Opie: One of the many new faces of Belles Bites and Dog Accessories. | The Bearded Dads Survival Guide

Uncategorized

Opie has been selected as one of a new team of pooches to become a brand rep for Belles Bites and Dog Accessories, a company devoted to making tasty treats and beautiful accessories for dogs everywhere. Along with this I have been given a unique discount code that my followers can use to grab a 10% discount on any orders made. This can be found by heading over to my Instagram page @Beardydadsurvival

If you want to have a look then please head on over to their Etsy page with the following link: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BellesBites. They have a selection of unique gifts, many of which can be personalised with your puppers’ name.

Short and sweet today. Thank you for reading and be sure to share your purchases with me and @Bellesbitesandaccessories on Instagram using the appropriate tags. Also, you can follow Opie’s adventures directly by following @Opiethepatterpug

Advertisements

*Guest Post* Emma’s Hospital Bag

Uncategorized

 

As we have just over 2 weeks until our due date, I’ve been frantically trying to make sure everything is ready for Baby Girl’s Arrival. Mostly tidying and organising the nursery and packing my hospital bag. I’ve finally finished packing it, aside from one thing that’s being delivered tomorrow so I thought I’d share what’s in my hospital bag.

After many hours of deciding if I’ve got a big enough bag already or if I need to buy a new one, I’ve chosen a white bag that I bought a few years ago and usually use as a large carry on bag for holidays. Which, it turns out doesn’t quite fit everything in so I may need to re-arrange. I’ve also got 3 toiletries bags inside this bag from Primark, to fit bits and pieces in to make it more organised and hopefully easier to find.

So, inside the bags…

The Minnie Mouse bag contains the bigger toiletries:

  • Superdrug Vitamin E Gentle Micellar Solution which I use to cleanse and refresh my face.
  • Boots Strawberry Body Wash
  • Bio Oil and Palmers Cocoa Butter Tummy Butter which I#ve been using for my bump to keep the skin soft although they’ve not prevented stretch marks at all. My belly is like a road map!
  • Dove Invisible Care Roll on Deodorant
  • Colgate Cavity Protection Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Face Cloth which I plan on using to cool myself down during labour (damp of course).
  • Pack of breast pads from Asda
  • Pack of Maternity Pads

AD827D10-42BD-49E5-B3DE-7D47BFAB12E2

The polkadot bag:

  • NSPA Mama to Be Soothing Nipple Balm. I’m planning to breast feed so this will be essential.
  • The Original Champneys Health Spa Citrus Blush Body Lotion which I’ve been using on my hands as it smells incredible, the smell reminds me a lot of summer and sun cream.
  • Superdrug Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream and Moisture Boost Facial Serum. I absolutely swear by these products my skin has felt so soft since using them, and I used to have really dry skin. They’re also very very cheap and are usually also on offer! They make my face feel so refreshed and I think I’ll need that after giving birth!
  • Aveda Lavender Fleurs Oil (being delivered tomorrow). As we are using hypnobirthing part of our plan is to create a relaxing environment so the smell of lavender is supposed to help with that.
  • 8E71398E-3A78-4649-8D19-741359EBE4E4.png

 

The Beauty and the Beast bag:

  • Tangle Teaser and a range of hair bobbles and hair clips to manage my long hair during and after birth.
  • A small compact mirror
  • Loreal True Match Concealer in the shade Rose Ivory, just to pop round my eyes to hide the bags when my mother starts taking photos!
  • Nip and Fab Highlighter Pallet just for when we’re going home, I may not use this at all, but at least I’ll have it if I do want to look a little more alive.
  • Nip and Fab Mascara
  • A highlighter brush, bronzer brush, small beauty blender and eyebrow/ eyelash comb
  • Nivea Blueberry Blush Lip Balm, which smells beautiful and really moisturises my lips.

F73EE8B5-0A6D-4444-B479-275D9D7C1451.png

 

The rest of the bag:

  • Going home outfit- Grey Very maternity leggings, pink H&M nursing vest top and a black hoody. I wanted an outfit that was comfortable but still cute.
  • 2 Nursing Bras from Very
  • Asda pack of 4 black high waisted big knickers
  • White fluffy slippers which were a gift at my baby shower
  • 3 silky button-up nighties, one in burgundy which is plus size and two maternity ones in pink an navy blue, all from Boohoo. I found it really hard to find really nice button-up nighties as they all looked so granny-fied but these are beautiful. I went for button-up ones so I can easily breastfeed.
  • Thin Grey summer dressing gown from M&S, it’s quite big fitting, but I prefer that to something better fitted, purely for comfort.
  • Owl wheat bag, which can be heated up if I’m cold or to put on my back to relieve some back pain.

 

Dan is in charge of keeping me comfortable, hydrated and fed so some of the things I need are in his bag:

  • Bluetooth speaker and a relaxing playlist, again part of the hypnobirthing.
  • Homemade sugar-free flapjacks. As I’ve got gestational diabetes, I need to prevent my blood sugar going too high as this can affect baby’s blood sugar levels. So using oats (barely any sugar), MyProtein sugar-free maple syrup, Canderel sweetener and 90% cocoa dark chocolate (7g of sugar per 100g) I’ve made flapjacks! They’re not the most amazing tasting but they’re pretty good.
  • Lucozade zero sugar
  • Large bottle of water
  • Salt & Vinegar Snack a Jacks

 

And that’s pretty much it! Seems like a lot of stuff when it’s all written down and I’m sure there are things we won’t even need or use, but I’d rather be prepared and have too much!

Thanks for reading and let me know what you’ve packed in your hospital bags and what and anything you think I’ve missed.

 

 

The Hospital bag| The Bearded Dad’s Survival Guide.

Uncategorized

It’s getting very close to the point where soon I will be able to join the ranks of proud dads that fill my Instagram feed daily. It seems strange that for the past several months I have been at a loose end with content as there has been really very little for me to do in terms of ‘being a dad’. In the coming weeks, my life is going to change forever and I’m really excited to become a dad for the first time and join a great community of fathers; rather than being stood on the sideline and spectating.

With our daughters birth potentially being sooner than we all thought I wanted to write an article documenting everything, we have bought and prepared to go into our hospital bags. Emma is much more organised than me, having her bag already packed and ready to go, whereas my stuff is scattered all over the house. I really need to get my sh*t together!

So, whats in our hospital bags? 

  • 30 nappies (Yes 30! its best to be prepared, babies sh*t a lot, so I’ve heard) We have mixed brands of nappies, some are Pampers and some are supermarket brands. We have no idea which is the best so we have bought a variety.
  • Cotton wool balls.
  • 3 Muslin squares in grey and white (They won’t stay white for long).
  • 5 bodysuits plus 1 personalised body suit which we got from notonthehighstreet.com which is the first outfit she will wear.
  • A variety of different wipes; water wipes and baby wipes etc.
  • 2 hats and matching mittens plus 2 pairs of socks.
  • The coming home dress is a Winnie the Pooh dress from Asda and a knitted white cardigan.
  • SMA pro first infant milk ready to use bottles just in case we have problems with breastfeeding. Hopefully, we won’t need this but its always best to be prepared for any situation!
  • Johnson’s baby oil
  • White knitted shawl knitted by her great grandma.

hosp bag

tenor (18).gif

That’s one bag packed and ready to go! Now, its a pretty different story for the bag I need to pack. Although I have pretty much everything I’m going to need to take with me to the hospital, it’s scattered randomly all over the house. So instead of telling whats in my hospital bag, I’ll tell you what will be in my hospital bag.

Daddy’s bag.

  • Food; plenty of snacks to last as who knows how long we are going to be in hospital and vending machines are expensive
  • Spare change of clothes.
  • Toothbrush and other toiletries. (nobody likes bad breath.
  • Hypnobirthing notes and our wishes and preferences for birth written down.
  • A book, though my mind may be unable to concentrate on reading.
  • Phone, charger and Bluetooth speaker to keep family up to date on what is happening and also for the use of Spotify. (The use of the speaker will be revealed further down)
  • Plenty of change for the car park.
  • Not going into the bag exactly but packing the car seat into the car ready and also cleaning my car of all the empty Mcdonalds packagings! (they’re everywhere!)
  • My book of dad jokes and my dad T-shirts.

For those who don’t know, we have decided to try hypnobirthing so that Emma can have as natural and pain-free birth as possible. We bought an online course provided by the positive birth company and have been working through the content over the past several months. The good thing about hypnobirthing is that it gives the father and active role in the birth of your baby rather than them being stood on the sideline feeling about as much use as the plastic lids they give you on a Mcflurry. The course teaches the father ways to help comfort and support mum throughout the birth.  Some of my jobs in the birth room will be:

  • Keeping Emma calm with techniques such as light touch massage and the traffic light system.
  • Hitting her with some of my best dad jokes to keep the atmosphere happy and positive.
  • Ensuring that all medical staff and midwives know our requests and being there to speak up for Emma when she may be unable to.
  • Being in charge of the music that we want to play during the birth, hence the Bluetooth speaker. I have made a playlist on Spotify that is a mix of relaxing songs and melodies. If you are interested in said playlist please let me know!

I’m pretty sure that I have covered everything I wanted to talk about above. All I can say now is please continue to watch this space as hopefully soon there will be a big announcement coming. If you want to follow Emma’s Instagram you can do so here @emmwar02

If there’s anything you think I have missed out from either of the bags then please let me know!

tenor (19).gif

 

Breaking the Silence

Uncategorized

My blog has been silent for the past couple of weeks due to my motivation for everything dropping to zero. Work has been keeping me very busy and I have found that being back on nights has really hit me hard in terms of how I feel. I have been constantly tired and found that I’ve lost all motivation for the things I normally enjoy doing. I have barely touched a book lately and my computer has been collecting dust since we moved into our new house. Maybe the fatigue isn’t all bad though, it has given me a taster for what I am going to be in for when baby finally arrives.

Loads of stuff has happened in the last few weeks that I haven’t talked about; albeit if you follow me on Instagram you have likely seen a lot of the stuff we have been up to. Firstly, Fathers day was an interesting one for me this year, although I am not yet a dad, I did receive a T-shirt and two new books from the bump and we went out for a family carvery to celebrate the day. Also, we had the baby shower the weekend before last and we had such a great day spending time with all our family and friends in our new home. The bump was absolutely spoiled by everyone that came to celebrate with us and I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone that came. Emma and her two best friends put on a great day with lots of games such as guess the mess, pin the dummy on the baby and Guess the flavour of baby food. Everyone was given a slip to put their predictions on baby’s weight, hair colour, personality etc.

As of today, Emma is 32 weeks and 2 days pregnant. Meaning that we have less than 2 months to prepare for our arrival. It feels like we already have mountains of stuff for baby but it turns out there is still so much stuff we need to do and buy. To make the process of making sure we have everything easier, we have used our kitchen notice board to write a giant list which we are now working through. we haven’t, as of yet, managed to tick anything off this list, but hopefully, we can get it all sorted as soon as possible!

Let me know over on Instagram what your last bits of baby shopping are/were and whether or not you managed to get everything in time for your baby’s arrival.

36634291_10160652417675541_718644059794571264_n

Nursery sneak peak | The Bearded Dad’s Survival guide

Uncategorized

Yesterday marked the end of my university year meaning that now I have the whole summer to do what I like! I am really excited to be able to spend more time writing content for my blog along with working on all my outstanding projects! I have had a great year this year at Uni; studying a module that I have a keen interest in! This year for me in terms of writing has probably been my most successful one yet. Not only do I now consider myself to be a ‘writer’, I also feel that my skills in the craft have improved considerably.

Anyway, let’s talk no more of that. The reason for today’s blog is to give my readers a sneak peek at how our daughter’s nursery is coming along!
Last week was a busy one for us as I spent all week-along with the help of family- moving house. It is the third time that Emma and I have moved since knowing each other and I would like to think that I am now pretty good at moving home.
We are currently in a position now where we are close to being completely sorted. There are still piles of boxing scattered around- which I intend to go through this weekend- but the majority of our stuff is now unpacked and in place.
On Monday we have a delivery of the cot and also the changer and drawers. They have since been built and are now both ready for use! We also now have the Moses basket which was a gift from Emma’s grandma.20180601_142438.jpg The cot as you can see pictured below was pretty easy to assemble and can be adjusted so that the mattress sits lower as the baby gets bigger. It also has plenty of space underneath to store items such as spare nappies and wipes. The mattress we bought is made by SilentNight, and I have to say it’s pretty damn comfortable. We went with this cot as it will last baby until she is four years old, as the sides can eventually be removed and serve as a toddler bed.

The Moses basket is also fully assembled with the little canopy above. When baby eventually arrives she will sleep in the Moses basket in our bedroom for around the first six months before she sleeps in her cot. It looks really cosy in there doesn’t it? It also rocks gently to help baby to sleep on restless nights

20180601_142457

 

 

 

The drawers were also pretty easy to assemble and match the cot. We have already started putting supplies of nappies and wipes in the drawers ready for use as seen below.

 

 

20180601_142508.jpg

 

 

 

We have also bought and stocked her new wardrobe with all her new clothes. I say ‘we’ but it has been Emma that has done all the organising! Including her reading corner and all her cuddly toys. Photos of which can be found below!

The nursery is nowhere near finished yet, but as you can see we are making steady progress as we approach 28 weeks.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to join me on Instagram @beardydadsurvival. where you can show me your nursery progress and give us more ideas on things we can add!20180601_142627.jpg

We’re in! | The Bearded Dads Survival Guide

Uncategorized

It has been such a long week of moving for us this week but I am finally ready to tell you all that we are officially moved out of our old house and into our beautiful brand new one!

I took the past week off work and have spent the whole time moving our possessions from one house to the other. 7 days and two full tanks of fuel later and I am typing my first blog from my armchair in our new living room. Emma is currently upstairs arranging the baby’s nursery and I have found a spare minute between writing my university final that due next week to write a little update on here.

At half-past 12 on Tuesday afternoon we received the key to the new house and from that moment until this moment my life has been chaotic. From carrying heavy furniture from one house to another to finding a place for all our things to go in the new place. Tuesday was mostly spent laying the laminate flooring in our living room which I did with some help from my Dad. We also had the carpet men in on the same day laying carpet in the whole of the upstairs of the house. later on that evening we managed to move all our bulky furniture such as the suite, bed, washer, dryer, fridge and freezer.

The rest of the week has been filled with trips to and from the house in our cars collecting all the smaller bits and pieces. Also multiple trips to the tip with all the stuff we no longer have any room for. Today we finally handed in the keys to our old house and we won’t be looking back!

I have spent this afternoon building our new garden shed in the sunshine with my future father in law. I am terrible at DIY but think I have done pretty well this week with laying laminate, putting up curtains and building a shed!

This will be the fourth time I have moved house in the four years I have known Emma. Surely that is some kind of world record? I have become very tired of moving house and I am just really happy and relieved that we have finally found our home that we will hopefully be very happy in for years to come.

on a final note, I just want to shout out to the baby gate that I bought earlier on in the week. You really have been the best thing I have possibly ever bought. our baby hasn’t even arrived yet but the baby gate makes eating and having guests so much easier with a dog in the house! We can put him in the kitchen and close the baby gate and there is no dog harassing you for your tea. It’s great!

Tell me some of your moving stories below! Thanks for reading.

Dan

Lancashire: A beautiful place for a walk with nature | The Bearded Dad’s Survival Guide

Uncategorized

For the last few weeks, Emma and I have gotten ourselves into a great routine of walking the dog and taking him to a new place every weekend. Em was told that walking would be really beneficial for her when it comes to giving birth and I am really proud of us both for getting out and going walking in new places locally.

I want to talk a bit about all the different places we have visited in Lancashire and if you are local to the area you should really check them out, especially when the weather is up for it. Which, let’s face it, the last few weekends have been awesome for it!

Today we ventured out to a place that is practically on our doorstep yet neither of us had heard of it before. Hurstwood Reservoir in Burnley Lancashire was such a beautiful place for a nice gentle walk. It is dog-friendly meaning your dog can walk off the lead providing you take caution as there is livestock such as sheep in the area. We walked around the reservoir today and found a bank where Opie could have a swim and we could stop and sit around for a while and enjoy the view which you can see above. The only thing it was lacking was dog waste bins as I had to carry a poop bag around with me the whole time as there was nowhere to dispose of it. Also, there was some really epic looking mountain bike routes which really made me wish I had a bike! Maybe when baby is older I can take her there on bikes. I think that would be really fun!

Another place that is really worth a visit is Brockholes nature reserve which can be found straight off junction 31 of the M6 in Preston. admission is free for all but parking will cost you around £5. We had a great walk here with friends. The only real downside to it is that dogs are not permitted due to the protected wildlife. We saw lots of different species of birds and also some really big bulls! They have a floating village with a cafe and a shop. If you do check it out make sure to get an ice-cream if its a warm day! You can check out Brockholes at the website below:
http://www.lancswt.org.uk/

The next place that Em and I love to visit is Towneley Park. This place really shows off the beautiful heritage that Burnley has to offer. Towneley hall which is situated in the park is a magnificent looking building which now serves as a museum for tourists to visit. It is also the venue that we have picked four our wedding which is hopefully taking place at the end of next year. Here is a photo of Towneley Hall in the background of me when I picked up my new car. There is plenty of open space and greenery to explore here. Even if you are not a local to Burnley I would recommend a visit to Towneley Park.

18222350_10154328125976020_700252981131107262_n

The final place I want to mention is a little further out than the places I have talked about above. It is still in Lancashire albeit about an hour drive, but, on a sunny day, it is certainly worth it. The place I am referring to is Hollingworth lake. I have been going here since I was a kid. I remember my grandparents taking me and my sister for ice cream and fish and chips. There is plenty to do at Hollingworth lake for everyone! They have a boating school on the lake which you can also walk around and see some lovely views along the way. There are several pubs dotted around the lake also picnic areas where you can stop off for a rest. The front at Hollingworth lake has a selection of restaurants and a really amazing chippy! You can get ice- cream and refreshments and sit around on the benches. This place is always packed on hot days so you have to be sure to get there early if you want to get a parking space!

Why the radio silence? | The Bearded Dad’s Survival Guide

Uncategorized

I realise that there has been a long period of radio silence from me recently. The thing is, that there is just so much going on in life right now. I have been spending my computer time trying to get my assignments sent off in time. I had a deadline today for my final tutor marked assignment and I only just hit it! I have one more examiner marked assignment for this year and then I’m done until October. To be honest I am ready for a break from Uni for a while. I really enjoy it, but at times it just gets too much with working and trying to fit in some downtime.

tenor (13).gif

We are now 17 weeks away from meeting our baby girl and the Mrs is really starting to show her bump. We have recently started to feel her kicking and it is all starting to get very exciting. The house is full of baby items ready for the big day. We are also moving at the end of this month into a brand new house which we both really can’t wait for. We have lived where we are now for just over 12 months and we have both come to hate it. A fresh start for our little family in a brand new home is something we really need.

I’m back working day shifts again so my sleeping pattern is pretty messed up recently. I have gotten so used to working nights that I am just constantly tired in the daytime now. It wouldn’t be so bad if I was staying back on days permanently as my body would eventually get used to the day pattern. I have a week off at the end of May so I can focus my time on getting the three of us safely moved into our new house so hopefully, I will get some time in that week to relax and recharge my batteries.

tenor (14).gif

On a final note, I’d just like to thank the few people that have followed me recently, your support is much appreciated and I would ask if you haven’t already that you head on over to my Instagram, where you will receive more frequent updates on whats going on in life! @Beardydadsurvival

 

WeParent | The Bearded Dads Survival Guide.

Uncategorized

I recently connected with WeParent, an online service which serves to help young children in the most important years of their development. Whether you are currently having issues or you are trying to get one step ahead of your child’s mental health development, WeParent offers a wide range of content that has been specially crafted by a dedicated team of professional psychologists.

I have had the pleasure of being given unrestricted access to the WeParent website and have spent several hours going over some of the modules they have readily available. The first thing I have discovered whilst using their service is that you can do everything at your own pace with no rush while working on each subject. Also, being able to access the modules from the comfort of your home means that you and your family can work through the modules in a familiar, stress-free environment.

Let’s now move on to looking a little closer at the materials on WeParent. In total there are five subjects that you and your family can work through. These are:

  • Emotions
  • Friendship & Social Skills
  • Independence
  • Positive Sense of Self
  • Sibling Rivalry

Each Subject is broken down into several modules, covering different scenarios in each subject. There is no set order for the subjects so you are free to start wherever you wish. Each module contains fun facts and interactive strategies which will give you, as a parent the advantage to help your child with their early development. Their easy to navigate website makes it simpler than ever to get help and advice on any everything listed above.

As an expecting father, Having WeParent available 24 hours a day is very convenient and comforting. I have no real experience with dealing with young children, and their professional advice is going to be priceless as I begin my journey into parenthood.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this introductory article on WeParent. If you wish to find out more about WeParent and what they can offer you and your family, you can find them at http://www.WeParent.co.uk, If you have any questions then please feel free to leave me a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Also, please keep an eye out for details on how you can win your very own subscription to WeParent as I have been very generously given ten subscriptions to give away to my readers.

 

A discussion with my pregnant fiancee

Uncategorized

Today’s article I bring you a brief chat I had with my fiancee about everything pregnancy related. We have been meaning to do this for a while and today we finally managed to find some time to write the transcript. I hope you all enjoy it and you get some source of helpful information (and also a touch of humour) from it.

My first question is, how have you managed to still look and feel good so far?

Am I? (Haha) I have not been eating a lot of chocolate as I have had more food aversions rather than cravings so I have been eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking lots of water. I have been lucky enough to only really put weight on around my bump when I thought I would be the size of a house by now.

tenor

Who do you think will be most keen to help out when baby is born?

My mum is going to be impossible to get rid of but I know that she is going to be really helpful and supportive, especially when baby first arrives. My best friend will be visiting a lot too as she is baby mad and she has a lot of nieces so she will be really helpful. But we have a lot of visitors for the first few weeks so we won’t be short of a helping hand.

tenor (2)

Have your boobs changed, if so how?

They literally seem to change every week. right at the beginning, they felt huge and really sore but now they have sort of gone back to their normal size. I won’t lie I’m a little disappointed!

tenor (3).gif

What about your other parts?

I don’t know, I cant see them. But the hair grows too quick I can’t keep up!

tenor (4).gif

Do you feel like your relationship with me has changed?

You spend a lot more time feeling and looking at my belly than you did before, I think it has given us more of a connection, even more than we had before. And you are a lot more sensitive towards me when I am feeling emoshe (emotional).

tenor (5).gif

Can you reach down to tie your shoes?

Just about. It’s getting harder every time when I lean over I feel that everything inside is a bit squished and I can’t breathe very well. I have noticed a few things are getting harder to reach like the lever to open my petrol tank in the car and trying to reach things in the cupboards because I can’t get any closer to the countertop because my belly is in the way.

tenor (6).gif

Do you find yourself chatting to bump sometimes?

Not so much, yet anyway. But I do keep getting urges to dance with my bump especially when cooking and there is music on I sometimes have a little bop around the kitchen holding my belly. It’s a little weird but I kinda like it.

tenor (8).gif

On average how many times a day do you worry about the pain of childbirth?

I honestly don’t think about it. From day one I have never had any fear about childbirth and since have done some research on hypnobirthing which is the techniques are going to follow. Hypnobirthing is all about having a relaxing, calm birth were you trust your body to do the job it was designed to do. I strongly believe if you trust your body and try to stay as positive as possible, you can have a positive birth experience. No lying in bed screaming for me thanks!

tenor (9).gif

Before we go, what are your hopes and aspirations for your baby?

I just hope that she is healthy, happy and I can inspire her to be the best she can be in every aspect of her life.

tenor (10).gif

As always guys, thanks for your continued support! We both really enjoyed creating this post for you guys today and we are thinking of doing round 2 before baby is born. If you have any questions you think would be good to ask a pregnant woman who is ripe and almost ready to pop then please feel free to get in touch with me, either via Instagram (@beardydadsurvival), by commenting below or by using the contact tab!

DC