Men's Health | A Personal MOT with TENA Men

Men's Health | A Personal MOT with TENA Men The New Year for many signals the start of a new health and fitness plan. Most of us have high hopes of joining the gym and ditching the junk food. We use this time to think about improving our body and look after ourselves. How many of us actually stick to it?

I'm exactly the same, the running trainers have been cleaned...the healthy eating cookbook has been ordered and I have no doubt it'll soon be forgotten.

The team at TENA Men has found that 1 in 5 men had their last general check-up more than 2 years ago. With this in mind, they have sent me this pack which is designed to break these habits and give yourself a personal MOT...you always have an annual MOT on a car so why not your body.

So what did the kit include:

Lights: Just like with driving visibility is important so there was a Specsavers voucher and I'm really good with my eyes and make sure I get them checked every two years.

Steering & Suspension: When a car gets older you'll notice that it creaks and that is true of the body too. My body already does that so to keep the joints and muscles moving there is a set of resistant bands. The beauty of these is you can use them in the comfort of your own home and there's plenty of YouTube videos to get you some tips.

Fuel System: A taboo subject for many but it is a common experience that affects 1 in 4 men over the age of 40.  The TENA Men Absorbent Protector can help mop-up all those drips and dribbles.

• Bodywork: We take pride in making sure our car looks sparkling and this is the same with our appearance. A clean shave helps you look and feel your best.

• Emissions: Something I've recently tried is swapping a cup of tea for green tea. It helps maintain a healthy immune system and keep you at peak performance.

• Tyres: Your tyres are checked for a number of things at a MOT, tyre pressure being one of them. So I've been sent a Fitbit to help keep tabs on my blood pressure and fitness and what have I learnt...I don't do anywhere near as many steps as I thought I did.

All of these things combined will help keep you running smoothly.

We were sent this package for the purpose of this post, all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

Thanks Dad! 5 Tech-Related Gifts That Are Perfect for Children

There’s no better way to introduce our children to technology than giving them some hands-on experience with the latest tech. It could be teaching them how to use a computer, showing them the joys of console video games, or even showing them how to watch their favourite cartoon shows on your iPad. Getting children involved with technology can be a great time investment because technology is everywhere. It’s in our homes, at school, it helps with our jobs—simply everywhere!So whether you’re looking for a new gift to add to your child’s wish list or if you just want to give your children something special for working hard at school, here are five tech-related gifts that your children will absolutely adore!

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  1. Phone Accessories

Children everywhere are using smartphones to keep up with their friends, play games and even study. With the countless number of smartphone apps that are targeted towards children, there’s no reason not to get your child a basic smartphone. It doesn’t have to be an expensive Samsung model or an iPhone (you probably don’t want to put something so expensive in the hands of a child!) because there are plenty of cheaper alternatives. No matter what phone your child has, there’s no doubt that accessories such as iphone cases and headphones make cheap and exciting gifts for your children.

  1. Video Games

If you already own a video games console then you’re in luck! There are hundreds of video games to pick from no matter if you own a Playstation or Xbox console, and they make excellent gifts for any child that loves to game. You can check review websites to see the latest games that are popular and order them either digitally from online stores or buy a physical copy from a retailer.

  1. A Tablet

Perhaps your children already have a smartphone, but if they’ve had it for a while then they’re probably complaining that it’s slow, the screen is small or that they don’t have enough space for all of their music and games. It doesn’t make much sense to use a phone for entertainment if you have access to a tablet. They have larger screens, they’re more powerful and they’re more fun to play with. Surprisingly, they’re also cheaper than phones because you don’t need all of the internals to make calls or other phone-related functions.

  1. A Laptop

Laptops are now cheap, powerful, and the next logical upgrade from a tablet. Laptop computers that run Windows are the perfect companion for a child who’s learning to use computers or that wants a better experience when browsing the internet and being productive. They can practice their hobbies, study, and entertain themselves with a lightweight laptop.

  1. Raspberry Pi

If your family is full of tech enthusiasts then what better way to get them involved with computers than a Raspberry Pi. These mini-computers are perfect starter examples for parents that want to teach their children how computers work, or even to give them some basic programming lessons if they show an interest in the inner workings of a computer. There are many projects with a Raspberry Pi, such as turning it into a media centre or a retro games console.

Guest Post

Talking Turkey: Looking East For A Holiday To Remember

What do you look for in a holiday? It's something different for each person you ask - some will want to spend time sunning themselves on a beach. Others will prefer to nourish their minds with historical sightseeing. And then there are more than a few who see it as a chance to shop. To hear their credit card scream in an entirely different language. What you're on the lookout for in a holiday can define where you end up going. Few places manage to offer all of the above at once, and those that do are to be cherished. But picking by the same priorities will mean you keep going back to the same places. So let's pick one country, and give you a few destinations worth visiting within it. For this article, that country will be Turkey.

Istanbul: Hard To Ignore, Harder To Forget

It's by far and away Turkey's most famous city, and equally famously not the capital. But for all intents and purposes for the tourist, this is the main hub of Turkey. Here you will find the bridge which marks the crossing from Europe into Asia (Turkey is on both continents).

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You will also find sights like the Aya Sofia mosque. A building of quite spectacular beauty, it's regularly rated the number one sight to see in the country. Equally opulent, Topkapi Palace is where the leaders of the Ottoman Empire got to work on constructing their country. If you only mark two sights down to see in Istanbul, let these be the two.

Cappadocia: Good Work, Mother Nature!

If Istanbul is remarkable for what architects have put there, then Cappadocia is entirely different. This is a staggering work of nature; valleys cut out of the earth by millennia of tectonic activity. To look at it, it can be hard to believe that it's real. The good news is, it is. Even better news is that the locals have realised how unique it is, and there's a thriving trade in hot air balloon rides.

Antalya: Spend Some Time On The Beach

Of course, sometimes you do want to get a bit of lazing while travelling, and where better than on a beach? To be more specific, on Konyaalti beach in Antalya. Unlike many beaches, this one is right next to the city. So when you've hopped off your Antalya airport taxi, you can laze a few hours before heading into town. You won't regret doing so.

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Whether it's Hadrian's Gate, a monument dating from the second Century, or the main shopping streets in this well-heeled town, it's a treat. Even better news is that it's mostly ignored by tourists from elsewhere. This is where Turkish people with the right idea head for a holiday - and it makes sense to follow their lead when booking your break.

(Images courtesy of here and here.)

Guest Post

5 Ways To Improve Your Work Life Balance

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The idea of a better work-life balance seems to have struck a nerve with a lot of professionals, especially parents and, more than ever, dads. The shift in gender equality hasn’t just been one that has promoted equal pay for women but also brought about changes in paternity leave and the idea that dads should spend more time at home, not just with their kids, but their family.

But establishing a better work-life balance is easier said than done. To help fix this, below are a few ideas that may help you finally get that balance you have been seeking.

Getting Daily Closure

Quite simply, leave your work where it belongs; at work. This is hard, sure, but it is just a matter of discipline. You just have to train yourself to do this. So why not take a new approach to leaving work, such as making a list of any incomplete work that may be outstanding - and any ideas you may have on your mind - before closing your laptop, shutting your notebook and walking out of the office, leaving all work behind. Getting closure is a huge step in seeking a better work-life balance, and that closure comes at the end of each day.

When You’re At Home, Be At Home

When it comes to improving your work-life balance, the first thing any working daddy will tell you to do is step away from the email. We know this can be hard, but perhaps it is worth a chat with your boss whereby you state your concerns that constantly checking your emails is doing harm to your productivity and actually causing stress instead. Switching off from work is important, so it is important you do this.  

Use Your Time At Work Effectively

This means prioritising your work, setting a time limit for each task and sticking to it. We have all been pressed for time on a tight deadline, yet somehow got caught up in less important tasks or unproductive activities, for example, meetings with no agenda that take hours to successfully accomplish zilch. Long hours may feel productive, but according to the Mental Health Foundation, they can actually have the opposite effect, as well as a negative effect on you by increasing your chances of depression, anxiety and irritability by a substantial amount.

Relax A Little

It doesn’t have to take up much time, it could just be a 10-15 minute walk with a loved one, but granting yourself a little downtime, a little escape from the norm can have huge benefits on your well-being and mental health. There are hundreds of different ways you can go about doing this, but it all comes down to enjoying the small things in life, even if this is just a few times a day.

Don’t Be At Their Beckon Call

A sure-fire way to make your colleagues, or indeed your boss, know that you’re not available to them 24/7 is to delay your reply to their emails; allow yourself 24 to 48 hours. So long as you are reliable about replying, no damage will be done because people have no issue letting a small amount of time passing before receiving an answer from you. Try it.

Guest Post

Our New Reading Chair

Ever since my girls were young they have both enjoyed reading and as parents, we've always tried to encourage that as much as possible. Every night we try and read with the girls or as it has now become they read to us, this is normally on the sofa but we wanted to make somewhere cosy for them to read. We've always had a little reading area but they used to have to sit on their cushions, but now they have a new beanbag chair from the lovely people at Great Little Trading Company.

This is the Washable Bean Bag Chair which is available in a few different colours and designs but we picked the blue with white stars. The beauty of this is the cover is really durable and is also removable so you can take it off and wash it which parents will know is important when children are involved.

This chair has allowed the girls to sit in comfort while reading their books. It is also pretty lightweight so when it comes to Minecraft game time they bring their seat with them and can sit on their chair while playing their game.

I'm so glad we got this for the girls and if anything it has made the girls read more and they are cosy.

You can check out the range of Bean Bag chairs on the GLTC website and at the moment they're of special offer at £48.

We were sent this item for the purpose of this post, all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

The Open Road: Could A New Car Be Best For You?

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Buying a car is an exciting and wonderful time. A large portion of your life is changed, and you have loads of options. For price alone, a lot of people are drawn to the secondhand market. Of course, this means that you're getting something used. It means that you don’t have as much choice, and you have to deal with problems.

When you buy a car, you don’t want these issues, though. You want something that feels like you’ve spent a lot of money on it; because you have. This is where companies like Lending Tree come in. Getting finance on a car is nice and easy. It enables you to get something that you otherwise couldn’t afford without saving. And, best of all, it may enable you to get a new car, instead of an old one.

And, of course, the benefits of a new car can go on forever. Most importantly, you’ll have a warranty on a new car. This means that any problems that occur as a result of manufacturing, it will be covered. With a secondhand car, you may have a promise from the dealership to help if there are issues, but they may never actually provide that help. Car problems can end up costing a small fortune. So, having them covered is a great way to save money in the future.

As cars have modernised, a lot of focus has been put towards safety. This means that newer cars are much safer than older ones. Buying a new car gives you the chance to be protected by the most up-to-date safety features on the market. For someone who cares about their safety, this is a huge benefit. And, of course, it’s most important of all for families.

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Alongside better safety, newer cars are also more economical and friendly to the environment. Of course, the best way to limit your impact is to avoid driving at all. But, this doesn’t work for most people. So, trying to be as good as you can to the environment is the next best option. Being less pollutive, modern cars are also cheaper to run. Most places have road taxes in place which are based on the amount of emissions your car pumps out.

And, as the biggest benefit for most people, when you buy a car new, you can choose exactly how it looks and drives. Buying a car new will give you the choice of model, colour, and spec that you want. With a secondhand option, you have to deal with what’s available. But, when getting it new, you’ll have almost complete control. These aspects of a vehicle can be very important. If you don’t like the way your car looks, it will draw you to changing it in future. And, the best way to get value out of a car is by keeping it for as long as possible.

Hopefully, this will inspire you to change your focus when it comes to getting a car. Of course, for some people, going secondhand may be the only option. But, you may be surprised at what you can afford with the help of some finance.

Guest Post

Spend Too Much Time Stranded Without A Car? Fix It Now

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The car is one of the most trusty and necessary tools in a man’s arsenal. So, when you find that you’re suddenly left without it, it seems like all your options and capabilities simply shrink. It’s not difficult to feel stranded. However, you shouldn’t stay stranded. Here’s how you make sure you’re not left off the road for too long.

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Prevention is the best cure

To spend less time stranded off the road, then the simplest answer is to make sure that your car is a lot less liable to find itself breaking down on you. Too many car owners will only give their cars the mandatory servicing as recommended by the car manual, or when it has a problem. The truth is that you should create a schedule of preventative maintenance that you keep up all year long. From changing the oil to getting your tires rotated and balanced, it’s just a few tasks you have to do now and then that will keep your car running pretty for much longer.

Prepare for the seasons

When winter rears its ugly head, or the weather gets severely wetter, then it’s necessary to make a few more changes still. For instance, protecting your car from the elements using a cover. Taking your car even for a short drive to warm up the engine and stop the battery from dying on you. Getting a decent pair of winter tyres to make sure your wheels can handle a more dangerous and demanding road. Failing to prepare for the elements is not only more likely to take you off the road but seriously risky, too.

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Consider the replacement options available

When prevention fails, you’re going to find yourself without a car. To some, that simply isn’t acceptable. There are different options for getting a replacement car. If you’re insured on it, you can borrow a family member’s, but that inconveniences them. You can rent a car, but that can prove expensive. You can also look at specific options like Volkswagen servicing options that include a courtesy car amongst the cost. Alongside the service itself, that kind of options might prove the most financially sensible.

Make sure you’re passing that MOT

It’s not just malfunction and the need for a service that will take you off the road. The MOT is something you have to prepare for. Not just because it’s your obligation. If you fail, you’re going to find that even a car you consider acceptable is no longer legally allowed on the road. So you have to ensure that you pass that MOT so you’re not spending ages waiting for the opportunity to take another one. Even simple pieces of equipment like a worn seat belt or a worn windscreen wiper can be the tipping point that fails you.

The right preventative maintenance and choices, as well as the right way to stay on the road when prevention doesn’t work, is essential. You need to look at servicing options and rental options that best fit your needs, as well as your finances.

Guest Post

Chicken Nuggets Don't Have to be Boring

I wouldn’t say my two girls are fussy eaters, certainly not when compared to lots of other children. There are a couple of things one doesn’t like and the other does such as pasta...Aly loves pasta, but Mia doesn't. And as for jacket potatoes - Mia loves them and Aly doesn't! There is one thing that they both love and that is chicken nuggets. It’s one of those meals where they both finish their whole plate full so we tend to have it quite often. With our nuggets we’re always trying to find ones that taste good and aren’t filled with anything bad.

We’d heard good things from our friends that Iceland food one is yummy and after having a look in a bit more detail found that a blind taste test conducted by Cambridge Market Research Ltd, Iceland XL Crispy Chicken Nuggets are as good as McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets for taste, texture and quality.

As we needed a bit of fresh air over the festive period, we decided to pop over to our local Iceland to take a look...it also helped that there was a toy shop nearby for the girls to spend their Christmas money in.

Iceland have an easy way of laying their store out and the chicken nuggets were easy to find in either 32 or 75 packs. This time we decided to go for 32 chicken nuggets and also picked up some chips and dips to go with our meal. When we go shopping, packaging is key to grabbing my attention, helping me choose new products both in-store and online. These chicken nuggets came in a bright blue bag with three important things that caught my eye...Firstly they look yummy on the bag, secondly the words ‘our best ever’ and finally (and most importantly to me) they are 'made with 100% breast fillet’.  

As the girls have got older we have come to love using frozen food, anyone with children will know that you really don’t get any spare moments. Both of the girls have after school classes as well as swimming classes and Brownies, so we end up having rushed or later dinners. The #PowerOfFrozen is all about tasty food that is high quality and also convenient. It allows us as parents to be able to feed our girls quickly.

Whenever we have chicken nuggets we try to make it interesting, we try not to just serve them up on a plate. This is mainly because the girls eat more if there is colour on their plate that is presented a little bit differently. Some cut up carrot and cucumber sticks, a choice of dips, chips and some nuggets in cones goes a long way to making it look even more appealing.

I also personally think that if you served this up for your friends or partner they’d still be equally impressed.

The real test with children is what it tastes like and they really loved them and so did I. You could really tell that these were made from 100% chicken breast. They were very substantial and full of meat rather than thin ones we’ve had in the past. So the Iceland chicken nuggets were a big hit and remember chicken nuggets don’t need to be boring.

This post is in collaboration with Iceland Foods.