Children grow up too quickly, my beautiful Aly will be 10 this year.
While some people get by with a small to medium-sized vehicle, many parents with families in tow need large people carriers. They offer cavernous space inside and some cars can even seat up to seven people, including the driver. Family cars are useful for the short-haul school run journeys and long-distance motorway journeys alike. It’s no secret that most people in the United Kingdom drive a manual car. You don’t need me to talk to you about the advantages that a manual car offers. But, it seems that automotive technology is influencing car buyers to opt for automatics instead!
Just twenty years ago, you’d only find a few automatic cars on the road. And many of those would typically be high-end cars like Jaguars and BMWs. Today, it’s not unusual to see even small hatchbacks such as the Volkswagen Golf with an automatic gearbox of some description.
If you’re in the market for a new car, should you ditch the clutch and go for an auto box model? The answer is yes, in case you wondered! Confused? Let me explain why that makes perfect sense:
They use less fuel
An automatic that uses less fuel than a manual? Surely that’s got to be some kind of mistake, I hear you exclaim! The truth is, today’s modern automatic transmissions are electronic. Their computer brains make thousands of decisions a second and work with the main ECU in the car.
As a result, a new automatic car can shift up or down quicker than you can in a manual. Don’t believe me? There’s a tonne of evidence online to support that fact!
They are super easy to drive
When you get into an automatic car, you’ll notice that you’ve only got two pedals; the brake and the accelerator! You don’t have to change gears manually in an automatic, so there’s no need for a clutch pedal. Simply stick the gear lever into “Drive” and away you go!
Of course, going from a manual to an automatic can take a lot of getting used to. As strange as the suggestion is, you may wish to consider taking a couple of driving lessons to get used to driving an automatic.
You can still drive the car like a manual (sort of)
There are various types of automatic transmissions in use today. The most popular type is the dual-clutch and Tiptronic designs. They have the typical Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive gears that you’d expect in an auto. However, you can shift up or down five or more gears as if you were in a manual. The only difference is, you don’t need to use a clutch to shift!
No clutch replacement costs
All manual car drivers know that a clutch needs to get replaced every so often in a vehicle’s lifetime. With an automatic, you never need to do that! In fact, most transmissions only need an oil change every 100,000 miles.
So, when will you take the plunge and buy an automatic family workhorse? There’s plenty to choose from nowadays, so you’ll be spoilt for choice!
In the past few years dash cams have become a growing business and you'll see lots of people on the road with them attached to their cars. In this video, I'll give you a quick look at the Nextbase Dash Cam 412GW from Halfords with some sample footage that I took on a grey dull day.
I love using technology, from cameras to computers, drones to unique gadgets and with any of these things I like them to work well and be easy to function.
This dash cam ticks those boxes perfectly. With the press of a few buttons, you'll have it working and recording in no time. For people who have no real knowledge of setting up something like this, it's incredibly easy and could be used by simply attaching to the windscreen, turning it on and pressing the record button.
Why have a dash cam? The reason they've become so popular is that it give you peace of mind, it helps protect you against false insurance claims and with some companies, it will reduce your insurance premium.
Nextbase Dash Cam 412GW Features
- Exclusive Powered Magnetic Click & Go mount for easy installation in the vehicle
- Instant evidence to support insurance claims to help prove an incident was not your fault
- 140 degree wide angle view with QUAD 1440p High Definition recording at 30 fps
- High frame rate option of 60fps recording at FULL 1080p HD
- Ultra clear 3.0” LED display for ease of playback and menu selection
- Inbuilt Wi-Fi to share your footage directly with your mobile via Nextbase Cam Viewer app
- Super slimline design - Dimensions 10.9 x 5 x 1.8 cm (W x H x D) (37mm incl. lens)
- Six-Element Sharp Lenses made with 6 layers of glass to provide stunning clear images
- GPS receiver and G sensor to record location and force data
- Inbuilt battery with up to 30 minute backup in the event of an accident
- Easy to install with 4m 12v power cable and Click & Go powered window mount included
- SOS data protection prevents the impact/ event recording from being deleted
- Supports SDHC Micro SD cards (not included) up to 32GB
I felt the quality of video produced from this was much much better than I thought possible. So much so that in future photography vlogs I'll use some of the footage to add into my videos.
If you're looking for a high-quality dash cam at a good price I'd really recommend this one from Halfords which is available on their website for £129.
We was sent this item for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
Have you started to notice that your child is looking a little chunky, shall we say? While it’s normal for kids to fill out as they get older, what you don’t want is them gaining weight too quickly and ending up being overweight. At one point or another, most kids go through phases of being a little chubby - normally referred to as puppy fat. However, it’s important to be able to tell the difference between normal amounts of body fat and a child who is overweight or obese.
In the UK, research has shown that around 30 percent of children between two and 15-years-old are either overweight or obese. Being overweight impacts a child’s health, so if you’ve noticed that your child is a little chunkier than they should be, it’s important to take steps to help them to become healthier, which can sometimes be easier said than done as a lot of kids are stubborn when it comes to what they eat and how they spend their spare time. (For a lot of kids, gaming seems to be the activity of choice.)
The question is, what does it take to help your child lose a little weight and get back to being healthy again? For everything that you need to know and do, read on.
Don’t say anything to them
When it comes to your child’s weight, don’t make the mistake of saying to them about it. Children can be incredibly sensitive about how they look, which is why mentioning their weight to them isn’t a good idea, as the last thing you want to do is damage their self-esteem. The thing is, once a child’s self-esteem is damaged, it can be incredibly difficult to help boost it again. Obviously, if your child broaches the subject with you first and tells you that they feel uncomfortable with their weight, then it’s okay to talk to them about it. However, if they’re unaware that there is a problem, then there’s no need to bring it to their attention, especially if they’re young - you can help them without mentioning their weight to them.
Speak to their doctor
If you’re worried about your child’s weight, taking them to the doctor’s for a health check could be a good idea. By going to see your child’s doctor, you can have them weighed, and their height checked to see whether their weight is healthy or whether they could do with losing a few pounds. Their doctor may even be able to suggest a weight loss plan to you for your child or may be able to refer you to a dietician, for help getting your child’s weight under control.
Make changes to their diets
The first step to getting your child’s weight under control is to make changes to their diet. Spend a couple of days monitoring what they’re eating, and then find ways to give their diet a health boost. It could be a case of making small changes, such as cooking all of the meals that your child has from scratch, or you may need to change everything about their diet, from what they have for breakfast to what they snack on. Don’t just change your child’s diet, change the way that the whole family eats, that way your child won’t feel singled out by the changes. Aim to cook healthy, homemade meals every night, swap fizzy drinks and juices for soda water and fruit infused water, swap chocolate and crisps for fruit, vegetables, yogurt, and plain popcorn.
Be a more active family
One of the most important things when it comes to helping your child to lose weight and become healthier is exercise. They say that when it comes to being a healthy weight, it’s 80% diet and 20% exercise. However, just because exercise isn’t as important as food, it’s still crucial if you want your child to become healthier. To encourage your child to do more exercise, commit to becoming a more active family and lead by example. Kids often mimic their parents’ behaviour, so by becoming more active yourself, you will encourage your child to do the same. As a family, spend your spare time going swimming, taking bike rides, going for walks, and playing sports - the more active you can be as a family, the better. Remember, it’s about creating healthy habits.
Encourage them to join a sports team
One of the best forms of exercise for kids is joining a sports team. To encourage your child to join a sports team, talk to them about all the best things about being part of a team, such as making new friends, learning new skills and taking part in tournaments with loads of other teams. Perhaps you could also tell them about how much fun you had playing sport as a kid and winning loads of football trophies, basketball medals, and certificates in swimming as part of a team? To help your child find the sport that is for them, take them along to taster sessions and let them try out various different sports so that they can find the one that’s the best fit for them. Whether your child falls in love with football, hockey, basketball, or swimming as part of a team, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that they find a sport that they enjoy taking part in.
Teach them about being healthy
While you don’t want to mention your child’s weight to them, as you don’t want to risk giving them a complex, it could be worth talking to them about being healthy. A lot of younger children don’t understand how important eating well and exercising regularly is, which is it’s important to talk to them about it. To help you explain to your children about the importance of regular exercise and eating well, there are various books and TV documentaries aimed at kids that you could use, so if you’re not sure how to go about it, don’t stress.
There you have it, everything that you need to know about dealing with a child that’s overweight and helping them to get their weight back on track.
Male grooming is one of the most misunderstood things about being a man. It doesn’t mean you have to shave off all of your body hair and it doesn’t mean you need to style your hair like a teenager or like an old war veteran. In fact, male grooming encompasses a lot of different things, and this article is going to go through a few of those points so that you have a better understanding of what male grooming actually means and why it’s important for your health.
Hairstyles vary from person to person, but no one can deny the effect a clean hairstyle has on someone’s appearance. If you want to look smart, then you’re going to need an equally smart haircut to give people the impression that you mean business. Everyone has different hair textures and preferences, but at the end of the day there are a couple of rules that every hairstylist will tell you about looking smart. Firstly, short hairstyles are more widely accepted as smart. Long hair can work, but it is hard to pull off without a dedicated stylist. Secondly, you have to keep it neat. Don’t go for a hairstyle that makes you look too rough, and don’t get a hairstyle that will require a whole can of hairspray or gel just to keep up.
You also need to think about other places where hair can grow. For instance, your nose and ears can also grow hair which should be promptly removed with dedicated tools. Body hair is subject to preference. Some people prefer to have less body hair and others like the scruffy body hair look. Websites like http://www.manlymatters.net/ have plenty of information about the tools you can use to clean up your hair, so make sure to check it out for some additional advice.
According to http://www.dentalfearcentral.org/fears/embarrassment/, many people around the world fear visiting a dentist not because they are scared of the tools or the process of cleaning teeth, but because they hate what the dentist will think. They are worried about the dentist making fun of them or mocking you with their colleagues, but this simply isn’t true. It takes some time, but once you get over this fear of the dentist you’ll realise that your appearance and your teeth can make a world of difference to your life. Having great teeth will improve your confidence and make you more presentable at work and to your family. Dental products also make great gifts. Things like electronic toothbrushes and grooming sets are great to give to family members or to receive as a present because they are practical and can be used for the long term.
Now, let’s not forget to trim these. No one wants to shake your hand and have your nails dig into them, and no one likes to see you hand them an object and be afraid of getting cuts from your nails. You should keep them nice and short so that your hands are presentable and it also keeps germs and bacteria out of the spaces underneath your nails. There’s a great guide on how to properly cut your nails at http://www.wikihow.com/Cut-Your-Fingernails-and-Toenails, so it’s recommended you take a look.
We are by no means massive travellers, we've visited a few places and most of them hold special memories. From our first holiday as a couple, first family holiday or the first time the girls flew on a plane, they all have their place in our heart. One trip really stands out and that's Barcelona which was in February 2007. The plan was for us to enjoy a short break in the lovely Barcelona, just the two of us.
We had been trying for a baby for a little while, but not a long time. Mrs LADs had bought a pregnancy test while in the airport before we had left England but she decided not to tell me. After dropping our bags at the hotel before we head off to have a look around and grab some dinner she heads to the bathroom and a few minutes later comes out with a look on her face, straight away I can tell "We're having a baby!"
The words you'll never forget, the words that will change your whole World.
By this stage, we'd been a couple for 6 years and married for almost 3 years so we knew we were ready to start this next chapter.
Before we left for this little break we'd just had the news that the landlords wanted our flat back by the end of March. Laura at the time had said that these things happen for a reason and now we knew what that reason was.
Barcelona would always be in our memories.
Once the excitement had died down slightly we wanted to make the most of Barcelona and all that it had to offer. When we travel we get very organised and plan what we want to see and on which days.
The first place to visit in Barcelona is, of course, Gaudi's amazing La Sagrada cathedral which after over 100 years still isn't finished. It's a remarkable sight and you can visit many parts of the cathedral and around it, you'll find lots of gift shops and plenty of places to eat.
Being a massive football fan I couldn't visit Barcelona and not make a trip to Camp Nou. If you're a sports fan then you need to visit one of the iconic stadiums in the World. We didn't get to see a match but if you can then I would really recommend it.
We tried to fit in as much as possible so we visited the Sea Life centre, the Barcelona Zoo and enjoyed lot's of yummy food.
Barcelona is a city that will always hold a very special place in our hearts and in the next year or so we will try and visit again with the girls.
The team at Avis have produced its own Barcelona travel guide. It’s well worth looking at if you want some hints and tips for visiting the city.
If you plan on visiting then we'd suggest getting a car to hire so it makes it easier to get around, check out Car Hire in Barcelona and really enjoy Barcelona.
The article has been sponsored by AVIS
For a stress-free family holiday, preparation is key. Nobody wants to arrive at their dream destination, only to discover their hotel doesn’t allow children, they’ve got the wrong currency (it happens!), or their visa is invalid. Here are the main things you’ll need to remember to prepare, so your trip goes swimmingly.
Your best bet is to organise travel insurance immediately after you book your trip. This will mean that if your holiday is cancelled or postponed for whatever reason, you don’t lose out. You’ll always want to ensure that your children are covered in your policy as well - the only thing worse than a sick child on holiday is having to pay an arm and a leg for their treatment.
In the few weeks leading up to your trip, pay close attention to the exchange rates so you can ensure you’re getting the best rate for your money, and whatever you do, don’t wait until you’re at the airport - the premiums they charge are substantial. A prepaid currency card can be a really reassuring thing to have in your wallet, as it means you don’t have to carry vast sums of cash, and you can even pay for meals and trips with your card without paying your bank’s international charges.
Many holiday locations outside of the EU require a visa or visa waiver for all travellers. For example, America requires a visa waiver for everyone, including children, by law, which is easy and straightforward to fill in - all you have to do is visit the ESTA website before you travel and fill in the forms there. Failing to travel with a visa or waiver to many countries will result in not being allowed into the country, or leave you facing a hefty fine.
Check with your GP before you travel that everyone’s vaccinations are up to date, all boosters are in place, and seek advice on malaria or rabies treatment if you’re going to a country with concerns.
First things first, ensure all your passports are in date. It’s also important to check with the embassy of the country you’re visiting how much time needs to be left on the passport. For example, if you’re visiting the USA, there have to be at least six months left before the passport expires in order to enter the country.
Book your airport transfers, car hire (especially important for fun, family road trips), and any other expensive travel, such as internal flights or trains well in advance. This way you’ll ensure you get a good deal, and you won’t have the stress of organising it on arrival.
If you’re planning on flying or driving for long periods, you’re going to want to ensure you’ve got your kid’s entertainment sorted. Bring snacks, music, toys, books, colouring in, anything to keep them occupied, and with a bit of variety too. There’s nothing worse than a bored child on a long-haul flight, that’s for sure.
A smooth-running and a happy family holiday is all about the preparation beforehand, and then relaxation and enjoyment are all that are left when you arrive.
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to having a child. There will be an ever-growing list of tasks to accomplish, and it can feel like you don’t have much time to finish them all. From telling your parents to notifying your boss, then making home improvements and learning how to feed your child and how to deal with the mental stress of balancing work and family—it’s a tough time. However, it doesn’t need to be stressful and it certainly doesn’t need to take its toll on your health. Preparing for a newborn isn’t as difficult as some people make it out to be and they usually grossly exaggerate the situation. This article will go through the truths about having a newborn in the family and some of the steps you have to take to prepare yourself both mentally and physically. It will be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to sap away all of your strength and livelihood. So without further ado, here are a couple of tips, tricks and things to look out for when preparing yourself for a newborn in the family.
Learning About Pregnancy
Unless you like surprises and dealing with unexpected issues, it’s a good idea to check up on the pregnancy process. It can help put your mind at ease when the mother experiences issues, gets worried about certain things or starts to have problems with their body. You can also consider taking birth classes if you want to learn more about the stages of labour and what to expect. You can also take lessons in pain management if you are worried about complications that might arise or pains and aches that are the result of pregnancy. The actual delivery process also depends on the mother. For example, you can have natural births, water births, and delivery by c-section. There are many surprises that can happen during the pregnancy period, so make sure you’re prepared for everything that can happen and that you learn about all the stages of pregnancy so you can better understand how to deal with issues or how to react to certain things.
Learn From Other Mothers
There are plenty of online communities for mothers to discuss how to take care of their child and to get advice for various things. For example, you might be struggling to cope with something specific about pregnancy and without anyone to talk to, you can resort to online communities. Keep in mind that there are a huge variety of mothers on the internet so you’ll be able to get advice and share experiences with people all over the world. They can teach you how to deal with your newborn, the types of problems you might experience and how to deal with them, and how to stay positive throughout the entire process.
Getting Time Off
In most parts of the world, mothers are expected to take at least two weeks off of work following the birth of their child. In some cases, this can extend up to four weeks or more depending on the situation. However, many people don’t realise that fathers are also entitled to taking time off for paternity leave. There are many terms and conditions for the parents, and couples are also entitled to take parental leave off work to look after their child. This parental leave can be shared between both the mother and father, so you can essentially take turns with your partner deciding who should look after the child. Make sure that as soon as you know the expected date for your child to be born that you start making arrangements in regards to paternity and maternity. Make sure that you aren’t leaving it till the last minute because the entire process does take some time to finish, and you never want to be forced into work with no one to look after your child.
Get To Know Childcare Services
If you and your partner are busy couples that want to continue working, then you’re going to need to get in touch with childcare services around the city. Depending on what type of care you’re looking for, there are a variety of different services to choose from and you might be spoilt for choice depending on your preferences. For instance, there are some childcare services that are very professional but don’t offer a tailor-made service that accommodates your needs. Other services are much more personal and the carer that is assigned to you can live with your family or become close friends with you in order to provide the best care possible for your family. It’s an expensive investment, but it will be worth the money in the long run.
Babyproof Your Home
Your baby is going to need a lot of looking after at home. There are many hazards that could harm your children, such as stairs, sharp objects and loose shelves. You need to ensure that your child has the utmost protection at home and that your house is crawl-friendly. If possible, replace as much carpeting as possible with laminate or wooden flooring because it is easier to clean and there’s less chance of dust and small objects harming your child. Make sure you build a secure baby bed and try to dedicate a single room to your child as a nursery. When they grow older, you can turn it into a toddler’s bedroom. Decorate the nursery with bright and colourful wallpapers and toys, and remember to have a gate installed at important parts of your home such as for the kitchen and at the top of stairs.
Make sure you let other family members know that you’re expecting a child. Tell your other children, tell your parents, and notify your neighbours as well in case they are willing to help you look after your child or help you babysit. Some pets can also be trained with special pre-baby preparations. Your family members might offer to take care of your child as well, or they might donate some old furniture and products that are still usable to help you save money on baby expenses.
Get a Bag of Essentials Ready
You can ease your mind on your pregnancy by ensuring that you have an emergency bag prepared for any situation. When you stay at the hospital, you might want to consider bringing some comforts such as your phone, a tablet device, or even a book. Make sure you pack essentials such as medication, toiletries or even your own pillow. It’s important that you try to get as comfortable as you can when you’re in the hospital so that the birth goes smoothly. Make sure to pack an extra set of clothes too for when you leave the hospital and don’t be afraid of packing some additional baby clothes if you have them planned.
Stock Up On Baby Essentials
Think about all the different types of foods and feeding equipment you’ll need. Make sure you have bottles prepared for your baby and read up on breastfeeding if you plan to do that. Don’t feel pressured by other mothers or your friends and family to buy every single baby product under the sun. The basics you need are baby food, toiletries and clothing. You can also buy things such as baby car seats if you plan to drive around with your baby on a regular basis, and you might want to consider a breast pump to extract milk if you want to continue breastfeeding but don’t have the time to do so.
Parenting is tough for anyone, no matter how much experience you may have, and Mums and Dads alike know well the feeling of needing to get some time away. When it is the Dad’s turn to have a little unwinding time, there are actually plenty of options for what you can do. Of course, much of it depends on what your interests are, and what kind of friends you have, but there is plenty that most dads will agree constitutes some quality relaxation and unwinding time. In this post, we are going to look at some potential options for how Dads can unwind and relax when it’s their turn to have some time away from parenting.
One of the best things to do once you find yourself with the time is to simply talk - to your partner, to your friends, it really doesn’t matter, so long as you are talking. One of the things that happens with our modern, cut-off lives is that conversation becomes a thing of the past, quickly swallowed up by the business of every day life. But psychologists have shown time and again how it is that people benefit from regular, healthy conversation - and if you want to unwind properly, then considering having a deep conversation with someone is likely to work wonders for you. Consider this next time you find yourself with nothing to do.
Something most Dads can agree upon is that sports are a great way to get out of the house and enjoying yourself. There are a huge number of sports you might potentially enjoy playing, but if you are keen to shake things up a bit and go for something unique, why not try something you’ve never tried before? There are now places up and down the country where you can practice motorsport racing - something which most men haven’t tried, but would probably like to. Why not take your pals along and have a go at this interesting sport? You could even order motorsport trophies online here and hold a mini competition between you, just for fun, to see who is the best of the group.
If you have something of an artistic flair, then that is great news in terms of your spare time being filled, for one of the easiest ways to unwind during those moments is to create something from scratch. The great thing about this is that it really doesn’t matter what you actually create, so long as it is something you enjoy. Arts and crafts can provide you with hours of entertainment, and what’s more, you end up with something to show for it at the end of it. With some practice, you will soon find yourself producing many great works of art which you are able to give to your kids, your partner - or even just keep yourself. If you are looking for some way to fill the hours, then arts and crafts is one of your best options around.
Being a dad or a parent shouldn’t stop you buying a supercar anymore. Haven’t you heard? Now you get one with four seats, a killer engine and all the safety features you’d want in a family car. You can even get one that has a hybrid engine which is great if you’re trying to save money and the environment at the same time. However, that doesn’t mean you should automatically head out and buy a supercar, even if you can now afford one. At a certain point in your career, you probably will be able too. At least, you will if you can cut back spending in other areas. So, let’s look into the positives and negatives of purchasing a supercar.
He’s Having His Midlife Crisis
Sorry, there’s no way to shake this stigma. Dads who buy supercars immediately look like they are going through a phase and not a particularly attractive one. Essentially, people will think that you bought the car to make yourself feel and look younger. Unfortunately, it will do neither because while you might have a super fast car you probably won’t have the courage to drive it at such speeds. As well as this, you’ll feel young until you see a rich twenty-year-old cruising around in the same car and realise you look nothing like them.
What’s The Point?
Unless you live somewhere like Germany with zero speed limits, what’s the point in supercars? We know that LaFerrari has a top speed of roughly 217mph. Vrooom! We bet you’d have fun with that on the weekends. Except of course you wouldn’t because the fastest you can go legally on a UK road is 70mph. 77 if you’re pushing it to the very limit as all speed cameras are supposed to have a 10 percent leniency mark. But that’s just the problem isn’t it? There are very few stretches of road in the UK where you could even reach that speed. There’s too much traffic, too many cameras and too many turns. Your only option is to take the car to a track. But if you do that, you won’t be able to whizz it around a track for hours on end. This will quickly burn out the tires and end up costing your an absolute fortune. Speaking of cost…
You may be able to afford to buy the car but can you afford the insurance. More to the point, do you want to because if you think your insurance bill is high now, just wait? If you look at a site like Money Expert you can find the cost of insurance for any car. We guarantee a supercar will be thousands a year. That’s even if you’re keeping it in the garage all year around and making sure you don’t take it out in the rain. That’s another problem too. These cars, while expensive, are incredibly delicate. They’re not built like your typical road machine.
Well if you're a dad your main concern is probably always going to be safety. The good news is that supercars usually have the highest safety marks on the market. The braking distances are phenomenal. You can stop a Bugatti Veyron at close to stopping speed in just two metres. Imagine how fast you’d be able to stop it travelling at 70 MPH. You can say goodbye to any chance of car crashes that’s for sure. It’s not the only added safety feature either. There are plenty more that are almost exclusive to high-end sports cars such as having extra air bags for the back seats.
Living A Childhood Dream
There’s no way around it. If you buy a supercar, you will probably be living out on of your most treasured dreams from being a child. We all dreamed of cars when we were little, and we weren’t thinking about cruising around in a Volvo. Our minds were set on Porsches, Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Aston Martins. These were the cars we wanted to be parked on our future driveway. And if you reach a point where you can afford one, maybe you owe it to yourself to buy one.
There is a slight issue with the petrol on these vehicles. If you’re not travelling at the top speed, and you probably won’t be, you’re still going to need to refuel twice as much as you would in a saloon. So, if you are desperate to get your hands on a supercar, we recommend a hybrid. The BMW i8 is still a classic, looks futuristic and won’t cost you a fortune in fuel.