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Another Year Older

This month, April, I turned 32. Another year older.

When you’re a kid all you want is to be older. Then you start getting older and you want it all to just slow down a minute! Then, you hit your 30’s and some of us have a wobble and others embrace this extra confidence that has developed along with life experience.

I’m with the latter. I embrace each and every year I get older, I don’t mind at all that my younger irresponsible days are behind me, I love the pressure I have on my shoulders of directing my children down the right paths in their own lives and being in control of our family’s future. I mean, I’m not sure we’re ever fully in control but I like that too.

I was 26 when Corben was born and I felt ready. I’m not sure the majority of parents would say they felt ready when their little one’s were on their way, but I was. I don’t mean I knew everything and I had all my shit together ready to produce a wonder-kid and make parenting look easy. I mean that I spent the 9 months build up mentally preparing myself for parenthood. I knew that I had, had roughly a decade of messing around, trying different things life had to offer, good and bad and had ran it all out of my system. This left me feeling ready to move into the next chapter of my life.

Donetta and I had only been together 3 months when we found Corben was on his way, it wasn’t a problem at all as I knew from day one this was the way my life was going and I wasn’t worried for a single second it was all happening so quickly. Donetta already had the girls and my brother is 18 years younger than me so I had a little glimpse into the world of parenthood beforehand.

Since then each year I feel my life just gets better and better. With every ageing year that passes I take a moment to look back at the previous year and take note of what’s changed and how much further we’ve come in our life plan. I have a vision of how I want our life to look eventually and we’re not too far away at all.

With each year older I get I also care more about less. I care about far less things in life which is liberating, but the few things I do care about I care about so deeply. Life has become much clearer in recent years and positivity and perspective is playing a major role. In particular over the last 10 months or so I’ve been actively practicing leading a more positive life and life seems to have gotten even better even faster.

I also find at my ripe old age of 32 that I still feel young and I’m passionate about the future ahead. It’s mad that the older I become, which means the less time I have, the more patience I have. I’m willing to play the long game and build something for myself. I’d have never had that patience 10 years ago despite having more time back then!

I’ve always been a big character, at least since leaving school. I like to think I’ve been more of a leader than a follower and I’ve always had the confidence to speak my mind and follow my own path. At 32 though, this confidence has grown massively and add life experience to becoming a parent and you end up with the ability to give ZERO FUCKS about what other people think. It’s probably my favourite thing about getting older. Aslong as I know my intention is always from a good place and I try to be the best person I can be then I couldn’t care less what others think.

My hope for this post after reading back what I’ve said so far is more to inspire and motivate you to have a more positive outlook on getting older. I’m in no way trying to show off that I think I have life sorted and my life is amazing, that’s simply not true. I mean I do feel most aspects of my life are amazing but I certainly don’t have it all figured out, not yet anyway.

I just think we should embrace each year as it passes, grab each age by the balls and shake the bejesus out of it… Actually insert something else motivational in that last sentence, a shiver went down my spine typing that!

Here’s to another year, I can’t wait to see what, where or how I’m sharing my thoughts this time next year!




Planning Ahead | with Avalon #ad

As part of my self-motivational routine I often remind myself that one day I will die.

I know this isn’t the ‘norm’ to think about death as a way of motivating yourself, but I’m not exactly the ‘norm’. My thinking behind this is to almost scare myself into making the most out of each day whilst also re-focussing some perspective.

One thing I don’t seriously think about though, is planning for the day I actually do die. I mean, using a phrase as I do is one thing, to actually plan what happens in the event of your death is a entirely different ball game!

It’s certainly not the easiest of topics to discuss with yourself let-alone loved ones. The topic has been raised and now my brain is engaged thinking about this subject. If I was to go I wouldn’t for a second want Donetta and the rest of our family worrying about paying for my funeral. I mean, my thinking is I’m dead, go for a few pints and a bite to eat and maybe laugh at some of the YouTube videos I’ve left behind, I don’t care about anything fancy.

Should I be putting a little aside now to alleviate any extra pressures at what will be an awful moment as it is?

I’ve been looking at the information and pre-paid funeral planning services on Avalon Funeral Plans. Here’s a run down of what Avalon offer…


  • ✔ You plan a day that celebrates your life – so that you are remembered in the way you want to be
  • ✔ You take the worry away and help those closest to you to avoid having to make difficult decisions at a stressful time
  • ✔ You remove the financial burden – your prepaid funeral plan will control the costs so no costly funeral bills for your loved ones  
  • ✔ You can beat spiraling funeral costs – year after year industry statistics show that the longer a plan is in place the greater the potential savings will be  
  • ✔ You can be safe in the knowledge that you’re dealing with a registered Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) provider with over 20 years’ experience
  • ✔ Everything in your plan is taken care of – we allocate a funeral director at the point of purchase from our trusted partners 


Now listen, I know this isn’t the most uplifting thing to be thinking about, but it could be one of the most important things to be thinking about. Financial stress is bad enough day to day never mind immediately after losing a loved one.

I won’t pretend I know all the ins and outs of pre-paid funeral plans but I know Avalon do and that’s what counts. Visit their website for more information and I’d suggest having the conversation and start planning ahead.

Hopefully there’s a gazillion years ahead yet where you won’t need to put your package to use, but there’s nothing wrong with being prepared.

I’d love to gage how many of you are already way ahead of me on this and already have something sorted and do let me know if you’re now thinking about putting something in place… See you in the comments 🙂


I’ve worked with Avalon to bring you my thoughts on this tough subject. Having the conversation with Donetta wasn’t easy!



Top 5 Smart Home Gadgets | with Future Home Shop

Smart Home Gadgets are quite simply, awesome. From improving your home security, to keeping your home just the right level of cosy, Smart Home Gadgets can enhance the way you run your home. Granted, some are a little reminiscent of ‘Black Mirror’, but incredibly useful and intuitive nonetheless. The type of thing you never knew you needed and now you’re not quite sure how you functioned without it. We’ve rounded up our top 5 smart home gadgets to demystify how life-enhancing smart home technology can be. 

Ring Video Doorbell 

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It’s 2018, why should we have to take a day off to wait in for a parcel that never arrives? With smart doorbells, there are no more missed parcel notices, and no more queues at the post office. When you have a visitor, your Ring Doorbell camera switches on and connects to your phone so that no matter where you are (even if you’re not at home), you can see, hear and speak to the person on your doorstep. This is such a simple but incredibly useful gadget. It’s perfect for families with young children, because even if you’ve got your hands full with the kids upstairs and can’t physically answer the door, you can still greet your visitor. Being able to see and speak to your visitor even when you’re not home, is another level of security, giving the impression of someone being at home. 

Philips Hue Beyond LED Ceiling Light 

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Anyone who’s had a sleep deprived baby to care for, knows the dreaded feeling when the doorbell goes and wakes up your little one, just as they finally start to nod off. With smart light fixtures, the lighting in your home can flash or turn a different colour to alert you to a visitor at the door, or even a phone call. The Philips Hue pendant light has endless colour variations you can control from your app, so you get to control the atmosphere. Energise your morning with the sunrise alarm. Your Philips Hue will gradually turn on in the morning and fill your room with a light that mimics natural sunlight. 

Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation 

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The sleek Nest Learning Thermostat learns your schedule and how you warm/cool you like your home at different times. You control the temperature for a week after its installed and it will programme itself to suit your schedule. It detects when the house is empty, and switches to an energy saving mode. What’s more, if you’re heading home early, you can adjust the temperature via your smartphone, so you’re always walking into a cosy home. 

Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera (Pack of 2) 

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The Nest Outdoor Security Camera (set of 2) is an affordable way of securing your home. It’s ideal for frequent travellers as the app will alert you to unexpected movement, without you having to review hours and hours of footage. The two way talk camera enables you to warn away intruders through the app, from anywhere in the world. If you’re away for an extended period, the footage can be shared with a friend or family member via a password protected stream, so someone can always keep an eye on your home. 

Netgear Arlo Baby 1080p HD Monitor 

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The Netgear Arlo Baby Monitor combines the ability to hear, see and speak to your baby, crystal clear night vision HD imagery, a room thermometer and humidity checker. As well this, the Arlo app allows you to play music and sound effects such as white noise or even your own recorded voice, without you needing to be in the room. You are also able to set a nightlight, picking from thousands of colours and adjusting the brightness to suit. The Arlo Baby Monitor has the ability to detect and record motion or sound triggered events, saving them in your cloud library, meaning you don’t miss a moment. 

Future Home Shop brings you a selection of Smart Home Products to take your life easier & gives you access to the latest connected home technology. 


This post was sourced for I wanted to share this content as we love tech in our house. I’m eager to start turning the office firstly, into a smart office so I can make the most of the gadgets available today.



How Not To Spend A Fortune On Family Flights

Want to make family holidays cheaper? Flights can often be the most expensive part of a vacation. Whilst you can get cheaper flights by booking holidays out of season, this can be difficult with kids as you may have to pay a fine to take them on holiday during term time. Fortunately, there are other ways to spend less on flights. Here just a few tricks to get family travelling by air for less.

Book early

Booking nine months to a year in advance can sometimes get you incredible promotions on flights. Some airlines may throw in free seats for children, whilst others may offer free upgrades to first class when you arrive at the airport.

Or book last minute…

The other ways of getting access to cheap flights is to book last minute. Airlines are often eager to fill up empty seats and so will offer massive discounts. Because few people can get up and go spontaneously, this is likely to be a less practical option. However, you may be able to still book two weeks off work in advance and then book the actual holiday a couple weeks before. Sites like Holiday Pirates are known for their extremely cheap last minute deals.

Break up long haul flights

When it comes to travelling long distance, consider opting for multiple flights rather than one long direct flight. Given that kids can often get impatient on long haul flights, this can sometimes be a more sensible option. You could even plan to stop off for the night rather than hanging around in an airport en route – even with the cost of a hotel you’re likely to pay less overall. Some hotels are positioned directly near airports such as Courtyard Montreal Airport. Whilst this does mean adding extra time to your journey, stop off somewhere else could add to the adventure.

Be wary of budget airline extras

There are many budget airlines out there that can get you incredibly cheap deals. However, many of these airlines will make up costs with hidden extras. Some of these flights only allow you to take hand luggage – luggage in the hold is extra and is expensive. You may be asked if you want to pay extra to choose your seats, plus there may be fast-track boarding tickets that allow you to get on the plane before everyone else. You may also have to pay extra to store your pram. If you opt for these extras, make sure to add them up so that you can tell whether you’re getting a cheap deal or being ripped off.

Don’t park at the airport

The golden rule of flying is to not park in the airport. Airport carpark fees are often very expensive – whilst you can sometimes get deals to book in advance, you’re better off avoiding airport parking altogether. Apps like JustPark can help you to find cheap parking near to airports – you may be able to get a bus from these locations and save costs. Alternatively, you could consider getting someone to drop you off at the airport.

This post was sourced for I wanted to share this content as we’ve found it helpful in our quest to finally book a family holiday! I say finally book, we’re not there yet, but almost!



With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility | #ad

I’ve been trying to think of an angle to discuss this topic for a few days now, it’s not something I’ve ever thought about in a serious sense, until now.

Sperm donations.

I have been speaking with CARE Fertility who asked if I could help them in their quest to reach more men that might be interested in donating their sperm.

I’ll be honest, my initial reaction was ‘indifferent’ for want of a better word. I imagine you men reading this are probably the same, most of you won’t have thought about this from a serious stand point before.

Then I clicked on the CARE Fertility website and read a little more about it. I mean I get the main points, some people need donated sperm to start a family. Having had a child relatively easily myself I’ve always been ignorant to the actual process those not so lucky have to go through.

The cogs in my brain have certainly been turning and I wanted to discuss this very niche topic here where I know many other men will be reading and if I could even get you to spend a few minutes questioning your position on this, then I’ll have achieved my goal.

So I’ve been thinking, would I ever donate? Could I? In the sense of both could I go through with the process and would my own sperm actually be accepted. There are obviously health checks etc that you would need to pass.

As I was thinking my mind wondered over to the people that I know in real life that have had difficulties in conceiving and starting a family. I thought about how many of us take for granted how lucky we are that we got on with ‘the deed’ and 9 months later the most magical thing that can happen to a person happened, we became parents. I thought about how devastated I would be if I was told that I could no longer naturally create a life, I’m not sure I’ve decided 100% that I’m done yet but it may not even be a choice anymore, just as for many it’s not a choice without sourcing help from fertility specialists.

We have friends that have had torrid experiences trying to do what every person on the planet should be given the option to do, create their own family.

Imagine having the capacity to help other people have a family, as many of us will have. We’ve all seen the superhero movies, ‘With great power comes great responsibility’, what better super power is there than the ability to create a life?

From not having thought too much about this topic, it’s quickly become apparent to me how life changing sperm donations can be, I mean literally you can change several lives with one donation.

I’d really love your feedback on this in the comments and if you are interested in looking into this further please take a look HERE for more information on how you can donate and change lives.





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A Better Future For Our Children | NCS Programme #ad

Having three children, I’m massively passionate about youth development, opportunities for young people and how we can change society to improve our children’s futures, all whilst having fun.

We home educate our 5 year old boy thus are actively involved in much more educational and developmental aspects of his live than the average parent. We do however also have 2 girls that are in secondary school, 12 and 14 and helping guide them down their chosen paths in and out of school is another important part of our lives. We’re constantly seeking out opportunities for all 3 of them in their current stages of childhood, trying to decide which advice best suits each individual child.

Education and developing young people in today’s world is something I could speak about forever, I think we’re currently living in an amazing period of time where opportunities can be endless for all types of personalities and passions in our youth of today.

I’m linking with National Citizens Service (NCS), a government backed programme established in 2011 designed to build a more cohesive, mobile and engaged society. By bringing together young people from different backgrounds for a unique shared experience, NCS helps them to become better individuals, and in turn better citizens.


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I like the focus that NCS has, which is in the individual people rather than a persons perceived intelligence. This is something that I genuinely believe can make drastic changes to the world we live in, more focus on people. Too often people are judged based on their status or material belongings as opposed to their actual personality. I like that the more I read about NCS the more it’s evident that the end goal is to provide opportunities for young people to enhance their self-belief and confidence all through fun activities.

NCS is open to 16 and 17 year-olds across England and Northern Ireland. The two to four week programme, which takes place in school holidays, includes outdoor team-building exercises, a residential for participants to learn ‘life skills’, a community-based social action project and an end of programme celebration event.

This is very similar to an experience both of our girls have had at their school, XP School Doncaster. In their first week of Year 7, their transition from primary school into secondary school is made much more fun with an expedition to Wales for 5 days. Both of our girls were taken, along with all of their new school friends to Wales to experience similar things to the NCS programme such as team building exercises and learning life skills.

NCS involve some fantastic experiences that aren’t always easily accessible to many young people on a regular basis. Abseiling, rock climbing, cooking, first aid and much more. Activities span across many interests. Food, accommodation and activities ALL IN FOR UP TO £50! Incredible.


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It’s from personal experience of seeing both of my girls, who are very different from one another, both enjoy and benefit from this massively that encouraged me to get involved spreading the word for NCS. Not only did they have a load of fun, they made new friends immediately and had a much better sense of themselves and others around them. What an experience to be involved in during what is a huge transitional stage in a young persons life. It is this that has me bought into what NCS are trying to do on a much larger scale.

To date almost 400,000 young people have taken part in the NCS programme accumulating over 7 million hours of community action, putting goodness back into the community whilst building personal skills at the same time. NCS work with 4-phases, Adventure, Discovery, Social Action and Celebration. I think this is brilliant.


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This year more than 100,000 teenagers from different backgrounds will come together in common purpose on NCS. That means one in six of the cohort of 16 year olds will live together, develop skills together and build community projects together.

Just imagine the difference this could have on the future of society for our children. With such ease of access to media nowadays, it’s all too easy to find much negativity across the world, but with said access think how positively powerful it could be if more young people were nurtured to develop more positive skills and genuinely create a better society.

All I can tell you is that I want a better future for my children, 2 of which have already done something similar, successfully and will look to this NCS programme when the time comes. The minimum requirement from us parents is that we must do our very best to present as many opportunities to our children that will benefit them personally as possible.

Please do go and have a further look on the NCS Website using the link below…

There are still places available for Year 11s to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity this summer.

To sign up now, go to the NCS website:





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Top Tips For Keeping Your Kids Safe During Home Renovation

Preparing for a home renovation always brings the same planning processes, but one thing that people fail to include in their planning is how they’re going to make sure their children are as safe as possible throughout. From the moment you start to plan your home renovation, you must keep your child’s safety in mind, from the first decisions such as workmen and contractors, to the simplest of things such as locking doors and storing tools away. If you’re due to have a home renovation soon and need some tips on how to ensure your home is as safe as possible, continue reading for some useful pointers.

Hiring the Right People

It can be difficult to know exactly who you’re dealing with when you start to look for contractors and builders to work on your home renovation, but its important to be as thorough as possible at this stage. These people are going to be entering your home on a daily basis, spending long periods of time at your home and coming and going throughout the week, so you need to have some trust. It’s important for you to feel comfortable with these people in your home, especially when you have your little ones around. You need to know that they have safe equipment and that they’re going to be considerate of your children and help to ensure they are safe throughout the renovation. You can find a selection of very safe equipment on the LGSE website, so you can familiarise yourself with those and ask your contractors what they intend to use, giving you a clearer idea on what they’ll be using.

Keep Areas Sectioned Off

Once the work starts on your renovation project, it’s important to make it clear to your little ones where they can and cannot go. To avoid confusion, start by blocking off certain areas that will be off limits for the whole project, this way you won’t have your children going anywhere near these areas at any point during the work, which eliminates any risk altogether. By keeping certain areas sectioned off, you can control exactly where your children are going to have access too, and ensure these areas are as safe as possible at all times.

Set Clear Rules

We all know that our children like to explore, it’s what makes them so wonderful! But when you have serious building work going on, the last thing you want is them wandering off or playing with something they shouldn’t. Set some clear rules from the first day of the work so that it’s clear to your children the do’s and don’ts throughout the project. The following rules are good examples of what to set for your children:

– No entering the building site/area without mummy or daddy

– No playing with ANY tools or items that don’t belong to you

– Always tell mummy and daddy when you want to play outside

Secure ALL Tools and Machinery Each Day

Tools can look like exciting toys in the eyes of a 4-year-old boy, especially when they make loud noises and look similar to some of the toys they may have in their toy box. This makes it very important for all tools to be stored away safely and securely at the end of each day, to prevent them landing in the wrong hands. Similarly, you need to ensure that any machinery used for your home renovation is switched off and locked, as you don’t want anyone playing on them or any potential accidents happening.




• This post was created for DadvWorld. For more info >


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We’ve Got The Secrets To Successful Kid’s B-Day Party

Do you dread planning a birthday party for your kid? You’re not alone. Planning a great party can be tough, and when the guest of honor is a child, it’s even worse. We’ve all heard the horror stories about parents who spent a fortune on a themed party when actually, their kid grew out of the cowboy obsession a couple of years ago. You’d think you’d be safe planning it all around superheroes considering how popular they are. But then you need to think about whether you go down the Marvel route or DC. And, if you’re totally lost about the difference between the two, we can make it easy. DC is Superman and Batman, and Marvel is Spiderman and Ironman among many, many, many others. But back to the perfect kid’s party. How do you make sure the birthday party for your child is absolutely spectacular? We’ve got some ideas.


Ask Them What They Want

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Flickr Source


Yes, it’s a basic piece of advice, but you’d be amazed how many parents don’t actually bother to do this. Instead, they plan it all as a surprise which is a mistake. You don’t know what your kid would really want without asking them. For instance, your child might love Disney, which is great. So, you’ll get the mickey mouse cake which you can see how to make below.




You might even plan an evening of watching Disney movies. Perhaps, you’ll rent a projector system? On the day of the party – uh oh – your child is incredibly embarrassed about liking these films and hasn’t told any of their friends. That’s how a fantastic surprise birthday can become a disaster, and it’s just one example. You might also find out that there’s something that your child really wants for their birthday.


For whatever reason, they haven’t asked you. Perhaps they think it’s too expensive or maybe they just don’t want to be a bother. By asking them what they really want, you can guarantee they won’t be disappointed.


Don’t Invite The Whole Class


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It’s a rookie mistake, and you just hate to see it. Parents often have a rather simplistic view of school. It’s like they’ve completely forgotten the time they spent there. Let’s be real and say that the odds of your child liking or even getting on with everyone in their class are slim to none. Instead, it’s more common for a child to have a key group of friends and these are the ones that should get the party invites if you’re in charge of invitations. Again, you may just want to leave it up to your child.


While we’re on the subject of invitations, you shouldn’t invite extended family members as guests. Unless they are best friends with your child, they’ll just end up being the odd one out, and it won’t be fun for anyone.


Go Wild With Awesome Activities




Don’t settle for the typical trip to the cinema or disco because there are so many other more exciting options for you to consider. For instance, you might want to think about planning a trip to go paintballing. There are tons of paintballing courses all over the place to choose. For this party idea to work, you need at least four guests and be aware that if you’re paying for all of them, it can get expensive. As such, you want to make sure that you are aware of the costs before you finalize this party option. There are other sports that you should think about as well. For instance, your kid might love footy. If that’s the case, then you can hire a whole arena for a proper match. You can see Powerleague for ideas like this and a lot more. Or, how about planning a wilderness adventure crossover birthday party. Plan a camping trip with your kid and their friends where they’ll be able to go white water rafting and more for a birthday they’ll never forget.


Getting Involved Yourself?


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You’re going to need to decide whether you should get involved in the fun and games at the birthday party. When your kids are younger, they won’t mind this and will probably love the idea. However, as they get older, they might be a little more embarrassed about their dad or mum joining in on their birthday. Instead, they’d rather have some privacy with their friends. You’ll need to judge what the right decision is based on what you know about your kid and what you think they would want in this situation.


Hire A Celebrity


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It’s a little more out there and a lot more expensive. But you might be interested in the possibility of hiring a celebrity to attend your child’s birthday party. You would be amazed the tier of celebs that will show up as well. We’re talking movie stars, famous athletes, and TV personalities. For that right price, the people known under the spotlight will make an appearance for your child. To arrange this, you’ll need to go through their talent agency and make a deal for your child’s idol to show up.


Avoid The Cliche


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If you can you need to make sure that you are avoiding the outdated and overplayed birthday ideas from the typical games to the special guests. For instance, unless your child is obsessed with clowns, you don’t want to hire one to show up at your kid’s birthday party. Even if your child is amused we guarantee at least one member of the party will be in tears before the event is over. Clown phobias are far more common than people think and this is just one of the birthday ideas you need to forget.


We hope you have fun planning a fantastic birthday party for your child complete with everything they would love to see on a special day. Avoid the mistakes we’ve mentioned, use the best ideas, and you’ll be able to make sure your child loves their birthday party. Remember, if in doubt, just ask what they want, and you can’t go wrong.





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• This post was created for DadvWorld. For more info >