As mentioned in my previous post I hope to use this blog as a motivational tool to make sure I meet some personal targets and goals for 2016 and beyond. Below are some of those goals and targets:-
To get out of debt by end of 2016. – During the last to years I haven’t done myself any favors when it comes on my finances and “Buy now pay later” became my method of payment. Well I bought then and I need to pay now so 2016 will be the year of budgeting and paying off so that when 2017 comes along I will be in a position to save save save.
Enter More, Win More? – I aim to up my competition entries in a bid to win more… Simples!
New job! – I hope 2016 brings me that career boost I need. I have worked for my current employer for two years and while I don’t dislike the job I feel I could do better.
Improve my health and happiness. – During 2015 I piled on the pounds which has affected my stamina. I am to lose this extra weight and get down to 15 stone by end of the year.
Swimming :- As a child I hated swimming. I hated the chlorine in the water and I had a thing about dirt in the baths so I would avoid swimming as much as possible. Now that I am a father I feel embarrassed that I can hardly swim and can enjoy taking my children swimming. I aim to take lessons to improve my confidence and health.
I am sure there are other things I will achieve in 2016 however if I can achieve at least one from the above list then I will be a better person come 2017!
One of the main reasons I aim to become more active on my blog is to encourage myself to be more active in certain areas to help improve my families health, wealth and happiness.
For the past few years myself and the wife have under taken a hobby known as comping which basically means we will sit on our laptop and enter a load of competitions. We have both been very successful and have won a wide range of prizes ranging from a £300 soundbar and £250 Debenhams vouchers to a case of Crabbies!
The problem however is that you can get very bored entering your details over and over and you can lose motivation so I hope to use my blog to report on my winnings and to keep myself motivated!
Ok so during my travels around the world wide web I came across a Groupon for 3 months subscription to Lootcrate so decided to take the plunge and sign up.
For those who do not know Lootcrate is a subscription service where they sent you a mystery box full of T-shirts and other goodies. I also decided to sign up for Nerd Block which offers a similar service.
My first box came last week so I decided to use the opportunity to branch into Youtube and do a unboxing video. Hopefully this will encourage me to be more active on this blog rather then staring at the laptop screen blank!
I won’t say whats in the box as its all on the video and I don’t want to give spoilers but all I can say is that if you like then subscribe and if not then any tips please feel free to share them!
Also if your interested in signing up for Lootcrate then the click this link Lootcrate and the Groupon offer is on this link – Groupon
It’s another year and another visit to the Good Food Show – Summer!
Since we first attended about 3 years ago we have become regulars at both the Summer and Winter shows and have enjoyed sampling the fantastic food and drink samples on offer.
Due to work and child commitments we decided to visit the show on the Sunday this time. It was a first for us and I was worried it was a bit of a gamble and feared that all the food and freebies would have been taken during the busy Friday and Saturday shows. However that was not the case and we came away with tons and tons of freebies including lots of Bisto tins and casserole packets and tons and tons of Lotus Biscuits!
Below is some of my highlights of the 2015 show :-
I love Garlic!! its a fact that most of my culinary dishes will contain garlic in some measure and that if the vampire apocalypse were to happen over night then no vamp will be able to come near my garlic aroma! The Garlic Farm is a company based in the Isle of Wight and they had a stall at the show. They do various chutneys, sauces and mayos which set my taste buds alight with fantastic flavors! I came away with some Garlic and Mint Mayo (ideal for Kebab meat and chips!), some Garlic BBQ sauce and the wife bought some Coronation sauce. My one regret is that I didn’t buy another bottle of the BBQ sauce as its slowly disappearing 🙁
I have one thing to say… Black pudding and Strawberry jam sausages! Never before have two things that shouldn’t work together worked like these sausages! Each time we attend the BBC Good food show we always have to stop off at the Perfick Pork stand and pick up these works of beauty. In fact I have a kitchen drawer full of Perfick Pork cooler bags which I hide from public view so they don’t see my secret sausage shame! Perfick Pork are not just about the Strawberry and Black Pudding sausage, they do a wide range of fantastic tasting pork products including the new Bubble and Squeak sausages which we will try out very soon! I’d also like to give a massive A+ to the guy who sold us a story with our sausages. Much better than the faceless corporations that just churn out food with no passion,
It’s a fact that most kids like fizzy pop and as a parent you feel mean because you limit their intake and stop them drinking too much full fat coke so they don’t lose teeth and gain weight! I came across a stall from the good people at Heartsease Farm who make sparkling fruit drinks in delicious flavors including blackcurrant, Raspberry and Elderflower. We came away with six bottles for the kids however if I am honest…. they are really for me ;-).
It’s a rare occurrence when both the wife and I can go out child free! Usually it involves a special occasion and a hell of a lot of begging family to mind our little ones. However last Tuesday was one of those rare occurrences!
I was recently given some free tickets to go and see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels the musical at the Alexandra theatre in Birmingham so off we went to enjoy a child free show. For people who don’t know, the musical is based on the 1988 film which started Steve Martin and Micheal Caine and was one of my favorite films growing up.
The story is set in the Riviera where high class swindler Lawrence Jameson’s (Played by Michael Praed) plans to con the rich women in the area are put into Jeopardy when a young American scam artist Freddy Benson (Noel Sullivan) moves into town.
The two con artists hatch a competition to see who is the best by using poor soap princess Christine Colgate (Carley Stenson) with hilarious consequences. Stealing the show however was Mark Benton as the local head of police Andre who gave us some of the best comical and romantic moments from the show.
I had to admit I had my worries about this musical as it was taking a well loved film of mine and adding a touch of “Glee” to the mix however I was not disappointed and enjoyed the show immensely. The singing and choreography was well put together and the actors appeared to gel very well.
It was also my first time visiting the Alexandra and although the theatre was a bit worn around the edges unlike some of the other theatres I have been too I found that it gave it character which I liked.
Overall I would say if you are a big fan of the film then go and see this tour and if you’re not then go and see the tour as you won’t be disappointed!
Recently I have started collecting Pop Vinyl figures as a new hobby. They appeal to me because not only do they look kind of cool but they also cover some of the popular culture I grew up with like Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Gremlins and He-man plus some of the more modern shows like Game of Thrones & The Walking Dead.
Another reason is that they increase in value! Some pops retire and become rare and expensive to purchase, An example would be a Riddler or Two Face pop which can fetch around £100 on the bay of E. Now don’t start thinking I am a money grabbing son of a gun however its nice to know that something you have is worth a buck or two.
The main reason is that my kids think they are cool and have started a little collection of their own. My Eldest has started collecting Adventure time and Marvel (mainly because she has a crush on Wolverine!)
I keep my pops on the bookshelf in the living room at the moment because its an idea place to have them on display however something happened recently which questions my collection and if it’s right at my age to collect such items.
One of my wife’s friends recently paid a visit to us. She came into the living room and saw the bookcase and her reaction was if she had spotted a bookshelf full of porno mags and decapitated heads!
Now I understand that as the years go on I am supposed to mature in age however do I have to grow up completely? I don’t want to be that person who starts collecting stamps, or things like thimbles or cushions! To be fair I think I will get to 60 and still find He man and Ghostbusters cool so bring it on and big raspberries to whoever doesn’t like it!
Subscription boxes are a big deal at the moment! For a monthly fee you get a mystery box full of surprises based on a particular theme.
In comes Marvel and Funko with the Collectors Corps subscription box. The first boxes theme falls inline with the release of the Avengers – Age of Ultron so I thought I would break my subscription box virginity and order this bad boy!
The boxes is shipped from America so I was worried about custom charges however the god Thor must have been smiling on me because it was marked as “gift” on the delivery note.
The box has a snazzy design with a big Captain America greeting you on the front. I opened the box and discovered my first two surprises which was a Captain America pin badge and a Ultron iron on badge.
Further into the box I found what I was after! A limited edition Hulkbuster in all its glory. The box also contained a fantastic limited edition Avengers T-Shirt which had the Hulk Vs Ultron printed on it and also a Avengers/Guardian of the Galaxy comic and a Ultron Dorbz figure!
It was a product packed box from two leading giants of popular culture and I am certainly looking forward to the next installation!.
I hate my dishwasher! Its the one piece of equipment in the house I pray each day it will break because its so old, smelly and out of date!
The wife says its fine and its because I use it incorrectly and don’t scrub the dishes before hand however doesn’t scrubbing the dishes cancel out the need of a dishwasher! It’s like cutting the grass with scissors and then using a mower!
The problem is that the dishwasher is so well made that it never breaks. Both the washing machine and tumble dryer have packed up during it’s life cycle and been replaced by shiny new (Black!) state of the art appliances yet old unreliable dishwasher still hangs on!
To show how I feel about the dishwasher I did a little video in the hope that someone will pity me and maybe throw a brick at it or something.
As mentioned previously I like to enter the odd competition in my spare time to try and win some goodies. To be honest I didn’t enter many prizes this month as I was too busy playing an Assassin in Paris or collecting Pops! However I did win three times so I cant complain.
I won an Addis City Cup which is a small thermal cup. I won it on a comp on Facebook and the wife has found it very useful for keeping her tea warm when she pops out on the school run! (Although it doesn’t fully close on the top so she doesn’t recommend putting it on the dashboard of the car and turning hard right!)
Below the Belt grooming products! For that area…. well below the belt! In a world in which men now use as many beauty products as women this is designed for that smelliest of all areas. I have to admit I was skeptical of this product, I mean, we all have sinks…. However the “Fresh and Dry” lotion works well after a shower!
Finally the win of the month from the good people at The Perfume Shop, A his and her bottle of Gucci Guilty Diamond Perfume. The mens is just what i like in an aftershave, the wife smells luscious wearing the ladies and the bottles are bling bling bling! Worth over £100 for both bottles!
Hopefully I will pick up my comping again in March and have more fantastic wins to report next month!