I’m Sorry I’m a Millennial

A sort-of sequel to last weeks post ‘Overcoming Shyness’. This time I go into the thoughts and feelings of Millennials – why they are the way they are. Read more about it here!

I want to do that, but I simply have no time for it.

I want to do that, but I simply can’t do it.

I want to do that, but I’m simply too anxious for it.

I want to do that, but it’s taking too long. 

I want to do that, but I don’t have the skills for it.

I want to do that, but I’m afraid of what others will think of me.

I want to do that, but I’ll look silly doing it. 

Sound familiar?

I watched a video on YouTube the other day about Millennials – why they are the way they are- self interested, lazy, undisciplined, ‘entitled’ and unfocused. It was very fascinating and insightful as to what has caused millennials to become so dependent on other people, increasingly anxious and depressed, and losing sociability with their peers. If you wish to view the video yourself, you can watch it here!

A Millennial is a person who was born in the 1980’s or the early 1990’s as explained by the Cambridge Dictionary

As a millennial myself, I can agree with most of what was being said. Reliance on technology has become an addiction and it slowly draws away time from more important things, such as my family, work, the opportunity to socialise in person with friends, and improving self knowledge by reading more.

I don’t want to feel anxious over talking to someone new.

I don’t want to be afraid to do something I want to do. 

I don’t want to waste time during the day when I could be doing something I love doing.

This is why I am reprogramming my mindset – the way I do things, the way I think, the way I discipline myself.

I’ve found social media to be a distraction. I could spend most of my time on it. It draws me in and once i’m on it, i’m hooked. You could even suggest it’s a time machine because one minute on it will jet you off into the future, hours later.

This isn’t productive. That time spent on social media could allow me to spend more time with the kids, go out with friends, enjoy reading a lengthy book and so on. I’m not saying I want to avoid going on it completely – it’s nice to get updated about what’s happening around the world, but just to moderate my time more efficiently on it. As he explains in the video, it’s all about balance – it’s okay to spend time doing something, but too much of it can be disruptive. 

We seek to be acknowledged. We seek to be listened to. We seek to follow instructions. But that doesn’t help us when we want to do things ourselves. We need to be able to do things on our own, without needing someones elses instructions. We should be able to figure stuff out on our own. The fact that this is happening, is a big problem. It’s no fault of our own.

As a parent, i’m lucky enough to have witnessed great parenting and so I know generally how to parent well and do things for the kids that are the ‘right’ things to do. Without guidance and without witnessing others, I may not have been as confident as I am now – I can’t imagine how i’d deal with the kids if it wasn’t for my past experiences.

I’ve seen people, parents included on their phones walking about with their eyes glued to their screens. Some even do it at school when they go to pick up their kids. This isn’t right or healthy to be perfectly honest. When you pick up your kids from school, there’s no need to be on Facebook chatting to someone who isn’t even there – you should be focussed on picking your children up – they demand your attention. Whoever you are talking to or whatever you are doing on your phone, are they or is it really more important than your own children? Think about that for a second. 

Without changing the way we do things, we are continuously going to go in the same direction. We are still going to become anxious around new people, we are still going to be afraid of trying something new, we are still not going to have enough time to do whatever it is we want to do. That is unless we cut out bad temptations and learn to discipline ourselves out of our rut. Think on it.

Again if you wish to watch the video, you can find it here.

P.S. For all you that have watched the video, I bought an alarm clock! (Told you i’m serious about it!) 

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If you liked this post, please drop us a like and share with your friends! You can read similar posts here!

 

-Liam

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Overcoming Shyness

I was quite shy as a teenager. I still haven’t overcome it, even now. Why am I shy? Will my kids go the same way? What have I done to prevent it? Find this out and more here!

This is a big topic and a difficult one for me to share with you all.

I’m quite a confident writer – I know what I want to say and I write it down, thinking about what I’m going to say before I type, and correct it if I need to change it.

On the other hand however, I’m not so very confident within a person-to-person conversation other than with people I am currently comfortable with, such as my family and friends.

Upon meeting new people, some can be very open, confident and don’t hold back – full eye contact, tall posture, and great open body language. I’m not that person. I wish I was, but something prevents me from doing that. A mentality obstacle that I just can’t seem to shift.

I have a few ideas on where it might have derived from, although years later I still haven’t changed much. This began within my childhood.

As a child I was quite open and friendly. I used to get shouted at a lot by my parents – it was quite scary at the time and this brought me down (Not saying my parents were bad people, they’re not, they just tried to reign in my behaviour).

I felt as if I had to think about the consequences of doing something even before I did it. It’s usually a normal thing parent’s try to teach their children, but I was quite a sensitive child and it slowly closed me off.

Another factor I believe contributed to my future shyness was in school. I was quite a chatty young teenager starting high school. I had friends and messed about in class (like any other child would do).

I wasn’t a naughty kid but I kept getting shouted at and sent to the head teachers office for misbehaving. As I was a still a sensitive young boy, I took ‘getting told off’ quite badly. It upset me – I didn’t like making other people unhappy, and I began to follow the rules quite seriously.

I was a SWOT (for any of you who don’t know what a SWOT is, it’s someone who values their education and teachers more than their social life – not someone who is particularly popular). I made sure I was on-time, or even early to get to my lessons – I didn’t want to get told off for being late. I became less and less social with my peers too – I just got on with my school work and put my head down.

I wasn’t exactly a tall person either. Taller people have height which in turn seems to help become more confident in oneself. I would have loved to have been tall, but I couldn’t do much to help that so I had to settle for being short and get on with it.

I don’t like the pressure children are put under to behave the way schools want you to. You should be taught to know the rules, and if you disagree with them for a good enough reason, know whether to break them or not. After all in this day and age, whoever has ‘the power’ (governments for instance) enjoy telling others what to do and to do things within their rules whether you like it or not, but they don’t follow the same rules themselves – quite unfair and hypocritical to be honest.

I don’t want my children growing up to be put down from someone else’s ruling telling them that they aren’t good kids, and that they have to follow their rules whether they like it or not (not saying this is the case for parenting most of the time, but mainly for rules made to ‘control’ your children).

I guess in a mild way I am traumatized by having grown up to be controlled by someone else’s rules. I am a grown adult and still feel like i’m not old enough to do things ‘adults’ are allowed to do.

How I cope with this – for starters I have to remind myself that I am indeed a grown adult and are legally aloud to do pretty much anything I want. I also shouldn’t have to settle for something I am not happy with – I tell myself that I have the power to change it if I feel so strongly about it.

Secondly I think about how other people, even much older people than me, were once kids and have grown up to become adults (like me) and have been in the same shoes.

Even though they may be a different shape, height or look completely different from me, there is still a human being inside there who has to work to support themselves and their family, pays tax, celebrates special occasions, enjoys leisure time and so on. Basically speaking, just bringing them down to my own level – it helps me feel comfortable around them.

Thirdly I find a common topic that we could talk about extensively (could be football, a new movie getting released, cars, new technology etc) – this opens up almost an endless conversation in which we then have common ground with, creating a connection and making ourselves comfortable to talk to.

I’m still not 100% comfortable talking to new people – I get quite anxious (especially making phone calls), but I hope with new opportunities becoming available and as I connect with more people, I can overcome my past long lived ‘shyness’, feel more confident in myself and grow as a person in the near future.

 

If you’ve ever felt the same way or would just like to talk about it, please let me know in the comments section below! 

 

If you liked this post, please drop us a like and share with your friends! You can read similar posts here!

 

-Liam

Does Loving Superheroes Make Oneself a Geek?

Loving superheroes, especially at the moment is a common trait, though it wasn’t always like that. Does loving superheroes mean you’re a geek? Find this out and more here!

I always get teased by my partner over this. I enjoy watching superhero movies and aspire to be one (doesn’t everyone?).

When I become hyped up after watching a superhero movie, she smiles and says:

“You’re such a nerd!”

I don’t take it to heart – I was a bit of a geek in high school (though apparently geeks and nerds aren’t the same funnily enough).

Geek definition according to the Cambridge Dictionary: ‘someone who is intelligent but not fashionable or popular.Or someone who is very interested in a particular subject and knows a lot about it.’

Nerd definition according to the Cambridge Dictionary: ‘a person, especially a man, who is not attractive and is awkward or socially embarrassing…. Or a person who is extremely interested in one subject, especially computers, and knows a lot of facts about it’

I think I’d much prefer to be called a geek than a nerd if that’s what they mean!

I digress however. Superhero movies are very much popular in today’s day and age. They fill people with hope, enjoyment and inspiration. My kids love superheroes just as much as I do. It seems to affect a large age range, generation after generation.

I never used to read comic books as a child – I never had the luxury of a comic book shop locally as opposed to countries like the United States where comic book culture is very vast. Instead I had a lot of superhero action figures I used to play with. This included Wolverine (and a few other X-Men with the X-Jet too!), Hercules, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Knight Rider, Superman, Batman, Street Sharks, Biker Mice From Mars, and many more.

I really enjoyed playing with them, using my imagination and crossing over superhero universes for the ultimate battles. In my opinion I believe this is a great way to grow up – using your imagination, learning new things, and solving problems. I’d rather that than playing a game watching a screen – this could certainly affect a child’s eyesight in the future (I don’t have anything against playing video games or portable games devices. Just pointing out a possible problem).

When you’re a child growing up I’ve also found it’s important to go outside, get some fresh air and to play sports. This encourages development and growth. I had that as a child, but not so much when I was a young teen.

When I was a teenager I spent a lot of my time searching the web learning new things. There’s nothing wrong with that, however I should have also spent a great deal of my time outdoors too. Does this make me a nerd/geek? 

One could simply answer “Yes, yes it does” without understanding the whole picture. Yes I may have spent a lot of time in front of the computer learning new things, but I also enjoyed things that wouldn’t exactly make me a ‘nerd’ too, like for example: weight lifting, supercars, fit women, building things, basketball and other sports, and so on. Does that still make me a nerd/geek?

I don’t know to be honest. And frankly I don’t care now. Nowadays nerdy or geeky topics have become popular culture so whether I like that stuff or not, it’s not something to be embarrassed about anymore.

With Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 breaking box office records last weekend, there’s no saying superheroes are any more nerdy or geeky as any other popular topic today – It’s now simply a common favourite!

 

Enjoy superhero movies and wish to shout out about it? Please drop us a comment in the comments section below! If you liked this post, please drop us a like and share with your friends! You can read similar posts here!

 

-Liam

Why I’ve Put My Filmmaking Career on Hold

Chasing a childhood dream when you are an adult can be extremely difficult if you do not have the resources or opportunities to pursue it. What do you do? Do you give up? Let go of your dreams to open something else up? Read about this and more here!

Though I’ve put it on hold, I haven’t quite given up yet. Times are changing. Things are cheaper and easily accessible.

Why haven’t I given up yet?

I don’t believe in giving up on my dreams, and If I do, I’d feel like a failure.

Having my own children has put it in perspective for me how important it is to become a role model – someone who they can look up to, who is there to protect them, raise them and provide for them.

I’ve been passionate about filmmaking since high school. I had big plans then on to pursue a filmmaking career and follow after the ‘Greats’ of cinema!

I was all set, following the educational system through to the end point in order to come out of it with a career. LIFE IS NEVER THAT SIMPLE THOUGH.

I completed University with a BA (Hons) Degree in my chosen field, but there wasn’t any job openings or opportunities for me to pursue after that, so I had to return home and begin my research.

Where could I possible go to chase after my dreams?

London? Manchester? Leeds? Sheffield?

I was torn. The most likely place in the UK to find film production opportunities was in the capital – London. I knew I had to go there. In the meantime I was caught up in a part-time job raising money to go ahead with my plan.

But then I met a girl who I fell in love with. Not to say she stopped me from moving to London, but I put it on hold for the time being until I could convince her to come with me.

Time flew by and we decided to have a baby together. This was a BIG step for us, but I knew she was ‘the one’. I became a Daddy. Our baby needed me, so we couldn’t do a big move just yet.

We had researched into possible opportunities that I could get into if we did move, and had contacted many companies for work, but very few got back to me. It was a very competitive marketplace, and very few look to hire entry level staff.

This had me worried. I wasn’t getting anywhere. I even looked in to the National Film & Television School for a Masters Course in my chosen field. It looked rather interesting, but housing for a family of 5 at the time would have been very expensive, so I had to cross that off my list.

I looked at other cities where there may have been a film production presence. Manchester was my next target, until I found out that it had more of a music scene than film.

Liverpool was our final choice. This is where we had moved to in order to pursue my dreams. We arrived there in October. I had contacted companies in and around Liverpool to open up the possibility of work within the industry, and again NOTHING. The closest I got to was freelance work, and even so was unreliable and very little work came my way.

Since Liverpool I figured the film production industry barely exists in the UK. When big film companies do film here, they usually come over from America and provide their own crew, so need very little local crew to hire. Besides that, there are independent companies who hire on a freelancing basis when the work comes in (so getting a regular average paycheck is unlikely).

Having children makes it harder to go off and work either around the country or on a freelancing basis because of the time away from the family and needing to provide money to support the family, and not just myself.

I haven’t completely dismissed the idea of going back into the film industry further on in life, but for now I need to be able to work at something else which will provide a good income and stability. I’ve also felt that pursuing a creative career doesn’t make me feel like I’m contributing to society in a productive way.

  • Manufacturers on their production lines make things that people use everyday.
  • Lawyers protect the innocent from going to jail.
  • Scientists research into all sorts of things to understand life better etc etc.

I want to feel like i’m doing something that MATTERS.

So I am looking to start my own business (not a film related business either)- one that I can work from at home (so no need to be away from family), and will seek to grow throughout the year. I’m in my research phase at the moment so hope to launch it very soon!

 

If you feel the same way and wish to share your thoughts or frustrations, please drop us a comment in the comments section below! 

If you liked this post, please drop us a like and share it with your friends! You can read similar posts here!

 

-Liam

Trying Something New – Boogie Bounce Xtreme!

I hadn’t done anything like this before. As it approaches Summer, I thought it’d be a good time to start getting back into shape. Zoe dragged me to a Boogie Bounce class yesterday. Read more about it here!

It was dark. Lights shone upon me. The music grew louder and I was panting like a dog. Up, down, up, down. No, I wasn’t in the middle of an intimate moment with my partner. I was at Boogie Bounce Xtreme!

She dragged me along with her. She had planned on going with her friend, but something came up and was unable to go.

She seeked to find someone else to go with, but then thought of me.

“Do you want to go with me instead?”

“Only if you can’t find anyone else to go with. I don’t want you missing out.”

…and that was it. She set her mind upon me as a companion and convinced me to tag along with her. I was unsure whether this was something I would be comfortable doing – more so because more women attend than men.

I had to set up an online account. First lesson was free as a trial basis (to see whether you like it or not). I filled out the online application. On the disclosure, it stated: ‘Risk of death’. This didn’t exactly fill me with any confidence, but I went ahead anyway.

‘7:30pm 17th April – Booked’. That was it, I couldn’t back out now.

I had to get my gym clothes ready beforehand. I hadn’t been in my sports gear for a very long time, so I had to dig through my boxes just to find them. Jogging bottoms or shorts? 

I began thinking which of those would be better to bounce around in. On one hand the jogging bottoms would be ideal to keep my legs warm, but on the other hand they can be quite restricting. So instead I went for my shorts – they provide good air flow and I could get a good range of motion in them!

Once back from the school run, we were in a rush to get the kids bathed and fed ready for bed later on. My sister Lisa was to come round to babysit for us. Zoe had to pump in case Kiiara needed feeding when we were out.

7 o’clock arrived and it was almost time to leave. We got our last minute preparation sorted and out the door we left at nearly 20 past 7. We jumped in the car and off I drove. I roughly knew where I was going, but had never been there before so I was expecting to go to the wrong place.

7:30pm and we found it! Parked up and walked in.

A long room with 12 individual trampolines laid out to choose from. Women hanging about ready to start the session, with no men in sight. I WAS THE ONLY MAN THERE! AWKWARD!

I plucked up the courage to walk on and found two trampolines side-by-side for Zoe and I. This was it. Time to get started!

The instructor began with some warm up exercises. They were quite intense and in-time with the music. Running rapidly on the trampoline. Damn that woke my legs up. 

We continued on, up and down, bouncing on the trampoline following different movements the instructor was showing us. It was really fun – I was certainly enjoying myself. It was difficult to get into the rhythm of the movements in-time with the music, but I got there after a few tries.

Towards the end of the session, the instructor got us to do some cool-down exercises and stretches. This included some press-ups off and up onto the trampoline again, leg lifts, and some yoga positions. I enjoyed doing the stretches at the end – they made me feel refreshed and personally I think it helps to prevent aches the following day.

We had a lot of fun at Boogie Bounce Xtreme. It was something different and something we wouldn’t have normally tried. I’m glad I went with Zoe, and I think she enjoyed my company too (or atleast I hope so anyway).

It would be nice to continue doing some couple fitness activities in the future to spend some quality time together, have more to share with you all, and i’m sure it’s very healthy too!

As the weather heats up this week here in the UK, it’s probably a good time to start getting in shape for the Summer!

 

If you liked this post, please drop us a like and don’t forget to share it with your friends! You can read more Daddy posts here!

 

If you reside in North Wales and would like to find out more about the Boogie Bounce classes we went to, please drop us a message on our contact page and we’ll get back to you with more information.

 

-Liam

DIY Daddy

Being a Dad comes with more responsibility than just raising a child – it includes the small print nobody warned you about – The Daddy DIY jobs! If you’re a Daddy stuck on DIY duty, why not give this a read here!

Grab your hammer, fetch your toolbox and spread your ladder. Your misses needs you to fix her the skirting board – Guess what? YOU’RE A DIY DADDY!

I didn’t think I’d ever be in this position so soon. I left high school, completed college and graduated University. Years later here I am – 4 kids and a misses who rely on me to protect them, provide for them, and acquire a stable household to live in.

One of the benefits about being a Dad is that your kids look up to you, and if you do do a good job of something they asked you to do, they notice and praise you for it (probably happens about 70% of the time).

Moving into our new place here in the beautiful North Wales has been great so far – it’s close by to necessities, the beach, and a short drive away from the mountain vistas in Snowdonia. It has plenty of space, it’s been done up for us (including new carpets, kitchen and more) and great views of the seafront!

As with any place you move into though, there is always something that needs a DIYers touch.

Currently our bathroom door gets jammed when attempting to close it shut as it’s been painted over recently. This is one thing I’ve been trying to sort out since we’ve moved in – last thing I want is for the kids to walk in when one of us is having a shower (talk about traumatic for the poor kids).

Having sanded it and planed it down, it now shuts and can lock with a bit of hardened push. It’ll do for now >> DIY job No.1 Complete!

I put up stair gates for our little toddler a week or so ago – this was a main priority as we didn’t want her climbing the stairs. I also installed one just outside her bedroom door so that she could play in her room without us worrying she’ll come flying down the stairs. (Don’t think Tinkerbell will ever pay us a visit again – she caught me uttering “I don’t believe in fairies” – whoops)   >>DIY job No.2 Completed

One thing I’ve noticed, and i’m sure many Dads can vouch for me on this one, is that THE WORK IS NEVER DONE!

More work is added to the list even before you’ve finished completing the work she asked you to do before that!

For all you Dads out there who have been exhausted from DIY jobs around the house, don’t be afraid to tell your partner that you’ll get round to it another time. I mean she’s only been asking you for 6 months, she can wait longer can’t she? 


Solar Project Update


If you read last weeks post ‘Solar Life‘ you’d know I had planned on building a solar heater. As a little update, the frame has been built and i’ve put in the insulation. I’m just gathering the rest of the materials in order to resume the project.

I have roughly calculated that I should be able to fit around 42 cans inside the frame as opposed to the 24 that I had originally mentioned. This should hopefully warm our place up better – it gets very cold here on an overcast day!

More on this project will be posted as I progress further and will include photographs of the build, so keep an eye out for them!

 

If you liked this post, please drop us a like and share it with someone you know who might be interested too! Have a DIY story you’d like to share? Please post it in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!

You can read more Daddy Posts here!

 

-Liam

Solar Life

Solar energy is FREE energy to me. Harnessing the power of the Sun to power our everyday electricals seems very logical. I share my thoughts about Solar power in today’s latest post here!

Since moving into the new place, we’ve been exposed to much more Sun than our previous house in Liverpool (as much as you can in Wales anyway). The Sun moves from East to West over the course of the day, and our yard area seems to cover most of that.

Whilst in the process of moving-in last week, battered by the rain and the wind, I was thinking of how efficient it might be to purchase a solar panel to place in our backyard (for when we’re not battered by wind and rain of course). It could power some of our electricals, or cut down our electricity bill just that little bit.

Not only will this cut down our bill, it will help provide us with an alternative source of electricity in case of a power cut – Without electricity, I wouldn’t be able to blog about it!


Spark of Light


A while ago back in Liverpool, I thought it would have been nice to decorate our back yard and put up some solar powered garden lights to make it look reasonably pretty (for a terraced yard anyway). I never got around to setting them up in the yard but thought it could be used effectively in our new place.

It can get rather dark in mine and Zoe’s bedroom at night time, so rather than using a lamp, we set up the solar garden lights around our cupboard doors – charging through the day and lighting up when it begins to get dark. It usually stays on until the early hours of the morning, so it works pretty well.

We thought perhaps purchasing more of these as night lights for the kids’ bedrooms.

Faith usually doesn’t like sleeping without a night light on, and this would be perfect! It wouldn’t add anything to our electricity bill, and it doesn’t even require direct sunlight to charge either (just standard daylight, even overcast can make it work too!).

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Though Solar Panels are fairly costly (for decent ones anyway), I believe they are a good investment providing you are exposed to a good area of sunlight.


Solar Heaters


It can get rather chilly in the new place on a bad day, especially during the mornings, and we’re having to turn on our storage heaters to heat the place up throughout the day. This again is quite cost-heavy on our electricity bill, so I would like to avoid using them if possible.

I started a bit of digging around on the internet and found another solar invention that could possibly help.

It’s called a SOLAR HEATER.

Basically it consists of a black panel with black metal inside. Cold air goes in one end, the Sun heats up the metal inside the panel, and the hot air gets sucked out the other end.

Many people have made these as an alternative way to heat up a room and seeing as how the Sun peers into our yard most of the day, it just seems logical to make.

For the inside of the panel, beer cans or steel food cans can be used (just needs connecting together and painting black).

The frame can be made from wood big enough for the cans to fit inside. You can add as many cans as you like, but a few tutorials I’ve seen base around 24 cans – 4 columns, 6 cans in each column.

I need to start gathering the materials together for this, and if I do end up making something like it, I shall post up some images for you all to have a look at.

It seems like a nice idea to run off the power of the Sun, especially because the new place runs solely off electricity – It can help cut down the cost of the electricity bills, and is environmentally-friendly. That seems like a WIN-WIN situation to me. Hopefully if the conditions remain solid (a lot of sunlight) from now on, then one day i’ll lead a ‘Solar Life‘ like many others do too!

 

If you are living a ‘Solar Life’ and have your own solar panels, wish to share your thoughts on them, or are thinking about building a solar project of your own, please let us know in the comments section below! We’d love to hear your stories!

If you liked this post, please drop us a like and don’t forget to share with your friends! You can read similar posts here!

 

-Liam

Sleep-Tight Nan

I had to attend my Nans funeral today. She lived a full-life and now she’s united once again with her husband. Read my story here – celebrating a life and my fondest memories of my Nan.

My Nan passed away last month. It was a grim way to end off February and I wasn’t expecting it at all. 

I haven’t seen my Nan since my Sisters wedding over a year ago. She was very drunk at the time and full of joy and happiness. She was much loved by all of my family and we enjoyed every moment we spent with her (when we did see her of course).

Unlike some Grandparents I know whom are both still together, her husband (my Grandfather) had passed away many years ago when I was a young child, so she’s been pressing on without him in the company of my Uncle.

Death is something that will eventually happen to us all. There’s no way of stopping it. But it’s not something that should restrict us from doing anything either. It should give us more reason to go out and make the most of the short time we have on this planet whilst we still can.

I’ve been unfortunate to have had to attend two funerals in 1 year. The first being Zoe’s Dads funeral (you can read Zoe’s story here).

My Nan lived a full life. She was 90 years old when she passed away. I’d like to say it was old age that took her life, but it wasn’t (though for her age that could have been a likely scenario). She had been suffering for a little while with diabetes, and for the last few weeks of her life had breathing difficulties.

I wasn’t able to see her before she died, but my Dad visited her often, especially when she went into hospital after collapsing in her nursing home.

I urged my Dad to get a photo with her together incase something might happen (I know from experience – ensuring you get a photo memory whilst you have a chance).

Luckily one of the last visits he made with my Sister, he captured a photo with her. Not long afterwards, she passed away…

Dad and Nan

I believe it’s important to prepare your last memories of a person to be positive ones. If you have to watch them suffer, it will end up haunting you for the rest of your life – not something anyone should have to experience.

Funerals, though an unfortunate circumstance, can be a nice get together with the entire family including family members you haven’t seen for a very long while. A get together like this one is a good time to celebrate the person’s life – share memories – stories of that person, and find out things you may not have previously known about that person.

As a child when my parents were still together, around Christmas time we always used to travel over to see my Nan. It felt like a long drive back then, but now it doesn’t seem that far away. She lived on the Wirral (not far from where I’m currently residing at the moment).

Sometimes on our journeys over, i’d see frost blanketed over flat endless fields rolling off into the distance. I felt a mild excitement knowing Christmas was coming soon and I’d get to visit my family once again this time of year.

We’d pull up onto her street, old war built houses either side. Out of the car and into her house. There she was, my Nan. She always made us feel welcome. Before she passed too, my Aunty Avril would live there too, sat in her corner in the living room. I don’t remember too much about her, but I can still picture her face in my mind.

This house was very old, and still had a toilet in the shed out in the back garden. The garden itself had a vegetable patch and a greenhouse alongside it with a massive tree in the far corner towering and shadowing over it.

After spending time with my Nan, we’d also visit my Aunty Gwynneth, who lived not even 5 minutes away in a Cul-de-sac at the time. Christmas was special there too with decorations everywhere and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

I loved visiting my Nan as a child. I have very fond memories of her, and ones I’ll keep forever. She is now with my Granddad, and can now spend the rest of eternity together.

Rest in peace Nan.

 

In Loving Memory of Beryl Mary Plimley 

 

-Liam

Adventurer At Heart

It runs through my blood, it’s in my mind, and I love doing it. Exploring, climbing and cycling is what I used to do before I had kids. What’s life like now I have kids? Find out this and insights into my life here!

I wasn’t always with Zoe. There was a time I was single and getting on with life as a sole individual, doing what guys usually do – going out with friends, drinking, exercising, travelling and more.

I used to climb mountains and cycle around my local area. North Wales has spectacular mountainscapes and lovely cycle routes, so this was an ideal opportunity to execute in my spare time.

Biking

I had worked in Iceland retail at that time. It was a part-time job that had kept me going, supplying me with a basic wage to get on with my life. When I wasn’t working I was out and about exploring and enjoying the sunshine.

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Walking from my hometown to Llandudno was a nice achievement – though may not seem like a great distance, it would have taken me about an hour and a half to reach. This was because occasionally I would take the scenic route and climb to the top of the ‘Little Orme’ on the way.

Me on the little orme

The stunning 360 degree views could show you as far as Anglesey on one side and all the way to Rhyl from the other on a good day. I felt ALIVE, FREE and ON TOP OF THE WORLD – Nothing could drag me down!

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I was adamant during my time at Iceland retail that I wanted the complete package. Job – Car – Girl. I had a job. I just needed the car, and then the girl would follow. This was my theory anyway.

After a year of driving lessons and a couple of girlfriends later (who didn’t turn out to be the right ones), I passed my test and bought my first car. I got into another sort-of relationship after that, which ended up falling apart so I wasn’t looking out for another one so soon.

My First Car

But soon enough though I met Zoe and started hanging out with her whilst her and her friends were doing up her new flat to move into. I’ll spare you the details because the rest is history….


Including Zoe


When I became involved with Zoe we found out how much we had in common, but also how little she’d actually experienced because of having kids at such a young age. This had me thinking about taking her on my little expeditions, trekking up mountains and enjoying spending time together.

As Faith and Wyatt spent the weekends at their Dads, this was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of.

We had explored my favourite viewpoints, as well as other mountainpoints I hadn’t previously trekked up. It was a great feeling taking her up with me, cherishing the views together – someone to share it with. This is what I wanted. I was living the dream.

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Having Kids Of My Own


Things changed when we had kids together. We weren’t able to do the things we had been doing before – well not as much atleast. That meant no more climbing mountains with Zoe, no more running about just the two of us acting like fools.

I love my kids, I really do, and I don’t regret having them. I may not be able to do much of what I used to be able to, but that won’t stop me from doing it when they are a little older. It’s still a part of me. It runs through my blood, and it probably runs through theirs too.

This takes me on to what I want to do with them when they are old enough. I have plans for when they are capable, to hike up mountains with me and Zoe, go cycling along unexplored routes, play basketball and football, take them to the beach for water sports activities, go canoeing and much more.

I think it’s important to include them in the activities I had enjoyed prior to their lives so that they can also enjoy it too. They haven’t dragged me down, but opened up more opportunities in the future to partake with them.

I still carry my dreams from when I was a child and wish to achieve them in the future. After all, we only live once and we should try our hardest to get everything we want – no one else is going to do that for us.

If I ever had the chance I would travel the world to explore new places and different cultures, own a sports car (I’m not having a midlife crisis yet I hope, I’m still quite young), fly in a private jet (Always wanted to. Even more so, want to get my own pilots license), and generally live a worry-free life – financial security (doesn’t everyone). Very achievable goals if I prepare for them now and set actionable targets.

I’d like to think success comes from working really really hard at something, so working my ass off and being consistent will help achieve those dreams of mine…. Hopefully.

 

I’d like to hear about your dreams, achievements or success stories, so please drop a comment in the comments section below!

 

If you liked this blog post, you can check out more daddy blogs here!

 

-Liam

An Unexpected Arrival

Last meal with the kids before the move – A visitor this weekend – And find out whether the kids actually behaved for us.. Read about it here!

Weekends are a good time to spend with your family and friends (that’s if you’re not working ofcourse). The kids aren’t in school so that allows for quality bonding time with them.

This weekend the kids chose to begin it off with an early morning, waking Zoe and I up intentionally so we could make them breakfast – it was 7am. I’d rather not have to wake up that early on a weekend, more so to make the kids breakfasts at that time – they could wait!

Morning coffee had to be consumed before I was to deal with them.

This was the last weekend we’d spend with the kids before we’d move. They were to set off for their Dads on Monday for 2 weeks. As a way of getting the kids to behave over the last few days with us, he explained to them over the phone that if they were to achieve more than 3 green dojos by the time they were to arrive at his, he’d reward them with a present (a new Shopkins set I believe).

This set out a mission for the kids to listen and get along. They did really well – more Faith than Wyatt however.

Wyatt would continue tormenting Aurora and Faith, so dojo’s were taken from him instead. I think his special-needs had showed more this weekend than it has in a while – he showed an absent short-term memory often, and his common sense would not kick-in.

For example – I’d tell him to go upstairs to open his curtains. He’d go upstairs and return back down afterwards, with the curtains still shut. I’d ask him what I told him to go and do, and he’d say ‘I can’t remember’. There were many occasions this would happen on, not just with his curtains, but even the simplest of tasks.

I fear for his future if he continues going in the direction he’s going. I am hoping when we move back to Wales he will get the special support he needs to progress and get better.


A Visit From A Friend


We had a call from our friend on Friday. She wanted to come visit us.

She came over the following day bringing her girlfriend and her girlfriends’ child over too. It was nice to have some company for a change. Since we’ve been here in Liverpool we haven’t connected with many people and felt quite isolated away from the world.

It’s quite a different place to what we’re used to in Wales. We’re used to bumping into people we knew in town, having a chat, inviting friends over and seeing our families regularly. But now we’re away from everyone, it’s a completely different world to us, and is one of the reasons why we had decided to move back.

Seeing our friend brought laughter and smiles to our faces. It had cheered us up and boosted our moods ready for our move back.


The Following Day


Morning came, and the kids actually let us have a bit of a lie-in this time. Faith took it into consideration that we liked our sleep on a Sunday and remained quiet when she and Wyatt woke up.

Zoe woke up with stomach pains. This wasn’t good. An unexpected arrival. She came down with a bug.

All day she didn’t feel right, but she had been looking forward to eating a roast dinner that I had made for her later that day. This was the final meal we’d have before the kids were to leave for their Dads.

Sunday night approached and the pains continued to worsen. She was feeding Kiiara in our bed and then requested a bowl immediately. I knew that was it.. She had vomited. I was lucky enough to get the bowl to her on time. The roast dinner she had enjoyed eating, all back up again (it wasn’t my cooking before you mention anything).

More through the night she had been getting up to vomit. I felt really bad for her. What could I do? 

Even today she hasn’t been feeling too well and henceforth why I have taken over to write this. I’m hoping she returns back to her old self soon.

 

If you liked this blog post, you can check out more daddy blogs here!

 

-Liam

The Hands-On Dad

Watching your kids grow up is extraordinary. You only get one chance to raise them well. I talk about what it’s like to be a hands-on Dad. Read more about it here!

I wasn’t always a Dad believe it or not. I was a free man until I met my partner Zoe. She introduced me to the idea of being a Dad, and once I chose to become one, there was no turning back.

I have two beautiful little girlies right now who I wouldn’t change for the world. I DO NOT regret having any of them at all – they are my little princesses and I love them to bits.

I do however think about how different life would be not having my own children – where I’d be now, what I’d be doing, whether I’d still be happy. Surely, I’m not the only one who thinks about this sometimes.

From the first moment I saw Aurora, it was extraordinary. I couldn’t believe that I was a Dad. I knew from then on, I couldn’t let her or my partner down. I became what others might say a HANDS-ON DAD.

This meant doing most things a Mum would normally do – helping out with the housework, getting the kids dressed and ready, playing with the kids, preparing their meals, fixing anything they needed fixing (including an endless supply of batteries for their run-down toys) etc.

As Aurora has shown she is in fact a girlie girl, I have the temptation to spoil her with everything pink and princess-themed. When she’s older despite being a man (I don’t really care what others may think), I really want to play princess castles with her in a lovely pink princess-themed bedroom I want to design for her. She deserves to have a happy upbringing, so I shall try my hardest to make that happen!


Working With My Partner


A healthy relationship with kids involved includes working together with your partner to get through each and every day without killing one another. I was made aware of this when I started raising the oldest two with Zoe.

I knew then how difficult it could get when raising kids – the shouting, stressing, added responsibility, less money to spend on ourselves and much more. I was in it for the long haul, so I needed to master a way of getting through this without breaking.

This is when I started working with my partner. There’s no point leaving her to do all the heavy lifting – the housework, running about after the kids etc. No time will be left for you and your partner, and even if there is, she’ll be too exhausted to do anything anyway.

Helping her out with the housework by splitting it down the middle not only gets things done quicker, it also makes you feel accomplished – relief knowing you’ve completed a hefty task that you could have left for your partner to complete.

I love my partner very much and I don’t like seeing her struggle, so I make sure I help her out with as much as I can without taking up too much of our time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also important to set aside some time for you to do anything else you need to do (i.e. work, time with friends, winding down time etc) but I can guarantee helping out your partner will make both of your lives much easier (and no, Zoe didn’t write this. This is from my experience and worked out quite well for us).


Preparing For The Real World


I believe it’s important to teach kids basic knowledge of the real world in preparation for when they are older. As a child I was keen to learn new things but wasn’t told practical knowledge that I could apply to the world ahead to become successful.

Knowledge about tax, business, bank accounts, voting, pensions and more could have been useful to learn earlier on.

Therefore, from birth I’ve started teaching my little girls basic things such as numbers, words and colours so that they could charge ahead to learn more advanced things in the future. I think this is important for their development, and I wish for them to get really far, become successful and make the most of their lives.

 

If you are a hands-on Dad like myself, wish to share your story or express anything you do with your children to make them feel happy and special, please feel free to drop us a comment in the comments section below!

 

If you liked this blog post, you can check out more daddy blogs here!

 

-Liam

Creative Kids & Quiet Colouring

Getting creative – drawing, colouring, and a FREE surprise in today’s post!

My kids always request blank paper from me to draw on. It’s nice they like to draw, but they end up with a pile of scribbled-on paper in their rooms, without a place and gathering dust.

I’d like to say they produce works of art, though hopefully that will come later in life. I still enjoy seeing their artwork despite not being able to make out exactly what they had drawn – practice makes perfect ayy.

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Colouring books are usually a stocking filler we get them for Christmas or a side present we get them for their birthdays.

 

A large book full of pages to colour on which you’d expect to take them a while to complete, and a nice long quiet break from the kids for Zoe and I, but that’s too easy. Is it even possible to have nice, settled children who’d spend days or even weeks colouring without so much as a peep out of them? 

Here’s how it goes down:

Hands over the colouring book.

“Thanks Mummy and Daddy!”

Kids run off upstairs into their rooms.

Hears a slight hustle and bustle upstairs.

(Fairly muted) “I want that pen! Give me that pen!”.

“No I need it! Ouch, Wyatt!”

“Ouch, Faith. You hurt me!” 

This goes on for a little while. What seems like 10 minutes later (how time flies when the kids aren’t in your hair) the kids scramble down the stairs.

“Finished!”

(Surprised) “What!? That’s an entire book. Probably around 150 pages full to colour! Surely you couldn’t have finished it all?”

“Yes. Have a look.”

They present their books to me. Every page filled with colour, though not how I wanted them to fill it out like. Every page filled with scribbles, barely any colour within the set lines.

I sigh.

My peace and quiet from the kids merely lasted about 10 minutes even though it was intended to last weeks. Oh how I was wrong, so wrong. If I calculate it accordingly, 150 pages = 10 minutes, so 1500 pages should last around 100 minutes theoretically.

Just over an hour and a half will do. But somehow I just know that will never be the case……..

I used to colour as a kid too, so I know how fun it can be. I’d always try my best to keep within the lines so my picture would emulate a ‘piece-of-art’ in my mind once completed.

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What pictures did you used to colour-in as a child? 


I had an idea a little while back of designing my own colouring page that the kids could have a go at colouring in themselves.

I put my skills to the test and made one. I printed off 2 copies of it and let the kids colour them in.

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They seemed to enjoy doing it. They liked the design and they read what the text said on it. ME, YOU & OUR MINI ZOO.

As a little gift to you, I am giving this coloring page away for FREE so that you can print it off yourselves and let your kids have a go at colouring them!

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Thought it would be a nice gesture to give back to our followers as a Thank You for supporting our blog.

You can find the PDF download file via this link or you can simply ‘Right-Click’ and choose ‘Save Link As’.

Me, You & Our Mini Zoo Colouring Printable

 

If you had any favourite colouring pages you used to colour as a kid, please share with us in the comments section below. We’d love to hear about them!

 

If you liked this blog post, you can check out more daddy blogs here!

 

-Liam

Becoming a Dad

An insight into my experience of becoming a Dad for the first time – my feelings, thoughts, and preparations. Find out more here!

I had always fantasised being a Dad later in my life – a 30 to 40 year old man who had settled in a career, a nice family home with a car and a drive, and married to the love of my life.

Nothing ever goes according to plan, but I don’t regret a single moment of it.


Making The Decision


I was with Zoe for a few months now, helping her raise Faith and Wyatt. We were very loved up and enjoyed spending time together.

Zoe was on the implant – a contraception that is inserted into the arm. She had been on it for years and not long before we met, had it replaced.

Every now and again Zoe would joke about having a kid together (hint hint, nudge nudge. I know how you girls work!). I’d refuse every time, but it got me thinking about it in the back of my mind. How I’d love to have a child with the woman I love!

One midsummer’s night, we had settled in bed and were talking about anything and everything. The conversation moved onto the kids and how we didn’t enjoy sharing them with Mr D. Out of the blue, though not intending to say it out loud, Zoe burst out with:

‘Shall I get my implant removed?’ 

To her surprise and in total positivity, I replied with

‘Yes!’  

Gobsmacked as she was, we both shared a loving gaze together and cuddled through the night.


No Going Back Now


 

It came the day to have Zoe’s implant removed. We drove up to the family planning clinic and struggled to find a parking space. Worried we wouldn’t be able to have it removed before closing, I parked on double yellow lines. (They’re only open on Tuesdays, and we didn’t want to have to wait another week).

We sat in a quiet waiting room with our number. There were few others sat around, many of which were teenagers. Uncomfortable as we were, we conversed between ourselves.

In the back of my mind I was thinking about my car and not wanting to get fined. No sign of Zoe getting called in just yet, so I ran outside to my car to move it. I found a reasonable space not too far away and ran straight back to the clinic.

Moments later Zoe was called in. Just in time……

This paramount moment was the beginning of something yet to come. I was both nervous and excited from what this was going to stimulate (Don’t be dirty guys. That comes later!).

Her implant had been removed. There was no going back now!


Trying For A Baby


 

After having the implant out, Zoe and I had been trying for a little while. This was the fun part, as you can imagine.

It wasn’t too long after Fifty Shades of Grey had been released and we were enjoying our couples time together. Date nights, mountain adventures, and long drives.

Though we were enjoying our freedom at that time (whilst the older two had been spending time with their Dad on the weekends), it didn’t take that long for things to start progressing.

That takes us onto the next section.


The Test


Things were different and I don’t mean between Zoe and I, but instead her well being. She had been shopping in Morrison’s for our weekly shop and suddenly became dizzy and nauseous.

Zoe’s friend was concerned and proclaimed she ought to buy a pregnancy test out of curiosity.

Back at home, Zoe took the test. She called me in and asked

‘Am I seeing things or is there two faint lines?’ 

I took the test from her and squinted.

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‘There’s definitely something there’

Zoe replied, ‘Oh my God, we’re pregnant!’ 

I shot over to Zoe, pulled her close and gave her a huge cuddle. We were extremely happy. That was it, I now knew I was going to be a Daddy! 9 months and counting!


12 Week Scan


It was time to go and see baby for the first ever time. We made our way to the hospital and waited in reception ready to be called.

10 minutes later, it was Zoe’s turn. We entered the sonographer’s room. This was the first ever time I had been in one. I’ve seen them plenty of times in the movies, but this was much darker and more confined. It hadn’t bothered me though as I was about to see our baby for the first time.

The sonographer positioned the Doppler onto Zoe’s belly and there baby was. On the screen clear as day. I couldn’t stop myself, a tear fell from my eye. Zoe and I looked at each other and shared a look. We were overjoyed and ecstatic. We made a baby!

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After seeing baby, we knew what we had to do next. We had to make…….


Preparations


 

A baby was baking inside of Zoe, so it was important to get everything ready beforehand. This meant baby clothes, Moses basket, fitted sheets, nappies, toys, car seat/ carrier, pram, hospital bag and much more.

THE SHOPPING BEGAN. 6 months pregnant and looking around for bits and bobs we may have needed for baby. I’m quite a traditional guy – what my parents did when I was younger I would have liked to have done with my own kids.

They have baby books of me and my sisters. This was something I knew I wanted for my first born at least. Looking around for one was a bloody nightmare! It was late winter and no where seemed to have supplied a decent one.

I was adamant not to spend a fortune on one, but soon realised the only way I could get one was if I went to a baby specialist store – one that rhymes with ‘Brothercare’.

Inside the store, it was perfect for somebody like me who wanted to splash out on my newborn.

I looked at the baby books. They were quite pricey, but seeing as how this will be a priceless sentiment for when our child is older, a few extra pennies is worth it.


Supporting Zoe Through Pregnancy


As Zoe progressed through her pregnancy, and sizing up bigger than a balloon, I had to be there to assist her in her daily housework amongst other things.

I was there for her for whatever she needed, bought her food she was craving and massaged her when she was aching. A shoulder to cry on when she was hormonal, a person to vent to, and a person to love her and call her beautiful when she felt ugly.

I wasn’t going to half-ass this Dad thing. I was serious about it and I take full responsibility for my decisions and actions! This meant taking care of the woman who was going to be bringing our baby into this world.

Throughout the pregnancy I also wished to bond with baby despite her being inside Zoe’s belly. I used to talk to baby and sing to her, and if I was lucky enough, she’d kick and move about for me.


Labour


The day came when we were to finally meet our little baby in person. It seemed like a long while inside the hospital, but when things got moving, they certainly got moving!

The birthing pool was set up, and Zoe was inside. She was going through a lot of pain (as you do when you’re pushing a giant melon-sized human through your privates!).

I didn’t like seeing her in pain, it made me very emotional. I knew I had to continue to hold her hand through this. She was screaming at me, tears streaming down her eyes and gripping onto me, slowly dragging me into the water with her.

When I came up for air again, baby was almost here. The midwife checked. Not long left. Pushing, pushing, pushing, then swoosh, out she came! Baby was here, swimming out into the pool. Jet-black hair and looking healthy. The midwife collected her from the pool.

How beautiful she was! I can’t fathom the feelings I felt that day when I saw her for the first time.

‘AURORA, she’s called Aurora.’ Zoe revealed to the midwife.

We migrated over to the bed. Zoe was sore but she was doing okay. Aurora was handed over to us. We had a closer look at her. She was perfect, no doubt about that at all.

I WAS A DADDY!


If you wish to read more about the birth of Aurora, you can check out her birth story here.


 

Even today, she’s grown to be such a loving, beautiful, funny, intelligent little girl and we will continue to love her forever! Our Aurora, our display of love for one another, never to be broken, forever and always!

 

If you liked this blog post, you can check out more daddy blogs here!

 

-Liam

Packs a Punch – Energy Drinks & Our Health

Running low on energy and you still have to pick the kids up from school? How about drinking an energy drink? Would that help? Perhaps. Lets find out about the benefits and health issues linked to the consumption of energy drinks in today’s post here!

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post, nor does this reflect the views or opinions of any energy drink brand mentioned in this post below. My views are my own and with some research, have outlined some facts from the energy drinks and other sources themselves.

 

A lot of people, including myself and various parents I know, drink energy drinks. It’s a common drink nowadays and it’s reaped with benefits.

It’s a drink some parents may consider an energy booster for their morning routines with the kids and to speed on through with the housework. It can also be handy for the drained Daddy in the mornings after having spent most of last night running up and down the stairs to make bottles for their newborn.

They can come in a range of flavours to tickle your fancy.

  • blueberry,
  • raspberry,
  • cherry,
  • tropical,
  • fruit punch and more.

All with the added effect of boosting your energy for that important meeting, long drive or late night. Sounds like a winner to me! Although………..

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..on the flip side, there has been controversy over energy drinks and has been given a bad name. More so because of the high sugar and caffeine content. A lot of teenagers and young adults are subject to consuming drinks like this and have been advised that it is in fact bad for your health. I suppose it doesn’t help when the price of these high energy content drinks are ridiculously low either.

Some also believed ‘Monster Energy‘ drinks were linked to the devil itself – from the striking three clawed logo, the demon symbol within the Monster wording and simply the slogan ‘Unleash the Beast‘ indicated this was the drink of Satan.

I completely disagree, and believe this is a clever marketing strategy to evoke consumers to choose their drink over their competitors because it emits a bad boy/girl feeling when drinking one. Everyone wants to feel like a bad-ass. Just take my money Monster! 

Many of the energy drinks on the market contain ingredients such as Taurine, Ginseng, L-Carnitine, and B-Vitamins (these include Niacin (Vit B3), Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12). Niacin is good for general health and can help the digestive system, skin and nervous system. Taurine promotes cardiovascular health, insulin sensitivity, electrolyte balance as well as many other benefits.

Though it’s okay to drink in moderate servings, it may not be ideal to drink in excessive proportions as this may cause problems internally, such as liver damage/ failure, heart attacks and even death.

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I used to know someone who drank Monster energy drinks in excess of more than 12 500ml cans per day, and was later advised in hospital that if she continued drinking them it could evidently result in her death. Not something that anyone wants to hear really, especially if its a friend of yours, but just be wary of the pros and cons of drinking them.

They are in fact an energy-boosting drink and have a sole purpose to energise you for the day ahead. One is usually enough, and is unlike a drink of juice or water that you may drink more often throughout the day.

As similar to sugar, it can temporarily boost your energy for a period of time (like a sugar high) and drop you back down dramatically just shortly after. It’s usually best to consume with a balanced diet so that this side-effect is reduced.

Energy Drinks & Sports


Energy drink brands are well known for sponsoring extreme sports.

Red Bull is known for sponsoring motor racing, snow-boarding, sky diving, and just about anything extreme! They promote well-being and a can-do attitude to even the most riskiest of adventures – almost makes you feel as if you can just go out and do it all for yourself!

As a parent, I use it to boost my energy for the sake of running around tidying up after the kids and to give me a creative ‘mind’ boost.

My partner Zoe does not have any (she probably needs it in the mornings sometimes though) because she is currently breastfeeding, and its also advised not to consume any if you are pregnant either as it can be harmful for baby (frankly i’d be afraid in case baby comes out looking like an alien, or jumps out of the womb hyperactive and runs out of the hospital on its own- would certainly make headlines!).


To Sum It Up:

  • Energy drinks are a great source of temporary energy to help get through the day – or like me, energy to tidy up after the kids all the time.
  • They can come in a variety of fruity flavours.
  • It’s been known to be bad for your health due to high sugar and caffeine content (though they claim to have reduced that with No Added Sugar alternatives).
  • It’s very cheap and can be picked up from just about anywhere.
  • Too much consumption can lead to liver failure or even DEATH!
  • Not to be consumed when pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Energy brands are well-known nowadays for sponsoring extreme sports.

 

If you would like to share your thoughts on energy drinks, please feel free to drop a comment in the comments section below! 

 

If you liked this blog post, you can check out more daddy blogs here!

 

-Liam

Blog Bite: I WON SOME CASH!

Bitesize Blog Post – I WON SOME CASH! Click here to find out more!

I received a letter in the post this morning, unsure of what it actually was, and certainly hoping it wasn’t a bill.

Opened it and the first thing I saw was the word ‘CONGRATULATIONS’.

It was a letter from Real People Magazine informing me that I had won their ‘Lost in Moo-sic‘ competition to win £25 cash!

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Though not a life-changing amount, I was still overjoyed with winning this competition. I have been entering for around 6 months now, and up until now haven’t won anything from them.

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It just shows that if you keep at it and continue being consistent entering competitions, you are bound to win sometime! You certainly have better odds than winning the lottery. Hope this motivates you to enter some of your own!

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I have won many things before including Beats Wireless Headphones, a Samsung Smartwatch, and various other gadgets, but as this was my latest one I thought i’d share with you all, and I shall post up any other future wins I may have.

For all that wish to enter competitions themselves, I wish you all GOOD LUCK!

Have a lovely weekend guys!

 

If you liked this blog post, you can check out more daddy blogs here!

 

-Liam

 

How Much We Actually Rely On The Internet

The invention of the internet has revolutionised the world, but how much should we actually rely on it? What if the internet was non-existent? We talk about this in this latest blog post here.

Okay, so this isn’t necessarily a topic about parenting in particular, but we can still all relate and some of us do let our kids access the internet to play games or watch YouTube and various other activities.

I talk to you today about this topic because I have had so many issues with my broadband since my family and I had moved into our place here in Liverpool – it’s very frustrating. As I write this I am without internet and having to post this AGAIN with hotspot (I’m soon going to run out of data, I just know it!).

The internet is good for businesses and families, and we use it daily. It can provide us with the latest news, weather forecasts, all the information we can ever need. We can buy the latest products, sell our things, listen to any music we desire, watch any movie that has ever been out and so on.

Since I’ve had unreliable internet from a company I shall not name but claims to provide ‘Fast and Reliable Broadband’ on their adverts from man with a Yorkshire accent (I still can’t tell you, but take a wild guess), I am bound to find alternative ways of spending my time productively.

Without the internet and not being able to access the things you do on a daily basis makes you realise how much you rely on it and take it for granted. There’s no checking your emails, no exploring Facebook to check what your friends are doing, not being able to write or read blog posts like this one – the list is endless.

Of course smart phones can access a data plan with their mobile phone providers to access the internet – this is quite useful, although if you don’t have a large data plan, it can quickly and easily diminish. But even so, you shouldn’t have to rely on a data plan to access the internet despite paying for it at home with your ISP.

The addictive prospects of the internet make it difficult to withdraw from. I mean, what would we actually be left with if we cut the internet out completely? I grew up with computers and the internet – the golden age of the modem – parents shouting at me to come off the internet because they were expecting a phone call. How special I felt being able to access this new technology on a curfew. Nowadays I can usually access the internet whenever I want, pretty much ANYWHERE.

My parents, on the other hand grew up without the internet. They relied on their own imaginations and the things they had around them at the time. Kids used to play outside in the park with their friends, and they’d also dedicate some of their time to sing in a Choir at Church. Books were a good source for knowledge, VHS tapes were the newest way of watching a film at home, and mobile phones were the size of a brick and could only be used to ring someone up.

If you were without the internet for one week,

How different would your life be?

What would you do?

Would you be able to do what you do now without the internet?

Would you be happier?

Nowadays kids are put on tablets at a young age to play games on (even I’m guilty of that), have mobile phones to ring up their friends in primary school with, and even use to it stream their favourite programmes and movies. Times have changed. So have we.

Should we be letting our kids access the internet and using technology at such a young age? I have no frickin idea. Only time will tell. I restrict my kids time on technology so that if they ever become stressed, they are immediately removed from it. I’ve found it certainly changes kids’ behaviour having technology as they grow up than I’ve seen without.

Smart devices are becoming a new advance in the internets existence. Having everything work together is a dream come true. Working your phones volume from wireless headphones, syncing up your favourite songs to your fridge, talking to a device which answers you back. Very futuristic, but absolute shit. And I’ll tell you why.

Too much power for one individual can lead to dictatorship and slavery. Similar thoughts are upon technology. Too much reliance on one source (in this case the internet) can lead to devastation if the source is corrupted or fails. If everything you had required access to the internet to work, and the internet goes down (in which I’ve had plenty of experience), you have nothing that works!

I recently won a smartwatch. It’s a brilliant technological advance and looks very stylish, but I can’t get it to work. It requires me to have a new phone to work fully. So I’ve been wearing it, in standalone mode without the correct time and date for weeks (despite connecting it to my WIFI when it works) needing to sync up to a phone app to receive all the data it needs to run. I JUST WANT TO READ THE CORRECT TIME AND DATE – HOW HARD CAN THAT BE FOR A WATCH!?

It turns out very hard for a smart watch without the right accessories to go with it. Or I could perhaps wear a mechanical quartz watch instead – tells the time instantly without having to mess around.

My point being rather than putting all your eggs in one basket, distribute evenly around many baskets to secure a reliable system. In other words, find other ways of doing things instead of using just the internet, and if it ever does fail, you still have a good system to work around it!

 

If you liked this blog post, you can check out more daddy blogs here!

 

-Liam

Can You Really Fit Leisure Time Around Your Kids?

One for the guys. In today’s post I am talking about leisure time – Can you really fit it in when you have kids?

Kids can be fun and it’s really great to spend time with them, but sometimes you just need some ‘Man’ Time – some leisure time to engage in to relieve your everyday worries.

I’ve been most recently gifted with an Xbox One from my partner. She handed it to me as an early birthday present about three weeks ago and I’ve been playing on it almost daily.

I don’t however play on it and cut out the kids – seems too vulgar to do. Time usually flies by during the day and I don’t seem to have any especially when the kids return from school. My ‘Me’ time lies later in the day when the kids have been put to bed.

I may be cruel to my partner and zone out into my ‘Me’ time when we’re winding down for bed, but once I’m in that bed, she has my full attention (so she can’t really complain).

I guess organising and productiveness is key to fitting in everything during the day you need to do. I am currently reading a book about time management, and it’s informed me of ways I can fit more into my day.

One good suggestion I read about was to create a time diary – writing down what you must do during the day into time-slots and keeping to it. Brilliant idea!

But I have kids, and when you have kids, nothing goes to plan even if you plan down to the last minute! I go about my tasks in order of importance, and if I do complete all my tasks during the day, I feel accomplished and then reward myself with a game of Forza later that night – keeps me motivated, happy and focussed.

Not sure how everyone else does it, but I know someone who has 2 kids, a full-time job and still manages to fit in time for the gym too. Absolutely amazing! Whereas I feel like I’m stuck in a snow storm trudging through snow as deep as a car looking for a snow plough to clear my way (I’m not a tall guy either).

There’s a balance between leisure time, work and spending time with your family. It’s hard to maintain, more so the more kids you have. It also doesn’t feel right to bung all the kids on my partner and leave to do my own things without her (bribes help, but you didn’t hear that from me shhh).

During the summer holidays (when the sun actually comes out for a bit) it’s nice to go out with the kids onto the beach and spend some quality time with them. Bit of a workout itself just getting the kids out the door, but once we get to the beach, we can actually have a fun run-about and collapse 5 minutes later in exhaustion (alright guys, I’m out of shape, but I blame Winter!). It’s a good way of incorporating exercise into your day if you were going to do it anyway and still spend time with your little troublemakers.

Reading a book when the kids are about is very challenging. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried it, but basically it goes like this:

Read first line of page

(in the background) ‘Roarrrrrr, I’m coming to get you’

Read second line of page

BANG! ‘Daddy, DADDY! Faithy hurt me’

‘No Wyatt! You hurt me first!’

Put book down, get up off chair and repeatedly bang your head against the wall until the kids waltz away.

You can see where the problems arise when the kids are present. Book reading, again I leave to later that day, usually around bed time when I’m settling down. It’s always between playing on the Xbox or reading a book (most of the time it’s the Xbox that wins, but I have my days where I just fancy reading a book.

 

I’d like to know what you do in your leisure time. How you manage to fit it in around the kids and whether you’ve found a good work/play/family-time balance. I’d love to hear it in the comments section below!  

 

If you liked this blog post, you can check out more daddy blogs here!

 

-Liam

Review: Amazon Fire HD 7 Tablet

I review the Amazon Fire HD 7 tablet – is it kid-friendly? What features does it have? All and more in this latest blog post.

Before I get started, I just need to confirm this is NOT a sponsored post nor does this reflect any views from the Amazon Corporation themselves. All views and opinions are my own.

Amazon have brought out their range of tablets from the Kindle Fire 1st Generation up to the latest Fire HD 10 (latest from when this post was published). They appeal to a wide range of individuals and so far they have made themselves applicable for children too!

I don’t usually like to rely on technology to keep my children happy, but as Faith gets older and technology is becoming more of a dependence for the future, I feel it’s something she has to learn to use, so we bought her an Amazon Fire HD 7 tablet for her last birthday.

So far so good, it seems like a good choice, although her behaviour changes drastically if she gets frustrated on a game (nothing to do with the tablet itself, just a behavioural issue after exposure on games – would like to know whether it’s only Faith that does it, or whether it happens with other children too).

Lets look more into the tablet below.

Aesthetics


It’s very lightweight and has a nice 7″ display, and I’ve found that after the kids have been using them, they seem to be quite durable – the kids have dropped them, slid them along the floors and even thrown them, but they still work perfectly (only a few scratches here and there).

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They can come in a range of colours to suit your child. Faith has an orange one (pink or purple wasn’t available at the time when we ordered one from a retailer). We bought her a case for it to store it in, which can be available to buy pretty much anywhere. You can buy an Official Amazon Case for it if need be, which generally retails around £17 (I managed to win one with mine so I know all about it).

Functionality


Setting up the tablet couldn’t be easier. You will have to sign up for an Amazon account or have an existing Amazon account in order to continue setting the tablet up for full functionality.

You can create a password or pass-code to protect your main profile from your kids (prevent them from buying stuff without your permission etc).

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Profiles

They give you the option to create profiles including child profiles. When you come to create a child profile, you can change the parental controls so that you choose how long your child can go on it for and when they will have to come off of it. It will also allow a time schedule so that they are unable to access it until a certain time of day (brilliant to stop those sneaky late-night game sessions).

Very handy to use with Faith when she hasn’t been the best behaved child in the world and can then restrict her game time so it cuts off at a specific time.

If you have multiple tablets under the same Amazon account, it’s possible to apply more than one profile over all of them, so you can enjoy the same games from one tablet for, lets say Faiths profile, on another tablet too!

Games & Apps

It doesn’t come with any pre-loaded games, but you can download them from the Amazon App Store off of your main profile (to switch profiles you can drag your finger from the top, click on the user avatar picture and select which profile you wish).

 

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There are various games and apps to choose from to download. There are ones that you may have to pay for, but there are a lot of free games/ apps too! A good thing about the kids apps are that you can find learning games on there so that you can teach your child basic maths or spellings skills, but in a fun way that they’ll enjoy doing and won’t seem like boring school work. If you happen to allow your child onto your main profile to download more games (this is something Faith requests frequently), you may encounter speed issues as the storage space fills up. The cheapest Fire HD 7 has 8GB storage space, with possibilities of expandable storage (micro-SD slot. You can also get 16GB Fire 7 for £10 more) whereas newer tablets include more – you essentially pay more for more (very proportionate).

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Battery

The battery, after a good charge, will last up to 8 hours depending how much your child plays on it. After school Faith and Wyatt usually spend time on their tablets (so long as they are good) but no more than 3 hours a day, so the tablet only goes for a charge every 2 or 3 days.

Camera

 

The camera, though not the best camera out there (4K seems to be the hype at the moment, might be a while before they include that in an Amazon tablet), is still a reasonably good camera to use. You can take both photos and videos. The kids seem to enjoy taking photos quite often and sometimes it may be a requirement to use it on some kids games. It hasn’t many settings you are able to change in the camera menus – it would be nice to change the resolution for storage purposes and perhaps include some other features that some smartphone cameras have, but all-in-all for basic functionality it works great.

Retail Price

The best bit of this tablet has to be its price point. It retails at £49.99 (Fire HD 7) and the newest Fire HD 10 retails at £149.99. You can also get a Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet with a Kid-Proof Case for £129.99 – cheaper than some Vtech kids tablets I’ve seen when shopping around for tablets for Faiths last birthday.

To sum it all up,

Pros include:

  • Wide range of colours
  • User-friendly, especially for kids
  • Lightweight & has a nice balanced screen at 7″ – not too big, not too little
  • Very durable – Can withstand drops, slides and being thrown (within reason)
  • Can create passwords/pass-codes to protect your main profile
  • Can create kids profiles & set parental controls
  • Can load multiple profiles on multiple tablets under the same account
  • Can find many paid or free apps to download on the app store for kids
  • Battery can last 8-12 hours on a full charge
  • Price retails from £49.99 – cheaper than most tablets

Cons include:

  • Doesn’t include any pre-loaded games (but you can quite easily download them  from the app store)
  • May encounter performance issues as storage space fills up
  • Not the best camera with the HD 7, but if you get the latest version (HD 10) you can find a better camera.
  • Not many camera settings to change

 

Liam’s final rating – 4 out of 5 stars

4 Star RatingArtboard 1

It’s a great tablet for all ages – has great functionality and user interface, and the kids profiles are perfect! I took off 1 star for the minor cons it has, but with each newer generation that comes out i’m sure Amazon will improve it.

 

If you wish to purchase an Amazon Fire HD tablet, you can find them via Amazon here:

Amazon Fire HD Tablets

 

If you liked this blog post, you can check out more daddy blogs here!

 

-Liam