Approaching 50? Have the time of your life!

Cardigans and checked shirts anyone?

Approaching 50, what does that even entail? Checked shirts, cardigans and a spot of gardening?. For me it doesn’t, I don’t even like gardening. Yes maybe a cardy but they CAN be worn with style. When I was a 20 something I used to look at my parents and think damn I can’t even imagine being 45! But now I’m almost there I do think, it’s actually just a number. Every year that goes by gradually getting closer to the big 5 0, it is just the number of years I have been alive on this planet. It’s not me, not the real me. The real me is having clothing theme changes at the drop of a hat. The real me is they guy that tries to look stylish no matter what I wear. In my mind I’m still 18, I laugh and joke with the kids and hide behind doors to make them jump. The banter in our house between me and the wife is still the same when we met at 18.

50 years of excitement ready to blow

What am I going to do when I’m 50! Well I won’t be worrying, head in hands in despair. I am excited, there will be a celebration of some kind. Filled and surrounded with the love of family and friends. Invitations Will be sent, and they certainly won’t reflect the age that they are the purpose for. Like these from
Paperless post

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That’s what ‘lll be doing not celebrating my 50th alone, but celebrating life as a whole and the years leading to this point


Invites you can send online, there is no limit to how you can contact  people to share your celebration. Dashes of decor in Red (being my favourite colour) and gold, feminine I hear some people shout. Who cares! I’ll be shouting back. Just because I’m getting closer to 50 does that mean I have to reflect back on the past every five minutes? Hell no, I’ll be looking to the future with the onset of our own company.

Middle age success, take it now!

As the great Andrew Carnegie said: Most men don’t succeed till they are way past the age of 40.

And in my case that’s true, I think I have way more get up and go and ambition than I did years ago. I am fast becoming fitter than I was, I have done 10k runs, a half marathon and now training for a full marathon with 3 stone weight loss to boot. And I want to celebrate that fact with the people that have helped me get there. Imagine having pictures adorned around your party venue, depicting the smiles from the faces of the people captured in moments of your life. You can make that possible, and with Invitations that you can design yourself paperless post can make that possible too.

Don’t think of your self getting old, think of it as gaining more experience and access to better lessons in life. Approaching 50? You are in your prime kind sir! You are the vision of mother natures beauty madame! And with that comes a responsibility, the responsibility to not hold back. The responsibility to live your life how you want and to the max.

Take this new found responsibility and go out there and celebrate each year leading to your 50th. And when the big 5  0 comes, take it and embrace it. And share it with the people you love the most.

Your body may have a few more wrinkles this year, but your heart is as young as the love you want to share.

Are you approaching 50? Are you still young at heart? Or are you dreading it? Comment below and let us all know.

Luv ya xxx

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MOTHERS DAY GIFTS YOU HAVE TO GET MUM (budget list included)

Mothers day is another one of them days that just leaves your head spinning. How often do we stand in the card shop just staring into space, trying to choose from thousands of cards. We then admit that we read the verse and we really are that thoughtful. Buying a gift can be the same, repeating over and over to other members of the family “but what do i get i just don’t know”. Well below is a compilation of gifts from various places, and if you manage to get to the bottom there will also be a link if you are working to a budget. So sit till, brace yourself and get prepared to make your mum the happiest lady in march.

 

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Bubble bath machine £14.95 i have no doubt your mum would love this, click on the link and this will take you straight to the store on http://www.prezzybox.com

 

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Dear Mum – From You to Me Book £11.95.  The book is made up of questions for your mum to answer. The questions are intended for your mum to reflect on her life so far, her memories, feelings, likes and dislikes. When she has completed the book she can then give it back to you! Each turn of the page will reveal a new question with space on the facing page for your mum to put photographs if she wants to. What a great way to sit down in years to come and look back at thoughts and memories. Again click on the link http://www.prezzybox.com

 

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Health Club Day Pass for Two £13.00. Treat your mum to a FULL day spa experience, this lasts all year and over a multitude of spas over the country. This is a voucher for two, so even the wife could get a look in, two for the price of one guys. For the ladies buying for mum, you get to treat yourself as well.  www.findmeagift.co.uk
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Sanctuary With Love Gift from boots £22.00 or 2,200 points A box of White Lilly and Damask lotions and various other fragrances. Mum can spoil her herself in home made spa in the comfort of home. www.boots.com
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Madame Romantica weekend bag £35.00
Made from Faux leather this is a weekend bag, this a great design and a big bag for all mummy stuff. www.paperchase.co.uk

These are (in my opinion) great gifts from great stores, that any mum would be pleased with. Mum’s should be spoilt on mothers day, you only get one mum. Unfortunately my mum is no longer with us, but i know she would have loved these and i hope you do too. Click the link below for gifts if you are on a tight budget, trust me they are just as good.

MOTHERS DAY ON A BUDGET

 

Wishing all the mums a happy mothers day to come. We love you all, to the ones that are not with us, you are gone but never forgotten.

Are you a mum? Comment on what you get and if you got anything of these lists. Even better were you happy with what you got?

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THIS COULD SAVE YOU 1000s ON A USED CAR!

DON’T BUY AN OLD BANGER

Today I had the pleasure of speaking to the guys at MYCARCHECK to find the back ground of a car. Now I know the background of my car, so what better way to test the service. We have all bought a used car, and we all try to use judgment to determine if it is a good buy. Well let me tell you, I have had some nails in the past.

I bought one car a Peugeot 206 some years ago, it was that bad when I took it back they offered me another car. The Peugeot had some illegal points to it, I feel the offering of another car was a hush gesture. Many times we may lose money on a car we once thought was a good buy, that’s where MYCARCHECK comes in. Give them the reg of the car you wish to find out about and they will give you the full background of its existence. A text message will be provided and a downloadable PDF report will be whizzed over to your inbox.

For privacy i have blacked out items. This can be printed out and taken to the seller
For privacy i have blacked out items. This can be printed out and taken to the seller, i didn’t give full details as it was my own car.

 

WALK AWAY WITH SOME SUPPORT

Many a dealer could take this as a mere mock-up that you have just printed out. However, the emailed report comes on headed format from a reputable company that has access to a wealth of databases. One of them databases is the DVLA, and them guys tell no lies! I can’t stress the importance of a safe and sound vehicle, I spoke to David McLashan (one of the service agents) at length with regards to the scams that people pull in a bid to get your money without giving you anything in return and the contents were eye watering. I have to admit this is the first I have heard of this particular company even though they have been around since 2005 and they have some major companies as their associates, TESCO NO LESS BEING ONE OF THEM.

 

So what is the catch I hear being bellowed from just about every car dealers forecourt…………..

Well there isn’t one really, prices start from £1.99, but for a mere £9.95 you can get a full bells and whistles check. In the long run this may save you thousands, even better give you sound of mind that you have a vehicle to transport your loved ones that is safe. The service agent I spoke to was delightful and polite, and it felt like he went out of his way to explain the details of the PDF. I have to say I wish I had known if there was a service like this when I was buying some of the cars that I have had in the past. Services like this are beginning to pave the way in stopping scammers duping you out of a large amount of money.

Think that £9.95 is a lot every time you want to check your car? Think again when you buy a used car and have to end up shelling out a tidy sum to put something right.

I know I’ll be using the service in the future.

Come back to this post if you do have to use them. Let me know what happened but let me know of any NAILS you have bought and what happened.

 

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LAST MINUTE GIFTS YOU HAVE TO BUY FOR VALENTINES DAY!

Valentines day, it’s always hard to know what to buy. It can be even harder to buy something different and adventurous every year. Sure you can buy the rudimentary bunch of roses and dinner, but doing something different is where memories are created. This is where the gift always gets remembered.

One online store springs to mind, one that I have purchased items from in the past, it is a go to place for the unusual.

Not on the high street ,they have some of the best gifts and original idea gifts I’ve seen in a long time. Ladies and gentlemen you each have a list of 5 gifts for you to choose from that I have compiled. Take your pick (or just completely disregard it if you want) impress and then stand back and watch the explosion of excitement.

 

 

                                                                     Story of us print £28

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I happen to think this is amazing, Hang this on your wall and you have
instant memories every time you walk past it. A pure conversation piece
when someone wants to know your story. This will provoke memories for
generations, imagine the thoughts when the children look back at this as well.
And Guys just imagine if you get all the details right!

 

                                                   Jukebox song print  £39                                     

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I love this not only cause is a memory set in stone, but it may well be the most important song of your life. This to me signifies the importance of the day (wedding). It signifies love much more than a bunch of flowers I  feel. Gifts like this can be passed on, it’s a memory that lasts for generations.

 

Date night token box £17:50

Date night token box
We have ‘date nights’ and this is ideal if you can never decide. The thought of all the nights and future treats should start the emotions flowing. This way you don’t get caught in a rut by going to the same place and doing the same thing on future date nights.

 

Cuddle ring £45

Sterling silver cuddle ring
Symbolizing a cuddle from you 24hrs a day. What better way to sub-consciously tell her that you are always with her. Wrapping your arms around her offering her comfort and security. EVERY TIME she looks at it she will think about the cuddle she will come home to. It comes with a personalized note and both names can be stamped inside the ring.

 

William Blake infinity ring £12

Infinity ring
What better way to cement your love to infinity and beyond. Show her that you are not going anywhere, there are many more valentines days to come and each one will be great. This comes in silver plated and rose gold. Along with a quote from the poet WILLIAM BLAKE.

 

LAST MINUTE GIFTS FOR HIM

 

 

I wanted to include general gifts in this post, ones that you can buy at anytime. I have said on my twitter feed “Why do we have to have a day to prove that we love someone”. Every day is a chance to do that, and everyday is a chance to but your loved one a gift as such as this. These gifts were taken form the online site NOT ON THE HIGH STREET. I love this site and have bought from here before, and maybe you will too.

 

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A good tip for buying tyres for your car

Ok, if you follow me on certain social media sites Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. You may know by now that my full-time job is a self-employed taxi driver, and blogging is something I enjoy creatively. Now I go through tyres like no tomorrow, I have been known to do on average 16,000 miles in 3 months. I tend to go through tyres about every 7-8 weeks.

CHEAP AS CHIPS

I usually go to a particular garage, he is cheap but it does take a while to change them as he is doing other stuff. But I go because as I said he is CHEAP. However, I had the pleasure of being a customer of KWIK FIT, they do the job quick and are pleasant as soon as you walk through the door. The tyres that I have on my taxi come to £96, and that was with a saving of £28. You do save more by booking and paying on-line, when you go onto the website it will ask for your reg and come up with the nearest if not the same size tyre. You can also place in the options the exact tyre size on your vehicle, as stated on the website the online prices are exclusive. You can see from what I paid and what I saved, it does make sense.

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When you first go to the page it is totally at your disposal, you can either type in your registration and it will in most cases come up with your tyres. I say most cases because with mine it did not come up with the right ones, which i found out once i got down there. If you happen to have the energy (lol) to go out to your car you can use the drop down menus and pick your actual tyre size and save all the pain.

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Type in your reg and the site will do it for you

 

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Use the drop down menu, as easy as that

 

KEEP THE RECEIPT

The staff was helpful, professional and I have been to two kwik fit stores in the last couple of weeks, and both had a free coffee machine. They also do a free break check and they do off their own back, tell you other things that’s wrong. They told me I had a broken coil Spring, so they are professional and helpful at all times even if you do go somewhere else to get the work done.  I was told as well that on further visits (without booking online), if I keep my receipt I will get the same price for tyres EVERYTIME. I would suggest that this obviously depends on the store, but that has to be a win. All in all it was great customer service, and damn fine coffee (even for a vending machine).

NEED NEW TYRES? GET DOWN TO KWIK FIT AND DON’T FORGET…………..

BOOK ONLINE FIRST AND ORDER THE TYRES!

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I’m not telling you to blow the bloody bath up! 

Guys we are at that point again! Yes chill out, relax and take a pew, or in this case take a bath. We all know of a blogger somewhere in the vastness if cyberspace that is vlogging, typing and trying a  Lush haul

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Bright side bath bomb

HEED THESE WORDS

I’m here to tell you yet again! We can do it as well guys. I don’t mind smelling of the great ‘comforter’, or even looking on ‘the bright side’ of bath water (see what I did there, Eric idle eat your heart out). Why can’t we guys have a bit of a bath bomb as well, I almost find myself repeating what I said in ‘my morning routine’ post. All to often men would rather bath with a bag of spanners, than let themselves delve into a softer and relaxed side of themselves.

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Comforter bath bar from lush

GET CREATIVE

Me and my daughter love Hobbycraft, and she is getting me into baths. Why not combine the two, I bought her a  Make your own bath bomb kit for Christmas. She loves it and she did exactly that, she made her own and yes I helped her. There is no greater satisfaction than when you make something yourself, and they work they really do.

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Home made strawberry scented bath bomb

You get everything you need in the kit and they are part of the make it range. They smell nice, look nice and they make the bath fizz.

Guys take my advice, need a bit of peace and quiet? Get a bath bomb run a bath, and have some me time. Trust me you won’t regret it.

Comment below of how you did and to the ladies amoungst you, recommend some bombs or bars below.

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#childrenineedfloral campaign for Sir Terry

Now I don’t watch the news and I don’t read newspapers, but when I found out about the late great Sir. Terry Wogan I was gutted I genuinely was. Having children in need without Sir Terry is like having the Wimbledon traditional strawbs without the cream. A few legends have parted us recently DAVID BOWIE, ALAN RICKMAN, to name but a few. But with Sir Terry there is now a gap in the realm of entertainment.

The silky, calming and meditative voice of the Knight is no more a part of our airwaves and certainly not part of the main thing that pulls this country together namely CHILDREN IN NEED. I remember well coming back from my nan’s and settling down with a sarnie and cake brought back, turning on the box to another BLANKETY BLANK. The stick thin microphone was like something from the future that far exceeded the look of its time.

I for one will miss the big guys dominance on the visual tube of fundraising, for 7 hours once a year he brought our nation together. I watched the one show tonight, now I am not familiar with the The floral dance but I heard the instrumental. Now I had to search for it on you tube, listened to terry sing it and loved it.

What fitting tribute I THINK if we all get behind this song and let Sir Terry bring us together once again as a nation and campaign for this song to be re-released and all proceeds go to children in need. I like to think without even know the great man, that he would be smiling nodding his head and acknowledging the fact that as a nation we have triumphed again.

As the title of this post suggests I have created a hash tag for all of us to get behind it. I leave you with the great Sir Terry Wogan.

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The 5 pence carrier bag scandal!

It has been with us for a while now, and whether we like it or not it is here to stay. Yes the 5 pence we now have to pay for a bag when we are shopping. There are a few loop holes in this great vast scheme of things, one being if you buy raw meat you get a bag free! That is of course unless you place something else inside, then you have to pay. “All you have to do is put a chocolate bar in the bag and that changes the whole thing”. There was also a myth (and yes it is a myth) that you did not have to pay for a bag if it had the shop logo on it, it is deemed advertising for the company.

Two complaining ladies

I was walking through town the other day and almost bumping into them, I heard two ladies complain about the fact of paying the 5p. “No, he wouldn’t give it to me free but I told him it was law” said one. ” so he made you pay for it in the end then” and imagine my disbelief when I heard the First Ladies reply, ” yes he did, disgusting shouldn’t have to pay for it”. Now in our house 5 pence don’t normally break the bank neither does 10 or even 20p, the cost of 4 bags. Many companies have chosen to donate the money to charity, but many have not opted in for this option resulting in even more profits from the consumer.  Although they do have to declare it  to gov.co.uk what they are doing with the money, and this will eventually be made public. It also (and I don’t know if many know this) depends on the size of the retail company, they have to charge if there is more than 250 employees (smaller companies can charge on a voluntary basis).

Gov.co.uk have stated that they expect charity funds to be raised in excess of £730 million, with an overall benefit on the economy of over £780 million.

Buying out of the system

There is one sure way of getting out of paying the 5 pence, and that is buy a bag for life to which we have many in our house. Yes they cost more than the trivial 5 pence, but last longer so you are not paying out as much and last certainly longer. These bags also have more than one use other than the shopping, like carrying lunch to a picnic area on a day out. Some have designs on which would satisfy even the more fashion conscious among us, and they don’t stop the blood in your fingers tips when laden down with food.

Think of the upside

There is a good side of course to paying the 5 pence, before you start to complain about the charge, get to know the warm feeling. The warm feeling of the help you are doing to possible charities, helping promote the economy and doing good  to the land around us. For everything that seems negative there is always a plus, you just have to find it. Buying a ‘bag for life’ you get to use it for more than one purpose, a cheap bag that can be replaced easily than a high end sports bag. So before you complain, take stock and think about the good that is coming out of the charge.

Let me know what you think about the charge. Have a count up and see how many bags you have laying around. And how many ‘bags for life’ have you got?

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How to start the morning positively

GET YOUR MIND IN THE RIGHT PLACE

Many of us wake up groggy with the lack of sleep still lingering. We want peace and quiet but we just can’t get it, if you live in a big city the hum of the traffic just does not stop. We all have morning habits that seem to get us going, coffee being one of them for most people. But is it the coffee? Or the idea of having the coffee? Our minds become filled with the day to day hustle and bustle tasks. That’s why it appears as though time goes quickly, we become distracted and then start to focus on the negative. Start worrying about the bills, where the money is coming from to pay them so we miss the sweet smell of life and what we have. Focus on the good and we tend to see more of what we focus on, a bit like studying for an exam.

GRATITUDE IS IT THE RIGHT WAY?

Being thankful for something in your life is always a plus, you feel good about having that in your life. Imagine if you will the dishes, doing the dishes and letting your partner do them. Most people do in fact like to make other people feel good, being grateful for your partner doing the dishes makes them feel good because they made you feel good. I’m not just saying just be thankful “thanks for doing the washing up sweet”. No I mean grateful really thankful, you then go on to reciprocate the action. To reinforce this write down what you are grateful for, the brain recognises the pen strokes and the action of you FOCUSING on the good. We all should say thank you more, how many times do you put your hand up to another driver when they let you pass? Makes you feel good when someone does it to you doesn’t it?

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My Gratitude journal

POSITIVE ACTIONS FOR A POSITIVE MOOD

So here are a few things that get me in a positive vibe for the day ahead, and I do them everyday mostly in the morning before I even start getting ready for work.

  1. I keep a gratitude journal, I have a goal and I use it as an affirmation and I write it at the top of the page everyday. I then list 10 things that I am grateful for either from the day before, the hours I have been awake already (a cuddle from the wife as you leave the bed) or the things that I know I have coming up.
  2. Now, I have a book a favourite book that I read a section of everyday. I was introduced to it a few years ago and it keeps me positive THINK AND GROW RICH: Napoleon Hill. It is about keeping the mind positive and having faith in yourself, something some of us just don’t have and we are all actually quite amazing in our own way.
  3. Excercise is important you can’t have a healthy mind if you don’t have a heathy vessel in which to keep that mind. It keeps you alert and in many cases stops you from getting tired. You can quite literally obtain more energy from expelling some energy.

YOU DESERVE IT

We all work hard everyday, we are all working towards something no matter how big or small that may be. So we all need a bit of time out and we need to spoil ourselves, let ourselves realise how special we are. Eliminate the bad thoughts and encourage to good thoughts. Take time to chill out in the morning, waking up late and being disorganised quite often determines the sort of day you are going to have. We all deserve to make time for ourselves and appreciate ourselves, if we can’t learn that then how can we learn to appreciate others. Each and every one of us deserve to have the best that we can in our lives, every positive thing that brings good things has to be the right decision right? Believe it or not the list of things that I have put down here, actually does make you feel good does make you feel that positive vibe. I was sceptical when I first started trying it, but it does actually work. There are many expensive gratitude journals out there that you can buy, but I don’t think you need to. Me? I just bought a cheap note book and placed a cover on it with a design that I liked, to me it was more personal it meant more. It would encourage me to continue with the habit on a more permenenat basis, once the habit becomes ingrained you do it without thinking.

TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE

Try out this small list of tips, try it for a couple of weeks. Even better try if for a month, see what happens and what benefits it may and can bring you. Remember this blog and after if you take up the challenge, come back comment and let me know how you go.

Tony Martin brainfood