Christy Bathrobes

Is there a better feeling then stepping out of the bath or bed in the morning and wrapping yourself up in a nice warm bathrobe? Especially when the temperature is dropping outside and you are putting of knocking the heating on. Having a warm and fluffy bathrobe draped over you, keeping you snug and comfortable is a truly pleasant experience.

Christy have been in the towel game since it began. They created the towel as we know it today. Their longevity in the cotton game means they are experts in what they do so on that score you know a Christy bathrobe is going to be the real deal.

Christy offer a number of different bathrobes so you are not short on choice. On that note lets get to the robes, which whilst beautifully modelled by a number of my good male friends, are unisex and make the perfect gift for you, your spouse, friends and family. Whoever you feel will benefit from the warming cuddle of a bathrobe.

Luxury Egyptian Cotton 

As far as I am aware, I do not think I have ever been draped in 100% Egyptian cotton before placed myself inside my Christy bathrobe. It is delightfully soft, thick and cosy. I opted to have my bathrobe in graphite, whilst my good friend Tom from @unlikelydad went with the white. As I am sure you agree we look dashing.  So if you fancy the Luxury Egyptian Cotton robe click here.

PSX_20180917_141350PSX_20180917_141429

Supreme Velor Robe

Why not wrap yourself up in the luxurious cotton Supreme Velour Robe for the ultimate spa-like experience in your very own home. Made with 100% cotton this soft and fluffy robe is stylish and comfortable, so whether you are relaxing after a bath or baking a Great British Bake Off standard chocolate cake, you will be looking on point. Just like Mat from @thelifeofrileyfamily , who is looking like a proper show stopper in his supreme velor robe in thistle. Then we have Adam from @dadforit who is owning it in his graphite supreme velor robe. So if you are loving it, why not go for it and check out the supreme velor range here.

PSX_20180917_141212IMG_20180917_140728

Super Soft Bath Robe

The super soft robe is simple and beautiful and lives up to its name. It feels like stepping into a cloud on a warm summers day. You feel safe, secure nestled into this outer garment, whether that be in the kitchen brewing up or taking a stroll around your coy pound on a brisk Sunday morning. Print making supremo Billy who encourages folk to @goutsidethelines looks simply regal in his super soft robe in poolside, whilst Joel of @dadvgirls fame and Sam from @dadofmadlads make bouncing look charming in their white and tarmac robes. And finally its Al from @itsthefergusons who is crushing the Country and kitchen Lifestyle Magazine pose in his crushed grape super soft robe.  Fancy one of these luxury robes then click here to choose your super soft robe.

PSX_20180917_141102PSX_20180917_140948

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PSX_20180917_142330

Windsor Robe

Just like Connor from @dads_and_donts the Windsor robe is sophisticated and stylish. Made of 100% cotton, the Windsor is designed for lounging and creating a spa like experience in your own home. It is beautifully soft, created with relaxation in mind. So after a long day at work, you can snuggle up and unwind in style and comfort. Check the Windsor robe range out here.

IMG-20180909-WA0003

To check out all the bathrobe ranges available from Christy just click here Once you have chosen your robe why not match it with some towels of charm and quality as well. Simply click here for the beautiful array of towels available.  

 

Learning to live with food allergies

Being diagnosed

Before our eldest came along, food allergies were not something I thought about. I never had to. It never entered my mind that this would be something that we, as a family, would have to worry about. But at about six months old, and at the very beginning of our weaning journey, a simple mouthful of porridge that contained milk changed all that. After this we went on to find out that she had dairy and egg anaphylaxis and a soya intolerance. We were handed some leaflets, an epi-pen, a book on how to administer an epi-pen and DVD in a lovely colourful box, antihistamines and inhalers, and off we went.

PSX_20180902_150020

Learning to live with food allergies

At the time, the Free From aisle in the supermarket was the size of a bookcase. Restaurant allergy information – if there was any – was minimal What’s more, practically everything in our house contained at least one ingredient that could lead to our eldest having a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. For the first time, we really had to look at what was in our food – and it was a massive eye opener.
Initially, my wife and I were very overwhelmed. We felt as if we were starting from scratch when it came to the meals we made and what we ate. Our usual go-to’s had to change. We had to cook from scratch almost always – but once we got a list of easy, delicious meals together and knew what to avoid in the supermarket it became easier. We soon became accustomed to flipping all foods over to check the ingredients list. It became second nature.

cof

Handing over the reigns

One of the hardest things is learning to feel comfortable and confident when allowing others to share the responsibility of cooking for your child. Grandparents, other family members, friends and school have all taken on the role of chef at some point.
It’s an anxiety-provoking situation for everyone involved. In my experience, the best way to make everyone feel as relaxed as possible is communication. If you are preparing food for a child with an allergy and have any questions, ask the child’s parents. They will be able to provide you with ideas, recipes and reassurance. In turn, your questions will put the child’s parents at ease, knowing that you are being considerate of their child’s dietary requirements and taking special care.

Inclusivity

Spreading the word

Educating people about allergies is an ongoing challenge – and reminding people that an allergy isn’t a life choice but a health condition is paramount. Educating people around the importance of respecting and being considerate towards a person’s dietary requirements is also important, as this can go a long way to making some feel included and valued.
We need to move away from the language used to describe allergies and intolerances. Avoid phrases like ‘the normal food is over there’ or singling the person with the allergy out when it comes to advising others. Remember communication is the key. If you have a question, ask.

Inclusivity

I’m overjoyed to be involved in Asda’s Inclusivity Campaign which aims to change the dialogue around allergies and intolerances, educate people, and ultimately, remove exclusion. I want to help children with allergies, parents of children with allergies, and parents whose child is in a class with a child with an allergy feel more comfortable and confident when it comes to managing allergies. School can be a difficult and anxiety-provoking time for all these people. I want to help improve the school experience of all involved and do it in a way that is non-judgemental, fun and inclusive.

Check out the Inclusivity campaign here

Taking a tour in style : #LTTourdeTrike

The Tour de France is in full swing, and whilst we may not be able to join in with the actual cycle race, we have been able to take our on tour with a little help from Little Tikes.

Our own little tour took us around the northern canal system. As a man who loves a little history, I am amazed by the canal system we have on our doorstep. How it was made, how it worked and how significant it was to the area at the time. I can imagine what it must have been like.

20180618165000_IMG_9155

The kids don’t share my passion for it yet despite my explanations of why we have it and why it’s important. However the definitely appreciate being outside, exploring, seeing the wildlife. So taking them on a proper tour in style and comfort in their Little Tikes trykes was a winner.

20180618163743_IMG_9061

Edith was riding in the 4-in-1 Trike. This trike is designed to grow with your little one. For now Edith could just sit back, pop her feet on the footrest whilst we steered using the adjustable push handle. This is fantastic as both Sammi-Jo and I can push in comfort and ease by just adjusting the handle to meet our needs. And when the time comes we can take it off and let Edith do all the hard work. The sunshade keeps the sun off, whilst the 5 point seat harness keeps them safely sat on the seat. The handy tray ment we could dump all the bits and bobs we had in the tray and keep my back bagless.

20180618163731_IMG_9056

Flo was touring in the perfect fit 4-in-1 Trike. An option for little ones from 9 months to 5 years, you can easily adjust the seating to ensure they are happy and comfy. There is the convenience of the steering handle if you need it for younger kids but for Flo she was able to drive by the power of her little legs. The non slip peddles also stopped her feet from sliding as she ferociously propelled herself along the paths.

20180618163721_IMG_9046

Whilst we may not have taken in the sites of France, our local area was a brilliant place to explore and take a wander around the wonders of the canals. Made all the better by the horse that walked past and the Heron who snatched a fish as we enjoyed our tour.

So this summer with the kids off get yourself out into your local city and take a proper tour around. You never know what you might see or what fun you might have.

To see some more adventures visit https://www.littletikes.co.uk/tour-de-trike

#LTTourdeTrike

 

 

 

“A father is a biological necessity, but a social accident” (Minden, 1982)

In the western world, fathers have for generations been viewed as playing minor roles in the care of their children. Simultaneously they have been painted as the head of the family, whose main roles in child rearing are that of disciplinarian and bringer of the cheddar.
Fathers are now encouraged to play a more active role in the upbringing of their children. The idea of a good father is no longer simply a money maker or authoritarian figure but one who helps promote moral development, serves as a gender role model, shares the burden of gathering nuts for the winter, nurtures , encourages, and plays an active role in their child’s life.
We learn from those who go before us. How I father is influenced by the ways my dad parented me and how he parented was influenced by how he was parented. Today’s fathers find themselves in a peculiar position. We are the gap between the old style fathers, the fathers who took on more stereotypical models of such as that of money maker, man builder, and the head of the house to the new vision of fatherhood as the dad who gets involved and shares the responsibility.

It is important to remember that father’s now face the challenges and demands fatherhood brings, whilst potentially being caught in a battle between traditional views of fatherhood and new found ideals.

With this we need to ensure that we give a voice to dads. Not to discredit or minimise their experiences but to empower them to talk and encourage them to share their views. New father’s need to know support is there for them when they need it. In that the support needs to be there for them not as an offshoot of mother’s services but tailored to the needs of dad’s. Business owners need to support dads in paternity leave applications. No dad should fear losing their job due to wanting to spend time with their child, or be paid pennies whilst on leave.
To help fathers become what society now wants, we need to change what society offers. Without the support it will never work.

For a really good read on paternity leave check out @youthedaddy blog post here.

 

Mother’s Day Review: This year was lobster compared to the tuna you served me last year

As the father to young children it is my responsibility to ensure that my wife’s Mother’s Day is a day of celebration. To provide a wonderful, magical experience where she is showered in gifts and relaxation. The aim is to firmly show her how much we as a family appreciate all she does for us. It is the one day a year where Mother’s should be able to sit back, relax and be well and truly pampered. Last year I failed at making the day magical. It was a complete and utter disaster which left the wife feeling unappreciated and let down. You can read how well it went here.

20180310075444_IMG_2566.JPG
This year I had to step up and get my shit together. The first stage of this was to ensure I did not forget to get a gift. I learnt that gifts are an important part of Mother’s Day and the line ‘don’t get me anything’ is a polite way of saying ‘you better bloody get me something’. I asked the wife what she wanted. A nice nightie she replied. So the hunt began. However not sooner had I started did I receive a message whilst she was out one day saying she had found one and bought it and was going to give it to me to give to her. Kind of takes the magic away a little but at least she was happy with it, she had something she wanted and most importantly she would actually have a gift this year. Winner.

20180311_085500.jpg
Next task was a card. But again before I had chance to do this, the better half had bought her own card whilst out with Florence and then given these to Florence to hide. That was two tasks sorted. However I knew that I still needed to get her something and to only give her gifts and cards she chose herself would not go down well.
The good folk at Hobbycraft sent me a nice little crafting package to make some Mother’s Day goodies with the kids. And my gosh we had some fun. Hours spent painting, sticking, gluing, colouring generally making a jolly good mess and producing masses of gifts for the Mrs. We made cards, boxes, pictures, many many wonders. We even managed to contain most of the mayhem within the conservatory, except for paint footmarks across the living from carpet. But we created art of the highest quality. You would never know I failed art at GCSE.

20180310075018_IMG_2558.JPG
The wife has got giddy for plants lately. Real ones. Fake ones. If it is green and potable she is loving it. Our house has been swarmed by plants. She keeps telling me which ones a real and need watering but then the next minute she moves them all around the house and I forget which plants are real and which are fake. Hard to bloody tell. But they look good. So to add to her little collection, the girls bough her a plant each.

20180311_164119.jpg
One of the most important lessons I took from last years shenanigans is to book a table well in advance otherwise your snookered. This year I booked us a nice table for 4 at Miller & Carter Steakhouse. Job done.

The Big Day Checklist

First thing first. Leave mummy to have a lie in. Tick

Make mummy breakfast in bed. Tick

Give mummy presents and cards. Tick

Ask mummy what she wants to do for the day. Tick

Do whatever mummy wants to do. Tick

Make lunch for mummy. Tick

Give mummy time to get ready without interruption and in peace. Failed (hard to stop a 4 year old running up and down the stairs but tried and that surely counts)

Do not argue with mummy on the big day. Failed

Make amends with mummy after the argument by admitting you are an idiot and that you are very sorry. Tick

Go out for a wonderful meal, have an amazing time. Tick

Get home, bath the kids, get them in bed then relax. Tick

Outcome. The wife was happy. Claimed that this year was lobster compared to the tuna I dished up last year.

20180311_135010.jpg

Qualitative run down of the days events

Kids woke up at 6am. Brought them downstairs to give them breakfast. Left the wife in bed. Gave the kids breakfast. Had a coffee. Watched tele. Then cleaned the kitchen. Had another coffee.
Caffeine kicked in. Felt energised. With the help of the kids laid mummy’s presents out. Began to make breakfast in bed. Scrambled tofu on toast. Yum. When it was ready took it to the wife, who had just woke up. She ate it in bed with Flo. Edith and I ate ours downstairs.
After breakfast the wife came downstairs. Opened her presents. She was happy. Told her we were going out for a meal. She seemed pleased.
Played around in the house. The made lunch. Was not great but everyone ate it. Then the wife started to get ready. Asked to be left in peace. Florence did not conform. She was up and down the stairs. Apologised to wife. She accepted.
Already to go out. Dropped pressies off at mothers and mother in laws. In car had argument with the wife. Cannot remember what about. Tension.
Arrived at Miller & Carter. Apologised. Forgiven. Had a lovely meal. Ate lots. Drank lots. Spent lots. Went home.
At home bathed kids. Got them in bed. They went to sleep. We crashed on the couch. Wife happy.
Jobs a gudden.

IMG-20180315-WA0009.jpg

I want to go really fast down a big hill, on some skis with my family: Mark Warner Ambassador quest

Fifteen years ago, half my life time, I got on a coach with lots of other teenagers of schooling age, and a few teachers who were there to keep us in check and traveled for 24 hours across Europe. Our destination was Austria. Why were we going? For a week of skiing.

It was one of the most amazing times of my life. I was young, carefree, risk averse and let loose to do all the cool things like black slopes, slaloms and jumps. I promised myself I would go yearly from that point. Unfortunately I did not keep that promise and have not been since.

I have mithered the better half that we should go but it’s never happened. Since we have had kids I have longed to take them, then this winter this dream intensified when Flo tried ice skating for the first time and loved it. In that moment I knew she would love skiing.

IMG-20180308-WA0018

So 2018 is hopefully the year the Freckles finally go skiing as a family. As a December baby I feel it will be my treat to myself this year and an extra special christmas and New Year for us all.

Mark Warner holidays specialise in activity holidays for families and providing award winning childcare. It is why I am planning on using them to help me plan this little family adventure. They have it all covered when it comes to creating that fun filled, activity packed holiday for the family whilst also ensuring that christmas and New Year magic does not go missing.

pexels-photo-416821.jpeg

I’m thinking of the festive period simply because christmas and snow go hand in hand in all the films and story books but here in Manchester it’s always a whiteless christmas. Therefore a little of the white stuff for the kids to play in would I am sure put me in the daddy good books. Also New Year in our house usually involves an early night. Being in a beautiful part of the world, in the mountains, I am sure would keep us up until that clock strikes 12.

The sheer thought of being out skiing with the family gets me all giddy and warm inside. The lovely crisp fresh air. The amazing views. Being out in the mountains, experiencing something different. It is what life all is about.

That is why I would love to be a Mark Warner ambassador this sheer and share my family adventure with you.

It’s no laughing matter

There has been a bit of an uproar over a scene in the new Peter Rabbit film where the hero bunny rabbits throw blackberries at the naughty Mr McGregor who has blackerry anaphalaxis and subsequently has a reaction and needs to use an epi-pen.

I imagine this scene is in the film to raise a giggle. But its far from funny. It seems nobody along the production line thought it might not be the best idea to show a scene in which a person’s life threatening condition is exploited to try and raise a smile.

Some people don’t think it’s a big deal. That anyone complaining is just being soft. That it is only a film and they should get over it.

However it is a big deal. It is a life threatening condition and in ‘real’ life people still don’t seem to appreciate how serious it can be.  Flo, our eldest, has dairy and egg anaphalaxis.  The sheer amount of times we have eaten out and people have taken a slack and relaxed approach is ridiculous. Take the Pizza Express waiter slyly removing butter from her plate when we complained and sending it back as if it was a new plate, completely ignorant to the risk of cross contamination. It’s not something to be slack about. People die from anaphylactic reactions. Deaths that can 100% be avoided. People end up suffering life changing injuries as a result of anaphylactic reactions. Again these can be avoided.

So people may get so pissed off when this is exploited for comic value because its far from a funny experience and in fact a major cause of stress, anxiety and fear. Fear for the person with the anaphylaxis but also fear on the part of the parents or loved one of the person with anaphylaxis.  People who watch the film may take the view point that it is not such a big deal. That symptoms can be easily alleviated by sticking an epi-pen in the top of the thigh. The reality is far from different. For one upto 5% of people who have an anaphylactic reaction die. That is 1 in 20 people who have a reaction do not survive. Even after administering the adrenaline people have been known to die or suffer life changing injuries.  Therefore it is now recommended that people with anaphylaxis carry two epi-pens. Another little problem is that people with anaphylaxis quite commonly have asthma. This adds to the seriousness. Administering adrenaline when someone is having an asthma attack and not a anaphylactic reaction is very dangerous even life threatening but the symptoms that present can make it difficult to distinguish what is the cause. Also 78% of people who died following an anaphylactic reaction also had asthma which suggests the links and severity is exceedingly high.

20180212_222045.jpg

People have died because others have thought it was funny to play a prank by poisoning their food with a known allergan. Many cases like this involve children. Children not taking it seriously because they do not appreciate how serious it is. So what happens when children see this film and see that scene? That it is ok to use an allergy to some sort of advantage or prank because worse case the person can pop a needle in their leg and be fine. Far from it. Also change the rabbits for kids and Mr McGregor for a child and it takes a different picture. I stick my child in a similar situation daily in my head because I fear this may happen to her one day. For instance that a silly little Halloween prank with an egg may have really serious consequences.

I also think it raises the issue about how society is generally ignorant to how difficult managing allergies can be. Take for instance the time we stayed at a hotel and each morning we had to provide our own bread because despite us telling them before and during our stay that we had allergies they couldn’t provide bread. Or how about the cinema who don’t stock butterfree popcorn in any capacity in their theatres. I appreciate that it is difficult but often people with allergies suffer being isolated or marginalised through no fault of their own. Imagine how hard that can feel for a child.

Despite a parents best efforts the child is going to feel anxious at times, feel left out, feel different. Hopefully the parents, family and wider social networks can help mediate this. Ignorance like this scene only aid to downplay the seriousness of the issue and the outpouring of ‘people are just getting soft’ or ‘it is the snowflake generation’ show how society has someway to go.

So to some up. Sony dropped a bollock. I won’t be watching the film. But I hope in some round about way this whole issue has raised more awareness for the good about how anaphylaxis is not a joke.

This is Flo at six months old after two epi-pens, Piriton, steroids and being on a nebuliser. Not such a funny outcome.

319

The Jord Watch: It’s pronounced Yoad, like Toad but with a Y.

I like my watches. I have a fair few. All shapes, colours and sizes. The collection was nice but it felt a little metal heavy. Then I heard about wooden watches and thought “I fancy some of that” and added one to the collection.

I’ve been rocking this little beauty on the old left wrist.

It’s an absolute dream of a watch. It’s minimalistic, simply doing what it needs to but in style. First off the face looks dashing and handsome. The hands move smoothly, encased majestically below the clear face.

Resting comfortably upon your arm, secure and classy, you will notice how light weight the Hyde is. You don’t have to have bulging biceps and a strong back to lift this masterpiece to eyesight.

The wood is smooth and the ebony colour makes a statement. Being a fashion icon, I like a watch that can handle any occasion, and this timepiece fits the bill.

In summation, the Hyde is sleek, stylish and efficient. It’s perfectly simple in every way. Just how I like life.

Fancy some discount head here

For the Jord men’s collection click here

For the ladies collection click here

Much love

Mike

<!– JORD WOOD WATCHES ARTICLE WIDGET START –>

<a id=”woodwatches_com_widget_article” ishidden=”1″ title=”Wooden Wrist Watch”>Wooden Wrist Watch</a>

//a%20href=

<!– JORD WOOD WATCHES ARTICLE WIDGET END –>

Behind enemy lines: The Manchester City Stadium Tour

In Manchester you support either the blue of Manchester City or the red of Manchester United. We are passionate football folk. You pick your team and you stick with your team.

Sometimes blues and reds get on. Sometimes a red man will meet a blue lady. Sometimes they will date for a while before the red man proposes to the blue lady and they get married. Sometimes they will have children and problems arise as to whether the children should be red’s or blue’s. Sometimes the red man does an amazing thing and goes on a tour of the blues stadium for the greater good of his family and to secure some husband points.

This weekend I, a Manchester United Fan took one for the team and went with my Manchester City fan wife and our children on the Manchester City Stadium tour. I’ve never done a stadium tour before and thought it would be good fun for us all. A nice Sunday family day out.

The rendezvous point for the tour start was in the MCFC Store. True to family form we were late so did not have chance to browse the merchandise which was lucky because I’m pretty sure Florence would have talked me into buying her a new football kit.

20171015_120142

In a room at the back of the Store we gathered with other tour embarkers. We were surrounded by pieces of historic MCFC memorabilia. We were then led to a seated area where our guide showed us a video all about the football club and team to get the juices going.

20171015_120749(0).jpg

Then the proper tour kicked off. We headed to the stadium and had a mill around the Tunnel Club Hospitality areas. These are the areas where the rich and famous can wine and dine before, during and after the match. It’s a pricey place to eat and drink but you get to meet the players and watch them go out the tunnel so if you’ve got the cash it sounds like a good gig. The place smelt like money.

20171015_123109

After this we visited the outside directors seats which were very comfy and come equipped with heated seating. We then headed to the away dressing room which wasn’t much and was very warm. Apparently this is all on purpose to out off the opponent. Put me off. Especially as we visited the home team warm up gym and dressing room and they were something else.

20171015_130239.jpg

Next on the tour was the pitch side picture opportunity before we took a stroll to the pre match press conference room where I managed to warm Pep’s seat. Felt important sat there.

20171015_131304

And that was about it. A 90 minute tour of the stadium complete. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon. Nice to have a nosey around and check out the competition. So if you fancy a poke around a football stadium and you are in Manchester I would recommend having a wonder around the Etihad on the official Stadium and Club Tour. Even if you are a red, it’s a good day out.

20171015_132758.jpg

The team behind the beans: Booths coffee tour

Before kids I rarely drank coffee. Before kids I slept gloriously. So when kids came along and I began to sleep rarely, I took up drinking coffee gloriously.

I have dibbled and I have dabbled with different coffee brands. I have never really settled on a particular coffee or established whether bean is better than ground.

That was until I took a tour of Booths coffee HQ in deepest darkest Preston. Now before we went I was giddy and very excited to see what happened in a coffee roasting and grinding factory and to learn more about the drink that keeps me functional. I was expecting some huge warehouse with hundreds of people, coffee beans all over the show, roasters firing away and the sweet smell of coffee in the air.

What we found was a very nice purposely built building with one roaster and grinder. The team behind the beans was in fact two gents by the names of Peter and Rob, plus the packing team only a few members strong.

It had a real personal feel about the place. The smell of coffee was dancing in the air and we got to see how the coffee was roasted and ground. We got to hold some beans pre roasting and post roasting. We tickled our tastebuds with a variety of different coffees and learnt all about strengths, tastes and smells.

I’m not going to lie to you, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I discovered that strength doesn’t mean more caffeine on the contrary there is less in the stronger stuff. I discovered bean is best. I also found my new favourite coffee which goes by the name of Monsoon Malabar. I love the taste of this cheeky number, but also the fact I’ve met the team who have roasted those beans. Makes it that little bit more personal.

And that’s the main thing I took from our little tour. Booths doesn’t just cater to your food and drink delights but adds that little bit of personal sparkle as well.

Everytime I take a sip of my morning Monsoon Malabar latte I’m whisked away to that magical day I spent on the coffee tour. It makes the fact I’m up at 5am that little bit more bareable.