I"m Nige and I've been blogging for two years. I blog about parenting and DIY. I'm currently a Top 10 Daddy Blogger in the UK. I write about the ups and downs of having five children and my blog is there for them so that one day they can look back and read all about their adventures if they wish.
I have always thought that I was a good driver. Maybe not the best in the world, but I consider myself to be safe and aware of any potential dangers on the road. I have always tried to observe and have full concentration whilst driving, but I recently found out how wrong I was!
This is my daughter and myself finding out where we are going to drive to.
When I was approached by Ageas to be filmed whilst not only whilst I was driving, but also with 20 year old daughter driving too, I was curious to see the results!
Even though it’s been three years since she passed her driving test she has not driven since passing due to the fact that she went off to university and quite simply didn’t need a car. Secondly I have never been a passenger in the car while my daughter has driven. I’ll be honest, a little panic set in! This could be very interesting to say the least, and it’s all going to be captured on film!
The idea behind the campaign is to find out if we as parents are passing on bad driving habits to our children. Really? I can’t believe I have any bad driving habits, haha! Sadly I have more than I care to mention, but what made this just a little more nerve wracking was the fact that we had a member of the film crew in the back of car with us…or did we?
The film crew member who was in the car with us we were told was there for health and safety reasons. I remember saying ok and thinking that’s strange, but thought nothing more of it. However, it turned out I should have been suspicious because she was actually a qualified driving instructor observing all of my daughter and I’s bad driving habits! I was soon about to find out all about my bad driving habits!
We were given our destination and the car was all decked out with cameras to film us. It was decided that my daughter, Emily, would drive to our destination with me navigating. This in itself is not the best idea, as I will openly admit that I’m not good with my left and right so giving her directions is solely based upon instructions such as that lane, over there and lots of hand gestures! However, we did manage to get there in one piece with just the odd moment of difficulty and just the one near miss!
My impression of the entire experiment of passing on my bad driving habits to my children is that sadly yes, I believe I have! My daughter, Emily, has watched me driving since she was a little girl and there is no doubt that some of my bad habits have been passed onto her from just observing me driving for many years. One great example of this is that I tend to drive with just one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the gearstick. This is something that Emily did a lot of whilst driving.
Emily’s observation skills were also brought into question, and again this something that I am guilty of at times. There is no doubt that after years of watching me drive that I have passed on plenty of bad driving habits.
It was a bit surprising to discover that we were also being observed by a trained driving instructor, and hearing her comments afterwards was a real eye opener for my daughter and I.
Here is our selfie with Nicole the undercover driving instructor
Ageas have put together a video of bloggers, Jo (Slummy Single Mummy), Ali (Mum in a Nutshell) and myself, with our children driving, and it makes for really interesting viewing. In fact it feels just like the #driveofyourlife Check out the full video here.
Ageas - How do drivers act with an undercover driving instructor watching? | Bad Driving Habits - YouTube
You can also check out the full video of my daughter Emily and I, which I found at times hysterical, and I found watching it back that it’s me that could do with some refresher lessons! Check out our full video here.
Ageas - Nigel and Emily drive to Barry Island! | Bad Driving Habits - YouTube
You can also view Jo and her daughter driving here and Ali and her son driving here.
There is also some bloopers videos which you can view here and here.
My daughter Emily and Myself are also featured on Ageas Uk website here.
Disclosure: This post was produced in collaboration with Ageas uk. All thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.
As your family grows we are all looking for more room within our home. Rooms that felt large when you moved in all those years usually without children, begin to feel like the walls are closing in and getting smaller by the day.
It can also be nice to have somewhere where you can create a space that is for entertaining or somewhere your children can go when their friends come to visit. We all know what teenagers especially are like. They don’t like sitting in the same room as their parents and talking to their friends while their parents listen to the entire conservation, and quite honestly I don’t blame them. I’m not sure I want to hear their conservations either!
So a great way to create a new room that doesn’t break the bank is a conservatory and more importantly it doesn’t have all the restrictions of planning permission. The perfect solution!
The cost of a conservatory can be quite expensive if it is done by a builder or a company that specialises in conservatory buildings. So while I was searching online for a cost effective way of installing a conservatory I came across DIY Conservatories and what a fantastic idea! You can completely build your own conservatory saving you the cost of a builder or someone similar to install your conservatory.
Creating that extra room can be so important to give some extra space for all the family and building your own conservatory can be a fraction of the cost when you can do it all yourself.
Having the extra room as a conservatory can be lovely, also to sit during those months with the warm air flowing through the open doors late into the evening with friends.
You can of course use a conservatory as a playroom if you have small children, and it’s a perfect way to empty the lounge of all the children’s toys.
Adding a conservatory to your home can be very beneficial in creating and adding space to your home.
When you have five children, as I do it’s always difficult to decide what is best type of flooring to have in your home. The main reason being is that you want something that is hard wearing, but also attractive to look at.
So, here are three types of floor coverings that are used regularly up and down the country along with my opinion on each of them.
There is no doubt that carpets are lovely. When you walk into a room and your feet are wrapped up by a beautiful deep pile carpet, it’s lovely, but when you have six year old twin girls, as I do, who are forever dropping drinks or crumbs, we’re forever having to clean the carpets ourselves or hire a specialist carpet cleaner to hopefully remove all the stains.
2. Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring to me offers everything for a busy modern home, especially one with small children, like we have. Our six year old twin girls don’t seem to have an off button and as I mentioned before, the times they spill drinks, well, I have lost count!
This is where vinyl flooring really comes into its own. While searching online I came across vinyl flooring essex and I was genuinely surprised how far vinyl flooring has come. It combines the beauty of a real wood floor or a stone floor. But the the convenience of easy cleaning when there is a spillage which believe me there always is in our home.
Another factor is that wood or stone floors can be very noisy when they are walked on. With vinyl flooring you have the look but none of the noise.
3. Stone Floors
Stone floors definitely are very classic looking, but for me they are very cold to walk on and can if they are in the wrong create echos with the noise they make.
After a lot of research into what would suit my home with my flooring needs and with the fact that I will need to replace the floors very soon I have decided that vinyl flooring is the way forward for our family.
I would love to know what type of flooring suits your floor.
When deciding on have an extension to your home there are many things you need to do. For starters you need to have a clear plan of exactly what you want your extension to achieve.
It’s important to decide if it’ll be a single story extension, or if you live in a two story house, if it’s going to be a two story extension.
Here are a few tips that I think are useful, and also some very important things that should be kept in mind during the planning stages. If you have a vision of exactly how it should look once it’s finished, that’s great, but keep yourself open to change because sadly your vision might not always be possible.
1. Finding An Architect
The first thing to do is find yourself a good architect. This is really important, and it’s the best way to try to find somebody that can put your idea into practice. I would say that it’s important if you can to get an architect who is recommended to you so that you know what their work is like and that they’re reliable, and up for the job.
2. Planning Permission
Once the design of your extension is finalised make sure that all of the right planning permission is obtained from your local council. Once that’s done you can move onto the next step.
3. Finding A Builder
This can be a nightmare, and I would highly recommend that you get a few builders to quote the job. It’s also important to note that the cheapest quote is not necessarily the best one. If you can get a builder recommended to you then that is a huge bonus. If you can take a look at their previous work, even better!
Once those three important steps are taken you can move onto the actual building of your extension. If you’ve decided on a single story extension to the rear of your property with a roof, remember that light will be reduced to your original back room. A great way around this is to install cheap roof lanterns. Not only do they look very stylish, they will also give lots of light to the original back room.
I would also say if you are just doing the single story extension, pay extra for the work needed so that if you want to increase it to a two storey extension one day, it will be a lot less hassle in the future.
Finally remember that you are building your extension for the benefit of your family so make sure that you think and plan everything carefully.
So there are a few tips to help. If you have any tips, I would love to hear.
Since I had a stroke a couple of months ago there have been changes that I have had to make to lots of aspects of my life and lifestyle. Changes that I didn’t think I was going to be making, but if I want to keep going a bit longer and watch all of my children grow up and settle in their lives, it simply was a no-brainer.
One of first things that needed changing was to give up smoking. This has not been an easy task for me, because I’m a life long smoker, but thankfully where I live the NHS offers free support and products to enable you to give up, so currently I’m on nicotine patches, and so far they are doing the trick. Whatever happens the smoking has to stop, and hopefully this will help my blood pressure in bringing it down to a more acceptable level.
Another massive change for me is the amount of medication that I currently have to take. I am having to take 8 tablets a day which is a very strange feeling for me, because before the most I would take would be paracetamol for the occasional headache.
Nowadays I am taking three different tablets for blood pressure, a very large dose of a blood clotting agent, and one for blood cholesterol, as well as a couple of others that I’m not sure what they do!
With this amount of medication to take it’s important to me that I know what I’m taking and when, because having suffered a stroke, which I do not want to repeat, it’s important to get the medication exactly right.
As such it was incredibly convenient when Plan Smart offered me the opportunity to try out their medication/supplement chart. This is just what I need to keep control of my medication.
The chart itself is actually brilliant. It’s the perfect size to fit on my fridge and comes with three different coloured pens with a rubber attached. Ultimately it’s a white board which is perfect because over the next few weeks and months my medication is going to change, so the chart will be a great way to make sure I’m taking all the right doses at the right time of day.
I have been filling it out at the beginning of the week and as each tablet is taken I am able to wipe it off and feel confident that I am taking my medication properly. As you can see from the picture, it was very easy to list what I need to take daily and at what time of the day, and mark it as taken on a daily basis. A very useful chart to make sure all of my medication is taken properly.
Exercise is also on my agenda. Over recent years, sadly life has become busy, and doing any form of exercise was pushed into second place. It is my mission to change this, and I intend to take up running which was always been my preferred form of exercise. Maybe at some point I will look at joining a gym as well.
Eating healthy without a doubt has not been one of my stronger traits over the years. I love fast food and in particular the chip shop! However, the time has come to reduce the salt and sugar in my diet. It’s time for some healthy vegetables and some lovely home cooked food.
The Plan Smart board is a massive help in making sure that I take my medications correctly. It’s priced at, £14.95 and is incredibly versatile, and can be purchased online here. I would highly recommend it.
Luxury cars obviously cost much more than ordinary cars do, they also require the utmost care and attention so that they will operate properly. Using improper equipment to maintain a luxury car will ultimately shorten its lifespan and negate the decision to purchase a luxury car in the first place.
However, the following tools will help you to give your luxury car the attention it deserves so that it will continue to give you the ride of your life for years to come.
1. Power Washer
If you invested the money to purchase a luxury vehicle then there is no doubt that you would want to show it off. To keep the exterior of your car looking as fabulous as the day it did when you brought it home consider using a power washer.
However, choose your desired power washer with care, as not all makes and models are suitable to be used on vehicles. You will want to make sure that the model you employ does not exert excessive pressure that may chip your car’s paint. If you are not sure which power washer may be the best option, then check out www.directpowerdeals.com. This website provides copious amounts of information including power washer advice as well as reviews.
2. Premium Oil
Changes your car’s oil frequently has been known to greatly increase the longevity of every car. However, for your luxury car consider going a step further and purchasing premium specially designed oil that will help your car to perform at peak levels throughout its life. Saving money on cheap oils may actually hurt your car in the long run. It is important that you put the best chemicals and materials in your car so that it can operate at its best.
3. Air Compressor
Driving at high speeds or for extended periods of times may lead to a decrease in tyre pressure. Your car will not be able to drive as fast nor as smoothly as it can when the tyres are at full volume, so it is important to always monitor your car’s tire pressure.
If you invest in an air compressor then you will have the ability to inflate the tires to the proper pressure at any time making sure that your luxury car is always performing at its best.
4. Ratchet and Short U-Joint Sockets
Ratchets and short u-joint sockets will help you to tighten all the bolts that need to be tightened. Loose bolts on a car can prove disastrous if they are not tended to immediately. Consider purchasing a ratchet with a bent or movable head to help you to reach into tight places easily and comfortably.
5. Leather Cleaner
Most luxury cars have leather seats which are unfortunately very pesky to maintain. Consider investing in a premium leather cleaner solution that is specially formulated to tackle any stain your leather seats may encounter. While the exterior and inner workings of your car are incredibly important to keep intact, you also cannot forget about your car’s interior. Using leather cleaner is one way to keep your interior looking as sleek and sophisticated as the day you bought your car.
Luxury cars may be more difficult to maintain but that does not mean that they are impossible. Hopefully, the above tools will help you take maintaining all aspects of your luxury car into your own hands.
The other most important tool you will have to make sure that you are ready to utilize is time. Luxury cars tend to need more times for things to be repaired properly and they also just need to be given more time so that they look and drive as well as they possibly can.
With time and all the above-mentioned tools, you will be well on your way to maintaining your luxury car in a pristine state for years to come.
We need to start off by saying, there is no doubt at all that becoming a father is one of the best things that will ever happen/has happened to you in your life. The joy you’ll feel knowing that you’ve got a little boy or girl that is yours, and the love you will feel is like nothing else. From the moment they’re born, they’ll have your undivided attention, and you might think nothing of it. But as they grow, your undivided attention makes you forget about the attention that you should be giving yourself. You might walk around the shops and see something, and instantly think your children will like it. But how many times do you do that for yourself, and actually buy the thing you like? We know it’s going to be few and far between, so we’re here to try and encourage you to treat yourself for once, and we’ve got some great ideas on how you can do just that!
There are a lot of articles out there that suggest the mother should be the one who gets to go out for a nice day with their friends, which they absolutely should! There’s no arguing that the mom is the glue that holds the family together, but that’s not to say that the dads don’t deserve a bit of friend time as well. As you grow older and you all start your own families, it’s notoriously hard to meet up with friends, which can actually leave you feeling rather isolated. So, we’re going to suggest that you that you get your friends together once a month, and try to do something that you all like doing, that gets you away from normal family life. It’s a great way to have some fun, see people you won’t get to see that often, and enjoy life!
It’s sometimes the little treats that you’re missing out on, that are going to make you the happiest in life. Think of your most prized possession, apart from your family. Most dads will immediately say their car, and there’s plenty of treats you can give that to make you both happy. One of them is definitely going to be a private number plate. It’s a great way of personalising your car, and adding a little bit of class to it, no matter what make or model you have. So what are you waiting for, find your perfect private number plate! There’s many other treats that you can give yourself, if you’re into gaming, it could be the newest gaming system for you to enjoy. We know these are expensive, but it’s a one off treat that’s going to make you super happy.
A Dad Room
This is the ultimate treat that you just might not ever be able to get. A dad’s room filled of all of the things you love to do, or just a room for you to escape to when you need a bit of peace of quiet. You’re obviously going to need a spare room, and the permission of your other half, but it could be a lovely treat for y
After nine months of pregnancy and waiting for your baby to be born, once your new baby has entered the world, life is turned on its head and time becomes a premium because you simply don’t have enough time to do anything. It’s all about the baby and let’s be fair they are incredibly time consuming. With all the feeding, changing nappies etc, it’s full on, and of course if it’s your first baby it can be very overwhelming.
Lots of things that you had time to do like long leisurely lie-ins on a Sunday morning or a shower that you are able take as long as you like, all become a thing of the past.
Although it is easy to allow time to control you, it is also important to take a step back and try to enjoy becoming a parent, especially if it is your first time. To remember those wonderful first moments of being a parent and capture the memories with images that will last a lifetime, and it’s also nice to have it done professionally by a photographer such as Essex newborn photographer. You will always be able to look back at them with joy in your heart.
A professional photographer can capture the perfect images, and of course you can have them enlarged and framed to hang on the wall in your home.
I remember how difficult it was to get the perfect picture, especially if you are using a phone and of course if you are anything like me not great at composing a perfect picture so having a professional photographer to direct you to capture the perfect image is worth every penny in my opinion.
It is so important to capture those wonderful moments of your children when they are babies, as they grow so quickly and with limited time you will forget how cute your little ones were.
Have you had photos taken by a professional photographer when your children were newborns? I would love to hear.
When you are the father of five children, the one thing that usually ends up costing you is school trips.
The day trips are always there, but as your children enter high school nowadays the options to go on organised school sport tours is most definitely a very important part of school life.
All three of my older children have been lucky enough to be able to take advantage of the opportunity of going on a school trip that involved their favourite sport.
Some of the trips that they have gone on include.
1. Skiing trip
My eldest has always been very sporty so when the chance to go on a winter skiing trip to Austria was presented to her, she jumped at the chance. That is after asking dad for the money to pay for it! I went on a skiing trip when I was in high school and loved it, so I had no problem letting her go and I knew she would have a brilliant time, which of course she did.
2. Football Trip
My second eldest child had a huge passion for football and also was actually a really good player representing her country, Wales, at different age levels, and she was certainly the star of her school team. So when the school organised a football trip to France to play some local teams in a mini tournament I felt it was a just reward for all her wonderful achievements playing football.
3. Rugby tour
Many high schools nowadays organise rugby tours for about a week where the children travel abroad and play in mini tournaments and it can help improve their game against good quality opponents, as well as learn a little of a new language.
School sport trips are now very much part of the high school curriculum where our children at a certain age learn to be a little bit independent of us parents, as well as it being educational and character building.
As a parent I always worry when my children are near by, but if they are on an organised school trip under the care of teachers, it’s perfect for me, and also I know that they are in safe hands.
Do you allow your children to go on organised school trips? I would love to hear.