Fitness for Fatherhood: What does it mean?

Ever since I decided to start a segment on the blog dedicated to fitness related issues, and decided to call it ‘Fitness for Fatherhood’, I have been wondering whether I really ought to define what exactly that means to me.


To me, Fitness for Fatherhood is really just fitness for life. The ability to lead an extremely active and healthy lifestyle so that I can get the most out of being a father, and so that I can give the most to Erin to help her grow and develop and so that she, and I, can be all the happier for it.

However, I have also given some thought as to what areas I believe a father ought to focus on in order to be, you guessed it, fit for fatherhood.

Area 1 – Cardiovascular fitness
This I believe is the most important area of any fitness plan. Cardio keeps the weight off, it keeps the heart and lungs working properly and can also keep you alive if zombies come (Thank you very much Columbus). In terms of being a dad it means I will be able to run around with Erin at the park for hours, or take part in her school sports days. Luckily I cycle a lot and run a lot so my Cardio fitness is already pretty good. Massive room for improvement that I will hopefully see as I start to drop the weight.

Area 2 – Physical strength
Any parent will know that when you have kids you end up lugging, or pushing, a lot of heavy stuff around with you. Physical strength is obviously going to be important. I am lucky in that I am already pretty strong and my arms tend to gain definition quite quickly through dumbbell work at home. I believe you can be strong without hefting huge weights or looking like Johnny Bravo. It is important to give equal time to the whole body when it comes to resistance work for all over body strength.

Area 3.- Mental health and sleep
This is an area that is easy to overlook amidst the daily grind but is probably as important as the physical side. As a father I know I will need vast amounts of energy to cope with a little bundle of craziness that is a toddler and then later. I want to be the sort of dad who bounces out of bed to take his daughter to the park on a Saturday morning.- not one who tells his daughter no because I am too tired. I therefore need to try to take a good amount of sleep every night so that I am raring to go the next day.

These are just my thoughts about what Fitness for Fatherhood actually means. Stay tuned to hear about some of the exercise I have been doing and my short term and long term goals.

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Making Bath Time Fun & Giveaway

Erin has had a bit of a strange relationship with bath time in her 10 months. When she was newborn she absolutely hated baths. She would scream so loud that next door heard her. Then, she started to realise baths could be fun and that she could splash about. Now it’s all changed again!

In an attempt to make bath time more fun for Erin we turned to NubyUK for some help.

The first bath toys we tried were the Nuby Squirters Bath Time Toys. These are suitable from 3 months and cost £7.99 for a pack of 8. The squirters are a range of bright, colourful water animals that can squirt out water from their mouths.

Erin seems to favour the purple octopus but the blue shark is definitely my favourite!

Next up is the Baby Bath Foam Letters & Numbers By Nuby. These are aimed at children a bit older than Erin so I was slightly worried that she wouldn’t care too much about them. I was wrong though!

Erin loved chomping on the letters and numbers, and also chasing them around the bubbles. The other night John was placing them on the side of the bath and Erin was pulling them all off again!

Erin’s bath times have become a lot more fun since we started letting her have these toys to play with. She doesn’t cry quite as much apart from when she has to get out!

The lovely people at Nuby have provided a fabulous bath bundle for us to giveaway to one lucky reader!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

T&C: Entrants must be 18 or over and live in the UK. The winner will be drawn on 7th November and will have 48 hours to respond to our email. If there is no response in this time another winner will be chosen. All entries will be checked.

Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with NubyUK as part of our role as a brand rep. However, all opinions are our own. 

Like this post? Give it a share! – Tailor Made Dog Food

When got in touch and asked if Jackson would like to trial their food, of course, we said ‘woof woof’ or yes please in English!

Tails offer tailor-made dog kibbles, which is what sets them apart from other dog food companies. They understand that each dog is different and each dog has different needs. Because of that, come up with a blend of food 100% tailored to your dog. This also means the price is tailored to your dog as well! make it really easy to get a mix of food to suit your dog’s needs. On their website they ask all kinds of questions such as the dog’s breed, age, exercise length and what treats they might have during the day, amongst other things. Dietary requirements are also taken into account. You can be assured that cover all of your dog’s needs!

When Jackson’s food got delivered it came in two bags, which I much preferred over one big bag. It made it a lot easier for me to carry and also a lot easier to store. As the food is tailored to your dog, you also get information on how much to feed them and how often.



Jackson’s food came with a plastic measuring jug (which you fold together) and instructions on which settings to use, making sure he was fed the right amount each day. John and I both thought that it didn’t look like enough food for him, compared to what we had been feeding him. We feed Jackson one of these jug fulls twice a day!

Jackson has been eating the same food for well over a year now. I was a little worried about how he would take to a new brand of food.



As you can see from the pictures, he happily eats this new food. He also wants more when he is done! This isn’t because he’s still hungry though (although dogs are always hungry), it’s because he loves it!


Jackson’s 12.3kg of food, which should last him a month, costs us £25.25. This is more than what we used to pay for his food but I don’t think it’s overly expensive, especially for what you get.

The website is so easy to use as well, which is always a bonus. You can choose when your deliveries of food are sent, you can pause your subscription if you like. You can also order more food if you need it.


Still not sure whether food is for you and your dog? Why not try a two week trial for only £1 delivery. Use the code MEHIMTHEDOGANDABABY for your free trial!

Disclaimer: We were sent a month’s free trial of this product for review. All opinions are our own. 

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BIC and the British Illustrated Chronicle

Now and again I come across something a bit different that catches my eye. This time it was something magical created by something as simple as a pen and some paper; the British Illustrated Chronicle or B.I.C. for short (created by BIC).


Unlike a regular newspaper, the B.I.C. was created using the BIC 4 colour pens. I used to use these way back when I was in secondary school and I still love them now. This is why I was so interested in this! When I was at school using laptops, phones or tablets was not an option. Now though, ‘over a quarter of children (26%) in Year 6, aged 10-11 years are not meeting the expected standard in handwriting’. How shocking is that?

The B.I.C. was developed with teens in mind to encourage handwriting. The result is stunning!


It’s really hard to believe that these pages were written and drawn using the BIC 4 colour pens. No computers were used, no paints… nothing but the pens!


The illustrations in the B.I.C. took a whopping 109 hours collectively.

46 pens were used to create the B.I.C.

There are over 4000 handwritten words in the B.I.C.

There was only 116,000 copies printed!

Before the final version, there was 27 drafts!



I am honestly so impressed with the B.I.C. I am rubbish at drawing but I have a massive love of pens and stationary. It’s amazing to think what you can create with just one pen.

Keep an eye on my INSTAGRAM account over the next few days where I’ll be giving away a copy of the B.I.C.

Disclaimer: BIC sent us the B.I.C for review. All opinions are our own. 


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Gourmio Italian Food Boxes

Since we found I was pregnant John and I cut way back on going out for meals. Since Erin being born I can count on half a hand how many meals we have been out for. In 10 months, that’s not a lot at all. Something we both love though is Italian food and we both miss going out to eat it!

When I discovered Gourmio, I was excited. Gourmio is not a food subscription box but instead are a ‘ready-to-cook recipe box’. Gourmio provide all of the ingredients needed to cook traditional Italian dishes in the comfort of your own home. This was exactly what John and I needed. I’m a bit useless at thinking of new things for us to eat and I can never be bothered with a whole load of strange ingredients. Not only do Gourmio provide everything you need to make the meals but also super simple recipe cards.



We were sent a variety of dishes from the range available online and we didn’t waste much time cooking them, with two recipes being devoured the very night it got delivered.

Patate con robiola di Roccaverano (£4.90)
Oven roasted potatoes with Roccaverano Robiola Cheese




Lasagne con radicchio, Fontina e Gorgonzola (£16.50)
Lasagne with radicchio, PDO Fontina and PDO Gorgonzola






Brasato di aletta di fassona (£15.60)
‘Ember-grilled’ Fassona beef pot roast





Crostata (£5.90)
Chef’s crostata pie with apricot



The lasagne and potatoes were really rich and creamy and these were definitely the favourites for me and John. Teamed with the pie, this made a lovely meal for us on a Friday evening! In less than an hour we’d managed to cook something delicious, different and completely hassle free. Sometimes I get quite flustered cooking something different but Gourmio made it super simple!

Initially, I thought the boxes and meals were quite expensive. However, I’ve changed my mind now. If we were to order a side, main and dessert that would cost roughly £25. For us to go out and how a meal like this would cost a lot more especially when you factor in train fares etc. The food is delicious and there was more than enough for the two of us.

You can either order one of Gourmio’s boxes that are already put together or you can build your own menu and have a variety of dishes! There’s loads to choose from and after enjoying these so much, I know we’d like the other options available.

Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with Gourmio but all opinions are our own. 

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JuliaBFit Fitness Rockstars – Spotlight Interview

Recently we had the opportunity to become a part of the Julia Buckley Fitness Rockstars collective. If you haven’t heard of this before then this is what it’s all about:

‘The Fitness Rockstars are a collective of people with a mission to make the world a healthier, happier place.

We’re not professional athletes, or even what many would consider typical “fitness people”, but we all appreciate the privilege of having the ability to move our bodies and we’ve all experienced having our worlds rocked by the astounding difference fitness and health has made to our lives.’

I’ve never really liked working out in the gym but if you’ve read my Fitness for Fatherhood posts then you’ll know I really want to get fit again. Julia’s Online Gym is the perfect thing for me as I don’t have to feel self conscious about working out!

fitness rockstars

So, in order to get to know some of the other members better, Julia asked us to answer some questions for a bit of fun!

1. For me, fitness is all about: Staying healthy in order to prolong my life, and to maintain the ability to live as active a life as possible for as long as possible. It is also about having fun.

2. I get most excited to do my workout when: The weather is nice if I am training outside, or if I am training towards a specific purpose and I can see that I am making progress.

3. When a workout really pushes me to my limit, I think to myself: I couldn’t do this a year ago, I am going to do this again tomorrow and push that little bit harder.

4. I’m most likely to skip my workout if: I am feeling down for whatever reason, or if I don’t feel I am making progress.

5. In a group fitness session I’ll be the one who: Stays quiet but works hardest, in my own way.

6. The item of exercise equipment I’d most hate to go without is: My dumbbells as they are the only equipment I own.

7. The last thing I usually do before starting my workout is: Have a stretch out.

8. My top 5 workout music tracks are: Insomnia by Faithless, Wretches and Kings by Linkin Park, Till I collapse by Eminem, Any Dubstep, Coming Undone by Korn

9. If I start feeling meh about fitness I give myself a boost by: Signing up to a running race or cycling event. Find someone I can workout with.

10. The most important thing I’ve learned about fitness in the last year is: How hard it is to gain and how easy it is to lose.

If, like me, you want to do something a bit different, be sure to check out the JuliaBFit online gym for yourself and see what’s on offer! 

You can also follow our journey with Julia, and the other Rockstars on social media by searching #FitnessRockstars

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

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Book review: How the Duke Was Won by Lenora Bell

DukeJames, the scandalously uncivilized Duke of Harland, requires a bride with a spotless reputation for a strictly business arrangement. Lust is prohibited and love is out of the question.
Four ladies. Three days. What could go wrong?

She is not like the others…
Charlene Beckett, the unacknowledged daughter of an earl and a courtesan, has just been offered a life-altering fortune to pose as her half-sister, Lady Dorothea, and win the duke’s proposal. All she must do is:
* Be the perfect English rose 
* Breathe, smile, and curtsy in impossibly tight gowns 
* Charm and seduce a wild duke 
* Keep said duke far, far from her heart 

When secrets are revealed and passion overwhelms, James must decide if the last lady he should want is really everything he needs. And Charlene must decide if the promise of a new life is worth risking everything . . . including her heart.


When it comes to Regency romances I tend to have my favourite authors. When I got sent How the Duke Was Won (The Disgraceful Dukes) I hadn’t heard of Lenora Bell before. However, I’m always on the lookout for new authors in this genre as there aren’t really that many!

How the Duke Was Won started off very differently to other books in this genre. Protagonist Charlene is a ‘common’ girl from Covent Garden, the area known for brothels! She’s definitely not your regular Lady. In fact, she was the complete opposite. I certainly haven’t read about any woman in this genre who knows self-defense. I loved Charlene, her character was so full of fire and humour!

The plot really revolves around James, the Duke of Harland and his search for a wife. He’s been living overseas for a while but knows he has to live up to his title. I was a bit unsure about James for quite a while to be honest. He invites four ladies to his home, at the same time, to see which of them are suitable! Charlene, not actually being a lady at all steps in to impersonate her half sister, Lady Dorothea, and win the Duke’s heart on her behalf.

How the Duke Was Won was a really fun book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. However, as you can probably guess with a name such as Charlene popping up, it’s not terribly historically accurate. Now, I’m not a historian so I don’t really care but I can see things like this annoying some people.

How the Duke Was Won is the first book in The Disgraceful Dukes series. The second book, If Only I Had a Duke is out now as well!

How the Duke Was Won was released by Piatkus on 26th May 2016.

Buy on Amazon!

Disclaimer: We were sent this book for review. All opinions are our own. 

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Storytime Saturday: Gordon’s Great Escape

Storytime Saturday a weekly blog feature showcasing any new books we’ve been reading with Erin, reviewing picture books and talking about our monthly library haul! Basically, Storytime Saturday is all about books! This week we’re talking about Gordon’s Great Escape by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet.


Follow Gordon the Balloon on his adventures around the world; learning new things, meeting people and avoiding all the dangers which come with being a balloon. Gordon is having a great time travelling with the circus when a storm hits their ship, leaving them stranded on an island! What will they do? Lost in the middle of the ocean and with no means of escape, it’s up to Gordon to save the day.


If there is something the majority of children like, it’s a balloon! They get them at birthday parties, restaurants give them out after meals and they’re used for all kinds of promotional reasons. A balloon is something most children will instantly recognise so what better to use for a story.

Gordon the balloon is such a cute character. I really enjoyed seeing him start off has an uninflated balloon is his little packet and grow to be the Gordon balloon that he turns in to. Gordon makes friends along the way and even manages to join a circus and go on a big adventure. However, he and his circus get stranded when their ship sinks and it’s all down to Gordon to save the day.



I honestly loved this book. The story is just plain fun, with a bit of drama in the middle! The illustrations are so bright and colourful. Erin was transfixed while I was reading this to her. She kept reaching out for the pages each time I turned one.

We’ve discovered a fair few new picture books just recently but this is by far one of my favourites. I just loved everything about it!

Published by Simon & Schuster on 20th October 2016

Disclaimer: We were sent this book for review but all opinions are our own! 

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Fitness for Fatherhood: No Magic Formula

It is fairly easy for most people to think about what they need to do to lose weight or to improve their fitness level. In theory, or on paper, the process of losing weight is a simple mathematical calculation – burn more energy than you consume. Many diets try to make it seem more complicated than that but it really isn’t – at least not to me.


Of course, I am no expert but I think if you stick to this basic premise – and try to limit your intake of saturated fat and sugar, try to have at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day, drink plenty of water, then fitness doesn’t need to be more complicated than that.

I think it is important not to cut out all of the things you like. There is nothing worse than feeling like you are on prison rations. There is no need to punish yourself. You will know where the balance is. A little of what you like can be what motivates you to be good the rest of the time.

Exercise is the hard bit for most people. Depending on your physical capability you may or may not be able to do heavily aerobic or cardiovascular exercise that is going to burn the calories and, more importantly, shift the fat. Running is really the best exercise followed closely by swimming as both use all of your body at once. Swimming has the benefit of toning as you go but I still think running is a better calorie burner.

Although I am rather on the heavy side, I have never completely lost my ability to run. So I will be able to really attack this thing, both with the eating and the exercise.

Now, the talk is over. Time to get fit for Fatherhood!!

(All views expressed here are my own opinions).

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Product review: HappyCalc Maths Puzzle

When I was growing up, I was never very good at maths. In fact, I was terrible at it. So much so that I had to have a tutor for 6 weeks before my GCSE exam. I never would have passed without him! When FunComet got in touch to tell me about the HappyCalc Space Puzzle, I was intrigued.


What got me about this puzzle was that it is supposed to be a fun way of learning maths, from 1-10. Obviously, Erin is only 10 months old so she did not do this puzzle with me. I got to test it out all on my own. In other words, I got to go back to being a child and have some fun with a puzzle!

I was so surprised at how many pieces there are with this puzzle. A MASSIVE 138. Now, don’t go getting overwhelmed by this because things are easily solved (haha, maths pun) by just sorting things out into piles!

Now, something I will say is that if you want to use all 138 pieces in one go, you’ll need a very large space. Luckily, I played with  tested this in our dining room so I had plenty of room to spread out.


There are so many different things that you can do with the HappyCalc puzzle. If you want to, you can build one massive space station. If you want to, you can build little rockets and and a separate space station. Along with the super fun space puzzle pieces, there is obviously some maths to do at the same time.


The puzzle comes with quite a few different numbers ranging from 1-10. When you put the numbers into the puzzle, the numbers you’re adding up go on one side and what they add up to goes on the right. See the above rocket as an example!


I quite happily sat and played with this puzzle by myself for a good half an hour. I can imagine a child you sit for quite a while making their own maths space station! I think this would be really fun to do with a friend as there is more than enough pieces for two!

Priced at $49 (roughly £39 at the time of writing this review) this certainly isn’t the cheapest puzzle/ toy on the market. However, aimed at children aged 3+, it will last a long time! The puzzle is made from tough cardboard too so it’s not flimsy and it won’t break or snap easily.

You can purchase the HappyCalc puzzle HERE!

Disclaimer: We were sent this product for review. All opinions are our own. 

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