Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father's Day Gift Guide

by Mark

June the 15th will probably be a stressful day, or rather one of the days just before. Its Fathers day again and like all the other “days” in the calendar it’s a construct of the people to celebrate a good thing. Father’s Day was founded in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd. It has grown somewhat since those humble origins, designed principally to compliment mothers’ day.

Now the card industry and the flower growers and even the wonderful people who make chocolates have marketed their wares and been most successful in growing their business through Mothers’ day but they have struggled (barring the card industry) to make the same impression On Fathers’ day. This problem is everyone’s, there are no handy go to presents for dads (there are only so many socks an ties a man can need) especially when dads tend to have collected all the everyday objects they really want and let’s face it not many of us can afford the Aston Martin he really desires. Even if we could the problem will rear its head once again in 365 days, so what then!

Fear not my lovely reader for I have compiled a list of potential ideas you may not have considered before, or even if you have maybe it is time to consider them all over again.

Perfumes and After Shave

Perfumes / After Shave

This is one of the obvious choices but in my opinion it is a good one. They are not always cheap; even so, they always will make a nice treat… even for a male. The only really important thing to remember whilst picking the perfume is to pick the right one, which these days might not be so easy. If you know at least one scent your dad is enjoying but he already has some and you want to go with something slightly different you can use Mr. Google to find a similar one which will have the same ingredients in the base notes for example. Don’t be tempted to get him the new 1D perfume, just because you like it, after all, the gift is for him and not for you.

A special drinkA special drink

This is yet another example of an obvious choice but again I would recommend it. If you dad enjoys a nice drink every now and then Father’s Day make for the perfect occasion to get him a nice bottle of “something” unusual. Even if he isn’t a big drinker there must be something he enjoys on the odd occasion. Personally I like to have a quiet drink with my friend Jack (if you don’t, I am happy to take it off your hands).

Something he always really wanted but Mum doesn’t approve

Something he always really wanted but mum doesn’t approve

In my case it is a lava lamp. I always wanted one but Agata is not a huge fan of them. I finally got one… a friend of mine gifted me with it. It is not new but it does its job well and I can tick “owning a lava lamp” from my list. Despite my lamp not being a Father’s Day gift I know how it made me feel – happy! Something I always wanted finally appeared in my life. I am sure your dad has items like this on his list as well.

Something for everyday use just in case

Something for everyday use just in case

This one is a new for me but I think it might make a perfect gift for more than a few fathers out there – a headlamp aka head torch. The idea is simple – you have a torch and still two empty hands. Can you imagine how useful this is during late night dog walks… two dogs… two leads… two hands busy… one torch on my head lighting up the path ahead… Don’t have a dog? Not a problem, there is still use for it… what about the car breaking down in the middle of the night… you need two hands to fix it but you also need to see what you are doing… pop the headlamp on and you are ready to do what needs to be done. Or the loft, the back of the garage, the garden shed… or even late at night when you want to read a book but your OH is not so impressed with a side light on… the uses are endless.

Some special menswear

Some special menswear

As I have already mentioned, there is a limit to the number of socks and ties your dad might need or even want… but there are other clothing options. Think hard and remind yourself about conversation with your dad when he mentioned something he really wanted… maybe a wool sweater or a funky pair of boots…

If you think hard enough you will find some nice menswear except for socks and ties which will bring a smile on dads face. Failing this, ask mum for help 🙂

Life Proof Phone Case

LifeProof Phone Case

In this busy and hectic life we now all lead there is not always the time to take the due care we would all like to, it’s called being in a rush we have all experienced it, some of us experience it on a daily basis. At times of rushing it is all too easy to drop something, to knock it over or have that awfully expensive brand new Samsung Galaxy S3 effortlessly slide off the table and bounce across the floor all because your sleeve caught it as you reached for something at the far end of the table, I know I have that T shirt! Yet fret not a solution exists, I now discover. Boasting “out of this world” protection for your “out of this world” expensive smart phone the nüüd phone cover from LifeProof is really quite impressive. The list on the box says your protected from all accept a direct tactical nuclear strike though if that happened I doubt the phone will be first thing in your thoughts.

Something for bonding over with the kidsSomething for bonding over with the kids

A recent discovery, but I think intriguing none the less. A present that dads can enjoy with the kids or on their own as many adult versions exist. It’s an interactive adventure that does not require a plug socket or a computer or gaming console screen. It comes in that quaint old style, a book. A huge range exist of books that have a branching story line based on decisions you make, you don’t start at page one and read to the end as in the traditional sense rather you read from page one till the first decision and then you will be instructed where to carry on reading based on your answer. In this modern world though were everything seems to be augmented you can even get them with smart phone add on apps to enrich the experience even further. Bed time stories will never be the same again. I have Jack Hunter – The French Connection by Martin King set in 1392AD and my smartphone, so off into the castle we go to save the universe and hopefully some damsel in distress, oh and some gold; can’t have a good castle adventure without some gold for the taking!

Something to show him you really do care

Something to show him you really do care…

This might not be the sexiest of the gifts ideas but it is a practical one and it will show you really do care…

There comes a time in a man’s life when it dawns on him he is not as he once was. Lifting things becomes an effort, moving quickly is slowing down and various body parts that where once toned are starting to travel in all the directions like belly’s growing out or jowls forming. It’s usually around this time in life that a new order is brought into his life. One of eating right and yes exercises! Now whether you find it roll on the floor hysterical or it makes you nervous watching your father run off in his lycra shorts on foot or on that flash new bike he just bought there is something you can get him that will make everyone have peace of mind. There are many of them but the one that caught my eye was the Ozeri CardioTech from there premium series. It is a digital blood pressure monitor but with a potentially lifesaving feature, it can detect irregular heartbeats and hypertension! Grab him whilst he is collapsed on the sofa proclaiming to be fine whilst looking anything but.

Of course this does open up the endless possibilities of health supplements to help in his new found self. One that springs to mind which will probably come up quite quickly as “needed” is Padma Circosan, a herbal remedy that is amongst other things, very good at helping with cramping in the calf’s. Ever think you would see the day that your father was happy to receive some pills as a present, well it can happen. I am a biker and there is not a lot scarier than getting cramps whilst riding at 100 miles per hour the speed limit of 70m/h. I take Padma to help me with my cramps and it works well. Another one is Iron FitalF – it is a liquid iron which can help with constant tiredness and lack of energy. Observe your dad for a while and I am sure you will be able to notice the small changes and thus pick the correct health remedy to aid it.

So, this is my gift guide for incoming big day.

What’s on your Father’s Day gift list?

* This post is a brand collaboration.
We received some of the items mentioned for free in order to try them out.

Review – Ozeri CardioTech Pro Series Digital Blood Pressure Monitor

Ozeri CardioTech Pro Series Digital Blood Pressure Monitor ..

What is blood pressure?*

When your heart beats, it pumps blood round your body to give it the energy and oxygen it needs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure.

Why it is important to monitor blood pressure?

If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your arteries (and your heart) and this may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

The problem is that having high blood pressure is not usually something that you feel or even notice, so if you have a high blood pressure it is advised that you monitor it on a regular basic… even if you don’t have high blood pressure as standard, monitoring it will not hurt.

Some people think that blood pressure problems are connected with old age, too much drinking, being overweight, eating too much salt and yes, in part they would be correct but this list is not all inclusive and we all might suffer from it, despite being extra healthy, on a good diet or following an exercise routine.

With technology going forward at the “speed of light” today, we do not have to rely on the doctors to check our blood pressure; we can do it ourselves in the quietness of our own home.

So which blood pressure monitor should you choose? I think something which would be fully automatic, accurate, clinically validated and at a good price! The Ozeri CardioTech Pro Series Digital Blood Pressure Monitor ticks all these boxes for me and more.

The good points of Ozeri CardioTech Pro Series Digital Blood Pressure Monitor:

Ozeri CardioTech Pro Series Digital Blood Pressure Monitor

Packaging

It comes with a carry case, which in my eyes is a huge plus. You have something to store it in but also it makes it easier to move around and of course keep your blood pressure monitor clean and dust free.

Size

It is small, therefore extremely portable. Pair it with a carry case and you have a perfect travel size blood pressure monitor, which will fit in most handbags if you chose so.

Ozeri CardioTech Pro Series Digital Blood Pressure Monitor .

Ease of use

If you follow a set of easy instructions you will have no problems what so ever with using it. It is kind of fool proof. Also, as it is a wrist monitor, there is no need for undressing which speeds the whole process up.

Accurate

As long as you sit still your measurements will be accurate. No talking, eating, reading while using it. Focus on what you are doing – measuring your blood pressure –and you will get an accurate result every time.

Clinically validated

So you have the peace of mind that it will give you a correct and accurate result… as long as you measure it right.

Price

With the current price set at £19.95 I think it is a real bargain.

The bad points of Ozeri CardioTech Pro Series Digital Blood Pressure Monitor

We found none. We couldn’t find anything which we didn’t like or would want correcting.

So what do you get in the box:

  • The box, of course
  • An Ozeri CardioTech Pro Series Digital Blood Pressure Monitor
  • A carry case
  • The user Manual
  • Warranty – 5 years
  • 2 x AAA batteries

Ozeri CardioTech Pro Series Digital Blood Pressure Monitor ...

Comparing the Ozeri CardioTech Pro Series Digital Blood Pressure Monitor to our old one is like comparing apples to oranges. No more hand pumping to the point that your whole hand feels like it is about to fall off, no more obviously inaccurate measurements and therefore endless retakes and no more taking notes whilst doing it. The Ozeri CardioTech Pro Series Digital Blood Pressure Monitor will store the last 180 readings for you all date and time stamped – it is split for 90 readings for 2 users.

With so many people having heart attacks and strokes every year, a blood pressure monitor should be part of any first aid kit in every household. It doesn’t take much and it could save a life!

Do you own a blood pressure monitor?

*source
Family Fever

Why walking is better than running

Is walking better than running

Last week I read a funny post by Slummy Single Mummy with the title “9 good(ish) reasons to give up running”. I clocked this post via my email subscription and I simply couldn’t resist clicking on the link and reading it… I just had to know what these reasons might be…

And you know what? It really made me feel better to know that I am not the only one who feels like this about running. I hate running too! It always makes me feel bad when I see all those promo spots with runners… it looks so easy and it looks almost totally effortless… I know from experience that it is not! So stop showing all the clips that make it look so easy… All this pretty looking runners… bah… they do not exist in the real world… I know, I have looked for them…

Anyhow… this has got my thinking… there must be an easier alternative to running… surprise, surprise… yes there is… it is called WALKING!

So I set myself a challenge to find out if walking can out benefit running…

To my huge surprise they do offer more or less the same benefits.

Walking apparently is better for:

Your immune system – running can stress it out, especially long distance running

Your heart – again long distance running can lead to elevated serum markers for cardiac stress

Your joints – running is stressing out our joints too much, which might lead to an increased risk of injuries and osteoarthritis in later life.

Running wins hands down when it comes to fat burning… but to help offset this difference we can simply walk a bit faster for longer 🙂

I also found out a few other interesting facts about walking:

Walking prevents type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Program showed that walking 150 minutes per week and losing just 7% of your body weight (12-15 pounds) can reduce your risk of diabetes by 58%.*

Walking is good for your brain. In a study on walking and cognitive function, researchers found that women who walked the equivalent of an easy pace at least 1.5 hours per week had significantly better cognitive function and less cognitive decline than women who walked less than 40 minutes per week.*

Walking helps alleviate symptoms of depression. Walking for 30 minutes, three to five times per week for 12 weeks reduced symptoms of depression as measured with a standard depression questionnaire by 47%.*

So for me walking is the winner!

It doesn’t make me sweat like a horse, at least most of the time; is doesn’t cost so much and I can do it without any huge preparations or long notice…

All you need for walking is time and willingness… that’s it!

Yes, you can get a nice pair of walking shoes so you are more comfortable; you can get a walking pole if you want to try so called Nordic Walking and yes, you can get a pedometer… the last one I would actually recommend if for nothing else it can provide you with interesting data about your walking habits.

Lately I have been using a 4×3 motion digital 3D pedometer from Ozeri. Truly it is an incredible tool. It measures my steps (after setting it to my stride), distance covered, time spent and 4x3 motion digital pedometer from Ozericalories burned (yes, you have to share your weight with it). This is not the first pedometer in our household but it is the first we feel that actually works and does the job it is supposed to do. And to make things easier you are not required to keep it on your hip / waist / belt at all times. It has a clever 3D sensor which works in any position, so attach the lanyard as provided and simply wear it around your neck. Great little tool if you like to keep the score of things.

So what do you think? Walking or running?

While you think about that I will share with you some non-health related walking facts.

Given that the world is about 25,000 miles in circumference and that the average walking rate is 3 miles per hour, it would take a person walking nonstop approximately 347 days to walk around the world.**

The average human walking speed is about 3.1 miles per hour, or 5.0 kilometres per hour.**

And, one more for you; this one is scary when you think about it…

It would take, on average, 1 hour and 43 minutes of walking to burn off a 540-calorie Big Mac.**

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I received an Ozeri pedometer for free for review purpose. All opinions are honest and my own.
Source:
http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/5-ways-walking-is-better-than-running
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/six-surprising-scientific-facts-about-walking
http://www.fshn.hs.iastate.edu/nutritionclinic/handouts/WalkingFactsBenefits.pdf
*http://www.medicinenet.com/walking/article.htm#what_are_the_top_10_reasons_to_walk
**http://facts.randomhistory.com/walking-facts.html

Review – Green Earth Frying Pan from Ozeri and the Perfect Eggs

As we cook a lot at home having good quality “tools” which will allow us to do this job better is very important. Mark is a huge fan of cast iron. I must admit they do work well but they are so heavy. Cooking in it is one thing but then you have to wash it in a specific way and most important, and tiring, is having to move it from place A to B. Sometimes when Mark is not home and I would love to have something quick and simple to eat like an egg and bacon roll, when I think about all the hassle which comes with using cast iron pan, I am suddenly not so hungry anymore… So when I was offered to review something from Ozeri, I picked a frying pan, which was a purely selfish choice. I thought that I can finally have a nice frying pan, in which I can just cook without the workout for my hands and arms.

So my pan has arrived :-)
So my pan has arrived 🙂

It was extremely well packed – in a polythene bag and in a stiff cardboard box – very good protection against any damage in transit. And you get full instructions and a warranty with it too. It has a good weight – not too heavy and too light; you can for sure tell that you have lifted something (I really hate light flimsy cookware). It looks great and it feels good in your hand too.

There is a lot of information about the product on the box.

Let’s go through the claims and see if they match up with reality:

EASY TO CLEAN – true, I tried it and there is no scrubbing required, believe me, warm soapy water and the soft side of a sponge and done.

SUPERIOR NON-STICK PERFORMANCE – true, tried it and you will see for yourself if you keep reading.

DURABLE SCRATCH-RESISTANT CERAMIC, AS FOUND IN NATURE – I didn’t manage to scratch it so far, but I am careful, so with this point let’s take a leap of faith.

COMFORTABLE SILICON COATED HANDLE – true, it is actually very comfortable to handle and pleasant to the touch. It doesn’t get hot and it is safe to handle at any point.

INDUCTION STOVE SAFE – true, according to magnet test I performed (if a magnet will stick to the bottom of your pan, this pan will work on an induction hob).

WITH GREBLON CERAMIC COATING FROM GERMANY – not sure if it is from Germany but our pan had a Greblon sticker on it so I believe this is what it is coated with.

NO HARMFUL HEAVY METALS OR CHEMICALS; COMPLETELY ECO-FRIENDLY – I believe this is due to the fact that ceramic coating does not emits any harmful fumes. This pan is 100% PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) and PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid) free.

So here you go. Pan does as it is stated in the box 🙂

For me the ultimate test of a new frying pan are fried eggs. If I cannot make a good frying eggs on my pan, this pan is totally no use to me. So I got cooking!

All I added it was a tiny spoon of butter
All I added it was a tiny spoon of butter

My eggs came out perfect. And to my surprise so did the pan. It was clean, nothing stuck to it, all I had to do was wipe it clean – no scrubbing or even washing was needed. And if you wonder what I did with my “test eggs”… wonder no further…

Perfect eggs for a perfect roll
Perfect eggs for a perfect roll

So what is my verdict on my new 20cm Ozeri Green Earth Pan?

Love it! It looks fantastic, it performs without any problems and it is great value for money (£24.95 delivered to your door). I already spotted that they also have a 30cm wok on offer – I must get myself one, as doing anything with Mark’s 40cm cast iron one it is not an option for me.

So what do you think? Do you like an idea of this eco-friendly pan?

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I’ve received this pan for free for review purposes. The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.