Saturday, 8 December 2018

A Life Update

It's been a few months since I last posted on the blog as I've been really busy with other things so have struggled to put the time into blogging. Now things have settled down a little I thought it would be a good time to write a little update about what's been going on in the last 6 months. 

Since the start of the year, myself and Laura have been looking at buying a house together. For a while, we cycled round a number of different options, from new builds to older houses that ranged in size and location. Fast forward to the middle of June and we had received the keys to our very own first home. We bought a 3-bed semi detached house in Liverpool and are really happy with our choice. After having a proper look round the house, we came up with a list of things we wanted to do to get it how we'd like it. It started out with a bit of decorating and ended up turning into a renovation project which has kept us busy. The jobs ranged from upgrading the kitchen, fitting laminate flooring in four rooms, repainting the entire house plus DIYing a number of items of furniture. The house is pretty much there now and we're happy with what we have achieved since June, having done jobs that we never thought we'd be able to and learning plenty of new skills.

As well as making the new house a home, it's been a busy time for planning things for the wedding. After Laura and I got engaged last December we've been going through ideas for what we'd like and potential locations and dates for the big day. Having been to a couple of big wedding shows recently, we've started to work through a number of venues to create a shortlist and are pleased to have finally booked our venue for 2020. I knew wedding planning would take time but definitely underestimated how long this would actually be. There's obviously plenty more things to sort but we now have the venue and photographers confirmed which is a big relief.

So that's what's been keeping me occupied over the past 6 months and is the reason it's been quiet on here. Going forward I'm intending to get back on top of blogging and I'm feeling motivated to start posting regularly and producing content again so there is more to come. 


Sunday, 27 May 2018

Achieving The Grooming Style That's Right For You

Many of us have busy lives so our time is precious, which means we need to prioritise what's essential is our everyday routines. Male grooming has become an important part of the morning and having the correct items to do this with is key. When I was younger I didn't tend to care much about my appearance and couldn't really be bothered to do anything extra in the mornings when getting ready. Even trying to do something with my hair felt like too much effort so it just ended up with a quick pat dry after a shower and left to dry off. One of the main reasons for this is that I felt it would take far too long and I was much more bothered about having an extra bit of time in bed. In recent years I've realised that it doesn't take as long as I thought to achieve the look and style you want. I've started to have more interest in grooming and putting some care into my appearance. Now that I'm in a more formal job I feel that I want to look and feel smart. For me, it's not just about putting my shirt and tie on, it's about getting myself ready so that my overall appearance looks tip-top, particularly for those times when I have an important presentation or event.

Having a grooming routine might seem time-consuming, but if you have the right tools it can be a lot quicker than you think. Look at Rio Ferdinand in the video below, he has a big game of footy coming up, yet by using his Panasonic Grooming Trimmer, he still has the time to ensure he's looking his best before the match. For those of you who like to sport a well-groomed beard, or even if you haven't thought about growing a beard as you were put off by the upkeep, using one of Panasonic's products could make your life so much easier to get the look you want. Whatever hobbies or job you have, being able to look your best can really make you feel much more positively about yourself. Picking the correct device to use can make all the difference to ensure you achieve the style you want, with Panasonic having loads of grooming shavers to help you do just that. Check out the video below to see how Rio ensures he's looking sharp and will stand out with his own style.

*This is a sponsored post with Panasonic.

Monday, 12 February 2018

TV Shows I've Lost Interest In

When it comes to watching TV I'm much more into my series than just sticking something random on. I've watched numerous shows, whether this was on a weekly basis as the episodes were released or binge-watching a series on Netflix. Some of the shows I've watched have lost my interest for some reason or another which is a shame as I really enjoyed them to start with. 

The Walking Dead

Like many people, I was watching this religiously and was hooked from one week to the next. I feel that when it got to season 7 when two of the main characters are killed it started to go downhill from there. The rest of the season just seemed to be a bit slow and there were chances when it could have been really good and they just missed these opportunities. It revolved around getting revenge on a rival group and their leader yet every time there was a chance to take him out there was always some reason that it didn't happen and it just dragged on for far too long.


This is one of the shows that I may go back to but it wasn't gripping me enough each episode. The story involves a financial planner money laundering for a drug cartel which leaves his family in danger, but you don't always feel this level of threat which is what was keeping me interested due to wondering what would happen next. I do think that this has potential and may turn out to be really good I just need to get back into it and be intrigued enough by it to start watching again.

Bates Motel

Getting the story from Psycho this had plenty of potential to be a great show. You always know there is something slightly off about the son and as it develops it evolves into even more strange behaviour. I did enjoy watching it as it escalated and you started to switch between who you were rooting for, yet after a while, I just felt like it was annoying me as it lost its way and that's when I stopped watching it. 

Prison Break

I've included this one on the list due to its recent revival years after it originally ended. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved the first four seasons of this which were first aired between 2005 and 2009. Eight years later in 2017, they released the fifth season to try and carry it on, yet I had no interest in watching this. I felt that they ended the fourth season really well and any attempt to carry it on would ruin it and could turn into one of those shows that starts to decline and becomes known for being dragged on for too long.

Better Call Saul

This came from the hit show Breaking Bad, where Saul Goodman was the attorney for the big time drug dealer Walter White. Before Saul was this high-flyer, he was a small-time attorney for low-income clients and the show follows his progress and how he worked his way up. At first, I felt like this would be a great one to watch yet it just didn't seem to live up to my expectations. I felt it was just a bit too slow and didn't keep my interest, which may have partly been because I was so used to the excitement of Breaking Bad that this just couldn't compete.


Something that's a bit different to other shows I've watched is a legal drama about a college dropout who gets hired by a big-time corporate lawyer in an unconventional move. I was really into watching it for the first few seasons but then I became a little disinterested in the storyline. There are new seasons coming out and I have heard others still being into it so it may be one that I pick back up one day. 

American Horror Story

If you've ever seen this you'll know that it's a very weird and slightly disturbing show that explores the hauntings and goings-on in different places. Each series is concentrated on different characters and locations, from an insane asylum to a witch coven. Even though they were unsettling to watch, there was something that kept you going back for more. I think it just became a bit too odd and lost its way with the overall storyline so was no longer enjoyable.


Saturday, 27 January 2018

Games I've Been Playing In The Last 6 Months

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (PS4)

Based in 1946 when the Nazis are close to winning WW2, the character B. J. Blazkowicz is attempting to overturn their rule and heading deep into Bavaria. The first part involves Blazkowicz being up against a psychotic prison warden to retrieve the death camp coordinates, with the second part taking him to the city of Wulfburg where he finds an obsessed Nazi archaeologist attempting to release evil power. I found this game really interesting as the storyline gets you intrigued as to what happened in the past and see the balance between truth and fiction as to what they used to shape the storyline. Playing this game shows what could have happened in an alternate reality as part of the Nazi regime and you also get to use some pretty interesting weapons throughout the game. 

Assassins Creed: Black Flag (PS3)

I started playing this a while ago and have been dipping in and out of it for a few months. This whole game revolves around the lives of pirates with an infinite amount of pirate activities that you can get involved with. The game starts in 1715 when pirates threatened the powers in Europe and began to rule the land and sea. It moves into the times where you will captain your own ship and meet legendary pirates such as Blackbeard. The last part involves meeting some fearsome pirates as well as a ruthless pirate hunter. When I first began the game I was really enjoying it as it was something a little different to previous games in the series, partly due to its expansive world which made it the 'largest and most immersive game in the franchise'. There are so many different things to do and you can sail to numerous islands, although I did find myself getting a little bored sometimes as this became quite time-consuming and tedious. 

Sniper Elite 4 (PS4)

Although there have been previous games in this series, it's the first one I've played. It's set during World War Two and follows the elite sniper and covert agent Karl Fairburne. He's fighting with the Italian Resistance to try and free the country from Fascism and stop the threat that may prevent the Allied comeback. I'd never thought about sniper games previously as I always thought they would be a bit boring, however, this definitely wasn't the case with this game. There's a variety of missions and scenarios to play as you work through the storyline. I found myself striving to get the most perfect sniper kill to try and get the best score, although I found it fun to play around with the other weaponry to mix it up a little. 

Hitman: The Complete First Season (PS4)

This game sees you play the role of Agent 47 which takes you on assignments to take out a number of high profile and powerful people. You can choose who you want to take out, how you kill them and at which point. The missions will take place in different countries such as Japan and Paris. One of the things I love about this game is that it reacts to every move you make which means every time you play a mission, you can end up with a different outcome. It's so responsive and means you have to plan out your kills and be patient to achieve success. Having different weapons to use gives you the freedom to choose your method of assassination and it can get quite intense as you sneak around, disguise yourself and execute your targets.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PS4)

I first started playing the Uncharted games over a year ago and have played the remastered versions of the first three and then did number four. More recently I've been into The Lost Legacy which is currently the newest one in the series. The story follows Chloe Frazer who has appeared in previous games in the series, who takes on the help of a mercenary Nadine Ross. They head to India to try and recover an ancient artefact to prevent it getting into the wrong hands. I love the adventure that comes with the Uncharted games as there is so much exploring to do and this game takes you through some spectacular scenery and challenging missions.

© Andrew Mark Smith | A Lifestyle, Photography & Technology Blog. All rights reserved.
Blogger Designs by pipdig