Category Archives: New dad blog

SUMMER HOLIDAY TIP:  OPEN A KIDS ART GALLERY 

It’s the start of the summer holidays and for many parents it will fill them with dread as they have to find countless activities to fill their child’s day and avoid those two deadly words  “I’m Bored”.

So here’s a suggestion to occupy a day or two – turn you house into an art gallery. Firstly, you may download a digital art app onto your ipad/tablet for them to draw pictures or create abstract digital arts by using the app. Once done, you can then print them out and display them on the walls of your house. Then get your kids to give you a tour of the exhibits and listen to their no doubt baffling abstract creations.

It will be fun to hear their explanation of why triangular blue blob with pink dots is in fact “daddy” and those disturbingly phallic looking yellow things are in fact trees. You can also quiz them on their motivation for giving rainbow eggs ears.

So load up some good quality printer inks, art papers and get your printer working hard. You can start your art gallery in no time.

Why not combine this activity with a trip to a real art gallery? Some parents think that young kids won’t “get” real art but even toddlers can appreciate masterpieces. Beth Schneider, head of learning at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, sums it up perfectly.

 “You’re never too young to enjoy Manet,” she says. “He often painted his family and friends, and children immediately notice that, in some cases spotting relationships grown-ups might miss. Going to an exhibition is a great family occasion that can spark a conversation that goes all the way home.”

My daughter loves big bold colourful works. Matisse at Tate Modern is a particular favourite of hers. Art galleries are big spaces so there is plenty of room for even the most hyperactive of kids. In addition, many galleries have special activities for children during school holidays.

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World Cup Competition

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Daddy Dazed is loving this World Cup  – such great games, such good goals – my biggest problem is wrestling control of the TV remote away from my daughter who doesn’t appreciate the finer points of team tactics and just wants to watch Frozen.

And now Daddy Dazed brings you a great free World Cup competition - Jungle Goal$, courtesy of 888casino

First prize is a LG 9.1ch 3D cinema system.

All you have to do is visit here – World Cup at 888casino - watch a short video and work out who bounced the ball the most times (HINT: it’s harder that it sounds, so concentrate) and guess the team that’ll win this year’s World Cup.

Competition ends 14th July.

Good luck!

Fathers Day Competition

Dear Readers, How would you like to make your dad’s dreams come true?

All you need to do is submit a video or simply tweet saying why your dad is your hero and what his #FathersDayDream would be e.g.: a racing day at Silverstone, a family holiday to Paris, a trip to see the Northern Lights  etc. Then Braun will chose one winner to make their dad’s dream come true!  

The competition ends on 16th June to enter & you have to include the hashtags #Braun & #FathersDayDreams in your tweet/video.  Full terms and conditions here - http://braunfathersdaydreams.wordpress.com/

Does betting on sport make it more interesting to watch?

A dad writes on the appeal of betting on sports.

Watching sport, whether it is on television or in a stadium, is a past time shared by billions of people across the world who savours the excitement, drama and tension of action unfolding in front of their eyes. Sport has the ability to bring people and communities together in their unified love for a particular team or individual, while neutrals take enjoyment from watching any match and event without any emotional ties. Every fan has their own reason to watch a sport, whether it is football or snooker, and they do not necessarily have to participate in sports betting in order to make it interesting or enjoyable.

Sports betting remains a thriving industry that allows punters to bet on any event, whether it combined with technological advancements in handheld devices, revolutionised the industry as it provided bookmakers with the ability to expand their services to customers who could bet in a more convenient and efficient manner. Betting online or via a gaming app allows sports enthusiasts to add extra drama and excitement to the action from which they can win money. Checking the latest Formula One standings can help those who like to bet on races to be closer to the action and potentially win money, although many believe betting is the only way to make the sport interesting and worth watching.

The excitement aspect of sports betting

Placing a bet on an upcoming sporting event can instantly get the adrenaline rushing through your body in anticipation of a potential win. The amount punters place on each bet is irrespective to the feeling you get when a bet comes off. Every sport has its own unique array of betting markets that provide considerable opportunity to make a profit. Being able to bet online or via apps that can be downloaded onto smartphone and tablet devices further extends the options available, whilst also allowing punters to enjoy live in-play markets.

The modern day method of gambling allows you to place bets whilst on the go, or whilst sat in front of a television watching the action unfold. It allows gamblers to make more calculated decisions whilst watching a football match or Formula 1 race, as the potential outcome can change in a split second. Live in-play markets allow gamblers to enjoy better odds that reflect what is happening in each sporting event, whether it is the first team to score or how many drivers will finish a race. Gambling can make watching sports more interesting as there is more than just hope riding on the outcome; it creates an overwhelming urge to kick every ball, jump every hurdle and turn every corner in order for your bet to be a winner.

The Formula 1 debate

While sports enthusiasts have their own preferences as to which forms they watch and enjoy, there are often debates over which sports provide the most entertainment and excitement. Formula 1 continues to be considered in certain sections as a boring sport that carries little or not entertainment from watching car drive around the same track for hours. This notion has been at its strongest over the last few years as Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull have simply dominated the sport and it became almost inevitable that the German driver would win every race. Although the sport has undergone ground-breaking rule changes that are set to shape the future of Formula 1, they have only succeeded in creating a sport that has lost some of its historic features and is dominated by one team who are miles ahead of the competition. Mercedes due Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton continue to finish in the top two of every qualifying session and race as their W05 is far superior to any other car on the track.

Placing bets on Formula 1 races can add more excitement and interest, particularly during the current campaign when the result seems almost a formality for either of the Mercedes drivers. There is no guarantee that Rosberg or Hamilton will win, as Formula 1, like any other sport, has the ability to involve moments of drama or misfortune that change the entire complexion of a race. Mechanical failures, collisions and driving errors can lead to drivers losing first place or exciting the race altogether; this can make for a tense, yet exciting race, for those who have a bet on a certain driver to win.

The benefits of vaping

dad blog

It may seem odd to promote smoking on a parenting blog but I am coming around to the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes or “vaping” as it is increasingly called.

I am not advocating non-smokers start vaping but I do think for smokers it’s a great way to reduce the health risk.

E-cigarettes such as Vapourlites still contain nicotine but what they don’t contain is tar. It is tar that causes cancer not nicotine. Tar contains thousands of harmful chemicals including 70 known carcinogens. Nicotine alone is about as dangerous as caffeine.

There is still concern that the e-liquid vapour produced by e-cigarettes might be harmful but studies so far suggest there is no apparent risk, even so I don’t advocate smoking in front of children but I do think that if you are a smoker you should really convert.

As Professor Robert West of Cancer Research UK says:

“In the whole of my career, over 30 years working in the field of tobacco research, the best we’ve been able to achieve in terms of getting smoking prevalence down is around one per cent a year. Now, with electronic cigarettes, we have an opportunity to end the tobacco epidemic in my lifetime. This is something that I never thought I would see.”

Rush / Grand Prix competition

Hey dads – fancy winning two VIP tickets to the British Grand Prix?

To celebrate the release of Ron Howard’s Rush on Sky Store next Monday (January 27th), Sky Store is running a competition to win a VIP trip to the British Grand Prix, which includes: 2 x seats in the VIP box at Silverstone on 4th , 5th and 6th July; three nights in a five star hotel and travel to the venue; and a chance to go behind the scenes with Sky Sports F1

There aren’t any questions to answer or premium phone lines to call, all you need to do is rent Anybody who rents Rush from Sky Store from the 27th of January until the 23rd of February will be automatically entered into the competition.

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The movie Rush tells the gripping story of the 1976 Formula One season and the fierce rivalry between F1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

Chris Hemsworth plays Hunt and Lauda is played by Daniel Brühlas.

2nd Prize in the competition is  2 x tickets to F1 Show at Sky Studios – including travel & accommodation.  3rd Prize is a Rush Goody Bag that includes a  McLaren team shirt signed by Jenson Button and a  Rush poster signed by the movie stars and director.

You can learn more about the competition here. And you can rent Rush here.

Can parent’s bad credit rating affect their children’s financial future?

dad blog

Here’s some interesting advice from a financial advisor friend of mine.

A credit score is not the final word on financial health. However, there is no disputing its importance when it comes to securing future credit and loans. As a result, it is wise to do all you can to give yourself and your children the best chance of a healthy credit history.

An initial but important step to achieving this is to access your own credit report. This can be done simply and without cost through one of the UK’s three registered agencies. Just visit this website (http://www.creditexpert.co.uk/experian-credit-check.aspx) to order your credit check report. It is important to check this report for factual accuracy. If you have been mistaken for someone with the same or similar name, perhaps a family member, then this could impact your credit score. Beware that there is particular room for confusion if someone with the same surname lives at the same address as you. In these situations, it is a good idea to consult with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

However, assuming that your credit report is in order, there is no reason why a parent’s poor credit rating should have a negative effect on that of their child. This is true so long as there isn’t any financial link between the two individuals and this is where things can get a little complicated. For example, if you have co-signed a loan with another family member, even if it is purely for their use and benefit, you are equally liable for repayment. Whether it is something relatively trivial such as a credit card or a significant loan on a car or a property, if it is not paid back in a timely manner, then it will be your responsibility. It may be the case that a family member wants you to co-sign in order to use your good credit rating to boost their own application. This is perfectly legitimate, but you should be aware of the dangers of going down that route. Family and finances often make for a complicated combination, but if a bank is wary of giving credit to a family member, should you feel any differently?

Similarly, if you have acted as a guarantor for a family member, then it is considered an acceptance of financial responsibility. If you have guaranteed a property for rental purposes for example, if rent or bills are persistently left unpaid, the creditor is entitled to turn to you for repayment. Such a scenario will likely impact your credit score. Make sure that you can expect family members to pay on time and in full. Otherwise, you could feel the consequences.

When it comes to parent-child finances, the question of inheritance is perhaps most awkward and financially significant. What happens if parents leave debts when they’re gone? Are children, who had no say in their finances, liable to repay them as they inheritor? The simple answer is no. However, assets which would otherwise have been part of the estate will be deducted from its value to repay creditors. If the debts outweigh the assets, then creditors must simply accept the loss. Such debt is not passed on to children.

Possibly the most important point about all these issues is to talk about them openly and honestly within the family. It will likely prevent difficulties somewhere down the line.

Real Men Moisturise

Men now wax, moisturize our hands and eat sandwiches with rocket.

Even 20 years ago it would have been unheard of outside of gay circles to hear “moisturize” and “man” in the same sentence.

When even bloke’s bloke cricketer Shane Warne credits using moisturizes with his youthful look, you know the world has changed.

To my father, who is proud of his cracked hands covered in calluses, it is proof of the disintegration of man.

“You are all turning into fairies” he says.

But I am a new man and believe that there is more to grooming than slapping on a bit of Brut aftershave in the morning.

I am a man and I moisturize.

“Don’t you know that rough hands are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria?” I say to him.

“Bollocks” he says.
I haven’t the heart to tell him that is also a region that men devote additional time to now, shaving and waxing.

Anyway, Carex have sent me samples of Carex Antibacterial Hand Creams and I have to say I love them.

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The cream comes in two refreshing fragrances; Nourish and Protect with extra Vitamin E, and Hydrate and Protect with soothing Aloe Vera.

If you are a real man, try them for yourself.