated than it might seem. These are some tips on what the dad in your life could actually use and will definitely appreciate.
I very much used to be of the opinion that ‘my house, my rules’ was sacrosanct. I didn’t care what you let your child do in your house, when they were in mine they followed my rules. You may have let your child draw all over your walls, good for you. Not in my house. You may have let your child jump all over your furniture, kudos. Not in my house. You may have liked to feed your children Easter Eggs for dinner, I bet they loved you. Not in my house. But now, I’m starting to disagree with myself. I’ve started adding caveats, and now it’s more like: ‘My house, my rules, unless…’ ‘Your house, your rules, except when…’
I’ve been blogging now – albeit part time and less than whole heartedly – for just about three years and I’ve been using social media for just a little longer. You’d think I would know the etiquette by now, but just when I think I have it nailed I learn […]
It’s been no secret that it’s taken longer for me to bond with him than it did my daughter, at one point I even regretted ever conceiving him! It wasn’t until I realised that I was merely reflecting my own issues onto him and using him as an excuse for my feelings that I learned how to love him. So for his fourth birthday, here are four things I’ve realised I had to change about myself.
We human beings aren’t very good at looking inwards and working out who we are. We are very quick at judging ‘how’ we are right now, but we find it really difficult to admit ‘who’ we inherently are. Polly gave it a go, so in fairness of being nominated, I thought I would too
When did manners disappear from our culture? Something quite small has been bothering me for a little while, but for me it’s actually quite significant. I’ve already talked about my time running up the Gherkin as part of my Gherkin Challenge, but I didn’t mention that when I was there something took me by surprise that bothered me more than it should have. Are manners important to you? It appears that please and thank you are disappearing from our children’s vocabulary, and it appears their parents are no different.
A survey conducted by Diet Chef in 2014 says that one quarter of men are so self conscious about their appearance they prefer to have sex with the light off. Now after 2 kids and almost 8 years of marriage, any sex would be appreciated whether the light’s on, off, […]
Me and my family have had to travel quite a bit in the last few years, either for my work or our pleasure; one thing that is very apparent is that it is one of the most stressful times in our lives. We’ve often said that we wish someone would invent a transporter so we could just materialise from point A to point B without the need for planes, trains, or automobiles. Research is starting to show that travel stress actually starts well before you put that key into the ignition, and the bickering ruins the whole experience before you’ve even begun.
I met my wife on 1 Oct 2005. Since then, she hasn’t taken a single holiday. That’s right, almost 10 years without a holiday. Imagine how that must feel? I kind of know, because I haven’t taken one in the same amount of time, unless you’re willing to count the year I lived in Spain working, or the 14 months I’ve spent in Afghanistan, or the seemingly endless number of weeks I’ve taken away from my kids; my wife calls them all holidays, even if I don’t. Add to that, my daughter was born almost 7 years ago and in that time my wife has spent a total of 4 nights away from her. That’s it, 4 nights. Needless to say, this week that she is spending in Turkey with her bingo buddies, is thoroughly deserved. As a result I, for the first time in almost 7 years, find myself parenting solo. Here are a few things I’ve learned so far.
Let me start by saying I am going to be without internet for potentially a significant amount of time. I am going back to Germany where I have had to cancel my internet connection and because of contract obligations I can’t get a new deal because I am coming back […]
Men are not allowed to feel feelings, it’s just not acceptable for men to show emotion, or is it?
I was recently approached by a Promotions Executive representing Jacamo and I was asked if I would like to review their range of Christmas jumpers. At first, I was reluctant because of my preconceived ideas of the brand. My first thought was that even though I can sometimes wear an XXL (Thank you very much Zara!!) I was no where big enough to shop at Jacamo. I’ve always thought that they were solely there to cater for the exceptionally larger gentleman. Or at least that’s the sole takeaway that I have gleaned from the TV adverts I have seen. I decided to have a look at the website and peruse the Christmas jumpers anyway, just in case there was something that tickled my fancy, or didn’t make me look like one of those idiots wearing a Christmas jumper knitted by his nan and sits at a comfortable 5 sizes too big. I’ve got to admit, I was really pleasantly surprised.
It’s hard being the soldier in a military family. The guilt, the pressure, and the responsibility can often be overwhelming, but it’s nothing compared with the flexibility, patience, and understanding of the children. Here’s my apology to my kids.
Whenever I look into her eyes, I just melt and I want to wrap her in my arms and never let go and I get an overwhelming sense of love. When I look into the eyes of my son, I get the same feeling of love, but there’s excitement too. I am eager to show him the world and what it has to offer, to let him go on adventures and be a better wiser man for it, but in the same breath I want to protect my daughter from it. I am scared of letting her go and I’m hoping that I’m not alone in feeling this fear and as my daughter gets older I need to start fighting my instincts to protect her all the time. I just hope that when she does get hurt, I can find the right words to console her and when she doesn’t need words, I hope that I can just be there for her.
Making a coffee woke my wife and rather than just roll over and enjoy the lie in I’d afforded her, she was up and began her daily routine. It took no time at all to be shown several photos shared on her Facebook feed of the good deeds all of her wives’ husbands had done. While I’m sure the husbands didn’t go around bragging about their latest good deed, I am in no doubt they did pass their wives’ media platforms to them shortly after the gift with the gentle encouragement to share with their friends about what great husbands they have. Dicks!
This post is probably going to divide opinion. Some will find what I’m about to say shocking, some will criticise me for being so negative, some will tell me to grow up but for some, I might just strike a chord of recognition. Whichever way you lean, please take a deep look at your lives and ask yourself honestly, is there anything that you would change if you could? And if you would, have you ever regretted that you didn’t get it right first time and has it ever crossed your mind what your life would have looked like if you had?
Visiting family can create a number of feelings, thoughts and emotions, but the one consideration that stuck with me on this occasion was, “Can you be a parent and a friend?”
Much like a jovial nickname that is designed to be endearing but ends up being quite offensive, I fear for the backlash that this may cause. When it comes to the world of pregnancy, birth and raising children, men are automatically on the back foot as it is, because as Mila rightly points out, we do not carry them for 9 months, indeed, we do not have to squeeze them out of any part of us, but that does not mean we are any less important to the whole process.
For the sake of my children I wish I could relax more. I don’t mean that I need a rest, or a holiday, or even a good night’s sleep. What I mean is, I wish that I could stop being so uptight and let my children enjoy their childhood more. I think my children are happy, but I genuinely believe they could be happier.
I have a daughter who is 5, and my wife and I have been mulling over the decision on whether she is old enough to go to the park, or even out and about in close proximity of the home, on her own. If I’m honest and if it were down to me, she would have an escort with her everywhere she goes until the day I die because I want to protect her from all the evil in the world. She is my little, vulnerable, fragile princess after all, no matter how much she wants to convince me otherwise.
My two year old son gave us a bit of a fright today by deciding to hurtle himself down the full flight of stairs backwards before bouncing off the hall wall at the bottom. The interesting thing for me was the different reactions to the incident by the four members of this household.
Compromise is absolutely key to a marriage. You will never find someone who is so absolutely in sync with you that you will not, at some point, have to submit to your partner’s will. But I’m increasingly finding that the only “right” compromise seems to be my compromise.
Whose job is it to make you happy? Turns out it’s yours.
When you have kids and one of you decides to stay at home to look after them how exactly do you structure your day without entering into a competitive debate over whose day was worse?
I hate superlatives. Especially in my marriage. My wife uses them all the time and it really winds me up. But the problem isn’t hers, it’s mine.
I’m not naive enough to believe that women actually want men to do the dishes, they more likely want men to want to do the dishes for them. Doing something that you and probably everyone else in the world doesn’t want to do for the person you love shows that not only you appreciate them, but you’re willing to do something you really can’t stand just to please them, so in a sense the man isn’t wanting to do the dishes, he’s wanting to please her. Any women reading this can correct me if I’m way off the mark, but I’m trying to understand.